Spiralized squash and zucchini.

Spiralized squash and zucchini.

If you have just found out that you are gluten intolerant then you might be wondering how you are going to avoid eating the grains that trigger painful episodes of gut discomfort such as rye, barley and wheat. Thankfully there are many alternatives to the foods that normally cause gluten that can easily be fitted into a new gluten-free lifestyle.

Pasta and Rice

Perhaps one of the foods that people miss most when they go gluten-free is pasta. Thankfully there are many vegetables that can be spiralized to create a delicious pasta dish. If it is spaghetti you are craving the best vegetables to use, to give you a similar mouth feel and taste are:

  • Zucchini (also known as courgettes)
  • Sweet potato
  • Squash
  • Plantain
  • Eggplant
  • Celeriac
  • Turnip
  • Parsnip

These vegetables can also be sliced and layered in a lasagna pan, instead of pasta, with cheese and tomato sauce.

If it’s an orzo style of pasta that you are craving then you easily put cauliflower or broccoli or both in a blender and the vegetables will decimate into a rice-shaped state.

You can also mimic or even improve on a pasta salad by adding spiralized versions of the following.

  • Cucumber
  • Daikon Radish
  • Jicama
  • Kohlrabi

Orzo salads can be made with riced cauliflower, broccoli or zucchini.


Bread is so basic to North American culture that many people find it unimaginable that they could possibly go a day without it, but if you do want to avoid the incredible discomfort of being gluten intolerant than you have to avoid all forms of bread including taco shell.

Here are some suggestions for replacing bread with gluten-free.

  • Large Portobello mushrooms can be the “buns” around any pulled meat dish or a hamburger; just cut the stem
  • Large slices of eggplant can also be used to encase any type of burger
  • Lettuce leaves can be used to wrap hamburgers or any other type of sandwich and smaller endive leaves can be used as the shells for taco filling, chicken salads and tuna salad


Many people are dismayed when they find out that all cereals must be cut from their diet, making them wonder what they can have for breakfast in the morning. In short, any egg with a low-fat meat protein such as a slice of ham, turkey or chili. It is also a good idea to pair your egg with a vegetable such as asparagus, avocado or a small salad.

Many gluten-tolerant people can tolerate quinoa. Instead of eating oats, top a bowl of soaked quinoa, which is high in protein, with Greek yogurt and the fruit of your choice.


If you must have a salty treat, it is better to have an organic baked potato chip than a taco chip or cracker. In general, you should try to substitute sliced vegetables or fruit for crackers every time. You can also buy gluten-free snacks and crackers at some health-food store

Cakes, Cookies and Other Desserts

Thankfully you only have to Google “gluten-free” desserts or “raw food desserts” or “paleo desserts” and you will find hundreds of thousands of recipes for cookies, cakes and pies that don’t have any gluten in them at all. Gluten-free baked goods are also often for sale at natural health food stores and at some bakeries.

For more information about nutrition, Toronto weight loss or to book a consultation about anti-aging, naturopathic testing, iv vitamin therapy or any health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products at www.pinewoodhealth.ca or call our Toronto Office at  (416)-656- 8100.  We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at info@pinewoodhealth.ca and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.


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