Monday, April 11, 2011

Need Gluten Free Inspiration? Go Shopping!




As I mentioned last week, I have really been uninspired in the kitchen lately. I know it's just because the seasons are sort of in-between and it's not hot enough for good summer meals but not quite cold enough to sit home and eat stew all day. It seems as though the only thing that's really in season is cauliflower, and I've found my favorite recipe for that one already. So, to jog my imagination and get a few ideas of new things to write about, I took a trip to my nearest Whole Foods. I went with enough time to just wander around the store and read labels, look deeper into the shelves for different things other than my old standbys. It was freeing to think outside of my preconceived box for a while. For those of you who may not know, Whole Foods is like a health-food/natural food grocery store. Everything in it is either organic or natural, and they have a really great selection of gluten free foods that are sometimes hard to find.

I know Whole Foods isn't accessible to everyone, and I'll admit the closest one to me is 20 minutes away, but I'm going to show you some items that I think you could find at the nearest health food store or maybe even a grocery store. If all else fails, I'll try to add information on ordering online, where it's available.I have seen these little square crispy things in the deli several times since I've shopped at Whole Foods, and I've always walked right by without tasting them because they look like crackers. I thought for sure they would have wheat in them, so I didn't even check the label. Well, they looked so good and I was pretty hungry so I checked the label. Guess what's in them? Parmesan cheese. That's it. They bake Parmesan cheese until it turns crispy and cut it up like a cracker. Genius! They are really flavorful, like a really salty crisp cracker, and you can still taste the Parmesan in them. These would probably be really easy to make at home. Giada has an easy recipe for them here. I thought these would be great with a spread or tapenade or some sort of dip. I found this roasted red pepper pesto in the refrigerator section that looked really yummy. It was so good. The ingredients are roasted red peppers, olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, olives, lemon juice, walnuts and parsley, all finely chopped with a food processor until it turns into a great spread. If you have a nut allergy this isn't for you, but you may be able to find an alternative that is nut free. I think I might have even liked the pesto better than the crackers, but they were great together. I love little snacks you can eat in between meals that are flavorful and fill you up enough to tide you over but you don't feel like you are eating junk.

I have a lot of other great finds that I'll be writing about this week. Happy eating!

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