August 26, 2010

mac and cheese, hold the gluten

I am actually working on a sewing project right now - it is just taking me an outrageous amount of time to complete because of poor planning on my part. I'm making a very cool bag for my very cool SIL, Amy, but I've been twice stalled in my stitching efforts by running out of supplies: first interfacing over the weekend, then gray thread on Monday. Arghhh! I think I've gotten myself organized now, though, and I should have it all done by this weekend (no sneak peeks, Ams - sorry!).

Anyways, I thought I'd share something with you that I am very excited about... Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese! Charlie asked me to make Mac and Cheese for his special birthday dinner, so I decided to take a chance and do a gluten-free version (that way I could eat it, too!).

Believe me, this tastes much yummier than I've made it look with my archaic point-and-shoot.

I've done a couple of other posts about gluten-free baking (here and here), and some readers have inquired why I am leaving out the gluten these days. About six months ago I found out that I have Hashimoto's Disease, which is an auto-immune disorder that affects the thyroid gland. After my diagnosis, I immediately compiled a bunch of research in order to give myself some sense of control. One of the books I purchased is called Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal? (which is an ingenious title because I believe that is the exact question that I Googled when looking for a book on Hashimoto's Disease!). The book's author, Dr. Datis Kharrazian, makes a compelling argument for the link between gluten intolerance and Hashimoto's Disease, suggesting that people affected by Hashimoto's should go gluten-free in order to keep their thyroid hormone levels in balance. So I went for it, and not only do I feel a lot better, I've also had two blood tests in the last six months that show normal thyroid hormone levels - this is either a total coincidence or it means the gluten-free diet is working! I'm hoping that I can just keep it going with my GF lifestyle, rather than having to take a thyroid hormone pill every day for the rest of my life. Fingers are crossed!

Now that I've submersed myself in this gluten-free way of eating, I am noticing that there are a lot of people who are finding themselves in a similar flourless boat. So, I thought maybe some of you would appreciate a little comfort food that can be easily executed minus the flour! Here's the easiest gluten-free mac and cheese recipe ever! (I found this recipe on Allrecipes and made some modifications to it to make it gluten-free).

1 cup Tinkyada gluten-free elbow pasta (or "Little Dreams" which I used upon Charlie's request)
1 cup milk
3 tbsp Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour
2 tbsp butter
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine milk, flour, salt and pepper. Add butter and cheese, then stir. Microwave for 5 minutes on high, remove and stir (or whisk) until smooth. Microwave for an additional 3 minutes, remove and stir (or whisk) until no lumps remain.

Add sauce to the pasta and carefully toss. Pour pasta into a baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.


A photo of a finished sewing project is forthcoming, scout's honor.

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