To a couple cups of left over mashed potatoes, I added an egg and then patted into small patties. Sprinkle dry ranch seasoning on each side. Brown in skillet. Add shredded cheese and a bite of precooked bacon and cover until cheese is melted.
I like fresh stir fries, spring rolls, veggies chopped into a salad or eggs or fresh and steamed as a side dish, but.............. I always look at it as too much work and avoid them more than I should.
So....... I cleaned and cut up a big assortment to make cooking quick and easy this week.
Tonight - Less than15 minutes to make this amazing tasting stir fry that included kale, carrots, onions, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and mushrooms - and then added a couple spoonfuls of Thai Kitchen's Pad Thai sauce.
* I started with the kale to give it time to cook the longest and soften up.
No need for rice or noodles or even meat. Super yummy all by itself!!
Tomorrow I'll throw a few handfuls of those fresh veggies still in the fridge into the food processor and make some spring rolls.
Kids – they depend on the adults in their lives to take care of them. For parents - there’s nothing more difficult than that sense of helplessness we feel when our child is sick and we don’t know how to ‘fix’ what’s wrong. But - we keep searching for answers. When studies came out in 2003 that celiac was the most common genetic disease, affecting 1 in every 133 of us, I thought ‘Wonderful! Now the doctors will know – Now they will test more frequently.’ That was nine years ago, and even though much progress has been made – still – STILL – testing isn’t near what it needs to be. Here is just one story of a child who suffered for far too many years.
Jenny (from the UK) shared with me that she fought year after year to find out why her daughter, Holly, was sick. Doctor visit after doctor visit. One trip after another to the hospital. Missed school – lots! Seven years. SEVEN YEARS! – and she was only eight when finally diagnosed. Being sick was her life. Parent requests to have her tested for food intolerances and anemia were rejected – over and over again. They were told her problem was constipation and she would grow out of it. Constipation!?! She would go four to six weeks at a time without a bowel movement. The hospital had her on so many laxatives and stool softeners that she was on three times an adult dosage. Constipation!?!
When mom requested celiac testing after learning that a relative had it – her request was rejected. Why?!! Seriously. Why??!!! I guess diagnosing her with a behavior disorder, suggesting that she was withholding on purpose and required a psychologist made more sense. ugh! But repeated requests continued to be rejected. Holly had gotten so sick that mom was afraid she was going to lose her. She was so malnourished (despite eating) and extremely anemic. Her body became so full of poop that she could take nothing else in and vomited when she ate.
Finally, a hospital visit - and mom refusing to leave until testing was done. One test. A simple test. A life changed. A few weeks later, with her daughter now gluten free, Jenny finally got the chance to ‘meet’ her daughter for the first time. Holly, a once very withdrawn, shy little girl who found it difficult to socialize and make friends became healthy. The removal of a protein found in wheat, rye and barley and she is now a “cheeky, back chatting, moody, out-going nine, nearly ten year old,” according to mom. Being diagnosed – finally – “was a life changing event”.
WONDEFUL that mom now has an answer for her daughter - and by keeping her gluten free she is now healthy and happy and everything she should.
Of course regaining health is one thing – THE BIGGEST thing – but getting others to understand, well….. that’s sometimes another. Unfortunately, school became the next hurdle. After being accidentally given something at school with gluten, mom’s complaint received this response, "well Mrs., we shall give her nothing at all and that way no mistakes will be made." ?? Sure - 'punish' her for having a food intolerance - that's the way to treat our kids. This is disturbing and very very sad. Although, to be completely safe - especially with this attitude, they shouldn't give her anything on their own. But work with mom. Let her know ahead when something special will be offered. Give her a chance to supply appropriate replacements for what the other children are offered.
Awareness of this disease and the ‘simple’ cure still has a ways to go. (No, celiac is not actually cured---but a gluten free diet can sure feel like a person is cured from illness.)
No child should suffer for that many years when a ‘simple’ test can possibly provide life altering answers.
I reposted the blog about My Gluten Free Wedding a few weeks ago in celebration of my 4-year anniversary. I received requests for the recipes. So below is my menu and the recipes I used:
(I did all my own cooking. We had an evening wedding followed immediately by the reception in a local hall. It was a second marriage for both of us - Not formal, by any means. We weren't sure what we were doing for food (finger foods or full meal) until a couple weeks before the wedding when I got the bug to start cooking - and with a 7:00 wedding, it could certainly have gone either way.
People ate lots - but we still had a LOT left over. I never cooked for 100 people before and really wasn't sure how many would be there. It could have been fancier - but .... this is what we had:
Items in RED were just purchased and heated / Items in BLUE have recipes below.
Chicken Wings (15 bags bought from Sams Club and slow heated in large roasters)
Ham (30 lbs from local grocery store - requested thinly sliced from butcher at store. Heated in larger roaster )
Texas Potato Casserole (8 - 3 lb containers, made ahead, frozen and reheated)
Green Beans (large cans purchased from Sam's club)
Salad / salad dressing (several bags of premade salad purchased from Sam's Club)
Mini French Bread rolls (Made about 300 ahead and froze, reheating in oven at the hall)
Veggie Tray (carrots, broccoli - purchased baby carrots and precut broccoli from Sam's)
Mini Brownie Bits (made over 275 ahead and froze)
Mini Cheese Cakes (made over 250 ahead and froze)
MINI FRENCH BREAD ROLLS (I have used Bette Hagman's Easy French Bread recipe from her Gluten Free Gourmet, Revised Edition since I was diagnosed. I use this recipe for sandwich size rolls, flat bread, mini rolls....
Revised from her recipe:
I used mini muffin pans for my wedding meal (and now for other large meals as well). Grease muffin tins.
Add all dry ingredients from first column above to bowl of heavy duty mixer (such as Kitchen-Aid)
Add sugar to water and then stir in yeast. Set aside to let foam.
To the dry ingredients, add dough enhancer (vinegar), egg whites, and oil. When the foam on the yeast is about 1/2 inch, pour into the dry mix. Beat on high for 3 minutes.
(My adjustment): From here I added 1 tsp to each mini muffin cup, covered and let for about 45 minutes (when dough almost doubles in size).
I preheat the oven to 400 degrees after the dough has been rising for about 30 minutes. Bake for about 10-12 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for another 10-15 minutes, when golden brown on top and has a hollow sound when gently tapped on top.
(I can't remember how many a batch makes - about 4 dozen??
Cool completely and freeze in ziploc bags. Thaw and pop in the oven for a few minutes before serving.
The Cake - At one point I was wondering why on earth I took this on too. But it turned out great! O.K.. the topper was a bit - big, lol - but it was fine. And I could eat the cake - a pretty big deal. I made the layers ahead of time and froze them, assembling the night before the wedding - while my daughter and I also did the flowers. whew!
I did my week's cooking, incorporating some leftovers that needed to be used. I apologize for no exact measurements - but that's why these are 'sort-of' recipes. :)
Boil one bag of your favorite gluten free noodles. I used 1/3 for a pasta casserole and 2/3 for a pasta salad.
Rinse and cut up a whole head of cauliflower - (or half a head of cauliflower and equal amount of broccoli - which is what I did here. Add 2 cups water (the amount of water called for on the potato package.) Heat to boil, the cover and reduce heat to low, cooking until VERY tender (about 30-45 minutes). DO NOT DRAIN WATER. Mash cauliflower and/or broccoli with fork. Add package of potato flakes and continue blending with fork, making sure to mash all the chunks. Yummy!
As the founder of a local support group nearly a dozen years ago, I loved (absolutely loved) our monthly meetings. I don't know where I found the time or energy or commitment, but it served its purpose at the time. I came home on such a 'high' from being able to connect with others and from being able to offer support. A favorite 'theme' was our Thanksgiving potlucks. I think we only had two. I roasted 2 turkeys with dressing and everyone brought a dish. And - Everyone always enjoyed it - a LOT!
The comfort of being able to eat everything was always SO appreciated by us all - something most of us could not do with our own family holiday celebrations - at least not to that extent. It is not always easy for many of us to communicate the strict needs to those closest to us - or to have family willing to go out of their way - or for us to accept others going out of their way - or.....
But oh how nice it would be for others to understand and to realize the importance of their understanding and of how small changes can make these meals enjoyable for even those of us with food allergies and intolerances.
It was for this reason that I wrote 'Adam'. Its hard to explain our diet to family and friends (for many of us). And most aren't going to explore the internet or read a pamphlet, or . . . (although there are some amazingly great and supportive friends and families out there, for sure.)
I wrote 'Adam' to reach far more people than I could reach with the support group - To help gluten free kids (and adults) by helping the important people in their lives understand gluten free, just by reading a simple 'children's book'. The story follows Adam through classroom events: birthday celebrations, Halloween party / pizza party, Thanksgiving celebration; events he faces with a smile (for the most part). But it also shows how being left out can bring him down; how smelling foods he cannot eat is not always so easy - creating empathy (hopefully) in the reader. It helps the reader understand cross contamination and the fact that small changes can have a big impact on the person with food intolerances.
The holidays are coming up. I hope Adam is able to help you help your family and friends understand gluten free.
We are transitioning to:
All new posts will be added to the new site.
A Children's Book
Helping Others Understand
Our inspirational journey also includes the frightening reality that hospital food isn't always safe for those who need to be gluten free.
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