Friday, January 27, 2012

Gluten Free We: Days 10 - 27...oops

OMG you guys, talk about lack of updates! I was really hoping to document how we were doing with this whole gluten free thing on a live, in-the-moment basis, but I guess I fell off that bandwagon right quick! So sorry!

Well, we're 27 days into this new lifestyle (we do not call this a diet, because we're really truly trying to change our lives) and we're rocking it! To recap, we gave up gluten, dairy (lactose) and processed sugars on January 2nd (because we were really feeling the effects of NYE on the 1st, ifyouknowwhatI'msaying) and this is how we've fared so far.

We are still totally gluten free! I haven't been as much of a stickler about processed sugars, but by eating more organic and plant-based in general our exposure to junk like has been drastically reduced. Dairy has been the kicker - giving it up is difficult! We're certainly not swimming in dairy like we used to, but it's been surprising seeing how much of what we eat or plan to eat has milk or cheese.

Wanna know what we've been eating? I'll tell you, but it's not super exciting:

We've really relied on a mixture of quinoa and brown rice. We were big rice eaters before, and that hasnt' changed now, except we mix quinoa in and it makes our meal a little lighter feeling but packs a bigger nutritional punch. We mix the two and cook them in our rice cooker with chicken broth and it works perfectly.

One of our favorite meals is "Mexican Goulash" and we've adapted it to now include our quinoa/rice base, black beans, chicken, fresh salsa, and some avocado and eat it with GF chips - we like Food Should Taste Good Multigrain, or some local corn tortilla chips (I make sure to buy the kind made with corn only, obviously). Gone are the days of our cheese saturated, Rice-A-Roni filled, Dorito garnished goulash. Bring on the healthy stuff!

We still make one of my favorites, Filipino breakfast: rice (brown or jasmine), with bacon and fried eggs,  only now we've substituted Soy Sauce for Mrs. Bragg's Liquid Aminos. There is some taste difference from soy sauce (it's a little more "earthy"), but it's good.

And no, I did not buy 128 oz, I do not like soy sauce that much.

We've made street tacos with delicious skirt steak and fresh salsa and fresh guacamole. Again, I bought corn tortillas made from only corn. We also tried our first dose of lactose free sour cream, and much to my surprise (especially considering it has a yellow tinge), it tasted just like sour cream.

I de-glutinized my very favorite Kale and Gnocci soup (have you made this yet? OMG please do - it's amazing!) by omitting the gnocci (which is made with wheat flour) and substituting red potatoes and rice pasta. This was an epic fail in my opinion (though my guests gobbled it up and helped themselves to seconds), but mostly because in trying to use a less spicy sausage I took the opinion of the butcher and bought a sweeter sausage and it tasted like breakfast in my savory soup. Blech. Next time, I'll stick to my regular Mild Italian sausage and omit the rice pasta (which didn't work well for a soup) and try some GF gnocci I found. My sweet hubby also bought me a potato ricer so I can try making my own gnocci. We'll see how that goes...

We also put our cast-iron skillet to good use (I don't know what we used before we had this!) and grill chicken or pork and serve it with roasted brussel sprouts or steamed broccoli and risotto. This is our favorite so far (but we try to limit it because it's not dairy free)

One thing we have been missing in this whole new lifestyle: breakfast. We are big breakfast eaters and have thoroughly enjoyed big breakfasts on our days off. Ben found the most amazing pancake and waffle mix and it seriously makes the best waffles! We've tried a GF waffle mix and making our own buckwheat waffles, both of which were not bad, but certainly not up to par with what we were accustomed. However, while perusing a kitchen shop on the coast the other day, I found a GF version of our favorite waffle mix! We haven't tried it yet, but I'm so excited for our next morning off together so we can!

Just for good measure, I'm gonna add that the non-GF version of this mix pairs extremely well with this syrup:

Do yourself a favor and buy this. It's worth the spendy price tag!

I got on a little brownie kick and did my first bit of GF baking, but I cheated by using a mix. Ben picked this up at his work and it was really good

This kick was spurred on by picking up a batch of brownies from Bob's Red Mill, which were quite tasty, but not as good as the Stonewall Kitchen.

*BTW, I didn't realize I loved Stonewall Kitchen so much, but they carry it at Ben's work and he gets a discount so he'll sometimes bring home something, and everything we've tried has been delicious!

We've also been doing a ton of juicing. We try to replace one meal a day with a juice and then be sure to have fresh fruits or veggies for snacks throughout the day. I'll have to do a more detailed post about our juicing, but we love it and I think it's single-handedly made the biggest difference in how we feel.

Lastly, we purchased a bread maker and I've done a little experimenting with GF bread. I've only made two loaves so far, but both have been edible, so I'm on a roll already! Ha!

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