Oct. 23, 2011
Gluten-Free Happy Herbivore (Gluten-Free Vegan)
Question: Do you have any tips on gluten-free vegan living or recipes? I don't want to depend on gluten-free substitutes as they can be expensive and sometimes difficult to locate.
Let's talk recipes first. You’ll find a lot on the recipes on this website (see the recipes page and click “gluten-free”) are gluten-free, plus The Happy Herbivore Cookbook has more than 50% gluten-free recipes and well over 50% of the recipes in my new cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore are gluten-free. I have a number of gluten-free and wheat-free testers on my testing squad so if a recipe doesn't translate to gluten-free (if it's not already gluten-free) it doesn't make it into my books.
There are also tons of websites dedicated to gluten-free and gluten-free vegan living, so get Googling!
Next, for recipes that aren't inherently gluten-free, you can make them gluten-free with simple substitutes.
If it's a baked good recipe, you can use a gluten-free flour blend or try my nifty oat flour trick. If the flour is used in another recipe (i.e. in a gravy as a thickener) you can usually substitute brown rice flour, or chickpea flour, without running into problems.
The one ingredients that's a little touchy - vital wheat gluten (and it's companion, seitan), even have a gluten-free replacement now! My Celiac friend Talia turned me on to Orgran's gluten-free gluten substitute and I've heard nothing but great things about it.
In addition to online, you can find this product at most health food stores, particularly stores with generous gluten-free sections. If your local store doesn't have it, but carries other Orgran products -- ask. Chances are they will order some for you.
As for commercial substitutes, you're right, they can be pricey, but some gluten-free items can be inexpensive. For example corn tortillas and brown rice tortillas are comparable in price to wheat tortillas.
Doing-it-yourself, while not as effortless as buying something, is a great way to have gluten-free goodies on the cheap. Plus you can take pride in your gluten-free creations. The tips in this post will help you get started!