Tuesday, June 16, 2009

G Free on Day...???

I am happy to say that I have lost track of the exact number of weeks I have been gluten free. This is a good thing because it means I am adjusting to a new way of shopping, purchasing, and consuming food. I no longer count the number of days it's been since I was forced to abandon things like cheeze pizza and shrimp alfredo. Gone are the days of happily consuming quesadillas and licking cake batter from the spoon. So long cookie dough and grilled cheese's from Sonic...I will miss you but by no means do you hold me mental hostage anymore (well maybe still a little bit). If only by default, those days are over. I will live longer and certainly live a FULLER less ill life now that "wheat" is gone. So, since it has been awhile, this is what I have been eating:

Breakfast: Thanks to Pamela's products I usually enjoy some gluten free pancakes which are really good. They do not fluff up as much as a traditional pancake, but the taste is the same. I use real Maple Syrup as all the other syrups also contain wheat in the form of "caramel coloring" or "natural flavors." I have heard that Eggo Syrup is okay, but am still researching that as I have gotten mixed answers. Breakfast is the hardest time of the day for me. Since "eggs" were also discovered to be an allergen from my testing, those are out as well. I made a homemade bag of trail mix to which I added raw pecans, walnuts, dried cranberries, and yellow raisins. I usually have one or a combination of the following: Trailmix, 1 oz. block cheddar cheese, nitrite free bacon or sausage, fruit, or gluten free pancakes.

Lunch & Dinner: I have been eating alot of salads with Kraft dressings (most of which are gluten free). Some of my favorite lunches & dinners include:

Turkey Salad - Brown ground turkey in a skillet and add in your salad ingredients. Lettuce, pepper jack cheese, red onions, & turkey go well with Kraft Green Goddess dressing or your dressing of choice.

Taco's - Traditionally prepared with corn tortillas or hard shell tacos. When you marinate your meat, use Lea & Perrin's Worchestershire which is gluten free. I try to make sure I have lettuce & tomatoes on hand to up my fiber intake.

Chinese Food - Yes, you can have Chinese food prepared at home and still be G-free. For Chinese food out on the town, I have only been able to find P.F. Chang's to have a G-free menu in honor of us allergy prone individuals. The problem with Chinese food is the Soy Sauce. BUT, Wal-Mart's Great Value Soy Sauce is gluten free. Try this recipe - it is YUMMY!

A little olive oil in the pan with the following (make sure your pan is large):

Bell Pepper (I used 2 Red BP's cut into long strips)
2 cans bean sprouts (or I just got a hefty bag from the produce department)
2 cans or jars of baby corn
1 entire bunch of green onions (chopped)

In a separate pot cook approximately 1 1/2 cups of rice. Let simmer.
I add a couple of generous dashes of soy sauce & Worchestershire to my vegetables until they are soft. Then, add 1 pound of ground meat. Cook thoroughly & salt your meat sparingly (as the soy sauce may be G-Free, but is HIGH in sodium).
Once all is cooked, I mix the meat/vege mixture with my rice. It is SO good.

Polenta - I can honestly say that cooking Polenta was a first that occurred yesterday. I guess I have never known what it was (as I have passed it several times and gave it a puzzling "what are you" look). Apparently, Polenta is basically cornmeal packaged in a similar way that hamburger meat is packaged. It is a substitute for rice, pasta, or potatoes. Can be eaten alone or with a sauce. Here is what I did with it:

Slice the Polenta in 1/2 inch slices.
Olive oil in pan & heat
Place the Polenta in the pan and lightly brown or just leave long enough to heat well. The Polenta is already cooked and simply needs to warm.
Add small purple onions to mix (saute).
Remove all ingredients once through and set aside.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks, (season accordingly), and grill in the same pan.

Then, build your Polenta tower...

Layer 1-2 slices of Polenta
Grilled Onions
Chicken Pieces
Sprinkle cheese on top

Really, good!

Desserts of choice: Pamela's Product Brownies - really tasty (as I just finished a piece prior to posting). Mmmmm...