Thursday, October 2, 2014

Crackers, crackers, crackers...

Back when I was eating wheat, my favorite crackers were Wheat Thins.  (Those and Triscuit). Anyway, since today was rainy and cool, and I've been out of crackers for a while, I decided to experiment.  And ended up with these.
Two flavors here, plain and sundried tomato, although you could have infinite variation.  

Preheat the oven to 350.  Assemble ingredients and a food processor.  For the base flavor, you will need:
1 cup cooked steel cut oats with chia seed 
.5 cup cooked brown rice
1 tbsp coconut oil
.5 cup almond meal
.5 cup cornmeal 
.5 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in food processor and whirl until combined. The texture will look something like this.

Get a cup or small bowl of water, your cookie sheet with either a silpat or parchment paper, the water, and some coarse salt.  Dump about one third to half of the dough onto the pan, and use the water to help pat it out very thin.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and score with a pizza cutter into approximate squares.  Bake until GBD.  Pull out of oven and separate while still warm.

For the tomato, I added two tablespoons of sundried tomato to the rest of the batter, whirled it to combine, and did the same.   You could add dried basil, or those kale chips you made thinking they would be tasty, crumbled up....almost anything goes....

Friday, May 2, 2014

Things to watch out for if you are cooking for a celiac...

Gluten lurks in unlikely places.  It can lurk in a spice or coffee grinder, when someone uses stale bread to clean it out.   In the oil of a fryer.  In condiments, and not just soy sauce.  If you've ever dipped a knife in jam or mayo and then spread it on glutenous bread...  then contamination!  Bouillion cubes, puddings, boxed rice mixes... Even sugar, if you have been baking, and scoop the flour first.

It can be the crumbs on the counter, or hidden in the crevices of a cutting board.    A Measuring cup, a sieve, a pastry cutter (some people use them to chop eggs for egg salad).  

If someone eats a gluteny snack, then reaches into my gluten-free snacks...contamination!  

It is easy to avoid, though.  Wipe down, wash up.

Wash everything before using it.   If you are using a spice grinder, run rice through it a couple of times to clean it out before using it.

Have a dedicated gluten-free cutting board, maybe sieve, and colander.  

Open fresh condiments.   Fresh mayo, jam, etc. And maybe label them gluten-free.  Use a fresh spoon in them each time.

Cook simply.  Roast chicken.   Rice (just watch what you put in it, butter can also have crumbs!), simple salad with a vinegar dressing.

That being said.  With all these opportunities for contamination, I think I'll just stay home :)

What unlikely thing has gotten you with gluten?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Paranoia of the Gluten-free.

So, I'm on a message board where an innocuous-seeming thread was posted.   "How do you chop up your eggs for egg salad?"

One of the answers was genius, but also paranoia-inducing.  A pastry cutter.

AUGH!  Gluten! Nooooooooo.

It is the little ways that gluten can creep into a meal.   The baking powder where someone has used a measuring spoon in the flour, and then dipped in to the can.   Or just rinsed something off after using it for a gluten product.   Or multi-taskers.

And some things you can clean adequately.   And some things you cannot.

I went to a restaurant where they deep-fried the baked potato to warm it up.  In the same fryer with breaded fried things.

It isn't worth it to go out and eat.  To go to people's houses and eat.

Gluten is an evil, evil, insidious substance to those of us who avoid it.

It limits my life so much.

I have not dated, in part because of it.

I'm an adventurous eater, but not when it involves gluten.

And man, I HATE sounding like Meg Ryan when I order.   And I hate that that stereotype exists enough that everyone knows exactly which character I mean.  

I'm not picky, I'm paranoid.  

I just hate that I have to read every single label, every single time.  Cheese, bread, chips, coffee, tea (yes, herbal tea can have gluten)

I hate that in a shared home, I feel like I have to have my own kitchen.  I hide my gluten-free cutting boards in a closet.   I have notes and sharpie over various jars "gluten-free" "Do NOT TOUCH" "use clean knife only".  If someone reaches into a gluteny snack and then into my bag of chips, you just glutened me.

Most of the time, I don't say anything, if I see a transgression.  I just avoid the food.  Or throw it out.


I do comment on boards and things with a hey! great idea, but!  One friend, on FB has banned me from "glutening" up his threads for a month, though.

I just wish this was easier.   Because I feel like a pariah.  But I cannot turn off the voices in my head.