I’m done with my one month wheat free challenge. I actually finished on Saturday. I noticed a few things along my journey. I didn’t find it all that bad and we even went out to eat and we traveled out of town.
I was impressed in the amount of restaurants that cater to the gluten free. I always seemed to have at least 3 choices, and I’m not even talking salad. We even went to my favorite cupcake shop and Mr. PBandO asked if they had a gluten free option, and they did. I think I liked the gluten free cupcake more.
I also did a lot of gluten free baking myself. At first I couldn’t understand why so many gluten free bakers seem to use a mixture of 2 to 4 different types of flour. I mean, they sell a gluten free mix at the grocery store. And then I used the premixed gluten free flour… it sucked. Everything I made came out feeling and tasting like play-dough. And I gave that up in grade one.
So, I dragged myself to the bulk barn and stocked up on white rice flour, brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, spelt flour, kumit flour, gluten free oats, almond flour (which is just ground up almonds) and I bought 2 different kinds of gluten replacements, xanthan gum and guar gum (use these with caution, they have 2-3 times the thickening power of cornstarch.
It was worth it, even if I have a few extra ingredients, and wrapped my head around the fact that my baked goods would taste a little different. Funny thing, on Sunday, even though my challenge was over, I found myself gluten free baking. I have so many recipes I still want to try.
The one surprising thing I noticed was that I already ate a whole bunch of gluten free meals, like my steak and peppers over rice, shepherd’s pie, and this little gem of a recipe. This quickly became a staple in our house. It’s so quick and easy.
Final verdict: I don’t think I’ll give up wheat/gluten anytime soon. I love pizza way too much. I didn’t find a suitable replacement for that warm soft doughy crust that belongs in pizza. If I ever want to put pizza toppings on a big cracker, I will find a gluten free pizza dough recipe. Other than that, I think gluten free will make an appearance on my plate on a regular basis.
Sausage and Veggie Bake
[Adapted from http://www.handletheheat.com/sausage-potato-bake/]
4-6 Sausages –Look for Gluten Free (I Used both Hot and Mild)
2 Red Peppers, (or your Choice of Color) Cut into 1-2 inch Pieces
1 Large Onion, Cut into 1-2 Inch Pieces
1 Cup of Chopped Carrots
6-8 Brussels Sprouts, Chopped up into Chunky Pieces
6-8 Small Red or Yellow New Potatoes, Cut into 1 inch Pieces (or 4 Medium Russets)
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
¼ Cup of Chicken Broth (or Water)
2 Teaspoons of Rosemary (or 1 Tablespoon of Fresh)
2 Teaspoons of Smoked Paprika
¼ Teaspoon of Cumin and Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
Pre-Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with tinfoil, and spray it with a non-stick spray.
Toss everything into a plastic bag with a seal on it, and shake well. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the potatoes can be pierced easily.