Going to restaurants serving food from around the world can give you the opportunity to try different gluten-free foods that you may not be familiar with.
There are many types of different gluten-free staples which provide a great source of carbohydrate. Different ethnic cuisines may inspire you to vary the staple foods in your diet and become familiar with more unusual ingredients that you can use in cooking gluten-free meals.
Pasta and pizza may be off the menu (unless the restaurant offers gluten-free pasta or pizza bases), but there are plenty of other options:
- arborio rice, the basis of risotto, creates a creamy, delicious dish and is naturally gluten-free
- polenta is made from yellow or white cornmeal, a naturally gluten-free grain. Polenta can be served soft, like risotto, or in a stiffer form that can be cut and pan fried when cooled.
The flavours of Mexico, Brazil and Argentina can offer some interesting options for people with looking for gluten-free foods:
- pulses such as pinto and black beans dominate the southern most cuisines and are gluten-free. They are often served in a creamy style alongside meat dishes with rice
- corn based soft tortillas and tortilla chips are the foundation of many Central and South American diets
- rice also features in these cuisines – everything from paella to pilaf style side dishes.
Fresh spices and herbs typify the cuisine of Thailand. Curries, soups and salads have exciting combinations of sweet, salty and spicy flavours, and many are made from naturally gluten-free ingredients:
- rice and rice noodles are staple products
- Chinese spring roll wrappers usually contain wheat flour, Thai wrappers are usually made with rice powder mixed with tapioca flour
- fish sauce doesn’t contain gluten
- sauces are often thickened with coconut milk.
Even though couscous and filo pastry are not suitable for people with coeliac disease, there are many other options if you like the lemony, herbal flavours of Lebanon, Greece and Turkey, for example:
- chickpeas and broad beans (also known as fava) are high in protein and carbohydrates. They are used in dips such as hummus and salads, and are naturally gluten-free
- falafel are spiced, fried balls of chickpeas and an alternative to meats for vegetarians on a gluten-free diet.
Indian cuisine offers a wide range of gluten-free options. See our advice on Indian takeaways.