Jacqueline Mallorca, Gluten Free Expert

DEAR (artichoke) HEART

All fruits and vegetables are, of course, gluten-free, but who knew that that cooked carrots have twice as much beta-carotene a raw carrots?  Or that red cherry tomatoes have up to twelve times more lycopene than red beefsteak tomatoes? Or that pale-colored artichoke hearts are among the most nutritious vegetables in the supermarket? These and hundreds of other well-researched facts are revealed in Jo Robinson’s new book. In Eating on the Wild Side, she explains which vegetables can maximize your intake of the protective phytonutrients that nature put in plants. She’s right up there with Michael Pollan when it comes to sensible, readable advice on how to eat healthfully and with enjoyment.

My own favorite way of cooking artichoke hearts is to turn them into a side dish.  Simply sauté  frozen artichoke hearts (no need to thaw first) in a little olive oil with chopped shallots until lightly browned on both sides and tender, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add a handful of nutritious chopped parsley.

And another thing …

TAKE HEART, WERE NOT ALONE!

It seems we’re on our way to becoming The Gluten-Free Generation. According to a January, 2013 report from the NPD Group, a global information company that has tracked nutrition-related issues since 1976, one in every three American adults is now either avoiding gluten completely or making an effort to cut down.

Share

LOVE YOUR KITCHEN

If you are not already familiar with “going gluten free”, the thought of re-inventing yourself as a gluten-free cook (or as a cook at all!) can be intimidating. Don’t worry. It can be easy and fast as well as healthful.

QUINOA & RED BEAN SALAD

Rightly called a superfood, mellow-tasting quinoa is not a grain but the seed of a plant related to chard and beets. Not only high in nutrients, it supplies all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

Bring 1 ¾  cups of gluten-free vegetable broth to a boil, add 1 cup rinsed and drained quinoa. Cover and simmer until tender and the germ rings show like little white commas and the liquid has been absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl, stir in 1 to 2 cups drained and rinsed red kidney beans, and let cool. Add 1 peeled, seeded and diced cucumber, 12 quartered cherry tomatoes, 4 thinly sliced green onions including most of the green tops, 8 finely chopped radishes, ¼ cup chopped mint, ½ cup chopped parsley, ½ cup olive oil, and 2 tablespoons wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Serves 4 to 6.

CHICKEN SKEWERS WITH QUINOA PILAF

Just right for a casual summer meal, these kebabs cook fast, look appetizing, and taste wonderful. Marinate the chicken while you’re assembling and cooking the pilaf.

Cook 1 cup rinsed and drained quinoa in 1 ¾ cups gluten-free chicken broth for 12 to 15 minutes. When it’s tender, stir in chopped green onions, dried currants, chopped parsley and 1 cup rinsed and drained canned chickpeas. Heat through and keep warm. Combine 1 pound of 1-inch chunks of boneless, skinless chicken breast in 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram or oregano and 1 tablespoon olive oil and a little salt and pepper, and let stand for 20 minutes. Wrap each chunk in 3-inch strips of prosciutto, pancetta or coppa. Thread onto metal or soaked wooden skewers alternately with tiny grape tomatoes. Broil or grill until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Serves 4.

Share

A GOOD READ

Don’t miss the February issue  issue of GLUTEN-FREE LIVING, in which you will find everything from advice on choosing the right rice cooker to the Olympic dreams of two GF athletes who have set their sights on Sochi. In my regular recipe section, I’ve presented some delicious ways to use naturally gluten-free corn flour, as opposed to cornmeal.  My latest favorite in the gluten-free flour stakes, it makes a winning orange-scented pound cake,  almond and corn flour shortbread cookies, and extra-smooth corn muffins.  You will also discover thought-provoking articles on genetically-engineered crops, helping a child cope with a GF diet, travels in Norway, and more.  Enjoy!

For more information about the magazine, click www.glutenfreeliving.com

Share

THE QUICK GLUTEN-FREE COOK

GLUTEN FREE KITCHEN TIPS

  • Use glass jars (recycled, mason, whatever) for storing gluten-free flours, grains, xanthan gum, baking soda, and whatnot. Snip the label off the package and put it face down in the bottom of the jar before adding the contents, so you can identify the stuff later. Adding the date doesn’t hurt, either.
  • For something sweet after dinner, spread a few pecan halves, golden raisins and dark chocolate chips on a small plate and enjoy s-l-o-w-l-y. Much better for you than ice cream.
  • For instant fresh flavor to whatever you’re cooking, wash, dry and chop a whole bunch of parsley or green onions and freeze in a screw top glass jar. They don’t freeze solid, and are ready to use.
  • Keep a “dedicated” electric coffee mill for milling items other than coffee into flour, such as flax seeds (these simply whirl about in a food processor), sunflower seeds, or simply making rice flour or cornmeal finer.
  • Just a little bacon can perk up stir-fried veggies, scrambled eggs, or braised chicken without packing on the pounds. Keep the package in the freezer (it won’t become too hard to cut) and slice across the whole package to make little strips, aka lardons.
  • Cooked veggies are the new finger food. Putting out a platterful on the kitchen counter while prepping dinner keeps jaws busy and increases antioxidant intake.
  • Nip the tops off green beans (the tails are tender, leave them be), boil for 5 minutes until just tender-crisp, toss with a little olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Good warm or cold.
  • Dust “coins” of zucchini with white rice flour and brown in a little olive oil, 2 minutes per side. Season with coarse salt and black pepper; serve warm.
  • Cut small Brussels sprouts in half and toss with a little olive oil. Roast in a single layer at 400°F. for 10 minutes, turn, and roast for another 6 minutes, until lightly browned and caramelized. Sprinkle with chopped salted peanuts. Serve warm.
Share

BOOKSHELF

If you hanker after delicious Asian food but worry about ingredients such as soy sauce, oyster sauce and/or noodles that contain gluten, rejoice. In The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen, Laura Russell has done a fantastic, professional job of making Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese food accessible and inviting. Along with sharing approachable and delicious recipes, she demystifies Asian ingredients and provides a long list — from bean sauce to wasabi — that details their gluten status, a safe alternative, and brands to look for. Great photos, too. You can visit her website at www.theglutenfreeasiankitchen.com.

Share