Lentils are, of course, gluten-free. They’re also a nutritional powerhouse, whether green, brown, black or red. Lo and behold, you can now buy pasta spirals (rotini) made entirely from organically grown red lentil flour.
Made in the USA by Tolerant Foods, these rotini are high protein, high iron, high fiber, low glycemic, and packed with vitamins. Last but not least, this pasta has good texture and flavor when cooked. I winced at the cost, but I will buy it again. (Just for the record. I do not solicit samples or payment from food companies!) A sauce made from frozen cooked medium shrimp, quickly thawed in a zip lock bag under running water, goes beautifully with this pink pasta.
LENTIL ROTINI WITH SHRIMP SAUCE
Warm 2 T. olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add 2 minced garlic cloves, a pinch of hot red pepper flakes and ¼ tsp. fennel seeds. Cook for 20 seconds. Add ¼ cup dry white wine, increase the heat, and boil until it evaporates. Add 2 cups diced ripe tomatoes and season with salt & pepper. Simmer briskly for about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down but still hold their shape slightly. Stir in 10 oz. thawed shrimp, 2 T. chopped parsley and 2 T. heavy cream, and heat through, 1 minute. Meanwhile, boil 5 to 6 oz. lentil spirals in salted water until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and add to the skillet. Toss together and transfer to dinner plates. Serves 2.
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.
Maybe they’re right. It’s claimed that the gluten-free market is going to balloon to a $6.6 billion industry by 2017. I do appreciate all the good stuff, but really, we could do without the profusion of gluten-free junk food.
And did you know it is now possible to buy gluten-free dog biscuits? (Come to think of it, I’ve sampled gluten-free cookies that tasted a lot like dog biscuits; maybe the manufacturer just repackaged them.)
Be sure to pick up the latest (August) issue of GLUTEN-FREE LIVING, where you’ll find plenty of interest for the gluten-challenged. In my regular recipe section, I’ve included ways to prepare some of the really fresh produce to be found at farmers markets, from a satisfying eggplant gratin to a lemon bundt cake that’s just right with freshly picked, aromatic strawberries. You’ll also discover tips on what’s new in gluten-free beer, recipes for gluten-free treats to take on road trips, and what to do if a gluten-free diet simply isn’t working. For more information about the magazine, click www.glutenfreeliving.com
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.