Why Gluten – Free?

Elizabeth is a primary school teacher and self – confessed “foodie”.

Check out @tulipstastebuds for more delicious and nutritious treats!

by Elizabeth Tulip

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder which means your body has an inflammatory response to gluten. You cannot eat anything with wheat in it, which cuts out most breads, pastas and pizza dishes. Before I really knew what gluten was all about, I used to think having Celiac disease was a bad thing. No warm crusty slices of toast?? No comfort bowls of saucy, slippery spaghetti?? I couldn’t imagine it!

Four years ago I became gluten free after learning about the Paleo Diet. The Paleo diet is based on the principal of eating foods that humans evolved on before agriculture, which ultimately means, no grains. No calorie counting or restricted meal portions. I tried this diet for 2 months and I found the combination of cutting out sugar and gluten at the same time, was too much to handle. Cutting out bread alone was a big deal for me, let alone my chocolate and Pavlova! After that I adapted to a strict gluten-free diet.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. All grains have an in-built defense system that protects them from being destroyed before they can sprout. When you consume gluten products, it can cause an inflammatory response in your gut. This is why after a big bowl of pasta, the first thing you feel like doing is crawling into the fetal position and falling asleep (cue pregnant belly when you’re not pregnant!). Your body is working overtime with all that gluten in your system. If your intestinal lining is inflamed, you won’t be able to gather all the nutrients from your food and it will severely affect your immune system and lead to other problems.

I have noticed a lot of changes to my body and lifestyle since turning gluten free. The major difference I have noticed is increased energy and a flatter stomach. I never get that bloated feeling after eating meals. My choice of lifestyle has greatly impacted on the way I cook. I like to find classic favourites and create a healthy version for example zucchini pasta and chocolate mousse made from avocados.

All the recipes you find below are gluten free (#gf) and some of them are dairy free (#df). I hope you enjoy!

Lamb, Wild Rice and Quinoa Salad 

(Serves 4) #gf


1/2 cup wild rice

3/4 cup wild quinoa

1/4 cup olive oil

2 x 250g lamb backstrap

1 lime, halved

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp honey

100g marinated roasted capsicum, drained, sliced

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, skin removed, roughly chopped

150 g baby spinach

125 g goats feta, crumbled


  1. Boil rice in a large pot of water for 15-20 minutes. Add quinoa and boil for a further 10 – 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat up 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Season lamb and fry on both sides for 3 minutes each. Whilst lamb is cooking, place limes face down in the pan. Set lamb aside wrapped in foil for 5 minutes to rest.
  3. Meanwhile to make the dressing, juice the grilled lime and combine with lamb resting juices, garlic, mustard, honey and 2 tbsp of olive oil then season.
  4. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl with lamb and rice mixture. Drizzle with dressing. Enjoy!

Zucchini Pasta with Garlic Prawns

(Serves 2) #gf


6 small zucchinis

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp chilli flakes

2 tbsp butter

olive oil

8 pre-marinated garlic prawns

1/2 cup chicken stock

Juice of 1 lemon

1 small punnet of cherry tomatoes

Parmesan cheese

Parsley, chopped


  1. Slice up the zucchinis with a spiral slicer.
  2. Heat up a pan with the butter and a splash of olive oil. Sauté the garlic and chili until fragrant.
  3. Add the prawns and cook until pink. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice and let simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Add the zucchini and stir through. This does not need to cook long. Throw in the cherry tomatoes right at the end.
  5. Serve the “pasta” topped with Parmesan and fresh parsley


Chia Pots

My Recipe (Makes 6 small servings) #gf #df


1/4 cup chia seeds

3 cups coconut almond milk


1 banana, sliced

1 handful raspberries

1 handful blueberries

2 tbsp shredded coconut


  1. Mix the chia seeds and milk into a large bowl.
  2. Add a squeeze of honey and taste, adding more until you get your desired sweetness.
  3. Leave chia mixture to refrigerate for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight). The chia seeds will soak up more liquid, the longer you leave it.
  4. Arrange the chia mixture into small pots or cups and layer with the toppings as pictured. Enjoy!

 Banana Chia Oats

(Serves 1) #gf #df


1/2 cup gluten free oats

1 cup coconut almond milk

1/2 banana, sliced

1 tbs honey

1 tbs chia seeds

1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

1 nectarine (sliced)

Desiccated coconut & cacao nibs to decorate.


  1. Heat up the coconut almond milk in a small pot on low heat.
  2. Add the oats, chia seeds, banana, salt and honey.
  3. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes.
  4. Serve with the nectarine, coconut and cacao. Enjoy!

 Baked Salmon with Crispy Sweet Potato, Steamed Greens & Dill Mayo

(Serves 2) #gf #df


2 salmon fillets

1 sweet potato

2 zucchinis

1 bunch of broccoli

300 gr snow peas

1 lemon, half of it sliced half moon shapes

Small bunch of fresh dill

Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise

1 red chili

Sesame seeds

Olive oil

Coconut oil


  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees.
  2. Cut each salmon fillet in half, so you have 4 pieces.
  3. Rub salmon fillets with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with sliced lemon and place on baking tray. Cover with baking paper and bake in oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, peel skin off sweet potato and then continue to peel so you have thin strips.
  5. Heat a pan with coconut oil and fry sweet potato strips until crispy. Whilst in the pan, try to form little mountains with the sweet potato strips. Transfer to paper towels and let cool.
  6. Roughly chop all the vegetables and steam them in a steamer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer veggies into a bowl and toss with a little olive oil, juice of the other half lemon, sesame seeds and chopped red chili.
  8. Chop some dill and mix into Kewpie mayonnaise.
  9. Serve the veggies on a plate, stack the salmon on top and top with the crispy sweet potato mountain. Serve with the dill mayo and enjoy!

Watermelon Cake

(Serves 10) #gf


1 large watermelon

1 tub natural Geeek yoghurt

1 tub strawberries, sliced

1 packet of mulberries

3 kiwi fruit, sliced

Shredded coconut


  1. Slice the rind off the watermelon and carve it into a cylinder shape. Dab it dry with paper towels if necessary.
  2. Using a spatula, carefully cover the watermelon with the yogurt.
  3. Just as carefully, press the coconut into the yogurt so it sticks.
  4. Arrange the chopped fruit as per photo, and enjoy the surprise your friends will have when they cut it open!

Don’t forget that Vida Glow’s marine collagen is gluten free, and a great addition to your diet.

Love Libby!


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