Monday, November 24, 2008

Introducing Gluten

Going through this process of re-introducing different kinds of foodstuffs into my system has been really good in actually introducing, for the first time, some grains and whatnots I hadn’t really cooked with or, in the case of kamut, had ever heard of. It was time at this point in my regimen, to introduce gluten, and see how that felt. So I did a little research into kamut, and then found the following recipe online. Then it’s just to get cooking.

Kamut is a type of wheat that has a only a very small amount of gluten. It is very similar to durum wheat and is one of those grains that have to be simmered for about an hour to cook (so cook a lot!). It is reputed as being tolerable by those who are allergic to wheat, but still off-limits for those who can’t deal with gluten. So it’s a good start when you want to check for a wheat allergy.

From how I felt later that night, I don’t think I am allergic to wheat, which, really, I’d much rather have as the case. What is the difference, really? Well, according to the INTERNET, a wheat allergy is the body's response to the specific grain, wheat, whereas a gluten intolerance is not an allergy, but an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks itself! Whoa! The reason why it's more annoying than a wheat allergy, is because with a gluten intolerance, one is to avoid gluten entirely - all gluten products, which include such yummy things as wheat bread, many pastas, delicious cakes and cookies, malt vinegar, vegetable protein (morningstar crumbles! NOOO!), soy sauce, etc.

So, I'm sure I'll be talking about this quite a bit in the next coming days, as I'll be starting my wheat introduction shortly. Here's the recipe I tried (it is super good, really, really good):

Oh, I found the recipe here.

1 lb. kamut, steamed with 1 tablespoon garam masala spice mix
or 1 t. each cinnamon, ground cloves and ground coriander
(Recipe uses 4 cups of the cooked kamut; leftovers make great salads)
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
1/2 cup bouillon
4 cups cooked kamut -- see note above
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 can pink beans or light red kidney beans
pinch cayenne, or to taste
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 vine-ripened tomato, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or Italian parsley leaves

Bring the onion, green pepper, carrots and ginger root and 1/2 cup of
bouillon to a boil and simmer, covered, until the carrots are tender,
about 15 minutes. Stir the cooked kamut, raisins and beans into the
vegetable mixture and add the cayenne to taste. Just before serving,
stir in the peas, tomatoes and cilantro or parsley leaves. (EASY!!!)

8-10 servings (between three hungry people, we just almost ate the whole dish)

The kamut was awesome, scrumptious, even. It had a super satisfying texture - like rice on steroids! The dish itself had a great variety of texture; the peas, carrots, beans and raisins in particular created a nice little bite medley, and it's very pretty when cut up and put into little bowls.
Now, when I had this (nervous laughter here...), it was also my first night with beer, so that in itself kind of messed up any speculations into whether I was allergic to wheat or intolerant of gluten or not. Whoops. I can say, though, that the beer definitely messed with me. My stomach was killing me after I had just one bottle. Since then I’ve been unable to handle beer without my stomach hurting a ton (cramps, at one point it felt like I was being stabbed in the intestines). It's the same reaction I have had to bagels. It’s not looking good. As I’m typing this my stomach is hurting, and I know I haven’t been avoiding gluten very well. It’s a bit childish, I know, but I may take awhile to admit defeat and just give up gluten altogether.

1 comment:

nathan said...

incidentally, the jury is still out on the alergy/intolerance... it all just looks too yummy to not eat for long enough to find out...