Here's an excerpt from the Start Here booklet in The Gluten Free Lifestyle Kit:
So now that you've cleared out your kitchen, what do you put back into it? Those shelves are looking pretty bare! Here's a quick checklist to help you set up your new pantry.
|· Transfer the list of items from your Kitchen Makeover to your Pantry List. This will include everything you threw out, from contaminated peanut butter to gluten items like bagels & pretzels. See what kind of ready-made substitutes you can find locally.
· Divide a sheet of paper into 6 sections. Put one of these headings at the top of each section: Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, Dinner, Desert, Take Out. List your favorites in each category. Highlight those items that are already gluten-free &create a menu for the week. Add those ingredients to your pantry list.
· Mix up anEveryday Flour Mix. A simple version is 2 Cups Brown Rice Flour, 2 Cups Teff Flour, 1 C Fine Corn Meal + 2 1/2 teaspoons of Xanthum Gum. Put the ingredients + amounts on the pantry list. Also get the largest plastic zipper bags you can find, to help combine your flours. (Xanthum Gum is expensive. Health food stores will let you purchase smaller amounts, but you may need to buy a large bag. It is worth it, as it's a binder that creates the elasticity & chew you are used to. Without it, your breads will be crumbly, dense & dry) Store your flour in the fridge.
· Add to your list:
all purpose flour-mix, (we recommend Pamela's)
desert mix like brownies or cupcakes (we recommend Namaste),
dry cereal & hot cereal
rice, in several varieties including arborio
pasta, in several varieties (we recommend Tinkyada brand)
asian rice noodles
rice crackers or Nut Thins
Pizza dough mix (we recommend Arrowhead Mills) for pizza, but also bread sticks, calzones, biscuits & rolls
· Seek out your localhealth food store or food co-op. These grocers have been catering to food sensitivities from the outset, so they will have more variety, for less. Co-ops also offer members discounts on all items, with an additional discount for bulk orders & volunteers!
· When you go shopping, don't buy every gluten-free item you see.Follow your list, which includes foods you actually eat! You don't want to be discouraged by blowing your budget Day 1.
·Go online & look up "Gluten Free Products," to see what's out there. You may want to do a monthly online-shopping for products that are hard to find in your area. Very worthwhile buys - Kinninkkinnik burger buns & donuts. Amazing.
·Ethnic food stores also have tons of gluten-free variety, at much lower prices. If you've never used them, you may want to get a couple of ethnic cookbooks. Most Latin, Asian, African & Indian foods are already gluten-free.
· Consider purchasing as muchorganic produce as possible, as well as meat & poultry. There is a world of difference in the flavors of organic food verses conventional produce.