Category Archives: Celiac Sprue

Gluten Free Breakfasts

Posted on by .

When you were diagnosed?  What did the doctor say?

My doctor told me (over the phone) that I could no longer eat “bread, cakes, cookies, pasta, etc”  He never mentioned breakfast.

And I didn’t think about it.  After all, I’ve never been a big breakfast eater anyway – or at least not on weekdays.  There is something about rising at 5:00AM and scrambling to get all of us out the door and off for the day that leaves little time for breakfast for me.  The girls eat, but my Love and I are busy packing lunches, etc.  And really?  My tummy has NO desire for food in the morning.

Coffee?  Yes.  Food?  No.

But on the weekends, when I can leisurely approach our day (usually) as the schedule is much more our own, breakfast can be enticing.  I have fond memories of Eggs Benedict from the “fancy French” restaurant we sometimes visited as kids when my dad had business contacts in town.  (I am neither certain now that the restaurant was truly fancy or French for that matter – thus the quotation marks.)

It was there that I remember getting poached eggs.  I don’t remember my mom poaching eggs for all of us before then. And now that I poach eggs for all of us on the weekend – I know why she didn’t try to poach eggs for 6 people.  EEK.

After my diagnosis, I realized quickly that our weekend breakfast routine – brunch with friends many times at area restaurant would have to change.  We used to meet up with friends at a Chicago restaurant that is famous for its cinnamon rolls (mmmm…yummmmmmmmmmm!) or sometimes another that serves fabulous pancakes/waffles…. or yet another that was famous for its freshly baked muffins.  Oh yes.  Breakfast pre-diagnosis was a carb-load for me.

And the silly thing is, I am not big on making pancakes.  I do have several pancake recipes – and crepes, etc. but they are not always my thing.  Maybe I’m just a picky breakfast eater.  I don’t know.  I do know that thanks to my pickiness, developing a list of breakfast ideas has been good for me.  That way I don’t feel stuck eating the same ol’ thing.  (My honey’s favorite breakfast includes oven baked potato wedges, scrambled eggs and some sausage.  I swear he could live on it but after a while I get tired of it.)

The other hurdle for breakfast/brunch is when others want to serve with you/eat with you.  The standard fare for breakfast is much more likely to be a gluten maze than a dinner out.  But let’s be honest, breakfast is cheaper.  And dinner?  Not always.

I remember our first weekend brunch with buddies after I was diagnosed.  A group of us began hosting brunches at our houses – rotating every month.  It had really just started (we had three brunches under our belts) when I was diagnosed.  And there I sat, wondering what I was going to do.  Each of us brought a different part of the brunch to share.  We tried to balance dishes and costs so no one was out too much and we had a fairly balanced brunch.  (Although to be honest, it was straight up carb-load with waffles, muffins, fruit, etc)

When I mentioned to a couple of friends that maybe I would connect with them after the brunch, they insisted that I still go.  It’s just breakfast, after all, they said.  I was worried about feeling isolated.  (It’s amazing how not eating the same muffin as everyone else can feel so isolating, huh?)  I didn’t want to have to explain to anyone, etc.  But in the end, I decided to go.  I enjoyed having that relaxing, un-rushed time to visit with friends.  At restaurants, clubs, movies, stores, etc there is always a bit of pressure to move on.  Not so at someone’s home for brunch.

And I’m so glad I did.  There were PLENTY of gluten-free offerings.  In fact, people made a point to let me know  what was in their food items, etc.  I truly think the only thing I couldn’t eat were waffles.  And that was okay. I had *plenty*.  And then we all went home and napped.

See?  Brunch rocks. (Okay, everything does when naps follow.)  :D

My latest list of gluten free brunch ideas include:

  • Migas (recipe to follow – easily adaptable)
  • Roasted potatoes, sausage, eggs
  • Arepas with poached eggs – served Benedict style
  • Arepas with leftovers  (See link above – just open arepas/stuff with leftovers)
  • Chilaquiles
  • Frittatas
  • Tortilla Patata (Spanish-style potatoes/eggs/onions)
  • yogurt
  • fresh fruit
  • smoothies
  • “Green eggs” (for a Seuss “Green Eggs and Ham” breakfast)
    • avocado-deviled eggs (Deviled eggs made with avocado instead of mayo)
  • pancakes
  • crepes
  • Breakfast “nachos”
    • tortilla chips topped with semi-cooked scrambled eggs, roasted veggies, black beans, salsa, cheese and baked, then topped with sour cream, avocado, diced tomatoes, etc
  • Baked eggs with roasted veggies
  • Homemade GF granola
  • store-bought GF cereal (I love Cinnamon Chex!)
  • GF Breakfast pizza (and read Betty’s comment – her recipe sounds good to me too!)
  • Cocoa calas – a doughnut that uses left over rice – this one is chocolate!
What are you eating/serving for breakfast?

Winter Migas     Photo by Kate Chan

I know you are wondering why I titled my photo “Winter Migas”.  Well, I guess it is because you can use whatever seasonal veggies you have on hand (or leftovers) to make your migas.  Since I had mostly winter veggies (carrots, onions, etc) and few leftover (roasted bell peppers, zucchini, etc) I thought it sounded more like winter.  In the spring or summer, we include asparagus or other market offerings to build our migas.

Truly, what you need are corn tortillas (GF, of course), onion, garlic, veggies of your choice, meat (if you desire, like chorizo, sausage, bacon, etc) and optional toppings like sour cream, avocado, green onions, cilantro and/or salsa.

Migas

This recipe  serves 2 hungry adults and 2 hungry toddlers with ease.

Ingredients:

  • 6 gf corn tortillas
  • 6-8 eggs (depends on you), cracked and mixed together in a bowl
  • 1/2 large sweet onion (about 1 cup), sliced thinly into half-rings
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • 2/3 cup carrot sliced into strips (1/4″ wide, 3″ long)
  • 1 cup roasted bell pepper strips
  • 1 cup zucchini, sliced into long strips (about 1/4″ inch wide, 3″ long)
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons + chili powder, to taste
  • OPTIONAL:  Cooked Chorizo, sausage, bacon (2 links per person or 4 strips of bacon)
  • OPTIONAL:  avocado slices, sour cream, green onions, cilantro, salsa (for topping)

Directions:

  1. Fry each tortilla in a bit of oil until they begin to brown and crisp up.  (Don’t deep fry, they should still be somewhat flexible.)  Drain and set aside.  (Without the oil, the heated tortillas will hardened and not be easy to chew.  Frying works best here.)
  2. Sauté onion until carmelized.
  3. Add carrot and cook until fork-tender.
  4. Add garlic and zucchini.  Sauté until fragrant.
  5. Add remaining roasted veggies (or leftover veggies) until heated through.
  6. Cut tortillas into strips (about 1/2 inch wide).  Cut strips in half, if desired.
  7. Add the strips to the roasted veggies, onions, etc.   Season well with salt/pepper and chili powder.
  8. Pour the egg mixture over the top.  Mix thoroughly while cooking to distribute the eggs/tortillas.
  9. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  10. Serve hot/warm with meat accompaniment and toppings as desired.

I love a recipe that can adjust itself to my refrigerator’s contents, don’ you?

Happy GF Mornings to you and yours!
~Kate and family

Chili-Maple Butternut Sqaush

Posted on by .

Hello!  Oh, I have missed blogging.

The last post about saving time, money and energy has truly been helpful.  It was good to read that others are in the same boat – and busting out the crock pot or cooking double/extra whenever they can.  I am gone over and over the comments (and I suggest you do as well if you are looking for tips) to find the pearls of wisdom.  I am amazed by the tips.  A FEW of the AMAZING tips are:

The reality of my days has not really changed (although thanks to some schedule changes at school, I now have *only* 164 students).  (And yes, it IS a noticeable difference in the classes, but not overall.)  This fall the girls have been quite sick (pneumonia and bronchitis – of course, at different times = way too much time off school).  Just when I think I’ve hit a groove, there is a bump/hurdle or unexpected gaff.  The girls being sick is not something you can plan for – let alone when they are sick for two + weeks in a row.  My favorite gaff has resulted in a new kitchen faucet.
No matter how desperately needed (the old one from 1979 was a leaky mess), it was a series of plumbing foo-fahs that ushered in our new one.  My lovely husband decided that 9PM on Saturday night was a good time to fix the leak (while I was wrestling the two little ones in the bathtub/bedtime).  I heard shouts of “OH SH*T” followed by a yelp of pain and a “Katie!  Come quick!!”.  When I got into the kitchen, there was a geyser of steaming hot water shooting out of the faucet handle soaking the light fixture, the ceiling, my cookbooks, the spice drawers – EVERYTHING.
We shut off the water at the sink and cleaned up.  Sunday morning when we decided to just replace the faucet and the work started, we realized we had bigger problems:  the shut-off valve hose snapped off in the replacement of the faucet and the house water shut-off valve wouldn’t working.  The water wouldn’t stop.  And we had no water in the kitchen at all or it would flood.  So we had to wait for the city to shut the water off to the house (a skill I now possess thanks to a neighbor) before finishing our repairs.  (After a mere three more trips to the hardware store to pick up the appropriate plumbing supplies.)
Oh yes, the Keystone Cops of Plumbing were in the house with the two of us.
Really.  Maybe Mr. Bean would have had an easier time.
Oh – life.  What else can ya do.
I have taken a few tips from the previous commenters to make my life easier.  We are buying meats in bulk from CostCo.  We are sticking with the milk delivery (despite the slight higher cost) for a major time savings.  (No one likes to see crying babies at the grocer at night after work.)  We – as usual – eat 99% regularly GF foods.  When making GF bread or what not (a once a week endeavor lately as I have been working on an Oat & Honey Bread recipe), I am sticking to using the basic, whole-grain cheaper flour (like brown rice, oats and a small amount of tapioca starch or potato starch).  Mostly, we fill up on the foods you can find on the outside of the grocery store.
I’ve also tried prepping in advance.  Some nights while making dinner, I prep the dinner for the next night and get it all into the crock pot insert which I keep in the fridge until the next morning.  When the girls are eating breakfast, I finish putting it together  and start up the crock pot.  I haven’t yet had the courage to roast a whole chicken in the crock pot – but it’s so on the agenda!
This weekend I picked up some gorgeous butternut squash.  I blame Costco.  They sell it prepackaged, cut/washed, etc.  And I love butternut squash.  My Love?  Not so much.  So I didn’t pick up the CostCo pack.  Instead, I found a great squash at the market – on sale!  I know squash is not the highlight of most people’s lives.  Mine either – but sometimes you just can’t beat it.
Try this QUICK (hooray!) squash recipe sometime.  You might just change your mind.  (And it’s a nice variation on a veg for dinner.)

Chili-Maple Squash

Chili-Maple Butternut Squash

TIP:  To peel your squash more quickly, pierce the squash several times with a knife or fork.  Wrap it up in a dish towel and pop it in to the microwave for a couple minutes.  (Like 2 – 3 minutes, no more.)  It will peel SO MUCH easier – and be easier to chop as well.
NOTE:  I used a 2 pound squash.  I peeled and cubed the squash and divided it in half for two meals.  The ingredients listed below are for ONE POUND of squash.  Feel free to double, etc the recipe as needed.
Chili-Maple Squash
Ingredients:
1  pound butternut squash (or other firm squash), peeled/seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 Tablespoons melted butter
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Peel and seed squash.  (Or… umm.. go to Costco. :D)  Cut into 1 inch cubes.
  3. Toss squash pieces with melted butter, maple syrup, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Roast on a silpat/cookie sheet for 20 minutes until fork tender but not mushy.
  5. Serve along side your favorite dinner.
(And feel free not to share.)
And the next post?  That Oat & Honey Bread sans the plumbing drama, k?
~Happy Gluten Free Eats, All!
~Kate