GLUTEN- OH, How I HATE THEE!!!
I have not been great at blogging. I just have so much life to live it seems and boy has it been busy. The Mr is working out of town for 2 weeks at at time, so most days it's 4 to 1 and I am losing.
My number 2 has been struggling with health issues for two years now with no end, or diagnosis being found. We are waiting to see a new team of doctors at the end of the month, but in the meantime, our pediatrician has suggested we try gluten free eating for 4 weeks. Now after having done some research, it looks like it takes more like 6-8 to see good results, so in for a penny in for a pound, we are going for 6 weeks at least.
Having said we are going gluten free, let me tell you, neither myself, the Mr, or my pediatrician actually think this will work. Non of us subscribe to being gluten free. Please do not take offense, if you love gluten free/sugar free/dairy free, whatever. We each have our own feelings and beliefs. It is just an option to try as we wait for biopsy's, sedated MRI's, sedated endoscopy, etc... super invasive non- fun treatments, but if you are going to try it, you want to really try it. Only can you really? Apparently there can be up to 20 % of gluten in any food item and the company doesn't have to record it. REALLY? So I can buy something that doesn't have any of the gluten names (Wheat, barley, MALT, rye, flour) and it might be in there? Plus if a farmer grows gluten grain on his field and then the next season plants oats (which are gluten free) then gluten gets in the oats. AND if it is manufactured in the same plant, it might have gluten in it. So can you actually be gluten free? I am having serious doubts.
Not to mention, calling on all my gluten free mommies (and boy is there a lot out there) who tell me this product or that product is gluten free, but when I read the label that is not what it says (Mind you many of the things they recommend are 'organic', ' natural', 'healthy', but that doesn't make them gluten free). What I am saying is you have to do some of your own research.
Sigh.... see why I hate gluten? And really we eat everything at my house. We are not discriminatory, except when it comes to our wallets. Because, we are CHEAP. So gluten (not cheap) OH HOW I HATE THEE!!!..
Having said that, I am going to post normal (or at least as close as I can get), everyday things and recipes, we have come up with that are gluten free, maybe helping some other poor desperate mom out there, who doesn't want to be gluten free, but suddenly finds, for one reason or another that she has to be. I am trying not to make my life harder, so I am trying to find things we already eat that are gluten free.
So here's a list of gluten free: fruits and vegetables. sigh... we love fruits and vegetables, but would like a few other options. Just kidding, there is more out there. Potatoes and Rice. Ok it's not quite that bad, but some days it feels like it.
For breakfast we have several options, for normal things
Chex (vanilla is my kids current favorite)
Eggs, any style,
bacon (some meats you have to watch out for, gluten hides in them, so check your label)
Yogurt (although you have to check the label again) We buy Activia, because it might help this digestive process. Someday.
I have bought UDI bread (in the freezer section, Costco sells it the cheapest I think) But it is only good toasted(which seems to be the case with all gluten free bread)Oatmeal (but you have to really check and make sure it doesn't say may contain wheat)
My kids like Z bars and someone recommended them as gluten free, but in fact it says on the label, they may contain wheat.
KIND Bars are. There are quite a few options in protein bars. PURE bars also are gluten free (EXPENSIVE all of this, but man when the kid needs a snack I need something that will fill her up a little)
She also has fruit snacks (check your label)
most popcorn are safe snacks.
Chips and Salsa
Dinner is where it is the trickiest.
Here is our list for the week:
Pizza for everyone. She gets her own $5 UDI pizza. She liked it ok and it made her feel a part of everyone else's dinner, but I can't afford to do this all the time.
Chicken Salad (UDI makes a gluten free bagel, again SUPER EXPENSIVE, but little choice out there)
Frito Pie (check your chili)
Stacked Enchiladas (I use corn tostadas, and will try to post the recipe later)
Hawaiian Haystacks. Now here is where it gets tricky. Chicken Stock, Broth, Cream of anything soup- most have gluten.
I found that Swanson 100% natural chicken broth didn't appear to have gluten. Then I had to start researching making cream of chicken soup. Gluten free. sigh.... not a lot out there.
So I went to my favorite recipe blogger- Mel's Kitchen Cafe and looked at her recipehttp://www.melskitchencafe.com/homemade-condensed-cream-of-chicken-soup-and-how-to-sub-in-recipes/, to get a good idea of what goes in a flavorful cream of chicken soup. Her recipes are no fail, crowd pleasers. We have never had a bad one. Then I started calling gluten mommies and asking about recipes and substitutions. Some garlic powder and onion powder says may contain gluten/wheat. I found the big container of garlic powder at Sams Club didn't . I opt for using dry minced onion in place of onion powder and I don't use anything that is a mix, because it almost always contains a wheat product. So here is my recipe for
Gluten Free Cream of Chicken Soup
3/4 cup Swanson Chicken Broth
a pinch of black pepper
1/8 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp sage
1 tsp minced onion
1 tsp garlic powder (make sure yours is gluten free)
pinch of parsley
pinch of paprika
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup rice flour (so far I have found gluten free flours to be a bit denser so go easy on the 1/4 and you can substitute almost any gluten free flour in any recipe)
1. Bring broth and season to boil
2. In a separate bowl mix milk and flour (whisk)
3. Pour slowly into broth, continue whisking until it thickens 2-4 minutes
Use immediately or keep in fridge for up to a week.
I hope this helps someone else who is hating gluten and all the complications from trying to find a way to be gluten free. As I create recipes and stumble on recipes that are already gluten free.