Eating Like a Normal Person
Now that you’ve decided to start eating gluten-free, you’ve probably come across some pretty crazy new foods you may not have heard of before. Many of these are a great source of nutrition, but your family may take one look at your quinoa creation and run as fast as they can to the nearest Taco Bell. It may seem like “whipping something up” to eat is a thing of the past. Well, rest assured. You can still eat like a normal person! Just be sure you don’t make it any harder on yourself than it has to be. On your first shopping trip, don’t be embarrassed to buy pre-packaged mixes or frozen dinners. You can learn all the tricky stuff along the way.
Stock up on some gluten-free pasta (my favorite brand is Tinkyada, shown to the left), and some naturally gluten-free basics such as herbs, spices and canned tomatoes. You’ve got enough to make a simple pasta dish right there! In fact, this might be a good time to go through some old recipes and pick out some that have few or no ingredients containing gluten (besides the pasta, of course). Now you have sure-fire recipes that you already know your family loves, but cooked gluten-free style!
In my kitchen, macaroni and cheese was missed the most (especially by my husband) as a quick and easy way to cook up something we both enjoyed. This recipe may not be as easy as dumping out the blue and yellow box, but it’s close!
*Note* This recipe calls for flour as a thickener. Great thickening substitutes for wheat flour are cornstarch, arrowroot flour, and tapioca starch. I personally suggest you buy a gluten-free flour blend that states it can substitute wheat flour cup for cup (Try Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour). This will come in handy later when you find other old recipes to convert into gluten-free ones, and keep your kitchen from turning into a science lab.
1 bag gluten-free pasta elbows cooked according to package directions
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. gluten-free flour
2 cups milk
2-3 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. paprika
Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in flour, and continue to stir for about one minute. Stir in milk and whisk until blended. Add cheese and seasonings. Whisk constantly until sauce is thick and creamy. Pour over prepared noodles and serve.
Feel free to add anything you like to make it your own, but I know my husband is all about plain ole mac-n-cheese.
And there you have it. Quick, easy, and normal!