Men on a gluten free diet- cheap and easy!

We have a lot of girls in our house right now, so I cannot relate to the heartache of feeding hungry men. But I do know that my husband does really well on a gluten free diet and because of the decrease in cravings for carbs, he has no problem eating on a budget. I hear folks complain about the cost of gluten free foods for the men in their house with bigger appetites. But when you are eating a gluten-carbohydrate rich diet, as many men do, your cravings for carbohydrates goes way up. I am willing to bet that if put on a gluten free diet, most men would naturally lose weight and lose their cravings for high quantities of pastas, breads, bagels, cookies, cakes and other foods rich in refined carbohydrates.
And gluten free pastas are easy people! There are so many varieties to choose from and they all taste really good. However, if you are just coming off gluten-filled pastas, you may need to adjust your pallet. I find that even when we have picky kids over for dinner at our house, the pasta dishes I serve are a big hit. There are three basic types of gluten free pastas: rice based, corn based or quinoa based. Our favorite rice based pasta is by a company called Tinkyada out of Canada. They have 18 varieties of brown rice and white rice pastas, all in various shapes and sizes. They even make a lasagna noodle that is great for making gluten free no-boil lasagna. See their website at http://www.tinkyada.com for more details. Unfortunately, the protein and fiber content of this pasta is a little low, so I love to serve this pasta with a meat or cheese base and lots of grilled or steamed vegetables. They contain about 4 grams of protein, only 2 grams of fiber and 4% Iron and no riboflavin per serving. The corn based pasta cooks a little differently than the rice pastas do. The corn base pasta tends to get a little mushy and turn the water a murky color, so keep your eye on it and do not overcook it. DeBoles and Mrs. Leepers make a yummy gluten free corn pasta if you would like a sweeter, richer flavor of pasta. Our family is partial to Mrs. Leepers products. Although we do not eat their plain pastas, their pasta mixes are excellent and the noodles are fantastic. The only drawbacks to these products, which can be found at http://www.mrsleepers.com are their high sodium content, so we only eat them occasionally for a special treat. Lastly, the quinoa based noodles are an excellent choice if you are looking for a heartier, nuttier flavor in your pasta, more like the ‘whole wheat version’ of gluten free pastas. These noodles pack a little more protein and fiber for your buck, with 4 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, 9% Iron and 8% riboflavin per serving. Our family was introduced to Quinoa Harvest pastas when we went on a cruise a few years ago. We tried it and loved it! Their products can be found at http://www.quinoa.net. They say “Ancient Harvest Organic, Non GMO & Gluten Free Quinoa Grain, Flour & Flakes are 100% Quinoa. Our logo is Ancient Harvest Quinoa with our pastas being a delicious corn and quinoa blend.” So with all these noodles to choose from, it is no wonder we do not miss the old gluten filled pastas in the least.
I do have a few recommendations when eating gluten free pastas. Gluten free pastas still pack in the carbohydrates, so I would keep your serving sizes small and because nutritionally speaking, they are a little low, I would make sure to supplement the meal with a protein and vegetable. Finally, when you are working with these noodles, keep in mind that they may need to cook for more or less time than what is recommended on the box, so tasting is important. And do not freeze these noodles or you will end up with a pasty mush!
Check out the websites for these products, as well as some awesome recipes! Here are some noodles that I made one night for dinner. My girls love eating them with a little bit of olive oil and parmesan cheese! Enjoy!

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