Monday, October 26, 2009

feeding me

I can't feed me on this crazy gluten free diet! I'm eating taco rice again. And again. And again. All my favorite treats that I eat when I'm alone are bread. Now when I eat I have to think first. It's cumbersome. I'm headed to New Pi this afternoon with madame Zoe to check out their flour selection. The sorghum in Bob's Red Mill gluten free mix is not a taste that I enjoy. I thought I'd get used to it. It's not happening. I think we're having lemon pepper chicken with quinoa salad for supper, which will be super yummy. I'm going to have to get better at this eating during the day bit, though or I'm going to look like I've been running with Highlander. I'd hate for anyone to suspect that I've started exercising regularly.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Taste of India Misunderstanding

I love to eat at Taste of India!
We went last night. It makes me truly happy. Seriously thrills me. The smell is divine. I love to sit and wait for my food, just concentrating on the smells.

I get so very confused when anyone disagrees with me about how wonderful their food is. It happened over lunch this week at Phong Lan (another favorite place to eat...more on that later.)

I now understand what the problem is.

I only eat there at night. I've never had their buffet. The folks that disagree with my assessment of Taste of India as the only place in town to get food from the heavens have (so far) only eaten lunch there. I think supper must be a different deal. I always order my food "medium" and Highlander gets his "spicy." It makes his eyes sweat. This cracks me up.

Last night, my head felt like it was glowing for hours after we left. I wish they could send smells through their website.
We brought home left overs and Highlander forgot to take them to work with him this morning...lucky me!

Eat there at night! And don't ask for your food "mild." Especially if you look like an Iowan. The waitress always looks at me and then assumes I'd like my food to be completely lacking in flavor. It's racist. I'm working my way up to "spicy." Not bad for a redheaded chick from the land of cream of mushroom soup based casseroles.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I love the naan. I made it last night and tried to modify it to be gluten free. Highlander said it was good. But he loves me and wants me to feel well, so I suspect he was exaggerating. It was good enough to keep messing with until I get it right.

Here's where we started:
2 cups gluten free flour (Bob's Red Mill)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 tablespoons lukewarm milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 egg

1. mix yeast and milk and let it sit for 15 minutes
2. sift flour, xanthan gum and salt together in a large bowl
3. add yeast and milk mixture, vegetable oil, yogurt, and egg to the flour. mix until a soft dough forms. add lukewarm water to moisten if necessary
4. knead for 10 minutes (that's a really long time. my arms got sore)
5. let the dough rise for about an hour and preheat the oven to 475 degrees, or hotter if you have an oven that will do that.
6. knead for 2 more minutes
7. divide into four pieces and shape into thin teardrop shapes that are about 1/4 inch thick
8. bake the teardrops in a 475 degree+ oven for 3-4 minutes on a preheated baking stone one at a time

I think my oven should have been hotter, but it's acting up lately. Next time, I'll try adding another tablespoon of yeast. It needed more salt, too. I need to do some research on gluten free dough and how to get it to rise. Maybe it's always just going to be heavier. Oh well. It was my first taste of bread in many days and I'm sure I was suffering from a little "Oh How I've Missed You!" syndrome. It'll wear off and I'll get this down. Then...on to bagels!

Also, I made a yellow lentil dish that is really flavorful. We ate it over cardamom flavored basmati rice and the kids actually didn't freak out. They ate it slowly. Tori said it wasn't good, but she didn't mind it. Zoe had a fit on principle. I explained to them that this is the macaroni and cheese of India, and they expressed pity for Indian children. Let's call that progress. We'll try again next week.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It worked.

This is my seventh day without a stomachache.
Goodbye Bread.
And Good Riddance!

Monday, October 19, 2009

I miss the gluten.

Just in case you really do come here for the food, here's the new thing I eat a lot of. It's pretty easy. It's also quite yummy and it helps me not think about bread.

Taco Rice (but not the salty kind from a bag)
This recipe makes as much as you want to make. So far, it's a hit with the kids, too. I like the Mexican Rice that you just buy in the bag and then dump in boiling water, but Highlander complains that it's overwhelmingly salty. He has a point. This isn't salty. It is cheap.

Line up a bunch of 2 cup Ziplock containers on your counter.
Put this in each one:
1 cup white rice (not instant)
2 teaspoons chili powder (the normal cheap american kind)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
a little less than 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or more if you like it spicy

Now put the lids on and label with these directions:
Heat 1 teaspoon cooking oil over medium heat and add the dry rice mix. Stir frequently until rice starts to sizzle. Add one full container of water (your containers should hold 2 cups) and 1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce. Put a lid on the pot and simmer 20-25 minutes.

I have a stack of these in my pantry. Well, I had a stack of them in my pantry. Until I started eating it every single day.

I do miss bread.

Photo shamelessly lifted from
Their recipe is also better than mine, but it's not quick. We're going for quick, here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

breaking up with bread

OK, so I haven't been writing. At all. Not even in those dozen or so blank books I have stashed away that my sister SWORE she'd swiftly and secretly remove from my home and destroy in the event of my untimely death. Because I've been feeling like crap, that's why. C.R.A.P. I won't give you a long drawn out explanation of my symptoms because that would be boring, and because I'm not 94 years old. I will say that at one point, my lovely (bland obese) doctor told me it sure sounds like Lupus.


Freaked me out, too.

Whatever. She came up with Very Low Iron and Pernicious Anemia. It's not Lupus, or arthritis, or any of the Hepatitis's. Oh Joy.

So I chugged some greenish red foul smelling supplements for a few months and slowly started to feel....better. But not all the way better. I still have "dumb" days and "sore" days and "what the hell did I eat????" days.

So then I started to shun the cow. (I am prepared to be sued by Big Dairy for this.) The Dairy makes me really sick. Always has. But I get all cheesy-needy and conveniently "forget" and then I pay. So buh-bye to the Cow!

And then it occurred to me that maybe it's not just a dairy-thing and an iron thing. Could it be (oh please don't let it be) a gluten thing? Please. Not the bread.

I've been kind of half way avoiding high gluten foods. I have to admit that I feel better when I eat several meals in a row that don't contain gluten. I'm less sore. Less sad. Less foggy. And my hair looks better. You think I'm kidding. I'm not kidding.

I've read a few books and although I don't recommend it to others, I googled Celiac Disease. Seriously. It'll give you nightmares. But so does a life without bread. It's a wash in my reality.

I found a blog written by a woman who is a cook (like me hooray!) and she's gone gluten-free. Here it is:
She's much nicer than I am, but I like her anyway. I am going to go buy 17 different weird ingredients that I've never heard of and try to make her English muffins. And then I'm going to give this bread a shot. I'll report back. And I'll probably be feeling more lively than I have been for oh, say, the last ten years or so.

Gluten-Free Flax Bread Recipe
My own recipe, comes out fluffy and nice and need not be frozen.
by Laurie150
2¾ hours 2 hours prep
SERVES 12 -18 , 1 loaf
1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour
1/4 cup garfava flour<
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flax seed meal
2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 cup water or milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vinegar
Combine flours, flax, starches, gum, yeast, salt.
In the mixer, combine wet ingredients, then add the dry.
Scrape the sides, and mix on medium for 4-5 minutes.
Pour into 9x5 pan, and let rise to top of pan (took about 80 minutes). I always, always let it rise in a turned off oven.
Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes.
Remove from pan, cool, and slice.
*use egg replacer of choice to create a vegan loaf, as well as an alternative sweetener for the honey.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Inspired to come back-----

I just received an email from someone who must not know that I love food. It contained the most horrible recipe for chicken chili I've ever seen. Bland, colorless, silly.

So I wrote mine down.

Here it is:

To get really good chicken meat and stock:

Get this stuff out of your fridge and cabinets:
A chicken
Bay leaves
Black peppercorns
Sea salt
A big stock pot
A strainer
Some little containers for freezing the leftovers
Saran wrap
Ziploc baggies for the freezer

Rinse a whole (not frozen) organic chicken well. Put it in a big stock pot. Cover it with water. Add one roughly chopped celery stalk, one roughly chopped onion, and one roughly chopped carrot. Bring water to a boil. Add 3 bay leaves, 4-5 black peppercorns, 2 T coarse sea salt. Reduce to simmer and cover with a tight fitting lid. Leave it alone for 2 hours. Remove the chicken (carefully!) from the broth. It should be falling apart. Cover lightly with foil and let cool. Turn the heat up on the remaining liquid and boil for 10-15 minutes. Strain out the vegetables and peppercorns. Reserve 5 cups of the liquid and after the rest has cooled, pour it into single serving sized containers and freeze for another use. Remove the meat from the chicken. Wrap the white meat tightly in saran wrap and then put it in a freezer safe Ziploc baggie. Label and store in the freezer for another use. Chop the remaining brown meat coarsely. Put the bones in a big Ziploc baggie and freeze. You can roast the bones and make stock another day.

Put the 5 cups of stock and the brown meat in the fridge if you are making the chili within 2 days.

To make the chili:

Get this stuff out of your fridge and cabinets:
Canola oil
3 onions
A garlic bulb
Jalapenos or Serrano peppers or a small can of diced green chili’s
Chili powder
Soy sauce
Ground black pepper
2 cans of white beans
5 cups of the stock you just made
The brown meat from the chicken
Fresh cilantro
A little bit of red onion

Add 2-3 tablespoons of canola oil to a medium sized stock pot and brown 3 diced onions, 9 minced garlic cloves, 1-2 jalapeno or Serrano peppers and one diced stalk of celery. Add 3 T ground cumin, 3 T chili powder, 1 tsp soy sauce and ½ tsp ground black pepper and stir it all together. Cook 10-15 minutes. (Adding the seasoning to the vegetables as they are browning toasts the spices. This is really important for flavor development.)

Add the five cups of stock to the vegetables and stir well, scraping the brown bits off of the bottom of the pan. Bring mixture to a simmer. Add 2 cans of rinsed, drained white beans, and the chicken meat. If you don’t have fresh hot peppers on hand, add a small can of diced green chilis. If you like a decent amount of heat, or to add a smoky component to the dish, add one minced chili pepper in adobo sauce.

Bring the entire mixture to a simmer for 10-15 minutes and serve with warm crusty bread. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and finely diced raw red onion.