In recent years, we’ve been hearing more about gluten-free diets and Celiac disease. There are surprisingly a large number of people who are sensitive to gluten or already have Celiac disease. To clarify this further, the Mayo Clinc website (www.mayoclinic.com) states that this disorder is “a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is primarily found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. People with celiac disease who eat foods containing gluten experience an immune reaction in their small intestines, causing damage to the inner surface of the small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients. Celiac disease can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Eventually, the decreased absorption of nutrients (malabsorption) that occurs with celiac disease can cause vitamin deficiencies that deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment. No treatment can cure celiac disease. However, you can effectively manage celiac disease by changing your diet.”
May has been designated as Celiac Awareness Month. This gives us an opportunity to learn more about this condition and if we know someone who has to deal with this disease, this can enlighten us on how to make the sufferer’s life and diet much better. We’ve been fortunate in seeing more and more foods available to this special group of sufferers. Two companies have developed a new line of products that are gluten-free and will be perfect for those who have to be careful of the gluten they consume. One company, Tandoor Chef, who makes a line of frozen Indian cuisine and convenience items, stresses that the foods are gluten-free and offer a wide range of entrees, including those for the vegetarian, as well as the non-vegetarian.
The website of this company, which is www.tandoorchef.com, also includes a very interesting section of authentic Indian recipes, if you’d like to try your hand at making some of the dishes of India at home. Another bonus is a glossary of Indian foods that are found in their recipes that explains exactly what the ingredient is. The real plus about this site is a wine-pairing list that enables you to choose the appropriate wine according the Indian entree you are serving. Indian food is a perfect match with wine, since wine is also gluten-free, just as these products from Tandoor Chef are!
Now, if by chance Indian food is something you may not particular care for, the people at Allen’s Vegetables, who make items including Veg-All, Popeye’s Spinach, and the Freshlike line of canned vegetables, have plenty of great recipe selections at their website, which is www.allens.com. Here, you can download recipes and nutritional information. What’s more, canned vegetables, including those from Allen’s, are naturally gluten-free and will fit into a diet for those who must avoid gluten in their diets. And the good news doesn’t stop there: it’s been recently discovered that canned vegetables are just as full of nutritional value as fresh or frozen vegetables. So, whether or not you must eat gluten free, you can’t go wrong with enjoying the foods and recipes made and distributed by either of these two fine companies!
Last year, I did a story about using the “Popeye” canned spinach in a special Greek recipe, called “Popeye Spinach Triangles”. In case you didn’t get it then, here’s the link to it so you can get it again:
Meantime, here’s one of the recipes from the Tandoor Chef website for a “Curry Cheese Ball”. I can honestly say that as much as I love curry, this can be an addicting cheese ball! Serve this with a good, sturdy cracker or vegetables and it’s wonderful! If you plan to do some entertaining as we get into the warmer months, this would be something innovative and different from the traditional cheese ball. If you enjoy curry, you’ll adore it!
CURRY CHEESE BALLS
- 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup chutney
- 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
- 1/2 Cup sliced almonds
In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese and chutney until well blended. Season with mustard powder and curry powder, and mix well. Chill overnight, or until cream cheese is firm. Roll chilled cheese mixture into a ball, and roll in almonds to coat. Serve with crackers or veggies.