Friday, July 16, 2010

Uh Oh.....

I know I shouldn't. But I just discovered that they are Gluten Free!!!

And you know I won't stop until

A: I finish the pack


B: I Throw Up!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pumpkin Soup

Being in the middle of winter, soup is really one of those comfort foods that I just love. I used to make the typical huge pot of Kiwi Vege soup, using Kings Soup Mix, with all it's barley glory, but of course that has been banished to the past, although I consider myself lucky that I still have lovely memories of my Mum making it, and of coming in from netball on a cold wet and freezing Saturday to a big bowl of one-stop-shop goodness. Now the soup mixes along with all the other baddies in the pantry, have been donated in the huge food parcel for my almost 22 year old daughter. Her flatmates thought it was great, and I hope they are scoffing themselves silly on all that "hidden" gluten! I also hope they don't think that food parcels like that are going to be a regular event. Blimey we would go bankrupt!

Anyway it's not so much of a loss, because now I just make up my own soup mix, with lentils and split green and yellow peas, and it not that much different. But my biggest crush this winter has been pumpkin and coriander soup. This recipe is really easy and pretty quick. The longest bit is chopping up the pumpkin and peeling it, but if you have a good sharp knife its not as wrist breaking as I used to find it! I just made this up as I went along, but in my opinion it's a bit of a winner. I dunked some of the bread (I use that term very loosely) I made, which really just turned out to be a one inch thick slab of dense "something or other"! I froze it for scientific purposes, but it did actually taste quite nice as a "soup dunker".

What follows is a less than scientific recipe. Probably more as a guideline really, because I am not much into measuring out stuff. (hence the now aptly named Soup Dunker Bread).

Pumpkin Soup

1 pumpkin. (Any size but obviously the bigger the pumpkin the more soup you will yield!)

Splash of Olive oil (probably about a tablespoons or two worth)

A handful or two of Coriander finely chopped (I love Coriander so sometimes it ends up a bit more,

A few average sized garlic cloves

1 decent sized onion

teaspoon or so of GF chicken stock (or vegetable or non if you don't have any, because you can use some salt)

Salt to taste


Dice the onion and and chop the garlic. You don't have to be too fussy but don't have great hunks of it.

Peel and de-seed the pumpkin, and cut into about 1 inch size pieces. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Throw in the coriander and give it a bit of a mix around, and then the pumpkin. **I actually added a Kumara to this one, which sweetened it a little, but I don't normally** Add about a teaspoon of the stock if you are using it, and then cover with water and simmer until the pumpkin is soft. Once it has all cooked, ladle it into a food processor or blender until it is pureed. You will have to do it in batches, so have another container or pot on standby. If it is too thick you can thin it down a bit with water or some cream or milk.

It will keep in a covered container in the fridge for a good few days or you could freeze it, but if its anything like ours it won't be around that long!!

Hope you like it! ~Liz~

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Getting on with it....

I have starting coming to grips with this GF thing, and it feels a bit easier. Our evening meals are all gluten free, because its just makes more sense, so there is no really big adjustment to be made. We don't have a lot of convenience meals so its not like I have had to make huge changes for family meals or anything. Having said that I am in a fortunate position where I am not working, so I am not rushing in the door starving and then trying to get a meal together.

The other night I did some lamb chops, and thought I would give the mint sauce a go with white vinegar instead of the usual malt. It wasn't quite as nice somehow, but that could have had something to do with the lack of mint! Mike planted mint in the garden, so I expected to go down there and find it had run amok. It was a pretty sorry sight though. A couple of measly stalks with a few leaves on the end of it. I didn't really matter in the end because I'm the only one who likes mint sauce anyway!
And this was what I managed to harvest...

Fairly miserable don't you think?

The upside was that the rhubarb had been struggling away and I was able to pick a bunch to stew. I love rhubarb and had thoughts of doing something decadently gluten free. Truth is, I couldn't help my gutsy self and ate it all with some cereal for desert. Ah, and just for the record no one else wanted rhubarb either.

It's not the most robust looking rhubarb, because our garden is quite slopey and dark. Due to the neighbours trees, which she won't let us top, so growing stuff in it is a challenge to say the least, but come summer the figs will be ripening and we will be fighting with the birds to get at them first. And just for the record, no one else eats figs either!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

To eat or not to eat

That is the question....
I decided to make my "world famous" lasagne last night. (Actually it's really only famous in my family, because everyone loves it so much, but world famous gives it a bit of weight). I did have some angst that it wouldn't turn out as well gluten free, but I have to say I couldn't really tell the difference, and the family devoured it, so I needn't have worried so much. But I will tell you a little confession. I didn't actually have any myself, apart from a tiny taste of the pasta bit. And for a couple of reasons. I am off dairy for now, and the cheese sauce, even though made with cornflour (and turned out beautifully) had cheese and milk. And then just before I opened the tinned tomatoes I happened to read the nutritional information, which has remarkably quickly become habit, and found that they had acidity regulator 330. What the heck is that ???? Well I hurriedly tried to google it, and then tried to quickly leaf through the info that I have, but time was marching on, and in the end it all became a bit hard, so I resorted to a jacket potato with some ham, mushrooms and sweetcorn with a dollop of soy mayo. It was yum anyway so I wasn't too bothered, but I was bit annoyed that I wasn't sure of something. It was quite hard to find out whether it was safe or not, and that one small thing had scuppered my plans for a totally GF lasagne. I guess these are the perils of a Coeliac, and I am hoping as I get used to this way of life (sorry that sounds a bit dramatic) that I will not have to second guess everything, all the time.

Monday, July 5, 2010

When a plan comes together

I love it I really do!
And I guess that's what the key word is these days. Planning, planning and planning! And also I'm in the zone because we went to see the A Team movie.
Its Nick's 11th birthday today and we took a couple of his mates to see the shoot em up, punch em out and blow em to smithereens version of the old 70's show. I took along my Delites. Rice Crackers that kind of look like crinkle cut chips, and some marshmallows. (GF of course) The kids stuffed their faces with potato chips, coke, and skittles! The bit that stung was walking through the foodhall to get to the carpark. I walk past all that food and scan, and do a mental check.
Can't have that.
Nope not that either.
Oooh maybe ... nah wouldn't risk it!
Those are the moments when I get a little peeved, but I felt a bit quesy after scoffing all those marshmallows, so I wouldn't have bothered anyway, but its just that... well those little moments (and they really are little moments) just bug me. Not as much as breaking out in itchy spots or having a dodgy tum, and at the end of the day that is what its all about. So I did plan for having some movie treats, and it really wasn't that much different to BC. (Before Coeliacs)
So like Hannibal Smith and his team its a case of having a plan and loving my version of it when it comes together!!!