Meal Prep: the Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Way

Making the switch to a dairy-free/gluten-free lifestyle can be tricky at first, but with a few simple tricks and preparation hacks, you can save yourself a great deal of time and energy. Choosing one day a week to do meal prepping/planning is one of the most effective ways to ensure that you will be prepared for sticking to your dairy-free/gluten-free changes. Below is a list of things to consider when preparing what to eat every week.

1. Proteins – Protein sources are the most important component of a meal to prepare in advance in order to save time and money.
• Hard-boil large batches of eggs
• Bake a frittata
• Cook a large batch of beans
• Keep nuts and seeds stocked
• Roast a whole chicken
• Buy canned tuna, sardines, or salmon

2. Starchy vegetables – Starchy vegetables are great to cook at the beginning of the week all at once as they have a longer cooking time and keep for around a week after cooking.
• Roast a large batch of starchy vegetables all at once – squash, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, beets
• Keep in fridge to easily heat up, toss in a salad, or puree into a soup

3. Non-starchy vegetables – Non-starchy vegetables require a bit more attention, as they don’t keep as long as starchy vegetables.
• Chop commonly used vegetables all at once and store (onions, garlic, peppers, cucumbers)
• Make Mason-jar salads by layering with protein at the bottom topped with various vegetables and leafy greens
• Sauerkrauts and kimchi are easy to keep for long periods of time and are a great source of probiotics!

4. Fats – Ensuring you get enough fat is highly important, as it helps to support your brain health, helps to stabilize blood sugar, and also satiates hunger for longer periods of time.
• Eat nuts and seeds regularly
• Keep avocados of varied levels of ripeness to make sure they don’t rot all at once
• Buy coconut milk regularly to use for curries, soups, smoothies, or sauces
• Best non-dairy oils include: coconut oil, ghee (clarified butter), avocado oil, and olive oil

5. Grains – Grains are easy to all make at once and to add to meals as needed. Most grains will keep well in the fridge for around a week.
• Make big batches of rice, quinoa, or oatmeal once or twice a week.
• Use grains for stir-fries, salads, or just as a side dish to meals.

6. Meal Examples:
• Spaghetti squash, tomato sauce, spinach, and mushrooms (*ground beef option)
• Thai curry soup with coconut milk, tomato paste, broth, butternut squash, tofu, onions, peppers, and curry spices
• Sauteed barbeque tempeh, mashed sweet potatoes, sautéed garlic asparagus
• Falafel with hummus, stuffed grape leaves, olives, and side of cucumber, tomato, and parsley salad
• Tacos with corn tortillas or cabbage leaves, onions, peppers, guacamole, beans, lettuce, and salsa
• Gluten-free pizza topped with dairy-free pesto (substitute cashews for parmesan), tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, carmelized onions, and butternut squash
• Veggie burgers topped with avocado, sautéed onions, and salsa, oven fries, and side salad
• Indian curry with tomatoes, coconut milk, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, cauliflower, peas, and basmati rice
• Fried rice with eggs, broccoli, greens onions, bell peppers, and peanuts
• Mason-jar salad with beans, avocado, mixed greens, almonds, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and lemon vinaigrette

7. Breakfast Ideas – Most people find that breakfast is a difficult time to be dairy and gluten free. However, there are many different foods you can still eat!
• Smoothies with fruit, veggies, non-dairy milk, and hemp protein powder
• Omelets with veggies and/or breakfast meat
• 2 hard-boiled eggs, piece of fruit
• Veggie hash with sweet potatoes, eggs, peppers, onions, and spinach
• Breakfast tacos with eggs, beans, sautéed veggies, avocado, and salsa
• Oatmeal topped with pumpkin and chia seeds, bananas, cinnamon, honey, and coconut oil

8. Snacks – With snacks it is important to keep them easily accessible and transportable. Keep a bag of nuts in your purse or at your desk to always have access to a healthy snack. Always make sure to eat a protein or fat with each snack to keep blood sugar levels stable
• Nuts/seeds and fruit
• Carrots/cucumbers and hummus
• Mini smoothies
• Homemade granola bars
• Leftovers

Additional Tips:
Whenever you are making substantial diet shifts, give yourself some time to adjust. Like all major changes, it will most likely be difficult at first and get easier over time.
• Make a big batch of a meal and freeze half so that you are not eating the same thing everyday.
• Designate each day of the week with cuisine themes to make it easier to prepare each week and create a structure to work from.
• Roast large batches of vegetables and cook grains while you are doing other things around your house.
• Keep a dry-erase board on your fridge to keep track of important ingredients as they run low.
• When eliminating foods from your diet, it is important to try and add other foods to keep your diet fun and interesting. Try new foods and recipes!