Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 'Go ahead honey, it's gluten free:' Foods that bring good fortune

I had a dream last night that I ate bread. Regular, gluteny, bread.

Ben and I were at a restaurant, clearly celebrating something, and I looked down at my plate to see a chunk of bread, like the kind you get in the bread basket before your meal arrives, mostly eaten. I was horrified. I couldn't figure out how it happened. I also worried about how it would make me feel.

Since I haven't eaten anything gluteny on purpose for about 10 months now, I couldn't fathom what eating a large amount of straight-up wheat bread would do to me. Even when I have accidentally ingested gluten, it was in tiny amounts, hidden in a processed product under the guise of "natural flavors" or as part of the manufacturing process.

I'm glad I didn't really have to find out.

In real life, I've been eating my share of delicious bread, but only the gluten free kind. It's been wonderful.

I recently bought a package of Pamela's bread mix, to test it out. Although it is not as good as the home-made bread I make, it is unbelievably easy and comes in a close second as far as texture, structure, and taste are concerned - it's a bit more brittle and a lot more dense.

We ate two slices as a bun for our lentil burgers the other day.

I think it might be a sign I can't really tell the difference between the gluten free bread I'm eating and the gluteny bread of my former life. Speaking of adjustment - I think that's a good sign!

And speaking of signs - lentil burgers are both round and made with legumes - which are two good good luck symbols for the new year!

This month's theme for "Go ahead honey, it's gluten free" is foods that bring good fortune, so I am sharing a recipe for meat-free, dairy-free, gluten free lentil burgers that are decidedly delicious and healthy, especially topped with avocado.

So, here's to a healthy and prosperous start to the new year!

And, be sure to check out the recipe round-up hosted by Heather at Life, Gluten free at the end of the month.

Lentil burgers

1 cup cooked brown rice (1/2 cup dry)

1/3 cup dry lentils

2 cloves garlic, crushed



sea salt

about 6 mushrooms, diced finely

about 1/2 cup finely diced onion

1 cup finely chopped spinach

1/2 cup ground flax

3 eggs

Heat about 2/3 cup water to boiling and add lentils. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool a bit.

Throw all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well to mix - making sure the eggs evenly coat the entire mixture.

Heat the oven to 350F. Form balls about the size of your palm (or what you would use to make a hamburger-sized patty) and place on a cookie sheet. Flatten each ball to desired thickness before placing them in the oven. (I think mine were about 3/4 inch thick).

Bake for about 30 minutes.


Note: You can also fry these up in a skillet, but I found the baking method to be much easier and requires less active cooking time.

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