First off, what in heaven’s name is gluten? The short answer: It’s a group of proteins commonly found in many foods but especially those made of wheat, barley, rye or triticale (a grain similar to wheat). The long answer: Gluten is a kind of glue in foods, hence the name, enabling breads and pastas to maintain their shape and have that chewy texture. It can also act like an allergen and cause Celiac disease (a gastrointestinal disorder with wide-ranging effects on the body), non-Celiac gluten sensitivity (a similar condition that causes gastrointestinal distress, allergies, fatigue, even psychological disorders), and wheat allergy.
Celiac disease affects about two percent of the U.S. general population, according to a 2015 study. Non-Celiac gluten sensitivity affects far more: up to 10 percent, says a 2014 study. That’s certainly bad news for millions of folks in the U.S., what with pimento cheese sandwiches, pepperoni pizzas, Barilla Spaghetti, and Quaker Oats holding the American palate captive from breakfast to dinner.
But what are gluten-free foods? If you’re sensitive to gluten, now’s a good time to check out some gluten-free recipes from Gimme Some Oven. Mind you, some of them are truly mouthwatering!
- Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad. Like most Thai salads, this is easy to prepare, it’s nutritious, and it’s guaranteed flavorful. It’s basically chopped cooked chicken, leafy vegetables, and ripe fruits all mixed together, and topped with peanut dressing. If you have mangoes, Thai culinary practice actually allows for green ones. If you’re just getting acquainted with Thai cuisine, you might want to go yellow on this one. You can never go wrong with ripe yellow mangoes.
- 12-Minute Chicken and Broccoli. Another chicken recipe, another gluten-free classic. First, whisk up your sauce (rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch, minced garlic clove, ground ginger, sesame oil). Next, sauté the broccoli together with several pieces of chicken. Boneless, skinless chicken breast would be great for this. Pour in the sauce you prepared earlier, and wait till it thickens. All in 12 minutes. Bon appetit!
- Shrimp Scampi Skewers. Whoa! Even the name sounds tasty! And this grilled delight sure is. Alternately skewer some shrimp, whole or cut (depends on size), and lemons, lave with butter (or a butter-parsley-garlic mix), and grill. Gimme Some Oven recommends serving with quinoa and veggies. Yum. Gimme some more!
- Tex-Mex Migas. Here’s a healthy substitute for breakfast cereals, straight from Texas no less. It’s called “migas”—literally, crumbs. That’s because you use leftover corn tortillas for this dish. Here’s how this one goes: Fry the corn tortillas into crispy chips. Prepare a bed of veggies, eggs, and cheese in a skillet. That done, toss in the tortilla chips and voila! Tex-Mex Migas to go.
- Shrimp, Avocado, and Roasted Corn Salad. This salad’s as easy as 1-2-3 to make, but it’s definitely delicious. It’s also one of Gimme Some Oven’s favorites. Toss grilled shrimp, bacon, avocado, lettuce, and corn together, then top with buttermilk dressing. All set, all gluten-free.
If you’re a food manager, make sure that you are familiar with gluten-free foods and recipes. It can save lives and a whole world of trouble for your food establishment. Go to 360training.com’s Learn2serve page to learn more about gluten-free foods and about Food Safety Manager Training.
Source: TABC Blog by Learn 2 Serve