I haven’t mentioned this before, but we eat (mostly) gluten-free around here. In fact, my inspiration for starting my own blog came partly from the fact that when we found out my daughter needed to be gluten-free three years ago and I felt overwhelmed and pretty clueless, I stumbled across a fabulous blog: http://glutenfreegirl.com/ that really helped me figure out what to do and how to cook amazing things that also just happen to be gluten-free. Now, nobody in my home has celiac disease, though it was suspected and we’ve been checked for it. Celiac is a horse of another color, and I can only imagine how hard that is. My daughter is merely gluten intolerant, and we follow the GF lifestyle mainly as an alternative treatment for ADHD for my daughter (and by the way- we have had amazing success with that. But that is another subject). Which is why we can and will cheat on occasion when we are in France- sometimes the consequences are simply worth it. Not to mention the fact that we homeschool now and so nobody is pushing us to medicate… Which is also another subject.
But back to quinoa: when I started having to explore cooking with alternative grains, this quickly became a favorite of mine. So much so that I cooked it all the time and then became really, really tired of it. However, I revisited it this past week because of a recipe I came across, and my love for quinoa has been rekindled. This stuff pretty much rocks as a cold salad! And it’s simple to make, too: you can even cook it in a rice cooker just like you would rice. To make a salad with it, you simply let it cool off after cooking and then add in your chopped vegetables: cucumber, cilantro, peppers, and avocado are just a few I’ve tried. I’m thinking of a black bean and corn mix with red peppers and some kind of spicy vinaigrette for next time. Even the Pilot has been eating it, though it could have been because of the super-garlicky olive oil dressing I loaded on. The kids, however, are not going for it, but that’s okay. I didn’t really expect them to.
I have to say that being forced to try grains besides wheat has actually been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It has expanded my skills as a cook and introduced me to flavors I wouldn’t have found, and even to a community of amazing cooks and writers that I would never have known otherwise. Who knew teff or almond flour could make such delicious baked goods? Or that sorghum flour works great in a roux? And that many of these grains have a lot more nutrition than wheat anyway? Not me, before, but I do now.
I just love learning new things, ESPECIALLY when it comes to food!