A Starter Guide to Going Gluten-Free (Part Two)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

(Before you get started: don’t miss part one of this series, here!)

Food that’s just gluten-free, without any recipe-tweaking

The easiest foods to pass over while you’re gluten-free? Probably the ones that never contained gluten to begin with. These foods didn’t need any alteration or tweaking, so it’s pretty easy to forget that they are gluten-free.

Think sushi, Chinese fried rice, Greek rice with feta and lemon (which I am a total sucker for, oh my god), nachos (depends on who makes the chips, mind you), chips (crisps and fries; potato, sweet potato, and rice), popcorn, most meat and vegetable dishes… the list goes on. Japanese, Chinese, and Korean restaurants will almost always have something you can eat while gluten-free, and there’s usually at least one appetizer on a basic menu that you’ll be able to have – fries, or (if you’re nightshade-free) sweet potato fries, for instance.

At home, try eating more things like meatloaf with rice, shepherd’s pie (aka pâté chinois or cottage pie, depending on where you live), potato-free shepherd’s pie (boil a head of cauliflower until soft, then strain and blend through a food processor; makes a flawless impostor mashed potato) – basically, any “normally” gluten-free dish.

A number of breakfast cereals are gluten-free, too – it might just take some time to sort through the ingredients lists, if your supermarket hasn’t already separated them out. I’ve been head over heels for Honey Nut Chex recently, and I was hooked on Barbara’s Puffins line before that. (The Peanut Butter ones are super tasty on their own, and the Cinnamon cereal is delicious with a banana cut in.)

And then there’s the oatmeal.

I could write an entire post just on oatmeal; I’m a total sucker for it. I grew up hating oatmeal, actually, avoiding it at all costs and grudgingly swallowing it down if I had to, but it turns out… well, it turns out that my mom and I just like very, very different oatmeal. She likes hers soft and watered-down with milk; I like mine with more texture, a dash of cinnamon, and just a touch of honey. If oatmeal’s always been too soggy for you, try cooking it with a sprinkling of cinnamon and a smaller water-to-oats ration, then stir in a tiny bit of honey and just a drop of vanilla once it’s done.

I kid you not, good oatmeal is practically life-changing. 

If that gets boring, try it with apple chunks (cut up a quarter of an apple and throw it in as your oatmeal cooks), dried cranberries (add them in at the end), or –to make it totally unhealthy–toss in a few semi-sweet chocolate chips right before you eat it. Or, try it baked – a recipe like this one or this one should do it.

Snacks and desserts

Keep reading! »

A Starter Guide to Going Gluten-Free (Part One)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I was talking to Elaine (@TOBeautyReviews) on Twitter last week, and I promised to send her an email about going gluten-free. While writing that email, though, it occurred to me that I might as well post it on theNotice, because why not, right?

From there, the post sort of got out of hand (because that’s how I roll, apparently), so here’s a not-so-quick starter guide on going gluten-free. I hope you find it helpful!

Why I’m gluten-free

I went gluten-free a few years ago, after my sister had some blood testing done & found out she was gluten-intolerant. (She’s supposedly intolerant to most other things, too, but… well, we didn’t really buy into it. After three weeks of an extremely restricted diet, she decided it wasn’t for her, but kept the gluten out.) My family cut gluten out of her diet, and it sort of fell out of ours, too.

I ended up going G-Free by accident. It was gradual, but with less gluten just “kicking around” in the house, I just started consuming less and less. And the longer I was off it, the more I noticed when I did eat it - I’d grab a sandwich while out and about, for instance, and find myself lethargic and mildly bloated afterwards.

So, I cut it out entirely. As you may or may not already know, I have fibromyalgia and (currently in remission) rheumatoid arthritis, so every little bit of energy really counts in my day to day life. Not everyone with fibro and RA will also be intolerant to gluten, but for me, it was a no-brainer: as much as I love “real” bread, when the flipside was being tired, bloated, and feeling kind of foggy, going g-free just made sense for my lifestyle.

Anyhow; that’s my story. I hope it can help inspire you to have your own gluten-free adventure, even if you’re just going to try it on for fit! ;)

Breakfast breads (are the best kind of breads)

I have a soft spot for breakfast food, but it’s a good starting point for going gluten-free, too. Quick breads do all their rising in the pan (or the oven), so there’s no waiting or extra timing involved – just a bit of xanthan gum added to the recipe (sometimes), but aside from that, it’s just like making “normal” breakfast foods. 

I’d start with Gluten Free Cooking School’s Light and Fluffy Gluten-Free Biscuits, which are hands-down the tastiest biscuits you’ll find, gluten-free or not. (Seriously; they’re really, really tasty.) They bake on cookie sheets and don’t need kneading or time to rise, so the recipe is easy to put together – the hardest part is that you have to grate a chunk of frozen margarine, which, well, weird. But also kind of fun.

Keep reading! »

And then I made an apple-rhubarb crisp and it was tasty, too

Monday, June 20, 2011

So I really did enjoy yesterday night’s strawberry-rhubarb crumble, but then I woke up this morning with an obsessive need to use up the rhubarb from the backyard, and I don’t like my baked goods nearly as sweet as my sister does…

Anyhow. Here’s another recipe to try, and I promise, it’s deliciously tart.

(The recipe…)

So I made a strawberry-rhubarb crumble and it was tasty.

Mix in a medium bowl:

3T flour (if gluten-free: use any mild flours. Rice, brown rice, or sorghum would be my choices.)

1t cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

1/c brown sugar, packed

1/c butter or margarine

2 1/2c oats

(The recipe…)

Trim meets tasty with Dr. Tabor’s Crispy Lace Non-Naughty Nibbles

Friday, June 17, 2011

The sun finally came out of hiding for a couple hours, so I’ve finally been able to take photographs of my most recent obsession. Nope, it’s not blush, and it’s not lipgloss or sunscreen…

The product: Dr. Tabor Crispy Lace Non-Naughty Nibbles

Why they’re awesome: I’m currently hooked on these because they’re super lightweight (which makes them easy to throw in my bag & carry around), but they’re still tasty and surprisingly filling – more filling than a basic ‘ol granola bar, even! Not to mention, they’re better for you than a lot of granola bars are: there’s about three grams of fat in each bag, two grams of fibre, and seven (!) grams of protein.

Some of the reviews I’ve read mention that they’re not very flavourful, but I actually beg to differ – I’ve tried three or four of the flavours already, and all of them have been quite flavourful, if you ask me! But, I suppose, it’s worth noting that I have like, the most bland palette ever :P

But you’re not on a diet: Yes and no. I’ve never gone on a diet to lose weight, and I don’t ever plan to (I love food way too much!) but I am on a gluten-free, caffeine-free, low-dairy, low-sugar diet. I know, it can get pretty crazy, but I’m lactose intolerant & things like gluten and sugar really aggravate my fibromyalgia.

My dietary restrictions mean that it can be pretty hard to find food that I can eat on the go, which is why these are perfect: one little bag of Non-Naughty Nibbles can tide me over from breakfast to a late lunch (think an 8 AM breakfast, then lunch around one or two), and I’m more than happy to prevent a mid-afternoon blood sugar crash by eating a bag of tasty treats! :D

Find them at: Dr. Tabor, QVC

P.S. Have you heard of Sensa? It’s a unique weight loss tool that’s designed to reduce caloric intake, making the food you’re already eating even more diet-friendly. And yep, it’s gluten-free, too ;)

(Ingredients, nutrition info and more…)

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