One of my FaceBook friends requested wanting to know how she could eat a gluten free diet on a student budget. Oh I have lots of advice! First of all, really learn to love lentis. Lentils are cheap, full of protein and fiber and usually easy to prepare. It's actually better for those with food allergies to buy organic canned beans than to buy dry beans from bins. Oftentimes, cross contamination is a big issue with bins. Example, somebody sticks the tongs in the wheat flour bin then ooops . . . right into the bin with your favorite green lentils. Trader Joe's has some very inexpensive organic canned beans. If you are looking for recipes Jessica Porter's Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotic has some excellent recipes. Of course, if you can't afford the book you can always check out her site.
Cook quick, easy and cheap:
Make kitchadi, (also spelled khichadi) an ayurvedic high protein dish that is comprised of mung beans and rice (a gluten free grain). It's been a nourishing part of Ayurvedic diets for thousands of years.
Cook white beans and add them to a bed of lettuce and other greens, then top with your favorite salad dressing.
Try my personal fav: black bean sweet potato tacos. Just mush cooked sweet potatoes inside a corn (which is naturally gluten free by the way) tortilla and add refried black beans, top with salsa.
Casseroles to the rescue. The Gluten Free Home Maker has some great recipes. Casseroles are versatile enough to be used for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Chilli is cheap, gluten free and freezes really well. In fact it's often better the next day or when re-cooked. It's the perfect hearty lunch that can be bought in a thermos.
Make big pots of soups. Especially in your downtime that way you can eat half, then freeze half. Plus you avoid buying soup out which can be ridiculously expensive. Check out the Body Ecology Diet for some of the healthiest recipes.
Gluten free breads, pancakes and other products can be pricy so you are better off making your own with gluten free flour. Cormeal and polenta are inexpensive and great to have on hand. Corn tortillas can replace expensive wheat-free wraps or gluten free breads.
While brown rice pasta is typically a bit pricier than whole-wheat pasta, dishes like spaghetti can be made cheaply and free of gluten.
Gluten-free oatmeal makes for an inexpensive, hearty and warming breakfast. I buy Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats from Vitacost. Vitacost is another great resource of the cheapest prices supplements, health foods and organic beauty products.
Make rice your go-to grain. There are dozens of varieties: short-grain, long-grain, black, brown, pilaf or basmati. A bag of Basmati rice from Patel Bros. on Devon can last you a long time. Add one of those wonderful Indian sauces from Trader Joe's and you have a great meal. I also like to add cooked rice to salads, which works great especially for left overs.
Cheap GF Eats on a Student Budget Part II Coming Soon . . .
In the meantime check out my guest blog for the Living Harvest Tempt (they make allergy free products by the way) on Hunger and Cravings.