Basics of Vegan and Gluten-Free Eating

Basics.  What is gluten?    Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. (Wikipedia)

Where is gluten found?  Bread products, baked goods, pizza, imitation meats, beer, soy sauce, ice cream, ketchup, salad dressing and basically anything that has more than one ingredient.  If you are in doubt don’t eat it. Simple rule.

What is there left to eat?  A healthy diet/lifestyle of fresh fruits and vegetable.  (Since this is a vegan blog, I won’t even mention carcass as a product of what is left to eat.).  Gluten-free foods are a big and growing business and everywhere you turn, you can easily find something prepared to eat.

Beans: all beans that are not canned should be soaked in order to aid digestibility.  I add water to a pot that covers the beans by 3inches.  I then boil the beans and water for 3 minutes, turn off the heat, and leave it sitting for 2 hours.  Drain and discard the water and then follow your recipe.

Flours:  Amaranth, Cornmeal (Blue or Yellow), Garbanzo, Soy, Teff, Millet, Rice flours, Quinoa, and Sorghum.   My advice, buy Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour mix, because each of the above flours have a different ratio to liquid and some flours can be used in baking while others can’t and unless you want to experiment stick to the all-purpose gluten-free mix.    Gluten-free flours need to be refrigerated otherwise they go rancid quickly.

Hummus:  Cooked chickpeas, sesame tahini (make sure it is gluten-free), natural spices, lemon and salt with cut up veggies it’s a delicious snack. I use hummus in my sandwiches instead of mayo for an alternative flavor.

Nuts and Seeds.  Both are rich in essential oils, vitamins and proteins and should be stored in a dark container in the refrigerator.  I always have a baggie of assorted nuts and seeds in my purse or car for when the cravings hit.  At home I have a large jar mixed with an assorted blend of nuts and seeds that I particularly enjoy.   It is always available to munch on instead of high calorie foods.

Pasta.  Trader Joe’s has the least expensive selection.  Follow the directions on the package or your pasta will be mushy.  I add pasta to cooked veggies, nuts and seeds with a rich tomato sauce thus becoming a high protein low-fat meal.  I add pasta to salads and cooked grains for a delightful high fiber and filling entrée.  Pasta can fit any mood or recipe and satisfies any appetite plus providing energy.

Rice.  Probably the most consumed food in the world.  I add cold rice to salads and hot rice tossed with sautéed veggies for a meal anytime of the day.  From cereals to sushi rice is very versatile much like pasta.

Sea Vegetables.  They are rich in minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium plus they are low-fat.  I have a problem eating them because they do tend to taste a bit fishy to me.

That should give you a start in your vegan gluten-free diet/lifestyle.