five great gluten-free recipes

April 4, 2011

The inspiration for today’s post is my friend Mindy.

Mindy is someone I don’t get to see very often but I think of her kind of as a force to be reckoned with. In a good way. When she found out her baby had multiple food allergies she cut out a large portion of foods from her diet to accommodate little baby T. She told us about having to say “no” to practically her entire diet and just plain changing the way she ate.

Mindy has gone through multiple iterations of various food restrictions to keep the little cute one safe – right now she is gluten-free, peanut-free, and strawberry-free.

Mindy and her lovely husband, David came over this weekend for lunch and I like to think – I hope! – that we fed them super tasty, healthy food without any emphasis on the “no’s” of a gluten-free diet.

Personally, I don’t have to deal with any food allergies but when feeding other people, I like to think about the positives, the can-do’s and the foods which are naturally healthy and safe for that person. I also find that if you focus on natural ingredients it’s easier to avoid potential pitfalls. Ain’t no labels on vegetables, folks.

I’d hate to alienate a gluten-free guest by making them something separate to everyone else. Why have something on the table if not everyone can enjoy it? Not fun. There are so many naturally gluten-free dishes out there, that there is literally zero reason to have to create some “special” dish just for that person, especially when there’s only four of you!

Cooking for our friends got me thinking about my other favourite naturally gluten-free recipes – in all honesty, I don’t think of them in those terms because I don’t have to but either way- these are my top five gluten-free recipes from the Eating for England vault. Hope you enjoy.

1. Mediterranean Eggplant and Quinoa Salad

I love this salad for its adaptability. It’s suitable for lunch or dinner and I personally think you could serve it at brunch too. It has fantastic flavour from all the fresh herbs and spices, depth of flavour from the roasted vegetables, and the satisfying oomph from the quinoa, leaving you full but not stuffed.

2. Nigel Slater’s Classic Caldo Verde

This soup is light, refreshing and simple but the chorizo gives it such a lovely kick of saltiness. A perfect starter or light lunch.

3. Arepas

These are an awesome brunch option. They’re fun to make – so I say get people involved! You can have a little bar of things to add to them – black beans, avocado slices, sour cream, salsa, salad – and everyone can make their own. So fun and I don’t know about you but anything with a bit of fried-crunchy action going on is a winner at brunch, especially after a – ahem – vigorous night out.

4. Lentils with Kale and Bacon

We had this at the weekend and Dan and I were both reminded how much we love it. There’s so much flavour in so few ingredients. The kale and bacon just add a perfect touch and as Dan says – something to aim your spoon at.

5. Roasted Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup with Pumpkin Seeds

And finally, this gorgeous wintery soup. It’s certainly rich but not heavy at all. Creamy, spicy and a perfect soup to serve for dinner alongside a fresh salad.

What are your favourite gluten-free recipes?

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