Just a few days ago one of my Facebook friends was lamenting how complicated it was feeding her family rife with food allergies. Plus she’s expecting another baby, running a business, and generally being a kick-ass warrior mama. I suggested she give batch cooking a try. This is my intro to batch cooking for food allergies for the lovely Tyler and her growing family.
I’ve tried batch cooking a few times and really like it. See my review of Once A Month Meals here. I <3 Once a Month Meals and highly recommend it for a 30-day cook-up.I’ve recently been working on a “Eat from the Freezer and Stop Wasting Money, A-hem” project and will gear up for a big batch cook once I’ve made some room.
Tyler posted a list of what her family is allergic to and this is my attempt to introduce her to batch cooking. So, a few meal ideas to accommodate allergies to eggs, gluten, dairy, soy, spelt, amaranth, cranberries, citrus, broccoli, almonds, peanuts, cane sugar, and whey. (To which I say Piece of cake!)
- Roast chicken
- Chicken enchiladas
- Chicken noodle soup
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Shepherd’s pie
- Fried rice
- Teryiaki chicken legs and wings
- Pork shoulder or chuck roast
- Potatoes: boiled, roasted, mashed
- Breakfast sausage
- Home fries
- Gluten-free muffins
- Smoothie packs
- I’m assuming you have a slower cooker, oven, and several large pots and pans. I use large Ziploc bags for freezer storage. It stacks, it’s cheap, and I wrap food in parchment paper as much as possible to minimize contact with the plastic. I just don’t have adequate Pyrex for freezing. Only freeze glass that’s tempered, like Pyrex or Anchor. Regular glass, e.g., Mason jars, gets micro-cracks and shatters easily.
- Always choose organic or non-GMO corn, put your organic dollars toward meat, healthy fats and the organic versions of the Dirty Dozen.
- Clean out the fridge and freezer ahead of time!
- 3 whole chickens
- 3-4 lbs chicken wings and drumsticks
- 6 lbs ground beef
- 2 lbs ground turkey or pork
- 2-4 packages no-sugar bacon
- 4 lb pork shoulder or chuck roast
- 2 lbs organic rice (I use long-grain or basmati)
- 3 lbs organic dried beans, black or pinto, your choice
- 1 lb Gluten-free flour blend (I like King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix, Gluten-Free Girl Flour, and Bob’s Red Mill. If you tolerate dairy, Cup4Cup is great.)
- 2 jars organic marinara (I use Trader Joe’s)
- Coconut aminos or wheat-free tamari
- Organic corn tortillas for soft tacos or crispy taco shells
- 5 lbs organic gold or red potatoes
- 1 jar tomatilla salsa
- 2 large jars enchilada sauce (I like Hatch)
- Shredded cheese or Daiya cheese substitute
- 1 jar mild salsa
- 1 jar Organicville or San-J teriyaki sauce or homemade (Recipe here)
- 1 bag each frozen mixed vegetables, frozen peas and carrots, frozen spinach, frozen fruit mix or strawberries, frozen blueberries,
- 2-3 limes
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1-2 onions
- 1 bunch bananas
- Spices: fennel, garlic, paprika, black pepper, sage, cayenne pepper, white pepper, ground cumin, chili powder, dried oregano, Italian spice mix, dried basil
- Salt (I suggest sea salt, kosher, Real Salt or pink himalaya salt)
- Cooking oils: I suggest coconut oil, ghee, Spectrum shortening, avocado oil
- Roast 2 chickens in oven. My recipe is here. Quarter one cooked chicken for serving, shred meat off second chicken. Save all bones, skin, etc., for broth.
- Stew 1 whole chicken in large pot with a fair bit of water, 1/2 an onion, salt, pepper, parsley. Shred chicken, reserve broth, save all the bones, skin, etc., for broth.
- Brown 4 lbs ground beef. You can add minced onion, if you prefer.
- Prep and parboil 5 lbs of organic yukon gold potatoes (Easy hack parboiling and peeling here. Here are directions for freezing and then roasting and mashing potatoes)
- Bake 2 packages of bacon, on parchment- or foil-lined baking sheets, 15-20 minutes at 400, just like Ina Gartner.
Big Cook-Up and Assembly:
1. Make extra large batch of rice: 4 cups dried rice in 8 cups salted, boiling water, reduce heat and cover for 20 mins, or in rice cooker according to directions.
2. Throw 1-2 pounds of dried beans into the slow cooker or in a large pot on the stove top. Lots of water, more than you think you’ll need. Add salt!!
3. Make meatballs: Mix 2 lbs ground beef 4 tbsp Italian seasoning, 4 tsp salt, form into balls, bake on parchment- or foil-lined and greased baking sheet for 20 mins at 375. Let cool. Toss meatballs into labelled, gallon-size Ziplock bag, freeze.
4. Mix 1 and 1/2 c. ground beef with taco seasoning:
- 1 Tbsp arrowroot or potato starch
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- Put in labelled, gallon-sized Ziplock, freeze.
5. Make gluten-free muffins. If you have left over oatmeal, these are delicious. Use coconut sugar or date sugar if you’re avoiding cane sugar. This recipe from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef is delicious, flexible and it can be made egg free and sugar free. I’ve made it several times with a variety of flour blends and it always works. Read the directions. So worthwhile!
6. Make Shepherd’s Pie:
- In large saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- Add 1 c. sliced mushrooms, cook until soft
- Add 1 c. frozen peas and carrots, cook until soft
- Add 1 and 1/2 c. ground beef, stir to combine
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 c chicken or beef broth, 1 Tbsp gluten-free flour, 2 Tbsp GF worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
- Add to meat mixture. Heat until sauce thickens.
- Put meat mixture into a greased baking dish or foil pan for freezing
- Pull out 4-6 par-boiled potatoes and make mashed potatoes
- Top meat mixture with mashed potatoes. Cover. Freeze.
7. Make breakfast sausage using either ground turkey or pork, your choice. This recipe looks delicious. You can cook it up in patties, or freeze the patties uncooked. Wrap them in parchment or freezer paper.
8. Smoothie packs. In 4 one-gallon-sized Ziplock bags, in each bag add 1-2 sliced bananas, then divvy up frozen fruit, frozen blueberries, at least 1 cup frozen spinach. Seal and freeze.
9. Make fried rice. In a large sauté pan, add 1 Tbsp oil, cook 1 c. frozen mixed vegetables, add 4 cups rice, 4 pieces chopped bacon, 2-3 Tbsp coconut aminos or wheat-free tamari. Finish with 1 tsp toasted sesame oil if tolerated. Let cool, freeze in large Ziplock, being careful to remove all extra air.
10. Bake chicken wings and legs. Toss with teriyaki sauce. Bundle and freeze.
11. Prep layered chicken enchiladas. Spread a 1/4-1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a baking dish or foil pan for freezing. Line with soft corn tortillas. Add a layer of shredded chicken, then a layer of beans, 1 cup of enchilada sauce, shredded cheese or Daiya substitute if tolerated. Repeat layers, ending with a layer of tortillas and another cup of enchilada sauce. Top with cheese if tolerated. Freeze immediately. To serve, thaw, and bake for 30-45 mins at 350.
12. Pork shoulder: follow directions for Kalua Pork from NomNomPaleo.com. For chuck roast, simply throw it in the crockpot after the beans are done, throw a jar of tomatillo salsa on top and cook on low for 8-12 hours.
13. Home fries with bacon: In a large sauté pan, heat oil or bacon fat, add 1/2 an onion thinly slices, cook on medium low heat until soft. Add 4-6 cups cubed par-boiled potatoes. Cook thoroughly, allowing the edges to brown and get crispy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 4-6 pieces crumbled bacon.
14. Whenever your crockpot’s available, pull all those chicken carcasses out, throw them in the crock pot, cover with water, add 1/2 an onion, 1-2 Tbsp vinegar, cook on low and make a big batch of broth. You always need broth!
OK, this should stock your freezer with lots of good dinner and breakfast options. Pull your meal choice out of the freezer the night before and thaw it in the fridge. Serve with fresh veggies of your choice.