Friday, 28 February 2014

Taco Pork Tenderloins

Something I've been trying to do lately is make a little extra for dinner and plan for leftovers. Often our leftovers just sit in our fridge until we give up and throw them out.

One of the best ways to do that is to make two meals at the same time. I saw a recipe in a magazine for pork tenderloins, and underneath it had a couple of ideas of what to do with the leftovers. One of those ideas was to shred the pork and put it on a sandwich, another was to put it in a taco. That one sounded brilliant.

So I put bought two pork tenderloins and put them both in the slow cooker for a day. We ate one for dinner that night and it was delicious, and the other went in the fridge. The next day, I shredded it, added taco spice, warmed it back up and we had tacos. It was also delicious.  I'm going to have to do more meals like this.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Flavours of India

I have a friend who is really into India. Indian food, culture, dress, music, movies; you name it, she loves it. I've never met someone who is as into Bollywood movies as she is. She's taking belly dance classes. She raves about Bollywood actors. She's adorable.

Every time we're in Regina, she wants to go for Indian food, but either I wasn't sure about what I could eat, or the people with us weren't into Indian food. I like it well enough. Well, I had already eaten a small dinner before our most recent trip in, so I didn't care if I couldn't eat anything. I can at least eat rice, right?

So we decided to go to Flavours of India. She had been there several times and already loved the place, but I had no idea what to expect - gluten-free wise.

The restaurant itself is very nice. Everything about it from the decor to the music feels like I just walked into a small portion of India, but it's very clean and classy. It's not overbearing, and it's very welcoming. Just the right kind of atmosphere.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

One Year

Well, we've arrived, I guess. It's been one year.

I have been eating gluten-free for one year.

I have known that I have a life-long incurable disease for one year.

I started this blog one year ago.

But what does that mean? It's not like a birthday, I can't celebrate with (gluten-free) cake. It's not like the anniversary of a death, I'm not sad and melancholy. One year ago, I got some very hard-to-hear news, and it started me on the best path of my life. It is sad, happy, and strange. I don't know how to feel.

It's crazy to think that one year ago, I thought I was physically normal, I never would have guessed that I had any sort of disease, nevermind an autoimmune disorder. It's crazy to think that one year ago, I was so sick, I couldn't walk from the couch to the fridge without sitting down halfway. It's crazy.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Battling Dragons

We all battle dragons. Every single one of us has fought a battle, risked life and limb, and slayed a dragon. Some of our dragons may be scarier than others, or perhaps more avoidable. For some of us, our dragons were a little more removed from our lives, or we weren't battling alone. No matter the circumstances, we have all slayed a dragon or two.

When I was younger, I was friends with several girls who cut themselves. Amongst my circle, it was super trendy to wear big chunky bracelets. I wore them lots. And then those fingerless gloves were in, and both trends easily masked what these girls didn't want anyone to know. One of my friends lost or broke her bracelet one day, and tied a bandanna around her wrist instead. That's when I clued in. I didn't know how to help her, or how to make her stop hurting herself, but suddenly her dragon was very real to me. She didn't think she was beautiful, loved or important. Perhaps she felt hated and turned that into self-hatred. Perhaps she felt empty and couldn't feel anything. There were reasons she didn't want to kill herself, but she wanted to feel pain. She wanted to feel real, physical pain. As messed up as it is, she took a blade to the soft, sensitive skin on her inner wrist to make her heart feel better.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Tuna Casserole

I was never a fan of canned meat as a kid. I flat out refused to try tuna for a very long time, and I'm not sure if it was my aversion to fish or my aversion to canned meats. When I was just dating my now-husband, he introduced me to tuna salad sandwiches. I actually enjoyed the one he made for me, so I started making them. Like, all the time. I lived off of tuna salad sandwiches in highschool.

After I got married, my husband made a tuna casserole. I loved casseroles, and I loved my tuna salad, but tuna and pasta? I wasn't sure. Once again, I enjoyed it, and after that, I started making tuna casseroles. We both liked them quite a bit, so they become a staple in our early days of meal planning.

When we started eating gluten-free, I wanted tuna casserole, but I couldn't use a can of cream of chicken soup anymore. Instead of googling how to make a gluten-free version, I just made it up. It took a few tries, but I figured it out. M and I love it, and it's super easy, and uses things we have on hand (which most of the stuff I make up does). It's not dairy-free yet, but I'm getting there.

Friday, 14 February 2014

My Last First

The other night, M and I were laying in bed, ready to go to sleep, and this conversation happened.

R: "This is my last first."

M: "What?"

R: "Valentine's day. It's my last first."

M: "That's crazy. You have lots of firsts left. First pregnancy, first kid, first --"

R: "You know what I mean. It's my last first gluten-free thing."

I don't know how to explain what I'm feeling, but I'm coming up on my one-year anniversary of this whole thing. I've handled every major holiday (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas), every season, every birthday, and minor things like weddings, baby showers, and banquets. Sure, there are things I haven't handled, but they're things I didn't handle before being gluten-free, so it's not quite the same. There's only one annual thing left that I haven't faced - Valentine's Day. The big V day. Singles Awareness Day.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Quick Meals - Tuna Spaghetti

As I mentioned in my previous post, I don't always have a lot of time to eat, and I eat some creative meals sometimes. This is definitely one of them. Sometimes, I look at whatever ingredients I have on hand and type them into a Pinterest search. I've gotten a lot of really great recipes this way.  I'll type things like "Bacon hashbrown" or "egg spinach" and it comes up with pins where people typed something like "Breakfast casserole with bacon and hashbrowns". This time, I opened my cupboard and grabbed a box of gluten-free spaghetti and started boiling it. While it was cooking, I found a can of tuna and searched "tuna spaghetti." The recipe I found was a lot more complicated and involved sauteing garlic, but I skimmed it, got the basics, and went from there.

I dumped one cup of garlic and herb pasta sauce into a microwaveable bowl, stirred in a can of tuna and heated it up. When the pasta was done, I dumped the sauce on top and chowed down. Super quick, easy, nutritious and delicious. It could have had chopped fresh veggies or cheese to make it better, but my focus was time and ease. Feel free to make it your own. 

This made two servings, which meant it could have been a meal for my husband and I, but instead it was lunch one day and dinner another for me.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Quick Meals - Huevos Rancheros

I've been working two jobs for six months now. This means a couple of things. Primarily, it means I don't have a lot of spare time. And what spare time my schedule does leave me gets eaten up by fun, enjoyable things (like dancing! I've taken up ballroom dancing). This means that I either eat really poorly (hello, cans of soup) or really creatively. When I have that extra mental energy, I think up some pretty cool meals that take a minimum amount of prep time, and when I don't, I eat like a college kid.

This is one of my favourites. I bought a big bag of frozen corn tortillas at a Mexican grocery in Saskatoon, and they are quite the staple. I scramble two eggs and heat up three tortillas with a dab of butter and presto! It makes a great breakfast, a quick lunch, and a good dinner. Not that I eat it three times a day, but it's very versatile and I love it. If I have some salsa or guacamole on hand, I throw that on there too. Or a slice of avocado, if I haven't eaten the whole avocado before the eggs cook.

It's basically a super quick version of huevos rancheros. I love it.