Bon Appetit Discusses Gluten-Free Living!

In the September 2011 issue of Bon Appetit magazine, Alexandra Zissu discusses the growing prevalence of the gluten-free diet. It’s hard to miss the words “Gluten-Free” in grocery stores and restaurants, but a lot of people still do not fully understand why this phenomenon is growing. In the article, Zissu explains that for people who have Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivities, following a gluten-free diet can eliminate digestive problems, fatigue, bloating or depression. Furthermore, by removing gluten-full foods, many people feel a renewed energy. An estimated one percent of the population cannot tolerate gluten, and now, doctors are more willing to medically acknowledge these conditions. The article elaborates, “’Physicians are swearing that their own fatigue and brain fog lifted’ after they gave up gluten, says Peter H.R. Green, M.D., director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. ‘We don’t know the mechanisms for this. It’s fascinating.’” The article concludes by providing some delicious gluten-free recipes including South Indian Lentil Cakes with Raita and a Thai Ginger Chicken Salad.

LentilsSouth Indian Lentil Cakes with Raita
(lentil photo by Maggie Hoffman)

Ingredients:

Raita

  • <!–[if !supportLists]–>1 head of garlic
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–>1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–>Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–>1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–>1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–>1/4 cup finely chopped, peeled, seeded cucumber
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–>1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–>1 teaspoon minced seeded jalapeño
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–>1/2 teaspoon (or more) fresh lemon juice

Lentil Cakes

  • 1/2 cup mixed dried legumes (such as lentils and whole mung beans)
  • 1/4 cup basmati rice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded, minced
  • 1 cup leaves from pea tendrils, arugula, or spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peas (from about 8 ounces peas in pods), chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Preparation:

Raita

  • Preheat oven to 450°. Cut top 1/2″ off head of garlic; discard. Place garlic on a sheet of foil. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool. Squeeze cloves from skins, keeping cloves intact.
  • Stir cumin in a small dry skillet over medium heat until deep brown, 2-3 minutes. Let cool. Finely grind in a spice mill.
  • Mix yogurt, cucumber, cilantro, mint, jalapeño, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice in a medium bowl. Stir in cumin. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

Lentil Cakes

  • Rinse legumes; place in a medium bowl with rice. Add water to cover by 3″. Let legumes and rice soak at room temperature for 3-5 hours.
  • Drain legumes and rice; transfer to a food processor. Add garlic, ginger, and jalapeño. Process until grainy paste forms (add 1-2 tablespoons water if necessary). Transfer to a large bowl; mix in tendrils and next 6 ingredients.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon 4 scant 1/4-cupfuls of batter into skillet, flattening with the back of a measuring cup into 1/4″-thick cakes. Reduce heat to medium; sauté until golden brown and cooked through, adding 1 more tablespoon oil when cakes are flipped, about 4-5 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining oil and batter. Divide Raita among plates; top with roasted garlic cloves. Place 2 cakes on each plate.

Thai Ginger Chicken Salad


Ingredients:

  • 2 Thai chiles, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free fish sauce (such as the Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons plus one tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 garlic clove, chopped
  • 12 ounces rice stick noodles (maifun)
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) vegetable oil
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh lemongrass from peeled bottom 4″ of stalk
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) cilantro, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) mint leaves, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) basil leaves, coarsely chopped, divided
  • Large butter lettuce leaves

Ingredient info: Look for fish sauce, rice stick noodles, and lemongrass at better supermarkets and at Asian markets.

Preparation:

  • Whisk first 4 ingredients, 2 teaspoons ginger, and garlic in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Set dressing aside.
  • Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, 2-4 minutes. Drain; put in a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet. Add chicken; stir 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon ginger, shallot, and lemongrass. Stir until chicken is cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Add to noodles. Add half of all herbs and half of dressing; toss to coat.
  • Line bowls with lettuce leaves. Divide noodle mixture among bowls. Top with remaining herbs and dressing.


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