I subscribe to the Gluten Free & More newsletter, and I have to say I was taken aback by the following statement: “We’ll Say It: Gluten-Free Food Can be BORING.” Yeah, they actually wrote that as the lead to their newsletter.
Reading on, I learned this was a promotional email for the Gluten is my Bitch cookbook. I have nothing against the Gluten is my Bitch team — great website, great attitude, and great message — and the link will take you directly to Amazon to check out the book for yourself. However, I take extreme exception to the notion that gluten-free food is boring. Gluten Free & More seriously insults all of us with that statement.
Once again, the implication is that we need beignets, chocolate cake, and cookies to have a full and interesting diet. We don’t. We really don’t. Yeah, it’s fun to have something sweet or bready once in a while, but none of us live or die by the lack of sandwiches or beignets. Seriously, I’ve gone a couple of decades without a beignet — I’ve been to New Orleans more than once in that period of time — and my culinary life remains as varied and exciting as ever.
(Yeah, I do get that there was an attempt at humor here. It failed, in my rarely humble opinion.)
Newcomers to our lifestyle are frightened enough without being faced with the assertion that gluten-free food can be boring. It’s hard enough to transition to this lifestyle; scaring people into believing they need a book to make their food interesting is just plain wrong. The truth of the matter is that gluten-filled foods make up just a tiny, tiny fraction of the world o’meals.
I get that I’m a bit of heretic when it comes to this subject. I refuse to spend hours upon hours trying to recreate a dietary past. I refuse to pretend that my diet before was “better” or less interesting than my diet now. I refuse to believe my life is somehow inferior without gluten.
Yes, it is important for the gluten-free community to learn how easy it is to make delicious foods by using gluten-free substitutes. I believe, however, it is more important for the gluten-free community to learn how many incredible, delicious, easy, and varied foods there are out there that are naturally gluten free.
No special tips, tricks, or flours mixes required.
Tip of the Week
I am huge proponent of meal planning to ensure meals are ready when I need them. I am outside the house a minimum of 12 hours a day, so my dinner prep has to go fast and efficiently. It’s just no fun eating at 9:30 p.m. In order to accomplish this, I not only plan my meals for the week, I also make sure I have all the ingredients on hand. Even though the best laid plans and all that may throw me off my schedule, I am generally able to recover quickly.
Gluten-Free Meal of the Week
I’ve been eating some great salads lately. Not boring, boring restaurant salads featuring indifferent lettuce and cookie cutter ingredients. My dream is for restaurants to pretend they care enough about their customers to create really great salads again. You know, the kind of salads that make you want to eat them again and again.
One salad that left me craving it again was a play on the traditional Nicoise salad. Only it featured salmon instead of tuna. And lightly grilled asparagus instead of green beans. The potatoes were roasted, the dressing was light, and little orange segments made the whole thing taste super-bright. I love composed salads — they seem so grown up and fancy!
And, of course, right from the start, this salad was naturally gluten free and incredibly interesting!
- Salmon Nicoise (use this recipe as inspiration to make your own composed salad)