Love is living with longing

By Mir
October 18, 2006

Dear Gluten,

I miss you. Although I try to soldier on without you, with each passing day I feel your absence ever more keenly. There is a hole in my life I am left trying to fill. Try though I might to find your equal, the reality is that you are unique and irreplaceable.

Please come back before I cook again.

It’s true that if I fed Monkey nothing but cheese he’d probably forget all about you in short order. But, silly me, I keep trying this “balanced diet” thing. And I don’t know if I can do it without you.

This afternoon I whipped up chocolate chip cookies without you, and to my surprise they passed muster not only with my children, but with two additional children who’d come to play. The incident buoyed me, and I confess; I got cocky. “Ha!” I’d thought, “I don’t need you anymore! I can make it on my own!”

And that’s when it all went horribly awry.

The next thing I knew, I was boiling Quinoa pasta for dinner. First of all, did you know that it’s pronounced “keen-wa” rather than “quinn-oh-ah?” How pretentious. That should’ve been my first clue that it was an imposter of the highest order.

And the sauce. Lord, the sauce. Could I stick to just tomato? No, I was heady with success and and, apparently, delusional. I added broccoli, and then I threw the entire thing into the blender. Now, you and I both know that broccoli with pasta can be awesome. But pureed? For people over the age of 1? What was I thinking?

So then I had horrible imitation pasta topped with lumpy, grainy, questionably- flavored sauce.

Without you to save the day, I did the only thing I could. I topped it all off with liberal handfuls of cheese.

All four children ate it all up. I heaved a sigh of relief. I also didn’t eat any, because I thought it tasted horrible.

Do you see? DO YOU? I am nothing without you, and I can’t keep up this charade much longer. Please come back into our lives. And bring linguine.


P.S. If you must continue to stay away, I shall try to respect that. But I’m putting the blender back into the cabinet for my own protection.

P.P.S. Happy Love Thursday.


  1. Lady M

    Good luck with the un-gluten life. Our friends (the ones with the trampoline/newts) had two wedding cakes, one gluten-free.

    In an attempt to eat healtheir, I bought some tofu “hot dogs.” SwingDaddy was disgusted by his attempt, and dared me to eat one. I ate two molecules before throwing away the whole package. I should have used your tip and smothered it in cheese.

  2. Nic

    Seeds of Change does a couple of nice quinoa blend side dishes if you are a fan of easy “out-of-the-box” food, as I am. I don’t know that it meets your specific gluten requirements, though. It doesn’t list gluten, but perhaps it is disguised as something else.

    But any way you slice it, everything is better with cheese, and you’ll always have that option. Good luck.

  3. Kay

    Love of food that is not so healthy … we have too much of that in our home.

    Happy Love Thursday. Mine’s up. Care to drop by?

  4. Cele

    I always says (kind of like a mantra) If you learn from your mistakes they were worth making. But I have to ask, What were you thinking?

  5. Muirnait

    I was talking today to a friend who is celiac and could possibly get some recipes for you, if you like? My friend Darryl’s parents have also been celiac for years, and his mum’s pretty good at making still-yummy foods.

  6. Elleana

    How is the gluten free diet going? Notice any difference yet? (I’m not exactly sure how these things work.)

    And the motto around here is: if you put enough cheese on it, (almost) anything’s edible. It is too bad that he can’t exist solely on a diet of cheese!

  7. hollygee

    Tinkyada brown rice pasta is THE ONLY substitute worth buying (it has been better than acceptable to my gluten eating friends). I’ve been told that there is an even more expensive Italian rice pasta that’s better, but it must be rationed to the US because I’ve never found it anywhere.

    I make a broccoli pasta sauce. Saute chopped broccoli in olive oil with liberal amounts of minced garlic, hot chili flakes and italian herbs (maybe some fennel seeds, too?) and add a couple of spoonfuls of boiling pasta water. Best with some parmesan/feta, but also good on it’s own. Doesn’t exactly sound kid-friendly, though, does it?

    I think you will find that you can make good cakes, pies, muffins, pancakes, waffles, and most cookies with your usual recipes. I have an easier time with more shortbread type cookies than the drop type, but I haven’t tried those in a while. Hmmm, maybe it’s time to bake.

  8. Juliness

    About a year ago I made the switch to whole wheat pasta and don’t miss the other stuff at all. I’ve never tried the quinoa stuff but after your post, I don’t feel any urge to do so. Even covered in cheese.

    But I am happy to hear the kiddos snarfled it down!

  9. chris

    I will bring lots of gluten to the cave.

  10. Anita

    I’m glad you had success with the cookies. As Hollygee said, Tinkyada rice pasta is the only way to go. It doesn’t turn mushy even if you get distracted by shiny things and overcook the pasta.

  11. Susan

    Cookie recipie, please? Or just a cookie. Whatever’s easier.

  12. Karen Rani

    You WILL master this. I know you will.
    Happy Love Thursday! (Mine is up too, by the way)

  13. Bob

    I always knew you were a gluten glutton. I suspect there will be a secret stash of gluten goodies so that when the kinder are out you can satisfy your addiction. there’s probably a 12-step program out there for freaks (uh, troubled people) like you.

  14. MMM

    I’m so sorry for your (gluten) loss :( My thoughts are with you at this difficult time. ;)

  15. Chris

    There is a great “Gluten Free Pantry” (that is the name) in Glastonbury, CT. We used to live there and alot of our friends had kids who had to be wheat free. They swear by it. I guess they have some awesome things there, They do ship. They have newsletters, recipes, the whole shebang. The owners are the Hillson’s. Go on over and have a look.

  16. Mit_Moi


    Here’s my favorite Quinoa recipe via the San Francisco Chronicle cookbook. When ever I bring it to a dinner party as a side dish I get asked for the recipe … even from “traditional” eaters. (i.e. The I only like meat and potatoes crowd, don’t give me any of your gourmet food.)

    There are also some other recipes if you search their archives for Quinoa. I’ve found that my own “creative” recipes don’t always work out too well. :-(


    — 2 tablespoons butter

    — 1 shallot, finely chopped

    — 2 cups canned low- salt chicken broth

    — 1 teaspoon dried thyme

    — 1 cup quinoa, rinsed

    — 1/4 cup currants

    — 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

    INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot; saute 5 minutes. Add broth, thyme, quinoa and currants. Bring to a boil. Cover tightly and transfer to oven. Bake until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff pilaf with a fork. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with almonds.

    Serves 6.

    PER SERVING: 255 calories, 8 g protein, 32 g carbohydrate, 12 g fat (3 g saturated), 10 mg cholesterol, 242 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.

  17. Aimee

    You say “keen-wa” I say “quinn-oh-ah,” you say good-bye-ah, and I say hello-ah.

    Yeah, I need coffee.

  18. MamaDuck

    Ah yes, we have a lot of that in our extended family, kept Lil’ Duck off it for his first year+…… great idea for Love Thursday!

  19. karrie

    Quinoa also tastes better if you cook it in chicken broth. I usually dump it into the crockpot and forget about it for a few hours, and find it tastes much better prepared that way vs. stove top.

    I empty it into a large bowl and toss with stir-fried tri-color pepper mix (frozen, TJs), garlic, sliced olives, chunks of cooked chicken breast and feta. S&P to taste, and a drizzle of evoo.

  20. Kimmie

    OK—-the whole blender thing reminded me of the summer I had jaw surgery and my mom put everything in the blender for me to eat. Horrible flashback. I need to go lay down now.

  21. Pastormac's Ann

    Can’t even imagine how hard un-gluten cooking would be. I think we’d starve.

    At the kids ate it!

  22. Busy Mom

    So. Are you a gluten for punishment?

    Yeah, not so helpful, am I?

  23. wookie

    I like the rice pasta. But I am weird.

    I’ve blendered zuchinni into my pasta sauce, but never broccoli. That just doesn’t seem like it would blender very well.

    Be wary of your soy and worshtishishter (you know what I mean) sauces… in fact any sauces. Some have gluten, some not. The Johnsonville puck shaped breakfast sausages here are sold with no wheat-fillers. They quarter up nicely for sauces.

    Meatballs can also be made with canned lentils and cooked rice (and egg) to hold them together instead of breadcrumbs or oatmeal.

  24. Flamenco Mom

    Living gluten-free can be really tough, especially at the beginning. I’ve been feeding my daughter gluten-free and casein-free for about five years now, and I find I’m always learning new things. Best of luck!

  25. Carrie

    You must try the Tinkyada Rice pastas. They taste and feel (texture) just like regular pastas. We recently started the shif to gluten free. Tis painful. Here are a couple of kid-approved gluten-free products and recipes that we like :

  26. Melanie

    Ugh, I can’t imagine life without gluten. I am too carb-addicted to even think about it. I hope gluten can come back and live in your house again soon!

  27. Michelle

    Had no idea it was keen-wa. Been a foody cretin all this time and never knew it.

  28. Mom101

    Oh darling…all I can say is a dear friend’s son has celiacs. He was diagnosed a couple years ago and I don’t think he’s even four. While I definitely turn down my nose at all her gluten-free recipes, she did make some scones for a shower, and without telling us what was (not) in them, I ate like fourteen. If you want I can hook you up…

  29. rachel

    stay away from the quinoa pasta!

    Trader Joes rice noodles or the Tinkyada ones are the only ones worth buying.

    Glad the cookies were good. about 99% of my cooking passes muster with people who don’t know what’s in them. :)

  30. rachel

    oh, and here’s what I was told during our transition:

    let them eat whatever makes them happy (without gluten & in our case dairy & soy) for a couple weeks. It won’t kill them. My kids ate a ton of brownies and cookies.

    Then they started eating anything I put in front of them. Tonight we had Karen of Choonkooloonks’ pelau. yum.

    I’m a braggart about my cooking. :) sorry. we eat really well.

  31. Elizabeth

    You used the word “Lord” in this post, and this popped up in your Google ads: God Wants You Well
    See What God Has Provided For His Children To Overcome Gout

    God has provided GOUT medicine! It’s a miracle!

  32. Gina

    Yes, indeed.. Rice pasta is the way to go. Quinoa is a great for cooking like rice (ie boil it up, faster than brown rice) but doesn’t make very good pasta. It’s slightly bitter, so when used in cookies and bread, you’ll need a bit more sweetner… but it’s a nice flour!

    We grind our own with a really simple grain grinder (can find them online). Also make and use millet and buckwheat flour. Don’t worry, you’ll survive!!!

  33. MamaLee

    After many years of suffering, my mother in law was finally diagnosed with celiac and now feels so much better. Yes, many of those gluten-free recipes are pretty…let’s say…gross. I’m sure that there are some foods that are better than others. My mil recently made stuffed peppers with quinoa, and they were AWESOME.

    Now there is a chance that my HUSBAND has celiac. I’ll be in your same boat, trying new recipes. My poor kids, and my poor tummy. Never mind the restaurants that are not accomodating to such a diet. I do feel for you!

  34. Carolie

    I promise, REALLY yummy recipes here:

    along with some great links.

    Tried to post this once before, but it didn’t post for some reason.

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