Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rabbit Trail

When I was working at Cottonwood Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City and taking classes at the Salt Lake Theological Seminary, I used to try to take my weekly day off on Tuesday so I could fit classes and chapel worship in together.

It made for a long day, and if I had a church history class or a theology class after chapel on a Tuesday afternoon, it was fun and rather stimulating to get Dr. Huggins to run off down a rabbit trail, tangential to the subject. That is the strategy tonight.

This post is today's lunch and I interject it into this series because I noticed something that many of us share. It's related to the dinner self-portraits because self-portraits are, after all, supposed to help the artist and those around her/him catch a different view of a familiar visage.

Yesterday I was laid low with a migraine brought on by the usual suspects: Wheat gluten overload from too much mac-and-cheese and birthday cupcakes combined with sleep deprivation and a crazy schedule. I suggest to anyone who is allergic or sensitive to wheat (or suspects that they are)to try going gluten-free for two weeks if your symptoms are not so acute that you suspect celiac disease or feel that you need to seek medical help immediately. I am exploring gluten-free cooking and sometimes need to try new things or dream up ways to use gluten-free ingredients I have on hand to give myself a meal that will re-energize me.

I think periodically I'll post some of my more edible concoctions. As I discover products which provide acceptable substitutes for those containing gluten, I'll share what I find and I invite you to try them or share your own experiences. So, in search of good food that won't leave you feeling terrible,

Here's what I invented today, and it was yummy:

Pasta Bowl with Fresh Herbs

2 oz. brown rice pasta (favorite: Tinkyada brand,
2 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, depending on personal taste
Generous 1 T. fresh herbs, such as oregano, basil, and Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 C shredded flavorful cheese, such as pecorino romano or parmagiano reggiano
Scant 1/2 C cooked vegetables (leftovers such as peas, broccoli, etc. work great)
Salt and pepper

Boil about 6 C water with 1 T of the olive oil over high heat. Add rice pasta and cook for about 12-15 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. (Note: some rice pasta will become mushy if cooked this long. If not using Tinkyada, check after 5 minutes for doneness)

Meanwhile, heat 1 T. olive oil in a small saute pan and saute garlic rapidly until it just begins to turn brown. Drain the pasta, transfer to a bowl and toss with the garlic-and-oil, the cheese, vegetables, and herbs. Salt and pepper to taste. (If not overly concerned about fat, you could add a little butter and it would be divine) Serve immediately.

Note: If gluten really is a problem, Tinkyada is manufactured in a completely wheat-free environment. It has the same calorie count as semolina wheat pasta and I don't get the symptoms after a meal using this pasta that I get when I use wheat pasta. Plus, there is a
chewiness to the texture that you'll notice from the brown rice. If you are also dairy-intolerant, try substituting almond or soy cheese for the dairy cheese.

In hopes that we may all eat well, and have a peaceful night afterward. Bon Appetit!

1 comment:

ann said...

Oh, poor Dori. You join Nort and a millioin others with a wheat allergy. Yikes! I caught a glimpse of that on your blog recently, but hadn't been aware of it previously. He doesn't follow any special avoidance diet these days, but surely did years ago. We brought the boys up with wheat only very rarely to try to avoid it. We even took our soy cheese to the pPizza Hut for custom pizza to avoid dairy problems!