Facing Fears

One of my biggest fears growing up, and let's be honest, a little even now when I'm all "grown up," was thunderstorms. I hated the pounding noise, the flashing lightning, and the torrential rain that usually accompanied all of it. I would hide under quilts, hide in windowless rooms, and basically do whatever I could to avoid seeing and experiencing this "weather." My fear was so strong that I got a book about thunderstorms to try and calm myself through knowledge about meteorology. It worked for about a second, and I continued to fear them for years.

So, how do thunderstorms relate to gluten free eating and cooking? Well, my fear of cooking is not nearly close to that of bad weather (when I was little) and I'm very grateful that my husband loves to cook ( I'm learning!), but my fear of non-gluten-free food is very real. As I think it is for everyone with Celiac and other food-related restrictions. One false move, one missed crumb, one cross-contaminated French fry, and fear sets in immediately. I'm not going to run under the covers, but I am taking special precautions to make sure I eat safely in every situation.


And that's what brings us to making a safe pasta and meat sauce, on our favorite day, Pasta Tuesday (I really need to get that branded. Ha!). As usual, we decided to make a pasta meal on Tuesday night because it somehow always ends up that way. 


Recently, we decided to switch out beef for lean turkey in our meat sauce and I think we are all healthier for it. While beef is delicious, I don't think it's truly necessary for a successful meat sauce. You may feel differently, but I find that the flavor is just as good and it's healthier for a weeknight meal. We save the splurge meals for the weekends, usually. ;-)


For pasta and meat sauce, we also make homemade tomato sauce with local plum tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil from our balcony garden, and a little thyme. It's delicious and super simple to prepare! In fact, there's an article in this section all about it. 


What I love most about our pasta and meat sauce is that it's made right in our own kitchen, and the "fear factor" is entirely out of the picture. Yes, I've gone to restaurants that serve GF pasta and enjoyed it. And yes, I trusted the restaurant enough to prepare my meal safely. However, there's no sure thing when you're out that the meal will truly be 100% safe unless the restaurant is entirely gluten free. And for people with Celiac, and other gluten free requirements, that's not always a risk we're willing to take. 


I'd love to know what some of your favorite gluten free meals are to make at home, and which ones you're wary of trying when you're out on the town, even though you've been told they are safe. Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 


Disclaimer: I wrote this article because I'm confident my fear of thunderstorms has dissipated significantly, although lightning still makes me jump. Don't try and serve me a regular dinner roll though, because I'll hide under my napkin. ;-)