Today I would like to welcome guest blogger Melissa. Melissa blogs at Mom’s Plans, where she shares her freezer cooking adventures, weekly meal plans and her family’s journey to become debt free. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.
When I began freezer cooking five years ago, my recipes were delicious casseroles filled with cheese as well as gooey, cheesy lasagnas. While my freezer meals were delicious, they probably weren’t that healthy, but I would have kept making them if one thing hadn’t happened—I became intolerant to dairy.
As a girl who LOVED ice cream, cheese, cottage cheese, butter, milk, just about anything made of dairy, it was quite a blow. I am not going to lie—I mourned. I missed the foods I grew up on and fed to my family. What was life without my grandma’s homemade macaroni and cheese?
Then, just a few months later, we watched Nineteen Kids and Counting and heard them say that their preemie baby’s constipation issues were related to a dairy intolerance. Our daughter had severe constipation issues, so we took her off dairy, and within a few weeks she was better.
Since two of us were then dairy free, I began cooking dairy free meals (which is a good thing because a year later my son also developed a dairy intolerance). Shortly after, I discovered that my daughter and I also had a soy intolerance. A nice “benefit” to my intolerances is that my cholesterol dropped over 30 points and my other numbers such as triglycerides also improved.
Where to Find Dairy Free Freezer Cooking Recipes
Whether you have a dairy or soy intolerance or would just like to feed your family healthier, heart friendly food, freezer cooking can help you. Yes, there are plenty of freezer recipes out there that are loaded with dairy, but there are plenty of other great allergy friendly recipes, too.
My favorite resource is Food.com. I simply type in “OAMC” and start looking through the over 600 recipes available. Another great source is Skinny Mom’s Kitchen, of course. Some of her recent recipes such as Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken are perfect for dairy free cooking. I also share recipes regularly on my site, including two of our favorites, Jamie Oliver’s Best Tomato Sauce Ever and Homemade Dairy Free Garlic Bread. One other great resource is Holly Clegg’s Trim & Terrific Freezer Friendly Meals.
Benefits of Freezer Cooking When You Have an Allergy
If you are living with a food allergy or intolerance, you know eating away from home can be tough sometimes. If you go on vacation, will you be able to find the food you can eat at restaurants? If you visit family, will they prepare food you can eat?
You would be amazed how many times people have told me that they thought a dairy intolerance meant we just couldn’t have milk. They didn’t consider butter or other dairy items, and these were people who were trying to make food we can eat, but had we eaten it, we would have become sick. Soy is also in many items that people don’t think about such as salad dressings, canned tuna fish, processed meats and vegetable oil.
Freezer cooking when you have a food allergy or intolerance is perfect for these situations:
- Extended stay with relatives. Every year, we stay with my mom for a week at Christmas. We bring our own freezer meals and share with her. We can eat food that is safe for us to eat, and she doesn’t have to cook for the week.
- Family vacations. We bring a cooler filled with our freezer meals when we take vacation. Then we don’t have to worry about what food we can eat, and we don’t spend time cooking. We just heat up, eat, and go sight seeing.
- Busy week nights. A family without food issues may just hit the drive thru on a busy night. That is usually not an option for us because so many products are made with dairy and soy. Instead, we can just grab a homemade frozen meal from the freezer for a quick meal. (This is a much healthier, weight friendly option too!)
I love freezer cooking and would recommend it to anyone, but if you have a food intolerance, freezer cooking can help you make healthy, safe meals that you can use for busy nights or a family vacation.