Take advantage and cook!

I know we are all social distancing right now. Most of us are staying at home and more importantly, eating at home, which means we have absolute control over what we eat. We don’t have to worry about restaurant cross-contamination or social interactions involving food. We are masters of our destiny.

So, take advantage of the time and space to create healthful, gluten free meals. I’ve made some things during these last few days that I don’t normally make. Things that take over an hour to prepare because I have the time. I’m also experimenting with some gluten free baking – which I NEVER do.

I haven’t had a hard time finding gluten free flours or baking mixes in the grocery stores, yet. My family is enjoying the gluten free treats – although I still hear the gluten counterparts are better. I made the Krustease Cinnamon Swirl Cake last night – it was gone when I woke up this morning because my family loves it. Next time, I’m going to make the “muffin” version and add M&M’s. I got the idea from a Publix recipe for chili and “Crayon Cakes“.

Experiment with marinades, sauces, and cooking methods. I’ve made my own Yum Yum sauce for chicken and seafood. Tomorrow, I’m going to attempt tempura. I also have the stuff to make the Ponzu sauce that goes with tempura. I might try some funnel cakes too. The ideas are endless!

Today, for lunch, I’m going to try putting hot dogs in the middle of gluten free cornbread muffins. Not really something I would normally try, but my mom saw it in a magazine and suggested it. I also can replicate my grandmother’s southern cornbread, which is completely different than the Krustease Gluten Free cornbread.

Before all of this staying at home, I made “Mall Chicken Teriyaki“. I used coleslaw mix with some broccoli to simulate the veggies and the marinade only required a swap to gluten free soy sauce.

Tonight, we are having a marinated flank steak, broccoli, and rice. Seems boring, but the marinade on the flank steak makes all the difference! I’m going to try this marinade tonight.

If you aren’t a confident cook, start easy. Make some chicken and veggies, but maybe try marinating the chicken or cooking the veggies in a new way. Or make a sauce – my personal faves are a PeriPeri, YumYum, or chimichurri sauces. I love grilling most any vegetables, except potatoes. I just don’t like them grilled, but I have “baked” potatoes on my grill.

I’ve linked several recipes, but I’m going to give you some homework. Find a recipe for your favorite food from before going gluten free and try it. Grocery stores are still well stocked. If you don’t want to go out, use Instacart, Shipt, or other service to get your supplies.

The internet is full of recipes both for the new cook and the more advanced cook. It is time to branch out. You can do it. If it is an epic failure, make sure you have a frozen gluten free pizza just in case. 😉

PS – I’ve been in a bit of a “corona funk” for the past 10 days and I’m sorry. I’m coming out of my funk and feel like things are looking up. When I say looking up, I mean my worst fears about this have not been realized – most importantly about food. So, as long as the grocery stores have food, I think I’ll be okay. I still am afraid that lots of people are going to get sick, overwhelm our healthcare system, that my children are going to be scarred from this for life, and that the economy is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. But, I cannot continue to dwell in that space. It isn’t good for me. So, I’m going to do the things that make me happy to the best of my ability, engage with my family, complete some overdue projects at the house, communicate with my friends, help where and when I can, and try to handle this a little better. That’s all I can do.

Remember to wash your hands and engage in social distancing and please follow the instructions from your local public health officials for additional instructions.

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