Searching for Gluten-free Bargains
One of the adjustments to switching to a special diet can be sticker shock. Unfortunately, there is a certain amount of specialty shopping that goes along with the transition to a gluten-free or allergy-friendly diet. These specifically designed items can come with a hefty price tag.
What are some tips to keep your food budget within your household budget?
For one, you can focus on whole foods that are in season. By purchasing strawberries when strawberries are in season, you will pay a better price for a better product. They will be sweet and juicy and affordable. Buying out-of-season produce comes with the double whammy of a higher price for a less tasty product.
Another thing you can do is grind your own flour from whole grains with an inexpensive spice or nut grinder. Gluten-free oats, quinoa and amaranth are a lot cheaper than flour. I wrote about my spice grinder here.
Another money-saving option is to shop at ethnic markets or larger markets that have significant ethnic sections. I have saved a lot of money by shopping in Asian markets or recently at a large market that serves a multicultural population. You can find some real treasures in Indian, Chinese or Korean markets. Rice or tapioca noodles, rice flour, amaranth flour, dried beans, and spices are all available at a cost far below specialty prices.
If you’re looking for an idea of what to do with those rice noodles that you picked up for a song, how about this preparation?
Rice Noodles with Herb Roasted Tomatoes and Spinach
- Rice Noodles cooked according to package directions
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 tomatoes
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or to taste
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or to taste
- sprinkling of sea salt
- Approximately 4 cups of spinach washed and stems removed
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Cut tomatoes in quarters and then cut each quarter in half.
3. Toss tomatoes in half the olive oil.
4. Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle herbs over the tomatoes.
5. Bake for 20 minutes.
6. In a small skillet, heat remaining olive oil. Saute spinach until wilted, stirring constantly.
7. To serve, top prepared noodles with half the spinach and the tomatoes. Mix it together so the juice from the tomatoes coats the pasta.
Kim Lutz is a vegan mom to two boys, and lives with her rocker husband, dog and cat. She is the author of Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes and the gluten-free, allergen-free, vegan website, welcomingkitchen.com. Kim is the co-author with Megan Hart, MS, RD, LD, of two other cookbooks.