You might feel the same sarcasm represented in the above picture when you enter your kitchen if you are trying to prepare gluten-free foods, it isn't always easy. Whether you have "gone gluten-free" as a personal health choice, or if you have been forced to make the life-altering switch to gluten-free grains as treatment for a serious health condition such as Celiac Disease (CD), I want you to know that it doesn't always have to be complicated.
My daughter Piper was diagnosed with CD at the age of two, her younger brother began showing signs of his CD as an infant, and nearly four years after Piper's diagnosis we learned that her father--who had carried the gene--developed CD as well after a minor surgery caused the gene to "kick into action." But this post is not really about Celiac Disease, I'll save that discussion for another post. Here's what I really want to share today:
- Yes, going gluten-free can be a big and difficult change
- Yes, making gluten-free versions of your favorite tasty baked treats can be tricky
- BUT... I've found that there are a plethora of blogs and books/cookbooks out there that can ease the transition
- Yes, you can still enjoy a varied and delicious diet of foods
- AND...it can be simple (sometimes)
- ALSO...I recommend that you ask your GI doc* to refer you to a Nutritionist who is knowledgeable about CD and can guide you on your journey with gluten-free living. *As always, please follow the advice of your doctor when making any dietary or lifestyle changes, and remember that this post refers to my own experiences, is not to be taken as advice in place of a doctor, and that the information I share here is not to be considered comprehensive of the many layers and details on the subject.
That said...over the weekend I popped in to see one of my favorite people in the world, my sister-by-heart and fellow Ladies Holiday contributor, Seana. Seana does not have CD, but she chooses to eat mostly gluten-free grains because she finds that it is easier on her overall system. When I stopped by, Seana was making a simple meal which happened to be gluten free and which looked and smelled so scrumptious that without thought I began taking photos (taking photos of food, though usually my own, has become a habit since I started blogging about food...I can't help it!) I wanted to share it with you today, not because it was gourmet or particularly "exciting" as meals go, but it was wholesome, healthy, gluten-free, and so simple! I knew right away that this was a perfect example of how easy it can be to make the switch, in addition to being careful about cross-contamination, making a traditional meal into a gluten-free one can be as simple as swapping out one ingredient.
Without further adieu, I give you...
Seana's Gluten-Free Garden Goulash
|Aliment, Copyright 2012|
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
- 3 Fresh veggies of choice (we used onion, green bell pepper, and tomato)
- Protien of choice (we used lean ground turkey)
- Gluten-Free Rice elbow pasta (we like Tinkyada brand)
- Plenty of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for cooking and drizzling
- Put a pot of water on to boil. When water starts to boil toss in your gluten-free pasta and cook according to package directions. Tinkyada has a simple, mess-up free method of cooking their pasta until it is perfectly al dente and not mushy!
- While waiting for water to boil...Toss your protein choice into a frying pan and cook over medium high heat until cooked as desired (we scrambled the ground meat and cooked until slightly crispy.)
- While protein is cooking, chop veggies into big chunks. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat and toss veggies in to lightly saute until crisp tender and bright in color, then remove from heat.
- When everything is done (pasta drained, protein cooked through, veggies crisp and tender) layer your plate with pasta, veg, and protein. Drizzle a generous serving of healthy Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the top. Dig in!
- It's that simple...and delicious!
Powered by Recipage
I was astonished by how the flavors blended and exploded in my mouth in their simple, wholesome goodness. The tomatoes were especially sweet and everything was so flavorful. I am one who loves to add salt to my food, but as I've been going for a cleaner diet I have learned to take several bites of my food (not just one) before deciding if a little salt is in order. I had no desire to add anything to this meal. Feel free to add spices if you wish to liven things up, but I promise you there is nothing bland about this meal. Also, I recommend sticking to no more than three veggies, one of them being a savory choice (like onion, shallot, or garlic) this not only keeps your prep simple, it allows each flavor to stand out without being overwhelmed by too many flavors. Divine. Simply divine.
Another interesting note, Seana adds a generous portion of healthy fats to pretty much every meal by adding a minimum of 2 Tbs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) to whatever she's eating (that's not counting the EVOO she cooks with!) Choosing the right oil, with the most flavor is important. I also had a chance to pop in on my sweet pal Deirdre (Aliment and Ladies Holiday team member) yesterday, she happened to mention in passing that her new favorite EVOO is the Organic Whole Foods brand, I believe her words were "It's so good, you could eat it with a spoon"...I'm pretty sure she licked her lips just thinking about it too!
I hope you take this recipe and run with it, change it up with whatever variation of protein and veg you have on hand. Save time in the kitchen with this simple meal and enjoy more of your time taking care of yourself, filling your body with wholesome meals, and hopefully enjoying at least of few of those meals in the company of dear friends...I did!
See below for more pictures of my lovely visit with Seana in the kitchen!