Gluten-free cooking at home

Just because you can’t have gluten doesn’t mean that you have to bid farewell to tasty foods too. There are easy ways to have both a gluten-free diet and flavorful foods that you can make right at home.

Out of necessity or simply as a way to lose weight, it seems a lot of people are choosing a gluten-free diet.

Giving up gluten is common for those with certain food allergies or celiac disease. A recent study by the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that one in 144 Americans has celiac disease – a digestive disorder which can make mealtime a tough task.

Dietitian Amanda Holliday has some good ideas on how to make tasty gluten-free food.

“There are so many grains that are gluten-free,” said Holliday, a dietitian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “There are more grains that are gluten-free than have gluten. It’s just a typical American diet doesn’t know about them.”

One of those grains is quinoa, and it’s easy to use at home.

“Quinoa is an interesting grain, because it’s very high in protein,” said Holliday. “We think of protein only coming from animal product.”

But it’s also high in fiber and vitamins. Boil it, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Then chop up some veggies.

“We’ve got the bell peppers,” said Holliday. “We’ve got the carrots and we have the cilantro.”

Mix in lemon and lime juice, garlic and some gluten-free soy sauce. But remember that gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean meat-free.

“You can eat meat!” exclaimed Holliday.

For this recipe, try baked salmon. Serve it on top of your quinoa salad. That’s it!

Amanda’s gluten-free dish has 100 calories, three and a half grams of fiber and four grams of protein per serving.

REPORT #1998

Toasted Quinoa Salad
1/2 Cup uncooked quinoa 1/2 Cup diced carrots
1/4 Cup chopped red bell pepper 2 Tbsp. minced parsley or cilantro
1 green onion, sliced 11/2 tsp. lemon juice
11/2 tsp. lime juice 2 Tbsp. tamari soy sauce
1 clove minced garlic a dash of cayenne pepper
Rinse quinoa and drain. Put in a pot and dry toast until a few grains begin to pop. Add 1 C of water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.

Kcals: 100 kcals/serving, 3.5g fiber, 4g protein

While quinoa is cooking, mix carrot, red pepper, parsley or cilantro, and green onion in a bowl. Add cold quinoa and toss to combine. Wisk together lemon and lime juices, soy sauce, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Pour over the salad and combine well. Chill until serving time.

Salad can be fun. Other fresh or cooked vegetables can be added for variety.


For More Information, Contact:

Amanda S. Holliday
Clinical Assistant Professor
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC School of Medicine

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