I remember the day the Dr. said you need to eliminate gluten from your diet. I wasn’t surprised as Celiac and digestive issues tend to run in my family, but I have to admit, I did panic a little.
I’ve eaten pretty healthy for the last 12 years but many of the dishes I make for my family do consist of pasta’s, breads, and sauces. My husband is NOT worried about how he eats and I hate to admit my teenage boys aren’t either. In my house it’s always been my food and their food. I make a healthy dinner for everyone, but many times I add veggies to mine or modify it so that I am still able to eat healthy even though I can’t get the masses on board.
Meals became trickier as I started on my gluten free journey. Eating out at most restaurants became more of discouragement than an enjoyable time. So I decided that I was going to figure out how to not neglect myself and my family from some favorites, but rather figure out how to make them, gluten free with a taste so good no one would know!
Now, I’ve messed up and served some meals that everyone turned their noses up at (including me) but you learn as you go! Now, I’m going to share a few of the ways I modify everyday American meals that are my family’s favorites. I hope you enjoy them.
WARNING: Some of the following may not be the “healthiest” or “low in fat” but you can modify to fit your needs. That’ s what I do 😉
Spaghetti _ Yup, you can still eat spaghetti!
Make your favorite spaghetti dish with Brown Rice Pasta and no one will know the difference. Prego Spaghetti sauce is gluten free and you can always make your own. I buy a 1/2 cow and a hog once a year and use all organic meat. Sometimes I brown up 1lb hamburg and 1lb pork and add to my sauce and other times I make meatballs. I also use coconut Oil and sautee up some mushrooms, onions and fresh tomatoes while adding a little fresh basil, cilantro and garlic. No on else will eat this part but I love it 😉
Taco’s – Who doesn’t love taco’s
Obviously a flour tortilla is not on the list of gluten free items. But you can use corn tortillas or brown rice tortillas. I would sample a couple different brands to see which you like best. You can also make a taco salad and use corn chips. The other problem with taco’s is that many of the store bought seasonings have wheat in them. I make my own. I use garlic salt, onion powder, paprika, chili powder and pepper. I just do this to taste. This won’t give you that thick taco seasoning like you get from a package but if you like the thickness you could try mixing a little corn starch into the seasoning and add a little water. I haven’t played with this enough to know how to tell you to get it “just right” but I think it would work. Then just proceed with your normal taco routine.
Hamburgers – Every once in a while you just gotta’ have a burger!
I’m going to be honest I haven’t found a gluten free bun that I am just in love with, but I do still enjoy a burger every now and again. Udi’s makes a decent hamburger bun, the problem is that they are not as soft as a normal bun and tend to get crumbly. You can place them under the broiler and toast them a little and that does help to hold them together. I have used Bib lettuce or a brown rice tortilla shell as well. I put my meat with all the hamburger fixings inside and wrap it up. Another option is ditch the bun all together! Just eat your burger on a plate with no bun. I know NONE of these are just like the “real thing” but if your family wants burgers this is a good way for everyone to be happy. They can still use a bun and you can still enjoy a meal with them.
Chicken Alfredo – Simple…but fattening!
I use corn noodles on this one, usually Penne or Rigati. I cut up organic chicken and brown in a pan with coconut oil, fresh basil, garlic and pepper. I combine 80z cream cheese, 1/2 stick butter and slowly add in half and half until the desired consistency for the Alfredo Sauce. If you buy sauce in a jar it typically has some form of wheat based thickening agent in it. Like I said this one is not by any means low fat. But it is good and I usually add a spinach salad to the side.
You can modify almost any meal you want to modify. It will take a little trial and error, but you’ll get it right eventually! I hope this helps you on your gluten free journey.
If you enjoyed this post you may also like this recipe for Gluten Free Snickers Cheese Cake. It was delicious!
BIO: Daveda Schmidlin is a happy wife, mother, and grandmother. She is a speaker, teacher, author and former pastor who is passionate about the Gospel of Grace. Her message is sincere, encouraging, simple and profound. Her words will set people free from condemnation and will help usher them into a deeper revelation and understanding of God’s great love.