My last post highlighted what I think are the Ten Tips I’d give a newbie on this dietary path (aimed at those with Celiac diagnosis, but applicable to all who MUST follow a gluten free diet). Part of it mentioned how important it is to cook – and learn to cook. I have been reflecting on how lucky I am to have had a mom who let us loose (or rather…tolerated me on the loose) in her kitchen.
As a kid, I tended to bake cakes, cookies, brownies, etc. I shied away from learning the savory things. While I’m sure my major sweet tooth was an influence, in reality I was intimidated by cooking. It looked “hard” and “inflexible”. It’s so funny now that I’m older and I see that baking is much more dependent on exact ratios and balance in order for things to come out right. Truthfully, even the cake I thought had bombed was well received by a loving grandma who turned around and entered it into a baking contest. Not too shabby. But all of that was with regular flour – gluten-filled – and with a mom who can totally cook up a storm.
Cooking? MUCH more intimidating for me. My husband can just naturally toss ingredients into a bowl and make a fabulous sauce for whatever is on the menu. Me? Um no. I have relied on cookbooks to get the sauces down or to figure out how to cook things that normally came with a packet of seasoning before. The learning curve was especially stepped up because my Chinese husband did not grow up cooking/eating like little Minnesota me. There are continents separating our cooking styles. And while he easily adapted to my family “favorite hot dish“, learning how to make a tasty, not-overly-salty stir fry has been a challenge for me. (Have you noticed an absence of stir-fry recipes here? LOL)
He assures me that the only thing I need to worry about is getting – and keeping – the wok at a SUPER high temperature.
I assure him that is not the only thing I need to worry about. Burned garlic in a stir fry is nasty. Enough said.
So when push comes to shove, I am doing what I thought I would never do again upon my Celiac diagnosis: improvising.
I had been gluten free for 4 years before I even thought about using the recipes in my family recipe card/book that I had toted around with me from college days. Shortly after my diagnosis, I stopped using it all together. Totally throwing the baby out with the bath water, I even tossed out recipe cards for family recipes that I thought I could “no longer make”.
Now when the girls wake up, I make them “silver dollar” pancakes.
With frozen corn.
Hey, everybody could use the extra veg boost, right? And it’s not a ton of corn, but the perfect amount.
That’s the beauty of getting to know your gluten free diet so well: you can/will go back to your roots. You will be able to find a way to make what you will enjoy.
The other day I found some frozen gluten free pancakes. Just pop them in the microwave for 30 secs, then box says. The picture was lovely. Fluffy and filled with whole grains? The box listed 4 whole grains in the pancakes: whole grain brown rice, whole grain sorghum, whole grain millet and whole grain teff. Far down the list was the necessary starch. Wow, I thought, these sound like what I make.
And nope. They are definitely not. They are dry and crumbly when reheated. Bummer.
But the ones pictured above? They are great on the day of or out of the freezer and popped in the microwave for a few seconds (depends on how many/how big).
Forget that spendy convenience food.
I’m sticking with mine.
And I’m digging out my family cookbook and tackling a loaf of bread next.
Why not, right?
Gluten Free Frozen Corn Pancakes (Not corn cakes) PRINTABLE VERSION HERE
Makes 18 -22 silver dollar pancakes
(or enough for a couple toddlers, a hungry mom and a few for the freezer)
- 1 egg
- 1 T. butter, melted
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 cup whole grain GF flour mix
- 1 1/2 T honey
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Mix all together in your blender (or Magic Bullet, like I did).
- Pour into heated non-stick (or slightly buttered/oiled pan).
- Cook over medium/medium-high heat until the top stops steaming/bubbles are set or mostly popped.
- Flip the pancake over. Cook an additional minute or so until it stops steaming and easily slides off pan.
- Serve immediately topped with fresh berries and clotted cream or maple syrup or greek yogurt and blueberries or… well…whatever. I like mine plain most days.
Enjoy your Gluten Free Life – you only have one!