I am blessed to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As a faithful member of this church, I am entitled to certain blessings and privileges that come from the church. One of those is access to food from the Bishop's Storehouse when we are in difficult financial times. I've been the recipient of this blessing several times throughout my adult life, married, divorced, and re-married. I am truly grateful that we are able to satisfy our family's appetites with this food while we get everything back to a good place in our lives.
It isn't without its challenges, however. The top two that concern me right now are lack of variety in selection and the fact that most of it is stuff you have to prepare from scratch, especially if, like me, you have to cook to the demands of a food allergy or two.
With this latest pregnancy (due in April 2015), I have had significantly less energy and desire to do much of anything, much less prepare a meal from scratch 3 times a day. I've also had trouble feeling a desire to eat, as eating the wrong thing, or too much, or too little, or sometimes even thinking about food nauseates me. Who wants to cook when the thought of said food makes one feel ill? It's definitely a challenge. There are usually only about 2 hours a day when I feel good enough to do anything but lay around sleeping, reading, or checking my email. I managed to teach my 10, 9, and 7 year old some basic food items they can make for themselves for breakfast and lunch, but dinner was still a challenge.
I thought to myself, I'm SO bored with this routine, but what can I do? And how can I make this easier on myself? How about freezer meals? But my ingredients are so limited... Has anyone else tried to do freezer meals on a Bishop's Storehouse "budget"? Quick research: Answer, no!
Well, then, it's time someone stepped up.
So here I am.
I'm setting out to create meals and other shortcuts that utilize your freezer for more than just storing the meat and ice cream you get from the storehouse. I've created and tested several successful recipes, and I'm excited to share them with you! You can, like me, make the most of the hours or day that you feel okay and have the time and make dinner easier for yourself, or for someone else to take over (like those older kids! or a culinarily-challenged hubby).
I will list here some of the things I've come up with. There are two categories for the freezer, pre-prepped ingredients and pre-prepped meals. I also have some recipes that will hopefully shake up your meals and add variety to your edible life. I'll link to the posts as soon as they're posted, and I'll keep adding links as I come up with more recipes. I hope these can help you as much as they've helped me.
Also, y'all should know that my dietary restrictions and preferences bias a lot of my cooking. Sometimes I'll offer alternatives for ingredients you may be lucky/crazy enough to have and use for food. (No judgment here; we're all different.) Sometimes I won't bother. Feel free to substitute as you may desire, or if you're stumped, comment or email me. I'm an expert at substitutions.
For the record, we are gluten-free, abstain from vegetable oils, and every other weekend or so I have to also be dairy-free for my step kids. Check out this post for my tips on how to survive gluten-free at the storehouse.
So here you go!
Frozen vegetable purees
Marinated chicken breasts (plus bonus sauce recipe!)
Sausage patties and crumbles (plus bonus recipe!)
Ground beef crumbles
Roasted Tomato Soup @
Cabbage Rolls @
Arienne's Homemade Chili Hot Beans *@
Crock Chili @
Beef and Cabbage Stir-fry @
BBQ Pork @
Flair and Variety
Potato Salad @
Broccoli Salad @
Tuna Quesadillas *
* Needs extra ingredients from what you can get in the Storehouse
@ Dairy-free (or dairy-free options)