Gluten as been a hot topic for some time in the recent years. Myself, I have had the discussion around the decision to cut out gluten or not, with many, many people.
While I could write a lengthy discussion on this topic, I think you should first check out this article that I wrote a few years ago. To sum it up, there has been an increase in celiac disease among the population, but we have also developed an increased tendency to rely on self-diagnosis and eliminate gluten from our diets.
However: I do work with a number of people who have IBS/IBD, etc who feel better when eliminating gluten. My response: Amazing! Let me show you how to plan a balanced diet without gluten.
- Do you need gluten in your diet? No.
- Do gluten-containing foods provide nutrition? Heck yes.
- Can we get those nutrients other ways? Of course!
- Would some people benefit from eliminating gluten? Yes. But I’m willing to bet that we over-rely on blaming gluten as the reason that we are not feeling well.
Anyways, before I continue to ramble, let me show you how to create balanced, plant-based meals, sans gluten! These meals I used potatoes, quinoa, gluten-free pasta and oats (cetified gluten-free if you are celiac) to replace the gluten in these recipes. These replacements are fairly nutritionally-equivalent to their gluten-containing conterparts. Let me know which ones you’d like to try!
Sheet Pan Tofu & Veggies
- 14 oz/ one block of tofu
- 1 tsp dried ginger
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 cups potatoes, sliced
- 1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large red onion, sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2. Add the tofu cubes to a large mixing bowl together with ginger, balsamic vinegar, tamari and paprika. Mix together well and set aside to marinade, covered, for around 20 minutes.
3. Add the potatoes, mushrooms, onions and garlic to a seperate large mixing bowl and then add the tofu, pouring over the marinade. Stir together really well.
4. Transfer the tofu and vegetables to a large baking tray covered with baking paper. Roast in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender and the tofu is crispy, flipping halfway. Enjoy!
Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
- 3 cups veggie broth
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 3 tbsp avocado oil, divided
- 1 lb broccoli florets
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp almond meal
- 1 cup plant-based milk
- 1 cup plain dairy free/dairy yogurt
- 3/4 cup vegan cheese/real cheese
- 2 cups cooked white beans
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2. Place 2 cups broth and the quinoa in a large saucepan, then bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
3. While the quinoa cooks, roast the broccoli. Add the florets to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with avocado oil. Roast the broccoli for 20 minutes, flipping halfway.
4. While the broccoli is roasting and quinoa is cooking, add the remaining 1 tbsp of avocado oil to a large saucepan. Add the onion and carrots. Sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir and let cook just until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
5. Slowly pour in the remaining 1 cup broth, then the milk, adding a few splashes of liquid at a time. Whisk constantly, until the sauce had thickened. Slowly stir in the oregano.
6. Slowly stir in the quinoa, the white beans, roasted broccoli, yogurt and most of the cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly in the pan. Top with remaining cheese.
8. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is melted and the casserole is hot, about 15 minutes. Enjoy!
Eggplant & Zucchini Pasta
- 8 ounce of dried gluten-freen pasta
- 1/4 cup garlic-infused olive oil
- 1 eggplant, diced
- 2 zucchini, diced
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- 24 oz diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried basil
1. Cook your pasta according to package directions.
2. Heat 1.5 tbsp in a saucepan, over medium heat. Add about half of the eggplant and sauté until softened, browned and cooked through. Remove to a bowl. Repeat with about 1.5 tbsp of the oil and the rest of the eggplant, adding to bowl when done.
3. Add the last tbsp of oil to the saucepan and sauté the zucchini and green onions until the zucchini is crisp tender. Add the eggplant back to the skillet along with the tomatoes and basil. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Divide pasta out. Add sauce on top. Enjoy!
Berry Overnight Oats
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 cups greek yogurt/dairy free yogurt
- 2 cups frozen fruit
- 1/2 cup almonds
1.Mix the oats, chia seeds, almond milk, greek yogurt together and top with the frozen berries and almonds. Enjoy!.