Did you know? May is Celiac Awareness Month. Many people avoiding gluten are gluten intolerant, meaning gluten generally can’t be tolerated. A Celiac diagnosis means complete abstinence from gluten. You are essentially divorcing gluten, and all gluten containing products, forever. No midnight secret rendezvous with the cookie jar, no sneaky afternoon coffee shop oatmeal bar trysts; it is over. Say goodbye to scones, bread, muffins, cake, pasta, any Asian meals containing soy sauce (all of them??) and many commercial food items such as soups, granola bars, crackers…. beer! Oh, the devastation!

Enter quinoa, rice pasta, chickpea flour…. wait, chickpea FLOUR?? I’m a chef and let me tell you, chickpea flours and its GF cousins like rice flour, tapioca flour and almond flour are a whole new world of frustrating, crumbly, non-elastic and non-binding doughs and batters. So, a diagnosis such as this would be devastating to a bread-loving, pasta-loving, baked-goodies loving me. I can really empathize with the gluten free crowd. Luckily, quinoa is a toothsome, protein rich, delicious little grain that is having it’s trendy day in the sun. It’s buzz-worthy!

And products like AP Gluten Free Flour mixes, GF baking mixes (just add water!) and dedicated GF bakers have made great strides in creating beyond appealing, dare I say delicious, GF baked goods. And, GF beer lovers, they now make GF beer. Life is good.

These days, GF items are no longer relegated to the dark corners of Farmer’s Markets (there are no dark corners at Farmer’s Markets. They are open, airy, sunny, cheery and you should come find our food truck at one!). I only refer to a time when GF items were hard to find and how hard a GF diagnosis must be, but especially before GF eating became more common. GF products are becoming ubiquitous, with even big-league drive-thru chains and restaurants offering gluten free options.

What does all this have to do with EnjoyaBowls? Other than providing a mostly GF menu, we want to provide some original GF recipes on our blog this month in honor of Celiac Awareness Month. We will also provide some links to some great recipes for GF baked goods.

Only your physician can diagnose you with Celiac Disease, but here’s a link to the Celiac Disease Foundation’s quiz to help you determine if you may be suffering from a gluten related illness https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/resources/checklist/ . It is also a great site to help you navigate the waters of GF eating and managing a Celiac diagnosis.

Our first GF featured recipe will be Tomato, Avocado and Quinoa Salad. Perfect for summer, it’s cool, refreshing, filling on it’s own or a shiny addition to your summer BBQ menu. Stay tuned.