Dairy Free

The Gluten Free Husband puts his Spin on Steak & Eggs

March 29, 2011
Thumbnail image for The Gluten Free Husband puts his Spin on Steak & Eggs

Hi again! Since I became gluten free, my restaurant experiences have been rather hit or miss. Sometimes, I find myself in a conversation for 15 minutes with the waitress explaining that no, croutons are not OK because they are bread and bread is not ok. In more than one instance, I’ve gotten rolled eyes from wait staff at various restaurants who are “inconvenienced” by my limitations, or they have thought I’m just making it up because I don’t like something and then don’t take it seriously. I find myself weighing if it’s worth being “glutened” because I am the hassle for wanting to eat out, or if I should just go hungry watching my friends around me eat, or stick up for myself to try to be accommodated. And I only have one food issue. So many have multiple dietary restrictions.

Sometimes, following a gluten free diet can feel a little claustrophobic. You feel like you are stuck in a cage and unable to break out and try new foods/places to eat. A constant omnipresent fear is always in your head stopping you from trying that new restaurant or making your own bread or eating anything not made from scratch. I had this fear for a long time (before I met Jenn, of course). Rice, meat and potatoes were the staples in my diet and I dared not stray from this regime or I would react and feel awful for the next week or so (at least this is what I thought in my head). This constant fear plagued me for a very long time, and as a result most of the time when I went out to eat with friends and family, I would only get a grilled steak with a plain baked potato.

Now I love a good steak, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes, it would be nice to feel comfortable eating something else. And that is why I get so excited about enterprises that DO accommodate the gluten free crowd, and have options that are exciting. Not just serving a hamburger without a bun, but a real entrée that I can enjoy to its full capacity. Such places with their dedication to understanding what it is like with dietary restrictions have really helped change my perspective on eating gluten free, and have let me feel like a newly released convict from my food prison.


Homemade Chipotle Mayonnaise for Artichokes: Naturally Gluten and Dairy Free

March 27, 2011
Thumbnail image for Homemade Chipotle Mayonnaise for Artichokes: Naturally Gluten and Dairy Free

My mom grew up in California. My grandmother grew up in California, and her mother before her and hers before her. Even though I grew up in chilly New England, California runs in my blood – and thanks to my mother’s cooking during my childhood, also my tastebuds. She is the reason why I love apricots and fresh figs and avocados and artichokes. And she and my dad together both taught me to love beautiful fresh produce. When I was home with my parents a few years ago as we were making some wedding preparations, I remember driving for a full hour down to a market on the shore – one that specialized in certain miniature apple pies we were going to purchase as favors for our guests – and there we stumbled upon the most perfect artichokes I have ever seen – she said they reminded her of California, and that was it, we went home with apple pies, and a giant bag full of fresh beautiful artichokes :)


Sweet Potato Coconut Thai Curried Soup: Gluten Free and Vegan

March 22, 2011
Thumbnail image for Sweet Potato Coconut Thai Curried Soup: Gluten Free and Vegan

I love sweet potatoes. Maybe it comes from growing up in New England, where sweet potato and squash dishes of all kinds are peppered throughout my childhood and my memories. I’ll eat them mashed and baked into a sweet casserole, just roasted plain in the oven, made into chips, fries; pretty much any way you can serve them, I’m fairly sure I will enjoy them. I know sweet potato isn’t a squash, but I often place it in the same category as squashes when it comes to flavors – the warm almost sweetness that caramelizes ever so slightly upon cooking lends it to working so well in many dishes where squash would normally be the star.


Daring Cooks do Ceviche – Grapefruit and mint ceviche salad

March 14, 2011
Thumbnail image for Daring Cooks do Ceviche – Grapefruit and mint ceviche salad

This month’s Daring Cooks challenge is all about Peruvian classics – there were actually two challenges this month – ceviche and papas rellenas. Feeling in the need for some lighter fare, I decided to choose the ceviche for this month. This was a fun challenge because I got to do something new. I’ve marinated seafood in acid before in a ceviche-inspired salad, but never ever actually started with raw fish. So here is to another daring first!


Life Lessons from Cooking – Chocolate and Orange Sabayon

March 10, 2011
Thumbnail image for Life Lessons from Cooking – Chocolate and Orange Sabayon

What I found most interesting, is that despite all my introspection as I am often wont to do in times of frustration, what actually revealed my “epiphany” of sorts was cooking this dessert, as it too is all about steps. I love how the kitchen can teach you anything, and that it doesn’t always have to be about food. I made chocolate and orange sabayon for my husband on Valentine’s Day. Then I made orangettes. And I dipped strawberries in tempered chocolate (without a thermometer! I really need to buy one of those sometime…). I topped it all with whipped cream, and finally added a few raspberries for fun :) Each piece contributed to the final dish, and the dessert would have been lacking if it were missing any of the components. But one can’t make the whole dish at once. Like any recipe, it’s a series of steps. Small increments forward, and when finished you can look back and see how far the food has come, transformed from the simplest of places. Really, cooking any recipe embraces this philosophy – it’s something I love about being in the kitchen. Cooking is therapeutic in its own right.


A Duck BLT, Gluten Free

February 27, 2011
Thumbnail image for A Duck BLT, Gluten Free

After a year of living en Suisse, I think we’ve finally adapted to the difference in prices of materials compared to the U.S. Some items are a markedly better deal, such as the amazingly creamy and rich yogurt, which I would not think it odd if you had the sudden desire to pour it into a glass and take a drink. I love that bio (organic) goods are often within the same price range as their conventional counterparts, or at least don’t cost twice as much. And some things, like many meats, are definitely a bit pricier. Last weekend though, I made an amazing discovery – duck and beef aren’t really that different in cost here, an absolutely great thing to know! My husband really wanted me to get some steak to cook for him, and upon my awesome realization, I knew I had to get some duck for me – because if I ever have to choose, all other things being equal, well, duck is one of my favorite meats ever and it isn’t really a choice.