Simplicity by Choice

Off-Grid Living & Self-Reliance

Gluten-Free Diet Changes June 8, 2014

Filed under: cooking,family — ourprairiehome @ 8:12 pm
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In recent weeks, our son’s therapists each were encouraging and supportive of our trying a gluten-free diet with him.  He has already gone dairy-free due to lactose intolerance.  No surprise there since both his Daddy and I are lactose intolerant.  Unfortunately, Pookie still gets a gassy belly whenever he eats foods containing wheat.  So, with that in mind we are going to try gluten-free and see if that helps.  It takes about 3 months of being gluten-free to fully rid our bodies of the effects of gluten.

Being that we eat a predominately vegan diet, we already don’t eat much meat.  Not that we don’t like eating meat, but between how my body feels after eating meat and the high price of meat, it is easy to go without it.  In fact, we no longer buy meat.  The only time we will have meat is when we go out to eat.  Then it is really hard to eat vegetarian/vegan.  We don’t have much in the way of options where we live.   Unless you are completely in love with the idea of eating salads only, you have to get creative.  We found buffet type restaurants to work best for us.  Now, there is a new twist for our eating options.  Now we have to find gluten-free options.

One of the hardest things about going gluten-free is the fact that most breads sold have the texture of styrofoam.  It is dense and the taste is not very pleasant.  So, my first challenge was to find a recipe for homemade bread.  I looked at the various recipes and found that in the comments, there were some who loved the recipe while others said it was too dense and bland. For our family, that would not work out for us.  We love eating bread.  So, I felt that finding a good recipe was critical for us.

We are a family who believes that if one family member has to eat a special diet, then we all will do the diet change in support of that family member.  This is especially true when kids are involved.  It is difficult to explain to a young child with dietary challenges why they cannot eat a cookie or treat that their sibling is able to eat.

I did a web search for recipes for making a gluten-free all purpose flour.  There are many recipes out there.  I wanted one that was easy to make, low cost, and had a good flavor.  I love to bake all of our breads and baked goods.  It is far less costly than the store bought alternatives.  The baked goods are also much better for you in that they are not full of chemicals and preservatives.  Finally, it is just plain fun to bake.  Little Miss, Pookie, and I enjoy baking together.

I found a really easy and good all-purpose gluten-free flour recipe last week.  I like the flour recipe.  All ingredients were very easy to find at the health food store and at a good price.  The same blog has a recipe for a Soft Gluten Free Sandwich bread.   I am going to give it a try this week and see how we like the recipes.  I will post the results.

As for eating out, I think we will continue with the buffets or possibly start using bento containers and taking food with us.  We have done that often enough in the past.  That is my next Pinterest quest…..finding some fun gluten-free meals to take in bento containers that the kids will enjoy.

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Quinoa Cereal Recipe March 12, 2013

Filed under: cooking,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 12:38 am
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this past week, our family tried a new way of using Quinoa. We made hot cereal with it. It is not a really difficult thing. Quinoa is cooked exactly as you would rice, but unlike rice it is packed with protein.

To make the cereal, we cook the quinoa with 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water. We set the water to boil, adding an extra 1/4 cup to the measurement, and toss in a handfull or two of finely diced dried fruits or raisins. When the water starts to boil, stir in the quinoa, remove from heat and cover. The quinoa will continue to cook just as rice does, absorbing all the liquid.

To serve, we add a bit of honey or you can use pure maple syrup for sweetening and a bit of milk. To make it vegan, simply use almond milk or your favorite alternative milk. The kids loved it! The cereal is equally good as a cold cereal. We made a large batch and refrigerated the extra for the next morning.

Next time, I will try teh same thing using only brown rice. In our efforts to find alternatives to gluten foods, these seem like a God-send.