Reluctantly Gluten Free Chilihead
This blog is all about good food. I like to cook, I like to create and I like spicy food. So the majority of food you will find on this blog will have a ton of flavour and heat to Spice Up Your Life! And unfortunately, or dare I say, reluctantly, everything will be GF.
I assume that you know how to cook. I assume that like me you hate the fact that you have to be GF because it limits you. I thought so too …
I was diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease recently and my first thought was “WTF?!” I had just turned 40 and was not happy that I had not one, but two diseases messing with my eating habits – Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease is the other. My second thought was “Well, I don’t eat that much gluten – right?”
Wrong! Gluten is in everything. The first time I went to a specialty/organic grocery store I was introduced to the term “Label Hawk.” I instinctively hated the term because I was never one of those guys who watched what he ate and I thought the whole GF movement was just that – a load of stinky movement!
Little did I know about the ramifications and side effects that gluten can have on people. I’m not going into those details here. There’s an info/source page that will list all sorts of helpful links to more info. I don’t profess to be the expert nor do I want to be. I just want to eat in a gluten free world, er, way!
GF is not a death knell for flavour. It’s just a challenge to figure out how to keep the flavour. There’s a tonne more choices out there now for GF alternatives to cooking your own food. When I first started trying some of those I quickly realized that the baking aspect of cooking was going to be quite different. It was a lot of trial and error in choosing new options. Texture was the biggest difference that I saw.
And RGF will hopefully provide you with some more recipes that have the flavour you’ll savour and not taste like someone poured sand down your throat. So there’s no reason that you can’t do some of those recipes you did before – just without gluten.
Hot & Spicy (all about Bill)
I’m a chili head. My dad raised me on Mexican food while his mother, my Nanny, taught me how to cook. But after years in the restaurant biz, I realized three things. One – I love to cook for friends and family not 300 covers in a night. Two – I love to cook “bar” or home-style food not that high-end crap that you have to have an advanced palette to be able to cook. And Three – I like to create food, I don’t want to cook the same damn thing every night.
Nothing I cook ever really comes out the same each time; close but not always. The only rule of thumb I have about cooking is if you’re baking, follow the damn recipe. Otherwise, everything is a guideline.
I currently cook for my friends and family on a regular basis and love it. My family is slowly coming around to a more GF lifestyle, but I’m not a paranoid man, so the household is not GF. That said, if I cook something for the whole family, for the most part it is GF or I do two versions – one Hot, Spicy & GF and one glutenized and bland version for the family.
So what says I can do this, I wrote a recipe column for about three years for a newspaper in North Dakota and ghost wrote a cookbook a few years ago. And I cooked in restaurants and fast food for about 9 years – many of those years with two kitchen jobs at the same time.
As I said, love to cook, love to create and hopefully, this will help someone else get over the “WTF?!” reaction just like I had!