Sunday, October 17, 2010

PF = my GF BF.

After spending this lovely autumn weekend locked up in the law library, I am FINALLY (mostly) finished a much-dreaded memo for school! To celebrate, I ordered takeout online from PF Chang's. Due to the wonders of technology, when I arrived at the designated time, I was told I still had to wait another 35 minutes for my food. Well, that turned out to be a good thing! In the same shopping center (The Shoppes at Brinton Lake) I discovered The Fresh Market. Not merely the only store open at 7:30 on a Sunday, it's a gloriously swanky, upscale food store. As their website says, "Our stores convey the atmosphere of an old world European market, all under one roof, where you can visit an array of departments... The open air feel of our market presents a feast for the senses as colors and fragrant smells fill the atmosphere and classical music plays wafts through the air." This joint is classy! One of my joys in life is wandering around food stores looking for new GF discoveries - again, not a hobby that fits well with the rigors of law school - so it was wonderful to do some guilt-free exploring.

I've read about the new King Arthur GF baking mixes but hadn't seen them in person - voila! Some other good finds included Sharwood's papadums and San-J tamari-ginger salad dressing. They also carry Caesar's frozen GF pasta entrees, which are fantastic, especially the manicotti. Because of the location and not-cheapness, I won't be shopping here often, but it seems like a lovely place to pick up odds & ends or high-quality organic produce and meat/fish.

In other news, this week I finally tried out Seasons Pizza's gluten-free pizza. It's now being offered at the Concord Pike, Christiana, and Elsmere locations. Real talk: nothing can replace the role of gluten in pizza crust, so no pizza is going to be the same. But this is pretty darn good! The pizza comes only in medium size for $9.99 (toppings extra). The pie is small, and the crust is very thin; almost crispy but not quite there, although the melty gooey cheese is so perfect that you can trick yourself. This is about as good as it gets for gluten-free pizza. (It's also good the next day if you pop it in the toaster oven, which does crisp up the crust a bit.)

Despite the pizza talk, I've decided I must recommit to being dairy-free, or as low-dairy as I can get. The time crunch has made me rely too much on carbs and dairy for quick fix meals lately, and it's having a drastic effect on how I feel and look. It's going to be hard but I think it's for the best. Goodbye cheese, I will always love you.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Gluten Free Torts.

Being a first year law student means you have very little time to breathe, let alone recognize life as you previously knew it, attend to your blog (ahem), or, you know, eat. Stress and celiac disease are not a winning combination. You don't have time to eat as healthfully as you might; your stomach is going to react to your emotions; and of course being celiac already makes things a little more challenging. There's nothing I can really eat on campus, and there's only one day a week when I have enough time to go out and grab lunch between classes. Fun! Somehow I am figuring out how to get by, although it often means eating while studying or standing over the kitchen counter. Long gone are the days of experimental 3-course dinners for one.

So recently I decided to strike back with a crustless quiche - it's very quick to prepare on a Sunday, and then it's ready to reheat all week for breakfast or lunch. (And frankly, it's better for you than real quiche - without all those calories and fat from the crust and cream!) I adapted it from this recipe. It's super easy, phenomenally delicious, and you pretty much cannot mess it up. Here's how I do it:

Chop up some of your favorite veggies. (I chop veggies in advance when I have time and keep them in containers ready to deploy as needed. Or buy them pre-chopped at the store.) Some suggestions: peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, onions, scallions, artichoke hearts, broccoli, asparagus, spinach. You could also do cubes of ham or bacon or cooked turkey if you're into that kind of thing.

Saute your veggies for a few minutes in a small bit of oil, til they're softened and the color is nice and bright.

Meanwhile, crack 6 eggs into a large bowl. (The original recipe calls for 5; I use 6 because my quiche is so loaded with veggies.) Add a little water and beat. Pretend they are your professors if necessary. Totally optional, but I add about 1 tbsp of Pamela's GF baking mix to thicken.

Stir your veggie mix into the eggs.

Cheese! Use a bag of shredded cheese, any kind you like. Depending on how cheesey you are feeling, put in the whole bag or half the bag or whatever. You could use shredded soy cheese too.

Mix it all up. Add some kosher salt, pepper, and (optional) some dried basil.

Pour your quiche mixture into a greased/sprayed 9" pie pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until it's beautifully golden on top. Voila!

Some of my other favorite things right now:
* Apple season is here! (I love fall so much!) Organic granny smiths with peanut butter.
* Annie's deluxe rice pasta & cheese is the best (worst) mac & cheese since Kraft! It comes with a squeezy pack of cheese sauce so it couldn't be easier and it is just so yummy. By far the best commercial GF mac & cheese I've tried. (why yes, the time crunch means I have pretty much given up trying to be dairy-free)
* Progresso lentil soup - yup, it's GF! So tasty on its own, or add some ground cumin & garam masala to make it even more amazing (or try pureeing it a bit with a hand-blender and throw in some basmati rice - very filling and Indian-inspired).
* Baked ziti casserole with Trader Joe's brown rice pasta, red sauce, & shredded cheese
* Scrambled eggs with green peppers, onions & cheese (basically the even-faster version of my quiche)

Hope that gave you a few ideas for good fast food! And now I'm very late for a date with my BFF, my bed.