Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Beef and Yams

One of the keys to living with multiple food restrictions is variety. I am constantly thinking about what I can do to keep not only my taste buds happy, but those of my less restricted mother and my I'll-eat-pretty-much-anything-you-put-in-front-of-me husband (he draws the line at blue food - except for real stuff, like blueberries - and he holds to his food motto, "never eat anything bigger than your head"). Yesterday I was thinking about some boneless beef ribs and those yams I had picked up the other day and wondering if they would like to join forces in a single pot. I did a search online and found several recipes for beef and sweet potato stew (I always use yams in sweet potato recipes, I think I just like their rich color) and I took one of those and made it my own.

Beef and Yams
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding
1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless beef ribs, or stew meat, or whatever cut you want to use (this would even work with a roast)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced fine
A dash of allspice
A couple of dashes of cinnamon
1 large onion, chopped
1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes, undrained
Fresh, bruised and battered cinnamon oregano from your backyard (okay, you can use regular oregano if you must)

Heat oil in big skillet over medium heat. Add beef and season with salt and pepper. Brown in the hot oil.

Add the onions, garlic, yams, and tomatoes. Season with cinnamon and allspice. Cover and cook on LOW for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until beef is tender. After about an hour, check occasionally to be sure it has enough liquid. If not, you can add a little water to see it through.

This was a huge hit. Those flavors blend together very well. This could cook in a slow cooker for 4 hours and the beef would be fallen off the bone tender (sans the bone part if you use boneless :) but that stuff I used last night was quite tender. It probably depends on what cut of beef you use.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Maple Pecan Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

It is summer and a perfect time for salads. This is a recipe that I have used often. It is light, satisfying, delicious, healthy and free of everything that it should be free of for the folks in my home. I have also pre-baked chicken breasts, chopped them up and tossed them into this salad and it is a tasty main dish.

Maple Pecan Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding
1 head of broccoli, cut in bite size pieces
1 head of cauliflower, cut in bite size pieces
1/2 cup Craisins
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup of pecans

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Combine the vegetables, nuts, fruit and onions in a large salad bowl and set aside.

In a smaller bowl, combine maple syrup, olive oil and vinegar and stir to blend well. Pour over your pre-mixed veggies, etc. and toss to coat. Serve immediately. If you are making this ahead to serve later, I suggest you not add the pecans until then.

There is no substitute for cheese (at least I haven't found it yet)

Daiya Cheese = not grate.

I bought the mozzarella-flavored Daiya cheese substitute. I said in my last post that a friend had tried it and said it tastes like bad movie popcorn. I told her and you that I expected I would get along with it okay. I do not. It is awful. Sure it melts and stretches, but it tastes like chemical-laden, cheap microwave popcorn. I really appreciate the efforts of the Daiya people, but I can't stand this stuff.

I was really looking forward to some pizza, but I am going to forge ahead making new recipes with new flavors and fall in love with them instead.

(I know, the picture is supposed to be making fun of bad TP, but I think it fits with this dilemma as well. Especially since the stuff I had today also reminded me of cardboard-flavored cheap frozen pizza.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


UPDATE: I can't believe I failed to include the link to the article at Enjoy Life. Please say something if you notice an error like this. Everyone needs editing from time to time. It is linked now.

This one will be very short, but mostly I wanted to get the link up here for the article.

In the news:
First, Enjoy Life Foods has an informative article on their website concerning the issue of gluten-free labeling. Here is a quote to whet your appetite and get you over there:

"According to the University of Chicago Celiac Center’s Carol Shilson, 'research shows that every person with celiac disease has a different threshold to trigger the disease active – some with as little as 10mg of gluten, others can withstand up to 100mg – but we know that EVERY person with celiac disease triggers the disease active with 100mg of gluten in the course of a day. That is a tiny amount – like a grain of rice – so that is why it is so important to practice zero tolerance.'”

Joan's Gluten Free Great Bakes has some yummy looking products and she delivers.

I just bought some Daiya Cheese (the mozzerella flavored), which I mentioned under products in the last Report. I haven't tried it yet, but a friend on facebook mentioned that they sell it at Fred Meyers. She didn't give it a great review (she said it tastes like theater popcorn butter, but my taste buds are fairly jaded by now and will probably like it.

That's all for now folks! (I told you it would be short.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rhubarb/Strawberry Upside Down Cake

Strawberry Upside Down Cake
No Gluten No Dairy No Eggs* No Soy* No Kidding
Fruity Part:
- 4 cups of sliced rhubarb
(At least: I used a lot of rhubarb. It was at least an inch deep in the baking dish)
- 1 pound of strawberries, sliced
(Use more if you want a stronger strawberry taste. This amount was good with the quantity of rhubarb.)
- 1/3-1/2 cup sugar
(All the recipes online were using less rhubarb and a cup of sugar. I started with a cup and just couldn't bring myself to use it all. It was way sweet with what I did use, which was probably about 1/2 cup.)

Cake Part:
1 Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
(*The box says there is a possibility of soy, but my mother is very sensitive and she wasn't worried about it and had no reaction.)
Vegetable oil (I used safflower oil)
2 teaspoons gluten free vanilla (I used Kirkland brand)
3 eggs
(*I did use eggs in this recipe, because I think I can tolerate eggs in a baked item, but next time I am going to try the milled flax seed/water blend instead)

Preheat oven to 350°F

Most recipes like this say to grease the bottom of your baking dish, but I didn't and I am having no problems getting the cake to come out. Perhaps it is because of the large quantity of fruit in the bottom of this dish.

The fruit layer:
Evenly spread the rhubarb in the bottom of a 9"x13"x2" baking dish (I used glass) and then layer the strawberry slices evenly across the rhubarb. Finally, pour the sugar even across the fruit. Set aside.

The cake layer:
Prepare the cake according to package directions, only use the vegetable oil instead of the butter. It makes a pretty thick batter and because I wanted it a little more runny, I blended in a little bit of almond milk.

Once the batter is ready, spread it over the top of the fruit and bake for about 40 minutes. What I did was start at 30 minutes and keep checking it until the top started browning. I think it could have even cooked a bit longer, but it was definitely done by that time. My mother had suggested that the longer it cooks, the more caramelized the sugar will be. Mine didn't at all, and that may also be a reason it is coming out of the pan so cleanly. Plus, it is delicious the way it is!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Concerning that last recipe

In case you have already taken it down, I realized in bed last night that I had failed to include the seasonings I used. You should take another look at the recipe. It is still easy, just a little more flavorful. :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Honey Pecan Chicken

Honey Pecan Chicken
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 1 per person)
1/3 cup chopped pecans
olive oil
garlic powder
parsley flakes

Place chicken breasts in a casserole dish. Drizzle with honey and olive oil. Sprinkle pecans across the chicken and season with garlic powder and parsley flakes. Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes or until internal temperature reaches at least 170°F and holds that temperature for at least 15 seconds. When serving, spoon some of the sauce from the bottom of the pan over the chicken.

I served this with a green salad with Litehouse Red Wine Olive Oil Vinaigrette dressing and a variation on My Lesstest Easiest Oven Potatoes. Instead of slicing them thin, like homemade potato chips, I chopped them into bite sized cubes and cooked them in a casserole dish. The rest of the recipe is the same and I did serve it with my Buttery-Yellow Mustard Sauce (recipe can be found in the same post as the potato recipe). This meal is easy and delicious!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Out and About - A Sleuth Report

Update added below
Life is always too busy to post these. But here I am again. You can tell how long I go between Sleuth Reports by the size of the report! Rest assured, even though the reports are delayed, I am always collecting information for them. :)
I am a fan of Gluten Freeville on facebook. I love the facebook page (I frequent and contribute to it on a regular basis) and the website. I was reading an article today that was so good for me. So convicting. It addresses how and when to explain (or NOT explain) your gluten issues to others. Go there. Listen to what Nancy says. Heed it. You will be happier. Your friends will be happier.

Lord, help me to guard what I say.

Other Bloggers of Interest
No Gluten, No Kidding:
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding:
These sites cater to more than one allergy, but not all cater to all of these allergies. Adapt. Adapt. Adapt.
Woggle Bug (This site is specifically for treating Autism, but check out those recipes!)
My Allergy Free Life (cookbook alert!)
Sixty Recipes in Sixty Days (We have already seen Sally Ashbrook at Aprovechar - this is a new project, but it is taking more than sixty days. Life does that sometimes.)

Alkemie Dairy-Free Ice Cream (Hope they expand across country soon!)
Daiya Vegan Cheese (No soy, casein, lactose, gluten, egg, wheat, barley, whey, rice, or nuts! Haven't found any in stores around my town yet.)
Update: I have tried it now. I don't like it. Perhaps it is an acquired taste. We will see.

Gluten Free Information

Danger Will Robinson!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chicken Marsala!

No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding!

My husband and I were going to dinner at Johnny Carino's a couple of months ago so I went to their website and looked over their gluten free menu to decide what I would order. Because of the no dairy complication (as if gf isn't complicated enough), I wanted to go prepared. I was precooking my own Tinkyada brown rice noodles and was hoping for a nice chicken something to go with it. When I saw Chicken Marsala on the list, I knew that was my choice. We went, I ordered, they brought it to the table and looking down I inquired, "Isn't that butter on my plate?" It was indeed. That was when I mentally kicked myself and thought, what did you think they would use to make a sauce? I ate it anyway. I decided since I hadn't asked the waiter for dairy free assistance I wasn't going to expect the restaurant to "eat" my mistake.

Yesterday we were headed to a distant town to see our son for a belated celebration of his thirtieth birthday. He is teaching and auditing summer school and Memorial Day was the only day he could take off until early July. I wanted to make something delicious that would satisfy everyone, even those without food allergies. I decided to search the web for a Chicken Marsala recipe that would fill the bill. I found one. It is over at Be Free for Me dot com and it an absolutely delicious recipe. Instead of making cutlets as the recipe recommends, I cut the chicken into small pieces. It didn't take all of the flour blend to coat the chicken pieces, but I used a little bit of the leftovers and blended it in with some of the wine, then stirred that into the pan during the 10-12 minute simmer to help thicken it.

This is not an inexpensive recipe, I had close to $20 into it with the chicken, mushrooms, wine and Tinkyada brown rice fettuccine, but that was because I had to get all of the ingredients in one place at one time. If I had been able to plan ahead and buy a big container of mushrooms at Costco and get the other ingredients on sale, it could have been more economical. My husband noted that four of us ate the meal with leftovers and we could not have done that at a restaurant. Plus, finding a nice place that accommodates gluten, dairy, egg and soy (my mom's taboo) allergies is not an easy task (insert impossible if everyone wants to eat actual food. Wingers is not so good for me since dairy left the building and my mother can have maybe their ketchup and their ice).

This recipe was a huge success. Everyone enjoyed it and no one felt they were shortchanged for it being gluten and dairy free. I highly recommend it for that special occasion with those certain someones in your life you have coming up. The picture was taken with my cell, and it is a bit shiny, but hopefully the mouth-watering aroma still makes its way through all of that technology.