Last Saturday a friend gave us 4 court side tickets to a London Lightening Basketball game. This is a playoff game and it was pretty exciting to watch until we lost. 🙁 It was an intense game where both teams seemed quite capable. We started the game ahead but lost our momentum in the second half. The score being very close until the last 6 minutes. We didn’t want to give up hope and cheered exuberantly with every basket right to the end.
Normally at a game like this I would love to indulge in a ice cold beer and cheese pizza but since discovering that I suffer from Hashimoto’s Thronditus I have have been trying to stay as gluten free as possible. Which unfortunately for me game pizza and beer are both made with wheat and therefore gluten. 🙁
I’m not really a junk food eater. I’ve been vegetarian for over 10 years and am not a big sweets or fast food fanatic, but when starting a restrictive diet like this I begin feeling deprived because it is no longer my choice not to eat it but rather ‘I can’t eat it’. This is when the cravings start. I think about all the fond moment associated with that food item and begin to feel sad because I cant eat a slice of oily stale cheese pizza bought from a vendor outside a game. In a way food completes us and we wrap all kinds of memories both good and bad with what kind of food were eating at the time. If you think about it, every holiday in Canada is associated with some kind of food.
The first holiday of the new year is New Years of which we celebrate by going out for dinner and champagne. In February, the most important day is Valentines day. A day of love and romance and chocolate, eating out at a nice restaurant and drinking glasses of wine. Late March or April is when we celebrate Easter and once again we devour chocolate and more chocolate. We hunt for chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies and eat more chocolate and then have a hardy family dinner. July 1 is Canada day and is usually celebrated with a bountiful family barbeque in the back yard. Grilled steaks and hotdogs for everyone. October is a busy month as we celebrate thanksgiving with a massive meal of turkey and pumpkin pie. Then a few weeks later it is October 31 the scariest day of the year as we send our children door to door begging for various candies from strangers. Of course as good parents it is important to screen their goodies and confiscate anything that looks compromised. We end the year with a feast of food at Christmas. Indulging with cakes, cookies pies and pretty much anything we can stuff inside ourselves. My family wasn’t very well off when we grew up but we always managed a massive meal for Christmas dinner that included turkey, cabbage rolls, brussels sprouts potatoes and pie.
I decided that a great alternative to pizza and beer could be gluten free pretzels with cheesy jalapeño dip and gluten free beer. There are not a lot of Gluten free beers to chose from around here but when we went to the LCBO (Liquor Commission of Ontario) we found two brands. You can read our review here.
Gluten Free Pretzels
182 grams chickpea flour
136.5 grams rice Flour
136.5 tapioca flour
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp brown Sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp butter
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cup warm water1 pkg yeast (quick rising)
1. Empty package of yeast into the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until a bit frothy on the surface.
2. In a large bowl mix together chickpea flour, rice flour, tapioca, xanathan gum, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and sugar.
3. Add cider, butter, egg whites and yeast mixture. Mix well. The dough may be wet. Gradually add more rice flour 1 tbsp at a time until the dough starts to pull away from the edges of the bowl. Turn the dough out to a (rice) floured surface and knead slightly so it holds together well. The dough will still be a bit wet.
4. Divide the dough into 8 balls. Depending on how large you want your pretzels. I was going for a smaller bite sized pretzel so I divided each of the eight balls into 2. Roll the balls out into long coils. Mine measured out to about 10″ long by 1″. Then gentle tie them into a knot being careful not to break the coil.
5. Place the pretzel knots 1″ apart on a parchment covered pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit 45 minutes to allow them to rise.
6. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 2 tbsp of baking soda.
7. Once the pretzels have risen place them a couple at a time in the baking soda bath for 30 seconds and then turn them over for an additional 30 seconds. Remove them with a slotted spoon and put them back on the pan.
8. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with rock salt. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until golden brown approximately 30 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy with a cheesy Jalapiño dip and cold gluten free beer.