Almost 2 months ago Dan put forth a challenge (clearly he loves challenges), and asked if we could try going wheat free for a month.
We’ve had several friends adopt a wheat free diet that swore up and down that it changed their lives for the better. So, after doing so research and food planning, I somewhat reluctantly agreed.
Like my 3-month vegan challenge that has now lasted almost 2 years, our wheat-free challenge has also been extended.
Not so much because I can tell a huge difference in my body, but for 2 main reasons:
- I’m a person of habit. After a month of wheat free, it’s just stuck. We don’t eat out enough for it to be hard to keep up with so I just keep buying our wheat free groceries and experimenting with wheat free recipes.
- I’ve done more research on wheat, more specifically on Gluten, and there is no denying that going wheat-free is a healthy option. Some people can argue that veganism isn’t natural for humans, however no one can argue wheat… we don’t NEED to have it.
Trying Gluten-Free When Doctors Aren’t Helping
After reading the Wheat Belly (a great book), I have just encouraged my mom to try going wheat-free for a month. For almost a decade my mom has been battling an undiagnosable disease. Joint pain, headaches, weakness, dizziness… this list goes on and on. It’s hard for her. There are days when just getting out of the bed is hard and when she needs my dad’s help getting up the stairs. She’s been tested for everything from Multiple Sclerosis to cancer.
And because doctors haven’t helped and symptoms keep coming, she is open to try anything. Starting next week she’s going gluten-free (the protein found in wheat) to see if her body changes.
To help her, I thought I would share my favorite gluten-free foods that we’ve made stables in our home.
Who knows if it’s going to make a difference, but it’s worth a try, right?
10 Gluten-Free Vegan Foods To Rock Your Taste Buds
1. Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas
These are buttery and somewhat chewy and I adore them. I’ve used these tortillas for making baked chips for guacamole to even making lasagna. They rock. The only downside is that they are breakable, but I’ve learned that you heat them in the microwave for a few seconds they soften up and work just fine.
2. Explore Asian’s Mung Bean Fettuccine
This has been a stable in our home since I first discovered it a year or so ago. It literally has 2 ingredients: water and mung beans. You can’t get any more basic than that. Plus it cooks in about 3-minutes flat. Perfect for fast meals which is what we’re all about.
The above was a dinner I made for Dan, pecan encrusted chicken.
3. Spaghetti Squash
I’m not sure if it’s the colder temperatures but I’ve been craving hearty, homestyle meals lately. Pasta being on of them. To help fill the craving, spaghetti squash has found it’s way into our home.
With only 42 calories per cup, it’s the perfect choice for my vegan alfredo sauce. I add chicken to Dan’s and because the sauce isn’t exactly low in calories, it ends up being the perfect meal. Spaghetti squash is high in vitamins and loaded with healthy minerals.
4. Almond Breeze Coconut Almond Milk
At the same time that we decided to cut out wheat, Dan decided to cut out dairy as well (I never thought this would ever happen). This was quite the change for my milk loving husband and took some time finding a substitute that he liked.
Flavor and consistency were the 2 major points in deciding what milk to go with. After trying several, he found that coconut-almond milk was the best. It’s thicker than almond milk, and more milk tasting than coconut milk. Here’s more info.
5. Portabella Mushrooms
Going gluten-free meant giving up my beloved tempeh (fermented soy). We sometimes went through 2 bricks of tempeh a week so I was a little nervous. How can a vegan live without wheat? I have loved eating portabellas as a meatier entree.
It’s filling, loaded with Vitamin K, fiber and pre-biotics. Plus, a grilled portabella is amazing, almost like eating a steak (yes, I remember how a good fillet taste).
6. So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt
Like milk, this was another find because of Dan’s transition into going dairy free simultaneously. He was a huge yogurt eater and was worried he wouldn’t be able to go without his Icelandic yogurt. Luckily, he tried these and loves them. The consistency isn’t the same as “normal” yogurt but they are fabulous in protein shakes and getting a good dose of probiotics. Find out more here.
Of course this has been a staple in our home for years, but even more so now that we’re trying to keep wheat free. It’s a great protein source, but also a great carb filler at dinner. Sometimes you just want something “pasta” or “barley” like on the plate.
Cooked in some vegetable broth with garlic and onions and you’ve got a great side dish to dinner!
8. Rice Flour
I had never used rice flour before, boy was I missing out. I have been buying Whole Food’s organic brown rice flour out of the bins for the past month now and I’m loving it. It’s a bit more gritty than your typical flour but works for making the best pizzas and pancakes.
I promise to share my pizza recipe soon! Still putting the finishing touches on it.
9. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has become a shining star in the nutritional world over the past year and for good reason. It’s great for a healthy gut, good for skin, filled with antioxidants and healthy fats. We’ve also been loving red palm oil.
Coconut oil is the secret ingredient in all of my energy balls to add moisture, flavor and texture.
10. Wheat Belly’s Apple Walnut “Bread”
I’ll post the recipe tomorrow for this delicious bread from the Wheat Belly. I’ve been making it every Sunday for the week ahead.
This bread has become a stable at breakfast and broken up on top of shakes. Dan was a little skeptical at first, but while on a fridge raid the other night gave in and tried it… he agreed it was awesome. The original recipe called for eggs, however, I’ve made it vegan. Each slice has just 5g of carbs and a dose of healthy fats and protein.
The real trick to going gluten free:
–> Avoid processed foods, even those labeled as “gluten-free” and start off with very basic, all-natural foods. Fruits, vegetables and lean meats are the best!
Q: Have you eaten something that should be added to this list?