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May 8, 2007 01:32 PM

Gluten Free Diet, how do I alter/change recipes?

My wife just started on Gluten free - I love to eat all foods - must I alter/change my wife? Are there any standard substitutes?

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  1. What you use as a substitute has a lot to do with what you're making. For a lot of breads, a mixture of bean flours works well. For other things, you eat around the gluten: instead of wheat-based spaghetti, try Thai noodles. Instead of chocolate cake, make flourless chocolate torte. Eat sushi instead of a sandwich.

    Take a look at the <<Gluten Free Gourmet>> cookbooks for recipes.

      1. There are lots of wheat/gluten free mixes now available.... sometimes you have to play with them (for example, adding more oil or fruit) but there are some really good ones out there. That being said, there are some AWFUL ones too, it is hit and miss, trial and error. I haven't faded away from hunger yet, so you know there is lots out there to eat that doesn't contain wheat.

          1. Wait - did you just ask if you should substitute your wife for another gal???

            Ok - moving on. As far as gf goes (I am on a gf diet) my personal fav. store bought breads are the whole foods gluten free bakehouse brand. for pasta its tinkyada (comes in a bag, doesnt get too mushy or grainy). As for cake/bread/ etc mixes i'm particularly fond of bob's red mill, but gluten free pantry is ok as well.

            I would say to buy some cookbooks like the gluten free gourmet. It'll give you a good idea of how to start. If you want to start learning substitutes, the best way to do so is to follow recipes at first until you learn the new chemistry around thickening sauces, etc. There are a plethora of flour subsitutes which all have different flavors, densities, consistencies, etc. You'll learn quickly what you like and dont like (i.e. i dont like rice flour cause i find it too grainy, i like soy but it has a strong nutty flavor which affects the end product. there are tons of combinations that make for some pretty decent pastries though, they just usually involve 3-4 flours instead of 1 or 2.)

            I agree that there are a lot of really good naturally gluten free meals - including grains such as quinoa and buckwheat (kasha) which are healthy and tasty.

            I could write for hours on this, so if you want more detailed info, or you have specific questions, post back!!!

            good luck with the new diet!

            10 Replies
            1. re: julseydesign

              I really dont want to leave the woman, but this diet she's on would be a good reason!_ just joking.
              Thanks for the input - we've tried the whole foods gluten free bread ($8 bucks a loaf-makes one want to consider competing) We like the GF pasta and most of the snacks -We will begin trying buckwheat this week - She cant have soy -her problem is that she has a rash that requires no wheat or fermented items like soy sauce,beer,and worst of all wine! Gad's its been 3 months since I've raised a glass and since I support her in her predicament,,I dont have the heart to enjoy vino without her --- Anyway, thanks for the input - we will fight the good fight and so far we have enjoyed our meals,some exotic sauces and our substitutes.

              1. re: drobbia

                I don't know where you live, Drobia, but if you have a Trader Joe's nearby, they sell it for waaaaay less than $8. (Cripes!) Food for Life makes really tasty GF bread (in rice/almond, brown rice, and other flavors) that costs no more than $5 max. If you live in NYC, you can buy for that price on Fresh Direct, which is usually overpriced. I'm pretty sure that Zabars sells it, too, and probably other places.

                  1. re: Cheese Boy

                    Really? You guys like that stuff? I think its so bad!!! Its waaaay too dense. The whole foods brand in ny i've found for more like $5.00 a loaf. I like the Glutino brand flax seed bread, its more light fluffy wonderbread style, but with some better whole grain fiber. Their bagels are good too. Its too bad about the soy allergy, because that certainly makes it much more limiting. But yes, being gluten free is much more costly.

                    On another note, i've never found gf stuff at trader joes, perhaps i havent looked hard enough? I only went once to the one on 14th st, but i didnt see what i was looking for.

                    1. re: julseydesign

                      Yep, it's all there in the 14th St. location. You have to be sure that it's relatively fresh. (I've gotten some nasty, stale GF crumpets there when I wasn't paying attn; TJ's will replace, but it's just a hassle to go back.)

                      And yeah, I love the texture and density of food for life bread. Wonderbready stuff doesn't do it for me. It has no mouthfeel to speak of--bleah. But to each her own!

                      Brown rice cakes and fresh corn tortillas are other good carby subs and easier to find than specialty bread. You can make sandwich wraps with the tortillas, eat the rice cakes like crackers, or top the tortillas with tomato sauce, mozz, basil and other things for something tastily pizza-esque.

                      Nairns also makes a lovely GF ginger oat cake--basically a really fantastic cookie.

                      1. re: julseydesign

                        Whole Foods in Campbell CA - Sandwich bread - $7.29, Sundried Tomato with Roasted Garlic Bread- $8.69-- Gluten Free. In Northern California we soon learn that prices are usually 10-20% above most the rest of the country (dont even ask about petrol - reg,gas - $3.41 at off brand stations-but we do get some kind of special blend that supposedly keeps the air cleaner.)

                        1. re: drobbia

                          Oh wow! i'm so sorry to hear that! I assumed NYC was as expensive as everywhere else, and while it hurts me to pay just over 5 bucks for a loaf of bread, 7 or 8 is totally outrageous! yikes.

                          1. re: drobbia

                            Argh. LA right now is $4 for "plain." I drove an hour South yesterday and everywhere it was no higher than $3.50.

                            This isn't "special blend" this is price gouging!

                  2. re: julseydesign

                    i would love more information julsey! how can i reach you?

                    1. re: lollya

                      Hi there, i'm sorry its taken so long to get back to you about the gf stuff. Its been a long time since i've checked these posts. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Let me know!