As the name suggests, being gluten free means following a diet free of this mixture of proteins present in many cereal grains – especially wheat, barley and rye. People often go gluten free because digesting it causes discomfort, particularly for those who suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivities.
For the more than 330,000 Canadians believed to be affected by celiac disease and gluten intolerance, eating gluten free isn’t a choice, but a necessity. And finding the right foods to eat and recipes to cook can be a challenge.
Hubert Cormier, nutritionist and author, offers three simple tips for cooking nutritious, gluten free meals.
1. Pump up the protein: Gluten free products often contain less protein and more carbohydrates per serving which can leave the stomach less than satisfied and may lead to over eating. To keep you feeling both full and fuelled, complement gluten free meals with a good amount of protein for a winning combination.
2. Swap in substitutes: Just because you’re eating gluten free doesn’t mean you can’t still have your favourite comfort foods like bread, cakes and pasta. There are lots of wheat substitutes available for making your most-loved recipes gluten free. Catelli’s Gluten Free pasta line is made with a unique blend of white and brown rice, corn and quinoa, and is a great example of a delicious alternative to traditional wheat-based pasta.
3. Mind your vitamins: Did you know that if you have celiac disease, your calcium and vitamin D intake is reduced? This can increase your risk of vitamin deficiency and developing osteoporosis. You can address this issue by including foods in your diet that are rich in calcium and vitamin D such as dairy products, tofu, canned fish and cabbage.
Looking for more cooking inspiration? Try this nourishing dish that will be sure to please both gluten free and non-gluten free eaters alike.
Hubert Cormier’s Stuffed Peppers with Gluten-free Macaroni
Prep. Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
• 1 pkg. (340 g) Catelli Gluten Free Macaroni
• 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
• 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1/2 cup (250 mL) tomato sauce
• 1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
• 1 1/2 cup (375 mL) skim milk
• 1 can (120 g) flaked light tuna, drained
• 12 walnuts, crushed
• 1/4 cup (60 mL) grated mozzarella cheese
• 4 large red and/or green peppers
• Chopped parsley to taste
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring 6 litres of water to a boil.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and set aside.
3. In a small pot, heat olive oil with cherry tomatoes. Add tomato sauce and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with milk; pour into tomato sauce. Stir continuously and simmer over medium-low heat until thickened.
5. Add tuna, crushed walnuts and cooked pasta.
6. Cut peppers; remove seeds and membranes.
7. Stuff peppers with mixture and bake in oven for 20 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and top with cheese. Return to oven and broil until cheese is golden.
9. Add finely chopped parsley for garnish; serve immediately.