STRUGGLES OF BEING GLUTEN FREE – BuzzFeed

HAH. Thank you BuzzFeed for creating a gluten-free post: Every day Struggles of Living Life Gluten Free.  Author, Erin Chack, has to be gluten-free ?  Or she is consulting with a resident Celiac, because this is on point.

These really hit home for me… Check out the full post here.

– Answering the question, “Then what can you eat?”

Everyday Struggles Of Living Gluten-Free

Air. We eat air.

– Always having to bring your own drink to parties.

Permanent beer pong cheerleader.

– Feeling strangely attracted to potatoes.

Your only friend in the world.

– Swallowing rage when people help themselves to your gluten-free snacks.

Thank you, I wasn’t aware gluten-free brownies tasted like chalk. Why don’t you go eat some bread to mask the taste.

Gluten Free Communion Bread

gluten free communion bread

Ugh. Just when I thought I had it all figured out…I went to church.

I waited in line for communion – accepted the body of christ- said amen, and then OhMyGod I almost put bread in my mouth. Had to awkwardly pretend eat it in front of the priest and then made my sister eat it for me at the pew… clearly I am a bad catholic and I don’t go to church very often so this predicament didn’t occur to me in advance – but, for those of you who attend church regularly, call ahead!

Most parishes will provide a gluten free alternative for you, and they might already have one. You can purchase communion wafers online here.

glutenfree_communionwafers

The wafers are about 10X more expensive than normal wafers, so your church might want to try baking their own. Here’s a recipe courtesy of communionbread.org

Ingredients:

(7 loaves)

– 2 cups hot water
– 2 Tbsp olive oil
– 2 Tbsp honey
– 1 Tbsp molasses
– 1 Tbsp salt
– 5-6 cups of Jules Gluten Free Flour

Directions:

– Mix all of the ingredients minus the flour in a mixer (I use a Bosch mixer with dough hook).
– Slowly add flour until the dough wipes clean off of the sides of the bowl. Mix for 5 – 7 minutes.
– Divide recipe into six to seven equal balls.
– One at a time, take the dough ball and pat into a 1/4 inch thick circle. Take a fork and pierce the dough with stripes and a cross. (Don’t skip the piercing step or the bread will ruin.)
– Bake at 400 degrees for 14 – 20 minutes. Cool on a rack.
– Wrap well and freeze until needed.

Bread will be slightly chewy. If you desire crispy communion bread, roll out very thin and bake longer. The benefit of chewy bread is that it doesn’t crumble and make a mess as people break off their piece.

Some congregations desire bread to be pre-cut. I use Pampered Chef’s crinkle cutter/ julienne cutter – to cut the pieces. It makes a nice, wavy cut.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

gluten free pumpkin muffins

Even though it’s still quite warm here in Boston, kids are back in school, and summer is technically over…which means it’s a reasonable time to start baking with pumpkin again and thinking about HALLOWEEN. The first fall recipe of the season: Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins. They’re good on their own, but they’re obviously extra good with frosting on top. I’ve included the “healthy” frosting option (warning, it’s only healthy through comparison), and then extra-less healthy cream cheese frosting option. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

(makes 12 muffins)

– 2 cups gluten free flour (I used better batter)
– 2/3 cup brown sugar
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
– 1 stick of butter (8 tbs)
– 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
– 1/3 cup almond milk (sub whole milk or buttermilk if you prefer)

Directions:

– Add dry ingredients to your mixing bowl first, whisk together (by hand is fine)
– Add the remaining ingredients, mix together
– Scoop evenly into muffin trays with a spoon
– Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed up, tops will be lightly browned
– Let sit for at least 5 minutes before glazing and/or eating

Glaze:

(pictured above, is your “healthy” frosting option)

– 8 oz creme fraiche (cool to room temp)
– 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
– 1 tsp pumpkin puree (really just for coloring, you can skip if you want white glaze)
– 2 tbs of butter (softened, not melted)
– Mix all the ingredients together in an electric mixer/with hand beaters/or super fast by hand
– If it comes out too wet just add a dash of your GF flour and beat again

Creme Cheese Frosting:

(not pictured- is you most delicious and less healthy option)

– 12 oz creme cheese
– 1.5  cups confectioners sugar
– 1/2 stick of butter (4 tbs)
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– Mix creme cheese and butter together in an electric mixer, once smooth slowly add in confectioners sugar. Once sugar is thoroughly mixed, slowly add the vanilla.

Gluten Free Shopping List

grocery failDon’t know where to get started at the grocery store? I recently saw a man post a picture of a very sad and empty grocery cart, captioned “I just moved into my own place, I have no idea what I’m doing”. In response to that, I thought a grocery list post might be helpful to any new gluten -free shoppers.

groceries

I keep the above items in my pantry/fridge at all times.

– Potatoes & onions will last in your pantry for a while – and when you store them together they keep each other from rotting
– Cup 4 Cup is a great GF flour – I also like Bob’s Red Mill, or Gluten Free Pantry
– Rice
– Tomatoes (base for a sauce – I guess you only need this if you make your own sauce often)
– Garlic & Olive oil (I use these every day!)
– Progresso lentil soup – nice to have for those days you are feeling super lazy, or late for work, etc.
– Larabars – I keep these in my purse, in my desk, everywhere. Perfect when you’re on the go.
– Potato Buds (I use these as panko bread crumbs)
– Trader Joe’s rice noodle soup –
– Panda Puffs – always good to have cereal in the house
– Peanut butter
– Frozen bananas

weekly groceries

On a weekly basis, I stock up on fresh veggies (lettuce, avocado, cauliflower), a few types of protein (chicken, eggs, fish) and minimal carbs (gluten free pasta). I always try to have more veggies and proteins than carbs or canned/processed foods. Happy shopping!

Gluten Free Sausages & BBQ

Some great BBQ options for the gluten free. Al Fresco makes a range of all natural chicken products – fully cooked sausages, raw sausages, chicken patties, “hot dogs”, and even meatballs. All of their products are gluten free, and they also contain 70% less fat and 35% less sodium than traditional pork products.

I  especially like the fully cooked products because they’re so easy 🙂

al fresco products

You’ll see in my last post (below) I used the Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage in a cauliflower rice recipe, and it was delish. Pretty spicy, but in a good way.

Cauliflower Rice and Spicy Sausage

cauliflower rice

Ingredients:  (Serves 4)

– 1/2 large head of cauliflower (chop into small chunks and then put into food processor, or blender)
– 4 Al Fresco Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausages, sliced into disks
– 1 can stewed tomatoes, drained
– 1 large zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise and then chopped in 1/4 inch slices
– 1/4 cup chopped onion
– 6 scallions, finely chopped
– 1 tsp chopped garlic

Directions:

– Sauté zucchini, sausage and onion for 3-5 minutes (keep lid on)
– Add stewed tomatoes,  scallions, and garlic,  sauté for 2-3 more minutes (no lid)
– Add cauliflower, stir together for 1-2 minutes to heat the cauliflower up  (keep lid on)
– Salt and pepper to taste
– (Video recap)

Cauliflower Rice

cauliflower rice
Hello my GF friends! I’ve finally jumped on the cauliflower rice phenomenon… I would have done so earlier if I realized how EASY and AWESOME it is… Seriously, 3 quick steps and you don’t even need to boil water.

Step 1: Chop cauliflower into small chunks (average broccoli size is fine)

Step 2: Put in food processor/blender (my nutribullet works)

Step 3: Treat it like fully cooked/cold rice. (Saute with other ingredients, microwave to heat it up plain, etc.)

Gluten free italian thai chicken

gluten free chicken

So I haven’t posted this yet because I couldn’t come up with a name for it. Italian Thai Chicken, maybe? I don’t know. It’s a nameless chicken. Basically, I’ve been experimenting with coconut milk based sauces and this is one of my success stories. Sort of an alternative to a wine or cream based sauce like marsala or alfredo.

Ingredients:

( makes 2 to 3 portions – depending on how hungry you are )

– 2 large chicken breasts, butterfly cut
– 1/2 bundle of asparagus (10 stalks or so), cut into fourths
– 1 overfilled cup cherry tomatoes (1/2 pint)
– 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (i like full fat, reduced fat works well too, it’s just a little less creamy)
– 2 cups chopped mushrooms (I used button)
– 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
– Hot pepper flakes, to taste

Directions:

– Roll chicken breasts in salt and pepper, and sautee chicken in 1/2  cup coconut milk, keeping a tight lid on your pan so that the moisture is locked in
– Flip chicken after 5 minutes or so (when the top edges start to turn white)
– Let the coconut milk boil down so there is only a bit left in the pan, and add chopped garlic.
– Let garlic sizzle/begin to brown (less than a minute!), then add next  1/2 cup of coconut milk
– Add asparagus, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms
– Keeping the lid on, let veggies and chicken continue to cook, stir occasionally so everything cooks evenly
– Add the last 1/2 cup of coconut milk and let it all simmer – with out lid this time

Pasta:

I used thai rice noodles for this recipe, they cook a bit differently than italian-styled  pasta.

– Bring water to a boil
– Once boiling toss in noodles
– After a minute or so turn off the water, let the noodles sit in the hot water, stir occasionally
– Once the desired texture is reached, strain and spray quickly and toss into pan with the rest of your meal – stir thoroughly
– Add hot pepper flakes if you like things spicy
– Enjoy!

A few notes about the pasta:

If using brown rice pasta I recommend straining and then spraying it quickly with warm water to reduce slimy texture
Thick rice noodles take longer to cook than the thin noodles – so let the water boil for an extra minute or so before shutting off the heat.