“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
Andy Warhol, “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol”
A series of firsts for my son in the last week has reinforced for me the changes my son has made as part of his acceptance of coeliac disease and a gluten free diet.
While he has had to make compulsory dietary changes, I am now seeing more subtle changes in his attitude to and ownership of his gluten free life.
So a week in the life of a teenage coeliac….
1. Eating Out
A group of friends were off to watch their mates play a game of rugby and then they were going to catch a bite to eat. His friends decided on McDonalds. Rather than eating another Quarter Pounder without a bun, my son took the lead and volunteered an alternative : Zambrero’s – a Mexican style Subway with the majority of menu items being gluten free. The meal was enjoyed by all.
2. New Food
I have purchased numerous varieties of gluten free snack/museli bars and in the main KJ has eaten one out of the pack but asked for me not to buy them again. On Monday, he came home from school with a snack bar wrapper for Food for Health, Fruit Free Bars and asked “why haven’t you bought these for me before, they are really nice”. A friend (non coeliac) had one in his lunch box and gave it to KJ to try. I have since found them in Woolworths in the gluten free section of the supermarket.
3. Revisiting Rejected Gluten Free Foods
I made a loaf of fruit bread 12 months ago and KJ showed no real interest in it. I have just been given free a packet of the same fruit bread mix and so decided to use it with the intention of my husband and I eating it. Seeing the baked loaf, KJ asked “is it gluten free and can I have some”. Twelve months does make a difference and this time around the fruit bread has been given his tick of approval. It is a Springhill Farm product well worth trying.
4. Left-Over Pasta Bake
In the list of gluten free lunch box suggestions given to us by the dietician, is left overs. Many a time I have suggested left overs for the lunch box, but this idea was never well received. So I had given up asking. Sunday’s dinner of a Carbonara Pasta Bake was a winner and KJ asked that if there were left-overs, could he have them for lunch. In the quiet drive home from school, he told me that the pasta bake was delicious.
5. Visiting my Blog
My sons have shown mild interest in this blog but a few quiet words on a walk past me and KJ let me know that he had visited the blog and he implied that I was doing a good job. However, I won’t hold out that he will ever agree to doing a guest blog for me.
So I sit and ponder ‘how times change’ and how time does make a difference BUT more importantly how KJ has orchestrated change for himself. I am so proud of him.
Thin Omelette Wraps
Omelette Wraps can be used in much the same way as rice wraps, torillas and flour wraps. They are simple to make and add variety to a rather restricted diet.
In those early days of my son’s coeliac disease diagnosis, before we found a bread my teenager would eat, before I felt confident enough to make bread rolls and focaccias and before we found a routine with gluten free food, weekend lunches did my head in.
Weekend lunches became pizzas or nachos. Unfortunately these were two ‘easy’dinner meals we used for busy nights or those nights when everyone in the family were doing different things. So taking pizza and nachos out of our dinner menu put more pressure on meals for dinners.
So I started to think outside the square and remembered how once I went to Chinese cooking classes and we made thin omelettes. We have mainly used them with a spicy mince filling. I have also seen them used as a lunch wrap. But considering my teenager was already struggling with how his school lunch looked to others, we did not push this one onto him.
2 tablespoons water
Salt and pepper to season
- Whisk ingredients in a bowl.
- Pour 1/3 – ½ cup of mixture onto crepe maker and spread with batter spreader.
- When cooked, flip and cook the other side.
PS I can’t emphasis enough about how essential the crepe maker is to our gluten free cooking: flour wraps, flat breads, pancakes, crepes, galettes, thin egg omelettes….
This recipe was a family favourite before GF, both because of its simplicity and also because of its heartiness.
Personally, it also connects me to my heritage. My paternal grandparents migrated to Australia from Barcelona and in the last few years my group of cousins have gathered for a family celebration in true Catalan style: a long late Spanish themed lunch. We celebrated this year in Brisbane on Sunday: olives, chorizo, roasted garlic and capsicums, jambon serrano, paella, roasts cooked over an open fire….
So if you want to be tempted by the tastes of Spain, then give this meal a try.
2 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 GF chorizo, sliced
1 red capsicum, deseeded, chopped
2 brown onions, halved lengthways, thinly sliced
2 tsp smokey paprika
800 g chicken thigh fillet, cut into 3 cm cubes
400 g can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1.Heat half the oil in a large deep frying pan over medium heat. Add half the garlic, chorizo, capsicum and half the onion. Cook for 8 minutes stirring occasionally or until onion is soft. Stir in paprika and cook for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add chicken, tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and ground balck pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in olives.
2. While chicken is cooking. Cook rice as an accompaniment.
( from Woolworths Fresh magazine : Cool and Cosy)