My story on my search for a great gluten-free pasta alternative.
Cooking Against All Odds
Cooking has always been one of my favorite ways to pass time by. It allows all my feelings of anxiety from a full day’s work float away with the steam of my pots boiling on the stovetop. Standing in front of my live skillet, listening to the crackles and pops, is to me what an open flame in a fireplace is to a couple watching what seems like their own private fireworks display.
My carefree approach to cooking seemed to be stolen from me when I found out my son was diagnosed with a long list of food allergies; many of the foods that were apart of my favorite dishes to prepare for my family. I’ve never been one to give up in the face of adversity so I researched and tested alternatives so my son could enjoy one of the best things in life – food and the varieties thereof.
To begin I tried a rice noodle to substitute for semolina durum wheat spaghetti paired with my dad’s family signature sauce; in which I also had to eliminate the parmesan cheese. Tasty? Well, no. My son was disappointed and still hungry.
Since spaghetti was one of his favorite meals, I was off to try another noodle reincarnated, so I observed the Asian bean noodle. The aroma was very different from the semolina durum wheat pasta and my son didn't like how it slithered in his mouth -- nor could I get the texture right after retrying 5 times.
I always enjoyed the rice noodles usually found on the All-You-Can-Eat bar at the Tasty Buffet in Midtown Memphis so I opted to make it at home. I have to tell you, they weren't bad, but it wasn't perfection. I knew I was on the right track so I continued on my hunt, again.
Finally, eureka! I found the perfect noodle with equally great texture, superb taste and aroma. Where do you ask? My journey lead me to a gluten-free elbow noodle made from corn and quinoa sold at the Whole Foods Market in the self scoop aisle. I returned after my first purchase to buy 2 more pounds for my pantry. I pre-cooked and froze 1/3 of that to take to my son's daycare to be used in soups and pasta dishes.
Now when we eat everyone is smiling and enjoying every bite. And instead of watching the other daycare children enjoying their spaghetti and slurping at their noodles, he gets to join in the fun and enjoy his, too. Nothing gives this mother more joy than seeing a spaghetti smile. Now cooking is more fun and even more inspiring than ever before.
Contact: Sweetrica Baker