Showing posts from September, 2014

Listers: Top 5 Things That DON'T Fix Gluten

What fixes gluten? Er, nothing. There's nothing the matter with it.  It doesn't need fixing.

But if you need to eat sans gluten, the only thing that really makes a meal celiac-safe is a complete absence of gluten. Start out without it, and you're good to go.  Otherwise?  Pack your metaphorical-meal-bags and go elsewhere.

I recently ran into a row of well-intentioned friends, clients, and acquaintances who wanted to help out by explaining -- or asking -- how they could "fix" gluten.

Here's a list of the top 5.  Nope. You can't kill gluten. It just don't die. …maybe because it's not alive.

1. Heat Can Killz the Gluten?

"Hey-ho, I just boiled the snot out of it.  It's gluten-free now!" or "What temperature do I have to get the oven to so as to kill the gluten?"

Er, no. Gluten isn't bacteria. It's not killable. It's still there.

Sorry, Gollum, Sam…boiled, mashed, stuck in stew…still gluten.  But thankfully, potatoe…

And Now For Something of Self-Care: Food Expo, Gourmetzia, Beans, Salsa, and Superbutter

I'm taking this week for self-care, because rushing like a fox on fire through life is one recipe that always ends in burn-out and breakage. But after this  after this brief interruptional interlude on a food expo. Otherwise, I'll forget the highlights of a weekend with gluten-free food, friends, and great beans.

I spent the weekend at the inaugural kick-off of an LA food event named -- of all curious things -- Gourmetzia.  It touted itself on the web as a gluten-free hotspot; but I attended because I got the chance to work it for one of my favorite food purveyors on the market: The Better Bean Company.

All downhill on attendance, it didn't have enough food to feed a famine (which is what any food event needs.  People come hungry.  Er, why else go to a food convention? At least the low turn-out kept the little food and vendor-presence from wearing out in total). In fact, the Better Beans were nearly the only solid, meal-like offering on the floor.

But I won't make any …

Gluten-Free & DIY Recipe Round-Up -- Breakfast Buckwheat Pucks

How to make a gluten-free piecrust? Pizza? D.I.Y. But do-it-yourself doesn't mean do it alone, which is why I'm so pleased to see Sandi start-up this recipe round-up. We thrive when we share in the celiac and food intolerance community; and I love to riff.

I'm joining Sandi (Fearless Dining) in Gluten-Free and DIY Tuesdays! If you blog yourself, hop on the cart and post it up. It's a wonderful opportunity to get the fact out there that most of the best gluten-free food out there is whole food, DIY, and simple.

This week, I've a recipe I've been making for ages -- since I hit the ground living on my own, celiac and on a shoestring budget. Texture is a holy grail in gluten-free food. It tended to get lost in the milieu in the first generation of GF offerings, in all from breads to crackers to cold cereals.

Who doesn't crave a crunch? Especially at breakfast. I love the contrast of smooth and creamy with something crisp; (and I love Erewhon's recent debut…

Recipe: Maple Banana Breakfast Bars (Or, It's Elevenses, Isn't It)

Oats, and oatmeal, were a staple for my family growing up. Probably because, purchased in bulk, one could feed six kids on a shoestring (and there are six of us, though we feed ourselves now).

I have a fondness for the smell of oat porridge, and brown sugar and bananas heaped in the gooey-mess that always stuck all over my younger siblings chins.  But porridge can get old.  Especially in texture

Is it elevenses? 

Two things that make baking gluten-free easy:  an appetite, and a recipe full of gluten to attack.

I love to riff off recipes.   Sunday, I found a recipe for Blueberry Breakfast Bars lying on the table at a friend's flat -- it required whole wheat flour, and oats, neither of which is celiac-safe or gluten free.  But with some creative substitution -- and a packet of Gluten Freeda's certified gluten-free oats on this occasion -- I made free-from-food-hazards (even dairy) elevenses feast.

Plenty of recipes are floating around -- I found this one in a magazine, half-ope…

Depression & Celiac: Why You Blokes Have to Pal Up? (Or, the Link Between)

Celiac Disease, why do you also pal up with depression and anxiety?

It's not just gut-damage and nutrients leaking out, leaving a brain starved and chemically off-kilter.  Celiac, even after successful implementation of a gluten-free diet, leaves a substantially higher number of its victims with mental illness than those in the general population. (NFCA)  Why?  Some posit that the traumas related to diagnosis -- lack of diagnosis -- and experiences of "food hates me" invariably affect Celiacs and leave them vulnerable to depression.  It may also be that malnutrition leaves a permanent mark on the chemical balance of the brain.

Mental illness, after all, is a disease, as concrete as Celiac Disease, lymphoma, or diabetes.

So why Celiac, do you pal up and double the drain?

We've hit the possible why's already though.

Celiac Disease is traumatic, whether diagnosed in childhood or adulthood, and often manifests (or is triggered) by a traumatic event or severe illness.…

Product Review: Beans with a Tang, Cuban-Style

Del Carmen Cuban-style black bean soups and hummus come with a lime-infused tang, gentle-spicing, and all domestic, non-gmo sourced ingredients. I had the pleasure of meeting Estie, Del Carmen's originator, in person at the GFAF Wellness Event in St Louis

I'm extremely fond of beans. I grew up eating beans. I make my own frijoles, baked beans, bean soups, hummus and lentils.   Cleanly and purely gluten-free, and highly recommended to celiacs for their protein content and fibre, one cannot go wrong with beans.

No one makes beans quite the same though. And some make them badly.

Not Estie.  Del Carmen's soups have a homecooked touch. And I've never had a bean soup with quite the kick of citrus that these pack of these black beans.

The hummus was superb on rice crackers, and my grandmother loved it as a dip for celery and carrot -- its lime-zest brought out the sweet and crunch of the baby carrots beautifully.

I used the black bean soup dregs for breakfast my last morning i…

Product Review: Gluten-Free Oats To Gloat Over

I used to eat oatmeal every morning before fencing meets.  I always woke with an anxious stomach that felt like a bottomless pit, and on my coach's advice, slung it full of porridge.  But as my celiac symptoms worsened, the oats acted less and less the fuel of a winner's day, and more and more a happy taste that turned to ugly glue and pain in my gut…and fatigue after a wicked-weary morning on the piste.

Axe that interlude though.  Before that, I have the best memories of oatmeal as a child; and now it is after -- and I get another go at oats.

In fact, a go at Gluten Freeda's Instant oatmeal --  gluten-free certified. This week, I had the pleasure of trying Gluten Freeda's Maple Banana Instant Oats.  (A quick caveat: Oatmeal, gf-certified or otherwise, is not necessarily safe for celiacs. My doctor has recommended I eat it no more than once a week… which is bloody sad because…

…these gluten-free oats from Gluten Freeda? Rather brilliant.)

Some days, the kitchen seems s…

Listers: "I HAZ CELIAC. WUT DO I EAT?", or Tongue-in-Cheek Gluten-Free for Labor Day

I was carpooling with a passal of friends last night, and someone mentioned that their pantry had been over-run by book lice.  They threw out hundreds of dollars worth of food.  Only, were the lice parasitic or poisonous? Nope, they told me. AND THEY WERE GLUTEN FREE.

"I could eat them," I quipped.

And the car exploded. We laughed so hard, I think we may have rocked the little bugger over the double-yellow line on a tight turn.

But they were gluten free.  Bugs are. I've eaten crickets; and oy, I'd hate to throw out so much food. Though that's a different topic entirely...

People ask me all the time: What can you eat?  I used to take it very seriously (and I suppose I still do if I'm teaching a seminar or addressing parents). But, dude. I eat food, ok? (And bugs.)

Celiac Disease is a medically diagnosed illness that requires I eat gluten-free for life.  But that doesn't mean I have to take it too seriously.  Nor do I have to let others' attitudes get un…