Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hidden Gluten!

I'm getting so tired of hidden wheat in everything! I started making my own salad dressings using Good Seasons mixes. I thought this would be a much healthier alternative to bottled dressings and all of those ingredients I can't pronounce and I also thought it was step closer to being completely processed food free....the closer to the earth, the better for us. I've been feeling off lately and couldn't figure out what might be doing it. It's getting to the point where I can tell whether it's full blown exposure, large amount of gluten ingested or a trace amount which still causes symptoms just not as severe. I've been racking my brain trying to figure out which was the offending food. Steve told me that I need to start keeping a food diary which isn't a bad idea but on the day that I started monitoring my diet because I was starting a diet, I discovered where the gluten was coming from almost incidentally. I was mixing up our salad dressing last night and I just happened to flip over the pack of dressing mix to check fat and calories of "as prepared" for my diet diary and there in bold letters it said "contains wheat and soy sauce!" Who would have thought it? Steve says that he thinks I can season the dressing myself and I eventually did after some trial and error. It's not even that I hate this added inconvenience but more that I hate having to look at every single food label.  Already, I only use fresh fruits and vegetables, almond milk, and alternative flours. I know which dairy products don't include gluten (I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and most Greek yogurt.) I never buy deli or processed meats or fish (the fake crab meat is full of wheat.) I only eat bread and pastry that I make myself from scratch or guaranteed gluten free mixes(and I rarely use those because of those other ingredients that no one but a chemist knows what they are.) The only things that I buy in the center aisles of the grocery are frozen fruits and vegetables and the occasional gelato or gluten free pizza. Still, I would never have thought that a salad dressing mix would include wheat! Thankfully, the Ranch mix that I use in my plain yogurt to make a vegetable dip does not include wheat and neither does the taco seasoning which is another go-to quick flavor enhancer. The Mrs Dash also seems safe. I do grow my own rosemary and basil but I may have to increase the size of our herb garden next year just so I know that my spice shelf is gluten free.

Copy Cat Good Seasons Dressing Mix Recipe

Ingredients

  • Dry mix
  • 1 tbls. garlic salt
  • 1 tbls. onion powder
  • 1 tbls. sugar
  • 2 tbls. oregano
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tbls. parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. celery salt
  • 2 tbls. salt
  • I got the recipe above off of the internet. I plan to make some changes to it because I prefer the Garlic and Herb dressing which isn't as sweet as the Italian (so no sugar or sweet herbs) but this is a good starting place. 
    And here is a recipe from my friend, Ken Redmon, for what sounds like a delicious buttermilk/ranch dressing. I can't wait to try it.

    Buttermilk Dressing
    2/3 cup mayonaise
    1/3 cup buttermilk
    1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    2 teaspoons honey
    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    salt / pepper

    Combine and chill at least two hours in the refrigerator before serving. Can be kept up to 4 days in the fridge.
    Lately, I have been using Hellman's Canola mayo and fat-free buttermilk for a more sensible dressing. It's still very special.
    Rice wine vinegar works very well too.

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