Recipe for Gluten Free French Fried Onion Rings

 

french_fried_onion_rings.jpg

 

This recipe was designed as a GF option for French's Original French Fried Onions to be used in Green Bean Casserole.

Ingredients

 

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 cup milk (enough to cover the soaking onions - use soy or almond for dairy free)
  • 1 cup GF flour
  • 1/2 cup GF Corn Chex, finely crushed (optional – you can use GF Flour but the Corn Chex makes a crunchier onion ring)
  • 1 teaspoon GF garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Oil for frying

 

Note: The GF Corn Chex is optional.  Corn Chex gives the onion rings a browner color and crunchier texture.  If you look closely at the photo, the onion rings on the top of the stack were made with just GF Flour.  The browner and crispier ones at the bottom have GF Corn Chex in the mix.  I made them both ways because I don't like sharing recipes that require you to run out and purchase something extra and because some people claim to have reactions to GF Corn Chex. 

If you are going to use GF Corn Chex, you want to finely grind them.  One of my favorite kitchen appliances is the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor. It works great for chopping an onion, shredding some chicken for chicken salad and grinding up things like the Corn Chex is this recipe.

 

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Preparation

 

Add finely sliced onion rings to the milk and soak for 10 minutes.

 

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Whisk together the GF flour, finely crushed Corn Chex (can be replaced with 1/2 cup GF Flour), garlic powder and salt in a large bowl.

 

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Add about 1 inch of oil to a deep pot (such as Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round French) and heat over medium-high heat.

 

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In batches, add a few onions to the flour mixture and toss until evenly coated. 

 

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Carefully add a few onion rings at a time to the oil and fry until light golden in color – about 5 minutes.  Do not overcook.  Burned onion rings do not taste good. 

 

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Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain.


Continue frying in batches. 

 

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Can you guess what tomorrow's recipe will be?

 


Recipe for Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

YIELDS:  EQUIVALENT TO ONE CAN OF SOUP



Condensed_cream_of_mushroom_soup.jpg


 Ingredients:

 

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons butter (use Earth Balance for dairy free)
  • 2 Tablespoons potato starch
  • 1/2 cup milk (use almond or coconut milk for dairy free)
  • 1/2 cup GF chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
 
Preparation:

 

Start with 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms.

 

 

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Sautee mushrooms in olive oil until lightly browned. Set aside.

 

 

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Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the starch a little at a time and stir until mixture thickens. 

 

 

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Slowly stir in milk and then broth until combined and smooth.  Stir until it thickens to desired consistency.  If not thickening, you can add more starch one teaspoon at a time but no more than one tablespoon total. 

 

Stir in mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste.

 

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PRINTABLE VERSION

 
Just want to buy some GF Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup?

 

You can purchase it from:

  • Gluten Free Café Cream of Mushroom Soup

All of our Gluten Free Café products are certified by The Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), a program of The Gluten Intolerance Group®.

  • Pacific Foods makes an Organic Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup.  They specifically call the soup GF but don’t mention “wheat or gluten” when they talk about cross-contamination:

Q:  What process do you use to avoid cross contamination between non-allergenic products and products containing an allergen?
A:  Pacific Natural Foods does not produce products with eggs, sesame, shellfish, or peanuts in our facility. We do produce products containing dairy, soy, tree nuts and corn. Every 24 hours, production shuts down for a total cleaning and sterilization of all equipment. Complete cleaning and sterilization is also performed between runs of dairy and non-dairy items. 

To further reduce potential for cross contamination, a thorough cleaning and flushing of all equipment also takes place after running any product containing allergenic ingredients. The same cleaning is also performed between runs of non-organic and organic products to maintain the integrity of the organic ingredients.

Nonetheless, we cannot guarantee that every minute particle of an ingredient from the previous product is removed. If you or a family member has a serious allergy to ingredients in any of our products and are concerned about the possibility of cross contamination, we recommend that you do not use our products.



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Gluten Free Thanksgiving

November 15, 2013

 

Plus I have to admit that I suffer from productivity idolatry – “the desire to always be accomplishing something.”  Maybe it is the busy mom syndrome, but I get a real high when I can check something off the to-do list. 

Laundry – check,

Grocery store – check,

Dinner – check,

Blog post – check. 

The problem is that I am so excited to get things accomplished that sometimes I miss the joy of the event itself. 

 

This past weekend, I was shopping for Homecoming dresses with my girls (we have a very late Homecoming dance).   It is somewhat stressful to shop for anything with teenage girls much less dresses that pass the “mom test.”  I was so excited to get this task done that I was rushing through the experience.  As we went from one shop to another, I stopped myself and said “wait – this is the last time I will shop for a homecoming dress with my GF Teen – savor the moment.”  And I did, I watched my two beautiful daughters try on some beautiful (and some not-so-beautiful) dresses, and I tried to actually be in that moment enjoying it, instead of just being excited to check it off my to-do list.

 

The same is true for Thanksgiving – oh yeah, I will be happy when the meal is over and I can sit back with a nice glass of wine and relax.  But I am trying to focus less on the perfect GF Thanksgiving Meal and more on the process that gets us to that end meal.  

 

The journey to the table starts with the turkey – we deep-fry our turkey.  Actually, I should say that my husband deep-fries our turkey.  The process involves rubbing down the turkey while the kids gather around somewhat stunned by the dead bird on our kitchen counter.

 

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Then there is the setting up of the fryer on the patio.  The TV will be setup so we don’t miss any football games. 

 

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There will be a beer or two and maybe some music by one of the kids. 

 

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Usually a neighbor will stop over to see how it is progressing.  This was the year it snowed.

 

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And in the end a very crispy fried turkey.

 

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I love pumpkin pie – but it is the making of the pie with my kids that gives me the most joy.  It is our tradition to work with the sticky and crumbly GF piecrust until we get something that resembles a pretty pie.  I treasure this time in the kitchen with my kids.

 

 makin_pumpkin_pie.jpg

 

And the mashed potatoes – that is my oldest daughter’s job.  I think every girl should know how to make mashed potatoes before she leaves home. 

And my Mom’s recipe for cranberry chutney that the girl’s make every year. 

 

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Setting the table with the good dishes that we use twice a year falls on my Middle Child – she is the creative one and she loves putting out the candles and napkin holders and the shiny crystal glasses.

 

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In the end we all sit down together and enjoy a good meal, but it is the journey to the table that is the most fulfilling.  “Cooking, I’ve found, gives us the opportunity (so rare in modern life) to work directly in our own support, and in the support of the people we feed.  If this is not "making a living," I don't know what is.

In the calculus of economics, doing so may not always be the most efficient use of an amateur cook's time, but in the calculus of human emotion, it is beautiful even so. For is there any practice less selfish, any labor less alienated, any time less wasted, than preparing something delicious and nourishing for people you love? “  Sound Consumer

Of course, when it is all over, pass me the glass of wine and  “check” that one off the list! 

 

Our Basic Thanksgiving Recipes:

 

 

Make sure your Turkey is GF: 

 

The good news is that turkey is naturally GF.  The gravy packet inside of it most likely is not GF.  Follow this link to a complete list of GF turkey products. 

 

Pre-made or Boxed Pie Crust:

 

Gluten Free Pantry Perfect Pie Crust Mix – I have made this pie crust several times and it is a reliable and tasty crust. 

 

Pillsbury Gluten Free Pie Crust and Pastry Dough – I tried this and honestly did not like it.  It was way too greasy and left us feeling sick (not from the GF part) but from all of the fat.  I think we have been eating too healthy for too long to go back to Pillsbury.

 

Whole Foods GF Bake House – makes a really good ready-made frozen piecrust.  (Last time I looked it did contain dairy).

 

Want to make it easy and buy a Pre-made GF Pumpkin Pie? 

 

Whole Foods GF Bake House also makes a GF Pumpkin Pie.  Made in the Whole Foods special bake house where no gluten is allowed, find this GF pumpkin pie in the freezer and store it in yours until you’re ready to thaw and serve.

 

Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup:

 

Need some Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup for your favorite recipe?  It is really easy to make.  Here is a quick and easy recipe. Or you can purchase it from Gluten Free Café Cream of Mushroom Soup.

 

Stuffing:

 

I tried making stuffing one year with a recipe I found in Sunset Magazine.  It took forever and did not taste that great, and I really don’t like stuffing.

 

But I am going to try again this year with this Bon Appetit recipe for Rustic Herb Stuffing.  I am going to use Against the Grain Baguettes for the bread. 

 

If that does not work, Three Bakers was nice enough to send me a box of their Herb Seasoned GF Stuffing Cubes.  You can order it online from the link above. 

 

Glutino GF Stuffing Corn Bread – Honestly have not sampled this product yet but most Glutino products are pretty reliable. 

 

 

Looking for Gluten Free Cranberry Sauces? 

 

Jane Anderson has done the work for you at this link.

 

Other trusted sources:

 

The Gluten Free Girl – She is a great cook and her husband is a chef and it is her living to come up with great GF recipes!   They are releasing an iPad app next week that will give you all you need to know to get through the holiday.

 

Cooking Gluten Free – My friend and fellow GF blogger has reliable recipes that I turn to over and over again. 

 

Elana’s Pantry – Celebrating a Paleo Thanksgiving this year?  Elana’s pantry is a trusted resource with beautiful recipes. 

 

Finally, here is my Mom's recipe for Cranberry Chutney:

 

1 can whole berry cranberry sauce

1 small can crushed pineapple

1/2   cup chopped pecans toasted

1/4  cup chopped celery

Combine all ingredients in a medium bow.  Chill until ready to serve.

 

Send me your recipes with a good quality photo if you would like them to be shared on my blog! 

 

 

 

 

 

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As most people know, Red Robin Gourmet Burger Restaurants have a GF menu that includes steak fries.  It is a special treat for my kids to get to have GF fries and a burger on a GF bun at Red Robin.

Recently, Red Robin launched a frozen bake-at-home seasoned steak fry that you can purchase at the grocery store.  According to Red Robin, the “(s)easoned Steak Fries are now available in frozen food aisles nationwide, prepared with a signature blend of Red Robin Seasoning Salt® and offering the same great taste as the Bottomless Steak Fries™ served in Red Robin restaurants. “ 

 

 

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I was concerned when I saw some mentions of them on other GF blogs.  Just because the restaurant fries are GF does not mean we can assume the frozen fries will be GF as well.  

I reached out to Red Robin and found out that the new frozen steak fries are different from the ones in the restaurant.  And in fact, while all of the ingredients on the steak fries are GF, a representative from Red Robin confirmed that “(a)ll ingredients used are gluten free but we do NOT test for gluten, therefore it is NOT gluten free.”

You can read the response from Red Robin below but the bottom line is that they are not considered GF because of the risk of cross-contamination.  While none of the ingredients contain gluten they are processed in a factory that processes other food items with wheat in them.  Even though the supplier has an Allergen Control Program, the finished product is not tested for gluten content so they cannot guarantee that it is in fact GF.

Here is the official statement from the supplier:

“Most of the thousands of potato products manufactured by (Red Robin’s Supplier) do not contain any ingredients from a gluten “watch” list (composed mainly of wheat, rye, barley and potentially oats) – nor any ingredients derived from those food components. However, most of our processing plants do utilize wheat and other Major Food Allergens (MFA) to a limited extent in specific products. This scenario therefore requires that (Red Robin’s Supplier) employs a comprehensive Allergen Control Program in all of our food production facilities, including rigorous sanitation processes on a regular and documented basis - in order to reduce allergen risk related to any cross-contamination potential.

 

The most reliable method for customers to confirm whether any of our product formulations contain wheat (and therefore gluten) is to reference the current product package ingredient statement. These statements are maintained, updated and verified per each product’s ingredient formulation.  Even though to the best of our knowledge, gluten should not be present in formulations absent wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients, we have not analyzed finished products for the actual presence-absence of such gluten proteins.”

 

 

 

 

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Gluten containing dough (wheat dough) rises, needs to be punched down and then rises again.  Most settings on traditional bread machines will take you through this process two or three times. 

You do not need all of these cycles for gluten free bread; the second rise can result in a deflated loaf of gluten free bread.  With programmable cycles you have the flexibility of selecting just one knead and one rise cycle which is all you need for gluten free bread.  Alternatively, you can buy a bread machine with a gluten free setting that automatically eliminates all of the extra cycles.

 

  • Our favorite bread machine is the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker,

    You can use the Basic Course when baking gluten-free breads .  The Zojirushi also has a programmable cycle to set for gluten free bread so you can set the exact knead time, rise times, crust color, and baking time you desire.  For gluten free bread, set the machine for Preheat 15 minutes, Knead 25 minutes, turn OFF Rise 1 and Rise 2, Rise 3 for 55 minutes, and Bake for 55 minutes.  It also has dual paddles for mixing.  

     

    It also has settings for three crusts shades – light, medium and dark. You can also use it cook everything from meatloaf to homemade jam. 

    We are not the only ones that love this bread machine.  BreadInfo.com tested the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 by preparing several types of bread in it. They say it does a good job making white bread and bread dough, but they're particularly impressed with its ability to produce "remarkably high-quality" gluten-free bread. 

    The Zojirushi is the cream of the crop, but you can make good bread with a less expensive bread maker

  • Oster CKSTBR9050 Expressbake Bread Maker, White which features a gluten free setting. 

 

It does not have some of the bells and whistles of the Zojirushi such as the extra features, dual blades and large window, but it will get the job done with a built in gluten free cycle and two-pound loaf capacity.

  • I have not personally tried it, but the Cuisinart CBK-200 2-Pound Convection Automatic Breadmaker  also has a gluten free setting.

  

You cannot program the cycles but it comes with a gluten free setting that should work for most home bakers. It is a single paddle system but also has a pause feature for scrapping down the sides, and a keep warm setting. 

Once you have a bread machine, you are going to need a good recipe.  There are two cookbooks with reliable recipes:

  • 125 Best Gluten-Free Bread Machine Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt. This book has numerous recipes for gluten free baking and discusses programming guidelines for the Zojirushi bread machine!

  • Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine by Annalise G. Roberts. It has everything from great recipes, specific directions on how to set your bread machine and tips for when things just don't go right.

In addition, we have our own recipe for Gluten Free Brown Bread for a Bread Machine.  All bread machines work a little different so you may have to experiment with this one a few times but we cook it regularly in our bread machine and it works great.

 I also love the Progressive International Adjustable Bread Keeper.

It has vents on the side to regulate air flow, can adjust to the size of your loaf and it has a built-in cutting board.  Your bread will hold for a few days on the counter.  For longer storage, slice and then put into Ziploc bags in the freezer. 

 

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Gluten Free Soups

November 07, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup 

My kids love this soup.  Serve it on top of your favorite GF tortilla chips.

 


 
 
Chicken Noodle Soup
 
Great for cold and flu season.
 
 
 
 
I call this soup hearty and dirty because it taste very earthy to me.  Perfect for the night before Thanksgiving when you have company to feed and want a one-pot meal. 
 

 
 
Tomato Soup
Perfect with grilled cheese.
 

 
 
White Bean Chicken Chili

This soup goes great with Sunday afternoon football! 

 




Recipe for Gluten Free Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin, Caramelized Onions, Spinach and Goat Cheese

 

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The original recipe is by Beth Hillson, author of Gluten-Free Makeovers.

 

Ingredients

 

For the Roasted Pumpkin:

  • 1 small sugar pumpkin (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into ½ inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder, optional
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper, to taste

For the Pasta:

  • 8 ounces Glutino Brown Rice Penne Pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 large onion, cut into thin wedges and cut in half through the length
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 ½ cups GF chicken or vegetable broth
  • Roasted Pumpkin (recipe below)
  • 3 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

 

Preparation

 

First you have to find a Sugar Pumpkin. Sugar pumpkins are members of the gourd family.  Choose smooth, deep-orange pumpkins that are heavy for their size, without cracks or soft spots. 

 

 

sugar_pumpkins.png

 

This time of the year, you can find them at the grocery store but it is much more fun to buy from a local farmer.  We headed out to Craven Farm Sunday afternoon.  We found some for sale about half a mile from the farm. 

For peeling, cut off the top and bottom ends.  The recipe says you can peel with a vegetable peeler but my pumpkin was way too thick for that.  I used a paring knife to remove the skin.

 

peeling_pumpkin.jpg

 

Prepare the Roasted Pumpkin:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. 
  3. In a large bowl, toss the pumpkin with the remaining ingredients. 
  4. Spread over the baking sheet and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until pumpkin is soft and slightly browned.  Set aside.

 

roasted_pumpkin.png

 

When the Pumpkin is about half done:

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente (about 7 minutes).   Drain pasta, rinse under cold water to prevent it from sticking.  Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté the spinach just until wilted.  Remove to serving tray and wipe out the saucepan with a paper towel.  (this is optional and we left it out of our dinner).
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and add the onion and salt.  (This was way too much onion for my family - I used one-half of an onion very finely chopped and it was perfect for us).   Sauté until onion takes on color (about 10 minutes).  Add thyme and broth and simmer 3 minutes.  Add the spinach and the roasted pumpkin and simmer for 1 minute.  Add the penne and bring just to a simmer.  Remove from heat and crumble in the goat cheese and adjust seasonings.  Serve warm.

 

PRINTABLE VERSION

Some Shots of Craven Farms:

 

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The Wheel Barrels were as colorful as the pumpkins:

 

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Peanut butter, chocolate and a little sea salt – how could you go wrong?

 

Recipe for Gluten Free and Dairy Free Peanut Butter Cups

 

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Ingredients

 

  • 12 ounces chocolate chips (for gluten and dairy free chips, use Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips)
  • 1 cup GF peanut butter
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Sea salt to sprinkle on top
  • 24 mini-muffin baking cups

 

Preparation

 YIELDS:  24 Candies

 

Melt chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water or in the microwave on 50% power, stopping to stir every 30 seconds.  These do not take long to melt.   For dairy free, use Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips.  If you are not allergic to dairy then any GF Milk Chocolate Chips will work.

 



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Use a small spoon to coat insides of the Mini Muffin Cups with the melted chocolate.  Cover the bottom and sides well.   

 

 

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Save the extra chocolate for the candy tops.

Transfer cups to a Mini Muffin Pan and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

While the chocolate is setting, combine the peanut butter, sugar and salt and beat on low speed until well combined.

I used Earth Balance Coconut & Peanut Spread because I love it.  The spread gives the candy a coconut flavor.  Any GF peanut butter will work.

 

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When the chocolate is hard, microwave the peanut butter mixture for 45 seconds on full power to soften it. 

With a small spoon, add about a teaspoon of peanut butter filling to each chocolate cup.  

 

 

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Re-melt the extra chocolate if necessary and add a layer of chocolate over the top of each candy. 

Sprinkle with Sea Salt.

Return to the freezer until set, 15 minutes or so. 

 

 

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To serve, peel off the paper cups and enjoy!

 

PRINTABLE VERSION

 

 


Recipe for Sorghum Salad

October 17, 2013

 

This power packed salad contains:

  • Sorghum - a Gluten Free whole grain that is an excellent source of dietary fiber.   Sorghum has high nutritional value, with high levels of unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, and minerals like phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and iron. It also has more antioxidants than blueberries and pomegranates.

 

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  • Avocados - an excellent source of healthful fats.  Avocados are very low in fructose and provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including fiber, potassium (more than twice the amount found in a banana), vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid.
  • Chickpeas - high in fiber and protein.  The type of soluble fiber found in chickpeas is not only heart-healthy, but also helps to stabilize blood sugars.  Their high fiber content makes them satisfying and filling so you're less likely to be hungry a few hours later.
  • Oranges – an excellent source of vitamin C.
  • Olive oil - healthy dietary fat.

 

Recipe for Sorghum Salad

 

 sorghum_salad.jpg

 

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill GF Sorghum Grain
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 4 Tablespoons good olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 avocado, pitted and cubed
  • 1 orange, peeled, and sliced into segments
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Roasted chickpeas (recipe below)

 

Preparation

 

  1. Prepare the sorghum by washing it.  Add 1 cup of sorghum and 3 cups of water in a pot.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 50-60 minutes or until tender.  Don’t under cook or the sorghum will be hard.  Drain and set aside.
  2.  Prepare the Roasted Chickpeas while the sorghum is cooking.  Recipe below.
  3.  Place the lime juice, and 2 Tablespoons olive oil and salt in a bowl.  Stir in the sorghum. 
  4.  Toss in the avocado, orange segments and scallions.
  5.  Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
  6.  Adjust salt to taste and garnish with roasted chickpeas.

 

Can be served hot, chilled, or at room temperature.  I prefer it chilled. 

Printable Version


Recipe for Roasted Chickpeas 

 

 

roasted_chickpeas.jpg

 

These are great on any salad or as a snack.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 can of chickpeas; drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder

 

Preparation

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.   
  2. Toss all ingredients together in a bowl and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  3. Bake for 35 minutes or until crisp.

Printable Version

 

 

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