Monday, October 25, 2010

zuppa toscana (tuscan soup)

This was a joint-effort gluten free meal.  We invited some dear friends of ours over, but it was very last minute, like at 5 o’clock.  I had made soup, salad and brownies, and Brooke turned it into a feast when she showed up with her GF garlic-cheddar biscuits and stuffed mushrooms (not shown in pic).  It was delicious!
Zuppa Toscana
1 lb. italian sausage, cooked and crumbled (this time I used some Yoder's sausage that was seasoned only with salt and pepper, so I added italian seasoning and oregano)
2 large potatoes,  peeled and cubed
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cups kale, chopped (or you can use spinach)
1 cup heavy cream (sometimes we use whole milk)
Salt and Pepper
Cook potatoes, onion, garlic in chicken broth, and water on medium heat until potatoes are tender.  Add sausage, simmer 10 min.  Reduce heat to low and add kale and cream.  Season to taste.  Heat and serve.

Source: Adapted from an Olive Garden copycat recipe

.I was asked awhile ago how I went completely gluten-free.  Well, I didn’t have much of a choice.  When I read about leaving celiac disease untreated, going gluten-free didn’t sound so bad!  We went completely GF for Miles when he was 3, and that seemed like the longest 3 months…..Well, it’s been over 3 months, and I’m completely honest when I say it’s not been that hard.  I think the no choice thing helps, and there is just so much more out there now – even Aldi is carrying gluten-free items now, and I have such amazing support.  I’m truly blessed with friends who brought us GF meals when we were moving and I couldn’t just order a pizza, friends who let me know when they see GF deals, friends who bring GF biscuits to our house for dinner even when I tell them regular ones are great…
I have found the following sites helpful:
Eating out is still the hardest, which means we just don’t much.  Chipotle’s GF steak salad with black beans is the food of choice when we do.  And, there are several restaurants (in larger cities than ours) with GF menus.  I have just found, for us, to stay within our food budget, we make more soups, vegetable-based dishes and more rice-based dishes rather than trying to cook the same foods and substitute GF products.  

It’s the difference we see in how we feel that makes it so worth it.  I never realized how much of a “fog” I was in, like my whole life, just tired.  And, I won’t scar Jude for life and say online what his diapers used to be like, but we’ll just say there’s been a huge improvement there.  Gluten is difficult to digest, which isn’t a problem if it’s in moderation.  But you never realize how much it’s in American diet until you try to cut it out – besides bread and pasta, it’s in barbecue sauce, soy sauce, malt vinegar, flavored coffee and creamers and most processed foods.  I don’t know if this completely answers your question, Wendy, or is helpful to the rest of you.  I’d love to answer any questions or help as I can.  I’m still learning, but I have several people I can ask! 

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