4 brilliant gluten-free tips to get you through lockdown
Sometimes life changes and everything that wasn't brilliant anyway now seems an insurmountable chore.
Do you ever open the fridge and sigh, wondering what on earth you're going to make for dinner? You glance at the sausages staring back at you and think, but we had those yesterday. You feel the energy draining out of your body at the thought of peeling spuds (again). And the only veg you've got has started rotting.
Clearly, motivation for most people at the moment isn't at its peak. So here are 4 brilliant ways to make things better for yourself if you're coeliac and you really don't want to have to think so much about food.
These chaps are fab. I can't believe I didn't know about them earlier. They've basically sorted out all your shopping for you without waste. You won't have to go round the supermarket reading ingredients. You won't have to leave the house. You don't even have to think about what you'd like to eat. Plus, they donate free school meals to children living in poverty.
Oh, and everything they do is gluten-free.
How does it work?
You choose a day for them to deliver and how many meals you'd like for the week. You can then select from their menu or allow them to do it. (Yes - choices! You won't even have to look for a g-f option as you'll be able to have anything you like.) There's also a strong vegan content, which is especially good if you're doing Veganuary and need some ideas.
They'll deliver to your doorstep/safe place. Each meal has been portioned out for you already so all you need to do is cook it according to their recipe. And if you don't fancy that, you can order from their frozen range and simply heat up a meal instead. Genius!
Wondering what it means? It's having part of a meal sorted and ready in the fridge. Rather than make an entire meal from scratch, you'll only have to do something simple (like boil some potatoes). Here are some ideas to get you started:
Peel and dice a butternut squash. Roast in the oven at 190 C for 45 minutes until caramelised. (No need for oil - just trust me on this one!) Uses: add to soup to make it thicker, eat alongside ready-cooked meat & potatoes or toss into a warm salad. Keep in the fridge in an airtight container.
Roast a large chicken. Uses: slices in g-f sandwiches/wraps, add to stews, boil up bones to make a hearty soup.
Make a base of tomato sauce - pan-fry onions and garlic in olive oil & add passata or fresh tomatoes (plus veg like sliced mushrooms if you wish). Uses: sauce for g-f pasta, add meat/tofu and serve on top of rice, use on a g-f pizza base & add toppings like sweetcorn, pepperoni & cheese.
3. Freeze food in ziplock bags like a filing cabinet
I can't take credit for this idea - a friend saw Prue Leith advocating it. Basically, you put food (like mash or curry) into a ziplock bag and freeze it lengthways. When you want some (but not all), you simply break off a piece and allow it to thaw. It's particularly useful with baby food.
4. Order staples online
If you rely on staples that you can't necessarily buy just anywhere (like g-f bread), consider a regular online shop. All you have to do is click the same order again. Some supermarkets will even let you name it! At the moment, it may not be possible to have a regular delivery slot (e.g. from Ocado) where you don't have to book every week. But at least you won't run out of g-f flour or your favourite corn tortillas.
Even doing something really simple like an instant gravy can be enough to lift a meal. Buy an all-in-one gluten-free mix and you won't even have to add cornflour with a stock cube. Yep, that's right - you simply pour on boiling water and stir! Try Asda's freefrom gravy granules (they're also vegan).
Don't underestimate how doing something small can, over time, bring a little more peace and harmony to your life. It's really worth doing!
I want more! Read further gluten-free tips in my blog posts here.