Monday, May 21, 2012

The Gluten Free Challenge- Lemon, Broccolini & Goats Cheese Pasta

In the last six months I have become very close with a new friend who is gluten intolerant. This has been a new journey for me discovering what she can and can't eat, and challenging myself to cook dishes that she can safely eat.

Recently, she has suggested that I challenge myself by eating gluten free for a week just for the health benefits, and so I can tell her how much different things really do taste when I eat the gluten free version. I don't think I can commit to a week just yet, especially with a bit on in the next fortnight... but I have decided to set myself a chellange of cooking at least one gluten free meal per week.

After some research I have discovered that there are several benefits to eating gluten free regardless of whether you suffer from Coeliac's Disease or not, such as:
- weight loss
- lowering cholesterol
- enhanced digestion
- boost in energy
- reduced joint pain
- enhanced mood
- improved sleep
- decrease in symptoms for Autism sufferers

I have been enjoying this muesli for quite a while now. The consistancy can be a little weird, with the grains sticking together and having to be broken apart but I quite like the flavour and the texture and often enjoy it with fresh berries (when they are not ridiculously expensive) and some Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of Chia seeds.

For my first attempt at cooking a completely gluten free meal, I turned to a very delicious looking recipe from a fellow local blogger- Lemon, Broccolini and Goats Cheese Pasta.

I was unable to find the multigrain and quinoa gluten free pasta even though it sounds super yummy, so I used gluten free buckwheat pasta. I also added a chopped red chilli (seeds removed), a teaspoon of garlic and a handful of cashews (my Nan used to make this vegetable pasta with cashews for me, so I think I may have been channelling that, as well as my inability to follow any recipe directly!). The result was really yummy. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the consistency of the pasta. I often eat wholemeal pasta anyway, and it was really no different to that. I would not hesitate in eating it again.

I know goats cheese is really an acquired taste, but I quite love it so didn't really mind the rich, bitter cheese flavour. It is a great way for the lactose intolerant to enjoy a creamy pasta dish.

I made two mistakes with this dish. 1) I used lemon juice from one of those squeezy containers rather than fresh lemon (blashphemy, I know!) and for a dish that relies on the zesty lemon flavour, it really didn't do the job. I won't make that mistake again! 2) Between Safeway, Coles, 2 fruit shops and IGA I could only find one bunch of broccolini, so used that along with some broccoli also. Whilst the brocollini stayed firm and delicious, the broccoli cooked too quickly and went quite mushy.

It is a dish I would definitely make again though, and in comparison to when I have eaten your usual creamy pasta dish I felt much more nourished and less bloated afterwards.

1 comment:

  1. yay glad you liked it!
    seeing as i am super allergic to dairy i love the goats cheese sauce - almost feels a bit like a carbonara..minus the bacon!!
    definitely need the fresh lemon. lemon + broccoli is my new fav combination and sometimes i make this without the pasta but with chopped natural roasted almonds as a side salad. now its time for me to try some of your recipes!! xx


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