Denver, CO

Living gluten-free in America: enchiladas, dinner rolls and more -gluten-free recipes to try

Steven Bonifazi

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Gluten, a protein, is found in wheat products such as bread. It traps gas bubbles during fermentation to help the dough rise.(Bermix Studio/Unsplash)

By Steven Bonifazi

Gluten, a class of seed storage proteins found in wheat is utilized like an adhesive that aids food such as bread and other products in keeping their shape.

Gluten can be found in grocery stores, restaurants and bars across the country in products from sourdough bread and angel hair pasta to fried chicken and beer.

On one hand, gluten can be beneficiary, serving as a prebiotic by stimulating bifidobacteria in the colon, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. On the other hand, gluten can cause complications for people who have gluten intolerances such as those with gluten sensitivities, wheat allergies or celiac disease, an immune reaction in the small intestine brought on by consuming gluten.

Complications involved with Celiac disease include diarrhea, exhaustion, weight loss, bloating and anemia. The majority of people work to control symptoms by abiding by a strict gluten-free diet, as there is no cure for celiac disease. However, those who cut out gluten simply to lose weight can do so by removing processed foods and refined carbohydrates that have gluten but can also risk missing out on micronutrients in addition to fiber, B vitamins, iron, calcium and vitamin D.

Many restaurants today offer a small assortment of gluten-free items on their menus while 100% gluten-free restaurants have popped up across the country, such as Just BE Kitchen in Denver or Senza Gluten in New York City. Nevertheless, there are a great number of gluten-free recipes available to attempt at home.

The following are just a few gluten-free recipes to give a shot:

Gluten-free Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls

A staple to any homemade dinner, rolls can serve as an appetizing side.

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(Paul Hermann/Unsplash)

This recipe calls for two tablespoons of SAF instant yeast, 1/4 cup of sugar, one egg and a few additional ingredients.

Start by mixing flour, xanthan gum, instant yeast, sugar and salt in the mixing bowl of an electric mixer. Mix at low speed while adding hot water, melted butter, egg and cider vinegar. Mix again on medium speed for three minutes.

Cover an 8" or 9" round cake pan or pie plate with cooking spray and scoop nine mounds of dough in the pan. Dip your fingertips in warm water and smooth the top of the rolls. Cover with a dry towel and let rise in a warm area for 45 minutes to one hour.

Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake in the oven for 25 to 28 minutes until the tops are golden brown or the dough is at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush rolls with melted butter and enjoy.

10 Minute Gluten Free Enchiladas

If time is of the essence and a quick and easy gluten-free meal is what you seek, this 10-minute gluten-free enchilada recipe is sure to have you going back for seconds.

The ingredients are few but mighty, including one 15 oz can of gluten-free enchilada sauce, two cups of shredded or diced cooked chicken, one cup of shredded cheese and optional cilantro, beans, corn or any other preferred fillings.

Begin with wrapping gluten-free corn tortillas in a paper towel and microwaving for 30 seconds. Spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce over the bottom of a rectangle casserole dish.

Mix the chicken with desired filling and one cup of enchilada sauce. Dip the tortillas in the leftover enchilada sauce and fill each tortilla with two 1/2 to 3 tablespoons of filling. Roll the tortillas and place them in the pan seam side down until the pan is filled.

Pour any remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas and top with shredded cheese. Microwave for five to seven minutes or until cheese is melted and enjoy.

Gluten Free Lemon Bites

What better way to indulge in a gluten-free treat than these sweet and zesty gluten-free lemon bites.

The Lemond Bites require one tablespoon of baking powder, three eggs, one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and a multitude of other items. Ingredients for the glaze include two tablespoons of melted butter, one cup of sifted confectioner's sugar, two tablespoons of lemon juice and one tablespoon of lemon zest for garnish.

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(Markus Spiske/Unsplash)

The recipe starts by calling for the oven to be preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and buttering a total of 48 mini muffin cups. Next, measure and mix the milk and lemon juice and place that mixture aside so the milk can curdle while the batter is prepared.

Whip butter and sugar at medium-high speed in a large mixing bowl for six to eight minutes until fluffy and light. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each, adding vanilla with the last egg.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and slowly stir in the whistled dry ingredients, altering with the milk mixture. Place zest in last.

Scoop batter into pans with a spoon filling only 3/4 of the cup. Bake for ten minutes or until a toothpick can be put in the center and pulled out with a few crumbs. Remove and let cool on a wire rack.

To make the glaze, melt the butter and whisk the sugar and lemon juice together. Transfer to a wide bowl and place each lemon bite through the glaze. sprinkle with lemon zest and allow time for the glaze to set before serving.

Gluten Free Fried Chicken and Waffles

These delicious and crispy gluten-free fried chicken and apple cinnamon waffles are great classic comfort food for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

The prep time for this recipe is five minutes, with an additional 20 minutes for cook time. It serves a total of four people and calls for two cups of buttermilk, two-pound chicken wings, one teaspoon of chili powder and a few more interesting items. It also has separate ingredients for the flour mixture and the maple bourbon glaze including two tablespoons of butter and 1/2 cup of bourbon.

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(Tim Toomey/Unsplash)

Get started by adding cleaned chicken wings to a large mixing bowl and seasoning well, mixing to ensure the wings are fully coated. Pour the buttermilk over the chicken wings and cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Combine the gluten-free flour ingredients in a ziplock bag or shallow dish and mix thoroughly. Pour in 1 to 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large skillet, cast iron or dutch oven and heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set it aside.

Place one chicken at a time in the flour mixture and coat all sides evenly. Place the chicken in the oil and cook for seven to nine minutes on each side or until the thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the chicken from the oil and transfer it to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Let rest for five minutes before serving.

To make the glaze, begin by melting butter over medium-low heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Add diced onion to cook for three to four minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and let simmer for ten minutes.

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