Gluten-Free in Clark County

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Fresh fall eating.

It is so easy to forget that there are many fresh food options in the fall to enjoy. I know that by the time fall weather hits I often want to curl up with a good book and watch the rain pour down, the leaves fall and enjoy a warm spicy cup of tea that smells like fall. I often forget that for a good portion of the autumn months there are still many tasty fresh food options around.

Fall fruits and veggies can make meal time really fun and tasty. I love going to the produce stand and finding loads of apples, fresh tomatoes, potatoes, squash of all kinds and eggplant.

Just the other day, my daughter and I picked up some beautiful eggplant for a tasty lasagna. I am always looking for a way to cut out some of the expensive parts of a gluten-free lifestsyle. Let’s face it, gluten-free free foods are certainly easier to find but not always a bargain. I think in today’s economy if you can find a way to cut costs and still eat nutritious foods you are leaps and bounds farther ahead of the game.

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Gluten-free free pastas are often very expensive and while I love pasta as much as the next girl, it has become one of those menu items I often try to do without. Besides, I think that finding a way to enjoy foods that are naturally gluten-free free and avoiding much of the starchy alternatives is the best way to go anyway. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when a big bowl of pasta is all that will satisfy, but the rest of the time if you can find a different alternative you’ll not only save money but you’ll also save some unwanted extra starch in your diet. See, a win-win all the way around.

All you have to do is take your favorite lasagna recipe and replace all or at least half of the noodles with thinly sliced eggplant or zucchini. You could even mix them and use both. So tasty and much better for you. A lowed calorie, veggie packed alternative that your family will love.

Using peeled eggplant or zucchini in place of pasta is not hard. You’ll want to steam them a bit before you assemble your “lasagna” or the eggplant won’t be completely cooked through in your final dish. Trust me, your family will hardly be able to tell the difference and may end up requesting this version in place of the other.

Mix it up a bit, add different veggies into your sauce for even more veggie goodness! My family really enjoyed this version of lasagna and it will be repeated, I’m sure. Even if eggplant is not your favorite, I’d encourage you to try it. Eggplant is one of those vegetables that takes on the flavor of the foods that are cooked with it. It’s more of a texture component in a dish rather than an additional flavor.

Zucchini is really one of those vegetables that can be used in more ways than I think anyone realizes. Think about it, zucchini bread, muffins, cake, risotto and even fried zucchini. I also love to take a bit of chopped onion, zucchini and mushrooms and add them all to an omelet.

We can’t forget about the other varieties of squash that are available this time of year. I tell you, so many choices, so little time. My family often thinks I’ve lost my mind this time of year, I will buy just about any new variety I find. Kind of funny considering that when I was a kid I couldn’t stand the stuff. What was I thinking?

I encourage you to go and visit a local produce stand or market. Find a tasty new variety to try, some vegetable you’ve been afraid to try before. I’d be willing to bet that the person working the stand will have a tasty idea for how to use it. Chances are, you’ll find a new and inexpensive vegetable to add to your “fresh eating” menu. Buy local and eat fresh, it’s a tasty and quite healthy way to feed your family.