Diverse experiences lead to global gluten-free food

Joe Suarez caught my eye on the Arkansas Public Theater in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” It turns out he’s a better foodie than the singer and actor – and that says something!

Suarez, a former fitness trainer, geographer and graphic designer by trade, says he’s always had a passion for food and cooking, which began with watching his mother prepare “fantastic” meals for her family.

His exposure to many diverse peoples and cultures while growing up helped him gain a deep appreciation for all kinds of delicious things, he says, which in turn allowed him to create his own personal cooking style: rustic, simple, delicious, cosmopolitan, and delicious.

After being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2010, he spent months developing gluten-free recipes that would not only look great, but taste better than “regular food.” He also wanted to create a “one-stop” website where people with celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders could find useful information “that would help them lead healthy and happy lives,” so Joe and the Gluten-Free Life was born. The site is free to use and includes over 150 recipes for everything from everyday family meals to cocktails, Southern food, international dishes, holiday meals, and kid-friendly options, all of which are gluten-free.

On Memorial Day weekend, Suarez served up Caribbean-style roast chicken and spicy coleslaw for a last-minute culinary delight.

Grilled chicken

Caribbean style

Preparation time: less than 10 minutes

Soaking time: at least 2 hours

Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes

Ever been to the Caribbean? If you have, Suarez says, you’ll remember seeing vendor stalls on the beach serving delicious grilled chicken to tourists and locals alike. “The chicken had a nice piece of mouse on it and it tasted great: lemon, herbs, garlic…delicious! It was probably served with some side salad, banana and rice. But I bet you found it heaven on a plate, right?”

If you want to try this amazing beach treatment, you can do it at home.


5 pounds chicken legs (about 6 pieces)

3 lemons

15 to 20 garlic cloves (peeled)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons of fresh thyme

1 tablespoon fresh oregano

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil


Step one: prepare the chicken

Wash the chicken in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

Using a sharp knife, cut two or three small slits in each quarter of the stalk and insert a clove of garlic into each piece.

Place the chicken in a non-reactive dish or in a zip-top bag.

Step 2: Soak the chicken in the marinade

In a non-reactive bowl add lemon juice. Do not discard the lemon.

Mince the remaining garlic.

Add the thyme, thyme, rosemary, minced garlic, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Mix well.

Pour the marinade over the chicken and add the lemon juice.

Cover and put in the fridge for at least two hours. Turn chicken every hour. The longer you marinate the chicken, the better the flavor.

Step three: grill the chicken

Set the grill temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are using charcoal, follow the instructions on the package.

Make sure to grease the grill with oil to avoid the chicken sticking to it.

Take the chicken out of the refrigerator. Discard the lemon.

Do not throw away the seasoning. Sit aside. You will use it to grease the chicken while grilling.

Put the chicken skin on first. Let it cook for 5 minutes before you flip it over. Cook for 5 minutes on each side and continue to stir until ready (about 25 to 30 minutes).

Using a brush, brush chicken with marinade, keeping aside frequently. Make sure to use all the seasoning while grilling the chicken. This will ensure a nice flavor on the outside, crunchy and deeper.

Serve and enjoy!

Cole slaw “hot spicy”

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 0

Inactive time: 0 to 8 hours

Yield: varies

gluten/soy/corn free; lacto vegan

One thing Suarez can assure you: this is not your grandmother’s coleslaw! This, he says, is his approach to serving the traditional dish, so expect an evolution.

“Simple touch: I add cilantro (cilantro), radish, chili, and jalapeno to my coleslaw to create an extra layer of unexpected flavors…and it’s hot and delicious!

“This is a simple, easy-to-make side dish that complements burgers, sandwiches, barbecue meats, sausage dishes, ham, and more.

“I’ve had some boring and horrible cabbage salad in my life and always wondered how I could improve it while adding more character and flavor to it, without going out of the dish that everyone has learned to love and expect at the dinner table. So here is the recipe I came up with, it has become my favorite in the Summer family gatherings and dinners.”


1 head of purple cabbage, shredded

1 head of shredded green cabbage

1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1 cup chopped fresh coriander

2 jalapeno peppers, pitted and finely chopped

8 to 10 radishes, fine

1 cup mayonnaise

4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

11/2 cup milk

Salt and black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of hot pepper


Put the shredded cabbage, carrots, radishes and cilantro together in a large bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix everything well. Taste the seasoning and adjust to your liking. You can add more salt, pepper, vinegar, cayenne pepper, or sugar to taste.

You can either serve it immediately or let it rest in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours for a more sophisticated flavor.

If you have “celebrity” friends who can cook, we’d love to highlight them here. Suggest them by email [email protected]

Get online! Find out more at joeandtheglutenfreelife.com.
Photo Caribbean-style roast chicken brings the taste of carrots to your backyard. (photo courtesy)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: