Modern life is busier than ever, even with the pandemic still taking its time to subside, many of us still find ourselves struggling to get everything done each day. An increasingly popular method for saving time is meal prep, which can be as extensive or limited as one needs. When it comes to being in a relationship where both of you are busy each day, or certain days of the week, meal prep can not only be a life saver, but also a relationship saver.
Whether you and your partner are both gluten intolerant or suffer from celiac, or they’re gluten free in solidarity with your (or even vice versa), coming up with meal ideas can be a pain. Coming up with meal prep ideas which abide to your gluten free lifestyles may be even harder, as many meal preps utilize pasta and other wheat products. To make it even easier, I’ve been looking into which gluten free freezer meals and products can aid in your meal prep.
Here are some of my tips on gluten free meal prepping for two, and how to make it something which enhances both of your lives.
It’s not uncommon in relationships, even in pairs of friends, for one person to be better at cooking than the other, but this doesn’t mean they should do it all. Meal prepping saves time by condensing all of the cooking into an hour or two, typically done on an off day like Sunday. While one of you may feel like it’s okay for you to do this, you may come to resent the other person for their lack of contribution.
Sharing responsibility with meal prepping can mean one of a few different things:
- Working together to prepare meals, e.g. one cuts up the vegetables while the other manages cooking them
- Taking turns on a weekly basis
- If one person is substantially better at cooking then the other may take full responsibility for cleaning both after the prep and after each meal
Find a way that both of you can feel like you contributed to each meal, this will not only preserve the relationship (both romantic and platonic), it will also make the food more satisfying to eat. You should also share the responsibility of coming up with meal ideas which suit your gluten free lifestyles.
What to Look for in Gluten Free Freezer Meals and Products
Not all gluten free freezer meals and products are made the same! In fact, the gluten-free label doesn’t necessarily mean the product is healthy, contrary to what many fad dieticians are claiming. Be sure to only buy those gluten free products which utilize natural ingredients to compensate for the texture, flavor, or protein that gluten would otherwise provide.
I generally look for the following labels when considering gluten free freezer meals and related products:
- Soy free - soy may be a good plant-based protein but current methods of farming it have proven to be environmentally harmful, so avoiding it is best.
- Non-GMO - as safe as the FDA claims genetically modified organisms are, they are still a fairly unnecessary option when sold alongside organic products.
- Plant based protein - these come in many shapes and forms, and are often substantially more nutritious than typical frozen animal products.
- Transparency in ingredients - prepared food shouldn’t contain a foot-long list of ingredients, instead choose options which are minimal and transparent.
- Lower end of the calorie range - many producers will bulk up their products with all kinds of fillers tipping the calorie count to unnecessary levels, excess calories will store as fat.
Considering all of the above, I generally go with Dr Praeger’s products as they tick all of the above boxes and suit our household’s gluten free lifestyles, although there are similar products which can offer similar benefits.
Meal Prep Ideas
For the following I’ve utilized Dr Praeger’s products, but there are other options available that may work just as well.
Roast Veggie and Puff Salad
Salads are an awesome meal prep as they can be relatively quick to throw together and can be easily dressed when the time comes to eat. Fresh or even leftover roast vegetables tossed with some of Dr Praeger’s Puffs, with a serving of quinoa, couscous, or brown rice make an extremely healthy lunch or dinner. Be sure to prepare a dressing of your choice separately, and to add just before eating to truly enjoy.
Baked Veggie Frittata
Dr Praeger’s actually has the perfect recipe for this on their website, and this makes incredible meal prep that you’ll look forward to enjoying again. I’ve even omitted the sweet potato for their Hash Browns and found it even easier to make, and much tastier.
Fish Tacos with Slaw
Another epic recipe from Dr Prager’s website, their Fish Sticks are gluten free and this dish is packed with plant-based protein in the form of a fresh slaw. Check it out here, and don’t hesitate to swap the fish sticks for their veggie sausage or plant protein burger patties.