Anyone who’s been diagnosed with Celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or just is trying to cut down on their gluten intake knows how hard it can be to find a good meal that isn’t made up of leafy greens. As much as we all love salad (right?), there’s only so much one can take. Here are 11 lunch ideas completely free of gluten, and completely full of deliciousness.
1. Cauliflower Pizza
Cauliflower, broccoli’s less cool sibling, is surprisingly healthy for its bland color and chock full of healthy vitamins and minerals. It’s also a cruciferous vegetable so when you eat cauliflower, you’re pretty much eating kale (right?). Cauliflower pizza crust is a little labor-intensive but so worth it if you need a gluten-free (and semi-healthy) pizza fix.
2. Veggie Quinoa Bowl
Quinoa is one of the most versatile foods and is actually a seed, not a grain. You can eat it for breakfast like you would oatmeal, or, for lunch, sauté some of your favorite veggies and maybe some chicken and throw it on top of your quinoa.
Tacos, being the most delicious food on the planet, naturally are first on this list. With so many variations – chicken, beef, pork, tofu, or even just veggies – tacos are literal perfection.
As long as you swap out the flour tortilla for corn then you’ll have a gluten-free lunch that is worth eating every. single. day. We all want tacos at least once a day. And you know what? You can have tacos once a day with this taco cleanse. I am never going on a diet again.
4. Chicken Nuggets
Yes, I’m serious. Chicken nuggets can be gluten-free by replacing regular flour with rice, corn or even chickpea flour. If you want a little less traditional (and healthier) nugget, try them with an almond crust instead.
5. Tuna Salad
Okay, okay I know we said no salad, but this doesn’t really count, does it? Even though tuna salad is usually served on sandwiches (with bread that does have gluten), tuna salad itself is naturally gluten-free.
Just make it your favorite way and enjoy it with some gluten-free bread, crackers or put it inside a large Nori sheet which is a large piece of dried seaweed. It’s just like cheap sushi, I promise.
The options are literally endless when it comes to soup. Most are gluten-free anyway so dig into some tomato soup, chili, chicken tortilla (just use corn tortilla chips), seafood stew, butternut squash, I could go on all day. Long story short: if you want a gluten-free lunch, get soup.
Quiche typically comes with a crust full of gluten but these days you can find frozen gluten-free crusts, make your own with gluten-free flour mixes or various nuts, or just have a crust-less quiche. With so many great quiches in the world, why let a little crust hold you back?
8. Falafel and Hummus
Mediterranean food saves the day yet again. Both falafel and hummus are made from chickpeas so no gluten to worry about here. Whoever thought of deep-frying mashed up chickpeas was a straight genius and I can’t thank them enough. And with so many different versions of hummus these days, you’ll never go back to boring salads when looking for a gluten-free meal.
#SpoonTip: Deep fryers are typically contaminated with gluten from other fried foods, so keep that in mind when dining out.
9. Black Bean Spaghetti
It’s not your imagination, you can have spaghetti AND still have a gluten-free lunch. Black bean spaghetti is packed full of protein and if you can get past the black color, I promise you won’t even miss regular pasta.
You can find tamales in the frozen food sections of most stores, and there’s usually a lot of options on fillings. Since tamales are just made of corn meal, they are gluten-free and pure deliciousness.
Polenta is similar to quinoa in the fact that you can do a whole lot of different things with it. It’s typically sold in the store in a tube shape that you then slice up and fry in a pan or you can make it homemade out of a cornmeal mixture. You can have meat, vegetables or whatever your heart desires on the side to make it a complete meal.