It finally looks like winter in Philadelphia. I've been here for over three years now, and this is the first winter that actually feels like one. Even though it's cold, I've been enjoying it through winter hikes, sliding across frozen streams, and purposefully fishtailing around in my truck. With that said I can't wait till it warms up a little; at least past freezing anyways.
I'm getting more and more amped about the research/education trip I'll be making to Chongqing this upcoming May. The prep work leading up to it is a bit overwhelming, but I'm sure everything will work out in the end. Being that I have to eat gluten free, I'll be taking along a couple handy dandy Chinese GF translation cards with me, as well as some activated charcoal tablets and a couple bottles of Glutenease or Glutenzyte. Activated charcoal is said to help remove gluten molecules from your intestinal lining. I've used it a few times after accidentally eating something laced with gluten and have had good results. I've never used Glutenease or Glutenzyte, but I've read good reviews. You're instructed to take them before eating anything that might contain gluten in order to lessen any negative effects. It's worth a try:)
I've lived in China, so I know that if I'm careful and adventurous, I'll be able to find great gluten free food all over the place. Even if I have to stick to flame grilled meat-kabobs, fire roasted yams, and squids on sticks, I'm sure I'll be fine! Either way I'll be documenting my epicuian adventures throughout May:)
Speaking of tasty adventures, this mac-n-cheese recipe is awesome! The mushrooms and thyme give it an amazing earthy aroma, and the dijon mustard adds a unique bite. Even though I charred the pine nuts a little, this still turned out to be some of the best mac-n-cheese I've had.
- 4 cups gluten free elbow or rigatoni pasta (I used Tinkyada elbows)
- 1/2 a pound of sliced button mushrooms
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 fresh sprigs of thyme
- 4 tbsp. gluten free flour (I used Bob's All Purpose GF Baking Mix)
- 1 tbsp. chicken base (I used Superior Touch, Better Than Bouillon)
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 tsp. celery salt
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
- Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil and cook macaroni until al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a heavy pan. Add the mushrooms and thyme. Cover and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the GF flour and remove from heat. Add the chicken base and continuously stir until completely blended.
- Stir in the milk a little at a time, mixing after each addition.
- Add the celery salt, Dijon mustard, Cheddar cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine will, then simmer for about 1-2 minutes, continuously stirring until the sauce thickens.
- Preheat the broiler to medium heat. Drain the macaroni well and toss it into the sauce. Mix it up and transfer to a baking dish.
- Top it off with the grated Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Broil it until brown and bubbly. Be careful not to burn the pine nuts like I did!
- Chow down!!!