A Naturally Gluten Free Day on a Budget

Updated: Feb 5

After returning home from the States at Christmas, I sat through a long January of job-searching. In turn, I sat through a long January of dwindled funds. It’s times like these when the cost of gluten free food hits deep and 5 euro bread just doesn’t make the cut. So, in order to survive this desperate month, I found myself leaning towards a naturally gluten free diet. Not only was this financially beneficial, but I was left satisfied without the sluggish feeling after each meal. Below you’ll find one of my general days of eating healthy, naturally gluten free meals. As always, these meals are quick, easy and satisfying. Slow cooking is something I have neither the patience nor the effort to introduce into my life.


Breakfast

This meal usually begins as an omelette but I get frustrated after failing to fold it correctly. I therefore end up aggressively mixing it all up to make it into an egg scramble. It doesn’t affect the taste, however your assaulted eggs are less instagrammable. This is not complicated and I am aware that everyone can make scrambled eggs. However, I like to get specific:

  • Dice ½ sweet yellow onion into fine pieces

  • Cut up 3 whole large white mushrooms

  • Chop up red pepper

  • Throw into pan with heated oil (I use this one- only 1 cal per spray!)

  • Mix with wooden spoon until the onion is translucent

  • Add 2-3 eggs

  • Add 1/2 cup of black beans

  • Add teaspoon of tomato paste & sprinkle some basil

  • Mix all together until eggs are visibly scrambled.




Lunch

This is one of my go-to lunches and can go anywhere in a tupperware. I use chicken as my protein source but I feel as though I’m one of the very few people left in the world that still eats chicken. Tofu is therefore another option. I use feta cheese as the topping. Only a small sprinkle makes a massive difference to the taste. Feta is a cheese that is lower in calories and fat and higher in protein. It's made from sheep or a mixture of sheep and goats milk rather than cows, so it's known to be easier to digest too.

  • Pop the chicken in the oven (or cook the night before)

  • Boil the broccoli and sugar snaps.

  • Chop up ½ sweet yellow onion, ¼ red pepper, ¼ courgette & mushrooms

  • Crush ½ garlic clove

  • Throw all the vegetables and garlic into a heated pan

  • Add ¾ can of chickpeas

  • Sprinkle in a bit of black pepper and add a teaspoon of tomato paste

  • Once the chicken is done pop it all into a bowl or a lunchbox

  • Sprinkle about 10g of feta cheese on top.



Dinner

I could happily have this dinner every night for the rest of my life. It’s filling, tasty and packed with healthy ingredients. What’s more, it’s blissfully uncomplicated and takes no more than 15 minutes to throw together.

  • Pour 1/4 cup of coconut milk in a pot and leave on low heat

  • Dice ½ yellow onion into very fine pieces and fry in a heated pan until translucent

  • Add onion to simmering coconut milk with a vegetable stock cube and a dash of curry powder

  • Prepare your other veggies- chop up ¼ of courgette, trim the asparagus and crush ½ a garlic clove

  • Throw these veggies into the heated pan with ½ cup of black beans

  • Once fried, add them all into the pot

  • Microwave Uncle Ben’s microwavable brown rice for 90 seconds because why would anyone would cook their own rice when these packets of convenience exist.

  • Add the rice in a bowl (I use about two tablespoons)

  • Pour the coconut milk concoction over it then add half a chopped up avocado.



Now, one does not simply eat three meals and then go to bed. Here are some naturally gluten free snacks that you’ll find by my side throughout the day:


Corn Cakes

I’ve said this before but I will say it again. Corn cakes are not to be confused with rice cakes. I will not touch a rice cake yet I cannot go a day without a corn cake. This brand was my favourite that I found in America. In Ireland, I use Kelkin. There you have it, I am very specific with my grain based thin. Every night before bed I have 3 corn cakes topped with hummus and cut up cucumber. It’s the perfect, light snack before you hit the hay. Having said this you can put anything on a corn cake as I’ve expressed before- even some smoked salmon if you’re feeling a bit ostentatious.



Greek Yoghurt & Berries

Another favourite to keep me going until the next meal-time is greek yoghurt. This Fage 0% greek yoghurt is a great alternative to other 'natural' yogurts that are usually full of sugar. I get the big pot and put about 2 large tablespoons into a cup then top it off with blueberries and raspberries.


Hummus & Veggies

Carrots and hummus, red pepper and hummus, cauliflower and hummus. Pair anything with hummus and it will be delightful!


Brussels Sprouts

Every year I go through a phase of becoming obsessed with a random food. My 2020 weird food craving is brussels sprouts. Before you judge, peel them, parboil them then add them to a heated pan. Add salt and pepper and thank me later.


That concludes my go-to meals and snacks when I don't feel like being ripped off to eat food. I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any other naturally gluten free carbs that you find note-worthy, please let me know!

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