Gluten Free Lunch Ideas: Deliciously Healthy and Guilt-Free!

glutenfreelunchideasIf you thought a gluten-free diet would keep you from enjoying lunch, we have 4 simple and delicious gluten free lunch ideas that are going to prove you wrong.

Living with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can be initially difficult, but does not mean that you have to resort to air and water during lunch time.  There are still plenty of food choices and healthy replacements for you to consider come noon time that will not have you shying away from the prospect of a delicious lunch.

Chicken Tenders

There is no reason why delicious finger foods should not be part of a gluten-free lifestyle.

You will need:

  • 10 corn tortillas that will be torn and shredded
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 of a cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 12 chicken tenders (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 2 cups of vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons of grainy mustard
  • 3 tablespoons of honey

Steps:

  1. Using a food processor or blender, pulse your corn tortilla until they are mixed up into a cornmeal consistency.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper and transfer it into a medium bowl.
  2. On a plate, sprinkle some flour and pour the 1 cup of buttermilk onto a shallow dish.  Take your chicken and dip it into the flour.
  3. Coat the chicken in buttermilk and allow the excess buttermilk to drip off.  Then, roll your chicken around in the tortilla crumb mixture and press into it gently.
  4. Heat up a pan or skillet to medium heat and add oil.  Transfer your newly doused chicken onto the pan and cook it until the crust is golden brown.  It should take roughly 12 minutes time.
  5. Once your chicken has been cooked, transfer it onto paper towels and allow them time to dry.
  6. On the side, take a small bowl and mix together mustard and honey until they are well combined.  This will serve as a dip for your chicken tenders.
  7. Serve

Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

This traditional dish will comfort anyone’s taste buds.

You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter + a little extra to coat the dish.
  • ½ a cup of gluten-free puffed-rice cereal to be slightly crushed.
  • 1 ounce of Parmesan cheese grated into 1/4th of a cup.
  • 1 diced small yellow onion.
  • 2 tablespoons of potato starch.
  • 2 cups of warmed whole milk.
  • 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
  • 3/4ths of a pound of gluten-free penne.  Cook until al dente and drain.
  • Unsalted butter.
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper.

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Take six 8-ounce ramekins or one 2-quart baking dish and butter it lightly.  Add cereal and Parmesan.
  3. Heat a medium saucepan on the stove and melt 2 tablespoons of butter on the pan.  Add onions and cook until soft for about 4 minutes.  Sprinkle potato starch onto contents and cook for 1 minute.  Whisk milk into contents and cook until a thick consistency develops.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in cheddar and mustard until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper and add in pasta.
  5. Transfer contents to baking dish or ramekins, sprinkle with cereal mix and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch of kale.  Remove the thick stems and tear leaves into large pieces
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • ½ of a teaspoon of red-pepper flakes
  • 1 cup of part-skim ricotta cheese

Steps:

  1. Preheat your own to 450 degrees.
  2. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and rub coat them with 1 tablespoon of oil.  Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, cook garlic for 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Add enough kale to fill your pan and season to taste.  Toss kale frequently until tender for about 3 to 5 minutes and stir in vinegar and red-pepper flakes.
  5. To your finished potatoes, add salt and pepper and top with ricotta, kale, and garlic.  Enjoy!

Chickpea Veggie Burger

gluten free lunch ideasTry these brown-rice patties for a delicious hamburger replacement option for a filling fiber and protein- filled lunch without the gluten.

You will need:

  • 2 cups of cooked and drained chickpeas.
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice.
  • 1 minced shallot.
  • 1 minced clove of garlic.
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley.
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Whole-grain mustard.
  • Sliced red onion
  • Roasted red pepper, sliced.
  • Green-leaf lettuce  for wrapping

Steps:

  1. Mash your chickpeas and brown rice until it forms into a thick paste.
  2. Stir in your shallots, garlic, and parsley with your chickpea paste and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Stir your egg into the mixture and form the contents into four ½-inch thick burger shaped patties.
  4. In a large skillet or pan over medium heat, heat up olive oil.  Place patties onto heated pan and cook for about four minutes on each side until golden brown.
  5. Top chickpea burgers with red onion and roasted red pepper, and wrap them in lettuce or a gluten-free bread or bun option.

Spring Rolls

You will need:

  • 3 sheets of rice paper
  • 1 tablespoon of reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of sriracha sauce
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1 cup of broccoli slaw or chopped broccoli
  • 2 sliced bell peppers
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • (choose one protein): 6 ounces of chicken breast, 6 ounces of turkey, or 6 ounces of tofu

Steps:

  1. Take a small bowl and combine all of your sauces.
  2. In a shallow dish, fill it up with hot tap water.  In the hot water, carefully dip one sheet of rice paper at a time into the hot water.  Slowly remove the rice paper from the water and lay it flat onto a clean kitchen towel.
  3. Take your sauce bowl and spread sauce onto the rice paper.
  4. Fill up your rice paper 1/3rds of the way full with your vegetables and choice of protein.
  5. Fold in the sides of the rice paper to seal the roll, and roll it up from the bottom of the circle away from you.  This should form into the shape of an egg roll.
  6. Repeat this process until you have made about 3 rolls.
  7. Serve and enjoy.

Enjoy Lunchtime Gluten-Free

With these recipes, you will discover how tasty gluten-free can be.  For more tips on how to cater your menus to your gluten free lifestyle, enroll in this course taught by a professional registered dietician who will help you plan out delicious gluten-free meals.