Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Going Gluten-Free and a recipe: Southwestern Tuna and Rice Casserole

Last week, my doctor suggested I try going gluten-free for a few weeks to see if it helps with some issues I have been having.  It is a difficult transition, but I am finally figuring it out.  On the plus side- since I started the gluten-free diet last week, I have lost 6 pounds and 1.5% body fat.  I had been eating pretty healthy anyway and exercising, but my weight was at a plateau and would not budge.  I am guessing this is the kick start it needed.

Opening my pantries to shelves full of food I couldn't eat, was starting to depress me, so I am spending much of this week reorganizing them so that one is full of food I can eat and the other has the food I cannot eat.  In doing this, I have discovered that my packet of taco seasoning has wheat as the first ingredient and that tomato soup also has wheat in it.  Those were both surprises to me and the tomato soup meant I could no longer use it for the recipe I wanted to make for lunch.  Had it been the taco seasoning, it would not have been an issue as that is pretty easy to make with what I had on hand, but since tomatoes are not in season, I do not have any stored, and I only had 1 small fresh tomato on hand, the recipe needed to be scrapped.  Instead, I created a different tuna and rice casserole:

Southwestern Tuna and Rice Casserole
2 1/4 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 pound Velveeta, cubed (I used the 2% milk variety)
1 c sour cream (I used fat free)
1-15.5oz can black beans (you could also use red beans)
2-5 oz cans of tuna fish
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp fresh oregano (1 1/2 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 small tomato, diced
1 small onion, diced
lime flavored tortilla chips (regular ones will work too, just less flavor)

1) Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish (a 9x9 pan also works).
2) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and gently stir until well blended.
3) Put all ingredients in the prepared casserole dish.
4) Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
5) Remove from oven and stir together.
6) Crumble desired amount of tortilla chips over casserole and serve.

If any of you have any super yummy, fairly easy gluten-free recipes that you would like to share, please post a link in the comment section.  Also, please share any great gluten-free recipe blogs.  I currently follow A Year of Slow Cooking and Lynn's Kitchen Adventures, both of which offer lots of GF recipes, but would love to add a few more.  Thanks so much!

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