A new blood test will detect celiac disease

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life

So here we are – Christmas and New Year are a distant memory already. We’re all well into the new year, except for those who follow the Chinese or other calendars – your New Year is soon to come.

Were you lucky enough to see the super blue blood moon the other night? What a line up of astronomical events! The moon was closest to the earth, a full moon twice in one month, and a total solar eclipse to boot. What a sight! Where I live we were lucky enough to see the whole thing from beginning to end. The super moon bit wasn’t as special as some I’ve seen in the past. I was lucky enough to get some pictures of the super, super moon we had last year. But the lining up of all the events was certainly a once in a lifetime event.

So, on to other things: Apparently there has been some developments in the detection of celiac disease. As you know, if you’re suspected of being a celiac, you have to go through the discomfort of eating wheat for several months, followed by a biopsy of the intestines to confirm the diagnosis. If you’ve worked out the wheat makes you ill, and you’ve taken yourself off it, to go back to eating gluten, even for a short time is most unpleasant.

However, a team of doctors from several universities and hospitals in Norway have got together and developed a blood test that, they say, is extremely accurate in diagnosing celiac disease. Up to now, a blood test was only used to see if a person had the genes that cause celiac disease, but it’s possible to have the genes and not have the disease so that wasn’t conclusive.

But the team from Norway reckon their blood test can detect celiac disease with a high level of accuracy, regardless of whether the person was on a gluten free diet. So, hopefully, we can look forward to a time in the near future when people won’t have to go through the whole gluten challenge and biopsy process. Woo hoo!

Garlic and Lime Prawns

Last month I promised this recipe. For a light, summery prawn (shrimp) dish, this one takes the cake. I love the flavour of limes and often use them in preference to lemons. And I also love garlic. Apart from being delicious, it’s incredibly good for you. So, here’s my recipe for garlic and lime prawns (shrimps) for you to try for your lunch next weekend. In fact, it’s so fast to make, why not try it for dinner tonight?

Terrine of Summer Fruits

This is another one of my special occasion recipes. It looks fabulous and tastes just as good. Pair it with some double cream or some ice cream and you’ve got a match made in heaven. Give my terrine of summer fruits a go when you want to wow your friends with a light, yummy dish to celebrate summer.

Until next month, take care and eat well.

Image of Summer Fruit Terrine

Summer Fruit Terrine

A Very Happy Gluten Free New Year!

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life

And a very Happy New Year to you all. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Hopefully, even those of you who do not celebrate Christmas took the time to celebrate family and friends.

We had a very nice time, with the children, partners and grandchildren down for lunch on Christmas Day. I took the opportunity to catch up with my father and step-mother a couple of days beforehand, and had lunch with my mum a couple of days after. And, of course, I cooked up a storm.

I love taking the opportunity of family gatherings to try new dishes. I know people say you should stick to the tried and true at those times, but I love to push the boat out a bit and try new stuff. Here in Australia, it’s Summer now. Some people stick to eating hot food and traditional Christmas puddings here, but really, it’s generally just too hot! Even with air conditioning there’s nothing worse than eating a heap of heavy food, and then trying to stay conscious for the rest of the day. So cold meats, salads and nice cool deserts are the go.

In case you’re interested – here is my menu for Christmas 2017:

While I was preparing all this I did make a few boo-boos along the way which got me thinking about the content of this month’s blog. If you’re like me, you occasionally make a mistake in the kitchen and then wonder how the heck you can rescue whatever it is rather than throwing it out. So I thought I share with you some of my tips I have accumulated over the years to fix my own kitchen disasters.

  1. You’ve overcooked the meat: Slice the meat thinly and put in a thin layer in a shallow dish or plate. Combine 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, plenty of salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped parsley and 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves. Pour over the meat. Turn the meat in the dressing to check that each sliced is coated and serve.
  2. The gravy is tasteless: Add a tablespoon of either Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar.
  3. The garlic is burnt: This one can’t be saved – throw it out and start again.
  4. You’ve overcooked the steak:  This won’t work if it’s like rubber, but it can save the day otherwise. Make a quick pepper sauce by crushing a couple of tablespoons of peppercorns. Pour a cup of red wine into a saucepan and reduce it to a couple of spoons. Add the peppercorns and a cup of cream. Boil until sauce is thick. Season well and pour over the steaks.
  5. The roast is cooked the the veggies aren’t: Remove the meat from the oven, loosely cover with foil and drape with a tea-towel. It will stay warm this way for up to an hour. Finish the veggies.
  6. You have roasted the chicken, but when you go to serve it you realise it is not quite cooked: Never serve under-cooked chicken! Place it on a china plate and zap it in the microwave for a minute or so. Leave it to sit for another couple of minutes for the heat to equalise.
  7. The risotto has overcooked and the rice grains have blown apart: Turn it into arancini or suppli.
  8. The lasagne is overcooked and dry: Pour over some extra milk and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Top with fresh cheese and herbs for serving.
  9. The mayonnaise has curdled: Add a spoonful of boiling water and whisk.
  10. The mayonnaise won’t thicken: Slowly add another well beaten egg yolk.
  11. The Hollandaise or Bearnaise sauce has split: Put it in the blender with a couple of ice cubes and blend.
  12. The salad greens are limp: Fill a bowl with iced water and put the salad veggies in there for as long as possible.
  13. The sauce or soup is too salty: Add a chopped potato or two and simmer for as long as possible. Throw away the potato afterwards.
  14. You’ve burnt the rice or potatoes onto the bottom of the saucepan: Strain the rice and tip it into a new saucepan. Don’t scrape the bottom of the original pan. Add fresh water and top with a slice of white bread. Bring back to the boil, then throw away the bread.
  15. The melted chocolate has seized (gone solid): If it’s burnt throw it out, otherwise whisk in a tablespoon or so of mild flavoured vegetable oil. It won’t be as good, but it will be useable.
  16. The cake has collapsed in the middle: fill the hollow with cream and fresh strawberries or other fruit.
  17. The sauce has started to lump before it’s cooked: Remove it from the heat and beat vigorously for a couple of minutes. Then put it back on a lower heat to finish cooking. This only works if the sauce hasn’t boiled. If it’s already boiled your only other option is to push it through a sieve to get rid of the lumps.
  18. The jelly hasn’t set: Remove it from the fridge and bring it back to room temperature. Get tablespoon of gelatine and dissolve in just enough hot water to get it to properly dissolve. Whisk it into your jelly, then put it back in the fridge.

So there you go – hopefully you never actually need any of these, but they’ll always be here if you do.

The very best wishes to you all for the coming year, and I’ll be back in a month with another couple of delicious recipes for you.

For now, take care and eat well.

Image of Frozen Christmas Pudding

Frozen Christmas Pudding

Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity May Not Be Triggered By Gluten

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life

A while ago I posted about findings that some people exhibited symptoms after eating wheat but did not test positive to Celiac Disease. Scientists were puzzled as to what was happening and pretty much put it down to some people being more sensitive to gluten than others.

People were complaining of being bloated, nauseous and generally “blah” after eating wheat. But they didn’t necessarily get Celiac symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and all those other fun things that us Celiacs get.

Now, further testing seems to indicate that these people are not actually sensitive to gluten. Instead, it’s something else in the wheat that is affecting them. The study by researchers from the University of Oslo and Monash University in Australia, was published in the journal Gastroenterology.

For the research,  a group of non-celiacs complained of gluten sensitivity were asked to eat special cereal bars. One type contained gluten, another fructans, and the third had neither. The participants were split into three groups, with each person eating a different type of cereal bar a day for one week. The bars contained, gluten, fructans, or neither. At the end of the week they had a week’s break from eating the bars before eating the next bar. Importantly, no one knew which bar was which.

The really interesting results showed that the fructans bar triggered bloating 15 percent more than the control bar, and gastrointestinal symptoms 13 percent more. However, the gluten bar was found to be no different from the control bar.

So, if you find yourself suffering symptoms after eating wheat, have a look at a FODMAP diet instead of a gluten free diet. You may just find that your symptoms go away. Given how healthy the FODMAP diet is, it may have the side effect of giving your overall health a real boost.

Rustic Gluten Free French Bread

Last weekend we had the kids down for lunch. It’s always a great day when the family gets together, and I get to have fun in the kitchen. But one of the things I miss is my own bread rolls or garlic bread. So, when I have time, I knock together this recipe so I can enjoy either some French Bread, or I can then make it into garlic bread.

Image of Rustic Gluten Free French Bread

Rustic Gluten Free French Bread

Depending on your flour mix, your dough may come out a bit more of a batter than mine does. It doesn’t matter, in fact it might rise a bit more than mine. And it will have a smoother finish that way, rather than the crusty rustic look of my loaf.

Here’s the recipe. At the bottom, as a bonus I’ve added my instructions to turn the loaf into garlic bread if that takes your fancy.

Gluten Free Lime and Coconut Meringue Pie

The other thing I love doing for the family get togethers is to knock up a couple of delicious deserts. One challenge is my son in law is lactose intolerant so I generally try to make at least one desert lactose free.

At this time of year Australia is loaded with lemons, and limes are just coming into season. I was going to make a traditional Lemon Meringue Pie, but then decided to have a go at making a more tropical flavour using limes and coconut.

The result was absolutely amazing! The only problem was that everyone loved it so much they almost completely finished it off. I generally rely on having some leftovers to treat myself with later,  but I nearly lost out with this one.

Next time you want to have a taste of the tropics for desert, give my Gluten Free Lime and Coconut Meringue Pie a go.

Gluten Free Lime and Coconut Meringue Pie

Gluten Free Lime and Coconut Meringue Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time, take care and eat well

Update on supplements claiming it make it possible for celiacs to eat wheat

Hello and welcome to Your Gluten Free Life

A couple of months ago I published a blog entry on a product that claimed to be able to reduce or eliminate symptoms in people with celiac disease. Since then I’ve found a few more articles that have looked at these supplements in detail to see if they do what they claim.

Those of you with celiac disease know what a pain it can be (at times literally!). Consequently many celiacs look to supplements both to deal with the fact that celiac disease can lead to vitamin deficiencies, and to minimise the effects of eating gluten by mistake.

While there is promising research and development being conducted on using enzymes to break up gluten molecules, scientists have yet to develop a commercially available product for this purpose. Unlike with food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic products, the US FDA has little to no authority over the dietary supplement industry. This means makers of dietary supplements have a lot of freedom to make claims about the how effective their product is and have very little obligation to prove their claims.

The Celiac Disease Research Centre at Columbia University in the US set out to look at products that claim to aid in the digestion of gluten, and to look at whether there were any clinical studies to back up the claims. Their research  identified 14 products,  many with names like Gluten Cutter, GlutenEase, and Gluten Defense, implying relief for the celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Unfortunately, their research found very little evidence to support that the products actually met their claims. In fact, some may do more harm than good, especially considering one of the products had wheat as a main ingredient. The university researchers stated that “For people with celiac disease who are interested in (these gluten reducing products), the best way to go is to steer clear of these supplements and to consider participating in a clinical trial so that one day we will have a proven treatment.” They further recommend that people with celiac disease exercise caution and be somewhat skeptical of claims to magically cure gluten sensitivity. If you do want to try these supplements they strongly suggest you tell your doctor so they are aware of what you are taking in case it has some unintended consequences.

And, on that somewhat gloomy note, I’ll try to cheer you up with some delicious honey mustard prawns, and sweet biscuits.

Honey Mustard Prawns

I’m still trying honey in a range of different dishes just because I enjoy the taste. I knew of honey mustard chicken, but that’s normally a creamy dish, so I decided to adapt it to something not so creamy that would work with prawns. Add a few veggies and some rice and you end up with a very tasty, quick dish to have on a weeknight. Here’s the recipe – give it a go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iced Biscuits

I sent my partner to Aldi to buy me one of those nifty cookie press things so I could have a go at using them to make gluten free biscuits (cookies). But he came home with a container of cut out shapes instead. So I changed my tack slightly and had fun cutting out biscuits of all sorts of interesting shapes just for the fun of it. I’ve shared the recipe here for you to have a go at your own iced delights.

Until next time, take care and eat well.

 

Taking the gluten out of wheat

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life

Boy I jumped at this news when I read it during the week! Thanks to the marvels of modern science, scientists have worked out how to eliminate the majority of the gliadin proteins that make gluten from a strain of wheat.

Gliadins are the proteins that make gluten, and there are heaps of different varieties of them in wheat, which would normally make breeding strains of wheat without them impossible. However, using gene editing to shut off the genes that make gliadins, the scientists were able to remove 85% of the wheat toxicity.

Whether that’s enough to make it safe for us celiacs to eat is debatable. I suspect not sadly. I won’t go into the whole discussion as to the merits or otherwise of genetically modifying the wheat, that’s a subject that I think everyone needs to find their own peace with. But, as someone who occasionally dreams of downing a cronut, or just a piece of nice chewy white bread, I dream of the day they find a way for me to eat without having to make a fuss over everything to make sure it’s safe.

Not to mention the rolled eyes of the waiter when I stress that whatever I’m having must be gluten free! Just once I’d like to sit down at a restaurant and know I could order whatever I wanted off the menu. Oh well – for now it’s just a fantasy. But who knows, in a few years, it might just become a reality. Until then I’ll work at developing a gluten free cronut.

Red Cabbage Slaw with Dried Cranberries

As an armchair doctor, I love watching medical and science shows. The other day the one I was watching said that people should eat more red and purple vegetables. Apparently there’s a nutrient in them that is seriously good at protecting your brain from the aging process.

Needless to say, the next day I rushed out and bought a heap of red and purple vegetables. But I had trouble working out what to do with my red cabbage. In the end I made a coleslaw from it. At the last moment, to add a bit of interest to it I chucked in a handful of dried cranberries. The end result was so tasty that even my partner commented on how nice it was, and came back for seconds.

So, if you’re looking for a tasty version of coleslaw, try my red cabbage slaw with dried cranberries.

Rainbow Cake

Here in Australia, the politicians are wasting an obscene amount of money on a plebescite to decide whether or not to allow same sex marriage. Instead of doing their jobs and getting on with it, they’ve asked us to take part in a postal survey that is non-binding, and they may, or may not, act on the results.

I won’t get into a discussion here on which way people should vote, I think that’s really up to the individual. However, to commemorate the process, I decided to make a rainbow cake. And, because I like to make my life complicated, I decided to make the rainbow stripes vertical, not horizontal.

I have to say the result was very satisfactory, but it sure made a humungous cake! Thankfully, I have a team of hungry workers at the office who I can share my cake with. I certainly don’t think my partner or I could make even a reasonable sized dent in this one.

If you have an event you want to make a cake for, try my rainbow cake. You can vary the basic recipe and make different shades of the one colour if you prefer.

Image of Gluten free rainbow cake

Gluten free rainbow cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next week, take care and eat well.

Is a pill to fix celiac disease too good to be true?

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life.

Like a lot of you who are celiacs, there are times when I wish I could eat wheat. Especially when some cruel person comes up with something like the cronut. I dream of trying something like that just once. But I know what the results would be if I do, and they’re not pretty.

So, when someone says they are developing a magic pill that I can pop before eating wheat and it will allow me to scoff away on that magic cronut, then you can bet it gets my attention. Recently I stumbled on a few articles on the internet that reported an Australian company (GluteGard) was developing a pill that could help celiacs eat wheat.

Well, I rushed off to do some research and (wouldn’t you know it) the story is actually somewhat different. The pill uses caricain which is found in papaya and is actually designed to break down any protein, not just gluten. In fact, some of you may know that meat tenderiser is made from similar stuff and that’s why it works to tenderise your meat.

So, if you take a pill, then scoff down a hamburger, it’s not going to help you deal with the resulting effects. It might help break down the gluten proteins but wouldn’t break them down enough to allow you to eat wheat. In fact their own website says that “By targeting toxic fragments in this way, GluteGuard helps to prevent unpleasant symptoms that result from gluten sensitivity. In conjunction with a gluten free diet, GluteGuard breaks down peptides before they can inflict damage in the small intestine lining or trigger immune responses.” Which kind of contradicts what they say higher up the page where they say it’s designed to restore the ability to digest gluten.

So, it looks as if cronuts are off my menu until I can work out how to make them myself. It looks like I’m dusting off my croissant recipe again for some serious experimenting!

Miso-Ginger Salmon

Miso Ginger Salmon

Miso Ginger Salmon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My father came to stay a couple of weeks ago and I decided to do fish for dinner. He was all for the idea and mentioned he had recently had some salmon that had been marinated then baked in a miso- ginger sauce. I’m always looking for new ideas so I chased up a recipe for it and made it that night. And it was delicious! You can either bake the fish in the marinade, or take it out and grill the fish.

If you bake the fish, the marinade then makes a delicious sauce to pour back over the fish, or over your potatoes or veggies. Just remember not to do this if you don’t cook the marinade. I’d hate for you to go get food poisoning by pouring an uncooked fishy marinade over your dinner!

If you want to give it a go, here’s my take on the recipe.

Gluten free Mocha Brownies

I’ve just gone back to work after a long break and was talking to the people in the office about my blog. I warned them they were going to get regular samples of my cooking as I develop and cook various dishes. One of the first things they asked for was a batch of my delicious Mocha Brownies. Even though none of them are celiacs, they reckon these are the best. You can’t tell they’re gluten free, and they’re very moreish.

Here’s the recipe – go ahead and make some this weekend to take into work for your workmates. Don’t tell them they’re gluten free and they’ll never know!

Gluten Free Mocha Brownies

Gluten Free Mocha Brownies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time, take care and eat well.

Getting enough grains on a wheat free diet

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life

Last week I mentioned that one of the reasons suggested for the higher incidence of cardiac disease in people who are celiacs or on a wheat free diet. So today I thought I’d give you some pointers on how to ensure you get enough grains in your diet:

  • Consider adding seeds such as flax seed, sunflower seeds and other grains to your bread mixes
  • Eat gluten free muesli – commercial, or make your own
  • Consider alternative seeds such as amaranth or quinoa
  • Try buckwheat – it’s a great breakfast cereal
  • Seeded crackers are very tasty
  • Try brown rice instead of white – it’s very tasty and high in fibre
  • Look for ready made gluten free bread with added seeds and grains

Also, keep in mind that many gluten free products are not fortified with vitamins so consider taking a vitamin supplement as well.

Delicious Spring Veggie Time

It’s still technically winter here in Australia, but the spring vegetables are springing to life already. To celebrate delicious garden fresh peas, broccoli and other spring veggies, I made a spring vegetable risotto for dinner last night.  A real risotto is a bit time consuming and labour intensive, but it’s definitely well worth the effort.

I happen to really like risotto, and here’s the recipe for my spring vegetable risotto. It’s so easy to vary it. Use the basic recipe and try something like roasted beetroot and Fetta cheese, or sliced mushrooms, or seafood such as prawns. The trick is to make a really good stock to use as a base.

Gluten Free Eclairs

It took me a while to get the confidence to try gluten free choux pastry. Even as a wheat based pastry it has a reputation of being tricky. However, I decided to give it a go a while ago. It took a couple of goes to get it right so that it puffs up nicely.

I’ve included the recipe here. While the recipe here is for eclairs, you can use the pastry for cream puffs, profiteroles or savoury puffs if you like.

Give it a go and make some delicious eclairs for your next morning tea.

Image of Gluten Free Eclairs

Gluten Free Eclairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time, take care and eat well.

 

 

Batten down the hatches!

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life.

I was wandering around the internet over the last couple of days looking for something of interest to include in this blog. The latest hot topic seems to be that people who needlessly avoid gluten in their diet may be increasing their risk of coronary heart disease.

A study of over 100,000 people over 2 decades showed that people who were not celiacs, but who avoided gluten had a statistically significant increased chance of developing heart disease. The main reason seems to be that those people were avoiding high fibre grains such as bran, rye, and the seeds and grains that are in seeded breads and cereals.

It’s an interesting study that works as a counterpoint to the claims that gluten is causing a lot of the dietary ills in the world. I guess it means that dietitians and scientists are now starting to look properly at whether gluten is really a problem for the general population, or just celiacs like me and (maybe) you.

My response at this point for people who have given up wheat because they find they have a sensitivity to it is the same as my advice to celiacs: increase your fibre intake in other ways. Eat lots of unprocessed fruit and vegetables, and look for things such as rice bran and other cereals and grains you can eat that have lots of fibre but no gluten. I don’t think there’s a real necessity to rush back to eating wheat if you’re more comfortable not eating it. Just make adjustments to your diet to compensate and you should be fine.

Batten Down the Hatches!

We’re getting ready for one of the biggest storms of the year here. A few years ago a big storm blew down a couple of our biggest trees. They were a real loss because they were always full of birds. We used to have a bird feeder in one of them and the parrots and cockatoos used to come by every day for a feed. We see them around now, but they don’t stop by any more. We’re growing another tree, but it will take a few years before it’s big enough to support the feeder and provide food to local birds again.

In preparation for the storm that’s coming I’ve made a nice hearty seafood ragu for us for dinner. It’s healthy, filling and warm. Just what you need on a night like this. Check out the recipe here. I’ve made a note that you can make it as a soup if you prefer. Just don’t thicken it. Either way, it tastes delicious!

Image of French seafood ragu

French seafood ragu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut Jam Slice

For desert tonight I’ve made a coconut jam slice. I’ve used some of my home made strawberry jam for it, but you could use whatever jam takes your fancy. I’ve made this before with both raspberry jam, and apricot jam and it works just as well with each of them. Here’s the recipe so you can make this up for your next desert, or just for a treat sometime.

Until next week, take care and eat well.

 

 

 

Gluten Free Myths and Fables

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life

The other day I was organising to go to dinner with friends who were being very careful to make a properly gluten free meal for me. They commented that they were concerned that the rice in the recipe they were doing was “glutinous rice” and thought that meant I couldn’t eat it. I assured them that glutinous meant sticky – not containing gluten.

But that conversation got me thinking about other misconceptions about celiac disease and the gluten free life. So here are my top five gluten free myths and fables:

  1. If I give up wheat for a few weeks and feel better then I must have celiac disease. No – you might not. You might just be sensitive to wheat (see my earlier blog). The gold standard for testing for celiac disease is to have a biopsy done of your gut after you have been eating wheat for a while. If you stop eating wheat then go get tested you may get a false negative. Celiac disease damages the lining of the gut and it’s the one best way to determine if you have the disease. If you stop eating wheat the gut will repair itself (if it’s damaged) and a gut biopsy won’t find any damage.
  2. Glutinous anything contains gluten. Nope – glutinous means sticky. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain gluten though. Read the ingredients! Gluten is wheat, oats barley or rye. If any of those are mentioned then, chances are it contains gluten. But glutinous rice is sticky rice and is fine to eat.
  3. If I order gluten free in a restaurant then the food is completely safe to eat. Sadly, it may not be. If the chef and staff know how to prepare gluten free so there is no cross-contamination then you’ll be fine. But I have seen people handle something with wheat flour, then handle my food so that it gets the flour on it.  Or they mix up my gluten free crackers for the cheese board with all the other crackers and then can’t see why I make such a fuss about getting all the crumbs off mine.
  4. Meat, eggs etc contain gluten unless they’re labelled gluten free. Honestly- this one really ticks me off! I saw eggs for sale the other day labelled “Proudly gluten free!”. Well duh! As if their eggs were somehow different from all the other eggs out there loaded with gluten. Gluten is only found in wheat, oats, barley and rye. So, unless something contains one of those food groups, then it is naturally gluten free. That does mean you need to check the recipe for meat marinades etc, but otherwise you can safely eat your poached eggs knowing they’re gluten free.
  5. Gluten free is a fad. This is another one that really ticks me off. The number of times I ask for gluten free and the waiter rolls their eyes and subtly sneers is just amazing. Trust me – I would love to knock back those delicious bread rolls, or gooey cakes for desert. But I also know just what that will do to me. But the number of people now who demand gluten free then do eat those bread rolls or gooey cakes really makes it hard for those of us who have no choice in this one.

Gluten Free Broccoli and Spinach Galettte

Back to baking for this week. Free form pies and tarts are one of those things that I used to think was a dim and happy memory. Now that I’ve worked out how to make pastry that will hold its shape somewhat, I am experimenting with new dishes. This is one I whipped up during the week to use up some of the glut of spinach and broccoli in my garden.

A galette is just a free form crusty pie or cake. It works really well for open faced savoury dishes such as this one.  You will need time to make the puff pastry, but the rest of the dish is actually very quick to put together. You could even double your puff pastry recipe and freeze half so you can make this up faster the next time around.

So try my gluten free broccoli and spinach galette next weekend when you have the time to make the pastry, then freeze the extra pastry for another day.

White Chocolate and Strawberry Mousse Cake

I was driving around the other day thinking of things to make for this blog and realised it’s been a while since I made a cake.  So I pretty much devised this one in my head between my place and the shops, picked up the ingredients I needed and headed home to make it.

The recipe is somewhere between a white chocolate mud cake and a Devil’s food cake recipe. Not as dense as a mud cake, but richer and heavier than a Devil’s food cake. The lightness of the mousse offsets the sweetness of the cake, but it’s still a quite rich cake.

One thing – don’t be tempted to make the cake part too high. If yours rises as much as mine did, just slice the top off and use it for something else. Mine rose so much I ended up with 2 cakes for the price of one. But you need almost as much mousse as cake for this dish.

Good luck, and enjoy my white chocolate and strawberry mousse cake.

Image of Gluten Free White Chocolate and Strawberry Mousse Cake

Until next week, take care and eat well.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Welcome to Your Gluten Free Life.

This blog is mainly devoted to all things celiac. But there are a significant number of people who have not been diagnosed as celiacs, but who suffer from many of the symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating.

A new term has been developed for this complaint: non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Gluten Sensitivity means that people do not have the antibodies and intestinal damage seen in celiac disease, but these people experience many of the symptoms.

It has been estimated up to 18 million Americans, and almost 2 million Australians avoid wheat because of the side-effects they suffer when they do eat it. That’s 6 times the number of people diagnosed with celiac disease!

Right now, it’s not conclusive that it’s gluten triggering the symptoms, or something else in wheat that is doing it. One idea is FODMAPs – specific sugars such as fructose, lactose or sorbitol.

So, for now, if you experience bloating, cramps, and abdominal pain after eating wheat, I would suggest you get tested for celiac disease if you haven’t already. But, if the test comes back negative, try cutting wheat out for a while, then eat it again and see if you get the symptoms back again. If you do, you may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Grilled Salmon with Cauliflower Puree

Ever since I was a child and my grandmother served up some truly awful cauliflower cheese I’ve struggled to like cauliflower. It’s one vegetable I just have not been able to love. Until now. Recently I went to a restaurant and they served me salmon on a cauliflower puree. Well! It’s the closest I’ve been in a long time to picking up my plate and licking it clean!

It was so nice I’ve learned how to make it and I’ve served it at home for dinner a few times. So now I’m sharing my recipe with you. Try it – even if you don’t like cauliflower, I reckon this is the one dish that may just change your mind. Here’s the recipe for you to follow.

Now, I think I might just see if I can learn to like cauliflower cheese again.

Image of Grilled Salmon with Cauliflower Puree

Grilled Salmon with Cauliflower Puree

Gluten Free Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

Here in Aus it’s winter.  When I was growing up, in our house, that meant delicious hot puddings that had been passed down from my grandmothers and mother. One of the recipes I’ll share with you another day is lemon dumplings. Believe me, getting gluten free dumplings that don’t feel like a lump of play dough is difficult!

But today I want to share my chocolate self saucing pudding recipe. I’ve also included a couple of variations I like to make occasionally, especially if we’ve got guests. By adding a bit of Kirsch and some cherries, you get something like a puddingy Black Forest Cake. And everyone knows that chocolate and orange is a match made in heaven. So I also like to make a Chocolate Jaffa version of my pudding too.

So, here’s the recipe for you. Try “adulting” it up with some Kirsch or Grand Marnier for an extra taste bud tickle.

Until next week, take care and eat well.