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Gluten Free Food Ideas
40 Replies
January - May 29

Hi everyone - pikespeak suggested we start a thread for those interested in learning how to eat gluten free - with food ideas. So here's my suggestion for tonight.

Most Asian markets carry noodles made out of mung beans. They are called cellophane noodles and are clear. They have a gelatinous consistency - which may take getting used to. They don't have much taste, but they work very well as a substitute for spaghetti. They offer the consistency you lose when you stop eating wheat based noodles - but they hold any kind of sauce pretty well. I like them better than rice noodles, which can be hard to cook. Cellophane noodles are easy - just throw them in a bowl of steaming water and let them sit there for 20 minutes - it's OK to put the bowl in the microwave and get the water boiling to hurry the process. When they are ready, they will be soft and easy to chew. Because of their stringy consistency, it's hard to cut them - but they are thin noodles, so it's not a problem. Just need to get used to the different consistency. I LOVE THEM and have been using them for years. (If you're strictly gluten free, make sure you read the ingredients on the package to make sure there is nothing in there but mung beans!)

One recipe I use them in (I can't believe I'm writing a recipe!) is: sautee diced chicken breast strips in a little oil or butter, with gluten free Tamari sauce; add minced garlic and onions. When that's done, toss it up with cellophane noodles and diced artichoke hearts. YUM. Quick and easy.


Pikespeak - May 29

Sounds really good!

We generally eat a small serving of meat (steak, chicken breast, etc.) with two veggies. I often cook up extra meat to serve on the next day's salad.

I saw deviled eggs in the store today--so easy to make, and you can fill the egg white with other fillings other than with the yolk.

Have you ever cooked/eaten fresh green beans and new (red) potatoes together? The potatoes should be uniform in size. Just boil in salted water until done (about 20 minutes). If you don't think the spuds will be done at the same time as the beans, cut them in half. We love them with butter and salt. Crumbled bacon is a nice topping if you have it. Enjoy!


January - May 30

Yes, I have had the red potatoes and green beans combo. It's very good.

My suggestion for today is Odwalla organic yogurt. I am hooked on the cinnamon apple flavor.


January - May 30

Ooops! That was wind blowing thru my brain. I meant to highly recommend Odwalla protein shakes (only some are gluten free so read the label) and Wallaby organic yogurt!


FibroInParadise - May 30

Hi everyone. I'm so new to this but willing to give it a try. Can someone give me just the bare bones basics? Like , stuff you absolutely CANNOT eat when GF?

Is it all or nothing? Or can you every once in a while have gluten containing products?

Sorry im such a newb.


January - May 31

I'd suggest, before you go gluten free, get a blood test for celiac antibodies. I believe they do 2 tests. Very simple blood draw. That way, if you show the antibodies, you'll KNOW you have it. Others have recommended a stool test for gluten. I don't know about it; some say it's the most reliable. A dr. may advise you to get an intestinal biopsy. You should check that our for yourself - but from what I've read, they take snips from your small intestine (which is 20 feet long) - looking for patches of inflammation. There's a good chance they could just get patches from healthy areas and miss diseased patches - so I wouldn't say it's the "gold standard" they claim. Plus it's an invasive procedure with risks.

If you test positive you probably need to see a doctor and make sure you aren't malnourished - you may need lots of supplements - because we tend to not absorb things easily. Celiacs often have brittle bones and vitamin deficiencies. There's also a certain type of rash that some people get called dematitis herpetiformis - you can google and find photos of that online. Also, many symptoms overlap with fibro. Some people have IBS; some have joint pain. If you have celiac, it will set you up for many different diseases as you get older. The good news is it is SO treatable! Just quit gluten.

There are a lot of posts on here about gluten. You can google that - or celiac disease. Celiac is the most severe form of gluten sensitivity, which can range from mild to severe - and which can be triggered at any age. There is a genetic profile that runs in families - and it's often found in those with northern European, Scandinavian and British blood. But anyone can have it. You can google the Celiac Sprue Association and also, read the celiac forums.

To stop eating gluten, you have to stop eating cereal grains: wheat, barley, rye (and probably oats), as well as things like spelt and triticale. Because most flour is made from wheat, you usually can't have any kind of cake, pie, cheesecake, donut, bread, pasta, breakfast cereal, etc. Nothing made of regular flour from any of these cereal grains. Also, no beer or malt products.

To be safe, I stay away from all CEREAL grains except rice. I can have corn and tapioca, and flours made from those things, as well as potato flour. That leaves everything else in the food supply that you CAN have. Meat, fruit, veggies, dairy (tho some have lactose problems), eggs, jello, nuts, applesauce, sugar, honey… basically, it's a healthy diet. You should supplement with fiber though, since you aren't getting it from the grains. I use something called FiberSmart - made of organic flax fiber with some other supplements in it. I also take probiotics. And I buy whey protein powder and make protein shakes.

The tricky thing about gluten is that it is found in just about everything processed and packaged - you have to learn to read every label. You now can buy some packaged foods without gluten. But most soups, frozen dinners, canned foods, etc. have it. Most condiments, dressings, sauces, etc. have it. Gluten is used as a thickener and most of us are trained to like the texture and taste of it - so you might miss it until you get it out of your body. That takes about 4 months. Gluten is also used in a lot of medications as a filler, so I have to ask my pharmacist to make sure a drug is gluten free. If I'm buying something over the counter, and can't figure it out, I whip out my cel and call the company.

I believe there is a list of ingredients that you should question at the Celiac Sprue Foundation. Things like "hydrolyzed vegetable protein" or "modified food starch" - you have to call the company and ask them what the source of these things is. Most soy sauce is made from wheat, though you can buy brands that are not. That means no more Chinese food. If you are out at restaurants, some of them are good about gluten free menus - but not many yet. Some say they are gluten free, and then serve you food with bread on top of it! This probably won't bother people who are mildly sensitive - you can just take the bread off. But I'm very sensitive - and if my food is contaminated, it makes me sick - I get increased neuralgia type pain.

As to the all or nothing question - I don't know the answer. I know some celiacs who eat pizza (wheat crust!). My feeling is, after reading about all the diseases gluten problems can cause, I'd rather avoid it entirely. I guess you have to listen to your own body and see what you can tolerate.

Hope this answers your questions! This is what I've learned by researching, but there may be new information or changes - so I suggest you get a good book on it. I really liked the book "Dangerous Grains." There is an enormous list of conditions in the back that are related to gluten sensitivity. The diet is not hard, once you learn it. But it is hard to go out to other places and eat regular food - you have to ask questions about what's in it.


FibroInParadise - May 31

January - thank you thank you thank you.

I'm so willing to try whatever I need to. And yes. Bermuda is a good place for produce but it is WICKED expensive. Like , a tiny thing of raspberries (one serving) is 8 bucks (USD).

Also - I can't think of any restaurants serving GF at this time - but I'd definitely look into it. I will ask the doctor for the test.

Thank you - I will keep you posted.



January - May 31

You're welcome. Good luck with it all. The main thing is to avoid the cereal grains and the flour made from them.

If you aren't REAL sensitive, you can ask at restaurants for simplified dishes. Ask them, for example, just a steak and a baked potato and a veggie, no breading and no sauces. Most restaurants can accommodate you with that.


Pikespeak - June 2

Bought some ham today (sliced thin) to wrap around bite-size pieces of cantaloupe. I secure it with a toothpick. Great fresh summery brunch idea!


January - June 4

Hi! That sounds like a very creative combination! Nice for summer.

I tried some gluten free chips made from rice and Adzuki beans. I think they had curamin on them. They were really good - but I think they were so good I ate too much of them and then didn't feel so well…. I'll try them again once more and see.

I like gluten free chips with melted cheese - I guess it's like nachos - I add in a lot of sliced up veggies like tomatoes, red onions, avocado, olives, jalapenos - very easy!


January - June 4

A follow up on the rice and adzuki bean gluten-free chips. Not so good...

I think they really leave a nasty after taste that lasts for HOURS. Won't be trying them again!


Pikespeak - June 5

LOL! Thanks for the update on the chips!


Pikespeak - June 10

This is a fresh summery salad that goes well with (grilled) chicken. I double the recipe and take it to potlucks (chicken cubed in the salad). Always a big hit! Hint: add the avocado at the last minute to keep it from browning too quickly! Enjoy!

Chickpea(Garbanzo)-Avocado Salad

1 can garbanzo beans (rinsed)
2Tbs. finely chopped red onion
1 avocado, pared and cubed
1 bell pepper (any color or a variety)

2 Tbs. lime juice (can use lemon)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/8 tsp. chili powder
salt/black pepper to taste
2-3 Tbs. chopped cilantro


January - June 10

This looks really yummy! Going to try it. (Minus the cilantro! Did you know there's a genetic connection as to whether you like cilantro or hate it??)

I've been using a really simple salad dressing:

Nature's Promise Organic Wildflower Honey
Dr. Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mix up the ingredients to match what your taste buds like.

The EVOO is good for you, the honey is good for you, and the cider vinegar gives your stomach some acid which helps you digest vitamins and minerals (I just recently read that it doesn't matter how many vitamins and minerals you take - if your stomach doesn't have enough ACID, you won't be able to absorb them!)

I remember that my ancient maiden aunts had beautiful skin - every morning they drank lemon juice in water. I guess that helped them absorb nutrients and stay healthy!


Pikespeak - June 10

If you don't use cilantro, you might try some fresh basil. I have also made it adding red wine vinegar.


January - June 11

Love the basil idea. Much better.

For anyone going gluten free, consider dried fruit, especially over the winter. You can buy pretty good dried apricots. I found a nice brand of sugary dried mango - Philippine brand. Best I've found yet. Also, if you don't have an allergy, try eating nuts. Very good for you.


January - July 4

This morning I decided to mix a protein shake with coffee. My first try was a disaster! I heated up a big mug of water in the microwave, and dumped in a scoop of protein powder - which clumped up into something like soft concrete. I had to trash the whole thing and start over.

I made a cup of coffee. In a separate cup I mixed Biochem protein powder with cold water - it dissolves easily. A few drops of olive oil because it's good for you. A little brown sugar and a scoop of D-ribose for energy. Then I mixed the two cups together in a large mug and added evaporated milk. It was really good, no clumping - I don't know how healthy it was - but it was gluten free, it woke me up, and I had some energy because I got a good dose of protein for breakfast.



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