5 Tasty Dinners to Cook for Gluten-Free Friends
Whether you have coeliac disease, are adjusting to a gluten-free lifestyle, or know someone who is, home cooking can, surprisingly, be easily adapted so you can make a nice meal for the family, or cook up a treat when your gluten-intolerant friends come over for dinner. To give you some inspiration, The Best of Health has tracked down some easy to prepare gluten-free recipes designed to appeal to the whole family, and help you make dinnertime a breeze.
When cooking these meals, just make sure your store cupboard has a supply of the various gluten-free essentials, such as stock cubes, flour and soy sauce. Get these in and you’re away.
Happy gluten-free cooking.
Prawn and Chicken Stir Fry
Low in fat and packed with nutritious vegetables, stir-fry dishes are a great standby in the gluten-free kitchen.
You need slices of chicken breast and a handful of raw prawns, but use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge, such as mushrooms, onion, peppers, sliced carrot and cabbage. The safest way to season is to use ingredients from your fridge or spice rack, rather than risking commercially produced sauces which may contain gluten. Fresh ginger, garlic and chilli are great flavour enhancers. Also, Chinese five spice, paprika, gluten-free soy sauce, sherry vinegar and a drizzle of honey all work well.
Salmon and Prawn Pie
This is real comfort food. It can be made in advance and kept in the fridge until you are ready to pop it into the oven half an hour before dinner. White fish such as haddock can also be added to the salmon and prawns.
Poach salmon steaks and haddock, if using, in gluten-free fish or vegetable stock for eight minutes. Drain, but keep the stock. Make a béchamel sauce, using gluten-free flour and the fish stock with milk. Put the fish into an ovenproof dish, topped with cooked prawns, and pour the sauce over. Finally, top with mashed potato. When you are ready to reheat the pie, it will need to go into a moderate oven for 30 minutes.
Duck with Ginger and Spring Onion
Hardly any preparation is needed here. The spring onion and ginger are also good metabolism boosters.
Allow one duck breast per person and heat a little oil in a large sauté pan. Lightly fry the duck breasts on both sides, add sliced ginger and chopped spring onion and turn the heat down low. Cook for a few minutes more, lift the duck breasts from the pan and arrange on top of rice noodles. Top with a mixture of ginger and spring onions.
Spicy Lamb and Chickpea Casserole
Pulses are an excellent way of getting complex carbohydrates and protein in one ingredient. They also provide excellent dietary fibre, as well as key minerals such as iron and potassium. Pulses can happily provide the mainstay of many dishes, so if you are vegetarian, simply omit the meat and add an extra can of chick peas, lentils or butter beans.
Heat the oven to low. Put sliced ginger, garlic and cubed lamb into a casserole dish with a teaspoon each of caraway seeds, fennel or cumin seeds. Season, then pour over enough apple juice to cover. Cook for 1¼ hours, remove from the oven and add chickpeas and a bag of baby spinach leaves. Return to the oven for a further 30 minutes. Swirl in some natural yogurt and chopped coriander before serving. Serve with some slices of gluten-free bread.
This is a bit of a decadent treat, using sirloin steak, a few tablespoons of brandy and rather more than a swirl of sour cream, but natural yogurt can be substituted if you are watching your weight. One thick-cut sirloin is enough for two people.
Sauté onion in a little olive oil, add mushrooms, crushed garlic and one teaspoon of paprika. Cut the steak into thick strips and, in a separate pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Flash-fry the strips, a few at a time, until just browned on the outside. Remove to a warm plate. Pour brandy into the pan juices and allow it to flambé. Stir in cream, add an onion or mushroom mixture and heat for a few minutes. Add steak and heat for a couple of minutes more. Finally, stir in some freshly chopped parsley and serve with fluffy white rice. Enjoy.
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Finally for further help and advice on coeliac disease, follow this link to Coeliac UK.