Wheat-free lunches

Costs, di­ets elim­i­nate wheat from meals

The Covington News - - Health & Wellness - By J.M. Hirsch

Maybe the low-carb folks had the right idea af­ter all.

With in­creas­ing wheat and grain prices threat­en­ing to turn our daily bread into some­thing like a lux­ury item, it might be time to re­visit some of those flour-free lunch ideas we wa­gered our waist­lines on a few years ago.

The trick to keep­ing a bread­free lunch sat­is­fy­ing is to make sure your menu still packs some heft. Here are some sim­ple ideas for brown bag­ging it with­out hit­ting up the bread­box.

LET­TUCE WRAPS — A gi­ant leaf of let­tuce will never be as sat­is­fy­ing as a crusty baguette or a soft flat­bread, but it is a healthy and in­ex­pen­sive way to elim­i­nate the bread from you lunch.

Use any large-leaf let­tuce, such as Bos­ton or ro­maine, as you would flat­bread to wrap around sand­wich fill­ings, such as deli meat and cheese, chicken or tuna salad, or thinly sliced leftover steak or other meat.

The bonus here is that you can eat more fill­ings (even two wraps) be­cause of the calo­rie sav­ings from bread.

RICE SAL­ADS — Though a grain, brown rice re­mains a rel­a­tive bar­gain. Make it at night, then re­frig­er­ate. In the morn­ing, toss it with chopped veg­eta­bles, cheese, canned beans and vi­nai­grette dress­ing for a sub­stan­tive salad sans crou­tons.

For a sweet touch, mix in some diced ap­ples (toss them with lemon juice to pre­vent brown­ing) or pears, orange seg­ments or dried fruit, such as cran­ber­ries, golden raisins or chopped apri­cots.

BAKED POTA­TOES — If your of­fice has a mi­crowave, sweet or white pota­toes are a no-brainer.

Mi­crowave “baked” pota­toes can be topped with cheese, chopped steamed veg­eta­bles (din­ner left­overs are par­tic­u­larly good for this), canned beans, chopped chicken, chili or even canned veg­etable soup.

EGGS — Make a veg­etablepacked fri­tatta the night be­fore and cut it into slices. Th­ese travel and re­heat eas­ily, and can be fill­ing (es­pe­cially when bulked with veg­eta­bles and topped with a bit of cheese).

Hard-boiled eggs also travel well and are fill­ing. Eat them with a side of chopped veg­eta­bles and a bit of hum­mus or other spread for dip­ping.

SOUPS — A soup or stew jammed with veg­eta­bles, beans and meat will leave you plenty sat­is­fied, and you’ll never miss the noo­dles you oth­er­wise might have added.

This is an­other good chance to use left­overs. A quart of veg­etable or chicken broth and a pile of left­overs (ev­ery­thing from meat scraps to mashed pota­toes) mag­i­cally be­come a money-sav­ing lunch with a bit of sim­mer­ing.


Hot potato: Mi­crowave “baked” pota­toes can be topped with cheese, chopped steamed veg­eta­bles, canned beans, chopped chicken, chili or even canned veg­etable soup for a no-flour meal.

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