CONTEST CLOSED 1/28/13
This is a guest post from my friend, Katie, at Kitchen Stewardship. She has an FABULOUS give-away for you so keep reading!
I made a lot of food from scratch even before our family went (mostly) gluten-free, including regularly baking sourdough bread, homemade rolls, and biscuits.
With or without gluten, the homemade life can be mightily time-consuming.
The busier my family gets, and the more we change our eating habits to reduce processed foods, the more I find myself looking for corners to cut without compromising nutrition.
Here are 3 simple hacks that save time in the kitchen, get dinner on the table faster, and make it possible to eat the way we want without Mom losing her sanity:
1. Serve the casserole over rice.
Since going gluten-free, this has been my quickest and easiest way to make a casserole not only GF, but faster too. Rather than figure out a new biscuit recipe to top Easy Chicken and Biscuits or make corn tortillas for chicken enchiladas, I just make a pot of rice. I whip up the sauce portion of the casseroles, both of which use a homemade white sauce, which is easy to adjust to be gluten-free, and then simply serve it over rice.
I don’t have to mix up biscuit dough, transfer hot soupy stuff to a casserole dish, make tortillas, fill and roll tortillas, or even turn on the oven. This is great in the summer especially.
And my husband is happier not only because he has a less-stressed-out wife, but also because he doesn’t have to wash a nasty casserole dish coated in baked-on cheese. Everybody wins with over rice!
2. Make the casserole a one-pot meal.
Those old Campbell’s soup recipes for simple mix-it-all-together casseroles were handy and fast, but I’m too cheap to buy gluten-free canned cream soups (I don’t like all the weird ingredients anyway). A homemade cream of soup, however, is a snap to make GF.
However, it means that you’re dirtying a pot instead of mixing up the canned soup right in the casserole dish.
I’ve discovered that most casseroles turn out just great when made on the stovetop in a single pot, and they cook more quickly that way, too.
I’m sharing one example in the Homestyle Beef and Potato Casserole below, which used to take a whopping 70 minutes to bake in the oven. One day, I got caught without enough time, took a leap of faith, and hoped that the one-pot version would work. It did, making a fairly easy meal even simpler.
In my new eBook, Better Than a Box, I share seven different strategies for making any casserole into a one-pot meal. I hope to reduce piles of dinnertime dishes everywhere.
3. Just skip the bread.
We live in a culture that eats bread with their bread. It’s one thing to eat a meat-and-potatoes meal with a slice of bread, which is a very common habit. But we take that a step further in America:
- at Panera, you can get a cup of French Onion Soup (with toast in it) and a half sandwich, and what comes on the side? A roll.
- Pizza? With breadsticks.
- Pasta? Side of garlic toast, please.
It’s not something I ever noticed, how often we serve grains with grains, most of them wheat, but now it seems just ludicrous.
I propose that rather than whipping up a homemade gluten-free bread for every meal, we take it easy on ourselves.
Have soup and salad, and skip the bread.
You’ll reclaim a half hour from your day, and you can always eat a few extra veggies or have seconds if you’re still hungry. (I’m not advocating for a breadless world by the way and chili has to have cornbread with it, right? I’m just saying we don’t need bread with every soup or stew we serve.)
If you like to keep it simple too, I hope you enjoy the time-saving tips and one-pot meals found in Better Than a Box: How to Transform Processed Food Recipes into Whole Foods Favorites.
The first ONE HUNDRED readers to use the code SSGF100FREE will get the book for free!
The PDF download also includes the Kindle and Nook files, as well as free printable recipe cards, a freezer supply list, how to cook dry beans printable and other handy dandy charts and tips. Regular pricing starts Friday.