Following the May 2013 webinar "Gluten-Free Menu Planning: Budget-Friendly Tips," NFCA worked with panelist Kathleen Reale of Be Free for Me to address the remaining questions from the live airing. The following guest post contains Kathleen's responses.
In addition to the questions listed below, requests were made for recipes that take into account food allergies and sensitivities in addition to celiac disease. NFCA encourages the community to check out last June’s webinar, “Yes, You Can Eat! When Gluten Isn’t The Only Ingredient You Avoid” for answers to your dietary-related questions.
Q. Are there any recipes you recommend that do not use potato flour, potato starch, or tapioca starch? I am looking for foods with a higher nutrient content.
A. Here are a few recipes that use gluten-free grains such as amaranth, teff, certified gluten-free oats, as well as flax seeds. I love using these grains since it ups the nutritional content, plus they taste delicious!
Also make sure you check out these blog posts from Shelley Case:
Q. In addition to the in-season produce shopping list, do you have any budget-friendly suggestions on how to involve more naturally gluten-free items (i.e. non specialty recipes/products)?
A. I love to try recipes that that have as the “foundation” naturally gluten-free items like rice and potatoes. These basic and naturally gluten-free items are inexpensive and so versatile! To kick-up the nutritional value even further I’ll use brown or wild rice and sweet potatoes. I have also taken a rice “side dish” and kicked it up a notch by adding in chopped chicken and veggies, and transforming it into an amazing “main course.” Here are a few recipes for you to check out. (Remember: it’s both OK and encouraged to get creative and add-in extra protein (meats, fish, and tofu) to make it a super-nutritious meal in a snap!)
Q. Do you have any suggestions for clients who live in very rural areas with smaller grocery stores that do not stock specialty gluten–free products?
A. The Internet! There are many great resources to buying gluten-free products online. Even living near a major metropolitan area, I still order much of my food from online resources. It saves me time by not having to drive to numerous stores to get my favorite products and also saves me money! Some of my favorites are Amazon.com or Vitacost.com. There are also other resources that are in the Webinar presentation that you may find useful, as well as the accompanying downloadable guide, “Gluten-Free Menu Planning: Budget-Friendly Tips”.
Another tip is to do a “group buy” online with other individuals in your local area that are also eating gluten-free. This will allow you to buy in “bulk” and split the cost of buying in large quantities, as well as often times eliminating the shipping costs since you are buying higher quantities. Good luck!
Q. Can you recommend any smart phone applications that can facilitate the gluten-free menu-planning?
A. I don’t use a smart phone application for my gluten-free meal planning, but I have read up on some that look pretty good. They include:
Q. Do you have any budget-friendly or recipe tips on feeding small children with celiac disease?
A. It is helpful to take the basic go-to favorites of your child and try to “recreate” those recipes gluten-free. Getting the kids engaged in their food choices also is a great idea! Go to a farmers market and give them a few dollars to spend on their own special treats, have them help out in the kitchen, and bring them grocery shopping and choose gluten-free food choices they can be excited to try. If you have a child that is on a gluten-free diet and a picky-eater, be sure to check out this article from Shelly Case, since she shares some great tips. Some of kid-approved recipes include:
Also, check out my video on making gluten-free fish batter (Note: Works great on Chicken for too!). The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) hosts a "kids only" section of their website, Kids Central, complete with tips, recipes, games and more.
Q. In my experience, homemade bread and other baked goods that are gluten-free tend to become dry in just a couple of days. Have you found any way to prevent or lessen this problem?
A. I try to keep my gluten-free baked goods in the refrigerator to keep them fresh longer. Another trick I use is to slightly moisten a paper towel, “wrap” it around the baked good and place it in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds before eating. This makes it softer and more pliable. This trick also works great for gluten-free corn tortillas and wraps!