Gluten Free Starter Menu

A friend of my sister has been going through a health ordeal with her her husband that has only gotten worse the last few years. They are pretty sure it is celiac as he’s had symptoms on and off throughout his life, but the (dimwit) doctor wants him to go on a gluten/corn/dairy free diet before getting the blood test. Beyond that potentially messing up the results of a later blood test it is the holidays, they have young kids, and they are a little in over their head. The doctor sent them to a scam website (you probably know the one) and didn’t help them set a menu. It’s nice to know it isn’t much better than my experience two years ago. /sarc

I quickly threw together a 7-day menu of dinners for them full of recognizable and easy to make stuff and I thought I’d share that here so it could get some extra use. I’m not a dietitian, but this will keep them going until they have a moment to breathe.  There is nothing worse than grocery store claustrophobia or when you realize how many shelves in the store you don’t even need to bother going down anymore.

He already feels a lot better even after a few days off gluten, but hopefully he’ll eventually be able to have dairy and corn again which will drastically add to his options. My goal was to keep it too the basics and not suggest too many gf fad type foods or substitutions. Just a few here or there. While I don’t care for desserts I added some that seemed simple or some coconut or almond alternatives to stuff they like. They don’t have the budget for too much special food and there is nothing wrong with basics anyway.

On to the menu…

Sunday
Crock Pot Roast
Potatoes / Carrots / Onions / Celery
Salt / Pepper / Gluten Free beef broth
Brown sugar and cinnamon roasted apples

Monday
Spaghetti (Rice/Flax noodles or Spaghetti Squash with or without ground meat)
Traditional Prego sauce is gf and corn syrup free
Tips on how to cook gf pasta right.

Tuesday
Soup – Chicken & Rice or Beef & Rice using beef leftovers from Sunday
GF broth, whatever veggies you want in there
GF/Dairy Free Bisquick muffins (use the GF Bisquick mix for this, sub for dairy, + shortening)
Roasted Peanut Butter and Bananas (dairy free chocolate chips)

Wednesday
Breakfast Skillets Made to Order
Eggs / Bacon / Ham / Ground Turkey / Spinach / Mushrooms / Onions / Green-Red-Yellow Peppers etc
Salt, Pepper, olive oil or canola oil for cooking
Hashbrowns

Thursday
Taco salad
Ground Beef & lettuce with homemade taco seasoning
Refried beans (Old El Paso kind seems to be safe)
Spanish Rice
Guacamole / Beanitos Restaurant Style White Bean Chips
Optional: Cinnamon Twists (use milk/butter substitutes) << never had this but sounds interesting

Friday
Oven Roasted Chicken Breasts (bone in with skin is my preference)
Season with olive oil/mrs dash/salt/pepper or olive oil/thyme/garlic/salt/pepper
Mashed potatoes (with Spectrum Naturals Butter Flavor Shortening or olive oil/gf chicken broth)
Green beans (onions and/or bacon are good with that)

Saturday
Chili (sub in ground turkey if you are tired of beef, lol)
Can be thrown on top of instant rice or rice spaghetti like they do at Steak ‘n’ Shake or scooped up with the White Bean Beanitos Chips that I loooove so much

Thanksgiving on the road

This is a tough one, but not undoable. Buy some fresh turkey breasts and legs (the mass market whole kind is often injected with tenderizers and crap so go with fresh) and roast them up in the oven. They actually cook pretty fast when not all one giant bird. Pull the meat off and stick it in some Tupperware with gluten free chicken broth. It will keep it fresh and tasty while traveling. Make your own special mashed potatoes, green beans, GF muffins, roasted apples…whatever gf/corn free/dairy free sides sound good. All which heats up in the microwave well. Somehow secure a gluten free apple/pumpkin/pecan pie from Whole Foods. If it doesn’t work out try this gf pumpkin bread to get a pumpkin fix. Maybe pack some bean or rice chips/veggies and guac/hummus to snack on before and after meal.

You may feel like a pack mule on the way there, but this stuff will heat up ok in the microwave and will actually taste good. Make up the plates in the kitchen so you don’t have to dish at the table out of Tupperware. If someone asks you about your food over and over again, tries to force you to “try something they made” or “just a bite of this” or “Doctor Oz said” and the table gets preoccupied obsessing over you it is ok to throw a truth bomb out there about politics, Health Care, spoil a recent movie, or speak badly of a beloved sports team. Anything to change the subject. My least favorite thing to do while eating with people is them quizzing me or talking about food and their armchair medical degree the entire time I’m trying to enjoy my meal. Talk about other things and just eat.

Additional Entrees

Additional Sides

Snacks

Condiments / Sauces

Drinks

Restaurant

Chipotle (burrito bowl / no corn salsa or corn chips / and guac instead of dairy for now)