Having a food allergy will impact what you can eat and the way it is prepared. Eating out at restaurants with food allergies can pose a challenge. Dining out with a gluten allergy doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when visiting a Mexican restaurant. We will help you find some gluten-free Mexican food.
Many staples of Mexican food are gluten-free. Beans, rice, corn, and avocados are all naturally gluten-free foods. Mexican food also uses cornflowers in most of its dishes including its tortillas. With few precautions, dining at a Mexican restaurant can be very safe and enjoyable.
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Below we look at some Mexican dishes and what precautions should be taken with a gluten allergy.
Nachos are made of fried tortilla chips, refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, salsa, olives, sour cream, and guacamole. Ensure the chips are 100% gluten-free. The refried beans and guacamole could be thickened with flour. If so, refried beans can be substituted with plain pinto or black beans.
Guacamole is traditionally prepared with chopped onions, tomatoes, garlic, spices, and seasonings. It can be served as a topping or as a dip. Ensure the spices and seasonings are void of wheat or wheat flour. The corn chips should also be gluten-free as were the chips for the nachos.
Shredded cheese is naturally gluten-free, but some store-bought cheeses are coated with flour or cornstarch to prevent the cheese from sticking together. Ensure that the cheese is free from flour, or use corn or tapioca starch to prevent sticking.
Enchiladas are corn tortillas filled with ground beef, chicken or cheese and topped with tomato sauce. Ensure the tortilla is 100% corn tortilla. If chicken is used in the dish, ensure it’s plain grilled or baked and not breaded. If the tomato sauce is thickened with flour, you can substitute salsa in the dish. Spices and seasonings containing wheat or wheat flour should also be avoided in this dish.
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Quesadillas are prepared using a fried or toasted tortilla, melted cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. As with the previous dishes, ensure the tortilla is 100% corn and it can be toasted in tin foil to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Tacos can be made with ground beef or chicken, and beans, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, in a corn tortilla. The ground beef or chicken should be prepared plain. Ensuring the tortilla is 100% corn tortilla, and the beans are not thickened with flour will ensure this dish is gluten-free.
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Fajita contains grilled chicken, beef, or shrimp, with grilled onions and peppers. They are topped with lettuce, tomato, and salsa. It may be necessary to ensure the skillet is cleaned of any cross-contamination or an alternative method of cooking such as broiling be used. It will also be necessary to avoid any spices that contain wheat or wheat flour.
Chiles Rellenos are green peppers filled with cheese, tomatoes, and fried or baked chilies. Ensuring it is baked in tin foil and avoiding seasoning made with wheat or wheat flour will ensure this dish is gluten-free.
Huevos Rancheros are fried tortillas with fried eggs, salsa, and cheese toppings. Ensure the dish contains 100% corn tortilla and is heated in tin foil or fired in a gluten-free fryer. The egg should be poached, scrambled, or fried in a separate pan.
Taco salads are tortilla chips topped with chili, chicken or ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. The chips should be 100% corn chips and heated in tin foil or a gluten-free fryer. Avoid chili if it contains wheat flour or other gluten ingredients. Also, avoid any spices and seasonings containing wheat or wheat flour.
Refried Beans and Mexican Rice
Refried beans and Mexican rice are mashed pinto beans, fried in vegetable oil with white rice, then browned and cooked with sauteed onions, tomatoes, garlic, peppers, and seasonings. Request this dish be prepared with plain rice. Ensuring the beans, spices and seasonings are free from wheat and wheat flour will keep this dish gluten-free.
Freshly made margaritas are gluten-free. They are made with tequila, fresh lime juice, and triple sec. None of those items contain flour. If the margaritas are made from a mix they may not be gluten friendly. You may need to inquire before ordering about the process of preparing the margaritas.
If they are made from a mix they will need to check the ingredients of the mix to ensure there are no issues with your gluten allergy.
Request 100% corn chips or 100% corn tortillas wherever necessary, and are cooked in a gluten-free fryer heated in tin foil, or warmed in a clean pan. Some restaurants dust the corn chips in flour, you may need to ask about this and request it not be done. Also, avoid taco shells or burritos that are free from wheat. Request the burrito in a bowl if it contains wheat.
Ensuring any sauces used in your dishes are not thickened with flour. Ensure any spices do not contain wheat or wheat flour. Lime juice, salsa, or guacamole may be used as a substitute whenever necessary and still provide an authentic flavor for the dish.
Wherever you choose to dine, you should always identify your allergies and needs. Bringing your own salad dressing or other food items may be required. Ensure the risk of cross-contamination is removed. Cooking spaces may need to be cleaned before the preparation of your meal, or the food may need to be cooked using disposable means to ensure it is gluten-free.
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Eating out at a Mexican restaurant with gluten allergies is possible. Ensure you communicate your allergy needs to the server when ordering. There are only a few ingredients and changes to be concerned with when ordering since the main staples of Mexican food are gluten-free. Ensuring the chips and tortillas are 100% corn are prepared to avoid cross-contamination will ensure you a pleasurable dining experience.