Caribbean whole grain sorghum in a bowl ready to eat.

Caribbean Whole Grain Sorghum

This recipe turned out so amazing! The original recipe called for quinoa, but I used whole grain sorghum instead. I increased the liquid from 2 to 2½ cups and left out the hot pepper sauce because I didn’t have any. I kept everything else the same.

I decided to try soaking the sorghum grains in some water for a few hours before cooking. Soaking seems to help the grains cook faster and soak up the other flavors better. I still had to cook the mixture longer than I would cook it with quinoa – about an hour.

I served this as a side dish to some steaks cooked on the grill and it was perfect! The hot spice is really complimented by the saltiness of the green olives and capers. The leftovers the next day were even better!

Capers and green olives in jars.

Capers and Olives.

Ingredients

  • 1 large green, yellow, or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sorghum, soaked and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (about 3 cups) cooked kidney beans, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup stuffed Spanish olives, drained
  • 1/8 – 1/2 cup capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • lime, optional

Instructions

Soak sorghum in just enough water to cover for 2-3 hours. Rinse and drain.

Sorghum grains soaking in water in a metal bowl.

Soaking the sorghum grains.

Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the peppers, onions, and garlic in a little olive oil just until softened.

Sliced peppers, onion and garlic in skillet on stove.

Saute the peppers, onion and garlic in olive oil.

Add the whole grain sorghum and toast it for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly, just to dry it out a little.

Sorghum grains added to peppers, onion and garlic.

Add sorghum grains to sautéed vegetables.

Add the remaining ingredients, turn the heat to low, cover and cook until the sorghum is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour.

Remaining ingredients have been added to skillet.

Remaining ingredients added to skillet.

Stir well before serving. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice at the table.

After cooking for about an hour, all of the liquid absorbed.

After cooking for about an hour, all of the liquid absorbed.

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

I went in the backyard this morning and DEVIL-bird was in the tree! I barked at it A LOT but it just squawked and LAUGHED at me. Some day I’m going to GET that evil bird!

Depressed woman

Celiac Disease and Depression

Individuals with celiac disease (CD) have a higher risk of depression than non-celiac individuals. And being on a gluten-free diet doesn’t appear to change that. In fact, several research studies have examined and confirmed the link between CD and depression.

Scientists believe the link between CD and depression is likely due to multiple factors such as:

  • Some individuals with CD view their gluten-free lifestyle and diet as restrictive and feel they have reduced quality of life.
  • Individuals with mood disorders like depression may be more likely to be screened for diseases like CD than the general population.
  • The production of certain brain chemicals important in regulating mood, like serotonin (sometimes referred to as the “feel good” hormone), may be affected due to poor nutrient absorption in individuals with CD.
  • Inflammation of the small intestine lining caused by CD may reduce certain amino acid levels because of specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies. For example, reduced levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that serves as a precursor to serotonin, tends to be reduced in patients with CD. Tryptophan levels also tend to be low in those with depression.

Vitamin D increases brain levels of serotonin. Excellent sources of vitamin D are Omega-3 rich cold-water fish like mackerel and salmon, egg yolks, and mushrooms.

The B-Complex vitamins, vitamin B12 and folate, are also associated with increasing a positive mood. Studies show these vitamins work along with the amino acids in protein to produce all three neurochemicals that regulate mood. Foods like meat, turkey, fish, potatoes, bananas, lentils, beans, molasses, and nutritional yeast are great sources of B-complex vitamins.

It’s easy to see from these examples how the foods we eat play a significant role in how we feel. Even a slight change in the level of any of these three chemicals in our brains alters our mood.

By consuming a wide range of seasonal produce, high-quality proteins (either from animal products or non-animal complete proteins like amaranth and quinoa), and Omega 3-rich fats (from foods like wild-caught cold water fish, sea vegetables, walnuts, flaxseed, and chia) we can usually get an adequate amount of the nutrients we need.

However, sometimes, for those who have medically diagnosed nutrient deficiencies, which is common among newly diagnosed celiac patients, supplements may be necessary.

Do not feel ashamed if you are suffering from depression. Depression is a very serious health condition that requires qualified medical attention. And keep in mind, while no single food or nutrient can eliminate depression, proper nutrition – from food and quality supplements – supports the production of key neurochemicals, and in turn, how we feel.

Reblogged from Guten Free Gigi.

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

Devil-bird was back today! I tried to sniff it through the window but I couldn’t smell it. Maizy doesn’t like it when I leave NOSE ART on the window, but that devil-bird is driving me CRAZY!

 

Half of a gluten-free pizza with regular cheese on pan, lots of toppings.

Gluten-free Pizza Crust

I have to confess pizza isn’t my favorite food. I worked at a pizza restaurant when I was in college and I think I got my fill of it back then. After I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I didn’t eat pizza for a long time and didn’t really miss it. I’ve tried a few of the gluten-free frozen pizza’s and they aren’t bad, but just aren’t the same as a fresh pizza.

So, last weekend I made two pizzas using this recipe for the pizza crust. The recipe is from Carol Fenster’s website. I made two of them because I wanted to try one using Daiya dairy-free cheese, since I’m trying to avoid dairy.

The crust turned out ok, although I patted it out a bit too thin. I took it out of the oven after 15 minutes and it was perfect on the edges but still doughy in the middle, so I put it back in for another 5 minutes. Then the edge was a little too crispy. If I ever make this again I will make the crust a little thicker and cook it about 12-15 minutes, instead of 10 minutes, before putting the toppings on.

The non-diary cheese wasn’t very good. I used a little cheddar on the bottom and some mozzarella on the top. The cheddar melted too much – very runny – and tasted like Velvetta (which I don’t like at all.) The mozzarella hardly melted at all and had very little taste. It just wasn’t what I thought of as “Pizza.”

For the other toppings, I used gluten-free sausage, onions, mushrooms, and black olives. I used a can of drained and chopped stewed tomatoes instead of pizza sauce. The pizza with the regular cheese was very good, although the crust was a tad thin for the amount of toppings I put on it. I’ve decided if I have to have pizza, I’ll just use regular cheese and deal with the consequences. For me, pizza is about the cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup warm milk (110°) or non-dairy liquid
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning (I used oregano, basil and a little garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • Rice flour for sprinkling
  • Shortening for greasing pan (I used olive oil cooking spray)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. In small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in milk. In medium bowl, beat flours, xanthan gum, salt, and seasoning on low speed. Add yeast-mixture, oil, and vinegar and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Dough will be soft.

Pizza dough in bowl.

I made a double batch of dough for two pizzas.

Put dough on lightly greased 12-inch nonstick pizza pan and liberally sprinkle with white rice flour to prevent sticking to your hands. Make edges thicker to hold toppings.

Bake crust 10 minutes on bottom oven rack.

Gluten-free pizza crust in pan after cooking for 10 minutes - ready to put on the toppings.

Pizza crust after cooking for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven. Spread crust with sauce and your choice of toppings.

Pizza crust with toppings added and Daiya cheese - ready to cook.

With toppings and Daiya cheese, ready to cook.

Bake on middle rack another 15 to 20 minutes, or until top is nicely browned.

Cooked pizza with Daiy cheese.

Cooked pizza with Daiya cheese.

Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes, then cut and serve immediately.

Two slices of gluten-free pizza with Daiya cheese on a plate.

Two slices of the pizza with Daiya cheese.

Pizza slice turned up so the bottom of the crust shows.

Here’s what the bottom of the crust looked like. I cooked 5 minutes longer after this photo.

The featured image at the top of the page is the pizza with the regular cheese. I put more toppings on it than the Daiya one.

Milo graphic

Milo says….

There is an evil BIRD stalking me! Maizy calls it “Grackle” and it sits on the windowsill looking in at me – and squawks! I barked at it ALL day today, but it wouldn’t go away. Then I stared at it for a long time. Yes, I’m sure it’s a DEVIL bird!

The Celiac Project

I just discovered this upcoming documentary about people with celiac disease and their struggles with getting properly diagnosed. The project director is Michael W. Frolichstein and he has celiac disease. They are no longer accepting donations on the Kickstarter site, but they are continuing to post updates on how the project is going. They are on Facebook, as well. I’m really looking forward to seeing this film. Check out the trailer here. (I tried to embed the video, but it didn’t work.)

Here is Michael’s description of the project:

“The Celiac Project” is an engaging new feature-length documentary about Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance and the obstacles people with these conditions face in safely living a gluten-free life. While avoiding gluten has become a trendy dietary choice, people with Celiac literally cannot tolerate it in their diet. Even a crumb of bread can cause irritation in the small intestine, which will trigger an immune system reaction that worsens over time. Many people with the condition suffer for years with mysterious, debilitating symptoms before obtaining an accurate diagnosis.

When I learned that 83 percent of Celiacs in this country are either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, I felt compelled as a filmmaker to unravel the mystery of this illness. We have talked with dozens of people who struggled to get diagnosed and also interviewed the top Celiac doctors in the world and are excited to share their stories in this compelling documentary.

Michael has written, directed and produced two well-received short films: Adventure Day and Dogwalker. In addition to both films getting festival play, Dogwalker aired locally on WTTW’s long-running series, Image Union. Michael lives with his wife and two young daughters in Evanston, Illinois.

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

Maizy put me in the bedroom and shut the door today. Then a strange MAN came in and did something in our kitchen! I was so scared of the stranger I BARKED A LOT! Then Maizy let me out and he wasn’t there, but I could SMELL him. I’m watching out the window all day in case he comes back.

 

 

Close up of two cookies on plate - one broken in half.

Gluten-free Oatmeal Walnut Cherry Cookies

I love oatmeal cookies. I especially love oatmeal cookies with nuts and fruit added. When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002, oats were considered to have gluten in them and I was very sad that I couldn’t eat them. I went about 8 years without eating oats at all until I discovered gluten-free oats. Now I eat gluten-free oats all the time and love to try new recipes with them.

I found this recipe at TheKitchn.com and decided to give it a try using sorghum flour in place of the two kinds of rice flours. These cookies turned out really yummy – crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

All the ingredients for the cookies set out on the counter before starting.

Ingredients for cookies – Bob’s Red Mill are the main gluten-free ingredients available in my area.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups gluten free oats
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with non-stick olive oil spray. In a medium bowl, combine the sorghum flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt. Stir to fully combine.

The dough before adding oats, walnuts and cherries.

The dough before adding oats, walnuts and cherries.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugars. Then beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients to make a thick dough. Stir in the oats, cherries and nuts just until combined.

Cookie dough after adding the oats, walnuts ad cherries.

Dough after adding the oats, walnuts and cherries.

Drop 1/4 cup full mounds onto the lined pans. I formed the dough into balls and mashed them down a little bit.

Cookies on baking sheets ready to cook.

Cookies on baking sheets ready to cook.

Bake for 10-12 minutes (they will seem a little under done). Let cool on the pan for 5 more minutes (they cook a bit more here). Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.

Finished cookies on baking sheet - cookies have grown together quite a bit.

Finished cookies after baking – they grew more than I thought they would.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies. (I made the cookies a little bit big, so I didn’t quite get 2 dozen.)

Close up of cookie on plate

Ready to eat!

Original recipe from TheKitchn.com adapted from Gluten Free Everyday by Robert Landolphi

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

Those bad cats have been making fighting noises outside ALL night. Maizy wouldn’t let me go out to GET them because it was dark. I had to get up a lot and check out the window to see if they were there. NASTY cats!

 

7-Day Gluten-Free Meal Plan

The Celiac Disease Foundation is celebrating Celiac Awareness Month with a seven-day gluten-free meal plan to help people who are newly-diagnosed with celiac disease adjust to the gluten-free diet. Below is a chart of the meal plan.

CDF_7MealPlan_JumpStart_c1

 

At their website there are links to recipes for each of the meals. The plan provides three meals and two snacks for each day and the recipes are easy and designed for busy families with children. This plan is especially helpful to parents of children with celiac disease and gluten disorders, as the recipes a very kid-friendly.

This meal plan is part of CDF’s toolkit to help people with gluten-related disorders monitor and manage the illness. The toolkit includes a symptom checklist and a nationwide directory of practitioners specializing in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Look for these items under “Resources” on the right sidebar of their website.

CDF is also sponsoring a Team Gluten-Free Week Without Wheat (Barley and Rye) event to raise funds and promote awareness of celiac disease and gluten-related disorders. The challenge encourages non-celiac family members to participate in eating completely gluten-free for at least seven days during the month of May in order to gain understanding about the challenges of eating gluten-free and to show support for family members with celiac disease and gluten disorders. If you would like to participate in the team challenge, go to this web page to sign up and get your materials and free t-shirt.

CDF_7DayMP_AwarenessBanner_525x100-02-1024x195

 

 

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

I have a little rubber tire with a rope tied to it that is the BEST toy in the WORLD! I can chew on the tire and carry it around and THEN I can pick it up by the rope and shake it back and forth and growl! Sometimes the tire hits me in the head when I shake it, but that is part of the fun – AND it makes Maizy laugh.

 

 

Closeup view of finished blueberry muffin on plate.

Carol’s Amazing Blueberry Muffins

Yes, these muffins are amazing! I made these for a meeting I was hosting and I had to try really hard not to eat all of them while they were still warm. They puffed up a lot more than I expected and were moist but not soggy. I filled the muffin cups about 1/2 full. The batter is very sticky and really works your arm muscles when you stir in the blueberries. I used Full Circle frozen organic blueberries. I thawed them out in the refrigerator ahead of time. These blueberries are very big and were a really good choice for these muffins.

Bag of thawed out organic blueberries - Full Circle brand.

There were enough of these large blueberries to make two batches of muffins.

 

This was one recipe that I didn’t change at all. It can be used with other flavors besides blueberry/lemon, too. Carol suggests dried cranberries with orange zest. Or, add chopped walnuts instead of blueberries and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Have all ingredients at room temperature for best results.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups Carol’s Sorghum Blend (see below)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen – I used frozen, organic, thawed, drained)

Instructions:

[1] Preheat oven to 400ºF. Generously grease 6-cup jumbo or 12-cup standard, nonstick muffin pan or use paper liners.

[2] Whisk together flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, sugar, and salt in large mixing bowl until well blended. Add milk, oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon peel and beat with electric mixer on low speed until well blended and batter starts to thicken. Gently stir in blueberries. (If blueberries are frozen, add 5 minutes baking time.) Divide dough evenly in muffin pan.

Gluten-free blueberry muffin batter in bowl with blueberries being stirred in.

Batter was very thick and sticky.

 

[3] Bake 6-muffin pans 35 to 40 minutes; 12-muffin pans for 20-25 minutes––or until tops of muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Nine glazed blueberry muffins on plate.

Glazed muffins ready to eat.

 

Cool muffins in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and cool another 15 minutes on wire rack. Serve warm. I glazed the muffins with a light frosting made from powdered sugar mixed with lemon juice.

Hands holding a split open blueberry muffin.

The muffins were very moist, but not sticky, on the inside.

 

Carol’s Sorghum Blend

  • 1 ½ cups sorghum flour
  • 1 ½ cups potato starch
  • 1 cup tapioca flour

Whisk together and store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry place.

Recipe by Carol Fenster, savorypalate.com.

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

I was ANGRY at Maizy today! She wouldn’t let me bring my bone in the house because it has dirt on it! I pouted on the back porch all afternoon, but she still didn’t let me bring it in. Dirt ISN’T bad – it’s SEASONING!