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What to Eat Wednesday (When You’re Gluten Intolerant): Don’t Say No to Pasta!

My name is Kelly and I am a 28 year-old cat enthusiast with an imaginary metal band and mild obsession with books about wizards and punk rock. I started at Keep A Breast in September of last year as Executive Assistant to the CEO. A year ago when my doctor told me I was gluten intolerant, my immediate response was to eat an entire baguette followed by a bowl of ramen noodles. I discovered I was allergic to dairy when I was about 14 and after having to give up cheese I vowed that I would never eliminate my next favorite thing in the food world, gluten. After much stomach and sinus discomfort that I found was linked to my gluten intake, I very reluctantly decided to give gluten free a test drive. After many mistakes, really gross food, I have come out the other side with some great tips that I will be sharing with you on What to Eat Wednesday (When You’re Gluten Intolerant). This week’s installation is Don’t say no to pasta!

What to Eat Wednesday (When You’re Gluten Intolerant) Don’t Say No To Pasta!

Now I have told you the awesomness that is Quinoa and it also carries on to pasta. You can find Quinoa noodles (these are blended with corn), which are an AMAZING alternative to real noodles.  Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta is the brand I go with. Other great gluten free noodles include Schar (which is predominately corn and rice flour), and the Trader Joe’s brand of brown rice noodles. The important thing in making these noods taste good is to cook them for the right amount of time. Both the quinoa noodles and brown rice noodles take longer to cook then normal noodles, so go by how they taste and not the time on the box.

There is a multitude of easy to make pasta dishes out there. You can add noods to your favorite soup, toss them with some sautéed veggie’s & olive oil, use a marinara or pesto sauce, and so on and so forth. The recipes I am going to share with you today are turkey chili with gluten free elbow macaroni noodles and pasta salad with Trader Joe’s fusilli brown rice noodles. Keep in mind that you can easily change up either of these recipes to work for your diet, the turkey chili can be made vegan by skipping the meat and the pasta salad could be made non-vegan by adding cheese or meat.

Mama’s Walsh’s Turkey Chili

Ancient Harvest elbow macaroni pasta

A few cloves of garlic (pressed)

Entire white onion (diced)

Olive oil

2 or 3 bell peppers (I like to do 1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow all diced)

4-6 Jalapenos (diced)

1-2 Habaneros (diced)

1lbs ground turkey (or not)

Can of black beans

Can of pinto beans

Can of kidney beans

Chili Power

Cumin

Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds

Salt & pepper

*Sauté the pressed garlic and chopped onion in large pot, throw in bell peppers, jalapenos, & habaneros. If you are going to add meat, put that into the pot and brown it all over with lots of cumin, lots of chili power, and some salt and pepper. Pour the 3 cans of beans in a separate pan with all of their juices, using a kitchen utensil that I do not know the name of (I might call it a squasher or a mashed potato maker) I try to squish about half of the beans then I pour the half whole/ half squished beans into the big pot. Add any more seasonings that you might want (honestly I use a butt load of cumin and chili powder, I have yet to add too much of either of these), bring the chili to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover for as long as you can bear to wait. I try to let it do its thing for at least an hour, but the longer the better, just make sure not to burn it! Serve over the cooked quinoa noodles and top with your favorite cheese (Daiya in my case). If spicy just aint your thing, don’t add the habaneros, and stick to 4 jalapenos.

Pasta Salad

½ a bag of Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Pasta Fusilli

Can of olives (I chop these in half)

Can of Garbanzo beans

Small jar of artichoke hearts (I dice these)

½ can of hearts of palm (I dice these)

Chopped pepperoncini’s

Minced sun dried tomatoes (I use the kind that are not packed in liquid)

Chopped purple onion

Basil sprouts

Sprouts organic Italian dressing

Spoonful of Follow Your Heart Vegenaise

Salt & pepper

*pretty easy, just mix all the stuff together and serve with a pinch of basil sprouts on the top. If you want to add cheese you can throw some fresh mozzarella, if you want meat I would say salami would probably taste the best or turkey. Also you can add avocado or any other vegetable I didn’t mention for that matter

So every time I hear someone say they could never go gluten free they always mention their love for pasta. Again, regardless of what the latest trends are, gluten can certainly be integrated into your diet in a healthy way (white flour isn’t the devil), the key is not to over do things and to limit processed foods while maximizing foods that are rich in nutrients. Try and replace one of your pasta meals this week with a gluten free version, and tell me your experiences!! I know that cooking these doesn’t always end pretty – I want to hear from you! The Good Bad and The Ugly! Comment Below!!

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