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veggiestez 02-28-2015 08:18 AM

Gluten free vegan
 
Is anyone else a gluten free vegan? I've discovered I do a lot better without gluten so I'm trying to avoid it. I'm trying not to over-rely on alternatives such as gluten free pasta as I'm not good with processed stuff in general. My diet is very healthy and non processed but I'd love some more ideas. If anyone else is following this diet I'd appreciate any tips or general support.

Capstan 02-28-2015 01:33 PM

I've been vegan approx. 20-years, and was obliged to go gluten-free about a year ago, when I realized gluten was playing havoc with my digestion. In the case of celiac disease, gluten impedes the ability of the small intestine to absorb nutrients, so you can end up eating and eating and eating, but don't get much nourishment, and can wind up constipated or with diarrhea. It can be very frustrating and debilitating. I haven't been tested for celiac, but I found that removing gluten from my diet cleared up all my problems. I had been eating a lot of wheat bread and freely used the mock meats too, which mainly rely on wheat gluten for their texture. Giving up gluten has been a blessing in disguise, because now I'm eating far more better foods, especially veggies and fruits. I've also upped my intake of rice, potatoes and corn to give me that "full" feeling. (I'm not a dietician by a long shot.)

I know you're not interested in processed foods, but I'll throw these out there, just in case-

I've tried many of the gluten-free breads, but found most of them unacceptable for being too bland and unbread-like; however, the Schlar company makes a line of bread and rolls that is pretty good. I use them in moderation, sort of like a treat for myself once in a while. (I love bread!)

Some of the gluten-free mock meats I still use are Lightlife Smartdogs, Meatless Select fishless Tuna and Beyond Meat Chick'n Strips and Sliders.

Most- but not all- soy sauce contains wheat. I've switched to using "liquid aminos." It looks and tastes just like soy sauce, but is better for you.

I don't bake a lot, but I'm really fond of homemade cornbread, which requires a cup of flour. I use a gluten-free "pancake mix," made from potato starch, sorghum, tapioca, and corn flour, in place of wheat flour. Works perfectly. There are other gluten-free flours available too, like rice and millet, if you care to engage in baking.

I've heard it speculated that gluten may be addictive. If this is true, then I suppose, when you give it up, you may go through a "withdrawal" period. I know for a couple of months I was like, "My god, I'm going to starve without gluten!" But after making the adjustment, it's really no big deal, and the relief from my digestive problems has been soooo worth it. The truth is, I'm eating much better than I had been before.

Best of luck to you! :up:

Naturebound 02-28-2015 06:29 PM

Though I am not gluten free, I have made many gluten free vegan dishes due to family members being gluten free. And I did experiment with it for a time as a recommendation to handle thyroid issues, though it made no difference.

Some of my staple grains include quinoa, millet, buckwheat groats, and brown and wild rice. I also use cornflour to make homemade soft corn tortillas (very easy to do) and pile them with beans, salsa, and leafy greens.

Here are some regular gluten free dishes I enjoy:

Breakfast:

squash, sweet potato, or canned pumpkin mashed with banana and cocoa powder. I will sometimes add in white beans or vegan protein powder depending on my mood, or else a few tablespoons of blackstrap molasses for an excelletn source of iron and calcium.

Chickpea flour omelets stuffed with leafy greens, salsa, bell peppers, celery etc

all varieties of smoothies

Raw soaked buckwheat groats, banana, almonds, blueberries (sometimes I blend them all for a porridge too)

black beans, pineapple, kale all steamed together in a nonstick pan with a little water and some spices like ginger, garlic, tamari.

Mango and handful of almonds or other nut or some nut butter spread on apple slices and a glass of almond milk

Lunches/dinners:

homemade or prepared polenta slices topped with homemade or organic canned vegan baked beans or another bean and bbq sauce or molasses; side veggie dish like broccoli or brussel sprouts

chana masala over millet (millet is a heartier grain that holds up well to heavy sauces and spicy foods)

Red lentil dahl over brown rice

Cold salad of cooked wild rice, walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, chopped celery, apple, onion, beets, and a little bit of maple syrup mixed in the whole casserole. Favorite side dish with this is mashed sweet potato and fresh pineapple mixed in it

Steamed kale, sweet potato, black beans, onion, dried unsweetened coconut and spices like ginger, curry powder, garam masala, garlic powder

so many soups...split pea soup, bean and veggie soups with tomatoes and cayenne pepper, carrot soup, wild rice and potato soup, "cream" of broccoli or asparagus soups; garden salad on the side

baked potatoes with nutritional yeast "cheese" sauce and broccoli over it

Pure buckwheat pancakes with blueberry compote
Banana rice flour pancakes with maple syrup
Sorghum cherry pancakes


Desserts:
tofu banana chocolate pudding (also a breakfast)
apple compote with a starch and water and a touch of maple syrup
banana ice cream
black bean chocolate cookies
rice flour blueberry muffins

I make my own homemade almond vegan mayonnaise; tofu or almond "cream cheese", rice flour gravy; white bean gravy, hummus etc.

I have also experimented with gluten free crackers such as almond flour crackers and sorghum flour "pizza" crackers with tomato paste as the binder (from a recipe in Sarah Kramers gluten free vegan cookbook). both worked well with hummus.

It wasn't hard for me to live gluten free vegan for a while and a good bit of my food during the week is gluten free, but I do not have any medical reason to avoid gluten and enjoy using Bulgar wheat and making homemade bread so I got away from gluten free eating. I go in spurts with it and with soy free if I spend one week eating a ton of it. At any rate, I hope this gives you a few new ideas. I never did oats when I was eating gluten free as they don't sit well with me. I did once try making homemade yeasted millet bread and it was good tasting but very very heavy. I was much more successful with pancakes and muffins that are gluten free, but for the most part stayed away from flours except chickpea flour which is savory and works as a high protein egg substitute.

veggiestez 03-01-2015 03:01 AM

Thanks so much both of you! Capstan I have also found that avoiding gluten has radically improved my digestion so I'm determined to try to stick with it long term. I wouldn't be surprised if it was addictive. Although I try to avoid most processed foods I eat them occasionally so appreciate the ideas, plus I'm not immune to a piece of gluten free toast for breakfast!

Naturebound I really, really appreciate the recipes as I can get stuck in a rut. I eat a fair bit of rice, quinoa and also gluten free oats which I seem to be okay with. I do eat a lot of soup and dahl which are both both easy to make gluten free. I will try out some of your ideas. Thanks again.


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