Posts tagged ‘gluten free on a budget’
Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a bore. There are so many delicious and even gourmet options for those of us with celiac and/or food allergies. Here are some of my favorites…
Wild Rice & Cranberry Stuffing: Made with onions, garlic, vegetable broth, wild rice, cranberries, seasonings and nuts if desired. We’ve made variations of this delicious stuffing in past years but here is a link to one that I really like.
Apple Crisp: Use cornstarch in place of the flour. Mix in dark brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, spices, and nuts if desired.
Cheese Buns: These little rolls are light and fluffy, warm and delicious. Link below! (It seems wordpress is having difficulty with links in text. Hopefully this is fixed soon) These cheese buns behave a bit like a popover but they rise, apparently because of the tapioca starch not all the eggs that you need in a popover so in my opinion you get a much better texture more like wheat buns. To get them just right you might want to try them out before Thanksgiving but believe me, if your family is around, even the flops won’t go unnoticed.
Mashed Potatoes: Don’t forget lots of garlic and butter!
Gravy: So much easier than you might think. At least it surprised me. 🙂 Using the meat drippings scrape off some of the fat (save the drippings) and put it into a saucepan. Slowly add and whisk an equal amount of flour (corn starch works great, or rice flour, all purpose gluten free flour, bean flours, etc. etc.), on med to med/high heat simmer this mixture until the flour is browned (you should see a bit of color in the bubbles, you don’t want raw flour, it tastes bad, believe me). Once you’ve got the flour cooked (this doesn’t take long) increase the temperature and begin to pour back in the meat drippings and whisk like mad so you don’t get lumps. Continue to whisk. This should thicken into a nice gravy within 5 min or so. It is just making a roux like I wrote about in this post below. https://glutenfree4goofs.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/you-must-learn-to-make-sauce/
Fruit Salad: This should be naturally gluten free. Double check ingredients that are unusual
TWO QUESTIONS FOR YOU…
1.What are some of your favorite holiday recipes? Link or if they are naturally gluten free simply name them.
2. What are you thankful for? I am so thankful to my mom for letting me borrow her flour mill indefinitely. I can bake like crazy and cheap! That’s hard to do gluten free but when you buy in bulk and mill it yourself, the flour alternatives are quite reasonable! Thanks MOM
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
One of the hardest things for me is coming up with lunches that are simple, fast, kid pleasers. Simple and fast rarely goes along with gluten free. Not only that but the words cheap or inexpensive are almost a joke. But I’ve got no choice. With three boys and myself all eating gluten free, budget wise is a must!
Here is one of our simple meals using regular groceries (not specialty) that also saves precious time during the middle of our school day.
It doesn’t seem that there should be a science to making rice cake pizza’s but by trial and error I have come up with some helpful tips.
One – NEVER EVER put the sauce directly on the rice cake. Unless of course you like soggy food. Experience has taught me that the sauce can melt a hole right throught the middle and cause quite an interesting anomoly. Donut shaped pizza!
Two – Don’t ever let the boys make their own pizza rice cakes using cheese sticks! If you haven’t ever tried to microwave a cheese stick I am here to tell you, do not attempt!
Three – Well, I guess there isn’t a three. So here is a lovely picture of one of the Thinglets’ favorite lunch meals. Enjoy!
allergy free, biggest looser, food, gluten free, breakfast, banana split
Here is a yummy and somewhat healthy breakfast treat that a friend introduced me to from the Biggest Loser Club.
Biggest Loser or not, we all enjoyed it as you can see!
You need bananas, yogurt, chocolate syrup and nuts (if desired) and/or granola (for a NON-gluten free version). I left the nuts and granola out due to food allergies.
- chex cereal
- corn tortillas
- coffee (is that food?)
- chocolate (okay that’s better)
- rice cakes
- peanut butter
- green beans
- eggs (hard boiled, scrambled, omelets, green, “on a train”)
- sunflower seeds (careful of seasonings)
- hot dogs (read label)
- corn chips
- fruit snacks
- nuts (but not all trail mixes)
- red hots 😉
- apple sauce
- soup (some Progresso brand or homemade)
- jasmine rice
- sushi (most- but beware of soy sauce)
- cheese sticks (definitely a different food group than plain cheese)
- spaghetti sauce (read label, try Classico Brand)
- ice cream
- black beans
- pinto beans
- refried beans
- salad dressing (NOT asian dressings, most have soy sauce)
- rice noodles
- Reese’s (I had to counter all those veggies)
- melons (and I don’t mean the Hooter’s kind)
- french fries (if they are fried in a dedicated vat- and no it’s not the same as potatoes!)
- non wheat flour alternatives – sorghum, rice, tapioca, corn starch, buckwheat (technically a cousin to the rhubarb family), potato starch.
- pop (D.P, Coke, Pepsi translation for you non Northerners)
- fudge (some)
- gravy (if made with corn starch and drippings)
- Ahhh I’m stuck… oh how about berries
- tartar sauce (I don’t know about all but I think so)
- cereal that is simply the puffed grain ie. puffed rice (check label, kamut and durum are WHEAT)
- some brands of rice cracker
- nachos (okay people I’m running low on ideas)
- chocolate chips (did I already say that?)
- fruit smoothie drink (be careful with protein powders)
- hamburger patty’s
- salt and pepper
- crisco, butter
- creme cheese
- chick peas
- dried fruit (ha ha, not really another food but hey)
- alfredo sauce by classico (many have wheat as a thickener so beware)
So call me obnoxious 🙂 It took two days to come up with this list and I’m sure I’m missing key items. Do you have any to add? Maybe we’ll make a secone 100 list!
It took me almost a year and at least twenty terrible loaves (probably closer to 100), nearly as many that were edible but looked horrible and finally a successful gluten free bread recipe. Another few months to make it into something reproducible. Just because the stars all line up for that one wonderful loaf of bread doesn’t mean it can be done again and again!
I’ve been told that mine is the best gluten free bread ever! One of my customers reports that her husband has given up wheat bread in favor of my gluten free version.
Here are my tips:
Mill your own rice (and other grains) to save considerable expense.
Using a favorite recipe, mix the dry ingredients in advance to make a “big batch” version. I make a 4 loaf mix put that in a gallon zip loc bag in the refrigerator then every couple of days I make the loaves one at a time in my bread machine. Or you can save in gallon canning jars.
It is also possible to bake gluten free bread the conventional way but the best results require a 400 degree oven, an hour to rise and an hour to bake so I rarely have that kind of time or want to heat the kitchen like a … well an oven!
To make a gluten free loaf in a bread machine…
- Place wet ingredients in the bread machine first.
- Cover the liquids with dry ingredients.
- Make a depression in the dry ingredients and put the yeast in that (don’t let it touch the liquid)
- With gluten free bread choose the bread machine setting with the longest rise time.
- You will need to mix the ingredients at least once with a spatula during the mix cycle. Resist the urge to add flour.
- When possible remove the paddle (mixer in the bottom) after the mix cycle but BEFORE the first rise.
- At this point you should be able to leave it alone and wait for yummy, hot bread!
Whether you have a GF setting or not your best loaf will result if you do at least these two things… (mentioned above and expanded on here).
- Give your dough a little attention in the mixing stage. During the first 10 min most bread machines are warming and the next 20min or so is the mixing stage. During the mixing stage it will serve you well to take a spatula and scrape the sides once or twice. Gluten free dough is very sticky and wet it will never “clean the sides” like regular dough so you have to help it along. The dough should be the consistency of thick pancake batter. If it seems lumpy or if it does not stick to your spatula it most likely needs a tablespoon or two more water. If it is quite runny and falls right off the spatula when mixed you may need to sprinkle in more rice flour. But in general you should resist the urge to add flour.
- Remove the paddle: Bread machines have several cycles. One of the first cycles is mix, next is rise, then they go into a “knock down” cycle before the final bake stage. Since gluten free bread will only rise once you will want to remove the paddle before the knock down stage or the result will be a dense loaf. Once it is finished mixing you can remove the paddle by wetting a spatula and your hand, scrape most the dough away from the mixing paddle and then slip it off. Wet the spatula again (or your hand) and smooth the dough back into a recognizable shape 🙂 then allow your bread machine to complete your gluten free wonder undisturbed!
This is the dough as it mixes…
Here is what the dough should look like when it has finished mixing…
If you choose to bake your loaf you can spoon it into prepared loaf pans like this…
Spread the dough with a spatula until smooth like this…
Next allow to rise…
Then bake. Cover the bread with tin foil. Bake until the internal temp is around 180 or a toothpick comes out clean. To get a darker crisper crust brush with olive oil and remove the cover for the last 5 min.
Remove from the pan within 15min-20min of baking to avoid a soggy crust (even if you use a bread machine). Allow to cool, slice and serve.
Gluten free bread will usually only keep a couple days left out on a bread board covered with a towel. If you keep it in an airtight container it will last up to 1wk.
I’m not saying it’s time yet to pull out the ear muffs and wool socks but since I picked a five gallon bucket full of tomatoes the other day it was time to get soupy and saucy and salsa-ie. Seriously, it was crazy and being the goof that I am there are tons more to come!
Obviously I did not follow the cardinal rule of tomato planting. What do they say? One’s enough for me, two to share, three is out of the question! Well, I can’t resist tomato plants. I got them at the market, I saved them from the highschool nursery and I even let the volunteers that came up from last years crop stick around in wierd places. I think I have eight or more plants.
What do you do with your tomato harvest? Feed them to the baby?
So far I’ve made tomato sauce, salsa, tomato soup and even sun dried tomatoes.
If it is still swelteringly hot in your neck of the woods you’ll have to bookmark this recipe for a rainy day!
So lug in that big bucket of tomatoes and pick the ugliest one’s you have. This is an excellent recipe for the warped and twisted tomatoes that you can’t pawn off on the neighbors or the one’s with the cracks and blemishes that you can’t sneak past the family!
If you have fresh tomatoes coming out your ears, your eyes and your fingertips like I do this recipe is nearly FREE! Although, in my house it might cost you a quarter. Thing 1 is quite the wheeler and dealer. He told his brothers they could get a white piece of paper and draw George Washington on it if they didn’t have a quarter.
One Ton Tomato Soup (dairy and gluten free):
p.s. can anyone come up with a better name? How boreing is that? Thanks Dianne for the new name!
You will need:
- 1 dozen tomatoes (all sizes shapes and kinds)
- butter or non dairy substitute
- 2 T brown sugar
- 2 T corn starch or rice flour
- 1 red onion (we picked one from the garden)
- 2 cup chicken broth (reserve 1/2 cup and use if needed)
- 1 T balsamic vinaigrette
- season to taste
Dice up a dozen or so. No need to skin them but if you so desire slice an x on the opposite side of the stem and drop into very hot water for 30 sec or more, but not long enough to cook. The skin should peel right off.
1. Melt 1/2 stick of unsalted butter (or marg) in a large pot then add the diced tomatoes.
2. Add one chopped red onion, and 2 T brown sugar and cook over med/high approx 15 min.
3. Add most of the chicken broth and the 2 T corn starch. Simmer covered 10 min. My tomatoes were so juicy I did not need the whole 2 Cups of broth.
4. Let cool slightly then puree the soup in a Magic Bullet or food processor. Please to not be a dunce like me and fill the blender 3/4 full to save time. Tomatoes stain EVERYTHING! It’s best to fill your blender no more than half full. Yay me, always having to learn the hard way!
5. Strain through a cloth or small slotted strainer. You can omit this step if you peel the tomatoes first.
6. Pour soup back into the pot and taste! Simmer adding balsamic vinaigrette (if the tomatoes are too sweet – the one’s from my garden are almost like apples) salt, pepper ( I like to use the colorful peppercorn) and if you desire cayenne or red pepper flakes.
7. Serve with croutons from your last gf bread mistake and enjoy!
Variations: If you do not have allergies you can add 1/2 Cup heavy cream in the last step to make Cream of Tomato Soup but I found the soup to be creamy enough without. Also regular croutons go nicely if you are not avoiding wheat. We forgive you! 😉
Please visit Linda’s new and improved “What Can I Eat That’s Gluten Free” and don’t forget to check out the other great recipes this week!
The other day Thing 1 began screaming. It was that shrill kid cry that adults can never quite identify. I can’t stand that kind of exclamation it is either glee, cackling or pure pain and no one can ever tell which until you can get eyes on the “victim”! Sometimes it is as simple an answer as, “the baby smiled at me” other times as innocent and understandable, in my case, as “I saw a BEE!” I could not see the kids from where I sat in my garden of weedin’ so when Thing 1 screamed I expected the worst.
He came running with his hands over his eyes sputtering all sorts of nonsense that I couldn’t make sense of.
“Are you bleeding?” I blurted.
“No,” he managed.
My kids know that my first response is likely to be one of two things: Is there blood, or Is something dead (namely a pet or woodland creature). You’d think by now they would come yelling, “No blood mom!”
Finally I got some sense out of my oldest son, whom I’m constantly having to remind myself is still only seven. “Bubba (who is only 2) threw sand in my eye and on my head!”
The boy accused came toddling over with a look of consternation and stood a little distance off assessing the situation. I helped Thing 1 to get his eyes to tear and had to practically put him in a straight jacket to keep him from clawing at it. Once I had that situation fairly handled I put my attention to the discipline of my youngest son.
“Bubba,” I frowned, “it’s not nice to throw sand. Tell your brother you are sorry!”
He came closer and as I looked I could see that in his own hair was at least twice the sand that the older son had. Hmmm I pondered. This little boy dumped sand all over his own head and then got a brilliant idea to throw sand onto his brothers head? Or could it just be that all was not as it seemed.
Upon further investigation I’m sure you can guess how the real story played out and in this instance there were no innocent parties.
Thankfully no one found any creatures in the woods.
What does all this have to do with dinner? I think you will be able to follow my logic if you’ve seen Ratatouille.
Ever since watching the Disney movie Ratatouille my boys have been bugging me to make the dish it is named for. When they first asked, I hadn’t a clue what it was but after perusing the Internet for recipes, watching cooking videos and consulting my culinary expert (my husband) I believe all I have left to say is Eureka!
In honor of sand and sun I’ve been spending my days outside and my cooking efforts have maily centered around the grill so my challenge was to make Ratatouille without heating up the house or using tons of dishes. The following recipe is my solution to both. I reinvented this French dish, a peasants vegetable stew and even the “peasants” in my household couldn’t get enough!
Do I really have to go there? (Shopping List):
Ratatouille is a peasants stew made using various veggies and sometimes served over rice. You are sticking with the nature of the dish if you include eggplant and zuccini along with any other vegetable that you have on hand or can find cheap. Here are a few items you need as well.
- olive oil
- tomato sauce
If I can do it you can do it! (The Recipe):
If you will be serving your Ratatouille with rice now is an excellent time to begin cooking it.
After you have the rice on, gather all your veggies.
I used 1 eggplant, 2 med zucchini, 4 small potatoes, 4 small sweet peppers (or 1 large bell), 1 red onion, 1 tomato. Other vegetables sometimes used are mushrooms, chickpeas, okra etc.
Juline the eggplant, zucchini and peppers. Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces and the tomato into wedges. Slice the onion into rings and place over everything in a disposable tin foil roasting pan.
After you are done slice and dicing, fire up the BBQ.
Once you have all the veggies arranged drizzle olive oil generously over everything.
Place 6 cloves of garlic (peeled and sliced) in a tin foil square and drizzle with olive oil then tightly seal the square and put it in the corner of your roasting pan. Cover the pan with another roaster or tin foil and place on the grill.
Grill the covered veggies over medium heat approximately 20 min. You will have to check from time to time as some vegetables will cook more quickly. Flip any that are cooking unevenly and rearrange as necessary. I burnt a few to the bottom of the pan but we decided we all liked the Cajun flavor!
Once your veggies are cooked through remove any tough skins (I took the skin off the eggplant) and anything burnt beyond recognition. 🙂 Cut everything into bite size pieces and toss into a nonstick skillet over med heat. Immediately pour in 1 cup of tomato sauce or your favorite spaghetti sauce and toss to coat. Simmer just until heated through and serve over a bed of rice.
allons, mangez !
This has been another recipe for the “What’s for Dinner Wednesday Blog Carnival” Hosted by the Gluten Free Homemaker. Thanks for stopping and check out more great ideas here!