glutenfreebymarriage

September 8, 2014

This Week’s Menu – Back in the Blogosphere

Filed under: Cooking Light, menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 14:38
squirrel sitting in grass surrounded by fallen leaves

image from Tim Horn (slinkydog) via http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1369442

It’s funny how the rest of the world thinks of New Year’s Day as the time for new beginnings, but when I plan a do-over I look to September.

Here in the northern hemisphere January is cold, the days are short and I seem to spend a lot of time shoveling snow or raking my roof and planning big projects isn’t something that I have the energy for.

On the other hand, September is the perfect time to take on new challenges.

The nights are cool, the days still sunny and warm and it’s a perfect setting to start new projects and gain the momentum you need to take you through winter.  On top of all that most of us have spent at least twelve years associating autumn and the start of the school year with new beginnings so the habit is already ingrained.

So what do you think?

Do you find that projects started in the autumn fare better than those started in January?

Menu 9/7/14 – 9/13/14

Sunday: GF Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Summer Squash and Onions and Peccorino-Black pepper Breadsticks (from Cooking Light – http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/pecorino-black-pepper-breadsticks-10000001654655/)

Monday: Baked Louisiana Dirty Rice and Beans (from Cooking Light – http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/baked-louisiana-dirty-rice-beans-10000001662873/)

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: Corn and Two-Bean Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup (from Cooking Light – http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/corn-two-bean-burgers-with-chipotle-ketchup-10000000689962/) with Simple Tomato and Avocado Salad (from southern chef in Louisiana – http://www.food.com/recipe/simple-tomato-and-avocado-salad-94520)

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: chef’s choice

Saturday: out

Misc.: GF Glazed Cinnamon-Raisin Tea Bread (from Cooking Light – http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/glazed-cinnamon-raisin-tea-bread-10000001654679/), Ginger Cookies (from Cooking Light – http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/ginger-cookies-10000001654714/)

Lunch: leftover GF Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Summer Squash and Onions, Easy Lemon Lentil Soup (from Angela Thompson – http://vegangela.com/2013/06/06/easy-lemon-lentil-soup/)

Note:

GF Glazed Cinnamon-Raisin Tea Bread: This quick bread was amazing.  Even substituting my usual GF flour blend the bread came out very light and airy and the apple glaze supplied just the right amount of sweetness.  I didn’t have time to take a pic, but it’s definitely worth your time follow the link and try the recipe.

Peccorino-Black pepper Breadsticks:  I made this recipe last night and while it did not turn out as expected, it was still quite good.

It only made nine 6″ breadstickes and the GF flour didn’t have enough elasticity to make ropes, but the small breadsticks we ended up with were flavorful and had a surprisingly nice texture that was crisp on the outside and slightly chewy inside.  I would make this again, but would double the recipe and slice it like crostini instead of trying to force it into slender breadsticks.

August 31, 2013

Can You Say Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs?

Filed under: gluten-free — Tags: — glutenfreebymarriage @ 15:30

gluten-free bread heels

Am I really talking about breadcrumbs? Yes, I am.

If it was just bread heels we wouldn’t be having this conversation, but my freezer is full of bread bags with one or two slices of very expensive gluten-free bread.

The problem is that gluten-free bread is small, like barely larger than cocktail bread and by the time you get past the middle you are folding your lunch meat into quarters to make it fit in the sandwich.

There was no way I was going to throw away perfectly good bread just because it was too small, so I saved them.

Week after week I pushed the runts of the loaves to the back of the freezer until one day Mr. GF noticed that the freezer was filled with sad looking bread bags and asked what I was going to do with them.

“I’m saving them to make breadcrumbs,”  I said as if that had been the plan all along.

It was pure genius.   Why hadn’t I thought of it earlier?

So here I am six months later and I can’t believe I am actually posting directions for making gluten-free bread crumbs.

Ingredients:

Makes about 3 cups of bread crumbs

  • 12 – 15 slices of GF bread or heels (It usually takes me a couple months to save enough)
  • cooking spray
  • misc. spices (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 3250
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, lightly coat with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Thaw bread if frozen.
  4. Place bread heels on prepared cookie sheets
  5. Spritz bread with cooking spray then season.  I used onion powder, garlic powder and ground sage this morning, but seasoning is optional.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes at 3250 or until all the bread is browned.  You definitely want the bread crispy like melba toast.

    soft toast = doughy bread crumbs.

  7. Cool toast on a wire rack.
  8. Using a food processor, grind cooled toast into fine crumbs.   Store in a zip top bag or air tight container.

Warning: This is a fairly messy process and no matter how careful you think you are you will end up with bread crumbs all over the counter.

Final Note: I know that making breadcrumbs isn’t for everybody, but If you need a budget friendly classic breadcrumb flavor for making meatloaf or topping a casserole, save all those pitiful little pieces of gluten-free bread and give it a try.

July 29, 2013

This Week’s Menu – We’re Still Here…

Filed under: gluten-free, menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 19:04

I wish my tomatoes looked like this.  Between the excessive rain and aggressive bees I haven’t been near my plants for a couple weeks.   The few plants that haven’t been trapped behind the bee line (a couple rows of plants that the bees seem to swarm to and get really testy if you get too close) lost all their blossoms in the last series of storms.  Oh well, I haven’t had time to work in the garden anyway.  At least the bees and squirrels should be happy.

Menu 7/2813 – 8/3/13

Sunday: Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes

Monday: Ham & Potato Salad

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: GF Pizza Rolls (love, love, love this recipe!!!)

Thursday: Chicken & Avocado Wraps

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: leftovers

Misc.: GF Blueberry Muffins for coffee/tea

June 2, 2013

This Week’s Menu – Guess who got a Lodge pan

Filed under: Cooking Light, menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 10:08

large cast iron skillet

Cooking in a very hot kitchen!

Can you tell that we wrote this week’s menu on day three of 90o temps?   Everything can either be cooked quickly on the stovetop or out on the grill, which is really appealing when you live in a house without central air conditioning.  Even better, it gives me a chance to test my brand new cast iron skillet!

Yes, I did it.  I finally bought a Lodge pan.  After Mr. GF’s last attempt to “help” with dinner, my favorite non-stick skillet is no longer non-stick and possibly permanently fused with charcoaled bits of burnt chicken.  (He only cooks on high heat.)  I’ll keep trying to clean it up and re-season it, but it’s not looking good.  In fact, it’s bad enough that I was able justify replacing it.

Mr. GF was dubious about my choice of cast iron over modern ceramic or teflon, but how can you not love a pan that is Made in USA, can be used (with care) on my ceramic cooktop, in the oven or on the grill, is virtually indestructible and only costs about $20?   I’ll admit that it’s really heavy, it’s kind of inconvenient that it can’t be soaked in water, but it’s worth it.   At least I hope it is.   Worst case scenario is that I hate it and it is relegated to grill duty.

Keep cool!  Tomorrow we are testing a recipe for Blackberry Sorbet.  (lactose free of course)

Menu 6/2/13 – 6/8/13

Sunday:  Grilled Cheddar Sausage Patties

Monday: Olive-Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2005, p. 204) – The olive part is a tapenade and is quite good!

Tuesday: Chicken and Blue Cheese Slaw (Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2005, p. 212)

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Corn and Two Bean Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup (Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2005, p. 324)

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: leftovers

Misc.: GF Blueberry Muffins for coffee/tea, Blackberry-Buttermilk Sherbet (Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2008, p. 159) and Oil & Vinegar Potato Salad

May 28, 2013

This Week’s Menu – Where the Heck Have I Been?

Filed under: menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 08:30

baked beans

In case you can’t tell, I’m not a prolific blogger…

It’s 8:30 AM and the baked beans have been in the slow cooker for an hour and a half.  I don’t have the time to be a super blogger, but I do  manage to make homemade,  non-processed, low sodium, gluten-free with minimal dairy meals on a daily basis.  If I had more free time I’d be all over the blog-post-a-day thing, but I don’t.

Things are busy with work, I’m trying to tame the urban wilderness that I call a garden and thanks to a generous gift of new flooring, we have decided to move up the kitchen demo plan.  (It was on the calendar for fall, but I can’t live with the stacks of wood that have morphed into stacks of wood and tile taking up half the space in my dining/kitchen areas.)

I won’t bore you with the minutiae of my day-to-day world, suffice it to say that some days I have more on my plate than others and that right now that plate is overflowing.

Looking ahead, summer is creeping up on us and with all the fresh veg it’s a great time to share easy to make, budget friendly gluten free recipes.  In the mean time here is this week’s menu.  As you can see, I didn’t even finish it.

Menu 5/26/13 – 6/1/13

Sunday: Cookout

Monday: Leftover Sloppy Joe (from Saturday)

Tuesday: Roasted Chicken with Slow Cooked Baked Beans and Oven Fries

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Pork Chops

Friday: TBD

Saturday: leftovers

Misc.: GF Chocolate Chip Muffins for coffee/tea

April 10, 2013

Southwest American Chop Suey

Filed under: dinner, freezer friendly, gluten-free, lunch — Tags: , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 12:38

Southwest style American Chop Suey

Improvisation can be a good thing

Sometimes, no matter how organized you think you are, not everything gets on the shopping list.

Case in point, the plan was to make American Chop Suey for Mr. GF’s lunches and a double batch of spaghetti so that I could freeze half for later, but somehow I only bought enough tomatoes for the spaghetti.

I really didn’t want to go back to the store for one can of tomatoes so I looked in the cupboard for something I could substitute, but the only thing I saw was one lone jar of emergency salsa.  Why not?

Southwest American Chop Suey

Ingredients:

Makes about 5 2-cup servings

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 24-ounce jar Southwest Style Salsa
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons brown sugar*
  • 3 cups uncooked brown rice penne pasta (about 6 servings)
  • chile powder
  • ground cumin
  • oregano
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder

*I usually add a bit of brown sugar to help cut the acidity when I make a dish with a lot of tomatoes.

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Brown ground turkey in a large pan, add onions, garlic and green peppers cooking until onions are translucent.

    Note: I used 94% lean ground turkey because it was on sale.  If you are using beef or meat with a higher fat content you may need to drain excess grease from the pan.

  3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa, brown sugar and spices.
  4. Cook over medium heat until most of the liquid is evaporated.  (Between the canned tomatoes, salsa and tomato sauce there is a lot of liquid, it took me about 45 minutes to cook it down to the point where it was still moist but not completely soupy.)
  5. Add cooked pasta and stir until well blended.

This turned out really well.  Very spicy (I added a lot of chile powder) with a depth of flavor.   I think the salsa with the corn and black beans took this cafeteria staple to a new level and I will definitely make it again.

If you leave out the pasta, this would be a nice freezer friendly meal.

April 9, 2013

This Week’s Menu – Spring Clean Up

Filed under: menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 11:32

tulip bulb peeking up through the ground

A quick peek out the window is all I need to know that it’s time to start cleaning up the yard for spring.  This week’s menu reflects easy prep so that I can spend some extra time outside.

Menu 4/7/13 – 4/13/13

Sunday: Spaghetti with Sausage and homemade marinara

Monday: leftovers

Tuesday: Chicken and Avocado Sandwiches (Bake the chicken the day before, it’s much easier to handle and slice when it’s had ample time to cool)

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Pork Chops with Baby Sweet Potatoes (Rub the chops with mustard and spices and pop in the oven)

Friday: Turkey Burgers with Oven Fries (Make the patties the night before and you can just toss them on the grill or in the broiler.  Same for the fries.  Prep and half bake the night before.  If you’re feeling ambitious you can even half-bake and freeze a few batches for later.)

Saturday: leftovers

Misc.: GF Blueberry Muffins for coffee/tea

April 8, 2013

Extreme Pita – not quite a review

Filed under: gluten-free faker, restaurant, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 15:13

Happy Monday Everybody!

Today’s post is a rant about a new franchise restaurant called Extreme Pita that lures people in with the promise of a gluten-free pita, but doesn’t deliver.

Mr. GF and I made a rare trip to the mall a few weeks ago and noticed a new restaurant in the food court called Extreme Pita.

I wouldn’t normally consider a restaurant with “pita” in the name as a reasonable option for a gluten-free meal, but they had a big free standing sign in front of the counter stating that they value their customers and offer a gluten free menu.

Who am I to question it.   You can buy or make gluten-free breads, buns, wraps, bagels, waffles and pretty much any other bread-like item so why not a pita?

There was a line and we weren’t hungry so we didn’t stop to investigate, but we did grab a menu and made a point of looking at their website when we got home.

It was definitely the right call.  Not only did they not have gluten-free pitas, but their gluten-free menu was limited to a choice of a basic salad or three sandwiches, Philly Steak, Veggie or Tuna, without the bread.

3 Sandwich options: Philly Steak, Veggie and Tuna without the bread???

I know, beggars can’t be choosers and at least they made an effort to single out the few items on their menu that wouldn’t actually make someone with Celiac or gluten sensitivity sick, but really, it just wasn’t good enough.

To be fair, Extreme Pita does seem to be genuinely interested in making a safe dining experience for patrons with food allergies and did a nice job highlighting which menu items contain known allergens, but they outright lied when they said they had a gluten-free menu.

Extreme Pita GF menu-details

A Philly Steak Pita with the bread removed can’t really be called a pita, can it?  I mean how do they serve it?  Do they just wrap the meat and cheese in the same paper wrapper they use for the pitas?   Wouldn’t a Veggie or Tuna Pita without the bread just be a salad?  And what exactly do they do to the grilled chicken that it doesn’t show up as a pita or a salad option on the gluten-free menu?

Shame, shame, shame on you Extreme Pita!

I’m tired of restaurants trying to capitalize on the gluten-free craze by claiming gluten-free menus that don’t exist.

If you are a specialty restaurant known for one specific type of food, like a pita, then you need to actually have a gluten-free pita on the menu before you can reasonably claim to cater to customers with gluten sensitivities.  Until then you are just another restaurant rationalizing that because some food items are naturally gluten-free you can claim to offer a GF menu.


pdf of Extreme Pita Gluten-Free Menu

For more information or find an Extreme Pita in your area: http://www.extremepita.com/locations/

March 17, 2013

This Week’s Menu – Happy Spring!

Filed under: menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:04

nuthatch on bare branch

Menu 3/17/13 – 3/23/13

Sunday: Tuna Wraps

Monday: Lentil & Rice Stew (yes, another version of this recipe)

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: Beef Stir Fry

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: Tex-Mex Corn Chowder (from Sharon Fleming’s blog: Around the Table )

Saturday: leftovers

Misc.: GF Blueberry Muffins for coffee/tea

March 15, 2013

GF Chunky Monkey Cookies

Filed under: baking, cookies, dessert, gluten-free — Tags: , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 10:11

chunky monkey cookies with cookie dough

I think I mentioned before, but I have a cookie problem.

I have plenty of self-control when it comes to cake, brownies or any other baked good, but put a plate of cookies in front of me and poof!  They will disappear.

Like a true addict, I can’t eat just one and instead of confronting my problem, I had the bright idea that if I made healthier cookies I could justify my cookie eating ways.

I’m not delusional enough to believe that it’s okay to eat a dozen cookies in one sitting, even if they are healthy, but I do think that the resulting recipe is a good way to sneak in some extra nutrition.

Fair warning, like a lot of my experimental recipes, this one ended up with a variety of unexpected ingredients in strange quantities.  I haven’t had any complaints and the cookies disappear pretty quickly even when I’m not in the room, but I’ll let you decide.

Ingredients:

Makes about 42 cookies

  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla*
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 apple, peeled and shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts work best)

*I used butter and vanilla because I started from my basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but am not really sure that it adds anything to the flavor.  I think the peanut butter adds enough flavor and fat that the cookies would probably work without them.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 4000
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Combine brown rice flour, tapioca flour, sorghum flour and xanthan gum in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. In another bowl cream peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, butter and vanilla.  Beat in egg.
  5. Add GF flour mix, oats and baking soda, mix until combined.
  6. Stir in shredded apple and carrot.  Add raisins, chocolate chips and nuts.
  7. Using a small cookie scoop, place dough on lined baking sheets and flatten with fork.
  8. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes at 4000 or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack before serving.

One important thing to note about these cookies is that the dough is pretty dark and it’s hard to judge their doneness based on color.  The cookies in the picture look burned, but are really almost the same color as the raw dough.  If they look like the edges are done but still feel a little too soft just leave them on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes.  Just like a steak, they will continue cooking until the pan cools.

Note: I did try adding ground flax in early versions, but it just made the cookies too dry.


So what do you think?  Now that you’ve seen the ingredients and tried the recipe, could these cookies count as a vegetable serving?

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.