Going Gluten-FreeJanuary 19, 2011

Are You Afraid to Change a Recipe?

We get tons of e-mail and have terrific conversation streams on our website about our allergy-friendly recipes--readers who are using them and chatting about them. This is a community, after all. A virtual “neighborhood” where folks are friendly and help each other. It’s like we’re borrowing a cup of sugar (so to speak) from the friends next door and exchanging cooking tips over the backyard fence. 

Life isn’t a destination. It’s a journey. And we spend some of it on unmarked roads. The same is true about recipes—you’ve got to make ‘em your own.

Once you know the basic rules, you can color outside the lines. When it comes to your particular food intolerance or sensitivity, these recipes should be used as a springboard. Can’t use rice? Substitute quinoa. Can’t tolerate cornstarch? Use arrowroot or tapioca starch. Don’t like bean flour? Try sorghum flour or amaranth flour instead. You’re not dairy free? Then by all means, use butter rather than coconut oil or vegetable shortening.

In my opinion, the big thing--maybe the best thing--about a diagnosis is being empowered to take charge of your health. That means taking charge of your diet and your recipes. So when I read a note from a reader who figures out what she needs and does it, it makes my day. Like this reader's response to a woman complaining she couldn’t use a recipe because of its sodium count: “I’m on a sodium-restricted diet, too. So if a recipe calls for added salt, I just leave it out.”

I just opened an e-mail from writer Sueson Vess about one of her recipes. She’s working on the menu for our allergy-friendly Easter Dinner article, coming up in our April/May issue. This is about a Greek-style salad, which she’s topping with roasted garbanzo beans rather than the usual gluten-filled croutons.

Last night, I made the roasted garbanzo beans without garlic (Henry is allergic). I added lemon powder instead. OMG, they are delicious! Good as a snack as well as on salad. Henry ate most before dinner. You would love them.

You go, girl!

Comments (2)

I have come up with the best recipes substituting! I have found a whole new creativity in myself being gluten-free, and most recipes that call for flour are very forgiving with gluten-free flours. There has probably not been one recipe that I have not changed in some way in the last few years. In fact, anymore, a recipe is just a guideline! And if it doesn't work, then I learned something new... :-)

Posted by: Lanette D | January 20, 2011 5:14 PM    Report this comment

This year, I made it a new years resolution to not only try one new gluten-free recipe per week but to not be afraid to make changes to recipes. I have a very small kitchen so I don't always have the ingredients called for in a recipe in my cabinets. I will make adjustments based on what I have and what I think might work. Cooking should be fun, so a little trial and error never hurt anyone!

Posted by: GlutenFreeFun | January 20, 2011 8:58 AM    Report this comment

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