Gluten-Free


I know I haven’t written in ages – longer than ages even.  For some reason despite my best intentions, I just never seemed to be able to get myself to write with enough regularity for my liking.

Earlier this year, I decided to switch things up and start a Mommy Product Review blog.  I’m consistently posting, reviewing products and actually working to generate a readership (yay me!).  But that means that this blog has been entirely neglected – more than usual.

As this adventure has progressed, I found that as much as I love Mommy blogging, I do miss food blogging, but since I don’t go it with enough regularity to warrant maintaining two blogs, I decided to incorporate gluten-free living into my Mommy Blog.

So, without further adieu, I would like to introduce you to my Mommy blog, The Momma Stuff Blog.

There isn’t tons of food posts (yet), but there will be.  The blog is evolving and I’m finding my niche, in fact I had to post here, just so I could direct you to my newest post all about gluten-free cookies.  I seriously made the best gluten-free cookies yet; Gluten-Free Oatmeal Chip Cookies and depending on your fat and your chocolate chips, it would be super easy to make these bad boys dairy free as well.

You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook these days – I hope you’ll drop by and visit me in my new home!!

I’m fortunate enough to have a job where I get “earned time off”or ETO days, which for me means that I get an extra day off every other week.  Today was my ETO, and I was busy all day.  It wasn’t until after my son went to bed that I finally rested, so it barely felt like a day off.  Except of course that I got to spend the day with my little man.

My day started around 6:30 when my son woke up, at 7am I got out of bed and went downstairs to make breakfast, since I’d slept in an extra half an hour and Cole was happily playing in his bed, I made mini blueberry-pancakes for breakfast.  Yummy, Cole liked them too.

At naptime I made pumpkin butter; I wasn’t totally sure what to expect, but I feel like Cole’s getting bored of his food and pumpkin is a great source of fibre and vitamin A so I figured it was worth a shot.  It was so easy to make and at first I thought it tasted  little too much of honey but once it cooled down it was amazing.  I think I have found a new must-have item for my fridge.  It tastes a bit like pumpkin pie and is delicious on toast, crackers, yogurt.  Mmm.  Seriously, Mmmm.

For lunch, I decided to try Pasta Wee-One for my little guy, but I didn’t have any sun-dried tomatoes, so I added broccoli instead.  It didn’t go over so well, he likes all the ingredients separately, but the truth is that he’s been and continues to be, a little bit sick so I may have been pushing my luck giving him two new things at one meal, since I also gave him the pumpkin butter, which he seemed to like.

After lunch we went to Costco then it was naptime again; this time Imade baby fishsticks and lentil loaf, both of which are favourites of Cole.  No wonder I bought a rotisserie chicken for my dinner, I was pooped from cooking for Cole all day.

So today, I would like to share my gluten-free fishstick recipe; although it may seem a little time consumptive to dip your fish 3 times to coat it, I promise you, its worth it.  It keeps the fish from getting soggy when you bake it.  Feel free to add extra seasoning to the rice flour to mix things up.  I’d like to try smoked paprika and chipotle for myself, plain  salt and pepper, Italian or lemon pepper seasoning whatever your tastes.  You can also add Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs, but my Cole doesn’t tolerate dairy all that well, so I leave it out where I can.  Sorry I don’t have a picture of the cooked fishsticks – Cole’s always chomping at the bit when they come out of the toaster oven.

Gluten-Free Baby fishsticks

Baby Fish Sticks

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces Cod Fillet, boneless
  • 3/4 cup Rice Flour (sweet rice flour will also work)
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp (Rice) Milk
  • 3/4 cup Gluten-Free breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Cut fish into strips, I make mine about 10cm thick.
  2. Setup 3 bowls, in the first pour the rice flour (you could also add seasoning, salt, pepper, italian etc) , in the second bowl whisk together egg yolk and rice milk, in the third place the breadcrumbs.
  3. Dip fish in rice flour, shake off excess.
  4. Dip coated fish in egg mixture.
  5. Dip fish in breadcrumbs.
  6. Place the fish on a tray sprayed with non-stick spray.
  7. Freeze fish overnight, then store in a ziploc until ready to use.
  8. On eating day, bake fish from frozen in (toaster) oven at 375F for 10-12 minutes, flipping once, fish should flake a little bit when you bend your fishstick.
  9. Allow to cool slightly and serve.

My co-worker asked me twice if I had seen the news about a drug for Celiac’s before I remembered to look online.

The short story is that a new drug, Lazarati will apparently allow those with Celiac’s to eat gluten without having any reaction, by preventing the intestine from getting damaged.  The article notes that Lazarati is not meant as a cure, but rather as a means to “ingest small amounts of gluten without fear of falling ill.”

I would be skeptical of a so-called cure, but since I already use digestive enzymes, which seems to help when I eat suspect foods, the idea of a drug that allows for small indiscretions actually sounds like a pretty nice deal to me.  What do you think?

Read the full article here.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been awaiting an opportunity to try a number of recipes from Living Without Magazine.  I have had fresh pasta exactly twice since going Gluten-Free and both were delicious.  First, I had homemade corn pasta at Cafe DeVille in Edmonton, AB and second I had homemade rice pasta at Pagliacci’s in Victoria, BC ever since then, I have wanted to try and make my own.

I followed the instructions for Gluten-Free Handmade Pasta exactly as they are listed, using the flax seed egg replacement (so that I could share with my little man who doesn’t eat egg whites yet), however I didn’t have the patience to go over to my parents to borrow their pasta maker.  Instead, after reading a bunch of ravioli recipes, I decided to divide the dough and roll it out as thin as possible using a rolling pin between pieces of saran wrap.  This worked reasonably well, but I need a LOT of extra cornstarch to ensure the dough didn’t stick and to be able to transfer it to parchment paper.

I rolled each piece into an elongated rectangle and then placed 3-4 teaspoons of filling (depending how well I rolled the pasta) in a row along the pasta sheet, dabbed watered down egg yolk around each dollop of filling and then folded the dough over, gently pressing the dough together.  I did not use a fork or anything fancy to mark the edges, I just used my fingertips and the dough stayed together well through the cooking process.

The end result was delicious, if a bit chewy, however I’m pretty sure that if I had rolled my pasta thinner using a pasta machine that chewiness may not have been an issue.  I’m also positive that the ravioli was delicious and as good as I could have hoped for considering that it was my first attempt EVER to make pasta.  I did have to cook the pasta for a good 15 minutes, flipping the ravioli a few times, which is considerably longer than I expected based on the recipe citing the noodles would cook within a few minutes.

All in all, a good recipe and a delicious meal…and my little boy liked it too!!  Good luck making pasta, I hope yours also turns out great.

As for filling, I decided to make my own up, here’s what I used:

  • 1/2 pound lean ground turkey
  • ~3 oz of frozen chopped spinach (defrosted)
  • ~1/4 onion diced fine
  • 3/4 of a 500g package of feta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp goat cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Brown the turkey over medium heat, until no longer pink.
  2. Add onion and chopped spinach, and ook until the onions have softened and the turkey is fully cooked.
  3. Remove meat mixture from heat and stir in the cheeses (I had goat cheese on hand and it really helped hold everything together, you could also add one egg yolk.)
  4. Use to fill your homemade ravioli and enjoy!!

ps. I also used the leftover filling on a pizza!! Yum yum!

A while back I discovered a copy of  “Living Without” magazine at my local London Drugs, I can’t always seem to find it, but when I do I always throw it in my basket and bring it home. Living Without is not just for us Gluten-Free folks, its for all of us who have to live without, whether your vice is dairy, soy, rice, corn, there seems to be a little bit of something for everyone.

The magazine included informative articles, including one on new research for Celiac’s Disease and an article for teens coping with Celiac’s.  The articles were well written and informative, the ads in the magazine all looked delicious and edible to me, not to mention the plethora of recipes, flour blends, egg substitutions and a substantial list of gluten-containing foods.

A couple of the recipes that caught my eye included:

  • GF Handmade pasta (this is what I used to make the ravioli I alluded to yesterday)
  • GF Soft Pretzels (mmm…this may have been one of my last gluten-full snacks back when I always felt sick)
  • GF Baguettes (Only two hours until I have a baguette in hand, sounds pretty good to me!)
  • GF Morning Pastries (I never really liked Pop Tarts, but these still have some appeal!)

Anyways, my point is, keep your eyes open and if you see LIVING WITHOUT Magazine have a quick peruse – personally, I was ecstatic to find a gluten-free magazine on my local store shelfs!

I have to admit, I’m dissapointed by my bread-making endeavour.  I can’t say with certainty however, that my failure is a result of the recipe, in fact I highly doubt that is the case.  You see when the timer beeped, indicating I should check on the bread, check the internal temperature, feel and sound, I was upstairs putting the baby to bed.

My sister kindly turned off the timer and removed the bread from the oven.  By the time I emerged 15 minutes later, it was too late to put the bread back in the oven and so I waited, unsure exactly what the result was going to be.

The bread was dense, a bit moist in the middle and now, a day later its a bit like a rock.  I’m still going to try making pizza with the other half of the dough, and should that turn out, I will likely try the bread again.  I know its not the recipes fault, but I can’t help feeling sad about the whole debacle.  On the plus-side, I made gluten-free ravioli today for the first time and I think it turned out quite well – more on that later!

I have made many loaves of Gluten-Free bread over the last few years, a few flops and a few successes, though none have been spectactular. None have blown my socks off and given me the flavour and texture that I was really hoping for; the flavour and texture of delicious gluten that is.

Once I discovered the absolutely delicious potato bread from the 6th Ave Bread and Deli, I stopped making bread. I’m pretty sure I haven’t made gluten-free bread in close to a year; I just haven’t seen a recipe that sparked my interest enough to be worth making, when I could just eat the stockpile of Potato bread I regularly keep in my freezer.

This weekend, I found Shauna’s post on Gluten-Free Crusty Boule Bread, and it looks delicious and easy to make. This recipe is from the new book “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” which apparently has an entire gluten-free section, all of which is touted to be delicious. The recipe can also be found on the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Blog complete with pictures of each step (note that the recipe is doubled compared to Shauna’s on ABin5).  The recipe recommends a dutch oven (which I don’t have), so I am going to try the preheated pizza stone method (as described in Shauna’s post).

Now Shauna’s praise and pictures MAY have been enough to win me over, but the promise that the dough can be kept in the fridge for a week and can be used to make pizza crust, naan and even pitas. Now I had to try this bread.

I’m making a half batch (Shauna’s quantities), and am planning on a loaf of bread and some pizza. I do love my GF yeast free pizza crust, but the pictures (and comments) on the ABin5 blog practically made me drool with anticipation. I’m not sure what toppings will be going on the pizza, but at least I know I’ll have a week to make it, so there’s no need to rush (though I anticipate pizza on the menu for tomorrow!!).

For the record, I was able to throw this recipe together and wash up the dishes in about 10 minutes (seriously super fast), which is likely to be a very positive feature of this recipe if it lives up to the hype.  Mommy’s going back to work and time is going to become even more of a hot commodity.

The bread is rising as we speak – I’m so excited!
Happy Baking.

Although I have been finding myself inspired to cook a lot lately, it has primarily been for my little guy who eats like a horse. He wants to feed himself more and more, but I also want to make sure that he is getting enough nutrition and well-balanced meals. I recently discovered Weelicious, which is an amazing website full of great recipes and food ideas, many of which are naturally gluten-free.

I made a variation on this Red Lentil Puree, omitting the salt, using only curry powder for spice and using carrot puree from my freezer that Cole won’t eat on its own and it has already become a quick favourite around our house. I wasn’t sure if he would go for the curry taste, but I need not have worried!

I made some Edamame Hummus, which was delicious and Cole didn’t seem to mind, however when she says one SMALL garlic clove, I should have paid more attention. I used a large one and it turned out a bit more garlicky than intended – I think I might try a half a clove next time.

I made Creamy Rice Pudding, but opted to make it in the rice cooker instead of on the stove. I used 1/2 a cup of coconut milk (I had leftover from a marinade) and 3 cups of rice milk instead of regular milk and added a 1/4 tsp of cinnamon while the rice was cooking. It turned out delicious and tasty, though I think it may still be a bit thick for Cole’s liking. This morning I thinned it out with some mashed bananas and a little bit of formula and Cole happily gobbled it up! I’m also keeping the Leftover Rice Pudding recipe on hand, as I’m sure it will come in useful sometime in the near future.

Other Weelicious Recipes I want to try out soon include:

It’s hard for me to believe that my son is almost 10 months old, I will have to return to work in less than two months, and as my husband says, everything will change AGAIN. My little man is now grasping at independence, including when it comes to eating. He wants to feed himself, though he does allow me to shovel in spoonfuls of food between bites, provided its something that he likes/wants. Unfortunately, as most parents know it is difficult to find finger foods that my guy can pick up and eat, that are safe for him to eat, that he likes and that are nutritious.

He likes to eat pasta with sauce, meatloaf, chunks of chicken, sweet potato fries, cheese, pears, bananas (sometimes), gluten-free cheerios, mum-mum crackers, avocado, gluten-free toast, rice cakes, natural baked white cheddar cheesies and I’m sure at least a few other things that I can’t think of right now.

Of course I continue to make him baby foods (much thicker and chunkier nowadays) and I have been searching the internet for recipes and ideas that might suit our needs. He really likes the fruited jello (last recipe, scroll all the way down) – I think I’m going to make it with blueberry puree next time instead of plain applesauce. I’ve also tried making meatballs with rice cereal to thicken it (he didn’t care for those too much, but I’m going to try cooking them in pasta sauce (which he loves) and have a feeling that might have better success.

Then for some reason last night I had a thought, MORNING GLORY MUFFINS they have some protein (from the Quinoa), vegetables (zucchini and carrots) and not too much sugar. This morning I got to work and was super happy with the results.

I made a few changes, namely:

  • I used the 1/2 cups of white sugar the recipe called for, but no brown sugar
  • I replaced the 3 eggs with, 2 egg yolks, 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup warm water mixed with 2 Tbsp ground flax (allow this to sit for at least 5 minutes before using, it should get goopy)
  • I used the flour mixture in my post (less quinoa than the whole foods recipe)
  • I used cornstarch instead of potato starch (because I was out of potato starch, though I prefer it to cornstarch – either would do)
  • I omitted the walnuts and orange juice
  • I used chopped craisins instead of raisins (I like craisins better and they are related to blueberries which my little guy loves)
  • I used a pear instead of an apple (combined with the applesauce egg replacement these are plenty sweet enough without the extra sugar)

I baked these mini muffins at 355 F for 17 minutes (yield 3.5 dozen mini muffins), until the muffins were golden and a toothpick inserted came out clean. They are delicious and my little guy seemed to like them – now Mom must refrain herself from eating them all herself!

I have a lot of things to write about – a lot of meals I have made and a lot of meals I have eaten.  I have traveled to Asia with minimal stomach issues and I enjoyed a delicious Christmas Dinner, including gluten-free stuffing the entire family enjoyed and gluten-free desserts.

Right now however, time is precious.  My husband is giving our son a bottle and hoping to coerce him back to sleep, but I may be called up at any moment.

This Christmas I was thrilled to recieve Gluten Free Betty Crocker mixes for both cookies and brownies.  Though I know there are many mixes out there (which I rarely use), I am excited to hear that a mainstream company like Betty Crocker is now producing Gluten-Free products.  I have yet to try the mixes (I’ve only had them a day), but when I do I will let you know how they fare.

I always wonder how why these huge companies don’t jump on the gluten-free bandwagon, they surely have enough money to be able to chance it on a new product in a niche market.  I guess these issues need to hit close to home; right on the side of the box it explains why they decide to try out gluten-free.

Not long ago, two of our co-workers found themselves in the gluten free world. Linc was diagnosed with Celiac disease, and Colleen’s family switched to the diet for her son’s well-being.

Their experiences opened our eyes to the challenges families face following the diet. It’s hard to be different, especially when it affects sweet moments with friends and family. No one wants to miss sharing a birthday cake or see their child have to turn down a homemade cookie from a buddy after a game.

We hope we can help by bringing you these mixes for gluten free desserts that look and taste like the treats you’ve been longing to share. Finally, Betty Crocker® Gluten Free!

-The Betty Crocker Baking Team

My mother-in-law bought me these mixes on a recent trip to the states, and I have yet to seem them here in Canada though I am hopeful they will appear soon.  Anyone else tried them? Or seen them in Canada?

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