The G-Free Diet: It's easier than you think!

The idea of living without wheat, barley and rye is incredibly daunting at first.

Wheat is in all fried foods, it's in basic foods like bread and pasta, and it's even used as an additive in unexpected places like soy sauce (La Choy brand is G-free!).

But rice and corn-based foods abound, and people with CD can gradually become accustomed to the diet, first by playing it safe with meals like grilled chicken and rice, and eventually dinner becomes a cinch. True there are GF substitutes for just about anything, including bread crumbs. Most celiacs prefer to stick with naturally gluten-free ingredients that provide the nutrients celiacs need to compensate for the ones they're not getting from enriched, gluten-tastic products.

Below are a couple of my favorite meals to cook. They're cheap, quick and delicious, just the way I like them.

  • Chicken Quesadillas

    quesadillaChicken Quesadilla>

    Step 1: Grill or pan-fry one chicken breast (per person), seasoning with butter and cumin. Saute red peppers and onions in a small skillet if desired. Remove chicken when cooked, then shred with a fork.

    Step 2: Butter and place gluten-free tortilla (available at most specialty health food stores) in a skillet on medium heat.

    Step 3: Place mexican blend cheese on one side of the quesadilla. When it begins to melt, place chicken and peppers on the same side of the tortilla and top with more cheese.

    Step 4: When the cheese is almost melted, fold and carefully flip with a spatula, cooking until tortilla is crispy on the outside.

  • Asian Stirfry

    stirfryAsian Stirfry>

    Step 1: Begin boiling white rice in a medium sized sauce pan or rice cooker. The ratio is generally 1/2 cup rice per 1 cup of water per person.

    Step 2: Heat a tablespoon ot two of sesame oil in medium sized skillet or wok.

    Step 3: While it is heating, cut 1 chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Dice vegetables of your choice. I would suggest broccoli, mushrooms and red peppers but anything will do.

    Step 4: As the rice cooks on low-medium heat, stir fry the vegetables and chicken together in the sesame oil, adding LA Choy soy sauce periodically. Feel free to use any Gluten-free stir fry sauce you want.

    Step 5: When the water has been absorbed by the rice, dump it in the skillet and stir it around until it is brown and coated with the sesame oil and soy sauce.

    For more delicious recipes, check out the array of gluten free cookbooks available at most bookstores or online at Amazon.com