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Today’s menu planning is going to look a little different. After consulting with friends and reading some books and blog posts, we are doing a gluten-free month at our house. There’s a lot of debate as to how good (if at all) grains actually are for you. If you’re like me, you’ve read this many times and have been in denial. Breathe a sign of relief because I am not about to take sides… yet, anyway.
I am going to say for sure though that for some people gluten is not a beneficial element in their diet; for some it is actually harmful. Because I have seen my husband experience (mildly) some of the symptoms that others with gluten sensitivities have described, we are doing a little test run at our house. I do not believe he is allergic to gluten. Sensitive to it? Possibly. So for a month, he is cutting out all gluten. And for that month, I am as well.
Part of this is to be a “good” wife by supporting him. When doing something difficult, having a buddy doing that difficult thing with you is always helpful. And since I do most the cooking and grocery shopping, this only makes sense to me that I would jump on board.
Additionally, after reading the book Bread and Wine, I also feel the need to have a season of fasting after feasting, as Shauna puts it. Here’s what I mean by that – I want discipline in my life. Those of you who know me probably think I’m crazy right now because truly I am a very disciplined person. But food is an area that I have never been disciplined in. I am not doing this to diet. Though if I could shed some baby weight and fit into my old clothes, I will do one hundred celebratory dances. Additionally, I am not doing this as a spiritual fast. If I were, I would not be posting my plans here, but rather, keeping this more a private matter between me and the Lord. Still, the truth is that I talk about most everything in my life with the Lord, so I have no doubt that He will reveal Himself more to me through this month. The bottom life is: My motive is truly to gain some ground in food discipline. Any spiritual insights learned and pounds shed will be added bonuses.
Alright, that said, here are my menu ideas for the next month. I am posting it for the month because I think many of you will be intrigued to know what gluten-free options there are and because I really want to know what gluten-free meal and snack ideas you have!! For the most part, I am doing this the old-fashioned way… foods that naturally do not contain gluten. I may cut a corner here and there with a gluten-free packaged food, but since I’m not looking to greatly increase my grocery bill, I am trying to avoid that.
- Steel cut oats, sometimes with added berries.
- Regular oats.
- Baked oats with berries.
- Fried eggs, fruit.
- Scrambled eggs, fruit. Maybe sometimes with potatoes.
- Yogurt parfaits with homemade granola and berries.
- Green smoothies.
- Turkey and swiss cheese lettuce wraps/ Sandwich or tortilla wrap for Lil.
- Baked potatoes.
- Tortilla soup. I have a lot of soups in the freezer, which I have a feeling may be wiped out soon.
- Vegetable soup, made with a chicken stock and rice base.
- Salads. I’m not salad pro, but my usuals are kale, cranberry, feta, nuts, homemade vinaigrette; and arugula, apple, feta, nuts, vinaigrette. Chicken mixed in sometimes. (I’d love to know your favorite recipes!)
- Organic hot dog (in a sandwich for Lil), sweet potato fries.
- Snacky lunches – humus and veggies (pepper, carrots), fruits (apple, cutie, banana, berries), yogurt or cheese slices
- Sloppy joe over baked potato.
- Taco salad – taco meat, lettuce, tomato, “cream” (aka Greek yogurt), cheese, and onion for hubby.
- Leftover taco salad with healthy “refried” beansand Mexican rice.
- Baked sweet potato, quinoa/rice mixture my MIL gave us from her Costco run, chicken sausages, salad. I will probably make this a few times and substitute sweet potato fries for the baked sweet potato at least once.
- Mousche, the Syrian version of dolmas, served with yogurt and mashed potatoes.
- Quinoa and black beans, with chicken mixed in. Served with avocado and maybe over lettuce.
- Meatballs (normal, not BBQ) served over spaghetti squash.
- Gluten-free pasta (short cut alert!) and meat sauce.
- Sausage/ Pepper/ Potato bake. Essentially, cube and saute all of these veggies with EVOO and sea salt. Or just stick them in the oven at 375 for 30-40 minutes.
- White chicken chili
- “Brenner” – eggs, potatos, fruit.
- Stuffed bell peppers. Admittedly, this is not hubby’s favorite, but I love them!
- Chili, served with cream, cheese, and avocado.
- Taco Soup, served with avocado.
- Baked cinnamon apples.
- Peanut butter chocolate chip cranberry granola bars.
- Fruit – apples, bananas, cuties.
- Dried fruit. I love dried mangos.
- Apple sauce.
- Yogurt with granola.
- Humus with carrots and bell peppers.
- Apple slices with peanut butter.
- Green smoothies.
- Peanut butter smoothies.
- Mixed nuts.
- Cheese slices. I really love Kerrygold Dubliner cheese.
These are just my ideas so far. I am sure I will update at the end with how the month went and with any new GF meal and snack finds. If you have any gluten-free meal or snack ideas, comment below!