A while ago I mentioned an accidental blood test coming back positive for Celiac. Several tests later, I am still positive for Silent Celiac (celiac disease with little to no symptoms). In a slur of still-unresolved questions, I have been gluten-free for two months now (with the exception of the night I sat down to a plate of cake and another night when I accidentally ate gluten-laden granola so then chased it with a crispy sticky piece of baklava. I choose not to explore questions like, "you will really live without ever eating baklava or croissants again?" Regardless of the answer, I like to think of it as a month to month choosing).
It's a lot like when I lived in France; at some point I stopped translating word by word, but just formed french sentences in my head and spoke. Right now, I'm very much still in the word-to-word translation, i.e. what concoction of flours makes the best pancakes, rather than what kind of frittata could I make for breakfast.
I think in the long run, the healthiest, most economic gluten-free way is the frittata approach -- to learn to think about food in a whole new way. Instead of wondering which quinoa pasta tastes best, instead wonder about the grains and beans and fish and vegetables I can make a meal out of. But I'm not there yet.
The first month was pure food-confusion. It must have been because so many of my routine and beloved foods were uprooted, but I just wasn't sure, over and over, what to put in my mouth. I ended up eating a lot of chips and salsa, cheese, granola, and chocolate covered almonds. It wasn't my best month.
Month two was a little better.
Because I'm still operating in word-to-word translation, I have tried baking several gluten-free recipes (and always will do this, hopefully better and better). The fact is, they just aren't that great so far. Tonight, for example, I made a Lemon Cornmeal Cake featured on NPR. It was almost good. I could taste how it really could have been good, if a little lighter, fluffier, more gluteny with less corny grit and saturated lemon flavor... I made America's Test Kitchen's GF banana bread from their new cookbook-- which, let me tell you, is laborious and involves many bowls, pots, pans -- and after all that work (including heating and straining the bananas and then reducing the strained banana juice -!) it was good, but not amazing -- a little crumbly and slightly gritty. King Arthur's gluten free flour mix and Glutino GF flour are my favorites (they are very expensive... a whole other dynamic here), and from what I've read, they get the best ratings.
What HAS worked beautifully are these two recipes:
The Pioneer Woman's Sour Cream Pancakes
These have become our new go-to pancakes (thanks, Lindsay*)