Whether you suffer from gluten intolerance, or you’ve chosen to try eliminating gluten from your diet to explore how you feel without it, adapting a gluten-free diet as a vegan can be quite the challenge. It is estimated that 1 in 200 people around the world have the most severe form of gluten sensitivity known as Celiac Disease, but large numbers are still undiagnosed.
Adapting a gluten-free diet can often seem like a daunting task. Many gluten-free recipe guides will suggest meals based mostly on meat and rice, which leave many gluten-free vegans cringing. There is hope, and by following some simple guidelines, you can make the transition into gluten-free vegan living without much hassle.
It’s important to consider the origins of gluten, so that you can eliminate them completely from your diet. Gluten is a protein that is found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. Unfortunately, these grains are almost everywhere in a conventional diet, and are also hidden in some highly unexpected places. However, as a vegan, spotting hidden ingredients should come to you easily, so continue to practice due diligence while at the grocery store.
While there are many gluten-free substitution products out there, as the gluten-free lifestyle continues to gain popularity, it is always recommended to take a whole foods approach to any healthy diet. Gluten-free bread and baking mixes are great for replacing their glutenous cousins, but can often come with a hefty price tag. Consider replacing the flour tortillas with their corn counterparts, or top creamy polenta with vegan chili for a warm, comforting meal.
For a great meal to jump start your gluten-free vegan endeavor, try this recipe. Utilizing the vegetables of the winter season, and substituting a traditional pie crust for one made from shredded potato, you’re sure to gain confidence. Perhaps this won’t be such a difficult journey after all.
Roasted Winter Vegetable Potato Pie
3 large carrots (sliced)
1 small butternut squash (cut in small cubes)
1 large sweet potato (cut in small cubes)
1 medium eggplant (cut in small cubes)
2 large white potatoes (peeled and shredded)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Shredded vegan cheddar ‘cheese’ (Daiya works really well for this recipe)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. On a baking sheet, arrange the cut vegetables (carrots, squash, sweet potato and eggplant) in a single layer and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, arrange the shredded potato in the bottom of a glass pie plate. Drizzle the remaining oil over the shredded potato and press them firmly into the sides of the pie plate.
When the vegetables have finished roasting, transfer them into the pie plate (as a filling) and place back in the oven for 15 minutes. Top with shredded cheddar and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!
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