Days 1 and 2 of gluten-free week were a bit easier because I had the day off of work. Day 3 (Wednesday), I had to work over the lunch hour but since we weren’t serving food until dinner that night, we were allowed to bring our own food.
Breakfast: Scottish oats with banana and some peanut butter with a glass of milk
Lunch: PB+J on homemade gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread, cherries
Dinner: Vegetarian chili and a glass of milk
When I saw the recipe for the cinnamon raisin bread awhile back, I knew it would be perfect for my gluten-free experience! I was having trouble finding chickpea (garbanzo) flour, so I ended up buying garbanzo + fava bean flour. I’ll admit, I was pretty skeptical. Bean flavored cinnamon bread? No thank you. But it tasted great! Not even a hint of bean flavor!
The bread was baked in a square baking pan and it is SUPER dense. I suppose it’s really more like a muffin than regular sandwich bread. If the bread is cut into 4 pieces (which end up being about the size of a normal slice of bread), each slice is 250 calories! So, I cut a slice in half and spread it with PB+J for my lunch. It looked super small but it was so incredibly dense and packed with fiber + protein from the flour that it was more than enough to fill me up!
For dinner, I was really excited to try this vegetarian chili and I thought it would be perfect to make the cornbread recipe that was with it. It hadn’t just called for cornmeal, but also whole wheat pastry flour. I thought nothing of it as I made the cornbread. Then, as I pulled it out of the oven with great anticipation, I realized what I had done. Whole wheat pastry flour is definitely a no-no on gluten-free week, so the cornbread sat untouched 😦 I’ve waited 3 whole days and I’m finally going to try it tonight!
Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins and blackberries
Lunch: Garden vegetable pasta
Dinner: Salad (spinach, romaine, kidney beans, chickpeas, balsamic vinegar) + HUGE plate(s) of pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and strawberries (Hy-Vee salad bar!! 😀 )
You read that right….pasta at lunch. I was working and they only put out a few leftovers for staff. The options were huge steaks, leftover fish, the pasta, and a very small “salad bar”. Basically the only thing not containing sketchy meat was the pasta. I was halfway through my food before I realized I was eating gluten 😦 If I hadn’t, I would’ve gone hungry because there were no other options! 😦
Breakfast: Oatmeal with blackberries, banana, and raisins + a kiwi + milk
Lunch: Sauteed zucchini + yellow squash, steamed carrots, honeydew + watermelon
Snack: Cinnamon raisin bread with peanut butter
Dinner: Leftover millet + black bean mixture from stuffed peppers + ratatouille
I had leftover filling from my stuffed peppers the other night, but no big peppers to put it in. Good thing it is just as delicious on its own!
There was zucchini, squash, a little bell pepper, and half a tomato leftover from my ratatouille the other night as well, so I had planned on making that for dinner to go with the millet. Then they ended up having almost the same veggies leftover for the staff lunch at work that day as well! I certainly got my veggie servings in on that day!
And that was the end of gluten-free week! It really went pretty well aside from my one mishap at work with the pasta. Honestly, even when we’re serving regular meals, they aren’t very sensitive to the needs of those with different diets. There is only 1 vegetarian entree planned per day and half the time it is covered in processed cheese. There are NO vegan options (unless something occasionally happens to be vegan by chance) and the gluten-free options are slim. In fact, there are none at the dining center I’m in right now! I know other college campuses have WAY more options for varied diets and I’m hoping that at some point we can get on the same page too!
I hope you enjoyed my gluten-free week recap! It was definitely a great experience and I learned a TON! Now, I can’t wait to finally try that cornbread tonight with the last of my veggie chili!