Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 5 of the Gluten-Free Challenge

Jeff and I are five days into our gluten-free month, and I think it's going quite well. I went to the market on Sunday and loaded up on ingredients for a few dinners, as well as lunch and snacks, praying that Jeff would be able to find yummy foods to munch on while I was at work. This week's basic daily breakdown has been oatmeal (because neither of us have a gluten intolerance, and I couldn't find gluten-free oats, this is a concession we're making), fruit, yogurt, corn tortilla quesadillas, hummus, raw veggies, tortilla chips, and an incredibly delectable creation of mine for dinner. I will admit that I'm a little hungrier than I was last week when I was having a slice of bread with my lunch, but I feel a satisfied and not stuffed fullness after meals and Jeff told me the other day that he's feeling more energetic and lighter on his feet. My favorite observation so far is that I'm thinking about what I eat. Tuesday was an especially early and busy day at work and I was faced with a spread of pastries at my morning meeting. Because I was hungry and running on adrenaline, the non-gluten free me would have probably snagged as scone. Instead, I loaded my plate up with fruit. At lunchtime, we were running to an event and had to stop at a "fast food" establishment. Where I would have gotten a sandwich or wrap, I ordered a salad. And at my event, there were cookies and donuts galore. It had been a long day and the cookies were calling my name, but to curb my cravings, I picked up some Starburst Gummibursts instead. I was forced to think about eating gluten three separate times, and realized that I often snack on things that I don't really need, because why not? Of course, there is always that incredible cupcake or to die for sandwich that is irreplaceable, but it's important to consider what to put in your mouth, what you feed yourself. And speaking of treats, I picked up two gluten-free chocolate chip cookies at a hospital bake sale, which Jeff hailed as "better than normal cookies." This might not be so bad after all :)

For dinner, I made two meals this week, and both were great and will go into my recipe Rolodex for future nights.

"Sukiyaki" - Teriyaki Rice Noodles with Steak, Spinach, Mushrooms, Green Onion, Egg

Recipe, adapted from The Gluten-Free Bible:

(Makes 5 servings)

1 package/12 ounces rice noodles (I used noodles about the width of linguini, worked really well!)
1.5 pounds sliced steak, whatever you would use for stir fry
1 package/8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 pound fresh or defrosted spinach
6 green onions, sliced into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup chicken or beef broth
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (gluten-free)

1/2 cup water
5 eggs to scramble
Olive oil

Put noodles in a bowl, cover with hot water, and let soak for 30 minutes
Mix teriyaki sauce, broth, and water, set aside
Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat

Add steak and saute until cooked to your liking, remove to plate
Add sliced mushrooms, saute and move to side of pan
Add eggs, scramble, move to side of pan
Add spinach, heat and cook through
Add teriyaki/broth mixture and green onions, bring to a boil
Drain noodles and add them to skillet

Return meat to skillet and carefully fold all ingredients together
Turn heat to low, cover skillet and let food simmer until noodles are soft and all ingredients are heated through and mixed
Serve with hot sauce of your choice!

Crab and Potato Cakes with Yogurt Sauce

Recipe, adapted from The Gluten-Free Bible and EatingWell:
(Makes 8 large crab cakes)

2 cups crab meat (I used Chicken of the Sea crab cups, found near fish counter)
5 Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced in half
4 green onions, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
1 egg
4 tablespoons parsley, chopped and divided
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 ounces plain yogurt
1 lemon

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
In a pot, cover potatoes with water and cook until softened
Heat oil in pan over medium heat, add yellow onion and green onion, cook until soft
Add 2 tablespoons parsley, remove from heat
When potatoes are done cooking, drain and mash with a fork or masher into small pieces
In a large bowl, gently mix potatoes, crab meat, egg, onion/parsley, and mustard
Form mixture into patties
Grease a medium to large cookie sheet
Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add patties, two at a time, and cook until golden on both sides, place on cookie sheet
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cakes are golden brown on top and heated through
While cakes are baking, mix yogurt with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and the juice of half a lemon
Serve crab cakes with lemon wedges and yogurt sauce,
and a green salad


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