I'm still tweaking my diet, but here are a few solid conclusions:

Gluten = bad for me - it makes me very sick. You do not want details.
Peppers (chili peppers, bell peppers, red peppers, cayenne) = even worse than gluten - oh, my goodness, the rash, the swelling, the inflammation, the nausea.
Sugar = bad for me - sadly, this one gives me mood swings and increases my hunger.
Nightshades - bad for me - related to peppers (most peppers are nightshades) but not all nightshades are so severe. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, paprika, and pimentos appear to give me eczema.

Still up for debate:

I've been eating all of those, and clearly something is still not right. At the moment I'm eliminating pork, to see if that's the culprit. I hope that's the culprit, because I don't want it to be any of the others...
zellandyne: (Default)
( Aug. 3rd, 2009 10:45 am)
Seems like lots of my friends are trying the gluten free lifestyle these days, so here are a few of the tricks, tips, and items I've found really useful:
  • Leftovers - I always make enough for leftovers, because having something quick to eat for lunch or a snack the next day is priceless
  • Tinkyada Gluten Free Pasta - this is a godsend. I love the macaroni, the penne, and the fettucini. The texture on thinner noodles doesn't quite work for me. Always, cook it for a couple of minutes less than the package says. Stir regularly.
  • Amy's Gluten Free frozen meals - Wholefoods carries them, so do some Safeways near me. Pricey, but safe. Mac n Cheese is the best.
  • Trader Joe's Gluten Free Boxed Mac and Cheese - it even has dayglo orange cheese sauce!
  • Rice flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum
  • Using rice flour and egg, you can make onion rings, fried fish, fried chicken, etc - and it will taste as good as the gluteny stuff
  • Gluten free baked goods are always better toasted
  • Wholefoods has a whole gluten free baked goods refrigerated section
  • Quinoa is a great alternative to couscous
  • Almond flour is great, but most store brands are too grainy and need to go through a food processor. Buying online can be a lot better.
  • Cream of buckwheat - for those who like hot cereals, this is a good choice

Websites with good gluten free recipes:
Elana's Pantry - gluten free and mostly sugar free - she uses agave nectar and lots of almond flour
Karina's Kitchen/Gluten Free Goddess - some great stuff here, also vegetarian
Gluten Free Mommy - some nice recipes here
Gluten Free Girl - has some interesting stuff, but I mostly use it as a starting off point and do my own modifications

Turns out they're even better with butter, as opposed to ghee. Much better. Also crumblier, which I thought was impossible, but there you have it.

I am glad dairy seems to be agreeing with me. Of course, corn isn't. Which is sad. On the whole, though, I'd rather have butter and cheese than corn.
One of the things keeping me sane on this diet is a shortbread cookie recipe I've managed to cobble together by combining several different recipes I found and then trying different tweaks. The cookie turns out very rich, flaky, and crumbly - which is just find for shortbread. The texture is a bit coarser than you'd find with regular wheat flour, but I'm pretty happy with it.

This is not a vegan cookie, though you could very easily make it so. I use ghee, which is butter with the milk solids removed (hence lactose free), but you could use coconut oil instead and get similar results.

1 cup ghee
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 and 1 tsp agave nectar

Mix thoroughly. Shape cookies on the cookie tray (I like mine fairly small and thin). Heat oven to 325. Cook 7 - 10 minutes according to preference. They'll be more solid and less flaky at the lower end. I like the flavor and flakiness at the higher end better.

(Edited to add: After further experimenting, I have to say that refrigerating the dough for a few hours before baking massively improves the cookie texture.  The outside remains flaky and crumbly, while the inside is softer and meltier.  The texture is still more coarse than regular flour, so don't be surprised at that.)

One variation that I really like involves toasting the ghee, or burning it as Navarre likes to say. It adds a subtle caramel flavor to the cookies.

The xanthan gum is the binding agent, which I use instead of eggs. The agave nectar works beautifully as an alternate sweetener. Mind you, it's still a sugar, but it has a lower glycemic index and doesn't trigger my blood sugar spikes.
zellandyne: (health 2)
( Jan. 22nd, 2009 01:04 am)
[livejournal.com profile] amoken and I baked cookies tonight. Short bread cookies, using a combination of rice flour, millet flour, sorghum flour, and tapioca flour. For the sweetener, agave nectar. For the butter, ghee (which is butter with the milk solids removed). For the binding agent, xanthan gum (so that [livejournal.com profile] krchicken can eat them - speaking of which, I have cookies for you, [livejournal.com profile] krchicken).

Result? Surprisingly pleasant. They're sweet and crumbly, as short bread should be. Rich, as well. The texture is a little bit weird, but I think that's the xanthan gum, which, to be fair, [livejournal.com profile] simransmiles warned me would be the case. Her recommendation, which I will take next time, would be to use an egg instead.

Even with the current texture, they taste good. They would make an excellent crumb topping for a berry cobbler, so perhaps I'll bake one of those this weekend.

I am pleased.

Tomorrow, I test goat cheese. Hope, hope, hope that I can tolerate it. I would dearly love cheese in my life again.


zellandyne: (Default)


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