Well, the answer is yes, and no! Yes, you do need to eat gluten-free foods (if you’re coeliac or gluten-intolerant of course), but no, it’s certainly not boring and bland.
There’s no doubt about it: some people think they don’t like gluten-free food. In fact, there are people who have the mistaken impression that all gluten-free food tastes horrible.
The truth is, if you’re gluten-free or coeliac, you are restricted to what you can eat and possibly 10-15 years ago, I might have said it was tasteless and uninteresting but today, I actually see it as a gift eating gluten-free because it makes me explore with different ingredients and flavours which I might not normally try.
There are plenty of healthy and delicious foods that are naturally gluten-free including; meats, fish and seafood, eggs, chicken, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, rice, quinoa and potatoes & kumara. Plus exploring the gluten-free whole grains like buckwheat and millet, legumes, beans and corn, can be added to the list too.
Here I share my top tips on how to make the most of eating gluten-free so you don’t feel restricted and hard done by!
1. Focus on what you can have, not what you can’t have
Rather than feeling like you’re missing out, make a meal that wouldn’t normally include a gluten-containing ingredient like bread, pasta, pastry or noodles and then you won’t miss them.
Experiment with different ingredients like vermicelli noodles, pad thai rice noodles, vegetable noodles, tofu, tofu sheets (instead of lasagne sheets), corn tortillas, unflavoured nacho chips, taco shells, or chickpea flour in savoury fritters & pancakes instead of normal flour. Then when it comes to baking, play around with gluten-free baking mix (which generally performs exactly like normal flour), almond meal and quinoa flour for cakes, biscuits and muffins.
2. Add colours and variety to whatever you’re serving
Even on throw-it-together-in-10-minutes family dinner nights, I try to include colour and variety to all our meals, and if my kids choose not to eat it, I know I’m offering a nutritious meal anyway!
If it’s just hamburgers (which I mostly serve mine without buns or I’ll use gluten-free buns), I’ll add a salad or coleslaw with diced peppers & cucumber on the side (chop up a bunch at one time and use them over the course of a few days), or a side of baked kumara or potato wedges (I bake several and then reheat them as needed — they’ll keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator). Or if I’m making an omelette or quiche, I’m adding as many veggies as I can. By adding lots of different colours, you’re not only adding flavour, but you’re also upping your nutritional value too – a win/win!
3. Just keep it really simple and easy
When you’re eating gluten-free and creating a stir-fry, just use simple flavourings like soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce (ensure gluten-free of course) and honey, with a bit of salt and pepper. It’s all you need for a delicious simple flavour, without having to worry about what ingredients are gluten-free. You don’t need to use packet or jar mixes which often contain gluten and ingredients you can’t pronounce. It’s also going to save you money as well (more about money saving tips next week!).
4. Use loads of fresh herbs and spices
These will transform any dish. If you’re cooking a roast chicken, sprinkle it with a Mexican spice mix, cook a large dish of Indian Dahl or chickpea curry loaded with spices and herbs, and no gluten in sight. Add basil, coriander, mint or parsley in abundance to burger patties, salads, nacho mix, spaghetti bolognese, anything! Herbs & spices completely transform a dish! To show you how to do it, download my FREE Recipe Guide, A Delicious Gluten-Free Day where you’ll get 5 nutritious and easy recipes to you started!
5. Keep it homemade and from scratch
The best way of eating tasty gluten-free is creating from scratch at home where you know exactly what the ingredients are and you can adjust the flavours to suit your taste buds. Look for recipes that use minimal ingredients and seasonal ones which will always be the most economical and full of flavour! And as fresh is best!
“I thought gluten-free eating would be really boring and bland. Years ago we went out with a friend who was gluten-free and the food he had to eat was so disgusting so although I knew I would benefit from being gluten-free, that was my memory, so I was really reluctant. Plus, I thought it would be really hard too.
But I was pleasantly surprised about how easy it is, enjoyable and the meals are delicious.” Adrienne Chapman
If you’re wondering where to start, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
I’ve put together A Delicious Gluten-Free Day Recipe Guide which is kind of like a planned adventure for your taste buds! It will get you cooking amazing deliciousness that will get your taste buds singing! And even if you’re not all gluten-free – no one will ever know – they’re delicious all round!
Download ‘A Delicious Gluten-Free Day’ recipe guide for FREE today!
So, you find gluten-free food boring & bland right? What if I could change your thinking and get your taste buds singing for more?
Grab this FREE recipe guide and enjoy 5 quick and easy nutritious gluten-free recipes, including a breakfast, lunch, dinner, baking, snacks and a delicious dessert! Also includes a baking mix recipe & dairy-free alternatives for all the recipes!