Friday, November 20, 2009

Keep lookin for that Gluten!

I really enjoyed the North Raleigh Celiac Support Group (CSA Chapter 108) meeting we had last night.  It was fun to see everyone (I had to miss last month), and Moonlight Bakery had some great samples for us to try.

We were talking about recipes, and some ideas about how to eat for the holidays.

Most of us have figured out how to avoid cross-contamination in our own kitchens, but it was a good reminder for all of us about eating with family and friends--to watch out for shared or swapped spoons on the buffet, turkeys that have been cooked with stuffing inside, etc.

What was news to me was that we cannot always trust "tuna fish in water" products.  Apparently, a food label that says "in water" doesn't always literally mean "water."  So there are tuna fish products that are not Gluten-Free.  The culprit, apparently, is "vegetable broth".  Can't trust broth in anything, it might contain gluten.

Turkeys.  Many contain "natural flavoring," which may contain gluten.  Best to get a fresh turkey with no additives.

Why are so many things added to our foods?  Whose great idea was that?  Has our health improved or worsened since food production has changed in this way?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What's for Breakfast?

I am not a cold cereal lover, never have been.  Sometimes I do enjoy hot cereal, but not that often.

So what can I eat that's gluten free and a great way to start my day?

One of my favorite breakfasts is fresh fruit with greek yogurt.  My cousin taught me this.  Put your fruit in a bowl, and then dollop a few spoonfuls of the yogurt on top, mix and enjoy.

What's great about greek yogurt is that it does not contain sugar, and especially doesn't contain HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, which I try to avoid like the plague.  So it's easy.  The ingredients are usually just milk and cultures. 

If I feel like I need a bigger breakfast, then I might add a piece of gluten free toast.  Keep it simple.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hash Browns (scattered, smothered, covered, etc)

The other day I found myself at Waffle House with some friends, and I got really hungry for some hash browns.

We gluten free folks can't opt for the waffles, or toast or anything like that, but hash browns are made of what--potatoes, grease, salt.  Right?

I was all ready to order up one of these heart attack-size platters of hash browns, when what did I see?  I saw them slice up two sandwiches diagonally, push the currently cooking hash browns off to the side, and slap down those sandwiches, crusts to the sky, right in the middle of all the cooking hash browns.  Aaack, the Celiac Nightmare.

No way, Waffle House!  With your poisoned grill!

So, what next?

Can't live without hash browns.  Here's how to make your own, which are probably less likely to kill you (though I can't guarantee it of course!):

  • Get 1 or 2 small to medium potatoes (per serving).  I like red potatoes.
  • Grate the potatoes.  Stop grating when you feel like you have as much as you want to eat.  
  • Spray skillet with Pam, or lightly butter or grease.  Heat skillet (medium heat).
  • Add potato shreds.  Salt lightly, if desired. Cover.  
  • Flip over when they start to brown.
  • Remove from pan and eat when 2nd side is brown.
I found that I didn't really need much oil.  The potatoes when fresh naturally have moisture, and they cook very well.

I'd rather sit at home and grate a couple potatoes than sit at home in agony from being glutened.  How 'bout you?