Friday, April 30, 2010

Shannon's Gluten Free Barbeque Ribs

My friend Cody is also a celiac and has the good fortune to be married to a sweet lady named Shannon, not a celiac, who will cook him special meals and treats just because she loves him and thinks he's hot. Shannon and I have teamed up a couple of times to take dinner to people in need in our neighborhood, and she makes these lovely delicious barbeque ribs that will make you forget any sadness in your life. Shannon was generous enough to share her recipe with me and I'm here to tell you that they are worth every last slow cooking minute it takes to make them. They're easy, delicious, and make enough for a large family.

Shannon's Gluten Free Ribs

1 package of boneless pork ribs (sometimes called country style)
1 bottle of Hunt's Original Barbecue Sauce
1 T garlic salt
3 T brown sugar
1 T lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with Onion Roasted Potatoes.

How easy is that? This is one of those great meals that you can cook in the summer and won't get your house completely hot. Enjoy these, they're worth every bite!

Happy eating!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Farm Fresh Eggs: Gluten Free Breakfast Joy

My husband has a friend at work who has like 30 chickens living on his property. Last time the kids and I went down to visit daddy's work he gave us an 18-pack of fresh eggs from his "farm" and told me I could get more any time I want. Cool, I thought. I use a lot of eggs, so this will be good because I won't have to run to the store when I'm out. What I didn't realize (because I'm a city slicker and have been my whole life) is that fresh eggs taste so much better than store-bought eggs. I was amazed at the flavor and richness of the fresh eggs. I had a full 18 pack of eggs in my fridge and not one of them has been touched yet, because I've been eating these delicious fresh eggs every chance I get.
The great thing about eggs is that they're such saviors for gluten free eaters! When you're hungry and in a hurry, whip up some eggs or an omelet and you're set. So easy, so versatile, and so naturally gluten free. And while I was thinking so much about these eggs, I realized that everyone I know cooks their eggs a different way. It's like that part in Runaway Bride where Julia Roberts eats every kind of egg to find out her true personality, and settles on Eggs Benedict. I think I must have a boringly normal personality because this is how I love to eat my eggs:
*scrambled with Pam, stirring the whole time
*about 1/4 cup of shredded colby jack cheese cooked into them and
*a pinch of salt.

I mean, how suburban can you get? I must say, everyone including my children and my children's friends have said that they like my eggs, so it must not be too bad. What's your favorite way to eat eggs? Leave me a comment below and tell me how you take your eggs: over easy? boiled? omelet-style? McMuffin style?

Happy eating!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Gluten Free Chicken Soup... for those days when you're less than healthy

This week I have been sick with strep throat, which is only weird because I'm a grown up and you're supposed to outgrow it, but since I got my tonsils out 10 years ago I hadn't had it once until November, and since then I've had it three times! Whatever. Stupid body. Nonetheless I've had my fair share of sick days this year, and the rumors are true: Chicken soup really DOES help your body feel better when you're sick.
My chicken soup is so simple and easy. I've made it before with Tinkyada noodles, which I love, but for some reason I really savor the soup more when I make it with potatoes as the starchy ingredient instead of noodles. And, when you don't feel good but you're still the woman of the house, it's nice to have an easy recipe that you can just dump in a pot and have something delicious and comforting to get you through the day. Here it is, in all it's canned glory:
Gluten Free Chicken Soup
2 14.5 oz cans Swanson Chicken broth
1 can drained cooked, canned chicken
1/2 onion, minced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 potato, peeled and diced small
1 pinch of salt (optional)
1 pinch of pepper
1/4 cup frozen peas
Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot except peas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, with lid on pot, for 12-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add peas, remove from heat, and stir until peas are defrosted. Makes 4 1 cup servings.
My 11 year old is quite the chicken soup connoisseur, and she ate the whole bowl I gave her as a taste test. The potatoes make the soup feel hearty and filling, while the broth really makes you feel like Mom's there taking care of you. Even when you have to do your own dishes.
Happy eating!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When Life Gives You Flat Cookies, Make Gluten Free Granola!

I'm back from the Land of Broken Modems. It is not a happy place. I'm considering writing a road map for people to avoid that land, but then I realized you can't maneuver around it, because it will pop up whenever you REALLY REALLY need your computer. Like when it's time to write a witty and engaging blog post that will change the world.

Well, I don't know if this post will change the world, but it will make you laugh. I know I did when it happened to me. I set out to make a different version of Oatmeal Cookies, and I wanted to be all fancy pants and use my special flours to show y'all how clever I am. Because in my mind, I'm the queen of flour substitutes. Not so much. So I got out my delicious oatmeal cookie recipe that I used to make all the time with regular flour back in the day:

Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups oats
1/3 cup teff flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup amaranth flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg, water, and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients and beat well. Drop by spoonful on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 11-13 minutes until edges are brown.

So I got my good vanilla out and mixed up some batter. I used my fancy scooper to scoop out the perfect cookie balls and baked away. And when I took them out of the oven, this is what I got:
An ocean of flat oatmeal stuff. This is what I would call a hot mess. I'm pretty sure an expletive came out of my mouth when I saw this. No way this is good for the internet, I thought. I tried to peel up a cookie off of the sheet and it crumbled into a gooey but delicious disaster. What did I do wrong? The combination of flours must not have enough structure in them to make the cookies rise and keep them from spreading. Then it hit me. This concoction may not work as a traditional "cookie", but it may still have another use. So I tried this:
And by jove, a new little side dish was born: homemade gluten free granola. It's got that little kick from the cinnamon and the oats stay chewy, so it's a great soft granola if you keep it in a ziploc bag. If you like the crunchy stuff, just let it sit out for a few hours and get a little stale, then put it in a ziploc to keep it for later. I gave some cookie crumbles to my next door neighbor and she said, "Thanks for the granola!" I'm on to something, here.

Happy eating!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gluten Free Pork Chop and Rice Casserole

Way back when I used to have this awesome neighbor who lived across the street from me named Shar. Shar was so great because she was like a walking encyclopedia of domestic goodness. She knew how to grow perennials and roses and always had her husband building retaining walls and digging more flower beds for her so she could add to her garden collection. She loved to cook and had tons of great recipes like Benihana fried rice and other great dishes that always involved lots and lots of my favorites: vegetables. Her spice rack was like an encyclopedia of flavor. One year I got to go with her husband to pick out her Christmas gifts which were expensive knives, a pot rack, and fancy pots and pans to hang on the rack. I was like a kid in a candy store watching all of that kitchen goodness in front of me. When I had my second child I was really really sick (which I now know were celiac symptoms) and I was so depressed about my health that I relied a lot on Shar to make me good food that I would actually eat. That was another great thing about Shar: she was unfailingly generous with her time, her ingredients, and her knowledge. We were polar opposites when it came to food, because she loved the hot and spicy stuff and I was so into bland food that my appetite looked like a slice of Wonder Bread. She taught me to embrace new flavors and not to be afraid of a little spice. We used to eat at this crappy little Mexican restaurant for lunch called Mariposa and she would always get the spiciest thing on the menu. And then she'd go home and host a Cinco de Mayo party and try to recreate the recipe herself...this was new to me. Making up a recipe? What? How could you even do that? This recipe of Shar's was one of my favorites, and now I know why: it's a naturally gluten free recipe! There's not one speck of wheat in this recipe, so it made my tummy very happy. I made this for dinner last night and I added a few things to Shar's original recipe, and my husband, who doesn't like my pork chops, actually said he thought these pork chops tasted great! Success all around!
Gluten Free Pork Chop and Rice Casserole
3-4 pork chops
salt and pepper
2 T olive oil
1 small chopped onion
1 small chopped green pepper (optional)
2 cloves minced garlic
3/4 cup uncooked rice
1 5/5 ounce can of V-8 juice
2 cups water
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp paprika
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season chops with salt and pepper. Add oil to a large skillet and heat to medium heat. Brown the chops in the oil on both sides, remove. Add onion and pepper to oil and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat. In a lidded casserole dish, combine rice, V-8 juice and water. Spoon cooked veggies over the rice, add the pork chops and sprinkle with paprika and parsley. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes, remove lid and bake for 15 more minutes to absorb any extra liquid.
Luckily, I was the beneficiary of not only great food from Shar, but great times and lots of laughs together. That's the essence of friendship, isn't it?
Happy eating!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gluten Free Chicken and Fettucini Alfredo

I'm always on the lookout for healthy and fast dinners that my family will actually eat. While this recipe may be questionable on the healthy side, it's definitely delicious. The fact that you can make it gluten free by simply switching to Tinkyada Brown Rice Noodles is even better. I originally made this with their spaghetti noodles, but have since discovered that I like the fettucini ones even better. You want a nice wide noodle to hold onto the sauce. You could also use shrimp instead of chicken, if that tickles your fancy.
First, I started off with my grill pan heated to medium-high heat, since it's spring in Utah and you never know what day you can actually use the barbeque grill outside. I rubbed my chicken breasts with a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper and grilled them for about 6 minutes per side, or until there's no pink in the middle.

Then there's the Alfredo sauce:

1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated, plus more for garnishing
1 clove minced garlic
pinch salt
pinch pepper
1/4 tsp parsley

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the milk and garlic and heat until just below a simmer. Add salt and pepper and toss with the cooked pasta. Add cheese and toss together. Garnish with extra parmesan and parsley.

Technically there's no garlic in Alfredo sauce, but I couldn't resist. It just tastes so good with a little something extra in there. Then I chopped up the chicken into bite sized chunks and mixed it all together. It was great. My one kid voted to add peas next time but the others liked it as is. I felt like I had just aced my 10th grade foods class with this one: protein, dairy, grains, and flavor. So I'm going to put this out there and see the responses we get back: Do you make your own Alfredo sauce or do you buy it in a jar? If so, which jar? No judging here, if you buy it, that's great, too! I'm fishing to see what brands are gluten free out there that people like.

Happy eating!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Gluten Free Breakfast Casserole

For those of you who don't live in Utah and missed the recipe I cooked on TV Wednesday, you are in luck. I'm going to share it here on the magical World Wide Web for all to enjoy. I have to say that this recipe is easier to make at home than it is on a TV set, simply because it's fast and easy and you don't have to wait for camera men or the weather segment to get over.

If you have company come over and you want to make something that is simple yet elegant, this recipe is for you. When I have people stay with me, which seems to be often nowadays, I want them to feel comfortable but not completely on their own, so sometimes I will make this for breakfast along with some Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins and it seems to hit the spot for just about everyone.
Plus, it's naturally gluten free, so you don't need any special ingredients to make it so that you can eat it.

Gluten Free Breakfast Casserole (Frittata)

2 T butter
2 T olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
pinch salt
1 clove minced garlic
1 cup frozen hash brown potatoes, southern style
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sour cream
5 slices crispy cooked bacon, roughly chopped
5 stalks asparagus, diced on the bias
1 diced tomato
1- 1 1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
2 tsp freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large ovenproof skillet, melt the butter and add olive oil. Add onion and salt and cook until onion is soft. Add hashbrowns and saute until browned and crisp. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat. In a medium -sized bowl crack eggs and whisk until yolks are broken and eggs are blended. Add milk, sour cream, bacon, asparagus, tomato, cheese, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk until combined. Pour directly over potatoes and onions, and place in preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until center is firm and set. Remove from oven and grate parmesan cheese over the top. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges to serve. Reheats well.

I think you will love this recipe! It's one of my new favorites. My 13 year old even likes it. Hooray. You can vary it with anything that you might love in an omelette or frittatta, like swiss cheese or zucchini or ham or spinach or peppers, whatever sounds good to you.

Happy eating!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

You know how you have those moments at the store where you walk past something that you used to be able to eat and then you sigh and say, "That used to be one of my favorites. Dang." That was me and lemon poppy seed muffins. They didn't even have to be the huge planet-sized Costco ones, I could do myself up right with the mix from a box when it came to those. And whenever I have those moments at the store when I am missing one of my old favorites, I can usually guarantee that I'm in the kitchen by the next day whipping up some gluten free substitute that sometimes tastes even better than the original. These muffins are the perfect complement to any brunch or breakfast meal. Light and fresh, they round out your taste buds and give you a full tummy, too. Of course I'm using my favorite flour for these muffins, the Grandpa's Kitchen gluten free baking flour. I've made a few batches of these, so I know that if you use a little more lemon zest you may love it but your husband may not. So use zest accordingly. If you want an extra lemony zing, add a bit of lemon extract and see if you like it. I like this recipe because the muffins have a lemony flavor without totally zinging you. The same goes for the poppyseeds. I love the crunch of using 2 tablespoons, but some of you may only want to use 1 tablespoon if you like less of them. All I know is that goofing off in the kitchen can often yield tasty results...and I don't sigh when I walk by the Costco muffins anymore!
Gluten free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
1 3/4 cup Grandpa's Kitchen baking flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 beaten egg
zest of 3 lemons
juice of 2 lemons
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soday, salt and poppy seeds together in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, mix milk, oil, egg, and lemon zest and juice together. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients all at once. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop batter into muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown on top.
Happy eating!

Monday, April 5, 2010

One More Thing You Can Do With Udi's Bread...

It's Monday. It's the day after Easter. We're STILL potty training. Sometimes a girl needs some Nutella on Udi's toast for breakfast. Maybe by the end of the week I'll have corralled all of the plastic eggs and shredded paper. Maybe not. Tomorrow is another day...
Happy Easter and Happy Eating!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gluten Free Fare at Au Naturale

It may seem to some of you that I am eating out all the time. I promise that I don't eat out any more than most people do, I just happen to take my camera along with me to record the moment so it seems like a lot more. ( I hope you all believe that...) Anyway, last week I got the chance to catch up with one of my dear college friends who I haven't seen in (I'm ashamed to say it) 15 years. I know, how dear can she be if I haven't seen her in 15 years, you may ask? Truly, Rachel is so extra dear to me because of this: she is the person who taught me to make homemade bread and homemade spaghetti sauce. She holds the high honor of educating my inner cook when I thought I was too young and incapable of making a meal. Until I met her I thought those things were way too complicated to ever make from scratch. It turns out they are way better than the bottled kind! And I never would have had the courage to try to do it myself without Rachel. Love her. She also used to do a killer Roseanne Roseanna-danna impersonation, which was great to pass the time in the great white north known as Logan, Utah. Winters can be a little boring there. But anyway...

Since Rachel is somewhat of a natural food connoisseur, she suggested we try a little restaurant in Sugarhouse called Au Naturale located on 2100 South and 900 East. I thought we could give it a shot and with a name like that you would think they have gluten free fare there. I was right. They have an entire handout full of gluten free food that you can order to eat in or get through their handy dandy drive through. I don't know what person I was impersonating, but I ordered my first ever serving of sushi:

It was ahi tuna with brown rice and avocado. Not bad! I felt so cosmopolitan. By the way, that little blob of light green stuff? Wasabi. Avoid that if you can. It is beyond spicy, I tell you. And I don't even know what those marinated strips of creamy stuff were on the top left of the plate, but I didn't love them either. I also tried the wild mushroom and thyme soup, which was good, but needed a bit of extra salt and pepper to get it up to speed. No biggie, really. They offer homemade fries, soups, wraps (which you would have to order without the wrap anyway) and acai berry frozen yogurt. Everything is fresh and healthy, and you don't even have to clean up after yourself when you're done. My biggest problem eating there was this: are you supposed to put the whole piece of sushi in your mouth at one time so you can't even taste it, or do you bite it in half and ruin the roll and make a mess? Neither option seemed to be working for me that day. It surely gave us a memory we won't forget soon. If you're in the Salt Lake area, give Au Naturale's menu a try. You'll like it. Gluten free fast food? You can't beat that!

Happy eating!

Easy Gluten Free Marshmallow Fudge...And I Mean Easy

Thank goodness for magazines with test kitchens and a staff of 50 to figure out all of those quick and easy recipes that you read and kind of go, "oh, duh." I was flipping through the February issue of Real Simple magazine, which was of course all about love and Valentines day and chocolate, and they had a cute little page on how to use semi-sweet chocolate. Now, I'm not going to pretend I am fancy enough to have blocks of semi-sweet chocolate laying around. I simply grabbed a bag of chocolate chips and went for it. This is a great three ingredient recipe that you could make the day before and take to a luncheon or a family dinner, whatever you may need completely rich small servings of chocolate for. It's the best when you find a naturally gluten free recipe lurking in a mainstream magazine. I also think I may have made this batch not quite correctly, because the marshmallows all floated to the top and it was a layer of chocolate on the bottom and marshmallow on the top. Has anyone else ever made this and figured out how to get marshmallows all the way through?
Gluten Free Marshmallow Fudge
from the pages of Real Simple Magazine
1 12 ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
Heat the milk in a saucepan, just below a simmer. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Add the marshmallows and fold in. Pour into a parchment-paper lined 8x8 glass baking dish and chill in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Cut into squares.
Happy eating!
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