Quick and Easy Gluten-Free Meals Print

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According to a new national survey, approximately 4.3 million Canadians (12.3 per cent) have gone gluten-free, or have reduced gluten in their diets. The Canadian Attitudes to Gluten-Free Study, commissioned by Udi’s Healthy Foods, surveyed 2,530 randomly selected Canadian adults. The survey also revealed that British Columbians are most likely to have made the switch (17 per cent), followed by those in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta (12 per cent in each province).

gluten free mealsWhat is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten in flour helps to provide bread and other baked goods with strength, structure and good texture. Gluten is also found in smaller amounts in foods such as commercial soups, salad dressings, sauces and other foods made with hydrolyzed wheat protein or other gluten-containing ingredients.

If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, it is very important to follow a gluten-free diet for your health.

Removing gluten from your diet might sound simple, but gluten is found in many foods in trace amounts and can also be cross-contaminated in manufacturing plants.

Look for labels that promote gluten-free and if you are unsure you can contact the producer directly that is typically listed on the package to find out more.

What are some of the challenges of following a gluten-free diet?

The top three challenges we hear from clients we see in our practice following a gluten-free diet are:

1. Preparing gluten-free grain/starch options

Remember some of the basic foods you likely already have in your household are healthy gluten-free options that supply carbohydrates needed for your brain and muscles, such as potatoes, yams, corn, rice and rice noodles. Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas and black beans are also healthy carbohydrates loaded with nutrition.

Some foods that require minimal preparation that are easy to add into your meals include gluten-free bread, rice/quinoa crackers, corn tortillas and corn tortilla chips. There are many gluten-free ready-to-serve breakfast cereals, as well as hot cereals that make breakfast and snacks easy.

Note that oats are cross-contaminated unless advertised gluten-free.

Try the growing selection of gluten-free pasta options available such as rice, quinoa, oat or corn based pastas. For the adventuresome eater, try some of the other highly nutritious gluten-free grains such as quinoa, millet, amaranth or buckwheat. For baking items such as muffins and pancakes, try out a gluten-free flour recipe using an assortment of flours or buy a pre-mixed version.

2. Awareness of hidden sources of gluten

Work with a registered dietitian and the resources from the Canadian Celiac Association to understand the hidden and cross-contaminated ways you may find gluten in your diet.

Some of the common surprises for our clients that contain gluten include items such as soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, commercial soups/soup bases, licorice, some chocolate, some deli meats/sausages and beer. Look for properly labelled gluten-free options of these foods.

Some of the most common cross-contaminated foods include commercial oats (unless labelled gluten-free), as well as restaurant meals (especially those placed in a deep fryer). Use a separate toaster and condiment containers for items such as peanut butter, butter/margarine and jam than other family members.

3. Finding good quality substitutes for favourite foods

The Canadian Celiac Association, gluten-free cookbooks and an online gluten-free community is a great place to collaborate about the best recipes and reliable products.

Many of our clients have found in the past the quality and texture of many gluten-free baked goods are poor, but the good news is that there are now so many more delicious products available that you can find at your regular grocery store.

5 fast gluten-free menu ideas

  1. Homemade sweet potato oven fries, baked chicken with gluten-free herbs and steamed veggies.
  2. Taco salad with tossed green salad, ground meat/poultry with gluten-free seasonings, green peppers, corn, gluten-free salsa, sour cream and gluten-free taco chips.
  3. Gluten-free bread made into French toast with fresh fruit and cottage cheese or yogurt.
  4. Stir-fry with mixed veggies, shrimp/beef and gluten-free soy/teriyaki sauce and rice or rice noodles.
  5. Rice or quinoa based salad with toasted seeds/nuts, black beans/chick peas and raw or leftover roasted veggies with a vinaigrette.


Hawaiian Whole Grain Pizza Fingers

Gluten Free Hawaiian Whole Grain Pizza Fingers - Udi's Gluten FreeRecipe from registered dietitian Stephanie Clairmont at The Clairmont Digestive Clinic, courtesy of www.udisglutenfree.com

 

 

What You Need

1/4 cup (60ml) gluten-free pizza sauce
4 slices Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread
1/4 cup (60ml) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. (30ml) chopped fresh pineapple, drained
2 Tbsp. (30ml) diced ham
Olive oil, margarine, or butter to coat pan.

How To Prepare

Spread 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce on one side of a bread slice. Top with half the cheese, pineapple, and ham and place another bread slice on top. Lightly coat a non-stick frying pan with olive oil, margarine, or butter and warm over medium heat. Add the sandwich and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown, flipping once. Transfer to a plate and make the second sandwich with the remaining ingredients. Slice each sandwich into four “fingers” and serve with the remaining pizza sauce on the side for dipping. Allow sandwiches to cool completely before packing for lunch to prevent sogginess. Makes 2 servings.

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About Andrea Holwegner

CEO, Registered Dietitian, Counseling Practice Director & Professional Speaker

Andrea the «Chocoholic Nutritionist» is founder and CEO of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. since 2000. She is an online nutrition course creator, professional speaker and regular guest in the media. Andrea is the recipient of an award by the Dietitians of Canada: The Speaking of Food & Healthy Living Award for Excellence in Consumer Education....Read more

Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
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Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

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Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Andrea is an excellent teacher and motivator. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
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