Sunday, November 25, 2012

17 #SundaySupper, #HelpingHands - Gluten Free Spaghetti Squash with Pancetta

Hey everyone, I hope everyone had an enjoyable time for their Thanksgiving. I'm happy to participate in this week's Sunday Supper. With what has happened recently with Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast United States, the Sunday Supper team wanted to team together to share some charitable organizations that are doing good work to help the families of New Jersey and New York. If you would like to donate, please click the two images below.

Please join us on Twitter for #SundaySupper today to check out all of the recipes posted. Check out the #SundaySupper hashtag at 7pm for our weekly twitter chat! Please check out everyone else's posts below, then check out my recipe!

Breakfast and Brunch:
Comforting Casseroles and Entrées:
Warming Soups and Sides:
Sweet Endings:

I enjoy making this spaghetti squash dish for friends when they come over in the fall or early winter. It's full of flavor and an enjoyable dish to sit down and relax while eating.

Cook Time 45 minutes
1 spaghetti squash
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter
4 oz pancetta, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
5 porcini mushrooms, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp mustard
1 tsp thyme
1/2 bottle of white wine

Preheat an oven to 375F.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the squash in half, and scoop out all the seeds and stringy parts. Lightly dress with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place the cut sides down on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the squash.

While the squash cooks, brown the pancetta in the butter over medium heat. After about 5 minutes, once the pancetta has browned, add the onions and mushrooms. Cook until the onions are tender, and about to caramelize. This will take between 5-10 minutes. Add the cinnamon, powders, mustard and thyme. Stir until combined. Over the course of about 20 minutes, slowly add the white wine to the mix to create a sauce, stirring occasionally. Reduce to low heat.

Once the squash is done, remove it from the oven. Use a fork to shred the insides into spaghetti strands, and add to the sauce. Gently toss the squash in the sauce, and serve while it is hot.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2 Thankful for a Generation of Tolerance

On October 26 my daughter Rachel (9 years old) had 6 of her closest friends over for a "craft night."  They have been taking turns each month and now it was our turn to make the crafts, eat dinner and of course have some crazy fun.   What made this gathering of friends unique was that 4 out of the 6 girls had some sort of food allergy/intolerance.  Rachel has celiac disease and has been GF for 3 years.  But, her older brother Josh has been GF for 10 years. Rachel has lived her life knowing about the in's and out's of a GF lifestyle.

In our eclectic group we had a friend who is a Type 1 diabetic and celiac, another who has a severe peanut/tree nut allergy and one who is lactose intolerant along with Rachel (celiac).  Oh, and another friend was not celiac but had 2 siblings and a mother that are.  All of this was unheard of a generation ago, but now it is common place.  The UCLA Food and Drug Allergy Care Center has this to say:
The occurrence of allergic disease is skyrocketing, and some estimates are that as many as one-in-five Americans have an allergic condition.
One of the many hypotheses out there on why this is occurring is that there is a heightened awareness among doctors, parents, teachers and the general public about the symptoms and potential consequences of food allergies.  This may contribute to the reason why we are meeting more people with food allergy.

So, what is happening to this young generation with all of these food allergies/diseases? The answer is that they are becoming more thoughtful, empathetic, selfless, generous people.  My experience with our "craft" night had left me with such an enormous amount of pride for these girls.  With a bit of planning  and open communication with their parents, we were able to have a wildly successful night.  Each one of the girls were more concerned about their friend's dietary restrictions than their own.  They wanted to make sure that their friends were safe and cared for- that was priority #1!  Dancing to Gangnam Style was 2nd-sorry PSY!!

I have seen this time and time again not only in my home but in the schools as well.  This younger generation is so accepting and tolerant to the differences in each other.  No one is "weird" because they can't eat peanut butter or regular pizza!  They just  accept one another for who they are not what they eat.

For all of this I am incredibly thankful and wildly proud.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

0 3 GF Questions to ask your Thanksgiving Host

Going in conjunction with my post from a few days ago about how to host a gluten free Thanksgiving, here are 5 helpful questions you can ask as a guest to start the conversation to ensure a gluten free meal.

  1. What dishes are you planning on making? This seems like quite the simple question, but it not only starts the dialogue, but gives you a good idea of what you can recommend to make a Thanksgiving meal gluten free.
  2. What side dishes can I bring? Sometimes, bringing a dish you've cooked can ensure one of the sides is gluten free.
  3. Are there any ingredients I can bring? I find for things such as pies or breads, it's easy to bring gluten free ingredients such as the flour or graham cracker crumbs. It can really help out the host if they are unfamiliar with purchasing gluten free items.
I hope you find these questions as useful brainstorming ideas for the upcoming holiday!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

3 Gluten Free Stuffing

Hey everyone, here's a simple and tasty gluten free stuffing recipe that's perfect for Thanksgiving. This recipe calls to bake it in the oven, but you can also cook it the traditional way in a turkey.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6

1 box Glutino corn bread stuffing
1 tsp minced parsley
1 tsp minced thyme
1 tsp minced rosemary
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, diced
4 cremini mushrooms, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 fuji apple, cored and cubed
1 handful dried cranberries
1 1/2 cup turkey or chicken stock (or vegetable if you want to make the dish vegetarian)
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a round 9" baking dish.

In a medium bowl, toss the stuffing and herbs together. Set aside.

In a medium pan over medium heat, add the butter and sautee the onion, mushrooms, and celery until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Pour into the bowl of stuffing. Add the apple pieces and dried cranberries.

Pour the stock over the stuffing, and let it sit for a minute. Stir the stuffing together until all the stock is absorbed. Pour the stuffing into the greased baking dish, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes, and then remove the foil and bake for another 10.

Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

0 How to Host a Gluten Free Thanksgiving

Hello everyone! I hope that you're all having a good weekend so far. Thanksgiving can be a stressful holiday for a whole variety of situations. For those with Celiac or gluten sensitivity, it can be a stressful food event filled with concerns of gluten filled food or food contamination. I’ve hosted a Thanksgiving dinner the past few years, and have learned how to provide safe, gluten free alternatives to the traditional foods.
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, and have any guests who request gluten free food, here are a few useful tips to ensure a stress-free, happy Thanksgiving:

Talk to your guest a couple days beforehand. Starting a dialogue can help you understand their needs for food safety. And speaking from experience, your guest will definitely appreciate it and stress out less over consuming food.

Use gluten-free ingredients as substitutes for traditional gluten-filled ingredients. The best example of this is stuffing. Stuffing is a scary food Thanksgiving item, so go the route of using gluten free stuffing cubes. When you purchase them from the store, check to see if they have been processed in a facility that also handles wheat. Best place to verify is looking under the ingredients. If it has been, there’s a good chance that you’ll see something along the lines of “May contain wheat.” You’ll want to steer away from ingredients such as these.
Provide food that doesn’t need gluten substitutes. This is an easy, and more often than not, healthy decision. Provide side dishes that are naturally gluten free, such as fresh vegetables, potatoes, and fruits.

Those are just a few tips, I hope you’re looking forward to the holidays as much as I am! 

Also, if you've ever prepared a gluten free Thanksgiving and have tips of your own, add them to the comments in this post!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

0 Gluten Free Thanksgiving Week

Hey everyone!

It's a week away from Thanksgiving, and therefore time to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving can be difficult for those with Celiac or Gluten Intolerance, so this next week all my posts will feature tips and recipes to have a gluten-free Thanksgiving with friends and family. Feel free to share any of your favorite gluten free Thanksgiving tips and recipes with us over the next week. Post them in the comments, or share them on twitter!

Here's what's to come this week:

Tomorrow: How to Host a Gluten Free Thanksgiving
Saturday: Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe
Sunday: Questions to Ask before going to Thanksgiving
Monday: Gluten Free Cranberry Biscuits
Tuesday: Gluten Free Dessert Recipes

Saturday, November 3, 2012

11 #Cranberrylove: Gluten Free Cranberry Chicken

Hey everyone! This month is #cranberrylove, so this month I decided to start my cranberry recipes off with a chicken recipe. This is a really easy recipe, and has a great blend of flavors in it. One of my favorite salads is a cranberry apple chicken salad (I'll add it to the bloghop below so you can find it). I don't know if its because of Thanksgiving and associating cranberry sauce with turkey, but I love combining chicken and cranberries in recipes. You can serve this chicken with your favorite rice recipe and vegetables for a complete meal!

Be sure to check out the recipes for all the other co-hosts this month, and all of the shared recipes in the blog hop. If you'd like to add your favorite cranberry recipe, add it to the blog hop. Also, come join us on twitter and just search for #cranberrylove for this month's recipes. Enjoy!

This month's co-hosts:
Deanna @ Teaspoon of Spice | @tspbasil
Kimberly @ Badger Girl Learns To Cook | @bdgergrl
Evelyne @ Cheap Ethic Eatz |  @cethniceatz
EA @ The Spicy RD | @thespicyrd
Sheila @ Pippi’s In the Kitchen Again | @shlylais
T.R. @ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies | @TRCrumbley
Shulie @ Food Wanderings | @foodwanderings
Becky @ Baking and Cooking: The Tale of Two Loves

Join our bloghop below!

Cranberry Chicken with Gorgonzola

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings 3-4

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
3-4 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp chopped oregano
1/4 tsp chopped basil
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp garlic powder
crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Preheat a pan over medium heat, and add the oil and butter. Dust both sides of the chicken with the salt, pepper, mustard, and herbs. Once the butter has melted and coated the pan, add the chicken. Cook on each side for about 15 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, combine the wine, cranberries, and powder in a bowl, and let it sit.

Once the internal temperature of the chicken is 165F, remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest. Add the soaked cranberries and wine to the pan, and use a spoon to scrape the browned bits of the bottom of the pan, creating a sauce. Cook over medium low heat for about 5-10 minutes.

Serve the chicken on a pan, topped with the cranberry sauce and crumbled Gorgonzola.

Friday, November 2, 2012

0 Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes

Hey everyone! This past Halloween I dressed up as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, and decided to bring some pumpkin cupcakes to a party that I went to. I stylized it with words from the Alice in Wonderland treats such as "Try me," "Eat me," or "Take one." Its a simple gluten free pumpkin cupcake with a buttercream frosting. I hope you enjoy, and take advantage of it in the fall season!

Servings 18 cupcakes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Bake Time 30 minutes

2 cups of gluten free flour blend (recommended blend includes white rice flour, tapioca flour, and potato starch)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp all spice
2 tsp xantham gum
1 cup melted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs, room temperature
15 oz pumpkin puree

1 stick butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake linings.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour blend, soda, powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, gum together. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir the butter, sugars, and vanilla until blended together. Stir in one egg at a time until all the eggs are combined. Fold in the flour by the half cup into the wet mix, adding more dry mix when blended into the wet mix. Once all the flour is added, stir in the puree until well combined.

Pour the batter into the lined tins, filling in each tin 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

While the cupcakes cool, whip the butter and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add the sugar by the half cup, only adding the next half cup after the previous is blended in the butter. Add the milk after all the sugar is blended in. Once the cupcakes are cool, frost and serve!

Store them in an air tight container, they will keep at room temperature for a week.