Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Pantry: Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins

It's been awhile since I posted about my favorite crackers - Blue Diamond Nut-Thins. I like the mild flavor of the almond variety; it's versatile enough to go with any cheese or dip. I've been enjoying Almond Nut-Thins with gouda cheese. What's your favorite food or dip to eat with gluten free crackers?

My other favorite Nut-Thin varieties are...
Blue Diamond Smokehouse Nut-Thins
Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins with a Hint of Sea Salt

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Cake (Flourless)

Lemon Blueberry Cake is moist, light, delicious and super flavorful.

I made this Lemon Blueberry Cake for my husband’s birthday a few weeks ago, as my flourless lemon cake is his favorite cake. I added blueberries for a new variation that everyone enjoyed.

Lemon Blueberry Cake
Cake Ingredients:
·1 recipe for Flourless Lemon Cake
·½ cup blueberries
·1 tsp potato starch
Topping Ingredients:
·1 cup whipping cream
·1 tsp pure vanilla extract
·2 TBS sugar
·1 TBS fresh lemon juice
·1 TBS lemon zest

Prepare Flourless Lemon Cake according to the recipe. In a small bowl, stir blueberries and potato starch together to coat blueberries in the starch. Pour half of the cake batter into the pan, sprinkle blueberries across the top, and then pour the remaining cake batter into the pan. Bake according to recipe.

To prepare the topping, beat whipping cream, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. When cake is cool, frost with topping and serve.

I've also shared this recipe on: Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Blackened Tilapia Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce

Blackened Tilapia Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce are tasty and fresh. They are fairly easy to prepare, making for a delicious and quick weeknight meal.

Blackened Tilapia Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce
·1 recipe for Blackened Tilapia
·1 recipe for Homemade Corn Tortillas
·¼ cup mayonnaise
·Juice of 1 lime
·Handful of fresh chopped cilantro
·Salt and pepper

Prepare Blackened Tilapia and Homemade Corn Tortillas according to the recipes. To prepare the Cilantro Lime Sauce, combine mayonnaise, lime juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Taste and adjust flavors to taste. Spread sauce on a tortilla shell and top with blackened fish and additional toppings if desired.

I've also shared this recipe on: This Week's Craving

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Homemade Corn Tortillas

The texture of Homemade Corn Tortillas is soft, yet crisp. I had forgotten what it was like to taste a real tortilla; it is so much better than a store bought shell.

I once wondered why I should bother making homemade corn tortillas when I can buy store bought corn tortillas relatively cheaply. I thought it would be difficult and I would need a fancy tortilla press. I thought wrong! Once I had my process down, Homemade Corn Tortillas were quick and easy to make. They don’t require any additional kitchen appliances and taste A-MAZ-ING!

Before I was gluten free, I used to love soft flour tortillas. Homemade Corn Tortillas have a softer texture than store bought corn tortillas. I am super excited to have the flavor of a corn tortilla shell with a softer texture that is gluten free. Bye-bye store bought tortillas, I’ve converted to making Homemade Corn Tortillas!

The recipe is so simple that it is often written on the bag of instant corn masa flour and it only requires two ingredients. The process I use for making Homemade Corn Tortillas is different than what was written on the bag of corn masa. I tried following the process written on the bag, but it didn’t work for me so I came up with my own easier method.

Homemade Corn Tortillas
·2 cups instant corn masa flour
·2½ cups warm water

Mix instant corn masa flour and water in a bowl; kneed for 4 minutes. Divide dough into 16-18 small portions. Preheat a griddle and place a few dough balls on the griddle. On the griddle, flatten each dough ball into a 6-inch circle using the back of a lightly greased spatula. Cook the tortilla for 20-30 seconds on each side.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bethenny Frankel's Low-Fat Brownies

These low-fat brownies are moist and taste decent; however, I have a huge sweet tooth and thought the flavor was bland.

I recently discovered that Bethenny Frankel has a few dessert recipes posted that use oat flour, making them gluten-free. If you have other allergens, some of her dessert recipes are also egg free, dairy free, and vegan.

I like healthy desserts, as long as they don't taste too healthy. So while these brownies weren't bad and I'll be trying more of Bethenny's recipes, when it comes to brownies I'll be sticking to my Flourless Black Bean Brownies.

Click here for Low-Fat Brownie recipe from Bethenny Frankel

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Make Your Own Gluten Free Flour

I had a genius idea a few weeks ago to start making my own gluten free flour. It was easy to make and has reduced my grocery bill.

Over the past year, I've become comfortable enough using my own flour blends instead of relying on store bought gluten free flour blends. I've been using brown rice flour because it has a good nutrition value (something not all gluten free flour or flour blends have) and it doesn't have a gluten free aftertaste. When cooking, I replace regular flour with an equal amount brown rice flour. When baking, I typically make my own all-purpose blend by using a 2:1 ratio of brown rice flour and starch (potato or corn). Oats don't bother me, so I've also just recently started using oat flour the same way I use brown rice flour.

To make your own gluten free flour, grind brown rice (or oats if making oat flour) in a Magic Bullet or grinder until fine. Sift flour through a fine mesh strainer to remove large pieces. Bag and store in the fridge.

I've also shared this post on: Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lemon and Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes

These delectable Lemon and Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes are deliciously flavored with a hint of lemon present in every fluffy bite.

I love flourless gluten free recipes, but I've been hesitant to try ricotta pancakes because I don't care for ricotta too much. I recently saw an episode of the "Best Thing I Ever Ate" on the Food Network and Giada De Laurentiis was raving about Lemon and Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes. This was the final push I needed to try ricotta pancakes. I used this recipe as the base and added a half of a cup of frozen blueberries to the batter. While it took me a few tries to get the hang of cooking these delicate pancakes, it was easy and the outcome was delectable!

Click here for Gluten Free Ricotta Lemon Pancake recipe from The Baking Beauties

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta

This Cajun Chicken Pasta dish is loaded with protein and vegetables, making for a colorful and lighter delicious meal. I loaded up on the Cajun spices so it would have enough kick for my taste buds.

The only change I made to the recipe was that I used Tinkyada Brown Rice Spaghetti Noodles and brown rice flour to make it gluten free.

Click here for Cajun Chicken Pasta recipe from Skinny Taste

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cheeseburger Macaroni

Cheeseburger Macaroni is quick and tasty one pot meal. It tastes just like Hamburger Helper, but it is much healthier.

When I moved off campus my senior year of college, Hamburger Helper was one of my go to meals. I was learning how to cook for the first time, and I relied on Hamburger Helper and similar products a lot. I haven’t thought about Hamburger Helper in quite a few years, until a few weeks ago when I was trying to think of a new way to use ground beef. I recalled a recent recipe on Iowa Girl Eats for Cheeseburger Macaroni, and I knew it was exactly what I wanted to make for dinner.

Here’s a summary of the changes I made to the recipe…
     ·I used Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta Shells to make it gluten free. Gluten free pasta may take longer to cook than regular pasta, and you may have to add additional hot water if the pasta isn't completely cooked by the time the water absorbs into the dish.
      ·I didn’t have any shredded cheddar cheese in my house (I know, shocking!), so I used a cup of leftover Butternut Queso. It tasted great and increased the nutrition value of the dish.

Click here for Cheeseburger Macaroni recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hummus Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Hummus Chicken Lettuce Wraps are simple to prepare and incorporate my new favorite snack – Sabra Hummus. These lettuce wraps are fresh, healthy, and taste phenomenal.

Hummus Chicken Lettuce Wraps
·Grilled chicken breast, cut into 1-inch slices
·Sautéed peppers and onion slices
·Lettuce leaves

Assemble Hummus Chicken Lettuce Wraps by smoothing a spoonful of hummus on one side of a lettuce leaf. Top with prepared chicken, peppers, and onions. Top with an additional spoonful of hummus, roll up, and serve.

I've also shared this recipe on: Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Awesome Gluten Free Dining Experiences

I recently had THE BEST gluten free dining experience ever! I was with some coworkers and we decided to eat at HuHot Mongolian Grill for lunch. I had never been before and was skeptical because it is hard to eat Asian food because of the gluten in soy sauce. The concept behind HuHot is that you create your own stir-fry. This is done by walking through a buffet line and filling your bowl with the desired meat, noodles, vegetables, and sauces. Then you proceed to a large hibachi grill, give the chefs your bowl, and wait as you watch the chefs prepare your meal in a matter of minutes. You can eat as much or as little as you like, which is nice if you don’t like the meal combination you made the first time.

As soon as we were seated at our table, I asked the server if she knew of any gluten free sauce options. She immediately brought me a “Sauce Allergens” sheet to help guide me through the line. I was pleased to see a gluten free noodle option (Pad Thai) and quite a few sauce options. Of course, the meat and vegetables were gluten free. Not only did my awesome server provide me with the sheet, she also told the chefs and the manager about my allergens.

Before I even got to the buffet line to build my bowl, the manager came to speak with me to see if he could bring me anything from the back to avoid cross contamination or get me any additional sauces. Since they had just opened for lunch and we were one of the first people through the line, I let him know I was fine with what was on the buffet.

The chefs were even more impressive. As soon as I got to the grill, the chefs recognized me and confirmed that I was the guest with allergies. I let them know I was gluten free and they cleaned the grill for me. They brought out new utensils and a separate plate to place the utensils when they were not using them to cook. They cooked my meal on the clean grill separately from the rest of the meals and the utensils were only used to prepare my meal.

My meal was delicious and As Good As Gluten! Because I saw how it was prepared every step of the way and the staff was so attentive to my needs, I was confident that everything was safe to eat.

The staff continued to amaze me when I headed up for seconds. The chef remembered exactly who I was and asked how my meal had been so far as he continued with the same grill cleaning process without me even having to ask.

The food was great and the staff was beyond accommodating. I let them know that I will definitely, 100% be back. It can sometimes be hard to eat out when you are gluten free, and some places aren’t always helpful to accommodate our needs. It’s wonderful to find a great restaurant that goes above and beyond to meet gluten free needs. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures. But you can check out HuHot’s offerings here.

My experience at HuHot reminded me of another great gluten free dining experience that I haven’t blogged about before – Taco Del Mar. It is a quick service restaurant that I have eaten at numerous times. They advertise gluten free proudly and are especially accommodating to prepare gluten free meals. They have separate containers of all ingredients (i.e., meats, vegetables, rice, beans, sauces, etc.) that are kept on a different counter than the regular food. The employees wash their hands, change their gloves, use separate utensils, and prepare the meal away from the regular food. The staff is well-trained in cross-contamination and does everything they can to accommodate gluten free diners. The food tastes great and the staff is always friendly when preparing my dishes, which often involves getting out almost every gluten free container they have because I like my Mexican food piled high with everything (i.e., meats, vegetables, cheeses, beans, and all of the sauces I can have). J
Taco Del Mar

Have you had any extraordinary gluten free dining experiences? Where are your favorite places to eat gluten free meals?


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

In My Pantry: Gluten Free Alcoholic Beverages

I haven't posted too much about alcohol on my blog, other than a few cocktail recipes for Grown-Up Cake Float, Pineapple Upside Down Cake Martini, Red Mojitos, and Wedding Cake Martini. When I drink an adult beverage, I tend to drink wine or cocktails. But, they aren't the easiest thing to take when we are going somewhere. Today I'm sharing my go-to alcoholic beverages that are bottled and ready for hanging out with friends, warm weather cookouts, and for just having a good time. If you miss beer since becoming gluten free, here are some of my favorite gluten fee substitutes.

Redbridge Gluten Free Beer - Anheuser Busch makes this beer using sorghum. I used to drink light beer before becoming gluten free, so I find Redbridge to be somewhat heavy. Despite this, I still think it is the best gluten free beer.

Lakefront New Grist Gluten Free Beer - this is made from sorghum and rice. While it's somewhat heavy, New Grist is lighter than Redbridge and the flavor profile is good.

Michelob Ultra Light Cider - A friend introduced me to this light cider this weekend. And, we were lucky enough to find it in our local grocery store before it officially launches tomorrow. It is clearly labeled "Naturally Gluten Free" on the front of the bottle, which makes it easy to identify as a safe choice. The crisp apple flavor is really good. Since it is a light cider it has a lighter mouth feel than hard ciders, and is lower in calories. Michelob Ultra Light Cider is definitely my new go-to gluten free drink!

Wood Chuck Hard Cider - This is my favorite cider, and it's clearly labeled gluten free. I love the flavor profile and it is a smooth drink. I've tried the Wood Chuck Amber and the Wood Chuck Spring. Both are great, but I prefer Amber the best.

Angry Orchard Hard Cider - I recently discovered this cider and really like the smooth flavor of the Crisp Apple variety. It also states gluten free right on the pack, which makes it easy to shop for.

Hornsby's Hard Cider - Of the three hard cider's I've mentioned Hornsby's is my least favorite. I like the crisp flavor and don't mind drinking it, but it's just not my favorite because I like the flavor of Wood Chuck better. However, this is my husband's favorite of the three.

Mike's Hard Lemonade - Are you surprised to see a malt beverage on my list since malt is not gluten free? Well, even though Mike's products are malt beverages, they are gluten free. They undergo rigorous testing and have been tested to be less than 5 ppm of gluten, which is considered to be gluten free. You can read all about their testing process here. If you are highly sensitive and cannot tolerate any ppm of gluten, then this might not be the product for you. Personally, I have had no issues with this product. I love many of their flavor varieties and I know I can find this product anywhere.
Mike's Hard Lemonade

What are your favorite gluten free adult beverages?


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

In My Pantry: Delimex Chicken Corn Taquitos

Happy Cinco de Mayo!
My sister has searched high and low to find gluten free frozen taquitos. She finally found a brand and introduced me to Delimex Corn Taquitos. They are the only corn taquito brand available in our area, and are available in both chicken and beef varieties. I tried the chicken variety and was pretty impressed for a frozen taquito.

While they are pricier than the flour taquitos, it's worth it to have an occasional quick meal. They taste good and are best served with something to dip them in. I've used Homemade Crockpot Refried BeansButternut Queso, and sour cream as dip; my sister prefers ranch dressing. I think they would also be delicious served with Pico de Gallo or Guacamole.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Chicken and Pepper Kabobs with Easy Stovetop Mac & Cheese

This meal was simple to prepare and tasted great. Mike made Chicken and Pepper Kabobs on the grill, and I made Easy Stovetop Mac & Cheese for a side dish.

I have quite a few mac & cheese recipes, but I think you can never have too many mac & cheese recipes. I even have two stovetop mac & cheese recipes - Saucepan GF Mac & Cheese and Revolutionary GF Mac & Cheese, but I couldn't resist trying this recipe I came across a few weeks ago. It is cheesy and taste like classic mac & cheese.

I used Tinkyada's Brown Rice Pasta Shells. Tinkyada is my favorite brand of GF pasta because it is As Good As Gluten.

I don't have a recipe to share for the Chicken and Pepper Kabobs, but it is easy to prepare. Chop boneless, skinless chicken breasts and sweet peppers into 1-inch pieces. Skewer onto a stick and season with desired spices (Mike used salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika). Grill for 10 or so minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Click here for Easy Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese recipe from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures