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Forget dinner deprivation -- these easy gluten-free recipes will satisfy your family's taste buds and won't take all day to make.

 

 

Gluten-free food is more than just a fad. For people with gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, foods containing gluten can cause serious and long-lasting health concerns. Gluten intolerance can run in families, but often only one person is affected, leaving family chefs scratching their heads over what to serve at mealtime. Luckily, easy gluten-free recipes can be both simple to plan and delicious to eat.

"Going gluten-free takes juggling -- especially at first when it's new -- but definitely gets easier over time," says nutrition coach and registered dietitian Cheryl Harris. "I recommend families go for naturally gluten-free foods whenever possible. Otherwise, parents or nannies are making separate meals, and that's both a hassle, plus can get pretty pricey," she adds.

Many recipe basics such as milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt and meats are already gluten-free. You can morph some of your family's best-loved meals into gluten-free versions quickly by substituting gluten-free products for the ones you normally buy.

"Lots of easy gluten-free recipes can be made by using ingredients in creative ways. For example, you can crush up gluten-free nacho chips for breading chicken cutlets instead of using bread crumbs," suggests Shelley Case, a dietitian and the author of "Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide."

A little imagination always goes a long way in the kitchen, but on those nights when you just don't have time to experiment, try these eight quick and delicious gluten-free recipes -- sure to become family favorites in no time.
 

  1. Chicken Nugget Meatballs
    This easy gluten-free recipe from I Breathe I'm Hungry will satisfy your child's fast-food cravings, pronto. It uses ground chicken or turkey, eggs, fresh rosemary, onion powder and celery seeds for the meatballs and a combination of almond and coconut flour, plus paprika and garlic powder, for the coating.
     
  2. Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
    You don't have to give up bread or the delicious, homey smell of baking at home. This easy-to-make bread from Oh My Veggies trades all-purpose flour for a gluten-free version before adding Meyer lemons, crunchy poppy seeds and a sweet glaze. This recipe does double duty as a quick before-school breakfast and yummy dessert.
     
  3. Mediterranean Chicken and Spinach Rice Bake
    If you've got a bag of chopped frozen spinach in the house, you're on your way to making this cozy supper recipe from the Gluten Free Goddess. You'll also need tomatillos, plum tomatoes, garlic, chicken breasts, mozzarella, goat cheese, brown rice and gluten-free lemon-pepper seasoning. "Spices and seasonings are often wheat blends, so make sure to double check," cautions Case.
     
  4. Superfood Blueberry Buckwheat Porridge
    This nutritious and easy gluten-free recipe combines creamy organic buckwheat, cinnamon, canned coconut milk, maple syrup, chia seeds and blueberries and takes less than 20 minutes from pot to bowl. Get full cooking instructions from the Roasted Root.
     
  5. Cheesy Grits with Ham and Rainbow Chard
    This half-hour meal from the Gluten-Free Doctor can be easily made vegan without the ham and cheese. Scrumptious either way, you'll also need polenta, a strong-flavored cheese (such as cheddar), butter and rainbow chard.
     
  6. Beef Fajitas
    This delectable and tender fajita recipe from Case combines flank steak with pico de gallo, colorful bell peppers, lime juice and spices like garlic powder, chili powder and cumin and cilantro. It also uses gluten-free corn tortillas, a food swap well worth the added pennies.
     
  7. Very Berry Breakfast Shake
    You'll need a blender for this frothy treat, yummy for breakfast or as an after school pick-me-up. You can use any combination of fruits that your family loves, plus milk and honey. Find this easy gluten-free recipe at BeFreeForMe.
     
  8. Five-Ingredient Easy White Chicken Chili
    You can race the clock and make this dish right before the dinner bell rings, or cook it all day in a slow cooker. Either way, this yummy one-pot meal uses shredded chicken and chicken broth, beans, cumin and salsa verde. Add your own flair by garnishing each bowl with your family's favorite toppings. Get the the quick recipe at from Gimme Some Oven.


Want more delicious ideas? Try these 30 Gluten-Free Recipes for Kids.

Corey Kagan Whelan is a freelance writer living in New York.

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