If you are new to gluten-free diet, it can be a bit overwhelming without a doubt. This website was designed to inform and educate you on the do’s/don’ts and how-to’s in your newly gluten-free kitchen. If you are thinking about trying a diet free of gluten or have recently been diagnosed with Celiac’s or a gluten intolerance, the following list is a helpful guide as to what foods you will need to avoid. Keep in mind that this list is not definitive and that there are foods in which you will need to be a GF detective with (ie: some seasonings and beauty products have hidden gluten in them):
The upside about gluten-free living is that it isn’t all negative. No, you cannot eat the bread that is served on the table at your favorite restaurant, but that doesn’t mean that you will never eat a crumb of bread again. You can start exploring with your own gluten-free bread making at home now by following this gluten-free flour guide and how to create your very own all-purpose mix. Not only, that but you will find that being gluten-free means being introduced into a new world of foods that you may have never tried before, let alone never heard of. Think of this new way of eating as a chance to start experimenting in your kitchen and become more creative with your food! Here is a guide to the incredible foods your diet will be introduced to:
Mung Bean: Great for sprouting or extracting the starch to make noodles, thickener or pastes. They also are great additions to soups. Biggest benefit of the mung bean? They’re easy to digest, which our bellies thank us for.
Green Lentils: Lentils are such a great staple to have in the cupboard. they make an excellent addition to soups that are stocked with veggies and lots of leafy greens.
Lundberg’s Wild Rice: The colors are beautiful and give off a nutty flavor. Cook: 1 part rice, 2 parts liquid (try veg broth as your liquid–you will love the flavor!)
Black-Eyed Peas: We all know these guys from a little dish we call “black-eyes peas and ham”. This is something my mom always makes come new years. but for those of us who do not eat meat, this dish can still taste just as good and flavorful. Try using a slowcooker for these and add some garlic, water, salt and a bay leaf or 5.
Gluten-free Cornmeal: I use Bob’s RedMill brand and have been very pleased. I made an extremely tasty cornbread with the meal, flour, flaxseed (as egg substitute), oil and earth balance “butter” and it was awesome! Cornmeal is also used for polenta or as a great added flour in all purpose mixes to give it that hearty flavor and texture for muffins, breads and pancakes.
Quinoa–:A staple in the GF diet: so versatile, healthy and a great nutty flavor. I usually make a bean salad with quinoa, drizzled in citrus juice and lots of cilantro. Even tastes great as a hot cereal substitutes. Cooking preparation: 1 part quinoa, 2 parst liquid.
Brown Basmati Rice: Okay, I think we all know brown rice but have you tried basmati brown rice? Eh? Eh? Nudge, nudge. It’s a longer grain and the taste is something I prefer over regular ol’ brown rice (though that is a great choice as well!) To cook use 1 part rice, 1 parts water (example: 1 cup rice with 2 cups water).
Chia Seeds: These little magical wonders are just that. Magical. Try putting a tablespoon into your oatmeal and see what happens. Want a spoiler alert? It puffs up like tapioca acts like a gelatin. I love chewing on them. They are also used as an egg replacement for baked goods. mix with warm water and let the slurry begin!
Yellow Split Pea: Add it as the thickening base for soups, throw them in for a nice, chewy texture to broth based soups, curry them up, or treat them as a substitute for red lentils (I knew what i was doing here, I swear. it wasn’t a mistake. I know the difference between yellow split peas and red lentils. You believe me, right? RIGHT? Well, you shouldn’t, I’m totally lying…)
Garbanzo Beans (or chickpeas): Oh, if only I could write a love poem to garbanzo beans! wait a minute, I just might do that… later though (to be continued…). Garbanzo beans are one of my favorite beans. They are so versatile and their uses are endless: hummus, meat substitutes, falafel, roasted as a snack, thrown in salads…and on and on. Start using your creativity for this precious little piece of bean.
Red Quinoa: I went up to Paso Robles, CA (heaven on earth!) and dined at a local restaurant that literally served foods that came fresh from their farm to the table. One of their menu items was a salad that was drenched in red quinoa. It was divine, not to mention a great way to use this grain! The red version packs a great crunch. The way i like to use it is to do a medley of red and regular.
Red Kidney Bean: I love to use this bean in a 3 bean chili mix. The meatiness of the kidney bean adds volume and flavor. It also tastes great to add to salads.
Black Bean: This is my go-to bean if I am looking to stuff veggies, make (attempt to make) a bean burger, and anything spicy and mexican-themed. It pairs beautifully with cumin.
Flaxseed Meal: My #1 go-to egg replacer. It adds a beautiful brown hue and emits a lovely wheat flavor in your baked goods.
Adkuzi Bean: Another item that your belly will thank you for, the adkuzi bean is one of the more easier to digest beans. It is also a great substitute for black beans. Try making a burger from these guys–you will find the nutty, sweet flavor definitely interesting and worth trying!
Millet: Nutty, easy to digest. similar to couscous. I have used millet for skillet cakes, a side dish and yup, you guessed it, stuffed inside veggies. My fav? Simply as a side dish, cooked in veggie broth, sauteed with garlic and onions. Sometimes simple is better! Sometimes. Cooking preparation: 1 part millet, 2 parts liquid (brown in skillet first for 5 min., boil, simmer covered 15-20 min.)
Black Quinoa: Surprise! another color to quinoa!
Anasazi Bean: Sometimes I don’t even want to eat this bean–I just want to look at it. isn’t it adorable? But it must be eaten, so when I feel like a different variation on a mexican dish, I like to use these beans in place of black or pinto beans. You will find that they are quite comparable to the pinto (bean, that is, not the car…) Oh, and rumor has it, they make you toot less. Could be a selling point?
Madagascar Pink Rice: I like this rice because I sound like i am cultured. ”What did you eat for dinner last night?” “Oh you know, the usual. Pink rice from the mountainous regions of Madagascar, lovey!” ←just so we are clear, I have never been to madagascar, nor do I even know if it has a mountainous topography. Seriously though, try this rice. It is a mild one–try it as a rice pudding?
Lima Bean: I love the almost buttery flavor lima beans give. My favorite way to eat them is simply on their own. Maybe with a tad of non-dairy butter, seasoned with salt and pepper. Easy enough.
Arborio Rice: Short grain, white rice–the perfect usage is in risotto, according to my preference. It is the only way I cook with this rice.
Navy Bean: Mmmmmmmmm. Small. Flavorful. Gets a beautiful creaminess to it when you slow cook these guys on low heat over a long period of time. Throw in water, onion, garlic, herbs, bay leaf, salt and cover. You will love the creamy bean medley that occurs.
Canario Bean: Creamy like the pinto bean. You can use it as a substitute or even try it mashed up like refried beans. These beans also work nicely in soups for added protein. Lovely, I must say.
Quinoa Flakes: I will say that the flakes do some serious hard work in your baked goods. They make them hearty and moist (I hate that word!) You can also use them as a substitute for your morning hot cereal routine. Add a dash of brown sugar, honey, or agave and maybe some non-dairy butter. Mmmm….
Green Split Pea: Does this really need explaining? Split pea soup anyone??? YES PLEASE! End of story.
Rolled Oats (GF): To my surprise, oats are gluten-free naturally. It’s just the way in which they are treated in the manufacturing process that you have to watch out for gluten. I buy Bob’s RedMill brand and am happy as a clam (how do we know that clams are happy, by the way?) using them as my breakfast.
Red Lentils: A great ingredient when cooking with Indian flare! These guys tastes beautifully with coriander, ginger, garlic, cilantro, lemon and tumeric (if you do not have tumeric in stock, run, don’t walk, to the store and buy some!)