Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gluten free Reviews #2

So we started our adventures in eating gluten free back in August. Now in December I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of cooking and eating gluten free. And since it's been almost four months since my original review post  I figure it's time for another. As one might expect, after four months I have come to rely on a few staples in my kitchen. So I figure I'll start there.

Gluten Free All-purpose Flour Blend
In my freezer (because that is were I store the majority of my flours) I try to keep a gallon plastic bag of GF flour blend. My recipe is loosely based on Mary Frances' flour blend. Go check out her blog/website at She can be very helpful. Anyway, some friend of mine in Kansas fostered a child with Celiac Disease and so I turned to them early on for resources and suggestion for cooking and living gluten free. They happily gave me all sorts of information including several recipes that they loved. In there was an adaptation of one of Mary Frances' flour blends. (Their child could not have corn or dairy in addition to no gluten)
 Here is C and M's (my KS friends) recipe.
3 parts Brown rice flour
3 parts Sorghum flour
2 parts potato starch  (or tapioca starch)
1 part Millet flour
I have had a hard time finding Millet flour. In fact I haven't found any in the Goshen grocery stores. In the beginning I substituted buckwheat flour. And we liked that. More recently I have been using teff flour instead of millet. We really like the flavor this flour mix has.
And I tend to use it in everything. Such as
Pancakes- the recipe I have from C and M was adapted from Mary France's pancakes
Sandwich bread -again an adaptation of Mary France's sandwich bread. I should note here that I use a package of Active Yeast which is about 2 1/4 tsps I think. It seems to work well for me assuming I let it rise for a full hour in a warm spot.
Biscuits- this is one of the places I use a gluten free flour mix in place of wheat flour in a recipe. I have a great biscuit recipe  that I love And i have found that just substituting the flour with this flour blend works really well.

We like cereal not only for breakfast but as part of snack with raisins and other dried fruit. Chex is gluten free and I tend to keep both rice chex and corn chex around. I even made gluten free chex mix using corn and rice chex, almonds, cashews, gluten free pretzels, and black bean chips. It was very yummy.

Rice Krispies has a gluten free version that my mother used to make rice krispie treats. They tastes good. And weren't too hard the next day. Of course we made sure to cover them with plastic wrap. I don't tend to keep these handy but it's nice to know they are available

ErviroKidz Organic Gorilla Munch Cereal seemed to be a big hit with Cai.  I send snacks with him to Preschool and this is what is currently there. He teachers say he loves them and is even disappointment when he doesn't get it due to the fact that snack that day is already gluten free.

Post Pebbles Cereals (both Coco and Fruity) are gluten free. Over thanksgiving my step-mother used Coco Pebbles to make rice crispy bars. Agian these are not something I keep on hand, but knowing it's out there and that it tastes good is nice. :)

Snack food
With little kids running around I have to have regular snacks available. Some things are easy, such as fruit or veggies with dip. Other things have been more tricky. Here are some of the staple snack foods I try to keep around.

Pretzels -Glutino brand twist and stick pretzels are enjoyed in our house. Everyone seems to like them. Although sometimes I'll hear Ian say he want the "gluten ones" again.

Crackers- Glutino has a round cracker that reminds me of Ritz. They taste pretty good. And we like them with soups or spreads.
                Crunchmaster as gluten free crackers. Although these did not go over as well with little boys. Don't know why, cause I like them.
                S'Moreables Graham Style Crackers are enjoyed by the younger too boys. Ian will only eat them after being told we have not other kinds in the house.
               Mary's gone Crackers are also enjoyed by all of us. I just got some to try in chex mix. We'll see how they taste that way.

Chips- Food Should Taste good has excellent chips. We really enjoy the multigrain and the sweet potato.

Snack bars- EnviroKidz Organic crispy rice bars are loved around here. Especially the chocolate.
                    Simply Sugar and Gluten Free by Amy Green has a great chewy granola bar recipe. I love it.It is one of the many wonderful recipes in Ms Green's cookbook.

Finally I want to share a book with you. The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide put out by Triumph Dining has been very helpful. I have come to keep it in my bag so I always have it whether at the store or a friends house. It lists food companies and products that are gluten free along with alittle (not much mind you) information on the risk of cross-contamination. It has been a good purchase and makes finding things alot easier.

I'm sure there is alot more I could share. But I'll leave it here for now. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- Dec 12th

Yes, yes it's Tuesday. But hey I got alot done yesterday so I'm not feeling to terrible about being a day late on posting this. Don't have alot to say this morning. Mark is taking the day off. So I'm at our local coffee shop The Electric Brew all by myself. Enjoying an Egg Nog Latte, a frosted pumpkin bar, and time to myself. Mark has been working late many evenings including Sunday afternoon-evening. So the time without boys is very much appreciated. Anyway on to the menu.

Monday: leftovers
Tuesday: ham and kale quiche
Wednesday: Spaghetti with side veggie
Thursday: Potatoes and Peas with Ham (from More with Less)
Friday: Sweet Potato and Black bean Burritos (from Simply in Season)
Saturday: leftovers or other simple meal
Sunday: finger food dinner at Mark's parents- we are decorating gingerbread boys and playing games in the late afternoon/early evening. :)

Okay so that's the week. Hopefully it will go smoothly and Mark won't have to work too many late hours. Keep you fingers crossed to me. Oh and check out Organizing Junkie for more menus.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- Dec 5th

My apologies for the lack of update and menu last week. We got home from our Kansas trip late Sunday evening. Unloaded the van, put kids to bed and then just relaxed till we crawled in bed ourselves. Last week was spend unpacking, catching up on laundry, and decorating the house for Christmas. Anyone else having a hard time with the fact that yesterday was the second Sunday of Advent?  Of course we missed church the first Sunday due to traveling, so that makes it jarring for me as well. I"m happy to say though that I did get all the decorations up. I have a box of fresh pine branches that still need hung, but I just got those on Saturday. A friend of Mark's family had a large branch fall in her yard, and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law went and picked  up several of the cut pieces for holiday decorations. They were nice enough to pick some up for me as well. In other fun news, Mark finished the bookcase at the top of the stairs this weekend. It still needs the middle shelves, but the structure is there. :) I'll have to take pictures and post them so you can see what I mean. Ok on to our menu. This week will be crazy busy on a few days. Bless my mother-in-law for allowing us to come have dinner at her house. Makes my life so much easier.

This weeks menu is a s follows:
Monday: Dinner with Mark's folks - I'm bring GF bread (Mark has to lead a training for work)
Tuesday: Tacos with leftover Thanksgiving turkey (My mom send home leftover meat. I put it in the freezer and have been taking it out a little at a time)
Wednesday: Dinner with Mark's folks (Mark and I both have church obligations that overlap. So Grandma and Grandpa have agreed to help with the kids)
Thursday: Ethiopian Lentil Bowl (From Simply in Season)
Friday: Homemade GF Pizza
Saturday: Broccoli Cheese Soup
Sunday: Pancakes and bacon

Don't forget to check out Organized Junkie for more menus.  Happy Monday Everyone!!!!