Gluten-free ain’t that bad

A few months ago my good friend told me that her son had been diagnosed with Celiac disease; a digestive disorder involving intolerance to gluten. That same weekend we were at a birthday party together and I remember thinking it was going to be a bummer that he wouldn’t be able to eat birthday cake. From a 4-year olds perspective that’s a pretty big deal. But no worries, she had gotten him a huge gluten-free chocolate cupcake instead. To be honest, it looked a lot better than the cake!

The other day, that same friend and I were hanging at the park, and I asked how the food situation was going. Surprisingly, she said that in some ways it was the best thing that had happened to her family. As a result of the diagnosis, the entire family was now eating better. And since she was doing more cooking it meant they were having less processed foods.

It got me thinking – what would I do if one of my own kids developed gluten intolerance? Beyond the birthday cake dilemma, what would the day-to-day menu be? How would we live without bagels???

We’ve been fortunate not to have to deal with any food allergies. I have little experience cooking gluten-free recipes but after doing some research, found tons of great options. It made me realize; going gluten-free really isn’t all that bad.

This recipe was highly recommended by a friend – she said it made salmon converts out of her kids; it couldn’t be easier and is entirely gluten-free.

Maple-Glazed Salmon


1-cup Nama Shoyu soy sauce or tamari*

1 clove garlic, grated

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated

1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1-cup pure maple syrup

4 salmon fillets, well rinsed

  • tamari is a naturally fermented soy sauce



Mix the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and maple syrup in a bowl.


Spread the soy mixture over the fish in a baking dish. Marinate the fish in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight.


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake salmon for 15-18 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork.


And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 5): “Yeah, it’s good”

Dylan (age 4): “Yuck – fish is yucky –it swims in water”

Liam (age 4): “Yum – you don’t even have to TELL me to eat it!” “Dylan, it isn’t slimy”

A Yeah, a Yuck and a Yum – could be the lyrics of a new hit song!


9 thoughts on “Gluten-free ain’t that bad

  1. well, it’s definitely a keeper if liam likes it. I wonder if dylan is on the path to vegetarianism, considering his concern for fish and his love of greens.

  2. Hi Elaine,
    Also consider: Maple syrup (or brown sugar) and/or sesame oil applied directly to the salmon (or trimmed, deboned chicken) and cooked on the grill. No need to marinate. We pat the fish/meat dry with a paper towel before applying. easy peasy and yum.
    re: “da Bronx”
    I think I do remember hearing that you grew up in Coop City. For me, it was by Pelham Parkway and earlier near the Grand Concourse. I also went to school, from kindergarten until college, near the Concourse. During my high school years we lived in the Sprain Brook section of Yonkers.
    Go Yankees!

  3. oh I almost forgot: UDI makes really great gluten-free bagels. Find them in the frozen health food section.

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