Stories, recipes and health info for the gluten challenged

Tag Archives: easy

There’s something you need to know about my mom: Girl can cook. She has very kindly agreed to share quite possibly the most delicious black bean salad known to man. She recommends Vlasic jarred roasted red peppers. Find hearts of palm in the canned vegetable section by the artichoke hearts, and use leftovers to jazz up a salad!

Black Bean SaladIngredients

2  15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons minced white onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup  olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
A couple shakes of Tabasco (to taste! I think a little more is better)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup roasted red bell pepper, cut into about 1/2 -inch dice
1 cup diced hearts of palm
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
1 large ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and diced


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the beans, minced onion and cilantro.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, oil and cumin. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add to bean mixture.
  3. Add the red bell pepper, hearts of palm and grape tomatoes. Add the Tabasco to taste.  Mix well, cover and chill 1 hour.
  4. Just before serving, gently stir in the avocado. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  5. Serve with corn chips or g-free crackers.

One of the fun—or complicated—things about being g-free is the exposure to hard-to-pronounce foods that, without a need to be g-free, you’d probably never encounter. Enter quinoa (keen-wah), the tiny wonder food called “the supergrain of the future” with a chameleon-like ability to stand in for a variety of evil but much loved gluten-containing items.

quinoa Quinoa is a member of the goosefoot species of plants, closely related to beets, spinach and—prepare thy taste buds—tumbleweed. We harvest and eat the seeds of the plant, giving us the grain-like granules that are quinoa. Like tumbleweed, quinoa thrives in desolate conditions, and most quinoa is grown on a bleak-sounding plateau in the Andes.

A surge in popularity has increased demand, but don’t let The Guardian’s recent shaming on quinoa buyers talk you down from giving it a try. Not only is quinoa a nutritional powerhouse—read about its benefits here—it’s a lifeline for the poverty-stricken regions that cultivate this increasingly popular food.

So, citizens of the world, you can feel good knowing that much like dark chocolate and red wine, you’re consuming something that’s not only good for you, but good for the world.

I can sense your hesitation: “But, GFreeKitchen, what do I DO with quinoa?” (Confession: I stashed my first bag of quinoa in the back of my cupboard for more than six months until I figured it out). A few easy ways to get started:

  • Use it in place of rice in side dishes or stuffings
  • Prepare it like oats (a la oatmeal) in the morning
  • Use it in pace of orzo or cous cous in cold salads

For more ways to use quinoa, discover the Top 20 Quinoa Recipes from!

If there’s one thing I miss, it’s that delicious crispiness of the crumbled oat topping over cherries, black berries, apples or other fruit. Finally, a great recipe that isn’t weighed down with fat and oil to make it taste good!


1/3 c. brown rice flour
3/4 c. g-free rolled oats
1/3 c. softened butter
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 cans cherry pie filling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with cooking spray (make sure it doesn’t have added flour)
  3. Empty cherries into baking dish
  4. In a medium bowl, combine rice flour, g-free oats and sugar.
  5. Cut in butter with two forks or a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly
  6. Top cherries with oat mixture; bake for 20 minutes or until top is golden brown