My little buddy

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


One of the biggest challenges for me now that I am gluten-free is breakfast. I can no longer toast some wheat bread and smear it with peanut butter. No pb&j. No bacon & egg sandwiches. No cereals. No french toast. No waffles or pancakes.

It sucks balls!

I've started making the Gluten-Free Pantry Bread, which is by far the best I've tried so far. I can still smear it with peanut butter. It's not quite the same. It doesn't toast up as well as wheat bread. But it will do.

Cereals - well, that's becoming a little easier too. More and more mainstream companies like Kellogg and Post are starting to market GF cereals. I've even tried some of the pre-made waffles.

But I find it hard to make breakfast on workdays since I have to be at work so early. Frequently, I take something with me to make to work and eat there. That limits what I can have for breakfast even further.

So I've had to get creative on my days off - trying new recipes. This past Sunday I made "Egg Houses". It was a recipe I tried from my new Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso that I picked up at Costco. It was soooo simple. And extraordinarily delicious!

It's my new fave! I did tweak it a little bit. Here's my take on it:

Egg Houses

makes 1-2 servings

2 eggs
2 tomatoes
Salt & Pepper
4 slices bacon
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease to muffin cups with spray or butter.

Cut the tops off the tomatoes. Remove the seeds and pulp to leave a cup, or "house".  Season inside of cup with salt and pepper. Place tomatoes in the muffin cups. Crack 1 egg into each tomato cup. Season with salt and pepper. Bake the egg houses for 20-25 mins (to desired done-ness).

Meanwhile, cut bacon into small pieces. I find this works easiest with kitchen shears. Pan fry bacon until crisp. Drain on a paper towel.

To serve, place "egg/tomato houses" on a plate or plates. Sprinkle bacon and chopped, fresh chives on the egg houses. Voila!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wheat and Insulin

Now, I will not claim to know that full relationship between wheat and insulin production. But I know this: wheat consumption means peaks and valleys in insulin production.

And this couldn't have become any clearer to me Friday evening.

Basically, when you eat wheat, it drives your insulin production so that you get spikes or peaks. Conversely, it also creates a dip or valley. This means your blood sugars are spiking and dropping ... which ultimately results in weight gain.

When I was eating wheat, I experienced blood sugar drops at least once daily. And it's an awful feeling. You just don't feel "right". I would get clammy, jittery, sometimes nauseated, and always, always get the shakes. Like the DT's.

Since I gave up wheat, I haven't had to deal with these symptoms. No matter how long I go without eating. It wasn't something I conciously realized until last night. By the time I got home from grocery shopping after work, I was in full low blood sugar mode. Major shakes.


I ate wheat three times in less than 24 hours and that was enough to send my insulin in a tailspin.

Thursday, for lunch, I treated myself to a McChicken. I haven't had one in at least 6 months ... it was soooo good! Then, for supper, I had 2 Crab Rangoons - the filling is gluten-free, but not the wonton wrappers around the filling. Again, sooooo good.  And for breakfast Friday morning, I had a Tim's Breakfast Biscuit. This time, not as good. It was only okay.

I was suffering by mid-morning. I won't got into detail, let's just say I had to take a few extra breaks during work to visit the loo.

I had a normal gluten-free lunch at my normal time. I had my normal gluten-free snack mid-afternoon.  After work, I went to the grocery store (yay, payday!) and I was home before 5pm. And I was in major low blood sugar mode. I made myself a small snack - a Glutino English Muffin with cheddar cheese on it. The whole time I was shaking like a leaf. It was an awful sensation.

And it really brought home how much wheat affects my blood sugar. It's just not worth the distress. My love affair with wheat is suffering many hits. The relationship is on the rocks!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

GF Mac'n'Cheese

I got my Rachael Ray newsletter this weekend ... and of course it had all kinds of wheaty goodness in it.

So much.

That I can't eat.

So sad.

So I decided to take one of the recipes and make it gluten-free. Just to see how it turned out. And voila! Mac'n'Cheese - Quiche Lorraine style!

You can view the original Rachael Ray recipe here:

There are two keys to a good gluten-free mac'n'cheese: first, a good base, meaning white sauce - stay away from white and brown rice flours for your roux - they are *way* too grainy; second is **UNDERCOOKED  PASTA** My instructions say 6 mins because the package directions say to cook the macaroni 7-10 mins for al dente. Because this mac'n'cheese will be baked in the oven, it needs to be undercooked!

My gluten-free version is here:

Mac'n'Cheese à la Lorraine

1/2 lb bacon
1 tbsp olive oil
3 medium leeks (white and light green parts only), halved lenghtwise and sliced thinly, rinsed and dried
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tbsp sorghum flour
2-1/2 cups milk
3 cups brown rice macaroni
1-1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 rounded tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the real stuff, not the fake kind)

Heat an oven to 375F. Arrange bacon on a slotted broiler pan. Bake until crisp, approximately 18-30 mins (depending on your oven). Remove from pan and chop. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté 3 mins. Add minced garlic and sauté another 2-3mins. Add wine and deglaze pan. Allow most of the wine to evaporate over low heat and then set aside.

In a medium saucepot over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk all 3 flours together in a small bowl. Whisk flour into butter; add salt and pepper. Cook roux for 2 -3 mins until it starts to change colour. Add milk; bring to a simmer to thicken. Add Gruyère and Cheddar cheeses and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in Dijon mustard. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a full rolling boil. Season liberally with salt. Add brown rice pasta to pot. Once water comes back to a boil, cook pasta for 6 mins.  **UNDERCOOK THE PASTA**. Drain and rinse with hot water; drain pasta again.

In the pasta pot, mix together pasta, sauce, leeks and bacon. Pour into a greased casserole dish; top with Parmesan cheese. Bake in the over on 375F for 20mins. If the top isn't browned enough, broil for 2-3 mins.

  A closer look:

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bisquick is GF!!!

Yes, folks, you don't have to give up all your favourite Bisquick recipes! Betty Crocker has a Gluten-Free Bisquick product on the market! It's overpriced, but it's there! In the US only, though. We Canadians are not worthy of G-Free Bisquick yet. But maybe, eventually,  Betty Crocker will bless us with her wheat-less bounty in the future.

So what did I make with my G-Free Bisquick? Well, just one of my favourite crustless quiches - also known as Bisquick Impossible Pie .... I originally got this recipe from my aunt who made it for my meat-and-potatoes-only uncle, who loved it.

I have adapted it to be G-Free simply by using this great little product:

Cheddar & Bacon Crustless Quiche

3 eggs
3/4 cup Bisquick mix
¼ tsp salt
¼  tsp pepper
1/3 cup melted butter
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup cooked, crumbled bacon plus reserved grease
½ cup onions, sautéed
1 cup roughly chopped mushrooms

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease pie plate.
2. Saute onions and mushrooms in 1 tbsp of reserved bacon grease over medium-low heat until onions begin to caramelize.
3. In a 4 cup mixing cup, beat eggs well. Mix in Bisquick mix, salt, pepper, butter, & milk.
3. Pour into pie plate.  Sprinkle cheese, bacon, onions, and mushrooms on top.
4. Bake for 40 mins. Cool for 5 mins, cut into 8 wedges and serve.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chilly? Then have some Chili!

I love Chili! There are so many kinds of chili - Texas, vegetarian, white, green, bean ... It's easy to make, you can put whatever you want in it. And it's perfect for the winter.

It's also naturally gluten-free!

Here's a super fast, super easy White Bean Chicken Chili that will please even the pickiest eaters. I found this recipe on years ago and it's one I make often. It's not hot, as in spicy hot, but extremely flavourful.

You start by sauteeing a large onion and 2 cloves of garlic in hot oil over medium heat. I like to put the saucepot top on for a few minutes to help sweat the onions and draw out a lot of that onion and garlic flavour.

The you add the rest of the ingredients: chicken broth, a can of tomatillos (or you can stew your own if you have access to fresh tomatillos, which is what I did today), a can of diced tomatoes (I actually used a 28oz can of tomatoes), cans of green chilis (don't worry, they're not hot), chicken, corn (I used 1-1/2 cups frozen), and all kinds of spices and seasonings.

After simmering this lovey, fragrant pot of goodies for at least 20 minutes, simply serve it up with your choice of condiments. You can use whatever you like - crushed corn tortillas or chips, grated cheddar or jack, sour cream, chopped cilantro, maybe some red chili pepper flakes for those that like it hot (oh Marilyn). And enjoy!

Notice I didn't suggest flour tortillas? Unless you can make gluten-free flour tortillas, stay away from those bad boys. Although, now that I think of it .... I may have to try making some. I have a tortilla press and everything ....
Back In The Saddle Again ...

Don't you just love Aerosmith ....

For the first time in two years, I have decided to post. At first, when I joined blogland, it was because my friends were doing it, it was a way to air my opinions and have my say, it was a way to stay in touch.

Not anymore. This blog is for me now. And only me. You don't like what I write, then navigate to another page, because I'm not changing a thing.

For the most part, I don't see "those" friends anymore. A lot came to pass over the past two years, and only the real friends are still, well, friends. There were some friends who faded quickly, and for the most part, those people were expected. But I have to admit, there were one or two that did surprise me. Then, as time went by, the friends I was closest to began dwindling. There were two that really shocked me. And hurt me in the process. I have my suspicions why. But at this point, I don't care. I'm over it. They've shown their true colours and obviously I am better off.

That being said, I am still friends with a bunch of wonderful, generous people. They are tried and true, trustworthy. And what else could anyone ask for in a friend?

My blog is still going to be a way to air my opinions - like I wrote earlier, if you don't like it, move on. There are plenty of other blogs out there that you will like. I tell it like I see it.

So over the past two years, not only have friends changed, but the family has changed. The picture above is me with my beautiful nephew - I'll always refer to him as Buddy - who was born shortly before Christmas 2012. He was the best Christmas gift my sister could possibly give us. She and her partner finally had a baby. I will be honest and say that I realllllly wanted a girl. But that's all good now that I have my Buddy. I dote on him, which any rocking aunt does. That's my goal now - to be the favourite, most rocking, fantastic aunt. I can pull it off.

The other big change has been my diet. I've gone gluten-free. I had to. When I am eating gluten containing products, I feel awful. My sinuses kill me, my joints are so bad I think I have arthritis, and we won't even get into the whole intestinal thing. That's actually going to be a huge part of my blog - gluten-free.  Cuz it's hard. I've done a lot of reading and I am still learning. And I want to share some of what I learn.

So, here's to a new year and a new life. In more than one way.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Did It!

I am now down to 1 can of Coke a day! Yay me!!!!

A lot of people wouldn't see this as an accomplishment, but let me tell you, it is.

I started the year drinking up to 5 cans a day!

By Spring, I had reduced my intake to 2 cans a day. Now I am half that again.

My goal is leave Coke behind completely.

Ok, so now I am off to the bathroom for the 5th time this morning - I've replaced my Coke with water - oye.