Are you looking for some ideas for gluten-free dinners? Here are some suggestions from three of the best chefs in the world: Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, and Nigella Lawson.
“People in LA are deathly afraid of gluten. I swear to god, you could rob a liquor store in this city with a bagel,” actor Ryan Reynolds wrote on Twitter last year. Seems funny at first, but this “gluten-free mania” is not as humorous, if you start to think about it.
The gluten-free food market has boomed in the past couple of years. “The $10.5-billion gluten-free food and beverage industry has grown 44 percent from 2011 to 2013 as the rate of celiac disease diagnoses and awareness of, and interest in, gluten-free foods increase”, according to a Store.mintel.com study. Still, a gluten-free food on US market study released by Mintel in October 2016, says that “consumption and sales of gluten-free foods continue to increase, but growth in sales has slowed considerably in recent years.”
What is gluten and why does it scare us
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It’s natural, but people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance can have bad reactions if they ingest it.
Without being diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, a lot of people who think they might have gluten sensitivity keep a gluten-free diet. For some, it can be a good idea. But for others, it can be a waste of energy, time, or money.
Asked how he feels about the gluten-free diet, Gordon Ramsey, British celebrity chef, responded bluntly: “Pain in the ass,” according to Bonappetit.com. He added that paleo and vegan diet are also a pain in the ass for him and that he’s “allergic to all three of them”.
Because many people opt for a gluten-free diet, Jamie Oliver, one of the most famous chefs in the world, introduced gluten-free menus in some of his restaurants.
Nigella Lawson, English food writer, and TV personality noticed the gluten-free diet trend, but she doesn’t mind it: “If those without celiac disease feel the better for going gluten-free, who am I to argue? The important thing is that all of us eat well and joyfully”.
Anyway, let’s see how some of the best food specialists in the world plan gluten-free dinners.
3 ideas for gluten-free dinners
1. Jamie Oliver – Meat
To make 8 servings of Jamie’s dish Indian-style baked chicken, you need 2 cloves of garlic, one 2-inch/5 cm piece of ginger, 2 fresh red chilies, 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of tomato purée, 2 teaspoons of natural yogurt (plus extra for serving), 8 chicken pieces (thighs and drumsticks), skin on, a few sprigs of fresh coriander, and extra virgin olive oil.
How to make it:
Use a pestle and mortar to crush the garlic into a paste. Finely grate the ginger, add it to the mortar and mix well. Halve the chilies lengthwise and remove their seeds. Finely chop the chilies and place them in the mortar. Grate the lemon zest and add it to the mortar. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the mortar, using your fingers to catch any pips. Add all of the spices, the tomato purée, yogurt, and a pinch of sea salt. Mix well.
Pour the marinade over the chicken, then use your hands to massage it all over. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave the chicken to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, even overnight if you have the time.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C. Lay the chicken pieces into a baking tray, arranging them in an even layer. Reserve the marinade in the bowl. Cover the tray with aluminum foil, then cook in the oven for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, remove the tray, discard the foil and brush the chicken with the leftover marinade. Return the tray to the oven for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and golden all over. Don’t forget to flip the chicken after half of the cooking time has passed.
Pick the coriander leaves and discard the stalks. Spoon some yogurt into a small bowl, then stir in half of the coriander leaves and a tiny drizzle of oil.
Serve the chicken topped with the remaining coriander and the yogurt on the side. This dish is delicious served with flatbread and a fresh, green salad.
2. Gordon Ramsay – Fish
You can easily make gluten-free dinners at home if you’re working with fish! For example, try this sea bream with tomato and herb salsa recipe from Gordon Ramsay. It’s for 4 people, but you can decrease or increase the quantities depending on your needs. You need olive oil for frying and 2 sea bream fillets, about 5 ounces/140 grams each. For the tomato and herb salsa, you need olive oil, 7 ounces/200 grams of cherry tomatoes, 2 ounces/60 grams of pitted black olives (Kalamata if possible), drained, 1 small bunch of coriander, 1 small bunch of basil, 1 lemon, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
How to make it:
First, make the salsa. Place a small saucepan over low heat and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Chop the tomatoes in half and add them to the oil. Add the olives, season with salt and pepper and stir over a low heat for 1–2 minutes. Set the saucepan aside.
Discard the coriander and basil stalks, then chop the leaves. Keeping a little on the side for garnish, add the coriander and basil to the salsa and stir to combine.
Roll the lemon on a chopping board to soften it and release the juices, then cut it in half. Squeeze one half over the pan, stir and set the salsa aside to allow the flavors to infuse.
To cook the bream, heat a heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Meanwhile, carve the skin of the fillets in 2 or 3 places. Add a dash of oil to the pan and, when it’s really hot, add the bream fillets skin side down. Season and cook for 2–3 minutes until the fish is golden and the skin is crispy. Flip the fillets and cook on the other side for 1 minute, basting with the oil in the pan, until just cooked through.
Serve the fish fillets on top of the tomato and herb salsa and sprinkle them with the remaining coriander and basil.
3. Nigella Lawson – Vegetarian
This recipe from Nigella can be served as a starter or dinner. With these ingredients, you can make 6 to 8 servings of butternut squash with pecans and blue cheese. Here’s what you need for one of the sweetest and flavorful gluten-free dinners: 4.5 pounds/2 kilograms of butternut squash, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 6 stalks of fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme), 3.5 ounces/100 grams of pecan nuts, 4.5 ounces/125 grams of crumbled Roquefort cheese (or any other blue cheese), salt and pepper, to taste.
How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F/220 degrees C. Halve the squash, leaving the skin on, and scoop out the seeds, then cut it into 1-inch/2.5-cm cubes. You don’t need to be precise, just keep the pieces uniformly small.
Put the squash into a roasting tin with the oil. Strip the leaves from 4 stalks of thyme, and sprinkle them over the butternut squash. Roast it in the oven for about 30-45 minutes or until it’s tender.
Once out of the oven, transfer the squash to a bowl, scatter the pecans and crumble the cheese over it, then toss everything together gently. Check seasoning and decorate with the last of the thyme, broken up into small sprigs. Enjoy it while is still warm! Here you can see some of our easy recipes for gluten-free dinners.
If you think you have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the best thing you can do is to talk to your doctor. It is estimated that 83 percent of Americans who have celiac disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions. You can also find that you don’t have this health issue. Isn’t it a pity to keep a strict diet if you don’t need it?
Sources: jamieoliver.com, gordonramsy.com, nigella.com