Winter might soon be ending but It’s still cold outside and everyone is looking for easy winter dinners for the family, or simple winter meals for one. Inspiration has arrived!
All of the following are quick, easy or convenient; designed to add flavoursome ideas to your winter menu planning. Eat tonight, save some for tomorrow and pop portions in the freezer. If you’re smart about it, tonight’s meal prep may help with tomorrow’s meal as well.
- Bolognese sauce! The easiest and most versatile prep sauce around. Start from scratch or grab a ready to go pasta sauce from the pantry. Cook a large batch and divide up for 3 or 4 meals; lasagne (always tastes best the next day), spag bol for some time later in the week, and a delicious baked potato topping next week. Pop some in the freezer in suitable portions and it’s always there when you need it.
- Pasta to go with or without that Bolognese sauce; always easy, warming and filling. See our pasta specific blogs on gluten free homemade pasta sauces and perfect pasta pairings. Why not try a pesto or light herb and mushroom sauce for something different?
- Baked potatoes. Simply bake your whole spuds for an hour or two, cut open and top with your favourite toppings. Try leftover bolognese with shaved parmesan and coleslaw on the side. What about sour cream with a bit of sweet chilli sauce and finished with bacon pieces, or traditional baked beans and shredded mozzarella? So many combinations to try!
- Stir fry veg and noodles. It could be pad Thai, Singapore noodles, satay beef or Teriyaki chicken. As long as you have some gluten free noodles and quick sauces in the pantry, this meal really just needs some chopped vegetables and a quick wok fry. Vegetables can easily be prepared in the morning and left ready in the fridge.
- Hot curry with rice. Whether it’s a Thai green, butter chicken or a beef rendang, curries are best premade so that flavours develop in the fridge before reheating. GF Pantry has many ready to go curry pastes for convenience, and chutneys or pickles to add something special on the side. Make double the quantity of rice and pop the cooked rice in the freezer for fried rice later in the week.
- Simple Fried Rice. Stir fry left over rice with a little garlic, ginger and Chinese five spice. Add some bacon pieces, peeled prawns, peas, corn kernels and bamboo shoots, before serving with soy sauce. How quick was that? For something a little more exotic Easy rice flavourings are also available from Gf Pantry.
- Chicken Schnitzels. If you can’t have a parmie at the pub, make your own. Use the best quality bread crumbs you can afford; your schnitzels will show the results. Throw in a gluten free seasoning mix, bang on some chips and grab a gluten free beer. Just like the pub only you can eat in your pyjamas!
- Roast night; roasts require time but very little attention. They make a great family eat together meal. When you throw in the vegetables, always double the quantity. Roast vegies are perfect on day two in so many ways. Heat them and add to hot gnocchi with fresh herbs and crumbled feta or parmesan. Mix with quinoa, fresh onion, parsley and lemon juice for a tasty side salad. Blitz with a little stock for a roast vegetable soup. Simply fry up and serve on toast, with or without bacon and eggs.
- Soups can be made in advance and left in the fridge all week. GF Pantry has stocks and seasonings for flavour, and beans and lentils to add bulk. Serve with hot rolls or toast, and you will be warm, full and satisfied very quickly.
- Stews, warm casseroles and traditional English meals like lamb shanks are perfect weekend cooks. Just leave them slowly cooking when you’re at home and then divide up into freezer meal portions.
- Vegetarian patties made with mashed spuds, sweet potato and blended chickpeas are so easy to make. Add bacon, corn or peas if you desire, and your own combination of herbs. Patties can be as simple or gourmet as you want.
So, whether you are stuck inside all day or out in the elements, enjoy your winter foods. Savour the flavours, take the time to enjoy and satisfy your soul!