Thanks to gluten’s pervasiveness in our food culture and my apparent extreme sensitivity to it, a lot of food is off limits now. If so many options are automatically a no-go, why should I restrict myself from any other foods? Or from exploring new ways to make my old faves? I've actually enjoyed grocery shopping these last few weeks, wandering the aisles just to see what foods I’ve overlooked in the past. I get excited when I find new products or random, never-heard-of-before gluten-free foods. I find myself flipping through our cookbooks, tabbing the gluten-free recipes and wondering why I’ve waited so long to make their acquaintance. Rather than passing time with social media, I roam the internet reading about all the strange and unfamiliar grains I can still eat or the latest and greatest gluten-free restaurants and bakeries around SF. It’s like, as soon as my brain associated gluten with being sick - poof! - all my food finnickiness disappeared.
I didn’t cooked a single pasta dish for four weeks. As someone who loves pasta and is married to an Italian, that’s got to be some kind of record. Instead, we've opened ourselves up to new meal options and found gluten-free dishes that were satisfying for both of us. We’ve eaten things like zucchini and squash risotto made with a homemade vegetable and herb broth, hearty beef and vegetable stew, quesadillas (on rice tortillas!) with grilled chicken, sauteed mushrooms, and gruyere cheese, quinoa with crispy prosciutto, toasted pine nuts, lemon juice, and reggiano cheese. We've since worked gluten-free pasta back into our weekly menu but we now have homemade Chinese dishes (with gluten-free soy sauce, of course!) and yummy new Vietnamese restaurants mixed in, too. All things I probably wouldn't have tried before discovering my gluten sensitivity.
Are you open to new foods? Or do you prefer to stick to your tried-and-true faves?
PS - That's butternut squash risotto with rosemary and reggiano cheese in the picture up above. The delicious and completely gluten-free recipe is coming soon!
(PS #2 - The link up for tomorrow's "Twosday" post will open at midnight California time tonight. If you want to join the link up, just post two photos on Tuesday (tomorrow) of anything that catches your eye, with little to no words/text. Can't wait to see what you come up with!)