Saturday, February 26, 2011

GFCF Chicken Thai Pizza

The first time I made GFCF pizza I used a gluten free pizza crust mix. I wasn't super impressed, especially since it was kind of expensive. Tonight I made the following recipe and it was much better!

2 1/2 c. Rice Flour
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 T. honey
3 T. olive oil
corn meal

Combine flour, yeast, salt and xanthan gum in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of the warm water along with olive oil and honey. Work dough with hands and add just enough of the remaining 1/4 cup of warm water to hold it together. (I didn't need much more than one cup of water.) Knead in the bowl for 5 minutes, then cover and rest for 10 minutes.

Lightly grease your pizza pan (I used a baking stone) and sprinkle with corn meal.

Pat and flatten the dough. I used white rice flour so it looks really white. Next time I'll substitute part of the white rice flour for brown rice flour. That would be healthier and it wouldn't look so pasty white.

I made two pizzas...plain old pepperoni for the kids and a spicy Chicken Thai pizza for the adults who could use a little spice in their lives. I used this Thai peanut sauce mix. (The directions are on the package but you basically heat up this mix with coconut milk and cook it until it thickens.)

I put the pizza dough in the oven for about 10 minutes while I chopped up ingredients for the Chicken Thai pizza. Look ma, no cheese! This pizza doesn't need cheese. It's dang good without it!

Assembled here are the toppings- cooked chicken with some of the peanut sauce mixed in with reserved peanut sauce to spread on the crust, cilantro, chopped peanuts, shredded carrots and chopped green onions.

After the crust has baked at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes, take it out of the oven and spread the peanut sauce on it. (I added about a tablespoon of natural peanut butter to this sauce. Sounds funky for pizza, doesn't it? Trust me on this one. It's awesome!)

Top with chicken that was mixed with the rest of the sauce. (Tip: Whenever I make chicken I cook extra and put the cooked, cut up chicken in the freezer for recipes like this.)

Bake for about 20 minutes.

You also see the pepperoni pizza in the above picture. The crust is the same and I baked it for 10 minutes before topping with the following...
Pepperoni is boring. Let's get back to the Chicken Thai pizza.
The chicken and sauce are hot now and the edges of the crust are brown. Perfect. Time for the toppings.

Start with carrots, then add green onions and chopped peanuts. Now for the best part....
Cilantro! Don't skimp now. It's soooo good when combined with the peanut flavor and the sweetness of the carrots.

Here's that pepperoni pizza again. I didn't use a lot of the "cheese" because it just isn't the same as real mozzarella. The kids ate it though. They were just happy to see something resembling pizza again!

The Chicken Thai pizza is ready to eat after the fresh toppings are on.

Guess which one I'm having?

Oh yeah. That's what I'm talkin' about. Mmmmm.

Venti's birthday and my grocery porn

Today is Venti's 16th birthday. Venti does not have to eat GFCF but he has been a good sport around the house because he understands why his siblings do need this plan. He didn't want his birthday meal to be GFCF though. He wanted pizza and the 10 lb cheesecake with cherries on top.

Gluten and casein Delicious...yes. And making this for him is the least I can do for this great kid whose 16th year of life we are celebrating.

I had rid our home of all things wheat and dairy, so while the kids were in school I went to the grocery store to get the ingredients for the cheesecake. I covered the cream cheese, butter, graham crackers, whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk.... grocery porn to me my cart with the GFCF items I needed to restock at home. I felt so naughty.

I made the 10 lb cheesecake and hid it in a brown paper bag in the basement refrigerator. Then I went upstairs and, making sure that nobody was around to see me, I licked the spatula. Oh yes, I did.

"Dairy, sweet dairy" I moaned.

I was tempted to go downstairs and rip open the brown paper bag for more of this incredible guilty pleasure but I washed my hands (the kitchen equivalent of a cold shower) and drove to the pizza delivery place where I bought a $30 gift card.

Venti spent the night at Latte and Mocha's house where they all stuffed their faces with pizza and cheesecake. StarBUCK, Java, Bean and I ate GFCF leftovers at home. We had our own special treat though. I'll write about it soon.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Delivery, dinner, delicious dessert

My GFCF mentor mom showed me how she saves money and orders a lot of gluten free / casein free products online from Amazon. I had never grocery shopped online before but I tried it and I have decided that I kind of like having the UPS guy schlep the groceries to my house for me!

This is only part of what I ordered. I hope the rest will come today.

I decided to keep some cake and bread mixes on hand to make life easier some days, so I ordered the ones pictured above to try. Also pictured above are chicken broth and oats. (*Oats are naturally gluten free but many packaged oatmeals are not because the oats have been stored, processed and packaged in facilities that process gluten grains.)

I had to leave before suppertime last night to facilitate another brand new adoption support group in an area town (yeah!) so I put a roast in my crockpot early in the day and tossed in some new potatoes and carrots during the last hour.

For a treat I made up one of the new GFCF chocolate cake mixes and cut up a few strawberries to put on top. Then I made my escape tearfully bid my children adieu.

I got home after the kiddos were all tucked in and I was hungry because I hadn't eaten supper. I could have gone through a fast food drive thru on my way to the group because, after all, I do not HAVE to eat gluten / casein free. But I don't even want that food any more. Weird.

I did want this food, however.

It was delicious.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Tonight we had tacos. Mmmm.

The soft tortillas the kids used to eat are not on our GFCF plan but these fried corn tortillas were delicious and nobody complained.

We had both taco seasoned hamburger and chicken flavored with taco seasoning and peppers. (*Check labels to be sure taco seasoning is gluten / casein free. One inexpensive store brand in our area is.)
Fillings included tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, lettuce, onions, GFCF salsa...
...and even some "cheese" and "sour cream"! This non-dairy GFCF "cheese" isn't my beloved, long lost cheddar by any stretch of the imagination but it isn't bad. (Daiya brand)
Mmmm. Tacos.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Because Linda asked....Poo info

My friend Linda (*) left a comment asking, so I will interrupt this normally appetizing blog for some poo info...

Java has had issues with constipation for years. She's lost bowel control at night with large, hard stools during what we think is seizure activity. I've taken her to see the pediatrician because of rectal bleeding from straining. She has also taken medications for other digestive problems and years of frequent night time vomiting of horrible smelling stomach acid.

The answer to all of these problems was always medication. The answer to her behavioral, learning and chronic immune system issues is always medication. We started thinking a while ago that there had to be a better least for some of the issues she's dealing with.

This article explains how removing cow's milk often resolved children's chronic constipation.

The same blog explains why we were concerned about the acid stomach medications she was prescribed.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are complicated and we may always need some medications but we hope that the GFCF plan will help us eliminate as many as possible for our children.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bite sized steak and finger food potatoes

Tonight's supper was a bite sized, finger food version of steak and potatoes.

The potatoes were sweet potatoes and we cut them up for oven baked fries.
We seasoned them with some olive oil and GFCF taco seasoning. Then we salted them and baked them at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes.

We bought a quarter beef a few months ago and hadn't eaten any of the steak yet so this morning I took out a package of sirloin. The grill is buried in snow (again!) so I cooked it in bite sized kid friendly pieces on the stove top with olive oil, salt and garlic. Java and Bean didn't like it but that just left more for the big folks.

Corn is a lame veggie but it's what Bean chose and he was my meal prep helper tonight. I would have liked to serve a fresh salad with this meal but I didn't have any lettuce and StarBUCK was plowing snow all day. We got at least another foot of the dreaded white stuff and the roads were awful so we just made do with what we had.

Dessert was a bag of Trader Joes Caramel Popcorn that our mentor GFCF family gave us. The kids thought that was the best part of the meal!

Almond Bread

Everyone talks about how hard it is to go gluten / casein free. I am going to try to avoid saying that. It's different....but we aren't suffering. Not at all.

Check out the almond bread I made last night (recipe courtesy of that awesome, experienced GFCF mom I visited last week. She made some for me to try and I loved it!)


1 1/2 cup non-blanched almond flour (I had already purchased blanched so I used it and it worked but the recipe recommends non-blanched almond flour because it adds more moisture and makes it taste more "wholegrain")

3/4 cup tapioca starch (same as tapioca flour)

1/4 cup ground flax seed

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

4 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup oil

1/2- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl. In larger bowl, beat eggs for several minutes. Stir sugar and vinegar in with eggs and then mix the dry ingredients in. Pour half of the batter into a well greased bread loaf pan and sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Pour the other half in and sprinkle on top with more cinnamon and sugar.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool, slice and enjoy!

The smell was incredible and it had the kids and hubby begging to skip the cooling part of the directions. We sliced it up warm and it was DELICIOUS!

It's great cooled with some GFCF "butter" on it, too. In fact, I'm having a piece now with my breakfast. Definitely not suffering.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

First attempt at gluten free dumplings

We're having a big old snowstorm in these parts and I suddenly had a hankerin' for one of my favorite winter foods...chicken and dumplings. This is my first attempt at dumplings sans gluten.

I browned chicken dredged with rice flour in oil for about 7 minutes. Then I set it aside.

In the same pot I had browned the chicken, I added some GFCF "butter" and cooked carrots, potatoes, onions, salt, pepper, thyme and a bay leaf until just tender.
I added the chicken and 4 cups of organic, gluten free chicken broth.
And finally, the dumplings (made from rice flour, tapioca starch, corn flour, almond milk and an egg).
Covered and cooked for 12-14 minutes, removed bay leaf and served.
I'm not writing the exact recipe here because it still needs some tweaking, but it was a good start. I wasn't thrilled with the texture of the dumplings. I'll work on it. This probably isn't the last snowstorm of the winter.


An experienced GFCF mom gave me her recipe for waffle mix and I made a large batch today.

Dry mix ingredients:

6 c. white rice flour (Hint: look in the asian section of your grocery store for cheaper rice flours. The green one looks like it contains gluten but it does not. It is simply a sweet rice flour.)

3 c. tapioca flour / tapioca starch (they are the same thing)

1 1/2 c. potato starch (Note: unlike tapioca starch / flour, potato starch is NOT the same thing as potato flour! You can substitute corn starch for potato starch. I didn't have potato starch so that's what I did this time.)
1 T. salt
2 T. xanthan gum
3/4 c. sugar
4 T. baking powder

Mix together in storage container. (Close tightly and shake. These flours are very light and stirring them together makes a mess. Let settle a few minutes before opening container!)
To make waffles use 2 cups mix and add:
2 eggs
1/4 c. oil
1 1/2 cup rice milk (I used half rice milk and half almond milk)
1 tsp. vanilla (check to be sure it is gluten free)
I bought a new waffle iron because (#1) my old one was really old and (#2) I wanted to be sure I wouldn't contaminate the waffles with gluten from years of making regular waffles in it. I chose this one with 4 smaller waffle sections so they would fit in the toaster to reheat from frozen.

Top with fresh fruit or GFCF buttery spread and pure maple syrup (processed syrups can have gluten).

Mmmmmm. Waffles. And they're not just for breakfast anymore. My friend said her son uses waffles for gluten free sandwiches and even as hamburger buns!

Classroom snacks

One of the first things Java and Bean's teachers asked me when I told them we were going gluten and casein free is what to do about snacks in the classroom. They don't always know when another child is going to bring birthday snacks for the class and they wanted to have something on hand for those times so my kids wouldn't have to feel left out.

Problem solved. I bought both of these at Target. The fruit strips were $5.99 for 25 snacks and the nut crunch goodies were $2.69 for 6 bars. The kids liked both of them.

I met with a mom last week who has been preparing GFCF meals for over two years. She gave me a lot of helpful information, recipes and even food samples for our family to try! (That's how I found out about the above snacks!) This morning I am making a large batch of her waffle baking mix to keep in my cupboard. I'll make waffles for breakfast and see if they pass the kid test. Expect a waffle post soon.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cereal killer

In case you've been too impressed with my suppers lately, this is what Bean and Java ate last night.

Venti was with a friend, I wanted to get some computer work done and StarBUCK was willing to eat leftovers. Not fancy, but it worked for us.

I find it ironic that one of the few cereals we can have has, of all things, pandas on the front of the box! Java and Bean's multiple strep infections and their psychiatric reactions called PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) are something we hope to minimize with this diet change.

I'll use the cereal box as a lovely visual reminder of what we're working for. Or, if I'm swingin' with another mood, I'll draw a big bullseye on one of the fuzzy fellas and shoot at it with rubber bands. Would that make me a cereal killer? (I told that joke to Bean and he said, "Wow, mom! One of your jokes was actually funny!")

Friday, February 18, 2011

Brownies and the morning workout

I didn't go to the Y this morning with Claudia. She has a busy day ahead and had to get started early. Oh, darn. No workout for me. However, I still woke up at 4:30am and, because I couldn't possibly go to the gym without my workout buddy, I was looking for something to do.

So I made this recipe for Gluten Free Brownies with a few casein free adaptations.

I didn't have any GFCF baking chocolate squares so I substituted 12 T. of cocoa and 4 T. of Crisco.
Then I added 8 T. of a vegan "butter". I have to say that I was grieving about having to give up butter. I love REAL, creamy butter. But, other than the cost, this stuff isn't bad. I actually like it on my gluten free toast in the morning.

I melted the fats and the chocolate together in a make shift double boiler.

Mmmmm. Chocolate.

In another bowl I mixed together 1 cup of sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup of rice flour and 1/4 cup of tapioca flour.
Then I mixed in the chocolate as I sang a rousing renditon of Ebony and Ivory. You know, you can take the gluten and casein out of the girl but dorkiness runs deep.

Oh yah. That's what I'm talkin' about.

As I write this the brownies are in a 400 degree oven where they'll hang out for 25 minutes or so.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some dishes to lick clean. Who says I'm not getting a workout in today? All this whisking and spatula's exhausting!

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