Residing Gluten-Free

Do these two letters mean anything to you?  For a large population, they do.  And, my daughter and I have joined that society.  The society of those who look for the letters G and F on food packages, menus, and recipes.  You see, we have been "gluten-free" (or GF) for a few weeks now.  She, because she suffers some tummy problems and we are seeing if it makes a difference, and me?  Moral support mostly, but I'd like to see if it reduces my Hashimotos symptoms (a thyroid autoimmune disease). So, we are high-fiving it around here when we find a GF product we like, we are emailing each other GF recipes we want to try, and we are watching and recording any differences we see and feel in our symptoms.

Giving up wheat and all its parts takes effort and discipline but there is so much support available from wonderful bloggers like these to books like these.  Your health practitioner can provide additional aide as well as nutritionists to get you on your way.  I also have become aware of the many restaurant menus that offer gluten-free dishes as well.

Gluten-Free Pasta with Garlic, Parsley and Brown Butter Sauce

Here is a simple gluten-free dish for two that we enjoyed over the weekend. I reached for ghee here to create that brown butter taste as it has a nutty flavor already like brown butter and has been heated to eliminate the milk solids, which can help some digest it better than butter.  It also has some health benefits too. You can make your own ghee or find organic ghee in many stores (sometimes in the section with Indian foods as it is used in that cuisine).

This dish is such a good base as many additions would be wonderful: fresh slivered basil, diced roasted tomato and peppers, chopped olives, roasted broccoli, various cheeses and spices.  It really is only the beginning. Layer as you wish and dig in!

  • 4 ounces gluten-free spaghetti (we like this one but still experimenting)
  • 2 tablespoons organic ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • large handful of pine nuts
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock, homemade if you have it
  • 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed organic lemon juice and the zest of half a lemon
  • ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • Lots of grinds from this South African spice mix from Trader Joe's or several pinches of crushed red pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced parsley

Now do this
  • Place a 1/2 cup measuring cup in colander to remind yourself to save some of the pasta water while draining.
  • Prepare water and pasta for cooking and get that started. Make sure you watch the pasta and cook al dente!  It makes a big difference in the texture of all pasta - gluten free included.
  • While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil on low flame. Add the pine nuts and toss around. Check and stir until the pine nuts are toasted. They brown quickly.
  • Add the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds. 
  • Scrape the pine nuts and garlic into a dish and reserve.
  • In saucepan, melt the ghee. Turn the heat to medium and stir constantly until the ghee begins to brown, but not burn.  
  • Off the heat as this will sputter, add the chicken stock and lemon juice and stir together. Allow the sauce to meld and reduce a bit - 2-3 minutes. 
  • Season with spice mix.
  • Drain pasta.
  • In a large bowl, toss together the cooked pasta, pine nuts with garlic, and brown butter sauce. 
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, parsley and zest, and add some of the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen the pasta and meld the ingredients.
  • Garnish with more grated Parmesan cheese and zest, more spice, pinch of salt if desired.

So. have you joined the society and gone gluten-free? Did it help with any health issues you are suffering with?  What resources and food items did you find helpful?  We would love to know! Please lend a hand and share your tips or suggestions.

G: photo credit: <a href="">Leo Reynolds</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>
F: photo credit: <a href="">chrisinplymouth</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>
garlic: photo credit: <a href="">postbear</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>