Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Gluten Free Cooking Tips #8 -- Cooking Ahead of Time

Cooking Tip#8
Cooking Ahead of Time – Ready Made Meals in Minutes

In addition to meal planning simply having meals that are already cooked will make life SO much easier during the week, especially if you work outside of the home.

I commute to work, so on weeks when I’m able to make 2 or 3 meals ahead of time, our evenings are much more relaxing because we’ve saved nearly an hour or more of prep & clean up time.

My favorite way to make meals ahead of time is to use 2-3 slow cookers on Sunday to prepare at least 3 different one pot meals. You simply place all the ingredients in the slow cookers, let them go for 3-4 hours on high. I love that I can get other things done around the house while the meals are cooking and then when they are finished I can simply place them in serving size containers for lunches or in large containers for weeknight meals.

Image Source - Dollar Store Mom

Here are several links for recipes that teach you how to make instant “freezer” slow cooker meals. You pre-chop, pre-dice all the ingredients for a given meal and place it in a freezer ziplock bag. Then whenever you need slow cooker meals, you just pour the frozen prepared ingredients into the slow cooker and go.

Reader’s Tip of the Day:
“Taste as you go...and always, always, ALWAYS taste before serving the meal! It might sound like a no-brainer to some people, but the concept was foreign to me until i started watching a lot of Food Network a couple of years ago. I uses to just cross my fingers and HOPE it was good, without taking the time to check flavor, add seasonings, etc. This one simple thing revolutionized my cooking”. – Courtney M.G

Please visit each topic in "10 Days of Gluten Free"
From: May 7th - May 18th

10 Days Gluten Free GIVEAWAY!
Included with this awesome series is a giveaway on each blog once the two weeks are over! I will be giving away a brand new copy of Carol Fenster's cookbook, "100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes." This is one of my FAVORITE gluten free cookbooks with an awesome collection of Carol's absolute best recipes.

The Giveaway Nitty Gritty: 

  • This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents 18 and older. 
  • You are allowed one entry per "10 Days of Gluten Free" blog post for a total of 10 entries on this blog. 
  • Enter by leaving a comment (WITH an email address to contact you) on this post (and other 10 Days of GF posts). 
  • The giveaway begins May 7, 2012 and ends at 11:59 pm eastern time on May 18, 2012. 
  • No purchase is necessary. 
  • Odds of winning are based on the number of entries. 
  • The winner will be randomly chosen and will be contacted by email. 
  • The winner will have 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen
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  1. Would LOVE to win the cookbook! Thanks for the chance.


  3. Thanks for the links. Will be using these!

  4. Wow, I need to try these!

  5. I like the crockpot idea. I need to use mine more. I have limited freezer space, but I always try to keep things ready made on hand so I don't have to spend our days off cooking.

  6. Wow, what a wealth of information. I am anxious to try a bunch of these recipes. I love the crockpot.

  7. I love the idea of different blogs focusing on a theme for 10 days. Thanks for what you do. I'd adore a new cookbook.

  8. These are such great ideas! I can't believe that I never thought of using the freezer to get slow cooker meals ready to prepare! Thanks!

  9. Thank you for the tips and giveaway.

  10. I need to get better at pre planning. Thanks for the info

  11. Love the baggies ready to go. How many crock pots do you have? (inquiring minds...) Ours is so heavy and takes up so much space I can't imagine what we'd do w/3.

    1. lololol!! Well BEFORE I wrote the cookbook I had 2 slow cookers Cheryl! NOW... I have FIVE (No wait, I think it's only 4??)! lolol Anyways, I KNOW I have a large 6 quart (that's my largest) Two 4-quart ones -- those get the most use, and a small 2.5 quart... I THINK that's all of them! Who knows what else could be hiding underneath my cabinets! lol

  12. I had a ready made meal this evening - Tuscan Meatballs, yummm.

  13. We actually ate spaghetti tonight, from sauce that I made in a huge batch and froze. :) pauladecaria(at)

  14. Wow- what a good idea to freeze bags for slow cooker meals! Thanks for the tip.

  15. Carrie, I'm honored that you linked to my GF Freezer Meal post! I hope it can help other busy moms! We actually ate one of the meals this week. See you in Charlotte!

  16. I used our crock pot this week for the first time. Love it! Will definitely check out some of the sites you listed for some great GF recipes to try. Thank you!

  17. I love this idea! Can't wait to check the links.