Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer salads

This summer I plan to make salads once a week for lunches. Today I made a crunchy chicken pecan salad. The recipe is here.

I used Spectrum Canola Mayonnaise and Member's Mark canned chicken. Both are GFCF.

It's going to be a delicious summer.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Our version of take out

This is our version of "take out" now. I get the rotisserie chicken from Sam's Club and keep it warm in my dutch oven while I peel, boil and mash some potatoes (using a milk and a butter alternative) and open a can of green beans.

Going GFCF isn't as difficult or as expensive as I thought it would be.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sweet Hot Thai Burgers

I made these award winning Sweet Hot Thai Burgers tonight. They were amazing.

This burger's secret sauce is cilantro lime mayonnaise. Sooooo good!
I chopped and mixed up the crunchy Thai salad for a delicious topping.
And the burgers have the flavor of Thai sweet chili sauce and green onions. Mmmm.
They smelled great on the grill.
I made GFCF bread slabs, "buttered" them with Earth Balance, then toasted them on the grill.
Time to pile on the mayo sauce and Thai salad....
...and open wide!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A day in the kitchen

I spent some time in the kitchen today. I made a delicious Mexican dinner that I can simply heat up after church tomorrow.

I also made a few desserts...

I made a white cake that we will top with strawberries, a chocolate cake that I couldn't decide what to top with...and rhubarb crisp from a favorite recipe that I adapted to make gluten and casein free.

GFCF Rhubarb Crisp

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Silvana's all purpose GF flour blend (from Cooking for Isaiah Cookbook)
3/4 cup GF quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup melted Earth Balance vegan "butter"
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups sliced rhubarb
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine brown sugar, flour blend, oats, Earth Balance and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and mix together until crumbly. Press half of the mixture into a greased 8-inch square baking dish. Top with the rhubarb.

In a saucepan combine 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, 1 cup of water and vanilla. Cook together until clear. Pour over rhubarb.

Cover rhubarb with remaining crumb mixture and bake at 350° for about 50 minutes.

Oh, and I made a decision about what to top the chocolate cake with. Chocolate frosting AND Coconut pecan frosting. We will have some tomorrow (all the kids and their significant others will be here after church) and then we'll freeze the rest in little containers for lunches and snacks.

Why choose when you can have both? (Both of these Duncan Hines Homestyle Frostings are GFCF!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In the mood for something spicy

I facilitate several adoption support groups each month and some of them are in areas several hours away from my home. Tonight I have one in a city almost 3 hours away. Since I won't be here to have supper with my family, I wanted to have something ready for StarBUCK to serve when he gets home from work. I also wanted something I could eat before leaving this afternoon.

I was in the mood for something spicy so I made this fresh salsa...
...and this lime and cilantro rice...
...and this seasoned steak (from the leftover grilled steak from last night's supper).
I added some black beans and put it all together like Chipotle does in their burrito bowls.
Bean was home for lunch and he joined me and ate two large servings! I hope we left enough for supper!


Steak- cube cooked steak and heat with olive oil and chipotle ground pepper

Salsa- chop 1 cup cilantro, 4 tomatoes, 1 cup red onion, 1 jalapeno pepper, add 1/4 cup lime juice and 2 tsp salt.

Rice- Heat 1 T Earth Balance vegan "butter", add 2 cups rinsed Basmati rice and 4 T. lime juice. Heat and stir for one minute and then add 3 cups water and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to boil then turn down and cover for about 25 minutes. Fluff and stir in 2 T. cilantro before serving.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Conference challenge

Eating at the foster care and adoption conference where I am speaking this week has been a bit of a GFCF challenge. Thankfully Java likes salads!

Last night's supper was lasagna and garlic bread. Tonight's was mac & cheese, breaded chicken strips, breaded fried veggies, buns, cherry cobbler... you get the picture.

But Java is a trooper and she happily ate salads, beans, veggies and fruit with me. (As you can see, she had a bowl full of sunflower seeds with her salad tonight!)

She even went to a childcare room this afternoon for a few hours and told them what was appropriate for her to have for snack. She is doing so amazingly well on this plan. Have I mentioned lately how proud I am of her?!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Traveling GFCF

This isn't the most appetizing picture of a meal but I wanted to write about our experience traveling on the GFCF plan. It isn't easy or affordable to eat out when you are gluten and casein free but some convenience is still possible.

Last night on our trip to Alabama (where I am speaking at a foster and adoption conference), we stopped at a grocery store and bought a plain rotisserie chicken. There were seasoned ones available but I wasn't sure of their GFCF status so we avoided them. Then we bought a few containers of fresh fruit (watermelon and blueberries) and some plain potato chips. Ta-da! A picnic supper!

I had packed a cooler for the car ride with a variety of 100% juices, GF beef sticks, water, fruit cups, and some GFCF baked goods I made before we left home. We brought Java's supplements and her medications and just planned to pick up anything else we needed along the way at grocery stores. So far the trip has gone very well.

We ate out yesterday for a late breakfast / early lunch. We all had hashbrowns, eggs, sausage and fresh fruit. We stopped once along the way so Java could get an order of french fries from McDonalds as a treat. As long as there is a dedicated fryer (just for unbreaded potato products) we can safely order fries at fast food places.

Since removing gluten from her diet, Java is off the two medications she was on for digestive issues. Her respiratory issues have cleared significantly by removing dairy (no pneumonia, no nebulizer treatments, no snot wiped all over her face!) and we're going to try taking her off her long time respiratory medication soon. She is healthier and her behaviors have stabilized. We want to be careful to keep her on this plan and that means we need to do this together.

I'm thankful for that because I feel better, too.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rice Krispie bars

Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles are now gluten free and Rice Krispies will be available gluten free in June! (Rice does not have gluten but the malt that is currently used in making Rice Krispies does.)

Last night I melted together some Earth Balance buttery sticks and Jet Puffed marshmallows (both are gluten and casein free) and I made Cocoa Pebbles bars. The kids were thrilled!

I liked the chocolate version but I am looking forward to making GFCF Rice Krispie bars soon!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hot doggin' GFCF style

A hot dog and mac & cheese meal isn't quite as simple now that we've gone gluten and casein free...but it is still possible!

I adapted the Bread Slab recipe from the GFCF cookbook "Cooking For Isaiah" to make hot dog buns. It worked great! (Check the ingredients to be sure, but most all-beef hot dogs are gluten free.)
Add ketchup (Heinz is gluten free), some veggies and make some Quinoa GFCF Mac & Cheese and you've got a real kid pleasin' meal. Not quite as easy as our old version but so much better for us!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We broke the addiction

I took Bean and Java out to Chipotle for lunch today. The menu is GFCF except for the flour tortillas, sour cream and cheese. Bean ordered the chicken bowl with fresh salsa.
Java and I split a steak bowl with black beans and fresh salsa.
Java tends to be a sensory seeker and an adventurous eater who will try anything. Bean tends to be a sensory avoider and before going gluten and casein free he had significantly self limited his diet. He did not like spicy foods, hot foods, cold foods, mixed textures or foods with strong smells. If he had his way he would have lived on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and milk.

No more! We broke the addiction to what he should NOT have been eating and now he's eating new foods and liking them! (He ate the entire bowl today, most of it at lunch but saved some for an afternoon snack.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sundays are hardest for me

Sundays are the days when the GFCF plan is hardest for me. While I made big Sunday dinners at times, it was often my day of rest from kitchen duties. We would either have something simple like tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches after church or we'd get a bake at home pizza or a bucket of take out chicken. Our options are limited now and I need to discipline myself to be more planful.

Yesterday I got up early and baked a chocolate cake. It would be served after supper with homemade coconut milk ice cream. StarBUCK took the kids to Sunday school so I could finish getting lunch in the oven. I cut up some red potatoes and carrots and coated them with olive oil and seasonings. (Always check seasonings to be sure they are GFCF. Some are not.) Right before I left for church I put the potatoes and some frozen chicken wings in the oven.

An hour later the house smelled great. I had cut up veggies and fruit on Saturday so a quick dousing of the chicken wings with a GFCF sauce and we were ready for lunch!

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