Thursday, October 19, 2006


One of the silver linings in all of this Celiac craziness is the fact that I actually love to cook. I love cookbooks. I will spend an afternoon going through them looking for a recipe that sounds appealing for the coming week. Therein follows a day of shopping, cleaning, and cooking. So I've been doing some cooking this past week. My first GF meal was a soup. It was ok. Not bad, but not great. Eh. Thankfully, it went uphill from there. So here are two successes. The first is based on a suggestion from It is a great substitute for oatmeal.

Apple Spice Rice

2 1/2 - 3 cups apple juice
1 large apple, chopped
1 cup brown rice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
brown sugar to taste

In a medium saucepan, bring apple juice and chopped apples to a boil. Add rice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until rice is tender. You may need to add extra juice as it cooks. Top with brown sugar.

I tried topping it with honey, but it just wasn't as good. I don't know if it was my rice or the fact that it is made with apple juice, but it seemed to take forever to cook. It was worth it, though. I packed up the leftovers in single serving tupperware and brought it along to work for breakfast. It did not suffer in being reheated. An extra bonus: it smells amazing! Gotta love those spices.

Tonight I came home and decided I needed to use some ingredients before they went bad. All I can say is...OMG, YUM!

Pumpkin Polenta with Sausage and Greens

2 cups milk
1 cups water
1 can (14oz) pumpkin puree
1 cup quick-cooking or Instant cook Polenta
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper
olive oil
1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 Chicken Apple sausages, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 package fresh spinach
parmigiano reggiano

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add garlic and onion, and saute. Add onion and saute until they begin to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add sausages, saute for another 5 min. then add spinach. Saute until spinach begins to wilt. Add salt to taste.
In a large saucepan, bring milk and water to a boil and stir in the pumpkin. Add the polenta and stir until it masses, about two minutes. Remove from heat and add the thyme, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Adjust the seasonings.
Pour or spoon the polenta onto plates and top with sausage mixture. Garnish with parmigiano cheese.

This recipe is a modification of one found in Rachael Ray's cookbook 365: No Repeats. Oh man. I have to admit that I love polenta. I could eat it every day. This was a wonderful variation. The pumpkin and milk (original recipe called for chicken broth) helped create a nice creamy texture. The sausages were very tasty. I liked the sweetness from the apple. Unfortunately, I did not have spinach. I had a bag of mixed collard, mustard, and turnip greens. For some reason I thought to saute them up separate from the other food. Thank god! I did not like the greens at all. Too bitter. Very pungent. I will make with spinach next time. No substitutions on that! Since I tweaked this one myself, let me know if you try it. Tell me what you think and any adjustments that you think it may need.

This weekend I am having friend over for my first get together since my diagnosis. I love to entertain, cook for my friends. I had planned this day as a potluck deal. I am making a ham. This is the first time I will ever be baking a ham. We'll see how it turns out. Hopefully my friends will bring foods I can eat. Ooh. I could eat the ham with some leftover polenta. mmmmmm....


Lynn Barry said...

I agree, the plus out of knowing I can't tolerate gluten has been that I now love to cook and back, I hated it before.

Karina said...

Hi Shannon! Thank you for the shout out! :-)

I like to cook pumpkin polenta, too. Thanks for reminding me!

Shannon said...


I definitely wanted to give credit where credit was due. I have to say, I have been inspired to cook since my diagnosis. I had been in a cooking slump. My diagnosis has forced me out of it. Now I want to try a new recipe every night, despite having a ton of leftovers!

Gaile said...

OO that rice sounds awesome! I am going to try that, thanks for the recipe!!