Gluten-Free Summer Meals Print

calgary_HeraldThe May long weekend marks the beginning of summer and some of our favourite foods, like juicy barbecued burgers and picnics with fresh pasta salad and sandwiches.
May is also Celiac Awareness Month and the Canadian Attitudes to Gluten-Free Study commissioned by Udi’s Healthy Foods found that 43 per cent have a connection to gluten-free, either personally or through friends and family. The study also found that 65 per cent are not confident identifying products that contain gluten and nearly a quarter don’t realize bread typically contains gluten.

Who should follow a gluten-free diet?

Udis tuna sandwichUnderstanding which foods contain gluten and planning healthy gluten-free meals is very important for your health or the health of a friend or family member with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. While sometimes there are no clear symptoms of celiac disease, common signs include diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, bloating, irritability, fatigue, weight loss, low iron levels, poor growth or an intense burning or itching rash known as dermatitis herpetiformis.

Fertility issues, osteoporosis, lactose intolerance, Type 1 diabetes, lymphoma and other autoimmune diseases are also associated with celiac disease. Symptoms of non-celiac gluten sensitivity include abdominal pain similar to irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue, headaches and paresthesia (tingling of the extremities). Speak to your physician about screening to ensure proper testing.

Which foods contain gluten?

Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye, barley, triticale, spelt and kamut. Note that gluten is also found in commercial oats you buy in the grocery store since they are cross-contaminated during manufacturing. Common foods that contain gluten include breads, baked goods and beer, but you can also find gluten in candies, chocolate, deli meats, sausages, soy sauce, salad dressings, commercial soups and sauces made from hydrolyzed wheat protein or other gluten-containing ingredients.

Look for clear labelling of gluten-free foods and when in doubt contact the manufacturer directly.

Work with a registered dietitian for customized advice for yourself and family since following a gluten-free diet is complicated given hidden sources of gluten in many foods as well as cross contamination that can occur in manufacturing plants — or even your own kitchen. Visit the Canadian Celiac Association (www.celiac.ca), as well as well-known author and registered dietitian Shelley Case (www.glutenfreediet.ca) for excellent and credible gluten-free planning resources.

What can I do if I am hosting someone on a gluten-free diet?

Cook from scratch: Cook recipes using simple ingredients that rely less on convenience packaged foods with a long list of ingredients. Take extra care to check sauces and when in doubt, leave on the side for your friend or family member to check.

Be aware of cross contamination in your kitchen: Crumbs and flour dust matters. This means everything in your kitchen should be sterilized and separated. Use a separate butter dish, clean cutting board and spoons and knives that have not been double-dipped into something that contained gluten.

Use wheat flour substitutes: For sauces and gravies requiring flour for thickening, use cornstarch. For flouring or breading meats, use cornmeal, gluten-free bread crumbs or gluten-free crushed cereal. For baking, use recipes from gluten-free cookbooks and websites rather than attempting to adjust your own (since substituting wheat flour drastically changes the way things bake).

Summer meal makeovers

Summer Favourite: BBQ burgers

Frozen boxed burgers or vegetarian burgers with hamburger buns, bacon, lettuce, tomato, salad dressing, ketchup and specialty mustard. Served with caesar salad.

• Potential sources of gluten: Boxed burgers, vegetarian burgers, hamburger buns, bacon, salad dressing, specialty mustard, bottled Caesar dressing, croutons.

• Healthy gluten-free makeover: Homemade burgers made with one pound ground beef, 1/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (or one slice of gluten-free bread soaked in water and crumbled), one egg, 1/4 cup minced onion and fresh herbs and gluten-free spices. Serve with gluten-free hamburger buns, lettuce, tomato, ketchup and gluten-free mustard. Serve with tossed green salad with homemade vinaigrette.

Summer Favourite: Picnic pasta salad

• Cooked pasta with deli ham, cheese cubes and bottled creamy salad dressing.

• Potential sources of gluten: Pasta, deli meat, bottled salad dressing.

• Healthy gluten-free makeover: Gluten-free pasta (made from rice, quinoa, corn or legumes) with black beans, chick peas or lentils (canned, drained and rinsed), plenty of fresh chopped vegetables (such as red peppers, cherry tomatoes and snap peas), feta cheese and dressing made with olive oil and vinegar or lemon, fresh herbs and gluten-free spices.

Summer Favourite: Patio grilled quesadillas and beer

• Flour tortillas with cheese, grilled chicken breast with commercial salsa and sour cream. Served with beer.

• Potential sources of gluten: Flour tortillas, commercial salsa and beer.

• Healthy gluten-free makeover: Gluten-free wraps, corn tacos (or alternatively, instead of quesadillas, make taco salad using gluten-free corn taco chips), cheese, grilled chicken breast, red peppers and fresh made salsa and guacamole. Serve with a tossed green salad and vinaigrette. Try gluten-free beer (made with rice, buckwheat or sorghum), mojitos or margaritas.

Ahi Tuna, Avocado & Mango Salsa Sandwich 

(recipe courtesy of www.udisglutenfree.com

This recipe uses tender ahi tuna, creamy avocado and fresh mangos to create a sweet and salty sandwich fit to impress any guest.

Makes 8 small servings or 4 larger servings

Ingredients:

12 oz (340g) ahi tuna steaks
15 mL (1 tbsp) sesame oil
60 mL (1/4 cup) wasabi mayo
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
sesame seeds
Mango Salsa
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped
¼ cup (60 mL) red onion, diced
2 tbsp (30 mL) cilantro, chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) lime juice
salt and pepper
Wasabi Mayo
1 tsp (5mL) wasabi powder (add more depending how spicy you want it)
0.5 tsp (2.5mL) water
0.5 tsp (2.5mL) lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 mL) gluten free mayonnaise

Combine wasabi powder, water and lemon juice to form paste. Add to mayonnaise.

Directions:

1. Prepare mango salsa. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 400 °F (200 °C). Cook baguettes for 10 to 15 minutes from frozen, or 5 to 8 minutes from ambient.

3. Heat sesame oil on high heat. Add tuna to pan and cook approx. 2 to 3 minutes per side (or longer if you want them more well done). Slice tuna into 1/2 inch slices.

4. Slice toasted baguette into ¼ inch slices. Layer each round with wasabi mayo, tuna, avocado and mango salsa. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Nutrition analysis based on 1/8 of a recipe:

Calories 281
Carbohydrate 22 g
Total fat 16 g
Protein 14 g
Fibre 5 g

Click here for a printer-friendly PDF of this recipe

Click here for a printer-friendly PDF of this article

About Andrea Holwegner

CEO, Registered Dietitian, Counseling Practice Director & Professional Speaker

Andrea the «Chocoholic Nutritionist» is founder and CEO of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. since 2000. She is an online nutrition course creator, professional speaker and regular guest in the media. Andrea is the recipient of an award by the Dietitians of Canada: The Speaking of Food & Healthy Living Award for Excellence in Consumer Education....Read more

Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. Andrea and her team really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Andrea is an excellent teacher and motivator. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This