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Broccoli and Tofu

You can’t really ever go wrong with tofu and broccoli, at least in my oldest son’s opinion. His favorite way to eat that healthy combination used to be wrapped in a spelt tortilla with garlic sauce. He even wrote an essay about that dish in third grade when asked about his favorite thing to eat, but sadly, he can’t eat spelt anymore and corn tortillas are just not the same. They are great for soft tacos, quesadillas, and ‘beandillas’, (a quesadilla made with refried beans instead of cheese) but corn tortillas just do not complement the broccoli and tofu like the spelt did. He missed that dish terribly, along with countless others, once his gluten intolerance was discovered, but now he’s found a new favorite way to enjoy broccoli and tofu. Here’s the recipe:

broccoli and tofu with pasta

Ingredients:

1 package brown rice fusilli

½ yellow onion

2 crushed cloves of garlic

3-4 cups broccoli, cut into bite size pieces

1 package extra firm tofu, drained and wrapped in paper towels to get out extra water

Approx. 2 T. olive oil (1 for the stir fry and 1 for the pot of pasta)

1 T. balsamic vinegar (or to taste)

1 T. gluten free Tamari

Dried basil and oregano to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

For this dish, I start the water boiling for the pasta as I begin the cutting up process. Pour in at least one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pan, and then add the onions, cooking until translucent. Next the garlic should be added in, with the broccoli following. Pour the vinegar over the broccoli while stirring the veggies. Add the tofu then cover the tofu with the tamari. While cooking, stir in the herbs, salt, and pepper, and cook until the broccoli is bright green and the tofu is warm throughout with a bit of browning. Meanwhile, make the fusilli according to the package directions, and when all is done combine into approximately 4 bowls. This is one pasta dish that doesn’t require parmesan, but feel free to add it if you prefer, or if you like just drizzle on a bit more olive oil. For my son and I, we do not add anything but our forks.

celiac disease · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gluten free · Gluten free eating · gluten free food · gluten free foods · gluten free lifestyle · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerance diagnosis · gluten intolerance symptoms · gluten intolerant

Brain on Gluten cont.~ News from Living Without Magazine

Neurologic Effects of Celiac Disease 
A study featured at the International Celiac Disease  Symposium looked at neurological dysfunction in celiac disease. More  than half of the study’s 73 participants—newly diagnosed  adults at a celiac clinic in the U.K.—had neurological symptoms.  These included frequent and intractable headaches, balance problems and  sensory symptoms. White matter abnormalities were spotted in the brain  scans of a number of these participants and some had TG6 antibodies.  (TG6 antibodies have been linked to neurological dysfunction in celiac  disease.) Findings suggest that neurological dysfunction is common in  newly diagnosed celiacs, write researchers.
A U.S. study, also featured at ICDS, found that  neurocognitive effects like brain fog are common after exposure to  gluten in those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity  alike. A whopping 89 percent of celiacs and 95 percent of those with  non-celiac gluten sensitivity reported experiencing neurocognitive  effects due to gluten, specifically, difficulty concentrating,  forgetfulness, grogginess, detachment and mental confusion. Symptoms  often began 30 minutes to an hour after gluten exposure and lasted  several days. Results were based on a preliminary online survey  completed by 1,143 individuals with celiac disease and 253 with  non-celiac gluten sensitivity. More work is planned.

This is the exact article I found in my email box this morning from Living Without. Fascinating.

celiac disease · children · dairy free · Food allergies · gluten free · gluten free food · gluten free foods · gluten free lifestyle · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerant

Ups and Downs of Intolerance

Most days the food intolerances my sons and I deal with are not that big of a deal. In fact, they have helped all three of us be healthier so in a way they have been kind of nice. If I could eat gluten, for example, I’d live on bread and such to the exclusion of a lot of other nutrients. BUT, there are days when it really gets…old. Reading every label, dealing with school classroom eating (why do they eat so much at schools? They’ve been back 8 days and already have had a marshmallow party and a cupcake party.) Telling my youngest that no, he can’t have his favorite meal (ever ever again,) and leaving a restaurant wondering if I ate something off-limits, and if so, how bad the reaction will be. (Actually, does anyone know where I can find a recipe for a gluten-free, dairy free, soy, nut, and egg free alfredo sauce recipe? It’s my son’s favorite and that never again thing really doesn’t sit well with me.) It’s tiresome, and honestly I’m just sick of thinking about food all the time, and not like in a tasty way, thinking about what’s in it, how am I going to get variety in my picky sons’ diet, what supplements are we out of, etc… These are the days that call for easy frozen pizza for the boys and trusted comfort foods~ gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut free, and egg free of course. Thank goodness for dark chocolate.

celiac disease · dairy free · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gf bread · gluten free · gluten free bread · Gluten free eating · gluten free food · gluten free foods · gluten free lifestyle · gluten intolerant

Substitutes for Common Food Intolerances

I know that food intolerances can be cured and granted, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. We haven’t gotten our test results back yet but I’m already trying to get dairy out of our diets, and I’m leery of eggs and soy because they are common problem-makers too. This is not easy for a primarily vegetarian family, but if we can do it, anyone can, and honestly it hasn’t been all that difficult yet. My youngest who used to live on Annie’s boxes of shells and cheese now has a new love~ garlic bread sticks. I make the Trader Joe’s gluten-free, dairy free flat bread pizza crusts into garlic bread sticks by preheating the oven to 425, mix 1T of olive oil (per sheet of crust), with one clove of garlic and a dash of Mediterranean salt. I pour that on the flat bread and rub it until it is all evenly distributed. It says to cook for 6-10 minutes and I am finding 9 minutes works best for our oven. Once I take out the bread I cut it into 3 long strips, like bread sticks he recognizes from restaurants. He loves them, and I love the olive oil and garlic getting into his body. This is what it looks like and it is in the refrigerated section.

Gluten Free Pizza Crust
Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Also from Trader Joe’s we’ve been getting goat cheeses of all kinds. I found this goat cream cheese which is perfect on Udi’s bagels. Goat Cream Cheese

If you are watching fat/calories the above goat cheese is more in line with Neuchâtel cheese than cream cheese. Other cheeses I’ve talked about before, also from Trader Joe’s are these goat cheeses: Trader Joe's Goat CheesesThe triangle is a hard cheese which is good for shredding and snacking, the others are a soft, spreadable cheese that go well with sweeter foods. I am looking forward to making gluten-free crepes with those cute little medallions and fresh strawberries.

Another substitution I’ve made lately is cooking up Lundberg’s Tuscan Risotto instead of their parmesan one that we used to eat all the time (with broccoli and sometimes smoked salmon on the side.) I was very afraid my oldest would revolt against this change because he adores parmesan risotto, but he actually loved the dairy free Tuscan kind. He said it tasted just the same~ works for me!

Lundberg Tuscan Risotto
Lundberg Tuscan Risotto

These are just quick fixes so far, but it helps to make the task seem less daunting to have easy to prepare meals on hand that the kids really like. Once they are used to their intolerances, we will work on adding in more variety. Watch, they won’t even be dairy intolerant! That’d be fantastic, but less dairy in their lives can’t be a bad thing. My son’s sinuses confirm that. It’s nice we are entering summer too for all the fruits that are available. They add color and variety to every meal in a happy way.

 

 

celiac disease · dairy free · Food allergies · food sensitivities · gf foods · gluten free · gluten free food · gluten free foods · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerant

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Care Free too?

While we are still awaiting the actual results from the naturopath on exactly how intolerant we all are, I’ve already been cutting way down on dairy for the kids and myself and I’m happy to report that a. it’s been easy and b. I see good results. My oldest is less clogged in his sinuses, my youngest’s cheeks are looking smoother (he has that pinkish-slightly bumpy stuff on his cheeks that adults get on the back of their arms. No doctor has ever been able to say why, just that it’s something a lot of people have. The naturopath though says it’s a food intolerance and we’ll fix it~ yay for getting to the root of the issue!) and I’m less bloated without dairy in my life. For my oldest, I have switched to almond milk, the vanilla kind (Blue Diamond unsweetened vanilla) that is in the refrigerated section and he likes it just as well as regular milk. For cheese, I’ve switched to goat cheese for quesadillas and cinnamon toast. The goat cheeses were recommended by my friend who is already dealing with a house of four with food intolerances. She gave me two to try from Trader Joe’s, both carrying the Trader Joe’s name: one is a hard cheese called Goat’s milk Gouda cheese. It comes in a fairly big triangular cut and is surprisingly inexpensive. This is what I’ve been shredding for quesadillas lately and my oldest loves it, plus I’ve been slicing it for crackers and it is delightful. The other cheese is a spreadable goat cheese medallion, which comes in small individually wrapped circles. Both cheeses are mild, but the spreadable one is somewhat more like butter than cheese when spread on toast, which is how I ate is yesterday with my salad at lunch. My friend recommended I top the cheese on toast with some cinnamon sugar, so I tried that for my boys and it was a huge hit with my oldest. I’m still working on my youngest on trying new things, but I’m sure it won’t be long before his palate is less picky. For yogurt I’ve been eating Redwood Hill’s goat yogurt or So Delicious’ coconut yogurt. I like the goat kind better because it has a healthier protein to sugar ratio and the taste is more like regular yogurt that I’m used to. The coconut yogurt is good, but less protein and sweeter. I have a feeling that might be what my kids like better though and it would be good to have as many diverse foods as possible in their diet so I’ll have them try it. I asked a couple of employees at Whole Foods what they saw people buying the most of, and they said the almond yogurt, but it has different texture that you have to get used to. I tried it and did not like it at all. The texture is indeed very odd~ not smooth and creamy at all, but to each his/her own. So, that’s how the dairy experiments are going right now.

Here’s a chocolate chip cookie recipe I modified from the Flying Apron cookbook. It’s gluten-free and vegan and so incredibly delicious you’ll never notice the difference. By the way, neither of my kids really like the taste of coconut, but the amount of oil I used in this recipe leaves such a mild coconut taste it’s hard to even figure out what that extra little something is unless you know. And the boys adore these cookies. With that said, use whatever ingredients you have. I don’t believe in that whole “baking must be precise” myth. Experiment!

Gluten Free, Vegan, Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1.25 cups + 1T gf oat flour
  • 1 cup garbanzo bean/fava bean flour (it’s a Bob’s Red Mill blend)
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 3/4 sea salt
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips (I like the smaller ones found in bulk sections)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all dry ingredients up to and including the cinnamon in a bowl and mix with a spoon. Blend the sugar and oils together in a (bigger) bowl with a mixer. Slowly add the almond milk and dry ingredients to the sugar and oil bowl, alternating the ingredients until well blended. Then add the chocolate chips and mix until well-distributed. Scoop dough onto lined cooked sheets and bake for 17-20 minutes. Enjoy!

baking · celiac disease · gf foods · gluten free · Gluten free eating

Gluten Free Biscuits

gluten free biscuits

These biscuits taste as traditional as a gravy-dipped southern morning. Thank the wonderful cooks at Jovial for this recipe, and try their Einkhorn versions too. I used gluten-free oat flour, brown rice flour, sorghum flour and tapioca starch, but feel free to experiment, or just use up what is in your pantry. These are made with kefir which is chock full of those oh so very important probiotics, so once you use some in this recipe, you can add the rest of the bottle to smoothies, mix it with flavoring like cinnamon or chocolate (or both!) or drink it straight. The only thing about these biscuits is I find them hard to cut in half without a lot of crumbling action, which also means they are a bit hard to toast. The broiler works best, but they are also just good straight out of the fridge where I am storing them. Here’s the link: Jovial’s recipe for biscuits.

celiac disease · gluten free · gluten free lifestyle · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerance diagnosis · gluten intolerant

Probiotics for Food Allergies and Intolerances

Yogurt and Kefir are great ways to get probiotics, and they make yummy smoothies
Yogurt and Kefir are great ways to get probiotics, and they make yummy smoothies

My sister sent me this article the other day and I thought it worth sharing. It is called What Really Causes Celiac Disease? and it has a different message than I have seen before. It basically (and I’m giving a very small synopsis of this) says that traditional thought on Celiac disease is that some people have the gene for it, and of those people, some of them have the disease triggered by something. In other words, not everyone with the gene has the disease, so: gene + the trigger = Celiac. They are now thinking there is more to it than that, in fact billions more. “Billions?” you may ask, but yes, when discussing probiotics we get into big numbers. Unfortunately, the modern diet and the modern obsession with antibiotics and antibacterial everything means those big numbers are dangerously low. (Probiotics are things like acidofilus and bifidus which create yogurt and other foods.) This article singles out bifidus as an important player in keeping our digestive systems healthy and allergy/intolerant free. They are still learning about the connections between probiotics and dietary issues, but in the meantime I am going to take in as much as I can, and certainly make sure my kids do too. So far they do not seem to be gluten intolerant like I am, but I’m going to take any step I can that might help keep it that way.

celiac disease · Food allergies · gf foods · gluten free · Gluten free eating · gluten free food · gluten intolerant · Uncategorized

Gluten-Free Blueberry Cinnamon Scones, Ginger Cookies, and Soup

WP_20130218_002[1]These blueberry cinnamon scones are, more or less, from the Flying Apron’s cookbook. I used different flours (gluten-free oats, sorghum, and brown rice) and added cinnamon sugar to the tops. My youngest and pickiest child who normally only likes scones with a hearty dose of icing really loves these. They have a nice texture and density~ lighter than you might expect considering how thick they are. I did see this recipe on another site but cannot tell if that site has permission to share it, so I am not going to provide the link, though if you really want to make these scones and don’t have the book, you can find the recipe online. The Ginger Wheels from the same book on the other hand, might be a bit harder to find, but the book is worth the money just for these cookies, if you ask my children anyway. They are like molasses cookies with a zing of ginger, can be used for gingerbread men or nade just as wheels for easy, year round use. I’d post a photo but my kids scarf them down way too quickly for a photo op. If you really want the recipe, comment with your email address and I’ll send it to you. Here’s a gluten-free soup recipe which I can link to from here and it is a weeknight wonder. My husband is not a big chicken fan, but he loves this Tortilla Soup from PCC’s recipe page. I’ve only recently started eating chicken broth and tiny bits of chicken in soup and have to say this is the only recipe with chicken I like at all. (I’ve just never liked chicken~ I’ve tried, but it’s  not my thing.) Since you add tortillas on top when serving, I just might get a spoonful or two into my youngest! No guarantees, but I’m going to try. I did add a leek to this soup because soup is just always better with leeks, and really it could handle more veggies in it (a chopped carrot or a chopped celery stalk, or both would make it even healthier.) It isn’t that spicy so you can dial-up the heat with more of that jalapeno it calls for, and I imagine black beans instead of chicken in a veggie broth would make a tasty vegan version. Keep the recipe in mind for your next taco night at home~ it’s sure to please.

ancient wheat · celiac disease · gluten free · Gluten free eating · gluten free foods · gluten free lifestyle · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerance diagnosis · gluten intolerant

Sourdough the Answer for Gluten Intolerance?

Two naturally-leavened (sourdough) loaves. Fro...

A couple of days ago I was sitting in a doctor’s office when I spotted a Whole Living magazine which was a welcome diversion. I don’t often see those lying around so I was happily surprised, yet far more surprised by what I actually read. There was an article about a baker making sourdough bread with regular wheat that apparently gluten intolerant people can eat. The story goes on to explain about the starter and yeast and other things, but the gist of it was that at least one Santa Monica baker has a technique that has gluten intolerant people lining up for miles around, and it also talks about ancient wheat varieties versus the modern ones. Here’s the article so you can read it too, and join me in my plan to move to Santa Monica, or at least find out more about this technique. It sounds like at least a lot more people are thinking about this epidemic in gluten intolerance and trying to do something about it. (Yay!) The bummer for me though is the fact I was not tested for Celiac Disease when diagnosed with gluten intolerance. I just asked the doctor (whose office I was in reading the above article) about getting tested now and she said I would have to go on a gluten diet again before being able to get an accurate answer. That bites! I didn’t even ask how long I’d have to eat gluten (and feel rotten) because my immediate thought was about the feeling rotten part. She said as long as I don’t know I just have to stay off gluten entirely and forever~ which makes these ancient wheats and sourdough starter prospects bittersweet. It makes me wish I’d demanded to be tested way back when the first GI doctor I saw told me it didn’t matter because whether I was a celiac or just gluten intolerant all I could do either way was stay away from wheat, and that I didn’t look like a celiac b/c they are normally blonde and pale. (That still cracks me up.) At the time I wanted to know for certain because I thought it important for my kids since it is a hereditary disease, but I let him talk me out of sticking a long scope down my throat into my small intestine. Honestly, it didn’t take long for him to convince me that was unnecessary. Oh well. I guess I can always try these new things and see how I feel which sounds a lot easier than eating a bunch of gluten just in order to take a test. Looks like the Santa Monica farmer’s market is now on my “must go to” list now.

ancient wheat · celiac disease · food · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gluten free · gluten intolerance

More on Ancient Wheat

Jovial pastas

So I’ve been hearing about this ancient wheat possibly being digestible for us gluten challenged people and have found one company that is making pastas from one of the strands, and selling the flour. It is called Einkorn wheat and the company I have stumbled upon is Jovial. I have liked their gluten free pastas for a while now, and really enjoy their blog and recipes but up until now I have kind of ignored the whole ‘ancient wheat’ thing thinking it wasn’t for gluten intolerant people. Now I’m starting to hear mumblings that perhaps it is. Obviously, a celiac needs to take extra precaution, but for all those people who don’t eat wheat just because it makes them feel awful in one way or another, this just might be a way to enjoy it again. I don’t know~ I haven’t tried it yet myself. Funny how I used to eat wheat nonstop and now I’m stalling about trying this new development of an ancient grain, but I really don’t like feeling sick. (Shocking, I know.) And really I’d like some more evidence before eating it and possibly feeling sick and causing damage to myself. But, if anything is going to lure me in it will be the possibility of a hearty European style loaf of bread to eat. I could eat alternative grains for pasta, pastries, crackers, and just about anything else quite happily for the rest of my life, but a good old fashioned hunk of crusty bread just can’t be made without wheat. Or at least it doesn’t taste nearly as good, in my humble opinion. Of course, that also means I need to learn how to make a good old fashioned European crusty loaf myself, and apparently Einkorn is tricky to work with (which is exactly why it has gone out of fashion while the higher yield, higher gluten wheats have flourished.) As soon as I drum of the nerve to tackle the baking, and the eating, it’ll be documented here first.