NEW YEAR, NEW YOU: GLUTEN-FREE... FOR ME?!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Van’s International Foods. The opinions and text are all mine.

I know, I know.  Gluten-free?  Really?  Really?  Yes, really!  Now, I’m not claiming to suffer from celiac disease nor am I saying that I will never savor a bite of gluten-full something or other again because those would be lies and I don’t lie to you guys.  As mentioned in my first #newyearnewyou post, my goal for 2017 is to make resolutions that aren’t restrictive so I can stick to them all year and for many more to come.  One of those easy-to-maintain resolutions is incorporating gluten-free products into my diet to substitute the gluten-full carbs I tend to overdo as regularly as possible.  I’m not going to break my back over it or curse myself if I indulge in some gluten every now and then but in today’s world, it’s actually very easy to find gluten-free alternatives at a majority of grocery stores, including your local Meijer where I bought the ingredients for the delicious gluten-free recipe I’ll share with you below!  Before I get to the good stuff, let me quickly educate you on gluten in layman’s terms because it’s the only way I finally understood why I should make a valiant effort to stick to this uber-trendy resolution.

Gluten Basics:

What?  Proteins that act as a glue that holds food together.

Where?  Wheat, barley, rye (AKA breads, pasta, cereal, baked goods and more yummy stuff)

How?  Don’t know but it helps food keep its shape and dough-y consistency.

Why is gluten bad if the food it’s in tastes so good?  Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to eat glue?!  Just kidding.  Not quite the same.  Most people (not all) just don’t digest gluten very well causing bloated bellies and the repercussions of them, which I will not get into but it’s all around unpleasant!

Don’t worry folks, giving up gluten doesn’t mean you need to give up flavorful, delicious meals and snacks!  I would never deprive myself of that or recommend that you do.  Life is about enjoyment and there’s little I enjoy more than food.  Thanks to Van’s Foods scrumptious wide-range of gluten-free products, your options are endless and I’ve whipped up a couple great toppers for Van’s Fire Roasted Veggie Gluten Free Crackers that you can enjoy as an appetizer, mid-day snack or even lunch!  Another indulgence I eat way too much of is mayo so these recipes are both gluten-free and mayo-free.  This post is all about the #newyearnewyou after all, right?  Go big or go home!

Mayo-Free Tuna Salad Bites

Ingredients

Van’s Fire Roasted Veggie Gluten Free Crackers
1 can water-packed canned tuna, drained
1/4 lemon, juice only
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 small avocado, mashed
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mayo-Free Egg Salad Bites

Ingredients

 Van’s Fire Roasted Veggie Gluten Free Crackers
4 eggs, hard boiled and mashed
1/4 lemon, juice only
1/2 small avocado, mashed
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Sprinkle of garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
*Option: Chopped dill to taste

Prep

 Boil, chop, juice, and mash all of your ingredients.  It’s hard to resist but try not to eat all of the crackers while doing so… and if you can’t help yourself, don’t get caught like I did! 

 Once all of your ingredients are prepped, simply combine them in a bowl and spoon mixture   onto Van’s Fire Roasted Veggie Gluten Free Crackers! 

 There ya have it… a couple of super easy mayo-free, gluten-free recipes that are nutritious and most importantly, delicious.  Try them at home next time you get peckish and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!  For more tasty Van’s Gluten Free products, head to your local Meijer store and be sure to download the coupon for $1.00 off before you do!  If I’ve inspired a new #newyearnewyou resolution or you have any smash-hit additional ingredients you’ve added to personalize these ingredients to your tastes, let me know if the comment section below!