When I began my gluten-free diet, I worked at a startup tech company. Many days I ate lunch at my desk (I wasn’t really a computer geek, but pretending to be one). I could easily run out and grab a sandwich from the nearby cafe or a bowl of udon soup from a market down the street. But when I found out that the bread and the noodles were the culprits in my stomach pain, I was left scrambling for something to eat at lunchtime. I eventually found stuff to eat (obviously). Here’s what I came up with — standard work kitchen appliances (a frig and a microwave) required:
1. Thai Kitchen instant meals
Thai Kitchen clearly marks their gluten-free products (not all are gf). Their microwavable Instant Rice Noodle Bowls, Instant Rice Noodle Soup (bring your own bowl), Noodle Carts, or Take Out Meals can be made in minutes in the microwave or with boiling water. If you want a little more substance (and nutrition), add chopped vegetables or meat to the noodle bowl before microwaving. Trader Joe’s sells bags of chopped veggies if you don’t feel like chopping your own.
2. Rice cake turkey melts
Take 2 rice cakes, top with cheese and slices of turkey. Put in the microwave or toaster oven until cheese is melted. Eat as is or top with sliced tomatoes, avocado or salsa.
If you can buy fresh tamales, these are an easy and yummy meal. Tamales come in different varieties, are almost always gluten-free and can be microwaved. Eat them plain or add your own salsa, sour cream or guacamole. I love Primavera tamales from Sonoma, CA, found in Bay Area markets and Whole Foods.
5. Homemade Tex-Mex bowl
Rice and beans can be a satisfying meal – take some cooked rice and throw it in a bowl with any kind of canned beans (I like black or pinto), add salsa, meat, olives, peppers, cheese – whatever you like. Take the bowl to work and microwave it all together. Bring tortilla chips to scoop it up.
6. Frozen meals
Rice Expressions makes microwavable bowls of rice for people who really don’t like to cook!
See, you don’t have to starve!
And here are 4 more gluten-free lunch ideas.