5@5 - Chef Daniel Bortnick
January 5th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

You know the mantra by now: "A New Year, a new you." It's that time of year where people toss around these so-called "resolutions" vowing to eat healthier, detach themselves from the caffeine drip, or in our case, eat more of the good stuff.

For those traveling down the healthier route, many are opting to cut back on or even eliminate gluten - the group of natural proteins found in all forms of wheat and wheat flour - from their diet.

Whether you're one of the 1 in 133 Americans that is affected by a gluten intolerance, or just deciding to have a go at gluten-free, Chef Daniel Bortnick of Firefly restaurant has got the goods - and they're flourless.

Gluten-Free Ingredients to Cook With in the New Year: Daniel Bortnick

1. Vegetables
"You can’t beat the range of flavors and textures that you can get simply from using a variety of vegetables and cooking techniques. For optimal flavor, I only use what’s in season and love nutrient-rich options like arugula and spinach for salads, squash and pumpkin for soups and pastas, and carrots and beans for healthier sides."

2. Quinoa
"One of the healthiest 'grains,' quinoa is delicious and can be used in many different ways. Quinoa cooks up as simple as rice and has a texture similar to couscous. At the moment, we serve green onion and fennel quinoa with pan-roasted fish at the restaurant. It can be added to salads for more texture and flavor, and quinoa flour is a great gluten-free substitute for baked goods."

3. Beans
"A great way to replace the starchy component of a meal with a healthy alternative. Not only are they gluten-free, but they are a great vegetarian source for protein. I love them in salads and soups (read: chili) and enjoy using your non-garden variety types like scarlet runner beans, French beans and pole varieties."

4. Eggs
"Eggs can be used to give stability, thicken and also set up baked goods like flourless chocolate cake. They are a really versatile ingredient: great for breakfast, lunch and dinner, starters, mains and desserts. The deviled eggs at Firefly are one of our most popular dishes - we spice them up with smoked paprika, caper powder and garlic chips. Who said gluten-free dishes can’t have great flavor?"

5. Nuts and seeds
"A healthy and crunchy substitution in place of croutons and breadcrumbs. Also great in salads, soups, and baked goods (with quinoa flour of course). A few of my go-to favorites include smoked almonds, pistachios, and sesame and pumpkin seeds, which are also great for making brittles for gluten-free desserts."

Are you adhering to a gluten-free diet? If so, tell us some of your favorite ingredients in the comments.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Cuisines • Dietary Restrictions • Gluten-free • Think

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. emilyalonso

    Companies do give out samples. They are looking to put their products in potential consumers' hands. They wouldn't do it if it didn't work one of the place that always worked is "123 Get Samples" search online

    January 7, 2011 at 12:57 am |
  2. nissa

    thank you thank you!!

    January 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  3. Glutenista Gluten-Free

    a huge THANK YOU to Chef Bortnick & CNN for finally nailing down a terrific representation of how the gluten-free diet (a necessity for many) CAN be healthy! Gluten-Free really can be healthy, delicious & easy to prepare, as highlighted above. Thank you for helping to drive GF awareness for those of us who must live gluten-free!

    xoxo, Glutenista

    January 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  4. Cindy

    Quiona is great and a total staple in my diet as a gluten-free gal. They make many breads & pastas out of quinoa that are a fantastic substitute to the real thing. I also rely a lot on corn meal & flour, almond flour for making my own tortillas, pancakes, breads and sweets. The Paleo Diet also helps with suggested food items for GF-ers. Great article, thanks!

    January 6, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  5. Jerv

    Mr. Bortnick, thank you for the info on quinoa.

    January 6, 2011 at 8:13 am |
  6. J.B.Jingles

    Just curious as I don't know, but is adhering to a gluten free diet a decision or medically necessary, or maybe it is both?

    January 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Chanel

      People with Celiac disease are unable to process gluten, so for them it is medically necessary :)

      January 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  7. This chick

    Would not, just to let you know...

    January 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  8. Tazer

    OOO what a great article, a good friend of mine just got diagnosed with Celiac disease so I'll pass it on!

    January 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  9. J.B.Jingles

    Yea, it’s back, thank you esteemed editors…

    January 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  10. Truth


    January 5, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
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