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Create an Eco-Friendly Menu

With Green Gluten-Free Foods, Everybody Wins

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In Celebration of Earth Day, try these tips to choose eco-friendly, gluten-free foods that are good for your health and good for the planet.

Buy organic. When you buy fruits, vegetables, gluten-free grains, and other foods with “certified organic” seals on them, it means they were grown without using most conventional pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. That in turn means less energy or fossil fuel is used in producing them.

Go for no GMOs. The five major genetically modified foods-corn, soy, cottonseed, canola, and sugar beets-are gene-spliced to either tolerate chemical herbicides, or produce chemical insecticides. To do your part for better planet health, steer clear of foods made with these five ingredients unless they are labeled certified organic or non-GMO.
Seek out locally grown foods. The average fresh food product on our dinner table travels 1,500 miles to get there. Buying locally produced food (or growing some vegetables on your own) eliminates transportation costs and helps conserve our limited fuel resources.

Choose more grass-fed meats. Commercial meat production involves fattening cattle on commercially grown corn; the production of large quantities of corn feed uses large quantities of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and therefore more oil and natural gas. Raising grass-fed cattle eliminates those chemicals and costs, helping save our oil and gas for better uses.

Try a more eco-friendly rice. There has been a breakthrough in producing rice -the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), a set of ecologically sound concepts and practices that change the way rice is typically grown. SRI methods were developed in Madagascar in the early 1980s and have spread to more than 35 countries. The innovative methods enable farmers with limited resources to increase their rice yields using 80 to 90 percent less seed, 25 to 50 percent less water, and few or no chemical fertilizers and pesticides. And the farmers are able to use seeds of the traditional varieties of rice they have historically grown. To help support this cause, try the three types of SRI-grown rice available from Lotus Foods: Cambodian Flower Rice, Madagascar Pink Rice, and Indonesian Volcano Rice. By following one or more of these tips, we all can play a part in producing a healthier food system and a healthier planet.

Skinny Snacking
These unbelievably tasty, crunchy, and satisfying snacks seem almost too good to be true, but Myrna’s Skinny Crisps are high in fiber, vegan, dairy-, casein-, trans fat-, and gluten-free. Plus, they have just ½ net carb per cracker-perfect for low-carb dieters. Baked in a gluten-free facility, only the highest quality ingredients are used, including ground almonds, chickpea flour, organic ground golden flax seed, psyllium husks, organic dehydrated cane juice, olive oil, sea salt, and spices. They taste great with dips, cheese, tuna salad, and on their own. Choose from Plain, Toasty Onion, White Sesame, Seeded (fennel and black and white sesame), Cinnamon Crisps, and Chocolate Chip Brownie Crisp.

Pink Rice Pilaf With Roasted Asparagus and Mushrooms Serves 4

This rice pilaf is made with SRI-grown Madagascar Pink Rice and organic ingredients. It takes only 25 minutes to make, is a nice addition to an Easter meal, and goes well with most meat, poultry, fish, and vegetarian entrées. Reprinted from soon-to-be-published Gluten Free Throughout the Year, by Melissa Diane Smith.

1 1/2 cups gluten-free organic or homemade chicken broth

1 cup Lotus Foods Madagascar Pink Rice

1 1/2 cups locally grown thin asparagus cut into

1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces (woody ends removed)

8 oz. organic sliced mushrooms

1 small organic garlic clove, crushed and minced

3 Tbs. organic extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing cookie sheet

1 Tbs. organic butter or organic extra virgin olive oil

1/4 lemon, juiced

1 Tbs. chopped locally grown organic parsley

  1. Bring broth and rice to a boil in pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place asparagus, mushrooms, and garlic in bowl; add oil,
    and mix well to evenly coat.
  3. Spread asparagus mixture in single layer on lightly oiled cookie sheet, pouring any remaining oil and garlic over all. Roast 15 to 18 minutes, until tender.
  4. Add roasted vegetables to rice; mix in butter, lemon juice, and sea salt to taste. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, and serve.