6 Great Gluten-Free Recipes

Winter has a reputation for heavy food, full stomachs and subsequent food comas. You have the power to change that. Gluten-free food has the amazing characteristic of not making you want to take a nap right after a hearty meal, while still retaining all of its heartiness.

Related: Ten Myths and Facts about Celiac Disease »

Even if you don't have Celiac disease, a gluten allergy or even a sensitivity, gluten-free meals can help prevent bloating or fatigue after a meal. We're onboard with any diet that makes you feel great, keeps your energy up and running and still permits you to eat sausage and cheese, like our Sausage and Polenta Pie. Sound like a trend you might want to get in on?

Polenta And Sausage Pie Recipe

The ultimate blend of comfort food flavors - cheesy, starchy and meaty - this dish is perfect for a crowd of any size. Try making it in individual ramekins for a fun presentation.

Servings: 6

1 pound hot Italian sausage, casing removed
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 14.5-ounce can stewed tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 teaspoon, plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups water
1 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons instant polenta
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease six 8-to 10-ounce ramekins and set aside.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add sausage. Cook for about 5 minutes or until brown, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat as it cooks.

3. Drain off fat, then add sweet peppers, onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning to sausage in skillet. Reduce heat to medium; cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in tomatoes, salt and black pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes more. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons instant polenta.

4. For polenta mixture, in a medium saucepan bring the water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to boiling. Add the 1 1/3 cups instant polenta to boiling water in a thin stream, stirring constantly.

5. Reduce heat to a medium; cook and stir polenta about 3 minutes or until medium-soft. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese.

6. Divide filling among prepared ramekins. Top filling in each ramekin with about 1/2 cup of the polenta mixture. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese.

7. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until heated through.

Take a look at some of Food Republic's favorite hearty gluten-free recipes below, and lighten up!

Chocolate Basmati Rice Souffle

If you're looking for a stellar gluten-free dessert, look no further than this chocolate basmati rice soufflé. Chef Vikas Khanna developed this recipe when fellow chef Andrew Blackmore accidently swapped flours while baking. Ever since, basmati rice soufflé has brought earthy flavors to a classic sweet dessert. Can't find basmati flour? No problem, just follow Chef Khanna's advice and grind the rice in a coffee grinder, then pass it through a fine sifter.
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Crispy Prosciutto Bites

I'd like to point out the increase of party fare served on or with crackers around this time of year. Why? Because I'm a contrarian. The more cracker-based cuisine I encounter, the less excited I get. Rather than get all Martha and make my own, whether or not they feature Maytag blue cheese and caraway seeds, I've hammered out a far easier and more logical route to appetizer glory: pig.
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Mashed Potatoes With Goat Cheese and Kale
Some dishes require a side of mashed potatoes, like Thanksgiving turkey and homemade glazed meatloaf, and some merely welcome it. This recipe is a play on Irish colcannon - a staple peasant dish of mashed potatoes with cabbage and bacon. Nowadays colcannon is trendier than ever - we've made that more so by the addition of creamy goat cheese. I'll take that tangy goodness over mounds of butter any day, y'all.
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Fennel Gratin

Acclaimed Philly chef Marc Vetri's fresh take on the classic potato gratin makes fennel the focus - giving the dish a lighter feel. Use this dish as a quick and easy addition to Sunday dinner. It's also sure to convert any non-fennel enthusiasts. WHO ARE THOSE PEOPLE anyway?
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Easy Corned Beef Hash
Topped with a couple of fried eggs, corned beef hash is the ultimate one-pan breakfast, but the dish itself is incredibly versatile. It makes a pretty solid sandwich filling, can be shaped and formed into patties for poached eggs, and even lends itself to the art of the frittata, resulting in more of a quiche-like creation. This is one recipe to definitely have in your brunch arsenal.
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