Gluten-free can be tasty eating in, eating out

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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It's in bread, pasta, crackers, and baked goods, but Jane Mueller, whose allergic to gluten, says you can nix the gluten without losing the taste.

"[They're] old recipes; you're just converting them," Mueller said. "You just have to find the right mixes that you like."

For easy banana muffins, try mixing white rice, potato starch, and tapioca flours. Then, add xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, vanilla, oil, and an egg. Mix in the bananas, scoop into cupcake liners, and bake.

The result is gluten-free muffins that taste great.  While Mueller can bake substitutes like these, she says the choices are pretty limited when she eats out.

"There are still some times [when] I go into a restaurant [and] I'll say ‘boy I wish I could have that,'" said Mueller. 

Some tips when dining out: call ahead to see if the restaurant has gluten-free options.  Also, ask how the dishes are prepared, if they add any extra spices, and how they avoid cross contamination.    

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness offers a program that trains restaurants how to prepare and serve gluten-free food.  You can find a list of approved restaurants on their site:

If you want a gluten-free dinner you can make, dietician Amanda Holliday says start with quinoa.

"Quinoa is an interesting grain because it's very high in protein," Holliday explained.

Boil it and simmer for 15 minutes, then chop up some bell peppers, carrots, and cilantro.

Next, mix in gluten-free soy sauce, lemon and lime juice, and some garlic. Then, add the quinoa and top with baked salmon.

Gluten-Free Toasted Quinoa Salad Recipe:

(Printable Recipe)

• ½ Cup uncooked quinoa
• ½ Cup diced carrot
• ¼ Cup chopped red bell pepper
• 2 Tbsp. minced parsley or cilantro
• 1 green onion, sliced
• 1½ tsp. lemon juice
• 1½ tsp. lime juice
• 2 Tbsp. tamari soy sauce
• 1 clove minced garlic
• a dash of cayenne pepper

Rinse quinoa and drain. Put in a pot and dry toast until a few grains begin to pop. Add 1 C of water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.

Kcals: 100 kcals/serving, 3.5g fiber, 4g protein

While quinoa is cooking, mix carrot, red pepper, parsley or cilantro, and green onion in a bowl. Add cold quinoa and toss to combine. Wisk together lemon and lime juices, soy sauce, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Pour over the salad and combine well. Chill until serving time.

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