One task on my 25 before 25 list was to go gluten-free for a whole entire week. That's 168 without any kind of bread, pasta, bagel, pizza, etc, etc! No problem, it's just a week.
Well without going into much detail, I will tell you I have been having a few stomach issues (H.Pylori bacteria, ulcers). It's nothing serious and nothing that can't be treated, but it means me having aches and pain in my stomach for most of the day. After doing some reading and talking to my doctor, I decided that giving up gluten might help. A lot of people have found that gluten irritates these types of issues. I gave it a shot, and though I am not free of tummy trouble, I felt a difference with two days. I went further than my goal of one week and am now starting the fourth week of a completely gluten-free diet! I am hoping that as soon as all the junk in my stomach is cleared up, I can incorporate some gluten back in, but I am definitely a changed woman! I have seen a huge improvement in my overall health. Gluten causes inflammation, so the lack of it can reduce aches and pains caused my swelling. For me personally it has also helped with my energy level and my cravings for sweets (ok Udi's brand makes a mean gluten-free chocolate chip cookie. Don't tell anyone I told you).
At the thought of going gluten-free, I had to remind myself that it's just food. And then I had to remind myself that it's just beer. But when you add what I will call my gluten "intolerance" to my dairy sensitivity and my vegetarianism, I felt like there was nothing I could eat. I love (most) vegetables, which has been helpful, but dinners get repetitive and eating out is close to impossible. I mostly feel bad for my incredibly sweet and supportive husband, as he has consequently given up most gluten, too.
So here is what I have been cooking at home.
Dinner #1 - Boiled carrots with Tandoori Roasted Cauliflower and Mint Chutney. This recipe was great and relatively easy. Lots of spices were needed, which would make it expensive if you don't have them all on hand. I luckily had pretty much everything I needed for this one, so it was quick and easy for me. Kerstan liked it because he "had never had anything like it." Score!
Dinner #2 - Kale, Onion, & Tofu stir fry. Did you know kale is one of the healthiest foods you can eat? It has so many nutrients! For this stir fry I heated some garlic and ginger, then added tofu until it was starting to brown. Then I added onion and finally kale. I seasoned it with some GF soy sauce and served it over rice. Kerstan isn't a fan of kale, but this is one of my go-to dinners.
Dinner #3 - Rice is a really obvious choice for any gluten free meal. We invested in a rice cooker a few months ago, and it has been a huge help. We probably use it 2-3 times a week. For this meal I "grilled" pineapple by kind of scorching it on high for a few minutes in a pan on the stove. I added some paprika, and it was delicious. Then I cooked red and yellow bell peppers in a garlic sauce and served over rice. Nice and easy, once again, by hey - I've been working a lot!
Dinner #4 - Another pinterest recipe here. I turned this buffalo cauliflower into an entire meal by adding a side salad. I made half of it like the recipe says, with hot sauce, and half of it with BBQ sauce instead. Both were really good. Mine aren't as vibrant and pretty as the recipe's pictures, but it was really tasty! We couldn't finish it all, but I'll probably make it again.
The main reason I wrote this post, though, was to get ideas from you ;) If any of you out there are gluten-free, I would love to pick your brain! I'd love to get some sort of recipe idea chain going, so if you are interested, leave a comment below or email me at celebratingtheday(@)gmail.com.