Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Good news!

What a crazy week…but good.  We heard back on the MRI and my son’s brain looks fine.  Turns out they could see a sinus infection that is the likely cause of his headaches.  We will start a regimen of antibiotics for the infection, since we all suspect it’s an infection he didn’t conquer 5 months ago.  It’s strange to realize we are fighting on two fronts.  The first front is the celiac issue and the second is the headaches.  We assumed they were connected, but imagine my relief to find that simple antibiotics might take care of one of our problem.  If only celiac were as easy!
So, my kid is reporting that his stomach is feeling better.  He reports a 2 out of 10 for discomfort level.  It’s been two months since he’s felt this well stomach-wise, so I am quietly celebrating.  His baby steps with the new GF diet, only two weeks strong, might be making progress.  While I still lack the confidence that we are as perfect as we need to be on the diet, we are certainly trying.
One saboteur – chewing gum.  In middle school, it’s a big deal to share pieces of gum with friends.  There are so many question marks with this product and there are so many questionable sources for different types of gum! Even after talking with a representative with such a respected and hopefully reliable source as Wrigley’s, I am not totally confident about their product based on the answer I received by telephone.  They say they have no gluten containing ingredients in their product.  Why not say “gluten free”?  Makes me wonder about the manufacturing environment and cross contamination again.  There’s a lot of info on www.celiac.com  about gum so I am hoping that we can count on the collective knowledge along with a call to the manufacturer to be sure we get things right.  I am telling my son how important it is not to undermine his herculean efforts on diet by accepting unknown candies and gums from friends at school.  It’s pretty hard to believe I am saying things like this to him, but I need him to understand the choices he has to face going forward.
Another good news note, we had a great GF pasta dish tonight, so I thought we’d share the product and a little recipe.  Since we’re newbies, I welcome feedback if you see any problems below.  We’ve mostly been eating simple things, but we were all getting hungry for some pasta.
Recipe: Sausage Noodle Bake
One jar of Classico Pasta GF sauce (your choice of flavor)
12 oz. package of Bionature rigatoni GF pasta  (surprisingly good!) Fumbling Mom Product of the Day
One onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Jennie O Italian sausages, casings removed, chopped (used a mix of sweet and hot sausage)
1 c. sliced mushrooms, sautéed and deglazed with wine or sherry.
1 c. tomato sauce
½ c. mascarpone cheese
2 oz. Gallo salami chopped.
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut to large bite size
2 oz. grated mozzarella
¼ c. parmesan
Dried or fresh basil, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.  While pasta cooks, sauté mushrooms in a splash of olive oil until browned.  Remove with slotted spoon to a large stainless bowl. (You will use this bowl for mixing all the ingredients later.)  Add a bit more olive oil and saute Italian sausage until browned. Remove from pan with slotted spoon (I put it on paper towels to absorb excess fat).
Pour off excess fat from the sauté pan.  Add another tablespoon of olive oil and sauté onions until golden.  Add garlic. Deglaze pan with just enough broth, wine or water to get up the brown bits and flavor from the sausage and mushrooms. Add in the tomato sauce and Classico.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
Combine pasta with mushrooms, sausage, salami and fresh mozzarella.  Stir mascarpone into sauce until blended.  Mix with pasta.  Turn into baking dish, top with grated mozzarella and parmesan. Sprinkle with basil and bake covered for 20 - 30 minutes at 350 degrees until bubbly, taking the cover off for the last five minutes to melt and brown the cheese.  Yummy!

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