About 5 years ago now, when I started researching all about food allergies and inflammation, I quickly came across numerous articles on gluten-free diets that help reduce swelling, abdominal pains and so many other ailments so common today. Now, 5 years later, I forget sometimes that not all my readers may know the details of gluten restrictive or free diets. The recipe and information here is a little refresher for some, maybe new information for others on how the gluten in foods we eat can drastically affect how we feel after a meal. The ravioli I made turned out so nicely, I’d love it whether gluten-free or not. But the rice flour wrappers I used instead of a gluten pasta certainly adds to the healthy aspect of the dish. I’ve always loved ravioli, particularly fried but have usually avoided it until now. My gluten-free, simple mushroom and eggplant filling version has all the taste you remember from higher fat, processed carbohydrate ravioli but this one wont leave you feeling like you’re 7 or 8 months pregnant after with bloating, stomach pressure and pains. Just a delicious plate full of yummy pasta-like Italian flavors.
If you suffer from gluten intolerance, it can be difficult to know what to eat. Gluten is a protein that is found only in wheat, rye and barley. That might sound like it would matter for most of the things that you eat, but gluten is often in products you wouldn’t expect such as bulking agents and additives. It goes without saying that anything with bread is usually off the menu, but gluten can also be found in many sauces and condiments too. Pastries, cookies, pasta, cereals, even oats that haven’t been prepared properly can contain gluten and cause health issues.
In order to properly organize the gluten-free diet you must completely and permanently exclude these grains and any products made from them. Fortunately there are a lot of products currently available that have been designed as gluten-free foods, so you can easily balance out your diet with careful shopping.
With a little know how, it’s not too hard to become gluten-free. There are many more gluten-free products than there are products which contain gluten, so the gluten-free diet is much easier to organize on the basis of an exception: you can eat everything that doesn’t contain wheat, rye and barley, and derivatives of these grains.
There are a few websites as well that you can use to work out if something has gluten that you may find very useful.
Products that don’t contain gluten include all kinds of potatoes, rice, corn, peas and other legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables. And some specifically created gluten-free products, for example Genius gluten-free bread, cakes and pastas. The wonton wrappers I used in my ravioli are made from a rice flour and therefore, gluten-free. The variety of foods being produced with gluten-free options grows every day fortunately.
So what are the top gluten-free products for you?
Organic beans, nuts and seeds are all favorites of mine.
Specifically created gluten-free products, for example Genius gluten-free bread, cakes and pasta.
Non-gluten grains like Buckwheat, Potato or Corn Starch, Cornmeal, Flaxseed, Gluten-free flours, Quinoa.
Oatmeal labeled “Gluten-free” means that it was produced in a totally gluten-free environment, not that the oats themselves contain gluten.
Since a gluten-free diet is also used for the treatment of allergic and inflammatory conditions of the body, its important to exclude from the diet products containing numerous synthetic additives, preservatives and colorants. The most correct use of the diet in this case is the preparation of food at home from solid products.
The basic rule of the diet is safety and “purity” of the purchased products. So watch what you eat, and with some careful shopping you’ll find loads of gluten-free products to try – give it a go!
My ravioli uses gluten-free wonton wrappers in place of a wheat flour pasta making them also free of gluten. You’ll need to read labels to find a wheat free product with wrappers though. They make these ravioli shape up in just minutes. They can be fried in a tiny bit of olive oil, baked or boiled. I prefer the pan frying for mine though. Nicely browned, quick to cook and the touch of oil adds to the flavors. I paired these up with a spicy jarred Marinara sauce for convenience sake and used a black bean pasta which is chewy and deliciously gluten-free. Of course, a homemade pasta sauce or even a cream sauce would work just as well. Make them your own and you’ll have them on your family favorite list.
- 2 packages of rice flour wonton wrappers or about 60 wrappers
- 1 medium size eggplant, sliced into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups of mushroom chopped
- 1 garlic clove, diced
- 1 Tbs. Italian herb seasoning
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. ground fennel
- pinch of red pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded Non-Dairy cheese
- Your favorite spaghetti sauce
- Make sure that your wonton wrappers are thawed before stuffing them with the ravioli filling. You'll use 2 wrappers per ravioli. I tried using 1 at first and it was just too thin for the filling.
- In a food processor, combine mushrooms, eggplant, garlic, Italian herbs, fennel, sea salt and red pepper. Pulse until you have a coarse ground texture that sticks together when you pinch it. Remove the mixture to a fine mesh strainer and allow the mix to drain for about 1 hour to remove excess moisture from the mushrooms. * you can do this prior to mixing all the ingredients if you like, I just saved myself the two step by combining everything first.
- Stir in the Vegan shredded cheese to mix and set aside.
- Lay out doubled wontons on paper towels to begin filling. Place a teaspoon full of your filling mixture into the center of each wonton. There will be enough filling for about 30 raviolis. Take each ravioli one at a time and wet, lightly, the outside edges with water using your finger tip. Pinch together the sides to create squares or triangles, sealing the filling inside to create a ravioli. Pictured in this post, I made triangle shapes and then folded two of the sides to the middle to form these little purse like shapes. It's up to you, they'll taste the same no matter which shape they're in.
- Freeze your raviolis until you're ready to use them.
- For fried raviolis, heat olive oil and brown each side of your thawed raviolis until browned. For baked, baste each ravioli with a touch of oil before baking them on a non-stick surface for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees then broil to brown the tops of each.
- Makes 25 - 30 raviolis depending on how much filling you use in each. Store frozen for up to 6 months in a sealed container.
Since a gluten-free diet is also used for the treatment of allergic and inflammatory conditions of the body, for its effective, it’s also important to exclude most products containing numerous synthetic additives, preservatives and colorants. The most effective response from a gluten-free diet comes from preparing foods at home with whole foods, free of chemical additives and fillers.
The basic rule of a gluten-free diet is safety and “purity” of the purchased products.
Watching how you eat and not simply what will bring the most success in any diet regimen in my experience.
If you do some careful shopping, you can find plenty of cruelty free, gluten free products to try that will allow you to enjoy old favorites like this one of mine. Gluten-free shouldn’t mean the end of taste and flavor in your foods, just the end to pain, inflammation and bloating. If you can’t find a gluten-free wonton wrapper in your area, they are available on Amazon or try a rice paper version. The filling options on these are so completely adjustable to your own tastes and local produce, I urge you to make them your own while still keeping the gluten out and the easy preparation in.
Enjoy and as always,
I’d love to hear your own ideas on these and your experience with gluten-free products and recipes.
More from my site
- Peanut Butter and Strawberry Chia Jam Cookies with Sugar Free & Raw Options
- Crave Eat Heal by Annie Oliverio plus Butternut Squash Queso Mac & Cheeze