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Ten Glutenless Alternatives

An "eat this, not that" for those who eat gluten-free

Spaghetti squash makes a great alternative for traditional pasta!


Gluten sensitivities aren’t new—many of us have issues with it, and have suffered everything from digestive problems to migraines as a result. But, now, many people without gluten allergies are choosing to cut down, or completely eliminate this potentially problematic protein (found in grains of wheat, barley and rye), from their diet. “People who eliminate gluten often find they are less bloated, less constipated and get to a healthier weight,” says nutritionist Heather Bauer, RD, CDN, and founder of bestowed.com, a service that consumers join to discover and shop for the best healthy products on the market. Bauer explains there are so many gluten-free foods available in grocery stores and online, that substituting is easy. She warns, however, to always check the label. Many gluten-free items are high in calories, but if you make smart choices for foods that have minimal, clean, organic ingredients, you don’t have to compromise taste. Here are some of her favorite gluten-free alternatives for common foods:

1) Swap Pasta for Spaghetti Squash. Cut a spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds, brush with olive oil and bake on a cookie sheet at 375 for 40 minutes. When done, “scrape” the squash onto a plate with a fork—it will look like spaghetti. Top with butter (optional), a gluten free tomato-sauce and parmesan cheese for a high-fiber, low calorie meal.

2) Swap Turkey Tacos for Turkey Lettuce Wraps. Instead of using whole wheat tortillas, rinse and separate Iceberg or Bibb lettuce leaves, pat dry, and fill with ground turkey that has been browned and mixed with taco seasoning, onions and sliced peppers. If you want a more substantial wrap, six-inch 100% corn tortillas are a great option.

3) Swap Bagels and Cream Cheese for Bacon, Egg and Cheese on a Gluten-Free English Muffin. Joan’s Gluten Free English Muffins are low-cal and super tasty. Top with bacon, egg and a slice of your favorite cheese for a filling breakfast. Joan’s whole gluten-free line of products are great if you need other quick meal ideas.

4) Swap Spaghetti for Miracle Noodles. Miracle Noodles, or shirataki noodles, are made from fiber extracted from the root of the Japanese Konnyaku plant. They have almost no calories and come in various shapes and sizes. Mix them into your favorite soups, make a cold noodle salad with them, or use with your favorite sauce as a pasta substitute. Available at miraclenoodle.com or in grocery stores.

5) Swap Deep-Dish Pizza for Cauliflower Crust Pizza. This is a creative way to enjoy pizza sans-gluten. The cauliflower crust won’t be as dense as regular bread crust, but it’s still delicious. Here’s the recipe how to make it, taken from eatingbirdfood.com. If you don’t have time to make your own crust, Bauer recommends starting with Bob’s gluten-free pizza crust, sold in grocery stores, and top with your own tomato sauce and cheese.

6) Swap Pretzels for Popcorn. 479 Popcorn is a yummy, crunchy alternative to pretzels. You won’t compromise taste either—479 comes in a variety of flavors like Simply Sea Salt and White Cheddar and Black Truffle.

7) Swap Oatmeal for Granola. Bauer’s choice for gluten-free granola: Kind’s Healthy Grains Clusters. It’s crunchy, filling and rich in nutrients. Serve with almond milk and berries.

8) Swap Regular Vodka for Tito’s Vodka. Most vodkas are grain-based, and thus, contain gluten. For your next cocktail, choose a potato-based vodka (we like Tito’s), and mix with club soda and fresh lime juice for a refreshing beverage.

9) Swap Traditional Lasagna for Zucchini Lasagna. If you want to not only cut out gluten, but nix carbs too, check out this amazing recipe for zucchini lasagna from Epicurious.

10) Swap a Bagel and Cream Cheese for Gluten-Free Crackers and Cheese. Try a few of Orgran’s Essential Fiber Crackers topped with low fat cheese for a healthy snack. Or top with almond butter and jam to make mini PB&Js.

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