All Posts tagged gluten free

It’s Summer Time! Let’s make some REAL pasta (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free)

It’s Summer Time! Let’s make some REAL pasta (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free)

After a cool start to the season, it’s finally feeling hot and humid – a sure sign that the Chicago summer has arrived!  I’m enjoying the tastes of the season though missing last summer when I worked on an urban farm (on Uncommon Ground’s rooftop in Edgewater). Life doesn’t get much better when your office is a garden! Whole Foods

Working on the farm provided constant motivation to eat seasonally, and one of my favorite summertime foods is zucchini! As a gluten-free girl who’s also focused on avoiding processed and packaged foods as often as possible, I love using zucchini to make NOODLES!

Making zucchini noodles takes little time…just a few minutes for prep and sautéing and you’re done! An added bonus – you’ll feel good about choosing a healthy whole-food alternative to the starchy packaged noodles you usually prepare when craving pasta.

Though zucchini noodles obviously don’t taste exactly like wheat or brown rice pasta, I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised by their texture. Use them as you would regular pasta — you can add your favorite pasta dish ingredients – chicken, pine nuts and other veggies – then top with pesto or marinara sauce. Pasta night will still be pasta night, just slightly different. But hey…different is FUN!

Want to give zucchini noodles a shot? Check out this great how-to video by Jennifer Connor Fitness. (And by the way, if you’re craving pesto but need a dairy-free version, try this recipe by Danielle Walker of Against All Grain)

 

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Cilantro Pesto for Two (Gluten, Dairy and Nut Free)

Cilantro Pesto for Two (Gluten, Dairy and Nut Free)

This pesto is a nice alternative to basil pesto and tastes great on top of chicken and brown rice. Tastes great with a side of black beans too! Great for summer – it’s light and fresh with a citrusy undertone. For those of you avoiding pesto because of the nuts, this recipe calls for sunflower seeds instead! Free of dairy, gluten and nuts. Enjoy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup (shelled) sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1 lime
  • sea salt (to taste)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in food processor. Pulse until ingredients are well combined and to your preferred texture. (I prefer a less creamy pesto, so keep the processing to only a few seconds).

Looking to incorporate more healthy recipes like this into your  food routine? Not sure how to get started? Contact me to schedule an introductory health coaching session and we’ll create your next steps!

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Vegan chipotle bean burgers

Vegan chipotle bean burgers

Chipotle  Bean Burgers (Vegan)

Need a break from meat?  Lighten it up with meat-free options like these vegan chipotle bean burgers. Serve with a side of greens or a homemade sweet potato fries.

This recipe makes 6 patties

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 c broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 c peas
  • 1/4 c white mushrooms, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce (use gluten-free tamari for GF version)
  • 1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 c red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 GF quick cook oats
  • 1/4 c whole wheat flour (use almond flour for GF version)
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder (add more for spicier burger)
  • 1-2 tbsp oil, for cooking (coconut or grape seed are good options)

Directions:


  1. In large mixing bowl, combine beans, broccoli, peas and mushrooms. Mash with potato masher or large spoon
  2. Add soy sauce and vinegar. Mix well.
  3. Next add peppers, walnuts, rice, oats, almond flour and chipotle powder. Mix until you have a mushy consistency.
  4. Form patties. Don’t make them too thick.
  5. Heat oil on medium in large pan on stovetop.
  6. Cook patties until lightly brown on both sides.
  7. Enjoy!

Looking to incorporate more healthy recipes like this into your  food routine? Not sure how to get started? Contact me to schedule an introductory health coaching session and we’ll create your next steps!

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Crispy Baked Chicken Legs

Crispy Baked Chicken Legs

This month I welcome guest author, Tiffany Hinton, whose blog Gluten Free Mom Certified inspires moms everywhere to make delicious and nutritious gluten-free meals for their families. Today, Tiffany shares her most recent kitchen creation – crispy baked chicken legs!

Ingredients:
3-4 lbs chicken drumsticks or wings
1 tbs marjoram
2 tbs oregano
1 1/4 tsp smoked salt
1 1/2 tbs garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp dried chipotle ground
1 GF chicken boulin cube, crushed
2 tbs oil

Instructions:
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken in a large bowl, with all the spices, and then drizzle with 2 tbsp oil. Cover chicken completely with paste. Line a baking pan with foil; top with a wire rack. Arrange chicken legs out in a single layer. While the chicken legs are baking, oil will slowly drip to the bottom of the baking pan. Bake chicken legs until cooked through and skin is crispy, about 45-50 minutes. Rotate wings half way through – roughly 20 minutes. Rotate drumsticks and cook additional 30 minutes. Remove and serve with yogurt sauce or African pepper sauce.

About Tiffany Hinton
Tiffany started blogging in June of 2010, while going through treatments for fertility. Like many others, she struggled to talk about her experience, leading to an online journal for sharing emotions and heart. Following the birth of her first child she began to share gluten-free substitutes for her favorite family recipes on her blog, GFmomcertified.com. After three children in just three years, gluten free coking has become a necessity. Discovering she was not alone in the challenge to feed a gluten-free family opened the path to writing Gluten Free Mom Certified. She creates and shares recipes each week on her blog to help GF mothers meet the challenge of GF cooking.

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Gluten-Free Labeling in Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Mariano’s

Gluten-Free Labeling in Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Mariano’s

 

Whole Foods Market
I recently submitted questions to each of the mainstream grocery stores in my area (north side of Chicago – Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Mariano’s) where I frequently do my grocery shopping to determine what their in-store Gluten-Free labeling really means. As you may or may not know, currently there are no FDA regulations in place that require a food manufacturer to prove a food is really gluten free (i.e., contains less than 20 PPM) even if it is labeled as such. There’s good news though – the FDA passed a new rule in 2013 that will go into place in August 2014 that will make this a requirement. (You can learn more about the labeling law on the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness website). In the meantime, we should all know what these stores’ policies are in relation to the foods they label as gluten-free in their stores.

Here’s the question I submitted to each store:

I’m gluten-free (by medical necessity) and I’m curious how your gluten-free labeling works. I’ve noticed some of your packaged foods are labeled with a “gluten-free” sign. As you probably are aware, right now there are no FDA regulations in place that require a food manufacturer to prove a food is really gluten free (i.e., contains less than 20 PPM). The FDA passed a new rule that will go into place in August 2014 that makes this a requirement. Can you tell me if the foods in your stores marked with the signs fit within the “less than 20 PPM” category” (therefore most likely certified by an accredited agency like GIG) or if they just mirror what’s on the label, which wouldn’t necessarily mean it was GF at this point in time.

Here are the responses I received:

Whole Foods Market

From Whole Foods:

Thank you for contacting us about in-store “gluten free” labeling. Our policy is to only make in-store “gluten free” claims via shelf tags, signage, etc. for products that have been reviewed and approved by the Global Quality Standards Team. Our position is that a Gluten Free claim should mean that the gluten level in the product is below 20 ppm, and that any Gluten Free product claims should be substantiated by quality assurance and testing protocols that verify the gluten level.

We also have a store specific Gluten Free Shopping list that is continuously updated and only contains products that have been approved and are available in our store. For your convenience I’ve inserted the link that will take you to the online Halsted Gluten Free Shopping list. If you like we can gladly print out a copy for you the next time you’re in the store.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/service/gluten-free-products-list?store=6563

Please feel free to contact us directly if you have any other questions or concerns

From Trader Joe’s:

Hi Joy,

Thanks for the inquiry. All of our products labeled with the words “Gluten-Free” have been laboratory tested to meet the required 20ppm or less per serving. The “No Gluten Ingredients Used” List is for products that are made WITHOUT gluten, but have not been tested for ppm.

You may call us at 626.599.3817 with any questions you have.

From Mariano’s: Note – I have not received a definitive response from Mariano’s yet but did receive a phone call within 24 hours of my request letting me know they are looking into it. I will update this post when once I receive their response. 

 

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Teach your kids to eat healthy foods, part 2

Teach your kids to eat healthy foods, part 2

Last month I joined forces with Karen Orlich, CEO of k.o. kidz, a green-living and organic lifestyle company, to compile some of the best tips (mom and kid tested!) to help you empower your kids to engage in healthy eating. Our tips included “encourage and reinforce” and “hosting ‘Lazy Suzan’ dinners”  This month we’re at it again with even more tips!

Tip # 3: Have some fun at the grocery store with Grocery Store Games!

Getting our kids to eat healthy foods can feel like a chore, and so can grocery shopping! Yet it’s important we do both, so why not combine the two and make your next trip to the market both fun for the kids and an outing you can feel good about as a parent?

Yes, we know, it’s not always easy to keep your child calm in a crowded grocery store. But then again, it’s important to not disengage them from the process completely…kids need to learn about food!

So, rather than placing your child in the cart and handing him/her a box of cookies to snack on while you hurry through the store, think about the grocery store as a learning environment full of COLORS, PLANTS and READING materials! (It’s also a great place to learn manners when interacting with store employees!) It’s with this point of view you can challenge your child to engage in foods and learn about what’s healthy and what’s not. Try these games out the next time you’re at the store:

Search for the Colors of the Rainbow: Bring a picture of a rainbow to the store and ask your child to find fruits or vegetables for two or three (or all!) colors of the rainbow. With this game, teach your children that a healthy diet is a colorful diet. The more colors, the better!Organic Produce

Count the Ingredients: As Michael Pollan reminds us, when we shop for packaged foods, it’s important to choose options with minimal ingredients (he suggests 5 ingredients or less). For kids who can count or are learning, ask them to count the ingredient labels on food packages. If there are more than 5, ask them to put it back and then explain why. (As your kids learn  to read, you can also challenge them to search for unhealthy ingredients like “sugar”, “high fructose corn syrup” or “trans fat”).

Tip #4: Make the ‘Common’ Foods Healthy

This is a great way to transition your kids to healthier eating.  It’s helpful (and fun!) to include them in the food preparation while also teaching them what ‘healthy’ really means.

Gluten Free PizzaPersonal Pizzas: Pizzas can be made from 100% whole wheat (always check the label for ‘whole’ wheat) sandwich rounds or tortillas (for a gluten-free version, check out Amy’s GF sandwich rounds or use 100% corn tortillas) with grilled onions, peppers, tomatoes, etc.  Or, simply bake (we use our toaster oven) the veggies on the bread with tomato sauce.  Olive oil with fresh basil and/or oregano is a delicious alternative to tomato sauce and herbs can be cut from a plant grown in your kitchen or garden.

Hot Dogs: The all American classic!  Unfortunately, traditional hot dogs are loaded with sodium and fat.  Try Applegate Organic Turkey hot dogs, rated #1 turkey dog by Health magazine.  Avoid the salt and high fructose corn syrup, store-bought versions and have the kid help make homemade ketchup (and relish!) with these easy, 15 minute or less recipes from Wellness Mama and Eating Well.

Macaroni & Cheese: The ultimate comfort food for all ages.  Have you looked at the chemical additives and preservatives in that powdered cheese pack?  We know – you’re busy and don’t have time to make your own cheese sauce.  Au contraire!

Start with GF organic brown rice pasta (for gluten-free version) or whole wheat macaroni (yes, your kids will eat it!). Grab a block of fresh organic cheese, cut into thin slices, and add to cooked, drained, warm macaroni (or any small pasta noodle) in pot.  Add light coating of olive oil and mix well with pasta.  Broccoli (or other veggies) can also be added to the pasta for flavor and an added health kick.  We stand the broccoli up to make ‘trees’ and ‘stumps’ in the macaroni ‘field’.  It’s ok to let kids play with their food once in a while if it helps get them to eat it, right?!

Dessert: Every kid wants DESSERT!  So choose tasty alternatives like:

Greek yogurt (double the protein of regular) with fresh fruit, applesauce, baked apple with cinnamon and raisins (core apple, fill with cinnamon and raisins, add 2-3 tablespoons of water to microwave-safe bowl, and ‘bake’ in the microwave until soft), or fruit smoothies (easy to mix in veggies and the kids won’t even know it).  Try one of these recipes from delish.comGF Dessert

We also discovered several websites with recipes for homemade fruit and nut bars (similar to Larabars, which are great GF treat!)  These are a great substitute for brownies and cookies!  An extensive recipe list can be found here.  Delicious and nutritious!  Yum!!

Do you have any tips to share? Like these suggestions? Would love to hear from you! Send me a tweet or post to my Facebook page!

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Veggie-Loaded Gluten-Free Meatloaf Muffins

Veggie-Loaded Gluten-Free Meatloaf Muffins

Who doesn’t LOVE meatloaf, especially when it’s gluten-free and loaded with veggies? This gluten-free meatloaf recipe is great for a family dinners or a night in with friends.  Serve it with a side of mixed greens and sautéed mushrooms. No one will ever know it’s gluten-free, so don’t be worried about serving it to your gluten-loving friends!

Ingredients:

1 Lb 85% or 90% lean ground beef (I prefer grass-fed)
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1/4 cup fresh broccoli, chopped finely
1/2 pepper, diced  (any color is fine)
2 tbsp gluten-free worcester sauce (Lee & Perrins is great option)
2 eggs
3/4 cup cooked brown rice
2 tbsp dried oregano
1/4 cup spicy catsup, plus a little extra to top off muffins (you can use regular catsup if you don’t want these spicy)
Salt and pepper to taste

Note: If you’d like a sugar-free version, leave out the worcester sauce and replace the catsup with unsweetened catsup or tomato paste. 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients  in a large bowl – make sure to mix them well together. Grease muffins cups with oil (I use coconut oil) and then fill each cup to the top with the meatloaf mixture. Use your extra catsup to top off each muffin.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until muffins reach a temperature of at least 160 degree.

Serve and enjoy to your gluten-free dinner guests!

 Photo by Adamphoto and found at http://freerangestock.com/details.php?gid=&sgid=&pid=2891

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Garlic Lover’s Hummus Recipe (Gluten-Free)

This recipe is not your store-bought hummus – it’s much better! When purchasing the ingredients, choose options that are free of preservatives and gluten-free. Pair this gluten-free treat with gluten-free crackers or cut veggies.

Ingredients:

3 large garlic cloves, minced. 1/4 tsp reserved for garnishing

Fresh juice of 1 lemon, squeezed

1/4 cup of tahini

1 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinse and liquid reserved

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup of reserved liquid from beans (or less if you prefer a thicker hummus)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Optional: 2 tbsp pine nuts for garnishing

Directions

  1. Mince the garlic cloves and reserve 1/4 tsp for later use.
  2. Add garlic, tahini and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds.
  3. Scrape contents from side of processor.
  4. Add the garbanzo beans, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and reserved liquid to the processor.
  5. Mix on high for 1 minute or until hummus has reached your desired smoothness.
  6. Spoon hummus into a serving bowl. Garnish with olive oil,  1/4 tbsp of minced garlic and pine nuts.

This recipe makes enough to serve 3-4 people as a light appetizer.

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Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding (gluten-free and dairy-free)

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding (gluten-free and dairy-free)

This gluten-free and dairy-free pudding is an easy recipe and a crowd-pleaser! Your kids will love it!  Plus it contains chia-seeds, which are packed with soluble fiber and contain beneficial Omega-3 fats. (Check out what Dr. Oz has to say about these seeds.)

Ingredients:


  • 1 can coconut milk (Trader Joe’s sells an option that does not contain any added thickeners)
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For sweeter pudding, add:

  • 
1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1-2 tsp raw honey

Directions:


  1. Combine and mix all ingredients.
  2. Pour contents into mason jars and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  3. Once ready, spoon out into bowls. Top with favorite nuts for a little added crunch!

Looking to incorporate more healthy recipes like this into your  food routine? Not sure how to get started? Contact me to schedule an introductory health coaching session and we’ll create your next steps!

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Do not fear, gluten-free doesn’t mean pasta-free.

Do not fear, gluten-free doesn’t mean pasta-free.

I remember when my healthcare practitioner uttered the words “go gluten free” to me. I was horrified. My diet was gluten-FULL, so how in the world would I ever go gluten free?  She gave me a list of foods to avoid and sent me on my way. This was years before gluten free living had hit the mainstream, so along with my list she included directions to some obscure grocery store in the suburbs where I could find gluten free foods. As a girl who was raised on spaghetti and pasta salad, I was especially haunted by the notion of giving up pasta. Pasta was a staple and I couldn’t imagine life without it. I enjoyed pasta in all forms and topped it with almost anything.

I’m happy to report that I survived going gluten-free and even discovered a whole new world of pasta. The gluten free pasta market has expanded exponentially in the past few years. There are so many options I’ve lost count, and believe it or not, most of these options are delicious.

If you’re considering going gluten free but are worried about the prospect of a pasta-free existence, rest assured you won’t have to give it up. Here are some of my favorites, available at most grocery stores now.  You’ll also be happy to learn that even some of your favorite Italian restaurants now offer a GF option. In fact, just last weekend I had dinner at Chicago’s Topo Gigio and enjoyed a delicious GF dish.

Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta: Who doesn’t love quinoa?  This pasta is made with a combination of quinoa and corn plus its USDA certified organic (especially important with corn, which is one of the most genetically modified crops in our country, and unless grown organically, surely sprayed with pesticides).

Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice Pasta: Trader Joe’s just makes me happy. The employees are happy and polite, and if you’re on the lookout for gluten free snacks and other packaged foods, they have a nice inventory. I don’t generally prefer brown rice GF pastas, but TJ’s version is exceptional! You’ll never miss the wheat.

Explore Asian Organic Bean Pasta: Looking for something grain-free? Look no further – Explore Asian’s Organic Bean Pasta is fantastic. You’d never know it was made out of beans. Plus, unlike many other GF pastas, it keeps well in the refrigerator as leftovers (doesn’t get sticky or dry). Added bonus – it’s jam packed with protein because it’s made out of BEANS!  Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it…I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 

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