Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wheatless Wednesdays

Dan and I are conducting an experiment in wheatless living. It started on Thursday, October 27, and ends on Thanksgiving, which I find quite appropriate. Mainly for it's alliterative cuteness, I plan to chronicle our progress each Wednesday.  I'll post lessons learned and a wheatless recipe we've enjoyed.

Week 1
Last Thursday morning, Dan sent me an article outlining the premise of a book called Wheat Belly.  Dr. Davis, the author, blames expanding American waistlines almost entirely on the over-consumption of wheat. He cites changes made to the wheat plant itself and it's prominent role in our diet as the culprits. I'm in agreement with Davis that wheat is everywhere (cereal, bread, pretzels, cakes, cookies, pasta) and is added into a lot of foods where it doesn't belong (Doritos, lunch meats, some candy bars). Even so, I'm not sure I buy the entire argument. Some of his statements are quite strong and evidence appears spotty, but at the end of the article he presents us with a challenge: try eating no wheat for four weeks and see how you feel.


The next few minutes went something like this:
10:00am - We agree that no wheat for four weeks is a great idea.
10:02am - I realize we can't get pizza for dinner as we'd be planning. Sad face. Chipotle burrito bowls are decided upon instead.
10:10am - Dan realizes he can't drink his latest batch of homebrewed beer. Really sad face. He thinks he can avoid giving up beer altogether if he only chooses bottles that list ingredients (not many) and buys the ones that don't list wheat (even less).

Lessons Learned
  • Plan ahead. The first two days of our experiment found us eating the same foods for lunch and dinner.  We made Jamie Oliver's Hamilton Squash, and it was delicious, but after having it for lunch neither of us felt like eating it again a few hours later. We got our butts in gear and went to the store armed with a list and a plan by the third day.
  • Wheat is everywhere. I thought we would be able to find at least a few places to get wheatless take-out and suggested Pei Wei (steamed rice, vegetables, and some sauce should be okay, right?), but their nutritional information sheet online tells a different story. Only their salads are safe. 
  • It's hard to change your habits. For Dan, it's missing a grilled cheese or peanut-butter-banana sandwich at lunch.  For me, it's furiously munching on tortilla chips at a party to distract from the cupcake display.
  • More energy? By Sunday, I noticed feeling more energized, particularly in the morning. Dan, on the other hand, was a bit sluggish and half-jokingly complained of "wheat withrdrawal".
Wheatless Recipe
I've been inspired again by farmer's market "seconds" apples and put together a Jamie O dish: Apple Crumble, modified for the purposes of our experiment.

For the Filling:
10ish medium apples of a few different varieties, peeled and sliced
2T water
1/3c sugar
Sprinkle of cinnamon

For the Topping:
1/3c brown rice flour (I think any alternative flour would do here)
1/2c oats
1T cinnamon
3T butter, cut into small pieces
1T sugar
handful brown sugar

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Put the filling ingredients in a pot and heat them on the stove until the apples get a little soft. I cooked mine about 10 minutes, but you may need more or less time depending on what type of apples you used and how many.

Mix all the topping ingredients except the brown sugar in a bowl with your fingers until they get a crumbly texture.

Drain most of the liquid out of the pot with the apples and dump them into a deep baking dish. Top with the crumbly topping.  Sprinkle a handful of brown sugar over the whole thing, and bake it in the oven for about 25-30 minutes.  It's done when the topping gets crispy and the apples are soft all the way through.


  1. I tried this! Except that I used all purpose flour since that's what we had in the house. Anyway, it was good, just a little watery. It was super awesome with ice cream when it was still oven hot on Sunday morning. :-)

  2. Yay so glad you tried it!! Too bad it was a little on the watery side... maybe we used different types of apples. I'm glad you guys were able to enjoy it a la mode!


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