(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.