Monday, January 18, 2010

Coeliac stuff, sun dried tomato pesto and costco

* So according to my specialist my coeliac antibodies levels are impressively high, I wonder if it was all those years of eating gluten based mockmeats, especially during my year in Hong Kong.
* The specialist said that I can eat gluten up until my biopsy in a couple of weeks time, which is awesome because I have been seeing it as a chance to say goodbye to all of my gluteny favourite foods except since I stopped eating it, I have been really really really sick whenever I eat it, I can finally see the link between my health problems and gluten. I might actually voluntarily stop beforehand because I want to be well.
* People with coeliac's disease often have issues with the absorption of vitamins and minerals, that can lead to other problems like osteoporosis, which is why constant low iron or b12, is often a sign that you should tested for coeliac disease, although most doctors seem to be pretty oblivious. I've always had low iron, even in my pre-vegan years and stomach related issues for years, and despite seeing several specialists and doctors I was never tested, until now. I was a little nervous about getting the results of my calcium, b12 etc knowing that my body might not be absorbing them either. Also, i've been vegan for 6-7 years and have been a pretty slack vegan when it comes to taking vitamins/minerals and am a bit of a junk vegan as you can probably tell from this blog. But, my calcium, b12, creatinine, potassium, are all ok. Yay!!!!! The only low ones are my iron (which is up from it's normally low place thanks to the expensive but effective red iron) and my vitamin d which is slightly low. I'm off to get some deva multivitamins though now from here and I might even try to get more sun.
* I'm having a gluten free vegan potluck on 26th Feb fri night in Brunswick, if you are interested in coming, email me at inthemoodfornoodles (at) gmail (dot) (com)

I got to go to Costo on the weekend with a member and come back a little poorer but with lots of bulk items like gluten free museli bars, tinned tomatoes, a giant jar of sundried tomatoes, a bag of almonds, 1kg of cherries (more on that later), maple syrup, frozen blueberries and 4 blocks or organic dark chocolate. It was awesome, and I restrained myself from buying giant bags of american potato chips, giant size hommous and lots more.

Anyway on to the food we made, I've started my first trial with gluten free pasta. Toby made the sundried tomato pesto from ppk, which is super easy, we ignored the advice and used the jar kind and eliminated the first step, we also used regular almonds instead of silvered and it didn't seem to make a difference.

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (not the kind in a jar)
2 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Fresh ground pepper and a dash of salt

In a sauce pan soak sundried tomatoes in boiling water til covered by an inch. Leave to soak for 10-15 minutes til soft.
In a blender or food processor combine the sundried tomatoes and its soaking water, garlic, olive oil, slivered almonds, nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan, fresh ground pepper and a dash of salt. Process til smooth.

He then added the pesto to the pasta and mixed over low heat. We tried the Orgran vegetable rice pasta spirals. I was half expecting the pasta to be a little like cardboard, like wholewheat pasta, but it was actually alright. Maybe not quite as smooth as regular pasta, but really ok. I can still have comforting pasta carbs, yay!

As for the pesto, it was super quick to made, tasty and we will definitely make it again. Toby added cannellini beans to this dish, but it really does need some veggies too, we just didn't have any.

We added nooch to the top (instead of putting it in the pesto itself).


  1. i've notices that some asian grocery stores have rice pasta (not sure why). i've never tried it, but it would almost be certain that it would be cheaper than the organ stuff. from memory little saigon stocks it (but its not really something i look out for) - might be worth giving a shot next time your round that side of town.

  2. That sundried tomato pesto sounds pretty amazing. And great news about most of your nutrient levels!

  3. I love pesto pasta & don't actually find gluten free pasta too be too awful. I am dying to go to Costco, one of my friends is a member & keeps promising to take me & I am so excited to wheel around a giant trolley & buy giant amounts of things.

  4. That costco swag sounds good - I have been avoiding the place but this is tempting - although I have so little room in my kitchen I dread the idea of coming home with lots of bulk buys

    your tests sound interesting - that is excellent that your calcium and b12 are good. I have heard that it is important not to give up gluten before the biopsy or you might get a false negative - though I am not sure where I heard it

    I hope I can come to your potluck as I have some ideas for cheesy gf foods (is it still cheesy?)

  5. Good to hear the gluten-free pasta wasn't too bad. Also great news about your nutrient levels.

    Yeah, it's crazy that we have Clif bars and you guys don't. If you want I could send you over some to try.

  6. Kham-ing, that's a good idea!

    Vicki, I know it's actually alright, wholemeal pasta on the other hand is not so great.

    Thanks theresa!

    Johanna, we don't have much room either so Toby wasn't as excited by my purchases :-) And your right about having to eat it, I do have to eat gluten up until the biopsy.

    Valla, thanks for sweet offer about clif bars, maybe we could do an exchange although I imagine you can get most aussie vegan products.

  7. This looks so heavenly! Might I ask what type of nutritional yeast you use? I bought one at a natural foods store in Canberra once that was quite, hmm, (hard to describe) acidic and lemon-y in flavour, then I found one called Engevita that seemed to have more of the nutty/cheesy flavour I'd been led to expect. Is there a particular brand you could recommend? I'd love to try out this recipe!

  8. Wayfaring, I use blue lotus. I really like, but haven't had any other brands to compare it.

  9. Thanks Kristy! I'm going to keep my eyes out for that one both overseas and when I get back in Aus. :)