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...

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.

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**

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.

*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.