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25 Gluten Free Diet Low Calorie Lunch Ideas

Updated on May 4, 2017
chef-de-jour profile image

Andrew has many years experience cooking and enjoys creating unusual meals in the kitchen.

Gluten free frittata
Gluten free frittata | Source
Gluten free symbol
Gluten free symbol | Source

Your Gluten Free Lunch


The number of people needing gluten free food to help them in their daily diet is on the increase. When my friend was diagnosed with gluten intolerance she had to radically rethink her dietary needs so to help her out I came up with some ideas for a gluten free lunch.

We worked together to compile twenty five lunch combinations that she enjoyed and bit by bit she managed to adjust her diet. It was a big change for her but she was so fed up with being bloated and feeling lethargic she just knew something different had to be done.

These twenty five lunch ideas are delicious - I've tried most of them - and range from the meaty to the full veggie. And they're all low calorie, that is, all below 450 calories per lunch, so if you're on a weight loss regime they can help you achieve your goals.

My personal top lunch meal would have to include pesto and sun dried tomatoes - together with a light pasta and white fish with a green salad to finish off. I might just add a small glass of chilled white wine! Perfecto.

I hope these ideas for gluten free meals inspire you to mix and match and try other ingredients.

For the Gluten Free Diet

In this article I've created some useful charts for comparison:

* you'll find a helpful table on meats for example, how they differ and what they offer.

* there's a calorie comparison chart for fruit.

* a comprehensive list of gluten free flours.

Gluten free Low Calorie Lunches

Meal
Calories
Ingredients
Feta, Carrot and Apple Salad
380
Reduced fat feta; raisins optional
Rice Noodles with Sun Dried Tomato
280
Gluten free noodles (or pasta if preferred)
Jacket Potato with Tuna and Cottage Cheese
260
Alternative cheese if preferred.
Lentil and Brown Rice Salad with Turkey
200
Sliced breast
Garbanzo Salad
160
Chickpeas, feta, fennel, tomato
Vegetarian Chilli Stew
257
Black beans, pinto beans, tomatos, yellow pepper, onion, garlic, oregano.
Chicken, White Bean and Spinach Stew
350
Fry or boil chicken, add beans and spinach
Goat Cheese and Watercress Quiche
315
Pastry made with gluten free flour
Lentil Soup
255
Brown lentils, carrots, celery, onion, ginger, garlic, olive oil
Mackerel and Potato Salad
350
One fillet, dry.
Cottage Cheese Salad with Vegeburger
200
Salad made with sliced or chunky apple, walnuts and celery.
Green Soup
120
Spinach, kale, nettle, parsley, half an onion, clove of garlic, olive oil
Calorie figures are for a single portion
Meal
Calories
Ingredients
Chickpea Salad
320
Chickpeas, cooked brown rice, spinach, grated carrot, half sliced avocado.
Millet with Boiled Egg, Chard and Onion
235
Cooked in olive oil
Potato Salad with Smoked Salmon and Onion and Parsley
340
Half an onion raw, fresh parsley
Steamed Cod, Green Beans and Pesto
320
Pesto (olive oil, basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic,lemon juice blended)
Pork and Green Peas with French Fries
380
French fries oven cooked, boiled peas,half a gammon
Chorizo, Mozzarella, Sun Dried Tomato with Salad
420
Pork/beef, simple salad lettuce and carrot.
Meal
Calories
Ingredients
Avocado Salad
350
One avocado,celery, roasted almonds, plum tomatoes, garnish watercress
Broccoli with Jacket Potato and Sauce
300
Steamed/Boiled broccoli, sauce with gluten free flour, onion, garlic, grated cheddar, vegetable stock
Pepper and Zucchini Bake
385
Red/green bell peppers, onion, garlic, milk and eggs
Spanish Omelette
260
2 eggs, onion, potato cubes, tomatoes, garlic,
Vegetable Casserole
300
Beans and peas, aubergine, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms
Red Pepper, Olive and Feta Frittata
275
Fry peppers til just crispy. Add olives and feta to 2 beaten eggs, pour onto peppers, cook/bake for 10 mins.
Bacon, Mushroom and Onion Frittata
350
Fry meat til light brown. Add mushrooms, onions/garlic. Beat 2 eggs pour in and cook.

Celiac (Coeliac) Disease

Celiac cases have quadrupled in the USA over the last 60 years according to scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. There are now estimated to be around 2 million Americans with this genetic disease. Other western countries are seeing similar rises.

The gut's hypersensitivity to gluten can cause serious, sometimes life threatening symptoms to occur.

A gluten free diet is the only way forward for celiac sufferers.

Gluten Intolerance

If you're intolerant to gluten you may get certain symptoms after eating gluten rich food. You may experience headaches, nausea and bloating. The more gluten you consume the worse the symptoms become.

More and more people are experiencing problems after having eaten gluten rich food - it's on the increase - so more are trying gluten free and starting to feel a whole lot better.

Gluten triggers the immune system to react, hence the above symptoms. It seems that the human body is not yet ready for a highly refined western diet, full of sugar and certain new types of wheat in particular.

This website has a lot of useful information for those who suffer: Gluten Free Help

__________________________________________

Beef, lettuce, carrot and mint salad - gluten free.
Beef, lettuce, carrot and mint salad - gluten free. | Source

If you like fruit with your lunch just add the following calorie count to that for the main meal:

  • Banana 105 cals
  • Apple 110 cals
  • Pear 90 cals
  • Apricot 20 cals
  • Orange 59 cals
  • Melon slice 25 cals
  • Grapes 30 cals

Useful Measurements for Conversion

In the UK the metric system - grams and kilograms - is used for measuring weight but in the USA the volume is measured, in cups. Below is a useful conversion table for different ingredients, together with oven temperatures.

Liquids

1 tsp = 6ml

1 tbsp = 15ml

1/8 cup = 30ml

1/4 cup = 60ml

1/2 cup = 120ml

1 cup = 240ml

Dried ingredients

1 tsp = 5g

1 tbsp = 15g

1oz = 28g

1 cup flour = 120g

1 cup caster sugar = 225g

1 cup icing sugar = 115g

1 cup brown sugar = 175g

1 cup sultanas = 200g

Butter

1/8 cup = 30g

1/4 cup = 55g

1/3 cup = 75g

1/2 cup = 115g

2/3 cup = 150g

3/4 cup = 170g

1 cup = 225g

Oven temperatures

275°F = 140°C or Gas Mark 1

300°F = 150°C or Gas Mark 2

325°F = 165°C or Gas Mark 3

350°F = 180°C or Gas Mark 4

375°F = 190°F or Gas Mark 5

400°F = 200°C or Gas Mark 6

425°F = 220°C or Gas Mark 7

450°F = 230°C or Gas Mark 8

How Much in a Serving of Food?

A serving for one person is roughly a half cup of any grain/veg/cheese/meat and one piece of fruit. All of these lunch ideas are based on this equivalent.

Compare Meats

Meat
Calories(grams)
Protein(grams)
Total Fat(grams)
Cholestrol
Sodium
Potassium
Calcium
Iron
Chicken 165g
271
52
5.9
48%
8%
12%
2%
12%
Turkey 165g
173
28
2.6
23%
69%
15%
-
12%
Tuna 165g
191
42.1
1.4
17%
3%
11%
2%
14%
Mackerel 165g
348
37.9
26.5
34%
11%
-
4%
8%
Ham 165g
271
27
14.1
24%
88%
12%
6%
12%
Beef 165g
306
50
10.27
48%
4%
19%
-
173%
All figures from caloriecount.com
The Gluten-Free Bible
The Gluten-Free Bible

There are even more recipes in this classic book. Over 100 in fact. I have been inspired so many times by the vegetarian recipes in this book. But the biggest difference between this and other books are the explanations given on Coeliac disease, gluten intolerance and gluten free flours. As a breadmaker I found this information invaluable. If you need to eat gluten free or know someone who needs ideas for a gluten free diet, then this book is highly recommended. Excellent value.

 

Gluten Free Flours

Many gluten intolerant people have problems with today's mass produced bread, which has a high gluten content. There are however gluten free flours that, for those who prefer to make their own home made breads, are invaluable. The Gluten-Free Bible has great information on gluten free flours and how to use them.

Here is a list of gluten free flours:

  • Corn
  • Potato
  • Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Tapioca
  • Chickpea (Gram)
  • Amaranth
  • Arrow Root
  • Nut
  • Soya
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Teff
  • Sorghum
  • Bean
  • Mesquite

Teff - an ancient, tiny and nutritious grain from Ethiopa

Mesquite - a tree found in north and south America; the pods are used for the flour.

_____________________________________________

Salad Dressing

The basic salad dressing consists of vinegar and olive oil with a little seasoning added. Three tablespoons of oil to one of vinegar is the usual ratio. These ingredients are mixed thoroughly together and poured onto the salad which is then tossed so that the dressing flavours every leaf and vegetable surface.

Total calories in this basic dressing is around 72.

Egg, cress, carrot and tomato salad - part of gluten free lunch
Egg, cress, carrot and tomato salad - part of gluten free lunch | Source

Frittata - Ready in 15-20 minutes

A frittata is a kind of omelette and comes originally from Italy. Eggs are beaten together with grated cheese - Grana or Parmigiano for example - and other ingredients added, such as cooked bacon, sausage, onions, greens, sautéed carrots and so on. Salt and pepper and parsley can be added.

The idea is that you use leftovers and spice them up. I think this is an excellent way to create a delicious meal in double quick time. Cook in a skillet, finish off for 5-10 minutes at 400 in the oven.

Sicilian salad
Sicilian salad | Source

© 2015 Andrew Spacey

Comments

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  • chef-de-jour profile image
    Author

    Andrew Spacey 21 months ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    Thank you for the vsit and comment Rachel. With your creative gifts in the kitchen I'm sure you'll make some delicious meals!

  • Rachel L Alba profile image

    Rachel L Alba 21 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

    Hi Andrew, I have some very dear friends who need to eat gluten free. Now I have a lot of ideas to serve them lunch with. Thanks!

    Blessings to you. I will be pinning this.

  • chef-de-jour profile image
    Author

    Andrew Spacey 2 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    Edible hubs - that would be a breakthrough.

  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    oh the photos alone make the whole hub yummy

  • chef-de-jour profile image
    Author

    Andrew Spacey 2 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    Yummy, yes, and nutritious and easy to make.

  • Amber Harding profile image

    Amber Harding 2 years ago from London

    Mmm, yummy!

  • chef-de-jour profile image
    Author

    Andrew Spacey 2 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    Always a welcome visitor Genna, thank you. I'm happy to learn you enjoyed this gluten free feast of ideas!

  • renee21 profile image

    renee21 2 years ago

    I have a gluten intolerance, and I also am trying to eat healthily, low carb, and no sugar, which is rather difficult. But, I'm really enjoying the results. Great hub!

  • Genna East profile image

    Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    Chef, I LOVE these gluten free recipes, and can't thank you enough for publishing them.

  • chef-de-jour profile image
    Author

    Andrew Spacey 2 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    Thank you D, appreciate the constructive comment. What a good idea. A simple conversion table might do the trick!

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Great hub, Andrew. However, I'm not that great at figuring out appropriate proportions, measurements, etc. Will there be a hub with recipes/instructions for the dishes you list? For the salads, for instance, "1/2 cup of this, a quarter cup of that", etc. Just wondering. ;D

  • chef-de-jour profile image
    Author

    Andrew Spacey 2 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    Thank you Chitrangada, appreciate your visit and comment and votes!

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

    These are great suggestions for Gluten free lunches. Although I don't have any problem with Gluten, but I can forward this list to some of my relatives who are not tolerant to Gluten.

    I particularly liked your charts and the comparison of different foods.

    A very well presented, useful and informative hub! Voted up and pinned !

  • chef-de-jour profile image
    Author

    Andrew Spacey 2 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    Thank you for the supportive comment, I appreciate it.

  • thumbi7 profile image

    JR Krishna 2 years ago from India

    Very nice hub

    Content is good

    Organisation is excellent

    Votes and shares