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Having to give up gluten need not mean having to give up taste or nutrition.  There are special versions of products available, but recipes and cuisines that don’t need gluten substitutes make life much easier.

The fresh and tasty Mediterranean diet has been shown be one of the healthiest on the planet. Greek-style is a particularly good way to eat, and with a few tweaks the recipes work perfectly for gluten-free requirements. 

For instance, moussaka can be made using cornflour for the béchamel sauce, and when summer comes the standard Greek salads and yogurt-based dips need no changes.

Here is a variation on the classic Greek dish Gigantes Plaki (baked giant beans).

It tastes good fresh and even better reheated, so make double at the weekend and freeze or chill half for a low-effort weeknight meal.

With plenty of protein and vitamins, this bake provides nutrition to match its taste.

Butter beans work perfectly as authentic ‘gigantes’ can be hard to find. Feel free to substitute or add other vegetables, and don’t worry too much about precise quantities. Greek cooking is an art, not a science!


2 400g tins butter beans, drained

2 chopped onions

2 medium courgettes, sliced

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tin chopped tomatoes

Herbs: 1 tsp each of dried parsley, oregano and mint, or the fresh equivalents if you have them

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Feta cheese for topping (optional)


  1. Fry the courgettes and garlic in plenty of olive oil until golden
  2. Add the onion and fry until softened, stirring continuously
  3. Add the celery and fry lightly
  4. Add the tomatoes, herbs and spices and cook for five minutes until slightly reduced.
  5. Tip half the beans into a rectangular baking dish and top with half the sauce. Add the rest of the beans and then the remaining sauce. It won’t stay separate but we’re not worried about that!
  6. Cover and bake at 180 degrees centigrade for an hour.
  7. Top with crumbled feta (if using) and enjoy with a side salad or just as it is.


the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.