Healthy & delicious ways to spice up your gluten-free menu
Hardly a week goes by without a new study connecting diet and disease: a healthy diet can help reverse the trend toward certain illnesses (cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease). I learned this firsthand a few years ago after a routine medical exam revealed elevated blood sugar levels—a precursor to type 2 diabetes. My physician advised me to reduce my consumption of sugar and empty carbs. She didn’t have to remind me that type 2 diabetes runs in my family!
At first, the thought of cutting back on white flours, starches and sugar seemed like an overwhelming task. My whole life is baking! But I knew I needed a serious course correction. So I began limiting my intake of gluten-free white breads, gluten-free pastas and sugary sweets, choosing single-ingredient, nutrient-dense foods such as fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and whole grains instead. In several months, I lost weight, reduced belly fat—and my blood sugar levels returned to normal. I haven’t looked back.
Those of us with celiac disease and other food issues are already mindful eaters. We rarely grab and graze. We read ingredient labels, plan our gluten-free meals carefully, and select our groceries and restaurants with awareness. These good habits, already in place, make it easier to choose to eat healthy foods across the board.
So put away the cheese sauce, the cream sauce and the rich buttery glazes. These tasty gluten-free sauces will take your menu to flavorful new heights without the empty calories.
MAKES 2 CUPS
This delicious Gluten-Free Romesco Sauce (a traditional Spanish sauce) is long on flavor and short on calories. Pair it with roasted turkey or grilled salmon. For a festive holiday appetizer, brush it on cooked chicken kabobs.
MAKES 1 CUP
Delicious on chicken, fish, pasta and spiralized zucchini, this flavorful gluten-free pesto is higher in fiber and nutrition than traditional pesto. Honey cuts any bitterness from the kale. Drizzle it on Roasted Cauliflower and use it as a dipping sauce for Cherry Tomato Mini-Skewers . To store, refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
MAKES 3/4 CUP
This light gluten-free vinaigrette deliciously dresses up roasted potatoes and other roasted vegetables. It’s a healthier choice than calorie-laden cheese or cream sauces. In place of traditional bacon, it uses smoky turkey bacon and a little olive oil. For extra flavor, add fresh rosemary, thyme or your favorite herb. For a gluten-free vegan dish, replace the turkey bacon with ¾ cup sliced shiitake mushrooms.
MAKES 1/3 CUP
Homemade Jerk Seasoning perks up the flavor of this Gluten-Free Spicy Mayo Sauce. To save time, substitute a store-bought jerk seasoning.