Saturday, June 6, 2009

Starting a Community Garden and Gluten-free Thai Chicken Roll-Up

A vacant lot and a community with many people in need prompted my husband and I to start a community garden this spring. With the help of neighbors and friends, we've transformed a half-acre piece of ground that had been a weedy eyesore for years into a potential bounty of produce for the community.

It all began with a telephone call to the owners of the property who were more than happy to donate the use of their land for our project. Seeds and plants were donated by many, and irrigation water was readily available. Volunteers got most of the garden planted during a planting night. I got the job of planting pumpkin seeds as shown in the photo above. Most of our seeds are up now, and we're eager to see how much our garden produces.

I have continued my cooking experiments making garbanzo bean flour pancakes or tortillas. Practice makes sort of perfect as I was able to make several tortilla-sized pancakes to make a wrap or roll-up. I filled it with a Thai chicken broccoli slaw filling with sunbutter (in place of peanut butter) sauce. Here's the recipe.

Gluten-free Thai Chicken Roll-ups

Ingredients for four roll-ups:

1 bag of broccoli slaw

1 pound chicken or turkey stir-fry strips

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. ginger powder

salt and pepper

1 T. canola oil

2 T. sunbutter

garbanzo bean flour tortillas (see recipe at:


Prepare garbanzo bean flour tortillas and keep warm. For the filling, stir-fry chicken strips in oil in a large skillet. Season with 1 tsp. each of ginger and garlic powders, salt and pepper. Remove chicken strips to a bowl and keep warm. Add a little more oil to the skillet and then the broccoli slaw. Season with the remaining ginger and garlic powders, and stir-fry until slightly soft. For the sauce, heat 2 T. of sunbutter or peanut butter in the microwave. Add 1-2 tsp. soy sauce and 1 T. of water. Stir to mix to a sauce-like consistency. I omitted the soy sauce and added some garlic instead and it was still quite tasty.

Spread some sunbutter sauce on the tortilla and then spoon on chicken and broccoli slaw. Drizzle with a little more sauce and then carefully roll it up. The garbanzo bean flour tortillas are pretty easy to work with as long they are warm.

You can use the same filling on other types of gluten-free or regular tortillas but I was experimenting with garbanzo bean flour as I am continuing to have to keep my carbs low to prevent a rebound of the candida (yeast infection) that thrives on sugar. I am probably looking at least 6 months to one year with restricted carbs.

But it's continuing to be worth it as my stomach is the best it's been in years. My husband and I took our son out to dinner recently for his birthday to a restaurant we hadn't gone to much for a long time because of my eating limitations. They serve an unlimited bowl of salad. I admit I devoured a good share of the salad. I just had to take my own dressing, an olive-oil, lemon juice, herb blend. My son kept staring at me in disbelief and finally asked, "So you can eat that much salad now?" Yes, I replied, and I'm loving it.

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