Reyanna's Food Tips and Cafeteria Guide:
Most times, eating in the cafeteria is a pain in the butt. So here are some tips to help you get through the years to come:
I think I've become pretty creative when it comes to cafeteria foods and also just eating at home. Both my parents are chefs so I think they had a hand in that! They have taught me well, I suppose. Here are some creative ideas and solutions for eating Gluten-Free (GF). Check out each item listed here because each one has one or more creative ideas. I hope this helps. Happy Eating!
Eggs (I love eggs, from my head down to my legs. Scrambled or fried, with the guys. The incredible, edible egg!)
Potatoes (diced, sliced, seasoned, hashbrowns, baked potatoes, etc
Corned Beef & Hash (Libby's and Hormel are GF. Butter the pan first, fry the contents of the can, and add an egg. It will cook and scramble with the corned beef & hash.)
Pancakes/Waffles (there are many GF mixes out there that are easy and wonderful!)
Fruits (see Fruits section)
Cereal (Cocoa Pebbles, Fruity Pebbles, and Kellogg's Corn Pops are all GF Corn Pops is sometimes made in the same station has gluten products. One out of every 100 boxes is said to be cross-contaminated or made next to a gluten-containing product.)
Cheese sticks (buy a block of cheese, and cut)
Cheese and rice crackers
Grilled cheese sandwich on GF bread
Melt cheese on elbow pasta for Mac&Cheese (See Recipes)
A slice of cheese on a piece of GF bread - then nuke it! (Add a piece of meat too. You could probably do this at your school cafeteria if they have a microwave.)
Oh! And if your school has a pub or grill, you can bring some slices of GF bread, and ask them to make you a grilled cheese. I've done this, and they were totally cool about it. They just charged me for a grilled cheese sandwich, but it was worth it. Since GF bread is thin, they did 3 slices of bread with 2 slices of cheese between each slice of bread. You can also get a Snackster-machine-thingy and make grilled cheese yourself that is super speedy. Or you can just make it on a pan (the regular way). When GF bread is grilled or toasted, it tastes JUST like real bread! Yeah! And you can use two slices of bread. Just use 2 or 3 slices of cheese for the best taste.
Tacos/Tostadas (If you keep ingredients in the fridge, these are quick. See Tacos/Tostadas section)
GF Chicken Strips (see Recipes)
Chicken (If you have a Foreman Grill, just put basil, salt, and pepper on a chicken breast, and throw it on the grill.)
Grilled Cheese Sandwich on GF bread
Sandwiches (see Sandwiches section)
Salad (see Salads section)
Pasta (see Pasta section)
Hot dogs (these are super quick!)
Rice w/steamed veggies
Corned Beef & Hash (one of my faves! Butter the pan first, fry the contents of the can, and add an egg. It will cook and scramble with the corned beef & hash.)
Dip it in peanut butter
Apples - Always tastes yummy with melted caramel dip or peanut butter! Oh, and applesauce is good with some cinnamon.
Bananas - my favorite fruit! Dip these in peanut butter for a yummy treat or slice some onto peanut butter and a rice cake. Or microwave some GF chocolate chips. Use a fork to dip small slices of banana inside. Then dip in chopped peanuts and place on waxed paper. Stick in the freezer! And presto! Frozen Monkey Bites! Also if you have ripe bananas (all brown ones), you can smash them into some pancake mix for banana pancakes! It makes them light and fluffy too!
Blueberries/Raspberries - These are delicious when they are frozen! Place them on waxed paper on a cookie sheet in the freezer. When they are frozen, you can put them in a plastic baggie. Put these in yogurt, ice cream or cereal!
Cantaloupe - My favorite dessert uses cantaloupe. It's quick and easy to prepare and very yummy. Jeremy perfected the recipe. (see Recipes)
Grapes - These taste best frozen, I think. Take them off the stem first, stick in a sandwich baggie or on a plate, and freeze! (Oh, hey this just reminded me! Gummy bears taste really good frozen too!)
Grapefruit - You can cut this like you cut orange slices. Or you can cut in half, sprinkle on sugar, and eat with spoon.
Lemons - Now that I can't have most salad dressings, I use lemons instead. Just squeeze a lemon on your salad. Don't worry about it being sour. It's not bad at all! It tastes like Italian dressing (only healthy and GF!) Also, you can squeeze a lemon on any fruit or vegetable and will keep it from turning brown or wilting throughout the day. Use this idea for salads (fruit or vegetable) that you want to take to school.
Strawberries - Slice these and stick them in a bowl. Pour in a little bit of water and some powder sugar in there to make it sweet! You can eat it like this or use this along with whipped cream on top of GF waffles!
Watermelon - Since this fruit is water-based, you can blend it into a "slushy." You can add ice like a Mr. Misty from Dairy Queen or My Aunt Joy taught me to pour it into Jell-O cups and freeze them with a popsicle stick or without. They make great frozen desserts or popsicles!
When I found out that I had CD, I thought I'd really miss spaghetti. However, I have found two great alternatives. My favorites are Thai Rice Noodles and Quinoa brand corn spaghetti. You can make both of these in the microwave or stovetop. After you're done boiling them, and their nice and soft, make sure you rinse them off nicely with cold water because rice and corn noodles both have this filmy stuff that sticks to it when it's cooked. At the dollar store, you can get a colander (a bowl with holes in it) to rinse them in. You need to re-heat the pasta if you want it hot. Both taste great with spaghetti sauce. Makes a great meal!
Another idea for these spaghetti noodles: If you don't mind cold pasta, add some lettuce, veggies, and salad dressing for a nice pasta salad. This is great! And you can put it in a plastic container and bring it to school.
Well, since Mac&Cheese is one of the major food groups in the teenage years, I thought I'd give you some tips on making GF Mac&Cheese. See Reyanna's Macaroni & Cheese in the Recipes section.
Peanut butter with
P.S. If you didn't know it In addition to being a wonderful snack, Peanut butter will get gum out of your hair. Just rub creamy (never chunky) peanut butter on the gum in your hair, and the oils in the PB will dissolve the gum. Just rinse under water and comb it out!
Before you cook the rice, add a teaspoon or two of GF chicken base. It gives it just a hint of chicken flavor.
Add some spaghetti sauce. It's different at first, but very yummy!
Add some steamed vegetables. Go to the 'Vegetables' section for an idea on quick steaming.
Add some salad and salad dressing for something new. This travels well in a plastic container. But don't add the salad dressing before you leave or it won't taste as good.
GF bread tastes better when it's heated. You can stick it in the toaster or the microwave for a few seconds to make your sandwich taste better.
Another idea is using lettuce instead of bread to make a sandwich. My Honorary Grandma, Rebekah, showed me this, and I love it! Take one piece of lettuce, add a slice of cheese, a piece of meat, some tomato, and slap another piece of lettuce on there to sandwich it! This lettuce idea also works GREAT with hamburgers. I love hamburgers again. If your cafeteria is having hamburgers one day, just ask them to 'hold the bun!' AND You can still have McDonald's and Burger King! Just ask for no bun, and two pieces of lettuce! Or for a super-duper quick snack, use one piece of lettuce, one piece of cheese, one piece of meat, and roll it up like a burrito.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on GF bread are my new favorites! I eat them just about every day.
The last idea I probably use most of all. Grab a rice cake and throw some peanut butter on there. Go for the jelly too! My cafeteria has a jar of peanut butter out for sandwiches. I bring my own rice cakes if I don't feel like bread. Place slices of apple or banana on top of the peanut butter. This is my favorite!
Chunky Chicken Broccoli Cheese
Over Christmas vacation, my dad and I made GF chicken soup from scratch. It was delicious. You can find it in the Recipes section of this site.
If you want a quicker snack, grate some cheese and sprinkle on top of a tostada shell. Stick it in the microwave for about 15 seconds or until cheese is melted. I call this a cheese-crisp. Yummy!
Toss in some chopped celery. This tastes great. Eat it with a fork or spread on GF bread or a rice cake. If pickles are your fancy, throw some chopped pickles in your tuna fish.
Sometimes I won't put celery in there, and I'll just use celery sticks to dip in tuna.
You can also use rice crackers to dip in tuna (with the celery too!)
For a new tuna meal, see my recipe for Reyanna's Macaroni & Cheese in the Recipes section.
Unsafe Cafeteria Foods:
Steamed Vegetables - This is probably one of the most important cooking lessons I got from my parents. Okay, you are never going to believe how easy this is! Okay, first, grab a plastic baggie that zips to close on the top. Throw in some fresh broccoli, celery, spinach, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, zucchini, snow peas or whatever vegetable you prefer. Run the baggie (with the veggies already inside) under water and shake it up. Pour out most of the water, except maybe a tiny little bit on the bottom. Close the bag except for about a half inch to an inch at the corner. Throw the bag full of veggies in the microwave for about one - two minutes. Voila!! You have steamed veggies! Be careful though, this bag will be so hot! Pour them in a bowl and put on some butter and salt. Yummy!
Celery - I buy a whole stalk and then cut it up into celery sticks on the first day I buy it. I put the sticks back into the bag and put it back in the fridge. Then throughout the week, I can just grab a handful and go! You can use celery sticks to dip in peanut butter, GF salad dressing, tuna fish, hummus, or just eat them alone.
Canned Veggies - These are so cheap! Usually you can buy them 3 for a dollar at the grocery store. Stock up and keep them on hand. When you need some veggies, just pour the can into a bowl and nuke for about 1-2 minutes or until hot. Add butter and salt!
Raw Veggies - These are great because they don't need to be prepared. You can just stick these in a sandwich baggie and throw them in your lunch.