Gluten Free Twist on Lebanese Cuisine
Lebanese cuisine is famous for its rich and varied recipes. Whatever your taste may be, you will definitely find a wide range of dishes to please your appetite in this small heaven called Lebanon! Those who follow a gluten-free diet, whether for health or taste reasons, are no exception to this. Some recipes are naturally gluten-free while others that contain the protein can be easily made into gluten-free dishes.
Gluten Free Dishes
Lebanese use lots of greens and beans in our cuisine which makes staple Lebanese dishes naturally gluten-free and absolutely safe for someone with gluten intolerance.
Hummus, stuffed vine leaves, loubieh b zeit, and mujadara are only some of our favorite Lebanese dishes that happen to be gluten-free.
The Lebanese are big on stews or “yakhne”s, most of which are made with cooked rice and vegetables, which are perfectly gluten-free as long as you don’t include barley. Okra, molokhia, potatoes, peas, beans and several more are used to make stews.
Even the Lebanese dessert menu is full of gluten free treats. Ashtaliyeh, rice pudding, mouhalabieh, and meghli are just a few of the gluten-free desserts available in Lebanon.
Dishes with Wheat and Flour
Although the dishes we mentioned are very popular, Lebanese cuisine is a lot more than just those few. Some of our most famous dishes use flour, wheat, or other foods with gluten. Recently, however, especially after the gluten-free trend emerged, many people and even restaurants are creating gluten-free versions of their favorite dishes.
Tabbouleh is synonymous with Lebanon. We can’t mention one without talking about the other. Present at almost every Lebanese table, tabbouleh is the pride and joy of Lebanese cuisine. The only downside is that it contains bulgur, which is not a safe ingredient for someone with celiac disease or for someone going gluten-free. That’s why many have opted to replace bulgur with quinoa, which is a healthy grain replacement.
Another favorite traditional Lebanese recipe is kibbeh. Whether it’s made with beef or squash, one of the main components of the patty is bulgur. Similarly to tabbouleh, it can be made with quinoa instead of the wheat packed bulgur.
Yet another element of the Lebanese dinner table is Arabic bread or pita bread. Luckily, there are alternatives that you can try without having to cut out bread altogether. Many shops offer gluten-free pita bread; you can even make your own using gluten-free flour if you’re into baking.
You can also substitute pita bread with rice cakes or rice crackers. Not only do they make you feel full, but they also give a crunch to Lebanese meals that usually include bread, such as fattoush and sour lentil soup (adas bil hamod).
If you’ve decided to go gluten free, you don’t have to worry about missing out on the great taste of falafel. You can still pick up Al Wadi Al Akhdar soy falafel or Al Wadi Al Akhdar quinoa falafel, and both can be easily prepared.
So if you’re trying to cut back on gluten, worry not; Lebanese cuisine has got you covered! What’s your favorite Lebanese gluten-free recipe?
We’re really curious to know!