Tuesday, October 27, 2009

a little protein after ski conditioning

I love pizza. I miss pizza. It's been tough find a good dough. Today I was short on time and did the chebe bag mix. It's yeast free which means that I don't have to contend with that at 9,000 feet above sea level.
I made the dough at lunch and had a quick calzone then rolled the rest and stuck it in the fridge before dinner. I got home late after my ski conditioning class down in town.

Thai chicken pizza has been my go to now since I'm having dairy issues. I'm working on my peanut sauce. Today's version came out well but needed a lot of cornstarch to thicken it.
Peanut Sauce For Thai Chicken Pizza
4 T peanut butter
1/2 cup boiling water
2 T cider vinegar
1/2 T Sugar
1/2 T GF Soy Sauce
1/2 t salt
1/4 t garlic powder
cayenne to taste
1 T lemon juice
Combine and whisk well.
Add cornstarch 1 T at a time until desired thickness is obtained (I believe I was up to 4)
Spread on crust with cooked spicy chicken, carrots and onion. Fresh cilantro is best added a few minutes before done. (I didn't have fresh so suffered with dried. It's ok... I had a redbridge to help make up for it)  Bake according to crust directions...

I think next time I may modify my peanut sauce to be more like the one in my gabo gato angel hair. I first had this gabo gato when I went backpacking with my rec class 10 years ago in college. I loved it and often come back to this.... now I just use a GF pasta!
Gabo Gato Angel Hair
1/2 lb angel hair
3T Peanut Butter
3T GF Soy Sauce
1/4 Lg Onion chopped to desired size
1 GF chicken broth cube
3T + 1t oil
3T Brown Sugar
3T Vinegar
2T Sunflower seeds (optional)
Cook Pasta. While pasta is cooking mix in everything but the chicken broth cube into large mixing bowl. Mix well  to combine the peanut butter. When pasta is cooked and drained add chicken broth cube. Then add pasta to mix and combine. Sauce will thicken on standing.  Feel free to to add ins... in the photo I had added in spicy buffalo chicken. Veggies would also be good.

Two very similar sauces and I'm eager to try the pizza sauce again to make it more like the gabo gato.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

cookbooks and pumpkins

Somehow these last few weeks have been spent browsing new GF cook books. I ordered Make It Fast, Cook It Slow and Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking, Dave went back east for the weekend and brought me home The Gluten Free Gourmet Makes Desert and I checked out 1,000 Gluten Free Recipes from my local library.

I worked 11 days straight and started a ski conditioning class two night a week so didn't find much time to cook. Dave's also been reading the books and we've got some great one's pick out. Today we made Barbeque Pulled Pork in the slow cooker. I have to say that my favorite part about Stephanie's recipes is that we have almost EVERYTHING already on hand. The pork came out perfect and was the hearty meal Dave needed before going out to make snow. (it was so good that we didn't take photos)

Dave has really enjoyed the recipes in Peter and Kelli's Artisanal book and we're looking forward to playing with some of these later in the week. They also have a neat flour blend that I may try since it's almost time to make up a new batch of featherlight. I really have enjoyed reading their blog and was excited to order the book.

We had a friend stay over last night (also named Dave) and I made the Dave's my gluten free crepes this morning while they watched ski movies to celebrate the 4 inches of fresh snow. These crepes are sooo yummy and a great way to eat peanut butter and jelly again. I made a double batch today so that I could have some before work tomorrow. It should help me ease into the work week!

GF Crepes from 1,000 Gluten Free Recipes
2/3 C Featherlight Flour Blend
1 T sugar
1/4 t xanthan gum
1/8 t salt
1 C milk (I used Silk Vanilla Soy)
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla
Add all of the above to a blender putting liquids on bottom (this is my blender theory- I think it works better this way) Blend until smooth.
Heat your favorite pan with 1-2 tablespoons oil. I then wipe the pan out and set the paper towel aside.
Pour 1/4 cup into hot pan (water drops should dance) and spread out until thin and even. I just did a pan swirl.
Let cook until bottom is lightly browned. (I live at 9,000 feet and this takes me longer then everyone else!) Flip and cook until other side is lightly browned. Place crepe on wax paper. Add another piece of wax paper between each crepe so they don't stick. The wax paper also works well to reheat with. Take your oily paper towel and swipe in bottom of pan before pouring more batter and repeating cooking process.
I'm also trying to use less dairy (butter) and topped my crepes with a cinnamon & sugar blend or confectioners sugar or my favorite peanut butter and jelly. This last one I would do while it was almost done and still in the pan so the peanut butter melted a bit. Since Dave still eats sandwiches we have a no double dipping policy (with the exception of the crunchy since I don't eat that) to keep all jars safe from crumbs.

We also hit a pumpkin carving party this weekend. I'm very lucky to have friends who ask questions and make things safely. Cheers to Jim for making a separate chili with a Green's Discovery Gluten Free Beer, Elaine for thinking of rice crackers and to Jess and Jared for making these GF cupcakes! I made a GF apple crisp and appletinis and was a very happy camper.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

noodles and off season

I've always been the type to find something new and have an instant addiction... my new meal is street noodles. The noodles first made a blog appearance when Dave was out of town and I did a small batch with sauteed spinach.

The latest version has broccoli, carrots, onion and spicy chicken. It's all stir fried with sesame oil, garlic powder and soy sauce. It's not quite PF Chang's but tastes pretty good when it's 7 hours away! It reheats well so I make a large batch to ensure lunches for the next day.
We just entered our off season which means it's the lull of tourists in between summer gondola visitors and skiers that will soon hit town. My thai food place is closing for a month at the end of this week and I'm trying to get my fill before that happens. I actually had to wear my down jacket to walk Chaos this morning and I'm off to my ski conditioning class tonight. The local physical therapy center puts it on which doesn't make a lot of sense to me since this is preventing me from becoming their client later in the season. It's been almost a year since I went wheat free and I'm curious if the class will work better this year since my body isn't fighting gluten anymore. I haven't lost a ton of weight in the last year but easily dropped a pants size when I lost the gluten bloated belly. 

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gluten free crepes

I checked out 1000 Gluten Free Recipes from the library for a while to see if I want to add it to my collection. If these crepes from page 617 taste as good as they look and smell then we have a YES! Seriously the vanilla silk soymilk just smells sooo good in any baked goodies.
I grated dark chocolate and dusted with powdered sugar and they were sweet and delish.
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Friday, October 9, 2009

Homemade carrot squash soup

yums...my soup this evening came out great.

I baked a squash by cutting it in half, placing in a baking dish cut side up, adding .25" of water, covering with tin foil and putting it in a 375 degree oven for about an hour until the knife blade slid in easily.

The rest goes as follows:
Dice a quarter of an onion and saute in bottom of pan with 1 tablespoon of evoo or butter
add 1 cup chicken or veggie stock and 1 cup of water in the same pot with 3 sliced carrots
boil carrots until desired tenderness is reached (I also wanted a thicker and creamier soup and boiled out half the liquid)

scoop out 1/2 the cooked squash and puree in a blender with some of the broth and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, salt & peper to taste then add the cooked carrots with all the remaining liquid and puree.

Add 1 cup Vanilla Silk Soymilk to the blender for a creamy, dairy free soup. Veggies should be hot enough to warm the soymilk without reheating

Enjoy!  I have a huge sweet tooth and loved the vanilla tones in the soup. I also added more brown sugar but realize that normal people may enjoy the toned  down version. The blender added a frothy element to my soup this evening and I am curious to see if it continues in my leftovers. I was going for dairy free but used butter instead of evoo when doing my onions. A small dose of butter doesn't seem to bother me- it's more a smattering of cheese. In my past life I would have loved some parm cheese to garnish with. I use vanilla soymilk as I am a chicken and needed to hide any soymilk flavor. It's really good in cereal!
The soup was labor intensive but worth it. This made enough for 3-4 portions so I'll be enjoying this vanilla veggie montage for the next few days.... like I said- Dave's out of town and this is what happens when I play chef! I'm wondering if I'll get around to eating any meat while he's gone. I had to use a small pot as normally my soups fill what ever pot size I use and I made a big effort to keep my veggie and liquid portions small.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

gluten freedom with spinach and rice noodles

Dave's gone back east for the weekend so I  have the freedom to play around with silly meals to my hearts content. He had really embraced gf cooking at home and while I enjoy his cooking I don't crave a full meat and potatos meal every night. He tends be the default chef and needs a solid meal after working on the mountain and outside all day. My office dwelling self does not need that many calories but there's no point in cooking two dinners each night so we tend to eat GF meat and starch.

I cooked some rice noodles and sauteed some spinach then stir fried them together. My lesson for this late dinner was the discovery that two cloves of garlic was too much for my simple style. I'm not really a garlic fan but since the Joy of Cooking suggested it I tried it. I felt very Julie as I reference the iconic cookbook- even if it was just the JoC instead of  MtAoFC. I did get to see the movie when it came to town and loved it. I hadn't read the book but took care of that last Friday afternoon in the sunshine with Chaos on the porch while enjoying some redbridge. I really like the rice noodles and when I reheat the leftovers tomorrow I'm going to try to add a bit more flavor to them. Tonight I had added some gluten free soy sauce and it didn't take on as much flavor as I thought it would.

I took Dave to the airport today and since we live in a small mountain town this means that this was a hour and a half drive each way. We headed down early to run a few errands and grab a late lunch. Although Dave's not glutarded it's still hard to find food in airports these days during layovers and his layover in Denver was going to be short with a long run from his puddle jumper to the big jet. We hit the pizza place with a gluten free dough option. Since I've become a lot more sensitive to everything  I had to ask about their peanut sauce and was bummed to learn that it was off limits. The waiter was great about double checking and I appreciated the extra time he put forth. They make their peanut sauce with peanut butter and SOY sauce... I didn't ask him to check the soy. I just assumed that they used the cheap stuff that is loaded with wheat like most others. I was pretty bummed since I was already planning on leaving out the cheese and was craving a thai chicken pie. I went with a pesto, chicken, onion and broccoli pie on a gluten free crust. Dave had a gooey cheese filled gluten filled pie with peperoni and sausage. I was jealous for a second until I remembered how sick that pie would make me.

Speaking of... I am officially glutarded. I can now join the club and get the t-shirt. I've been to the gastroenterologist and sent my DNA off to the lab. I have the DQ2 Alleles (DQA1*05/DQB1*02) given this and my vast array of symptoms the GI Doc confirmed that I have a big problem with gluten. He didn't think it was worth the time and energy to do an endoscopy since I haven't had  any real amount of gluten in so many months. I could go and eat gluten for two months and have the test done but this seems silly for a few reasons- I don't think I could deal with doing that much damage to myself and I don't think Dave, my friends or I could tolerate me on gluten again.... the few times I have ingested gluten were HELL. Migraines and body aches are not something I look forward to. Given all this evidence the GI handed me a small trifold pamphlet of info and welcomed me to the club. The trifold gave Dave and I a good laugh since I have consumed books and spent countless hours reseaching everything about gluten since last November!

Side Note: If you happen to share genes with me I suggest you pay attention! You and your offspring are at risk~ feel moody, poopy or funny after meals or are you tired and lethargic, grumpy or gassy~ you could be glutarded too. It's a fun club... along with a growing arsenal of books and products there's even t-shirts and stickers to help with the gluten free life. Going Gluten Free has really helped me... 

The GI Doctor did suggest that I keep a food and symptom log since a lot of foods seem to be messing with me. It's been pretty frustrating- I'm ok with losing gluten. I've accepted that and moved on but dairy including cheese... please say it ain't so! I've been avoiding it and then re-challenging. The re-challenge seems to prove that dairy and I are not friends right now. It sucks but I've been finding ways to get my fixes without causing myself dairy hell. I seem to tolerate butter in cooking but have swapped to Silk Soymilk and have avoided cheese. I can't believe it but Dave even found this "ice cream" that is gluten and dairy free. It's the first time I've had cookie dough ice cream in almost a year. I love the coconut tones in it. It's not much more then a pint of Ben & Jerry's and is so worth it.