Tuesday

So what do we eat day to day?

For a special breakfast, I like to have toast made in the skillet (Like a grilled cheese sandwich) made with Rudi's bread.  My daughter prefers the Schar bread.  I can also have eggs, bacon, sausage, Chex and some other types of cereal, Cocoa Pebbles are a favorite.  I also often have Yoplait yogurt or peanut butter smeared on a banana.

For lunch, I usually have leftovers of whatever dinner I made the day before.   I work at home during the morning, but I am often out and about in the afternoon, so I try to fill the crockpot with something so that when I return about the time my husband returns from work, we can sit down to dinner.

Things that have been in the crockpot lately include beef stew, white chicken chili, and taco soup.  Visit Stephanie O'Dea's website for a treasure trove of gluten free (ALL OF THEM) crock pot recipes.

When I have a little time, I will cook something like taco pie or hamburger pie, or traditional meat, potatoes and a vegetable meals which can be adapted very easily to the gluten free lifestyle ... just make sure not to bread your meat!


Sometimes the simplest things are best.


Friday

Fabulous!

Check out this Money Saving Mom recipe for apple butter muffins that are spectacular.   Oh.  My.  Goodness.  I used Bloomfield Farms flour and Chex oatmeal to make it gluten free.

Serving size is approximately 8 muffins.  :-)


Monday

Found this yummy bread at Walmart.

They aren't kidding about the fact that it is soft.  I didn't have to steam or toast it which is a first for me with gluten free bread.  The brand is Schar, which I now realize is not in the picture.   Here's a link, so you can read the ingredient list.  :-)  Schar

Sunday

Why try?

We usually buy Rudi's brand  bread, but it is grocery day and we are out.  Fortunately we just got a shipment  (subscribe and save ) of Pamela's brand cornbread.   We needed a quick lunch so, tada, corn bread ham sandwiches.  I'm getting a little more creative with the breads.  I've went the whole route trying to get the taste of wheat bread adding things like sweet potatoes, pineapple juice and apple cider vinegar to the various flour mixes to try and emulate the flavor, but it seems impossible so why try?  Cornbread tastes good.   :-)  A couple of weeks ago, we also found that mashed potato pancakes make very fine hamburger buns as long as they and the hamburgers are pretty small.   I make these with Bloomfield Farms gluten free flour mix.


Monday

At long last, a burrito!

I haven't had a burrito in a long time.  They just aren't the same with corn tortillas.  I have made enchiladas and tacos and taco salads but never a burrito.  Then a couple of weeks ago, I found some gluten free wraps at the salvage grocery store and finally, last night, we tried them.  They were good and I really enjoyed my first burrito in approximately 5 years.  :-)   I had tried some kind of brown rice wrap way back in the beginning, but it fell apart and didn't taste good, but this one stayed together and tasted fine.  It was from Wrap-Itz and apparently they have several varieties.  They have some recipes on their website, which I am going to go check out now.  :-)

Have a great day! #glutenfreeyum

Saturday

Experimenting.

This is what happens when I don't do meal plans at the grocery and have to improvise.  This time it was pretty good.  I looked in the pantry and fridge and decided to make chicken enchiladas but then realized I didn't have any chicken (which is very unusual, but we've been kind of chicken salad crazy lately.) but I did have some steak I had gotten on sale last week.  So I put the steak in the slow cooker on a 4 hour cycle around lunchtime and then took a nap.  Then, when it was time for dinner, I gathered these ingredients, cooking the rice in the microwave.




Then I layered them in a casserole dish and baked until bubbly.  It was very good topped with sour cream and cheese.

So to review, a small package of steak, a can of Progresso Creamy Mushroom, 2 small cans of red enchilada sauce (or 1 big can), 1 package of Zatarains Jumbalaya Rice (not the family size, the regular), and some Mission corn torillas.   After 15 minutes had passed, it was half gone and I estimate that the leftovers will be gone by dinner today, so it was a hit.  Really, it tasted very similar to the enchiladas I had at a restaurant last week.
Over the years, I have tried several fillings for enchiladas, trying to make it less expensive than just filling them with meat.  I've tried refried beans, cheese, plain rice and other flavored rices but this one was the best of all, nice and spicy.  :-)   I am thankful to all of these companies for making them gluten free and clearly labeling them gluten free.  


Monday

This is what comes from not following the directions.

Gluten free pasta is not as forgiving as wheat pasta.  If you decide to add a little more water in (because you didn't measure the water the first time, as you should have --- shame on you!), it will go all goopy and weird and have to be thrown out.   Fortunately I had some more.  Gluten free pasta is easier to find now at the grocery stores than it was 5 years ago when I first went gluten free and it is less expensive now than it used to be.  For a time, I used the Thai rice noodles for spaghetti, but most of the time now, I buy some of the various gluten free specially made pastas because they are cheaper.

The moral of this story is to follow the directions on the pasta exactly.  :-)

Sunday

Cherry cheese pie.

All 4 of the people living here had a simultaneous craving for this stuff.  One late Saturday night trip to the grocery store and here it is.  It is really good with the gluten free crust.

Saturday

Entertaining!

I was asked a question yesterday about how to entertain people who have gluten (and other) sensitivities.  It's funny because this is something that my friends have been dealing with for the past 5 years, very nicely and sweetly, but not something that I have had to deal with.  However, if I do have someone over who is gluten sensitive, I will worry that they are more gluten sensitive than me and my 2 kids and maybe I will make them sick.  What a horrible thought.  We do share our kitchen with the 2 gluten eaters in the household and though I am planning to divide it more and start using separate dishes and utensils, we haven't done it yet.

So what would I do?  That is a good question.

If I were baking using my baking pans that have been used for gluten-full items in the past, I'd use baking parchment.   I might make baked chicken or a roast with potatoes and carrots.  I might buy disposable or new baking pans and make things like

scalloped potatoes.

8 potatoes sliced thin - you don't have to peel them.
1 can Progresso creamy mushroom soup - which is gluten free.
1  1/2 onion
a few sprinkles (very light) of garlic salt.  Check the label on this, it may contain wheat.
10 slices american cheese or 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. 

Layer in 13 x 9 pan.
Cover with foil. 
Bake at 375°F for approximately 1 hour or until potatoes reach desired texture.
For a crispy top layer, uncover during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time.  

or hash brown casserole
Here's the hash brown recipe:
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 Min.
Cook Time: 1 Hr.
What you need:
* 32 oz. package frozen shredded hash browns
* 1 c. cold 2 % milk
* 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
* 1 tsp. chicken bouillon
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1/2 c. chopped onion
* 1 c. sour cream
* 2 c. grated cheddar cheese (or bread crumbs from gluten-free bread tossed with melted butter)
What to do:
1. Spread hash browns in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan.
2. In a small saucepan mix cold milk and cornstarch with a wire whisk. Add bouillon, salt, and onion.
Heat to a boil, stirring constantly.
3. Remove sauce from heat and stir in sour cream. Pour over hash browns.
4. Top with grated cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 F for 1 hr.
 If I were feeling very insecure about my ablity to cook gluten free, I might just buy a rotisserie chicken from either Kroger or Walmart, add some Country Crock mashed potatoes and Bush's Baked Beans (again, cooked in the disposable or new pans.)  

A great resource for gluten free crock pot meals is A Year of Slow Cooking.  There are over 300 recipes there and every one that my family has tried has been good.

Another good solution for a meal is taco salads/tacos.  This is a hit with most people and easy-peasy.  All of the Old El Paso mixes are gluten free and you can make some hamburger and/or chicken flavored with them and then get all the fixings, taco shells and chips, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, avacados or guacamole, peppers, taco sauces and have a wonderful time with everyone building their own tacos or taco salads.

For dessert, have ice cream or if dairy free, fruit sorbets.  



Go ahead, be brave, be careful and invite them!  


Saturday

Chicken salad sandwich.

Chicken salad.

On Rudi bread (steamed in the waffle iron to soften).

For breakfast.
(this morning glory is symbolic of, well, morning, so breakfast time.) :-)

Yum.

#glutenfreeyum


Friday

Batch cooking.

I'm not sure what the word is, batch, bulk?  I don't do the marathon cook a month at a time thing (yet) but I do cook quite a bit on the days I don't have anything else scheduled.  I kind of have an odd rhythm to my life right now because I go see my mom every third day and I am gone a minimum of 4 hours.  So I work in the mornings, Tuesday through Saturday and do my visiting schedule so that means that often I am not here at dinner time, so on the afternoons when I am here I do extra cooking.  This seems to make the gluten free lifestyle a bit easier for me.  There are gluten free things in the fridge that just need to be warmed up, nearly all of the time.  Right now, I'm home so I have boneless chicken in a slow cooker for chicken salad to make later, I'm making taco soup and vegetable soup and later on, probably cornbread.   I use a 2 pound hamburger package for both of the soups, since each require one pound.  It will simplify my weekend, having this done.
Maybe I'll get some of the other housework done?  It could happen.  :-) 

#glutenfreeyum

Wednesday

A great trip to the salvage store.

There's a salvage store about 30 minutes from here.  They sell bent and dent kind of groceries and things that are past their expiration date.  I won't buy things that are way, way out of date, but if it was last month, sure.  I get a lot of bargains on gluten free foods in this way and this is a great way to try things that I wouldn't ordinarily take a chance on because of the expense.

Here's an excerpt from the Time Magazine article I linked above.

  • “Use by” and “Best by”: These dates are intended for consumer use, but are typically the date the manufacturer deems the product reaches peak freshness. It’s not a date to indicate spoilage, nor does it necessarily signal that the food is no longer safe to eat.
  • “Sell by”: This date is only intended to help manufacturers and retailers, not consumers. It’s a stocking and marketing tool provided by food makers to ensure proper turnover of the products in the store so they still have a long shelf life after consumers buy them. Consumers, however, are misinterpreting it as a date to guide their buying decisions. The report authors say that “sell by” dates should be made invisible to the consumer.
I got some Glutino crackers and cookies, some pasta, some cornbread mix, 4 of the big Snickers for a dollar, the ones that are at least a dollar each.  (Those are hidden in the pantry for a post-Easter-candy-chocolate emergency),  a Brownie mix and some to them were priced as low as 50 cents.  It's pretty amazing.  Do a Google maps search of your area for Salvage Grocery stores and see if you can find one near you.  


Sunday

Easter Dessert.

Its ready, in the fridge.  My daugher made it last night, a black forest trifle with chocolate cake (gluten free of course), cherry pie filling and ready to eat cheesecake.  Doesn't it look wonderful?  #glutenfreeyum

Saturday

Jarred salad.




Sometimes we gluten free peeps get tired of salads but sometimes we just get a hankering for them.  I made 12 small salads for the three of us who eat them and the other person here in the house made her own kind of salad. 

So then I got up this morning and was pondering a snack and what did I choose?  
Don't worry, they're Glutinos. 
#glutenfreeyum


Monday

Simple breakfast.

These sausages were clearly marked gluten free in letters I could have even read without glasses at Kroger the other day.  Today for breakfast, I fried them up with some eggs.  I could have added a piece of gluten free toast made with either Rudi bread or Whole Foods bread both of which I have in my fridge or I could have added some hash browns.

Simple.  Easy.  Good.

Saturday

Cornbread Taco Bowl

I made tacos today, and normally I'd just eat it with a corn tortilla or corn chips, but today, I just put it on top of some leftover cornbread.  It was pretty yummy.

Just read the labels to make sure everything is gluten free.


Friday

Pizza Toast.


I picked up some whole foods bread the other day and I had some leftover Hormel pepperoni, some mozzarella cheese and some pizza sauce from making pizza the other day so today I combined them.  I toasted the bread in the oven first, a little on both sides, then added the sauce, the pepperoni and the cheese.  It turned out really good and is a very quick lunch.

Wednesday

Carrot Cake.


Divas Can Cook

This past weekend was my husband's birthday and he wanted carrot cake.  I had my son (who is also not gluten free) bake him a regular cake from a mix, but my daughter and I kind of wanted some too.  Of course I had to look it up and found this wonderful recipe on the Divas Can Cook blog.  It's very, very good.  My carrots are not small enough is my only complaint.  Next time I will blend them up some more.


Monday

The care and eating of gluten free bread.

We eat Rudi brand bread.  We like it the best of the gluten free breads that we have tried, minus some that you have to bake yourself and some that they used to have at a local bakery.  That is to say, we like it the best of our current choices, not to say that it tastes just like regular, gluten-full (poisonous to us) wheat bread.   We have grown to like it but we have to adapt it.   It makes sandwiches, french toast and cinnamon toast possible.  :-)  On the package of the bread, it says for the softest bread, to let it sit on the counter, however, not having gluten makes it not very soft, even at its softest.  We have found that it makes an excellent grilled cheese and excellent, very tasty, toast but in our opinion, it's just not very good right out of the bag.  For some sandwiches (PB & J for instance), I like soft bread, but not really toasted bread, so I put the bread in the waffle iron for a short time, not enough to toast it, but just enough to kind of steam it.  This makes it soft and then it makes a very good sandwich.  I hope this helps you as you try to cope with your favorite brand of gluten free bread.


Sunday

Bacon Wrapped Chicken.

I made this bacon wrapped chicken a little differently, in that I just layered it in a pan, bacon, chicken, cream cheese and garlic powder, cheese and another layer of bacon, but if when I make it again, I am going to skip the bottom layer of bacon because I couldn't turn them over this way to get all of the bacon crispy.  Still yum.

I served it with a broccoli, carrots and cauliflower blend.
  Remember to read your label on your bacon to make sure it's gluten free!