I had a little trip to the hospital yesterday, and the end result was a doctor recommending I try gluten-free to see if that will not alleviate symptoms. I wanted to protest and rather went into shock and started rambling about “but I’m vegan” and how I already changed my diet once, rather dramatically, to try and cure this ailment, so how was this now going to help? Luckily I’m a veteran stalker of vegan blogs, and there are so many of you out there who are gluten-free vegans and have survived to tell the tale, not to mention share delicious recipes, so I’m less shattered about it all, but still. I love wheat!
Before I get carried away, however, I’m also going to announce the winner of Jill Nussinow’s ebook, Nutrition CHAMPS! Thank you to everyone who entered and left comments – click the clicky button to see who won!
And the winner is….
Congrats to Gaby, who will be getting her prize in a few day’s time 😀 Even if you’re not the winner, be sure to head over to Jill’s site and purchase a copy of Nutrition CHAMPS! So many of those recipes are gluten-free, so I’m in perfect hands with my new situation to indulge in life and not feel deprived in any way – healthy eating is not the end but the beginning!
I’m still going to go see a specialist as soon as possible because this is a lifelong issue that’s been plaguing me, but I was in such pain yesterday that I tried twice to climb in the car and drive to visit my sister and had to desperately half crawl back inside so as not to disturb the neighbours with my screams of pain. Fun times. So, we’ll see if this GF business is the solution, temporarily. The second I get the all-clear I’m going to bring back small portions of wheat, because there is nothing better, nothing tastier than rye bread, or all bran, or cheap oats. Of course, I’m full of nonsense because I’ve been experimenting more and more of late with GF baking and raw goodies and loving every second, and I must also freely admit to binging on oat bran like a beast and having a love affair with whole wheat cereals. I suspect being told what to do makes me even more obstinate and pig-headed than I would have been had I come to this decision all by myself. GF can be amazing, versatile and delicious, just without all the starches for me, thanks.
This pie is a quick dish to whip together, though it takes a few hours to set properly in the fridge – it’s an amalgamation of some of my favourite pies from different bloggers all in one, and is protein-stuffed, nutrient-happy, and gluten-free for digestive glee. It’s pretty similar to one I’ve made before, but let’s admit it: zucchini makes everything better. One day I’ll be first in line to volunteer for a robotic body, but even then I’d beg the engineers to still afford me the privilege of eating for taste, because stuff like pies is where life is at when you’re down and need a healthy perk.
Ingredients (serves 8):
- 1/2 cup + 2 TBSP chickpea flour
- 1/4 cup soy milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 flax eggs (2 TBSP flax powder + 6 TBSP water)
- 2 TBSP mixed dried herbs
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 2 cups steamed pumpkin or sweet potato cubes
- 1 heaped cup grated zucchini
- 1 TBSP tamari (GF), soy sauce (non-GF) or spicy sauce of choice
- Optional: 1 TBSP tahini
- Optional: chopped chilies or red chili flakes
- Optional: olives, roasted fennel or garlic
- Spray a round baking tin and preheat to 180C/350F. Prepare your flax eggs and set aside to gel.
- Let your steamed pumpkin cool then blend that with your soy milk and flax eggs until smooth.
- In a medium mixing bowl mix together your dry ingredients, then whisk with the water and tamari until frothy and combined.
- Fold in the grated zucchini and pumpkin mixture. Add in the optional ingredients if desired. Next time I’m using olives!
- Pour into the tin and shake it a bit to even it out.
- If using tahini swirl it into the top of the batter.
- Bake 45- 50 minutes until golden on top.
- Let cool on a rack then let it set in the fridge (in the tin) overnight, or at least 5 hours.
- Serve cold or hot, with hummus, pesto, or a tahini-lemon drizzle.
You’re probably wondering why I didn’t actually do or add any of the delicious recommendations. I try and bring the very best to the blog, but sometimes when stuff hits the fan and you’ve been humbled or betrayed by your own stupid and equally glorious body a type of panic sets in and suddenly everything looks like the enemy, so I’m recommending what I’d like to do next time I make this (because there will be a next time!). I’ve spent the whole day debating whether to eat or not in case it triggers the same fanfare as yesterday, and of course hunger won out, but I’m on my own version of gruel and water (tea, zucchini, and buckwheat groats, with lots of jelly thrown in).
I guess now going forward, in “real life” and on the blog, you’ll be seeing more serious attempts at living gluten-free for a while, and also cutting back on funny business or junk food, not that I always parade that on Marfigs’ Munchies. Much like when I was told I was munching my way to being pre-diabetic, this is just another fork in the road and an opportunity to reassess my diet and lifestyle more carefully to my ever-changing and ever-snobbish body.I’m still in the process of growing to love my body, because it does allow me to do things and be active in a way I wouldn’t have dreamt of ten years ago, but that doesn’t happen overnight. I certainly don’t want to spin into a panic and damn it all to sugary hell and walk the primose path of dalliance with diabetes and kill my intestines, or go cold-turkey on everything remotely edible and try and eat air. Nope. I want my pie, my smoothie bowls, and my digestive health, which shouldn’t be such a terrible thing to figure out!Poor Man-thing went into a bit of a panic, although I suppose seeing your wife-wench strapped up to an IV will do that to you, but he immediately started quizzing me on what gluten-free actually is. He even started to suggest that maybe I incorporate things like eggs back in my diet to bring more variety to my meal options but I had to cut him short and put my firmly vegan foot down. As I mentioned earlier, there are enough wonderful resources out there, and amazing recipes to try out, that I don’t think I’ll perish quite yet. In fact, I did an entire 29 days of rice stint last year and managed all sorts of fun and wacky creations, so this is just another excuse to play around with nature’s bounty.