March 30, 2010


Gluten-Free Wednesdays 3-31-10

Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Welcome back to Gluten-Free Wednesdays!  This is the last week of March which means our muffin challenge is ending.  Be sure to link your muffin recipes next week. This week, anything goes as long as it is a gluten-free eating idea of some sort.

Last week we had a few pizza related entries so I thought I would highlight them.

Pizza Style Omelet
from Living Free

Guiltless Gluten-Free Pizza
from The Daily Dietribe

My submission this week is a healthy muffin recipe.  I was going to save it for next week, but I came up with another terrific muffin recipe for then. 

multi-grain carrot walnut muffin

Multi-Grain Carrot Walnut Muffins

Thanks for stopping by and adding your link.  Please take some time to view the other links and leave a comment for them.  If this is your first time participating, please read the guidelines.

1. Lynns Kitchen Adventures (taco pasta)
2. Jillian @ Funny (allergen-free) Girl - Cinnamon "Rolls"
3. Jenn Cuisine (Mustard and pistachio crusted rack of lamb with minted peas)
4. Aubree Cherie @ Living Free (Fruit Pizza)
5. Easy To Be Gluten Free - Asparagus Parmesan
6. White Trash from Fire-Eyes at Home Spun Magiic
7. Lisa's Gluten Free - Namaste Foods Giveaway (4/10)
8. Shirley @ gfe (Honey-Sweetened Corn Muffins)
9. Brian (GF Macaroni and Cheese)
10. Rachel @ Living Without Wheat (Chicken Enchilada bake)
11. Chaya - Zucchini Carrot Muffin
12. ComfyCook - Apple Muffins Unlike Others You Have Had
13. Cindy at (oatmeal cranberry muffins)
14. Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads (Grapefruit & Prickly Pear Roast Chicken)

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March 29, 2010


Multi-Grain Carrot Walnut Muffins

multi-grain carrot walnut muffin

I’m a few days late, but this is my entry for this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free which is being hosted at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, and has a theme of guiltless pleasures.  These muffins fit the bill for me.  I just enjoy muffins.  They are a nice size and they are good for breakfast or snacking.  I made these guiltless by including whole grains, nuts, and carrots.
These muffins will also be my submission next week for my monthly challenge which is to create a gluten free muffin

Buckwheat flour in these muffins give them a hearty whole grain flavor.  I love it combined with the carrot and walnuts.  These are not moist muffins, but neither are they overly dry.  Muffins by nature are on the dry side, like a cake that you eat with ice cream.  You can spread these with a little butter or jam if you like.  You could also try adding some applesauce to the recipe, but I like them the way they are.

The list of ingredients is rather long, partly because it uses five different flours/starches.  If you don’t have all the flours used, try substituting what you do have.  Just substitute a whole grain for a whole grain and a starch for a starch.

Gluten-Free Multi-Grain Carrot Walnut Muffins

multi-grain carrot walnut muffins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Using a whisk, combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, vanilla, and oil.  Add to the dry ingredients and whisk together until everything is wet.  Stir in the carrots and walnuts. 

Spoon batter into a muffin tin and bake at 375 degrees for 18- 20 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack and cool.

View Printable Recipe

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March 28, 2010


Cooked Versus Raw Vegetables


I’ve done a little reading about this topic, and you can find pretty strong opinions, especially on the side of raw food.  The question I’m addressing here is not which is more appealing, but which is healthier.   I think that question can be looked at from two aspects:  which is the most digestible and which  contains the most nutrients.  Here’s what I have learned about digestibility and nutrition.

1.   Digestibility.   Raw vegetables contain enzymes that aid digestion.  Cooking can destroy those enzymes and hinder digestion.  However, vegetables also contain cellulose, a fiber which we have difficulty digesting, even with those enzymes.  While fiber doesn’t contain nutrients, it is an important part of digestive health.  Cellulase, the enzyme needed to digest cellulose, is produced by intestinal bacteria.  Cooking vegetables, even lightly steaming them, breaks down that cellulose layer and makes them digestible.  Blending or pureeing vegetables, such as in a smoothie, also helps make them more digestible.

2.  Nutrition.  Generally, minerals withstand heat, especially dry heat.  Vitamins are more easily destroyed, but do better with moist heat.  Both vitamins and minerals leach into cooking liquid, and it is good to use that liquid in the meal.    Some nutrients, particularly vitamin C, are easily destroyed by heat.  On the other hand, some nutrients are made more available by cooking.  In one study, lycopene in tomatoes rose 35 percent after cooking them. 

In addition, fresh fruits and vegetables sold in stores have often lost many of their nutrients by the time we eat them.  It is best to chose items that are in season and grown locally.  Frozen vegetables are usually frozen at their peak and could contain more nutrients than fresh.  Obviously, they would have to be cooked. 

The bottom line for me is that we should eat a variety of vegetables in a variety of ways.  The important thing is to eat them.  If you won’t eat broccoli raw, but you will eat it cooked, then cook it and eat it.   If your child eats carrots raw, but not cooked, then give him raw carrots.  You get what I’m saying:  Eat Your Vegetables! (And I’m speaking to myself as well.)

You can find more information at the following sites (and many more with a little searching).

Surprising News About How Cooking Affects Antioxidants - NutritionData

Vegetable Nutrient Chart - Dr. Decuypere

Fact or Fiction:  Raw veggies are healthier than cooked ones – Scientific American

How to Eat Your Vegetables Raw – Body Ecology

This post is third in a series on vegetables.  I’ll finish next week with ways to cook vegetables.  You can view the first two posts here:

Getting Kids to Eat Vegetables

What is a Vegetable?

What do you think about cooked versus raw?


March 25, 2010


Multi-Purpose Pastry Dough

“That’s the ultimate recipe!”  Those were the words of my son when he realized I was using this recipe to make several delicious foods.  I’ll show you one of them here, but more ideas will be coming.  Here’s a teaser:

pastry dough pocket 
This is not a typical pastry dough.  For one, it’s gluten free, and you have to accept the fact that gluten-free pastry doesn’t act like gluten filled pastry.  You can’t produce (at least not that I know of) a pastry dough that is both flaky and flexible.  My gluten-free pie crust works well as a bottom crust for pie, but not as a top crust.  It would fall apart.

This recipe is not flaky like the pie crust recipe.  It uses melted butter rather than chunks of cold butter typically used in pastry dough.  However, it is smooth, flexible and pretty easy to work with.  It’s really quite fun to have a ball of gluten-free dough that you can press, squeeze, roll, cut, fill, and fold.  Give it a try and get creative.

I originally made this recipe using 8 tablespoons of butter.  I was able to cut it back to 6 tablespoons and have it turn out well, but it does turn out a little more dry.  Depending on what you’re making you can use either amount and adjust the amount of milk.

Gluten-Free Workable Pastry Dough

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Using a fork, beat together the milk and egg.  Add the milk mixture and melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir with a fork.  It will look crumbly, but everything should be wet.  If needed, add a little more milk.

pastry dough crumbly

Now use your hands to form the dough into a ball and work it a little until it is smooth like this:

pastry dough ball

The dough is now ready to be rolled out or can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator.  Roll the dough out on a silicone mat, pastry mat or piece of parchment paper.  Use a piece of plastic wrap on top of the dough to keep it smooth.

pastry dough rolled out

Experiment with thickness.  Rolling it very thin makes it more likely to break when folding or transferring.  About 1/16 – 1/8 of an inch works well.  The things I've made with this have been baked at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes.

I promised to show you one way I used this dough.  It won’t thrill many of you, but if you have kids, they’ll like it. 

Pigs in a Blanket
I made these as a snack the other day when my son had a friend over.  On his way out, the boy grabbed another one and told his mom he loved them!  She said she’d have to get the recipe.  They’re not gluten-free eaters.

I used Hebrew National beef franks and cut them into halves or thirds.  I then cut the dough into rectangular strips and rolled up the hot dog pieces like this:

pigs in blanket dough

Place them on a baking tray and bake at 350 degrees about 15 minutes. Time depends on the thickness of the dough.

pigs in blanket baked

View Printable Recipe

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March 24, 2010


Allergy Grocer Giveaway

Allergy Grocer,  originally known as Miss Roben’s has always been one of my favorite companies from which to purchase gluten-free ingredients and mixes.  Last year they went out of business, but I was thrilled to learn they have reopened.  They have an updated and easy to use web site, with an About Us page you will want to read.  It includes their mission:
“To provide those with food allergies great tasting, great textured, and nutritional food products that are reasonably priced, safe to consume, offered through a user-friendly website, and delivered timely and as requested”.
You will also learn that:
“Allergy Grocer’s production plant (Miss Roben’s), warehouse, and fulfillment center are all dedicated “allergen friendly” environments.”
I’m always confident that Miss Roben’s products are truly gluten free, and if purchasing other brands, I don’t have to go searching for information.  For example, when I click on Shiloh Farms almond flour, it clearly states, “This product was packaged using equipment that also handles wheat, soy, peanuts and tree nuts.”  When I click on Ancient Harvest quinoa flour it states, “Allergen Note:  Processed in a facility that also handles wheat and soy under allergen control procedures.”
Although I have primarily purchased gluten-free flours from Allergy Grocer, they carry a variety of products including meals, snacks, pasta, cookies, and much more.  To get a shipping estimate, put items in your cart, then enter your zip code in a box on the check out page.
Allergy Grocer is offering three Miss Roben’s mixes to one winner in any location.  To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me which three mixes you would like.  Please leave an email address if you do not have a blog where I can contact you.  The giveaway will end Monday, March 29th at 11:59 p.m. eastern time.


March 23, 2010


Gluten-Free Wednesdays 3-24-10

Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Thanks for visiting Gluten-Free Wednesdays where we share gluten-free eating ideas.  I usually share a dinner idea, but with the gluten-free muffin challenge coming up on April 7th, I decided to submit a muffin recipe this week.  Last week we also had a couple of muffin entries.

Nutrient Packed Mini Muffins
from Domestic Productions
Blueberry Muffins
from Lisa’s Gluten-Free Advice & Healthy Living

chocolate chip muffins

Chocolate Chip Nut Muffins 

I’ll be having a great GIVEAWAY starting Wednesday afternoon so be sure to come back and enter.  Also, I was featured at Gluten Free Frenzy yesterday if you want to take a look.

Thanks for participating and keeping this carnival going!  If you are new to the carnival, you can read the guidelines here.

1. Wendy@gluten free greenie (Grilling this Week)
2. Jenn Cuisine (Carmelized Fennel, Beet an Orange Pizza)
3. Lisa's Gluten-Free - Udi's Gluten-Free Foods Giveaway (3/31)
4. Aubree Cherie @ Living Free (Pizza Style Omelet)
5. Rhonda@OurTreasuredHome(Eggplant Parmesan)
6. Iris at The Daily Dietribe: Gluten Free Pizza Crust
7. Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free (Quinoa, Black Bean & Butternut Squash Salad)
8. Heidi @adventuresgfmom
9. Chaya - Passover Blondies GF
10. The W.H.O.L.E. Gang-Red & Yellow Roasted Beet Salad
11. Famous Brownie for Passover
12. Easy To Be Gluten Free ~ Honey Peanut Squares
13. Shirley @ gfe ("Bran" New Muffins)
14. Alea (Humingbird Muffins)
15. Heather @Celiac Family (Chocolate Eggs in a Cookie Basket)
16. Katrina @ Gluten Free Gidget- Crockpot Leg of Lamb w/ Thai Sweet Plum Sauce
17. Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads (Chicken Enchiladas)
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March 22, 2010


Chocolate Chip Nut Muffins

chocolate chip muffins 
March is going by quickly.  I hope you all are working on a muffin recipe to link to for Gluten-Free Wednesday on April 7.  If you’re new here, please read about my create a gluten-free muffin challenge

Keeping with that theme, I have another muffin recipe for you this week.  The recipe uses sorghum flour, brown rice flour, and potato starch.  I like using whole grain flours in muffins to increase their nutritional value.  The walnuts add protein and good fat, while the chocolate chips are just for flavor and fun.  If you want a sweet muffin, increase the amount of sugar.  I add just enough that no one complains, but not enough to make them taste like cake.  My family enjoyed these, and I hope you do too.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Nut Muffins

chocolate chip muffin
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  In a smaller bowl, or measuring cup, combine the egg, vanilla,  and liquid.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together until moistened.  Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips .  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.  Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Serve warm.

View Printable Recipe

For more great recipes visit Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

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March 21, 2010


What is a Vegetable?


You’ve probably heard it said that a tomato is not a vegetable, it’s a fruit.  Botanically speaking, it is a fruit, but from a culinary viewpoint, it is a vegetable. It is joined by a number of other botanical fruits which we consider to be vegetables:
When looking for a good definition of the word “vegetable,” I found it wasn’t as cut and dry as I thought.  I decided I like Wikipedia’s definition the best since it clearly states the ambiguity.
“The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. 
However, the word is not scientific, and its meaning is largely based on culinary and cultural tradition. Therefore, the application of the word is somewhat arbitrary and subjective.”
The vegetables we eat come from many different parts of plants including flower buds, leaves, stems, roots, tubers, and bulbs, among others. 


Is Corn a Vegetable?
I have always heard that corn is a grain, not a vegetable.  However, I have read some conflicting information on that.  First, corn, also known as maize, is a grass, just as wheat is a grass.  The kernels come from the reproductive part of the plant and are a dry fruit otherwise known as a grain.

I did find an interesting statement on Wikipedia, though:
“A genetic variant that accumulates more sugar and less starch in the ear is consumed as a vegetable and is called sweet corn.”
A University of Maine site says:
“Field corn that is harvested when the seeds are dry would thus be considered a grain. Sweet corn when harvested before maturity is usually considered a vegetable. It is grown to be eaten fresh as a tender vegetable rather than as a dried grain suitable for grinding into flour or meal.  A vegetable is defined as a plant cultivated for an edible part or parts such as roots, stems, leaves, flowers, or seeds/fruit. 
If you want to be very precise, all cereal grains could be called vegetables, but by convention we separate the cereal grains from the rest of the "vegetables" such as peas, lettuce, potatoes, cabbage, etc.”
My thought is that while all grains could be called vegetables, we don’t call them vegetables.  Why do we only call corn a vegetable?  Even sweet corn contains a lot of starch compared to other vegetables with the exception of potatoes and sweet potatoes.  However, potatoes are not usually considered a vegetable when we do our meal planning.  We usually categorize them with other starchy foods such as pasta and rice.  For that reason, I also categorize corn as a starchy food when meal planning.  We enjoy popcorn, but other than that we don’t eat corn often except in the summer when I can get fresh corn on the cob from the farmer’s market.  When we do eat it for dinner, I considered it to be the starchy part of our meal, and I make sure I provide other vegetables.

Do you consider corn to be a vegetable?  What is your favorite vegetable?

Mine is a toss up between broccoli  and zucchini.

This post is the second in a series on vegetables.  Last week's post was:

Getting Kids to Eat Vegetables


March 18, 2010


Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate chip cookies

Last week my son needed to take snack for a home school class he attends once a week.  I made these cookies, and because I am the teacher for half the time, I was nearby when everyone ate them.  The kids were outside, and I wasn’t close enough to hear all the comments, but I did hear things like, “These are really good.”  Later my son said, “Everyone really liked the cookies.”  That’s the kind of report that makes any mom smile, but when you know they liked your gluten-free cookies, and didn’t know the difference, it can really make your day.  Not that I was surprised, I wouldn’t have sent them if I thought they weren’t good, but it’s always nice to have confirmation.  And you know kids will be honest.  I hope you enjoy  them too.

If you don’t have millet flour, you can use additional rice flour to replace it.  Or try whatever flour mix you have on hand.  They will probably turn out well.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Combine the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl.  I combine them with a whisk.  In the bowl of your mixer, beat together the butter and sugars.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well.  Gradually add the flour mix and mix until incorporated.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips.  I think I only used 1 1/2 c. in this recipe, but use more if you like.  I find that sometimes they are too much chocolate and not enough cookie when I use 2 cups.

Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.  Enjoy!

View Printable Recipe

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March 16, 2010


Gluten-Free Wednesdays 3-17-10

Gluten-Free Wednesdays
Welcome to Gluten-Free Wednesdays.  If you’re confused by the name, you can read about the carnival changes here.  I hope you all have been enjoying some tasty gluten-free food at your house.  Whenever you need a new idea, this is the place to come.  Just click on “Gluten-Free Wednesdays” in the link bar at under my header, and you will find reviews of previous months’ carnivals.

I appreciate everyone’s entries each week, and I haven’t kept a record of which ones I have featured and which I haven’t.  If I have missed you, please leave a comment or send an email letting me know, and I’ll try to feature you soon.    When deciding who to feature, I often look for several recipes with a similar theme or ingredient from the previous week.  Last week there were several delicious looking dessert recipes.  Be sure to take a look if you missed them.

Gluten-Free Sandwich Cookies
from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

Pistachio Cream
from Jenn Cuisine

Perfect Pound Cake from
Gluten Free Easily

Nutty Delights from
Comfy Cook

My submission this week is:

filet mignon on plate

Filet Mignon

Please remember to leave a link back here!  You will find other carnival guidelines here.

Mr. Linky is having problems.  If you don't see it, check back later.

1. Heather @Celiac Family (Pigs In a Blanket)
2. Lynns Kitchen Adventures (corn pudding)
3. Chaya - What is in the Treasure Chest
4. Comfy Cook - Spaghetti and Cheese
5. Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads (Pierogies)
6. Lisa's Gluten-Free (Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins)
7. Aubree Cherie @ Living Free (Sweet and Spicy Carrot Soup)
8. Diane @The W.H.O.L.E. Gang (Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Stew)
9. Laurie @ Domestic Productions (Nutrient Packed Gluten Free Mini Muffins)
10. Shirley @ gfe (Flourless Brownie Recipe Review & News)
11. Jillian @ Funny (allergen-free) Girl - Edens' Sorghum Pancakes
12. Brenna Kater, Oceanskater (Irish Soda Bread GFDF)
13. Kali Lilla (Easy Homemade Mayonnaise)
14. Lauren @ Celiac Teen (Lime Chiffon Pie)
15. Katrina @ Gluten Free Gidget- Drunken Pasta
16. Jenn Cuisine (Spanish Pizza)
17. Easy To Be Gluten Free - Beef Florentine Casserole

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March 15, 2010


How to Cook Filet Mignon

filet mignon on plate

My husband loves filet mignon.  It is usually what he requests for dinner on his birthday, which happened to be last week.  Filet mignon is usually very expensive, and that has always made me nervous about cooking it.   I don’t want to ruin something that costs so much.  However, a few years ago I heard instructions on the radio for cooking filet mignon, and it has eased my worries.  Following those instructions has been successful for me every time.  In reality, I’ve never ruined it, I just fear that I will, and it helps me to rely on what has worked in the past.

filet mignon in packageThis year I took a risk and purchased individually packed filets, wrapped in bacon from Aldi.  They were 5 ounces each and only $1.79.   I should have bought one ahead of time to try out because I ended up being disappointed, and I should have known better.  They weren’t bad, and my husband didn’t mind, but they were not as tender as a filet should be.  It wasn’t the fault of the cooking, though.

This recipe can be followed whether the filets are wrapped in bacon or not.  The idea is to sear and brown the outside of the filet, then bake it to get it cooked in the center.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cover the bottom of a skillet with a little olive oil and heat on medium high heat.  I used my electric skillet for this because it heats more evenly.  Sprinkle the filets with salt and any seasoning you desire to use.  I just used salt.  Place the filets in the skillet.  It should be hot enough that the filets sizzle.  Cook them for 3 minutes, turn them, and cook for another 3 minutes.  They should be nicely browned.

filet mignon in skillet

Put the filets in a baking pan.  I used my broiler pan, covered with foil for easy clean up.  Bake the filets in the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes, depending on how well you like them done.  This, of course, is the tricky part.  I usually tell by the feel, but that’s iffy.  You could use a instant read meat thermometer.  Let them sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

filet mignon on baking sheet

My husband wanted French fries and broccoli with it for his birthday.  The chef  I heard on the radio recommended serving it with a baked potato and asparagus.  However you serve it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

For more great recipes stop by Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays and Tasty Tuesdays.

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March 14, 2010


Getting Kids to Eat Vegetables


I think we all know vegetables are good for us.  Even our kids know that.  The problem is eating them, or at least getting our kids to eat them.  A number of years ago, our family was reading a book together.  It was a character building book for boys, and one of the chapters challenged them to try new foods.  As a family, we decided we were going to work on trying a couple of new vegetables, specifically asparagus and Brussels sprouts.  The great thing was that I wasn’t nagging them.  This was a challenge.  Sort of like a dare they couldn’t say no to.   

The final result was that asparagus is now a vegetable we all enjoy eating.  I have tried quite a few Brussels sprouts recipes and cooking techniques, and with the exception of one of my kids, nobody likes them.  We did give them a good try, though, and I still make them occasionally when I come across a recipe I think might work.  The one thing I’m not willing to do is load them up with sugar to get my kids to eat them.  Another result of that challenge was that my kids become more open to trying new foods.  They realized it can be fun, even if they don’t always like what they try.

If you have kids who are picky vegetable eaters, here are a few suggestions.

1. Don’t give up.  Just because they try something once and don’t like it doesn’t mean they won’t learn to like it.  Try different recipes, cooking methods, and seasonings, and you might find they end up liking it. 

2.  Doctor it up.  For those nights when you don’t have time to prepare a special vegetable dish, let the kids add something to those plain green beans.  My kids used to put salad dressing on theirs.  You put it on raw veggies, so why not on cooked ones?  I didn’t let them go overboard, and it made the vegetables more palatable for them.  As they got older, I stopped offering salad dressing, and they stopped asking for it.
You might find this gross, but I grew up eating mayonnaise on broccoli.  I don’t recall eating fresh cooked broccoli, it was always  frozen broccoli that was boiled, and that was how I ate it.  I still like mayo on frozen broccoli, but never on fresh!

3.  Get the kids involved.  Kids are more likely to enjoy eating something they have helped prepare.  Take them to the grocery store and let them help pick out the veggies, then let them help wash, chop, cook, season, etc.  Of course, make it age appropriate. 

4.  Create incentive.  My kids were old enough that the challenge was incentive enough.  You could try letting them earn rewards for eating their vegetables.  Rewards could be stickers, privileges, or treats. 

I didn’t do this, but it might be fun to create a vegetable chart with your kids.  List different vegetables and keep track of when you tried them, how they were cooked or what recipe you used, and then rate how everyone liked them.  You could use one master chart, or let each kid have his own.  Use a number system or smiley/sad faces to rate them.  It might look something like this Vegetable Chart.  Unfortunately, the faces don’t come out when you print because it does not support the font I used.  However, you can easily create your own in a Word document.  Wingdings font has the faces.  Just use shift J, K, and L. 

Over the next few weeks I’m going to do a short series on vegetables.  I’ll post one per week, and you can look for them to go up Sunday afternoon.


March 11, 2010


Gluten-Free Frugality

Many people starting out on a gluten-free diet are concerned about the cost and want to know how they can save money.  The bottom line is that special diets of any kind usually cost more.  I think it helps to face that fact, and then do what you can to keep the additional cost as low as possible.  Here are some suggestions.

1.  Cook and bake from scratch.
  That has always been a way to save money, no matter how you eat.  You pay for processing and packaging.  Cut that out as much of that as possible, and you will save money.  You’ve probably noticed that packaged gluten-free foods are much more expensive than their gluten counterparts.  You will certainly save money by making your own cookies or other baked goods.  They will taste better too!

If you are new to this, gluten-free baking will take time to learn, but there are many great cookbooks and blogs that can help you out.  You can save money on cookbooks by looking for them at your local library. 

Cooking and baking from scratch does take time, but you might find it takes less time than you think.  Making things in bulk and freezing them is a great way to prepare your own “fast food.”  Try making a double batch of baked goods and putting the extra in the freezer.  When making dinner, double everything and put the extra in the freezer for another night.   Buy a large pack of ground meat and brown it all, maybe adding seasoning, divide and freezer.  Cooked meat thaws quickly and is ready to throw into spaghetti sauce or tacos.

 P1010187[1]2.  Use a grain mill.  I save money by grinding my own rice, sorghum, and millet flours.  I also plan on trying buckwheat.  I purchase whole grain sorghum from Twin Valley Mills.  I buy a 30 pound bucket for $40 including shipping.  That’s only $1.33 per pound.  You will probably pay $4 - $5 a pound to buy sorghum flour.  Of course, a grain mill is not cheap, but it pays off in the long run.

You can read more at my previous posts about milling sorghum and other grains.

3.  Change your eating habits.  Gluten-free bread isn’t all that great, and some of it is pretty bad.  It’s expensive to buy, and even baking it yourself can be costly if you are using lots of it.  Before going gluten free, I ate sliced bread regularly for things like sandwiches and French toast.  Now I seldom eat it.  I often make a loaf of bread if I’m going to be traveling, because sometimes sandwiches are the easiest thing.  Other than that, I make loaf bread only occasionally.  I do enjoy baking biscuits or rolls to have with dinner at times, angranola%20bars_thumb%5B1%5D[1]d that along with homemade gluten-free pizza takes care of my urge for bread.  In place of bread, consider eating more salads, smoothies, dinner leftovers, or corn tortilla wraps.  I also find that homemade granola bars are great for helping to fill me up.

If you are an oatmeal eater, then you know that gluten-free oats are expensive. Try out other whole grains such as brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, and sorghum.  Cook them well, and add some spices and fruit.  You might like them best in combination.

4.  Shop around.  You can now find gluten-free products at local grocery stores, health food stores, ethnic stores, and online stores.  Shop around and remember to include the cost of shipping if you order online.  It takes time to do price comparisons, but it can be worth while.  The two online stores I use the most are Amazon and iHerb

Some items at Amazon are part of their subscribe and save program which can save you money.  If you do order from them, consider going through the above link, or any Amazon link on my site.  When you do, I receive a small commission on any products you buy.

 iHerb has good prices on the gluten-free products they carry, though what they offer is more limited than other places.  I really like their shipping rate which is a $4 flat fee for orders over $40 being shipped anywhere in the contiguous United States.  If you have never ordered with them before, you can use my code: LUT727 to save $5 on your first order and send me a little commission.  I’m promoting these stores because they are the ones I use most, not because of the possibility of commission, but I do want to disclose the affiliate connection I have with them.

I’m no expert at pinching pennies, and I don’t do all of the above all the time.  There are times when I choose to pay for convenience.  I would love to hear your ideas.   How do you save money on a restricted diet?

For more frugal ideas visit Life as Mom's Frugal Fridays.


March 9, 2010


Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Gluten-Free Wednesdays

If you’re confused by the name “Gluten-Free Wednesdays” you might want to read my previous post about carnival changes.  But don’t worry, not much has changed.

If you’re new to Gluten-Free Wednesdays, welcome!  You can browse the links, and if you want to add one of your own, please read the guidelines first.

Last week was our soup challenge round up.  We had over 20 delicious entries.  If you didn’t get a chance to view them all, you really should take another look.

The February carnival review was posted a couple of days ago with links listed by category.  You can review entries for the casserole challenge as well as links for main dishes, side dishes, soups, desserts and others.

The new challenge for March is to create a gluten-free muffin.  Come back on April 7th to add your muffin link.

With the new challenge in mind, my submission this week is a muffin recipe.


Pineapple Coconut Muffins

Now, please share YOUR gluten-free eating idea.

1. Lynns Kitchen Adventures (easy gf sandwich cookies)
2. Lauren @ Celiac Teen (Cornflake Marshmallow Lace Cookies)
3. Jillian@Funny (allergen-free) Girl - Parmesan crusted chicken
4. Ellen at I am Gluten Free - Vietnamese Summer Rolls & Peanut Sauce
5. Jenn Cuisine (Homemade Sweet Pistachio Cream)
6. Aubree Cherie @ Living (Gluten Free 'Wonder Bread')
7. Diane @The W.H.O.L.E. Gang (Easy Gluten & Dairy Free Zaatar Pizza
8. Iris at The Daily Dietribe: Basil Mung Bean Salad
9. Katrina @ Gluten Free Gidget- Chicken Fried "Rice"
10. Shirley @ gfe (Perfect Pound Cake)
11. Wendy@gluten free greenie (Quick Black Beans Chicken and Rice)
12. Heidi (Garbanzo bean Burgers)
13. Fire-Eyes @ Home Spun Magic GF Meatloaf
14. Brian (Glazed Chicken with Pineapple Salsa)
15. Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads (GF Granola)
16. Chaya - Pasta Pancakes
17. Comfy Cook - Nutty Delights

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.



Carnival Changes

When I was first married, we lived in a small  two-bedroom house.  The only room where the furniture could possibly be arranged more than one way was the living room.  When I stopped working to stay home with our first child, my husband would frequently come home from work and find that I had rearranged the living room once again.  He always wondered how I managed to move the furniture all by myself. 

I have outgrown the need to rearrange, though I still do it occasionally.  When it comes to blogging, though, I find that I love making changes.  I apologize if it confuses you, my readers, but I hope my changes are improvements.  This change has to do with the weekly blog carnival.  Don’t get nervous, it’s only a name and button change.

About a year ago, I started the carnival with the name “What’s for Dinner Wednesday.”

The idea was to link up gluten-free dinner ideas.  The problem was that it confused people.  They often thought it was supposed to be about what you were actually having for dinner on Wednesday, rather than just a carnival that takes place on Wednesday.  I also decided I wanted people to be able to link to gluten-free ideas  for eating any time of day.  Those factors contributed to the name change of “What can I eat that’s gluten free?”


The thing I love about that name is that everybody asks themselves, “What can I eat?”  When you have to eat gluten-free, it is an even harder question to answer.  What I don’t love about the name is that it is rather long for a carnival, and it doesn’t remind people what day the carnival takes place.  So, I have decided to once again do a little rearranging and change the carnival name to “Gluten-Free Wednesdays.”  Along with the name change, I have a new carnival button. (Of course that's a gluten-free muffin in the picture!)

Gluten-Free Wednesdays

One other small change is that I have been keeping Mr. Linky open the entire week.   Almost everyone adds their link on Wednesday,  therefore links that get added later in the week are often overlooked.  I usually put my post up Tuesday night and will now be closing the links sometime on Thursday.  I think that gives people plenty of time to add their link, and anyone who misses it can wait till the next week.  The themed weeks such as last week’s soup challenge I will keep open longer.

Once again, nothing big is changing, just these three things:
I also want to remind people of carnival guidelines.  It is common carnival etiquette to to add a link to the carnival site, even on older posts.  You can link to either my home page of the carnival post.  I realize that sometimes people forget.  Occasionally I forget.  I won’t threaten to delete your links, though some people do that and rightfully so.  I’m just asking nicely, please include a text link in your post.  Thank you!

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March 8, 2010


Pineapple Coconut Muffins

pineapple coconut muffins on rack

This week I wanted to give you a little inspiration for March’s create a gluten-free muffin challenge.  These muffins were a hit with my whole family, and I bet you’ll like them too.  Feel free to try a different flour combination, but remember your results will vary a little.

Gluten-Free Pineapple Coconut Muffins

pineapple coconut muffins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Drain the pineapple over a measuring cup or bowl to reserve the juice.  Use a spoon or spatula to squeeze most of the juice out. I use a 4 cup measuring cup like this:

straining pineapple

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  In a smaller bowl, or measuring cup, combine the egg, lemon extract,  and pineapple juice.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together until moistened.  Stir in the pineapple and coconut. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.  Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Serve warm.

Note:  A teaspoon of lemon zest would be a great addition to this recipe.

View Printable Recipe

This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free.

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March 7, 2010


February Review: What can I eat?

Thanks to everyone who participated in the carnival last month.  This month I have decided to list the links by food category rather than date.  I think it will make the list more useful to everyone.

Casserole Challenge:
Polenta Hot Dog Casserole - The Gluten-Free Homemaker
Mexican Casserole - The Gluten-Free Homemaker
GF Turkey Broccoli and Cheese - Fire-Eyes
Gluten-Free Tuna Casserole - Lisa's Gluten-Free Advice
Chicken Enchilada Casserole - Shirley @ gfe
Breakfast Casserole – Brian
GFDF Cornbread Casserole - Brenna Kater, the Oceanskater
Potato Casserole - Aubree Cherie @ LivingFree
Breakfast Casserole – Heather
Dry Soup Base and Casserole – Jessie
GF Burrito Casserole – Amy
Mexican Hamburger Potato Casserole - Wendy@gluten free greenie
Old Time Potatoes and Cheese - Sweet and Savory
Scalloped Potatoes with Ham - The GFCF Cookbook

Main dish:
Crustless Hamburger Spinach Quiche - The Gluten-Free Homemaker
Stovetop Pasta Marinara w/Broccoli & Chickpeas - Amy @ SS & GF
Baked Chicken with Vegetables - Lisa's Gluten-Free
GF Goulash – Fire Eyes
Creamy mushroom-conchiliette – Chaya
Chicken Pot Pie - Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads
Beurre Blanc Poached Cod - Jenn Cuisine
Unpretentiously Snobby Joes - Katrina @ Gluten Free Gidget
Best Baby Back Ribs and Millet Grits - Jillian @ Funny (allergen-free) Girl
Gluten-Free Hawaiian Pizza - Lisa's Gluten-Free
Manly Sloppy Joes - Meredith @ SpiralOwlCreations
Meatloaf - Rachel @ Living Without Wheat
Chicken Tenders--Cornmeal or Coconut - Shirley @ gfe
Pork Chops with Apple-Raisin Sauce – Mikki
GF Popover Pizza - Fire-Eyes
Simply Savory Collard Wraps - Iris at The Daily Dietribe
Rice Pasta Lasagna – Yadi @ glutenfreediaries
Pork, Sauerkraut, and Sweet Potatoes – Alea
Shrimp salad with ceviche spirit - Jenn Cuisine
Spinach &  Artichoke Dip Pizza - The W.H.O.L.E. Gang
Crockpot rotisserie Chicken - G.@This Girl's Pilgrimage
The Man and His Stir Fry – Chaya
Quick & Healthy Meal - Jessica Pung
Potatoes & Eggs -  Chaya @ Comfy Cook

Side dish:
Quinoa & Millet Pilaf - The Gluten-Free Homemaker
Rosemary Roast New Potatoes & Kobocha Squash -Katrina @ Gluten Free Gidget
Crash Hot Potato (Pioneer Woman) – Chaya
Cucumber Salad – Babetta
GF Perogies - Fire-Eyes
Corn Maque Choux with Creole Seasoning – Sweet & Savory

Veronica's Pumpkin Soup - Shirley @ gfe
Sausage Spinach and Lentil Soup - Easy To Be Gluten Free
Beef Brisket Vegetable Soup - The W.H.O.L.E. Gang
Green Pea Soup – Chaya
Potato Leek Soup - Yadi@glutenfreediaries
Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup –Cheryl @ Somewhat Crunchy Mama
Spicy Sweet Potato Soup – Meredith @ SpiralOwl

Aubree Cherie @ LivingFree (Sticky Toffee Pudding)
Rice Pudding - G.@This Girl's Pilgrimage
Honey Wheatless Cookies – Chaya
German Chocolate Brownies - Aubree Cherie @ LivingFree
Banana Cake/Torte - Brenna Kater, the Oceanskater
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Candy – Heather
Chocolate Pudding – Brian
Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Brownie - Lisa's Gluten-Free

 Homemade Chewy Granola Bars – Alea
Gluten Free Pita Bread - Jenn Cuisine
Smoky Buttermilk Ranch – Brian @ Fire & Salt
Kale Chips - Stephanie @ No Grain No Pain
GFDF Herbed Cheesy Biscuits - Brenna Kater, the Oceanskater
Cinnamon-Sugar-Crusted Almond Popovers – Shirley
GF Beignets - Heather


March 5, 2010


Guest Post at Good & Cheap Eats

I just thought I would let you all know that today I have a guest post at Good (& CHEAP) Eats. My friend Jessica is doing a Build a Frugal Pantry series which started off this week with the theme of flours.  She kindly invited me to do a post on gluten-free flours, even though she does not cook or eat gluten free.  I'm looking forward to next week which will be about whole grains.


March 4, 2010


Create a Gluten-Free Muffin Challenge

Monthly Challenge This month I decided we should have a gluten-free baking challenge.  You guys are great bakers, and I’ve already seen some terrific muffin recipes.   Muffins are fun to make and fun to eat.  They can be sweet or savory, and are perfect for eating any time of day.

If you need a place to start, below is a basic recipe that you can experiment with.  Try using different flour combinations, and vary the additions and optional ingredients.  I bet you can come up with several great muffin recipes that you and your family will enjoy. 

Work on your muffin recipes this month, then come back on April 7th and add your link.  If you don’t have a blog, feel free to email your recipe to me.

If you need more inspiration than the recipe below.  Here are my previously posted muffin recipes.  You will also find some in the carnival archives.

Cinnamon Pear Muffins
Coconut Muffins
Ham & Cheese Corn Muffins
Multi-Grain Apple Muffins
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Zucchini Muffins

Basic Gluten-Free Muffin Recipe

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  In a smaller bowl, or measuring cup, combine the egg, flavoring,  and liquid.  Add that with the oil to the dry ingredients and whisk together until moistened.  Stir in additions.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.  Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Usually best served warm.

Use your imagination.  When adding wet ingredients, such as canned fruit, use the lesser amount of liquid.

Optional Ingredients: 


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