Cutting the gluten
It is estimated that 60,000 to 70,000 New Zealanders have coeliac disease (a permanent inherited intestinal reaction to dietary gluten). However up to 80 percent of those are unaware they have the condition.
This week (May 15 to 21) is Coeliac Awareness Week, a fundraiser which aims to educate people about the disease and the importance of getting tested if you suspect you have it.
Eating a gluten-free diet means avoiding foods that contain wheat, rye, barley and oats. To mark the week, we’ve got a few tasty ways to eat gluten-free or help you cook for someone who is.
Make pizza – with a cauliflower base
Cauliflower pizza base
- Heat oven to 200C. Blend ½ medium chopped cauliflower in a food processor until fine. Add 2 eggs, 50g pesto and 2 Tbsp psyllium husks and blend to mix.
- Spread on baking tray lined with baking paper to around 2cm thick, squaring off edges to be slightly higher. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked.
- To serve, spread base with toppings of your choice and bake until cooked. Recipe by Mikki Williden.
Pictured: cauliflower pizza with aubergine topping
2 homemade breakfast cereals
Pictured: Buckwheat granola
Pictured: Gluten free muesli
Swap a pastry pie crust for one made from polenta for a ricotta, tomato and rocket tart.
Made with sorghum, millet and tapioca flour, honey and rosemary gluten-free bread is lovely warm, spread with soft goat’s cheese.
Say yes to Asian noodles
There’s always the spiralizer, of course, but if courgette, carrot or parsnip noodles aren’t what you have in mind, there are many gluten-free options. Choose rice noodles and rice sticks, cellophane noodles (also called bean thread or glass), Japanese shirataki and harusane and tapioca noodles which are popular in Vietnam.
Buckwheat (soba) noodles are a good choice but some contain wheat flour so check the pack. Say no to: ramen, udon, some egg noodles (check the pack), wontons, hokkein and Shanghai noodles. And, when making Asian-style noodles, remember to read the label of your soy sauce bottle to ensure you have a wheat-free one.
Recipes to try:
- Buckwheat noodle salad with teriyaki pork and sesame
- Bun cha barbecued pork meatballs with rice noodles (pictured below)
- Rice noodle, shiitake, fried tofu, sesame and soy
- Salmon and soba noodles
Cheesy cashew coating for schnitzel
1¼ cups of toasted cashew nuts produces about ¾ cup of finely ground nuts for this gluten-free coating.
- If necessary, use a rolling pin to flatten 400g schnitzels. Cut into serving-sized pieces. Snip the edges to prevent them curling during cooking.
- Combine 1 large beaten egg and 2 Tbsp milk or water in a bowl. Combine ¾ cup finely ground toasted cashew nuts and 3 Tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese on a flat plate.
- Dip the schnitzels in the egg mixture then in the cashews, pressing in well. Place in a single layer on a flat plate. Cover and chill for 30 minutes to set the coating.
- Heat 3-4 Tbsp oil in a non-stick frying pan. Pan-fry the schnitzels on medium heat for about 2 minutes each side. Serves 4 Recipe by Jan Bilton
Bake with ground nuts instead of flour
Everyone is going to want one of these hot chocolate and hazelnut puddings. Remember, when buying chocolate to add to a baking mix, check to ensure it is gluten-free. Ditto baking powder and baking soda, where it is called for.