Friend visiting was allergic to gluten so I gave gluten-free brown rice spaghetti a try today. Verdict: this pasta is a lot stickier than when cooking normal pasta. Luckily though, taste is not compromised and in actual fact, I rather like it (gives it more texture)!
So what exactly is gluten?
Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat and related grains, like barley and rye. Gluten isn’t necessarily bad, but some people are gluten-intolerant, meaning their bodies produce an abnormal immune response when it breaks down gluten from wheat and related grains during digestion. The most well-known form of gluten intolerance is celiac disease, which affects 1 in every 141 people in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health.
When someone with celiac disease consumes gluten, it triggers an immune response that damages their intestines, preventing them from absorbing vital nutrients.
For those gluten intolerant, doctors would typically recommend a gluten-free diet. Patients must avoid eating any foods and ingredients that contains gluten, including bread, beer, french fries, pasta, salad dressing, soy sauce and even some soups (unless otherwise marked as “gluten-free”).
In recent years, however, many people without gluten intolerance have seemed to embark on the fad of the “gluten-free diet”. Experts express concern that going gluten-free without explicitly needing to could be detrimental to a person’s health as gluten-free foods are often nutrient deficient.
INGREDIENTS (2 servings):
- Brown rice spaghetti (enough for 2)
- 280g of salmon sashimi
- Handful of cherry tomatoes (yellow/red)
- 1 large bunch of thai basil leaves
- Handful of green peas (frozen will suffice)
- 1 lime
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Crushed red pepper / fresh chilli (deseeded)
1) Boil pasta according to package instructions (~10 minutes for al dente. NB: Brown rice pasta can take longer).
2) In the meantime, prepare the salmon, thai basil leaves and cherry tomatoes. Slice the salmon sashimi into thin slices. Tear off the thai basil leaves from the stems and chop roughly. Slice the cherry tomatoes.
3) Slice the garlic and heat sauté pan with olive oil on medium heat. Pan fry the garlic until fragrant (be careful not to burn it!).
4) Chuck in the green peas and a teaspoon of salt. Now is the time to throw in the chopped deseeded red chilli (if using fresh) or sprinkle some chilli flakes.
5) Check the pasta. Once cooked, drain the pasta in a colander and pour the contents from the sauté pan into the pasta pot. Throw in the chopped salmon, cherry tomatoes and basil then quickly pour the drained hot pasta back into the same pot and toss with your tongs. The salmon will slowly change colour as it cooks from the heat of the pasta. Add the juice from the fresh lime and toss again.
6) Transfer pasta to bowls/plates and serve whilst warm.