19 March 2010

Black Bean Feta Chopped Salad

1 cup shredded mixed greens
mushrooms and zucchini sauteed in olive oil
1/2 small avocado, chopped
1/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 stalk celery, diced
1 oz. sheep's milk feta, crumbled
1 tsp. olive oil/3/4 tsp. red wine vinegar

My gluten free self has become cranky. I am three years into this life and suddenly I am peeved (or worse) when I go to a high end restaurant in the Puget Sound area, where I have notified the staff ahead of time of my gluten intolerance, and upon arrival they are clueless, offer virtually no help and are even somewhat smug about my inability to eat some of the things on their menu. Last week I went to a place that has many wonderful cheese selections on their menu and I would have loved to have tried one of them, but didn’t because in my rush to leave the house, I neglected to bring my own GF crackers with me. I never used to feel put out when places answered “no” to my request for rice crackers, but now I feel definitely deprived and, yes, miffed. Why can't more places just have a box of rice crackers on hand?

It seems the more I notice how main stream gluten free food is the more annoyed I get with those who still don't get it. I know how this will sound to some, but I think it’s rude to invite people who cannot eat gluten to your home and serve things that are loaded with it and then say (maybe even with a laugh) ...oh, you can’t have this...or...just don't eat it (and watch everyone else groan with pleasure over it. Yeah, that’s fun).

I have started to shun parties and events where gluten is the main ingredient, even though I really wanted to go for the social aspect. Aside from my gluten issues, I also cannot skip meals because of my headaches, so going to a pizza parlor to watch my friends eat if I haven't eaten in seven hours is not an option. I even left a cranky message on the Starbucks free pastry day ad on Facebook today.

I think the reason I’ve gotten this way is that I know it can be better. I have been to places where the chef came out to meet me and made sure I not only was safe, but had an enjoyable meal. In Italy, the restaurant in the hotel we stayed at got out their GF pasta and made wonderful sauces for me. It’s not that hard.

Karen, her cranky self

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