I recently suspected that I had developed gluten intolerance. I followed the advice of Jane Clarke in ‘Nourish’, and tried to eliminate gluten from my diet for a few weeks, to see if symptoms vanished. Well, they did, but I suspect some were due to a concurrent increase in caffeine consumption. I became obsessed by the tape measure, checking my abdomen for bloating. Headaches disappeared and stayed away.
But breakfast ceased to be a pleasure. The gluten-free cereal I selected required far too much chewing when I added cold milk to it. So I tried adding boiled water: it cause abdominal discomfort! In any form it did not seem like real food. It seemed overly processed (a bit like the difference between potato and potato crisps). I wanted real food, something familiar, so I made a big batch of a mildly spicy risotto, then froze portions of it. It was pleasant, better with a little banana or yoghurt or LSA mix, and better again served warm with apple puree stirred through.
- arborio rice (I used 1 cup, 250 mL)
- water (at least the volume of the rice, and have some more freshly boiled available to add as needed)
- cinnamon stick fragment
- cloves (4 here)
- dried allspice (pimento) berries (6)
- cardamom pods (6)
- bay leaf
- Toss rice, whole spices & bay leaf into a large pot with the water.
- Apply heat to bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to maintain a simmer.
- Stir occasionally to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- It may be necessary to reduce the heat further as the rice absorbs the liquid.
- It may be necessary to add more liquid.
- Rice usually needs to be stirred more frequently towards the end of the cooking time.
- After 15 minutes add sultanas.
- Rice will be cooked after approximately 20 minutes – check instructions on packet, and try eating/biting a few grains to monitor. Some prefer rice more chewy, others more soggy.
Note: this is a very approximate recipe, and most packets of rice will be more precise than this. The rice was mildly spicy. I would still enjoy it with more cinnamon and allspice, and of course nutmeg could be grated over the rice just before serving. There is also the option of cooking in milk instead of water, or adding some dairy product at the end.
But for all that, I hope to be eating oatmeal, if not muesli, for breakfast again some day.