Here there be cookies.

Here there be cookies. (Blogger uses cookies, folks, but I am sure they are gluten free.)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Desperately Seeking Lunch

Sorry, no photo of the results.
The food is in my tummy,
and it wasn't until I was eating it that
I knew I wanted to tell you about it.
You can feast your eyes on these
 frost-tipped, crispy leaves instead.
Okay. I have no time for this, but here I am. I just had lunch. Lunch is a tough meal for me. I have a hard time figuring out what to have. But today, I found a yummy twist on an old standby. 

Today's Tortilla
1 rice tortilla (Food for Life is gluten free - available at Fred Meyer)
Refried beans
Chachie's Mango Peach Salsa (available at Freddy's and at WinCo)
Raw almonds
Avocado

All quantities of toppings are flexible.

Spread the refried beans on the tortilla, top with almonds and a little bit of the salsa. Turn the the broiler in your oven on high and broil for 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer to your plate and add avocado slices and more salsa. Yum.

Obviously you can vary this in many ways, but the resulting toast of those almonds and the added protein do wonders for this tortilla. Really, it is the best solution to my diet restrictions for a burrito-type food yet.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Repost: Con Agra allergen policy


HOLD THE PHONE! This post was originally published in August of 2009, but I am reposting here due to new information.


I just did a search on the Con Agra website instead of checking here and I am glad I did. Their information isn't easy to find, and I actually ran across an FAQ page that specifically addresses gluten. I am not impressed. I won't be using their products unless they change their policy. The problem: they don't include all forms of gluten, only wheat. They label wheat on their labels, but not rye, barley, or contaminated oats. Man am I frustrated and disappointed!

Original post:
Con Agra doesn't have specific allergens listed on their site, but they have answered this question on their FAQ page: "Do your products contain ingredients that I'm allergic to?"

I hate it when I find out I have been shooting myself in the foot.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fudge!!! Improved

My Fudge!!! post has been very popular on here, and I hope that means that lots of people have been enjoying safe and yummy chocolate for Christmas, but I made an important discovery:

This time I only made up 1/2 batch of the condensed milk and 1/2 a batch of the fudge recipe. To this, I added about 3-4 tablespoons of creamy Adam's peanut butter (untouched by a knife that has been spreading some on gluteny bread of course), and the fudge is a lot creamier. The base recipe tends to be a bid dryish and flaky, but this stuff is really smooth and moist. I haven't tried the maple syrup in the condensed coconut milk yet, but I have to make some to take to my sister's for New Year's, so I will give it a try then.

Sleuths Abound

Used by permission from Sarah
The Play-Doh Dilemma: Revisited
Sarah, of the label "Sarah bakes again", posted this photo of creations her children made with PlayFoam, by Educational Insights. She said it can be used like Play-Doh and has a consistency similar to rice crispy treats, without the stickiness. She also suggests that if it isn't mashed together, the colors will separate fairly easily. If they are mashed, they will blend together, which is the also case with Play-Doh.

PlayFoam is gluten free, suitable for children - ages 3 through 8,* and the package says it never dries out.

Another option is a product called, Bubber, from Timberdoodle. Like the PlayFoam, Bubber is also supposed to never dry out. The company has put out a promotional video of the product and the stuff used in the demonstration is purported to have been left out of its packaging for ten years and is still malleable. We have some at church, and it does tend to shed crumbs, but they are easy to clean up. It has an odd, dryish, almost sandy consistency, but the kids don't seem to mind.

Healthy Top
As thorough as Mimic Creme is on their website, there is one thing I had been able to discover, so I made a phone call to company. I was told that once Healthy Top is opened, it can be used for 14 days if it is stored in the refrigerator.

Attack of the Evil Gluten 
I mentioned in my post "Sleuthbook" that I have had some pain in my digestive system and have been trying to track down the cause. One product I have been using is Mission Tortilla Chips.  I went to their website <http://www.missionmenus.com/FAQs.aspx> and on their FAQ page it gives the following answer to the question, Are Mission products gluten free?

"Mission Foods Corn products are produced with 100% corn flour; wheat ingredients are not added to the formulation. These products include Corn Tortillas, Corn Tortilla Chips, Taco Shells, Tostadas, Corn Gorditas, and Sopes. These products are produced in plants that also process wheat tortillas."

I sent them an email asking for clarification, but have not yet heard back. This statement makes me very nervous. First, they only mention wheat ingredients, which makes me wonder if they even know what gluten is. Second, I am unsettled by the warning in the final sentence. I stopped using the tortilla chips and for the past few days have been able to eat food without pain. One of my preschool Sunday school students (age three) noted in church yesterday that I look tired. When I get this sick it shows (my husband can always tell when I am in pain). Hopefully I have found the source and will be able to rebuild my health and look better soon.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
*Apparently it is suitable for an even wider age range. Sarah hinted at enjoying playing with the PlayFoam as well.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sleuthberries

These are not blueberries and raspberries,
they are service berries.
But they are the right colors
and the photo is festive
and I like posts with pictures.
Stephanie Laidlaw over at Gluten Free Hope is amazing. I was directed to her blog yesterday and I have found many recipes that I want to try. There are some recipes with dairy, but many of them are fine as they are for my restrictions. The blog is beautiful and I want to eat those blueberries and raspberries.  

Recipes I want to try:

I think I am going to learn a lot from this lady!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sleuthbook

My reputation
This was a recent status of a friend of mine on facebook.* She was referring directly to me. I not only eat No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding, I also edit. :) 


"Hey gluten free friends, Albertson's had a hand-out at the register yesterday. It is all the gluten free products/brands they sell. I told the cashier I would give it to a friend of mine and she would probably bring it back with red pen marks."

His reputation
It isn't that I was shocked that the guy was selling gluten free bread that wasn't actually gluten free. I understand the market is expanding and I understand greed. What surprised me was how seriously the law took it and 1.5 million dollar bail the judge set. 

Their recipes
Dressing!
If you are a regular visitor of this blog, you probably know I have been in search of a gluten/dairy/egg/soy-free creamy dressing. Well. I haven't come up with some yet, but someone has! I haven't tried it yet (I need to get to the store to purchase the ingredients), but I am very excited about this recipe! Vegan Cultured Coconut Milk Dressing from Neven Jones over at diary of an exfoodie

Fudge!
Just before Thanksgiving, I posted a link to a No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs (like fudge would ever have eggs...yuck), No Soy, No Kidding fudge recipe made from So Delicious Coconut Milk (obviously becoming an important part of the                     free diet) and I learned yesterday that their is another fudge recipe out there that will work for us! This one comes with several variations. It can be found at Go Dairy Free and the base recipe is called Five-Minute Fudge. Looks amazing!

Inoffensive Cookie Recipe
This article is very entertaining. There is a recipe for allergen friendly oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but it is written by someone who is allergy free. Her humor is understandable, delightful, and it is nice to have a good laugh over how ridiculous our food predicament is. Serious, but ridiculous.

My recipe
Chicken Noodle Soup for Me and Youp
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cups frozen peas
1 large onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

This makes a nice big batch; which was purposeful (you will see why). You can use other seasonings and vegetables if you want. Mine turned out quite thick last night and to the leftovers and for dinner this evening I plan to add some water to thin it out and make it more soupy, another package of noodles because the quantity of this needs more of them, some chopped cauliflower and some thawed zucchini that I put up from my garden. 

I want to also make a salad (so I will need to get to the store to get the cultured coconut milk) and I am thinking I will try this recipe for Almond Quick Bread from Simply Vintage Girl. I will have to convert it to gluten free, which won't be difficult, and use some sort of egg replace for the eggs in it, but I am think it should convert well.  I am making this for company. My uncle has just moved to town and is living in a hotel for another week. There has been a lot of restaurant eating and soup has been requested. You can see why I want to pack in the nutrition.

Her response
I mentioned in my post, Back on the breakfast table: Quinoa (keen' wa), that I was going to look into the larger package sold at Costco. I did. It is called truRoots Organic Quinoa and it is quite economical, ten dollars for four pounds, and I don't have to worry about shipping costs. I have recently been getting gluten somewhere and I wanted to check with the company to see if there are any chances of cross contamination. I did. There isn't. Here is the response that I received from the president of Enray Incorporated, the company that packages it here in the United States:

Our quinoa supply chain is entirely gluten free from farms to packing, so there is no cross contamination. Our facility is also allergen free. I am very sure that there is no cross contamination in our products. We check every batch internally with a gluten test kit to verify gluten levels.

I am so relieved! I love quinoa for breakfast and I have been purchasing packages ahead so if Costco isn't carrying it for part of the year, I won't run out. This company impressed me—from the initial phone call where I spoke to the customer service department to the email I received from the president, they were concerned, kind and went out of their way to help me, which I appreciate very much. Thanks Esha and Maggie!

...............................................................
*I played with the graphic idea for awhile. It is, indeed, meant to cause the reader to think of facebook (though my sister says that it doesn't in purple, but the blue is too close). I started out with a color very close to facebook blue, but thought they would not appreciate me coming that close to their logo. The font is not theirs and the color is not theirs, so hopefully this won't bother them.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sleuthing out those Gluten Residuals

Most of the gluteny foods left my house a long time ago, but sometimes I run across an item that has been in hiding. I have been trying to send this home with people for a couple of months or so and last night I got desperate and put it out for my husband's men's Bible study. Someone took the bait! Note: Aaron is the husband of Sarah of Sarah bakes again. He didn't get to come last night because he is sick, but the bottle didn't know that at the time it was writing the note.

Out and about on the web
I was directed to an article on safely freezing foods. If you are like me, you often take your own foods to other people's homes. I sometimes like to make extra when I cook and freeze it for those occasions and this article has information I have not heard of before.

From the Gluten Free Recipe Box, Raw Almond Pistachio Ice Cream! No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding!

It occurs to me that I haven't really been out and about much of late. Those are my only two bits of information to share. I did send off an email to a company inquiring about their products this morning, but I haven't heard back yet; when I do, you will. 

I am definitely getting gluten from something in my home, but I haven't nailed it down yet. I have almost decided that I will attend our ladies' cookie exchange at church this year. I am wishy-washy, but the thought of being in a room full of glutenful cookies is a bit unnerving. It isn't reasonable to be that paranoid - which is why I have almost decided to attend. It was suggested that this is a good way to have some glutendeath cookies on hand for my glutenable family during Christmas break, which is true. I am certainly not going to bake any for them. So I have almost, absolutely, nearly decided to attend.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rice Paper Experimentation

Three Ladies Brand
This is my new secret weapon. I buy it at a local Asian food market. The son of the owners has celiac disease, so they have a good handle on what products they get in really are gluten free. This is one of them. 

The first thing I made with these little rice paper wonders was a typical, meat and vegetable stuffed spring roll type of dish. It took a little bit of time to get a feel for how they work, but I have it now. Though I enjoyed the flavors of the vegetables and meat, I didn't care for the frying of those. I may not have had the oil hot enough, because the final rolls were very greasy.

Next I worked on a gluten and dairy-free enchilada. 

Before I cooked them, they reminded me of how poor Frodo looked in the Peter Jackson film after Shelob had wrapped him up.
This would be where Sam Gamgee gives
Mr. Frodo up for dead and takes the ring.
My problem with enchiladas is that I find the sauce to be too strong without the mellowing effect of cheese and sour cream. I have a friend who uses tofu products when she makes them for her husband who can't have dairy, but as I have mentioned before, I prefer not to eat much soy. 

So this time, I added a little bit of Healthy Top* (because it was what I had on hand) and some almond milk. It was too sweet. I need to try some of the unsweetened Mimic Creme instead.

A couple of the tricks to making the rice paper work for you is to work with one sheet at a time, soaking it in hot tap water for several seconds (probably 6-10 seconds). This makes them more pliable and less likely to tear.

This dish is the perfect size,
but the water cools to quickly.
You will want a perfectly flat
plate to work on; this was
emphasized by the lady
at the Asian market.
I like this shallow dish because it is flat and the perfect size, but the water tends to cool off quickly and for some reason it must be hot or it doesn't work.

When I assembled the enchiladas, I carefully placed the refried beans on the paper, to avoid tearing and then piled on the rest of the toppings.


The sauce really was too sweet, but I think if I can tone it down, I may be able to get this recipe to work. We will see though; I don't know if it is worth it. Sometimes I find it is better to just come up with new foods rather than try to develop No  Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Kidding substitutes. I love enchiladas, but I am thinking the cheese is just too integral an ingredient for them to be satisfactory without it. If I could stand Daiya cheese, it might work, but I just don't like that stuff.

The next thing I made with the rice paper was dessert. I made two kinds. For the first I made a cherry pie filling with water-packed, canned cherries, Healthy Top & cornstarch. For the second I used fresh, thinly sliced apples, Healthy Top, vanilla, pure maple syrup and cinnamon. After the fillings were wrapped in the rice paper, I placed them in a glass baking dish that had been lightly sprayed with Olive Oil Pam (yes, I do know there is some soy in there) and then brushed the top with a little more maple syrup. I baked these at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes and sprinkled them with powdered sugar before serving them. 

While they are baking, it is important to watch them closely to make sure they don't burn. I had a single, apple fruit roll in a separate casserole dish and the bottom burned. The cherry pie filling broke out of the rice paper and spread evenly across the bottom of the baking dish, and none of the fruit roll thingies** burned at all. This is a pleasant dish. The one thing you should be aware of is that where several layers of the rice paper are sealed together it tends to be tough. Sarah (of the SARAH BAKES AGAIN label) recommended using two sheets of rice paper and sealing the edges instead. This is a possibility, but they would need to be assembled in the baking dish, as it would be difficult to transfer them from the work surface to the baking dish. 

I keep my opened carton of Healthy
Top tucked into a ziplock bag
in the refrigerator.
I made them for the day of our Thanksgiving Dinner at church, so I didn't get a picture of them fresh. The only one I did take a picture had been refrigerated a couple of days and that photo doesn't look too appetizing. It still tasted good though!

......................................................................
*In both of the recipes I posted here I used the Healthy Top straight from the carton. I haven't even tried to whip it yet.  
**I can't decide what to call them, Spring Fruit Rolls? Maybe.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

FUDGE!!! (+ Dairy-Free, Sweetened, Condensed Milk!)

This fudge is yummy enough that you won't need
to eat much to satisfy your sweet tooth. In fact,
I wouldn't recommend it. :)
Happy Thanksgiving! You are probably busy with preparations like I am, but I wanted to stop and post these yummy recipes.

If you go to the blog, The Dorm Mom, you will find a recipe for Dairy Free Fudge.  My friend, Kim, tried it first yesterday and then I took the plunge in the afternoon. I made it gluten free by using Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips and this stuff is really, really nice. Rich, but nice. I am going to try a smaller batch, making the dairy free sweetened, condensed milk with maple syrup instead of sugar. We will see how it works. 

I added orange extract (McCormick's says Gluten Free right on the box! Caution: it is really strong stuff, don't take a big whiff up close like I did.) to half of the recipe and topped the other half with pecans. I wrote out the directions on facebook for a fellow No Gluten, No Dairy, No Kidding friend of mine and I am including those here, including a suggestion on how to change the pecan addition so they actually are a part of the fudge instead of falling off. Between Kim and I, we were able to clarify questions that may arise from the simple directions The Dorm Mom posted.

Fudge
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding
2 cups of sweetened, condensed coconut milk (recipe below)
4 cups Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (two 10 ounce packages)
McCormick Pure Orange Extract
Chopped pecans (use the amount you want)

Melt your chocolate in a double broiler - it goes fast; I put mine in when the condensed milk was down to four cups. I brought the water to a boil, put the boiler on, added the chocolate chips and just let it sit there without covering it. It was ready for me when I was ready for it.
Just as your condensed milk is ready, mix the pecans evenly into the melted chocolate chips and then add the condensed milk (or add the chocolate to the condensed milk, which is what I did, as my milk pan was larger than my chocolate pan). Stir well and pour into an 8x8 pan that has been lined with a piece of waxed paper sprayed with cooking oil. Then chill for a few hours in the fridge or freeze. I put mine on my back porch. It is cold enough out there!

Sweetened, Condensed Coconut Milk
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding
Six cups of So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk
2 cups sugar

Pour the coconut milk and sugar into a good-sized sauce pan, stir to blend. Bring to a boil and turn down heat a little. I started mine at 5 1/2 of 10 and when it came to a good boil, turned it down to 4 to let it settle down a bit, then back up to 5. This worked until it condensed down to about three cups, then I had to back off the heat a little so it would boil over. A bigger pan might eliminate that.

Once you have it at a steady, decent boil, stir it every ten minutes. Kim set her timer each time, that worked well. She and I both stayed in the kitchen until it was stable, but after that, I was able to do other things and come back to it. We both had our big glass measuring cups at the ready so we could pour the milk in to keep an eye on how it was doing. This works really well and is delicious.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sleuthing for the Freebies*

As has become a tradition, I am posting things I am thankful to God for on my other blog for the month of November. This takes up a lot of blog time, so I usually don't do much over here. I wanted to post a few things for you before you start cooking for Thursday's feast though.

Last year I made a pumpkin torte thing that was rubbery and bland. This year, I am trying Elizabeth Gordon's recipe from My Allergy Free Life

This lady really knows how to create safe and yummy desserts!

Elizabeth added a link to the Coconut Creamer she uses in the recipe and I want to give you some other Turtle Mountain links, as well as some others.

Here are two links, one to Turtle Mountain's complete list of products and the other to their allergen information, including a  chart at the bottom of the page.

I am happy to announce that my Fred Meyer store (should I call it Fred MYer?) carries a nice selection of the So Delicious products!

Alisa over at Go Dairy Free has posted her annual Thanksgiving recipe roundup. Check it out, there are gluten free recipes available. That was no small feat!

Hormel's gluten free list includes Jennie-O turkey products that are safe for us, as does Purdue's. Make sure you pay attention to any other allergies you are dealing with as well.

I just did a search for a comprehensive, gluten-free turkey list and found one at Harris Whole Health, a new-to-me website I am going to have to explore!

I also found information on safely handling turkeys. I am buying fresh and needed to know how long it keeps before it must be cooked.

There you go. I have researched the turkey and dessert. You will have to fill in from there. Worry not, there are a ton of great recipes out there. Hopefully this weekend I am going to try a new dessert idea that I have been working on in my brain. If it works, I will get that up here as well.

.............................................................
*And by "freebies," I mean allergen free foods, of course.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

FYI

I posted a new item under Snack Attack.
I think a little more cocoa than I used might be better
and perhaps a little bit of maple syrup...
I have been busy lately and haven't been as creative in my cooking. I have been using recipes I already have or going with simple foods. I should get back into a make-it-up-as-I-go-along mode soon. The holidays are coming right up!

In the meantime, I found this recipe for No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding Pizza Crust (with toppings suggestions) at the Allergy Free Desserts blog and I can't wait to try it! Gotta find some of that fine rice flour I keep reading about, but in the meantime, I will probably try it with brown rice flour from Bob's Red Mill.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Snicker's? Reese's? Skittles? What's a sweet Sleuth's tooth to do???

I am confident that the little punkin on the left is
crying because of this recent Reese's reveal.
Update: If you already looked at the list, go look again. At the bottom of the post at Gluten Free Recipe Box, she has added some replies to inquiries from specific candy companies.



This gluten-free candy list at Gluten Free Recipe Box has both safe and unsafe candies listed. The author has been doing some calling and three things caught my attention:

1) Snicker's candy bars are on the SAFE list (how that reconciles with the information I shared in my last post is beyond me).
2) Reese's Peanut Butter cups are on the UNSAFE list (ALL varieties!).
3) Original flavor Skittles are on the UNSAFE list.

BE CAREFUL. NOT ALL SIZES AND VARIETIES OF CANDIES ARE GLUTEN FREE!

I had item number two not long ago. Reacted. Didn't attribute it to the PB cup because I had always understood them to be gluten free! I just purchased item number three to give to my kiddos in preschool Sunday school. I chose those because I thought they were gf and I have two gluten free students. 

I am not happy about those last two items, but I would rather know than eat them. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sleuth Snickers

This is my daughter many, many years ago.
I used to call her Punkin.
Check out this updated information concerning candy, candy, candy, its safety or lack thereof on a later post. Don't take my word for it; follow the link to Gluten Free Recipes there.

Not really. This isn't funny. Did anyone else realize that the Mars candy company doesn't include gluten in its allergens list? They don't. I was checking to see if the miniatures are gluten free and found out that they don't make that statement about any of their bars. 

Yet Mars candy bars are on an awful lot of gluten free candy lists out there. How come? I am wondering if there has been some personal interaction with the company and they have a different policy than can be found on this Allergen Info link for Mars.

Sometimes I can get away with a piece of chocolate candy that has milk in it as long as I don't eat a bunch, but I guess Snickers is off of my list until I read/hear something different.

On the other hand, Nestle has a nice gluten free list online on a PDF file. Guess when I get a real hankerin' for chocolate, I will have a Baby Ruth.

In my searching, I ran across this website called Label Watch. They are not specifically for people with allergen issues, but they are specifically for people who eat. We do, so it should be quite helpful for us too.

I also ran across a blog called Home Cooking Rocks! the other day and though it isn't tailored to our needs, there are recipes on there that work! For example, her Rainy Day Cabbage, Pineapple and Strawberry Salad. This is timely. There is rain in the forecast!

That's all for now. Perhaps this should be called a Sleuth Reportlet.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

If your momma opened a restaurant and she cooked all of your favorite dishes...

...yeah. It's like that.

Tonight my husband took me to a MEXICAN RESTAURANT AND IT WAS SAFE FOR ME!!! We traveled to get there. We went all the way to a little town called Jerome, Idaho and made our way up Main Street until we arrived at the El Sombrero. Somebodies' momma didn't raise no dummy...Rosa's momma, to be precise. This lady and probably her husband and definitely her daughter have a great thing going in that little town. The food there is fantastic and I am confident that they have a large following of regular customers. While we were there, I heard many statements to the tune of, "Good food as always," or "What we've come to expect." As we were preparing to leave a couple walked in from the back entrance mentioning "we were here last night" as they made their way to the booth behind ours.

The portions are HUGE and the customers are happy...including me. Before making the trek, I made a phone call to the restaurant and asked to speak with Rosa, who I had been told is the owner. Rosa is a celiac, so she knows what is safe and what is not in her restaurant. She told me which seasonings not to order, but that when I got there the waitresses would be able to guide me. She was right. What they didn't know for sure, they would go back to the kitchen and ask.

Both my husband and I ordered the Pork Carnitas...delicioso!...under their "Sombrero Specialties" on the menu. When you follow the link, you will find that their prices are quite reasonable. When you see the photo (sorry for the low quality, the lighting is subdued and I only had my cell phone with me) you will wish you were eating there now.

No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding!
They use canola oil in the kitchen. They do have eggs,
but you don't have to order them. ;)
As you can see, they have corn tortillas and salsa that they serve when you arrive, and the little bowl in the middle held their own refried beans with cheese. I refrained from eating them of course, but the ones on my plate had no cheese and I enjoyed them very much.

That pork on the left? Tender. Juicy. Amazing. Add the rice, lettuce, tomatoes and the soft, moist corn tortillas and I was very, very happy. If you are wondering — no, I didn't clean up my plate. I have leftovers and I plan to make the most of them. We also bought an order of two tamales to go; one as a surprise for my mom and the other tucked away in the fridge for this gluten free girl on another day. 

If you decide to check them out, expect your eyes to be delighted with the bright colors of the place, your taste buds to be delighted with the succulent flavors and your tummy to be delighted with the safety factor.

El Sombrero
143 W. Main
Jerome, Idaho

Tell them the Gluten Free Sleuth sent you. Hopefully by then they will remember me...I know I won't be forgetting them any time soon; I need to try some of their fajitas...

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Sleuthist sleuths out recipes

Gooey Recipes from around the web
Banana-cue - No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding - The banana base of this recipe is fine, but I need to come up with different accompaniments. Ice cream and whipped cream won't do.
Seriously Addictive Gluten Free Yummyness - No Gluten, No Dairy, No Soy, No Kidding and making it No Eggs should be easy
Brownie Bites - No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding
Yummly - This is a recipe data base. On the left there are a number of allergens listed and you click on the ones that apply. The link is to what recipes they have that have No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding and there are several pages listed. I will be spending some time here, believe me!
Simply Sugar and Gluten Free is just what the name says, but resourceful free-ers can adapt lots of different kinds of recipes!
Coconut Whipped Cream - No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding

White Olive Soup

I came up with this recipe long before I couldn't have gluten. I wanted some yummy beans, but I didn't want to use ham. Years ago, I had a friend who made chili with olives in it and he included the liquid, so I decided to try it. I have always made this soup with navy beans, but I was out of them the other day, so I went with limas instead and they worked really well.

Navy beans
I enjoy the name of this recipe, because it always gets interesting responses from people when they hear it. This time around, my friend Judy said that when she heard the name she envisioned a creamy soup, but she didn't see how that could be since I can't have dairy. The White part is from the beans, the Olive part is from the olives. :)



Just looking at the picture makes me hungry!
White Olive Soup
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, 
No Soy, No Kidding
2 cups of dry navy or lima beans, 
   soaked in water overnight &   
   drained
1 pound of stew meat, thawed & 
   cooked through
1 - 16 ounce can of black olives, 
   chopped, reserve liquid
1 medium to large yellow onion, 
   chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, sliced
Dried parsley, garlic powder, salt, 
   & paprika, all to taste

Place the pre-soaked, drained beans in a kettle.  Add the pre-cooked stew meat, the olives, the liquid from the olives, the chopped onions and the celery slices. Add enough water to come above the ingredients about an inch and a half. Season to taste. Over a medium to medium-high heat (depending on the heat your kettle can handle) bring to a strong boil, cover pan, and reduce heat enough to keep it boiling, but not boiling over,

Concerning the seasonings, if you have read my blog for long, you know that I cook using the Aunt Lorena method. Start out with a few shakes or so, and then before you are ready to serve the dish, taste some to see if it has enough seasoning and if it doesn't, add more. Your confidence with this method will increase as you use it. Just remember to start out with smaller amounts so you don't have to add more beans, or whatever, to lessen the affect of overdoing it.  And speaking of overdoing it. I ate two bowls the other night and it was too much food. Proceed with caution...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sloth Report: Sleuth fesses up and other stuff

JENNIFER! No Corn, No Kidding!!! 
Check out this recipe for light "corn" syrup at Adventures of a Gluten Fee Mom!

Okay, now that that is taken care of, I need to ask you to forgive me. I having been thinking of all the times I have said, I will get back to you on that, and never have. This morning I decided to use my handy dandy Sleuth search engine to see how many times I have done that, and the results are in...

THE FESS UP
Promise 1. Chocolate Cinnamon Coconut Almond Freeze "Hmm..I am thinking of some new flavors even now. I will let you know." 
Answer 1. Well. I haven't made this again. Instead, I have been playing with the frozen banana recipe that is abundantly discussed on the web and I made a chocolate shake that was delicious. I have thought since that I should take a similar recipe and freeze it for ice cream, but I haven't done so as of this post. I will make no promises, but if I do it again, I will certainly try to remember to take a photo, make a recipe and post it.

Promise 2. I told you I would let you know if the Black Bean Brownies would turn out okay with egg replacer instead of egg whites.
Answer 2. Again. I haven't made them that way. I should be brought up on failure-to-make-recipes-another-time charges. My problem is that I just don't remember to make them. I am off trying something new instead. How will I ever establish sound, No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding traditions at this rate?


Promise 3. Under the heading In the works..., I mentioned that I was working on a ranch dressing that was free of everything of which it needs to be free.
Answer 3. FAIL. So far anyway. I still want to do more with it, but for now I will just show you photos. I really think the initial mustard, green onion, grape seed oil picture looks pretty sweet (read: appealing? funky? artsy? I don't know. I just like it). The egg replacer was tricky. This recipe requires patience.

THE OTHER STUFF
Stores that sell gluten free stuff
I got an email from the head of our celiac support group and she was letting people know about resources in our area. One thing is that Winco is selling Udi's bread products now, as well as this amazing frozen fish I want to tell you about (see in the products section below).

She was told that they don't have a separate gluten free section because it is easier to just put them on a shelf with similar foods. I am confident it is easy for them, but it is like a Where's Waldo search for the glutenly challenged.

Speaking on gluten-free product shelving practices, I really hate it when stores put gluten free on the baking aisle. At Smith's Food and Drug they not only have the products on the baking aisle, they are right next to the regular flours. This might seem logical to them, but I don't even like to walk down the baking aisle. Can you say cross-contamination? With the efforts companies, such as Bob's Red Mill, take to produce certified gluten free products, I am sure they would be thrilled to know that their products are snuggling up to gluten. And with the efforts we take to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle, the last thing we need is to inhale the stuff in a supermarket! Until they move their gluten free items to another place, I won't be buying any gluten-free products from that aisle.

There is a little store called Sta-well. This store has been in the area for many, many years, but has new owners who are stocking loads of gf stuff. They are very personable and are always willing to try to get in whatever their customers are wanting. They are a mom and pop establishment, so their prices are a bit more than other spots, but it is always good to support the little guys whenever possible.

Another place in our town is Local Dish Market and Cafe. They too are supposed to have lots of gluten free products and serve gluten free foods in the cafe. The owners will be at the celiac support meeting on Tuesday evening.

Products I have heard about or tried
FISH!!! No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Peanuts, No Kidding!

Starfish is producing some breaded fish for us! I didn't even realize how much I missed those frozen, boxed fillets and sticks I used to serve when life was crazy, but I do now. I bought the halibut the other night and it was wonderful. I had to go to a meeting right after we ate (Nice timing on this find! True? Of course, true.) and as I sat there, I would put my hair under my nose from time to time and smell that fishy goodness. Not a smell I normally want to sport, but this night, this night, I was in fish odor heaven. I went for the halibut because it is normally $9.99, but was on sale (Nice timing on this find! True? Of course, true.) for $6.99 and I decided I better go for the savings while I could. This fish is available at Winco and Smith's. It is actually safe at Smith's, because it is in the frozen fish case, not on the baking aisle.

I took photos of them, but blogger says, "Server Rejected" no matter what pictures I try to upload, so instead I will link to the Starfish company URL.

Around the web
Living Without posted this interesting article on the necessity (or lack thereof) of biopsies for proper diagnosis. Conclusion: still necessary, but it is good to see where the research is going.

If you were wondering about Farley's and Sathers candies, they say they deal with the "Big 8" allergens. Is gluten in that list? I think only wheat is. Either way, you have to call them for each product you are wondering about.

Have you been to P. F. Chang's? I haven't, but I have heard nice things about them and want go. They aren't in my town though.

Arbonne has a hefty list of gluten free products! Would you look at that list? I don't know the person whose site this is, I just ran across the link.

Gluten Free Baking has some great recipes. Just make sure you are watching for those that have other allergens in them, but I am thinking I can tweak their Cran-Apple White Chocolate Popcorn. I have my doubts that there is dairy free white chocolate, so I will probably go with Enjoy Life's chocolate chips instead.

One Frugal Foodie has a free eCookbook available for download. It is called Smart School Time Recipes. You should go check it out!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Store stuff, blog news

Zazzle is running a sale now through September 23 @ 11:59pm that includes 10% off of net sale price on shirts. Enter the code: AUTUMNZAZZLE at checkout.

Also, Snack Attack is back!

Back on the breakfast table: Quinoa (keen' wa)!

For some time now I have just been enjoying my easy and delicious, default breakfast: Arrowhead Mills Maple Buckwheat Flakes with raisins, nuts, a few Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips and almond milk. I love chocolate and eliminating milk from my diet has definitely changed things. Breakfast is a nice place to indulge in it. My problem is the cost of the cereal. I am trying to become more economically gluten free, which isn't easy. I also have hypoglycemia and don't do well with the gf Chex cereals due to their sugar content, so they are not an option for me (refined white sugar is not my friend - though I do eat it sometimes, I can't have it every day).  My solution? Quinoa! Early on I used it a lot, but it is just so easy to pour cereal into a bowl...

Last week I decided it was time to go back to cooking breakfast and I am finding that it keeps my energy level even the whole morning. My plan is to have the Buckwheat Flakes on hand for those days when I just can't afford quinoa's fifteen minutes from cupboard to tummy. I usually use Ancient Harvest Quinoa, but I have seen a different brand in a big bag at Costco that I need to check on to be sure there are no cross-contamination issues. If there are none, I will buy it from there instead. I am confident it will be more economical. In the meantime, here is the nutritional lowdown on this delightful grain from Ancient Grains.

This is for a serving size of 1/4 cup dry quinoa, which makes a very nice breakfast bowl. Keep in mind that this information is for the quinoa only, not my recipe.
172 calories
2.8 grams of fat (no saturated or trans fats)
1 mg sodium
31 g carbs - 3 dietary fiber, 3 sugars 
6 g protein

I posted the recipe I have used in the past back here, but I have changed it a bit (notice that I am still having chocolate for breakfast).

Dry quinoa is round and tiny. When it is cooked, it gets a little ring around it (like Saturn :)
and that is how you can tell it is ready to eat. You can see this in the picture.
The clearest are to the left of the bottom, center pecan. 
Chocolate Peanut Butter Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding

1/4 cup dry quinoa
1 teaspoon Saco cocoa
Cinnamon, to taste
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon peanut butter
Handful of raisins
A few pecans
Smattering of pure maple syrup
Almond milk

In a small saucepan, add the quinoa, cinnamon and cocoa and mix together. Add the water, raisins and peanut butter and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, put the lid on the saucepan and set the timer for 10 minutes. Watch it for a bit, adjusting the heat to make sure it keeps boiling but doesn't boil over. When the timer goes off, look to see if the quinoa has little rings around it. If it does, it is ready to eat. Doesn't it smell wonderful? Add the maple syrup (I think I probably use less than a teaspoon), pecans and desired amount of almond milk and enjoy this wholesome and yummy way to start your day!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Announcement: The Sleuth has a Store!

Notice my new page? The Gluten Free Sleuth Store is open for business! I have been wanting to open an online store for some time now, but it has taken a while to pull everything together. I thought it would be a fast thing to set up, but I thought wrong. There were a lot of kinks to work out and so far I only have one design, but I plan to develop more. I do them on my own computer rather than working with the tools available at Zazzle and my desire is to incorporate more of my own artwork. 

I really like the way my first design came out and I hope you will too. It is specifically to promote and clarify the gluten issue. This one is really best for girls. I do plan to create some more manly design in the future.

I can also do some custom images. I will be doing more with the No Kidding concept, including other allergens and I can make them fit your specific restrictions. This will probably be my next project. I will let you know when that happens and you can email me then with your requests.

Temporary Setback :(

I was adding to my Snack Attack page and somehow, and I am completely clueless in this, I deleted the entire page. *big sigh*

I will get it back up when I can, but life is quite busy and I have used up all my bloggy minutes for now (I am definitely blogging on borrowed time). In the meantime, there is this option:



I don't know if it will work for you all or not. It may disappear the next time I clear out my browser for all I know, but hopefully it is still there. Just know that in the preview none of the links will work. It is just a two-dimensional fa├žade, after all.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Dairy Free Dilemma: Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob, slathered in butter and sprinkled with salt

Just typing those words spurs my saliva glands to action! What is a dairy-freer to do? Well, a few weeks ago I decided I needed a solution to this problem. My friend, Sarah, gave me some fresh ears from the field and I didn't want to eat them dry! As I was mulling over the possibilities, I remembered how much I used to enjoy hot bread dipped in garlic-flavored olive oil at a couple of the local Italian restaurants and I decided to try a variation on that theme. This is a simple and effective solution to the problem! The recipe* I am sharing is for grilled corn on the cob, but I have since used a seasoned oil on corn that I cooked on the stove top. I brushed it on the corn before eating.

Grilled Corn on the Cob,
Sans Butter
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs,
No Kidding

Corn on the cob, in husks (as many as you need for your family/crowd)
Olive oil
Garlic powder**
Salt



To prepare corncobs, peel back the husks and remove corn silk.

Pour olive oil into a small bowl. When determining quantities on this, think about how much butter you would use per ear and judge from that. It doesn't take much olive oil at all. The amount in the little Pyrex bowl was way more than I needed for mine. I only did one ear with this olive oil blend for me; everyone else had butter.


Spread the olive oil mixture evenly over the corn. I just used my spoon for this.

Smooth husks back into their original position (the husks were wrinkly and wobbly at this point) and tie in place with string. We grilled ours for about 6 minutes, turning frequently, but I was looking at recipes on the web and saw recommendations from 15 minutes to until the husks are black. I also saw that it is often recommended that you pre-soak the corn in its husks in cold water for 15 minutes to saturate them, allowing for steaming and improved moisture content of the cooked corn. The corn will be hot, so be careful as you remove it from the grill.*** We served them with the husks still in place and each person unwrapped their own. It was quite lovely on the plate...though the ashes were a bit messy.

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*This is sooooo simple that it doesn't really seem like a recipe, but what else can I call it?
**I want to try some other seasonings with this also. I haven't decided which ones yet, but I will be experimenting, corn on the cob availability permitting.
***No fingers were burned in the husk-removal of this corn.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

South of the Border, in Layers

I was going to come up with something non-Mexican style last night, but when I smelled the burger as it cooked, I decided to go with this homemade fast food instead. It was a hit. I forgot to garnish with whole olives before I took the picture, but I didn't forget to eat them! This recipe may seem too simple, but it is a surprisingly nice blend of flavors. Those who are not allergic can top with sour cream and/or cheese also. My husband used sour cream, but no cheese.

South of the Border, in Layers
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs,
No Soy, No Kidding

Olive oil
Red cooking wine
1 lb burger
Garlic powder, salt
1 16 oz. can Rosarita refried beans (I used fat free)
2 tablespoons canned, sliced, chili peppers (make sure they are gluten free)
1 cup Garden of Eatin' Blue Chips, broken into pieces (this is a great way to use up those last bits in the bottom of the bag)
1 can whole baby corn, drained and cut into thirds
Guacamole (your favorite, my other recipe, or the variation I made last night can be found below)

Preheat oven to 350°F

In a skillet, precook hamburger. When it is nearly done, season with garlic powder and salt, to taste and stir in about a couple of tablespoons of the red wine. Allow to finish cooking and set aside until needed.

Assembling the Layer in the casserole dish
Coat the bottom of a casserole dish with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Evenly spread in layers in this order: refried beans, green chilies, tortilla chips, burger and baby corn. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Serve with guacamole and whole black olives

Guacamole: Last Night's Version
1 whole avocado, ripened, peeled and pitted
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup Chachies Medium Salsa
Garlic powder, ground cumin, chili powder, to taste

Mash the avocado and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Start light on the seasonings and add until your taste buds do a little dance.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Barbecue Bowl with pasta salad

Shockingly large, isn't it? I can't help it, the flavor is that big!
I am really liking this bowl thing. I am also really liking having to come up with new dishes on a regular basis. It is fun to try to pair up ingredients in my mind before I start making dinner. Tonight's dish came together quite nicely and the recipe practically wrote itself. 

Barbecue Bowl
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No kidding
1/8 cup grapeseed oil
1/8 cup red cooking wine
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 medium sized zucchini, sliced in disks
1 large yellow onion, chopped in very small pieces
1 cup Cinnamon Barbecue Sauce (recipe to follow)
1 cup Pacific chicken broth
Salt and garlic powder

Pour the oil and cooking wine into a large skillet over a medium heat. Add chicken and cook, turning pieces to sear all sides. Add the vegetables and then combine the barbecue sauce and chicken broth and pour over all. Season, cover and allow to simmer for 25 minutes.    

Those tiny onion bits did just what I had hoped they would do in this dish. They are sweet and tender and really make it the wonder that it is. Don't forget the onions!

Cinnamon Barbecue Sauce
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No kidding
1 cup gf ketchup (See link to see what the gf policy is at Heinz, which is the brand I am currently using. I haven't noticed gluten issues with it, but I really want to make my own ketchup so I can get away from high fructose corn syrup.)
1/3 cup Brer Rabbit black strap molasses
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/8 cup French's Classic Yellow Mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients together and mix well. The cinnamon is the hero here; it is a very nice spice for barbecue sauce; add more if you like. I use this sauce on chicken wings too.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Pliable Pasta Salad
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No kidding
1 package Tinkyada Spaghetti Style Brown Rice Pasta (or your favorite gluten free pasta)
Litehouse Red Wine Olive Oil Vinaigrette Dressing (or your favorite oil and vinegar dressing)
Your choice of add ins* - for this evening's salad I used
Whole black olives and yellow pear tomatoes w/chopped green peppers

This is easy to put together. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and rinse. Put into a large enough bowl to allow for tossing. Add vegetables and then pour dressing over all. Use enough dressing to make it moist, according to your preference. Toss and serve if everything else is ready. If you put this together earlier in the day, it will give the flavors time to mingle. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

A bit of humor with this dish. I was in a hurry to get this into my husband's tummy, because he had a meeting tonight. SOOOO, I pulled the pasta off of the burner about a minute early resulting in a just barely under-done noodle. It had the coolest texture! It was kind of bouncy, or something. It sort of gently pushed back on my teeth when I chewed; however, the liquid was so hot in the bowl that as I got further into the meal, the pasta had finished cooking!  Bowls are a great adventure!
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*Other possibilities - celery, green onions, red onions, scallions, canned artichoke hearts (marinated or not), cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms (marinated or fresh), canned baby corncobs, heart of palm, any seeds or nuts that you would like,

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dear Blogger


Thanks for the editing improvements. They are fabulous. I am especially happy with the preview feature that actually shows what the post will look like when it is published. It makes the whole getting-the-spacing-and-other-formatting-right thing much easier.

This is a simulpost. You can also see it live at my other blog, All We Like Sheep.