Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gluten, gluten, oh how I love thee...

Hey y'all! I haven't really been up to date in blog land for a while. There's been a lack of motivation and busy-ness and all that jazz :)
Brain food: Laksa stir fry with lots of colours.
This is what my life tends to look like evenings after work. I've enrolled in college! Yay! Back to school again for Emma. I'm doing an Advanced Diploma of Nutrtional Medicine and so far it's pretty interesting. I'm doing 3 classes at the moment because I still need to work full time to pay rent and feed the cats and all. I haven't actually got up to the nutrition part yet. So far I've started Anatomy and Physiology 1 and Chemistry...I thought chemistry would be a lot more daunting but as it turns out the elements are the same in the garden as they are in our bodies so I already recognise a lot of the themes. I'm also doing a communication class to get it over and done with...already had a panic attack and burst into tears at the thought of doing roleplays so we'll see how it goes! I do that class in the evenings on Tuesdays on campus. The others I'm doing online which is textbooks and I can take a long as I need to.

Well that's that, other news is that I am (oh joy) gluten intolerant! Fun times lay ahead. It's not too bad. I am currently trial-and-erroring what gluten I can and can't handle...unfortunately oats, as in porridge, make me feel and look pregnant. I eat ate oats pretty much every day!! Oh well.
I decided I'd try some quinoa flakes instead of oats to make a porridge like meal for breakfast.
Following the directions on the packet, however, turns it into a textureless watery mess (though tasty). So I experimented a little bit and found that if I mixed equal parts of liquid and the flakes in a bowl and zapped it in the microwave for one minute it made an almost porridge texture (I eat mine really thick). So quinoa will do as a substitute - it's a bit expensive though. I might try rice flakes and see if they do the same thing. I'm also going to try rolled spelt and see if it upsets my stomach (I may also try rolled rye).

Apparently the gluten in each grain is slightly different and it all depends on your body as to whether you can handle it or not. Some things are easier to substitute than others (I've found a good bread mix to make in my breadmaker, and I've been eating gluten free pasta for ages).
Pastry was a hard thing...but I found a good recipe online that I liked the results of. You can find it here.

It rolled out nicely like a regular gluteny crust and baked up nice and soft like a proper shortcrust. (Rice flour based pastry goes rock solid). The strips I used in the lattice were a bit fragile but they did the job! It tasted good and texture was delicious, though a teensy bit dry. I didn't measure my margarine so that may have been the reason. I reccommend this recipe if you want to try your hand at a gluten free crust :)
When we cut the pie it fell apart a little...cutting it straight out of the fridge the next day had far better results :P oh well, was still delicious. It's just a raspberry and apple pie by the way, with a bit of homemde vanilla ice cream from the Veganomicon cookbook. I like that ice cream better than store bought soy stuff but it tastes  little tofu-y to someone not used to the taste. I'm wondering if steaming the tofu before making the ice cream would do anything?

It's good to be back in blog land. Unfortunately my unmotivation stretched into my half marathon training so I definately won't be running the whole thing in two weeks time. I'll run as far as I can though! I'll pick it up again for the Bridge to Brisbane methinks.


Chua said...


Stumbled upon your blog from some other vegan food blog. I love how you simply write about what you ate for the day. Just curious, but how did you find out you were gluten intolerant especially after a whole life of eating oats?

Emma said...

Hi! Thanks for your comment. I'm not sure why I'm intolerant now after 23 years of eating gluten - I guess it builds up over time? I know some peoples allrgies go away over time so maybe it's a similar deal. I did a cleanse a while back where no gluten was allowed and felt pretty good, but thn noticed th bloating and pain when I started back to gluten again...prhaps I just didn't notice before :)

Theresa said...

Welcome back! Unfortunate about the gluten intolerance, but you seem to be coping well and finding good substitutions.

Hey, I've not published it yet, but I'm about to bestow on you a blog award, so feel free to participate if you like :)

urban vegan said...

Aw. Good luck on your GF journey. There are so many great vegan GF cookbooks and blogs out there. Hope things get easier. Your spirit of "diving right in" is commendable!