I do not have celiac, nor am I required to eat gluten-free.  I am required to eat very few (if any) whole grains, and little to no fiber, but that's an entirely different matter.  However, I do have relatives and many friends who are celiac or gluten-intolerant, and there are plenty of households that need gluten-free recipes that don't serve 4 to 6 people.

I'm not going to write an explanation here of what celiac and gluten intolerance are, what the effects are, or how to be diagnosed.  That information is readily available all over the web from people with an actual background in the subject.  This is just to give an overview as to what "gluten-free" means in the context of this blog.  

Some of the recipes I've labelled gluten-free were created specifically for that diet, and those should be fairly obvious.  They'll call for ingredients such as brown rice flour mix, xanthan gum, tapioca starch, and similar.  The amounts of other ingredients in those recipes have been modified to accommodate the non-wheat flours, and in most cases wheat flours cannot be successfully substituted.  I recommend making the recipes as written.

Other recipes are standard recipes that happen not to contain any ingredients that have gluten.  Proper precaution must still be taken in shopping for ingredients and preparing the recipes.  If I label a recipe as "gluten-free" and it calls for chicken, plain yogurt, peanut butter, and ground red pepper, I'm not guaranteeing that every single peanut butter or yogurt on the market is gluten-free.  My gluten-free label in that recipe would mean that those ingredients are generally gluten-free, and there are a variety of commonly available brands of all ingredients required that can be found at large chain grocery stores throughout the US that are gluten-free.  The cook is still responsible for checking that the particular product they have is actually gluten-free.  If a recipe can be made gluten-free but requires substituting a specialty product, I will not label it as gluten-free unless I've included notes on the brand and availability of that product.  If I mention in the notes section at the bottom of a recipe that I served that recipe with a side dish, that side dish is not considered in the gluten-free determination (therefore a recipe labelled gluten-free might have the note that I served it with whole wheat couscous.  The recipe is gluten-free, the couscous clearly is not).

If you are living gluten-free yourself, or regularly prepare food for someone who is, you likely already know all about cross-contamination.  If not, be aware that using your fresh-from-the-dishwasher loaf pan that you've made regular breads in for years can make someone with celiac or gluten intolerance sick.  If it's possible for you to have a separate set of cooking supplies that you use only for cooking gluten-free foods (I keep mine separately stored in a rubbermaid bin, and I label the bottoms to be extra certain), that's best.  If not, there are a lot of inexpensive disposable pans in the baking aisle of your grocery store.  Clean your countertops, cutting boards, and other food preparation areas as if the health inspector is coming.  Follow the original Emily Post when using butter, jams, or other condiments: use a clean knife to put some onto the edge of your plate, then your own knife to spread that onto your bread or muffin.  Don't dip your knife directly from the jar to the bread and back, crumbs may seem tiny but they can wreak havoc.  If you have any questions about cross-contamination, ask the gluten-free eater that you're cooking for. 

I'm not in your kitchen.  You have to be responsible for the health of yourself and your guests.

To see only the recipes on this blog that I've labelled gluten-free, click here or go to the gluten-free label in the sidebar.