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Undoubtedly, it can be challenging to live a gluten-free lifestyle. At first, it feels like everything contains gluten. Later, it feels like you’re always eating the same thing. Mix up your future lunch plans with these five amazing gluten-free lunch ideas!
Remember: Tips for living a gluten-free life always include one point: planning ahead!
No matter what you choose for lunch, you’ll be much less stressed about your food if you plan a few great gluten-free meals ahead of time. Then, you can simply choose your preference on days when finding the right meal seems impossible.
#1: Unique Rice Bowls
Rice is a staple of many gluten-free diets, but don’t let that stop you from thinking there aren’t fun ways to mix up what you’re eating. Rice bowls are one of the easiest lunch meals to take to work or mix up at home, and they are also very affordable.
Try some of the following rice bowl ideas for your next lunch:
- Mexican rice with sauteed spinach, pinto beans, and dressing
- Jasmine rice with tempeh, GF soy sauce, and mushrooms
- Rice with pickled red cabbage, protein of choice, and peppers
The idea is to mix rice, protein, a dressing, and some veggies. You’ll get a well-balanced meal packed with energy to keep you moving all day long.
#2: Chickpea or GF Pasta Salad
A classic picnic stable, some don’t realize how delicious pasta salad dishes can be for lunch. Preparing a chickpea salad or a gluten-free pasta salad is an easy, tasty lunch. Plus, you can prepare this in advance and utilize it for a few meals throughout the week.
Don’t forget to spice up what you include in these salads regularly! If you keep your recipe the same every time, your diet will start to bore you.
If you make an Italian dressing-based salad one week, try making a chickpea salad that utilizes Greek flavours like feta cheese, oregano, and similar spices. You’ll be amazed by how many different flavour profiles can be created.
#3: Upgrading Classic Lunch Sandwiches
Changing to a gluten-free diet isn’t always easy. It can feel like some of your favourite meals from before you went gluten-free are out of reach now. For lunch, the classics of a grilled cheese sandwich, a PB&J, or another sandwich aren’t exactly the same when moving to gluten-free.
Don’t let that stop you from getting inventive about lunchtime sandwiches. Even if your base bread is going to need to be gluten-free, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep creating unique sandwiches with the toppings included.
Here are some fantastic lunch sandwich ideas for gluten-free diets:
- Almond butter and honey sandwich with bananas
- Mozzarella, tomato, and pesto sandwich
- Tuna salad, red onion, and lettuce sandwich
#4: Creative Oats!
Overnight oats were once all the rage for breakfast, but what about for lunch? Brunch is a popular meal. We don’t always think about still including breakfast elements in our lunches. There is room to get creative with breakfast-inspired, gluten-free lunch options.
Overnight oats made with soy or your preferred milk can be a great option. Supplement these oats with your favourite fruits, almond butter for protein, and honey for sweetness—mix and match which ingredients you bring to customize your oats to your palette.
Another way to get creative with oats is to make your own oatmeal bars. These bars can be made in advance. Combine your favourite oatmeal bar ingredients, like chocolate and dried fried, and spread them out before baking them into oatmeal bars. You’ll love having these as snacks with your lunch!
#5: Supplement with Snacks
If you’re looking for good ways to fill out your meal, don’t forget that you can build up any meal with unique sides.
Homemade hummus with GF pita or crackers is a great choice. Some people stuff cucumbers with tuna salad and cut this up into easy-to-eat slices. This dark, chocolaty popcorn is a great sweet and salty way to finish any meal with a flourish.
Think about what your meal is missing, and add that flavour component. This is the best way to take any meal from “okay” to “amazing!”