Following a gluten-free diet means avoiding wheat and some other grains while substituting them with food that will provide the necessary nutrients for a healthy diet.
Usually, people chose the gluten free diet because of health reasons, but there are numerous benefits to it such a healthy weight gain, no bloating, it improves hair and bone health, as well as energy levels; reduces joint pain and hair loss.
If Gluten Free Diet is the healthy choice for you, but you don’t want to spend too much money on expensive ingredients, then, here we have some tips about how to eat gluten free meals on a budget.
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Top 9 Gluten Free Meals
There are some ingredients such as spices and oils that are very recommendable to buy. Even if they are expensive, you will use them for a long time, and they will make your meals tastier.
Also, you should pay attention to the common ingredients in the gluten free meals. That way, you will know which ones to have at home regularly.
Here are a few ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that are very tasty, healthy, and can also be cheap.
Start with a gluten free dinner.
1. Beef Stroganoff
- beef steaks
- basmati rice
- sweet smoked paprika
- tomato purée
- half-fat soured cream
- flat-leaf parsley.
If the beef at the store was cheaper than usual, you should immediately put it in your meal plan. There are numerous gluten free recipes that include beef. Beef Stroganoff is just one idea for a gluten free meal.
In case you prefer a vegetarian diet, use mushrooms instead of beef. You will need dried mushrooms and flat ones.
2. Gluten Free Lasagnas
Another delicious beef gluten free recipe. Yes, you can make them. Instead the regular lasagnas, you will need gluten free noodles (multigrain pasta, quinoa pasta, chickpea pasta or whichever you prefer).
It might be hard to give up pasta during your Gluten Free Diet, but there are substitutes even for that! So no worries, you will still be able to cook some of your favorite pasta recipes.
The ingredients for the Gluten Free Lasagnas are:
- gluten free noodles (oven-ready)
- ground beef
- shredded mozzarella
- tomato sauce
- tomato paste
- crushed tomatoes.
Plus, it would be good if you have oregano, dried parsley, and basil among your spices.
3. Quinoa Tabbouleh
Quinoa is not always cheap, but you can find it cheap. Make a research about stores that sell gluten free whole grains, and you might buy more for a cheaper price.
There are many delicious and healthy recipes that will show you how to prepare quinoa. You should only make a research about how to make it more affordable at the same time
- dried quinoa
- fresh parseley
- rice syrup or agave
- salad leaves.
4. Spicy Chicken Zucchini Noodles
Chicken is a great gluten free meal. For one, you can prepare it in thousand different ways. It is tasty, healthy, and most of the time it is cheap. One more idea for a gluten free dinner is the Spicy Chicken Zucchini Noodles.
- diced chicken tenders
- bell pepper
- bean sprouts
- green onions
- fresh cilantro
- ground ginger
- grape seed oil.
Of course, you can prepare the chicken as you prefer, but make sure you have it in your meal plan. It is budget friendly, and whichever gluten free chicken recipe you choose, it will be healthy.
5. Canned Tuna Fish Tacos
This is gluten free, healthy, very delicious, doesn’t cost more than $5, and it is a great savior when you lack time to prepare other meal for dinner or lunch. All you need is:
- can of tuna
- corn tortillas
As for the other ingredients, you can add whatever from your fridge. You can add mayonnaise, tomatoes, sour cream, or other things you like or have.
A word of advice – always have tuna at home. Even if you don’t feel like eating tacos for dinner, you can still enjoy some of the tuna salads you will find among the gluten free recipes on the internet.
6. Instant Pot Quiche
For this one, you can experiment in various ways. If you search for gluten free quiche recipes on the internet, you will find various different ways how to make it. One recipe says:
- heavy cream
- sweet onions
- fresh kale
- Gouda cheese.
Eggs and heavy cream are basic in every quiche recipe, but everything else is experimental. You can make the quiche with frozen salmon pieces and leek; or chicken and spinach; or broccoli and cauliflower – the choice is yours. Or you can mix the ingredients you have left in the fridge.
7. Lemon Garlic Grilled Salmon
Here is another delicious recipe for a gluten free dinner. If you can’t afford a fresh salmon, it is totally OK to prepare a frozen fillets. You will need:
- Salmon fillets
- Fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary and parsley)
- Dijon mustard.
8. Lentils Stew
Every lentils recipe is a great recipe. Try to have lentils at least once every week.
- yellow baby potatoes
- sturdy greens (such as kale or collard greens)
- fresh rosemary or thyme
There are many gluten free recipes for lentils stew. Some are with meat, others are vegetarian. Anyways, lentils are cheap, healthy, and great for a gluten free dinner.
9. Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower With Mushrooms
This is a delicious recipe, and very easy to make. All you need is:
It doesn’t require a lot of time for preparation, it is affordable, healthy, and great!
Eating Gluten Free Meals On a Budget
When it comes to diet on a budget, many people understand it wrong and believe that they can’t afford a healthy lifestyle. Well, it is possible. It takes more time, calculation, and organization, but in the end, if you follow your schedule, meal plan, and promotions at your stores, you will always be happy with the food you eat.
First comes your schedule – what are your activities for the day and how much time do you have to prepare your meals.
Second is the searching for gluten free recipes to cook. You should start with the ones you like the most, but also you should be careful about how much time you need to prepare them and whether they would fit in your schedule.
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Then, you look online for any promotions at your store. Always aim to buy expensive products when they are on promotion. Choose your meals for the week accordingly with the food that is on sale. It means that, if there is 50 percent off on the beef, you should buy more, and include more beef recipes in your weekly meal plan.
Or, if the packages of cheese are two for one, you should plan cheesy gluten free dinner or lunch.
Also, chicken is usually less expensive than other meat. Make sure you have a tasty gluten free dinner that includes chicken at least once a week.
Last but not least – Leftovers. If you cooked more than you can eat of your gluten free dinner, feel free to warm it up for lunch the next day. Most of the gluten free recipes will still be delicious and healthy the next day.
Related post: How to Make a Meal Planner
Cheap Gluten Free Meals
Free gluten recipes are healthy, delicious, and can also be cheap.
Usually, wheat products are the cheapest, and gluten free substitutes are more expensive, but you can still have your meals on a low budget. On the bright side is that there are numerous delicious gluten free recipes.
It is always good to have a prepared list of meals to cook. If you plan to cook seven meals weekly, you should check some gluten free recipes before going to the store to buy your groceries.
Everything is easier with a meal plan. If you decide to set yourself on a gluten free diet, make sure that you do your research about recipes that are gluten free, which recipes you would like to cook, how much time they will take you, what ingredients are most common, and which day will be the day for each meal.
Once you have your meal planner done, it will be easier to do your grocery shopping. You can always check online for discounts on the gluten free products.
Gluten Free Foods
Gluten Free Protein foods are fresh meats such as fresh chicken and turkey, fresh beef, pork, lamb, fresh fish and seafood. However, breaded meat, poultry, seafood or fish, should be avoided at all costs.
Also, processed meats such as salami, bacon, pepperoni, sausage, and hot dogs, which are also source of proteins, should be avoided or double-checked in case they contain some gluten-containing ingredients. And meat substitutes such as vegetarian burgers.
Proteins come as well from beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, nuts and seeds, and traditional soy foods such as tofu, edamame, and tempeh.
There are surprisingly more than just a few Gluten Free Whole Grains that you can find in the gluten free recipes such as quinoa, tapioca, brown rice, gluten free oats, buckwheat, millet, and sorghum.
When it comes to Fruits and Vegetables, you can eat almost everything, especially citrus fruits, berries, bananas, apples, peaches, and pears, and cauliflower, broccoli, onions, carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, and all greens from the vegetables.
On the other hand, you should double-check canned fruits and vegetables, frozen ones, dried fruits and vegetables, and pre-chopped, as they may contain gluten-containing ingredients.
Also, most of the dairy products are gluten free, meaning that you can eat a lot of cheese, milk, yogurt, and all kinds of creams. But, you should still avoid flavored milk and yogurts, as well as cheese sauces and spreads.
Food to Avoid If You Are Gluten Free
These are the basic foods that you should pay attention to, and avoid them completely in a gluten free diet:
- all wheat-based bread
- all wheat-based pasta
- snack food such as roasted nuts, flavored chips, popcorn, muesli bars, crackers, and candy
- baked goods such as cakes and cookies
- pizza and pastries
Now that you know the unfriendly food in a Gluten Free Diet, you should start exploring what is acceptable and what is preferable to eat.
One thing you will learn is that the variety of substitutes for wheat products is enormous, and if you are a dedicated person and disciplined in your eating habits, you will taste different delicious meals, that you might never have the opportunity to do so.
The Bottom Line
These are just a few ideas that you can start with when you make your meal plan. However, remember that you have to be flexible when it comes to product prices and buy whatever is on promotion this week, and leave some things for the next.
If you are careful how you schedule your gluten free recipes, and which ingredients you buy and use, and how you use them, you will always have delicious food on your table, and what is more important – on a budget.