Don’t feel like sweating it over the grill when temperatures are soaring outside? No problem. My Sweet Balsamic ‘n’ Tuna Grape Salad is the perfect dish to keep things cool during your upcoming Labor Day barbecue. Fresh fruits like grapes and berries are plentiful this time of the year, so why not toss them with gluten-free pasta for an easy lunch or dinner? I grew up on cold pasta salads with red grapes and tuna. My mother and grandmother served this dish at least once a week in the summertime, and I can’t help but think of the fun memories every time I create a new flavor spin on this family recipe. All you need are a few simple ingredients that are probably already in your fridge and pantry. This pasta salad takes just minutes to prepare; it’ll be ready in less than 30 minutes. Here, I combine tuna, Greek yogurt, gluten-free pasta and red grapes for a sweet, tangy and savory flavor that will have your Labor Day crowd digging in for seconds.
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Ready to serve up a new, fun summer salad for your Labor Day picnic or BBQ? You can easily add seasonal fruits and vegetables into a grain-based salad for a simple and flavorful dish. By sticking to fresh, whole and natural ingredients, you will be packing in the flavor to this quinoa salad. This dish is as quick as it is flavorful, and with all of the fresh strawberries and sweet honey mixed in, it is so satisfying on the dog days of summer.
Try this salad stuffed into a pita, or serve it on a bed of greens for a light supper. And at the height of bell pepper season, you can use it to fill hollowed-out red bell peppers for an elegant entree. Feel free to play around with this recipe; stepping into your farmers market will give you a whole new perspective of what else you can toss into this dish. No strawberries at the market? No problem. Fresh raspberries or blackberries are a sweet alternative. Not a fan of almonds? Pistachios are a sweeter alternative. If you’re planning on hosting a vegan guest, you can easily substitute agave nectar for the honey. Quinoa is a complete protein and a tasty gluten-free pasta-alternative that can be enjoyed by all.
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If you want your ice cream and gluten-free waffle cone too, this is the recipe you’ve been waiting for.
Some days you just need ice cream — on a waffle cone. Get a diagnosis of gluten intolerance and dairy intolerance, and you may think that you’ve taken your last lick. Think again.
By the time Isaiah was diagnosed at age 10, we had our summertime after-school pickup ritual down cold. When it was hot outside, we wanted ice cream, and that’s exactly what we had every night before we sat down to dinner. Nothing was going to change that.
My response was to develop a gluten-free waffle cone recipe, which I ultimately shared — along with dairy-free ice cream — in my first book, Cooking for Isaiah. Letters poured in about the waffle cone from parents whose kids hadn’t enjoyed ice cream on a cone for years.
Now that our routine continues, I’ve decided to make our lives a little healthier with a recipe that fit Isaiah’s flavor palette and my nutritional needs. Let’s start with the cone: I use two of my pantry staples — chia seeds and coconut oil. Generally, I prefer using unflavored coconut oil, but for this recipe, the virgin coconut oil flavor fits right in with the coconut ice cream. Beyond its superfood status, the chia seeds add a nice crunch and help bind the waffle batter.
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When I transitioned my household to gluten free, a funny thing happened along the way. My gluten-intolerant son, Isaiah, had been the classic white foods eater—pasta, pizza, potatoes, pie. You name it, the only food he would eat on his plate was white and lots of it was bread.
So when he was diagnosed five years ago, it was slim pickings at the supermarket for a white bread substitute. Needless to say we tried them all, but they all fell short of his expectations. Turns out that the answer was easier than I would have ever guessed. He was no longer looking at color, but texture and flavor. I was still feeding into his white foods cravings when he was clearly over them. Slowly, Isaiah’s food choices opened up and to my surprise, he ventured beyond the white and into healthier, whole-grain choices.
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- Elizabeth Kaplan, founder of The Pure Pantry and author of Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen
Q: What inspired you to start your business, The Pure Pantry, and later develop a cookbook?
A: When I was diagnosed with celiac disease ten years ago there were very few good-tasting gluten-free products on the market. Since my children and I are also allergic to dairy and my son is allergic to nuts, nut flours, beans and bean flours, it was difficult to find products, such as pancake mixes, cake mixes and cookies mixes, that were free of all allergens. So I began creating my own at home and that’s where it all started.
The cookbook, Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen: Gluten-free & Allergy-free Recipes for Healthy, Delicious Meals, was born out of my true love and passion for cooking and baking. Ever since I was a little girl I have been experimenting in the kitchen, creating my own recipes and collecting cookbooks. Many of the recipes in the book are re-vamped childhood favorites that I used to bake for my family and for the many baking contests I entered as a girl. I wanted to share my collection of recipes with others who may need some inspiration in the kitchen since gluten-free cooking and baking can be a challenge.
Q: Can foods be gluten-free and still taste good?
A: Of course! Developing good-tasting gluten-free recipes has been my focus for the last 10 years.
The fun part of this challenge is doing recipe “make-overs” and serving them to people who don’t have to eat gluten-free to see if they notice that the gluten is missing. For example, I often make homemade cakes or cupcakes and serve them at birthday parties and office parties. I usually do not disclose they are gluten free. They disappear in seconds and no one knows the difference!
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- Chicken Vegetable Braciola photo by: Stephen Scott Gross
Sometimes, things happen for a reason. This was the case for an unsuspecting box of rice cereal I had ready and waiting in the cupboard for my son Isaiah’s morning breakfast routine. I had been thinking about a gluten-free replacement for breadcrumbs without the prep of toasting gluten-free bread at a low temperature for at least an hour, letting it cool completely and finally grinding it into crumbs in my food processor.
Then it struck me that cereal absorbs liquid just like breadcrumbs. I took the cereal box out of the cupboard, filled a Ziploc bag with rice cereal, took my rolling pin and crushed it into crumbs in just seconds. Even though I can now find gluten-free breadcrumbs at the supermarket, it’s cheaper and faster to still make my own.
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- Strawberries-and-Cream Scones
Since my son Isaiah was diagnosed with gluten and dairy intolerances more than five years ago, I’ve learned to adapt my kitchen—especially for baking. After all, it was just six years ago that I was lifting 50 pounds bags of gluten-full unbleached white pastry flour at my old bakery in Brooklyn.
Now, if you look in my pantry, you’ll see dozens of gluten-free flours like rice flour, almond flour, sorghum flour, sweet rice flour, quinoa flour, mesquite flour, chestnut flour, corn flour, oat flour, coconut flour and, possibly my new all-around favorite, millet flour.
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- Is your favorite gluten-free bread on our list?
The gluten-free phenomenon has lead to dozens of new products on store shelves. Breads and baked goods are some of the hardest foods to make tasty and sans gluten. We polled our readers and took their favorite brands for a test drive.
For this taste test, we rated breads based on taste, texture, nutrition and cost. Each variety was rated on a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). Gluten-free breads are famously higher in calories so we tried hard to find some smart and tasty options. Most of the brands recommended toasting for best taste –this was definitely the preferable way for just about all of the options.
Food for Life – Millet Bread
Nutrition Info (per slice): 100 calories; 21 grams carbohydrates; 0.5 gram fiber
Our Take: The millet gave this bread a pleasant nutty and sweet flavor. While many GF breads are dry and crumbly, this was almost too chewy. The slices are tiny and overall, not worth the price.
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- One-Pot Chicken Parm Rice -- photo by Stephen Scott Gross for Easy Eats
If you’re a working parent, you already know that dinner is not the easiest meal to get on the table. Even if you manage to cook up a complete meal, the last thing you want to be left with at the end of the night is a big pile of dishes in the sink.
Through the years, I’ve tried prepping all the ingredients ahead, partially cooking the recipes and making the entire meal and freezing all or half for later. These methods don’t quite fit with my spontaneous cooking personality type.
What cooking personality type are you?
This three-step chicken recipe makes perfect sense to me and it just happens to be gluten free. All I do is brown the chicken to give it some flavor then I layer the ingredients—and flavor—into one pot and the recipe pretty much cooks itself.
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- Gluten-and-Dairy-Free Matcha Truffles -- Photo by Silvana Nardone
The one thing that matters to me, even after Valentine’s Day is that there is chocolate in the house—really, any kind will do. By nature, chocolate is gluten free. But chocolate treats are often full of dairy—and other added ingredients that aren’t exactly good for you. After a little playing around in the kitchen, I realized that there was no reason to pigeonhole myself in traditional truffle-making technique.
Instead, I relied on the properties of individual ingredients to give me the texture I wanted. In place of heavy cream, which adds silkiness, I used tempered egg yolks to emulsify the chocolate truffle mixture. To hold the truffles together, I swapped coconut oil (I prefer the flavorless kind, but you can use either) for the usual butter.
Then came the fun part: Adding immune-supporting spices and teas, like turmeric root and green tea. In these truffles, which are infinitely adaptable to any flavor combination, there also just happens to be some feel-good, aphrodisiac ingredients, like chocolate and vanilla.
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