When I realized I would be eating gluten-free for the rest of my life, I hunkered down with my laptop and started looking up recipes. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, just looking. I wrote down pages and pages worth of recipes in a steno notebook. This was how I found Iris and her blog, The Daily Dietribe. Her recipe for Balsamic Chicken With Sweet Mushroom Gravy caught my eye. It was so delicious, I went back to her blog and kept looking for something else to catch my eye. I love Iris’ personal stories. It always reminds me that I’m not the only one that has to be so diligent about what I put into my body. If you haven’t been to Iris’ blog, make sure you check her out.
Iris posted her recipe for Basic Pancakes at the end of September, my last week of work. Pancakes are my favorite breakfast food. I rarely make them because it can get a bit labor intensive and since going to a whole foods diet last December, I hadn’t made or ordered pancakes. Here was an opportunity to make my favorite staring me in the face screaming, “MAKE ME!” I was already busy with making sure things were taken care of at the office and those that needed training before I left were trained and packing up our home. Since I was so busy, I posted a comment that I was going to try them the following week. After all, I wouldn’t be working. Silly me didn’t realize how much packing would take me out of the kitchen.
It wasn’t until we were moved in to our new apartment in our new city and I had the kitchen moderately set up for cooking that I decided it was time to make pancakes. I made the pancakes slightly larger than usual, so the recipe yielded 10 pancakes for me. The moment of pure delight occurred on our lanai (balcony) where I chose to eat that morning with coffee nearby, a book in my other hand, and a gorgeous tree line in front of me. I was not disappointed. I have long learned not to expect gluten-free versions of foods traditionally made with wheat flour to taste the same. While I would long for a light fluffy buttermilk pancake, I was pleased with this whole grain pancake. I wrapped up the leftovers and gleefully ate them up over the next few days.
About a week later, Iris’ post My Gluten-free Ramen Noodles captured my attention. Ramen, or saimin as I call it, was removed from my diet last December, too. This was a staple in my home from childhood. I still remember my mother catching me eating them raw once and scolding me. Something about worms. I don’t know. All I knew was I liked the noodles raw. After moving out of the house, I got to eat them raw as often as I wanted. Back in Hawai`i, we “soup” up the noodles by adding things like Spam, bok choy or won bok, fish cake, etc. I loved to top mine with an egg poached in the broth then breaking the yolk so it would cover the noodles.
I enjoyed making this every step of the way. The smell of sweet roasted veggies wafted through the apartment while I worked on putting things away. I was excited when we finally sat down to eat. The broth was amazing and actually had me craving a grilled cheese sandwich. I think the next time I make the recipe, I’ll make it just as tomato broth and fix a gluten-free grilled cheese sandwich to go along with it. The only deviation I made was using bay scallops instead of shrimp. I couldn’t find any wild caught shrimp at Kroger OR Whole Foods. Go figure! So I went with some wild caught bay scallops I found at Whole Foods.
The marinara that was left in the chinois after I strained the broth/sauce went into the fridge for dinner two nights later. I fixed some Tinkyada gluten-free pasta while the marinara warmed up on the stove. I soaked some bay scallops in white wine and lemon juice while the pasta cooked, then threw them in a hot pan the last few minutes of the pasta cooking. Throw it all together in a bowl. Voila!
While the recipe can take a lot of work to fix, once it’s done meals are a snap to put together with the broth and the marinara. It’s something you can make one day and store for use the next few days, or freeze for use later in the week.
If you like quick breads, Iris has been fixing some vegan quick breads lately. I think those will be next on my list to try!