Gluten-Free Vegetarian Dishes
Going gluten free can be remarkably easy if you are a vegetarian. Fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten free, allowing you to eat the majority of your vegetarian meals without any significant changes. However, many vegetarians rely on gluten-containing grains as a large part of their diet. A combination of reducing grain consumption and using some gluten-free options can help you improve your overall health and save money, too.
Gluten Rich Foods
Wheat is the number one gluten-rich food and can be difficult to cut out of your diet due to its prevalence in many of the dishes we eat, as well as condiments like BBQ sauce, Soy sauce, and many packaged foods. Accordingly, moving away from these processed foods will help you avoid cross-contamination. As you plan meals, remember that there are plenty of options beyond rice. For example, quinoa is gluten-free and is a delicious, high-protein replacement for wheat in gluten-free vegetarian dishes. Quinoa cannot be used to replace wheat flour, however. Potato flour, almond flour, or rice flour are all possible replacements for wheat when baking a delicious, gluten-free dish.
Naturally Gluten Free
Once you have replaced your wheat-based food products with gluten-free options, the rest of your meal planning should be relatively easy. Explore new ways to make fresh veggies the centerpiece of your meal (roasting, broiling, braising), and serve with a gluten-free base like:
- Rice: Rice is one of the most commonly consumed foods in the world, but it is surprising to many to learn that this amazing staple is in fact, gluten free. A side dish of rice can add balance to almost every meal without breaking your budget. Try wild rice or “forbidden” black rice for striking colors, essential plant flavonoids, and nutty, bold flavor.
- Chia Seeds: If you are looking for a versatile gluten-free option to add extra nutritional value to you vegetarian dish, look no further than chia seeds. You can add chia seeds to salads as garnish or throw some in your vegetarian smoothies for an extra boost of protein. Add a few teaspoons to your veggie stir-fry for extra protein and texture.
- Teff: Teff is one of the best gluten-free grains around because it is so high in dietary fiber and protein, which also makes it an attractive vegetarian option. If you buy it in bulk, it’s quite affordable. Teff cooks similarly to quinoa and is rich in many essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and thiamine.
If you are interested in vegetarian or gluten-free meal plans, or any of the other meal plans we offer, you can view our selection here.