Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Gluten-free food options: Italian dishes and more

Baked zucchini stuffed with gorgonzola cheese & 
topped with almond meal

Udi's gluten-free bread toasted on the grill

Gluten-free appetizer: Grilled green figs wrapped in proscuitto

Based on a very informal scroll through Facebook, it seems that more and more friends are eating gluten-free diets. I tried the diet for about a week in order to be better equipped to answer questions about gluten-free meals.

Gluten is naturally occurring protein found in wheat and related flours. Some people have a medical reason to avoid gluten. There are claims that the diet, similar to a low-carb diet, helps followers to lose weight while offering other medical benefits.

With some advance planning and attention to labels, it is possible to eat an entirely gluten-free diet without giving up delicious meals.

Here are some easy & naturally gluten-free meal ideas:

Omelets with veggies
Fruit smoothies 
Oatmeal with fruit and nuts

Apple sauce
Hummus with sliced carrots or peppers

Lunch or dinner:
Polenta (try my simple recipe), rice, potatoes, or quinoa with veggies, meat, fish, and poultry (a favorite was baked chicken with an almond meal coating)
Risotto (try my kale risotto recipe)
Vegetarian or meat chili with gluten free chips (the Target brand organic, flax seed chips are gluten-free)

Rice pudding
Ice cream
Fruit & cheese

There are also the gluten-free versions of regularly "gluten-y" meals (that's a real word, right?) We liked Trader Joe's gluten-free waffles, but found Trader Joe’s gluten-free corn penne much too hard. Their instant mac and cheese was the same ("rice pasta & cheddar.") Find a full list of Trader Joe’s gluten-free products here (their prepared goods are much cheaper than what you’ll find at a regular, gourmet or natural foods market.) Trader Joe's carries Udi's sandwich bread, which we really liked. 

I do admit that I didn’t invest in trying gluten-free flours to try preparing baked desserts, pizzas or breads. For more recipe ideas, check out Elana's Pantry.

What are your favorite gluten-free resources?


Anonymous said...

Thanks Chloe! I just gave up all wheat and most gluten (can't give up my beer!), so I appreciate any and all quality gluten-free recipes and meal ideas.

Chloe Yelena Miller said...

Happy help. Have you found any favorite go-to recipes or websites?