Breaking Up with Bread

Gluten-free. Hmmph. I was irritated just hearing the term and picturing all the fabulous, wheat-laden goodies forbidden on this healthy eating plan that’s swept the nation. Where was I when bread and pasta went out of style? Besides, I thought gluten was only a no-no for people with a food intolerance or allergy issue. If I don’t have them, I don’t have an issue, right? But my employer and my mom both lost more than 20 pounds going gluten-free. I had no choice but to pay attention.

Ribs at Earl's Rib PalaceAfter learning that potatoes and rice were gluten-free, I felt a bit less hostile. Maybe it’s not so restrictive after all. Just look at all the indulgent foods labeled gluten-free on restaurant menus. How promising to know that most restaurants embrace this healthy movement. I can work out my hostility over pork roast, brisket and kabobs. In addition to rice and potatoes, corn, beans, eggs, natural cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables and fresh meat, fish and poultry—minus sauce or breading—are all acceptable. Whew. I can work with that.

Many restaurant owners have seen the gluten-free trend transition from a mere diet to a more mainstream, healthy lifestyle choice, and it appears to be here to stay. One glance at restaurant menus and you realize that eating responsibly never looked so good.

Hearty BBQ Hits the Spot

If you’re still thinking gluten-free dining can’t possibly fit your lifestyle, imagine the smoky indulgence of barbecue for your next meal. It doesn’t get any better than that! Featuring a succulent lineup of sliced or chopped brisket, smoked chicken or turkey, pulled pork or juicy ribs, Earl’s Rib Palace takes gluten-free dining to the next level. In addition, their polish sausage and hot links are produced in a gluten-free factory and made in Oklahoma. Even the barbecue sauce is gluten-free, so you don’t have to miss the best part of the whole experience. Great side dishes like baked beans, potato salad, corn-on-the-cob, coleslaw, green beans, the loaded baked potato and deviled eggs are also gluten-free.

Enjoy Earl’s Rib Palace at six locations or visit earlsribpalace.com

Home-cooked Comfort

A visit to Millie’s Table is like getting to raid your mom’s freezer. An extensive variety of rotating entrées, veggies, appetizers, soups and desserts are made right in the kitchen at Millie’s Table and are packaged to take and bake with easy heating instructions. A wide selection of designated ‘healthy menu’ items makes it easy to choose lower-calorie and gluten-free comfort foods, too. With approximately 20 gluten-free entrées, such as bacon-wrapped chicken with cream cheese filling, baked or grilled salmon entrées, buffalo chicken enchiladas, pork roast and orange tarragon glazed chicken, there’s always something new to try.

Though Millie’s Table does not make gluten and gluten-free entrées at the same time or with the same utensils, owner Millie Shores cautions that hers is not a ‘gluten-free facility’ and therefore cannot accommodate those with celiac disease. Yet for those opting to avoid gluten, based on nutritional and dietary choices, Millie’s homemade foods are so deliciously satisfying, you won’t know a thing is missing!

Ask about catering, too! Visit 1333 N Santa Fe Ave, Edmond, or milliestable.com

Spiced Right Greek

Arepas at Let's Do GreekIf you think giving up gluten means settling for a boring or bland diet, think again—think Greek! Exotic spices and succulent meats meld into mouthwatering dishes that are anything but boring. At Let’s Do Greek, most of the menu is gluten-free, with the exception of pita bread and some fried items. Here, you can even get your ‘bread fix’ with their homemade cornmeal bread, Arepa. “It’s gluten-free and very popular,” says owner Marsha Aguilar. “The gluten-free trend is going strong and has become a life choice for a lot of people,” she adds.

Oregano chicken served atop Greek salad, Suvlakia chicken—a marinated chicken served with grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes and Tzatziki—chicken and beef kabobs, hummus and Basmati rice are exciting, gluten-free staples that never fail to please. Fresh and delicious selections like Dolma—grape leaves stuffed with rice, herbs and vegetables—along with Greek salad and Gyros salad round out this diverse and perfectly spiced menu with something for all tastes. Ask about catering and look for their food truck, too!

Visit 180 W 15th St, Edmond, or letsdogreek.com

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