Unless you have a gluten intolerance, eating gluten-free might seem like more of a hassle than it's worth. What with hunting for expensive gluten-free pastas and breads in the grocery store and deconstructing every single recipe to make sure there's no hidden gluten, the burden can be quite overwhelming at times. Plenty of healthy, flavor-packed meals are naturally gluten-free, super simple to make, and loaded with good-for-you nutrients. Here are 13 gluten-free favorites from Women's Health.
Grilled Chicken with Asparagus and Quinoa: It looks and tastes like a grain, but quinoa is actually a seed — meaning it's not only gluten-free but an excellent source of protein and fiber, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., a Sonima.com nutrition expert and author of "Read It Before You Eat It." Pair it with grilled chicken and asparagus, and you'll score even more good-for-you nutrients.
>> Recipe: Gluten-Free Kale and Chicken Sausage Pasta
Veggie Omelet: Think beyond the cereal bowl. Veggie omelets are the perfect way to start your day. Use your imagination. Mushrooms are packed with vitamin D; broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes are cancer-fighting machines; and bell peppers curb inflammation, says Taub-Dix. Bonus: Research shows that women who eat high-protein breakfasts stay fuller longer and eat fewer calories during the rest of the day than those who eat breakfasts that are low in protein. Click here for our awesome Greek omelet recipe.
Sauteed Tofu with Mixed Veggies: A natural source of complete protein, tofu can help reduce cholesterol levels, aid in weight loss, and supply a healthy dose of folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin K, according to Taub-Dix. While plain tofu is naturally gluten-free, be sure to read your package's label before you buy; some processed varieties do contain gluten, she says. Pair it with your favorite veggies for an added crunch.
Caprese Salad: "In my book, the combination of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil is a winner anytime," says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, M.P.H., author of "The One One One Diet". With a balanced combination of protein, healthy fats, and gluten-free carbs, this simple summertime dish will keep you full for hours, she says. Plus, it's packed with inflammation-fighting antioxidants and calcium. For some extra vitamins and minerals, try serving it atop a bed of greens, suggests Taub-Dix.
Seafood Kabobs: The perfect gluten-free pick for any backyard barbecue, kabobs have got it going on. To keep your calorie count in check while maxing out your omega-3 and antioxidant intake, skewer some shrimp and scallops with your favorite combination of hearty veggies, like zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers, says Taub-Dix.
>> Read more: You Can Put Anything on a Stick!
Greek Salad: If you want to reap the benefits of a Mediterranean diet — including reduced inflammation, a healthier weight, and a lower risk of heart disease — a Greek salad is the perfect way to start, says Batayneh. Simply toss together some chopped tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, onions, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. Serve over greens, and sprinkle with EVOO. Here's our recipe for a skinny Greek salad.
Hummus and Veggie Lettuce Wrap: Whether or not you're cutting out gluten, lettuce wraps are huge right now. Slather a large lettuce leaf — we recommend butter lettuce — with hummus. Then fill with some avocado, sliced bell peppers, and other veggies for some good crunch, and wrap right up, says Jaime Mass, M.S, R.D. You'll have a handful of antioxidants, protein, and filling fiber.
Curious for more? Click here to see the original article from Women's Health.