One of the positive things about having to be on a gluten-free diet is the fact we have to learn how to cook. Some have to learn how to cook gluten-free and others have to learn how to cook altogether. Whatever your situation is, learning something new is always challenging, but fun and fulfilling.
Since we all have to discover new ways of cooking healthy safe meals why not broaden our skills and try making foods that are from other countries?
There are numerous foods out there which are naturally gluten-free and we should be taking advantage of them! So, today I decided to make a list of those naturally gluten-free foods from around the globe and share their recipes with you.
1. Polenta (picture coming soon)
According to Wikipedia, Polenta is a dish of boiled cornmeal. It may be consumed hot as a porridge or allowed to cool and solidify into a loaf, which is then baked, fried, or grilled. It’s originally from Italy. Now, how do you prepare this yummy kid-pleasing dish?
A lot of stores sell quick or instant polenta, which is either made from an incredibly fine grind of cornmeal or from pre-cooked polenta that’s then dried and processed into a flour that can be rapidly reconstituted and served within minutes. Some might say this is not the real Polenta, but I love Polenta no matter how the cornmeal is prepared. If you choose the instant polenta, you will have it ready in one minute.
Here is one recipe! Vegetarian Polenta Lasagna (there are many others, but this is one of my favorite ways to make it. It serves 4 people and I like to serve it with a green salad)
Ingredients for the Sauce
- 1 big onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 small green pepper or half a big one (finely chopped)
- 1 diced carrot
- 1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms (or any mushroom you like)
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Fresh Basil leaves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
In a cooking pan put the olive oil, add the onions, the green pepper and the carrot. Once the onions are transparent, add the garlic and the mushrooms. Don’t let the garlic burn, otherwise, your sauce will have a bitter taste to it, so when the garlic starts to become golden, add the tomatoes.
Season your sauce with salt and pepper to the taste and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the basil leaves, cover the pan and let the sauce rest for a couple of minutes.
Ingredients for the Polenta
- 2 cups quick-cooking or instant polenta
- 6 cups water/milk/chicken broth
- Salt and pepper
Heat the water/milk/chicken broth until it comes to a boil (milk gives you a creamy Polenta)
Slowly add the instant polenta and whisk. Once you have poured all the polenta, lower the temperature, add salt and pepper and stir it for 2-5 minutes (read the instructions on the package). If you think it’s too thick, you can add a bit more liquid, but it has to be warm. (I usually add half a cup)
That’s all, your Polenta is ready.
Assemble your Polenta Lasagna
Mist a cooking sheet with olive oil. Pour half of the Polenta, then cover it with half of the sauce. Add 1 cup of shredded cheese (I use Dayia mozzarella style shred because I can’t tolerate dairy).
Pour the other half of the Polenta, cover it with the other half of the sauce. Add a little bit more cheese and put it in the oven until cheese is melted and sauce bubbles. 🙂
2. Brazilian Cheese Bread
A popular snack and breakfast food in Brazil. “Pão de queijo,” as it is said in Portuguese, is a traditional Brazilian recipe, from the state of Minas Gerais. It is naturally gluten free because there is no flour in the recipe, only tapioca starch.
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