Corn Tortilla Basics
It’s unbelievable, but you MUST read the corn tortilla package labels to be sure they are gluten-free. Recently, I have seen packages of “corn tortillas” that have “wheat” in the ingredient list! Incredible! So as always, pay attention to those labels.
Corn tortillas have a very different texture than flour tortillas. There are basically 4 ways to warm them so that they don’t flake and break apart.
1. Oiled skillet/griddle: This is my favorite way to warm corn tortillas; it’s quick, it tastes the best, and they aren’t so dry. Spray a skillet or griddle with cooking spray. When tortilla is browned, spray the top side of the tortilla, then flip it with tongs. When that side is browned, gently fold the tortilla in half with the tongs and let it cook a bit longer (30 seconds or so) so that the tortilla takes on the new shape. Remove from heat and fill with contents; serve & consume immediately.
OR heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook corn tortilla until it puffs; then turn tortilla with tongs and cook other side for 10 seconds. Fold tortillas in half and fill immediately while they are hot and pliable.
2. Dry skillet: This method reduces fat and calories. Heat tortillas as in #1, using a dry skillet.
3. Oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stack tortillas and wrap tightly in foil. Bake about 10 minutes or until heated through.
4. Microwave oven: Tortillas tend to dry out a bit with this method, but if you wrap a tortilla in a damp paper towel and microwave for about 15 seconds, the dryness isn’t terrible.
Seasonings & Condiments
Sometimes seasonings & condiments can have hidden gluten, so I make my own taco seasoning with GF ingredients. Here it is!
Homemade Taco Seasoning (makes about 3 servings)
Be sure, of course, that each of these seasonings is gluten-free.
6 teaspoons chili powder
5 teaspoons paprika
4 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons onion powder
2 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Mix all ingredients together well. Store in air-tight container in cool, dry place. Mix 3 tablespoons for every pound of meat.
(Thanks to my friend Candace Graham for this recipe.)
Sometimes, you just really want a snack – something quick in between meals that will satisfy you for a while. Below is a list of gluten-free, go-to snacks.
“Ants on a Log” (celery with peanut butter and raisins on top)
Apple or celery with peanut butter
Applesauce (with or without cinnamon)
Tortilla chips & salsa
Tortilla chips & shredded cheese (melted on top in microwave)
Tortilla chips & GF hummus
Cottage cheese (with or without fruit or tomatoes stirred in)
Fruit (with or without fruit dip — see Side Dishes & Appetizers chapter for dip recipe)
Gluten-free crackers & cheese slices
Hard boiled eggs
Nuts, Almonds, Sunflower Seeds
Rice cake with peanut butter (with or without raisins)
Trail Mix (from store or make your own)
Veggies (with or without ranch dressing)
Yogurt (read the label!)