26 – 29 September 2016

A gluten-free meal plan for the work week 26th to 29th September 2016


Pulled pork, corn bread and slaw.

I’ll be cooking a double portion of pulled pork so that I can use the second portion for spaghetti on Wednesday.

I’ll be using the BBC’s recipes for pulled pork and apple and pecan slaw, but their cornbread looks mostly less good than the recipe here. I say “mostly” because the BBC’s addition of finely chopped spring onion looks more good.



Except I will half the lemon mint cream quantities because Nadia likes sour cream toppings more than we do.

Also, for the “GF felafel mix”, I’ll be using my favourite felafel recipe from Hello! magazine, but with gluten free flour, probably the bread mix, instead of flour. That means I won’t need the “felafel spice mix” either.


https://www.myfoodbag.co.nz/recipes/details/2914-pulled-pork-rag%C3%B9-with-spaghetti-and-spinach-cream using the second portion of pulled pork from Monday, and my ever-preferred Ceres rice and quinoa spaghetti


Green chicken curry.

I’ll be mostly following Nadia’s recipe for https://www.myfoodbag.co.nz/recipes/details/3012-panang-chicken-curry-with-rice, but with green curry paste rather than her panang curry paste. Plus I always default to chicken thighs rather than breasts because they have more flavour and a better texture. And it’ll be whatever vegetables look good rather than broccoli. And not the bean sprouts or the crispy shallots because ain’t nobody got time to be crisping shallots.




19 – 22 September 2016

A gluten free meal plan for the week 19 – 22 September 2016


Chickpea and coconut korma curry with pumpkin
I might add in a bit of orange kumara if I don’t have enough pumpkin, but I’ll also only be doing 3/4 of the recipe, because there are four of us, not six.



I got sucked in by a product demonstrator at the supermarket last week and bought a searingly expensive bag of Thai Black Cargo rice, so I’ll be using some of that instead of the wild rice called for in the recipe.

Also, on the advice of said product demonstrator, I’ll be adding a quarter of lemon and a stick of lemongrass to the water when I cook the rice.

I still have pumpkin seeds left over from the other week, so I’ll be using those instead of the “mixed seeds” in the recipe.

Pistou is basically pesto but without pinenuts. I’ll see what’s available.



Nadia says “five spice mix”. I’ll just use five spice, which is already a mix.


I’ll be making a pork and noodle soup.

The inspiration for the soup was https://www.myfoodbag.co.nz/recipes/details/3007-pork-and-fennel-dumplings-with-spiced-noodle-broth, but the broth spice paste threw me. At first I thought it might be a laksa paste, but laksa is usually made with coconut milk, and this is not, so I don’t think it’s that (though it does look a lot like that in the photo too).

I consulted Mr Everwright, who is a self-taught Asian food afficionado, and he suggested I work from “the Cheltenham chicken soup”.

Before we were married, I spent six months living and working in Cheltenham while Mr Everwright lived and worked in Cambridge. We spent the weekends together, in one city or the other, or London, or somewhere more exotic.
One weekend he came to visit me when he had a heavy cold or light flu. He needed chicken soup, and preferably Asian chicken soup. When I’d had flu in Amsterdam he’d fetched me chicken soup from somewhere nearby, but Cheltenham, like most of the UK, was a good-Chinese-or-any-other-Asian-food desert.

I had my recipe (Chicken and Noodle Soup from Jay Solomon’s ‘A Taste of the Tropics’), but the ingredients were a bit more challenging. Fresh lemongrass did not exist. I finally found a health food shop selling dried lemongrass powder. I also couldn’t get fish sauce, and made do with a dollop of oyster sauce, kindly offered by my Malaysian flatmate.

This time I’ll be working with the original recipe, but instead of a chicken cut into 6 to 8 pieces, I’ll be using Pork and Fennel meatballs.

The pork meatballs will be made from this recipe.

The recipe for the noodle soup is as follows:

3 oz rice noodles
pork and fennel meatballs
6 cups chicken stock
3 shallots, minced
3 sticks celery
1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tsp minced fresh lemongrass
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 small mild green chilli pepper, seeded and minced
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup shredded bok choy, kale or chinese cabbage
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh coriander

1. Prepare the pork meatballs (baking method)
2. Place the rice noodles in hot water for 3 minutes, then drain and cut into 2-inch sections
3. In a large pot, saute lemongrass, garlic, ginger, onion and chilli in oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
4. Add the chicken stock and celery, bring to a simmer.
5. Add green onions, bok choy, fish sauce, lime juice and pork meatballs. Return to a simmer.
6. Add cooked noodles and coriander, simmer another 4 to 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

To serve: remove celery sticks so your children who don’t like it won’t know it was there. Transfer the noodles with tongs to soup bowls, ladle soup and meatballs over the noodles.

That was then, this is now.

I wrote in an earlier post about my childhood, and the many examples of awfulness it contained. I noted that I hate Mother’s Day.

I have not communicated with my mother since last Mother’s Day in May. She has not communicated with me either. I saw from my Uncle’s posts on Fussbook that she’d been to visit her brother in Australia, which was something she’d been talking about doing when we last had a full conversation, on her birthday in April.

I am having a difficult time deciding how I feel about this silence. If it were only on my end, I think I would feel empowered. But because it is double-ended, I have uncertainty: I don’t know whether at some point she will attempt to contact me again. That leaves me with a certain degree of anxiety.

13 – 16 September 2016

A gluten free meal-plan for the work week 13 – 16 September 2016


We’ll be out for dinner, so no plan required.





I was going to do Nadia’s Lamb Curry with Rice but it included “lamb spice mix”, and when I went looking for what sort of spice mix might work I found the BBC one and liked the look of it better – I prefer coconut milk and yoghurt in a curry to sour cream – so it wins.

I’ll be using a tin of cherry tomatoes rather than the whole tomatoes called for in the recipe, and I may add some more vegetables depending on what needs using up.



I originally thought this recipe could work well for Fodmap (with garlic-infused oil substituted for garlic, and brown sugar for the honey), but it looks like the Fodmap visitor likely won’t be with us, so I’ll charge ahead with the original recipe, doubled because there are four of us.


I don’t usually plan for Fridays, but…

– We’ll be out for dinner on Monday night, so staying in on Friday doesn’t seem so unreasonable;
– Eating out requires more forethought and planning than it did in Days of Gluten;
– Eating out gluten-free is more expensive than it was when we could do cheap and easy Chinese/South East Asian; and
– We’ve gradually come to the conclusion that while our children think they like the idea of eating out, they generally spend most of the time bickering, and it’s not really all that fun for Mr Everwright and I.

So we’ll be eating in on Fridays a bit more than in the past. This last Friday we had homemade pizza using the 2:1 Self-raising flour: Yoghurt ratio for the dough, which worked fairly well but could still do with some tweaking.

This Friday we’ll be doing Nachos.

I like Nadia’s Vegetable and Bean Nachos with Chipotle Sour Cream but I also like meat, and coeliacs need all the iron they can get, so I’ll be doing a hybrid of that recipe and her Beef Nachos with Smashed Avocado , as follows:

Beef, bean and vegetable sauce

  • 450g beef mince
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 capsicum, core removed and finely diced
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can mild chilli beans
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 cup grated cheese – probably a mix of edam, tasty and mozarella

To serve

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 sachet chipotle sauce
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 baby cos lettuces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves and stalks
  • Mixed corn chips (I like to use a mix of ordinary corn chips and Gardin of Eatin’ blue corn chips)

To prepare:

  • 1. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large, preferably oven-proof, fry-pan on medium to high heat. Fry onion and capsicum about 4 minutes until softened, set aside. Heat more oil, and beef mince and garlic, breaking up with a wooden spoon, for 3–4 minutes, or until mince is browned. Add oregano, paprika and cumin  and cook a further minute until fragrant.
  • 2. Add reserved capsicum and onion, tomatoes, chilli beans, corn, carrots and sweet chilli sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • 3. While beef mixture is simmering, prepare garnishes; dice tomatoes 1cm; roughly chop coriander; in a small bowl, roughly mash avocado using a fork; in another small bowl, combine sour cream with chipotle sauce and tomato sauce. Finely slice lettuces.
  • TO SERVE Place a serving of mixed corn chips on a plate/bowl. Spoon nacho mixture over the top. Sprinkle with cheese and place in the oven for 1 minute until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, top with tomatoes and coriander.
    Place chipotle sour cream, lettuce and avocado in bowls on the table and let people help themselves.
    SERVES 5




5 – 8 September 2016

Gluten-free meal plan for the weekday nights of Monday 5 September – Thursday 8 September 2016



This will require gluten free lasagne sheets. My favourite GF pasta, which is Ceres Organics’ Quinoa and Rice pasta, doesn’t come in lasagne sheets, so we’ll need to experiment. I was thinking to try some Konjac lasagne, eg http://www.naturallyorganic.co.nz/product/zero-konjac-lasagna-350gm/

I’m not an organic puritan by any means: it’s just that in this instance both brands happen to be organic.

Oh, and I’ll be swapping out the flour for cornflour, and when Nadia says “Classic beef lasagne herb mix”, I’ll be using a mix of fresh thyme and oregano from the garden.

And there’s four of us, not five, so I’ll be dropping the beef to 450g rather than 600g.



(Make sure your curry spice mix is gluten free).

Mr Everwright is out of town for the night, so the quantities will be fine.


Going to give this one a try: https://www.myfoodbag.co.nz/recipes/details/2844-venison-medallions-with-pumpkin-puree-and-beetroot-relish-

I would increase volumes to allow for four people rather than 2-3, but Mr Everwright won’t be home in time for dinner

For the juniper spice mix, I’ll be picking some juniper berries off our tree, if there are any left.


A recipe I picked up somewhere many years ago, back when I was an hispanophile; around the time “Like Water for Chocolate” was in the cinemas.

Chicken Mole (como agua para chocolate)

6 cloves garlic, halved (exclude for Fodmap)
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
3 star anise
1 cup chicken stock
4 cloves
1/2 stick cinnamon
salt and pepper
20 g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp tabasco sauce
1 cup red wine
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 chicken thighs (bone in) (original recipe requires 1 large chicken cut in 6 pieces)
olive oil (use olive infused for Fodmap)
1 tbsp cornflour
1 onion, peeled and sliced (swap for spring onions for Fodmap)

Heat olive oil in heavy based frying pan and brown chicken.
Sprinkle with cornflour, stir till it dissolves, set aside.
Heat more olive oil and saute (onion and garlic if using), almonds, sesame seeds and star anise until golden.
Deglaze thoroughly with stock. Add cloves, cinnamon, salt, pepper, chocolate, tabasco, red wine, balsamic vinegar and chicken.
Cover chicken with sauce, boil, simmer. Cover and cook 30 minutes.
Pile chicken on platter, pour sauce over. Serve with saffron rice, sliced tomatoes and guacamole.

I will also serve with green beans because we all need more vegetables.

29 August to 1 September 2016

Gluten-free meal plan for the weekday nights of Monday 29 August – Thursday 1 September 2016


(Ensure fish sauce is GF)

Nadia doesn’t specify her marinade, so I’ll be using:

1 T fresh ginger
1 crushed garlic clove
3 T white sugar
150 ml GF soy sauce
1 T sake
60ml mirrin

Also, the recipe serves 2-3, and we’re 4 plus a school lunch, so I’ll be mostly doubling the recipe (except for the quantity of marinade above).


Well, that’s the inspiration anyway. Udon noodles aren’t GF, so we’ll be using fat rice noodles.

And my children don’t really do courgette, so I’ll be swapping in broccoli instead.

And I’m pretty sure Nadia uses a proprietary marinated ginger and honey tofu which contains gluten, so I’ll be marinating the tofu in the following:

1 T grated ginger
2T GF soy sauce
1 T honey

which I borrowed from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/412629/ginger-sweet-tofu-with-pak-choi

And last, because Nadia doesn’t specify her Thai lemongrass dressing, I’ll be using:

2 T fish sauce
2 T lime juice
2 T grated palm sugar
2 T chopped lemongrass from a jar (or 1 stalk if fresh)
1 t fresh ginger
1 t sesame oil


GF panko breadcrumbs of course.

Also, with the aforementioned courgette issue, I’ll be swapping in frozen peas instead.


For the stroganoff spice mix, I’ll just use some spiced paprika. I would add crushed garlic, but a garlic-intolerant relative will be with us for dinner, so I’ll be doing the Fodmap trick of frying garlic in oil, then taking the garlic out before using the oil to fry the steak.


Oh, Trigger warning. All the triggers.

So, I’ve learnt over the years that not everyone had a shit childhood, and when I describe mine I get looks of horror.

Also, Mothers’ Day has just been. Mothers’ Day is probably my most loathed day of the year. Currently I am thinking maybe I just won’t do it any more. There is no rule that says I have to. And I think I’ve earnt the right to not have to, to be honest.

I recall my very early childhood as happy. The first of my mother’s partners that I remember was very sweet to me. I don’t remember him much. I remember his saying it might be best if I didn’t call him Daddy because my real Daddy might be upset. I remember thinking some three-year-old version of “‘real’ Daddy? Who’s that?” and an emotion that I now interpret as “why don’t I get to decide who my ‘real’ Daddy is?”.

Anyway, that relationship ended probably when I was about five. Mum had some relationships after that, including a brief fling with the unit who later molested me, and then my main stepfather turned up.

I don’t know if things would have been shit even if he wasn’t there. Quite possibly.

The Shit:

Overloading and unrealistic expectations.

I was expected to do too many chores for my age. I couldn’t do them all. There was no point in trying, so I mostly didn’t try. So even now, when there are too many things to do I feel overwhelmed and give up.

One day when I was about – six? – five? –  my mother left me at home alone for the day while she went to a neighbouring town. She left me with an extensive list of things I was to do while she was gone: sweep and mop the floor, wash the dishes, collect brush and kindling for the fire, I can’t remember what else. I do know that I worked all day, and for the first and only time did everything on the list. When my mother got home in the evening she said “Great! I should go away more often!”

This made me wish I had not done everything after all.

My grandmother visited some time round then. She later said she saw me as a little Cinderella, with raggedy clothes and endless chores. That’s also about how I saw myself.


As well as the “home alone” described above, on some other occasion round that time, my mother fell in lust with a prominent musician who came through the village on tour. She took off with him for a week, leaving me to look after myself. I managed for the first couple of days, but then got lonely and stayed with friends.

Of course, she did ask if it was OK, and I said yes, it was fine. What kind of mother asks a six-year-old if they will be OK to look after themselves for a week so she can go and get her end off?

The undermining

Me: “I got 97% in my maths test.”

Her: “What’s the point of getting 97% in your maths test if you can’t keep your room tidy?”.

Me: “I got the [prominent Maori former principal] academic scholarship to high school!”.

Her: “It should have gone to a Maori girl”.

Me: “I got a major scholarship to a prestigious senior high school.”

Her: “Are you sure you want to go? Don’t you think you’ll suddenly find you’ve moved from being the big fish in a small pond to being a small fish in the big pond?”

Me: “I’m not sure what I want to study.”

Her: “Maybe you shouldn’t go to university. You might find it too hard. Better to go to a polytech and learn something useful.”

On Mothers’ Day, she said she always felt so proud when she heard my name in the media, doing my (currently prominent) academic work. Excuse me while I seethe inside.


When I was little I was smacked regularly. Smacked for talking out of turn. Smacked for crying. Hit round the head for whatever. Once, having heard from my friends of the dangers of being hit in the head, after she hit me I cried out “you could have killed me!” She laughed. Hilarious.

She didn’t smack me so much when the stepfather was in the picture. He was Scandinavian and generally didn’t think hitting children was a good idea. But.

When I guess I would have been seven or eight, the stepfather and I had an argument, I forget what about. He said “I’m going to go for a walk” (to cool down). I shouted “Yes, why don’t you, I wish you would”. He pushed me to the ground and kicked me. My mother threw her cup of tea over me.

The incident

When I was thirteen, and my little brother was a baby, she asked me to take him for a walk. I didn’t want to. I said so. She picked him up and started swinging him over the balcony on the back deck, threatening to throw him over if I didn’t agree to take him. I was paralysed, terrified, crying “no, no, no!”. She put him down and said “right, I’m going to ruin all your stuff then.”  She went into my room and pulled out all my drawers and emptied their contents on the floor. She picked up a chair and started bashing it at the television. I tried to stop her and she punched me in the face.

I ran. I ran two suburbs away, to the home of a woman who I knew knew my mother was having problems. Even then I was trying to protect her reputation by not going to other people who I would then have to tell.

I went to school from there. The principal called me to his office. Eventually I had to go home. There was some half-assed attempt at counselling, which basically consisted of me being told that mum was sorry, and therefore I had to go home and suck it up.

I closed myself off from her after that. I knew I wasn’t safe with her.

The truly revolting

Paedophiles are manipulators. Even good parents can be deceived. Although paedophiles pick their victims, and I had been set up to be a prime victim by all the above (except The Incident, which happened after), I can’t really blame my mother for my sexual abuse. That’s on the paedophile.

However, after my mother knew about the abuse, she asked the paedophile for a “loan”. He gave it to her. I don’t know the terms of the loan. I just know that when in later years I reported him and the sexual assaults to the police, he wrote to her asking for the money to be paid back. I told her to pay him back, because I felt like she’d pimped me after the fact. She said that was between him and her. She didn’t pay him back. She tried to justify it to herself by suggesting she could give me part ownership of her house at the amount of the “loan”. I declined.

Naturally, there’s more Shit. These are just the most extreme incidences, but they’re all I’ve got the energy for at the moment.