As a singer, it can sometimes be difficult to stick to a dairy-free or gluten-free lifestyle when rehearsing or travelling for auditions. I am both dairy- and gluten-free, so I used to have to pack very boring meals to take to rehearsals. But now many supermarkets have so many great dairy- and gluten-free ingredients available. Why not spice it up a bit? Here are some portable, tasty options that are great for rehearsals or travelling.
Lunch & Dinner Meals
Taking sandwiches and salads to rehearsals can get old really fast. These meals only take a little bit of prep time and are easy to pack up and take with you.
Quinoa Fried Rice:
Quinoa is an excellent gluten-free grain that is easy to prepare and quite filling. You can make a bunch of quinoa at once, and it can last you a couple of days. I use a rice cooker to make quinoa, but you can easily make it on the stove or in the microwave. Be sure to rinse your quinoa before cooking so you can avoid a bitter taste.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- Mixed fresh or frozen veggies- you can use fresh, but precut is faster
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh or frozen chopped onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 eggs
Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the box. Heat your olive oil in a large pan on medium heat, then sauté your onions in the olive oil until they are soft. Then add the garlic and other vegetables, and continue to cook for another five minutes. Add cooked quinoa to the pan and mix until the vegetables are incorporated. Add soy sauce. You can also add other sauces, such as teriyaki or sesame oil, if you prefer. Stir everything together and turn the heat down to medium-low. Push the quinoa to the side of the pan and add the eggs into the cleared spot. Scramble the eggs and mix into the quinoa.
Recipe inspired by Cooking for Keeps.
Avocado salad was a favorite of mine in college and is perfect as a meal or a side. To keep the avocados from browning, leave the pit in with the cut-up avocado and keep it covered.
- 2-3 ripe avocados, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup onion, diced- fresh or frozen
- 1 lime
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Optional additions:
- 1 cup cooked corn- fresh or frozen
- 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
Mix the cut avocados, tomatoes, and onions in a bowl. Add the cooked corn and/or chicken if desired. Add the juice of one lime or to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix, keep covered, and refrigerate.
When I’m travelling, rehearsing, or performing, I need to have snacks with me to keep me going. Here are some yummy options that are perfect for the busy singer life.
Roasted plantain chips:
Plantain chips are the perfect salty or sweet fix and are healthier than regular chips. You can use green plantains for a saltier flavor or yellow plantains for your sweet tooth.
- 1-3 green or yellow plantains
- 1-3 teaspoons melted coconut oil or olive oil
- ½ teaspoon table salt or sea salt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel and cut off the ends of the plantains then slice into thin pieces. Mix the sliced plantains with the oil of your choice. Place the sliced plantains on the parchment paper in a single layer and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the plantains barely start to brown. Remove from the oven, cool, and enjoy!
Inspired by Fed and Fit.
Homemade trail mix:
Trail mix is a great snack, extremely easy to make, and customizable. Simply combine the ingredients of your choosing from the list below for a healthy snack:
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dried cherries
- Dried cranberries
- Banana chips
- Mini marshmallows
- Peanut butter chips
- Gluten-free granola- oat based
For those with a sweet tooth, these dairy- and gluten-free desserts are perfect for on-the-go.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats:
I make these all the time, and they are a hit at parties. I have adjusted the proportions from the inspiration link to make the treat even gooier. Feel free to adjust the amount of butter, marshmallows, and peanut butter to your desired consistency.
- 4 tablespoons of butter substitute- Ex: Earth Balance or Smart Balance
- 1 ½ packages mini marshmallows- about 16 oz
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 6 cups Cocoa Krispies cereal
Melt butter substitute in a large saucepan on low. Add marshmallows and stir until melted, then remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter until completely mixed. Add Cocoa Krispies and stir until combined. Using a spatula, press the mixture into a greased 13 x 9 pan. Cool and cut into squares.
Inspired by Rice Krispies.
Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies:
These cookies are so good that I have to restrain myself from eating them all at once. Also, I usually eyeball how many chocolate chips I put in, and I'm guessing it's more than my recipe suggests. Feel free to add more or less chocolate chips as well as nuts or dried fruit. If you use old-fashioned oats rather than quick oats, the cookies will still be great, but the oats are bigger and slightly tougher to chew. I usually only have old-fashioned oats on hand and personally love the thicker texture.
- 2 cups oats- preferably quick oats
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- ¼ cup white sugar
- Pinch of cinnamon
- ½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips- Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate mini chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a baking sheet. Combine oats, pumpkin, sugar, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add in chocolate chips and stir until combined. Use hands to form balls and press onto baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, remove, and cool.
Inspired by The Big Man’s World.
Hopefully these recipes will inspire you to be more experimental despite being dairy- or gluten-free. Go forth and eat!