Sunday, October 25, 2009

How to cook wheat free for one meal

This is a brief guide for anyone who brins us a meal, or has us over for a meal, I'll write it using local shops, though the same general info would apply to anywhere else in the world.

Firstly I need to clear up wheat free versus gluten free, I'm only wheat free, gluten free usually means someone has celiac disease, which I, thankfully do not. Wheat for me causes inflamation, which usually means pain, I've become increasingly sensitive since I cut it out, so, for example, I reacted to eating meat balls at Ikea. One interesting aside is that I've noticed I rarely get plugged ducts, which were frequent with the other two children.

Gluten is in more grains than just wheat, if you buy something gluten free, it will be wheat free, but only requiring wheat free allows some useful ingredients you may have on hand, the main one being cornflour for thickening sauces and possibly corn tortillas (I buy the huge pack from costco and freeze in portions).

When planning a meal, either keep pasta out of your head, or pick up some wheatfree pasta, quinoa and brown rice based ones seem to be the best, both for texture and taste, in Fred Meyer it's all separate near the organic section. Consider dishes containing rice or potatoes, bakes tend to transport pretty well. As a family we've never been big on bread as a side dish, but it is enjoyed by the rest of the family, so don't worry about me missing out, I'd probably have skipped it anyway! has some great recipes, though as a gluten free family, they use ingredients which it's not worth buying for one off cooking.

For desserts, I'd skip commercially prepared gluten free stuff, it's overpriced if you ask me! There are lots of ice cream flavours that don't have wheat - skip the cookie dough! Trader Joes do a great gluten free brownie mix and Whole Foods sell a ready baked tray of gluten free brownies, someone located some cookies in Safeway that were free of any flour. My waistline could do without dessert though!

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