But here's the scoop. Having just spent six days gluten-free, I'm beginning to listen to the gluten free call. I feel so steady. I don't crave sweets. My digestion is quiet and calm. I rounded up every item with gluten in it—crackers, breads, pastas, soups, soy sauce, cereals, tortellini, ravioli—and gave them to our neighbors. I didn't give them the six packs of Stella Artois. But I did banish our beer to the garage.
Courage comes in handy-pack sizes. I'll offload the beer when I'm sure about this new way of eating. And being.
That does not mean I'm eating poorly. On the contrary, it's an adventure finding delicious new eats.
Why claim gluten freedom? Joint pain and digestive woes decrease. Alertness and steadiness increase. Naps have almost vanished. The money I save on dark chocolate alone could almost pay the rent!
If you need more enticement, it is called gluten BECAUSE IT'S GLUE. Or it functions like glue. That's why breads stick together. Think elastic pizza dough.
Did you ever make paste out of white flour and water as a kid? GLUE.
And human digestive systems don't know what to make of it. They either let it pass harmlessly out of the body, if you're lucky, or get all funkified when gluten visits. Fermentation and distress. The list of physical woes includes gas, indigestion, diarrhea, achy joints...
Are you eating glue, Andy? I remember a kid in my first grade class who ate glue paste straight from the jar. Like, forget the lunch sack, just pass the glue paste. (The lids had those cool stick/paddles with a brush on the end for swiping too much glue onto construction paper. Which got all over your hands. And yes, I did a bit of licking to see what Andy was grooving on. Yetch.)
So when you sit down to a plate of linguini, you are opening the paste jar.
On to tastier pastures! Because you needn't sacrifice flavor in this new gluten free world. Cutting out breads and pastas means you make more room for other great foods.
3 1/4 cups coarsely mashed potatoes & acorn squash (partway peel, chop and boil till tender)
1 T butter
2 T olive oil
1/4 c finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 medium leeks or one small onion, halved and thinly sliced (1/2-2/3 c)
1/2 t minced garlic
4-6 oz fake sour cream, at room temperature (soy/Tofu sour cream)
2 t fresh lemon juice
3 eggs (eggwhites from a carton are fine; I used one whole egg and the rest eggwhites)
1/3 c rice milk
1/4 c shredded fake mozzarella (almond cheese)
4-6 oz smoked salmon, diced (4 seems like plenty to me)
2 T chopped fresh dill (I used 2 t dried dill)
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
Creole Essence Ingredients:
1 t paprika sprinkle of cayenne
1/2 t salt 1/2 t dried oregano
1 t garlic powder 1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t black pepper 1/2 t onion powder (I didn't have onion or garlic, still great!)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Oil a 9" glass pie plate.
In a bowl, toss and combine the potatoes and squash with butter and the Creole Essence (recipe below). Add Parmesan and combine. Press the potato mixture into the pie plate, spreading evenly to cover the bottom and up the sides. Bake until golden, 25-30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Reduce the oven to 350 degrees.
Saute the leeks/onions in olive oil over medium heat. When they're soft, about four minutes, add the garlic and cook for one minute. Remove from the heat.
Put "sour cream" and leeks/onions and lemon juice in a large bowl and stir everything together. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring just until combined. Add the rice milk, salmon, dill and pepper. Mix well.
Pour the salmon mixture into the cooled potato crust and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden and the batter is set. Cool quiche awhile before serving. Fight over the spatula.
Only serves four. It's that great.
Go to Gluten Free Goddess for a great sampling of recipes and advice.