Celiac meals that freeze well?
January 8, 2011 8:09 AM   Subscribe

What are some good, sturdy (ie, freezable, or can be neglected in the fridge for a few days without quality suffering too much), gluten- and casein- free meals I can prepare and deliver to a friend with a new baby?

A friend and his wife expect a new baby later this month. For other pals, I've often cooked up and delivered hearty meals that could be eaten right away, stuck in the freezer for thawing later, or set in the fridge for a few days before digging in. (Enchiladas, lasagnas, etc. are go-to recipes for this.)

The friend this time though has celiac disease and must eschew gluten (in many grains) and casein (a milk protein).

Can anyone recommend recipes that fit bill here? I am hesitant to simply adapt my own gluten- and casein-heavy recipes using celiac-friendly substitute ingredients. It just seems like that could fail badly. I'd rather go with something designed from the outset to be a great gluten- and casein-free meal.

And again, the dish should be able to take some abuse, maybe being moved around the fridge or freezer for a few days before the new parents have time to sit and eat.

Thanks, folks!
posted by celilo to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
A blog I read includes recipes that are gluten free (not sure about casein) because her husband suffers from celiac. She talks about freezing alot of these. Here's a link to her crockpot recipes, you can find more on the site.
posted by quodlibet at 8:13 AM on January 8, 2011

Best answer: To be completely honest with you, as someone with celiac, I would not eat food that had been prepared in someone else's kitchen, no matter how well-intentioned the giver. Gluten contaminates everything, so much so that when I was diagnosed I replaced everything in my own kitchen.
posted by sugarfish at 9:03 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

I've got Celiac Disease, and we took my daughter off dairy for awhile too.

I've linked to this Minestrone recipe before, and I'm sure I'll do it again. I leave out the spinach, and obviously you can leave off the Parmesan. I really like this recipe because it's a good base that can be added to depending on what you have on hand. I've added brown and white rice, as well as lots of different kinds of vegetables (canned, frozen, or fresh.) My favorite addition is leftover rotisserie chicken.

This soup freezes well, and actually tastes better when its been left in the fridge for a few days. One pot would make enough for quite a few meals for two people.
posted by TooFewShoes at 9:03 AM on January 8, 2011

The other good thing about that Minestrone recipe is that it's a one pot deal, so you don't have to worry about cross contamination.
posted by TooFewShoes at 9:05 AM on January 8, 2011

Pilakhi, a middle-eastern bean dish. Lots of recipes online, here's one. It's vegan and gluten-free.

Rice pilaf, with whatever ingredients you please. (Rice is gluten-free.) Also rice loafs, although some of them use cheese as a binder. You could probably use soy cheese, and there are plenty of recipes with egg as a binder if egg is okay. These refrigerate okay but don't freeze well.

Cassoulet is another good one (no cheese, no grains) that freezes well and can easily be made in a crockpot, so doesn't require a lot of work from you either. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:19 AM on January 8, 2011

(If you do cassoulet, make sure you check the canned ingredients like tomato paste and the sausage carefully for gluten ... sometimes it sneaks in there. It's shocking the ingredient list you can find on tomato paste, rather than just "tomatoes and something to preserve color.")
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:20 AM on January 8, 2011

Lentil loaf or meatloaf is great for freezing.

Gluten-free shepherd's pie - you can freeze the whole thing and they can cut slices as needed.

Curried chickpeas with quinoa - they can heat it up and serve it inside lettuce "wraps" or a gluten free wrap.

You can also throw in some of Amy's frozen meals. The soups are also excellent and not that expensive. You can search for gluten free and dairy free products here (but don't get anything with soy cheese, the one Amy's uses has casein).
posted by shoreline at 9:35 AM on January 8, 2011

Best answer: Gluten sticks to everything - most celiacs when diagnosed replace all kitchen utensils, pans, and even the toaster. For some even the tiniest bit will cause a flare so maybe rethink your traditional new baby gift. Whole Foods has lots of gluten free snacks, desserts, nosh-y type items that you could put together in a nice basket. If there's a good gluten free cafe in town maybe include a gift certificate so the new dad can pick up some take out.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 11:29 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: If your friend is extremely sensitive, heed the advice of others and don't attempt this in a contaminated kitchen. I do cook for gluten-free friends who are pretty sensitive, as in, forcing themselves to vomit after accidentally drinking a sip of beer sensitive, or havin a bite of brownie and being sick for a day sensitive. I haven't "glutened" her yet, and these are the precautions I take:

-I wash the bowls, pots, utensil I'm using right before cooking with a new sponge. Yes, they were already clean.

-I'm really careful about using big jars of stuff I've had laying around forever; new packages of ingredients are better. For example, sometimes when making a cake I'll measure out a cupful of flour, and then use the same cup to measure out a cupful of sugar. You do NOT want to use that sugar to sweeten your glutenfree pie.
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:37 AM on January 8, 2011

you don't have your location on your profile, so i can't look for you, but go to your local public library and get a vegan gluten-free cookbook. if by some chance you live in a really small town that doesn't have this, you can always limit your recipe searches on food.com. Soup is a good, good staple because it gets better over a couple days. You should also be able to use rice, quinoa ("keen-wah"), and millet. The easiest thing may also be to ask your friend (or her partner?) what she can and likes to eat. And ask her how sensitive she is, because not all celiacs are as super-sensitive as described above.
posted by tamarack at 1:18 PM on January 8, 2011

Chicken Marbella, along with a pot of currant-studded rice cooked in broth.
posted by palliser at 5:24 PM on January 8, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the ideas, and the warnings. I had considered asking whether my kitchen would pose a risk, regardless of the recipe, so I'm glad so many of you alerted me that my workspace could be a problem in itself. (In my mind I'd been making Kosher comparisons.)
posted by celilo at 8:33 AM on January 9, 2011

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