Sick Food: What to Eat when you’re Gluten-Free and Under the Weather

Let me share with you the exciting things I ate yesterday:

  • a small tray of mini tater-tots, which I didn’t leave in the oven long enough to get really crispy enough
  • five strawberries
  • some kombucha, some herbal tea, some water-with-fizzy-vitamin-C-tablets
  • a bowl of microwaved rice with a slice of Jarlesburg cheese on top

In other words: I didn’t feel very well yesterday. Gluten-free or not, every now and then we all get laid up with a cold or a flu or a sore throat. But do we all have to be doomed to starchy mush and takeout when we’re under the weather? And if our gluten-free loved ones are sick, what can we cook for them to speed them along the way to recovery?

I know I’m not alone in my love of chicken soup or my disinclination to use store-bought bouillon cubes to make a broth. But I also don’t always have a pot of chicken soup hanging out in my fridge or freezer, which is why as soon as I’m back to 100% I’m going to start experimenting with making my own bouillon. Not sure which recipe I’ll use — this one from Leslie Land looks pretty neat, but I’m going to have to start eating a lot of roast chickens! I might also go vegetarian and borrow a food processor to make this yummy concentrate from 101 Cookbooks. Do you have a favorite way to make a concentrated soup stock?

If I would have been truly thinking, I would have not only made myself some hot, fresh stock — I would have beaten an egg into it for homemade egg drop soup. Looking at this yummy recipe from The Kitchn, I think I may not wait until the next time I don’t feel so good to try this out. Note that the recipe calls for corn starch as a thickening agent; if you have trouble eating corn, I imagine you could achieve similar results with potato starch or another gluten-free thickening.

Another gluten-free food that’s supposed to help fight illness is garlic; if you’re like me you’ve always got a clove or two of garlic somewhere around the house. But — have you ever made garlic shooters? I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to gulp a shot glass full of garlic and lemon juice, but it does sound like it would be an effective pick-me-up.

Speaking of pick-me-ups, my favorite get-better-soon food (aside from chicken soup) is this recipe introduced to me by a former boss, when I fell ill at a trade show. It’s an old Italian nonna’s recipe, but for me it will always bring back memories of my boss, Las Vegas, and a very fancy dinner at a very fancy restaurant where all I could stomach was some (beautifully presented, no doubt shockingly expensive) chicken soup:

  • one shot of decent grappa (not top shelf, that would be a waste!)
  • one cup of hot milk
  • a good drizzle of honey

Those three ingredients should be combined and drunk quickly, right before jumping into bed under at least one too-many blankets. If things work right, you’ll sweat out all the bad stuff overnight and be back in fighting shape by morning.

What are your favorite gluten-free easy, healing foods for when you’re feeling sick?

4 thoughts on “Sick Food: What to Eat when you’re Gluten-Free and Under the Weather”

  1. Sue–whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained, and is completely gluten-free, and soy is gluten-free (but not soy sauce–because it includes other ingredients).

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