Monday, December 13, 2010

Fighting Against the Grain

In an attempt to live a healthier lifestyle Michael and I decided to try a gluten free diet. If you know me well enough you know the Italian in me is a strong characteristic in my cooking. So lots of breads and pastas. But I just love food. I love cooking food, eating food, serving it and reading/talking about it. I often say that the Food Network should just give me a show where I go to restaurants and just try the food so people can watch me eat it and talk about it. Needless to say, it hasn't been easy cutting out so many of my favorite things. But back to GF...

We're going on 8 days now and it really hasn't been THAT bad. We found a decent GF bread and pasta that I approve of. And apparently, after having done a lot of research I've found that almost everyone is allergic to gluten, it just affects us all differently. I've also found that this "lifestyle" isn't easy and very expensive. My grocery bill has pretty much doubled, at least. I really don't know how people do it unless they have a money tree they water in their backyard. There is gluten in so many things, and you probably would never realize unless you tried out the diet. Gluten is hidden in the simplest everyday things like deli meat, shredded cheese, jarred tomato sauce, marinades and salad dressings, soup, sour cream, vinegars even in icecream! And so much more. Luckily, Publix Greenwise sections have been pretty helpful. I hopefully will only have to make 1 or 2 trips a month to WholeFoods for certain things.

Does it make you feel different? A lot of people have said it will give us more energy and we'll overall feel better. Well... I can't say I've noticed a difference but I do think I need to give it a little more time. The challenge has actually made me go out of my comfort zone with cooking so that part of it is cool. Usually for vegetables I'd just throw a nice salad on the table. Now I find myself cooking a lot more veggies as sides since I can't do the normal garlic bread, croissants, or pasta side.

What have I made lately? Well, since it's been chilly I've done homemade veggie soup twice so far. You have to be careful with broth though, even that has gluten hidden in it. We did pizza one night which was fun just using GF frozen pizza bread. My favorite so far has been the sesame teriyaki chicken I cooked 2 nights ago. Marinated the chicken in the GF marinade I found at Whole Foods. Then cooked and served it on a bed of white rice with steamed broccoli and cauliflower on the side. Not gonna lie, it was pretty darn good! Then last night I made a spaghetti bolognese, only I added cooked carrots, broccoli and cauliflower (left over from the night before) to the GF tomato sauce I found. It was really good! I even found GF baguettes that I spread some butter, parsley and chopped garlic on. It didn't really absorb the butter like normal bread, but it will do.

Luckily, even my favorite restaurant Roy's has a decent GF menu. So we've gone there once. Sucks my sushi roll and favorite entree aren't on the GF menu but at least my chocolate souffle IS! WOOHOO that certainly was a treat :) And Outback, where we ate on Saturday night has a good GF menu too.

As the grocery bill grows, Michael and I decided we'll will keep trying this out for a few more weeks, but eventually to save some money we won't strictly be GF. Kind of defeats the purpose but it's just way to expensive of a lifestyle. A little gluten in shredded cheese and BBQ sauce isn't going to kill us, right? And who knows, the scales don't lie... if I happen to loose some weight maybe I'll sacrifice a few trips to Nordys to keep up this diet!

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