The main thing I love about groups like #MKEFoodies and Yelp is that the events give me an excuse to try foods I wouldn’t normally eat. After the last #MKEFoodies event at Branded where I ate shredded duck and liked it, I wanted to give it another go and see how it went.
The #MKEFoodies event last night was at Ryan Braun’s Graffito. After a few drinks and a tour of the kitchen by Chef Dane Baldwin, the kitchen began bringing out small plates of different pizzas and pastas. But, if you have been following my blog, you will know that I started a gluten free way of eating 16 days ago. Which meant all of that fancy food that kept coming out of the kitchen was off limits to me. No worries though…..I noticed on their menu that they had gluten free pasta available. I asked for an entire gluten free menu, and to my surprise they had one. Items that were gluten free were highlighted yellow, and any item that would be removed from the entree was circled in red.
My eyes were immediately drawn to the Pappardelle. Which is a duck ragu, duck prosciutto, parmigiano and fresh herbs. Another chance to try duck prepared differently. The noodles, of course, were gluten free. The Pappardelle was Delicious! I allowed a few others to sample, but I cleaned the plate myself. I have never been one to choose a dark meat! But, I may be slowly converting. One or two more attempts at eating Duck, and I can probably safely say I am a fan!
Since starting the gluten free way of eating the one thing I have been craving is pancakes. I am having dreams about them at night. I am far from being comfortable baking gluten free with several different kinds of flours yet, so I set out to find a mix I could use easily. I found several different options, but when I found the Bisquick brand I figured I couldn’t go wrong. I have had a box of Bisquick brand mix in the cabinet since I was little.
The mix works for pancakes, waffles, biscuits, pizza crust and chicken breading. All things I love and would hate to never be able to eat again. My first attempt was pancakes. I didn’t want to add anything extra into them the first time until I knew how they would cook.
As I said in an earlier post, I am super picky when it comes to pancakes. I don’t like them too dark or too light. I also don’t like them too cakey or thick. This Bisquick mix was going to have a tall order to fill.
One pancake after another came off of the stove top the perfect color! And, they seemed to be nice and light. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any syrup in the refrigerator I could eat, so I topped them with butter, chocolate chips and dried Door County Cherries.
The pancakes themselves were a bit bland, so I will have to spice them up a bit next time. But, overall they were perfect for curbing the craving. The perfect color, perfect texture, and just plain yummy!
Yay for another staple that I have been able to convert to gluten free!!
I am on Day 10 of my new Gluten Free way of eating. I have spent most of the last ten days eating at restaurants or making tacos with corn tortillas. I have been fairly successful so far, and have been learning a lot as I go.
Last night was a chilly rainy night after a week of 80 degree weather, so I figured a dinner of comfort food would be perfect. So, meat loaf, mashed potatoes and corn it was. The picky eater in me has never had an issue with potatoes and corn, and they are both naturally gluten free. So, there was no concern there. But, I can be pretty picky about meatloaf, and I was going to have to figure out how to make it without the traditional bread crumbs.
The only meat loaf I will ever eat is my mother’s. She has learned over the years to grate the onions she uses so the pieces aren’t big enough for me to see. And, doesn’t add any other vegetables that many other people or restaurants will add. I figured I could take this opportunity to not only make a gluten free meat loaf, but also add some typical meatloaf ingredients that I normally wouldn’t eat.
When searching Gluten Free Meat loaf, I found that most of them used either quinoa or gluten free bread crumbs, and either ground beef or turkey. I decided right away that I would use gluten free bread crumbs since I am still new to gluten free cooking and this may be the closest to what I am used to. I also switched up the recipe a bit from just ground beef or turkey, to half ground beef and half ground pork. I threw in some chorizo for flavor. I also used chopped onions and red peppers. Both of which would have made me pass on meatloaf in the past. I also don’t like when meat loaf is made in a loaf pan. It doesn’t allow for a nice crust all of the way around. Another reason I won’t order meat loaf in a restaurant.
While standing in the grocery store in front of the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, I was glad to find that many Heinz products are gluten free. They have an entire list of gluten free products on their website.
The meat loaf turned out Delicious!! I may have cut it a bit early causing it to fall apart, but the taste made up for it. I am glad to say that my first homemade gluten free meal was a success. On to the next………
I posted a few days ago that I started a gluten free way of eating. I have been experiencing some acid reflux, indigestion and fatigue for a few months. After some research I found that gluten intolerance is an autoimmune disease often connected to a thyroid issue that I have been diagnosed with.
I am not one to rush to the Doctor asking for tests and medication to solve my issues. I often just fight through the symptoms and eventually they go away. I may be one of few people who hasn’t taken any form of antibiotics for over 10 years. Eventually I will be sick enough to actually need them, and at that time I will know that my body has not built up a tolerance to them.
Until this afternoon things were going well with my new way of eating. I was aware of all of the food I was eating and was making good choices. I hadn’t experienced any symptoms in the last 7 days. I even started to feel like I had more energy. And then it was lunch time at work and it all fell apart.
I know that I should always choose Real Food over packaged meals. But, I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that there are times that my evenings get away from me and I don’t have time to put a lunch together for the next day. I also wake up at 5am most days. I usually have just enough time to shower, get the dogs out and fed and get dressed. Leaving me no time to pack lunches. So, I figured I would get a few frozen meals labeled gluten free to have in the freezer for those days I just run out of time.
Today was definitely a lesson learned! If I am going to eat a frozen meal I may as well not eat. Shortly after eating it I experienced another bout of horrible acid reflux. As you can see from the picture below it doesn’t even look appetizing.
So, I will suffer through the rest of the evening and start fresh tomorrow. I will continue to repeat to myself “Real Food Doesn’t Hurt!” Maybe even a sign on the freezer for those days I am looking for an easy way out.
Here I am…..the end of Day 6 of my Gluten Free lifestyle. I feel lucky to have made it all day at work considering there were several dozen chocolate chip cookies that my co-workers brought in sitting in the kitchen calling my name.
Just by chance I stopped in to Outpost this weekend and picked up a packaged cookie mix. I still had a package of Dried Door County Cherries that I won at the last #MKEFoodies event to use. And, I knew cookies may be one of those foods I may begin craving. I am a bit intimidated by Gluten Free baking since I am not all that great at regular baking, so I figure my best first step is a box mix. In exchange for wheat flour, the gluten free box mixes use a base of brown rice flour. I only needed to add an egg and vanilla. Of course, I didn’t have much confidence that if they turned out that they would be any good.
The cookies seemed to be pretty picky in the oven. Several of them flatted out pretty quickly on me and got brown and crispy, while others kept a nice shape. Out of the 30 cookies I made, I only lost 6 to the brown crispiness. I can only assume it was from me not mixing the cookie dough enough.
I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. These cookies are pretty darn good. I would even challenge that I could give you one without telling you they are gluten free and you wouldn’t be able to tell me there was anything different about them.
Definitely a much better result than I expected. My sweet tooth will be kept under control with these cookies. I was able to sit at my desk and enjoy my own homemade cookies, while the ones in the kitchen quickly quieted.
For most people St. Patrick’s Day means enjoying a plate of corned beef and cabbage. Being a picky eater I never considered trying either. For some reason I assumed that corned beef wasn’t cooked, and I just plain wasn’t going to eat cabbage. The thought of eating it made me gag.
This St. Patrick’s Day I have the fact that I am on an adventure to try new foods as well as it falls on Day Four of my attempt to eat gluten free. I really had no reason not to try it, and every reason to give it a go.
I stopped in at Derry Hegarty’s pub to have a few drinks with friends before heading downtown to see Gaelic Storm. I got the corned beef and cabbage dinner, which came with potatoes and carrots. I figured I could at least eat the potatoes and carrots if nothing else.
I was told that the corned beef was a bit overdone, and the cabbage wasn’t as fresh as it could be, but surprisingly I liked both of them. The corned beef had a nice flavor to it, and the cabbage wasn’t nearly as gross as I imagined it would be.
I will definitely adding both to my list of foods to try again. I would love some suggestions on where I can get quality corned beef and cabbage.
Day One Gluten Free and it was a success!
Since I haven’t really had time to sit down and plan out meals for this week, I had gone to Sendik’s to pick up a few things that I knew are gluten free for lunch. I picked up a few frozen meals from Amy’s Kitchen because they are gluten free and organic, so I know I eating all natural foods.
The first one I tried was the macaroni and cheese with rice noodles. I was pretty hesitant to buy this one in the first place because of a recent bad experience with rice noodles at the Thai restaurant. But, I gave them a shot. How could anything covered in cheese be bad? I was extremely surprised by how good it was. One of my main staples as a picky eater has always been macaroni and cheese, and to be more specific, frozen macaroni and cheese. What a perfect way to start the gluten free experience……with something that has always been a comfort food for me.
Dinner was going to prove to be a whole new challenge. The second Wednesday of the month is always International Supper Club with Yelp. This month we went to Riviera Maya in Bay View. I tend to order flour tortillas when I go out for Mexican. Rather than having to stay away from tortillas completely I was happy to hear that I can choose corn tortillas instead! I went with the Papitas Tostadas. I can’t say I have every ordered a Tostada at a restaurant. So, although it is fairly common on Mexican restaurant menus, it was something new to me. The Papitas topping was a combination of potatoes, poblano pepper and corn. Along with sour cream and avocado. Absolutely Delicious! Considering I was afraid I was going to have to go to dinner and just watch everyone eat. I was completely satisfied with my meal, and had no feeling of missing anything.
I am just past lunch on Day Two and still going strong. If I take one day at a time I can do this!