People often cringe when I tell them that our whole family is gluten free. “Wow, how do you do that?” they ask. One of the strategies I use to keep our family healthy and to keep our grocery bill from going through the roof is buying whole foods. What are whole foods anyway? Whole foods are natural foods in their original form without processing. There are so many beautiful, aromatic, delicious, whole and nutritious foods out there that I thought I would spend more time this year talking about them. I love cooking, and I love designing new recipes, and many of my articles each month will still feature a hot, new gluten free topic and one of my recipes, but for some of my articles, I would really like to focus on the foods themselves. It just hit me this week that for those of you who are trying to go gluten free but may be overwhelmed or thinks it is too much time and money, buying whole foods may be a good start. Not to mention the fact that you have to buy all these elaborate ingredients for the recipes I design, which alone may end your desire to go gluten free. If, however, I present to you everyday foods that are fun and easy and inexpensive to buy and foods that you can find at any local grocery store, you might be willing to cut the gluten out of your diet for good and maybe, as a ‘side effect’, you might start feeling better. Here is a preview of what is to come. Whole foods include all the fruits and vegetables you might find in the produce section of your market. The wonderful thing about fruits and vegetables are that they are chalk full of vitamins and minerals, seasonal, colorful, good raw or cooked and full of natural fiber to fill you up. There are also many dried fruits and nuts that are whole foods and good for you. Not to mention dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter and cream. Organic meats are also an excellent source of protein if you are not vegetarian, or the many varieties of beans and legumes if you are. Finally, there are many grains which are gluten free, including rice, quinoa and buckwheat. So I hope you will enjoy the year learning about these foods that can nourish your body without shocking your grocery bill. If you have any specific foods you want to learn about, please feel free to leave me comments after my articles. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read my articles. I have gained so much knowledge and insight through this gluten free journey. I hope I can convince you to take that next step into gluten free living. I thought it would only be appropriate to start you off with a vegetable soup. What I love about vegetable soup is it can be different every time you make it. Here is one of my favorite versions of this recipe. On a cold night like tonight, it really hits the spot!
Gluten Free Vegetable Soup
4 cups vegetable broth
1- 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
16 oz can of white kidney beans
¼ cup mild salsa
1 head of cauliflower- cut into chunks
1 large zucchini- diced
1 small stalk of celery- diced
8 large baby carrots- diced
3 small white potatoes- diced
1 cup of frozen chopped spinach
1 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp pepper
Place all of the ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a rapid boil for 1 hour. Simmer for 1 hour.
Add 1 cup Gluten free rice noodles. Cook until tender, about 6 minutes.
Store in fridge or freezer in an air-tight container.