Friday, March 29, 2013

Gluten-Free Friday: Goodbye Gluten Tortillas

I owe the discovery of Goodbye Gluten Tortillas to Hubs, who did the grocery shopping the other week and happened to spot these on one of the aisles - not in the freezer section, which is pretty unusual for GF grain products like tortillas.

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When I got home and spotted them on the counter, I picked them up and was immediately surprised by how pliable they felt.  They actually felt like real flour tortillas!  I was very eager to try them out, and made a quesadilla the next day.

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First taste test was a huge success!  Quesadillas were one of my favorite go-to snacks in my former life and I miss them so much.  These tortillas are so huge (burrito size) that just one makes a pretty big and filling quesadilla.

Next up, I tried it with a fajita.

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This attempt, while attractive, was not quite so successful - I am not used to eating fajitas on such a jumbo tortilla, so it was a bit hard to hold.  And while I did nuke it for a few seconds to make them even more pliable than they already were, it wasn't quite as convincingly authentic as when I had it in a quesadilla.  I think that browning/crisping it really helps.  Don't get me wrong, it was still pretty good and I enjoyed every bite, but you could tell it was gluten free.  Think I'll stick to eating my fajita meat and veggies with rice - cheap and tasty!

Conclusion?  I'd keep buying these for the sole purpose of bringing quesadillas and the occasional sandwich wrap back into my life.  They're pricey, as is expected for every GF specialty product, but I think they're a bit cheaper than Rudi's at $4.99 at my Publix for 6 jumbo tortillas.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blogger Recipe Success

So I haven't felt as inspired lately to come up with new recipes of my own - I just haven't had the mental energy with everything else going on at the moment.  However I have been enjoying recipes courtesy of the wonderful bloggers I follow with great results, so I thought I'd share some of those!

Cheesy Quinoa Bites from Gluten Hates Me

I clipped this recipe to my Evernote as soon as I saw it, but it took me awhile to get around to actually trying it - a lot of times if it's not for a meal, I don't make the time to cook it.  Recently though I made an overlarge batch for my overnight oats & quinoa and decided it would be a great way to use them up.

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They came out pretty darn good!  If you're a quinoa hater, this is not going to convert you (Hubs wasn't too keen on them), but I really enjoyed the new way of getting my quinoa fix.  They were pretty simple to put together (I used my food processor to grate the carrots) and while I had my doubts that they were going to stick together, they were like perfect little muffins after baking.  They also heated up really well, as I ate them over the next several days.  Definitely a great high-protein, healthy snack - thanks, Marlow!

Stovetop Popcorn from Change of Pace

This is one of the blogs I just discovered, thanks to Kristen making a comment on one of my posts.  She detailed how she makes popcorn on the stovetop in a recent post and made it sound so easy that I knew I had to try it.  Last night I was having a major craving for salt, so I popped up a batch to accompany my Once Upon a Time marathon.

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Wow.  It took the same amount of time as microwave popcorn and was so much better tasting, not to mention healthier!  Granted, there's a bit more cleanup involved, but when I think of all the icky chemicals and additives that you get with microwave popcorn, it's a no brainer.  I think my favorite part about Kristen's method was her use of coconut oil as the fat, it made my kitchen smell absolutely delicious and the popcorn had a bare hint of coconutty flavor that I found pretty addictive.

Perfect Microwave Banana Oatmeal from Fannetastic Food

I used to make this oatmeal all the time last winter, but this year it hasn't really been on my radar since south Florida doesn't really get much of a winter and I started eating more overnight oats instead.  This morning was on the chilly side, though, and I woke up with a major craving for a big warm bowl of oatmeal and immediately thought of this old favorite.

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Just as good as I remembered!  The key is the ripe banana - it melts into the oats as you microwave them, giving them a natural sweetness and a deliciously creamy texture.  I made mine with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and ground flax for extra staying power, and I topped it with fresh Florida strawberries for flavor and texture.  Other favorite additions of mine are nuts, nut butters, blueberries, and peaches.  You can go a lot of different ways with Anne's recipe as a base. 

The next blog recipe on my must-try list is I'm a Celiac's Greek Yogurt Pancakes - planning on those for Sunday breakfast this week!

Anyone else have any favorite blog recipes I should try?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

Meal PlanI know I was very quiet this past week - Hubs and I are currently in the process of buying a house down here in Florida, so I've been letting a lot of things slide.  We also skipped a couple of my planned meals last week in favor of eating out or leftovers, so lots of easy dinners and repeats this week!  I know it's going to get even crazier, as this time I'm moving while keeping up with a full-time job, so I figure lots of preparation and planning is the only way I'm going to keep my head above water.  

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Baked Chicken Breasts
  • Green Beans
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes

Thursday

  • Leftovers

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Monday, March 18, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

Meal PlanMore of the tried and true this week - the best part about sticking to stuff we have a lot means Hubs is a lot more likely to get in the kitchen and give me the night off!

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

  • Grilled London Broil
  • Green Beans
  • Mashed Potatoes

Sunday

Friday, March 15, 2013

Gluten-Free Friday: Tall Papa Breadcrumbs & Croutons

Recently the good folks over at Tall Papa reached out and offered to send me some of their breadcrumb products to try - after seeing glowing reviews on I'm a Celiac and lots of delicious-looking Instagram photos on her feed, I was eager to try them for myself!

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They not only sent three bags of different breadcrumb flavors - Italian, Cajun and Citrus Lime - they even threw in some of their brand-new croutons, which are so new they're not even on the website yet!

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These croutons are amazing - when they go up for sale, I will definitely be investing in another bag.  Perfectly seasoned and just a bit buttery, they take a salad from ho-hum to deliciously decadent.  I'll be sure to let you guys know when I see them pop up on the site.

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OK, enough teasing with the product you can't have yet - on to the breadcrumbs! I loved the fact that they are all seasoned, so you get a lot of extra flavor in your meal with no extra effort.  

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First, we tried the cajun spice flavor on some pork chops.

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We kept it very simple, just used them shake n' bake style by dipping the plain chops into the breadcrumbs and baking them.  Flavor was great, not particularly spicy but they did have a little kick.  Very enjoyable!

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Next up, I used the citrus lime in my crispy salmon cakes - lime and seafood are a classic combo, so I knew they would work well together.  

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I mixed some in and used some as the outer coating before pan frying.  The flavor was great with the salmon, and they fried up nice and golden and gave the salmon cakes a wonderful crispy exterior.  

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For the Italian flavor, I decided to use them in my mini turkey meatloaves.  

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Not necessarily the best way to see how they are on their own, but it's one of the things I use breadcrumbs in, and they did work out really well for the texture of the meat, and I loved that cheese and herbs are already mixed in.  I can't wait to try them with my gluten-free chicken parmesan recipe! 

One of the things I especially liked about the breadcrumbs, aside from the awesome flavors, is the fact that they are packaged in resealable zip top bags inside of the paper packaging, so it's easy to keep them fresh too.  

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I highly recommend giving the Tall Papa products a try if you're looking for tasty gluten-free breadcrumbs that will give you great results - you can buy them in their online store here.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Gluten-Free Crispy Salmon Cakes


Confession: for most of my life, I hated fish.  At first it was all seafood, then gradually I started eating shellfish.  It wasn't until my 20s that I actually started eating and enjoying fish - and I'm still a little picky about what types of fish I like!  Salmon was one of the first that I got on board with, but I still have trouble eating it left over.  Solution?  Crispy salmon cakes!


This is my favorite way to enjoy leftover salmon - not only does it change it up, it's a great way to stretch a piece of salmon to feed 2 people.  Bonus, it's super simple to do gluten free, since the main ingredients are salmon, potatoes and egg. 

I do use some breadcrumbs, but that's the only GF specialty product you need.  I used some tasty new breadcrumbs I recently got the opportunity to try - Tall Papa Citrus Lime breadcrumbs. I knew the moment I saw the citrus lime flavor that they'd be perfect with these salmon cakes, and I was right!



Crispy Salmon Cakes

Serves 2
























Ingredients

For the salmon cakes:
  • 1 cup shredded salmon (approx 1 4 oz fillet)
  • 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs, divided (recommended - Tall Papa Citrus Lime breadcrumbs)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for pan frying
For the sauce:
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (recommended - Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil)
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha or hot sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Directions

Combine all the salmon cake ingredients, reserving 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs, in a bowl and gently mix until combined.  Spread out the remaining breadcrumbs on a small plate. Preheat a medium skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add just enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan entirely.

Divide the salmon cake mixture into quarters and form into 4 patties, Press both sides of the patties into the breadcrumbs.  



Add patties to the hot skillet and cook until golden and crispy, approx 3 minutes per side, and remove to a paper-towel lined plate.  While the patties are cooking, whisk together the sauce ingredients.  

Serve salmon cakes over a bed of salad greens with a dollop of sauce on top of each.  I also served mine with Ore Ida French Fries on the side.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

Meal PlanI tried some new recipes this past week, but when I was meal planning this weekend I just wasn't into the idea of cooking, so I stuck to some tried and true favorites and easy meals.

Monday

  • Salmon Cakes (this is one of my own recipes, look for a post this week!)
  • Green Salad
  • Ore Ida French Fries

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

  • Chicken Sausage
  • Green Beans
  • Brown Rice

Friday

  • Turkey Mini Meatloaves
  • Broccoli
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes

Saturday

  • Beef & Broccoli
  • Brown Rice

Sunday

Friday, March 8, 2013

Gluten-Free Friday: Udi's Hamburger & Hot Dog Buns

After learning that the bun on my awesome Cheeseburger in Paradise at Margaritaville was courtesy of Udi's, I quickly sought out the buns in my local store.

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One of the major benefits of Udi's is that they have been able to become pretty mainstream, and are available in a ton of regular grocery stores.  As I now live in Vero Beach and the closest Whole Foods is over an hour away, being able to find them in my local Publix is huge!

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The burger buns are actually a decent size, and can therefore accommodate a normal 1/4 to 1/3 pound patty.  They are already split, so no cutting required, and they have a nice light texture that still holds up well to a hefty burger with no crumbling/falling apart.  They were great with this week's chicken parmesan burgers!

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At my Publix they are priced at just over $4 for a pack of 4, so they also fit well into my gluten-free grocery budget.

(Picture credit Udi’s website)

I also picked up a package of their hot dog buns while I was at it, the other week I had these bratwurst-style chicken sausages on my menu and I wanted to eat them on a real bun.  The sausages weren't all that good unfortunately, but the buns were great!  I got a little creative the next time I used them on pasta night this past weekend and whipped up some quick garlic bread.

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It's a great use for them - perfect portion size, and since they are already split all I had to do was pull them apart, slather with butter and garlic, sprinkle with grated parmesan and Italian seasoning, and pop them into the toaster for a few minutes.  

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Such a treat to get to eat bread, especially when it's accessible and affordable - thanks, Udi's!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chicken Parmesan Burgers

Last night's dinner was one of the new recipes on the meal plan for this week from the Healthy Food for Living blog.  Hubs and I both big fans of chicken parm, and I've come up with both a gluten-free version of the real thing and a 15-minute quick gluten-free version featuring Perdue GF chicken tenders.  This was a whole different experience, though, with all the flavors of chicken parm in an entirely new format - a burger!

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After enjoying Udi's gluten-free hamburger buns so much at Margaritaville, I immediately put them on my shopping list.  They are big enough for a real burger and have a pretty decent texture.  These burgers would likely have been a lot better on the ciabatta rolls the recipe calls for, but I work with what I have!  Using a gluten-free bun was the only modification the recipe needed to make it GF.

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The patties were very easy to put together, just ground chicken, tomato sauce and seasonings.  I used a tomato sauce we made from scratch this weekend, and it was a bit on the chunky side and I had a little trouble with one of the patties falling apart.  The chunks were tasty, but I recommend using a smooth sauce to make cooking easier.

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The burgers are cooked in a skillet, so no need to venture outside to the grill, so it's a good burger for cold weather months (and yes, it does get cold in Florida!  We had lows in the 30s this week).

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To bring in the flavors of chicken parm, the burgers are topped with mozzarella cheese, and the bun gets a layer of tomato sauce.

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Lauren even takes it a step further in her recipe by making the buns into garlic bread - a delicious extra touch!  For the recipe, head on over to her blog.

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We both really enjoyed these burgers, and they will definitely be appearing on our menu again.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Casserole

If you check out my Monday Meal Plan posts, you've probably noticed I make zucchini casserole a lot.  This was a recipe that I made up over this past summer when zucchini was plentiful in stores, and since moving to Florida it's been on sale pretty much every week as it's a locally in-season vegetable.  I love it because it's really easy to put together and results in a deliciously cheesy way to enjoy your vegetables!

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All I do is thinly slice zucchini (a mandolin makes it go even faster) and layer the zucchini rounds in a casserole dish with shredded cheese and a little butter, then top with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and bake.  

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Easy Cheesy Zucchini Casserole

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Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • Salt & pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Thinly slice zucchini about 1/4 inch thick - I like to use my mandolin.  Lightly spray a small baking dish with cooking spray and cover bottom of dish with zucchini rounds.  Sprinkle with half the cheese and 1 tbsp of the butter, cut into small pieces.  Add a second layer of zucchini rounds and top with remaining cheese and butter, then sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, until golden and crispy on top.  Serve immediately.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

Meal PlanI planned mostly super-easy meals this week, but tossed in a couple new recipes for a little variety.  Making meals has started to feel like a chore lately, and I find that trying something new really helps me get out of that slump!

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

  • NY Strip Steak
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Broccoli

Sunday

Friday, March 1, 2013

Gluten-Free Friday: Three Bakers Stuffing Mix

Last week I reviewed the Three Bakers' Hoagie Rolls, which were awesome.  This week I've got a product that's not quite as common in the GF specialty aisle - stuffing!

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I knew when I spotted the Stuffing Mix on the Three Bakers website that I really wanted to try it, and I was so happy when they granted my request and included a box in my package.  Hubs and I enjoyed stuffing so much that we used to have Stove Top at least once a month, but obviously that was off the menu after going gluten free.  I've made homemade stuffing on Thanksgiving the last two years, but it's quite a process for everyday weeknight cooking.

The Three Bakers Stuffing Mix was just as easy to make - just boil water, stir in stuffing mix, and let it sit for a few minutes to absorb.  

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There are also instructions for baking it in the oven afterwards, which I'm going to try next time, but we were short on time so I served it immediately.  The texture was great, not dry or crumbly at all.  The herb flavor was potent, so there was no need to jazz it up with fresh herbs or anything like that to give it enough flavor.  Definitely my new go-to choice for stuffing!

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Bonus - the box is a full 8 servings, so we only made half the box and had enough for two generous portions, plus leftovers.  

Check out their store locator to see where you can find Three Bakers products near you, or you can buy them online.

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