GF Nutrition: Quick & Healthy Gluten-Free Dinners

Sarah Waybright is a registered dietitian and founder of WhyFoodWorksSarah offers in-home cooking classes and dinner parties, both of which happen to work really well for people and families with food allergies/sensitivities—you get a chance to try lots of delicious new recipes with the added bonus of minimal contamination risk! Talk about a win-win!!! 

I asked Sarah to partner with us because she genuinely loves food and she is an expert at using real food to make our bodies work better. So much of gluten-free living revolves around how food makes us sick or the need to deprive ourselves of enjoyable food to stay healthy—let’s turn the conversation around and talk about all the ways to use nutrient-dense real food to help us feel strong, healthy, and excited about eating again!

Take it away, Sarah!

Healthy Gluten-Free Dinners—Pronto!

We’ve all been there: a long day at work, no plan for dinner, no fresh produce in the house. The default is to grab something on the way home, hit the hay—and the cycle continues tomorrow. But, you can avoid this! With a well-stocked pantry and some recipe inspiration, you can have a nutritious meal on the table that’s both quick and delicious.

First, let’s talk about that pantry. Knowing what to stock at home makes meals faster, cheaper, and less expensive.  “Staples” are items that:

  • Have a shelf/fridge/freezer life of 1 month or longer
  • Can serve as the nutritional foundation of a meal or snack
  • You should have on hand at all times

Here are the general categories and some items to think about:

  1. Grains/starches – quinoa, sorghum, gluten-free pasta or bread, potatoes
  2. Proteins – nuts, seeds, canned or dried beans, lentils, eggs, plain greek yogurt, canned or frozen fish or meat
  3. Fruit – frozen (berries, mango), dried (raisins, apricots, prunes, dates) and canned in juice (peaches, pineapple, pears)
  4. Vegetables – frozen (dark leafy greens, peas, green beans, onions), canned (tomatoes, corn)
  5. Fats – extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil
  6. Flavor & spice – lemons, garlic, broth, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, dried herbs.  The more you have in this category, the better!  Check your spice aisle for some great pre-mixed blends in lots of cuisine styles!

Now, for the plan—with your pantry stocked, spend 5-10 minutes browsing for an inspiring flavor profile or food combo. Some folks have entire Pinterest boards dedicated to pantry meals—check out this one by Michelle, this one by Veronica, or this one by Allyson! Then start popping some cans and get to work.

Here are 5 gluten-free (or could be) meals to get you started:

BlackBeanMangoQuinoaSaladw-SpicyPepitas-4

 QUINOA MANGO BLACK BEAN SALAD WITH SMOKY PEPITAS AND CHIPOTLE LIME VINAIGRETTE
(use frozen mango and dried cilantro)

SPICY TUNA FISHCAKES
(sub powdered ginger, cilantro, and chives & serve with sauteed frozen veggies on the side or over rice)

Cilantro-Lime-Coconut-Ginger-Rice-main3

COCONUT GINGER RED BEANS & RICE
(add frozen bell pepper or snap peas before cooking for a veggie serving)

Chili-Cornbread-Casserole-scoop

CHILI CORNBREAD SKILLET
(no substitutions needed—as long as you have gluten-free flour on hand!)
Note from Beth: Make it even easier with our delicious Cornbread Mix!

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LASAGNA SOUP
(use gluten-free pasta, sub black beans for the sausage to make this vegetarian,
use frozen onions instead of fresh, add frozen greens to boost veggies)

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To ask Sarah a question or request a topic for a future blog post,
please leave a comment on any GF Nutrition post
or email me with the subject “Gluten-Free Nutrition.”

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