Eating gluten-free doesn't require embarking on hour-long search and rescue missions for expensive GF pastas and breads. Plenty of healthy, flavor-packed meals are naturally gluten-free, super simple to make, and loaded with good-for-you nutrients.
Here are five of my favorite gluten-free dishes.
Nourishing Red Lentil Soup
Red lentils are a beautiful color orange when dry, but they become a rather drab yellow when they cook. This can be disappointing, until you taste the lentils. This soup is very filling and great for gluten free diet. A few gluten free crackers or rice cakes almost make a full meal.
- 2 Tbs canola oil or peanut oil
- 1 medium or large onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp white pepper or to taste
- 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes with juice
- 1 pound red lentils (about 2 1/8 cups), washed and picked over
- 2 quarts water or chicken stock
- Cayenne to taste (optional)
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Chopped green onions
- Toasted sunflower seeds
Heat the oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes, and add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the cumin and cayenne. Stir together for about a minute, until the garlic is fragrant, and stir in the tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly. Adjust spices to taste.
Stir in the lentils and water or chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add salt to taste and continue to simmer for 15 to 30 minutes, until the lentils have fallen apart and thickened the soup. Using the back of your spoon, mash the lentils against the side of the pot to thicken the soup further. Add the pepper and add cayenne if you want more punch. Taste and adjust salt. Stir in the lime juice.
If you wish, puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender, holding a towel over the lid to prevent hot soup from splashing out, and return to the pot. Adjust spices to your taste. Heat through and serve, topping each bowl with a generous sprinkling of chopped spring onions and the toasted sunflower seeds.
Preparation 20 minutes
Grilled Chicken with Asparagus and Quinoa
It's looks and tastes like a grain, but quinoa is actually a seed – meaning it's not only gluten-free but an excellent source of protein and fiber, Pair it with grilled chicken and asparagus or your favorite vegetable such as string beans or zucchini, and you'll score even more good-for-you nutrients.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 Tbs vegetable oil
- 3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
Stir quinoa and chicken broth together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed the chicken broth, about 15 minutes.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium fry the chicken breast pieces in the hot oil until no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes. Stir asparagus and red bell pepper into the skillet and cook.
Stir until barely tender, about 3 more minutes.
Lightly mix cooked quinoa into the chicken and vegetables until thoroughly combined, heat for 1 to 2 minutes, and serve.
Preparation 20 minutes
Mustard-Glazed Salmon Fillets with Roasted Cauliflower
A t only 154 calories, this fish dinner is a heart-healthy gluten free choice packed with Omega-3 fatty acids. Roasted cauliflower pairs as the perfect side to these salmon fillets topped with a sweet mustard and honey glaze.
- 6 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 3 Tbs Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tsp chopped fresh dill
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
- Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400°.
Lay cauliflower flat on a baking sheet that was generously coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle cauliflower with oil, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt gently toss to coat. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring after 10 minutes.
Combine mustard, honey, dill, and juice in a small bowl. Arrange fillets, skin sides down, on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Spread mustard mixture evenly over fillets. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Serve fillets with cauliflower.
Preparation 10 minutes
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 fillet and about 1/4 cup cauliflower)
Note: Alternatively you can mash the cooked cauliflower and put it under the fish for a delicious mock mashed potatoes flavor.
Baby Salad Greens with Garbanzo (chickpeas) Beans
Salads are always served as entrée in our home. When it has some protein it takes the salad to a new level. Stir fry the chickpeas in 1 tablespoon oil for added flavor. Simple and delicious.
- 8 ounces mixed baby salad greens, rinsed
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers, quartered and sliced
- 1/2 cup pitted black olives, drained
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1 cup garbanzo beans cooked according to package directions and refried in some oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
Cook chickpeas according to package directions. Approximately 45 minutes. Remove from fire and reserve. Fry chopped onion in a pan with 1 tablespoon oil. When translucent add the chick peas and refry in medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.
Place all other ingredients into a salad bowl and toss. Serve with one of your favorite salad dressing.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Adzuki Beans with Winter Squash
Adzuki beans have a very high nutritional content it is higher in protein and fiber than other beans. They are downright good for you. With their high mix of protein and fiber, adzuki beans are great for helping manage normal blood sugar. This makes the adzuki bean a great addition to any diet plan to help treat, manage or prevent diabetes.
- 2 Tbs oil
- 2 cloves garlic chopped finely
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cups Adzuki beans soaked overnight and allowed to sprout
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup buttercup or butternut squash, remove seeds and cube,
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp roasted pepper spice
In a large sauce pan heat oil and add chopped onions and chopped garlic. Allow to cook until translucent about 5 minutes. Place remaining ingredients into pan, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium-low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the beans and squash are tender. Uncover and cook on high until most of the liquid has evaporated. Adjust the spices to taste and enjoy.
Preparation 20 minutes
Quinoa Stuffed Red Peppers
- 4 medium red bell peppers, sliced in half lengthwise and seeded
- 4 cups water, for blanching peppers
- 1 cup Quinoa, washed and drained
- 1 1/4 cups water, for boiling quinoa
- 1 pinch Sea Salt
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup red onion, minced
- 15 ounces can Garbanzo or kidney beans, drained
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1 tsp ground cumin (optional)
- 1 tsp soy sauce, optional
- 2 Tbs white raisins
- 2 Tbs fresh chives or green onions, finely chopped for garnish
Place the quinoa, 1 1/4 cups water and sea salt in a sauce pan, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer on low for 20 minutes. Remove and place in a mixing bowl. Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Blanch the pepper halves for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove, drain and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat oil in a skillet. Sauté the garlic and onions for 1 minute. Add the raisins, beans, cinnamon, cumin and soy sauce. Sauté another 2 minutes. Combine with the quinoa and mix thoroughly. Stuff each pepper half. Place in an oiled baking dish with a little water. Bake for 20 minutes or until peppers are tender. Remove and garnish with chives or green onions.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Gluten-Free NO BAKE Energy Bites
We all need a sweet bite once in a while or as a special treat, even those on gluten-free diets do not have to deny themselves an occasional treat. Here is the recipe for no bake energy bites.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup chopped dates
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 3 Tbs unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Pulse the oats and coconut in a blender or food processor until a flour has formed. Add the dates, maple syrup, almond butter, almond milk, and vanilla and pulse until combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips gently.
Roll the dough into balls and place on a plate lined with parchment paper. They will be soft at first but will firm up in the refrigerator.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.
Preparation 10 minutes
Refrigerate for 1 hour