Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy GF/CF Thanksgiving

As many parents with autistic children are following a gluten-free/casein-free diet, I thought I would share recipes Pamela could eat in our Thanksgiving feast. My mother found an awesome and completely gf/cf recipe for cranberry fruit conserve. The only change I made was I skipped the zest (which I detest) and used only one cup of sugar. Mom gave me two lemons and pecans fresh off the tree! Everybody raved about the conserve, and they were none the wiser about its lack of zest!

I made two kinds of gf/cf pie: a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie. For the pumpkin pie filling, I follow the directions on the back of a can of Libby's 100% pure pumpkin, substituting coconut milk for evaporated milk. For the pecan pie filling, I follow the directions on the back of the Karo light corn syrup bottle for classic pecan pie, substituting coconut milk for butter. For the shell of each, I made a pecan nut crust. For one shell, grind up about 1 1/2 cups of pecans with 1/4 cup of gf/cf flour (I used sorghum) in a food processor or blender until you have a fine meal. I poured the meal into a bowl. I boiled water, added one tablespoon of hot water to the meal, and mixed it together. Because the meal did not form a ball, I kept adding a tablespoon of hot water and stirred until a ball formed. I oiled a pan and pressed the meal into a pan with a small pizza dough roller to smooth out the shell. I added the filling and baked as prescribed in the recipe.

I made mashed potatoes by boiling four peeled and cubed baking potatoes and a head of peeled garlic. Once they were soft, I mashed the potatoes with a mixer and added salt and olive oil to taste. They were not as fluffy as those made with butter and milk, but very tasty. My mother made a standard gravy out of cornstarch, stock, and salt.

I made both two half loaves of cornbread, one for cornbread and one for stuffing. To make a loaf of cornbread, I mixed the dry ingredients in one bowl (1 1/2 cups cornmeal, a half cup gf/cf flour--sorghum, a teaspoon sea salt, and a tablespoon gf/cf baking powder) and beat the wet ingredients in another bowl (two tablespoons honey, two eggs, 1 1/4 cup coconut milk, and two tablespoons oil). I added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stirred gently. Then I poured the mixture into an oiled 1.5-quart loaf pan and baked in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes.

I baked a typical Southern style of cornbread stuffing. I chopped two stalks of celery, half an onion, and four ounces mushrooms and sautéed it in olive oil. At the last minute I added two tablespoons of minced garlic to the sautéed mixture so it would not burn. I chopped half a cup pecans and two boiled eggs. I cubed a half loaf of cornbread. Then I mixed it all together with three eggs and my favorite stuffing seasonings (thyme, marjoram, and sage). I added several cups gf/cf chicken stock until the mixture was moist. I poured it all in an oiled dish and baked it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees until the top looked crusty.

Pamela's special diet, which brought about tremendous improvement in her quality of life, reminds me of a person for whom I am thankful and whom I never met. That is Dr. Bernard Rimland. His newsletters gave me all kinds of wonderful ideas for helping Pamela, and I still look up information to this day. He died on Tuesday and that is a great loss to the autism community.


Anonymous said...

Looks absolutely yummy! Dianne

walking said...

A reader sent me an email asking for more information about the gluten-free casein-free diet.
I read the statement you made about the gf/cf for your daughter and was hoping you can give me advice about starting my son on a gf/cf diet. I'm entirely new to the idea and don't know where to start. I'm hoping there links you can tell me about, lists of foods to avoid, recipes etc that can help.

Two Web Sites:
The GFCF Diet Web Site
The Autism Network for Dietary Intervention

Three Helpful Books:
Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and PDD – A Mother’s Story of Research and Recovery tells you why the diet helps some kids from one family's perspective and a scientist's perspective.
Special Diets for Special Kids tells you how to implement the diet and has recipes.
Special Diets For Special Kids TWO is a sequel with 175 new recipes and meal plans.

Research Summaries:
2002 Study
2001 Study
1999 Study Part I
1999 Study Part II
Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Diet and enzymes:
Enzyme Therapy
Enzymes as a Supplement Only

Letters from Parents:
Registered Dietician in 2001
Several Children Improving in 1997
Diet and Donna Williams in 1995
Positive Response in 1993

You can find plenty of research at the online archives of the Autism Research Review International.

Most large health food stores carry products labeled gluten-free or casein-free. You do have to learn how to label read. We drive an hour once a month to a really awesome health food store to stock up for Pamela. Hopefully you can find something reasonable.

The biggest tip is to do it slowly. Kids can go through withdrawal symptoms by going "cold turkey." It is better to start gradually. Look at your son's diet and start finding easy things to replace. If he eats cereal, there are all kinds of GF/CF cereals available.

Then look at another kind of food your son eats and find a way to replace it with a GF/CF alternative. There are even GF/CF Oreo cookies!

When we started on this diet in 1995, there was NOTHING! It is really exciting to see all of these wonderful products in the marketplace!


Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

What year was this? can I link it to mine and send it to a local yahoo group I am on (EDM...everydaymiracles.) This is GREAT! I am not looking forward to the holidays.

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

did you pre-bake the pie crusts?

walking said...

Good question, Queen Mum!

Yes, I pre-baked the crust for about ten minutes!

Danna said...

I just found your post while looking for dairy free pumpkin pie recipes and I had a question as your recipe is the one with the least amount of crazy ingredients! :) How was the texture of the pie, & would you make it again? We have been completly dairy free for 3 years and I have yet to make one of the pumpkin pie recipes again! :) Thanks!

walking said...

I have been making this recipe for quite a long time . . . I would say about six years and my family loves it!

Debra said...

I worry about finding tasty gluten free recipes as gluten has been linked to autism and I prefer to just avoid it all together. I’ve tried tons of different recipes and expensive “organic foods” from the stores but I recently came across this website . Rose Cole who is the nutritionist behind the site puts up all these great gluten free recipes in her Holiday Cookbook that are easy and affordable. I think I’m actually looking forward to cooking on the holidays for once. Lol

Jane D. said...

I found this great site with loads of Dairy Free Holiday recipes. I recommended it to my sister who has an autistic child and she loves it. There is also a cool video on the bottom of the page where Rose Cole (founder) is making one of her recipes

walking said...

I just want to add one more recipe. Since 2006, mainstream companies have become aware of the gluten-free market. This year, we made biscuits with Gluten-Free Bisquick using the recipe on the back of the box. They were so delicious Pamela told her dad that the rest of the biscuits were hers.