Gluten and Dairy Free Meal Ideas

For the last few days I’ve been asking myself why I caved and made that spaghetti bruschetta the other day. I thought I was getting better because the symptoms were gone. Boy was I wrong. After eating more wheat products for a few more days after that spaghetti, I was back to the awful side effects. It wasn’t as bad as the first week but it was enough to make me do a few things.

1. I called my doctor and asked for the blood tests to be done.

2. I am avoiding all dairy and wheat/gluten products.

In the last 3 days I have been almost totally off of any type of gluten, to the best of my ability. It may have been hidden in the fries I had today because I did get a few stomach pains, palpitations and a runny nose within 1 hour of eating them. I will be surprised if the blood work doesn’t show any allergy/sensitivity to gluten or wheat because I know something is going on. So you might be asking what have I been eating. If you aren’t that’s ok too. I’ve made big salads with lots of fresh vegetables, roasted tomato-basil soup, and more. I have had more fruit than I normally eat with my favorite being apple slices dipped in peanut butter.

Here are some good substitutions I have discovered. Cornmeal and cornstarch can make a great substitute for flour when breading. Tonight I used just a fine ground cornmeal with some dried basil, dried oregano and garlic powder for flavoring to coat the chicken thighs we bought at Earth Fare. I kind of did a “dry fry” with only a little bit of olive oil.  Using the chicken thighs was a wise move because they stay very moist and the cornmeal stuck without an egg wash.  A few weeks ago I used a cornstarch-egg dip-cornmeal trio for some chicken breast strips to make chicken “fingers”. Those turned our very good but it was a messy process. Polenta is a great dish and very versatile. Once it’s made, you can spread it in a pan and cool, then cut into squares and fry them if you like.

I have been searching the internet for lists of safe foods and while I found Balsamic vinegar is supposed to be safe, apparently the brand I have includes some caramel coloring which can contain wheat, and it gave me a reaction. I made a white and black bean salad and used the Balsamic vinegar on it and a few hours later the symptoms returned. It was rough because I love that salad. I will just have to remake it with another type of dressing or buy new Balsamic. I also found garbanzo/fava bean flour and I can’t wait to try it out. I might make a traditional Italian food called Cecina (Farinata) . It can be used as a great pizza crust substitute.

The family has been great about all of this, maybe because I bought them ice cream and crackers even though I’m not eating them. I’m trying to make all of us happy when it comes to food.  I have not had any pasta or cheese cravings. I expected those but so far, nothing. Whew!

Snack ideas:

Any raw fruit or veggies

Blue corn chips

Corn chips

Homemade salsas

Potato chips


Rice cakes

Side dish ideas:

Bean salads

Tossed greens



Once you think outside of the wheat box you’ll begin to find a lot of other foods that are good for you and taste great. I hope to keep finding more foods that I can add to our menu because it will make this whole change a lot easier. As I continue to find more recipes and ideas I’ll be sure to share them with you.

4 thoughts on “Gluten and Dairy Free Meal Ideas

  1. Oh I need these ideas. The boys really seem to not do dairy at all! It has been hard lookign for recipes that don’t include any dairy products. I am thinking of going gluten free and wheat free to see if that also helps. At least I know it will be enjoyable to come to your house, cause I know you will all be aware of what is and is not okay for the twins to eat.

  2. I like your ideas! Breading with cornmeal is , i think, better on alot of things… love polenta. Can u have quinoa?

  3. Carbs make my nose rune, and, ummmm, spghetti makes me explode – andI LOVE spghetti! When I went on a low carb diet, I felt so much better. There are still awesome recipes out there. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!! Hope you get answers, soon, though – and I can’t wait to try some of your recipes for this dietary lifestyle.

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