Category Archives: Food

Gluten-free Beginnings

Everyone here is a bit depressed about the World Cup today, except for the Germans who are quite happy. I stayed up late uploading some wedding photos to the internet and checking the score until I heard fireworks going off around the complex. But instead of the Cup or the depressing rainy summer, let’s think about food since it is always on my mind these days.

Kay and I normally cook 2-3 things on the weekend that last all week, but ever since I threw out all the glutened tupperware and started using new recipes, I haven’t quite replaced enough tupperware for lots of leftovers and many of our new gluten-free recipes don’t result in as much quantity as my normal recipes did. As a result, I’m feeling oddly panicky about our small food reserves this week.

So what do Kay and I make now that I’m eating gluten free? Well, we’ve started using our steamer a bit more for some easy potato and vegetable mashups. This meal was very easy and thankfully did provide a lot of leftovers!

We ate the steamed mix with a quinoa salad. I buy lots of quinoa these days because I prefer it to rice and it is great sweet or on salads. I added mango to the mix below.

Below was my typical breakfast for the first month gluten-free. Deviled eggs, fruit and espresso. I’ve tried to cut down to one espresso a day and since then I’ve transitioned to eating Kay’s gluten-free muesli mix most days, but I did really like eating fruit in the morning!

Following a friend’s advice, I broke down and bought some gluten-free spaghetti after a few weeks. I spent the longest time refusing to do this, but it’s actually just fine. We don’t eat spaghetti or pasta that often, but it’s nice to know that we can still do it. Here I made slow-cooker meatballs, but the recipe was kind of bland.

We also eat a lot of caprese salad because I lurve it, although I started having to buy lactose-free mozzarella because I was having some issues with normal dairy products.

And I’m using the new diet as an excuse to try new recipes like borscht that I have never attempted before. Delicious!

After our long trip in the states where I had half of a gluten-free pizza in Miami that made me sick because it was baked in a normal oven, I was really hankering more pizza… so I finally got to making some! First I tried the first hit in Google for a nutty crust, and below I tried out cauliflower crust. The cauliflower crust was delicious, but it made me really sick the next day. I’m kind of afraid to make it again. :S

Even Kay is starting to cook gluten free! He was a bit hesitant of what to do at first, but he’s started getting back to cooking more and I’m really thankful because coming up with all the meals on my own was exhausting! Below he smoked salmon on the grill using a wooden plank. The noodles were something with horseradish, but they turned out a bit soupy and the gluten-free noodles seemed like they didn’t like what was done to them. They sort of fell apart. Oh well… we are trying out lots of new things these days.

Not all of the recipes we make are keepers, but we definitely have had some tasty food!

What have you been cooking lately?

Gluten-free Homemade Muesli

As a typical American, I came to Switzerland eating cereal for breakfast. Kay, on the other hand, ate a very Swiss breakfast of freshly sliced bread slathered in butter and jam. For years it went on this way. He had his bread and I had my cereal.

One could argue about the healthiness of either breakfast, but eventually Kay switched over to the dark side so that he could be a little faster in the morning and sleep a little longer. Slicing bread and doing all that buttering and spreading takes a long time! But he didn’t switch to conventional brand cereal like me… no. He started buying ingredients to mix his own muesli so that it would be healthier and less sugary than whatever I was eating.

I called it “Pferd Futter” or “Horse food” because that’s what it looked like to me.

Anyway, I more or less stopped eating cereal in an effort to incorporate more fresh fruit in my diet and then with the celiac diagnosis and Kay’s absence, I didn’t even want to think about cereal and how depressing it is here. We don’t have Chex in Switzerland. You can buy gluten free cornflakes from Migros and Coop, and from Coop you can also buy chocolate crispy rice for kids. From non-specialty stores, that’s it!

L-R: Bio cornflakes: 2.20CHF for 300g ($2.45 for 10.5OZ) / Schär cornflakes: 2.90 for 250g ($3.23 for 8.8OZ) / Schär Flakes Milly Magic 123: 4.95CHF for 250g ($5.51 for 8.8OZ)

You can’t even buy most normal muesli ingredients in the store without them being laced with gluten. I can buy puffed amaranth from Migros, but all the soy flakes are coated with malt flavoring, making them a no-go.

So why don’t I just let Kay buy his normal muesli ingredients and let it go? Crumbs. CRUMBS. Or shall I say, dust. Every time Kay makes muesli in his tupperware and every time he gets some out in the morning, cereal dust flies into the air and all over the counters.

If that cereal dust happened to be wheat-y, barley, malt or otherwise gluten-y… it would be all over our counters. And because we are in a hurry in the morning, that gluten death trap would be there in the evening too. Cleaning up his muesli mess is not one of Kay’s strong suits, but if he did… I would have to worry about him contaminating the dish towel and then forgetting to change it out with a new dish towel. I know… anal. But with celiac, you have to be.

There’s always a question of how much gluten is bad for you, but in my own home, I would rather not doubt what I am eating. I don’t want to worry about wheat particles flying around while I bake, nor do I want to question what the dish towel was last used to clean. Nope. Gluten-free cereal for all is the way forward.

But since oats are a no-no the first year, I wanted to find a way to make oat-free granola to mix with those boring cornflakes. I’ve been lurking on Against All Grain and found this recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Granola, so I had to try it out!

First I soaked the nuts overnight which is supposed to break down the phytic barrier and give the granola a nicer crunch. Kay just thought I was crazy to be soaking them in water and then dehydrating them.

All chopped up and ready to be baked. We have a convection oven, so I used that instead of going out and buying a dehydrator, but after baking 3-4 hours at 75ºC/170ºF, the muesli still came out pretty moist.

I didn’t feel like baking it longer at this point, but I would definitely bake it longer next time. I feel like buying a plastic dehydrator from the store seems like a waste of money when we have an oven with airflow, but maybe I’m wrong.

I threw all the muesli in Kay’s new GF cereal container with GF cornflakes, buckwheat flakes from the health store, puffed amaranth balls, and millet flakes from the health food store. Then I poured it in a bowl to mix before putting it back in the container.

This muesli is delicious! It smelled heavenly and it had a lovely autumn flavor that had me wanting to start eating cereal again too!

See all that mess up there? Haha… homemade muesli is still quite messy, but I don’t have to worry about it being a gluten mess now! And by watering down the expensive health store gluten-free alternative flakes with homemade muesli and cornflakes, I can feel better about the cost of our gluten-free muesli.

Even if you aren’t gluten free, you should go try this muesli out! It is seriously delicious!

Dolder Grand

If you noticed I’ve been kind of absent lately, you might wonder what I’ve been up to. Truthfully I downloaded candy crush for iPhone a few weeks ago and I have kind of abandoned my Kindle and blogging in lieu of zapping those little candies every chance I get. *Hangs head in shame*

I do go out of the house still though… a couple weeks ago Kay’s brother invited his parents and us to the Dolder Grand in Zürich for a pretty fancy brunch. Dolder is a five star hotel and wellness spa and it is $$$. I had never eaten there so far…

Like most family events, this also required going to church together first, much to the “joy” of Kay’s father. After sitting in the unheated church for an hour (brrr!), it was time for brunch! And oh what a brunch it was…

I started off with duck on hummus, wasabi cream filled cones, and an assortment of meats and savory items.

We all decided to try the oysters since it was a buffet and they were just sitting there, but I’m still not sure how I feel about uncooked oysters. It’s just so much “ocean” going on in your mouth. Kay had one and I knew he would hate it…

That wasabi paste in there was so creamy and delicious, but I wish I didn’t fill up on all that relatively ordinary meat. There was a wall of desserts to be had!


Without wasting any time, I decided that I already needed to start my dessert course before I lost any more stomach room.

I took basically all these desserts in the pictures above and below and started eating while my inlaws laughed that I was diving into dessert already. Girl’s got priorities!

You can see here how much Kay looks like his father. We make a nice looking family. 🙂

After dessert it was time to head back for some sushi, but man I was getting so stuffed already. I did not come to this brunch as prepared as I should have.

Even the bathrooms in Dolder are fancy….

Well, at 92CHF ($96) per person for the buffet (and I’m not sure coffee was included) I don’t think Kay and I will be coming back soon. It was a very good brunch, but it was very, very expensive for a buffet. Usually our brunches are more in the 20-40CHF range depending on what we order. My favourite is making waffles or pancakes at home on the weekend. 😉

How much does a good brunch in your area cost?