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Top 10 Lists of Healthy and Delicious Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Meals, and Lactose-Free Meals and Snacks For You to Enjoy!
Whether you are allergic or sensitive to wheat products, lactose intolerant, or just want to eat healthier, there are many foods to enjoy for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as for snacks, which are both wheat and gluten-free, as well as lactose-free.
If you are looking specifically for wheat-free items, gluten-free includes foods which are free of gluten, which is the general term used to describe the protein found in many grains including wheat, rye, and barley. So gluten-free foods would be considered wheat-free, but foods that are labeled wheat-free are not necessarily gluten-free.
My Top 10 Gluten-Free and Lactose-Free Breakfast Items:
Breakfast tip: Be sure to include protein in your breakfast to give you energy for your busy day. Eggs are a great source of protein, as well as beans, and hummus. The first five breakfast items below are egg-based breakfast items, and the last 5 are egg-free. When making eggs, remember to use a great, non-stick pan, which can make a big difference in how your food cooks and tastes. I would highly recommend any pan made by Swiss Diamond. I only have one Swiss Diamond frying pan so far, and it is the best pan I have ever purchased.
Note: the recipes below are basic recipe for one person; for 1-3 people, use double the ingredients.
1. Colorful Vegetable Omelet – Chop the following veggies in small pieces: small bit of red onion, a few grape tomatoes, and small stalk of celery. Beat 2 to 3 eggs, ¼ cup of milk, dash of salt and pepper and chopped veggies in small to medium frying pan. Cook on medium heat until lightly golden brown, flipping halfway through. If the omelet is too large to flip, cook it into several pieces with your spatula and flip pieces individually.
2. Eggs Over-Easy with Tomato and Cheese – Follow the same steps above, but instead of the veggie mix, use 6-8 grape (or cherry) tomatos, and chop into small pieces. After cooking eggs until light golden brown, place one slice of Cabot, naturally lactose-free Sharp Cheddar Cheese on top of eggs (use 2 slices if desired), turn heat off and cover pan, cheese will melt in 10-15 seconds, then it’s ready to eat!
3. Easy Fried Eggs and Canadian Bacon - Spray pan with cooking spray, then break two eggs in the pan and cook on medium heat. After a few minutes, I add a few drops of olive oil (optional) to the edges of the pan to enhance the frying effect. Skip the butter which can contain whey or milk. Optional: in second small frying pan, spray pan with cooking spray, add a little water and simmer 1 or 2 mini pieces of canadian bagel to complement the eggs.
4. Kidney Bean Omelet – Follow the same steps as 1. and 2. above, but instead of the tomatoes, add ¼ cup of red kidney beans and cook until golden brown. This one is packed with protein!
5. Rainbow Peppers and Eggs – Chop a few mini-peppers and use an array of colors, in different colors, including red, green, orange and yellow peppers. Add 1 tablespoon of your favorite olive oil to pan (I use one that is extra light, which is lighter in color as well as taste), then add the peppers and saute on low heat for 5-10 minutes. While the peppers are cooking, beat 2 to 3 eggs, ¼ cup of milk, and a dash of salt and pepper; add to peppers. Cook on medium heat until lightly golden brown and enjoy!
6. Hummus in the Morning – Why not try some delicious hummus (my favorite is Sabra Sun Dried Tomato), with 10-15 Mediterrean Sea Salt Lentil Chips…delicious and healthy!
7. Fruit Frenzy – In medium size bowls, chop one medium banana, one apple, 4-6 strawberries, 5-10 seedless grapes and a handful of blueberries. Optional: Add a Lactose-Free Yogurt (Yoplait for example), for a great fruit dip!
8. Veggie Delight with Hummus – Mini-carrot sticks, chopped celery, and a few pieces of raw broccoli go great with hummus on the side.
9. Muffin Bake and Fruit Combo - Once a week, bake some gluten-free, lactose-free muffin mix from your favorite health food store. Add a sliced banana on the side, and ½ glass of Trop50 orange juice for a healthy breakfast!
10. Quick Cereal On-The-Go - In a hurry? Keep some gluten-free cereal on hand for those busy mornings, and add a banana and some strawberries for a quick and healthy breakfast!
Missing the bread with some of the above breakfast items? I try to skip the bread for a lighter meal, but if you prefer to add a bread item, there are gluten-free and lactose-free breads, muffins and crackers in the health-food section of your favorite supermarket.
My Top 10 Gluten-Free and Lactose-Free Lunch Items:
1. Turkey and Cheese on Crackers – Cut 6-8 small slices of lean turkey breast, along with 6-8 pieces of Cabot naturally lactose-free Sharp Cheddar Cheese, and place on gluten-free crackers with a dash of your favorite mustard on each cracker.
2. Cheese and Fruit Platter – Cut up 2 slices of Cabot naturally lactose-free Sharp Cheddar Cheese in small squares and team them up with your favorite gluten-free, lactose-free cracker; add a sliced apple and some seedless grapes and enjoy!
3. Sushi – My favorite is all cooked sushi…California Roll-Ups…yum! One package of 8 California roll-ups is only XXX calories. Healthy and delicious.
4. Mega-Garden Nut Salad – In medium bowl, mix your favorite types of lettuce (I like iceberg lettuce, spring mix with baby spinach leaves), 4-6 grape tomatoes, a few chopped strawberries, handful of red seedless grapes, chopped red onion, chopped cucumbers, mini-carrots, ¼ cup of walnuts or pecans, and your low-fat favorite dressing, or just use light olive oil and red wine vinegar. Optional: add 1 sliced/chopped hard boiled egg.
5. Tasty Tuna Salad – Drain and mix up one can of white albacore tuna, 1 tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise, ¼ cup of chopped red onion, and a few chopped celery leaves (use the small leaves from the heart of the celery), dash of salt, pepper, and onion powder. Place tuna on several celery stalks and a few of your favorite gluten-free crackers (again, my favorite are Mediterranean Sea Salt Lentil Chips), topped with chopped cherry or grape tomato slices.
6. Egg Salad Lettuce Roll-ups – Boil 3-4 eggs for 20 minutes; cool. Remove shell and chop eggs in medium bowl, add dash of salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons of low-fat mayonnaise. Now, for the roll-ups, use several large iceberg lettuce leafs, add a small scoop of egg salad, roll and enjoy!
7. Grilled Tomato and Cheese – Start with 2 slices of gluten-free bread from your favorite health food store, then spray small frying pan with non-stick spray. To avoid having to use butter on the bread, add a few drops of light olive oil (or consider using Smart Balance lactose-free buttery spread to lightly coat the 2 slices of bread). Add one slice of bread in the pan, then add one slice of Cabot naturally lactose-free Sharp Cheddar Cheese, then add 1 thin slice of tomato, topped with a dash of garlic powder and dried basil; finally, add one more slice of cheese, then the 2nd piece of bread. Cook on low to medium heat for 8-10 minutes, carefully flipping once, until both pieces of bread of golden brown.
8. Grilled Ham or Turkey, and Cheese – Same as above, except either instead of, or in addition to the tomato, add 2 slices or low-fat turkey breast or ham for a heartier grilled sandwich!
9. Traditional BLT - Start with 2 slices of gluten-free bread from your favorite health food store, and prepare to toast bread shortly. Prepare sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, and for the bacon, I use Hormel Bacon, Microwave Ready. I like this bacon because you can cook 4 pieces of bacon at a time, in the microwave, so it’s perfect for one sandwich. While bacon is cooking in microwave, toast the bread, then assemble your sandwich, adding low-fat mayonnaise if desired to the bread…enjoy!
10. Hummus and Veggie Wrap – Any type of gluten-free bread or wrap will work for this recipe. Spread your favorite flavor of hummus on gluten-free bread or wrap; add bean sprouts, lettuce, cucumber slices, sliced tomatoes and red onions for a quick and healthy meal!
My Top 10 Gluten-Free and Lactose-Free Dinner Items:
For gluten-free dinners, explore your favorite health food store or health food aisle in your local supermarket, and stock up on some gluten-free pastas to have on hand for some of the dinner selections below.
1. Gluten-Free Pasta Primavera – Any shape gluten-free pasta will do here, but I recommend spiral, bowtie, or penne pasta for this dish. For the vegetable selection, make it as colorful as you can. Pick several of your favorite vegetables, and saute beforehand in a light olive oil, such as broccoli, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, or carrots. Or, to save time, buy Birds Eye Steamfresh vegetable mix (any kind) which is microwaveable. Boil water in large pot which you are cooking the vegetables. When pasta is cooked al dente, drain but leave a tiny bit of water in the pasta so the pasta will not be dry. Toss the vegetables with the pasta, add dash of salt, garlic powder and basil seasoning and enjoy! For a bag of vegetables, I usually cook ½ box of pasta. Double the recipe as needed for larger families, or make extra to freeze for future meals.
2. Grilled Chicken and Pasta – I like to use Perdue Chicken Short Cuts, which are fully cooked, but I usually saute the short cuts in 2 tablespoons of light olive oil, a teaspoon of basil, dash of garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and one finely chopped tomato. Cook ½ lb. of angel hair pasta al dente, then add the chicken to the pasta. This yields 4 servings.
3. Grilled Tilapia with Green Beans and Baked Potato – I like to buy individual frozen tilapia pieces so you can make as many pieces as needed; in medium to large frying pan, add 2 tablespoons for light olive oil, then grill thawed tilapia (if frozen) on both sides for 10-12 minutes until cooked; season with a dash of salt, pepper, parsley, basil, garlic powder and lemon juice (if desired). While the fish is cooking, microwave a bag of Birds Eye or other brand of whole green string beans, and then season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. For baked potatoes, I buy the ones which are individually wrapped in plastic and ready to microwave. Delicious and nutritious meal! Click here for the full recipe.
4. Strawberry Salad with Grilled Chicken – for full recipe, click here to see my hub on how to make this delicious meal (the recipe includes grilled bread with tomato and seasoning, so for folks who need 100% gluten-free, remember to substitute the bread with a gluten-free version.
5. Hearty Ham and Potato Omelet – Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite quick meals. To make it a hearty meal, I like to add a bit more to the egg mixture, such as potatoes, onions, and ham. First, peel and chop one small potato, and simmer/saute the potatoes in a medium to large frying pan (using a little light olive oil) until cooked; then add the egg mixture (6 eggs, ¼ cup milk, parsley, salt, and pepper); add chopped ham (to save time, I like to use deli ham, like imported ham, or tavern ham, and cuts up in small pieces); add chopped onions, and cook until golden brown.
6. Quick Roast Beef and Mashed Potatoes – Although I’m not a fan of the other varieties, I do like Hormel Beef Roast dinner, which is sold in an air-tight package and ready to microwave. It is extremely tender and very juicy. While cooking that in the microwave, make instant mashed potatoes, using Lactaid brand non-fat, lactose-free milk and a dash of Smart Balance lactose-free butter spread. Add a dash of salt, pepper and parsley to the potatoes. When the beef is done, I like to slice it up and trim the fat. The roast beep juice is perfect as a topping on the mashed potatoes. It’s a hearty meal. J
7. Chicken, Beef or Veggie Taco – Start with corn-based tortillas, such as Chi-Chi’s brand. Then prepare your favorite fillings, such as grilled chicken, ground beef, or grilled vegetables; chop up tomatoes, onions, and lettuce. You can also include bean sprouts. For lactose-free cheese, use Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese (small block) and grate the cheese in place of bagged shredded cheddar cheese. Build your tortilla and enjoy!
8. Pasta Faglioli (Pasta “Fazool”, or Beans) – This is a famous Italian dish. I prefer red kidney beans. Cook one can of red kidney beans in small pot, with 3 tablespoons of light olive oil, a teaspoon of garlic powder, and a large dash of parsley; cook for 15 minutes on low heat unti beans are tender. Next, cook 1/2 lb. of gluten-free pasta shells, elbows and bowties al dente. To make sure pasta isn’t too dry, leave a tiny bit of the hot water in the pasta. Mix pasta and beans and enjoy!
9. Shrimp and Rice – I prefer to buy a bag of cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp to store in freezer, ready to thaw and cook anytime. Sauteed shrimp in 2 tablespoons of light olive oil, and a ¼ cup of white wine. Cook rice (I tend to use instant white rice), drain, and add ¼ to ½ cup of chicken stock, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Serve shrimp over the rice. You can also substitute rice with gluten-free angel hair pasta as well.
10. Soup and Salad – Many soups are packed with sodium, so I recommend going with a low-salt, low-fat variety. Gluten-free and lactose-free soups soup suggestions (sold at your local supermarket or health-food store): lentil soup, black bean soup, butternut squash soup, vegetable soup. Add a hearty garden salad with chopped hard boiled egg, walnuts, and your favorite oil and vinegar based dressing for a healthy meal!
My All-Time Favorite Top 10 Gluten-Free and Lactose-Free Snack Items:
1. Sliced apple, banana, orange slices, seedless grapes or any type of fruit!
2. Mini-carrot sticks (pre-cut in bag) and chopped celery (dip in hummus if desired)
3. Craisins or any type of dried fruit
4. Olives –10-15 small black olives; add a few green pimento olives (delicious but watch the sodium)
5. Low-salt mixed nuts
6. Sea Salt Lentil chips by Mediterranean Snacks (22 chips = 110 calories) with 2 tablespoons of any flavor of hummus.
7. Corn-based Tortilla chips and salsa
8. Yoplait Lactose-Free yogurt, with sliced banana or strawberries
9. Lays Baked potatoes crisps (one serving is 80% lower in fat as compared to potato chips)
10. Lactaid Brand lactose-free chocolate ice cream (for the chocoholics in all of us, treat yourself once in a while to one cup of this delicious and creamy ice cream). Other varieties include Vanilla and Butter Pecan.
Note: Please note that if you have a severe allergy to gluten (celliac disease), please check all ingredients carefully beforehand to assess ingredients and assure there is no gluten in any prepared foods.
Do you have some gluten-free or lactose-free reciple or snack ideas? Please share!
© 2012 Amelia Griggs