This past week I embarked on a new diet regimen. I started eating gluten-free.
You see, I have been experiencing a myriad of body aches with muscle and joint pain, along with fatigue and brain fog. Numerous sessions of physiotherapy, acupuncture and exercise could not fully resolve the symptoms. I felt that my crappy mattress was also contributing to the pain. I could barely get out of bed in the morning. I felt like an 80-year-old!
Not once did it occur to me that my symptoms were diet related. And by diet I mean a gluten-based diet. Was this my body’s way of telling me to ease off all the bread, pizza, pasta and baked goods I was consuming?
My sleuthing tendencies led me to several online sources about Celiac disease, wheat sensitivities and gluten-free living. I read a LOT about this topic. It began to make perfect sense. I was definitely displaying a handful of the symptoms shown on the website. Wow!
Once I made the conscious decision to eliminate all forms of wheat from my diet, things began to change almost immediately. The first day I felt alright. The second day I had energy and felt more alert. Today is the third day of being gluten-free and for the first time in weeks, I’m not feeling the intense muscle and joint pain. My neck, shoulders, head, wrists, fingers and lower back feel much better. The brain fog and fatigue are but a distant memory.
To help me along with the transition to this gluten elimination diet, I have been sourcing some new recipes, like this gluten-free tortilla pie. It looks like lasagna but it’s made with corn tortillas instead of lasagna noodles. Keeping with the theme of Mexican flavours, I loaded all kinds of great things into this dish like salsa, kidney beans, onions, corn and mozzarella cheese. My version does not strictly adhere to the original recipe posted in Vegetarian Times. I used what I had in my kitchen. I suggest you do the same. You can add all kinds of ingredients to this dish. Kickpleat over at ‘Everybody Likes Sandwiches’ adds rice and a variety of zippy spices to her version.
I baked the pie for around 40 minutes until the cheese had melted and fused all the different layers into a deliciously fragrant concoction. My husband raved about it when I got home, telling me that he REALLY enjoyed the tortilla pie. And since I had not tried any myself yet, I cut up a big slab and dug in. It was indeed delicious! So much so, that I ended up having a second helping.
Mexican corn tortilla pie
8 – 10 small corn tortillas
1 jar of salsa ( I used the entire jar)
1/2 onion, sliced into rings
1 large can red kidney beans
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup frozen corn niblets
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 C. Add 1/4 cup of salsa to the base of a Pyrex or similar type oven-proof dish.
2. Lay 4 or 5 corn tortillas on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle some kidney beans, onions, corn and grated cheese over top.
3. Lay 4 or 5 more tortillas over the previous layer. Again add your chosen ingredients to the new layer. Keep doing this process until you are happy with the pie. You can keep going as high as you like or until you have used up all your ingredients.
4. Place the dish in the oven on a middle rack and allow to cook thoroughly. The scent of the tortilla pie wafting throughout your house will let you know when it’s ready.
5. Remove dish from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut the pie into square slabs or wedges and serve hot with sour cream, avocado and hot sauce if you like.