When Valentine's Day rolls around, we tend to forget the healthy New Year's resolutions we made and gorge ourselves on sweets and candies galore. But for those who have to (or choose to) abide by a gluten free diet, holidays like this one can be sort of sad. Just because you are living a gluten free life, doesn't mean you have skip out on the sweet stuff! Chef Cat Cora, wife and mom, believes that you can make any holiday both happy and gluten free.
"It isn't true that you can't eat delicious, easy to make foods," says Cora of the gluten free diet. "At one time, that was true but that is changing especially with companies like Pillsbury coming out with super easy ways to make all of your favorite foods with their three Pillsbury Gluten Free Doughs - Pizza, Cookie and Pie doughs."
Cora sat down with us to chat about how she celebrates Valentine's Day with her family and shared with us a few great gluten free recipes that will make your holiday just as sweet!
Valentine's Day typically means tons of chocolate and sweets, what are some tips or ideas for maintaining a healthier approach to the holiday?
Yes definitely. I think you can indulge, but not overindulge. Making a yogurt parfait with fruit, coconut and the Pillsbury Gluten Free cookie dough baked and crumbled on top is a great way.
What are your Valentine's Day plans this year?
My wife and I have Valentine's Day throughout the year doing things for one another, cooking nice meals, so we usually have a fun night at home with the kids, dinner, movie or games. Once we put them to bed we can enjoy a nice a glass of wine and each other. Very low-key but special.
Is there a must-make romantic dish for Valentine's Day?
I always say the must make is a dish that everyone loves and you cook well. That makes it a stress-free delicious night.
What are some of the best Valentine's Day inspired foods to make with kids?
I usually make their favorite which is a Greek style lasagna, lamb chops and salad. But the best part they love to help with is one of the desserts. I use the Pillsbury Gluten Free cookie dough and make Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes. They love to help make them and of course eat them.
What are some easy swaps people can make when transitioning to this diet?
I think starting to wean off regular gluten full foods like breads, pastas and substituting rice and quinoa pastas, corn tortillas instead of bread, slowly taking dairy out of their diets if needed and reading labels on jarred or bottled spices, sauces.
Do you have any tips for a first time gluten-free at home cook?
Make sure to read labels. The best way to know what is in your food is to cook it yourself and go all natural without jars and bottled foods added.
What are some of your favorite gluten-free recipes and why?
I love the Gluten Free Chocolate Chip, Raspberry and White Chocolate Trifle because it tastes decadent, but is really easy to prepare. There are only five ingredients and anyone can make this for a special someone on Valentine’s Day. You can look like a pastry chef without a lot of effort!