Being gluten-free (GF) and having a gluten-free business means that I think about GF issues every day. As a cook and baker, I am making gluten-free food everyday too. It is simply a big part of my life. I have talked to so many people who are either gluten-free or close to someone who is GF. Last week I did a presentation and one attendee asked “what is gluten”? That’s a great question; however, I was under the assumption that most everyone knows where gluten comes from – wheat and wheat flour – and several other gluten grains. It is a protein that some of us cannot digest. I’m one of those people. Some GF folks are sensitive/intolerant and others are celiac and are dreadfully allergic. Either way, we need to steer clear of food and products containing gluten.
We can’t depend on others knowing how to keep us safe. Family will think they are being nice when they insist that their celiac adult child have a piece of their non-gluten birthday cake. Sometimes, friends serve food at a dinner and overlook the fact that you can’t eat wheat pasta or chicken covered in wheat bread crumbs.
What do you do? Throw caution to the wind and eat the food or be assertive and stay strong. Without a doubt, BE ASSERTIVE. And, be ready, be organized and prepare for these events. Have a “gluten-free food kit” that you can bring with you. The kit will vary, depending on where you are going and what the occasion is. Please don’t arrive empty handed; don’t be caught without some gluten-free food you can eat. I usually bring a bag or a cooler and fill it with GF bread or crackers, cheese, fruit, nuts and other healthy snacks.
This weekend, I went to a family function and I made several vegetable-cheese frittatas. I was able to resist the gluten foods and enjoy a wedge of frittata with the salad set on the buffet table. I make frittatas using different fillings, but this weekend, I roasted 3 vegetables: potatoes, zucchini and onions. I filled baking trays with each vegie, that was tossed in olive oil and roasted them until they were golden brown. I then added enough eggs, milk and some shredded cheddar cheese to make it a thick-like batter. I start cooking them in a hot, well-oiled cast iron pan on the stove. When they are still wet on top, transfer them to a preheated oven to finish cooking. The nice thing about frittatas is that you don’t really need a recipe, once you get the idea. I will give you a recipe below; but, try it with other ingredients like GF leftover pasta, rice and myriad vegetables. I always put some milk and grated or thinly sliced cheese in it. Let me know what variations you come up with. Frittatas are just as good at room temperature as they are hot.
Gluten-Free Garden Vegetable Frittata
Serves 4 – 8 Active cooking time: about 15 minutes
Ingredients (Feel free to change the vegetables or cheeses)
4 medium white potatoes, washed, dried and cut into cubes
1 T. dried rosemary
1 – 2 medium zucchini, unpeeled and cut into cubes
1 – 2 large sweet onions, peeled and rough chopped
8 large eggs, farm raised is best
¼ cup milk
5 oz. (approx.) melting-type shredded cheese, i.e. cheddar or Monterey Jack, etc.
salt and pepper
Optional: fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cover baking tray with aluminum foil and oil well. Toss vegetables with oil, rosemary and salt & pepper and spread in one layer on sheet. Bake until nicely brown, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Whisk eggs and milk in large bowl, add 3 oz. cheese, salt & pepper. Stir in vegetables and mix. Add to very, well-oiled and heated cast iron pan and cook on medium-high heat on stove top until bottom is set. Add remaining cheese. Transfer to hot oven and cook until top is set. Insert paring knife to check for doneness. Do not overcook. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan and use 2 metal spatulas to remove to cutting board. Garnish with chopped parsley or chives.