|They look sweet, but they almost gave me a nervous breakdown|
I've had one of "those" weeks. My husband has been out of town. Back when the girls were little, his trips out of town were a nightmare for me. I was nursing a baby while two toddlers got into everything. There were so many trips to the ER and calls to poison control that I actually expected a visit from child protective services! Those early years, I really thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown.
Now that they're older, his traveling is much easier for me... in theory. There are no babies to nurse. Everyone can feed herself. No one is sticking beads up her nose (I actually tried to remove it with a vacuum hose-- didn't work). No one is locking herself in a room and crying her head off because she can't open the door and can't hear, so I can't tell her how to unlock it (true story... I ended up removing the door from its hinges).
But still, his traveling is hard. I can't sleep when he's gone. Every little sound has me jumping up out of bed, convinced someone is lurking outside the window. And I'm scared of the dark, so if I'm sleeping alone, I leave the light on. Have you tried to sleep with the light on? Not easy.
So, I'm sleep deprived. And my throat hurts. And my computer's acting up. And I'm more than a little cranky. And I did not feel like cooking... so I didn't. Days like this are precisely why I keep an emergency stash of gluten free convenience foods. Here, in no particular order, are my family's go-to boxed or frozen meals for days when mama's about to have a breakdown.
Annie's Gluten Free Rice Pasta and Cheddar Mac & CheeseI don't eat mac and cheese unless it's the baked kind (which I haven't attempted since we went gf), but my kids love Annie's gluten free mac and cheese. They like it even better than the gluteny kind. Obviously, it's still processed foods, but the folks at Annie's use much higher quality ingredients than you'll find in most regular boxed mac and cheese. There are no artificial colors, flavorings, or preservatives. So, I might be lazy, but at least I don't have to feel guilty for feeding my kids chemicals!
Amy's EnchiladasI really, really love the Mexican food offerings from Amy's Kitchen. They are gluten free and organic, but more importantly, they taste great. I particularly like the cheese enchiladas and the black bean enchiladas, but the tamales are good, too.
Tandoori Chef Chicken Tikka MasalaChicken tikka masala is one of my absolute favorite foods. I love everything about it-- the creamy texture, the tangy sauce, the Indian spices. I was hesitant to try a frozen version of this dish, but I'm so glad I chose one by Tandoori Chef. It really is restaurant quality.
Joan's GF Great Bakes PizzaUnfortunately, we have to reserve Joan's pizza for special occasions because it costs quite a bit to ship it to Texas, especially since it has to ship frozen. We wait until we can place a large order. That's the only way I can justify the shipping cost. This pizza is so good! The texture of the crust is just the right kind of chewy and the sauce is amazing. I can't wait to have a good excuse to order this stuff! We would eat this pizza even if we didn't have to stay away from gluten.
Amy's Rice Crust Cheese PizzaIn our opinion, Amy's gluten free cheese pizza isn't as good as Joan's, but it's less expensive and more accessible, so it's a good second choice. Its flavor is good. For a gf pizza, it's extremely tasty, but we probably wouldn't choose it if we didn't have to eat gluten free.
Thanks to the folks at Amy's, Annie's, and Tandoori Chef, I made it through this week without pulling my hair out or losing my mind. Trust me, that's an accomplishment. What are your favorite boxed or frozen gluten free meals?