Images & recipes © Christine Mercer-Vernon unless noted otherwise. Please play nice when sharing and give proper credit and link backs.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I Love PB&Jam, or rather my take on gluten free cooking

PB & Homemade Blueberry Jam on freshly baked GF Bread
Having celiac disease means that eating gluten free is a way of life for me, but if you follow my posts I think I do myself a great disservice as a blogger by not making a huge deal out of it.
I'm definitely not a typical celiac.
I don't spend my time thinking about what I can't have and coming up with ways to recreate those foods. Most of which are usually junk foods anyway.

Sure I miss real, homemade pasta. One of these days (it's on my 2012 goal list) I'll come up with a suitable homemade gluten free recipe for some sort of pasta.
Instead, I try to celebrate the foods I can have and turn them into everyday meals that my entire family can enjoy. Meals that the non-celiac and celiac can enjoy together without an issue being made out of it.
Recipes that my followers, whether they are gluten free or not, can look at and use as valid recipes for their families without thinking, 'eh, that's a gluten free recipe' and moving on.
Of course, I still feel pangs of exclusion at events that so obviously don't provide me suitable gluten free options. I try not to dwell.

Leftover Chuck Roast Vegetable soup... recipe next week!
While most bloggers work hard to carve out a specific market, say the gluten free community, I'm really hoping to find a balance between both, because quite honestly we do all live together, especially under one roof.
Plus, I cook a lot of really great things that do not and should not require a gluten free label, like my homemade tomato sauce, or my stocks, right?

So anyway, one thing is certain, gluten free foods and ingredients are generally expensive.

Therefore, controlling our grocery bills, balancing a gluten free diet, as well as a soy-free/food coloring free diet for the jelly bean, and a not-a-thing-is-off-limits mealplan for the HE, means my basic pantry is not geared toward any one diet but rather a balanced blending of all three.
There are just some compromises we don't make, like breads.  I bake both gluten free and good old-fashioned real gluten containing wheat breads.  It's just cheaper that way.
See that photo up there?  That was one bangin' PB&J that I ate yesterday from a fresh loaf of gluten free bread I had just baked.  I follow a dedicated gluten free food blogger that came up with a great recipe that meets my limited GF pantry.  I'll be giving a full report next week but my first initial baking of this bread turned out pretty good.

I'm on a huge bread mission over the next week to find, once and for all, gluten free and regular homemade bread recipes that we all enjoy and that are a good fit for my basic pantry ingredients.

I usually make a simple regular whole wheat bread in my bread machine but it's just ok. Despite my tinkering it's dense and not a huge favorite of the HE. I've finally carved out some time to  play with several recipes I've had bookmarked to find some easy, faithful favorites that I can pass on to you.

As the next few weeks unfold, I'll have lots of new recipes, plus I'll start to take you through my basic pantry and guide you through the transition of going homemade with time-saving tips too.

So enjoy your weekend and here's another photo of what's coming up next week, LASAGNA (which will be demo'd simultaneously gluten free and regular)...

my gluten free lasagana

Please stop drooling on your keyboard and enjoy your weekend!


Karyn Meyer-Berthel said...

Nicely said, Christine. Since I had the little guy, I've been dropping a lot of wheat and dairy from my diet and finding wonderful alternatives. Loving rice pasta and more roasted veggies. :) But, I can't imagine doing it all the time, so I appreciate your perspective and thoughtfulness behind your menu.

cmv... said...

Thanks Karen. I don't like narrowing myself into one category because that is not how I live. It's difficult in the world of blogs though. I'm hoping my compromise has a reader base. :]

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