Eating well, without gluten

By Ruth Chan, Features Staff Writer

Those bound to a gluten-free lifestyle have found that though it may be tough, it’s definitely not impossible. With a little creativity, it’s possible to create a healthy and delicious meal without a trace of gluten in it.

If you are gluten-free and cooking isn’t your forte, below are three disaster-proof recipes that are perfect for amateur chefs. Plus, they are all vegetarian-friendly.

The Appetizer – Greek Salad Wraps:

These green salad wraps are a Mediterranean-inspired appetizer that will constitute a large part of your daily required intake of fiber. Not only are they completely gluten-free, they are also extremely simple, delicious and can easily impress dinner guests.

Serves 4

4 large lettuce leaves

1 cucumber

1 tomato (or use cherry tomatoes, if you wish)

1 red onion

2 large roasted peppers

3 hard-boiled eggs

Greek Dressing

Extra Virgin olive oil

Oregano, mint and fresh parsley

Goat cheese or feta

1)    Chop up the cucumber, tomatoes, onions, peppers and hard-boiled eggs.

2)    Toss them together with the Greek dressing and extra virgin olive oil until everything is evenly coated.

3)    Spoon the mixture into the lettuce leaves.

4)    Garnish with the herbs and either goat cheese or feta.

Recipe from “Gluten Free Goddess” Blog, http://www.glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

 The Main – Brown Rice with Broccoli, Cheese and Walnuts:

One way for people who have to eat gluten-free to make up for lost nutrients is through starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, soy, beans, corn and rice. Brown rice is very nutritious, filling and has more fiber than regular white rice. This recipe takes 25 minutes to make, and is very straightforward yet rewarding.

Serves 4

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon butter

1 onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup uncooked instant brown rice

1 cup vegetable broth

1 pound fresh broccoli florets

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1)    Preheat oven to 350°F. Place walnuts on small baking sheet, and bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted.

2)    Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic in melted butter for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the rice, add the broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 7 to 8 minutes.

3)    Place broccoli in a microwave-safe casserole dish, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover, and microwave until tender.

4)    Spoon rice onto a serving platter, and top with broccoli. Sprinkle walnuts and cheese on top.

Recipe from Allrecipes.com.

The Dessert – Flourless Chocolate Cake:

There’s always room for dessert, and what better way to end a meal than with a slice of decadent chocolate cake? There are only six ingredients in this recipe, it takes a few minutes to whip up and it is very hard to get wrong. Instead of flour, the recipe uses ground almonds to achieve that similar gooey yet cake-like consistency found in most chocolate cakes.

Serves 12

6 eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 cup ground almonds

1½ cups granulated sugar

½ cup cocoa

1)    Preheat the oven to 356°F. Butter and line a 20cm spring form tin.

2)    Mix together the eggs, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, almonds, sugar and cocoa in a food processor (or, by hand, if you do not have a food processor). Mix until you have a smooth cake mixture.

3)    Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for an hour. It is completely cooked if you stick in a skewer and it comes out clean and free of uncooked batter.

4)    Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a cooling rack.

5)    When cool, decorate as you see fit, or leave it unadorned.

Recipe from Nigella Lawson’s cookbook, Feast

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