I went gluten free in February 2012. By late 2012, I was frequently sending a quick-start email to friends choosing the gluten-free lifestyle and realized it might be useful to others. I’ve turned that email into this Gluten Free Food 101 guide and made it available to everyone.
Share this page with friends going gluten free or family and friends so they might know how to cook for their gluten-free guests.
Most importantly, concentrate on the food you can have—meats, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Eating whole, unprocessed foods are what we all should be concentrating on, regardless of any intolerance. However, with two kids, friends and family to cook for and a love of carbs, I do understand the need for substitutions.
Below are the foods I use as substitutions along with some other resources and notes that might be helpful. I will caution you to say this is geared towards those with a sensitivity, not those with celiac. Please always read labels! If you need help reading labels, check out this page. Often, I just make sure wheat is not listed as an allergen and look for any MSG or barley ingredients.
- This is a recorded radio talk. It’s the first talk I listened to where I really understood what damage gluten can do. http://paleosummit.com/dr-thomas-obryan/
- Wheat Belly. I haven’t read it but I know it floats around GF circles
- Here’s a great article on 10 signs you’re gluten intolerant if you’re still not sure you are.
- One woman’s story of the link between gluten and mental health issues.
We eat dinner out at least once a week. Eating out just means you get a lot of grilled chicken, steak, salads, vegetables and potato-based sides. There are more options at each of these places, but here are my “regulars”. Refer to each restaurant’s site. Many of them have gluten-free menus now.
Also, don’t eat the sunflower seeds on the salad, they have seasoning that includes gluten.
|McDonald’s (I hate this place– except their caramel sundaes. We only go to on road trips or when forced)
We usually do the grilled salad. I’ll eat the salad and Emma will eat the chicken and then eat fries.
Salad with tuna salad on top
|Beef o Brady’s (similar to Applebee’s, Chili’s)
Salad with no crouton
Grilled chicken platter.
Margarita Chicken with rice
Rice bowls. I eat the chips but if you are celiac, I don’t think you’re allowed to eat them b/c they are fried with gluten
Steak, fries/potato and salad
You’ll need to ask your local restaurant. Ours uses flour in the beans. I usually Arroz con Pollo or a taco and am ok.
- GF Bisquick is great for pancakes.
- Pioneer Woman’s Sour Cream Pancakes are doable if you just substitute with GF all-purpose flour. I like King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill.
- Van’s frozen blueberry waffles. Toast them (as long as our toaster oven will go) .
- Glutino’s english muffins. Thaw in microwave for 25 second and then toast as long as you can.
- Homemade granola bars with Bob’s Red Mill GF oats and flour.
- Many rice-based cereals are ok to eat. We especially love Honey Nut Chex.
I don’t eat any of the bread. I don’t like it. My mom likes Rudi’s Wheat. I only buy bread for Emma’s lunch and if I want to make bread crumbs.
- Ancient Harvest Quinoa noodles for spaghetti. I love these more than regular noodles.
- Tinkyada lasagna noodles for lasagna.
- I posted these three EASY crock pot meals I make several times a month.
- I make Bob’s Red Mill homemade pizza crust. Each pack makes two round pizzas.
- Baked Tilapia
- Jo-Lynne at MusingsofaHousewife.com posts GF menu plans every Monday and has a link-up for others to post recipes.
- Any rice or potatoes are fine.
- Most potato-based sides are fine unless they call for bread crumbs. Either make your own with GF bread or buy GF version.
- Don’t make any casseroles with cream soups. Either make your own like I did or you can buy GF versions in stores.
- Fruits/veggies/cheese/nuts ought to be all of our #1 snack go-to but I realize it’s not always practical.
- Potato chips. They’re not the healthiest, but potato-based snacks are ok. Just read the label and be sure there is no wheat or barley wheat.
- Tortilla chips. Not all are created equal. Read the label for pure corn chips.
- Immaculate has ready made square cookies like Tollhouse. Very good.
- Betty Crocker’s boxed cookie mix is good.
- King Arthur’s boxed cookie mix is good.
- My favorite cookie is Udi’s cookies. Very, very soft and chewy.
- Glutino’s Parmesan and Garlic bagel chips with a cheese spread is divine (I love Palmetto Cheese’s pimento cheese)
- Kinnikinnick’s Graham Crackers
- Kinnikinnick’s Chocolate Dipped Donuts
- Betty Crocker brownie mix
- Glutino Pretzels. They have straight and twists.
- Most ice creams without any kind of cookie or brownie. Be sure to read these labels.
- ChocolateCoveredKatie.com has many recipes that she writes so they can be GF friendly as well. The sugar-free peanut butter cookies are really good.
- GF Strawberry pie (includes pie crust recipe)
- Ketchup, syrup, jelly and peanut butter are all fine
- BBQ sauce is usually fine too. Our favorite is a Dinosaur BBQ sauce we find out our Harris Teeter.
- Be careful with Soy Sauce, Teriyaki sauce and Marinades. Teriyaki has wheat in it so any marinade usually has it as well. If you look hard, there are options though you just have to do a lot of label reading to make sure there are no Wheat ingredients. Kikkoman has GF options out now that are good.
- Salad dressings are hit and miss. Be sure they have no wheat listed. Ceasar and Italian dressing are usually the offenders.
- No gravy. Either make homemade using corn starch or there are GF options in stores.
In general, I’ve found I cook exactly the same recipes as before, I just need to substitute with GF flour/oats/bread crumbs and use xanthum gum where required.
I want to be clear that these are not the foods that I eat often. Even though I listed waffles and English muffins for breakfast, I usually just have coffee and a banana. These are just the products I’ve found to be tolerable over the last year.
I hope you find this useful. If you know someone that’s gluten-free or thinking of it, please share with them!