Tuesday, April 12, 2011

play with your food: the glad girl meets the gluten-free girl

Prosciutto-wrapped salmon with wild mushroom risotto and an arugula salad with garlic dressing.
It's estimated that celiac affects one in 133 Canadians.  And celiac and gluten intolerance combined impacts 15% of the population.  I'm not one of them.  But I have watched friends who have suffered from mysterious symptoms for years experience nearly miraculous recoveries by going gluten-free.  Our western diet relies heavily on gluten-filled products: pastas, breads and baked goods made from wheat flour are some obvious culprits but gluten also shows up in unlikely places like sauces and ice cream.  My mom and I have been trying to educate ourselves on gluten-free eating recently in an effort to reduce gluten in our own lives.  Many  people without gluten-intolerances or allergies claim that reducing or cutting out gluten has improved their energy and digestion.

One of the books my mom gave me was Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern's The Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. Through her blog Gluten-Free Girl, Shauna quickly became one of the leading internet voices for gluten-free living.  Instead of treating gluten-free eating as deprivation, she made it decadent, a real celebration of amazing food.  It didn't hurt that she married a brilliant chef!

The Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef is a mouth-watering collection of recipes that the New York Times dubbed one of the Top 10 Cookbooks of 2010.   And last night's dinner proved why.  For my first attempted recipe, I chose the prosciutto-wrapped salmon with wild mushroom risotto along with the frise salad with garlic dressing (swapping out the frise for arugula). (I like to dive right in there!) Flavourful and amazing.  There's no gluten but you won't miss it.

Shauna and Daniel's recipes and stories are such an inspiration and prove that you create really fantastic (maybe even better) dishes by freeing yourself from gluten.  I'd love to see more restaurants locally take up the creative challenge and offer more gluten-free choices.  But even if they don't, the Glad Girl kitchen, aided by the Gluten-Free Girl, will be having fun playing with her food!

Incidentally a reason I love the interwebs:  Being able to tweet back and forth with a cookbook authour while cooking her recipes.  So fun!


L said...

wow, I'm going to have to check out that cookbook! I don't have celiacs, but I do notice what my digestion is on the poor side. This is just the encouragement I need to cut down on gluten and try a few new things! Thanks

miss allaby: the glad girl said...

I highly recommend it - you can check out her blog to get a sense of her cooking style before you buy. It's flat out amazing cooking and the gluten-free aspect is really a bonus. I definitely notice a difference in my energy etc. when I'm eating less gluten.

Rebekka Seale said...

Wow...prosciutto-wrapped salmon? Count me in and I'm not even sensitive to gluten!!!