This is the first in what I hope will be many helpful tips on healthy and gluten free cooking. I will be giving some simple tips on how to make gluten free cooking easier and more enjoyable. This will not be from the certified gluten free side, but mostly dealing with gluten intolerance. I have been a chef for over 25 years and have a wife and daughter who both are unable to eat gluten. This has offered me plenty of first hand experience in dealing with gluten free living. It has also expanded my knowledge that I am able to share with the public.
Receiving the diagnosis of gluten intolerance or Celiac disease can be a shock. The first thing that comes to mind is all of the lifestyle changes you are going to have to make such as not being able to go grab a slice of pizza of making a quick sandwich on whole wheat bread. Also, gluten in found in many foods, other than the obvious, such as soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and oats, just to name a few. Bottom line is you will have to start reading the ingredient labels on all foods, to always be on the safe side. Although going off of gluten requires lifestyle changes, you’re going to feel so much better.
Twenty years ago, you had to send away for most gluten free products, today most gluten free products are readily available in local supermarkets. You can purchase pizza, pasta, bread, cereal (Honey Nut Cheerios are my favorite) and baked good mixes in most stores either in the freezer section or stocked on the shelves. It has become very easy to get your hands on gluten free products and to find gluten free alternatives to the foods that you used to enjoy on a daily basis.
Now the fun begins, I am going to give you a few tips on making the household gluten free and making it easier to go out to eat. A few key ingredients to purchase are gluten free flour (either King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill), gluten free bread crumbs (4 C), gluten free soy sauce and teriyaki sauce (Kikkoman), and gluten free bread (Udi’s Whole Grain) so that you can make the same meals that you made before just with a few modifications. Most importantly, fresh vegetables, fruit, potatoes, poultry, and seafood are all naturally gluten free. You can now make chicken parmesan, stir-fry’s, and simple seafood dishes by using the naturally gluten free products and the key ingredients I previously mentioned, while adding some regular butter and white wine for a sauce. Family and friends will never know the difference; they don’t at my house, even on Thanksgiving!
Hopefully these few tips and the tips to come will make it easier to live gluten free and hopefully you feel more comfortable and confident than you ever did before!