Plant-Based Proteins

As mentioned, protein is something I worry about. Being gluten free, I no longer get benefit of the protein in whole wheat, though I have, as mentioned, added in other gluten-free whole grains. My tendency in the past was to head straight for the carbs. And while I *do* sometimes retreat to my comfort foods, I have become a voracious vegetable consumer (sorry mom!). In swapping one food for another, I find that I have to remember to add protein to my meals. Continue reading “Plant-Based Proteins”

A Meatless Month

I’m not a vegetarian, but I am finding that as I get older, my inclination is increasingly inclined toward less meat, more veggies. My body feels lighter, less overfilled when I reduce my meat intake (particularly red meat). So I challenged myself to make a month of meatless meals. Continue reading “A Meatless Month”

Considering Meatless Monday (with Gluten-Free Options)

I’ve attempted to go vegetarian twice in my life. Both times were, to put it mildly, abject failures. Mostly because I had no idea what it meant to be a vegetarian. “Just cut out meat!” I thought.

This is reminiscent of the first time I decided gluten was my digestive problem. I simply cut out bread and some pasta — but the truth is, I mostly ate whatever I wanted, with a nod toward being gluten free. Since I didn’t feel better, I decided gluten wasn’t my problem. Continue reading “Considering Meatless Monday (with Gluten-Free Options)”

Strawberry, Kale, and Buckwheat Salad

This salad is great for parties, weeknight meals, or hot summer evenings. Buckwheat adds great flavor, especially since it’s dressed in a lemony sauce. I love that the whole thing is on the table in under thirty minutes — while the buckwheat cooks, you can prepare the strawberries.

I make this salad without cheese for a vegan option. If you like cheese — and it will add a salty component to the dish — ricotta is great. Feta works. Even blue cheeses are lovely. I also love to add toasted nuts or seeds, like pumpkin, to the dish for some crunch.

Note: start testing the buckwheat for doneness about twelve minutes into the simmer. You want the grains to be firm, not mushy. That way they hold their shape and add texture to this salad.

Wilted Kale Salad with Vinaigrette and Preserved Lemons

I love kale. Of course, I love all leafy greens…give me chard, and I’m yours for life! I have a friend who makes an amazing kale salad with a pucker-your-mouth lemon vinaigrette. You know the dressing is intense when I think the amount of lemon is just, exactly, perfectly right.

Her salad inspired mine. I wilted the kale so it wasn’t so tough. Then I made a light vinaigrette to complement the kale. Finally, because lemon and kale are perfect together, I added a bit of preserved lemon. The salty, lemony flavor makes this dish!

Falafel

Is there a better food than falafel? No, I say, there is not. Except maybe mashed potatoes. It’s a close call.

Finding gluten-free falafel out in the wild is hard. Making it at home is so easy, you won’t miss going out for this wonderful food at all. As a bonus, falafel makes a great vegan option for those times you need one.

One huge note, that I’ll repeat in the Notes section as well: do not use canned chickpeas when making falafel. They have absorbed too much liquid in the can, and will create a heavy, less fluffy falafel. You will thank yourself for soaking your garbanzo beans the old-fashioned way!

Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Topping

I think gluten-free versions of “cream of anything” soups are like unicorns. Very expensive unicorns. I’ve heard rumors of companies like Progresso making GF cream of mushroom soup, but haven’t found it at my local store. And I use soups like this so infrequently, it doesn’t make sense to order from my usual sources.

Luckily, I stumbled across a great Smitten Kitchen version of a green bean casserole with homemade mushroom sauce that was easily (easily!) converted to gluten-free. Add crispy fried onions, and you’ve got yourself that most traditional of Thanksgiving dishes — one nobody will ever know is GF. Though they will know it’s incredibly delicious!