This page is about a cooking style I like to call “Portionally Gluten Free”. And, yes “portionally” is not a real word, but it is still the best description I could come up with!
Much of what I cook is naturally gluten free and it’s great. There is no worry for me about getting sick and my cooking often gets rave reviews. I even won a Christmas cookie contest with a GF cookie.
However, this is not always how I cook. Enter “Portionally Gluten Free.” If I’m making sandwiches, pizza, pasta, or anything that would normally have a major wheat component I prepare a GF portion for me and a regular portion for my husband.
Here are three major reasons why I believe in cooking this way:
1. Tasteful for your finances.
Gluten free food is expensive. My pretzels sell for $7.99 at my local grocery store. I can buy a regular bag of pretzels, with about twice as many pretzels, for about $3. I buy a loaf of GF bread for $5.99, but my husband’s honey wheat bread is $2.69 a loaf. My pasta: $2-$4 a box. His: 99cents. Gluten free flours: $4 – $15 a pound. Regular flour: less than a dollar a pound. We’re not talking about a few cents difference here and there. If your household is mixed with GF and non-GF eaters, you can save a boatload of money by only serving these specialty GF items to the people whose diet requires it.
2. More tasteful for everyone.
Let’s face it, because we all know its true: the GF versions of normally wheat-heavy foods don’t measure up. I’m talking about dense bagels and breads, pizza dough that doesn’t rise, crackers that resemble cardboard, etc. I’m not putting down gluten free foods here (I LOVE my Glutino pretzels and Udi’s sandwich bread). They are edible, they are good, they fill a void for us celiacs, and they almost taste like the real thing. Almost. I don’t see the point in depriving those I eat with who can tolerate wheat from enjoying the real versions of these foods.
3. Tasteful towards Celiac awareness.
If you’ve ever brought your own special food to a party or potluck, then you have probably experienced the strange looks and questions that come with that. It can be totally frustrating to eat something different from everyone else and then to get pestered about it, but there is great opportunity in that to help educate people about celiac disease and food allergies and intolerances in general. Of course, there’s also a lot to be said for serving a party totally GF and letting people discover that GF food can be delicious (remember that cookie contest I won?). But, I’ve noticed that by not trying to appear to be eating like everyone else it has opened up more opportunities for me to share what being gluten free really means. In this day and age, where the GF diet is used for weight loss and Paleo is the new fad, it is important for people with gluten intolerance to be sharing why this diet is so important for our health.
Speaking of health, I should mention that when preparing GF and non-GF food simultaneously there are precautions to take to ensure the GF food will be safely prepared. Please check out this How To: PGF page for some suggestions about how to carry out these recipes safely, so the GF food will truly be GF. Any recipes on my blog that are portionally GF will be labelled with a “PGF” before the title. You can find a index of all of those recipes here.