Advice needed on gluten free vegetarian diet for someone with Celiac Disease
So many great foods that other veggies enjoy (veggie burgers, soy crumbles, etc.) have gluten, and are off limits to me. It does get a bit discouraging at times. There is a great Veggie group where I live and I can’t even attend their monthly dinners as they are gluten-heavy. Thanks! D.H.
Savvy Vegetarian Advice
It’s hard enough having to be gluten free, but being a gluten-free vegetarian or vegan is much harder! If it weren’t for that, you could just find a gluten free support group and be perfectly happy.
What to do?
First, let the group members know that you would enjoy attending their monthly meetings, but that you have Celiac Disease, and can’t have any gluten. You can’t expect them to eat entirely gluten free on your behalf, but if it’s a pot luck, and they know about your situation, at least some of them would make gluten free dishes – and you could too.
You could make a presentation to the group on CD. Tell them that Celiac Disease is thought to be quite common, with millions of people undiagnosed – that might put the idea in their heads that they could also be Celiacs and should go along with your gluten free diet for their own good. Oh, I’m so diabolical!
You can also throw a handful of quinoa, rice or millet into any soup to thicken it. Kashi brand rice crackers are a staple ‘fast food’ for me – I love them with avocado, hummus , or nut butters.
Millet, teff and buckwheat are other grains you can enjoy in many forms, although some celiacs can’t eat them. Check with your doctor, maybe get tested for those grains.
There are different opinions about oats, but my celiac friends don’t eat them. They might be tolerated on their own, but are often contaminated with wheat in processing. But you can now buy certified gluten free oats.
Beans and lentils  are tasty and versatile and you can find many gf recipes using them.
On the celic/sprue website , there are lots of tips and suggestions for a gluten free diet, as well as recipes and recipe books you can download or buy.
Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian