Eating gluten-free has never been easier! The transition can feel overwhelming—everything about the way you eat has to change. You have to start thinking about food differently, approach meal planning more intentionally, choose trips based on access to ingredients. It changes the way you relate to friends and family at meals. You become a chef, nutritionist, and a teacher; it begins to feel like food is central to your life! As it should be, I say.
Lifestyle changes brought about by illness such as celiac disease can make your new diet feel like a burden, but it doesn’t have to be. As more and more people are diagnosed, more companies are sprouting up catering to this population’s demands. Walking through the aisles of the Co-op, you’ll find many varieties of gluten-free pastas, baked goods, cereals, boxed and frozen meals and much more. These options are wonderful and convenient, but they cannot replace home cooking.
Gluten-free cooking can feel like learning to cook all over again. While it is certainly different, it is also a great opportunity to learn more about kitchen science and alternative ingredients. Here at the Co-op, we offer many different ways to get your cook on gluten free style.
- Our Website: We have tons of recipes!
- Cooking Workshops: Just check out our website or our Owner Services Board for a list of upcoming classes.
- Magazines: We have a few magazines catering to gluten-free folks: Gluten Free Living, Living Without, and Delight—all featuring articles on gluten-free living and advice for families, and of course lots of timely, seasonal recipes. My favorite part of cooking magazines are the photos—those alone can inspire dinner! All for a price that won’t break your budget.
- Cookbooks: I don’t know about you, but I read cookbooks like novels. But you don’t have to in order to get a lot out of them! Both Co-op locations have a section of our books devoted to gluten-free cooking. Most gluten-free authors have a flour mix that they prefer and will feature throughout the book; the trick is finding an author that you vibe with. For that you will either have to experiment (my favorite method), read reviews of the book online, or ask a friend.
One author that has been around in the gluten-free world is Bette Hagman. She has a series of books called the Gluten Free Gourmet. Her books are often some of the first for new gluten-free folks, and for good reason—she has mastered gluten-free cooking and has wonderful, full-bodied flavor in her flour mixes.
A cookbook that is my favorite is Food Allergy Survival Guide. This book is great if you are avoiding several ingredients, in addition to eating gluten-free. None of the recipes in this book have any dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts or yeast. This book also has a large section devoted to nutrition and alternative ingredients.
Those are some classics, but you will find plenty of new authors with new approaches to gluten-free cooking. So keep watching! We bring in new stuff all the time.
You don’t need to throw out your regular cookbooks, either! Most gluten-free cookbooks, magazines, guides, and blogs will offer suggestions on converting your favorite recipes.
There are also endless resources online and throughout the community.
Here’s a recipe from our website, and one of my favorite meals! This features kasha, a.k.a. roasted buckwheat, which is actually not wheat at all and is gluten-free. Buckwheat is a rich source of iron and fiber.
Peasant Kasha, Potatoes and Mushrooms
Adapted from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair.
- 1 Tbs. olive oil (or spray oil to reduce fat)
- 1 onion (small, chopped finely)
- 2 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 red or yellow potato (medium, cut into 1/4 inch dice)
- 4 mushrooms (washed and sliced)
- 1 cup kasha
- 2 cup water (boiling)
- black pepper to taste (I like lots!)
Directions: Heat the oil in a large pot. Add onion, garlic and salt, sautéing them until the onions are soft. Once the onions are ready, add in the potatoes and mushrooms. Cook for a few more minutes, covered, until the mushrooms have released their juices and the whole mixture is lovely and moist. Add kasha to the mix and stir, coating the grains well. Pour in the boiling water and turn down the heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes until all water is absorbed into the grains. When finished, remove the lid and allow the kasha to rest for about 5 minutes. Fluff and garnish when serving!