Author Topic: Gluten Free for Cheap  (Read 14129 times)

oldtoyota

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Gluten Free for Cheap
« on: September 12, 2013, 01:16:19 PM »
Being GF can be expensive. It doesn't have to be. Bread is one of the most difficult areas in terms of expense since a decent loaf of GF bread can be about $4.5 or $5. In a thread about the Matrix, someone mentioned GF food.

I mentioned a GF challah recipe and got a few requests for it. I realized we might need a thread to discuss ways to be GF while not having crazy high grocery bills.

Help us all out! Please share your GF recipes or money-saving tips in this thread.


Here is a challah recipe that may help to cut those bread bills.

For the flour, you can substitute 2 cups of Trader Joe's GF flour mix or (probably) another flour mix. Works well.

FROM:
http://glutenfreeinthegreens.blogspot.com/2007/11/gluten-free-challah.html

Gluten-Free Challah

½ cup tapioca flour
½ cup sorghum flour
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup white rice flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. yeast
1 tbsp. xanthum gum
2 tbsp. dried milk powder or almond meal

2 tbsp. potato flakes
1 cup warm water
¼ cup oil
¼ cup honey
3 eggs

cooking spray
sesame or poppy seeds

Turn the oven to 200. Spray the pan (I use a Kaiser Bakeware Laforme Braided Loaf Pan) with cooking spray and sprinkle with your seeds of choice.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Dissolve the potato flakes in the water. Add the water/potato mixture, oil, honey, and eggs to the dry ingredients. Mix on medium for 2 minutes, until the batter looks like pudding. Transfer to the baking pan. Put the pan in the oven and turn the oven off. Let the dough rise until it reaches the top of the pan, about 30-35 min.

Turn the oven to 350 and bake for 50 min. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Freeze leftovers, if you don’t finish the loaf within 2-3 days.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2013, 02:08:48 PM »
Great thread - Thanks again for sharing. GF has changed our lives so it is worth the cost, but doing it on the cheap is even better.

Daley

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2013, 02:34:17 PM »
After having to go gluten free myself a couple years back, my brother in law bought us this cookbook:

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring

There's some handy and reasonably cost effective recipes in there, but the cheapest ones are for recipes that don't try to replicate foods from the SAD pantheon of eats.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2013, 03:10:05 PM »
Yeah, gluten free is only expensive if you try to replicate a lot of wheat based foods.

Rice and potatoes are dirt cheap substitute starches.

And you can actually save money going gluten-free if it means you make more meals at home.

Mrs MM

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2013, 04:55:44 PM »
We just stay away from gluten substitutes. Sometimes we use corn tortillas and rice, but most of the time it's a lot of veggies and some meat.

ESunday

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2013, 05:53:50 PM »
Quinoa is a great addition to tons of meals. It has protein, fiber, iron, calcium etc... not to mention that it is easy to digest which is especially nice if you have Celiacs (like I do) and your digestive system is all funky.

oldtoyota

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2013, 06:32:04 PM »
Wow. Already a lot of great ideas! Thanks, guys!

I discovered a French street food snack at a place in DC. It's a flat bread and can be used as a substitute pizza crust or as a cracker to use with dips.

It's called socca and is made from chickpea flour (which I bought at an Indian grocery).

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-socca-a-naturally-gluten-free-chickpea-flatbread-169513

kkbmustang

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2013, 08:51:59 PM »
Wow. Already a lot of great ideas! Thanks, guys!

I discovered a French street food snack at a place in DC. It's a flat bread and can be used as a substitute pizza crust or as a cracker to use with dips.

It's called socca and is made from chickpea flour (which I bought at an Indian grocery).

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-socca-a-naturally-gluten-free-chickpea-flatbread-169513

I will definitely try this. Last weekend I shopped at Sprouts and found an amazing GF Tikka Marsala sauce I poured over chicken, rice and roasted potatoes. Could've used a few veggies, buy day-um it was good! Totally getting it again. It came in a little white pouch and was in liquid form. I will be stocking my pantry with that.

Nudelkopf

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2013, 10:48:39 PM »
Yeah, gluten free is only expensive if you try to replicate a lot of wheat based foods.
Rice and potatoes are dirt cheap substitute starches.
And you can actually save money going gluten-free if it means you make more meals at home.
Exactly. Even with my non-gluten free diet, the only gluten is in my cereal.  (Other than in small amounts in random foods like jam/your jelly)

Roses

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2013, 01:19:13 AM »
+ 1 for Socca, that's awesome stuff.

One of my favorites is polenta.  It's a bit carb heavy but great when you want something other than meat and produce.  You can make creamy polenta or a more solid type that can make a great polenta fries!  Also it's super cheap and easy to make.

I also love Ethiopian food.  Just a bunch of veggies and meat piled on Injera (a pancake-like thing made of teff flour - naturally GF).  It's a very cheap meal out but even cheaper if made at home.

Agree with those who have said just avoid trying to replicate things that are made from wheat with complex GF flour mixtures.  It never tastes the same anyway.

Roses

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2013, 01:20:11 AM »
Make dosas! They're fantastic and naturally gluten free. I don't have a blender, so I buy the mix pre-made from the Indian grocer, but it's easy to make from scratch if you have one.

Love dosas but never made them.  Do you have a recipe to share?

oldtoyota

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2013, 06:35:41 AM »
Yeah, gluten free is only expensive if you try to replicate a lot of wheat based foods.
Rice and potatoes are dirt cheap substitute starches.
And you can actually save money going gluten-free if it means you make more meals at home.
Exactly. Even with my non-gluten free diet, the only gluten is in my cereal.  (Other than in small amounts in random foods like jam/your jelly)

Absolutely true! Bread is the tricky one for me. A lot of times, I've just gone without bread. However, I sure do like to eat a sandwich from time to time.

We stopped buying salad dressing and started to make some from vinegar/olive oil and assorted herbs. Sometimes, salad dressing has hidden gluten. I don't want to spend time reading the fine print in labels and trying to figure out if the chemical-sounding names are gluten or not. So much easier to make my own!


oldtoyota

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2013, 06:37:51 AM »
+ 1 for Socca, that's awesome stuff.

One of my favorites is polenta.  It's a bit carb heavy but great when you want something other than meat and produce.  You can make creamy polenta or a more solid type that can make a great polenta fries!  Also it's super cheap and easy to make.

I also love Ethiopian food.  Just a bunch of veggies and meat piled on Injera (a pancake-like thing made of teff flour - naturally GF).  It's a very cheap meal out but even cheaper if made at home.

Agree with those who have said just avoid trying to replicate things that are made from wheat with complex GF flour mixtures.  It never tastes the same anyway.

Just FYI. If you decide to eat Ethiopian food in a restaurant, they often use wheat flour along with teff in the injera. I have not found a restaurant in Maryland or DC that does not use wheat flour for 50% of the flour in the injera. I tried to make my own, and it was not a success. That doesn't mean I won't try again though!


Kazimieras

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2013, 09:26:21 AM »
For those out there that lack culinary skills, there is a way to reduce the cost of being glutent free (at least up here in Canada). If you are diagnosed with a gluten intolerance (by a doctor), you can apply to a tax credit that can help out. It is a pain, but you can deduct the difference between the gluten free item and the "regular" item. Example: Normally you buy a pack of pasta and it costs $1, and the gluten free variety costs $2.50. You would be able to then deduct the difference of $1.50 on your taxes. (note these numbers are from my head and picked for easy demonstrative purposes).
For those that make their own stuff - props :)

cats

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2013, 09:49:13 AM »
We eat a largely gluten-free diet: neither of us is at a celiac level of intolerance, but we both feel a lot better not eating it day-to-day.  I do most of our cooking, and as others have suggested, I mostly avoid flour/wheat substitutes.  We eat a lot of vegetables & legumes, some meat/fish, and things like quinoa or sweet potatoes.  Also, we don't skimp on the fat when cooking--olive oil, coconut milk/cream, nuts, etc.  We aren't chugging olive oil straight from the bottle, but we aren't fat-phobic either.  I find that additional fat helps keep you from wanting to go on a big bread/pasta bender, so the fact that you aren't really eating it anymore isn't such a big deal.  And, as MMM has pointed out many times, fat is great value in terms of calorie/dollar. 

When we do want something more treat-like, I make it myself, which is cheaper, even if it's still kind of a food splurge.  The boyfriend and I (well, now mostly me...) started a little food blog earlier this summer, and I have been compiling some of our recipes on there, here's the link to our recipe page, if anyone is interested.

KittyFooFoo

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2013, 11:11:56 AM »
I eat a pretty much gluten-free diet based off of Justin Lascek's recommendations in his great book Paleo for Lifters http://70sbig.com/blog/2013/07/paleo-for-lifters-qa/.  I eat what most people would consider a lot of food (~4,000 calories a day).

Basic summary is meat, eggs, more meat, potatoes, white rice, vegetables; don't forget to kill everything with olive oil and butter.  I am throwing in whole milk for more easy, cheap calories as dairy doesn't bother me.

Here is what I eat pretty much every day (not a picky eater):

Breakfast: 6 eggs with spinach, hash browns with butter.  ~$0.75 for ~800 cal
Lunch: Two chicken thighs topped with olive oil, cup of white rice with butter ~$1.25 for ~960 cal
Dinner: Pound of ground beef, mashed potatoes with butter, frozen broccoli ~$4 for ~1400 cal
Snacks: Maybe a pint of milk and .5 cup nuts. ~$0.80 for ~700 cal

That's about 4000 cal for $7.  This reminds me that I need to go eat.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 11:14:16 AM by KittyFooFoo »

oldtoyota

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2013, 06:12:16 PM »
I made GF "lara" bars from scratch.

1 cup almonds
1 cup pitted dates
4 tbs cocoa powder

Grind the almonds in a food processor. Add in the dates and cocoa and blend until it reaches the consistency of a lara bar. Press into an 8 x 8 pan. Refrigerate. Cut and serve.

You can play around with the ingredients--add choc chips, use coconut powder instead of cocoa, added dried cherries. etc.

PS: Recipe above is from the Eliott Homestead blog.

travelbug

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2013, 09:12:19 PM »
We generally don't try to substitute wheat products and that keeps the cost down.

Last night we had tacos for dinner and used cos lettuce leaves for the taco shell. YUM.

We eat mostly vegies, meat, nuts, homemade snacks using coconut oil, cocoa, nuts, fruit for snacks.

Our children still eat some oats and rice based stuff but DH and I are now grain free and loving it.

PlayOutside

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2013, 09:33:29 PM »
I make homemade coconut butter (toast coconut then blend the heck out of it) and homemade peanut butter (roast peanuts- 350 for 8-10 min, toss in blender with some sugar, little salt, and some oil & blend up) and serve either or both with a banana as a dipper, then sprinkle with certified GF enjoy life chocolate chips! A favorite w my kids!

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2013, 09:16:35 AM »
I made GF "lara" bars from scratch.

1 cup almonds
1 cup pitted dates
4 tbs cocoa powder

Grind the almonds in a food processor. Add in the dates and cocoa and blend until it reaches the consistency of a lara bar. Press into an 8 x 8 pan. Refrigerate. Cut and serve.

You can play around with the ingredients--add choc chips, use coconut powder instead of cocoa, added dried cherries. etc.

PS: Recipe above is from the Eliott Homestead blog.

Good one! I love those things.

oldtoyota

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2013, 01:53:21 PM »
I make homemade coconut butter (toast coconut then blend the heck out of it) and homemade peanut butter (roast peanuts- 350 for 8-10 min, toss in blender with some sugar, little salt, and some oil & blend up) and serve either or both with a banana as a dipper, then sprinkle with certified GF enjoy life chocolate chips! A favorite w my kids!

Sounds heavenly!

decibelle

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2013, 10:58:11 PM »
I suggest doing more Asian recipes.  Some favorites are Pad Thai, Filipino Pancit, Indonesian curry...etc. or just go simple with many variations of fried rice.  If you want to try a different type of bread, try steamed rice cakes.

mindaugas

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2013, 04:18:30 PM »
Yeah, gluten free is only expensive if you try to replicate a lot of wheat based foods.
Yeah, exactly. GF flour/mixes is still much more expensive. And then pillsberry went and made this ...

http://www.pillsbury.com/products/gluten-free/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough

It's a little over $4, and me and my son chow down on this straight from the tub. Then we run like banshees around the house on sugar highs until we crash.

Corned beef is pretty cheap, easy to make, and lasts a while. A lot of mexican food is easy to make and gf. Enchiladas! Single malt Scotch is gluten free.

Zoe

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2013, 11:38:16 AM »
I am going to echo others in saying that it is only expensive if you try to replicate wheat products. We are primal/paleo and I do make a few "bread" items every now and then.

I make this one at least once a week: http://thecoconutmama.com/2012/01/grain-free-flat-bread/

You can change it up by adding stuff to it too. I've been adding poppy seeds and minced onion for a faux everything bagel. Friggin delicious.

And for a wicked fast dinner the other night, I pan seared a steak (med rare), threw in a sliced up zucchini, added some Kerry Gold butter, and baked 2 sweet potatoes, also with a couple pats of Kerry Gold and some coconut sugar and cinnamon.

And that was just for me! Hah! I did not miss bread/rolls/whatever one little tiny bit.

I follow Nom Nom Paleo's blog for other ideas too.

oldtoyota

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2013, 07:54:34 PM »
Yes, it is expensive when you try to imitate wheat products. I love eating pizza, and it's not easy to find a good crust recipe.

Here is one that worked well:
http://minimalistbaker.com/the-best-gluten-free-pizza-crust-sauce/

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2013, 09:27:31 AM »
Eggplants are $1 each at our market... they give about 2.5 servings each -- not bad for a buck! Pan fried with olive oil and some spices topped with tomato sauce is my favorite way to eat them.

oldtoyota

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2013, 10:16:19 AM »
Eggplants are $1 each at our market... they give about 2.5 servings each -- not bad for a buck! Pan fried with olive oil and some spices topped with tomato sauce is my favorite way to eat them.

Great idea!

oldtoyota

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2013, 10:20:30 AM »
Fried Veggie Patties (similar to Indian pakoras)

1/2 cup shredded carrot OR sweet potato OR corn
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (powdered)
3 TBS GF flour (I used combo of brown rice flour, sorghum flour, etc. I would not use all brown rice flour since it's rather heavy.)
1 tbsp grated onion
dash of salt

Mix all of above together.

Beat one egg (Do not add to the above yet.)

Get griddle hot and oiled. When it's hot, beat an egg and add it to the mixture above. Mix it all up.

Drop by the TBS and fry on each side.

You can make or use a dipping sauce for this too. Since I had some around, I used TJ's hot chili pepper sauce.

mindaugas

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2013, 11:20:15 AM »
I found a bread maker at Saver's for $6 that looked like it had never been used. Still cleaned the shit out of it, just in case glutens I guess.
Bought this for $4.23 at King Soopers.
http://pamelasproducts.com/products/baking-mixes/pamelas-gluten-free-bread-mix/

... I'm never buying bread again.

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2013, 08:14:56 AM »
Forget about the immediate extra costs (and there are plenty) of trying to substitute gluten foods with gluten-free foods; there's also the health costs. A lot of those replacements are loaded with sugar and chemicals. There's a suspiciously high rate of diabetes in the gluten-free community and some suspect this is the reason. Talk about added expense! Those health bills will soar.

Whole foods are healthiest and end up being the cheapest. They really fill you up better than processed foods, so even though they cost more, my grocery bills went way down.

Think about what you eat the most, and take the time to figure out where to find those items inexpensively. For example, I want to have oatmeal and gluten-free oats are hard to find, but Trader Joe's has them and they're reasonably priced. TJ's also has coconut milk (I'm also dairy-free) that I can use for my smoothies. In general TJ's has great gluten-free labeling practices and a good list on their site of their gluten-free foods.

Also, look for foods you already like that are naturally gluten-free. A lot of Mexican and Indian foods, for example, are made with corn, chickpea flour, lentils, and other foods you could eat.

Good luck!

oldtoyota

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Re: Gluten Free for Cheap
« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2013, 02:51:54 PM »
Forget about the immediate extra costs (and there are plenty) of trying to substitute gluten foods with gluten-free foods; there's also the health costs. A lot of those replacements are loaded with sugar and chemicals. There's a suspiciously high rate of diabetes in the gluten-free community and some suspect this is the reason. Talk about added expense! Those health bills will soar.


Sure. That is true if you buy the processed foods. When I talk about gluten replacements, I am usually referring to GF flour. I make all my own foods--granola, bread, soups, cookies, crackers, etc--about 90% of the time. The other 10% or less is when I get lazy and we buy rice crackers or the occasional canned chili for "stoo-pid dinner nights."