On Jan. 7, my doctor told me that she suspects I have a gluten sensitivity.
Ugh. What? You mean that hipster hypochondria that seems to be spreading rampant throughout the country?
No. Turns out it’s a real thing. You don’t have to have celiac disease or a wheat allergy. You can have just a good ol’ prissy stomach that can’t handle wheat gluten. If my stomach were a movie character, she’d be Scarlett O’Hara. Dramatic and prissy. Not only can she not handle the glutens, she can’t handle that, ‘spicy milk,’ either. (I’ve been lactose-free–for the most part–since 2008).
So! 2014 kicked off with a new dietary experiment. I’m going gluten free for six weeks to see if my stomach heals and settles down. After six weeks, I might try sampling some items containing gluten just to confirm that I feel better because of the removal of wheat from my diet. But yep. For now? I’m five days into being gluten-free me.
I don’t like to spend lots of money on groceries, so I’ve tried to be smart about what I cook. Here are two gluten-free recipes I’ve made so far that I really liked. They made enough for two meals and were pretty darn cheap. (And fully-acceptable by Miss O’Hara, as well.)
Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce over Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Rice
-by Cookie + Kate
As with most recipes I attempt, I modified this.
- I didn’t have a red pepper so I just roasted the sweet potato and added corn to the baking sheet. Roasted corn is one of my favorite flavors and it’s so easy to do at home. (I mean, why boil corn when you can roast it?!)
- Instead of apple cider vinegar, I used rice vinegar. I had some on hand and figured it would give it more of the asian flavor I was going for.
- I didn’t have cilantro or peanuts so I left those out.
- I used Minute Brown Rice and microwaved it. While it was settling outside of the microwave, I added frozen broccoli. It steamed on its own right there in the bowl with the rice.
- I added the sweet potatoes and corn to the rice and broccoli in the bowl and poured the peanut sauce over the top. I then stirred it all together instead of having sauce just drizzled over the top. It gave it a ton of tasty peanut flavor. I could’ve eaten the whole bowl in one sitting.
- Also, I felt like the scallions added an important dimension to the flavor- so don’t skip those if you can help it. They’re more than garnish.
- Chopped romaine lettuce
- Shredded Chicken (Rotisserie or frozen from a previous meal)
- Tribe brand Chipotle Hummus
- Black Beans
- Frozen Corn
- Trader Joe’s Frozen Fire-Roasted Peppers and Onions
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Olive oil
Put the chopped lettuce, chicken, tomato, black beans, thawed corn and thawed peppers and onions, (you can do this in the microwave), in a bowl. In a small drinking glass or bowl, stir together 2 tbsp hummus, 4 tbsp cider vinegar and a splash of olive oil. Whip it up until it’s the consistency you’d like. Drizzle over salad and toss!
*Avocado would be great with this if you’re one of those avocado people. 🙂 I love them, but can’t quite afford them this time of year!
Yes, it’s only been five days. But I’ve learned some surprising and helpful things!
- Simply Jif is fully gluten-free! They hide it on the bottom shelf, but it’s low-fat, reduced sodium, 33% less sugar, and in my opinion- tastes really, really good. You should buy it even if you aren’t eating gluten-free. It seems like it’s the healthiest peanut butter at your average grocery store, without being completely void of any salt or sugar. 🙂
- Those little baby food pouches are gluten-free. Ella’s Kitchen is the brand I picked up. I read online that they are a good snack for gluten-free peeps, so I thought I’d try one. It was $1.19 at Festival. I picked the one that sounded the least gross: Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, Apples and Blueberries. I told myself it would be just like a fruit smoothie. I ate it cold and it wasn’t quite what I hoped, but in a desperately hungry situation, I’d for sure grab one. Also, sweet potatoes, blueberries and apples are full of fiber. When you’re gluten-free, unless you’re loading up on beans and broccoli (which I’m definitely not), you might be lacking in fiber. So if you feel fiber-deficient, it’s not a bad idea to grab a little baby food pouch!
- Tostito’s tortilla chips and most salsas are gluten-free. Great snack staple.
- Wine is gluten-free.
- Disarrono is gluten-free. (My newest late-night sipping favorite.)
So! So far, not so bad. Hoping I’ll lose a few lbs along the way, too. Wouldn’t that be nice. 🙂