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Sometime this winter I developed an obsession with eggs over easy or, as I have fondly coined them, runny, runny eggs.

 

“Please stop saying that. I’m not going to be able to finish my cinnamon swirl french toast,” said Cassie. My good friend and constant cheap breakfast companion sat across the table from me at IHOP pretending to gag at the thought of runny…runny eggs.

 

I smiled wickedly knowing I could gross her out and daydreaming about the plate that would soon be set before me. Dusted with salt, I loved that first break into the yolk and watching it puddle around my plate. Perfect for mopping every last bit of white up with it.

 

Cassie and I spent a good number of nights (yes, nights) at IHOP gossiping over hot chocolate and cheap breakfast treats. Sadly, on this occasion, my eggs were a bit runny all over. To get that perfect combination of cooked white and runny yellow I consider an art form.

 

I think my particular taste was honed from breakfasts at my grandmother’s house.  She had these little egg cups made specifically for hard boiled eggs that she’d dust with salt and chip the “hat” off the top of the shell with the side of her spoon.

 

I think I ate those eggs for the mere fact that they had their own neat little designated cups.  She also perfected eggs on toast as another breakfast staple.  I only liked the pieces of bread that were soggy from the yolk.

 

Of course now there’s no more bread for (I have not tried baking my own gluten-free bread but some day…!) so I experimented replacing that bread with polenta—my new discovery.  Needless to say, those yolks were runnin’ and I was smilin’.

 

 

2 organic eggs

1 roll of polenta

a handful of fresh spinach

1 tsp. of pesto

freshly grated parmesan cheese

salt to taste

 

Eggs over easy are actually a really quick breakfast and I made this before work one morning. I sliced two 1.5-inch slices of polenta and spread some homemade pesto on each slice. I topped each slice with some spinach and popped it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to heat up.

 

On the stove, I broke both eggs into a pan sprayed with olive oil. I cooked the eggs for about a minute and a half on one said and about 30 seconds on the other side to get them just how I like them.

 

I slid an egg onto each slice of polenta and sprinkled with salt and some parmesan cheese and let that yolk run…

 

Yum :)

Pesto Chango

“I swear you can not be absorbing your food,” my father persisted

 

“Just pass me some more!” was almost always my response. 

 

Other people continued to warn, “its going to catch up to you,” or gush “I wish I had your metabolism!”

 

I, on the other hand, didn’t give much thought to my monumental appetite because it had always been there.  If there was food in front of me, I’d eat it, lessening the pressure on my younger siblings to finish their plate.  I’ve even been referred to (lovingly) as the garbage disposal.

 

It was a relief when I finally discovered the root of it all—the random weight loss, the insatiable appetite, the stomach problems—could be fixed with an diet switch.  But never did I realize going gluten-free would open me up to a whole new world of food! I swear things taste better now, or are in sharper focus.  I feel like I’m in less of a rush to eat it.

 

I know a lot of gluten-free blogs have made the same claim—one that I read many times myself—that a restricted diet can lead to an awakening of the palate one would never expect. And I didn’t really believe it because I was still moping over the loss of pizza and going out to eat and ordering anything off of the menu.

 

Mmmm…eggs benedict with a warm, creamy hollandaise sauce and toasty english muffin lending each bite just that perfect bit of crunch…

 

Once I shelved the pre-packaged gluten-free foods that I wouldn’t normally have eaten if I wasn’t on a restricted diet (I was never much of a pasta and bread person anyways), I delved into cooking headfirst, thanks a lot in part to many of my fellow gluten-free bloggers and numerous random calls to my mother.

 

“Mom, what exactly do I do with a pot roast?”

 

 

 

 

“You have to smell this.” Just the other day I handed a container of freshly made pesto sauce over to my roommate.  Who knew you could make homemade pesto?

 

“Ooh, the garlic,” my roommate cooed.

 

Oh, yes, the garlic. I recently read that to reap the most benefits from your garlic you should crush it with the flat edge of a knife and the let it sit out in the air for a few minutes before cooking. Here was my take on making pesto, feel free to recommend improvements.

 

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

½ cup of fresh basil leaves, packed

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

5 tbs olive oil

a bit of salt

a bit of pepper

 

I tend to throw things together, then taste and add, which is what I did with this. I threw it all in the food processor and then slowly drizzled in more olive oil as I saw fit. I like my pesto a little oily. Next time, I’m going to throw in some walnuts as well. This only makes a small portion because, hey, I’m only cooking for one.

 

Living and learning.

 

Yum! J

I guess it’s been a fairly good amount of time (seven months to be exact) since I went gluten-free but I’m still having more glutenized slip-ups than I care to admit. It starts with a tightening in my abdomen, and before I know it, my stomach is bloated inches past my normal waistline and I know I’ve consumed something I shouldn’t have. The headaches may come on too, but those usually set in later. The few times I’ve had a significant amount of gluten by accident, I’ve broke out in a rash on the inside of my arms and back of my legs. 

 

The barbeque, the bar and dining out have been my biggest hazardous scenarios so far. But I’m social and live in southern California, with my family all the way back in Boston, so it’s hard to hole myself up in my own house to avoid any issues.  I think I just need to learn to ask more questions and be much more wary of what I might have though to be “safe” foods, being contaminated. 

 

Just last week after my pilates class—I teach—I showered and swung by a local bar to meet up with friends as they watched the final Celtics/Lakers game. It amazed me to see the number of fans wearing green and Larry Bird jerseys FAR outweighing the number of Lakers fans despite being only two hours from Los Angeles. I cheered on my home team, and when someone brought out a crispy basket of steaming tater tots, I cheered even more. Anyone that knows me, knows I love my food.  

 
Tater tots bring me immediately back to school lunches, that used to be brought around to the classrooms in milk crates back in elementary school.  The same ones that my grandfather taught us how to skate with as we pushed them in front of us at the local rink. Fried potatoes? My stomach could handle that. Without much thought, I popped a couple in my mouth and then a couple more.  Before I knew it, the tightening in my stomach signaled the oncoming ballooning was upon me. I’d been glutenized! 

 

Right then, I conjured up all the ways it could have been contaminated, such as being fried along with other bread products.  I’m hoping eventually to develop the foresight to avoid these situations before digging in. Think before you eat–I need to develop that as my new moto. I’m learning my lessons and becoming more diligent at avoiding such mishaps…but boy were those crispy little tots tasty. J

And this would be my first time blogging.  I know I’m behind the curve, especially for a writer.  I was also on the late bus to jump on to myspace.com and facebook.com, but I usually come around eventually. I never even read blogs until I started on a few gluten-free and book blogs a couple months ago. The goal of my blog is to tap into the younger generation of celiac/allergy sufferers–reaching beyond the well-practiced cooks and generous moms and dads lending their seasoned recipes to the cyber world.

 

 

I live on the other side of the country from my family and before my recent diet change I lived off of Trader Joes’ instant and tasty frozen meals without my mom’s home cooking readily available.  She’s one of those cooks who looks in a fridge and tosses anything available to form a deliciously satisfying meal.  And my dad–a recipe man–is an organic food guru and more adventurous in his tastes.  I considered myself a typical combo of the two.

Through living gluten-free I realized I could avoid my stomach looking like I was in my third trimester after eating certain foods and having to run to the bathroom after eating pancakes (my favorite weekend treat!). I decided to stick to my new diet, even if it meant having to navigate ingredient lists, dinners with friends and awkward stares at my glass of wine at local pubs. Through it I realized a deeper connection to my body I didn’t realize possible.  I learned to pay attention to the way my body felt and realized I had control over it by changing what I put into it.

 

I hope to post at least at the beginning of every week sharing my insights, recipes and experience learning to cook gluten-free, remove the new food group (chocolate) I added to my diet in place of breads and even dropping the 10 pounds I gained since my diagnosis. And dating gluten-free? I’m saving that until I perfect my pumpkin pecan gluten-free pancakes. 

 

 

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