Gluten Freedom: Weekly Menu

Gluten Freedom: Weekly Menu

What if I have to eat gluten free and no one else in my family does?

How can I make this meal gluten free for my friend who’s coming over Saturday?

What’s the best substitute for {bread crumbs, cream of chicken soup, etc.}?

These are often the kinds of questions I hear regarding my gluten free lifestyle. Cooking and meal planning within a gluten free diet can be challenging, especially when accommodating large crowds, diverse dietary needs within a family, and even picky eaters.

Today’s post is all about how to make a gluten free diet work for the entire family. 

I enjoy being in the kitchen and cooking, but baking is my true love (especially desserts), so I try to limit the amount of cooking I have to do at meal time. One meal per meal time is enough for me, so I’ve learned several tips and tricks over the years how to plan and cook gluten free meals my family loves without having to make two separate meals.

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How to Make Gluten Freedom Work for the Whole Family

  • Keep naturally gluten free food items and ingredients on hand – eggs, beans, chicken, gluten free chicken stock, whole fruits & veggies, rice – these are some of the things I cook with and always have in the pantry and fridge. No substitutions are necessary with naturally gluten free foods!
  • Be smart about subs. I love using sour cream or plain Greek yogurt as a sub for canned creamed soups. Here are some other great substitutions!
    • Cornmeal or ground oats instead of bread crumbs
    • Corn tortillas or tostadas instead of flour tortillas or shells
    • Rice or quinoa instead of couscous or pasta
    • Brown rice pasta instead of regular pasta
    • Lettuce instead of bread or buns
    • Oatmeal instead of cereal
    • Tortilla chips instead of crackers
    • Potatoes instead of biscuits or bread
    • Chopped nuts instead of croutons
    • Vinaigrette instead of a cream-based dressing (some contain wheat)

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  • Practice rotating some meals you love into your menu each week. We love these ham and scalloped potatoes and tacos!
  • Cook simply, and green, if you can. Using fewer, fresher ingredients can help meals come together more quickly and effortlessly. I love grilling up a few chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and serving plain brown rice and steamed veggies (if we’re lucky, from the garden!) on the side.
  • Invest in or check out a few really good gluten free cookbooks. I love Skinny Taste‘s GF recipes, and have found several at the library I love as well. (<—- too many to list)
  • If your budget allows, invest in a few gluten free store-bought products like pastas, breads and cereals. My weekly meal plan does include some gluten free pasta and bread. Find some of my favorites here!

Wondering how to incorporate these tips into an actual menu? Don’t worry – I’ve done it for you!

Here’s our family’s REAL menu for the week! As proof, see photo below and note the (over?)usage of the word “Leftovers.” Ha! I’ll be honest, I am a huge believer in using up all leftovers, and often cook enough for dinner and lunch the next day. So for many of these meals, I may have noted “leftovers!” If you’re not a leftover-for-lunch fan, I suggest simple, protein-filled salads, lettuce wraps, or sandwiches on GF bread.

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Gluten Free Weekly Menu

*Please note* All breads and pastas mentioned should be certified gluten free. I love Aldi’s liveGfree brand and also highly recommend Bob’s Red Mill GF flours. I noted all GF products with *.

Any meal that’s underlined means the recipe comes straight from me, so be sure to check those out! 🙂

Sunday 
Breakfast: Chocolate Crunch Granola
Lunch: Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches/Rollups, Veggie Sticks
Dinner: GF Spaghetti & Meatballs*, Steamed Brussel Sprouts

Monday
Breakfast: Oatmeal with Brown Sugar and Blackberries
Lunch: Leftover Spaghetti & Meatballs* and Veggies
Dinner: Baked Lemon Chicken, Cooked Carrots, Roasted Potatoes

Tuesday
Breakfast: Egg, Cheese & Spinach Burritos (using corn tortillas)
Lunch: Leftover Baked Chicken & Veggies
Dinner: Broccoli, Chicken & Bacon Pasta*, Tossed Salad, Honey Lime Fruit Salad

Wednesday
Breakfast: Cereal, Fruit & Yogurt
Lunch: Baked Potatoes (w/ sour cream, bacon bits, cheese, cooked broccoli)
Dinner: Turkey Meatloaf, Spinach Salad, Cooked Carrots, GF Cornbread Muffins

Thursday
Breakfast: Bananas w/ Honey, Peanut Butter & Granola
Lunch: Meatloaf & Spinach Sandwiches*, Fruit Salad
Dinner: Sweet & Sour Chicken and Rice, Steamed Veggies

Friday
Breakfast: GF Chocolate Espresso Doughnuts* (Yogurt & Fresh Fruit Side)
Lunch: Leftover Chicken, Rice & Veggies
Dinner: GF Barbecue Chicken Pizza (brown rice and oat crust)*, Tossed Salad

On Saturday this week, we’ll be traveling, so I thought I’d include some of my favorite restaurants, and a link to their allergen lists and menus.

Chipotle

Panera Bread

Doc Greens (the Dr. Fruity is my fav!)

Wendy’s

McDonald’s

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So there you have it — the inside scoop on what we eat most weeks! If you want more info on any of these tips, recipes or ingredients, please feel free to post a comment.

If you’re new to the Gluten Freedom party, check out my previous posts:

Gluten Freedom: A Beginner’s Guide to Eating and Cooking Without Gluten

Gluten Freedom: Reading Labels

Coming up next in this post series will be Why I Chose to eat gluten free for life, and a new and updated version of my most popular recipe!

Can’t wait to connect with you. 🙂

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Gluten Freedom: Weekly Menu

  1. I am not gluten free, but all of your dishes sound delicious!!! 🙂 I have a roommate that is gluten free and I think it can be stressful for her sometimes, so I will definitely show her your blog! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Gluten Freedom: Keeping a Food Diary | A Fresh Brewed Faith

  3. Pingback: Gluten Freedom: Cross Contamination Prevention | A Fresh Brewed Faith

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