- Food and Cooking
Cheap, Easy, Gluten-Free Recipes
Tasty Gluten Free Dinners
You'll forget you're eating gluten free with these super simple and tasty meals. Too many times we feel cheated when we look in the cupboard and see all the foods we can't eat. With a little research, and a lot of help from this lens, you can fix meals that satisfy your hunger. What are you in the mood for? Mexican? Italian? What about good old Comfort Food? You don't have to have cheerless, uninspired meals just because you can't have bread or crackers or pasta anymore! Read on for some tasty tips and sensible meal plans that not only will make you happy, but your family will enjoy too. They won't even notice that you have effectively removed gluten from their evening meal.
Gluten Free Basics
The Least You Need to Know About Gluten
If you're here, you probably already know all about gluten, but just in case you are one of the unlucky few who developed a gluten-intolerance, and can no longer enjoy the foods you once loved, here is an overview.
Gluten is like the glue that holds many baked goods together. It is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Any flours derived from these grains will have gluten in them! What are some foods made with wheat flour? It seems like ALL of them!
Flour tortillas, wheat and white bread, Twinkies, pretzels, graham crackers, pastas, cookies, cakes, brownies, pie crust, Bisquick and so on and so forth. It's discouraging when you think about it!
GF Meals You Can Make and ENJOY - Cooking GF Meals Isn't Impossible!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Foods to Avoid When Avoiding Gluten - You Can Read Ingredient Labels, But Here is a Basic Rundown
At first glance, it seems like once you're avoiding gluten, you won't ever be able to enjoy meals again. We'll remedy that in the next section.
- Bread, Wheat and White
- Flour Tortillas
- Cake, Cupcakes
- Snack Cakes
- Pastas, Spaghetti, Lasagna, Rotini, Macaroni etc.
Books to Help - Supplement Your Cookbook Selection
Try these titles
I actually lost five pounds following the guidelines in this book!
Your family has to eat too!
Typical Sit-Down Dinners That Also Happen to Be Gluten Free
corn tortillas, warmed and soft, OR crispy taco shells, OR crispy tostada shells, OR crushed corn tortilla chips
2 cups shredded cheese
chopped tomatoes and onions
seasoned ground beef with beans (kidney or black)
sour cream and guacamole for garnish, as well as salsa or taco sauce
Everyone fills their taco with desired ingredients and eats until full! The lime juice works as a natural flavor enhancer. My husband loves to crush chips and make a huge taco salad. If I eat it this way, I like some Ranch dressing!
Authentic Tortilla Soup
Don't Forget the Avocados
This is my favorite recipe of all time. If I had a corn intolerance, I don't know what I would do.
3 medium tomatoes
6 cups of chicken stock
1/4 cup oil (olive or canola is fine)
1 tablespoon cumin
salt to taste
fried tortilla strips
avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese for garnish
The trick is to char your veggies first. Halve the tomatoes, put with onion under broiler under black. Peel black layer off, throw tomatoes and onion into blender along with 1/4 cup of oil and cumin. Whir until pureed. Pour tomato mixture into simmering chicken stock and season. Serve over tortilla strips. You can add the avocado directly to the soup if you want, or garnish later.
With All the Fixin's
cheese sauce (check for gluten content or make your own)
Load up and enjoy! You forgot how easy it is to do this, didn't you?
Macaroni and Cheese
Wait a Minute...I Thought We Were Avoiding Pastas?
Sometimes you just gotta eat mac and cheese! You can still have it. Purchase a box of quinoa pasta. It is gluten free. It cooks up a little al dente, but works great. You don't have to get macaroni shape noodles, either, you can get shells or whatever. Then you need to make a roux. But not with wheat/white flour!
1 Tablespoon of a brown rice/tapioca rice flour
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
1 Cup of milk
Melt butter and add flour. Whisk briskly and add gently warmed milk to the paste.
Add shredded cheese to the base sauce. You may need as much as two cups to get a good flavor.
Pour cheese sauce over cooked noodles and enjoy. Serve with a green salad and cranberry juice for nice color.
Perfect for families: everyone can add what they want!
Cooked rice, enough for your family
Chicken sauce: canned chicken breast, or leftover cooked chicken. Make a roux then add one cup of chicken stock. Cook until thick, add the chicken.
chopped onions or celery
Serve rice with chicken sauce, then top to your liking. So satisfying!
Gluten Free Foods for Your Kitchen - These Are All Brands I Have Tried and LOVE
Macaroni and Cheese, pretzels, sandwich bread...all things I thought I'd lost forever. Search no more...
Find this at your local health food store for less. Or buy a whole case of it and freeze!
I adore these pretzels. I've read reviews, and people who don't have to avoid gluten love these too. They're crispy!
Again, you'll want to find this locally, unless you have a deep freeze. This is so good, you won't miss the regular.
Find Unique GF Stuff on eBay - I've found things on eBay I never expected to see
Check the different brands known for GF food. You may discover your next favorite meal!
Healthful, Filling and Gluten Free
It might be time to revisit the meals of our grandparents' childhoods.
Beans featured heavily in those days. They are cheap and plentiful, and are so healthful too!
The photo shows a traditional pinto bean pot with bacon. What are some other bean recipes?
Northern beans with ham and carrots
Mixed bean soup or Five bean soup
Red beans and rice
Refried beans and tortillas
Lentil soup with hot dogs
Three bean salad
The cheapest way to prepare beans is to buy them dried, soak them then cook them in pressure cooker or slow cooker. But canned beans aren't exactly expensive, and so pre-cooked beans are the easiest to cook with.
I love to soak my great northern beans (the white ones) then cook them for fifteen minutes in the pressure cooker with some water and dehydrated carrots. I add some cooked ham bits later, as putting salt in the pressure cooker will cause the beans' hard shell to close up and not absorb the water properly. Delicious! And a little goes a long way with beans too.
Lentils are super easy to cook with. They cook up in no time, and they have a lovely flavor without a lot of seasoning. I rinse them and cook them in a pot with canned diced tomatoes, sliced carrots (those take longer to cook to soft), diced onion and some hot dogs. Italian seasoning goes well with this dish.
If you're running out of GF cooking ideas, give beans another look! They're so inexpensive and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Three bean salad for example, presents colorful beans in a tangy cold fashion with a satisfying bite.
Tell me about your favorite GF foods or recipes. If you have learned something new on here, please give me a like or a thumbs up! Thanks for all comments too.