February 05, 2013

Meal Ideas That Are Naturally Gluten Free

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Meal Ideas That Are Naturally Gluten Free
I've noticed that gluten free cooks spend an awful lot of time trying to perfect gluten free substitutes to their "regular" food favorites. I do it too. You wouldn't believe the number of loaves of bread I've made trying to get just the right texture for sandwich bread (never perfected it) or how many cupcakes I've made trying to imitate the lightness that comes from using the finest wheat cake flour (I've come close).

But, really, for most average home cooks, that's just an exercise in futility. Gluten free  flours are NOT the same as gluteny flours and they're much more expensive. Sure, some of the gf experts have created gf flour mixtures that come awful close to the "real" thing. And we've all made meals that our families swear are "better than the real version!" So, it's possible to do a pretty good job replicating "regular" pasta dishes, cakes, and pizza. But is it even necessary to try?

What I mean is, there are plenty of dishes that are naturally gluten free. There are fabulous meals that were never meant to contain one iota of gluten, things that "normal" (read: people who are not eliminating gluten) eat without a second thought. These meals don't even have to be labelled gluten free. They just are.

Naturally Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas

  • Egyptian beans (Ful) 
  • Turkey bacon and eggs
  • Boiled eggs
  • Grits
  • Oatmeal (due to cross-contamination concerns, make sure it's marked "gluten free")
  • Vegetable omelet
  • Smoothie
  • Fresh fruit
  • Greek yogurt, with or without fruit
  • Many cereals are gf: Rice Chex, Corn Chex, Cinnamon Chex

Naturally Gluten Free Lunch Ideas

  • Salad bar
  • Lentil soup
  • Chicken and vegetable soup
  • Nachos (many of the corn tortilla chips normally used for nachos are gf; just make sure to check the label)
  • Baked potatoes
  • Black bean soup
  • Salad topped with grilled chicken breast
  • Salad topped with tuna and mayo 
  • Tostadas (many tostadas are gf, but check the label to be sure)

Naturally Gluten Free Dinner Ideas

  • Steak fajita salad 
  • Roasted duck with potatoes and mixed veggies
  • Roasted chicken with broccoli and potato wedges
  • Crockpot barbecue beef ribs
  • Tacos (most are, but make sure your hard corn taco shells are gf)
  • Southwest chicken and rice bake
  • Steak with baked potato and salad
  • Chili
  • Baked salmon with rice and mixed veggies
  • Baked tilapia with sweet potato and squash
  • Shepherd's pie
  • Roast with mashed potatoes, carrots, and broccoli
  • Grilled chicken breast with peas and carrots and rice
  • Shish kabobs with hummus, yogurt sauce, and assorted grilled vegetables
  • Kofta with rice, hummus, yogurt sauce, and vegetables
  • Bamia (Egyptian okra cooked in a tomato base with stew meat)
  • Peas and carrots cooked in a tomato base with stew meat
  • Black-eyed peas cooked in a tomato base with stew meat
  • Leg of lamb, roasted with potatoes and tomatoes, served with rice and salad
  • Lamb shanks, roasted with sauteed onions, tomatoes, and potatoes, served with soup and salad
  • Any gf soup, baked potato, and salad
  • Four cheese chicken and broccoli bake

Naturally Gluten Free Snack and Appetizer Ideas 

  • Hummus with assorted veggies
  • Fresh fruit with yogurt dip
  • Fritos
  • Cheese
  • Fruit with natural almond or peanut butter
  • Mixed nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Potato wedges
  • Seven layer dip
  • Shrimp cocktail
  • Homemade applesauce
  • Deviled eggs

Naturally Gluten Free Side Items

  • All veggies, as long as they are steamed, boiled, roasted, or otherwise cooked without breading, gravy, or other gluteny additions
  • Salad, as long as there are no croutons or other gluten-containing topping. Make sure your salad dressing is gf (many are).
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Baked potatoes
  • Homemade French fries
  • Potato wedges
  • Sweet potatoes
  •  Quinoa (some people have reported having reactions from guinoa)
  • Rice
See... gf meal planning doesn't have to be difficult! You can come up so many ideas without ever having to consider gluten free substitutes. Stick with naturally gluten free meals and you'll eat well and probably even save a few bucks. What's your favorite naturally gluten free meal?

This post is being shared at Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Wheat-Free Wednesday and Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

 

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