Lettuce-Lentil-Pate Wraps

I was looking for a new appetizer for use as a party food, when I came up with this one. Everyone who has tried these has absolutely loved them -- plus they aren't too fatty, are soy free, gluten-free, dairy free, egg free. A couple of days ago I made about 20 of these and cut them into thirds and put them on a tray with several dozen of my spinach triangles , and a few dozen spring rolls. I must say it looked quite lovely. I took them to a party and set them on the food table. Literally within 15 minutes the plate was bare. I had a bit of a mixed reaction to this -- on the one hand I was glad that they were so well recieved...on the other hand, it was a bit disturbing to realize that something I had spent most of the afternoon creating was gone so quickly.

Basically to make this recipe, you will need rice paper wrappers, fresh lettuce leaves and the lentil-walnut pate filling (below) You simply dip the rice paper into a pan of warm water, lay it out on the counter until it softens and then becomes sticky, cover the half of the rice paper nearest you with lettuce leaves, then place about two table spoons of the pate in a rectangle in the middle of the lettuce (and spread it out so that it is about 4 inches long and and one inch wide) The fold the left and right sides of the wrapper in towards the middle - but only enough to just start to cover the pate. Then starting with the part of the wrapper nearest you, just roll it up away from you -- as snug as you can. Then set it aside while you make the next one. I actually wet and set out about 8- 10 wrappers at once, then put leaves on them all, then put pate on the leaves and then one by one roll them up -- this seems most efficient.

Recipe for the Pate:


1 1/2 cups brown or green lentils, picked over to remove any alien objects, washed in a bowl of water and drained in a strainer. (Do this several times. to assure that any possible gluten exposure from storage and transport has been rinsed away.)

4 cups water.

2 large onions diced

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup chopped green beans

1 cup ground raw walnuts

3 TBS chick pea miso

1/2 tsp ground black pepper


Place the washed lentils into a saucepan, add the water and bring to a boil and simmer covered until all the water is absorbed. Then turn off heat and remove lid and allow to sit for five minutes.

2. Smear the bottom of a skillet with the olive oil, put on high and add the onions, stirring frequently to keep from sticking. After about 5 minutes turn burnder to low and allow to continue cooking for at least half an hour until they are blackened and very soft. Turn off heat.

3. Place lentils, onions, walnuts, green beans, miso, and pepper into a food processor fitted with an "S" blade. and process on high until smooth and creamy.

About 60% of Americans have the genes that predispose them to becoming gluten sensitive.

Recent research (By Dr. Kenneth Fine) suggests that about half of these people have detectable immunological reactions to gluten, and the majority will NEVER meet the classic definition of celiac disease -- even though gluten IS triggering an autoimmune reaction in their body which may affect many organs or tissues other then the small intestine.

Recipe for these GFCF Penguins is in my book!

Are You Educated on Genetic Engineering?

Biotechnology is the new frontier. Yet, few people in our country right now, have any idea, just how dramatically Genetic Engineering is poised to change our lives. Proponents believe biotech holds the possibility of doing some great things, and I believe it might have some great applications, but there is also evidence that this technology if misapplied or allowed out of the lab/hospital setting, could have significant and even disasterous consequences for our health, and well being. The problem is, there is so much money to be made right now in biotech, and so little required in terms of safety testing, and no requirement for product labeling, that human hubris and capitalism being what they are, I think we are headed for some difficult lessons -- before appropriate safeguards are put in place. I believe at the very least, people should have the option of taking the risk of exposure or avoiding this risk if they so choose. (But that is currently NOT the case.) Please watch the video below (it is less then 20 minutes long) of how one mother (who just happened to be a wall street food analyst) woke up to this issue. Then go explore this site: Seeds of Deception to learn the facts so that you can protect yourself and your family.

Should you avoid Genetically Engineered Foods?

Check this out -- Vitamin D

Many of us probably have suboptimal levels of vitamin D, which can be a contributing factor to the development of many of the related conditions and symptoms more common in those who are gluten sensitive. Watch this video -- It's worth the investment of thirty minutes of your time. I should mention however, that while some authorities consider D3 superior to D2, there is good data that if D2 is taken in reasonable amounts (like 1000-2000 iu daily -- not the huge megadoses that some doctors recommend taking on a weekly basis) that D2 is very effective. (And for someone like me who prefers to minimize any possible exposure to prions which may contaminate animal derrived substances -- of which D3 is one -- this is very good news.)

Dietition Jack Norris has great info on Vitamin D here. Be sure also to read Vitamin D Researcher/MD Michael Hollick's book, The UV Advantage.

Recurrent Abdominal Pain (R.A.P.)

Pre Celiac Disease?

As soon as my daughter could talk she began to report to me that her tummy almost always hurt. Although it didn't become really bad until she was about 8 years old -- this I believe was due to long term exclusive breastfeeding. Throughout her early years, I raised the issue of her chronic abdominal pain with our family doctor on many occaisions, and he would assure me that nothing was wrong, that RAP was very common in children and usually due to emotional issues. When it increased in severity we went to see another doctor -- he thought she might have ulcers -- but that test came back negative and the other tests he ran showed that she was in good health. He thought she was fine too. Eventually I learned about gluten from a friend and well you can read the rest of this story by clicking on the links to articles at the top of this page. However the main point I wish to make here is this: In looking back, it is clear to me now that my daughter -- probably from birth was reacting to gluten. Her fussiness, her greenish stools, her starting to nurse and then pulling off and crying, and then years of tummy aches -- all suggest that gluten was causing her issues from the very beginning. On many occaisions I suspected that wheat might be affecting her -- but its withdrawal never entirely resolved her issues. Now of course I know that gluten is not just in wheat, but also barley, spelt, rye, oats and lots of things made from these. RAP is very common and most the time, it's cause is never found. I would urge anyone who's child is suffering, to explore the possibility that gluten might be the cause of their distress.

Why is Gluten so Problematic?

August of 2009 Scientific American published this very in-depth article on Celiac Disease:


With this quote in it:

"Gluten, however, has a peculiar structure: it is unusually rich in the amino acids glutamine and proline. This property renders part of the molecule impervious to our protein-chopping machinery, leaving small protein fragments, or peptides, intact."

However one thing the article left unanswered. I want to know what is the scientific basis for so many doctors believing that antigliadin antibodies are non-specific and are not (by themselves) indicitive of a problem? The article said that anti-gliadin antibodies are NOT considered specific to celiac disease because they are often found in people who do not have celiac disease. But given that it has only been about 65 years that the medical profession has even made the connection between celiac disease and gluten, and only SIX years since the medical profession realized the incidence was at least TEN TIMES more common then they previously thought....why are they still assuming that anti-gliadin antibodies are nonspecific?

Could it be that all those people who do have antigliadin antibodies in their systems, but don't show damage to the villi are still having a dangerous reaction to gluten? Should the definition of celiac disease be altered...or else dropped altogether and simply be part of a condition called gluten sensitivity which may or may not create visible damage to the villi of the small intestine?

Taxonomic Relationship Amongst Grains

Taxonomic Relationship Amongst Grains
Only the Hordeae tribe make their own gluten -- but oats can absorb gluten if they are grown or stored near gluten containing grains.