Author Topic: Stuff to keep on hand for a gluten-free, dairy-free, low sugar, low sodium diet?  (Read 1243 times)

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MommyPenguin

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My MIL is a big fan of diets.  :)  She's had a lot of success lately going gluten-free (she's feeling a lot better), and she's coming for a visit next week.  I know that in general she's trying to eat fairly healthy (she's somewhat overweight and is working on it).  Since her diet changes from time to time, I asked her what she was doing at the moment.

She said she's doing gluten-free, dairy free, and she's trying to go low sugar, low sodium, and low carb.  Which is rather complicated, because a lot of low carb stuff has gluten, and a lot of gluten-free stuff might have lots of sodium or sugar, etc.  So I can't just try to get some cookbooks at the library, and I'm not great at reading nutrition information because I don't know what all to look for.

Anybody have any ideas?  She said that she doesn't expect me to try to make dinners for her, that she'd be happy to run out to the grocery store while she's here and get some stuff that she'll eat.  She's a really sweet, wonderful woman, so I'm in no way freaking out over this.  However, I'd really like to at least have some foods that she could munch on so that the grocery trip wasn't required the moment she got here, and also to be a good hostess.  I'll probably try to get a nice selection of "munchie" veggies, like carrots (my 3-year-old is a carrot addict, anyway), celery, broccoli, etc.  I don't know what "hummus" is, is that something that would fit that maybe I should get?  Or pesto or something?  I hear them talked about as health foods but I don't actually really know what their nutrition info is like.  :) Any other vegetables that are nice to munch on?  We also have plenty of frozen veggies in the freezer (just veggies, no added butter or salt).  We also keep a lot of fruit in the house, which tends to be my marker for when I have to go grocery shopping, because I have little kids who are fruit addicts.  So we usually have strawberries, apples, grapes, and nectarines, at least.  Sometimes blueberries, cherries, bananas, etc., depending on how much we can eat and what's on sale.

Basically, she doesn't want me to go to any trouble so isn't giving me many details, but I'd like to be a good hostess and at least have a few things on hand.  So could use any ideas you have!  We don't have a ton of fridge/freezer space (see the list of all the fruit!), although I might try to clean it out before her visit to make more room, so I'd like to use the room we have as well as possible.

Outdoor Girl

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Hummus is a chick pea spread made with tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice, olive oil and sometimes a little garlic for the basic kind.  Check the ingredient list on the prepackaged kind for any hidden dairy but it is probably fine.

Plain nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts and pecans would be good - get the ones packaged for baking and they won't have any added salt.

Lots of fruits and veggies are good.  If you are doing meals, grilled lean meats should be good, too.

Check out if there is a GF/DF bakery near you so you know where you can go to buy some bread items, if she wants them.  But I wouldn't buy anything ahead because she may not want bread.  You could maybe make sure you have a package of GF corn tortillas around so if the rest of you are having sandwiches, she can have a wrap.  Those won't go to waste the way GF bread might.

If she is going GF to feel better but isn't allergic or celiac, gluten traces may not be that big an issue for her.  You'll have to ask.
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blue2000

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All those fruits and veggies should give you a good start. Hummus is a nice idea. Pesto has dairy, so that would be a no-go. Maybe a jar of natural peanut or almond butter?

I agree with Outdoor Girl that you might want to let her pick out her own GF bread. Some of it has dairy and a lot of it has sugar and carbs. Some of it also tastes awful. She might have a favourite kind or she might not want any at all.
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mbbored

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I'm with the prior posters on fruits, veggies, and hummus or other bean dips. Edamame is often in the freezer section and is delicious to snack on. Plain popcorn is gluten free, dairy free and sodium free. Add a little olive oil and some herbs for a delicious snack. Rice cakes can often be gluten and dairy free, and are good with nut butters, which are often available low sodium. Canned beans come in low sodium varieties and are good to add to a salad for a heartier dish. My favorites are chickpeas and black beans.

ZaftigWife

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My gluten-free friend says that she makes sandwiches on corn tortillas, since they are cheaper than the GF breads and taste better than most of them too.   ;)

norrina

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I went gluten-dairy-artificial sweeteners-everything under the sun free for a couple weeks, and my absolute favorite snack ever was Larabars. They're energy bars made of dried fruits and nuts. You should be able to find them with the rest of the energy bars at your local grocery store, Walmart, Target, etc.

A few of them do have honey, cocoa, chocolate, vanilla, and/or cinnamon, but most of them should be fine for your mom unless she has restricted natural sweeteners too. Unfortunately, they are kind of pricey. But did I mention how good they are!



JenJay

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Check out sites for the paleo diet, it's grain and dairy free, consisting mostly of veggies and meat/eggs. You should find lots of suggestions for snacks and lunch/dinner ideas that will be easy and yummy.

MommyPenguin

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Thanks, everybody, this gives me some great places to start!  I'm pretty sure she's not allergic or celiac, she's just found that she feels better and healthier on a gluten-free diet.  I'm also pretty sure that she doesn't stick to any of these utterly and completely... she likes her snacks occasionally.  :)  But since we have plenty of other stuff around that she can have if she wants to "cheat" a bit, I want to make sure I also have plenty of stuff that will fit within her diet so that it's completely her choice about how much to stick with it.

Is chicken considered a lean meat?  Like chicken breasts?  I cook those a lot.  Not usually in nice healthy ways (I'm going to guess that butter curry chicken won't work!), but I can try to adjust something a bit.  :)

JenJay

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If you want to cut the dairy I've seen curry recipes that use coconut oil/milk instead of butter and cream. I tried this Tikka Masala recipe and it was pretty good but we'll probably use more spices next time -

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-chicken-tikka-masala/#axzz1zuEm9hm5

I'd never had it before so I'm not sure how it compares to other recipes. He's got one for butter chicken, too.


SamiHami

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My gluten-free friend says that she makes sandwiches on corn tortillas, since they are cheaper than the GF breads and taste better than most of them too.   ;)

POD this. GF bread generally doesn't taste very good, though there are a few exceptions. I do the corn tortilla thing and it's great for sandwiches/wraps.

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nancycosper

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Thereís a vegetable broth that I like. I get it from an online shop that sells a variety of allergen-free, gluten free foods. Itís low in sodium. You may find low sodium, low fat, gluten free snacks there, too.
http://www.glutenfreepalace.com/

WillyNilly

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Polenta/grits are a nice whole grain, gluten free, dairy free, low fat easy to make side dish.  Grits are great for breakfast or as a side with dinner.  Polenta (essentially over cooked grits) can be grilled or pan toasted once it's set and makes a nice bread-like addition to a meal.

Black bean/flourless brownies can be made with sugar substitute (I like xylitol, but I'm sure others would work too) and are high in fiber and low in fat, and are gluten free.

I like to keep hard boiled eggs on hand for a quick snack.  They are gluten free, sugar free, sodium free (fresh cracked black pepper on them is great as a salt alternative) and one can always pop out the yolk if trying to save on fat and calories.  And they can easily be whipped up into deviled eggs (you can use some olive oil and mustard instead of mayo for a healthier version) for a fancier dish.

MommyPenguin

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Well, it turned out that she was mostly on a vegetable diet when she did arrive.  So we played a lot of "vegetable tetris" with the fridge (she ate enormous amounts of kale, collard greens, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, cucumbers, etc.).  Fitting them in along with all the fruit for the kids--and this was during the summer, so we were buying pounds and pounds of berries, nectarines, and the like--was an adventure.  But it all worked out.  :)

And then a few months later we went to visit them, and she was on an entirely different diet (or none at all, not sure which).  Heh.