Gluten Free Cooking Guide For a Quick Start

This gluten free cooking guide is intended to help you get started on the diet while you are reading and learning. It is focused on foods that are easy to digest, giving brands and recipes you can use.




Gluten free lunch ideas for school are also listed for those who's children need to be gluten free. It is an effort to give you a little breathing room, while you continue reading about the foods to avoid, how to prepare your kitchen, and what to expect. You can use the menu plan on page 2 for a week, a month, or however long it takes for you to feel comfortable enough to branch out a bit. However it is still important to learn the finer points of following the diet.

Before You Start

Things you need to know before using this quick start guide:

  • If you plan to get tested for Celiac disease, you should do that before going gluten free. You must be eating gluten during the test in order for it to be accurate. So if you are going to get tested, do it before starting the diet.

  • The condiments you have must be replaced with brand new jars or bottles. When you have used mayonnaise, for example, and made a sandwich, you have most likely gotten some crumbs from your bread into it. That kind of cross contamination is not safe on the diet. So anything that has had a knife put into it, or touched foods containing gluten, will need to be replaced.

  • If others in the house continue to eat gluten, then the new jar or bottle must be marked for gluten free use only.

  • A separate cupboard for other foods, and a shelf in the refrigerator, should be cleaned and dedicated to gluten free items.

  • A gluten free dish soap like Palmolive, and a new sponge or scrubby will be required. They should be kept for use on gluten free dishes only. Wash them first or separately.

  • It's important that foods are situated so that crumbs, flour dust, or other gluten containing foods can't fall or drip onto them.

  • For gluten free cooking, do not use cast iron, scratched Teflon, or other items that have a porous surface if they have previously been used to cook foods that contain gluten. They will cross contaminate your food.

  • Colanders and toasters are something you will need to replace, or have a new one for gluten free use only.

  • Prepared foods that are quick to make are usually not safe for the diet. In the beginning, with sore intestines, it is best to stick with home cooked meals that are not heavily spiced, deep fried, or have very acidic sauces. It means a lot of home cooking from scratch.

  • Gluten free breads and baked goods taste very different from wheat based products. It will take some time to get accustomed to the difference. They can also be hard to digest in the beginning. It is better to use other foods while healing.

    In the very first weeks, however, you will crave bread and baked goods, so a gluten free version is still better than giving in to a craving for wheat. Any wheat will further damage your intestines and body.

Gluten Free Cooking Helpful Hints

Most gluten free breads will require warming or toasting before use. If you have a toaster oven you can temporarily clean it and use aluminum foil to avoid cross contamination when warming gluten free breads. Udi's bread can be used without warming, and you can find it online or at Whole Foods.

A gluten free rice flour blend will be needed for some of the recipes. Sweet rice flour and potato flour (and also potato starch) are also used, and these are also available some health food stores like Whole Foods, or online grocer's like the Gluten Free Mall below.

For Udi's Sandwich Bread and More GF Items Visit The Gluten Free Mall Kettle Cuisine Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup (Frozen - 0.50 Unit)



Soup is also available there.

Please note that purchases made through the links on this site may result in a small commission which helps to cover the cost of operating and maintaining the site. Thank you in advance for your support.

Most of the other items on the menu list are available at WalMart and other grocery stores. For more information on preparing your Gluten Free Kitchen you can read this section.

It's a good idea to freeze some of your bread in individual servings to make it handy to take out and thaw when needed. I use sandwich bags inside a freezer bag.

The meal ideas listed below can be used in any order you wish. If you want to make a substitution, check the shopping section for acceptable alternatives. The next page has a Menu and Shopping List to help you with your gluten free cooking.

For many people with Celiac disease, the damage to the villi in the intestines will make it difficult to digest milk, for several months. If you are still uncomfortable after a week on this menu, try to see if milk products are in the meal you just had. If so, you can try using Lactaid or other lactose free milks. If you still have trouble, you can use Pacific brand Rice Milk or Almond Milk instead. (Also at Whole Foods or online).

Unprocessed raw meats, vegetables, and fruits are naturally gluten free, and milk also. Plain canned/frozen vegetables as well. Avoid vegetables that are flavored or mixed with sauces. Aim for nutritionally complete meals as much as possible, your body needs them. When serving a family meal, prepare the gluten free plate first to avoid cross contamination. It's a good idea to wash and store plates, utensils, etc. in a separate place to keep them safe.



Meal ideas are listed below. The next page will have a gluten free menu plan and the shopping list.

Breakfast Ideas:

  • Bacon and eggs, with gluten free toast if desired.
  • Sausage and eggs, with rice cakes
  • Omelet with diced ham and grated cheese
  • Gluten Free Cereal and Milk or Milk Substitute, banana
  • Warm leftovers from previous dinner if none of the above appeals to you.
  • Rice Cakes or GF Toast with peanut or nut butter and fruit spread or jelly.
  • Rice cakes with cream cheese and sliced strawberries
  • Gluten Free Pancakes and bacon (see recipe)


Lunch Ideas:

The following suggestions can be used for school lunches as well as work/home lunches. It is important to have a new lunch bag with a thermos and freezer pack to keep foods at safe temperatures. One with 2 or more compartments is helpful. If your child needs to bring their lunch, make sure you explain to them that they cannot swap lunch items with others and eat foods not on the diet.

Hot foods for the thermos should be heated to at least 140 degrees farenheit before putting them into the thermos to keep them at a safe temperature. For cold foods, the freezer pack will keep them safe for several hours. It's a good idea to have extra freezer packs that you can keep in the freezer in case you forget to put it back in after school.

  • Peanut or nut butter and fruit spread or jelly on Udi's bread, and a banana or apple
  • Tuna salad and rice cakes or corn chips and grapes or other fruit
  • Turkey sandwich with lettuce leaf on Udi's bread or rice cakes, and fresh fruit salad
  • Beef Stew (homemade or Dinty Moore, heated) and an apple
  • Egg salad (or egg salad sandwich on Udi's bread) and yogurt or a gluten free fruit bar
  • Ham and Cheese sandwich on Udi's bread with potato chips and applesauce
  • Chicken Soup (heated) and salad, dressing on the side in separate container, muffin or 2 cookies
  • Grilled or Baked Chicken chunks, add to lettuce salad with Italian dressing
  • Cooked hot dogs sliced lengthwise and made into sandwich and chips or raw vegetables (if tolerated)
  • Cottage Cheese and canned peaches (on the side) or applesauce. Use Lactaid version if needed.
  • Take a romaine or other leaf lettuce leaf and some turkey lunch meat and roll them into a lunch roll, with some chips on the side.




Please note that salads and raw vegetables may not be well digested for the first week or longer, depending on how badly the intestines are damaged. If they are uncomfortable, leave them for later as an option.

The tuna and egg salad are made with mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, and you can add a teaspoon of Vlasic sweet or dill relish if desired. If you can tolerate tomatoes, they are a nice addition to the grilled chicken salad.

Yogurt should have live cultures to help digestion. Choose plain cream cheese for now to avoid confusion. Avoid pasta for the first few weeks, unless you want to use gluten free elbows in your tuna salad, and you've bought a new colander to rinse them in.

If you have eggs for breakfast, choose a lunch that doesn't include them. On days with cereal for breakfast, choose a lunch that includes meat, tuna or eggs.

Dinner Ideas:

For the first few weeks, life will be simpler if you make gluten free meals for the whole family. My recipes for Chicken and Rice, and Beef stew will require weekend days or your days off to prepare. Portions can be set aside before serving to provide a lunch for the next day, or frozen for another time.

If you make meals that contain gluten some days, or bring home something prepared, the frozen portion of a previous meal can be served to the person that is gluten free. If you are going to bake or grill chicken, cook a few extra pieces to use for lunches and salads.

It is best to start with the lighter meals and work up to heavier ones.

  • Chicken Soup with vegetables and rice (Quick Chicken Soup)
  • Baked Chicken, mashed potatoes, homemade gravy and a vegetable
  • Beef Stew (See Recipe or use Dinty Moore brand)
  • Roast Beef, mashed potatoes, homemade gravy and a vegetable
  • Chicken and Rice and a vegetable (See Recipe)
  • Fried Rice (Ground Beef and Chinese vegetables with rice)
  • Chicken Stir Fry with rice
  • Pork Chops, Zatarain's Garden Vegetable Rice Mix, and a vegetable
  • Meat Loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a vegetable
  • Shepherd's Pie (ground beef, mashed potatoes, mushroom white sauce) and a vegetable (See White Sauce Recipe)
  • Steak, baked potato, and green salad
  • Pot Roast, homemade gravy
  • Chicken and Dumplings (using Gluten Free Bisquick), fruit for dessert
  • Beef Stir Fry (Mongolian Beef Recipe)
  • Turkey Pot Pie




You can explore the Recipes above on the

Gluten Free Recipes Page


to Gluten Free Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Menu-Page 2

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