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Coming off of Hiatus and Celiac

Posted by Obake on Jul 6, 2011 in Ranting

Image by: Kimchaney

I am very sorry for the hiatus. I didn’t have a computer to myself for nearly a year. Then I lost interest in blogging for a while, and was a bit shy to continue this after such a long hiatus. Then something changed everything.

I got very sick with what I thought was food poisoning. And didn’t recover. For two months I suffered through constant gastrointestinal upset, gas, brain fog, and pelvic cramps. No matter what I ate it was the same thing, over and over with no relief. That may not seem like much, but I’d suspected Celiac or a wheat allergy for a long time, because I have a genetic predisposition for both. When I went to the doctor, she confirmed that my suspicion had weight to it. But, after tests, nothing came out abnormal enough to cause concern. Around that time, I developed extremely itchy hives and was miserable along with everything that had happened, with no answers to why. The next step was a gastroenterologist, and I couldn’t afford the expense of a biopsy on top of all the tests that were taken to come up with “normal” when I was very clearly sick. The itching was the last straw. I had intended to wait till I had reviewed the blood results, but I was driven beyond the edge of my tolerance.

So I went gluten free immediately. And within a week, everything that had plagued me for months (or years in the example of some symptoms) cleared. I was amazed by this. Then I was accidentally “glutened” and suffered for about a day straight, with guts that felt like I’d ingested acid. That was proof enough for me. Celiac or Wheat Allergy, the improvement was undeniable. If I didn’t have that proof, I would not at all have stuck with it. But it was very clear to me that wheat was making me sick, and I’ve never felt so good. Good in ways that are awkward and hard to describe, because I have no reference, good in ways I’ve never felt before.

I am not doing it because its trendy, or to lose weight, or because I want the holy grail of health, or the hundreds of things that we are pressured into wanting. This is not a diet. I am not doing this to be special, and honestly the whole thing is rather triggery for me for reasons I don’t really want to go into for this post. I am happy with the fact that it was this simple. I don’t need the doctor’s official diagnosis, and its not anyone’s business. I have read that over 90% of Celiac patients never get diagnosed. That’s huge. And it really said to me: Either you take the plunge and see if it helps you feel better, or you’ll continue to suffer while doctors fumble for an “official” diagnosis you may never get. I chose not to suffer. I figured, if it didn’t help me, then I would go back and let them poke me and prod me some more, but if it did, I had my answer. I was right. I trusted my body to give me the answer and got it.

Yes, I know that Celiac and Wheat Allergy are functionally different, but the end treatment is the the same: Stay off wheat. Ultimately, for me personally, its irrelevant. I will refer to myself using either term, because they’re interchangeable to me. The only people the difference really means something is a doctor. And even then, only in diagnosis. I don’t know that knowing for sure which it is would really change anything for me honestly.

I deleted all but my curry post, which is gluten free and I am starting over. I am keeping the name, because honestly making baked goods that are gluten free is a little bit like magic to me right now. Its baking alchemy. This will become my blog for talking out my journey, sharing my experiences, recipes, that sort of thing, where I rant about what annoys me about it. It will be everything I was afraid to do before, because I didn’t want to face it. So welcome back to Creating Magic Muffins!

 

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Magic Coconut Curry!

Posted by Obake on Apr 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

I love my crockpot, and I love curry. I also love experimenting with food. Thus, this curry, borne of Crepes of Wrath’s curry recipe, is what happens when I make a recipe over and over. The fun thing about curry is that it is VERY forgiving in the crockpot, so its ripe for experimentation! This is an easy curry, and the heat of it can be adjusted to taste. It is not, despite having bananas and apples in it, a sweet curry however! This recipe is modified for a 5-7 quart crockpot, so if you are using a smaller one, you will need to adjust the ingredients accordingly.

Start out with two pounds of chicken. I used chicken thigh parts, because those turn out the most tender and do not require slicing after they’re cooked. Most of the time you can flake these apart with the tip of your spoon once the curry is done, it will fall apart on its own.

Next, apples! You can use any kind of apple you like, but the tarter the better.

You’ll need three.

Core the apples, or if you don’t have a coring implement like me, cut the cores out. Do not peel them.

Chop and toss into the pot!

This is me planning poorly. Imagine that is a tomato? No? I had these instead, and thought “Why not?” and they got included. They are delicious in it and I don’t miss the tomatoes at all!

Chop and toss into the pot!

Next, onions. These are just your smallish plain yellow onions. Chop and toss into the pot!

Russet potatoes, scrubbed. You can use any potato here, and reduce them to your liking. They serve a few purposes: 1) they soak up all the delicious curry goo, 2) they act as a neutral filler, and 3) they thicken the dish, which negates the need for Wondra or flour at the end of cooking.

Chop them into medium sized pieces and toss them in. At this point your pot should be nearly full, but it will cook down in the course of cooking by about half.

Ok, try to get your yuck and ew out of your system now, I can wait. …done? Ok good! Chop 3 bananas and add them in!

Now to apply some heat! Add Jalapeno peppers to the mix! I did not seed mine, because we like it hot around here, but feel free to reduce or add peppers to your heat preference. This amount, unseeded, results in a moderately high amount of heat. Not enough to sweat, but probably above those that don’t like spicy food.

Here is the curry powder I use, you can get these for about $6 at pretty much any Asian market. A 5oz can of the red curry paste also works in this recipe.

You need three heaping tablespoons. I would not put less than two tablespoons curry powder in this recipe, but again, adjust to your own personal heat tolerance!

Next Coconut milk! You can find this in any moderately sized market with an “International” aisle, or your local Asian market. You CAN use reduced fat coconut milk in this recipe, it does not affect the taste at all! Dump it all into the pot.

Next is wine. White wine. I don’t like cooking with red wine, but white seems to be perfectly versatile! You want a kind of wine that is above Two Buck Chuck, but not a wine so expensive that you wouldn’t mind putting it into food instead of drinking it. Despite not knowing anything about wine, I would never put “cooking wine” into a dish like this, and you shouldn’t either. You need 1 cup of this, and pour it over everything.

Lastly, put about 4-6 cloves in, minced. If they’re roasted like these are, just drop them in as is.

Cook for six hours, and somewhere in between, give it a good stir.

Enjoy! Serve by itself, with naan, or over rice!

Magic Coconut Curry!

2lbs chicken, frozen or thawed

3 medium apples, diced

1 red pepper, diced

3 small yellow onions, diced

6 medium sized potatoes, diced

3 bananas, sliced

4 jalapeno peppers, finely diced

3 heaping tablespoons curry powder

1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk

1 cup white wine

4-6 cloves raw garlic, minced finely, or 4-6 cloves roasted whole

Combine ingredients in a 5-7 quart crockpot, and cook on high 6 hours, or on low for 9 hours. Stir halfway through. Serve plain, over rice.

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