I am often asked “how do you feed your family, if you can’t use dairy, or wheat, what do you do about cheese, pasta, milk sauces etc?
I am currently planning to set up a blog for recipes and exploring gluten and dairy free eating, but I thought, that I would share a week’s typical meals, for the Mad House of Cats and Babies.
We mostly eat gluten-free, the children and I occasionally eat wheat based products – I so far haven’t found a good gluten-free bagel substitute, for example, but we are pretty much dairy free, other than that I do use butter, instead of vegetable oil spreads, because both LSH and Small Boy seem to tolerate butter. Obviously, if I was cooking for someone who couldn’t tolerate butter, I would use a non dairy substitute.
Our breakfasts usually run on a similar pattern, with gluten-free toast, or granola, and we use humus, peanut butter, dairy free chocolate spread (usually at the weekends for a treat) or creamed goats cheese on the toast. I occasionally do some ham, or goats cheese, with fruit or boiled eggs, or French toast, with gluten-free toast. Breakfast needs to be quick, filling and get them through the morning. At the weekends I may make gluten-free pancakes, or a fry up, or omelette. I am also trying to source really good gluten-free pastries, but those are harder to find, and often not as good as the real thing, so we haven’t had much luck yet and occasionally we will splurge on some pain au chocolat or croissants which LSH and Small Boy will eat, as long as they only contain butter and no other milk ingredients. Lunches are usually packed for both children, and I use gluten-free and dairy free lunch box items, sandwiches, rice cakes, humus, mini sausages (these are not gluten-free, but so far gluten is only an issue for LSH so I don’t worry about it too much) both my children love olives, and most fruits and raw veg, like carrots and peppers, so those feature too. The menu below is for the main meal of the day, supper, which we usually eat together, or if LSH is out, I eat with the children. We don’t usually eat dessert, unless it is a treat, but the children have fruit or goats milk yoghurt, usually fruit at lunch, and yoghurt in the evening, or occasionally dairy free ice cream with sprinkles or chocolate sauce.
- Monday – Gluten free sausages (These are a specifically gluten-free brand, they are a supermarket own brand, that don’t contain gluten) Rosemary roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli and carrots
- Tuesday – Salmon, baked with olive oil, white wine, and garlic, vegetable rice, and carrots
- Wednesday – chicken and broccoli stir fry, with rice
- Thursday – jacket potatoes, salad, ham, goats cheese.
- Friday – Spaghetti Bolognese, with gluten-free pasta, and pecorino cheese instead of parmesan
- Saturday – LSH and I will probably eat together. The children will have dairy free home-made pizza, we will be having mushroom risotto, I use a bit of butter in this, and pecorino cheese instead of parmesan.
- Sunday – Roast chicken, roast potatoes, veg, and gravy, which I make with corn flour, so it is gluten-free.
So there you have it, it isn’t actually that difficult to plan and make a week of meals to accommodate a gluten or dairy free diet. It takes a bit of planning, and reading of labels of things like sauces (soy sauce has gluten in it, for example) and we tend not to eat a lot of processed or ready-made meals because of the hidden ingredients in them, that might cause problems. I have ranted about this before, here.