Monday, September 29, 2008

The Gluten-Free Assistant

      My goal here is to help others (and myself!) avoid the frustrations of living gluten-free on a daily basis. I have had Celiac's for most of my life and was finally diagnosed in January of 2008. My Celiac's is severe enough that my body also attacks milk (casein to be specific) the same way that it attacks gluten and causes the same reaction - days and sometimes weeks of itching that cannot be satisfied. During the short time I have been on a gluten and casein free diet, I have dealt with a wide variety of issues that this lifestyle can bring with it; issues with social events, work issues, eating out, vacations and many other situations that scream:
"What am I supposed to eat?!"

     I know that starting a blog is a bit of a commitment for most, including myself - I'm not the best at keeping my nose to the grindstone and making posts on a regular basis, but I will be posting reviews of products I find to be extraordinary in some way or a great place to eat, maybe some helpful hints here and there to make life a little easier. I also have other interests I'll post about most likely - knitting, cooking, my website -, and other randomness to keep things interesting and mixed up. Hopefully this will help you answer that question of "What to eat?" when you're out and about or when you don't have a lot to spend on gluten-free groceries. (As a broke college student, I consider myself a pro at eating and shopping on a budget!)

      I'll be adding more content as I go along, so bear with me in these opening weeks. For now, I'll leave you with an awesome recipe for Spinach Dal - very tasty, healthy, and great for fall!

Spinach Dal

1/2 tsp each cumin seeds & turmeric
Handful of chopped cilantro
Dash of mustard seeds (ground mustard can be used, but it's not the same - I used some Boar's Head deli mustard for this actually - tasted fine.)
1 chilie (buy depending on how spicy you like things or leave out)
4 C Spinach (about a full bag of spinach or a whole frozen block)
1Tbs Ginger
Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic
1 C Lentils ( I used green, but any color works. The red or yellow would probably be more eye-appealing.)

      Cook lentils in twice as much water until soft (30-45 min; can be soaked over night to decrease cooking time). While lentils are cooking saute onion, garlic, chilie and ginger until onions are softening up. Add spinach and cover pan to allow spinach to wilt (about 2 or 3 minutes). Stir well and add remaining spices and drained lentils.
      Serve over hot rice or quinoa and Enjoy!
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