I am a pasta junky. Correction: I am a pasta AND cheese junky. For most of my life, macaroni and cheese has been my go-to comfort food. I like it best the way my dad made it when I was a kid. A giant bag of dried elbow macaroni, cooked al dente plus a block of melted Velveeta cheese. Stir, sprinkle liberally with black pepper. Devour. I love it best when it's had a chance to set up over night in the fridge. I eat cold straight out of the container. Yum!
But as I've gotten older, I've come to notice that there are two kids of food that I'm just not able to tolerate any more (and it's more than likely I was never able to tolerate these foods.) Both wheat and dairy make me terribly uncomfortable. It's not unusual for me to get heartburn from eating wheat products (pasta is the biggest culprit, followed closely by bread, tortillas, and cereal bars.)
After doing a little research on my symptoms, I'm feeling pretty confident that I have a pretty good case of wheat sensitivity (not to mention lactose intolerance, but I always knew that and chose to ignore it.)
I'm been eating a wheat free diet for the last 10 days and the change has been very noticeable. I feel better physically and mentally. I also find that I don't have the same kind of spikes and dips in my blood sugar. Wheat free eating is a great thing, but it does mean that my old comfort food just isn't going to work any more.
Enter my new favorite recipe! Southwest Quinoa Salad! It's gluten free, casein free, vegan, and has 4 Points Plus value per serving (in case ant WWs are reading this.) The delicious tang of the CSA tomatoes with beans, corn, and creamy avocado just blew that ol' mac 'n cheese right out of the water. A really great recipe for summer, I hope you'll try it.
Southwest Quinoa Salad (GF, CF, Vegan, 4 PP+)
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 small avocado, diced
Juice of a small lime
Salt to taste
1) Cook quinoa according to package directions. Allow to cool.
2) Prepare beans, corn, onion, tomatoes, lime juice, and salt. Combine in a bowl.
3) Add cooled quinoa.
4) Allow to chill for a couple of hours as flavors meld.
5) Add diced avocado just before serving.