Gluten-Free Food Fest

Pizza

I know there are a zillion sites on the internet dealing with gluten-free food intolerance, Celiac disease, wheat allergies, and more. There are probably a similar number of sites with recipes and advice to help us learn to live with this diet restriction.

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So why am I adding gluten-free foods to the list of things I blog about? Because I blog about everything. And for two other reasons.

Maybe some of you have been recently diagnosed with gluten issues, and like me in the beginning, don’t quite know what to do about it. Maybe you feel like life is over and all you’re going to be able to eat is stuff you hate.

The other reason is this… If I make a commitment to share what I’m cooking and eating, I’ll find it humiliating to keep posting the same stuff all the time. Yes, my diet is now a huge yawn-fest. It’s a total drag to have to make everything from scratch, so my go-to fallback is eggs, or boneless/skinless chicken breast tenders that I thaw out, pound flat, and cook in minutes (my version of fast food these days).

So this addition to my blog might get me out of my food rut.

My goals over the next weeks and months? Find new recipes to experiment with. Those that work (meaning they didn’t immediately wind up in the garbage can), I’ll share here.

I also want to experiment with meals I can freeze in individual servings for when my son is wanting stuff I can’t have. That way he can still enjoy his favorites, and I won’t have to cook a completely separate meal. I can just pull something out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave…and hopefully have something that tastes at least as good as what I used to be able to get from the frozen food department. Not that they were great, but in a pinch, they worked.

When you see what I’m having for supper tonight, a fairly typical meal for me, you’ll understand why I need to start doing this.

Open-Faced Burger
1 slice of Schar multi-grain bread, lightly buttered on both sides, broil until just shy of burned, flip and repeat
1 ground beef patty
Ketchup and mayo
Handful of Lays potato chips
Dissolved plain gelatin in a little juice (bone broth substitute – Google it, it’s very good for you)

And that’s it. I should have a salad, or fruit, or something nutritious, but I won’t. My kitchen isn’t air-conditioned and there’s a 94 degree heat index today. My goal is to get in and out of that room as quickly as possible. This is where pre-made frozen meals would come in handy.

***I changed my mind. I wound up having the gelatin/juice, cooked broccoli and a ground beef patty instead. I just couldn’t handle the thought of another open-faced burger.

I will also be giving my opinion on gluten-free products that remain in my cupboards, those I threw away after the first taste, foods you might not expect to be gluten-free at all (like nacho cheese Doritos and a certain brand of refrigerated scalloped potatoes), and foods you wouldn’t think would have gluten … but do (like some salsas, sausage, etc…).

So anyway, if you (or someone you know) can’t eat gluten, tune in. I may just find some great recipes. And if you have any good ones to share…please…share them!

By the way, I have a gluten-free board on Pinterest if you’d like to follow me there.

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15 Responses to Gluten-Free Food Fest

  1. Fortunately (or not) you’ll probably find the better you get at being good, the worse your reaction will be if you’re not. Although since we’ve quit eating out and gotten pretty clean diet wise I don’t miss the little samurai warriors with their daggers stabbing me repeatedly in the gut after every meal. Nasty buggers…..

    http://www.gigofecw.org/news/files/gluten-free_diet_boot_camp.php

    This link my have some information you might find helpful. Al was the admin for a now defunct gluten free forum, he is awesome, way more technical knowledge than I will ever be able to absorb, this is from the support group they started. He also has a personal facebook account, they post the best food porn you’ve ever seen.

    In any case feel free to pick my brain if you have any questions, not that I have many answers πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

    • Kristy K. James says:

      I have already found that to be true. For the first year, I could ‘fall off the wagon’ for months at a time and the worst that would happen was I’d be more tired than usual. But then it got progressively worse, and I knew in May that when the breathing issues got as serious as they did over ONE Townhouse cracker and two bites of cake…and that was all…I had to give gluten up forever. I’d planned on having pizza at an open house the next weekend…and the thought of that happening again scared me so bad it wasn’t funny. I finally realized how stupid I was being. Favorite foods weren’t worth feeling like the Hulk was squeezing my lungs for days.

      I can get the awful stomach pain, but that was mostly from dairy lately…and then…just suddenly, it stopped. For most of it anyway. I won’t be trying sliced cheese for a while. Good grief! And Cheese Whiz? Yeah, never again! I was about doubled over with those two things, so processed cheese ‘food’ is out forever I guess.

      Thanks for the offer of picking your brain. I will very likely do that. While I’ve resigned myself to a gluten-free lifestyle, I still find myself resenting it sometimes. Not as often as I did while I struggled to stay on it in 2011/2012, but it’s still hard and I still feel sorry for myself sometimes, lol (usually when I want a jelly doughnut or a real slice of pizza). πŸ™‚

      • Cinnamon rolls are my kryptonite, that’s what I’d have if I was ever going to cheat. As for feeling sorry for yourself. We all do. I get so frustrated. Not so much because of what I can’t eat but because I can’t just spontaneously go out with people and that’s what everyone does these days. The last 3 times we took a group out as a family to outback so I could eat too they messed up at least one order. It’s just not worth it. On the other hand our diet is much healthier eating at home. Before dh started his new eating lifestyle he would have loved to try little mom and pop restaurants and new places, but he married me so he only gets to do that when he’s out with one of the kids.

  2. I know what you mean about being bored with food. Years ago I used to like a dietary challenge–like when my sister went vegan. I had fun transforming recipes. It’s not as exciting thought now that I’m the one with the dietary issue!

    • Kristy K. James says:

      I think the reason you had fun with the vegan recipes, Coleen, is because we’re all wired to want to do special things for the people we care about. When it comes to us, however, that’s a different story. Too much work, we have better things to do…whatever the reason, we’re not as important as our loved ones. LOL…at least not until you’ve eaten mostly boring foods for almost four and a half months…and you’re getting tired of them. πŸ™‚

      I’m still not sure how much experimenting I’ll do because it IS a lot of work, but I’m going to do at least some.

  3. Once the weather cools down you could make some great soups and portion freeze them. Bob’s Red Mill cornbread can be made as muffins and they freeze and thaw real well. We also froze chili and spaghetti sauce. I’ve frozen lasagna and they guys think it’s still great, but I think the noodles get to mushy. Lets see home made bread can be pre sliced (I would wrap portions in wax paper) and frozen. We keep some Udi’s hot dog buns and chicken or pork sausages which can be cooked from frozen real quick. Oops, just saw the time guess I’d better get to bed. πŸ™‚

    • Kristy K. James says:

      I like the soup idea! Even if I waited to add the noodles until I took it out, it would still be good…and easy! And I DO have a box of the corn muffin mix already, I’ve just put off making it because I know how dry GF baked goods can get. I hadn’t even thought of freezing them.

      I also didn’t know you could freeze chili…even though I bought a frozen GF chili thing that was horrible (hated the spices). But I love my chili.

      What kind of GF lasagna noodles do you use? I’ve tried the rice kind and didn’t care for it…because of the mushy issue. So I thought I’d try it with some of the Sam Mills corn pasta. There are some little flat square ones I’ve been considering for that meal. It wouldn’t be exactly the same but…yeah, now I think I have to try, because I LOVE lasagna! πŸ™‚

      Great ideas. Thanks so much for sharing. Know what? I’m thinking that I’m going to make that on Saturday (the lasagna). Maybe even tomorrow. πŸ™‚

      • I use the Tinkyada noodles for lasagna, I cook them till they can bend but are still firm (I’ve never tried it without cooking them first, I worked in an authentic italian restaurant and we always cooked the noodles first). I don’t have a real problem with the texture for the first serving, but as we all know gf pasta of any kind isn’t super good as leftovers.

        http://www.frontiersoups.com

        They make a large selection of gluten free soup mixes and you add your own stuff, all of the ones we have tried are pretty good, some of the bean ones are a little strange but DH loved them. The boys favorite was the tortilla soup mix.

        We make chili, spaghetti sauce, soups and I freeze them in portions in zip lock bags and then you just pull out what you want and heat them back up.

        • Let me know if I start over sharing here, but had a thought on the lasagna, not sure how you make yours but what takes me the longest is the meat sauce I make (both husbands were Italian so we have lasagna for Christmas, Easter, Father’s day…you get the picture so I’m making huge pans) If I had frozen sauce I could very easily throw together enough for 1 or 2 people without much leftover to avoid the mushy or dried out noodle thing. I actual like my leftovers cold to avoid mush. We use skim ricotta and they sell that in the little containers so it would be pretty easy.

          Oh and we have discovered with leftover pasta if you soak it in hot water for a minute or so until it’s not stiff, drain and nuke it with your sauce it will better resemble the texture you get when it’s fresh cooked. πŸ˜‰

          • Kristy K. James says:

            You’re fine with the sharing. That’s why I decided to blog about the gluten more often. I need all the help I can get because quite often it’s a matter of being bored to tears with what I’m eating…or just not eating because I don’t want the same things…again. And not eating really messes up my thyroid/metabolism issues so…I have to do something. πŸ™‚

            That’s a good idea. I could freeze everything I’d need for single servings of lasagna…except the noodles, and then just cook a little when I want the leftovers. I also like the soaking the pasta. I just cannot tolerate mushy (I tend to call it slimy) pasta. I could even do that with everything for goulash…another favorite of mine.

            I’m going to have to make a list. πŸ™‚

        • Kristy K. James says:

          I always cook the noodles first for regular lasagna, but the one time I tried a loaf pan with the rice noodles, I couldn’t even eat it the first time around. It turned to total mush. Of course that was one of the first times I’d tried GF pasta, too…about two years ago…and I’ve learned a lot since then. Mostly I just use Sam Mills pastas now. They’re made out of the country with non-GMO corn, which I like, plus they hold up fairly well for leftovers just the same as wheat-based pastas. At least for mac and cheese.

          Soup mixes??? Obviously I’m shopping at the wrong stores. And for freezing…I need to remember to do that with the spaghetti sauce and chili. I almost always wind up throwing some away. Great ideas! πŸ™‚

          • We got the soup mixes at whole foods the first time but then I ordered them direct from frontier. There’s another kind I’ve ordered online before that makes a chipotle cheese, white bean and potato to which I add corn and make chowder and a broccoli and cheese. You just add water can’t think of the name right now and our powers out so I can check later. Vigo I think. They also make good rice mixes the chicken and wild rice with jimmy dean sage sausage makes awesome stuffing.

            • If you like turkey the Jennie O brand does a breast you bake from frozen right in the bag which is good but you can usually only find them around holidays. Walmart carries honeysuckle white (I think) you have to thaw it first its really really good and the gravy mix is gf also and really yummy. They’re good size for 2-3 people with leftovers for a meal or two. Both are boneless so no messy picking the carcass clean.

  4. Even when the boys were both living here we made 90% of our meals gluten free, other than bread and kraft mac and cheese we adapted everything else. DH is an awesome cook, so he did most of the imaginative stuff I will admit. I would have to say that it’s possible to eat at home and really not miss out on anything with some effort.

    Eating out is another issue entirely, it really bothers me that our society is so focused on food that everything revolves around eating. We get around that by always hosting family meals in our home, it’s more work but my odds of getting ill from the food greatly diminishes since we prepare it here.

    It’s funny you posted this now, I just spent about 3 hours cleaning the kitchen tonight, for the first time since DH and I got together in a few days we will actually be living alone. So as my stepson was cleaning out all the “gluten” cooking utensils and dishes from our house (we have/had two sets of most stuff) I was going behind him to clean and rearrange. I am really looking forward to having a completely gluten free house, DH doesn’t mind at all and it completely eliminates the “can you get cross contaminated from kissing someone who ate gluten” πŸ˜‰ . I know from experience when DH and I go to KY alone that I feel much better just getting away from the residual gluten left on microwave handles, frig, counters etc.

    So because DH worked late tonight and I was cleaning dinner was a hamburger with dill relish, mustard and cheese on a Udi’s burger bun, pre-dinner on the way home from shopping was a $.50 bag of lays chips and a cup of chocolate ice cream from Dairy Queen πŸ™‚

    • Kristy K. James says:

      Wow! I’ll bet that will be different with the two of you being on your own! But you’ll probably love it once you get used to it. πŸ™‚

      You wouldn’t believe how long it took me to realize that I needed my own ‘things’ in the kitchen. Sharing a toaster never even crossed my mind for a couple of months, although I did buy my own waffle iron early on. Pamela’s baking mix makes fairly decent ones, though I’ve never beaten the egg whites until stiff, so I will have to try that one of these days.

      Since I haven’t felt a whole lot better, I’ve gotten more diligent about wearing disposable food service gloves when I’m making food for my son, but it didn’t occur to me to be more careful about wiping handles off more often. I have started putting a couple of handfuls of potato chips in a zip top bag for me because I know he will make a sandwich or burger, and THEN reach into the bag. And for a while, I turned into a major fishwife about not touching the gravy spoon to biscuits. Now I just get a small bowlful out immediately after it’s ready if I think I’ll want leftovers.

      So I’m learning…and even more tonight. That’s going to be another great thing about my gluten-free posts. I’ll be able to collect more useful tips.

      Of course it would help if WordPress would let me know there are actually COMMENTS so I can read them. The program is supposed to notify me in two places, but it hasn’t for weeks. Guess I’m going to have to figure out why. God help me, lol. πŸ™‚

      Thanks again, Kathie. I really appreciate your help and advice with this. If I’d been good, I’d have been gluten free for two years, but I had to get to the place where the side effects scared me into behaving. πŸ™‚

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