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Vegan Gluten-Free Diet: Recipes and Essential Insights

It has been estimated that approximately 2% of the Canadian population is gluten-free.  This estimate includes those who suffer from various conditions like celiac disease, wheat allergies, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, as well as those who choose to exclude gluten for managing irritable bowel syndrome or following dietary trends.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale, therefore following a gluten-free diet eliminates these very important and very common staple grains from the diet. 

For vegans, who have already removed meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and potentially eggs and/or dairy products the removal of additional staple foods can be discouraging when faced with the challenge of creating well-balanced meals. 

A vegan registered dietitian can help teach you effective grocery shopping, decoding nutrition labels, and mastering meal preparation that brings joy to your plate. 

Gluten-free flours

  • Rice flour 
  • Almond flour
  • Coconut flour 
  • Chickpea flour 
  • Cornmeal flour
  • Chestnut flour 
  • Buckwheat flour 
  • Soy flour
  • Sorghum flour
  • Teff flour
  • Potato flour
  • White rice flour
  • Brown rice flour
  • Urad dal flour

Gluten-free grains

  • Buckwheat
  • Rice, wild rice 
  • Oats
  • Amaranth
  • Sago 
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Kasha

Other Useful Ingredients

  • Oatmeal
  • Cornstarch 
  • Gluten-free  baking powder
  • Gluten-free baking soda
  • Yeast
  • Xanthan gum
  • Arrowroot 

Safe Gluten-free and Vegan Foods

  • All fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, berries, grapes, and more
  • All vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, spinach, kale, bell peppers, and many others
  • Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and more
  • Protein sources: Edamame, Tofu and Tempeh
  • Plant-Based Milks: Almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk and oat milk
  • Healthy Fats: Avocado, olives, and various plant-based oils like olive oil
  • Herbs and Spices: Cilantro, basil, oregano, turmeric, and many others

What is “hidden” gluten?

It can be easy to spot foods that do not conform to a vegan diet. However, finding gluten-free foods may be more challenging. There exist many food items that contain gluten, often in concealed or unexpected forms. 

To ensure a gluten-free choice, always carefully read the label of any food product that does not explicitly state “gluten-free” on the packaging. If you’re still not sure, consult a vegan registered dietitian.

Foods Where Gluten May be “Hidden”:

  • Soy sauce and teriyaki sauce – Typically prepared with fermented wheat and soy in a salty brine with mold cultures
  • Corn flakes and crisp rice cereal -Some common brands may contain non gluten-free oats
  • Salad dressings – May include malt vinegar, soy sauce, or flour. Some contain modified food starch, which can come from wheat (labeled as “modified wheat starch” or “modified food starch (wheat)”)
  • Marinades and barbeque sauces – Can contain malt vinegar, soy sauce, or flour
  • Taco seasonings – Be cautious of certain brands that contain wheat

Other Common Foods that May Contain Gluten:

  • Hot chocolate mixes or cocoa, chocolates, and candy bars
  • Bouillon cubes, soup mixes, and canned soups
  • Processed meats and poultry, such as hot dogs, sausages, and luncheon meats
  • Imitation meat and seafood
  • Energy bars 
  • Beer (unless explicitly gluten-free) and any malt beverages (see “Distilled Beverages and Vinegars” below for more information on alcoholic beverages)
  • Raviolis, dumplings, couscous, and gnocchi that use flour as a binder 
  • Ramen, udon, soba (those made with only a percentage of buckwheat flour) chow mein, and egg noodles
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Flour tortillas
  • Beer (unless explicitly gluten-free) 
  • Brewer’s Yeast
vegan gluten free recipes

Our Favorite and Easy Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipes:

Vegan & gluten-free: Veggie Fried Rice 

  • ½ cup tofu
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) mushrooms, sliced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • small knob of ginger, minced
  • 4 scallions or green onions, chopped (1 tablespoon reserved for garnish)
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 3-4 cups chilled cooked white rice
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari or soy sauce

Directions:

  1. Heat peanut oil in a skillet or wok and stir-fry tofu until lightly browned and crispy. Set aside.
  2. Stir-fry red bell peppers and mushrooms until softened.
  3. Add minced garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper, stir briefly.
  4. Mix in chilled cooked white rice and gluten-free tamari/soy sauce.
  5. Reintroduce stir-fried tofu and heat through. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve hot. Enjoy!

Vegan Gluten-Free Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes (12 pancakes)

  • Flour mixture: 1 cup
    • 1/4 cup teff flour
    • 1/4 cup millet flour
    • 1/8 cup tapioca starch
    • 1/8 cup potato starch
  • ¾ cup brown rice flour
  • 1½ cup dairy free milk or water
  • 2 tbsp oil + more for cooking
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • ½ tsp guar gum

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients including the flour mixture, brown rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, chia seeds, and guar gum.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine dairy free milk, oil, lemon juice
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well to eliminate lumps.
  4. For each pancake, pour about ¼ cup (60 mL) batter on a griddle. Cook until bubbles appear on top. Gently flip and cook for about 1 minute or until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter, spraying the griddle and adjusting the heat as needed.

Tomato Gluten-Free and Vegan Focaccia

Crust:

  • 2 cups (250g) gluten free all-purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill Recommended) 
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum 
  • 3/4 tsp fine grain kosher salt 
  • ¾- 1 cup warm water 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil for brushing

Toppings:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Olives (green, black or mixed)
  • 2 rosemary sprigs 
  • 2 tsp iodized salt 

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Measure out 1 cup (250ml) of warm water. Slowly pour 2/3 cup water into the dry mix, stirring as you add it. If the dough feels too dry, add a little more water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time.
  2. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and shape it into a smooth ball. Note that gluten-free flour doesn’t contain gluten protein, so kneading is unnecessary. Roll out the dough into a 10-inch circle and smooth out the edges.
  3. Place the dough into a greased 10-inch cast iron or pizza pan. Use your fingers to create deep holes in the dough of the focaccia. Then, press the cherry tomatoes, olives, and rosemary into the focaccia. Drizzle 2  tbsp of olive oil evenly over the top of the dough. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Bake for 10-20 minutes until golden brown and enjoy your delicious creation!

Looking to spice up your gluten-free and vegan cooking? Our skilled plant-based nutritionists & dietitians are here to help! Get personalized recipes and take your culinary journey to the next level. 

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