Archive for the ‘Meals made G-Free’ Category

Breads & Dinner Rolls, G-Free and Delicious!

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

I had long given up breads and rolls. Even before discovering my issues were related to Gluten my body was telling me these were not my friends. There were, however, a few favorites that I had been longing for, namely French and Sourdough breads and rolls to accompany certain dinners and Cinnamon Raisin Bread toasted and buttered with breakfast.

Udi's Gluten Free BreadsCinnamon Raisin Bread, French and Sourdough breads are simply fabulous when lightly toasted and buttered! There is nothing like their aroma and sweet buttery crunch… or so I thought. Then, I discovered Udi’s Gluten Free Foods.(www.udisglutenfree.com) I found these at our Wegmans, but imagine you will find them in other local stores. I absolutely love Udi’s Guten Free Whole Grain Bread and Cinnamon Raisin Bread. These are not crumbly, as can be the case with many other G-Free breads I have tried. They have the same texture and similar taste to my ole’  favorites, so much so that these will be the only breads bought for my whole household from now on.

Schar G-Free Cibatta Parbaked Rolls

For those special occasions when I want a G-Free roll with diner, I highly recommend the Schar Gluten-Free Ciabatta Parbaked Rolls. Served warm from the oven, these break open beautifully for buttering and are oh, so tasty.

I am tempted to laugh out loud when others express sympathy for my “having” to eat Gluten-Free. I don’t feel I am “suffering” at all. I eat better than ever and feel simply wonderful. What more could we ask of our food that they fuel our needs deliciously.

Chex Party Mix – made Gluten Free

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Last week, an occasion arose for me to take a Gluten Free “munchie” to a holiday party. What fun! As I glanced through my pantry, my eyes fell upon a large box of Corn and Rice Chex cereal from Costco marked Gluten Free. Well… my mouth began to water for an ole’ favorite, Chex Party Mix. I thought, “Why not?”

Obviously, I could use only the Rice and Corn CHEX cereals, both naturally Gluten Free, and I left out the pretzels. Thankfully, I always have Gluten Free Worcestershire Sauce in my refrigerator. The other traditional ingredient that needed a substitute was the “Seasoning Salt”. With a little experimentation, I arrived at the following recipe and it was enjoyed by all, those who delight in only eating Gluten Free and those who are not limited thusly.

Gluten Free CHEX Party MixChex Party Mix - Gluten Free

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Mix the following:
2 1/4 tsp Gluten Free Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Cup melted salted Butter
1 tsp Salt
Dash Paprika
Dash Onion Powder

Toss the above mixture with:
1 Cup Salted Cashews
2 Cups Corn CHEX
2 Cups Rice CHEX

Double or triple this basic recipe based on the number of anticipated guests.
Place mix in a roasting pan and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Stir frequently.
Cool. Store in an airtight container.

This mix has become a traditional “comfort food” enjoyed by many not only through the Holidays, but any time of year.   Enjoy!!!

Delicious G-Free Chocolate Chip cookies

Monday, July 19th, 2010
Grandma Corbi's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grandma Corbi's Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you are like me, every now and again you get a craving for old fashioned chocolate chip cookies. ;)

This spring a friend gave me a tub of frozen chocolate chip cookie dough… it was such a thoughtful gift! One never knows about these things if they will really be tasty or not… but this one was scrumptious!!!

The company sells mainly through “fund-raising” programs, but they will take online orders.

I like mine warm and soft, hot out of the oven, but these do get crispy as they cool.
One tub lasted quite awhile since I was only baking a few cookies at a time, but when I re-ordered online, I purchased 3 tubs to save on shipping.

Interestingly, these Grandma Corbi Gluten Free Chocolate Chip cookies are the only Gluten Free item that the Joe Corbi company sells… but you will love them! You can order them for yourself here.

Grandma Corbi's GlutenFree ChocolateChip Cookie Dough

Grandma Corbi's GlutenFree ChocolateChip Cookie Dough

"Homemade" G-Free Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

"Homemade" G-Free Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

If eating them hot from the oven were not enough… my daughter-in-law showed me how to make my own “ice cream sandwiches” by putting a scoop of plain (gluten free) vanilla ice cream between two cooled cookies, wrapping them up, and placing them in the freezer for a special cool summer treat. Tasty!!!

Baking is easy! You can defrost the tub and scoop out what you want and then re-freeze them repeatedly… however, since I most often want these on impulse, I have begun to simply “dig out” the right amount of the frozen dough and bake the cookies just a bit longer than the package recommends.

However you enjoy them, it is wonderful to know that eating Gluten Free does not mean the elimination of all “comfort foods”.

Canned and Gluten Free

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

When walking through the grocery aisle I often find myself wondering about what “else”  is Gluten Free. Not everything is labeled in the most helpful way.

Obviously fresh, organic, whole foods are the best choice for fruits and vegetables. Frozen would be my second choice, but there are times when what I want is not available in either of those forms… and there are those occasional favorite foods from my past that simply keep “calling my name”.

One such food is the Del Monte “Fresh Cut Specialties- Zucchini with Italian-Style Tomato Sauce”. At first glance, I would have dismissed this product because the ingredient list includes tomato paste and spices. Both of those ingredients could contain Gluten unless otherwise indicated.

A call to Del Monte’s 1-800 number (1-800-543-3090) went unanswered… apparently, I called after hours. Thank goodness for the internet! Del Monte’s website was very helpful. One page addressed concerns about Celiac Disease ( Del Monte – Ask the Nutritionist – Celiac Disease) and another listed which of their products are Gluten Free. Here is their list:

WHICH DEL MONTE FOODS CONSUMER PRODUCTS ARE GLUTEN-FREE?

The list below includes current Del Monte consumer products that, to the best of our knowledge, do not contain wheat, oats, rye or barley/malt ingredients.

The list may change or may not be complete due to formula changes or new product introductions. It’s always best to read the ingredient statement on the label for the most current information.

Del Monte Gluten-Free Products

  • All Del Monte® and S&W® Canned/Jarred Fruits
  • All Del Monte® Fruit Cup® Snacks (Metal and Plastic), including Fruit Chillers®
  • All Del Monte® and S&W® Canned Vegetables
  • All Del Monte®Contadina®, and S&W® Tomatoes & Tomato Products (except
    Del Monte
    ® Spaghetti Sauce Flavored with Meat, and Contadina® Tomato Paste with Italian Herbs)
  • Harvest Selections® Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans, Homestyle Chili with Beans.
  • College Inn® Garden Vegetable Broth and Organic Beef Broth, Beef Sirloin Bold Stock, White Wine & Herb Culinary Broth.

Wahooo… it is safe to eat my canned Zucchini.  :)  Wouldn’t it be so much easier if only the companies would put a symbol for Gluten Free right on the label? A “K” inside a small triangle on the label indicates this food item as Kosher.

I’m hoping companies get the message. I’ve avoided this ‘favorite food’ item since first discovering my need to eat Gluten Free. Del Monte had lost my business all this time due to inadequate labeling.

Those with nut allergies have gotten attention and better labeling… I think the time has come for Gluten/Gluten Free to be required on all processed and manufactured foods. It would make life a little easier for us all!

Gluten Free Crunchmaster Crackers

Monday, March 22nd, 2010
Our Nation's Arbonne 30th Anniversary Celebration

Our Nation's Arbonne 30th Anniversary Celebration

At a reception this past week in Vegas, a friend and colleague was most gracious and kind enough to take into consideration that two of us attending eat Gluten Free. She had a fabulous spread of all kinds of salad fix-ins, fruits, cheese and crackers. The tasty Crunchmaster crackers were enjoyed by everyone!

I thought these were perhaps the best Gluten Free Crackers I’ve ever eaten. The multi-grain oven baked variety were, as their name suggests, crunchy, and the taste – delicious! These would be great alone or served with a variety of Gluten Free spreads and toppings, including cheese and hummus.

Crunchmaster Gluten-Free Crackers

Crunchmaster Gluten-Free Crackers

A visit to their website clearly states their motto: Happy, Healthy & Gluten Free. That is one I can fully endorse, and I am delighted they boldly declare on the front of the box that these are certified Gluten Free. (No having to search the small print.)

I understand Costco has these crackers priced less than traditional stores.

These are a relatively healthy Gluten Free cracker choice: low in sodium (110mg / 15-crackers) containing 2grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 280mg of Omega-3 per serving, and zero cholesterol.

Creme Brulee, deliciously Gluten Free

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Dessert often conjures up images of cakes, pies, and other non-Gluten Free delights. Found on the menu in many fine restaurants, there is nothing like this exquisite dessert to complete a meal. I always ask to make sure, but when available, it should be a Gluten Free option.
However, it is truly simple enough to be made and enjoyed at home. Luxuriously rich, it is best enjoyed on special occasions.

Our favorite Creme Brulee recipe is courtesy of Alton Brown (of “Good Eats” fame), from FoodNetwork.com (2005).

Ingredients:

1 Quart Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Vanilla Bean, split and scraped
1 C Vanilla Sugar (DIVIDED – saving 1/2 C for the top)
6 Large Egg Yolks
2 Quarts Hot Water

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 C sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring constantly. Pour the liquid  into 6 (7-8 ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

High-end kitchen stores sell fancy torches for this purpose, but my husband’s shop torch works just as well.

Alton Brown mentions using Vanilla Sugar, and this is easily made by storing 2 cups of regular sugar in a jar with a previously-used (rinsed and dried) vanilla bean suspended in the sugar. The flavor of the vanilla bean will naturally permeate the sugar. Occasionally shaking the jar evens the flavor. This sugar can be used whenever you want a vanilla flavor with the sweetness, like in Tapioca – another great Gluten Free dessert. (Costco seasonally sells whole vanilla beans at a reasonable price. Look for it near their spices.)

Trust me, this recipe is well worth the effort!!!

Risotto

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

During the early days when I felt frustrated about all the things I could no longer eat, my wonderful husband re-discovered Risotto, made using Arborio rice. He had once made Risotto for me with a special birthday dinner. We had all loved it, but for some reason it had not become a regular in our home until I found myself needing to be Gluten Free.

Ah, what a culinary delight – Risotto.

It is best made from scratch and eaten immediately or it can become, well, like glue. Done right, it is fabulous!

We started with a recipe from Robert Irvine’s book Mission: Cook! The first time we made it we used his Lobster Risotto with Clams recipe as a guide (found on page 252-253). Since then, we follow the same basic technique but alter what goes in it based on what is on hand,

Risotto is made using Arborio rice… no other “rice” will do, and it is made in a large skillet cooked slowly over medium to high heat. Separately, the stock is kept “just below boiling” in a pot.

Stock ~ 2 1/2 Cups (The stock can simply be purchased Gluten Free chicken or vegetable stock, or you can use your own.)

Basic ingredients (serves 4):

Arborio Rice (1C)
Chopped Onion (1 small) or shallots
2 Tbsp Oil (we use Grapeseed Oil, but Olive Oil will do)
1/4 – 1/2 C Wine (any white wine to your taste will do, we prefer Beringer White Zinfandel)
2 oz Heavy Cream or Whole Milk
3 Tbsp Freshly grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp Butter

Robert Irvine’s method states that you heat the oil in the skillet and sauté the onions in the oil until soft. Stir in the rice until it becomes translucent, then pour in the wine to deglaze the pan. His method goes on to say, “When most of the liquid has evaporated from the rice pan, add one ladle of stock at a time to the risotto from the simmering pot of stock… the method is to let the risotto absorb the stock gradually before you add the next ladle full to it. Once all the stock has been added and absorbed (after 15-25 minutes), add the heavy cream.”
Note, you must stir regularly while adding the stock. When done, remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the cheese and butter; then salt and pepper to taste.

To these basic ingredients, we like to add the following (depending on what is on hand):

Added with the very first ladle of stock :
Chopped Dates, Prunes, OR Dried Cherries (these add another layer of complexity to the dish)
Sun-dried Tomatoes

With the last ladle of stock, we add:
Asparagus (parboil them ahead of time, but add them at the end… save the tips for garnish)
Quartered and Marinated Artichoke Hearts (further cut in half)
Mushrooms (either fresh or canned)
Pine Nuts

Serve immediately! Once plated, you can top with shavings of fresh Parmesan and asparagus tips.

This recipe lends itself to culinary experimentation.
There is little that you could add that would mess it up.
Cooking should be fun and cooking Gluten Free is no exception.

Cheers to Gluten Free Tomato Paste and transparent labeling

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Heartfelt thanks to a dear friend for today’s post… while shopping for Gluten Free Pasta ‘fixins’, she noted that Contadina tomato paste with Italian seasonings actually said it contained wheat gluten right on the label. (Usually Gluten is ‘hidden’ among the ingredients listed.) She visited the Contadina website and sent them an email. Their reply was wonderful news for me and all in our Gluten Free community!

Here is what they said:

We are happy to tell you that Contadina Pizza Sauce is gluten-free. In fact, all Contadina Tomato and Tomato products are gluten-free EXCEPT Contadina Tomato Paste with Italian Seasonings. Also, Contadina Bread Crumbs contain gluten.

This may change or not be complete due to formula changes or new product introductions. Please read the ingredient statement on the label for the most current information.

Thanks again for contacting us. If we can be of more help, please call us at 1-888-668-2847, Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time, or visit our website anytime at www.contadina.com.

Krista, Del Monte Consumer Affairs
consumeraffairs@delmonte.com

Del Monte. Nourishing families. Enriching lives

I am encouraged by their labeling and hope other companies will take note and move toward complete disclosure in their own labeling. We must remain vigilant in reading labels, but it sounds like Del Monte will be noting Gluten on their Contadina labels should they make changes to their formulas in the future.

I look forward to pairing Contadina’s Gluten Free products with Schär Gluten Free pastas. I understand that they are developed and produced such that they remain “al dente” when cooked. If I can find a Gluten Free Italian Sausage, I will be all set to enjoy my family favorite homemade lasagna again.

You will find a complete listing of their products on the Schär website, including a section on “everyday solutions to Gluten Free living”. www.schaer.com Be sure to click on the US Version link in the upper right-hand section of their home page for the latest US news. It is noteworthy to mention that this company has been a leading expert in Gluten Free foods for 25 years.

Please continue to share your Gluten Free living insights and observations. We are all grateful!!!

Homemade Fudge Brownies

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Yes, there are Gluten Free boxed brownie mixes available, but I prefer homemade. This has long been our family favorite!

Shifting this over to a Gluten Free recipe was easy. I know it doesn’t always work to substitute white rice four for regular flour in a recipe, but I have made it a habit to at least try, especially when the recipe is a personal favorite.

I love that all the mixing for this recipe is done in one saucepan, making cleanup simple.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a square 8x8x2 inch pan, to prevent sticking.

Ingredients:

1/2 C butter
2 ounces of your favorite Gluten Free unsweetened chocolate
1 C Sugar
2 Eggs, gently beaten with a fork

1 tsp Gluten Free Vanilla Extract
3/4 C White Rice Flour
1/2 C Chopped Walnuts (optional)

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and chocolate. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs. Add Vanilla. Stir in flour and nuts, if you choose to add those. Mix Well.

Bake for 30 minutes. Do not over-bake.

The recipe calls for you to allow the brownies to cool, but truth be told, my family likes them warm, right out of the oven. Enjoy!

Finding Gluten Free on more and more products labels

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Yesterday, I was given an Italian Wishbone Salad Dressing with Gluten Free clearly marked on the back label.  Wahooo!!!

Yes, I do love my simple homemade mix of red wine vinegar and grape seed oil, but having a variety of options is nice! This particular salad dressing also makes a great marinade for chicken to be grilled, braised, or broiled.  ;)

Today, I hear that Orieda Golden Crinkle frozen French Fries and Nathan’s (brand) hot dogs both clearly states that they are Gluten Free.

I will call a company to ask if a product is Gluten Free, but I appreciate it very much when Gluten Free is clearly marked on the label. It means that the company has taken note; they have recognized that this is a health concern that impacts a growing number of people. They have formulated their products in a healthy way and are proud to state that clearly.

It also should give us a peace about making product selections when Gluten Free is clearly stated on the label. Phone confirmation is good, but I sometimes wonder if the operator really knew the answer to my questions or was she assuming/hoping/guessing with regard to Gluten. (Some customer service reps are more reassuring than others.)

Personally, I am grateful that in this day and time, living Gluten Free is getting easier and easier!