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I know people are always feeling sorry for us gluten free eaters, but really I don’t feel sorry at all!! Gluten was one of the culprits of my bad stomachaches and I’m SO glad that I finally figured it out.

This may be the case for many of you gluten eaters out there and you may not even know it! If I were you, I’d stop feeling sorry for us and try it yourself! Yes it’s hard when you go to a restaurant and they put that lovely breadbasket on the table – it takes lots of strength to push it away, BUT it doesn’t mean that I don’t eat bread. It just means that I eat a different kind of bread. Dough made from almond flour, rice flour and any other flour not made with gluten. There are lots of choices at your local grocery store in the freezer section – check it out! There’s bread made out of millet and other grains and nuts.

The best part about us gluten free eaters is that we are part of a small niche and we tend to stick together. When we find new recipes we’re always ready to share them because who wouldn’t want something new to add to their everyday repertoire.

Don’t feel upset if you can’t tolerate gluten, it may be the best thing that’s ever happened to you! You may even start cooking and baking like you never thought you would. Take it as a journey, not a complete loss. There are plenty of substitutes and once you start your search you will see what I mean.

Good luck! If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

I created a soup, which I adapted from a restaurant called Mana in NYC. I don’t exactly know what they put into their soup but I had to try and recreate it since it was THAT delicious. I call mine the “yum bowl” and you’ll see why once you try it.

1 yellow onion, sliced

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 cup mushrooms

1 bunch kale, chopped

1 cup extra firm tofu, chopped into cubes

1 tbs tamari

1 tbs mirin

6-8 cups water (depending on how much you want to make)

2 tbs miso (I used barley miso)

1 inch of wakame (seaweed found in the Asian section of your supermarket/health food store)

1 package buckwheat soba noodles (gluten free)

1-2 tbs olive oil

Start by sautéing the onions in olive oil until soft. Once they get soft pour in the water, tamari and mirin. Then throw in the veggies and tofu (these are the veggies I chose and had on hand, but you can use anything that you like or have in the fridge) and let simmer on low until soft. While this is simmering bring a separate pot of water to boil and cook the soba noodles until soft and to your liking. While these are both on the stove take out two small bowls. Cut an inch of the wakame and put into one bowl – then immerse it with the liquid from the soup and let it get soft. Then transfer it into the soup pot. In the second bowl take your 2 tbs of miso and put it into the bowl and cover it with soup liquid (same as with the wakame.) Let it break up in the bowl so that it’s not clumpy in your soup. This may take a few minutes but trust me, its better then having clumpy miso soup! Don’t pour this mixture in until the very end when you turn off the soup pot and it’s finished boiling.
Taste the carrots or the hardest veggie that’s in the pot to see if they are soft enough for you. It may take about 20-25 minutes and maybe longer depending on what you’ve put in it. Lastly drain the noodles and throw them into your soup pot and stir everything together. The longer the soup sits in the pot, the more the flavors combine and the yummier it will taste! This will make quite a bit of soup so be prepared for leftovers.

Here’s the thing, whenever someone tells me they are headed to the health food store or even a “healthy” restaurant I am always so thrilled – BUT I’m a little nervous for them as well. I say this because even though you’re in a natural, organic, healthy restaurant or a health food store DOES NOT mean that everything they sell is healthy! This really is a common misconception and you shouldn’t feel like you’ve been mislead, because these stores and restaurants try to cater to all types of people – mainly health nuts but others as well.

What I can suggest is to ask lots of questions! When you’re at a restaurant ask how your dish is prepared, the ingredients that are used and any other question that you feel is fit. Hopefully your waiter doesn’t get annoyed because this is their job – although, I have had some experiences when they get bothered by me but I just try to stay calm and explain that I have a strict diet – they should hopefully understand.

When at the health food store read the labels. You will most likely be able to tell if the item is healthy or not – if you need help, I am always available to guide you.

Try to watch out for restaurants that serve vegetarian dishes that seem healthy. For example, Many places serve vegetarian Chinese food that most people would think is healthy – but many of the dishes are made with a lot of oil, which causes a stomachache in my case and is just unhealthy in general. It is also important to watch your portion control when you eat out.

If you’re really in the mood for noodles and Chinese food then cook it yourself. You can make an easy stir-fry with rice noodles, veggies and tofu (or other type of protein). When you cook for yourself you know exactly how much oil goes in the pot and plus it’s so much more satisfying when you know you’ve made the meal yourself – it just tastes so much better!

I will post my personal recipe for stir-fry below:

This stir-fry does not have broccoli. I used a sesame drizzle sauce with a hint of wasabi from Trader Joes but I will make my own sauce next time.

Tuesday night dinner with my fiance. This stir-fry doesn't have broccoli and I used a sesame drizzle sauce with a hint of wasabi from Trader Joes. I plan on making my own sauce next time.

This will make enough for at least four people. If your only cooking for 1 or 2 people then I would still cook this amount so you can have delicious leftovers! This recipe is fully adaptable so feel free to change it any way that you like.

1 package of rice noodles (follow directions on back)

1 head of organic broccoli, (you can also chop up the stems and put them in – just cut off the very tip)

1 organic zucchini cut into round slices (you don’t need to peel it – just wash it well to wipe off any dirt) you can also use yellow squash or any other veggie that you prefer

1 package of organic spinach, kale or any other green that you like

1 medium onion cut into slices (you can add more if you like onion)

1 clove minced garlic

1 tsp minced ginger

1 tbs olive oil

1 package firm or extra firm tofu or other type of protein.

Sauce:

You can use a pre made sauce from Whole Foods or other health food store but make sure to check the label for sugar content and artificial ingredients. You want something that sounds appealing to you and doesn’t contain too much salt or sugar.

If you can’t find something then you can always make your own
I use these ingredients:

tamari (which is soy sauce without wheat)

umeboshi vinegar (which gives great flavor)

apple juice with no added sugar gives it a bit of a sweeter taste and dilutes the salty tamari

1 clove minced garlic

1 tsp minced ginger.

Boil the water for the noodles and start cooking while you’re making the stir-fry.
Add the olive oil to a large pan then put the onions in since they take the longest to cook. Then add the garlic and ginger (if your making your own sauce you don’t need to add garlic and ginger since it will be in the sauce already.)
Cook for a few minutes then add the rest of the veggies.
The tofu tastes best when marinated. If you don’t have enough time to marinate then just cut the tofu into cubes and put it in the pan. Let everything cook until it starts getting soft and then add the sauce. Make sure to save some sauce so that you can add more when you put the noodles in.

When the noodles are soft drain them and run them under cold water so they don’t stick together. Add them to your stir-fry and then drizzle some more sauce on them.

I hope you have fun with this. It’s pretty easy to make and only uses two pots, which is a simple clean up!

Eat one serving and I guarantee you will be full. This is such a better choice then going to a healthy Chinese restaurant.

As they say in French, bon appétit.

Blueberry, banana, gluten free muffin made to perfectionBlueberry, banana, gluten free muffin made to perfection

Moist inside and very tasty

Moist and very tasty

Here’s what I’ve noticed about cooking and baking – It’s fun! AND if you have one machine like a food processor or a blender it makes the entire process so much easier! I’ve been having a great time in the kitchen recently – last night I made banana blueberry gluten free muffins!

They are amazing!!

Don’t be turned off by the “gluten free” because they are moist and delicious.

I used my Kitchen Aid mixer and it was so painless that I definitely want to do it again. If you don’t have a mixer then you can do it by hand or however you see fit.

Makes 8 muffins –

– 2 cups of quinoa flour

– 2 tsp baking powder

– 1 ½ tsp cinnamon

– 1 cup berries of your choice (I used blueberries)

– 1 mashed banana (if you like)

– 3 tbls oil (of your choice I used olive)

– 6 tbls agave

– 1 cup almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix ingredients together in a bowl leaving the milk for last. The milk will help moisten the batter so it’s best to put it in when you’re finished mixing the rest of the ingredients. Mix well so that the batter is smooth and creamy.

Bake for 30-40 minutes and enjoy.

As you can see it is fully possibly to cook and even bake without dairy, eggs, gluten and refined sugar. So you wonder why don’t resaurants and chefs all around the country/world practice using these same ingredients? Well, personally I have no idea why but I wish there were more choices out there for those who choose to eat healthier.

Again, I’m not saying that you should make these muffins and eat the whole batch in one day or even one sitting, but it’s a great snack when your craving something warm and sweet. I say warm because they’re the best when you pop them in the toaster oven to heat them up before consuming. I hope you try this recipe because it’s quite easy and the outcome is great.

If you find that the quinoa flour is making the muffins taste somewhat bitter, try adding 2 tbs of vanilla. The recipe is fully adaptable, so if something doesn’t sit well with you then feel free to change it! Have fun.

Twitter: TheHealthyMix