Food for Goofs
This page will continue to change as I gather new info so come back often if you are newly diagnosed!
On my site I hope to compile recipes for going gluten free that may even fool the in-laws and the out-laws! Mostly I hope the recipes here are manageable and fun for the whole family, I won’t pretend to be a “chef” because sadly I’m not. We are a large family on a tight budget trying to make gluten free living work! But before I get ahead of myself lets start at the beginning.
It is not generally recommended by the Celiac community to diagnose yourself although many people have and would never go back. If you do just know that getting a positive reading on most of the Doctor recommended tests becomes more difficult the longer you are on a wheat free diet. For some, the difference on the diet is so drastic, they never feel the need to have a positive test, for others the “honeymoon” period wears off and they begin to second guess the results wondering if they could have just a little gluten and be ok and so they cheat causing unseen long term problems for themselves. I recommend getting a positive test as soon as possible and then never looking back. A healthy future awaits and life is too short! Gluten is an over rated “necessity” anyhow. When you are rid of it you will feel and look so much better. People have said to me since I came over to the “gf” side, “your skin looks so nice, your face used to look so pale but,” they grasp for words and then often remark, “you look so healthy!” That, my Dear is why I never miss a day of gluten.
There is no cure for Celiac Sprue except a lifelong adherence to a gluten free diet.
After you decide, or are forced to go gluten free you have some important decisions to make. The first being do I panic and get depressed as I reminisce over all the wonderful wheat filled meals I once had that I will never partake of again? I emphatically suggest not taking this approach. Instead (do as I say not as I did) and make a list of foods you are already eating or could stand to try that you suspect ARE gluten free. Here are some examples:
- eggs & bacon
- yogurt (check label) with flax seed
- fresh fruit
- grits (really, it’s good-make sure to add plenty of brown sugar)
- sandwiches (just put them on rice cakes or roll in white corn tortilla’s)
- baked potatoes
- fresh veggies
- tacos or taquito’s
- Thai Kitchen’s noodle bowls
- try handmade noodles
- fresh fruits and veggies
- soup (With caution! Progresso has some versions without wheat ingredients)
- Crock pot wonders
- chicken and rice
- fish and rice
- pork and rice… you get the picture and for the vegetarian folks
- tofu and rice (be aware, soy sauce has wheat but you can purchase gluten free tamari at various health food or Asian food markets or use Brags amino acids-a little salty tasting so go light)
- meat loaf
- baked potatoes or potato soup
- homemade soup or chili
- stir fry
- enchilada’swith corn tortilla’s and gluten free ench sauce
- lettuce wrapped hamburgers
- no noodle lasagna
- yummy kabobs
- nuts (be careful with mixed nuts many are manufactured in facilities that also process wheat)
- dried fruits
- rice cakes
- cheese sticks
- gf dark chocolate
Detox the Kitchen:
A helpful start would be to rid your house of every known allergen or if that is impossible, move it all to a designated area and (I know it seems excessive) but label the gluten free items! Someone who does not may find that shared butter, peanut butter, mayo etc. will collect enough crumbs to make them sick. Don’t even think about scooping around the crumbs-I tried- those gluten proteins are microscopic. Even a toaster or a pizza stone could be why a person is continually getting sick, unaware that he is ingesting gluten. Click here for an extremely helpful article on how to go gluten free.
Don’t try baking quite yet. Stick to the “mainstream” recipes. Allow yourself to eat real food! When I was first diagnosed I had a total brain lapse, I thought it was the end of eating in general… not so, I just had to learn to cook. That was not the easiest endeavor and I am still on a journey, I am a much better baker (can’t I eat brownies for the rest of my life?) but I tried too soon and had a disappointing start, give yourself time to master the gluten-free bread, there are great recipes out there but baking without wheat is not the easiest thing to dive into.
It really is a glorious thing to make food from scratch. Our fast food, canned beans (although I do use them sometimes-so don’t take me as a snob) society is creating quite a problem, embrace the chance to get back to the basics. My grandmother made food from scratch, worked full time and raised 6 kids mostly by herself. Even if you don’t have the six kids there is something satisfying about being able to list the ingredients in the food you eat and pronounce them all! You know something is wrong when you have to call a chemist to find out what’s in the things we eat. So, don’t panic saute a little garlic and onions to season chicken, or combine lemon juice and honey for a delicious salad dressing, enjoy the creative flexibility of food from scratch!
Back to Baking:
Next if you plan to attempt gluten free baking here are some quick tips.
- You will need to get familiar with xanthan gum and/or guar gum. A little bit goes a long way but this is how you will get the ingredients to stick together. Without it most things will fall flat, you’ll make crepes instead of cookies.
- You will also need an alternate flour there are tons of “exotic” flours out there. I like a combination of brown rice, white rice, corn starch and/or tapioca flour. Bob’s Red Mill makes a variety of gluten free flours, and sells xanthan gum visit Bob’s Red Mill. Also Pamela’s has wonderful mixes and all purpose flours.
- If you are adventurous you can even mill brown or white rice in a clean coffee grinder.
- Sea salt, sugar, eggs… you know, the basics
- Don’t forget the cute vintage apron, unless of course you are a man and then I recommend a manly apron and a glass of champagne because you are a jewel and your wife is blessed to have you. Cheers! I don’t actually drink and my wonderful husband, who does a great deal of the cooking doesn’t wear an apron but it sounded good at the time. I digress.
I’m putting this last because truly it is not the place to start unless of course it is something like a bowl full of chocolate chips (my go to stress reliever), delicious desserts made with just fruit or the various other things that don’t require baking… but just in case you would like to tackle baking I will post some of the recipes I’ve had success with.