Introducing… “Northcut-Inspired”

As we begin a new week, I begin a new endeavor.  Today I introduce to you, “Northcut Inspired”!  I am so excited to take on this challenge…to help a colleague and his family indulge in allergy-appropriate food…and continue my learning.  Below I have pasted the initial content and background on my newest addition (tab) on the Indulge homepage and followed with my first Gluten & Casein Free Recipe.

One cannot think well, love well, or sleep well…if one has not dined well.   ~Woolf

Northcut-Inspired.  This page is dedicated to those of you who live with an intolerance to gluten and casein…those of you like “Northcut”.  Interestingly enough, on my 5yr wedding anniversary (8.20.10), I received an email from one of my Medtronic colleagues.  His words were unexpected…eye-opening…and kind.   His message is below:
“So, until today I never realized “Indulge” was your inspiration…very nicely done!  I do believe you two need children and real jobs, however.  Several years ago my wife discovered the culprit to all of her health mysteries.  Unfortunately, she lived over 30 years not knowing the root cause and has subsequently been diagnosed with other systemic auto-immune deficiencies.  What you may ask was the root cause?  None other than that little wheat protein called “gluten” and that damn dairy derivative called “casein”.  You would be amazed at what allergies can do to your system; I would have never in a million years imagined that food allergies could cause such disruption.  After that bit of history, here is your challenge.  Being very impressed with your foodie blog and apparent knack for keeping meals “real” and affordable, I challenge you to step up your game and create some budget conscious meals free of gluten and casein!  As you know, it’s not always easy to find tasty ingredients let alone combining those into something we are accustomed to at our favorite steak houses!  Now, I know this is a lofty challenge, but you’ve proven yourself in other aspects of your life and I know you’re up for it…aka “Rep of the Year”.  As an alternative benefit, you would NOT believe the popularity you would gain on your site! It is very nicely done with impressive photography, organization, and ease. I kid you not, you could retire from the world of biologics and indulge the rest of us with tasty goodness and make a buck in the process!  Just a little ‘food for thought’, let me know what you get cookin! I will give you FULL credit AFTER I prepare the meal for her!”  ~Northcut


As soon as I finished reading his message I was convinced that I needed answer his challenge.  No, I am not a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist or even a Professional Chef but I do share a love for food and a desire to help!  I believe my immediate response was, “Game On Bro.”  And in the month since his email, I have contacted dietitians, researched food allergies (specifically gluten & casein), read Gluten-free/Dairy-free cookbooks and spoken with real people who live with these intolerances every day.  In fact, I would like to send a big “Thank You” to Tina, a gal that I stopped in a Des Moines, Iowa coffee shop because I heard her talking about living a gluten & dairy free lifestyle.  Tina’s time, generosity and insights were so helpful!  

Now, exactly one month later (9.20.10), I unveil to you an addition to Indulge called “Northcut Inspired.”  Let it be known that my intention is not fortunate or fame.  My purpose is to help you indulge in the food you eat every day!  As I attempt to answer this challenge, I promise you continued learning (on my part), one recipe post each week that is specific to your diet, and prompt responses to your requests .  I will work with the same everyday recipes that I love and reinvent them to suit your needs.  All of these recipes will be posted to my Indulge Homepage, tagged with “GFCF”, and then listed by category below. 

Lucretius had it right when he said, “What is food to one man may be a fierce poison to others.”  That doesn’t mean we can’t adapt our meals to savour the goodness available to us!  If you are living with food restrictions, feel free to contact me with your comments, concerns, requests.  I look forward to answering this challenge!  Northcut, Thank You.

And with that introduction, I share with you my first Gluten & Casein Free Recipe.  For ease and guaranteed deliciousness, I begin with PASTA POMODORO…one of my personal favorites!


Serves 4 -6

  • 2 cans (28 oz) whole, peeled, tomatoes.  Drain & Crush by hand.
  • 2 cans petite diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1 Sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Kosher Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Basil leaves, torn
  • Gluten-Free Spaghetti noodles, cooked & strained

 Start by making the pomodoro sauce.  This will allow for the flavors to meld while you prep the rest of the meal.

In a large saucepan, heat EVOO over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, ~5 minutes. 

Add the diced and crushed tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for ~15 minutes.  Bring to a boil, stirring for 2-3 minutes to break up tomatoes. 

Reduce heat and simmer for ~20 minutes. Stir in the fresh basil.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  

While the sauce is simmering, bring water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente.  ~ 9-10 minutes or as indicated on the box. 

Strain pasta.  Immediately top with sauce to help retain heat.


Spinkle with goats cheese if you desire…pour a glass of wine and ENJOY!

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

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