Gluten-Free Meal Plan on a Budget

People with celiac disease must eat a diet free of gluten, a complex protein that causes gastrointestinal complications in humans. Gluten-free brands are available in the market, but certain fruits, dairy, vegetables, and meat are gluten-free naturally. You may need to find a list of gluten-free foods you can consume daily to make sure you meet the nutrient requirements.

We find gluten proteins in whole grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and oats. As we include them in our regular dietary foods, people with a gluten allergy must follow a separate diet suiting their lifestyle. They can buy a variety of gluten-free replacement products such as buckwheat, rice, quinoa, and amaranth. However, these are expensive and following a gluten-free diet needs a separate budget and conscious choices.

What Can I Eat on a Gluten-Free Diet?

Most of you search whether a specific ingredient is gluten-free before adding it to your diet. This is a painstaking and extensive process. If you have a gluten intolerance, choose naturally gluten-free products in your diet. These include,

Fruits: Apples, oranges, lemon, sweet lime, berries, peach, pear, grapefruit

Vegetables: Cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, kale, swiss chard, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, carrots, radishes, green beans, squash, and gourds.

Dairy: Milk, butter, ghee, cheese, artisanal cheese, sour cream, yogurt,

Grains: Quinoa, brown rice, white rice, wild rice, buckwheat, sorghum, tapioca, millet, amaranth, arrowroot, and gluten-free labeled oats.

Proteins: Beans, peas, lentils, legumes, nuts, seeds, beef, pork, lamb, chicken. Turkey, fish, scallops, shellfish, tofu, tempeh, and edamame.

Oils: Butter, ghee, sesame oil, groundnut oil, canola oil, avocado oil, coconut, and olive oil.

Spices: Powdered spices such as turmeric, chili, coriander, cumin, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and mustard.

Beverages: coffee, tea, flavored tea, lemonade, soda, and water.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Processed foods
  • Frozen foods
  • Pre-made Foods
  • Marinated Foods
  • Pre-made juices and smoothies
  • Malt beverages
  • Store-bought sauces and condiments
  • Wheat-based soy sauce
  • Foods with Gluten stabilizers
  • Foods with Gluten Emulsifiers
  • Starch-rich foods

Budget-Friendly Gluten-Free Meal Plan

Gluten-free products from the market are expensive because of the added labels and raw materials used for processing.  Stock up on cheap gluten-free foods instead of processed products and make an affordable meal plan for your family. You can buy a group of products and use them to make 10-15 meals a week.

I have attached a sample gluten-free meal plan template here. Download this and plan your week. This meal plan is for a family of two and costs 700 rupees or $10 for a week, but it can vary from country to country.

Gluten-free Meal Plan

Gluten-Free Meal Plan for a Day

I have prepared a simple gluten-free meal plan for a day with these ingredients. You can make several recipes with the same ingredients listed in the template. Mix and match according to your family’s needs and prepare these dishes for a week.

Overnight Meal prep (5 mins):

  • Wash and soak chickpeas in water for 8-12 hours.

On-the Day Meal Prep (60 mins):

Breakfast: String Hoppers with Sweetened Coconut Milk

String Hoppers with Coconut Milk
String Hoppers with Coconut Milk
  • Pour boiling water to 1 cup of rice flour and make it into a soft dough by adding a 1 tsp of salt. Cover the dough with a cloth and rest for 5 mins.
  • Apply oil to the string hopper machine. Stuff the rice flour dough and make it into tiny string hoppers on a steamer plate. Steam the plates for 8 minutes.
  • Open a can of coconut milk and add 4 tbsp of the milk in a bowl. Dilute the milk with a little water and sweeten it with 2 tbsp of sugar.
  • Enjoy the steamed hoppers with sweetened coconut milk.

Lunch: Steamed Rice with Coconut Milk Prawn Curry

Prawn curry with Rice
Steamed Rice with Prawn Coconut Milk Curry
  • Wash and soak white rice for 15 mins and steam cook.
  • Wash and clean fresh prawns. Chop 1 onion and 2 tomatoes. Slit 2 green chilies. Heat coconut oil (2 tbsp) in a pan. Add onion, tomato, chilies, salt, turmeric, chili powder, crushed cumin, and pepper powder. Cook for 10 mins. Add the prawns and cook for 5 mins. Finally, pour a cup of diluted coconut milk into the curry and switch off the stove. Garnish with curry leaves and coriander leaves if required.
  • Enjoy steamed rice with prawn curry for an afternoon meal.

Snack: Falafels

  • Grind soaked chickpeas with onion, cumin seeds, peppercorns, chili powder, salt, and 2 tsp rice flour in a mixer. Add salt and make into small patties. Shallow fry them until golden brown.
  • Enjoy these crispy falafels as a nutritious snack in the evening.

Dinner: Chickpea Flour Falafel Wrap

Falafel Wrap
Chickpea Flour Falafel Wrap
  • Mix 1 cup chickpea flour with 1 tsp rice flour and salt. Add 1 tsp of oil and make it into a dough by adding water. Make into a roti and cook them on both sides on a non-stick pan.
  • Stuff the falafel on the roti and add your desired vegetables such as chopped onion, tomato, cabbage, and coriander. Falafel wrap is ready.
  • Drink a glass of flavored yogurt or tea along with the wrap for a filling dinner.

Note:

  • Assemble the wrap when you eat. Apart from this, everything else can be prepared in the morning or at once.
  • The opened can of coconut milk and falafels stay good in the fridge for three days. Transfer them to air-tight containers.
  • You can refrigerate soaked chickpeas for 5 days.
  • Freeze the prawns for later use.
  • The rest of the ingredients will stay good on the kitchen counter.

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