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Dining Out: A Gluten-Free Adventure

September 16, 2009

PadThai

Featuring Thai! – and some home-cooking too…

The other night, I braved my first meal out since the carrot cake incident, determined to stay on track this time! My parents came up to Boston to have dinner with me, and we chose Thai, because I’d heard that it was much easier to find gluten-free options with Thai – with most of the entrees are made with fish sauce and built around rice or rice noodles – than with Chinese or Japanese, where many more choices use some form of wheat, and soy sauce is harder to avoid. (Soy sauce has gluten, who’d-a thunk?)

We found a great little place down the street from my new apartment, and after checking with the waitress that it was made with fish sauce, not soy sauce, I ordered Chicken Pad Thai – rice noodles, chicken, tofu, eggs, and peanut sauce. Yum! My parents each got some variety of meat and vegetables over brown rice, again with fish sauce, and not only was everything delicious, but it was gluten-free! I think Thai may well replace Chinese as my go-to delivery food – my roommate wanted to order Chinese the next night, and I could barely find anything without wheat noodles, wonton wrappers, or soy sauce…bummer. I will try to brave the Chinese menu sometime though, and I’ll be sure to report back.

Burrito

Now, in the home-cooking department…over the rest of the week, I cooked up some very yummy, gluten-free things! My personal favorite was the black bean burrito I concocted – so delicious, and so simple. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the brown rice tortilla I used in place of the typical flour tortilla. I found that it cracked very easily, completely destroying the delicate construction of my burrito. Oddly enough, the bag suggests heating as a method of keeping it from crumbling, but I found that heating seemed to make it worse – I ended up tearing apart the tortilla and toasting it, and using the pieces as scoops instead. I think next time I’ll use a corn tortilla – also gluten-free, and much more sturdy. In addition to or in place of black beans, this recipe can be made with chicken, beef fish, whatever strikes your fancy. And feel free to throw in whatever vegetables you feel like – these are just the ones I had on hand. Check out the recipe below:

Black Bean Burritos

Ingredients:

  • Black beans
  • Red peppers
  • Green peppers
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
  • Onion
  • Shredded Mexican cheese mix
  • Tortilla – I used brown rice, but corn also works
  • Taco seasoning packet
  • Olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Drain can of black beans, put in a pot on the stove on LOW. Mix in enough taco seasoning for your taste and spice level, stir occasionally until   beans are hot.
  2. In a separate fry pan, heat up olive oil, then throw in sliced veggies, stirring occasionally. Cook until vegetables are soft.
  3. Spoon beans, veggies, and cheese onto a tortilla.

I’m really trying to focus on simple ingredients and simple cooking processes – in my book, nothing makes a diet seem more overwhelming than complicated recipes. So let’s keep it simple!

Bon (g-free) appetit!

Molli

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