There is not much difference between any kind of cooking and gluten free cooking. The only difference is that you cannot use any products containing gluten. You may have to do a lot of substitutions for common ingredients like flour, bread crumbs, oats, pasta and pastry. You will have to check every label of even seasoning mixes or snack dips for signs of wheat products or other gluten-laden products. This is not too different from the world’s finest chefs, who fuss over every single ingredient, often stubbornly preferring one supplier or one super-rare ingredient.
The most common problem in gluten free cooking will be finding substitutions for wheat flour. Rice flour is becoming more available, especially to those who live near large Oriental populations. Cornstarch is another alternative, as well as arrowroot powder (a sweet thickener that is an acquired taste). You don’t need to change any favored recipe radically – you only need to substitute something else for the gluten-laden ingredients. You will be best with recipes of made from scratch dishes, rather than those that rely on any commercially prepared mixes and prepared foods.
Instead of pasta, try rice or quinoa (very rice-like grain). In some gluten free cooking recipes like soups or Chinese dishes, instead of noodles try julienne strips of crunchy vegetables like bean sprouts, carrots and scallions. Instead of using wheat bread crumbs for coating your foods for frying or baking, try potato flakes, ground corn meal or rice flour. For your sandwiches, if you don’t care for the taste of gluten free bread, try crispbread crackers (be sure they are not made with wheat), or wrap up your ham and cheese in crunchy leaves of Romaine lettuce.
Gluten Free Products
More and more gluten free products are hitting health food stores and even major supermarket chains. This makes gluten free cooking a lot easier! You can find gluten free pizza (with rice flour crust), gluten free macaroni and cheese and even gluten free breakfast cereals.
If you have trouble finding gluten free products and want to avoid rice (some people with gluten intolerance can not handle a lot of rice), try searching places like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Market. If all else fails, go online. There are many places selling gluten free cooking products, such as The Gluten Free Mall. With practice and patience, you will gluten free cooking just as easily as gluten-laden cooking.