Here at Delight, we love nothing more than scrolling through a beautifully presented blog full of great gluten-free recipes and cooking tips. So we've started featuring one of our favorite gluten-free bloggers each week! Have a blog you'd like to see featured? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet Justine Petsch, a well-rounded Nebraska girl who dedicated her recipe and advice blog, A Lily Bit Different, to her friend’s younger sister when she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. After recently revamping her blog to include more about her personal hobbies alongside her recipe posts, Justine likes to help newly diagnosed Celiacs find their rhythm with a gluten-free lifestyle.
DGF: What's the inspiration for your blog?
Justine: This month will be my five-year gluten-free anniversary. [Being gluten-free is] something important to me, and I really wanted to blog about it, but a year ago, my friend Hannah’s little sister, Lily, was diagnosed with Celiac. She would call and text me all the time and I was constantly emailing her advice. I had this personal blog that I was kind of messing around with, and I decided I was going to start blogging for her. I re-invented my blog and I called it “I’m a Lily Bit Different” after her. I just started blogging every day for her with tips, writing recipes, and then over the course of last year I’ve just fallen in love with blogging. It’s become really cathartic for me, but it’s given me more purpose because I know I have one person in my audience.
DGF: Why did you start blogging?
Justine: January last year is when I kind of started meddling around with it. Once Lily had come to me with all these questions, I had four years of experience being gluten-free. I’m really good at being an advocate for myself. I’m a huge researcher by nature, I have this huge wealth of information — [I thought] maybe this is something I can share. That’s when I really got into being a gluten-free blogger. I’m naturally more of an aggressive person and more of an advocate for myself. But some people aren’t: Lily is an advocate for other people. She works with special needs kids, but being an advocate for herself was a struggle. She hated having to ask questions and be sort of a needy person. I thought it was really important for me to teach her how to do that.
DGF: What is the one food that you always have in your refrigerator?
Justine: Thank God I do not have a dairy or an egg allergy, because I am an egg person. I eat eggs and cheese. If I can make an omelette, I’m good to go. I always have eggs. For me, it’s just eggs, a little onion and cheese, and I’m happy.
DGF: If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would it be and what would you serve them?
Justine: I would invite Bobby Flay. I’m in love with him, and I would ask him to make me dinner because he can poach eggs like nobody’s business. I would have him make me poached eggs with hollandaise sauce and then we’d just sit and talk.
DGF: Why have you recently decided to take your blog in a new direction?
Justine: I wanted to make it look a little bit more professional. I’ve really been working on my blog design skills, and I want to start offering blog design because I enjoy blogging so much. Because I am just an advocate by nature, I also want to start offering gluten-free services. If somebody is recently diagnosed, I would like to work with them one-on-one, like a coaching service, kind of like what I did for Lily. In my 10-year "grand plan," I’d like to be able to help restaurants expand their gluten-free selections and train their staff about gluten-free.
DGF: Where do you get your inspiration for your recipes?
Justine: I’m not a very traditional cook. I understand the absolute basics of cooking, but I’m really terrible about just throwing things together and then I may not be able to remake that recipe. It helps me a lot to write it down immediately, but I have no idea on the portions. I may just throw in the juice of one lemon. I have no idea how much juice that is, or I might just throw in some seasonings. I taste as I go along.
Justine’s Roasted Broccoli Pizza
Yield: This will make a lot of dough for one pizza, but it’s enough for two if you split it in half and refrigerate it.
For the crust:
- 1 1/3 cup Gluten-Free Bisquick
- Italian herbs (I used oregano, rosemary and an Italian spice mix)
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/3 cup oil (I used half olive oil and half sesame oil for flavor)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 beaten eggs
For the pizza:
- 1 head of broccoli, just the florets
- olive oil
- black pepper
- 3 cloves freshly crushed and chopped garlic
- a handful of sprouts
- shredded pepper jack cheese
- freshly crushed garlic, to taste
- Toss the broccoli in a little olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and chopped garlic. Put the broccoli on a baking sheet and into the oven at 420 degrees F for about 25 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Set broccoli aside.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare the crust according to the pizza directions on the Gluten-Free Bisquick packaging, adding as much of the herbs as you prefer. Oil the pan a little and rub oil on both sides of the dough. Bake the crust on a baking sheet in the oven for 12 minutes.
- After it’s baked, add some pepper jack cheese and melt it in the oven on the broiler setting. Add your roasted broccoli, fresh sprouts, a little crushed garlic and some more cheese and put it back under the broiler until it’s melted. Enjoy!
Posted on Thu, July 11, 2013
by Sara Benner filed under