14 Tasty Gluten-Free Meal Ideas
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It’s hard enough to stick to the food you “should” eat. Throw in a kid with celiac disease and menu planning for the family becomes a total brain buster. Have special dietary needs in your family? Just prefer a gluten-free diet? Either way, it doesn’t take long to run out of recipe ideas.
Here’s the good news. There are tons of amazing naturally gluten-free foods, including fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish. Plus there are plenty of safe whole grains too. Sometimes you just need some inspiration to pull the ingredients into a variety of interesting flavors. And that’s where we come in.
Try these quick, simple, gluten-free meal and snack ideas you and your whole family can nom over (bonus: they’re packed with healthy nutrients).
Little Picasso’s Tacos
Heat up a corn tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds. Invite your little artists to top the warm tortillas with black beans, lean ground turkey or beef, sweet corn, chopped tomatoes, Mexican blend cheese, and guacamole. Add in a little mango for a sweet kick or cut-up limes to squeeze on top. Try a taco-topping bar for a little taco night fiesta. It’s tacos. It’s art time. Your kids are allowed to play with their food. How can that not be a win?
Love those Lentils
Buy a can of precooked lentils (vacuumed packed to save prep time), and mix them with pre-made bruschetta topping, freshly chopped tomatoes, and basil mozzarella balls. Pack them with even more protein and flavor, and mix in some chopped Land O’Frost Black Forest Ham for a savory twist. Yum! To mix things up, swap out the lentils with any food your kids approve, from roasted squash to chopped green beans. As for a grown-up version, sub feta and fresh parsley to pull off have an easy, totally gluten-free platter at your next dinner party.
Banana Boat-Load of Yum
Dish plain Greek yogurt into a bowl and top with coined bananas, peanut butter, crushed nuts, and honey. Packed with heart-healthy fats and lean protein, it’s a great breakfast or a snack for any time of the day.
Extra Nice Salmon & Rice
Mix together brown rice, broiled/grilled/baked salmon, steamed carrots, and broccoli with 1 tsp olive oil. Want more flavor? Add tamari or try a soy sauce alternative. Braggs Liquid Aminos or Coconut Aminos both offer a slightly different but totally yummy flavor and are gluten-free, unlike standard soy sauce. Plus, well-cooked rice makes everything taste better. Get tips on how to never burn rice again!
Bacon Those Veggies Disappear
Roast Brussels sprouts in olive oil and toss in some Canadian bacon or chopped lunch meat, like Vermont maple ham. You know how it usually goes with kids and veggies, but you may be surprised at how just a bit of chopped meat can make veggies disappear.
Blend almond milk, dates, banana, strawberries, ground flaxseeds, frozen spinach, and almond butter for a creamy, nutrient-packed treat they’ll totally confuse with dessert. The best part? You can easily reach half of your kids’ fruit and vegetable quota for a whole day in just a few gulps.
Plant Power Salad
Take your kid’s fave lettuce and dress it up. Mix in some rainbow quinoa, sweet potato cut into cubes (or shapes!), dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, a pinch of salt and black pepper, and olive oil. Add a touch of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar for a pleasant tartness.
An Apple a Day Keeps the Gluten Away
Chop an apple into bite-sized pieces and heat on a pan with raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, and coconut oil until the apples are soft. Eat plain or top with a dollop of Greek yogurt. If cooking apples aren’t your thing, simply slice them and top them with nut butter, cinnamon, and crushed nuts.
Protein Punch Rollup
Roll up cream cheese, honey mustard, and cucumber into a Land O’Frost lean turkey slice. You can also roll up the turkey in toasted gluten-free corn or rice tortillas. Weird enough to pique interest, but familiar enough that they’ll go for it. You’d be surprised what kids will create and eat if you give them a chance to get cooking. Put out chopped grapes and thinly sliced apples they can roll inside if they’re not a fan of lettuce and tomato yet.
Toast a piece of gluten-free bread and top it with almond butter, applesauce, and cinnamon. Make a smiley face with sliced strawberries if you’re feeling extra fun.
Mean Lean, Pasta Bean
Pasta made out of beans? It’s crazy. Crazy good! Choose Banza Chickpea pasta and mix it with pesto, chicken, and tomatoes and you’ll have yourself a nutrient-dense plate of pasta. Just make sure to cook it al dente, meaning more undercooked than normal, or it gets mushy fast! I usually cook it for 1 minute less than the package indicates.
Almond Cracker Crunchables
Stack almond flour crackers with cheddar cheese and a slice of apple. It’s simple and makes for a great after-school snack the kids can assemble themselves. It also travels well (perfect for all those after-school activities!)
BYO Bento Box
This perfect snack on the go is customizable for each member of your family. It’s inspired by a traditional Japanese 3-section plate that holds rice, meat, and veggies, but many lunch boxes are divided into sections like this too. You probably already have a few at home! Grab one and make your own contemporary spin on the bento box for your next snack or lunch on the go. Try salted edamame in one third, deli meat roll-ups in another, and your kid’s favorite fruit or veggies in the final compartment.
Italian No-Gluten Grinder Wrap
Start with our Land O’Frost Primo Italiano-Style Sub Sandwich Kit. It has cotto salami, bologna, and smoked ham. Layer a few slices of each. On top, center some banana peppers, spinach, dried oregano, and olive oil. Then wrap it up into a delicious Italian sandwich, no bread needed. And that’s a wrap!
Once you get your gluten-free foodie list together, you won’t remember how you lived without it. And your family’s gluten-free – yet totally full – bellies will be all the proof you need that the GF life is not only doable – but pretty delish.