Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Eat My Gluten-Free Dust, Campbell's

OK, maybe my title is a bit harsh. I mean no disrespect to the fine folks at the Campbell Soup Company, who have been cranking out cans of soup since the dawn of time. I might be slightly envious of the whole portable, heat and eat, "Mmm Mmm Good" thing. However, in reality, there are times when I appreciate my wife's Celiac Disease. I know if my wife could eat whatever she wanted we would never look back. But really, gluten free cooking has forced allowed me to actually learn how to cook. I've discovered something that I enjoy and take pride in being able to do. Had I never met my wife, or if she didn't have Celiac, I would be eating a lot more prepackaged, made last year in a sweatshop, mechanically processed food. Instead, I get to create something that is all my own. Is regular pizza good? Yes. Is making pizza from scratch an accomplishment that you might not have experienced if you didn't eat gluten free? Absolutely. Think of it like all of the "art" your kids make you. Is a Monet painting beautiful? Yes. Is a sheet of notebook paper with fifty tiny penguin stickers in one corner, next to puffy fluorescent orange and green dinosaur stickers, with swirls from five different Crayons interlaced on the paper a masterpiece from a three year old? Absolutely. I'll take that over a Monet any day. In fact, I just happen to have that North Pole meets Land Before Time masterpiece on my refrigerator right now. My whole point, if there is one, is that while a gluten free diet can be frustrating and restrictive at times, it can also be adventurous and creative. I can't think of another time in my life that I've focused on food the way I do now. When my wife and I find a new food in the store or a restaurant serving gluten free items, we feel like we've just discovered buried treasure. We are almost giddy and want to give our support to the businesses making an effort to cater to restrictive diets. We're excited to share our discovery with others and let people in on the secret. Note: This analogy is used for illustrating a point only. If I really find buried treasure, there will be no sharing or letting anyone in on the secret. Wow, that sure is a lot of rambling leading up to a recipe for homemade chicken noodle soup. This is a meal that I can almost guarantee I would have never made from scratch if my wife didn't have Celiac. As it turns out, this soup far surpasses anything I have eaten out of a can.
Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup:
From Bette Hagman's: "The Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy"
1/3 Cup bean flour (I use Garfava flour)
1/3 Cup cornstarch
1/3 Cup tapioca starch
2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs Olive oil
2 large eggs
1 Tbs oil
1 medium onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
4 ribs of celery (chopped) (reserve half)
2-3 large carrots (sliced) (reserve half)
3 quarts chicken broth (I happened to made homemade for this, but I usually used Pacific Foods Chicken Broth)
about a pound of cooked chicken meat (leftovers are great here) (reserve half)
1-1/2 tsp Sage
1-1/2 tsp Thyme
2 Bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste (about 1-2 tsps each)
In a large stockpot over medium heat, add oil and saute onion, garlic, and half of the carrots and celery for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, 1/2 the chicken meat, Sage, Thyme, Bay leaves, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. While the soup it simmering, check the flavor of the broth periodically. Adjust seasonings as you see fit. After 20 minutes of simmering, add remaining chicken, carrots, celery, and uncooked pasta. Cook for and additional 6-10 minutes.

For the noodles: whisk dry ingredients together. Add eggs and oil. Mix thoroughly. The dough is very sticky. Once the dough is mixed, press it into a thick disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place dough in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Remove dough from the freezer. On a cornstarch or tapioca starch covered surface, cut the disc into four equal pieces. Roll until thin enough to go through a pasta maker or roll very thin and cut noodles by hand with a knife. I used a pasta attachment for my KitchenAid Mixer. I rolled it through a flat roller attachment twice to reduce the thickness. I then used a Fettuccine attachment to cut the noodles.

Eat up and take pride in your culinary treasure. Enjoy!!!


  1. I still haven't tried the pasta attachment that came with my mixer. Guess it's a power tool guy thing. Your noodles look great.

  2. I agree with you. We eat better and I'm much more creative with cooking and before I had celiac. I love chicken noodle soup. Yours looks great.

  3. Those noodles look amazing! I hadn't thought of the freezer trick for getting sticky doughs to handle well. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Aren't noodles remarkably simple? Who would have thought? :)

  5. Gee, sure wish I had seen this post before I gave away my pasta maker attachment. Thought I would never use it. This looks so good!

    PS I added you to my blog roll.

  6. Oh, about the whole gluten free open doors thing, well said. We feel exactly the same way. It has forced us to think about what we eat and we are better off for it. It has also forced us to try so many things we wouldn't have otherwise have tried or even heard of before ie teff which we love.