Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cookie Support ~

Just look at these little beauties...ah yes, almond raisin gluten-free cookies ~ Hallelujah!! I slaved away for hours baking these. OK no I didn't...I bought them at Whole Foods in the gluten-free bakery section that seems to be growing by the week, which is great news except for the fact that these little goodies are pretty pricey$. So my next weekend with some free time will be spent testing out my own almond raisin cookie recipe and baking away! Do check out your local Whole Foods, however. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the variety of baked goodies available to enjoy; pumpkin bread, peanut butter cookies, banana nut bread, chocolate chip cookies and let's not leave out the torta al cioccolato - chocolate torte, my friends.

I thought for this entry, it might be fun to throw in a couple of photos of some recent GF meals that I have created - very simple, safe, low in fat and delicious.

Everybody loves pancakes, right?

I do.

So last Sunday I woke up and thought, "mmmm, I want to make some delicious pancakes," so I did. I admit that I did not mix my own GF flour but instead used my favorite baking and pancake mix by Pamela's - Use it to make waffles, cakes, pie crusts, scones and of course, pancakes! So here's my secret to making these lovelies so healthy and tasty:

I sprinkled each pancake with some cinnamon and a touch of butter, then I plopped a large dollop of Brown Cow non-fat vanilla yogurt (my absolute favorite!) on top, along with two tablespoons of fresh, organic blackberry jam and finished off with some organic raspberries ~ simply fresh and just the perfect amount of sweetness.

Are you hungry yet?

Here's one last morsel for you - I threw together a one-dish meal that was quick and quite tasty and nutritious.

I usually use GF pasta from either Italy (products that I've bought and brought back to the States with me) or another favorite is Tinkyada rice pasta. I just love the texture and way the pasta holds together...truthfully, it's better pasta than wheat pasta, which I DO remember the taste of.

The recipe is simple:
1 cup of rice pasta
2 shallots
6 asparagus spears
4 oz. piece of wild salmon
1 tbsp. Spanish olive oil
2 tbsp. grated formaggio parmigiano cheese

Sauté the thinly sliced shallots in olive oil until they start to caramelize, then add the washed and chopped (into 1/2 inch pieces) asparagus and continue sautéing until al dente. At the same time, slowly grill in a separate pan, the piece of salmon, while boiling the pasta to your liking. When finished cooking, toss the pasta with a bit of olive oil, then add the vegetables and finally toss in the salmon by cutting into bite-sized pieces. I like to then sprinkle with cheese and salt and pepper to taste...Viola! Buon Appetito!

Every time I post a blog entry and reflect on what brings me to this moment, I am always humbled when I stop to acknowledge and honor the tremendous amount of support, compassion and love that has surrounded me on my journey as a Celiac. It's really astounding that so many loved ones in my life have taken such an interest in, well...feeding me.

It sounds funny, but it's really true.

I cannot count the number of times over the past eight years when my friends and family members (once they understand the concept of gluten-free eating) have shown up at my house or work, via phone or email with delicious products for me to try or with tips on a new restaurant they heard about that's safe, et cetera. Isn't that great! I have a co-worker in Reno who has been my macaroon support system - seriously. She's always on the lookout knowing how much I love those French little tasty treats and another dear friend who's always checking out restaurant menus on my behalf. Good times.

Without the amazing Internet network of support that's out there for all of us too, I would not be nearly as educated about all-things-Celiac, as I am today. It truly does "take a village" to learn how to live with abundance, while living gluten-free...but I will honestly say that I'm so thankful for the gift of this diagnosis. It has changed my life forever in ways that most will never know, and caused me to never give up on the search for more information, more knowledge and to dig deep in my soul and find the energy and strength to always take the time to help others with Celiac, or anyone. I can truthfully say that this life is my other full-time job, the job that is filled with abundance and rewards that are far-reaching and far greater than any paycheck.

Just the other day, I was contacted by a young woman who saw my new "author" page and blog that is now posted on Celiac.com - I was so excited when they accepted me as one of their new writers and contributors. Happiness. Anyway, she was just recently diagnosed with Celiac and is in that state of shock or that place of being totally overwhelmed...the place each one of us who has been diagnosed with Celiac has stood in, wondering how we would manage to get to the next sunrise, but we all do...day by day, helping hand-by-helping hand...the journey.

I was so honored that this woman is entrusting little ole me during such a crucial and confusing time in her life. All I can say is...Yes. Of course I will help. Just as SO many others have stepped up and guided and supported me to this very day on my journey, I will do the same for my new friend.

It's called the Celiac Circle of abundance...

Well, that's what I call it.

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