Any vegan celiacs in the house?
June 10, 2009 9:20 PM   Subscribe

Please suggest tasty vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free recipes that are not too difficult for a first-time vegan cook to attempt.

My friend's dad has recently been diagnosed with stage IV cancer of the tongue and lymph nodes. He's seeing doctors and a naturopath, who has suggested he try a candida-type cleanse diet as the first stage to an alkaline diet. Essentially a vegan celiac diet (more details below). He also needs to keep his weight stable despite having a lowered appetite, so very palatable foods that are higher in calories would be good.

Any recipes you could suggest would be so appreciated- my friend's mom is understandably stressed already, and learning a whole new cooking style is an extra challenge at a time like this.

wheat or gluten
sugars (see below for okay substitutes)
red meat
citrus (except lemons and limes)
not too much fruit allowed
fried anything
vinegars (except apple cider)
anything fermented

rice, teff, quinoa etc (but not kamut or spelt)
2 fruits a day
vegetables (all should be lightly cooked)
rice and nut milks
as many nuts and nut butters as he wants
good oils (hemp, flax, coconut, olive)
all kinds of spices
maple syrup
brown rice syrup

Any recipes you can suggest would be much appreciated!
Thank you in advance.
posted by pseudostrabismus to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
I can offer Dirty Brown Rice. It's relatively easy to throw together. You can substitute all kinds of things in it, such as more rice or quinoa for the TVP (add a bit more water) or bulgar. It's something that you can eat a lot of, as a side or main dish. It freezes relatively well.

Dirty Brown Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion or ½ of a large one, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
¾ cup brown rice
½ cup TVP
¼ cup green lentils
2-1/2 cups water
1 large or 2 small vegetable bouillon cubes
2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning (see note)
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Bragg's)
¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
1 green onion, green part, sliced

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, celery, onion, and green pepper and cook until onion is translucent, 5-7 minutes. Stir in brown rice, TVP and lentils and cook 1 minute. Add water, bouillon cube(s), Cajun seasoning, bayleaf, soy sauce and liquid smoke.

Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Remove cover and stir in green onion. If rice is a little soupy, turn heat off burner and leave rice on burner uncovered for a few minutes.

Serves 5-6.

Note: if you don’t have salt-free Cajun seasoning, use ½ teaspoon each paprika, thyme and oregano and ¼ teaspoon each black pepper and cayenne pepper. Or, you could omit the soy sauce and use salted Cajun seasoning to taste.
posted by zinfandel at 9:33 PM on June 10, 2009

Domestifluff has delicious sugar-free, gluten-free recipes for entrees as well as super delicious desserts! Most are vegan as well.

Good luck, and I wish your friend's father the best.
posted by banannafish at 9:34 PM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Roasted chickpeas (rinse out the canned ones if you don't want to soak dried ones) are great. Just pop 'em in the oven (450) for protein snacks by the handful. A spritz of oil and a variety of spices on top are also good - do this before baking them.

I'm a little confused as to 'vegan' and then you list chicken and fish. If you don't mean vegan, then I add maple chicken - you do not need to add the flour, or you can use chickpea flour (Indian grocery) or rice flour just to help bind it. I forget to add the flour half the times I make this.
posted by cobaltnine at 9:54 PM on June 10, 2009

Since his diet is limited, getting enough calories in is going to be a concern. Snacking on nuts is probably a good idea, as is cooking with plenty of oil.

This is a great gluten free website. It's not vegan, but I think there are plenty of dairy and egg free recipes.

One easy breakfasts would be hot cereal made with agrains he can have, with fruit (fresh or dried) and nuts. Another would be a smoothie made from fruit (frozen helps with texture), ice, nut/rice milk, and (optionally) peanut butter. Add maple syrup or brown rice syrup to taste - I'd avoid stevia, since he'll probably be better off with higher calorie dishes.

An easy lunch or dinner would be a stir fry with vegetables and chicken or fish. You won't be able to use soy sauce to season, but ginger, garlic, and spices can make a flavorful stir-fry. Peanut sauce would also be good.

All sorts of rice & beans dishes will work just fine - think rice, beans, flavorings (vegetables & spices), a side of vegetables (cooked with oil), and fish or chicken if you want.

Luckily, there are more and more gluten free products out there. Look around Whole Foods or Trader Joe's (if they're in your area) - you should be able to find some cereals (eat with nut/rice milk), breads (PB&J, chicken and pesto, hummus and veggie sandwiches are all super easy with storebought bread), and even sweets.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:19 PM on June 10, 2009

Quinoa and Black Beans. I've posted this recipe before in another thread. It really is delicious. I make it and then eat it for lunch 4 days in a row!

You can REALLY up the amount of olive oil to make it higher-calorie (and even tastier!). I actually use a lot more just to get the onions carmelized.
posted by peep at 10:43 PM on June 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


1 quart cooked chick peas
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup parsley leaves
4 cloves garlic
slat to taste

combine in food processor and whiz until smooth. Add whatever else you might like (walnuts, roasted peppers, olives, etc) and put on everything. Especially celery.

Curry Lentils

This is gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, and still one of my favorite foods in the universe.

3 cups split red lentils
1 small onion, diced
1 piece of ginger slightly larger than your thumb, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs cumin
1 tbs coriander
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbs peanut butter
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup diced tomatoes
salt and braggs to taste
chopped cilantro or parsley (or both!) for garnish

Take a pot big enough for all the above ingredients to fit comfortably, set to medium heat, add the oil, and cook the onion, garlic, and ginger until soft. Add the cumin and coriander, stirring frequently, and after about a minute, add the lentils, stirring them so they get briefly toasted. Then add enough water to come about an inch above the lentils, and boil. When water reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until lentils are totally soft, about 30 minutes, adding water as necessary so that your pot doesn't dry up, but no so much that you have a watery soup. When lentils begin to lose their shape, add the peanut butter, lemon juice, tomatoes, salt and braggs, and cook another 10 minutes. garnish with chopped herbs, and enjoy.


can be treated more or less like rice. Some find it to have an unpleasant flavor, but this can be masked by making a pilaf, or a risotto (quinottto?), or stir frying cooked qinoa with some garlic, ginger, onions, chili paste, and braggs. I have never served stir-fried quinoa to anyone that didn't love it, but then, I've only ever served it to hippies.


1 butternut or acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
2 tbs olive oil
4 tbs maple syrup
pinch salt
smaller pinch allspice
much smaller pinch nutmeg

rub oil on the cut side face of each half, then drizzle maple syrup and sprinkle other ingredients. Bake in 300-degree oven for an hour, or until soft all the way through. Eat. Or, peel from skin, blend, and add 2 cups veggie broth for a really nice soup.
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:52 PM on June 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

Holy shit, that's almost the same as my diet restrictions! I am 20 and in college (so quick & tasty are big) and here's what I do:

Tinkyada rice noodles (this is the only brand I trust) are quick and easy, and have a great texture/flavor.

Home made sauce or pesto. Pesto is super easy to make in a blender. 1 bunch of spinnach, a few cloves of garlic, some olive oil and lemon, sea salt and nuts of your choice (almonds, cashews, walnuts, mac nuts, etc).
Other sauces are a bit tougher. I tend to make everything myself from scratch, but perhaps he isn't quite as restricted as I am. I have fun with it and make batches that I can freeze.

Ratatouille. This is an easy and hearty soup. Eggplant, onion, tomato, zucchini, garlic, etc. - Recipies are all over the place. I always just wing it.

I do a lot of stir fries. I've gotten really quick preparing these. I use a Chinese Wok. I find it very fun and rewarding to cook with a Wok, but I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone, the main reason being it can be really time consuming if you don't have your kitchen set up with everything you need right there.

Rice cakes. Get the Lundberg brand. I only eat the plain ones (there are a lot of flavors for someone less sensitive than me to enjoy).

Nut butters go great on rice cakes (I stay away from peanut butter, but that works great).

Other things to consider:
-I do a lot of "green smoothies". I find they fill me up really well, and these things are so nutrient packed they're amazing for health and energy. I know you mentioned slightly cooked foods, but I believe that is for a digestion aid so blending accomplishes that as well (even better since it will keep more nutrients around). A recipe is basically leafy greens like kale, spinach, lettuce + a banana + lemon, or some similar combo, blended up. You need a somewhat powerful blender (or a lot of patience). I highly recommend the book Green for Life

-I eat nuts and seeds and dried fruit as snacks occasionally. Be careful not to overdo it on the nuts, they can overload your system since they are primarily fat. Also, many nuts are much healthier / easier to digest when soaked in water for 8-12 hours (I do this for my almonds). Add a bit of salt to the water to get a nice flavor. PS - only soak raw nuts.

-I don't how much his problem has to do with digestion, but one thing that has helped me a LOT is the concept of "food combining". In short, it's the concept of keeping proteins, carbs and fruits all in separate meals (veggies more or less go with all categories) to help your system digest them easier.

Hopefully some of this is helpful. I can go on for hours about this, since it is such a huge part of my life. One thing I want to emphasize - the BIGGEST culprit of ALL of this for me, to the best of my knowledge, is STRESS. You mentioned stress already, and that to me is a huge red flag. I don't necessarily know how to give advice for someone to keep their stress down, but just know there is a lot - for me at least - that ties health issues with food with stress levels. Eating while you're stressed is no good. Stressing about food is no good.

Let me know if you want me to expand on any of this, feel free to e-mail me as well.
posted by Jsn7821 at 12:31 AM on June 11, 2009 [4 favorites]

I'm on a gluten free diet as well. Especially in the beginning, it's really hard to feel like you're eating food that's as satisfying as what everyone else is having. Life gets a little happier when you find foods you love that don't feel like substitutes

I've made this savory Black Bean Soup quite often for years, and it happens to be celiac-friendly and vegan. A little salad and some corn chips or gf-crackers on the side and you're set. He'll likely miss the heft and sustenance of actual bread, too, so see if he might like arepas. One of those with a little olive oil, cucumbers, avocado, salt & pepper, and a couple of slices of good summer tomato can be just heavenly. (You can also make a really wonderful salad out of the cubed cucumbers, avocado, tomato, and a little salt&pepper and oil. Delicious!)
posted by mochapickle at 4:12 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Onigiri with our without filling. You don't need the seaweed wrapper either.

You can make it as complicated as you like. The basic process is (from a non-picky "chef", I realize traditionalists may cringe at this):
- rinse sushi rice
- soak it for a bit (30 mins)
- cook it
- ball the rice up and maybe put stuff in it

Either put salt on your hands, use salt water (like dog does), or saran wrap to make the balls.
posted by powpow at 7:23 AM on June 11, 2009

Your friend should check out this site. I don't know anything about cooking vegan food, but this lady does. Her recipes are vegetarian, not all vegan, but she does have some awesome ideas and certainly a lot of resources.
posted by purpletangerine at 7:49 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

check out cafe gratitude's cook book:

they are gluten free and vegan and use natural sweeteners instead of sugar.
posted by ChloeMills at 10:53 AM on June 11, 2009

Diet, Dessert and Dogs is a blog with a bunch of vegan, gluten-free recipes.
posted by zinfandel at 1:35 PM on June 11, 2009

This is an excellent book on the elimination diet, which is essentially what has been perscribed. Here's a chicken recipe.
posted by bigmusic at 9:58 PM on June 11, 2009

I was just going to post about Ricki's blog, zinfandel. I did the page layout on Sweet Freedom.
posted by Chuckles at 1:09 AM on June 14, 2009

Response by poster: My friend and her mom were very moved when I sent them this thread. Thanks, all, for the advice!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:05 PM on July 11, 2009

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