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Gluten-Free Recipes: Sophisticated Sides

When starting to cook gluten-free, simpler is often better — after all, just deciphering ingredients takes some work. You may stick with one-ingredient main dishes such as grilled meats and fish and very simple sides until you get used to the do’s and don’ts. But when you’re ready to experiment, try the quick, easy, and satisfying recipes that follow.

Sinfully Cinnamon Baked Apples

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

  1. Peel and core the apples. Cut them into small chunks.

  2. Place the apples in a microwave-safe dish and top them with butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and microwave the apples for about 4 minutes, or until apples are soft.

  3. Stir the apple mixture and then drain out most of the liquid, leaving only a small amount in the dish. Sprinkle the apples with nuts and microwave for another 30 seconds.

Per serving: Calories 237 (From Fat 104); Fat 12g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 15mg; Sodium 6mg; Carbohydrate 36g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein 1g.

Polenta Parmesan

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 2 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

18-ounce roll polenta

1 cup tomato sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

  1. Slice the polenta into about eight 1/2-inch slices.

  2. Place the polenta on a microwave-safe plate. Cover each slice of polenta with tomato sauce, cheese, and Italian seasoning.

  3. Microwave the polenta for 60 to 90 seconds.

Per serving: Calories 198 (From Fat 64); Fat 7g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 25mg; Sodium 883mg; Carbohydrate 24g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 10g.

Dilly Mashed Cauliflower

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

1 large head cauliflower

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup lowfat milk

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon dried dill

  1. Wash the cauliflower under running water, break it apart, and remove the large stems.

  2. Place the cauliflower in a pot and cover the cauliflower with about 3 inches of water. Add about a teaspoon of salt.

  3. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Then lower the heat to medium and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower stems are tender when you poke them with a fork.

  4. Drain the water from the pot. Add the butter, milk, garlic salt, and dill to the cauliflower.

  5. Beat the cauliflower with an electric mixer on medium speed until the cauliflower is smooth. Add more milk if needed to create a smoother texture.

Per serving: Calories 110 (From Fat 57); Fat 6g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 16mg; Sodium 369mg; Carbohydrate 12g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein 5g.

Marvelous Mac and Cheese

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

2 cups (about 8 ounces) rice elbow macaroni

1-1/2 cups fat-free milk

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Dash of cayenne pepper

6 ounces Velveeta, cubed

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese, plus a pinch for the top

1/4 cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Cook the elbow macaroni until it’s slightly tender, using the minimum time listed on the package.

  3. In a saucepan, stir together the milk, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Bring the milk to a simmer, with the bubbles just starting to break the surface. Add the Velveeta and Swiss cheese. Simmer and stir until the cheese melts.

  4. Place the cooked macaroni in an 8-inch square baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Toss the macaroni with the cheese sauce. Sprinkle the top of the mac and cheese with panko and a pinch of Swiss cheese.

  5. Bake the mac and cheese for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Per serving: Calories 353 (From Fat 122); Fat 14g (Saturated 9g); Cholesterol 41mg; Sodium 541mg; Carbohydrate 40g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 17g.

Gluten-free pasta doesn’t make great leftovers! Lower the amount of ingredients if you don’t think you’ll eat all this in one meal.

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