I have been a mixed bag of emotions lately. I recently found out I have a gluten intolerance. My feelings have fluctuated between elation for having found the “cure” for my symptoms, to depression every time I walk past bakery and smell the scent of freshly baked bread and pastries. At first, I was stunned– “What the heck am I going to eat?” I have come to realize that there are plenty of things that I can eat, but that there are also plenty of things that I *can’t* eat.
Since going gluten-free (“GF” as I have found to be the term for it), I have tried to eat a small bit of gluten…..well, really it was an entire pastry. I was getting sick of eating my GF cereal that tasted like I was eating a bowl of pebbles in milk. Then I was out getting a latte when I saw the evil pastry and my willpower caved. “I haven’t had gluten in 2 weeks, I don’t have celiac, so what could possibly happen?”
Mr. Barista – “Add one of these tarts to my order, please.”
Oh, it was heavenly. A small caramelized onion, egg, and turkey bacon tart. The buttery flaky crust was delicious, and it perfectly complemented my morning cup o’ joe. I felt okay after I ate it, but a bit guilty. I felt like I was fasting for Ramadan and had snuck a bite of food and God was watching me. I went about my morning, and then IT set in. IT being the gluten. Ugh, it was miserable. Aside from gastro problems, I ended up with a migraine for 2 days. That was all I needed to convince me: no matter how delicious that bread smells, how good the little tart looks, nor how much I wanted a piece of pizza, there would be NO GLUTEN going into my body.
Going GF has really changed my life. I have been cooking most of my meals at home, watching ingredients like a hawk, and feeling GOOD about my body and what I am putting into it. But it is not easy – it is HARD. It takes willpower – the Ramadan-cannot-eat-food-even-though-you-really-want-it kind of willpower. Also, I often times feel paralyzed in my own kitchen. When I go through my mental rolodex of recipes, instead of finding what I can make, I think of all the things I can’t make. I am praying that with time, this GF diet will get easier, and that my GF recipe repertoire will increase. In the meantime, I hope to share my GF journey with my midEATS readers, who keep me positive, energetic, and excited about cooking and sharing!
So without further ado….to make myself feel better, I made Serious Eats’ version of the NYC chicken and rice dish that you can find at the halal food carts. This is my favorite recipe, as it reminds me of America, and walking the streets of NYC with my husband on a crisp fall afternoon. We used to enjoy eating this sitting on a park bench, making a mess of ourselves, as we chatted with the Egyptian food cart vendor (most were from my town El Mansourah in Egypt!).
Anyway, a million miles away, eating this with my kids brings a smile to my GF-self! I hope you enjoy making and eating this as much as we do.
Adapted from Serious Eats