Thursday, May 30, 2013

0 Gluten Free Key Lime Desserts


Hey everyone! I've been on a bit of a vacation this week, so it is great to be back! Here's a gluten free dessert recipe that I adapted from a Betty Crocker recipe located here: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/light-n-fluffy-key-lime-dessert-squares/980d08e4-69e5-43fe-ac58-8e0c323a3bdd .

There's a few things that I did to adapt the recipe to make it gluten free, and a bit more to my liking. I replaced the cookie crust with a gluten free graham cracker crust. If you can find it, I recommend using Schar gluten free graham style crackers. They have a great texture and taste. Another great thing is that it is also an egg and dairy free graham cracker (although this recipe is not dairy free).

Since this is a bit of a guilty pleasure dessert, I like to use a fat free condensed milk rather than normal condensed milk to make me feel slightly less guilty. I also use cupcake wrappers and tins to package the dessert. It makes single servings much easier to provide, and looks really great served on a platter.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time:  2 hours
Servings: 1 dozen

Ingredients:
1 cup of gluten free graham cracker crumbs (I use Schar crackers, it takes about 2/3 of one box)
3 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 can fat free condensed milk
1/2 and 2 tbsp key lime juice
1 8oz container Cool Whip
1 6oz lemon flavored yogurt
zest of one lime
limes for garnish

Steps
Line 12 cupcake cups with cupcake liners. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the crumbs, butter, and sugar. Evenly distribute between the 12 cups and press down to form crusts. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and juice together. Once combined, fold in the yogurt, zest, and half the container of Cool Whip. Distribute evenly between the cups, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

To serve, remove the cups from their liners, and top with a dollup of Cool Whip and a thinly sliced lime slice.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

3 Orange Mango Smoothie


Hey everyone! Hope you're having a good weekend so far! If you're a tv nerd like I am, you're impatiently waiting for the Doctor Who Series 7 finale, here's a healthy and tasty snack to hold you over! I like to make this with my immersion blender, it makes clean up time go by much faster, and there's less waste than using a full blender. You can add banana to this if you wish, but I omit it because I hate the texture of raw banana.

Enjoy!

Servings: 1 tall glass
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
6 oz plain yogurt
1 cup orange juice
1 mango, skinned and cubed
2 tbsp lime juice

Steps
Combine all ingredients in a tall cup, and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, use a standing blender.

Serve with fresh oranges and enjoy!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

0 May 15th National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Did you ever ask yourself "I  wonder who invented (fill in the blank)??"  My kids ask me this question almost daily.  My 10 year old daughter asked yesterday "I wonder who invented grass?"  Referring to the kind of grass that we cut with a lawn mower!

 With today's technology we can get get the answers to these questions almost instantly.
I was researching national health awareness days for a project at work and came across National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! How cool is that- a day to celebrate the chocolate chip cookie.  Now, I am all about chocolate chip cookies of all varieties.  I have been baking them since I was a kid.
Like all great recipes the chocolate chip cookie was an accident.

Ruth Wakefield invented the chocolate chip cookie in 1930. Ruth was a 1924 graduate of the Framingham State Normal School Department of Household Arts. She lectured on food and worked as a dietician.  Ruth and her husband Kenneth ran a bed & breakfast near Whitman, Massachusetts.  The name of the establishment was none other than the "Toll House Inn."  Ruth was very well know for her desserts and frequently made her guests a butter drop cookie.

One day Ruth decided she wanted to make a chocolate butter drop cookie but did not have the proper chocolate on hand.  Ruth did however have a bar of Nestle's chocolate given to her by Andrew Nestle himself. Ruth decided to cut up the bar into tiny pieces hoping that the chocolate would melt and create an all chocolate cookie. Needless to say, this did not happen but the chocolate bits softened up and created a whole new delicious variety of cookie that was a huge success.
Ruth made a deal with Nestle that they could put the recipe on the back of their package as long as they supplied her with free chocolate  to make her guests cookies.  In 1939 Nestle's created the chocolate morsels that we know today!

Fun Facts:

  • chocolate chip cookies are the most popular kind of cookie in America
  • 7 billion chocolate chip cookies are eaten annually
  • Toll House produces 33,000 cookies each day.


MRS. WAKEFIELD'S ORIGINAL TOLL HOUSE COOKIE RECIPE:
2 1/4 cups all- purpose flour (Use your favorite GF flour blend to substitute plus 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine -softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 2/3 cups Nestle chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Combine flour, baking soda, salt (**xanthan gum if making GF cookies) in small bowl.  Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl until creamy, add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in flour mixture. stir in chocolate morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake 9-11 minutes until golden brown and cool for 2 minutes.



Celebrate National Chocolate chip cookie day by baking your own cookie for your family! The photo above is my Gluten-free version of a chocolate chip cookie.
Enjoy!

0 Gluten Free Grilled Ginger Pork with Asian Slaw #WeekdaySupper


This is my first time participating in #WeekdaySupper! The concept behind it is filled with the spirit of Sunday Supper, but packaged into making recipes during the week. Weekday suppers are sometimes hard to pull off. The only person I'm responsible for is myself, and between a full time job, grad school, blogging, and maintaining a social life, weekday evenings are prime real estate. I can't even begin to imagine throwing kids into the equation at this point in life while trying to still do everything I'm doing now. 

This all captures why I appreciate the #WeekdaySupper events and am happy to be contributing to it! I made this recipe with ingredients I had in my pantry, within the hour and a half I had last night in between getting home from work and the beginning of class. This is a fairly flexible recipe, as you can cook this on the stove top if you don't have a gas grill readily available.

Sunday Supper Movement
This post is a part of this week's #WeekdaySupper! Be sure to check the rest of this week's supper recipes. 
Monday – Hip Foodie Mon Fresh Asian Noodle Bow
Tuesday  Sue’s Nutrition Buzz - Easy Individual Chicken Pot Pies with a Cauliflower Crust
Wednesday - No One Likes Crumbley Cookies – Grilled Ginger Pork with Asian Slaw
Thursday - Noshing With The Nolands – Paprika Chicken
Friday – Family Foodie –  Avocado Hummus

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
Chops
4 pork chops
1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated ginger
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp honey

Slaw
1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 inch ginger, grated
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
salt and pepper

Steps
In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, ginger, lemon, pepper, and honey. Grease and preheat the grill over medium heat. Brush the sauce on one side of the chops, and place the sauced side down on the grill. Brush the bare tops of the chops with more sauce. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the chops and baste with more sauce. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from heat and turn off the grill.

For the slaw, mix together all of the ingredients and cover. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Serve the chops with slaw and either your favorite vegetable or some white or brown rice.

Friday, May 10, 2013

3 There's Gluten in my Alcohol?

This past week I posted a recipe for tequila lime chicken. In the post last weekend, I referenced how tequila is one of the few consistently gluten free alcohols. The amount of questions I received regarding gluten in alcohol led me to writing this post as part of my Celiac Awareness posts. This post isn’t meant as a way of answering the gluten content in every single alcohol, but I hope it helps provide some information as to why some alcohol has gluten, and how I pick and choose my alcohols.

How does gluten get into alcohol?
It’s a very odd thing to think that gluten can be in alcohol. But once you gain an understanding of how alcohol is made, it can help you in choosing which alcohols you can consume safely. (Note that when I mention alcohol, I’m referring to alcoholic beverages, not alcohols such as rubbing alcohol.) There are two methods of producing alcohol: fermentation and distillation. Fermentation is a process of producing a mix of carbohydrates and yeast. The yeast converts the sugars into alcohol and other by-products. If a beverage is distilled, then the ethanol in the fermented mix is distilled out of the mix, producing a spirit that is high in alcohol. Fermented beverages will always contain gluten based on the carbohydrate base of the mix. Distilled beverages may contain gluten based on the carbohydrate base of the mix, depending on processing and what evaporates with the distilled alcohol.

If gluten comes from the carbohydrate, then which alcohols should I avoid?
There are three main types of alcohol: beer, wine, and spirits. An understanding each type makes it easier to expect which alcohols may contain gluten.

Beer is produced by fermenting a grain mash (this grain is the source of the carbohydrates). The most common grains used in beer are barley, rye, and wheat. Beers based on these grains will contain gluten and should be avoided. Ciders and sorghum, rice, or millet beers are normally gluten-free and safe to drink. I find beer to be one of the easiest to know whether to avoid or not, since the base grain is normally always identified.

Wine or mead is produced by fermenting fruit, using the sugars in the fruits as the carbohydrates. I normally always trust wine to be gluten free due to the lack of grain in the carbohydrate base.

Distilled beverages are the trickiest to know if they are gluten free or not. I find these normally don’t advertise what the base carbohydrate is, so this is where learning what each spirit is comes to be helpful. What I like to do is learn what each spirit is normally made of, and choose my spirits based on these. Also, always avoid the cheap stuff. Not only do they normally taste bad, but there's a potential for the manufacturer to use wheat or barley to cheapen the carb mix. Below are a few common spirits listed, and what they’re normally made from. 
Spirit
Carbohydrate
Should I avoid this?
scotch
barley
Yes
vodka
Rye, corn, wheat, potato
Know your brands
bourbon
corn
Know your brands
Brandy or cognac
grapes
Normally Gluten Free
Rum
sugarcane
Safe!
Tequila
agave
Safe!
You can see that alcohols based on sugars or fruits are normally safe to consume (I still recommend always checking the brand on the internet.) Bourbons can be tricky because additional grains may be used with the corn, which could lead to some gluten being introduced into the distilled alcohol. I personally don't react to Maker's Mark, but that doesn't mean it is universally okay for everyone. This reminds me of the CSA's three step self management guide (http://www.csaceliacs.info/self_management.jsp). In step two of the process, once you've gotten your gluten under control, you can expand your diet by researching, learning, and experimenting with foods. Distilled alcohols are under their expansion step, and I believe bourbon falls under this category.

Vodka is the trickiest of them all. As you can see, a wide variety of starches can be used to make vodka. The ones that are normally safe are corn or potato vodka, but I 100% recommend checking the brand of a vodka before consuming it. If there’s no information available about whether it’s gluten free or not, avoid it. I personally just avoid vodkas all together.

I hope this article helps!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

20 Gluten Free Tequila Lime Chicken - Cinco de Mayo #SundaySupper


Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! I hope that you're all having a safe and enjoyable weekend with friends and family. This week, the Sunday Supper group is putting forth some of our favorite Mexican inspired recipes.

I personally love margaritas, especially since they're a gluten free cocktail. Tequila is an alcohol distilled from agave, a naturally gluten free plant. Liquors are something I was weary of gluten when I began this journey a couple years ago. How do you know a liquor is gluten free or not? It's become increasingly easy to find out which brands are, but a good rule of thumb is to research what the alcohol is commonly distilled from.

My tequila lime recipe is a simple one to do, you pretty much make a margarita and add some additional spices to it! I like to freshly grind my peppercorns and my cilantro to bring out their oils, I recommend it if you have a mortar and pestle! If not, it's perfectly fine to use ground pepper and chopped cilantro for the marinade.

Check out my recipe at the bottom, and be sure to check everyone's Cinco de Mayo recipes! Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday, May 5th to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

Cinco de Mayo Appetizers & Sides {Aperitivos}:
Cinco de Mayo Main Dishes {Platos Principales}:
Cinco de Mayo Desserts {Postres}:
Cinco de Mayo Drinks {Bebidas}:

Gluten Free Tequila Lime Chicken

Active Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 5 hours
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
1/2 cup tequila
1/4 cup Grand Marnier orange liqueur
juice of 8 limes
juice of 2 oranges
1/2 minced onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 handful black peppercorns, ground
2 handfuls cilantro, chopped or ground
1 tsp sea salt
4 skinless chicken breasts

Steps
In a large bowl, combine everything but the chicken. Stir until well combined, and then add the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 5 hours. 

At the end of the five hours, remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 450F, and a large skillet pan over medium heat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, and add the chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to the baking pan, and place in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165F.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

4 Celiac Awareness Month

Hi everyone, this month is Celiac Awareness Month. This is going to be a short post, but I wanted to share some sites to kick of this month. I'm also planning on sharing a series of posts on the gluten free lifestyle, including some information on Celiac and gluten senstivity, what to look for if you may have Celiac, and ways of adjusting your lifestyle to be gluten free. Post any comments on topics you'd be interested in seeing this month!

Here's a list of websites and activities to check out this month:

Stuffed Pepper - http://www.stuffed-pepper.com/
Stuffed Pepper is an amazing gluten free community, filled with tons of information and community blog posts. For the month of May, they're holding their second annual "Test Your Gluten IQ!" event. It's a fun way of testing your gluten knowledge and to learn more about the gluten free lifestyle. Join the event here: http://www.stuffed-pepper.com/about-gluten-free/test-your-gluten-iq

Celiac.com http://www.celiac.com/blogs
I love the blogs that people post on celiac.com, lots of great information!

Celiac.org http://www.celiac.org/
This is the ultimate place for all things Celiac. They have tons of resources at your disposal!