The ups, downs, and runarounds of Celiac Disease and food sensitivities

Archive for the tag “recipes”

A few food firsts

A first attempt at a galette, combining the results of a “gluten-free vegan galette” Google search for the crust with strawberry rhubarb reduction (a little bit of gory overflow):

galetteFirst time trying sorghum as a whole grain. Despite its popularity as a flour in gluten-free baked goods as well as in my own kitchen, I don’t really hear or read much about sorghum as a whole grain. Well, it can indeed to purchased, cooked, and enjoyed. Sort of a milder buckwheat-type flavor. Unlike other grains, sorghum requires 4 cups of water to 1 cup of kernels, and takes a bit longer to cook (similar to millet). As with all of my grains prep, I soaked it overnight before cooking for 2 rounds in my rice cooker. Another gluten-free grain option!

sorghum sorghum cooked


While some might balk at this confession, I miss cheese more than I miss bread. Enter baked almond feta! Tangy, creamy, FETA-Y! Be sure to grind the almonds in a coffee grinder if you don’t have a high-powered blender or food processor to achieve maximal smoothness. I found that it wasn’t quite baked after 50 minutes in the oven (I have a thermometer, so certain of the temp), but it crisped up nicely after a few additional minutes in my toaster oven.



So good that there was not an ounce of shame, but indeed immense pride, in serving it with a new-to-me french bread recipe. I’ve found more comfort with yeast-free breads, and thankfully recipes such as this very simple french bread exist, and deliver! And yes, I chose the countertop to match the bread.

french bread



Celiac Awareness Month and Egg-free Meatballs

If you have Celiac Disease and you follow a handful of the top gluten-free bloggers, you may already know of some of the great posts and resources available for Celiac Awareness Month. I was a bit thrown off because there’s a national Celiac Disease day in September, but oh well, I guess I’ll take a month + a day! The NFCA has put together a wonderful page of resources for anyone who’s interested. As with any cause, an awareness month educates those who do not know about it and strengthens the ties between those who do. While I am more than happy to share anecdotes, tips, tricks, research articles, blogs, publications, and a comforting shoulder to anyone curious about the gluten-free lifestyle or Celiac disease, I have struggled with how having Celiac Disease fits into my identity as a whole human being. There are times to talk about it, and times to let it sit. There are people who really want to know more, and there are those who balk at the thought of discussing health issues (and poop). From my experience, it is important to promote awareness in the most efficient, effective way. This means supporting new inductees, or discussing the possibility with those who have unresolved GI issues. Maybe throwing out a few of the clenching facts, like the prevalence, the wide variety (or lack) of symptoms, or the importance of testing before going gluten-free at a get-together IF the current topic allows. But no one wants to be beaten over the head with a credo. Unfortunately, people with health issues are perceived as weak, whiny, and hysterical. I would normally say a big stinkin WHO CARES, but perceptions DO matter in employment/professional situations. In the first few months after my diagnosis I found myself spilling my woes to anyone and everyone. This is not effective advocacy (and it wasn’t all that therapeutic, either, because not many folks know how to handle such a serious topic, so they kinda just avoid you). Effective promotions of awareness include alerting an employee when a rice/quinoa mix is not gluten-free because it has barley, so it should not be in the labeled “gluten-free” section, telling a bar that if they don’t know the specific ingredients of a beer then they shouldn’t claim it is gluten-free, interacting with fellow bloggers in a supporting manner, going to support group meetings, and patiently correcting inaccurate perceptions (e.g. WEIGHT LOSS, wheat-free = gluten-free, Celiac is contagious…) So, in sum, I try to be aware of how I promote awareness, so that the accurate message is heard and appreciated in as tolerable a morsel as possible. Oh, and of course it is a YEAR LONG endeavor, this month just serves to remind us of that.

Check out a thoughtfully succinct message about the month!

That said, I threw together some turkey meatballs that seemed worthy of note. There are lots of online egg-free meatball recipes to choose from, but I pretty much went with instinct on these puppies.



1lb ground turkey (I used 99% lean, any kind will do)

1/2 c. breadcrumbs (I have a large cache of failed, pulverized gf baked goods in my freezer for this very purpose; I believe today the sample came from carrot sweet potato muffin rejects)

1 to 1.5 c. spinach (I used frozen spinach, thawed and well-drained)

1/2 c. shredded/grated vegetable of choice (I did carrot, to stick with the rejected bread crumb theme)

spices/herbs to taste, e.g. parsley, ginger, onion powder, garlic powder, tarragon, fennel…

1 flax/chia or Ener-G egg (mix 1 Tbsp ground flax or chia with 2-3 Tbsp hot water and let sit, or 1 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer with 2 Tbsp hot water and let sit until egg-y)

Preheat oven to anywhere between 350 and 375 (my oven likes to jump around). Mix everything up in a large bowl. The mixture should be somewhat cohesive once you mix in the egg replacer. Use your hands to form small balls and place on greased or parchment papered baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or so, checking and flipping baking sheet at the 10 minute mark. Use a kitchen thermometer to test done-ness (160-165 degrees). These can also be made into larger patties and baked or fried. Hooray! Expanding the borders of a “restricted” diet yet again!

Pad Thai Improv

GE DIGITAL CAMERABased on this raw recipe, I threw together a sauce with lime juice, coconut aminos, fish sauce, tahini, garlic, ginger and a touch of sambal oelek for good, spicy measure. I used green cabbage, onion, carrots, daikon radish, jicama, spinach, and bok choy as “noodles” and veggies, and added in some chicken. Although the recipe text suggests that raw vegetables reduce inflammation, they are pretty rough on me, so I cooked the veggies, then rolled them into a nori wrap. Simple, quick, NOM.


Cake (on second try)!

This sucker is pretty tasty, BUT it doesn’t work if you (or I…) try to sub out some oil and maple syrup for applesauce. On second try and frosted with date paste and shredded coconut, and dolled up with coconut flakes on top, a veritable German chocolate cake:


What do you get…

When you cross a crustless pumpkin dessert pie with a savory sweet potato pie? Voila!


Oh, and I forgot to mention that the sweet potatoes were PURPLE!

Taking a bit of this from Katie, a bit of that from Tasty Eats at Home, I ended up with a delectable pie! Here’s what I did:

15 oz of cooked purple sweet potato (I was a bit short, so I threw in some purple cauliflower)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup brown rice/sorghum flour

2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup coconut (or other) milk

1 tbsp flaxmeal

1 tsp rosemary

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp paprika

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp ginger

and a dash of garam masala spice mix for good measure (hence the yellowy tint)

I followed Katie’s instructions of cooking at 400 degrees for 35 minutes, then chilled the pie in the fridge for several hours. YUM! Thanks for the inspiration, fellow bloggers!


And in other news, I finally used the box of GF Bisquick I’d received about a year ago from University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, the last lonely Tweason’ale, and a dash of cinnamon to make beer bread! What a delicious way to “get rid” of seldom-used products lurking on the shelf.


In closing, I wanted to give a commiserating shout-out to Gluten Dude, who happened to post his [and my] feelings in perfect words at the exact time I was experiencing them. Hang in there, folks. Hang in there, me…

Pinterest Organization

I finally took the time to create new boards and organize my pins on Pinterest! This will certainly help when I quickly want to reference a recipe (ack need to update on what I’ve tried lately!). Check out my new structure:


A selection of January culinary pursuits

I have yet to make doughnuts in my new doughnut pan, but I DID use it to make bagels with fresh blueberries! No boiling or frying, just baking. This recipe is also unique in that it uses coconut flour, but NO EGGS! Most coconut flour recipes require 6 or more eggs, so this was really a find for egg-free living, and a delicious one at that! When sliced open, these bagels really had the appropriate consistency (yes, I remember, even though it’s been about a year). I would probably increase the ingredients by 1/2 a recipe next time as I made 6 bagels instead of 4 (as the recipe was designed to produce).


Another tasty yet creative recipe trial- scones! Made with avocado, at that. I used a combination of quinoa and amaranth flours in place of oat flour (oats just don’t sit well, even certified gluten-free) and almond milk. I put frozen blueberries on half the batch, but I would not recommend this- it made the scones soggy as they were cooling. I topped the other half with cinnamon and ground palm sugar. Great recipe!


Naturally, desserts come first!

I made a modified version of New Orleans shrimp, omitting tomatoes and broiling the veggies. I ate it in both rice paper wrappers and in sushi nori papers, and both worked quite well. Great seasoning combination! Oh and don’t forget to add avocado, lime juice and a dash of sambal oelek! Yes they look slimy, and they are an acquired taste, but rice paper wrappers are so fun and easy to use. I highly recommend setting them on parchment paper to dry- they will stick to a plate and to each other. And yes, I bastardized the New Orleans part by throwing in various Asian touches… fruitful fusion!


this n that

GE DIGITAL CAMERAFirst gluten-free, vegan yeast bread (shouldn’t have opened the oven mid-baking, but very tasty and easy!)

GE DIGITAL CAMERAInstitute of Contemporary Art, Boston




GE DIGITAL CAMERAHarvard Museum of Natural History

Beating this thing! Or at least, today was a good day.

Well, slowly but surely I am feeling BETTER! Ok, so today was the first time since the intense onset of my symptoms last March that I’ve had the strength and endurance to run 10K and I’m coasting on the high… And I still have quite a few blah days and multiple food intolerances and other Celiac-related health drama… BUT. I don’t have to rush home to take a nap or deal with intestinal drama EVERY day. Just some days. Ok, most days. But not every day!

We are slammed at the nursing home, so combined with getting my dissertation research off the ground, I haven’t had a whole lot of time to devote to cooking/baking and blogging. I did, however, take the time to make these easy and delicious muffin tin mini-meatloafs (subbed millet for rice) from Living Without (gift subscription! yay!):


December Recipes Trials

I have trialed some great recipes in the last week!

I don’t have photographic evidence, but I tried 2 cupcake/muffin recipes for my dad’s birthday. Gingerbread, anyone? The rich gingery sweetness of these cupcakes really won everyone over, though next time I’ll be sure to add 1/3 cup of water for the 1/3 cup reduction in maple syrup to maintain an adequately moist result. I also subbed pumpkin for 1/2 the amount of oil. To guard against first-time failure, I also made chocolate muffins, which, even with 1/2 the called-for sugar, I’d classify as cupcakes. Substitutions: tapioca starch for potato, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum in place of 1 tsp (I really hate to use that stuff), 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar for 1 cup brown sugar, 1/8 cup coconut oil + 1/8 cup pumpkin for olive oil, almond in place of rice milk, and 2 flax eggs for Ener-G egg replacer. I also added a small amount of unsweetened baking chocolate and 1/2 cup frozen blueberries- yum! I used a coconut milk and oil based icing (will make the sugar cookies later this week, too!) for each cupcake/muffin, which was a relief after wading through numerous recipes all utilizing confectioner’s sugar. The icing received the most accolades!

Of course I go for the dessert first… for dinner that evening, we had sushi, homemade! Although I was a bit apprehensive about the whole wrapping process, the bamboo mat rolling technique was surprisingly easy to accomplish (though I could use more practice…). In order to avoid white rice, I used Queen of Quinoa’s recipe as a guide. After soaking the quinoa overnight, I prepared it in my rice cooker, then added the ginger and rice vinegar. Once cooled, it was just as sticky as Chinese sticky rice! Due to my Dad’s intolerance of raw fish, I baked the salmon first, then added it to the Nori sheet along with strips of cucumber (peeled/deseeded for my comfort), avocado, mango and steamed kale and scallions. Served with coconut aminos, the result (dubbed “Mount Sushi”) was much more presentable than I’d imagined, and VERY tasty! In fact, I’m thinking of a redo next week…



Finally, baked latkes in celebration of Hanukkah (and in observance of a fat malabsorption diet)! I can’t believe I grated potatoes by hand last year and somehow wrung them without cheesecloth… this time, a quick whiz in the food processor did the trick. Despite several alterations to an original recipe, these puppies were downright delicious and crispy! I subbed a flax egg, rice bread crumbs for chickpeas, omitted olive oil, and added ginger.


Other noteworthy recent trials: baked applesauce chicken (at 425 for 30 minutes, utilizing this smashing ingredient combo) and pumpkin soup (omitting sugar and cream; made this in advance and froze it, rave reviews from family!).

Recipe trial forecast: iced gingerbread and sugar cookies, curried cauliflower soup, first non-quick-bread bread attempt!

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