The site’s been a little silent the last couple of weeks as I’ve had some Uni exams. Exams are stressful there’s no doubt about it. If you’re anything like me, when the busiest times hit, it’s difficult even remembering to eat, let alone knowing what to grab that’s gluten free and will fuel your brain cells just when they need it most.
So I’ve gathered a few tips.
That’s right. The simple Spud. Whack one of these beauties in the oven, rubbed with a little olive or coconut oil and salt, and pricked with a fork (so it doesn’t explode!). Leave it for a whole two hours on 180 degrees C, and you can get back to work while you inhale the increasingly scrumptious aroma. I’ve found this is THE best way to get that reeeeally crispy skin, with the fluffy potato on the inside. These beauties are gluten free, vegan, free from anything but potato of course. Topping potential is versatile. Here are a few suggestions:
Butter & Cheese
Baked beans & cheese
Tuna mayo & sweetcorn
Smoked salmon & cream cheese
Prawns in white lasagne sauce (Honestly try it, it’s an unexpected hit).
To be even more adventurous with these toppings take a look at these other Amazing Ways to Eat a Baked Potato for Dinner
Pair it with a large handful of salad or veggies on the side and you’ve got a pretty nutritious, sustaining lunch or dinner right there.
Another top tip: Bung two or more into the oven and leave them in the fridge for an easy grab the next day.
Sandwiches make the perfect quick snack or lunch to whip up when you’re busy.
We recently gave a brief review of this Wholesome Vitality Loaf from Schar and have to say it’s one of our favourite gluten free breads for making sandwiches that aren’t filled with giant holes and don’t self destruct the second you pick them up, leaving you sandwich eating via knife and fork.
If you’ve already found another gluten free bread equally heroic then fab! (Please mention it in the comments, we’d love to up the list of our reliable ones!)
Here are my favourite fillings:
Cream cheese, tomato, cucumber and lettuce
Tuna mayo, sweetcorn & cucumber
Mozzarella, bazil & tomato
(Gluten free) veggie burger, cheese, lettuce & ketchup
Beetroot, hummus & lettuce
Avocado, hummus & feta
Avocado, egg, tomato & cheese
Halloumi & mango chutney
For more ideas check out this Ultimate List of Sandwich Fillings
Halloumi & Mango Chutney
I kid you not.
This has become one of my go to suppers.
Chop the halloumi into rectangular pieces and fry it with just the tiniest drop of coconut oil, on a medium-high heat. This requires a little patience. You need to wait for all the liquid from the cheese to dissipate and turn brown before flipping the halloumi over, and then wait for the second side to go brown. What you end up with is halloumi that’s slightly crispy on the outside ridiculously creamy on the inside. The salt is burned off while cooking so provided you cook it long enough, it won’t taste too salty. Pair this with mango chutney for dipping and oh my word. Say no more.
(I usually chop up some pepper or other veggies to dip on the side as well).
Halloumi is a Cyprian cheese, usually produced from goat’s or sheep milk, although some modern varieties are made from cows milk. It does have a high fat content and is pretty high in sodium even if cooked this way, so don’t go too overboard. It’s a terrific source of calcium, and a pretty good source of Vitamin B12 and protein too.
Wraps can be a real winner if you’re stuck for time. Two of my favourites are the Bfree Wraps which come in a few different varieties, and more recently, these Protein Wraps from Warburton. I bought mine from Tesco. These are really filling, tend to contain the filling well, and are pretty nutritious to boot! Work well as a burrito, fajita, wrap. I’m not really sure what the difference is!
Quorn chicken, peppers, red onion, tomatoes, spices, lettuce, a drop of mayo and some grated cheddar.
Grated cheese, lettuce, drop of mayo and lots of black pepper (this one’s super quick when I’m rushed on time).
Hummus and veggies
Avocado, lettuce, tomato & cheese
Eggs, beans and cheese
For more exciting filling ideas check out these 54 Most Delish Wraps
Nut Butter Boats
Sounds mad, but these were one of my go-tos’ back in Uni times.
Grab a couple of sticks of celery, break them in half and spread the nut butter of your choice over them – peanut, almond, cashew, hazelnut all work a treat. It tastes great just like this but I used to make other successful additions as well; Jam, cream cheese, chocolate spread, fruit. Give it a go. You might be surprised!
Celery is High in vitamin K; perfect for preventing blood clots, something you might be at a higher risk for if you’re having to sit down longer to study. Vitamin A; great for weary eyes. Magnesium; brilliant for lowering those stress levels and getting better sleep, high in fibre which aids digestion, and of course, super low in calories if you’re watching your weight. It also contains a natural form of sodium, essential to health. These are just a few of the many benefits celery can provide! Definitely not a vegetable to underestimate!
Add to that nut butter, which is high in healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E and phytonutrients, and you’ve mastered some truly good fuel to keep you going.
Good ol’ Fruit & Veg
It’s true, whole fruits and vegetables are the original fast food. They provide the perfect quick boost for both the body and the brain.
Of course the quickest simplest way is to just grab an apple, pear, a punnet of berries, an orange or a carrot raw and chomp away. I like to do this. But sometimes we all want something a little more interesting, even at the busiest of times. Here are a few ideas:
- Drizzle some olive or coconut oil over some veggies and roast. Cut up sweet potato, tomatoes, peppers, onions, butternut squash, courgette etc. Roast for 45-55 minutes at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and you’ve got a delicious snack, or side for lunch/dinner.
- Dice up a salad. Be adventurous. While cucumber, lettuce, tomato and carrot will always be delicious, mix your salads up with other veggies and fruits as well; chop in some peppers, avocado, beetroot, watercress, spinach, sliced grapes, or even watermelon. Add some seeds, drizzle with lemon, and experiment with making your own dressings.
- Grab a pepper or an avocado, cut them in half, and roast an egg in the middle, topped with some grated cheese. Oh my word. Vitamin C, vitamin E, Fibre, healthy fats, Vitamin B12, choline, protein and more. Simple, delicious, and a nutritious powerhouse.
- Roast some kale for a crunchy snack. Drizzle with a little oil, maybe scatter some seeds on, be generous with the herbs and spices, and set them roasting on 220 degrees C for around 20 minutes.
It always sorta’ reminds me of a parfait.
1. Pick your favourite fruit: I usually go for berries but anything works here. Banana, kiwi, pineapple, mango, acai. The more colourful the better; not only do they look stunning, they pack an even greater powerhouse of nutrients. Prebiotics in the banana pair well with probiotics in yogurt, vitamin C in fruits like kiwi, oranges, pineapple and berries helps to aid nutrient absorption and supports immunity, Berries (as well as other fruits) are packed with antioxidants which provide a range of benefits, along with fibre which is important for a healthy digestive system.
2. Grab your choice of yogurt: I prefer natural greek yogurt; full of live good bacteria which is a godsend to the gut, especially if you’re stomach’s feeling a little off from lack of sleep and stress. If you’re vegan coconut, soy or almond yogurt are great choices, and often also have live bacteria added.
3. Add some crunch: Choose from nuts, seeds, cocoa nibs. I personally like almonds & hazelnuts; full of vitamin E, and chia seeds, which contain omega 3, calcium, fibre and other nutrients.
4. Optional extras: I occasionally add some good quality protein powder, swirl in some nut butter, vanilla extract, perhaps a little honey, and handful of gluten free granola for added crunch.
Layer it if you like, or swirl it altogether with a spoon. Tastes like a dream however you eat it.
Rice Cakes, Crisp-breads, Oat Cakes
These are perfect to reach for when you’re busy.
Nairns make some fantastic gluten free Oatcakes, and Le Pain Des Fleurs offer some organic crispbreads made from Chestnut, and quinoa, and Amisa have some tasty ones made from buckwheat. Schar also have some great crispbreads.
Some of the flavoured ones taste great on their own, but there are countless toppings which work a treat:
Mozzarella, basil & tomato
Hummus & beetroot
Avocado (with just about anything)
Nut butter & Jam
Smoked Salmon and cream cheese
Paired with a protein filled topping or with soup or salad, these can make a really great lunch, or snack to tide you over til’ dinner.
Baked goods & Chips
If you eat fish, then fish and chips can be a great shout. Choose from plain fish fillets, or gluten free battered fish which is now available in supermarkets like Tesco. Even cutting up a potato or sweet potato to make homemade chips is ridiculously quick and easy! Bung it all in the oven for usually around 20-30 minutes (Read the packaging), boil up some peas a few minutes before you take them out, or to get that real takeaway feel, buy some mushy peas – actually very nutritious and full of resistant starch which is great for the gut! Mushy peas usually take around 30 minutes to cook though, and you will need to keep an eye on those.
Fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel are especially high in omega 3 fatty acids; great for the noggin, amongst other things! It’s also chock full of Vitamin D and protein.
Of course, if you don’t eat fish, you can also bake vegan or vegetarian veggies burgers, or other alternatives that are gluten free.
Well, little is more versatile a food than an egg. I like to have a competition with myself and see how quick I can whip something tasty up. Crack em’ open, and choose from the following:
Sunny side up – This is my usual go to. I love a runny yolk. Simply crack the eggs straight into the pan and wait for the white to solidify. Make sure you remove them before the yolk is cooked (unless you prefer it that way). It doesn’t take long!
Scrambled – Easy as pie, but not pie. Whisk the eggs in a glass or dish, add some milk or cream, herbs and spices, and throw em’ in the pan. TIP: Use a reeeally low heat and cook them as slowly as possible if you can. What you’ll get is a far creamier texture and larger pieces of egg. If you’re in a rush though, shod that! Scramble the eggs as much as possible around the pan to get them to cook as quickly as possible. Grind some black pepper, chili flakes and pink salt over the top before devouring. Either way, delicious.
Omelette – The omelette tastes delicious if you’ve got slightly more time to be careful with the eggs you’re cooking. Whisk them up in a glass or dish first, add a drop of milk, or cream, cheese, a teeny pinch of bi carb (trust me on this), and whatever filling you fancy. I personally enjoy peas, mushrooms and spinach.
Scromlette – The ‘scromlette’ and my personal fave, or perhaps more accurately the one I typically end up with. It’s a cross between an omelette and scrambled egg, basically. You start with the intention of an omelette and it all goes a bit doolally. I rather like it though. The best of both worlds.
Boiled – Boiled are fantastic. Grab your egg timer (or set a timer if you don’t have one) –
Super Runny = 2 Minutes
Soft Boiled = 4 Minutes
Soft-Medium Boiled = 6 Minutes
Medium Boiled = 8 Minutes
Hard Boiled = 10 Minutes
I prefer mine soft boiled. Once they’re done, rinse them in cold water to cool them down quicker and toughen the shell. After that, do with them what you will! Dunk in some gluten free bready ‘soldiers’, add them to salads, or peel the shell and just eat it straight.
Handy tip: Boil a lot at once, and save a few in the fridge to use later. They keep for around 2-3 days. Great for on the go or when you need a quick protein filled pick me up.
We’d love to hear from you! What are your quick eats when you’re on the go, busy working from home, or studying? Do you have favourite gluten free snacks that you like to keep handy? Do you prepare food or snacks in advance? Let us know in the comments below, or find us on Facebook or Twitter, or Instagram!