Author Topic: Gluten Free Lunches  (Read 751 times)

trc4897

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Gluten Free Lunches
« on: December 04, 2019, 02:21:28 PM »
Hey everyone! Due to medical reasons I need to cut gluten out of my diet. This shouldn't be too hard with breakfast or dinner, but I am worried about lunch. I've brought a sandwich for lunch basically every day for the last 5 years or so, which is super easy.

Does anyone have easy lunch staples like this that happen to be gluten free? I know meal prep / leftovers is an option, but curious what others have done as a sandwich replacement?

I'm going to miss bread :(

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4055
  • Age: 28
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2019, 02:26:16 PM »
I routinely make baked chicken and broccoli in the convection oven at work for lunch.  Just need to have the fridge space.

Throw a couple bone-in skin-on chicken thighs on a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, hit with salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, and oregano.  Add 0.5-1.5lbs frozen broccoli florets and more salt, pepper, and garlic.  Cook for 40~45min at 400F.  Eat.

BECABECA

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 223
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Huntington Beach, CA
  • Retired since July 2017, not bored yet!
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2019, 02:26:37 PM »
You could just get gluten free bread and still have sandwiches, but itís pricey. Iíd recommend switching to bowls: brown rice or quinoa as the base with some spiced beans or curry as the middle and throw in some veggies or meat as the top.

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1925
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2019, 02:32:22 PM »
I honestly don't understand the question.

You already know that you can bring leftovers and that GF bread exists...

OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1794
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2019, 02:40:55 PM »
I no longer work outside of my house, but I always brought leftovers.

Big salads or rice bowls are also good options. If you like batch cooking, something like the Frugalwoods' beans and rice or a Budget Bytes recipe might appeal to you.

If you like sandwiches but are sick of bread, Aldi sells decent GF wraps.

In an absolute pinch, a few of the Amy's frozen meals are GF (check the packaging) and are decent. I usually see them for ~$4 each so not a budget buster if eaten rarely.

OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1794
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 02:47:48 PM »
I honestly don't understand the question.

You already know that you can bring leftovers and that GF bread exists...

Speaking from experience, it's intimidating to make this dietary switch. It's rational and understandable to seek advice from those of us with some level of lived expertise.

I remember walking into a grocery store for the first time after a celiac disease diagnosis (10 years ago), when I was exhausted and sick. I had an undergrad degree in a biomed science and a strong interest in nutrition science, and was an immunology grad student at the time. I had a panic attack about all the "poison" and left the grocery store in tears without buying any food. Although rationally I understood what was and wasn't safe and why, the emotional panic didn't resolve until I was able to get advice from people who were actually living with the diet. It was less about factual knowledge and more about reaching an understanding that everything would be okay and that it didn't mean the end of baking (a beloved lifelong hobby), socializing, or meals with family.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 03:17:17 PM by OtherJen »

mspym

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2192
  • Location: Downunder
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2019, 02:51:21 PM »
My default lunches are big salad with some beans or rice+stuff. We make big batches of rice so it's easy to put some in a container and then add whatever other things are in the fridge.

StarBright

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1472
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2019, 02:58:26 PM »
You could just get gluten free bread and still have sandwiches, but itís pricey. Iíd recommend switching to bowls: brown rice or quinoa as the base with some spiced beans or curry as the middle and throw in some veggies or meat as the top.

^yep -bowls!

Lots of fast casual places seem to sell them, they are super easy to make at home, and the freezer section of most groceries will carry several gluten free ,microwaveable versions. If you are looking for a quick, mindless switch - ie. "Instead of sandwiches I will have X ", then bowls are where it is at!

I tend to make my own with frozen riced cauliflower, a costco chicken, some frozen veggies and I freeze my favorite sauces in cubes. Aldi's carries a couple frozen meal GF bowls that are tasty and relatively cheap and our regular nice grocery store (Kroger in the midwest) seems to have more GF microwavable meals than I could choose from.

Good luck! Hopefully you start feeling better soon.


Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1925
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2019, 03:44:21 PM »
I honestly don't understand the question.

You already know that you can bring leftovers and that GF bread exists...

Speaking from experience, it's intimidating to make this dietary switch. It's rational and understandable to seek advice from those of us with some level of lived expertise.

I remember walking into a grocery store for the first time after a celiac disease diagnosis (10 years ago), when I was exhausted and sick. I had an undergrad degree in a biomed science and a strong interest in nutrition science, and was an immunology grad student at the time. I had a panic attack about all the "poison" and left the grocery store in tears without buying any food. Although rationally I understood what was and wasn't safe and why, the emotional panic didn't resolve until I was able to get advice from people who were actually living with the diet. It was less about factual knowledge and more about reaching an understanding that everything would be okay and that it didn't mean the end of baking (a beloved lifelong hobby), socializing, or meals with family.

Oh, I get how difficult it is to transition to GF, but OP specifically indicated that they have their other meals in hand and are struggling with replacing sandwiches.

If they want GF recipes, that's a different question.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7012
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2019, 04:26:19 PM »
Salad.  I eat salad for lunch every day.  Switched to it about 5 years ago (before I went gluten free).

The benefits:
1. I get lots of veggies
2. I do not get the post-lunch sleepies from the carb high/crash you get from bread
3.  Easier weight maintenance

It's just important for me to make the salad big and make sure it has "heft" - protein and fat for me, mostly, but occasionally a handful of beans (they don't give me the carb crash).

I miss bread too - I try to minimize it anyway, but sometimes you just want a sandwich, so I buy GF bread and keep it in the freezer.

Gremlin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 174
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2019, 05:26:12 PM »
When you've had real bread, most mass produced GF bread is like eating a slice of cardboard in comparison.  So sandwiches became very hard for me to replace.  I often have things like corn thins or rice cakes with sandwich toppings instead.  Sometimes corn tortilla or buckwheat wraps (just make sure there's no wheat flour used).  These are not too bad done in a sandwich press.

But I'd also recommend shopping around various local bakeries to find a GF bread that is edible or baking it yourself.  Expensive but edible.  Just be wary if you are coeliac rather than simply intolerant, that bakery bread may have some level of contamination.  Eg, the bakery I go to slices the GF bread on the same slicer as "regular" bread but wipes it down prior to use.  It cooks its GF bread in a separate oven and has a separate area for prep.  This is fine for me but not for everyone.   

I second the salads option.  I would prep five salads on a Sunday evening.  Varied them up week to week. Anything that might be liquidy (officially now a word) would go into a separate container and added immediately prior to stop it spoiling the salads for later in the week.

Occasionally in winter I'd run with a thermos full of homemade broth which I'd pour over rice noodles, veggies and a protein.  Or, if I had access to a microwave, broth could be frozen into portions.  (Just be careful, some producers add wheat starch to rice noodles so make sure they are definitely GF)


Also, not the question you asked, but I wish someone told me the following when I first had to go GF...

Get an understanding of what level of "tolerance" you have and what "casual contamination" levels are acceptable.  For example, my mother, who is also GF, has her own toaster and keeps her own tubs of butter/condiments/spreads in the fridge/pantry.  NO ONE is allowed to use them except her because even the smallest amount of cross-contamination can lead to a significant reaction.  I'm not at that extreme, but that's something I wouldn't have thought of in the early stages.

Finally, read the ingredients of any "regular" foods you have.  There are foods that contain gluten that I never appreciated.  Some of the things that surprised me included ice cream, some custards, corn flakes, candy/sweets, soy sauce, pringles and lots of deli meats.  It's not just the obvious breads, beer, cakes and biscuits.  Also, as well as checking your food, check your medication - as horrifying as it sounds, not all medication is gluten free.


mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3065
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2019, 06:15:28 PM »
I usually eat those indian tasty bites over rice. Usually gets me two meals per bag.
In the summer i was eating veggies and hummus in a seaweed wrap.

Quote
Occasionally in winter I'd run with a thermos full of homemade broth which I'd pour over rice noodles, veggies and a protein.
So you would heat up the broth before you left? I am trying to find gluten free lunches that i don't need a microwave for.


Gremlin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 174
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2019, 06:28:41 PM »
I usually eat those indian tasty bites over rice. Usually gets me two meals per bag.
In the summer i was eating veggies and hummus in a seaweed wrap.

Quote
Occasionally in winter I'd run with a thermos full of homemade broth which I'd pour over rice noodles, veggies and a protein.
So you would heat up the broth before you left? I am trying to find gluten free lunches that i don't need a microwave for.

Hot when I leave home.  Kept in a thermos.  I have two thermoses - one kept it hot enough to last til lunch and the other didn't.

OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1794
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2019, 06:30:49 PM »
I honestly don't understand the question.

You already know that you can bring leftovers and that GF bread exists...

Speaking from experience, it's intimidating to make this dietary switch. It's rational and understandable to seek advice from those of us with some level of lived expertise.

I remember walking into a grocery store for the first time after a celiac disease diagnosis (10 years ago), when I was exhausted and sick. I had an undergrad degree in a biomed science and a strong interest in nutrition science, and was an immunology grad student at the time. I had a panic attack about all the "poison" and left the grocery store in tears without buying any food. Although rationally I understood what was and wasn't safe and why, the emotional panic didn't resolve until I was able to get advice from people who were actually living with the diet. It was less about factual knowledge and more about reaching an understanding that everything would be okay and that it didn't mean the end of baking (a beloved lifelong hobby), socializing, or meals with family.

Oh, I get how difficult it is to transition to GF, but OP specifically indicated that they have their other meals in hand and are struggling with replacing sandwiches.

If they want GF recipes, that's a different question.


(Emphasis mine.) That seems like enough to start a thread. No one is required to participate if the question isn't relevant to them.

aloevera

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2019, 06:35:12 PM »
Sandwiches in lettuce or cooked cabbage or stuffed into a tomato or pepper or GF wrap. Or if sturdy enough ingredients, just roll up the cheese/meat whatever.

Salads topped with as much of the sandwich filling as you put in a sandwich before.

Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1643
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2019, 06:42:18 PM »
Gluten free bread is F-ing disgusting. It's best just to forget about bread, in my opinion. Whatever you'd put between two slices of bread or two buns, stick on a bed of lettuce instead. Gluten free wraps are just as bad as bread, in my experience.

When I need to buy lunch, I get sushi - a lot of cheap places around here, but if you're celiac, you need to watch out for soy sauce - so beware of sushi with sauces on it. I have a wheat allergy, and the wheat in small amounts of soy sauce does not trigger me.

Being gluten free can be frustrating. I made a broccoli and cheese casserole for Thanksgiving, only to realize after the fact that condensed soup (of course) has flour in it. It's definitely a mental adjustment to get into the habit of checking the ingredients of everything.

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1925
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2019, 06:42:23 PM »
I honestly don't understand the question.

You already know that you can bring leftovers and that GF bread exists...

Speaking from experience, it's intimidating to make this dietary switch. It's rational and understandable to seek advice from those of us with some level of lived expertise.

I remember walking into a grocery store for the first time after a celiac disease diagnosis (10 years ago), when I was exhausted and sick. I had an undergrad degree in a biomed science and a strong interest in nutrition science, and was an immunology grad student at the time. I had a panic attack about all the "poison" and left the grocery store in tears without buying any food. Although rationally I understood what was and wasn't safe and why, the emotional panic didn't resolve until I was able to get advice from people who were actually living with the diet. It was less about factual knowledge and more about reaching an understanding that everything would be okay and that it didn't mean the end of baking (a beloved lifelong hobby), socializing, or meals with family.

Oh, I get how difficult it is to transition to GF, but OP specifically indicated that they have their other meals in hand and are struggling with replacing sandwiches.

If they want GF recipes, that's a different question.


(Emphasis mine.) That seems like enough to start a thread. No one is required to participate if the question isn't relevant to them.

I used to be a chef in a restaurant that specializes in GF meals. I'm very very happy to share GF recipes if that's what OP wants. My questions were to clarify what they want.

When I say I don't understand the question, it means I don't understand the question, not that I don't think the person is reasonable in asking the question.

OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1794
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2019, 06:50:30 PM »
Gluten free bread is F-ing disgusting. It's best just to forget about bread, in my opinion. Whatever you'd put between two slices of bread or two buns, stick on a bed of lettuce instead. Gluten free wraps are just as bad as bread, in my experience.

When I need to buy lunch, I get sushi - a lot of cheap places around here, but if you're celiac, you need to watch out for soy sauce - so beware of sushi with sauces on it. I have a wheat allergy, and the wheat in small amounts of soy sauce does not trigger me.

Being gluten free can be frustrating. I made a broccoli and cheese casserole for Thanksgiving, only to realize after the fact that condensed soup (of course) has flour in it. It's definitely a mental adjustment to get into the habit of checking the ingredients of everything.

The mental adjustment is SO frustrating. Pacific makes a GF cream of chicken soup that works, but I've found it easier to skip it altogether in favor of from scratch recipes. This one is good (we like it with brown rice and a bit of chicken for a meal): https://www.spendwithpennies.com/broccoli-rice-casserole-scratch/

San-J sells GF soy sauce in packets. I keep one in my purse because once in a while it's fun and easy to grab sushi. The krab stick in California roll probably has wheat starch, so that's something to watch.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 06:52:47 PM by OtherJen »

OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1794
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2019, 06:54:13 PM »
I honestly don't understand the question.

You already know that you can bring leftovers and that GF bread exists...

Speaking from experience, it's intimidating to make this dietary switch. It's rational and understandable to seek advice from those of us with some level of lived expertise.

I remember walking into a grocery store for the first time after a celiac disease diagnosis (10 years ago), when I was exhausted and sick. I had an undergrad degree in a biomed science and a strong interest in nutrition science, and was an immunology grad student at the time. I had a panic attack about all the "poison" and left the grocery store in tears without buying any food. Although rationally I understood what was and wasn't safe and why, the emotional panic didn't resolve until I was able to get advice from people who were actually living with the diet. It was less about factual knowledge and more about reaching an understanding that everything would be okay and that it didn't mean the end of baking (a beloved lifelong hobby), socializing, or meals with family.

Oh, I get how difficult it is to transition to GF, but OP specifically indicated that they have their other meals in hand and are struggling with replacing sandwiches.

If they want GF recipes, that's a different question.


(Emphasis mine.) That seems like enough to start a thread. No one is required to participate if the question isn't relevant to them.

I used to be a chef in a restaurant that specializes in GF meals. I'm very very happy to share GF recipes if that's what OP wants. My questions were to clarify what they want.

When I say I don't understand the question, it means I don't understand the question, not that I don't think the person is reasonable in asking the question.

That's cool! I've wondered if we should start a GF journal. I've learned so much in the last 10 years. I think several of us have valuable expertise.

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1925
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2019, 07:15:28 PM »

That's cool! I've wondered if we should start a GF journal. I've learned so much in the last 10 years. I think several of us have valuable expertise.

For sure!

GF is so much easier with the right resources.

better late

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 344
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2019, 09:41:25 PM »
The good news is GF bread is getting better and easier to find. Still pricey though. My kid only likes one kind (local) and will tolerate the others toasted. Grilled cheese works.

If you are having carb cravings, you might try making some corn bread (checking that the variety of corn meal is GF).

My GF kid eats a lot of corn bread

frugaldrummer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 720
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2019, 01:51:25 AM »
Although gluten-free breads will never be quite the same, they have made amazing progress in the last few years. I suggest you try a few different brands until you find one you like. Everybodyís taste is different. Some want the texture of a soft white bread - Canyon Bakehouse comes closest but I find the ricey taste not to my liking. Many people like Udiís. My current favorite is a brand called Little Northern Bakehouse which is available in a few different varieties - I find it soft enough for sandwiches, toasts  well and I prefer the flavor.

Yes gluten free bread is more expensive. But your sandwich is still an economical choice.

Other options: gf crackers (I love Maryís Gone Crackers, a seed cracker thatís almost like a chip) with cheese, meat, Egg salad, whatever you might put in a sandwich. Lettuce wraps. GF soups if you have a kitchen at work. Ditto leftovers.

You could also get a bread machine and try your hand at making your own gf bread. (I tried once with a Bobís Red Mill mix and the texture was great but the taste did nothing for me).

Overall eating gluten free doesnít have to be expensive if you stick to things that are naturally gluten free, like beans, rice, potatoes, chicken, meats etc. Baked goods will generally be pricier.








Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2456
  • Location: NC, US
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2019, 05:11:30 AM »
OP, you can also base a nice work lunch around a potato or a sweet potato.  Cook it in the microwave, add protein/other veggies/toppings and there you go.  Eggs are another easy microwave-at-work base option.

BECABECA

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 223
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Huntington Beach, CA
  • Retired since July 2017, not bored yet!
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2019, 11:39:41 AM »
Vietnamese spring rolls are another good option, and theyíre eaten cold so no need for a kitchen or microwave at work. You can make them regular or Americanize them with sandwich type filling instead.

Onigiri Japanese rice balls are another good option if you donít have access to a kitchen. A meat/fish/veggie surrounded by flavored rice wrapped in seaweed.

lollylegs

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
  • Location: Australia
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2019, 12:05:47 PM »
I have smoothies, soups, veggies and salads or leftovers for lunch. I can't eat any grains so no bread or rice which is even more limiting.
I've found cooking extra and freezing in meal size portions makes lunch much easier. Roast veggies make a great base and chicken drumsticks are easy to cook ahead. but soups are my favourite and I always have a few different home made soups in freezer to grab for work.

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3065
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2019, 12:29:59 PM »
I heard a rumor that people with gluten sensitivity can eat sourdough bread if it's been fermented more than 48 hours. I haven't tried it yet. There's also pupusas and I also found out that you can make empanadas with corn. Tamales too.

OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1794
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Gluten Free Lunches
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2019, 12:59:42 PM »
I heard a rumor that people with gluten sensitivity can eat sourdough bread if it's been fermented more than 48 hours. I haven't tried it yet. There's also pupusas and I also found out that you can make empanadas with corn. Tamales too.

Tamales are always made with corn, but if someone else prepares them, check to make sure that the filling doesn't have any unsafe flavorings (e.g., many prepared broths have gluten).

Re: sourdough, you're probably referring to something like this: https://www.bonappetit.com/story/gluten-sensitive-sourdough

Sourdough bread is not safe for people with celiac disease (an autoimmune disease triggered by gluten) if made from wheat, barley, rye, or spelt flour. The fermentation process doesn't break down the antigenic portion of gluten that causes the immune reaction in the gut.