Allow me to introduce you to the birth of my Scrumptious Salads series…
Goal: Eat more leafy greens. Somehow.
The other day I discovered two containers of salads I prepared about 10 days prior that were going rotten in the fridge. My husband and I had brought them out with us with the best of intentions, but what did we do? We left the salads in our bags and bought something instead. So we placed the salads back in the fridge when we got home with the best of intentions yet again, and what happened? They were completely forgotten. Their presence came back with a horrific, putrid vengeance, though, when I opened the containers to put the salad in the compost bin. I gagged and my eyes were practically tearing. What a stench.
Why didn’t we eat these in the first place?
Can you say boring salads?
I grew up in a house where salad (lettuce with onion, cucumbers, and balsamic vinegar) was served after every dinner. This is not a strange occurrence for an Italian household, but after 20-something years of the same thing, this salad is bound to drive you nuts.
…or maybe not — my relatives still eat this day in and day out too…
It got to the point where if someone served me a plain salad with balsamic again I was going to stab them with my fork.
I’ve only been blogging since February, so I think it’s fair to say I’m still new to this. I’ve enjoyed sharing my triumphs and tribulations as I continue to navigate through this new gluten free world, and I’ve been pleased to ‘meet’ and chat with fellow bloggers in our little corner of the web.
One of the bloggers I have had the pleasure of ‘meeting’ nominated me and a few other bloggers for awards. Thanks to Dana at http://celiackiddo.wordpress.com/ I have received these badges:
My review of Rizopia Brown Rice Lasagna
Rizopia Brown Rice Lasagne. I bought two boxes of this.
Let me start by saying I’m exaggerating a tad. The entire lasagna was not a fail, but the whole top layer was.
Now I’ll give some back-story.
I happily stumbled upon gluten free lasagna noodles the other day at the store. I had been searching for them for months actually and eventually gave up the hunt. Apparently they were always there, and I just had to look up a few shelves. But at 5”1, I am 100 per cent going to blame my height, or lack thereof, for the oversight.
Last night I ate the best gluten free pizza I’ve ever had — and this includes the delectable ones I stuffed my face with in Rome. The best part of this pizza? I made it myself and it was easy.
I saw this recipe posted on this blog and it caught my eye because no flour whatsoever is required to make the crust. ‘How is this even possible?’ I wondered. I actually scanned the list of ingredients repeatedly to see if I was missing something.
The best gluten free pizza I’ve ever had. The crust is made with a flourless dough and it takes 15 minutes to make.
Remember, I never really cooked before, let alone a pizza, so if the concept of flourless dough is nothing new, forgive me.
But there it was, a quick, short list of stuff I’d need to make a pizza crust and there was no flour in sight. This intrigued me. I had been avoiding making my own gluten free bread and pizza for about a year — I’ve seen my mom fight with dough countless times before and it just didn’t look fun.
What’s also intriguing about this pizza crust is that the main ingredient is cauliflower — and I don’t even like this vegetable. I never have. In fact, when my brother and I were younger, he nagged my mom to make cauliflower as part of his special birthday dinner, and I teased him about this for years. What normal 8-year-old likes cauliflower? For his birthday, no less. Really now.
Wondering why I even wanted to make this recipe? The second main ingredient is cheese, and that I can get on board with.
So here it is: this is how I made the crust. I’ve also included my recipe for the pizza sauce if you want a change from the store bought stuff.
Normally I plan my ‘outdoor’ meals ahead of time by checking online restaurant menus and nutrition charts. At the very least, I’ll try and see if there is a gluten free menu and then I’ll just make a wild on-the-fly decision right there in the booth. But you can’t always plan for everything. Sometimes you’ve forgotten to pack run out of your on-the-go snacks, and sometimes you just want more than a bite. I don’t have the best phone (contract’s up in May!); sometimes it likes to shut off on its own, and other times I’ll have to do the dreaded ‘battery pull’ because opening a web page freezes up the *expletive* device. As a result I try to avoid surfing the net with my phone, which means I can’t access online restaurant menus when I’m out unless I’m with somebody. This means, restaurant employees, I rely on you.
(Flickr / mattfour)
So, when I ask, ‘what on your menu does not have gluten?’ I really would appreciate the correct response. (Side note: This is not a post about being ‘glutened’ or, as I like to call it, ‘snipered.’) I have been witness to incredibly rushed answers to this question, with each one being a resounding and abrupt, ‘no-we-don’t-have-anything-gluten-free.’
Have you ever been turned off of a particular food because of its colour? I have. As many of you know, I don’t like green split peas. But what about the colour of some processed foods? Recently, two bloggers spearheaded a movement to get Kraft to stop using food colour in their famous Kraft Dinner. I don’t want to knock these bloggers (I’m always impressed when the ‘little guy’ rallies the troops for positive change), but I have to ask, why not just stop buying Kraft Dinner? Omitting the dye will not suddenly transform this popular dish into a healthy lunch option.
I didn’t grow up eating KD. My brother and I grew up with homemade meals, and I actually learned how to make mac’n’cheese from scratch at a relatively young age. I’ve adapted my mom’s recipe to make it gluten free, and I even found a way to make it that distinct bright yellow colour. Want to know the secret?
Yep. There you have it. You can make your own macaroni and cheese gluten free and vibrant yellow to boot.
My homemade gluten free mac’n’cheese
To tell you the truth, I only eat corn pasta. Rice pasta is alright, but I find it a tad on the gummy side. Corn pasta, on the other hand, is not gummy, and it sits lighter in my stomach. It’s also incredibly quick to cook in boiling water. And I’m impatient, so this is a good thing.
If you’re interested in making your own mac’n’cheese, read on. It’s a delicious gluten free comfort food that’s healthier than the store-bought boxed version, and naturally yellow — if you like that kind of thing.
Tonight I’m going to relish in being a kid again as I’m set to see Jurassic Park 3D. I’m pretty excited about this; when it first came out, I was 8 years old. It actually hasn’t been too long since I’ve seen the movie (it’s my husband’s pick for whenever he’s sick – my ‘sick movie’ is You’ve Got Mail), but I’m buying into the hype of the re-release and, frankly, I can’t wait to see what those dinos look like when they’re popping out of the IMAX screen.
Tonight’s plans got me thinking about food at the movies and whether or not it’s gluten free. So I called Cineplex and AMC Theatres and did some digging. Here’s what I found out:
I have always loved cereal even though the ones that stocked my mom’s pantry shelves were of the healthy and ‘boring’ variety. We primarily ate Cheerios (the plain ones), Raisin Bran (be still, my heart), and Mini-Wheats (actually, these were my favourite because they were half covered in frosting). Every Easter, my brother and I were each treated to a box of Froot Loops or Lucky Charms, along with our favourite chocolates of course, and needless to say they didn’t last long.
Cereal was my go-to snack for pretty much any time of day. I used to annoy my mom by opening three or more boxes at once ‘for variety,’ but she would complain that they took up too much pantry space. I desperately tried to make her see my way was best; I even pointed out Seinfeld kept a well-stocked shelf devoted entirely to cereal.
It didn’t work and I eventually begrudgingly gave in.
Since changing my diet, I’ve turned to gluten free cereals. They’re pricier than ‘normal’ ones, but that’s not going to stop me. In fact, mom, I have my own shelf space to contend with now — and I’m living the dream.
My Seinfeld-esque shelf of cereal, only it’s all gluten free.
Here are my thoughts on a few gluten free cereals I recently purchased.