5 Recipes to Try If You Are Cutting Back on Gluten

If you're trying to cut down on carbs in your diet or you've recently found out you have a gluten sensitivity, you may want to make some changes to your meals to reduce the amount of gluten you're consuming. Gluten is the protein from grains like wheat, barley, rye, and oats, and is found in several types of foods. However, these days you can find low-gluten and gluten-free alternatives that are delicious and filled with beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Here are five recipes to try if you're cutting back on your gluten intake.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

You may think you can't enjoy this childhood favorite if you've found out you can no longer have gluten. There are several gluten-free bread varieties for you to choose from to make a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. Since bread that doesn't contain gluten tends to be grainer, you may want to grill your sandwich with a mixture of butter and sour cream. You can also give your sandwich a little more character by adding grilled onions or spinach.

To make the tomato soup, puree chopped tomatoes with heavy cream, beef or vegetable broth, a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite fresh herbs. Top the soup with some fresh basil leaves and enjoy your gluten-free meal!

Taco Bowls

You don't have to give up Taco Tuesdays just because you're not eating flour tortillas anymore. Prepare a taco with grilled chicken, steak, or tofu. Add yellow or white rice and seasoned black or pinto beans. Grilled onions and peppers are a delicious addition to the taco bowl, and you can top all the ingredients in your bowl with salsa, shredded lettuce, or queso. This meal is gluten-free, and can even be low-carb if you omit the rice or substitute it for cauliflower rice.

Fried Rice

Even though the fried rice you may order at a Chinese restaurant is likely gluten-free, there are some seasonings and sauces that contain gluten. If you make your own fried rice at home, you can ensure the meal is gluten-free and low in sodium. Use day-old rice for this recipe -- add the rice to an oiled skillet. Add half a bag of frozen mixed vegetables and the chopped protein of your choice. Add some sesame oil and soy sauce to the skillet. Scramble an egg and add salt and pepper, then pour the egg mixture into the rice and stir. If you want to feel like you're having takeout, you can chop up some cabbage and carrots, season with sesame oil, salt, pepper, and rice wine vinegar and place the filling in gluten-free egg roll or spring roll wrappers to complete your meal.

Gluten-Free Baked Ziti

If you've been missing hearty pasta dishes, you can find gluten-free ziti noodles to make your own version of baked ziti. Bowl the noodles according to the package directions and warm your marinara sauce. If you're using store-bought sauce, you can add a little olive oil, pepper, and garlic to the sauce to enhance the flavor. If you prefer a little kick, add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper. In a small bowl, mix ricotta cheese, an egg, and milk together with a little lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Fold the ricotta mixture into the marinara sauce and pour a little of the sauce into a casserole dish. Add a layer of noodles, followed by a layer of sauce, and a layer of shredded mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese. Repeat this until the dish is full and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. You can serve the baked ziti with a side salad or gluten-free breadsticks.

Brown Sugar Ginger Salmon

Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and is filled with protein. Salmon is naturally gluten-free and you can pair it with foods like mashed sweet potatoes and sauteed kale for a meal that is completely free of gluten. You can prepare the salmon in a skillet with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then transfer the fish to a greased sheet pan once the fish is cooked partially through. Top the fillets with a mixture of brown sugar, minced or powdered ginger, soy sauce, and pepper. Broil the fish in the oven for about five minutes to caramelize the top. This meal takes less than 30 minutes to make and is filling and nutrient-rich.

These simple recipes are a great way to make sure you're getting adequate vitamins and minerals as you reduce gluten in your diet.

Author's Bio: 

Katie earned a BA in English from WWU and loves to write. She also adores hiking in redwood forests and photography. She feels happiest around a campfire surrounded by friends and family.