Days 4 & 5 of my Gluten Free Challenge
Sorry to have left you hanging ladies and gents! I have been super busy over the past few days so the blog has been a bit neglected! So, to fill you in on my last few days I will start by saying that although following a gluten free diet is much much much easier than it probably once was, it still requires a great deal of planning and thinking ahead of time!
For breaky I have generally been sticking to my usual bowl of frozen mixed berries with natural (GF) yoghurt with a sprinkling of nuts and seeds…oh and my daily cappaccino of course!
Lunch on the other hand, I have found tends to be the tricky one, especially if you are out and about during the day. Lucky for me I am a bit of a salad lover, so provided that I think about what dressings they come with and avoid any with pasta or croutons etc my decisions on what to have for lunch are usually pretty easy! For those that don’t really like salads though, the options aren’t overly inviting! No pasta salads..no sandwiches or rolls, no burgers, no chips or other deep dried foods, no pies or sausage rolls, or couscous or pizzas! Or is there?
Thanks to this new challenge I have started taking much more notice of what options there are out there for are gluten intolerant friends and I have to say I am delighted at just how many places I have come across that offer a range of GF options! So if you are a coeliac and struggle to plan ahead and pack your own lunches, it seems luck is on your side in the GF options department..you just need to keep your eyes peeled!
As for dinners, they seem to be the easiest! On Thursday I joined some friends for a round of Trivia at the New Farm Bowls Club (which was so much fun by the way!) and had no problems finding something tastey to eat that was GF! Though there were a few salads on the menu that probably would have been fine, how could I go past the crispy skin salmon with chat potatoes and wilted spinach?! Yum!
Last night I thought it was about time I stepped outside my comfort zone slightly and try using some GF ingredients that are relatively foreign to me! So after an interesting trip to the local health food shop I came home with a packet of “mungbean pasta”which was actually really good!! My my aren’t they getting creative?! and there was also a “blackbean” pasta there that I shall definitely be investing in next time I am having a pasta craving! The mungbean pasta tasted a little bit like your normal spinach flavoured pasta and when mixed with some homemade pesto, chicken, goats cheese and roasted toms, pumpkin and pinenuts I had myself one seriously tastey meal!
Intrigued? Recipe as follows!
What you need (for 2 people)…
1 chicken breast (poached or pan fried)
1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes
1/4 sm packet pinenuts (toasted)
big bunch of parsley or basil
1 large clove garlic
1/2 packet of Mungbean pasta (or you can use whatever variety of GF pasta you like!)
soft goats cheese
What to do…..
Firstly put your water on to boil and turn the oven on to moderate (180degrees) fan forced. Cut your pumpkin into small cubes and cut your cherry toms in half. Lay both the pumpkin and cherry toms on a baking tray and sprinkle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and leave them for 15-20mins or until cooked and slightly crispy around the edges.
For the pesto add your garlic, parsely/basil/large handful of pinenuts (or cashews), a good splash of olive oil, juice of half a lemon (or whole lemon if only small) to a mini mix master/blender and whiz until it forms a nice runny paste. Add a little more olive oil or lemon juice if you need and season with salt and pepper (easy on the salt).
Your pasta will take about 8mins to cook so when you are almost ready to put it all together place your pasta in the boiling water and cook until al dente! Drain your pasta and rinse through with warm water. Then the only thing left to do is mix everything together! So shred your chicken and add it to your cooked pasta along with your homemade pesto, tomatoes, pumpkin, a handful of toasted pine nuts and a sprinkling of soft goats cheese and you’re done! Tastey, nutritious AND gluten free!! winner all round!