Navigating the wheat free, gluten free diet

Posts tagged ‘gluten free diet’

“Chef” Damian Cardone Likes Poisoning His Patrons with Gluten?

I woke up this morning to find the gluten-free world in an outrage over a 40-word Facebook update a chef had posted about gluten-free patrons.   Then I actually read the update:

Gluten free is bullshit!! Flour and bread have been a staple of life for thousands, THOUSANDS of years. People who claim to be gluten intolorent dont realize that its all in there disturbed liitle heads. People ask me for gluten free pasta in my restaurant all the time, I tell em sure, Then I serve serve em our pasta, Which I make from scratch with high gluten flour. And you know what? nothing, NOTHING! ever happens! People leave talking about how good they feel gluten free and guess what, They just had a full dose! Idiots!

Pretty sickening, yeah?  I don’t want to imagine how those people felt later that night or the next day, and for days after that.

The Gluten Free Life has written an open letter to Cardone, which he probably won’t read since he considers the gluten-free diet to be a passing fad diet, but it’s a lot nicer than anything I’d probably say to him right now.

I just can’t imagine what would possess a chef – who has cooked for celebrities and worked at the now-defunct but once-famous Tavern on the Green – to not only take such derisive action against these patrons, but to also brag about it openly on the biggest social networking site in the world.   Has he ever heard of a lawsuit?  A simple, “We don’t have gluten-free pasta” would suffice.

Cardone has claimed that he understands there are “a few” people with a legitimate disorder, but “most people are jumping on the bandwagon.” How does he tell the difference between these so-called bandwagoners?

I’d hate to think that he’s not the only chef out there who takes joy in essentially poisoning the people who pay to taste his food.  But that would certainly explain how crappy I felt after trying “gluten-free” pasta at Olive Garden.

-Taylor

Living Without Offers Secrets to Boosting Gluten-free Flavor

I just got my April/May edition of Living Without Magazine, and in it was an article about some cooking methods I’ve been curious about lately.  I’ve been wanting to try poaching since I had a delicious poached chicken rice bowl at a downtown Gainesville lunch stop last week and then there it was featured in the magazine article – along with en papillote (how fancy does that sound?), braising (a Food Network buzzword) and good-ol-fashioned stir fry.

Poaching

On poaching, the article says,

Beautiful in its simplicity, poaching involves submerging  meat – most often poultry or seafood – in a liquid where it gently cooks on the stovetop.

The chicken I had last week was wonderfully moist, and I can’t wait to try it this week.  The article recommends infusing the poaching liquid with green tea and I’m definitely up for the challenge.

En Papillote

Believe it or not, I’ve actually cooked “en papillote” before.  It really just means “in a bag.”  All you have to do is wrap all of your ingredients – meat, veggies, spices – in parchment  paper and cook – everything steams inside the bag and stays incredibly healthful.  Here is the recipe they recommend:

This recipe is equally good with chicken breast and other seasonal vegetables, such as sugar snap peas and fiddleheads. Try serving with quinoa.

4 boneless, skinless turkey breast fillets (about 1½ pounds total)
Zest + juice of 1 orange
¼ teaspoon sea salt + more to season vegetables, to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed, each cut into three pieces
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium zucchini, sliced into
½-inch rounds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Rinse turkey breasts and pat dry with a paper towel. Divide breasts among 4 pieces of parchment paper.

3. In a small bowl, mix together orange zest, salt, pepper and cayenne. Top breast meat with zest mixture.

4. Toss vegetables with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt, to taste.

5. Divide vegetables among parchment hearts. Squeeze orange juice over top of each breast and vegetables. Close packets, place on a baking sheet (they may overlap slightly) and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing open.

Photo from Living Without

Braising

For those who prefer heartier meats, the article recommends braising (quickly searing and then slow-roasting) brisket, oxtail, short ribs, lamb and pork for tender, fall off the bone meat that fills the house with an undeniable aroma.  The good news for vegetarians is that braising also amps up the flavor of hearty vegetables like carrots, parsnips and potatoes.

Stir-Fry

Stir-frying was by far my most oft-used method of cooking when I first started eating gluten-free.  Asian food (with GF soy sauce) just seemed like the obvious choice.  And the quickness with which  everything gets cooked was definitely a plus, as was the one-pot clean-up.  Just like braising, it’s good for meat and veggie lovers.  Here’s my tried and true 5-step stir fry recipe:

Step 1: Begin boiling white rice in a medium sized sauce pan or rice cooker. The ratio is generally 1/2 cup rice per 1 cup of water per person.

Step 2: Heat a tablespoon ot two of sesame oil in medium sized skillet or wok.

Step 3: While it is heating, cut 1 chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Dice vegetables of your choice. I would suggest broccoli, mushrooms and red peppers but anything will do.

Step 4: As the rice cooks on low-medium heat, stir fry the vegetables and chicken together in the sesame oil, adding LA Choy soy sauce periodically. Feel free to use any Gluten-free stir fry sauce you want.

Step 5: When the water has been absorbed by the rice, dump it in the skillet and stir it around until it is brown and coated with the sesame oil and soy sauce.

One of the best things about the gluten-free diet is all the kitchen experiments that are somewhat of a requirement.  I encourage anyone to try any of these four methods.  You won’t be disappointed.

-Taylor

Huffington Post Talks Gluten-free Diet

Celiac Disease has been on a pretty serious media tour lately, with the New York Times, Nightline and the Today Show all running features about it and its kid brother, gluten intolerance.  But you know CD has really hit the big time when Arianna and her gang over at the Huff Post put their own spin on in, opting to tackle the “Is gluten-free really healthier” argument.  (By the way, numerous organizations have beat them to the punch and concluded that “no, it is not” for people without gluten issues.)

I’m a fan of the Huffington Post and its often controversial/snarky/decidedly liberal fare, but I found nothing new in this article.  I realize it would be hard for someone who considers herself to be somewhat of an expert on a subject to find something new, but what I mean is, it offered nothing I haven’t heard from the other aforementioned outlets.

Maybe they’re toning down as a result of that AOL buyout.

Here was the one bit of information I found intriguing, as I’ve heard many people who try the GF diet out of curiosity attest to feeling better, but it’s not for the reason they think:

Many who go on a gluten-free diet may lose weight and feel better, but it has nothing to do with avoiding gluten. Just cutting out starchy, processed forms of carbohydrate or limiting carbohydrate intake helps with lowering insulin resistance, which leads to weight loss and improved energy.

Let’s all let out a collective, “Ohhh.”

Writer Susan B. Dopart concludes, “For the rest of us, there’s no need to follow the trends of what is currently in vogue with food manufacturers. Eating simple, unprocessed foods according to what your body can tolerate is the best way of eating.”

I, for one, hope that GF stays “in vogue” with food manufacturers for years to come, lest I go back to eating rice cakes every meal of every day.  I’ve always hated rice cakes.

-Taylor

Tag Cloud