Quick and Easy Dinners for a Gluten Free, Casein Free Diet
Following a Gluten Free, Casein Free Diet is not easy, and requires time, effort and commitment. Being a lazy cook myself, I have developed some easy, quick recipes that make my life a lot easier at dinner time. These are tasty, and even my kids will eat them!
Tacos- For this dish, you need to be sure that you start with a taco shell that is gluten-free, and that any spices you use are gluten free. I use Ortega’s Taco Kit.
Make the tacos as you normally would, with the exception of the cheese. If you like, add a little shredded carrot for the look of cheese, and a little sweetness. Pile on the gluten free salsa, and for sides, black beans or rice work nicely. For an easy rice side, add chicken stock and gluten free chili seasoning to the rice before cooking
This one is super-easy and my kids love it! Pour 2 cups of long grain white or brown rice into a large casserole dish. Distribute evenly on the bottom of the dish. Add 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, lightly pounded, and the raw vegetables of your choice. I have had success with carrots, peas, and broccoli. Add 4 cups of gluten-free chicken stock, or enough to cover the rice and chicken. For extra flavor, I add a packet of Good Seasons Italian dressing mix, sprinkled over the top. Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil, and bake 35-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender. Depending on the type of rice you use, you may need to add additional liquid in the last ten minutes of cooking, if the rice has absorbed it all. Let stand for about 10 minutes before removing foil, and serve.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Starting with one of the available brown rice or corn pastas, this is an easy dish that is always a favorite.
Sauce- There are several brands available in your supermarket, or you can make sauce from scratch.
Meatballs- These can either be made in the traditional way, using eggs, spices and a gluten-free bread crumb mix, or they can be made simply by rolling ground beef or turkey with a little gluten-free flour. I usually just simmer the sauce, drop balls of ground meat into the sauce, and continue simmering until cooked through.
Barbeque Pork Chops With Mashed Potatoes
For the pork chops, I just place them in a pan with a bit of olive or canola oil, top with a tablespoon of barbeque sauce and some fresh sliced onion, and bake for about 20 minutes until cooked through. You can turn on the broiler at the end to get the onions extra crispy.
The real challenge here is the mashed potatoes. My son loves them, and they are no small feat when trying to avoid gluten and casein. Here are my suggestions.
Instead of the milk and butter used in regular mashed potatoes, try any of the following:
-Garlic powder or roasted garlic
-Corn based margarine such as Fleishman’s Light in the Tub
-Rice, soy, or potato milk
-Ghee (note that this is dairy derived, but many feel that it is entirely fat, and no milk protein is present, use at own risk if you are sensitive to dairy)
I have also had success in adding a sweet flavor to my mashed potatoes by combining them with either sweet potatoes or carrots.
Eating on a Gluten Free, Casein Free diet doesn’t have to be boring or bland. Best of all, with some creative cooking, you don’t have to be a master chef, or spend all day in the kitchen to make your family a delicious gluten and casein free meal.