After recent blood tests revealed that I have hypothyroidism and an elevated cholesterol level, a dietician suggested some changes that I could make in my diet to improve my health. As a vegan who tries to eat healthily, and as an athlete who runs, rides, and strength trains on a regular basis, I had felt somewhat confident that I was doing everything I could to ensure my excellent health. However after a long consultation, where I was asked about my current diet, supplements, and my exercise level, I was encouraged to try a few things.
The dietician suggested that I reduce starchy carbs in my diet (okay, I love my potatoes and pasta), and add more vegetables. In addition to adding a couple of supplements, the thing that really knocked my socks off was her suggestion that I try going gluten free for a few weeks!
Carbs and gluten all gone in one swoop. My cereal, my rye toast, not to mention my beloved seitan, a vegan meat substitute that is made from wheat gluten. But, the RD thought that trying a gluten free diet for three weeks might help my cholesterol level as well as my thyroid function. But what really convinced me was that she said that it might help my migraines. Sign me up, I’m in!
I’m only on day two since my consultation. I’m still researching and looking for good sources of information and recipes that are vegan and gluten free. I decided to take a first step by making a few small changes, like cutting out the cereal, reducing the amount of bread, and starting to read labels. I mean, I always read labels, looking for hidden animal products, but now I’m also looking for wheat, rye, and the other grains that contain gluten. I need a dictionary!
This recipe is my first purposely gluten-free dish. It’s pretty simple, but it turned out delicious. I hope you enjoy it!
Avocado with Curried Beans, Kale, and Quinoa
1 cup quinoa (dry), prepared according to package directions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup kale, torn into small pieces, packed loosely
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 or 2 medium avocados, halved
While the quinoa is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the beans and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the spices, then add the kale. If the beans seem too dry, add a little water or vegetable broth. Cook until the kale has softened and the liquid is absorbed.
To serve, spoon quinoa onto plate. Place one or two avocado halves on top. Spoon the curried beans on the avocados, then top with the cucumbers and tomatoes.
Now my questions for you, since I’m really new to this. Do you have any resources for gluten free and vegan information and recipes? Those of you who eat gluten free, do you have any suggestions?