Eating with food allergies can be super expensive. But there are ways to make life more affordable.
Investing in a slow cooker is a definite must for people who want to save money while living as a coeliac or with other food-challenged people.
I have no particular preference for brand, and it’s worth shopping around to find one that will suit your family’s needs.
In my opinion – the bigger the slow cooker, the better because then you can make bulk meals. Our slow cooker is a biggie that takes up a lot of space in our small kitchen, and gets a real hammering during the winter. I make chicken broth in bulk in my slow cooker on a fortnightly basis and freeze in containers for handy reheating and adding to stews.
One of the cheapest, most nutritious meals I make on a regular basis (especially in the winter) is stew.
You can use cheap cuts of meat and whatever vegetables you have in the pantry. In the weekend I only had kumara, but most root vegetables would be great (although I haven’t had any success with potato in a slow cooker). Celery and other slow to cook veges would also be yummy, and you can add whatever herbs and other flavourings to suit your taste and food allergy requirements.
Here’s my recipe for a gluten-free, dairy-free beef stew.
1 kilo gravy beef, chuck steak or any other
meat that likes to be slow-cooked
Approx 1 cup of chicken broth – see my recipe below.
Approx 5 large kumara or a mix of other root vegetables
e.g. yams, carrots, parsnips
Add salt and pepper and any herbs you like, to season.
Chop the root vegetables to roughly bite-sized pieces and throw them into the slow cooker. Slice the meat into chunks and add to the slow cooker along with the chicken broth, salt, pepper and herbs. Cook for 6-8 hours on low until meat and veges are tender. Serve with green veges. Voila!
Note for low-fodmaps diet followers: Up to half a cup of kumara can be eaten per day on a low fodmaps diet. Fortunately I haven’t had any problem with kumara, but if you do, make sure you limit your intake or switch around with other safer root vegetables.
Chicken carcass (a whole one – as big as you like)
Salt and pepper to taste
¾ fill the slow cooker with water, add the ingredients and cook for a few days. You can freeze portions to use in stews and as flavouring for other meals, or you can drink the broth straight as a gut-healing tonic.