Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gluten Free or Not Gluten Free? The results are in.

A short time ago (a few weeks), Shawn got glutened.  We traced it back to a questionable product I had cooked with.  I sent this product to the University of Nebraska's Food Allergy Research and Resource Labs to be tested, to make sure this was the culprit.

It is a widely held belief that gluten (gliadin) does not survive the distillation process in alcohol's.  The product I had tested was organic pure vanilla extract.  The questionable ingredient in it was "organic alcohol".

This is a link to the original article

The UK has a food labeling of 20ppm (20 parts per million) rule of thumb and anything with 20ppm or less can be labeled "Gluten Free".

This is ridiculous!!

No wonder people still get sick.

The United States has no rule of thumb, rather it is left up to the individual companies to decide their parts per million for "Gluten Free" labeling.

I feel that if you are going to label something "Gluten Free"  then it should be truly Gluten Free and not just Low Gluten.  This policy of labeling items "Gluten Free" when they contain trace amounts of gluten is intolerable.  It is making people sick.

The results of the test...

 "Dear Mr. Christopher,

 My laboratory has completed the testing of the Full Circle Organic Pure Vanilla Extract sample
 that they received on Thursday, July 12th, 2010.  The laboratory tested this product for gluten with
 a specific commercial test method designed to detect small traces of this food component.

 Full Circle Organic Pure Vanilla Extract                                          15ppm
 UPC 36800 30388, Lot 1101003C Best By 20Apr2012"

I would like to state that this product was not labeled "Gluten Free".  It was however in the Gluten Free section of the grocery store.  I have never had a problem with the pure vanilla extract that sits right next to this one on the shelf (it is labeled "Gluten Free")  Both have the same listed ingredients except for the "organic alcohol".

Shawn is very sensitive and 15ppm to him might as well be a slice of whole wheat bread.  I am sure many of you are the same.

Be careful out there.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gluten Free Buns for Burgers

This is my best tasting recipe for hamburger buns.  They do not puff like regular flour buns like I would like them to.  I think maybe getting some guar gum into my recipe's might help.

This recipe is light and fluffy, and Delicious!,  and even though the buns were a bit flatter than I had envisioned, they worked splendidly.  Pictured above is 2 of the buns inverted with a turkey burger and some onion in the middle.


1 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup arrowroot
1/4 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/4 cup quinoa
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 package of instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Begin by whisking together all the dry ingredients in your stand mixer bowl.  Attach your dough hooks.  Make a well in the center for the liquid ingredients.  Add the liquid ingredients and the eggs all at once and blend thoroughly with the dough hooks.

Turn the dough out onto a floured cutting board.  It will be fairly wet and sticky at this point.  I used sweet rice flour.
Sprinkle the top generously with sweet rice flour and using a sharp knife, begin dividing the dough in halves.  Continue flouring and carefully dividing the dough into 16 equal balls of dough.

Place the dough balls on pans to rise in a warm place and cover with plastic wrap for about 45 minutes.  Leaving enough space between them to grow.

Brush the tops with oil before leaving them to rise.

After rising for 45 minutes.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Each one turned out about the thickness of the top of a store bought hamburger bun and the texture of .....well......bread!   =]


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gluten Free Tuna Macaroni and Cheese

Can I still call it Mac & Cheese if it's made with rotelle?  Pasta is pasta in this case.  I used Ancient Harvest Quinoa Rotelle  but you could make this dish with Ancient Harvest Quinoa Organic Pasta, Elbows  or Ancient Harvest Quinoa Veggie Curls or Ancient Harvest Quinoa Shells.  I am a big fan of the gluten free pasta from Ancient Harvest Quinoa.


1 box  of Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta (8 ounces)
1 cup shredded colby cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup Velveeta Cheese
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt

Begin by boiling about 6 cups water a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of oil.  When water boils add the pasta.  I find that Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta needs to be boiled for twice as long as the package recommends.

While the pasta is boiling, grate the cheeses.

When pasta is finished boiling, drain, rinse, and return to pan.  Add the butter, the milk, and slowly the cheese while continuously stirring.  Add the mustard and spices and stir some more.  Add the tuna last and plate and serve.

Enjoy some home made gourmet Mac & Cheese!  

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Light and Fluffy Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

These are my Light and Fluffy GF Blueberry Muffins.  These aren't heavy or dense like some muffins tend to be. These are flavorful and filling.  Great for breakfast on the go.


1 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup arrowroot
1/4 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
3 eggs

Begin by whisking all the dry ingredients (save for the sugar) together in a separate bowl and set aside.  Mix the remaining ingredients together in the stand mixer. Then add the flour in a third at a time mixing thoroughly in between each addition.  Line your muffin tin with paper cup liners, spoon in the mixture about 2/3 full.

Carefully remove from muffin tin and cool on a wire rack.  I had to use a plastic spoonula to gently remove the muffins (at this stage they are extremely soft, light, and airy and you don't want to squish them).

These may not be the prettiest muffin tops in the world, but they taste DELICIOUS!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gluten Free Zucchini Fritters

Cooking with zucchini again.  I had bought 2 zucchini and used one to make zucchini bread. (If you missed that one make sure you try it out, it was fantastic!)

Tonight's dinner was lemon dill zucchini fritters.  Delicious!


1 large zucchini (approximately 2 1/2 cups grated)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 a small red onion (diced)
1 lemon (just for the zest)
1 tablespoon dill
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons sweet rice flour
1 tablespoon potato starch
3 tablespoons millet flour
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 tablespoons sweet white sorghum flour
Vegetable oil for frying

Begin by preheating about 1 inch deep of vegetable oil in a pan to about 350 degrees.  Toss all the ingredients into a bowl and thoroughly mix together.

Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons per fritter of the mixture into the hot oil.  You can get 3 or 4 at a time in there.  Fry on each side until golden brown (about 3 to 5 minutes per side).  Be careful turning them over, as they are soft and splash.
Drain on paper towels while frying the rest. of the fritters.  Plate and serve.  I made a mayonnaise lemon dill sauce to go with ours.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread and Muffins

Supremely delicious!  Shawn says tis is my very best gluten free creation to date.  I'm not sure how to take that, considering that I am very proud of my extremely popular Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies.

This was a fun recipe to make, and the first recipe made with my new stand mixer.  I tried (alsofor the first time) Arrowroot flour and I liked it.  The flour mixture I used for this bread yielded an awesome light and airy texture, which aren't the words that generally come to mind with gluten-free baking, or zucchini bread.


1 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup arrowroot
1/4 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups of sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

Begin by whisking the flours together in a separate bowl with the other dry ingredients (minus the sugar, save that).  Set this aside.

Wash and prepare your zucchini and carrots.

Add the zucchini, the carrots, the sugar, and all the remaining ingredients to your stand mixer bowl and blend thoroughly.  Add the flour mixture in slowly.  I did it in thirds, mixing well between each addition.  

Grease and flour your loaf pan.  Line your muffin tin with paper cups.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Fill the loaf pan 3/4 full with batter.  Evenly distribute the remaining batter in the muffin cups.

Bake the muffins at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. (keep an eye on them and use the toothpick test) Cool out of the muffin tin on a wire rack.

Bake the loaf at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes to an hour. Once again use the toothpick in the center test.  Cool on a wire rack.

Absolutely Delicious!  Great texture!  Fairly healthy (save for the sugar). Gluten Free!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Gluten Free Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Turkey and Rice)

I can't say that cabbage rolls are a favorite dish of mine or Shawn's.  We have been experimenting with foods that we wouldn't normally eat, but that are good for us.  

We both like cabbage, but rarely if ever buy it.  Tonight I thought some cabbage rolls would not only remind me of eating at Grandma's house, but, it would be fun to try to make them.  

Both of these assumptions proved to be true.


1 pound ground turkey
1 head of cabbage
3 medium vidalia onions
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
1 cup rice (use your favorite, I used white instant, it was what I had on hand)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup water
1 can tomato sauce (29 ounce)
2 egg yolks

Start by removing the outer layers of leaves from your head of cabbage and then removing the core.

Boil the entire head of cabbage in a stock pot.  The water doesn't need to be a rolling boil, a simmer is fine too.  One by one the outer leaves will become flexible and slowly loosen themselves from the head of cabbage.  As this happens, use tongs to remove them and place them into a separate bowl for later.

When removing the leaves, there is a thick ridge that runs from the base of the leaf and is not very flexible.  Use a sharp knife and trim  or shave off this ridge to make the leaf more uniform in thickness and easier to roll up.

In a mixing bowl, thouroughly mix together the turkey, minced garlic, spices, egg yolks, rice, and one of the onions diced.

Place a cabbage leaf on the cutting board in front of you with the base (ridge side you shaved off towards you).  Add approximately the pictured amount of meat/rice mixture.  I would give a measurement, but each of my cabbage leaves are different sizes and I adjusted the meat accordingly.  I am sure you will too.

Fold the side facing you, forward over the meat mixture. Fold the left and right sides in towards center, then roll forward.  Tah, Dah!  Cabbage roll!

I covered the bottom of my dutch oven with the other 2 vidalia onions sliced and a few cabbage leaves and the olive ooil.  Then as I rolled the cabbage rolls, I placed them in the pan as the next layer.

I covered the top with cabbage leaves and filled the pan with the tomato sauce and the water.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours.  Check the water level about half way through. (add more if needed)

Cool a bit and serve..

Friday, July 2, 2010

Gluten Free Lemon Chicken with Asparagus and Lemon Garlic Hollandaise Sauce

Still no mixer so here's a healthy, naturally gluten free meal.    This was very good despite the fact that my hollandaise sauce was runny.  I only had 3 eggs on hand, intended to use 3 egg yolks in the sauce, and lost one to the sink while I was "back and forthing" it in the shell halves to separate the whites.  I will print the recipe with the 3.  Your sauce will be thicker than the one in the picture.

It's not your usual hollandaise sauce either, I made some changes that suited my tastes better.


2 chicken breasts
1 bunch of organic asparagus tips
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
1 lemon (for juice and zest)
3 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 dash of hot sauce (your favorite gluten free variety)
1 teaspoon lemon zest (I just grated both halves of the lemon lightly)
ground black pepper

Start with sprinkling some garlic salt and some ground pepper in your frying pan.  Turn on medium low heat and place the the chicken breasts in the pan.  Sprinkle the tops with garlic salt and ground black pepper.  Stab the chicken with a knife in several places to let juices in.  Slice the lemon in half and squeeze half the lemon over the chicken breasts.  Cook about 5 minutes then flip and re-squeeze the same half of lemon over them again.  (repeat this until done, juices run clear).

Meanwhile,  wash the asparagus and put the rubber band it comes with loosely back on them.  Stand upright and twist slightly to spread the stems to be freestanding in a medium to large saucepan.  Add 1 inch of water to the pan and bring to a boil. Do this while the chicken is cooking, when the chicken is done cover the asparagus for 1 minute to steam.

Meanwhile, Whisk the 3 egg yolks and the melted butter with the garlic salt, a dash of hot sauce, the juice from the other half of the lemon, and the zest.  Start a pan of water boiling to act as a double boiler, so whisk the egg mixture in a metal bowl or metal saucepan.  Keep whisking while carefully heating the mixture over the boiling water.  Heating too much can make a kind of scrambled egg concoction, you are aiming for a nice smooth sauce.

When everything gets done (hopefully around the same time) plate and drizzle (smother) with my lemon garlic hollandaise sauce.

Dinner tonight was as delicious as it looks in the picture. =]

Product Review : Gluten Free Pasta

As you all know, my stand mixer broke down and is being replaced.  Currently it is in route to me via UPS.  Yayy!!

Since I am too lazy and spoiled to mix by hand, I decided to try some pre-packaged gluten free foods for dinner and let people know what Shawn and I thought.  Generally I think most pre-packaged gluten free products tend to be gross and oddly textured, so I didn't have high expectations to start with.

Last nights dinner we tried Ancient Harvest Quinoa Rotelle, 8-Ounce Box

It was delicious!! 

 It was a great substitute for wheat based pasta.  It was nice to see Shawn's eyes light up as he devoured the bowl.  

I could tell right away that I would be using this pasta in some of my own recipe's from now on.  It truly was delicious and very very close to the texture of  al dente pasta.  

Hints to preparing:  I had to boil it double the time it says on the box to get the right texture (softness).  The box did not say to do so, but out of habit, I added a pinch of salt to the water.  I also drained and rinsed it (the box says only to do so if it's going to be used in a cold salad).  

We tried a local variety of Gluten Free Traditional Marinara sauce brand named Sorrisos.
It tasted homemade.  There are no preservatives.  The ingredient list reads simply: water, tomato, onion, canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and black pepper.  That's it!  I picked it up, read the ingredients, and said "Yes, ingredients my great grandmother would recognize as food."  This is the basis for a lot of food buying decisions we make.

Over all,  we both loved this pasta and will definitely buy it again.  

Give it a try and surprise your gluten free loved ones with a bowl of pasta!