Posted in Gluten Free Recipes

Grilled Chile-Lime Chicken

2  teaspoons grated lime peel
1/4  cup lime juice
2  tablespoons olive or canola oil
2  tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2  teaspoon sugar
1/2  teaspoon salt
1  small jalapeño chile, seeded, finely chopped
1  clove garlic, finely chopped
4  boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 1/4 lb)

To make marinade, in shallow glass or plastic dish, or resealable food-storage plastic bag, mix all ingredients except chicken.

Between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper, place each chicken breast smooth side down; gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick. Add chicken to marinade; turn to coat. Cover dish or seal bag; refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no longer than 24 hours.

Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Cover and grill chicken over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F).

NOTE:  Because everything is fresh, it is naturally gluten free.  This is an excellent dish that you can marinate and freeze, for a quick meal later on.

I found this recipe on Tablespoon.com by Eat Better America.  Yummm!

Posted in Candy, Product Reviews

Black Ace Red Licorice

Since going gluten-free one of the biggest things I miss is LICORICE, specifically Twizzlers – sorry all you Red Vine fans, Twizzlers was where it was at!  Sadly since the very first ingredient is wheat, I can have them no more.  😦

Gluten-free licorice is not easy to find in stores and I have been on the hunt for a GOOD replacement.

I am rating it ♥♥ with a score of 13 out of 20.  In all fairness, the price significantly reduced its overall rating.

Appearance/size:  The small, bite-sized drops (about the size of a dime) make them very easy to eat.  They are in a bag, inside a cute little box.  It would be nice if the bag was resealable so if you were being strong, you could seal them up without worrying about them getting stale.

Flavor:  Wonderful flavor that gets stronger and fruitier as you chew!  Taste comparison – a little nugget of Hawaiian punch in your mouth.  Yummmmm!  🙂

Texture: Extremely chewy, sticking to every possible crevice in my teeth.  Uggh!  Think taffy or worse.  I suppose you can look at it this way – it kept me from eating a whole box in one sitting, so good for my diet!

Price:  I bought this 5 oz box at a local candy store for $6.50.  Expensive!

Overall, this would not be my choice for a licorice fix.  Flavor was great; texture just didn’t work for me.   I’ve had this box for about 3 weeks now and there are still a few left……..this is unheard of for a sweet-tooth like me!

The hunt continues………..in the mean time Live and LOVE gluten-free!

Posted in Gluten Free Recipes, Sweets

Banana Nutella Muffins

This recipe is FABULOUS!

Original muffins:

My gluten-free version:

 

2 cups GLUTEN-FREE flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3 very ripe bananas, soft, darkly speckled, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon GLUTEN-FREE vanilla extract
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Nutella

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Fold in hazelnuts.

Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.  Place 1 teaspoon of Nutella on top of each muffin. Swirl with a toothpick. Bake until golden and toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and serve.

NOTES:  Baking soda is naturally gluten-free.  Nutella is gluten-free!  Yogurt is naturally gluten-free, but because of additives, please check the label.  PLEASE CHECK your vanilla, not all extract is gluten-free – McCormicks is good, I use Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract which is gluten-free but a little pricey.  I really like Pamela’s Baking mix for all of my sweet baking and have found that I can use it as a cup for cup exchange in all of my old tried and true recipes.  Also check your non-stick cooking spray – not all are gluten-free!

In this gluten-free version……..I did not swirl in the nutella.  The muffin has a banana bread texture…a bit heavier but very moist.  I use very dark bananas so the batter is darker than usual.  This muffin was excellent and I will be making this again!

A big shout out to Diane Krejci Sullivan who found this recipe at Sweet Pea’s Kitchen (http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/).  I modified it to make it gluten-free.  Thank you Christina for an amazing recipe.

Posted in Product Reviews, Snacks

Dazzles – Gourmet Oven Baked Corn

So the other day I received a package with two different flavor Dazzles – Butter and Caramel Corn.  Here is my review:

I am rating this product ♥♥♥♥ with a score of 18 out of 20.

http://buydazzles.com/index.html

Appearance:  Bite size pieces without all the cracks and crumbs you often see with chips.  While I doubt it there will be leftovers, the packaging has a zip top so that you can store them without worrying about them getting stale.

Flavor:  The butter flavored ones are very tasty, with a hint of salt (not too much like some of the store-bought puffed corn) followed by a nice buttery wallop.  The caramel corn was smooth with a buttery, sweetness that made you want more.

Texture:  The butter flavor corn melts in your mouth.  You don’t even need to chew if you don’t want to.  The caramel corn first has a crunch then a burst of sweet followed by melt in your mouth.  No hulls to get stuck between your teeth either.

Price:  This was the only bummer.  It is $5.00 for a 12″ bag of these treats (plus shipping).  However, it is understandable that having gourmet flavor choices with premium ingredients (which you can taste in every bite, especially the caramel), it is expected to be higher in price than some other snacks.

Above are all the facts I found to be true.  Now here are my thoughts – I feel this snack is worth the $5 a bag.  When I tasted the caramel corn, it actually made me close my eyes for a second!  🙂  True story.  It tasted like something that my mom might have made in her kitchen.

I checked their website to see what other flavors they offered and almost fell off my chair.  I figured that there must be some mistake in the gluten-free listing.  I actually CALLED them to verify that ALL of the flavors were gluten-free.  I spoke to a woman, who for the life of me I can’t remember her name, but she was super nice and very patient with me.  I am sure she thought I was a nut because I asked her repeatedly about gluten in different flavors and she assured me that everything they make is gluten-free.   Check out some of these flavors – Garlic, Nacho Cheddar, Three Chili White Cheddar, Jalapeño Cheddar, White Cheddar, BBQ, Ranch, Cinnamon Krunch, S’mores, Moose Krunch (chocolate, caramel and butter) Yesss!!  Seasonal flavors (not in season now but I will have to keep an eye out for them):  White Chocolate Raspberry  and White Chocolate Irish Cream – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  Hecky yeah!!

If you’ve been gluten-free for any length of time, you know how hard it is to find FLAVORED snacks that are not laced with gluten.  This is a great find for us!

Here are a couple more awesome facts that I REALLY appreciate about this product:  This corn is NON GMO!  There is NO MSG!  There are several no sugar added flavors so this is a great snack of diabetics too.  

Go check out this site right now and get yourself some and enjoy a snack with me!!

Live and LOVE gluten-free!

My disclaimer in case you are wondering:  I do not receive any money from the manufacturers for my product reviews.  Some of these products I’ve received a sample direct from them to try them out and give my opinion. Others I’ve purchased myself in local stores to satisfy my curiosity in finding good and tasty gluten-free foods.  I will try to remain neutral, informative and will always be truthful, although you may notice I tend to get a little carried away when I really like something…….. 😀

Posted in Gluten Free Recipes, Snacks

Coconut Flour POWER COOKIES!

These cookies are NO SUGAR ADDED, GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE, & packed with POWER, duh!

Wet Ingredients:
2 Whole Eggs
2 Egg Whites
2 TB Melted Coconut Oil
1 medium sized mashed banana
2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
Liquid Stevia   (optional: but I used about 10 drops)

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup ground Flax
1/4 cup Protein Powder of choice (I used sunwarrior)
2 tsp Baking Soda
Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Optional Add-ins: Dark Chocolate Chips, Raisins,
Dried fruit, coconut, etc…

Easy Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix wet ingredients together

Add in Dry Ingredients

Mix in your optional add-ins

Form into cookie shapes onto a parchment lined cookie sheet

Bake @ 350 Degrees for about 13-15 minutes

Let cool, if you’re patient enough & ENJOY!

I found this awesome recipe at:  http://powercakes.net/   which is a blog from Kasey Arena who among other things happens to be gluten free.  Thank you Kasey!

Posted in Gluten Free Recipes

Greek 7-Layer Dip

Makes 8-10 servings

1/2 cup sliced roasted red pepper
1 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hummus
1 cup peeled and chopped cucumber
2/3 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
3 scallions, chopped

In a food processor, combine roasted red pepper, Greek yogurt, garlic, basil and salt and pepper until mostly smooth. Spread 1 cup of the red pepper mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch round pie plate.

Spread hummus evenly on top of red pepper mixture all the way to the edges of the plate.

Top hummus with an even layer of the cucumbers, followed by the olives, then the feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and scallions.

Serve with your favorite gluten-free crackers or chips.  You could also make your own gluten-free pita chips which would be excellent with this.

NOTE:  Yogurt is naturally gluten free.  Many of the feta cheese brands are gluten-free.  I use Athenos Feta (Kraft).  Always read the label! 

I found this recipe at Tablespoon.com, by girlversusdough.  Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

Posted in Books and Websites

Gluten Free Product Resources – Part 1

In my never-ending quest for new gluten-free information, I have found two great websites for GF products and or services.  Check these both out (and don’t forget to bookmark them if you like them!), I am sure they will be very helpful.

The first one is Gluten Free Find.

Your most comprehensive gluten-free directory, with “everything gluten-free from A to Z”

Healthy living focused, free and easy to navigate, no registration required.  You’ll find it all here – accessibility, gluten-free style!

Simply click on a city, and then click on a category!

NOTE:  The city area is limited if you are in a rural area like I am, but this is perfect if I should need to make a day trip to Chicago.  Bakeries, spas, manufacturers and more.

The second one is GF Overflow.

GF Overflow is a searchable database of gluten-free products that at the time of this post lists over 9,000 gluten-free products across a broad range of mainstream brands and categories.

You can use our search box to find relevant gluten-free products, or browse our full listings organized by food category or brand.

Results will only show you product matches that have been stated by the manufacturer to be gluten-free. They also provide you with the manufacturer’s gluten policy, website information and contact info.

NOTE:  This is a pretty good site.  Very basic, no pictures or summaries, but information you need.  Once you have found the product, click further to get more details.

Live and LOVE the gluten-free life!

Posted in The Basics

OK, So I know I Can’t Have Regular Flour….What Should I Use?

This is where things get a little tricky and people are still determining what works best. As I mentioned in another post, the gluten in wheat flour is what gives the bread that soft and fluffy texture. Many are working on ways to get decent gluten-free bread where the texture is at least similar to its wheat counterpart.

I am not a big fan of the texture I’ve found in a lot of gluten-free breads – so I have eaten less bread. This works out great as I am on a mission to lose weight anyway!

But, in the mean time here is some good info:

When just starting gluten-free, go ahead and buy the gluten-free all purpose flour blends you find in the store closest to you. I use them all the time and have great results.

Some brands I’ve tried (in order of my preference) and will be reviewing in later posts:

Pamela’s Ultimate Baking & Pancake Mix
Bob’s Red Mill
Gluten Free Pantry
Bisquick

Will be trying soon:
Chebe
Namaste Foods
King Arthur Flour

When making my own recipes, say for example banana bread, I use an even substitution – if my recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, I use 2 cups of the gluten-free all purpose flour.

If I am baking something that needs a little “fluff” like a muffin or a cake, I have recently started to add a 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum, per cup of gluten-free flour. Xanthan gum gives the dough or batter a “stickiness” that gluten usually gives. In theory, this combined with the fat you use should make the final product “lighter” but be careful of adding too much…….you could have a sticky mess on your hands!

You will probably need to experiment with this. Some mixes might contain xanthan gum or guar gum, so you might not need additional umpf. Some say you need as much as 1 teaspoon per cup of gluten-free flour. This is what I suggest: try it without adding any extras at first. See if you like the texture……then make adjustments the next time you make it.  Be sure to write down what you did though so you don’t forget!!

Using my banana bread as an example, if I am making actual loafs of banana bread I do not add any xanthan gum. I like for the loaf to be a bit heavier to hold up to butter or jelly. BUT if I am making banana bread muffins (same recipe, just in muffin form) I add it!

More good news: If you don’t have your own recipes for pizza crust, muffin, bread, pancake, scone etc. most of these companies have their own specific mixes!

If you have the time and the energy, you have MANY gluten-free substitution options for wheat flour and can make your own mixes. Successful mixes usually are made from several different flours for best results as some of them are better for thickening, some don’t mix well with dairy, some have better minerals and fiber etc.

But here is an idea of other gluten-free flours available: Arrowroot, almond, amaranth, buckwheat, chestnut, chickpea, coconut, corn, fava bean, filbert, flaxseed, millet, peanut, potato, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soy, sweet potato, tapioca, teff, walnut and more.

For me……….I work a full time job that requires a little travel, so I do not have a lot of time to make up these mixes myself. For now, I am happy with buying the gluten-free all purpose flour mixes. When I start to make mixes myself I will happily share the results. 🙂

Now………get to baking!

Posted in Product Reviews, Snacks

Glutino – Gluten-free Pretzel Twists

http://www.glutino.com/our-products/snacks/pretzels/pretzels-twists-8oz-us/

This brand was the first brand of gluten-free pretzel that I found.  Because I was a huge pretzel fan I was really happy to have an alternative but there were several unusual things about this pretzel that I wish I could change.  My product review is for their plain pretzels.  Recently these have come in flavors – sesame,  chocolate covered and yogurt covered – I have not tried these.

I am rating it ♥♥ with a score of 12 out of 20.  In all fairness, if I could take the price scores out of this, it would end up being 3 hearts but because this product is so expensive, it reduced its overall rating.

Appearance/size:  These pretzels come in two different sizes, sticks and mini-twists.  They look good although the mini-twists seems to be smaller in size than a regular mini-twist pretzel.  They also look a bit lighter and at a glance appear to be soft.

Flavor:  These pretzels have an odd flavor at first with a definite aftertaste.  They took me quite a while to get used to.  I was never able to pass these pretzels off at a gathering as “regular” pretzels.  A year and a half ago, there was only one other pretzel option that I could find by me (Ener-G)  so instead of going without I “got used to” the flavor of these.

Texture: While they are firm, they are not really crunchy or crisp.  They hold up very well to any dip you wanted to use them for.  But tended to be a bit chewy.   Again for me, something I got used to because I did not have options.

Price:  These pretzels are EXPENSIVE.  For the longest time the only size that was available (in my area) was the family size (about 14 oz I think) and I paid between $6.99 and $8.99 for them.  Wowsa.  Cut back on my pretzel addiction really quick!

Over all, this would be my second choice in pretzels.  The taste will take some getting used to and in my opinion do not look or taste like the ones I was “used to”.  For the price, for me, I often chose chips instead of these particular pretzels.  😦  My suggestion to you would be to check out my review for my favorite pretzel – Snyders of Hanover – Gluten Free Pretzels and see if you can find them instead.

Live and LOVE gluten-free!

 

 

 

Posted in Product Reviews, Snacks

Snyders of Hanover – Gluten-Free Pretzels

http://www.snydersofhanover.com/Products/Cid/1/Prid/331/

Pretzels………..something near and dear to my heart that I REALLY missed!  I have tried several different kinds of gluten-free pretzels and will post my ratings on the others later, but wanted to start with what I feel to be the best gluten-free pretzel I have found.

These pretzels are so good, that my family asked that I continue to buy these pretzels for them instead of the others I used to buy.

I am giving this product my highest rating ♥♥♥♥  with a scoring of 18 out of 20 possible points.

Appearance/size:  These pretzels come in two shapes, sticks and mini-pretzel.  They are the same size as their gluten filled counterparts.  I have been able to serve these at many a party with NO one noticing any difference.

Flavor:  At first taste, its hard to pick out the subtle difference in this pretzel.  Trying to put into words is even more difficult.  It is as if it is a “cleaner/clear” version of a pretzel?!  I hope that makes sense. LOL!  Several different flavors followed by that salty punch.  They do not seem to have an aftertaste or a chemical taste like some gluten-free snacks do.

Texture:  This pretzel is EXACTLY what you expect a pretzel to be.  Crispy, crunchy – exactly like their other Snyder’s brand that I had enjoyed for so many years prior.  It stands up to any dip I’ve used it in and are great snacking by themselves.  I have even chocolate dipped them and YUMMMOoo!

Price:  The price is right!!  At my local Woodman’s store ( 100% Employee Owned Independent Grocer) I paid $3.19 for this 8 oz bag.  While more expensive than the cheap wheat filled brands, it is MUCH less than the other popular brands of gluten-free pretzels like Glutino….AND 10 times better in flavor and texture.

Trust me on this one – IF you love pretzels – check these out.  You WILL NOT be disappointed!

Live and Love gluten-free!!