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.

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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

November 14, 2012

Mocha Crumb Cake (another Cooking Light makeover)

Filed under: baking, Cooking Light, dessert, gluten-free — Tags: , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 14:55

GF Mocha Crumb Cake

The thing I’ve always liked about Cooking Light is that most of their recipes can be done quickly with ingredients I usually have on hand, which is particularly handy when you want a quick snack.  I know the picture makes the cake look a little moist, but my gluten-free version is just as light and crumbly as the original.  A perfect snack to go with your coffee or a light weeknight dessert.  Even better, it only takes about 10-minutes to gather and mix the ingredients.

Heads Up: The recipe below is as it appeared on page 108 of the May 1998 edition of Cooking Light Magazine.  The items highlighted in yellow are the ingredients that I changed.

Ingredients:

Makes 8 servings

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chilled stick margarine or butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons water

Changes:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour: Substituted 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup sorghum flour, 1/4 cup potato starch and 1 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan.

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules: I ran out of instant coffee so I substituted an equal amount cinnamon.  Not quite the same, but it did lend a nice flavor.

1/3 cup low-fat milk: Mr. GF is also lactose intolerant so I try to substitute regular milk with almond or soy milk whenever possible.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 3500
  2. Combine flour (GF substitute) and next 4 ingredients (flour/blend through salt) in a mixing bowl and cut in *butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture resembles coarse meal.  (Trust me on this, a pastry blender is less than $5 and well worth the cost, even if you only use it once a year.)  Reserve 1/2 cup of the the flour mixture for topping and set aside.
  3. Combine remaining flour mixture, baking powder and baking soda; add milk, vanilla and egg.  Beat at medium speed of a mixer until blended.  Spoon batter into an 8″ round cake pan coated with cooking spray.
  4. Combine reserved 1/2 of flour mixture and water; stir with a fork then sprinkle over batter.  (It will look like a lot of dry crumbs on top of the cake batter.)
  5. Bake for 30 minutes at 3500 or until the cake springs back when touched.  Cool on a wire rack before serving.

* I can’t stress enough that the butter needs to be cold.  If it’s a hot, humid day you might want to firm it up in the freezer for a few minutes after you cut it into small pieces.


So that’s it.  A very fast and delicious Cooking Light recipe made gluten-free.  The flour substitute above works quite well with any of the crumb cakes featured in the May 1998 issue.  If you want something a little different give the lemon-rosemary or banana-coconut versions a try.    (They’re both great!) Let me know if you have a problem finding the recipe and I will post it.

August 13, 2012

The real cost of eating gluten & dairy free(ish)

Filed under: Cooking Light, dairy free, dessert, dinner, gelato, gluten-free, menu planning, Uncategorized — glutenfreebymarriage @ 20:10

We all know the drill.   Healthy food is too expensive, cooking is too much trouble and living gluten free is a million times worse.   Not only is the selection of gluten free alternatives both limited and even more expensive, but having to make meals without all those convenience foods (pre-made marinades, dressings, broths, etc…) makes cooking even more of a chore.  My response is hogwash.

My food bill for this week was $47.68 and included seven days worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner for two as well as ingredients to make chocolate chip muffins and a dairy-free version of passion fruit mango gelato, and a few pantry replenishment items such as flax and sugar.  All of the food is gluten free, most is dairy free and the meal plan is for fast, easy summer dishes that most people would enjoy and everyone could make.

Breakfasts: oatmeal with unsweetened applesauce and ground flax

Snack: gluten free chocolate chip muffins

Lunch: German Bologna (yes, the label says gluten free) and American Cheese Sandwich (Ok, processed lunch meat is not generally considered healthy, but Mr. GF likes it and I hurt my back bad enough that I can’t spend too much time on my feet right now, so he gets a sandwich.)

Dinners: Since most recipe feed 4 – 6 people and there are only two of us, we generally get two meals out of a recipe.

Sunday/Monday: Summer Vegetable Stew with Basil Puree (from cookinglight.com)

Tuesday/Wednesday: Greek Tuna Wraps

Thursday/Friday: Grilled Hamburgers with Oven Fries


I meant to post this a couple weeks ago but I hurt my back and it seemed to get worse rather than better as the week wore on and it didn’t happen.  The good news is that except for the hamburgers we did manage to stick to the menu plan that week, even with me more or less flat on my back.   (No way I was going to be able to clean the grill so I substituted a hash with some leftover cooked ham I had in the freezer. )

In this case having a meal plan really made a difference.  We had all the ingredients on hand so that Mr. GF could help with the cooking without having to run to the store or break from the GF/DF diet.

July 17, 2012

Black Bean Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Filed under: chicken, Cooking Light, dairy free, dinner, gluten-free — Tags: , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:16

Black Bean Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Back in the day, long before we knew about gluten or lactose intolerance, we used to rely on Cooking Light Magazine for a lot of our menu inspiration.   It was easy, had lots of great pictures and usually had a nice balance of recipes.

In an effort to get out of our menu rut and show that it’s not that difficult to tweak a published recipe to work for gluten/lactose intolerance I’ve decided to start posting some of the old Cooking Light recipes, starting with Black Bean Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette.

Heads Up: The recipe below is as it appeared on page 112 of the July 2000 edition of Cooking Light Magazine.  The items highlighted in yellow are the ingredients that I changed.

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

Makes 8 servings

  • 1/4 cup chopped seeded tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled

Salad Ingredients:

  • 8 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped ready-to-eat roasted skinned, boned chicken breasts (about 2)
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups fat free baked tortilla chips (about 4 ounces)
Changes:

Vinaigrette:

fresh cilantro: substituted about 1 tablespoon of dried cilantro

Salad:

1 1/2 cups chopped ready-to-eat roasted chicken:  baked my own chicken, substituted legs

1 cup finely diced red onion: substituted 1 small can black olives

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese: Mr. GF is lactose intolerant, but I don’t like soy cheddar (tastes like Velveeta to me and I hate Velveeta) so instead of adding cheese directly to the salad, we sprinkled about a tablespoon of grated soy substitute on his dish and regular grated cheddar on mine.

baked tortilla chips: gf baked corn chips

soy substitute sour cream: sour cream wasn’t in the original recipe, but we had an open container of soy sour cream so we added a dollop (teaspoon) to the top of the salad.

Directions:

  1. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in blender or food processor and process until smooth.  (I used my stick/immersion blender)
  2. Combine all salad ingredients except tortilla/corn chips in large bowl.  Add vinaigrette and toss until salad is well coated.  As noted above, I added the cheese to the individual servings rather than tossing it with the salad.
  3. To serve, place individual servings on chilled salad plates, top with grated cheese and dollop of sour cream.  Tuck tortilla/corn chips around edges of plate.

Overall, nice salad on a hot day, particularly if you use store bought roasted chicken.   With the exception of the lime, we usually have all these ingredients on hand so even though it’s too much for two people to eat, I would recommend it as an easy recipe if you have drop in dinner guests.

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