Tags: Living Well Eating Smart, foods, Gluten Free, fruit, Vegetables, Convenience, leftover

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Gluten-Free Cooking for 1 or 2

Tips for cooking up easy and affordable meals.

Gluten Free Cooking

Tip #1- Shop by Food Groups. Make a shopping list by Food Groups and get the most for your money by selecting store brands and with the examples listed below.

Fruits Fill your cart with seasonal fruits; traditionally affordable options; 100% juice; canned in 100% juice or light syrup; dried varieties; and plain frozen options.

Vegetables Like fruits, shop for in-season veggies and budget-savvy options like potatoes, carrots, cabbage and green peppers. Add color to your cart with canned and frozen vegetables free from added sauces.

Grains Choose nourishing gluten-free whole grains like GF oats, sorghum, brown rice, wild rice, GF polenta, popcorn, quinoa, buckwheat and millet most often, with GF pastas, breads, cereals and snacks as gap fillers.

Protein Foods Plant-based options like dried beans, peas, lentils and chick peas and nuts and nut butters, as well as canned meat and seafood, eggs and soy foods offer bang for your buck. Take advantage of sale prices of fresh meat and seafood.

Note: A little goes a long way with this Food Group. Keep in mind, most adults only need 5 to 7 ounce-equivalents per day. So 1-pound (16-ounces) chicken would provide at least 4 servings.

Dairy Cow’s milk, soymilk or lactose-free milk, whichever you fancy, this Food Group offers protein, calcium and vitamin D. For snacking, larger containers of yogurt and cottage cheese tend to cost less, while cheese bars and cheese sticks are also affordable options.

Tip #2- Quick-Cook for Convenience. With a well-stocked kitchen, meals can come together in no time at all. Simply focus on pairing foods from at least 3 different Food Groups at each meal.

Tip #3- Utilize Small Appliances. Microwaves, toaster ovens and table-top griddles can cook great tasting food in small portions. Slow cookers transform everyday ingredients into delicious meals with minimal effort.

Tip #4- Batch Cook & Make Friends with Your Freezer. Whether it is soup, homemade pasta sauce or meatloaf, many recipes can be made in large quantities and frozen into single-serve portions to reheat in the weeks to come.

Tip #5- Love Leftover Ingredients. If making taco meat, freeze the unused portion and simply thaw when ready to cook for another meal. When cooking with vegetables, freeze unused portions you may not use up right away. Have excess chicken? Slice or cube and add to salad, your favorite GF pasta dish or in homemade soup.