Friday, June 4, 2010

Gluten Free Cheese Ravioli for Lunch

We tried a new product in our lunches.  Gluten Free Ravioli.  It was really good.  I added some sauce and put it in a thermos for them. 

This is their lunch.  Cheese Ravioli, Cashews, Strawberries, Cinnamon Muffin and a peanut butter thumbprint cookie for snack time.

And here it is all packed and ready to go.

Enjoy Life's New Allergen Suvival Guide

I just received a Facebook post from Enjoy life with a link to their online Allergen Survival Guide.  It's a great tool to use for people new to this lifestyle as well as for family trying to integrate their food choices with your needs. 

Enjoy Life Allergen Survival Guide

To your health... Gluten Free


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Pizza Crust

I received an e-mail from King Arthur Flour that showed beautiful images of a gluten free pizza crust recipe.  It looked so good!  So I decided to make it for supper last night since it was just the kids and I for dinner.  I have included images of my outcome.  We used a 12 in pizza pan.  If I make this again I will use less dough.  The dough was extremely crispy and with it being so thick it was difficult to cut through and chew.  I think thin and crispy would have been perfect.  But the texture was great.  I don't have access to King Arthur Flour here in Michigan so I used their flour mixture recipe.

If you are interested in trying this recipe here is a link to the King Arthur Blog where you can find all the details.  This recipe is egg free but not dairy free.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

School Lunches

I thought I would share a quick post about school lunches. This is one thing I really hate making. Especially this time of year. It's hot and the kids don't feel like eating a lot. So here is today's *menu*. We use the Bento Laptop Lunch system. We also have the Bento Buddies. The lunch on the left is my son's. His lunch includes strawberries/blueberries, trail mix, applesauce spice bread, pretzels and a cheese stick. My daughter's lunch has strawberries/blueberries, honey roasted peanuts, buttered gluten free applesauce spice bread and cheese cubes.
The Applesauce bread is from Paula Deen and I used Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix flour blend for the flour. It turned out really good!! Very moist.
And now it's time to start breakfast. I think we will have pancakes.
To your health.....gluten free.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What a GF Warehouse looks like....

I posted in my last blog entry that I kept a warehouse of stuff on hand. I wasn't kidding and just to prove it I thought I would share some pictures now that my DH organized them after a family member did a Trader Joes run for me yesterday. Now when our garden gets going all I will have to buy is meat at the butcher, pick up our milk at the farm, fruit from the farmers market and run to the health food store for eggs. I love the summer months!

Ok, so call me nuts..... but groceries are taken care of for a few months now. With the kiddo's home that is the last thing I want to have to do with them. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gluten Free on a Budget

"How can I afford to go gluten free?" is the lament I often hear. So day after day goes by and the people who need to remove gluten from their lives the most, hedge bets that things will be OK even though that still small voice inside of them tells them...... It's time. So today's post is for all the people who struggle with budgets for food, for feeding a family of fussy children that only want cereal and PBJ's. There is life after gluten.

I went on a gluten free diet in 2004. I remember the day that the decision was made all too well. I had been at my ND's office and we were discussing my health and diet after cancer treatments. I continued to struggle with gut related problems. I took probiotics and had done a liver cleanse yet there was that underlying issue.....always present. I returned home already stressed out by the cost of medical care wondering how would I work my new diet into the family diet and then there was the budget - OH BOY! I sat at my computer screen and cried as I searched for options. How would I feed my family? Two seperate meals? Then you get sticker shock just walking into the healthfood store and perusing the GF section. $5 - 8 or more is the standard cost of a single mix item. The discouraging thing was that they didn't even taste that great either. Half the time the mixes didn't turn out well and I didn't eat them and threw them away when they were stale. So how was this helping my budget?

This is my basic flour mixture. I use it for all my cookies. There are 12 cups in this batch and each bag I buy at the Asian supermarket for .99 cents / bag. The 1 lb bags have 4 cups of flour in them so the cost to put this together is $3.00.

My toll house cookie recipe uses 2 1/4 cups. That's 19% of the total container or .57 cents for flour for cookies. Add your normal chocolate chips (Aldi's are $1.19 / bag), butter (Aldi's $1.99 4 sticks - 2 sticks in recipe $1) and a few misc items like salt, baking soda and xanthan gum (more on where to get a deal later) and for about $3.00 you have a large batch of gluten free chocolate chip cookies. Cheaper than Oreo's and better for you!

This is my basic cookie flour:

9 Cups White Rice Flour
2 Cups Potato Starch
1 Cup Tapioca Starch / Flour

If you have a Trader Joe's near you, pasta is covered. $1.99 / bag for penne, spiral and spaghetti pasta. We make the *pilgrimage* 2x year 2 1/2 hours to our closes Trader Joe's to stock up. My basement looks like a warehouse.

But if you don't have a Trader Joe's the best way to find cheap pasta is to watch and buy it by the case. I use Subscribe and Save whenever possible. This will give you an additional discount. Don't be scared to sign up your first time. You can always cancel before the next shipment if you don't like it or if you get to the point of shipment and don't need more. I have purchased bags on sale for $1.50 - $3.00 depending on the sale. Once you start buying gluten free on Amazon they will start to e-mail you with specials.

For times that you need something in between sales I have found that and offer some decent prices.

Xanthan Gum - if you aren't a huge baker this container will work well for you NOW 6 oz for $6.87 at and if you bake a lot like I do you will want the industrial size you'll want to check eBay. I just scanned it today and the best prices is $9.99 with $4.97 shipping for 2 lbs. That's about 50% less than through iHerb.

The next flour blend I make is like a pastry flour. It can be used for muffins, cakes and any other

Gluten Free Cake Flour Mix

3 Cups Brown Rice Flour
1 Cup Potato Starch (not potato flour)
1/2 Cup Tapioca Flour
1 1/2 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum

Once again the potato starch and tapioca starch can be purchased at your local Asian grocer for about .99 cents / 4 cup bag. The brown rice is a bit more difficult to get. I have started to grind my own from brown rice in my BlendTec but prior to that I purchased it from
Country Life which is local to me - but does ship UPS. I would recommend finding a local Weston Price group. They are a wealth of resources since they advocate baking and cooking from scratch.

Now for your challenge. I will follow up this blog post with more information on changing to gluten free but I need your help. I want you to submit your normal meal plan for a day and I will try to convert it with options that are gluten free and if possible include a cost to make themm. Just e-mail me

Until then. Here's to living gluten free.


Friday, April 30, 2010

Make Your Own Coconut Milk

I saw a video on Tropical Traditions website and then saw a blog post on Elana's pantry blog site about making your own coconut milk. I had purchased a very large bag of shredded coconut and needed to find a use for it. So I figured what did I have to lose. It looked easy enough. So here's what I did.

Tools Needed:

1 - Blender - I used a Blendtec (purchased a demo unit on eBay for under $300)
1 - Cheese cloth - (Bed Bath & Beyond )
1 - 1/2 gallon mason jar with lid
1 - Funnel for a wide mouth jar.
8 - cups filtered water
6 - cups shredded coconut

Heat up water to a very warm temp. I did my blending / straining in several smaller batches - about 2 cups at a time to 3 cups of water so my water amount is an estimate. There isn't a right or wrong way just try to keep about 2 parts coconut to 1 part water.
  1. Place the water and coconut in the blender and blend until very smooth.
  2. Place the mixture in the cheese cloth and twist the top of the cloth and squeeze the liquid out of it.
  3. Put the pulp back in the blender jar with another 1 - 1/2 cups of very warm water, blend and squeeze out the liquid. After this round discard the pulp.
  4. Repeat the steps above with more fresh coconut and water.

I added a little vanilla and sweetener to my coconut milk (to taste)
The milk is great to drink immediately but you will probably want to put it over ice. I put the jar in the refrigerator and the next morning it had separated - there was a large layer of coconut cream. This thrilled me because I love this part the best in the canned coconut. I put it on top of warm oatmeal.

To get it back to the milk return it to the blender and lightly blend. Don't blend too long or it will whip up like whipped cream and become very thick.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gluten Free Walrus Bread

What on earth is Walrus Bread you ask? Well, I didn't know. I only knew that I found it on Bob's Red Mill site and that it had garbanzo bean flour which I have an over abundance of. So I figured - why not?
I didn't finish this blog entry the other day because my computer locked up and the only thing it would let me do is publish the blog entry. So now I am adding the picture and will comment that this bread tasted really good, rose well but when it was done backing I had this funny very high, weird shaped bread. Not sure what causes this. But I will be trying this again. I like that there is protein instead of starch as the main ingredient.

1 cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
1-1/2 cups White or Brown Rice Flour
1/2 cup cornstarch or potato starch
3 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp Salt
2 Tb Sugar
1 Tb Yeast, Active Dry
2 Eggs, room temperature
2 Tb Vegetable Oil
1-3/4 cups Water, room temperature
1 tsp. Vinegar, room temperature

Directions (for oven instructions click on the link above to BRM site)
In a large bowl mix the first 7 ingredients together (garbanzo bean flour through yeast).

In another bowl blend together the water, eggs, oil and vinegar. Add wet ingredients to the dry mixture; blend well. Spoon bread dough into the breadmaker bucket.

Set control for basic white bread and start.
Finished loaf should be about 5 inches high.
Yield: 1-1/2 lb. loaf

Number of Servings: 12

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 12
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 175.0
Total Fat: 4.3 g
Cholesterol: 35.4 mg
Sodium: 226.4 mg
Total Carbs: 29.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.6 g
Protein: 4.8 g

Friday, March 26, 2010

Vanilla Cupcakes - Allergy Free

These are AMAZING....was the comment my daughter made when she saw me putting the final frosting and sprinkles on the top. The recipe is from the Allergen Free Baker's Handbook. I just sampled 1/2 of one. It was as my daughter said..... AMAZING. She will be taking one to her friend's birthday party tomorrow.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook Snickerdoodles

Today I tried another recipe in my new cookbook The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook (below). This is an absolutely fabulous cookbook! No nuts, eggs, dairy or gluten.

I have made the Classic Coffee Cake, Cherry Scones and now the Snickerdoodles. My children will be thrilled when they get home from school. They love cinnamon sugar and these fit the bill. If you are trying to stock your library with cookbooks that work and have yummy recipes this is a must!

To your health..... Gluten Free!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gluten Free Oat and Flax Bread

This is the very best bread yet! You would never ever, ever know this is not a wheat bread. I was playing around with some ingredients and came up with this bread. It's fun to be able to work without recipes and come up with things that have the ingredients you want.

Try this one! You won't be sorry.

In a large mixer bowl add the following ingredients together. Just dump them all in at once - that's why this is so easy!

1 Cup Brown Rice Flour
1 Cup White Rice Flour
3/4 Cup Oat Flour
1/4 Cup Tapioca Flour / Starch
1/4 Cup Ground Flax Meal
3 Tsp Xanthan Gum

1/2 Cup Milk (warm)
1 1/4 Cup Warm Water
2 Eggs
2 Tbs Sugar
3 1/2 tsp Yeast
1/2 tsp Celtic Salt
2 Tbs Oil

Place the batter in a greased bread pan and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. It should be rounded above the top of the rim of the pan. The bread will not rise too much higher when baking.

Preheat the oven to 365 degrees. You will bake this bread for 60 minutes total. Tent the bread with foil for 50 mins. In the last 10 minute remove the tin foil and let the top brown.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gluten Free Lemon and Almond Meltaways

I love Facebook! It allows me to be connected to places I never knew existed. One new link surfaced today.

This is a recipe I will be trying soon. My family loves lemon!

Gluten Free Lemon and Almond Meltaways

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Best Gluten & Dairy Free Sandwich Bread Yet

This is absolutely the best gluten free and dairy free sandwich bread I have made yet. I was playing around with various grains I had in my pantry and came up with this mixture. It rose nicely and had a great consistency. My daughter said "This is definitely an improvement." So this recipe is a keeper. I thought I would share with those of you struggling to make a good bread. It's super easy too - especially with a KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

Best Gluten & Dairy Free Bread
1 1/2 Cups White Fine Grind Rice Flour (I get mine at the Asian Food store)
1 Cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Sorghum Flour
3 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp Salt
1 Tbs Sugar
2 1/2 tsp Dry Active Yeast
Wet Ingredients
3 Eggs
1 3/4 Cup Warm Water (about 110 degrees)
Preheat oven to 175 degrees and turn off immediately when it reaches the temperature.
Mix all ingredients together in a stand mixer and let it blend for 3 mins. on medium high. Pour batter into a greased large loaf pan. Let rise in the warmed oven for 30-45 mins or until the batter is just above the top of the pan.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Take a piece of foil and "tent" it over the top of the bread for the first 45 mins. In the last 15 mins of baking (total of 60 minutes baking time) remove the foil so that the top of the bread can brown. My experience has been that my bread gets too dark and dries out if not covered for 3/4 of the baking time.
Remove from oven and cool. Slice and enjoy!
To your health.....gluten free!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Oatmeal Maple Gluten Free Bread - Living Without

I love making new breads and this one is no exception. It tasted so good. The oats really made the bread have a not so gluten free taste. I recommend this. It makes a very dense and flavorful bread. I did not use Maple Syrup. I used Agave Nectar.

Here is the recipe from the Living Without Magazine - Oatmeal Maple Gluten Free Bread.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cherry Oat Scones - Allergy Free

I found a video of Cybele Pascal making Cherry Oat Scones and they looked easy enough to make. Wow where they good. They were easy so don't be scared of trying them. I shared them with others and they have raved about them too. You can watch the video here on .

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Montina Gluten Free Flour Blend

I have been seeing this flour and did a little research. It is an ancient grain that the Indians used. It is high in protein and very good for you. So I found it on and decided to try it.

You can find out more at the Amazing Grains website.

I tried the bread recipe on the side of the bag. It is not for the beginning bread baker and it does require a stand mixer. There are several ingredients to the bread too like powdered milk, apple cider vinegar, 3 eggs - that may not be good for allergy bakers. You must mix the contents, let it rise for 1 - 1 1/2 hours and then you put it back in the mixer and blend for 3 minutes and then you let it rise for another hour and then bake for 1 hour. So all together it is 3 1/2 to 4 hour process of mixing, rising, rising and baking.

But was it good? YES!! A lovely dense bread full of flavor. My family finished almost 1/2 of the bread in one evening.

Here are some pictures of my bread. I will be trying the flour in other recipes from the Amazing Grains website. To me it is worth the effort to have some more nutrients in my bread.

(Hint: If you click on the images below you can see the bread up close.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Going Gluten Free for 2010 - Top picks

Going gluten free is always a daunting task. With the cost of the items it is always hard to try something and then not like it. Because of this, I have been meaning to post my favorite things for cooking / baking gluten free. I have included cooking utensils, cookbooks and food items.

I just recently switched to the commercial grade baking pans and they have made a HUGE difference in how my items bake. The pans clean up better and the baked goods are more evenly baked. I bought a KitchenAid mixer when I first started really baking gluten free and have never regretted it. It is a MUST HAVE for busy mom's trying to cook gluten free. You can throw all the ingredients in the bowl and set it to mix while doing something else. I use my mixer probably 10 times a week. I am now drooling over the professional model as I increase my baking skills. I also got a grain mill that fits into it and fear that soon I will need a more powerful motor but at the time I didn't have the money to buy a larger machine.

I buy a lot of my mixes on - I use the subscribe and save function to get free shipping and a deeper discount. You can choose for them to auto ship at 1, 3, 6 month intervals.

Baking Supplies

Small & Medium OXO Cookie Scoop
SILPAT 11-5/8-by-16-1/2-Inch Nonstick Silicone Baking Mat
Chicago Metallic Commercial 18-Inch-by-13-Inch Jelly Roll Pan
Chicago Metallic Professional Mini Loaf Pan, Set of 4
Chicago Metallic Commercial Muffin Pan - 12 and 24 cup
Pyrex Glass 2-Cup Measuring Cup
Pyrex Glass 8-Cup Measuring Cup, Clear with Red Lid
Pyrex Prepware 1-Quart Measuring Cup
Norpro English Muffin Rings (4)
KitchenAid Artisan 5 Qt Stand Mixer
OvenStuff Non-Stick 12 Inch Pizza Pan Two Piece Set
Wilton Silicone Bite Sized Brownie Pan

Grains & Flours
Bob's Red Mill -
Teff, Sorghum, Oats, Garbanzo Bean (I buy from local Healthfood store)
Country Life Natural Foods - Brown Rice, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Almond Meal/flour
Asian Grocery Stores - White Rice, Sweet Rice, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch
Bob's Red Mill - Organic Coconut Flour (subscribe & save)
Rumford Baking Powder
Xanthan Gum - Now Brand, Ebay

Bob's Red Mill -
Pizza Crust Mix (subscribe & save)
Trader Joes - Brownie, Pancake / Waffle Mix
Bob's Red Mill -
Pancake Mix (subscribe & save)
Bob's Red Mill -
Brownie Mix (subscribe & save)
Pamela's Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix, 64-Ounce Bags (Pack of 3) (subscribe & save)
Pamela's Products Amazing Wheat Free & Gluten-free Bread Mix 4 Pound Bags (Pack of 3) (subscribe & save) - **Best Bread Mix!!!
Annies Gluten Free Macaroni & Cheese
Mrs Leeper's Dinners (like Hamburger & Tuna Helpers)
Pamela's Cake Mixes
Namaste Mixes (I have tried almost all and they are great!)

Other Stuff (crackers, cookies, pasta)
Glutino Crackers (subscribe & save)
Glutino Pretzels -
Lucky Vitamin, VitaCost
Tinkyada Pasta
or check out and
Trader Joes Pasta (Spaghetti, Spirals, Penne)
Sam Mills Corn Pasta
Mrs Leeper's Pasta

Cookies for Everyone by Enjoy Life
Elana's Pantry Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook
125 Best Gluten Free Recipes
The Best Gluten Free Family Cookbook
Cooking Free
Cooking with Coconut Flour: A Delicious Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Alternative to Wheat

Don't Fah-get 6.0 Qt Bread Container

I think that covers it. I'll add more if I think of it. But these are the things that will help make your gluten free baking experience easier.

To your health - gluten free in 2010.