Going Gluten Free

Gluten and I broke up last week.

Sure, we’ve had a few uncomfortable run-ins since I kicked him to the curb. But nothing major, nothing that has affected me too severely. I still love him dearly, as you can tell from my post about the gorgeous chocolate croissants at Tavern. Be still my beating heart! Be strong!

So why, if I love him, did I let him go? Because I think that he might be doing me wrong. Sure he appears to be feeding me. But on the inside, I suspect he’s poisoning me, causing my skin to break out on my face, and to itch somethin’ awful on my legs (psoriasis). He also gives me some really awful heartburn. I know a number of people who’ve kicked gluten because it causes painful stomach aches, not to mention people who suffer from celiac disease. Luckily, I don’t have it that bad. And while I’m not seeing immediate results, Bren has encouraged me to give this a go for at least a month, to let the break-up takes its full effect.

The only time that this new diet bugs me is in the mornings. I used to make a big batch of oatmeal that would last us through the week. But, despite kicking every other offensive gluten-bearer from my diet, I was still suffering from heartburn. A quick google showed that some people also have reactions to oatmeal, and so my love’s grittier cousin has been kicked out too! Thankfully the heartburn went with it, but I was still craving a warm carb-laden breakfast, so I turned to my old trusty friend, the nice guy who always waits around in the background, only to ride to the rescue when the dashing jock has broken my heart: quinoa! (pronounced KEEN-wah)

So here’s my recipe for Mr. Nice Guy Quinoa, a healthy carb-y breakfast that’s a gluten-free answer to oatmeal. Really, it’s best not to think of it as an oatmeal substitute, or else you’ll be disappointed. This has its own character — nutty, crunchy, light. And thanks to some flavourings (almond milk, orange zest, pistachios…) not native to most oatmeal recipes, you probably won’t even miss your ol’ Quaker Oats. Plus, quinoa contains a helpful amount of protein, so you’re actually getting a more nutritious breakfast! Make a big pot and eat it over a few days. I love it!



1 cup quinoa (red or beige), rinsed thoroughly
1 cup water
1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp pistachios (shelled)
2 tbsp raisins
Zest of one orange (eat the flesh as a snack!)
1 tbsp honey

1) In a saucepan, bring quinoa, water, milk, cinnamon stick, and pinch of salt to a boil. Keep an eye on it to keep it from boiling over — it’ll happen in an instant. I’ve missed it every time, and had to clean up the stove afterward. Ugh!
2) Turn heat down to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes until quinoa is tender, and curly-cue white germ appears on each grain. Add more almond milk if it gets too dry. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add raisins and pistachios.
3) Finish with orange zest, honey and more almond milk if you like it a little soupier (I do). Enjoy!


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47 thoughts on “Going Gluten Free

  1. oh yum this looks great aarti! i have been looking for recipes for quinoa too. i have been enjoying gluten free pastas and pretzles and even cookie mix (from whole foods), i notice the difference! keep at it!

  2. I can’t wait to make this, I have only used the quinoa for dinner side dishes and salads.

  3. Aarti you are darling, your webisodes are great, and I hope you win the next foodnetwork star. I had similar problems a few years back (plus weird weight gain) and I did the body ecology diet. You kick gluten and add fermented veggies and kefir, etc to rebuild your intestinal flora…it worked wonders for me. Also check out quinoa flakes for breakfast (if you like hot cereal) its really good with agave or stevia. :) Best wishes.

  4. I am right there with you having figured it out between several health care specialists and me just two weeks ago. I can tolerate steel cut oats esp the gluten free ones Bob’s Red Mill sells. Really creamy! I look forward to trying this quinoa. It sounds wonderful. I found your site though my extensive (and a little panicked) search for gluten-free recipes (how ironic is that?) and I know I’ve found a gem. I love Indian cooking, having revamped my spice cabinet last year to handle the burden. I love your energy and spirit. I echo the best wishes of HilaryFleming that I also hope you are the next Food Network star!

  5. Hi Aarti – I saw you on NFNS last night and as a part-time blogger I of course had to come find your blog :) I just added it to my google reader and am looking forward to reading your blog. I saw your post on going GF. I myself have gone GF in the last year – Bob’s Red Mill makes certified GF oats, and while I cannot tolerate other oats (which are often cross contaminated with gluten) I can tolerate the Bob’s Red Mill oats. Hope this helps!

  6. Thank you for the gluten free recipe. I came to your website hoping to find the recipe for the lentil soup you prepared on Food Network.

    Any chance you can add it to your list of recipes here? I am gluten free also so I would really appreciate it.

  7. Hi Aarti! I was so excited to learn that you were a food blogger on the Food Network and wanted to pop in an say hello. I, too, am gluten free and can tolerate gluten free oats, the Bob’s Red Mill brand is great.

    Good luck, I am cheering you on!

  8. I love that you are going gluten free. I am dairy and gluten free due to intolerance. So far I am loving you on the NFNS even though your recipes aren’t safe. Wishing you much luck on the show!!

  9. Arrti, I just found your website!! I’ve just started checking out all the stuff you have posted. I do mostly gluten free, but am also low carb in general…

    I love watching you on the Next Food Network Star, and am voting for you as my fan favorite. I hope you win!! I would definitely watch your show. I know the whole thing is all over, but I’m rooting for you!!

  10. Hi Aarti~
    we hope you win the Next Food Network Star! You are by far my favorite contestant! :)
    didn’t know you went gluten free… I’ve been doing this for a year, and thought your recipes seemed so wonderful because they were either mostly gluten free, or could be turned gluten free very easily… and we LOVE the Indian flare… because Indian food is just soooooooo tasty!
    Also encouraged to see some Scripture on your cooking shows and alternatives to cuss words. :). We love the Lord, so it’s encouraging.
    Keep up the great work… thanks for making such yummy food and having great recipes for us to access in show and blog form.
    Again, hope you win. I’d be watching your show or DVRing it to watch every episode, and I would actually try your recipes! they always make me say “I WANT THAT”.
    Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  11. Greetings, Aarti!

    As a celiac sufferer, I am delighted to join the throng of admirers of yours and your show/recipes. I found out 3 years ago, and have been writing a book for those who just find out about their gluten allergy/sensitivity. I am an avid cook and baker, and have created some wonderful dishes that my gluten-tolerant friends and family dive into as if ‘Mr. Gluten’ were still present, dipping his finger into the meals. Your quinoa breakfast prep is delicious! I am a big fan of quinoa, and have turned many people onto this great source of taste AND protein! Watching you on Food Net and cheering you on! We gluten-free folks do have to stick together. ; ) I am initiating a blog which I would love to provide a link to yours…do I have your permission to do so? Thanks again for your cooking and person. Keep following your instinct…and the Lord!


  12. Aarti, just seen you on the next foodnetwork star and i must say you are beautiful. your charm and your cooking methods are wonderful. i wish i would of met you before you got married and became a great star. you would of made a wonderful wife and companion in my life. i love to cook also and always trying to come up with new mexican recipes.i will follow you on the next foodnetwork star and hope that you win it all.you are just a sight for sore eyes.Im in love.

  13. Hi Aarti, this looks delicious. However, I’m allergic to almonds. Is there another type of milk you can recommend? I’m also rooting for you on NFNS. You are the only one that I really connect to out of all the contestants. Keep up the good work.

  14. Aarti! You are by far my favorite on Next Food Network Star! You better win! I just watched your fish taco video. Hilarious! And yes, you could always try gluten free oats. But quinoa is really awesome too (and really good for us)!

  15. Wow this looks good. I’m sure I’m going to love this. I’ve been looking for some good quinoa recipes and this is deffinetly hitting the STAPLE shelf in my pantry.
    You’re smart, funny, pretty, healthy and talented. Why can’t I meet someone like you whose single! LOL. Your husband is likely the luckiest man alive.
    Good luck on the Food Network show. I’m voting every chance I get for you!

  16. hi aarti, i truly enjoy watching you on the food network star series, you have been my favorite since the first episode. when you made this spice combination for your personal product that you would sell in the stores i was trying in a frenzy to write it down! my husband is from india and i am u.s. born, and after much trial and error, i finally learned how to make some indian dishes that actually taste good. i also try to blend indian cuisine with u.s. type of foods, and have lately been going much more vegetarian actually, but i hope you win because you have a fan here anticipating recording every show so that i can impress him with new dishes and flavors. i am sending you that last bit of confidence that seems to elude you, and hope so much that you will rise above those last little bits of fears that drag you down because you really deserve this!!

  17. I fixed red quinoa a couple of weeks ago, but I have to say, your recipe sounds much, much better than mine! You might also want to watch the yeast if you’re having trouble with psoriasis. I, too, thought my problem was gluten, but it was actually yeast. Thanks for the recipes!

  18. Hi, I really really want aarti to win the next food network star.
    I have been waitting so long for someone to have an indian show on the food network. I promise to tape and save every show. I have wanted recipes, and have had to scour the internet in search of new recipes, so, I am hoping that this show, will be my favorite, to draw new iseas, and recipes from

    go aartie….

  19. My family has been GF for three years. The transition hasn’t been as hard as we thought. In fact, ethnic foods provide wonderful options. Not only have we been able to makeover our favorite recipes, we’ve opened our hearts and palates to new flavors. Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, and other cuisines have found their way into our kitchen. Curry, fish sauce, coconut milk, and other flavors are simply delicious. We’ve also traded a few allergenic grains for many more that we can tolerate; and they’re delicious! Quinoa is one of my favorites, as is amaranth, teff, and millet. Xanthan and guar gums are my secret weapons to ensure my baked goods come out right. I’ve finally come up with a loaf of millet/brown rice bread that I can’t keep long enough! Aarti, I hope you have a wonderful adventure on FN but also in your gluten free journey. I look forward to seeing your new recipes and trying them with my family and friends. Congratulations!

  20. I am glad to find this recipe.

    Congratulations on winning the Next Food Network Star!!!!

    My 10-month-old son has milk and wheat allergies, so I have been struggling with what I can eat for breakfast while I am breastfeeding him. I am going to give this recipe a try!

  21. What is quinoa? This is the second time i’ve seen it tonight and I’ve never heard of it before today. What does it taste like, are there any similarities to it? what is the best way to prepare it if you’ve never used it before? Where can one find it? specialty food stores?

  22. Hi Aartie, I’m so happy you won! You are just fabulous and I love watching you cook and love your personality

    I haven’t had much Indian food, but love the flavorful spicy dishes. I’m going to enjoy watching your new show and learning more about Indian food.

  23. Firstly, cheers on your win! Add me to your list of fans, rooting for you from the start, and am so excited to learn more from you!

    Secondly, there are GF oatmeal options! Check out Bob’s Red Mill, they’ve recently added an awesome line of GF products, so you don’t have to be completely oatmeal free. While I love Quinoa too, I wanted you to know that this option does exist :)

  24. Thanks for the great idea of using quinoa instead of oatmeal. Love this idea! :-)

    We have quinoa for dinner at least 3-4 times a week not only b/c of the good taste but for the health benefits (all natural and complete protein) so can’t wait to try swaping out the oatmeal for quinoa now in the mornings!

    This recipe sounds fantastic and can’t wait to try it. Thanks again.

  25. As a gluten free advocate AND a blogger AND a huge fan of yours (I was on your train from day one!) We appreciate the awareness you’ll bring to gluten free foods. So many foods can be adapted GF and be tasty!

    Congrats, welcome. OH, and if you’re having gluten issues, GET TESTED FOR CELIAC DISEASE or GLUTEN INTOLERANCE before you go off gluten 100 percent. Be safe and well.

  26. Hi! Congrats on the win on Food Network. To be honest, I was hoping that Herb would win….but then saw on another GF blot that you eat GF!!! YAY!! Wow – I would’ve rooted for you harder if I’d know that during the series. Hope you will bring gluten-free eating to the mainstream on your show. I’m diagnosed Celiac – live in a smallish area w/out much Celiac support. Best of luck w/the new show!!

  27. Congrats, Aarti. I was so hoping you would WIN and you did!!

    I was thrilled. Firstly because I make Indian cuisine at home, not only because it’s my favorite and makes me feel happy and healthy but because I, like you, have a gluten problems. I tested negative for celiac but it doesn’t change the fact that gluten makes me miserable.
    I saw your first show today, bravo!!!!
    It won’t be my last viewing!!!

    I hope you will use your show not only to promote Indian flavors which are the best in the entire world but also to highlight awareness of celiac and gluten intolerance. And you can be one more person to show that there is lots of life after wheat!!!

    Namaste, Aarti, and best of everything.

  28. Whoa, you’re GF, too? I’ve been GF for about four years, now, and I miss sourdough! It’s sad you can’t eat oats. Did you try the GF oats or were they the usual store oats? The latter are usually contaminated with wheat. You can buy dedicated GF oats at a health food store. I can tolerate those.
    I haven’t tried Quinoa yet, but now I will. Thanks for the recipe. Looking forward to some more delicious GF recipes!

  29. Congrats! Loved your pilot! You are great: so warm, engaging, good knife skills and filled with great information.How are you doing w/ maintaining a GF diet? I would love to hear how it’s going for you. I am a GF Chef & Chemist. GF for over 7 years now. Do you think FN is ready for a focus on GF? Please email mail your opinion. I am trying out again for NFNS this year. After working in Spain at Ferran Adria’s Alicia Fundacio, always will film crews and tours ever present – I feel that was a good crash course… I hope so. Am I better off sending in tape or going to a casting call? -Erin (The Sensitive Epicure)

  30. CONGRATULATIONS AARTI! My daughter and I were soooo hoping you would win, right from the very first episode. You are so charming, friendly, fun and a fabulous cook! Looking forward to trying all of your recipes starting with Pealafel!

    Regarding eating Gluten Free, I know that I have seen gluten free oatmeal at my local health food store. I only have to avoid wheat (which makes my asthma flare up!) but adore Glutino’s GF pretzels. I think they are tastier than the originals!

    Best of luck to you, we’ll be following your progress and applauding your succeses!

  31. Hey, Aarti,
    I have Celiac, and when I went gluten free, it seriously took longer than a month to start feeling a big difference. You may want to give it a bit longer if you don’t see results. I was very itchy, breaking out in hives, and it didn’t really stop till I gave up dairy as well.
    Good Luck!

  32. Aarti! Yay! I knew you would win! And I am so glad! Today it occured to me that you are a food blogger so I came to find it! I was VERY pleased to see this recipe, I’ve had some quinoa on my shelf for a while! My good friend is Celiac and I’ll be watching for her for gluten free recipes!

    I haven’t been able to see your show yet (I’m at church when it airs) but I’ll try to catch it!

  33. Aarti, I love you new show, and I was super excited you won, basically because most indian food is gluten free. I have one exception tho, I cant eat dairy food either, but I would surely love it if you could either tell us on the foodnetwork shows or somehow include it, so I can still make food. I would appreciate it, and good luck to you.

  34. Hi Aarti! Love your new show and CONGRATS!

    We are big Indian food fans and would love a good recipe for Bharta.


  35. Hi Aarti,
    I missed watching the Food Network show but I did see some ads about your show and thought you looked Indian! I’m Indian too and I have a very similar background to yours. I was in born in Qatar, went to boarding school in Rajasthan, India and spent my holidays in Kuwait!! I did have relatives in Dubai though! And, I was raised a Catholic too!!

    I did watch some of your clips on Food Network, now I wish I had watched the show! Congrats on winning!! Bring on the masala!! All the very best!

  36. Love the recipe!!! Thank you…..I have Celiac, as do all four of my children. My 11 year old son was also diagnosed with psoriasis at age 6. The gluten free diet has definitely helped keep it under control…thankfully it has never spread past his knees and elbows.

    I hope you find relief with the diet. It is hard in the beginning, but gets so much easier. We’ve been eating this way for 5 years, it’s just a way of life for us now. I would love to see more gluten free recipes on Food Network, I think now is the perfect time. Even here in the deep south, it is really catching on. Congratulations and good luck :)

  37. Aarti – congratulations! You are ideal for the Food Network. You are engaging, friendly, witty, and make everyone feel like you’re right there in the kitchen with them. I wish you the very best!

    I was diagnosed with Celiac in late ’05 and immediately went gluten free. I had been diagnosed with Alopecia six months prior and for years I had had lots of digestive issues. Within days of going gluten free, my indigestion disappeared and within a few months, my hair began to grow back. I began a blog (www.Iamglutenfree.blogspot.com) and have happily and willingly explored the world of gluten free baking and cooking since then. It’s amazing to discover a huge world of grains that make wonderful breads and baked goods.

    Much continued success and again, congratulations!


  38. Please include more gluten free recipes for those of us who are trying to go gluten free (is there something in the genetically modified food we are eating today that makes so many of us intolerant??). Would love to see a samosa dough recipe and some cakes!

  39. I have been gluten free for one week. Yay! The hardest part have been morning, I miss my bowls of cereal. But this looks so yummy, thank you for sharing. Have you tried making gluten free rotis? Indian food without them is such a sad prospect.

  40. Hey Aarti, I am so sorry about you having to give up gluten. Hang in there, the results are worth the effort. I have been gluten free for two years now, and it was very very hard at first. Sometimes it still sucks to be me but most of the time I love the way I feel and look. I had the fortune of loosing 150 pounds that packed on from years of gluten living. I look forward to a Gluten Free Aarti Parti.

  41. Aarti Sequierra:
    Are you related to Mrs.Sequiera who was working at AMUL
    office, Bombay when Mr. P.I.Desai was the Branch Manager.
    If related to her please kindly convey my sincere regards to her.
    Thanks, regards,
    Dr.Surendra Patel.

  42. Pingback: Monday Musings
  43. Aarti: I LOVE your show (both web and Food Network) and have been following you on tv since your first official show (I don’t watch reality tv…lol).

    I have Celiac Disease, diagnosed 2 years ago, and have fallen in love with your recipes. Although I have other food sensitivities as a side effect of the gluten damage (legumes, soy, peanuts, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, tomatoes, white potatoes), I have been able to get some things back just this month (goat dairy products, tomatoes, almonds).

    I do have a suggestion for a replacement for your beloved oatmeal: amaranth. It’s kinda pricey, so you probably won’t want it every day, but it is good. I’ve made batches ahead of time and did some experimenting. Don’t be frightened, this stuff gets *really* gelatinous but warms up and thins up nicely with the addition of milk replacements (coconut, hemp, etc.).

  44. Aarti,

    You can do it! It takes people almost a year for their brains to realize that they feel better and that it is worth the change in diet. I run the largest gluten-free Expos in the US and work with thousands of people each year helping make this transition. Your ability to share your GF journey with them through your blog will make a huge difference for your readers. I wish you all the best! Please reach out if you need any help or product advice. Jen

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