One positive thing about having dietary restrictions is having to be more inventive with recipes, trying to figure out how to convert them so they’ll be safe for you to eat. It can actually be a lot of fun creating things in different ways, and it’s very gratifying when the people who try your recipes end up loving them.
The chocolate brownie recipe that I posted previously was one that I had done a lot of experimenting with. I’d used different combinations of flours and so far, using equal parts sorghum flour, white rice flour, and cornstarch has worked the best. The brownies crumble more than regular brownies and tend to get hard and dry out over time, but they’re still really good. My family, friends, and I all enjoy them. One thing I tried recently with the recipe is using packets of hot cocoa mix in place of the cocoa powder and a cup of mini chocolate chips instead of the walnuts. I left off the chocolate icing. It made a good-tasting brownie. I had thought of the idea to get rid of some hot cocoa mix packets that I just didn’t like as hot chocolate. I practically had to force it down when I made hot chocolate with it and thought using it in a brownie recipe would be a good way to use the rest rather than throwing it out. I didn’t know anyone else who I thought would want to use it. The people who tried the brownies seemed to like them also.
I’m sure this isn’t a unique idea and that recipes exist out there, but I had a thought about slicing eggplant and using the slices for the base of a pizza. I bought an eggplant at the grocery store and saved it until I was ready to use it. I cut off both ends of the eggplant and sliced it from top to bottom to make some long slices, similar to the size of the French bread pizzas you can find in the frozen section of the grocery store. I put the slices on a baking sheet that I had previously sprayed with cooking spray. I added my tomato sauce, seasonings, some pepperoni slices, and some grated mozzarella cheese. I heated them in a 350-degree oven and just took them out when it looked like the cheese had melted enough. The slices turned out pretty good. The eggplant wasn’t crisp or anything like that, and some of the slices I had to hold with both hands because the middle sagged a bit, but I thought it ended up being a good way to make a pizza. It certainly is a lot healthier and lower in calories to use a vegetable as the base rather than using a grain-based crust. This is definitely something I plan to try again in the future. It made a good and satisfying dinner.
Chicken pot pie isn’t the easiest to find if you have to have a gluten-free version and also can’t have other ingredients in it. The one gluten-free brand I’ve been able to find at the store has guar gum in it. I ended up throwing something together by cooking some mixed vegetables (any kind of frozen mixed vegetables) in some broth with cornstarch added to make it thick. I’ll then pour that mixture into a dish with a can of chicken, add some seasoning, and mix. I found a recipe online for a cobbler where I took the crust recipe, made it gluten-free, and didn’t add the sugar. I would then pour that mixture on top of the meat and vegetables and bake in the oven, using my own judgment about when it’s done. Using the “pierce with knife and see if it comes out clean” method helps. I baked it in a 350-degree oven. This has turned out well for me also. I’ve even fixed it up the night before to carry into work for lunch the next day. I don’t make it often because it does take a while to prepare and bake.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different recipes in the kitchen. You may come up with something really interesting that you and others end up enjoying. Also, there’s always a sense of pride that comes with creating something that you and others love.
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