Sunday, April 01, 2007

Happy tummy = Yummy food

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. A cup of probiotic kefir and a Bentyl before meals keeps the bloating away.

Knock on wood, but it seems that those tiny blue pills my doctor gave me are actually working. For the past few days my belly has been feeling better. Not perfect (although that may have something to do with the fact I have been eating foods a bit high in fat) but scads better. Even while my body is reminding me that I am female I have very little bloating. (Hmmm...where is my heating pad?) This gives me hope. This gives me energy. This gives me the urge to cook! It is amazing how, when my belly is being friendly, I want to cook up a storm. I want to bake, broil, grill, saute, and slow cook. The only problem is that I have no one to share these recipes with. No one to help eat up the leftovers. No one to wash all the dishes for me. I love to cook, I hate to clean. Sadly, they go hand in hand. This is the down side to living alone. Never mind needing a boy around for love and comfort, I need one to help eat food and hand wash dishes!

Luckily, I have been out at my parents' house alot lately. Their big, beautiful kitchen inspires me. All those bare granite counter tops just beg to be used for food prep. One of these days I shall post a pic of my sad little kitchen so you can see the challenge I face when it comes to cooking. My next apartment WILL have a better kitchen: more counters, more cupboards, a dish washer, laundry, a/c... Ehem, sorry. Kitchens. That's right. So I was at mom and dad's using their kitchen. The time their was fruitful. So much so, that I have a gift for you: product reviews!

Namaste Pizza Dough Mix: I must say that I was leery about trying this. I have had two GF pizzas in the past 5-6 months. Not good. I am sorry to those of you who like Amy's gf frozen pizza. I just did not like it. Da Lucianos (an incredibly GF friendly restaurant in the Chicago-land area) offers GF pizza on their menu. Four of the owners children have Celiac, so they have developed an extensive GF menu. Their pasta dishes are divine. Their pizza is not. I did not like the texture of the crust. Ew. So I did not have much hope for the mix from Namaste, but figured it was worth a try. Dad has been on a homemade pizza kick lately. Well, semi-homemade (dough purchased from Trader Joes). So I mixed up a batch of Namaste dough. Since Dad was making grilled pizza I shaped my dough and slapped it on the grill (they left an area just for me so there would be no cross-contamination). We topped the pizza with grilled eggplant, onion, zucchini, roasted garlic, cheese....Yum! And you know what? Best GF pizza I have had. No, it was not quite like the pizzas of my past, but it was darn good. Crusty, chewy, not that crumbly, grainy texture so many GF products can get. It may not look like the prettiest pizza around, but it was tasty! I am going to make some more later. A bit of a warning, though. Use your Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, this dough is thick! A hand mixer barely gets the job done and you may burn out the motor on it.

Breads From Anna: While at Fruitful Yield I picked up a package of banana bread mix. I miss bread liek whoa! Sweet, savory, yeasty, you name it. I am a bread girl. There was many a night that Dad and I polished off a loaf of crusty french bread topped with olive oil and parm, a good stinky brie, or smothered with Nutella. I was a breadaholic. Sometimes I could not wait until arriving home from the store before tearing into a warm, fresh loaf. Driving with one hand on the wheel and the other breaking off hunks of french bread is a tricky maneuver. Hmmm...perhaps Chicago drivers are safer now that I am GF. I eagerly mixed up a batch of banana bread. My bananas were not as ripe as I wished, but they were good enough. Super quick and easy to make the batter, much longer to bake. One hour!!! So long to wait. I wasn't sure how well the bread would raise up, but boy howdy! did it look good. The pan was full to the top with a nicely browned, fragrant loaf. Fast forward to the taste test (it was still piping hot from the oven, I could not wait). Lightly sweet, moist, yum! I will definitely get this again. Two days later the bread is still good, but (typical) is better when toasted and buttered. I am at this moment enjoying two slices with a cup of peppermint tea. The perfect Sunday morning nosh.

One last quick review: Mrs Leeper's Tuna Noodle...thing (can't remember the exact name.) This is one of those tuna mac/hamburger helper type deals. I have to say, not bad. With the added tomato and green onion I threw in I was actually quite good. Easy, too. It made enough for me to have dinner (and Dad to try it), lunch and dinner the next day. Basically, it would make enough for a family meal if you had a veggie on the side. If you need a quick, easy, tasty, low fuss meal...this is it.

OK, now that I have gone on and on about food...I want to cook more. Menu planning time, then grocery shopping. I'm on Spring Break, baby! I actually have the time to cook, bake, broil, and slow cook. Oh yeah!


Sheri said...

Glad to see you're getting back into the swing of things!

I like the Namaste pizza crust too; in fact, it was the first one I tried. But since trying the Arrowhead Mills one, I only use Namaste when I can't get to Joliet to get the AM one.

Breads by Anna. I have been hearing a lot of good stuff about them. I better track some stuff down.

Lynn Barry said...

I agree with Sheri, good to see you back around. You were missed.
Anything to the fact that some celiacs feel better avoiding casein too? If so it might be worth while to ask your DR about that. I have given up so many things and still manage to fill out full figure clothes, you can find all kinds of replacements but feel better in the long run. Just a thought, not advocating it. Hope you get it all together. You are way too spunky to be down for long. Enjoy your break! HUGS

Victoria said...

The pizza looks absoluterly delicious. Coming from a country where GF is soo hard to find, I can only dream of yummy readily availble GF foods. thankgod I'm in Aust now, so it's heaps better.

Natalie said...

I really don't like Amy's pizza either. I will have to try the Namaste crust. I need to eat pizza soon!

Anonymous said...

Breads from Anna are delicious!!! You have to try her bread mix that is also soy and rice free. It is the closest thing I have found to wheat bread since being diagnosed last summer. It is so soft and yummy. Her pumpkin bread is great too.

gaile said...

Awesome - I know what you mean about feeling better making you want to cook! Me too! I was reading down about the probiotics - I take fiber supplements (called Blue Heron) and eat tons of brown rice, and when I stop eating the brown rice, I can tell within days. So maybe give that a try? I hated it at first but now i love it.

Mrs Mo said...

I will definitely try the pizza dough. Exciting! I love your site. I am recently discovering my need to go gluten-free but I haven't been tested yet. Thanks for being so open about it!

Anonymous said...

I promise, promise - the best is Chebe bread mix. I buy it by the case and use for pizza crust, nan, rolls, calzones, pretzels, anything!

celticjig said...

The Namaste pizza dough was the first one I tried when I learned I had Celiac. Try Chebe and see if you like it - it makes a great thin crust pizza. If only we could get Trader Joes to carry a ready to throw on the pizza pan GF pizza dough!


Sunny Monkey said...

Perhaps using plates that can be recycled is an option? No washing them up then? ;)

However, on a more serious note, have you thought about cooking for others? Do you have friends or family that don't always want to cook that may like some pizzas or meat dishes frozen ready to heat and eat?

Perhaps cooking to sell your food at a local market is another idea?


joan said...

hi there i'm joan downey and i was wondering if you have a newsletter? if so could i give you my e-mail address

p.s. thank you joan