Gluten Swaps – Cheat Sheet

Here are some questions I frequently hear from those who are considering going gluten free: What am I going to eat? Ill starve to death! Ill never enjoy food the way I used to? Will I have to cook all day? I hear you…giving up what’s probably the biggest food group can be nothing short of terrifying. I know as that was me a few years ago. However let me tell you its easy and tasty. You just have to figure out how to swap gluten free alternatives (that are healthy) for your old favourites. I still enjoy pasta, breads, cookies, sauces and more. So here’s how to have your cake and eat it…gluten and guilt free.

  • Instead of wheat pasta >> go for rice or quinoa pasta. I love pasta and I’ve found rice, quinoa or amaranth pasta are great alternatives in taste and texture. Just stay away from cheap GMO corn pasta. They go really mushy and gluggy and they’re no better for you. I also enjoy rice dishes with either brown rice or basmati rice. Other gluten free grains which are quick to make are quinoa and millet. Cauliflower rice (basically cauliflower blitzed up in a food processor and then sautéed in oil and seasoning) has also become a favourite.
  • Instead of wholemeal or white bread >> make your own in minutes. Try my favourites bread recipes here. Important note: Don’t get suckered in for supposedly healthy gluten free breads and baked goods from off the shelves. They usually contain more fillers and preservatives than their gluten counterparts. Plus they cost you a small fortune.
  • Instead of wheat noodles >> go for brown rice noodles. Here’s one of my favourite chicken noodle soups
  • Instead of white or wholemeal flour >> try out buckwheat flour, rice flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour and almond meal. In fact there are so many options and you can now easily get wholesome gluten free flour that’s a mix of some of these flours and others. Even beans and pulses are being used now in deserts! For something that will truly knock your socks off and those of your guests try this chocolate cake made out of kidney beans! We always make this for my son’s birthday.
  • Instead of wraps and tortillas >> try lettuce leaves. This has been around for ages, but most people forget to do it.  Use leftover chicken or lamb or a mix of vegetables and wrap up in lettuce.  Try roasted vegetables and humous or leftover shredded lamb and creamy tahini sauce wrapped up in lettuce. Delish without the bloat!
  • Instead of bread crumbs >> use almond meal, quinoa flakes or rice flour. Add some yummy spices such as paprika, cumin and garlic powder and you can have the tastiest fish fingers and chicken schnitzels.
  • Instead of shop bought stocks >> make homemade broths. Shop bought stocks, broths and soups, usually contain high amounts of sodium, MSG and gluten as seasoning or flavour, that are nutritionally deficient. Make your own instead. Homemade broths are easy, cheaper, way tastier and packs in a nutritional punch. Make a batch and store in your freezer to use later.
  • Instead of soy sauce >> check out Tamari. Tamari is traditionally tied to the Japanese (vs. the more common Chinese soy sauce). It’s a thicker, less salty, fermented soy sauce and is generally wheat free and therefore contains no gluten. It can be used in asian and non-asian cooking to add a full, savory, umami flavor to your dishes.

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