Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Real Gluten-Free Diet

To this point I've really been doing a wheat-free diet, not gluten-free.  I continued making and eating granola.  It's cold, crunchy and completely irresistible. (I made a mix two weeks ago that had dark chocolate powder, coconut flakes, and pepitas.  Yum!)  I haven't avoided soy sauce in restaurants but I do use gluten-free tamari at home.  I drank beer.  And the itching continued.  Inflamed red skin.  Sleepless nights scratching my neck and arms.

Eczema is a monster.  I wore loose long sleeves and Oxford shirts as much as possible to conceal it.  That's how I knew it's out of control.  I was completely covering my upper body in 100 degree heat.

Eczema flareup on my arm

After a follow up appointment with my new holistic doctor, I agreed to complete an 8 week elimination diet.  Gluten-Free.  So this means I'm saying no to even more things.  Here are some of the big ones:
  • Barley
  • Farro (so delicious)
  • Semolina (couscous - sad)
  • Rye (fav wheat-free cracker)
  • Beer
  • Grain-based Liquors (vodka etc.)
  • Oats

Beer from Great Divide Brewery in Denver.  No more for me.

Crazy, right? At this point I feel like I'm one step away from becoming a vegetarian (again), vegan or raw foodist.  Maybe raw foodist is too far but veganism seems possible.  I would try it for a week or so.  Butter and I are attached to one another.  We don't want to be apart.

On top of this, I'm pumping my body full of vitamins, enzymes, and minerals.  A blood test revealed I'm low in vitamin B12, vitamin D (low but improving), and magnesium.  My testosterone levels were low too, even for a woman.  The doctor suggested I start doing a little weight training to "gain muscle and burn fat."  (That was a nice way of saying lose weight.  I agree, doc, I agree).  This plus food allergies makes my body a perfect place for eczema flareups.

I've got my fingers crossed that this plan stops the itching because I have bridesmaid's duties in October and December.  And supporting my friends and feeling pretty is impossible when my skin is screaming.  Peace out, Eczema.  This itchy party is over.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gluten-Free Naan

Do you ever turn into Gollum over food?  Hide in the corner.  Whisper sweet nothings to your edible Precious.  For the boy, it's chocolate chip cookies.  One Pot Shot has to eat Willy's burritos in private because she is that serious about them.  Rumor has it Helen used to tear up some pot pie.  That's just a rumor.  And Hemina doesn't think it's breakfast unless there's biscuits.  One to eat in the restaurant and one to go.

I love naan.  Any flavor.  Any time of day.  And now it's gluten-free. And I made it!  [Fireworks go off.  World peace finally comes]

green lentil curry with rice and gluten-free naan
Please excuse the crappy picture.  The naan was a last minute decision so I wasn't in a hurry to finish before sunset.  When I finally tried it I was so excited that I HAD to share.

to make
1. Make Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix using Cybele Pascal's recipe (middle of page)
2. Follow Aarti Paarti's gluten-free naan recipe.
3. Enjoy over and over and over.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Coconut Lentil Soup

I have a major food crush on Marcus Samuelsson.  The only things I know of him are what I've seen on television.  And I love it.  World traveler.  Multicultural chef.  Philanthropist.  Seriously, awesome.

I don't know what made me crave coconut or soup.  Could have been this post about white bean soup.  Coulda been Google searches for "white bean and kale recipe".  Or coulda been I now love snacking on coconut flakes.  Somehow my stomach and the interwebs brought me to his recipe.

This is the first recipe in months, maybe a year, that didn't require substitutions because of my food allergies.  I did however add some cayenne pepper because spicier is better.  And I was heavy-handed with the cilantro because I don't think you can overdo it with the stuff.

I'm glad I developed a love for coconut milk because it would be sad to not have this soup.  Bits of ginger.  Super soft red lentils.  Yum.  And yum.  And you should make this.

Eat.  Repeat.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

It took a lot of persuasion for me to eat at Fogo de Chao.  People always described it as a meat feast.  Waiters swarming your table with cuts of beef, chicken and pork.  My friends always swore that Fogo had a "huge" salad bar that I would love.  Blah blah blah.  I'll pass.  Too much meat.  No, thanks.

I caved in April.  The salad bar was massive.  Exhaustive.  Delicious.  I devoured the polenta and bananas. I enjoyed the lamb; it was awesome.  And I ate cheese bread.  We didn't know they were an authentic Brazilian staple, Pão de Queijo.  We didn't know they were traditionally gluten-free.  If I had known, I would have eaten more and not felt guilty.  We didn't know they were super easy to make at home.

I used a recipe from this blog but substituted Ener-G egg replacer for the single egg.  I baked them for the 25 minutes but they never got that golden color.  A real egg probably creates a darker dough, and browner baked bread, because of the egg yolk.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sticky Toffee Cake (cont.)

I went back to the kitchen on this one because the first attempt at sticky, gooey toffee cake was too sweet and nothing like the original version. The key to Rathbun's cake is that you don't see the dates.  Because they're blended in water.  Magic!  It's amazing how much better these were the second time around. 

This time I used a recipe from a Boston restaurant.  The ingredients are similar but the method is different.

Gluten Free, Egg Free Toffee Cake

If you want to make them gluten-free and egg-free like me, use the following substitutions and additions:
  • Replace regular flour with 1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour (Cybele Pascal's mix is the best)
  • Add 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • Replace eggs with 4 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 6 T soy milk

These toffee cupcakes are super moist.  Like so moist you can't open your mouth to talk.  The flavor is rich and the color was dark, as it should be.  I broke the toffee sauce by adding butter.  Don't add too much fat too fast.  You can see that the texture isn't smooth.  Other than that, these are awesome.  And even better, they don't taste like they're "free" of anything