It’s time to get out and spend time with friends or go on a vacation. Eating on the go with gluten sensitivities or allergies can be difficult though. There aren’t always great food options available when you are out and about. In fact, many places offer a risk of cross-contamination or don’t have a gluten-free menu available. We have a few delicious on-the-go gluten-free meal ideas.
On-the-Go Gluten-Free Meal Ideas
Please always check ingredients when preparing items for a gluten-free meal. Some manufacturers will change their process or ingredient list. Taking the time to check ingredients before buying an item will help you to avoid gluten contamination.
Pack a Cooler
Spending the day out with friends at the beach or on an adventure can be a lot of fun. Not having the right foods on hand can quickly hinder the experience. Don’t show up empty-handed. Instead, pack a cooler with items that are safe and let you join in on the day’s activities. Here are a few ideas of gluten-free items you could pack in your cooler.
- Gluten-free charcuterie board - Charcuterie boards are a huge trend right now. Spending some time putting together a gluten-free version for yourself with gluten-free crackers, cheese, meats, and fruits.
- Gluten-free sandwiches - Bring along gluten-free bread, lunch meat, and all of the fixings for a sandwich that is sure to fill you up without worrying about gluten.
- Hummus and gluten-free crackers - Another good option is a box of gluten-free crackers with hummus or dips that you enjoy. Pack a variety of hummus flavors or dips for some different flavors.
- Fruits, vegetables, and sweets - Packing fruits and vegetables is an easy option to have a nice cold treat. Items such as sliced watermelon, grapes, or oranges can all be refreshing on-the-go options. Wanting something sweet? Make sure to add a gluten-free pound cake to put some of your sliced fruit with.
Salads are always a great idea!
When you are on the go, it can help to pack a salad you can mix together later. A good quality salad can be a filling option when you are out with friends or if you need something between activities. Even better, most salads have gluten-free options so that you can safely enjoy them. Putting together your own salads gives you the freedom to use only gluten-free salad ingredients. Here are a few tips for taking salads on the go.
- Don’t put the dressing on - When packing a salad don’t put the salad dressing on your salad. Salads that sit in the dressing are more likely to become soggy. Instead, pack your dressing on the side so that you can add it later.
- Have ice packs for your lunch bag - Salad ingredients can easily go bad. Add an ice pack to your lunch bag to preserve all of your ingredients safely.
- Pack items like eggs and gluten-free croutons separately - These items can either get soggy in the salad or can break down before you are ready to eat them. Instead, mix all of your ingredients together when you are ready to eat them for a salad that is sure to be amazing.
- Be careful with dressings! - Not all kinds of salad dressing is gluten-free. In fact, many will use gluten-rich ingredients as a thickening agent. Before using a salad dressing, be sure to check the ingredients list to confirm it is in fact gluten-free.
Don’t underestimate leftovers.
Leftovers can often get put in the refrigerator and forgotten. This doesn’t have to be the case though. Many leftovers are perfect as an on-the-go meal option. This can include a variety of items you are already cooking in your home. Even better, you can save money by using items you already have instead of buying new things. Here are a few ways to take leftovers on the go.
- Soup travels well - Most soups are a great hearty dish to take on the go. You can put them in a mason jar or sealable bowl to be heated up when you get where you are going. Make your own soup at home for dinner and set aside extra to use for an on-the-go meal option. This will give you the ability to make sure the soup is completely gluten-free.
- Gluten-free pizza is always a hit! - If you have a gluten-free pizza night, save a few slices to use for an on-the-go meal option. There are some great gluten-free pizza crusts on the market that will keep well for a next-day lunch.
- Don’t underestimate casseroles - A gluten-free pasta or rice-based casserole can be the perfect option to take on the go when planning to be out for the day. Prepare an extra casserole when making dinner and set aside some to use for on-the-go meals.
- Keep it simple - When planning meals for on the go, don’t go overboard and make a super involved option. With Pinterest, there are many very involved recipes. Keep it simple with items that are easy to carry, keep, and prepare.
Don’t forget dessert!
Dessert doesn’t have to be skipped when making a move to gluten-free eating. In fact, there are some incredible gluten-free dessert options out there now. As gluten-free eating has become more prevalent, gluten-free options have become more accessible. Packing a gluten-free dessert means you don’t miss out on treats if everyone else is having dessert. Here are a few gluten-free dessert options to consider.
- Pre-packaged gluten-free treats - Items like gluten-free brownies, cakes, and cookies are a perfect way to treat yourself on the go. These can be a good option if you want something sweet you don’t have to prepare.
- Substitute gluten-free flour - If you are planning to make your own desserts, you can substitute traditional flours for gluten-free alternatives so that you can take some of your favorite desserts with you.
- Bring along parfaits and layered desserts - Items like parfaits and layered desserts fit well in a mason jar and are easy to carry when on the go. Make sure to put in a suitcase with an icepack if you use items such as frosting or yogurt.