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MissHaberdasher

gluten-free For Broke College Kids

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I am still completely new to this and I've been on the gluten-free diet for about 6 months now. I just recently ran into a brick wall and have discovered that I need to start acknowledging my limitations.

I am looking for the most simple recipes possible. I have limited ingredients. I really need help, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I was so tired of looking up for emergency recipes and having only 2 out of 600 ingredients for every meal.

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okay I'm in the same situation as you. I've been on campus until now so I'm moving out for the rest of my degree. When I'm at home, particularly when I first started the diet, I pretty much just had grilled chicken, sometimes with herbs or garlic, with lettuce, tomato and grilled red onion and capsicum. Mainly because my mum was on a diet and it was what she was having. She buys stirfry cut chicken but buying chicken breast and cutting it yourself is cheaper adn what I plan to do.

Another thing that is great are soups! I just had one tonight that was this: i grilled chicken with garlic and in another pot boiled water. I stuck in some carrot, some cabbage (like only a little bit), corn and celery plus 500ml of water. That simmers for 10minutes or so. I still have plenty of all the vegies left in the fridge and I reckon it would be 2 serves. Oh and once I finished browning the chicken and garlic I stuck that in. Oh and I also put some red onion in the soup because I like it Obviously it's better to make more because you can just have it for another meal.

Another soup I like is a bit of a minestrone one. I can't remember what I put in it but it's not that big of a deal:

For the first step:

-turnip (or parsnip i think)

-potato

-brown onion

-carrot

-celery

(I'm sure you could stick other vegies in there if you wanted)

For later steps (ie don't stick them in the pot for the stock):

You also need some 'soup mix' which you see around and are basically packets of lentils and chickpeas. I couldn't find one that was gluten free so I just bought different types of those and mixed them together. The night before making the soup you will need to soak these in water.

You'll need some chili (if you like chili. you could leave it out) and/or any herbs you want to put in it

Instead of using stock, which is really salty and can be expensive plus not nearly as healthy, you make your own. You chop up those ingredients and put them in a pot with water. I can't remember how much but the more water, the less concentrated the taste will be.

After 2 hours or so you get rid of all the vegies that were in it. Make sure you keep the water, which i know is a really obvious thing to say, but yeah, just do that haha. Get your lentils which you have soaked, drained and rinsed and put them in. Also put any herbs in. Let it simmer for maybe 30 min or so. And voila. I'm pretty sure that was all there was to it. It was really yummy and SUPER cheap to make. You could stick some rice pasta in there if you wanted. I've also thought taking some of those chopped vegies and keeping them in there could be yummy.

As much as possible you should try to stay away from prepackaged gluten free stuff, because as you know they can be pretty expensive. They're also often fatty so it's not such a bad thing to make your own. Invest in a cookbook with gluten free recipes. I bought one recently (it was just a local person's book or I'd give you a link) that had some great recipes, though I know I won't cook many.

One I liked was chili and lime chicken. I can't remember quantities but basically you'll need the rind of one lime and the juice of three. Pair that with some garlic and some chili flakes and mix it all up. Get your bits of chicken and marinade it for a few hours, overnight if possible, drain it and grill it up. It's yummy and really only costs you the limes and the chicken. I made a HEAP and I could probably freeze it.

Oh and one important cheap recipe that is yummy is casserole. My mum and I make it the same way we always did, although we coat the beef in gluten free flour instead of the usual stuff and stick in gluten free worstechire sauce. To be honest with you, I really can't remember our recipe, but I'm sure you can find one easily enough. The great thing about casserole is you can easily get away with using cheaper bits of meat if you usually don't like them. It's also something you can make a heap of and maybe freeze?

My plan is to keep to as much natural stuff as possible. While fruit and veg can be expensive, they are cheaper than prepackaged things. The more you make yourself, the better. I'm by no means a great cook and most of the things I've listed are things I have cooked with my mother, not alone. They're pretty simple and all of what I have listed are things non-gluten free people have happily eaten. This may be good if you are living with some non-gluten-free people, but then again, you might not want to share.

As for baking and more sweet things, I haven't really cooked much in that way of things. I've made packet mixes, mainly because I've been on campus and on campus it is easier not to cook ehaps, at least where I was. Also I had more money then :P I'm sure others will be better at recipes for those sorts of things.

now I hope this actually posts because my internet has dropped out so I have to connect my phone. And after writing this I'm most definitely not going to not post it.

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I am still completely new to this and I've been on the gluten-free diet for about 6 months now. I just recently ran into a brick wall and have discovered that I need to start acknowledging my limitations.

I am looking for the most simple recipes possible. I have limited ingredients. I really need help, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I was so tired of looking up for emergency recipes and having only 2 out of 600 ingredients for every meal.

Tell us what you have to work with. I've got some nice recipes for meat/rice, beans/rice, noodles, etc.

Are you living in the dorm, or do you have a kitchen available? What ingredients do you have?

The best advice I can give (3 years in), is that you need to PLAN for food. If you think you can ignore it and pick up last minute quick dishes (like everyone else in college), you're going to get sick.

Make a plan. Cook food ahead of time, if you can. Freeze some things, keep some things in the refrigerator.

I now eat at least as well as I did before I 'got sick', but it takes a lot more planning, and more time in the kitchen. It's hard at first, but better once you've been doing it for a while.

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Dole distributes a bag of about 10 sweet potatoes that cost $1.99/bag. These are good microwaved, grilled or baked. I eat them plain, without any seasonings or butter. Have them about every other day.

Ground pork is inexpensive. I bought 1/2 a lb. today for $1.99. I'll brown that with a small chopped onion, and s&p, Then mix it with cooked rice and cheese, and use it to stuff peppers. (I stock up when the white cheeses like cheddar or mozzarella are on sale for 2 for $5, and shred my own, the Mexican crumbling cheese is good too.) This mixture is great in stuffed peppers, and they freeze well. (Bake the stuffed peppers at 400 degrees for an hour. I make these in batches and freeze them. After they're defrosted, you can microwave them for two minutes and have a decent meal. My rule of thumb is about a cup of rice per pepper. I always end up with more stuffing than needed, so I freeze that, and it's delicious on it it's own. (Had it for lunch today).

A mixture of dried rosemary and mustard is great as marinade for a pork chop, steak or chicken piece that you pan fry or broil. (Check for what's on sale, but chicken thighs are usually cheap.)

Cabbage is probably one of the best buys vegatble wise. It keeps forever. Mission corn tortillas are gluten-free. You can do a taco with sauteed ground beef (or pork) or shredded left over chicken and a little onion, add grated cabbage and cheese and a few dashes of tabasco sauce. Or you can shred cabbage to make coleslaw and add to soups.

If you have latin or oriental stores where you live, you may be amazaed at how much cheaper the prices are. I can buy 4 peppers for $1 at the latin store, Jasmine rice for $5 for a pound at the oriental store. You can make a boatload of rice with a lb. of rice.

Another cheap source is beans. Black beans and rice. Red beans and rice. Bean soup. None of those take many ingredients, I usually just add sauted onion and garlic, but if you didn't have garlic it wouldn't be a big deal.

Purchase whole chickens when they're on sale and cut them up. (Yuk, I don't like doing it, but it saves so much money.) Then I make my own chicken stock to freeze and have all those pieces to make sauteed chicken or soup or whatever else. (I've stuffed peppers with cooked chicken and rice and cheese too.)

Rice cakes and peanut butter is my go to meal when I can't deal with cooking. Rice cakes last quite awhile too. Hope this helps, and welcome to the forum.

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I am still completely new to this and I've been on the gluten-free diet for about 6 months now. I just recently ran into a brick wall and have discovered that I need to start acknowledging my limitations.

I am looking for the most simple recipes possible. I have limited ingredients. I really need help, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I was so tired of looking up for emergency recipes and having only 2 out of 600 ingredients for every meal.

OK - here are some of my simplest, super-cheap recipes.

Prepared, they typically cost about $1 (or less) per serving.

They're not emergency recipes though, since they take some planning (soaking beans) or preparation (typically about an hour to cook each).

They're also family favorites, so even though they're simple, they still taste good.

Mjadara

Mjadara is a Middle Eastern dish that's basically lentils and onions. It's kind of like meatloaf in the U.S. - everyone eats it, everyone makes it, and everyone has a slightly different recipe for it. It's often made with bulghur wheat, so be careful if you try to order it at a restaurant, but a common option is to make it with rice (or even with no grain. My wife's aunt makes it that way).

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 large, yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 3 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Inspect the lentils for small stones, or non-lentils, and throw those out. Rinse them in water. Put the cold water into a pot large enough to hold 2x the volume (the lentils and rice will expand a bit while they cook), add the lentils, and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the rice and salt, and continue simmering until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes more. Don't let it get too dry, but you don't really want standing water at the bottom of the pot.

While the lentils are cooking, thinly slice the onion. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion, and cook until the onion is caramelized. I'll start it at medium high, and when the onions start to show some color, I'll turn down the heat gradually as they cook. You want them to turn a nice brown and start to become crispy, but don't burn them.

When the lentils/rice are done, top with the onions, and enjoy!

The above recipe is more authentic, but lately I've been making mine with brown rice, which I think has a better flavor/texture, and is more nutritious. The brown rice needs more liquid, so increase the water to 4 cups if you're using it. It also takes longer to cook, so you can put the rice and lentils (and salt) in at the same time, and save yourself a step!

We had this for dinner last night with hummous and cut carrots. My kids love it.

Hoppin' John

This is another ubiquitous dish, but from a different tradition. As above, there are hundreds of ways to make it. This is my favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas (or field peas)
  • 2 Tbs. Olive oil
  • 1/4 lb. bacon or smoked hog jowl
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cups broth (pork is traditional, but any kind will do)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
  • scallions (green onions) for garnish

Inspect the dried peas for small stones, or other objects that aren't peas, then soak them in water for 4 hours or more. They'll expand somewhat as they soak, so make sure the water covers them by an inch or more. I'll typically start them soaking in the morning if I plan to cook this for dinner. Soaking them overnight is fine.

When you're ready to cook, bring the broth to a boil, drain and rinse the peas, and then add them to the boiling water. Add the pepper, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes also. Boil uncovered for about 10 minutes, or until the peas are almost tender (undercook them rather than over cook them at this point). Add the rice, cover the pot, and lower the heat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is done.

While the peas are cooking, in a separate pan, render the fat from the bacon or hog jowl. You can add the meat to the broth (gives more flavor), or, if using bacon, I'll save it and crumble it over the top of the dish at the end (Fried bacon will be crispy, boiled bacon is not). Cook the onions in the rendered fat until they soften, then add the celery, and cook until it softens. Then set them aside until the beans and rice are done.

Stir the celery and onions into the beans and rice, and garnish with chopped scallions and bacon.

This is another family favorite. If you're not as picky about how your onions/celery are cooked, you can add them into the broth with the rice and save a step, but that makes them mushy. I like them with just a bit of bite to them. I also omit the crushed red pepper, since I can't eat nightshades, but it does make the dish taste better.

Polenta

Another famous dish, from Italy this time. You can buy it pre-made in tubes at many grocery stores, but it's easy to make your own.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coarsely ground corn meal (sometimes labelled polenta, sometimes grits)
  • 3 1/2 cups cold water
  • salt to taste
  • butter (optional)
  • cheese (optional)

Bring the water to boil and add the salt. Remove the pan from the heat, and slowly stir in the corn meal (it helps to avoid making lumps). Return the pan to the heat and reduce the heat until the mixture just bubbles. Cook it for 10-15 minutes, or until it's thickened and the water is absorbed.

This is a very versatile dish.

You can eat it as it is for breakfast, with some butter and cheese.

I'll fry and egg and top it with that.

You can also treat it as though it were pasta, and top it with pasta sauce. You can do that as it comes out of the pan, as a thick cereal, or more usually, pour it into a rectangular baking pan and refrigerate. When it's cool, you can cut it into squares. Now it'll be more like what comes in the tube in the grocery store. I'll usually fry the squares in a little bit of butter or oil to heat them up before coating with pasta sauce.

If you make this ahead of time and store in the refrigerator, it may count as an emergency meal, as jarred pasta sauce can be quickly heated and poured over the top.

I hope this helps - I have tons more recipes if you want.

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Rice cakes are pretty inexpensive and I use them all the time for lunch. You can top them with whatever sliced meat you want, mayo or mustard, and some cheese, even peanut butter and banana. You can serve salad or cut up veggies on the side, some fruit, whatever you have on hand. It is my stand by lunch when I can't think of anything else. If you like mexican food, corn tortillas are versatile. You can make tacos, enchiladas, fry them in oil until crispy for tostadas, quesadillas, use them heated up on the side with a meal in place of bread. You can saute some meat that was marinaded in gluten free soy sauce, with veggies and serve with rice. Potatoes can be used in so many different ways as well.

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