Risotto ai frutti di mare (Seafood Risotto)

Risotto is one of the most popular comfort food in Italy. It’s versatile and flexible as it can be prepared with any ingredient, and it is a happy coincidence that this traditional recipe is basically gluten-free!

The rice (Arborio rice) that you will use in this recipe has high rice gluten content, though fear not as this gluten is not what those on a gluten-free diet need to stay away from. This rice gluten content in Arborio rice is what gives this risotto its creamy, rich consistency and texture.

What you have to be a bit careful about is the broth you use with this recipe. Be safe and make the broth yourself from scratch or find broth packets that do not have wheat , barley or rye and their other forms in the ingredients.

For seafood lovers, here’s a recipe you can prepare as an accompaniment to a hearty fare, or you can make it the main course of a meal. Buon appetito!

Ingredients

1 pack mixed seafood
400g 1 pack risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli rice)
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic,chopped
6 tbsp White wine
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 liter fish or vegetable broth (or try a gluten free bouillon broth cube)
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp butter
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
Steps

Prepare seafood mix by defrosting and patting dry with kitchen paper towel.
Before cooking the risotto, bring broth to a boil then turn the flame to the lowest setting possible just to keep it warm. Using cool liquid would stop the risotto from cooking.

Sautée garlic in olive oil. Turn heat to medium and add seafood mix. Stir and cook for no more than 2-3 minutes. This is to flavor the olive oil. Quickly remove seafood with a slotted spoon leaving all flavored oil on the pan. Place seafood mix in a bowl and cover with foil. Set aside.

Using the same pan with flavored oil, on medium heat, add chopped shallot and cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Add rice and stir for 2-3 minutes to coat rice. This seals the rice to maintain its chewy quality. Once the grains are translucent add white wine, keep stirring and let wine evaporate.

Here comes the tricky part, as this is the secret to the creaminess of risotto. Add the broth gradually by adding a ladleful of broth at a time. Stir using a wooden spoon. Never let the risotto dry out and do not cover the pot. When broth is absorbed, add a ladle of broth again and then stir gently. keep going for about 13-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add seafood mix and it is almost done. Continue stirring for 3-5 minutes until rice is cooked al dente ( tender on the outside but firm to the bite in the center). If broth is absorbed during this time, add broth gradually half a ladle at a time as we don’t want risotto to be watery but should still flow a little when served.

As a final touch, stir in butter and squeeze in lemon juice.
Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
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Gluten-Free Overnight Berry Oats

What exactly are overnight oats? These are a no-cook method of making oatmeal. Instead of cooking your oats on the stove, you mix rolled oats with liquid and other mix-ins, and let it rest in your fridge overnight.

Popularly made in nice sturdy mason jars, it’s a quick healthy breakfast or snack option for you and the kids. I sometimes make 5 to 7 jars a weekend so I can grab these anytime for rest of the week.

What’s great about this is you can substitute the ingredients to whatever you feel like to amp up the nutrients or create the flavors you want. You can easily make this gluten-free by using gluten-free oats and staying away from ingredients that contain wheat, barley, spelt, or rye or their other forms.  Oats are naturally gluten-free. Though, during growing, harvest, transport and storage, other grains that have gluten may unintentionally be mixed with oats. And so it is safe to get oats that have the gluten-free label. Household brand Quaker Oats already has a line that is especially branded as gluten-free, so you may want to try this or other gluten-free labeled oats.

INGREDIENTS

Mix-ins:
¼ cup berries
(choose one or mix strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries)

Tip: You can get Berries delivered to your home. A good offer here gets you 20% Off  on imported berries. 

Base:
1/3 cup yogurt (plain regular yogurt–no additives)
3/4 cup rolled Gluten-Free oats
2/3 cup unsweetened milk of your choice
1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

DIRECTIONS
Whisk all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. You can choose to add berries whole or chop them up for better blending of flavors. Spoon into a jar with a nice secure lid. Cover and let rest in your fridge for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight. Enjoy!

Chicka Ortega-Boutain

Hooray for New Gluten-Free Pasta!

Anyone with special dietary needs know that it takes effort to acquire the habits and lifestyle, in order to keep eating healthily. Whether it is mild allergies or severe reaction to food,  we would need to accommodate some degree of change in our day to day life. (Anyone can relate?)  One great help in this area is to find one place that worries about our own specific type of intolerance to food.

And so, great news to our friends who are worried about gluten in  their diet! GERALD.ph with its partner brand for healthy food substitutes, has added two great new items to its shop, which can dramatically widen your menu options for gluten-free food to help support a healthy lifestyle. 😉

Yellow Soybean Protein Pasta

This organic gluten-free pasta is made from USDA organic yellow soybeans.

Unlike typical  pasta, it is not made from starch  nor wheat (no gluten!), but protein packed yellow soybeans. You can enjoy your pasta meals, and usual pasta recipes with high protein, more fiber, and that’s right, less carbs! This is made with only with Yellow Soybean and water, so you know you are getting healthy plant-based protein, with no additives.

Edamame Beans Protein Pasta

This organic gluten-free protein pasta is also a fantastic choice. Made from edamame beans, this is another pasta that can give you healthy protein plus fiber, and much less carbs that is typical in wheat pasta. This is made with edamame beans and water.

Both are available in 200 gram packs and are:

-USDA Organic

-Certified Gluten-Free

-Non-GMO Project Verified

-Kosher Certified

No other food can provide you with flexibility and variety than pasta. Mix it with your own special gluten-free sauce, or light olive oil and your own concoction of spices and you’ll surely have safe, healthy hassle free entrees you can whip up in a flash.

GERALD.ph has more items for your gluten-free needs and so make sure to check their gluten-free selection here!  They also conveniently deliver within Metro Manila. Make sure to check it out and let us know your experience! 🙂

Gluten-Free Food Swaps on GERALD.ph!

As part of its continuous pursuit to an accessible holistic approach to achieve a more nutritious regular and gluten-free diet to every Filipino, GERALD.ph widens its selection of pantry goods and gourmet products by introducing the Healthy Food Swaps option, courtesy of its newest partner 7grains.

The list includes a new variety of day to day pantry needs such as seasoning, ketchup, noodles, chips, and other healthier food swaps that guarantee denser nutrient concentration, lower calories, and gluten-free ingredients compared to their commercial counterparts.

Snacking on guilt-less chips

Composed of a variety of 7 vegetables per crisp, the Skinny Veggie Chips boasts the nutritious benefits of cassava, malunggay, squash, carrots, water spinach, saluyot, and sweet potato tops. The 50-gram crispy vegetable party-in-a-pack also proudly highlights no MSG, no food coloring, no preservatives, and no wheat flour, making it a perfect addition to a gluten-free diet meal plan. Skinny Veggie Chips comes in plain and cheddar chive flavor.

Go skinny with the zero carb shirataki noodles

Considered as the “holy grail” of dieters in the US and Europe because of its almost zero calorie property, shirataki noodles, also known as konjac noodles, has successfully made it to the shores of the Philippines laden with its beneficial properties including a good amount of dietary fiber, low glycemic index, and gastrointestinal regulation coming from its primary ingredient glucomannan. Since the noodles comes from the konjac plant and not from wheat, barley nor rye, adding it to the gluten-free food list would definitely make weight-loss for gluten sensitive individuals far more easier than ever.

Umami-er meals with Gluten-free Seasoning

Aside from having high sodium content, some commercial flavor enhancers in the market are also virtually not gluten free at all. 7grains however took the initiative to introduce a gluten-free seasoning which enhances the flavor of Filipino dishes even more. Skinny Seasoning with its 16 amino acids concentrate produces the sought-after umami taste while providing potent antioxidants making it 10 times more powerful than that of red wine’s per serving. You can use this as alternative to your regular not gluten-free guaranteed soysauce. It is also packed with oligosaccharides which support good bacteria in our digestive tracks while yielding only about 1.16 calories per serving compared to the 15-25 calories per serving  of reduced sodium soy sauce.

Other products in store also include sweetener and gluten-free 7grains Calamansi Purée (Lemonsito) from freshly squeezed 1 kilo of calamansi making it a good source of Vitamin C; gluten-free Skinny Healthy Tomato Ketchup which, unlike its commercial counterpart, has no preservatives, artificial flavors, low in calories, high in soluble fiber inulin and an antioxidant called lycopene; and gluten-free Skinny Soup Base Paste essentially made from an assortment of real vegetables, herbs, and spices, making it a healthier substitute to your regular bouillon cubes, marinades, and soup bases.

Try these now for a more convenient gluten-free meal and healthy diet planning!

Gluten-Free Snacks for the Kids

Moms, and of course dads, too, know very well the challenge of feeding their kids healthy food. To be able to give the energy their kids need daily, parents want better quality for snacks they get their hands on.

However, children  whose meals require more special attention make the daily diet plan not so easy to deal with. 

So! Read up for we have some tips for you if you have gluten sensitive kids, that we hope might make things a lot easier 😉 

1.) Fresh fruit slices in light syrup

Kids tend to be really active. So it’s really important to give some energy-boost mid-day while still having enough nutrients to maintain a good health. And since fruits are known to be gluten-free, adding this easy-to-prepare treat would really make you at ease.

Ingredients:

-1 cup of sliced fruits (You can explore different kinds. But try to ask your kids first which they prefer more)

-1 tablespoon sugar

-1/4 cup water

 

Procedure:

1.) Dissolve sugar in water by heating on a stove or in a microwave. For another healthy tip, use chemical free muscovado sugar. 

2.) Cool the syrup down by placing it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.

3.) Pour over the fruit slices and chill for few more minutes.

4.) Serve on snack, or put in a container if intended as a packed snack.

 

2.) Fruity gelatin

Just to add some variety to your kids’ snacks if you wish to make fruits as staple, why not have some gelatin? Also known as a gluten-free food, gelatin would surely make children excited for snack with its glossy and easy to mold shape. In fact, this snack for adults who wish to lose weight!

Ingredients:

-2 cups freshly squeezed/pureed fruit juice (depending again on your or your kid’s preference)

-2 packets of gelatin

-2 cups cups boiling water

 

Procedure:

1.) Boil water and gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved.

2.) Add fruit juice into the mixture, and stir.

3.) Put in a gelatin a molder or to any fancy shaped molder you wish to use (e.g. animal shapes)

4.) Refrigerate for at least an hour and serve.

3.)  Flourless banana pancake

Hit two birds with just one stone by eliminating the gluten-packed flour in the recipe, and save more time in preparing this easy-to-make gluten-free pancake! We all know that kids are pancake fans, so making a safer alternative for our gluten sensitive children would definitely make them happy. Also, for those adults who are asking questions on how to lose weight and some diet tips, then this recipe is definitely for you, too!

Ingredients:

-2 large very ripe banana

-4 medium eggs

-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedure:

1.) Mash the bananas and mix in the eggs and vanilla extract in a bowl.

2.) Spray the heated non-stick pan with oil and scoop about ¼ cup of batter in.

3.) Cook each side for about 30 seconds.

4.) Put on the plate and top with light maple syrup as you wish.

  Join your kids in enjoying these treats and make snacking time more fun. Enjoy and eat up! 

 

Common Gluten-Free Pinoy Dishes You Should Know

Generally, Filipino food is very friendly to people who need to strictly follow a gluten-free diet. Here are some common Pinoy dishes that do not contain gluten as it is, cooked with the usual recipe. These will be handy the next time you are craving for something really Filipino:

Adobo

adobo.jpg

Be it chicken, pork, or CPA (chicken and pork adobo), adobo is normally a gluten free dish. Some questions were raised if soy sauce, one of the primary ingredients used in this dish is gluten-free. And the good news is, it is![1] In fact, if the soy sauce is made purely of its base ingredient which is soy beans that is naturally gluten-free. But to sure, always purchase the brand that you know and trust. As it may happen that soy sauce manufacturers process them in the same area as wheat, and cross contamination is still a possibility.

Sinigang

image01.jpg
Photo credit: PanlasangPinoy.com

One of the healthiest Pinoy dishes around and thankfully, also devoid of gluten. Do away with potential gluten source which are sinigang mixes which usually contain wheat. Flavor it with natural sampalok or guava, and eat worry-free. Also, since vegetables have no gluten, you can definitely be sure that no adverse effect will happen if you have gluten intolerance. Other might worry that since there are certain starches included in the list of ingredients such gabi, gluten might still be there. Apparently, even though most  of the sources of gluten are starches, not all starches have it. And the good thing is, gabi didn’t make the cut.

For more information about gluten sources, click here.

 

Pancit Bihon

We also discussed before about bihon, one of the party foods that we all love to serve, as a gluten-free staple for us Filipinos. And this ingredient itself is safe for consumption. Nonetheless, there are certain ingredients that we put in pancit bihon that should be used with caution or better yet, eliminated. Common ingredient such kikiam, should be, as much as possible, replaced with something whole such as meat chunks. Certain processed foods as such use wheat flour as binder. This also goes with other common street foods in a stick such as fishballs and squidballs.

We will include more information about anything gluten in the typical Filipino diet on the next articles, so always keep posted!

Got questions? Please don’t hesitate to comment below.

 

 

 

 

The Versatility of The Gluten Free Diet

Gluten-free diet is a diet primarily for those with gluten-sensitive enteropathy commonly known as Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and gluten-intolerance. But for some it might even be believed to be a “miracle diet”, one  which will make you less susceptible to various lifestyle diseases where gluten is allegedly to blame.

But aside from Celiac disease, where can we actually legitimately apply the gluten-free diet?

image002

 

Wheat and Gluten Allergy

Though the two are not the same, gluten-free diet can be applied to both since basically, gluten is a protein found in wheat, among other sources. Therefore, a gluten-free product is safe for those who have either of the two allergies since most gluten-free items do not contain wheat, as well. 

So, if ever have a loved one who has wheat allergy, substituting the regular wheat based food items with gluten-free ones would really help[1]. However, it is always safest to still check the ingredients of gluten-free meals you buy. 

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

As the name suggests, this condition may have similar gluten sensitivity symptoms to Celiac’s disease, but does not directly link to Celiac disease In fact, this NCGS is a curious case to medical researchers to date, and still there are questions whether gluten is to blame for this condition.

Though the correlation might not be clear for now, one certain thing as of the moment is that someone with NCGS can try a gluten-free diet to see if certain symptoms that they experience, similar to those with Celiac disease, can be eased[2].

Gluten Ataxia

In contrast to Celiac disease, Gluten Ataxia on the other hand attacks the cerebellum in our brain which is responsible for our body coordination and balance. People with such disease experience difficulty in complex movements such as walking, writing, talking and even swallowing.

difficulty-running

In this condition, gluten-free diet has been proven handy to avoid such abnormal immunological responses[3].

We will add more to this list next time. But for now, if you know some people with this condition, sharing this piece would really make a difference.

Got questions anything related to gluten or gluten-free diet? Don’t hesitate to comment below! We”ll absolutely be glad to help!

Sources:

1) “Wheat allergy.” ACAAI Public Website, 21 Jan. 2016. Web. 6 Jan. 2017.

2.) 4310830, 95 -. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Celiac Disease Foundation, 1998. Web. 6 Jan. 2017.

3.) Hadjivassiliou, M, et al. “Dietary Treatment of Gluten Ataxia.” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 74.9 (2003): 1221–1224. Web. 19 Jan. 2017.