From Grief, Depression, or Illness to Positivity & Healing

April 19, 2010

My life as a celiac – part 2

Filed under: 1 — by Sue @ 7:34 pm

I remember when I was waiting to get my diagnosis I was desperate to do anything to feel better. I thought how hard can it be to cut out gluten products? If it makes me feel better, it’s worth it, right? WRONG!

I soon found out just how hard it is. I had to cut out the obvious stuff, breads, pastas, and anything else that had wheat, barley or rye in it, but I didn’t realize just exactly what gluten was in. I have to read every single label now, do you know they even put wheat starches in soups, broths and sauces for meats?

I have to say though, I started emailing companies asking for a list of their gluten free information list, and they have been fantastic. Heinz sent me their complete product list, as well as Frito Lay, along with coupons for some of their products! It’s hard going out to restaurants because stuff pretty much everything I eat can run the danger of cross contamination. So even if I wanted just plain fries, I have to find out if they have been cooked in their own fryer. If they’re cooked in the same basket of oil as the breaded chicken fingers, I might as well be eating a chicken finger!

Now I know that gluten free products are becoming more popular and stores such as Metro and Fortinos carry a great variety of stuff, including my favorite food….pizza~! However I tried eating a gluten free pizza one time and I thought that the card board package it came in would have probably tasted more appetizing…..it was disgusting, so needless to say, I haven’t tried one since.

Another love of mine is pasta, so I’m well stocked up on rice pasta, however you have to really watch how it’s cooked. I remember the first time I made some, I cooked it the same amount of time I’d have cooked normal pasta, and I might as well have been eating slop, WAY too soft.

So I’ve come a long way in the last few months though. Eggs are a staple diet item for me now, along with chick peas, quinoa and shrimp, stuff I never really looked at before because you don’t really have to do much with it. I have found a couple of good gluten free sauces, however they’re so expensive!

One thing I was proud to say was my husband and I like to eat shake n bake items if we’re doing chicken or pork, and since that’s a no-no for me now, the first few times he ate it, I would just have mine plain, well that was BORING, so I started experimenting. I had a box of gluten free crackers so I used my slap chop to crunch them up super fine, added some seasonings (mainly paprika and seasoning salt and pepper), and voila, I made my own shake and bake, and let me tell you, I preferred it to the real stuff, it was so nice and crunchy!

I know that doesn’t sound like much, but if you knew my lack of kitchen expertise, you would have celebrated with me.

One other thing of mine that has become a favorite is quinoa salsa salad and if you’ve never tried quinoa, what are you waiting for? It’s smaller than rice, but has a lot more flavor and it’s full of protein!

Dressing:

3 tbsp GF Salsa, 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tsp cider vinegar, 2 tsp chili powder and salt and pepper to taste

Salad:

1 cup cooked quinoa, 1 cup cooked wild rice, 1/2 cup rinsed, drained canned black beans, 1/2 cup rinsed, drained canned red kidney beans, 1/2 cup corn kernels, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper, 1/4 cup chopped red onion, 2 tbsp fresh cilantro

The above makes 6-8 servings, which is perfect for me….I make it on a Sunday and it lasts throughout the week for my lunches!

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