A decade ago, this gluten-free website and book would not have garnered much attention, but since 2010, when the Ahern’s collaborative work made the New York Times Best Cookbooks of the Year List, Gluten-Free has had its coming out party, virtually exploding on the scene. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and tennis champion Novak Djokovic now tout the benefits of the gluten-free diet and new foods are popping up daily on the store shelves. Martha Stewart’s website devotes an entire section to wheat-free recipes and even the ever-popular game show Jeopardy has used “Gluten-Free Foods” as a category!
Whether you have a gluten allergy, are gluten intolerant or simply want to feel more energetic or lose weight, choosing a gluten-free lifestyle is no longer a death sentence for your taste buds. You can create an exceptional pantry stocked with products that taste delicious and will wow your family and friends. You’ll want to include a couple of high quality extra virgin olive oils, aged balsamic vinegar, sea salt, pepper and a few herbs and spices to start. Wheat-free soy sauce, such as Tamari, canned tomatoes, gluten-free chicken broth and fine mustard, like Edmond Fallot, are indispensable. Bob’s Red Mill and Hodgson Mill offer a wide selection of wheat-free flours: all-purpose baking flour, almond and brown rice flour, to name a few. You can use them in Martha Stewart’s gluten-free chocolate layer cake if you like baking.
Keep a variety of non-wheat grains on hand, such as quinoa, millet and wild rice. Legumes are also an excellent choice. The “caviar” or petite organic lentils from Ustica, an island off the coast of Sicily, keep their texture when cooked and make a rich, flavorful stew. The lentils are also served traditionally with robust Italian sausages. They will soon be a favorite in your gluten-free pantry (or in any pantry, for that matter!)
Everyone needs a few culinary treasures tucked away on the shelves for unexpected company or a spontaneous gathering. A gluten-free pantry is no different. Maggie Bauer of Sinfully Safe turned on her mixer and whipped up her own gluten-free chocolate chip cookies and brownies in Trenton, NJ when she couldn’t find anything to satisfy her cravings. She uses a variety of flours, including brown rice, tapioca and fava bean flours to create rich, chocolaty treats that will be a hit at any get-together. Sickles Market now features these decadent desserts in the bakery and in the on-line store. The Scone Shoppe of Pt. Pleasant is another New Jersey business that is making a genuinely artisanal gluten free product for our bakery. Fresh, flaky wheat-free scones are delivered on Saturdays to the market and they disappear very quickly! You can also special order these authentic English-style scones.
One of my favorite gluten-free snacks is Food Should Taste Good’s Multigrain Chips. A SOFI Gold winner, these flavorful chips made of flax, sesame, quinoa, soy and brown rice are super healthy and the perfect partner to Martha Stewart’s spiced hummus dip. Another barbeque or picnic snack is Wellaby’s Cheese Up’s, fun for kids and adults alike. These whimsical, triangular pillows are light and airy with a snappy crunch and a burst of cheese flavor. Having won the Superior Taste Award at the prestigious International Taste and Quality Institute in Brussels, they are right at home in an exceptional “wow” pantry.
If you don’t feel like cooking, you can always head to the city for a night on the town. New York is burgeoning with gluten-free restaurants, including Risotteria which features pizza, panini and risotto and Babycakes, a wildly popular bakery with a killer donut. Either way, you’ll enjoy your gluten-free lifestyle!
P.S. On Saturday March 31st Sickles Market is celebrating Gluten Free Day with a variety of gluten-free vendors and samples. Come by and taste all of the new products!