Gluten is a word many people have no idea about. That is because most of them have no problem eating foods that contain this protein. Unfortunately, millions of people deal with high sensitivity to this substance and get sick every time they eat certain products.  It is important for everyone to know about gluten and what foods to avoid when cooking for someone with intolerance for it.

What is gluten and why some people go gluten free

Gluten is a protein usually found in cereals like wheat, rye or barley. A gluten-free diet is recommended for people with gluten allergy, celiac disease or in some cases for children with autism. Celiac disease is more of an autoimmune disorder than an allergy, in which gluten stops the small intestine from absorbing the nutrients and the person feels very ill. For these people, gluten can cause nausea, diarrhea, constipation, severe abdominal pain, bloating, gas and weight loss. There is no treatment for this condition except a lifetime of a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-free recipes

Just because someone can’t tolerate gluten it doesn’t mean they will never enjoy a delicious meal ever again. On the contrary, here are some recipes that will provide inspiration for every meal from breakfast to dinner.

You may start the day with some Sesame & chili pancakes with tzatziki. All you need is:

  • 100g gluten-free flour
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml soya yogurt
  • 1 green and 1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch spring onions finely sliced, plus extra to serve
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • a little oil for frying

Mix all the ingredients until a smooth batter is formed. Then, heat a frying pan with a drop of oil and fry the pancakes for 1 minute on each side.

For tzatziki you need:

  • 150g Greek yogurt
  • 13cm/5in cucumber deseeded and grated
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint

For lunch, you could enjoy Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Cream Sauce. Make sure you have the following ingredients:

  • 2 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and tenders removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 2 tablespoons dry vermouth, or dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives or scallion greens

Cook the chicken in a frying pan until it becomes brown on both sides. Add the rest of the ingredients to a pan, one by one and stir. When done pour the sauce over the chicken and cook for a couple more minutes.

Some Quinoa tabbouleh sounds ideal for dinner. All you have to do is mix:

  • 100g dried quinoa
  • 75g parsley, roughly chopped
  • 300g tomatoes, cut into 1cm dice (no need to remove the seeds)
  • 100g cucumber, cut into small dice
  • And make a dressing out of:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • juice and zest ½ lemon
  • a drop of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp rice syrup or agave
  • pinch of Himalayan pinks salt
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed

Gluten can be found in many types of food, including prepackaged and processed. One must be very careful and read the label before to identify unexpected sources of gluten and determine which foods are safe to eat and which to avoid.