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Taking your first steps to living gluten free

Updated on July 11, 2011

Gluten Free lifestyle

Eating gluten free has never been as easy as it is now. Granted, if you were on the Atkins diet or followed the raw foods diet, eating gluten free would have been easy peasy. Although, the past year has shown vast growth in gluten free foods making it easier to have more options.

Despite the increased cost difference in eating and living a gluten free lifestyle, it is more possible than people may realize to stay in budget.

When struggling with today's economy and facing the harsh realities of many Americans downsizing their homes and many more losing their jobs, it is much easier and more affordable to live off of white wonder bread, jiffy's Peanut butter and Smuckers Jelly. That or the value pack of Top Ramen noodle soup. Ah, yes, to reminisce of college days. But as most of us out there, eating this would make us hurt and overall affect our health.

When we are looking to feed not only ourselves but our families, we need a strategic shopping plan. There are simple tricks to eating a healthy and well balanced gluten free diet.

When money is tight, bread, which was once the quick food source to grab, is now canceled on the menu. Instead of investing $6.00 on a small 12 slice, GF loaf of bread to feed the kids, that will end up lasting about 2 days... Try preparing foods the night before.


Potatoes. Potatoes are a great bread replacer. It is a filling starch that still provides a nutritional value at an affordable cost. Have spare change? Sweet potato's would be an up choice, when afforded.

Food Ideas: Potato Latkas with apple sauce, mashed potatoes with peas and mushroom, steamed potato cubed with olive oil and rosemary, potato salad, or potato skins...

  • A helpful link with a kids section to add:

Pasta. Yum! Who doesn't like pasta? Pasta is another quick and easy way to prepare a filling meal. There have been more and more options for GF pasta. But I must admit that out of those that I have tried, my personal favorite, is Trader Joe's Brown rice spaghetti pasta. For less than $2.00 you get a 16oz bag (1 lb) that cooks well, fast and honestly tastes pretty dang good. Add a bit of Tomato Basil (or your choice of pasta sauce) and presto... I'm hungry!

Food Ideas: Spaghetti, cold pasta salad, cheesy noodles, baked lemon spaghetti,

baked pasta... I use tofu or portebello mushrooms for my protein...


1/2 package (16 oz.) pasta
1 can italian style chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese to taste (dairy free? use soy or almond cheese)
1 can black olives, drained (optional or rinsed)
1 lb. sausage or hamburger browned with a little onion and drained (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Rice & Beans. Classic! Add some greens with a corn tortilla and voilà! Dinner!

Rice is a family's go to for meals, even for dessert; something we like to call pudding. As much as we like white rice, try and bye both brown and white and mix together for cooking. It saves you the cost of spending a little extra on just brown rice for a smaller amount and gives you a bit of a healthier choice when eating white rice. Still good for sushi night!

Beans, beans, the magical fruit... fruit is it? No, but it sure does fit the little diddy. Beans are a fun and delicious way to get meals going at a very affordable cost, esp. when making them from scratch. Some beans that are cooked in a bean cooker may take over night, or you can leave them in water to soak and have ready to cook the next day. Mix it up with Trader Joe's 17 Bean & Barley Mix (if Celiac do NOT get this mix). When shopping GF, make sure to check the packaging to see if it is gluten free or not. Even if you know the product is GF, double check the processing lable, it may tell you that the product was manufactured on shared equipment. For children esp. this is important since allergies to nuts are more common as well as wheat.

Food Ideas: Rice and Bean tacos (GF or corn tortillas), veggie burgers on rice or lettuce ,

Bean casserole


2 cups chopped onions

1 1/3 cups chopped green bell peppers

14 ounces chopped plum tomatoes

3/4 cup favorite salsa1/2 teaspoon garlic

2 teaspoons cumin2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained

8 corn tortillas1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1 cup sliced avocado or 1 cup guacamole, to serve

There are plenty of recipes out there to take the simplest ingrediends and turn them into many different meals that you and your family will enjoy; gluten free and in any budget. Don't be afraid to be creative in the kitchen and it helps to get the kids involved in preparing and making the food, they will be more excited to eat it as well. When you have recipes that include flour, just throw in rice flour and for cooking or baking, coconut milk is a great milk re-placer for those sensitive.

Remember, when shopping for fruits and vegetables, the farmers market is usually your best bet for the seasonally fresh at a more affordable cost.

P.S. For a tasty and light dessert, try Trader Joe's GF Ginger Snaps under $3.00. Great with a hot cup of tea or a cold glass of milk (your choice, I like Almond milk).

Please follow for more gluten free recipes and soon, secrets to baking Gluten free and vegan from Foxies Cupcakes.

I am always available for questions and recipes.

-Foxies Words

*I Choose trader Joe's for their choices and their prices, I am not a spokes person for them.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Cupcakes


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    • Foxies Words profile imageAUTHOR

      Foxies Words 

      7 years ago from Boston, MA

      Thank you Slmorgan! Please let me know how it turns out, I would love to hear back. =)

    • slmorgan profile image


      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Beautiful photo of gluten free cupcakes and nice inexpensive recipes and menu items. I will try the bean casserole recipe.


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