Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2013

20130422-193903.jpg

Polenta topped with Ragout

I decided it was time to use a different grain tonight.  I was thinking of rice, but then I realized we should try something else.  Polenta is considered the Italian version of grits.  It’s a super fast cooking grain.  I even took a quicker fix than just using the grain and making a paste with water, I used the tube!!

This dish makes an excellent side dish or hors d’oeuvre for a dinner party.

Gluten-Free Broiled Polenta with Spinach and

Mushroom Ragout

Serving Size: about 20 polenta rounds

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp evol (used for polenta)
  • 1 tube of polenta precooked
  • 2 tbsp evol (used for sautéing)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 package mushrooms, chopped
  • 2-3 cups of fresh spinach
  • generous amount of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of crushed dried rosemary
  • 4 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2-1 cup water
  • *optional – parmesan cheese (do not use if vegan)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to broil and arrange the top rack about 4″ from the top.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Slice the tube of polenta into 1/4″ thick rounds and lay them out on the baking sheet.
  4. Using the TBSP of olive oil, lightly brush the tops of each round and then broil them until the begin to brown about 10-15 minutes.
  5. While they are cooking, put olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  6. When the oil is warm, put in the diced onions and as they begin to brown, add the garlic, sauteing for another 30 seconds or so.
  7. To the onion mixture, add the mushrooms and cook on a high heat (or medium-high) until they release their juices.
  8. Continue stirring for another few minutes until all the juices have been reabsorbed.  Then all the handfuls of spinach and toss until wilted.
  9. Add salt, pepper, and rosemary.  Cook for another 30 seconds.
  10. Then add in the tomato paste and 1/2 cup of the water.  (I actually used 4 previously frozen ice cubes of tomato paste.)  Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Continue adding water little by little if the mixture is drying out.
  11. Once water is absorbed (about 10 minutes), remove from heat and add the balsamic vinegar.

    20130422-193910.jpg

    Mushroom Spinach Ragout

  12. Top the broiled polenta with the mushroom mixture and if desired, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
    20130422-193903.jpg

    The Simplicity of Polenta

     

Read Full Post »

20130418-200809.jpg

Delicious Pesto Sauce

My family LOVES pesto sauce.  My daughter prefers to eat it over marinara.  So, I try to keep some in the fridge, but the truth be told is that I never make enough.  The best thing to do is make tons of sauce, and freeze it in ice cube trays to be used later.

Our favorite uses of pesto:

  1. On pasta
  2. On Pizza
  3. Baked on Chicken

What are your favorite ways to use pesto?

Gluten-Free Pesto Pasta

Disclaimer: I did not invent this recipe, but have no idea where I got it from.

Serving Size: 4-6 people, about 1 pint

20130418-200801.jpg

Bag of Hydroponic Basil

Ingredients for Pesto:

  • 2 cups basil leaves (I used 2 bags of hydroponic basil)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (I like Trader Joe’s because there’s no cross-contamination)
  • 2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (any olive oil will do)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I also use Trader Joe’s grated parm and stash it in the freezer)
  • Salt/pepper

Ingredients for Pasta:

  • 1 bag of gluten-free pasta – favorite brand is Tinkyada
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 1 TBSP of olive oil
  • *optional – extra parmesan as topping
  • *optional – handful of pine nuts as topping

Directions:

  1. Get pot of boiling water going for pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, put all ingredients, except the oil in the food processor, and process until blended.
  3. Slowly pour in the oil.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    20130418-200814.jpg

    Makes about 1 Pint of Pesto Sauce

  5. When pasta water is boiling, put the pasta in the water and follow directions of pasta bag.
  6. 2 minutes before the pasta is done cooking, throw in some chopped broccoli.

    20130418-202407.jpg

    Broccoli Added to Pasta

  7. When pasta is done cooking and broccoli is done to liking, pour into colander and rinse with cold water.
  8. Coat pasta with the 1 TBSP of olive oil to keep it from sticking together if not serving right away, otherwise, follow step #9.
  9. Toss pasta with pesto sauce.

    20130418-202401.jpg

    Pasta Coated with Pesto

  10. Bon Appetite!

Read Full Post »

20130418-190812.jpg

My Daughter with her New Glow-in-the-Dark Necklace

Glow-in-the-dark Necklace

made from the $.25 Machine

inspired by a project in the magazine Family Fun

Tools:

  • an awl or nail to piece a hole
  • 2 feet of kite string or some other type of yarn
  • at least 4 glow-in-the-dark beads, to make it glow-in-the-dark, but any kind of bead or button will do.  We used perler beads
  • $.25 machine plastic container

Directions:

  1. Take purchase a little toy for $.25 at the grocery store, but make sure it comes in one of those little plastic containers.
  2. Remove the toy.
  3. Using an awl or some other sharp tool like a nail, pierce a whole through the top of the container.
  4. Cut a piece of string about 2 feet long.  You can always trim it when you’re done.
  5. Thread a bead or a button into the middle of the string.  Knot the string several times just above the bead.
  6. Put one end of the string next to the otherand thread it through the underside of the hole.  This way, the bead will keep the string in place.

    20130418-190756.jpg

    Strung Bottom Bead

  7. Place charms or other beads along each side of the string.
  8. When you’re ready, tie the two ends of the string together in a knot.
  9. Fill the container with whatever excites your child, i.e. glow-in-the-dark beads, bugs, snack, etc.  We filled our with glow-in-the-dark beads, so that the necklace will glow-in-the-dark!
  10. Place the necklace around your child’s neck.
20130418-190821.jpg

Our Glow-in-the-Dark Necklace

Read Full Post »

I was fortunately to be invited to my dear friends’ house for Passover dinner while I was in Atlanta.  Rebecca is a fantastic cook, and they always serve the most wonderful food.   The best part about it was that it was all gluten-free (and soy-free), because neither of which you can have on Passover!!  And on top of that, two of their kids have Celiac Disease, which just means I can eat with them and always feel good!

This recipe has been adapted from both my mom’s version (which usually uses Ramen Noodles) and Rebecca’s version with candied nuts.  I had leftover chicken to through in, which just made it even better!  This is a great, fast dish to take to potlucks and parties.

On a side note, my husband who had refused to eat it upon hearing its name, decided it was delicious and really enjoyed the candied nut addition.

Oriental Cabbage Salad with Candied Nuts Recipe

20130412-143356.jpg

Oriental Cabbage Salad

Serving Size: If used as a side dish about 12 people

Storage Note:  I store the chicken, nuts, and dressing separate from the other salad ingredients to keep them from getting soggy and gross.

Ingredients for Cabbage Salad:

(feel free to leave off or add any ingredients as you see fit)

  • 1 cabbage, shredded or cut super thin
  • 4-5 carrots, grated
  • a bunch of scallions, chopped (but since I didn’t have any, I used about 1/2 an onion)
  • *Optional: pre-cooked chicken, chopped into small pieces (I used grilled chicken from the previous night)
  • candied nuts (click here for recipe) – (*If vegan, just toast nuts instead*)

Ingredients for Oriental Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup of  safflower oil (or some other non-tasting oil)
  • 1/4 cup of sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of honey (you can substitute this for sugar as well)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar

Directions for Cabbage Salad:

  1. Mix together cabbage, onions, carrots in a large bowl.
  2. When ready to serve, add chicken and candied nuts.
  3. Pour dressing on last, so the salad doesn’t get soggy.

Directions for Salad Dressing:

  1. In a large measuring cup, pour in the vinegar and sugar/honey and whisk it till well combined.
  2. Add in the cider vinegar a little at a time while continuing to whisk.
20130412-143350.jpg

Oriental Salad Ready to Eat!

Read Full Post »

Candied Nuts

Candied Nuts

So I had eaten at my dear friends’ house over Passover and had the most amazing Oriental Cabbage Salad.  Rebecca’s secret ingredient was candied nuts.  I decided I was going to replicate her dish, but first I had to candy my nuts.  (I’ll post the oriental cabbage later).

There are two ways to candy nuts.  I did mine in the oven, but you can also just put sugar and nuts in a saute pan and saute them.  Once the sugar has melted and is well coated, you then spread the nut mixture on a baking sheet with parchment paper to cool and then break it into pieces.

However, this was the recipe I found years ago and adapted it slightly.  I have no idea where it came from, so I can’t take credit for it.  I love to mix different kinds of nuts together.  I think this recipe can double as the makings of a granola bar.  Let me know what you come up with!  I also like to just eat it as snack.  I have tried it substituting honey for sugar.  It’s just as tasty, but doesn’t quite have the crispness or the crunch I was looking for.  If you try different things, let me know what you enjoyed!

Candied Nuts Recipe

Serving Size: 1 pound

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound nuts, crushed or halved
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300*F (150*C).
  2. Lay parchment paper over a baking sheet.
  3. *If using whole nuts, crush prior to using.  Place in ziplock bag and smash with mallet.*  I of course didn’t have anything else when I was having a craving, so it’s what I did.

    20130410-142216.jpg

    Crushing Nuts

  4. In a bowl, mix together sugar, salt and cinnamon;set aside.
  5. Beat egg white and water together just until frothy, not stiff.
  6. Add nuts to egg whites and stir until well coated.

    20130410-142201.jpg

    Nuts Added to Egg White Mixture

  7. Add sugar mixture, mixing nuts until well coated.
  8. Spread evenly onto a foil-lined cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and separate pecans as they cool.
  10. Store in tightly closed container.
Candied Nuts

Candied Nuts

Read Full Post »

20130410-142011.jpg

Gluten Free Conscious Box

Are you ready for your FREE 3-month  subscription to Conscious Box?

If so,  join in the giveaway. . .

from Monday, April 15, 2013 – Monday, April 22, 2013 

TO SEE ENTRY RULES, SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE

Not sure if you want a Conscious Box yet?  Keep reading . . .

I was so excited to receive in the mail my first GLUTEN FREE Conscious Box!  Remember when you were little and you use to get grab bags, just for the surprise of not knowing what’s in them?  This is the adult version! It’s like getting a monthly present to yourself in the mail, full of surprises!!!  And I LOVE surprises!!  (If you want to see what was in my box, scroll down to the bottom.)

So, what is a Conscious Box you might ask?

It is a gluten-free box filled with ethical and sustainable products.  There’s food, cleaners, spice rubs, etc.  Conscious Box says it all.  The company is conscious of where it sources its products and even ideas of how to reuse the box!

I really liked the cleverness of the box design.  When I opened it, the first card I read told me how I could reuse the box to grow a flower right through the hole.

20130410-142036.jpg

First Conscious Box Impressions – Growing Flower Through the Hole

How Does Conscious Box work?

(quoted from the Conscious Box website:) Conscious Box is the best way to discover the most ethical and sustainable products on the planet! Focusing on strict tenets of organic, fair trade, and pure and natural products, each month Conscious Box will introduce you to healthy and honest alternatives for every aspect of your life and for every member of your family. Discover the best natural products, earn points for leaving feedback and reviews, and buy your favorites at incredible discounts!

      • Get a variety of unique pure & natural products every month!
    • From organic food to vegan beauty products, you’re sure to find new favorites!
    • Discover ethical and purpose-driven businesses of all sizes!
    • Get content on daily living tips, exciting monthly themes, and creative ways to use your box!
    • Easily earn points you can apply to full size products for unbeatable discounts!

Do I have to get a Conscious Box Every Month?

With Conscious Box, you can sign up for just 1 month, 3 months at a time, six months at a time, or yearly.  You can choose from a classic, vegan, or gluten-free box for $19.95/month (which includes free shipping).

If I Sign Up, is there a Discount?

You bet! 50% OFF discount for any Conscious Box subscription. Use code: LOVELIFE

Here’s what came in my box:

20130410-142043.jpg

Inside the Box

20130410-142049.jpg

More Inside the Box

If you already get it, tell me what you think!

Entry Rules:

For each rule you follow below and then comment on this blog post, your name will be added that many times in the drawing.   So, you have 4 possible ways to comment on this post below, allowing you to have your name in the drawing 4 possible times.

  1. Go to ConsciousBox.com and create a profile.  Then comment on this blog post below that you have done this, and what find thing you might hope to be in your box.
  2. Go to www.facebook.com/ConsciousBox and like the page!  Make sure to leave a comment about Gluten Freedoms blog, so I know you were there.  Then comment on this blog post below that you have done this.
  3. Go to www.facebook.com/GlutenFreedoms and like the page!  Then comment on this blog post below that you have done this.
  4. Sign up for Gluten Freedoms blog by going to www.glutenfreedoms.wordpress.com and looking on the right hand side where it says Follow Blog Via Email.  Write your email address and click follow. Then comment on this blog post below that you have done this.A winner will be chosen on April 22, 2013 to win a Free 3-month gluten-free Conscious Box subscription.

And don’t forget to sign up for your FREE 3-month subscription to Conscious Box.  Entry Rules above!

Read Full Post »

20130407-133233.jpg

Loaf Cooked to Perfection!

After being gone for 10 days, I had these very sorry black bananas staring at me. Out of guilt for not wanting to waste them, I decided it was time to make banana bread. Then, I remember all my squash I roasted and froze in the freezer. I took it out to thaw, and decided to add it. These always come out amazing every time!! No one even knows they’re GF or DF for that matter.

There are TWO secrets to gluten-free cooking:

  1. Weigh your flour!! I like to use the conversion chart to convert regular recipes to those gluten-free.
  2. Always add extra moist ingredients to breads, whether it be more bananas or (cooked) winter squash or applesauce. It gives it the moisture that’s often lacking in gluten-free baking.

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Banana Squash Bread

(this recipe can also make muffins as well)

adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 1996’s Banana Bread Recipe

Serving Size: 3 small loaf pans or 1 8x4x2-inch loaf pan

Preheat Oven to 350*F

20130407-133305.jpg

Finished Loaf

Ingredients:

  • about 1 1/4 gluten-free flour blend = 187.5 grams
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 egg (at room temperature)
  • 4 brown to black bananas (or about 1 cup. You can’t go wrong if you throw in more.)
  • 1 cup of roasted squash or pumpkin
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar (with super ripe bananas, I find that 1/2 cup is perfect)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla *optional* – use Frontier Vanilla Flavor which has no alcohol
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (Enjoy Life are free of top 8 allergens) or nuts *optional*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Put parchment paper in the inside of the loaf or grease the loaf. If using muffin tins, grease the muffin tins or use muffin cups.

    20130405-210641.jpg

    Combined Dry Ingredients

  3. In a medium mixing bowl combine and mix together
    all the dry ingredients:

    • GF flour blend
    • baking powder (GF)
    • baking soda
    • cinnamon
    • salt
  4. In another bowl, combine and whisk until blended:
    • egg
    • bananas
    • squash, pumpkin
    • sugar
    • cooking oil (I use safflower, because I prefer non-genetically modified oils).
    • vanilla
  5. Add moist mixture to the dry one and stir until just moistened and blended. Batter should be lumpy.
  6. Fold in optional ingredients.
  7. Divide batter equally among loaves and bake at 350*F for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. If using different sized pans, then see note at bottom of recipe.*

    20130405-210626.jpg

    Bread Divided Between 3 Loaves

  8. Cool and eat. Store in refrigerator in airtight container.

    20130407-133244.jpg

    3 Loaves Ready to Eat!

* Pan Size Baking Time

One 9x5x3-inch loaf pan 1-1 1/4 hours
One 8x4x2-inch loaf pan 50-60 minutes
Two 7 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 2-inch loaf pan 40-45 minutes
Six 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 1 1/2-inch loaf pan 30-35 minutes
Twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin cups 15-20 minutes

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Diane Ravitch's blog

A site to discuss better education for all

Get Schooled

Your source to discuss and learn about education in Georgia and the nation and share opinions and news with Maureen Downey.

@atlsuper

The official blog of Meria Carstarphen, superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools

Talk Up APS

The official blog of Atlanta Public Schools

Granted, and...

thoughts on education by Grant Wiggins

Celiac Central: Bits and Bites

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members dish and digest

Maia Toll

Gluten-Free Food and Fun

WRiteLiveLily

A Catalog of Writing-in-Progress

Invision Events: Wedding Planner | Day Of Wedding Coordinator | Atlanta | Birmingham | Montgomery | Auburn | Dallas | Ft. Worth

Wedding Planner and Day Of Wedding Coordinator for Georgia and Alabama | Atlanta | Birmingham | Montgomery | Auburn | Mobile | Dallas | Ft. Worth

StressLess Views and other TidBits

Gluten-Free Food and Fun

%d bloggers like this: