The Perfect Gluten-Free Day

If you’re interested in trying this eating style, our six-meal plan provides you with 24 hours of gluten-free eating—the right way. It’s balanced, nutritious, and will keep you fueled and energized all day long

April 20, 2013

Going gluten-free has been touted for relieving stomach problems, fatigue, and pain, as well as for weight loss. But simply avoiding gluten, a protein present in wheat, barley, rye, bulgur, farro, and other nutritious grain products, may result in nutrient deficiencies that affect your health and your workouts. Done right, a gluten-free eating plan can still present a balanced and diverse diet.

“Many healthy foods are naturally gluten-free, such as eggs, meat, fish, poultry, fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, quinoa, teff, and millet,” says Shelley Case, R.D., author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Re- source Guide.

Our flavor-packed gluten-free day is rich in protein vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats. While it restricts certain grains, gluten-free grains such as quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, and wild rice provide the complex carbohydrates you need to stay fueled and energized.


Asparagus and Goat Cheese Frittata
Makes 4 servings (and tasty leftovers!)

1 lb asparagus, trimmed of woody ends
2 tbsp butter
1 small red onion, peeled and diced
6 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
3 oz goat cheese, divided
1 tsp dried thyme

Chop asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Steam or microwave until just crunchy, about 4 minutes. Reserve.
Preheat broiler to 450 ̊. Add butter to a medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Sauté until soft, about 4–5 minutes.
Add eggs, cottage cheese, 2 oz goat cheese (reserve 1 oz), and thyme to a large bowl. Mix well.
Arrange asparagus in the skillet, spreading it and the red onion evenly over the bottom of the pan. Top with the egg mixture.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook eggs until they are set, about 15–20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining goat cheese on top and broil the frittata, in the skillet, for 2–3 minutes.
Cut into wedges and serve warm.

Per Serving
Calories: 304 Protein: 22g
Carbs: 6g
Fiber: 2g
Fat: 22g
Saturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 340mg Sodium: 294mg

smoothieMid-morning Smoothie
Makes 1 serving

1 cup fresh or frozen sliced strawberries
1 medium banana

3⁄4 cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt

1⁄2 scoop (about 1⁄4 cup) plain whey protein powder
2 ice cubes

Place the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, about 1–2 minutes.

Per Serving
Calories: 318 Protein: 30g Carbs: 41g 
Fiber: 6g 
Fat: 1g
 Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 212mg Sodium: 212mg


Chicken, Arugula, and Quinoa Salad
Makes 1 serving

1⁄2 cups arugula

4 oz cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded
 or chopped

2 tbsp minced red onion

1⁄3 cup cooked quinoa

6 sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated and chopped

2 tbsp feta cheese

2 tbsp Champagne vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Toss well to combine.

Per Serving
(with 2 tbsp vinaigrette)
Calories: 515 Protein: 46g Carbs: 42g 
Fiber: 6g
 Fat: 18g 
Saturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 112mg Sodium: 879mg

Champagne Vinaigrette
Makes 3/ 4 cup

3 tbsp olive oil

1⁄4 cup Champagne vinegar
2 tsp honey

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

3⁄4 tsp salt

In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients with
a whisk. Refrigerate unused portion in a covered container.

Per Serving
( 2 tbsp)
Calories: 70 Protein: 0g
 Carbs: 2g Fiber: 0g
 Fat: 7g
 Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 320mg

crackers and salsaLate-Afternoon Meal

Mango and Black Bean Salsa and Gluten-Free Crackers
Makes 1 serving

2 cups diced fresh mango

2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained, if canned

1⁄2 cup diced red onion

1–2 tbsp finely chopped, seeded jalapeño pepper

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp lime juice

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Per Serving
( 3/ 4 cup salsa)
Calories: 228 
Protein: 11g
 Carbs: 48g Fiber: 13g
 Fat: 1g
 Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 618mg

Plus Crackers:
16 Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins

Per Serving
(16 crackers)
Calories: 130
 Protein: 3g Carbohydrate: 23g Fiber: 0g Fat: 2.5g Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 115mg

Per Serving
(3/ 4 cup salsa + 16 crackers)
Calories: 358 Protein: 14g Carbs: 71g 
Fiber: 13g
 Fat: 3.5g Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 733mg


Grilled Flank Steak, Cauliflower, and Wild Rice
Makes 2 servings

5 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp orange juice

2 tsp minced garlic

1⁄2 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste

12 oz flank steak, trimmed of all fat

2 cups steamed cauliflower
2 cups cooked wild rice

In a medium mixing bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Whisk to com- bine. Score the surface of the steak with 1⁄4-inch deep knife cuts, about an inch apart, across the grain of the meat. Add the meat to a quart-size resealable food storage bag.
Add the marinade, seal the bag, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1–4 hours. When ready to cook, use a paper towel to coat the grill rack with olive oil. Preheat the grill with high, direct heat. Grill the steak for about 4–6 minutes on each side. Don’t overcook; flank steak is best cooked medium rare. When the steak is done, place on a cutting board and cover with foil for 5–10 minutes. Cut thin slices of meat against the grain on a diagonal.
To serve, divide steak, cauliflower, and wild rice evenly for 2 portions.

Per Serving
Calories: 577 Protein: 44g Carbs: 42g
Fiber: 5g
Fat: 26g Saturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 59mg Sodium: 271mg

rice cakesPre-Bedtime Snack

Cottage Cheese, Rice Cakes, Almonds
Makes 1 serving

3 rice cakes

1⁄2 cup 1% low-fat
cottage cheese

1 oz (22 nuts) roasted almonds

Per Serving
Calories: 354 Protein: 22g Carbs: 31g
 Fiber: 4g 
Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 5mg Sodium: 547mg

Edamame in Pods
Makes 1 serving

1 cup cooked edamame in pods

Per Serving
Calories: 200 Protein: 16g Carbs: 18g
 Fiber: 8g 
Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 520mg