Being Plant Based AND Gluten Free

One would think that by omitting all animal products and then having to omit all wheat (barely, rye, kamut and spelt) products with a gluten free diet it would leave me with nothing on the planet left to have for dinner.

I won’t lie, some days I feel that’s true.

But that’s mostly when I’m too lazy too cook, I need groceries, or I’m at a westernized (American) restaurant.

Otherwise I have learned (and am still learning) the ins and outs of a vegan gluten free life.

Unfortunately unlike going plant based I wasn’t able to ‘lean into’ going gluten free and take all the time in the world to have a test kitchen and experiment with what was good or what was not.  It was like being thrown into a cold lake without water wings and being asked to swim. Good thing I wasn’t asked to like it right away too!

Though I still feel a huge lack of knowledge I have been able to make a little more headway with each passing week.

It’s easy to know enough not to buy any bread products any more  but to also be aware of the jillion other things wheat is in is another story.  Luckily my ‘intolerance’ at this point isn’t deathly or anything so if I do consume anything with wheat I’m just uncomfortable, not dying.

The first week I went bread, wrap, pita and cracker free and thanked God for quinoa (keen-wa) and rice every night.  Now I have found some good bread to treat myself too (the first loaf I bought was truly like sand blah!), crackers and even some rice buns although I’m still wondering if I overlooked the egg in those, I’ll have to double check.

Now when I get to enjoy a cracker, piece of bread or anything that’s not in it’s original grain form I truly take my time and enjoy.  It’s actually been a great way to further cut back on processed food and keep it to a limit as gluten free vegan processed foods can be very expensive (all the more reason to consider them a treat!).

I do get asked constantly by those who hear my food restrictions ‘WHAT THE HECK DO YOU EAT?!’ (yes in that tone).

Here’s a list of the whole foods I consume lots of:

Vegetables of all kinds (there are hundreds!). My favourites are: sugar snap peas, red peppers, cucumbers, spinach, sweet potatoes.
Beans of all kinds (most often made into stuff like chili, hummus, burgers, etc)
Grains like: brown rice, wild rice, other kinds if I get bored, quinoa, rolled oats (that have been certified gluten free), millet
Pasta: brown rice and other gluten free pastas
Fruit: I mostly stick to bananas (my tummy’s choice) but I will have others in limited quantities if I’m out and it’s offered
Nuts (in their natural state): peanuts – usually in the form of butter, cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, this list could also go on for a long time!
Seeds: seseme, flax, chia, sunflower, pumpkin are the most common ones I eat

Milks I buy:
Rice (Nathan’s addicted to Rice Dream!)
Hemp (just bought this yesterday for the first time and am yet to try)
Almond (not our favourite but fine in baking or cooking)

All purpose gluten free (I love this for pancakes and you can make your own too!)
Coconut … and the list goes on and on. You can take almost anything and grind it yourself that’s often what I do.

I also use vanilla and some other flavours same as usual in baking and lots of herbs, spices, and stuff like soya sauce and chili sauce in cooking.

A few of my favourite ready made snacks are:
Brown rice cakes (I add apple butter to the top!)
Hummus – sometimes special store bought flavours are fun to try if you want a break
Multi-Grain Crackers by Crunchmaster (found at Costco)
Lara bars – usually 5 ingredients or less!
Taste of Nature granola bars
Enjoy Life Products are always vegan and gluten free and free of many other things as well – great for people with multiple food allergies

I honestly don’t buy many of these ready made items or if I do I make them last a long time as they are sometimes pricier, but it’s nice to have options for on the go or just for a quick fix on the run.

Living vegan and gluten free wouldn’t be living without a few favourite cookie recipes which are my gifts for you today! Hope you enjoy!

Chocolate Chip cookies – Nathan made these for me Sunday as a surprise after coming home from being out with a friend and she declared that she would try one (after I traded her my small one fro the big one she had in her hand … and nearly crumbled it out fo her hand … her fault, she could eat any cookie in the world!). She LOVED it!

Flourless Chocolate Cookies – This is actually Nathan’s all time favourite cookie (yes of all the cookie recipes we’ve ever made!)

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – I’ve posted this before but it’s worth another vegan gluten free mention!

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