Experimentation

The words “gluten-free” seem to have permeated my world in the past few years. First, it was from my family, as I have two members who suffer either from Celiac’s or gluten sensitivity and were diagnosed years before it was mainstream. Then Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods started carrying products for those afflicted with the auto-immune disorder. Now it seems that it’s all the rage with all sorts of people, from helping autistic spectrum kids, to dieting, to healthy eating aficionados.

I have mentioned in a previous post that discusses the dangers of any type of sensitivity to gluten, particularly because it prevents the absorption of nutrients. It’s a strange concept that you can eat a diet of whole grains and still be malnourished, but there it is. After reading an article about these dangers, my boyfriend and I – he also has a family member with diagnosed gluten issues – decided to go Gluten Free, or GF, for two weeks to ascertain our reaction to not only the lack of gluten in our lives, but also what happens when we return to it. I have a nagging feeling we might have to extend it to three weeks, but time will tell.

I already have experience working with GF flours, spotting hidden gluten in products under the guise of malt syrup or hydrolyzed proteins, so it seemed that living GF would be not much different than not, just slightly more vigilant and full of planning.

My boyfriend, who I can only call a full-blown beer snob and not terribly happy about giving up his suds, agreed gamely to “my idea” as long as he didn’t have to worry about where to eat lunch everyday – ie packed lunches. We’ve been making the slow descent since last week, and today is our first official day. I’d like to report that I feel fantastic, but in fact, I feel terrible. Mind you, this doesn’t seem to have anything to do with my GF diet. I  had soft-boiled eggs this morning, and there’s a good chance that they were on the undercooked side. Lunch, which was essentially a repeat of last night’s meat and potatoes, didn’t go over well either. The reason I say that there’s probably no correlation to the GF diet is that I’ve abstained from gluten for this exact amount of time before, quite on accident, with no adverse effects.

Here’s hoping it’s not Salmonella. Ew.

Anyway, I’ll be posting updates to our progress and how it all turns out. Also, I made a week-long menu, carefully planned out as to make sure that not only were we well fed, but also that the man friend had his lunch pack for work. I thought I’d share it with you all here, since the boyfriend remarked that he could certainly stay GF is we ate like this every week.  I’m making this all from scratch to ensure it’s all GF. Oh, and breakfast is either gluten-free granola/cereal with fruit and Hazelnut milk, or some combination of the GF baguette/english muffins and eggs/cream cheese or almond butter. Lunch is just left overs from the night before. Salads are also included with each dinner.

Monday: Slow cooked Sole filets encrusted with macadamia nuts, Cheddar and pea risotto.

Tuesday: No-lard refried black beans with creamy polenta.

Wednesday: Slow cooked Pork Adobo with fried rice cakes and salsa verde.

Thursday: Pork Adobo remix – TBD

Friday: GF pizza, toppings TBD. (Any suggestions? I’m making my own sauce, and going to stick cheese on it, but besides that, I haven’t decided)

Saturday: Shredded chicken enchiladas in an Ancho chile red sauce, tortillas will hopefully be made at home.

Sunday: Lasagna tart with GF Parmesan crust, zucchini, shredded chicken, spicy jalapeno tomato sauce, more parm, and either Ricotta or cottage cheese.

Then next week, the dinner planning begins again!

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