“What else is there to eat??” You would be shocked how often I get this question. People have become so accustomed to their main portion as bread or pasta that they truly can’t work out in their head of how to eat without this.
Now, because I am not Celiac, I do not worry about some hidden gluten items, like in soy sauce. As I use up my old supplies, I do replace those items with organic or homemade versions. How I am able to work things out with my family may not be for everyone. Below is a list of regular, every day foods that we eat as a family. At times, I do take advantage of the special recipes that I see on websites like MyWholeFoodLife.com and WholeFoodSimply.com – which happen to be some of my favorite sites. But working full-time leaves little time to create new recipes during the week when I do well to be home by 6pm!
Also, if you focus on the gluten-free grocery-bought breads and pastas, you can easily spend a small fortune. I see them as a placebo when my cravings are insane; a treat, not a regular occurrence.
Below is a list of common grain-free easy meals that I make. I have intentionally made this list very generic. It’s to show you how easy it is to make simple meals, and to be able to substitute a variety of items into it according to your tastes, budget and availability. Note: Yes, I do try to buy organic items, especially the dirty dozen list in fruit and veggies. I also try to buy local, farmers market, and have connections to local farmers for things like my eggs and meats. I have also been known to forage!
- Baked chicken (or pork) and roasted veggies (cauliflower/broccoli/Brussels sprouts/peas/potatoes, etc)
- Baked fish and roasted veggies and brown rice/quinoa
- Fried rice with leftover veggies and meats or shrimp
- Italian sausage over roasted potatoes and onions with shredded cheese
- Bacon, eggs and homemade hash browns
- Red Chili
- White chicken chili
- Potato soup, regular and cheesy with broccoli
- Cheesy broccoli soup
- Butternut squash and pumpkin soup
- Wild rice, chicken and mushroom soup
- Beef stew
- Beef roast with potatoes, carrots, onions
- Baked GF spaghetti (GF pasta, spaghetti sauce, olives, artichokes, chicken, onions, cheese)
- Slow cooker BBQ and stews
- Tacos and enchiladas made with homemade organic corn shells. Or make with Romaine lettuce boats.
- Salad with sauteed shrimp or rotisserie chicken
- Baked potato night with various toppings (including leftovers, chili or Sloppy Joe type-mix)
- Meatloaf with cheese and spinach instead of breadcrumbs. Pair with veggies/salad.
The baked chicken/fish can be made topped with cheese, or different spices, or Franks hot sauce, BBQ or teriyaki, or a million other flavors. They can be breaded with Parmesan cheese for chicken fingers with homemade fries. This is limited only by your imagination and budget.
Oils: I only use Olive Oil when over salad.
Organic Cooking oils: Grass-fed butter. Good ole’ fashion butter! YUM and great for you! Coconut oil is a close second! Followed by grapeseed oil. These are heat stable and do not break down like olive oil when cooking.
I do enjoy cooking, and yes, sometimes I do get into a mood where the entire meal is very gourmet and takes almost all of the dishes in my cabinets to make. However, when it comes to fast meals, the above are my go-to meals that are easily converted to gluten-free without additional expense. These are also the type of meals that I can make large batches of and have leftovers for work lunches. This alone has saved hundreds out of our monthly budget.
Once you get into the habit of not reaching for the pasta/bread as your side of every course, it gets MUCH easier.
I hope this helps to answer questions on gluten-free foods. This is a good list to refer to if you are preparing foods for people who are eating a gluten-free diet. Now, that said, if the audience is Celiac, where all “hidden” gluten can be life threatening, more attention will need to be paid to the ingredients list. Items must be labeled “gluten-free” tested to less than 20ppm (parts-per-million) in order not to flare their disease.
What other quick, easy, home-style meals have you made that we should add to this list? As always, I would love to hear!