Southern Comforts Gluten Free Cornbread and Chili

October 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

GFOD-Chili-Cornbread-1w
As the chill of Autumn and Winter set in, southern comfort foods start sounding very good to me.

At your local grocery store, there is a good chance you will find these gluten free cornbread and chili items, a meal to love, cheaper and healthier than fast food. Preparation time is short at 20 minutes for everything.

I haven’t yet found any canned gluten free chili that I like better than Stagg CLASSIC Chili with Beans. I think some of Stagg Chili have wheat, so make sure to read the label and that you are getting the right one, in this case, the CLASSIC.

Usually, I buy Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread Mix at WholeFoods, which I also use in my pancakes mixes.

With an urgent cornbread craving, I found Hodgson Mill cornbread mix at my neighborhood Safeway market. My husband and I ate all the cornbread muffins I made without delay, so yes, this brand is delicious too.

The meal is easy to make. The chili you just heat up in five minutes on the stove or microwave. The cornbread requires mixing a few ingredients (the mix with egg, milk, oil), scooping into a square pan or muffin tray, and baking. Buttering each muffin cup fully with my finger makes the muffins pop out easily.

[Click on brand name links above for INGREDIENTS on the label.]

* Please note that some chili and cornbread mixes do have wheat or white enriched flour in their ingredients, so always read the ingredients on these canned and boxed foods labels. When it says “Gluten Free” on the label, as these products do, it makes shopping much easier.

Gluten Free Ravioli — Fast and Easy

September 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

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I love ravioli and Conte’s Pasta Gluten Free Spinach and Cheese Ravioli definitely meet my requirements for deeee-li-shuzsss !  These are so good. I can close my eyes and feel like I am in an Italian restaurant.

Takes 10 minutes all together. This is the fastest easiest meal for when I am feeling lazy and don’t want to spend much time cooking. 

I will teach you a few ways that I prepare them.

First, boil the water. When boiling, put in the ravioli. Stir GENTLY, these ravioli are not sturdy. Keep your eye on them and the water — not too hot and forceful because they easily break open. Remove them as soon as the look like they are going to burst. Takes about 8 minutes. Follow the directions for the first time and adjust to your own stove.

Pictured above is my lemon sage ravioli preparation. I put a swirl of olive oil (and butter, optional) in a small saucepan. Add garlic (chopped or powdered), salt, pepper, and half a lemon squeezed. In this case, I have added some sage leaves I clipped from my plant to my light lemony sauce. It takes a few minutes to heat up. That’s it. Pour it on your ravioli.

An even easier and simpler version is to not cook the above sauce and just put the ingredients directly on the ravioli. One less pan to clean!

Optional Ingredients I add when I have them are:

Chicken (boiled or fried). Broccoli, I toss in the boiling water with the ravioli at the beginning. Shrimp, I toss in the last two minutes with the ravioli. You can fry all kinds of sliced goodies in a sauce pan, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, sausages… and add those ingredients on top of your ravioli. This all natural Cucina & Amore Bruschetta Artichoke spread tastes great heated up and added as a sauce, pictured aside… you can thin it with some cream, butter, or olive oil. Or you can use a classic pre-prepared jar of pesto sauce or tomato sauce — all are easy and great with Conte’s Pasta Ravioli.

Click to see and read the Conte’s Pasta Ravioli INGREDIENTS and full NUTRITIONAL FACTS.

 

Fast Easy & Fancy Salmon Squash Mushroom Dinner

May 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Recipes Fast Easy

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INGREDIENTS

  • Wild Caught Salmon (no artificial coloring)
  • Yellow Squash
  • Mushrooms
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil / Butter (optional)

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use a glass baking dish of 9×9 inches or 9×12, depending on how much food you have.

Put a thin layer of olive oil across the bottom of the dish first.

Rinse your fish and place it in the center side by side.

Thoroughly wash your squash and mushrooms (preferably organic, so they are covered in dirt).

Cut your cleaned squash into bite-sized and then place around the fish.

If you have small weird mushrooms like mine, you don’t have to slice them, just cut off the bottom growth. For larger mushrooms, cut them into bite size. Place the mushrooms on the fish and some on the squash.

Squeeze 1 full fresh lemon all over everything.

Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic over everything.

Add slices of butter to the fish and vegetables, if dairy is acceptable to you. Or, you can pour a little more olive oil over the top, not more than 2 tablespoons.

Cover the dish with tin foil. Then put in the oven.

If you have fresh thawed fish, bake for 30 minutes. If you have frozen fish, bake for 45 minutes.

Clean the kitchen. (That’s what I do anyway.)

Take out, serve, and enjoy!

~ ~ ~

ENVIRONMENT

Please watch this amazing documentary about Salmon Health, dangers of fish farming, Infectious Salmon Anemia, Salmon Alphavirus, Piscine Reovirus (weak heart, can’t swim up stream, can’t escape bigger fish), sea lice, blisters, lesions, dangers of uncooked fish, sushi… Bill to fine or jail anyone who exposes the disease to the public…

http://vimeo.com/61301410 

My Heart Goes To Mariposa Gluten-Free Bakery This Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Eating Out, Gluten Free Products

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For the gluten-free love of your life, I suggest you get a delicious Valentine’s Day treat from the Mariposa Bakery. Mariposa Bakery is local to San Francisco and Oakland, but they do mail many items within the United States!

Pictured here are their Valentine’s Day chocolate donuts, distinguished by their sugar heart sprinkles. They taste like Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake or a rich chocolate cupcake. Like any donut, this is more of a dessert than a start-your-day kind of healthy breakfast.

Mariposa also has, on any given day, a wide assortment of cookies and cakes too. You can call and special order for birthdays or other celebrations.

The main thing I buy are the plain frozen pizza crusts that I prepare in full at home; I will write in depth about that in another article.

Mariposa has some great lunch options as well (pizza, beetloaf sandwich, salad, etc). Everything is delicious here. You can’t go wrong.

I came across Mariposa for the first time many years ago when I was getting my old Volvo serviced. Someone had put a Montclair Auto Tech flyer on my Volvo for their autoshop. They turned out to be the most honest, affordable guys, and I got to hang out at the gluten-free bakery next door… and the wine shop one more door over. It was a three-for. Getting a car tune-up had never been so fun!

In those early days, there were not very many customers or employees at Mariposa. It was quiet.

Over the years, a few other competing gluten-free bakeries popped up in the area with high prices and not great products; they came and went.

Meanwhile, Mariposa Bakery blossomed into a beautiful big prosperous business. These days, they are always busy, have lots of friendly employees, and ship out boxes of products too.

They opened up a convenient storefront at The Ferry Building at the end of Market Street in San Francisco, great for commuters and tourists.

Mariposa Bakery has given me many years of joyful eating. Their prices are only slightly above mass-produced foods, and therefore quite reasonable for freshly baked gluten-free food. Since the day I found them, I have felt blessed to have them in my life.

You can find Mariposa Bakery at:

5427 Telegraph Ave, Unit D3
Oakland, CA 94609
tel: 510-595-0955
OAKLAND HOURS:
Monday-Friday 9-6
Saturday 9-5
Sunday 10-5

~~~

One Ferry Building, Suite 32
San Francisco, CA 94111
tel: 510-595-0955
SAN FRANCISCO HOURS:
Monday-Saturday 8-6
Sunday 10-5

~~~

MARIPOSA BAKERY WEBSITE:  http://www.mariposabaking.com/

Eating Gluten Free & Shopping in Historic Petaluma

October 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Restaurants

For a bite of the old wild west with a nip of progress, you must stop in Petaluma on your way out to the Napa wine country, or the Sonoma Raceway, or camping in the Redwood Forests.

Petaluma is my hometown, but seldom am I able to visit. Planning for my high school reunion, I hunted on the Internet for a fun place to eat that would suit my gluten-free dining needs, not expecting to find one. All my favorite childhood restaurants were Italian and serve pasta and pizza. Even though those restaurants are still there, my health and eating requirements have changed.

Luckily, Petaluma evolved with me.

Somewhere along the way, after I had gone to college, I heard a rumor that Petaluma won a city renovation government grant, perhaps due to its cool historic old late-1800s downtown that was featured in George Lucas’s hot rod movie American Graffiti.

With a big influx of money, Petaluma built a nice movie theater, new plaza, river bridges, and several International style restaurants and cafes. When I was a kid, I never heard any foreign languages around town. After the renovations, people from around the world made their way to my little stinky town; it was really cool.

You know when you have arrived in Petaluma because just outside Novato on Highway 101 heading north, it starts to wreak of cow manure, and the smell wafts throughout town. This is a positive, a reminder that you are out in the country where happy cows graze the grasses of the pastures owned by family and friends, not corporations.

The old families who run the restaurants, saloons, and speakeasys all remain too. See below for more information about them.

After looking at every single new restaurant on Google Maps that was anywhere near the reunion, I finally found Wild Goat Bistro and was totally blown away by them and their special menu  ”Gluten Free”! I made a reservation for me and the gals.

When I was a kid, the Old Mill, where the restaurant is, never really had anything good in it. Today, the Petaluma Old Mill is a woman’s wonderland! It’s a great place for a nice man to treat his lady to a special Pretty Woman day.

I arrived an hour early to check out the Wild Goat Bistro, make sure it was good enough for my best friends. It was beyond ok, the Old Mill location on the river is absolutely charming, as are the friendly staff. A Euro vibe is created by its close quarters and small room made of stone, wood, and copper.  There is seating inside and outside for singles at counters or large groups on long tables. There is something for every type of diet, including organic, local fresh ingredients, and gluten free food options. You can see in my top image a sampling of the food we ate — and the gluten-free carrot cake, delicious!!! They also have gluten-free artisan pizza.

After my long drive, I sought out the Old Mill restroom, which was in the same old spot it always was.

I happened across Sorella, which means Sister in Italian. Sorella is a hair studio and fashion boutique owned by two sisters.

Being a woman, I could not help but be sucked in by all the adorable dresses and sweaters pouting at me from the windows. I had never seen such great fashion in Petaluma. We had Mervyn’s which met our basic needs of underwear and t-shirts, but it wasn’t like this, like shopping in Paris, or London, or New York.

Lexi Radomile, who stocks Sorella’s clothing side and sews herself, has exceptional big city taste. If you want high fashion (MEN! and Women) but don’t want to drive to San Francisco, you must find this hidden little spot inside the Old Mill on Petaluma Boulevard near Washington Boulevard, downtown across from McNear’s Theater and pub. If you can’t make it to Petaluma, you can also shop with her online.

The OLD MILL, Wild Goat Bistro, and Sorella are at 6 Petaluma Blvd North, Petaluma, CA  94952.
Wild Goat Bistro reservations (707) 658-1156
http://www.wildgoatbistro.com/wildgoatbistro/Home.html
Sorella info (707) 769-9983
http://sorellahairandfashion.com/

GLUTENFREE ON THE RUN… If you are on a tight budget or in a hurry, some well known places in Petaluma where you can get gluten-free food are WholeFoods at 621 East Washington Street, Petaluma, CA 94952 or at Aqus Cafe. For a gluten-free snack or breakfast or lunch, Aqus Cafe offers gluten-free bread and other options, good live music, films, and coffee! Everyday Happy Hour 4:30-6:30pm
http://www.aquscafe.com/main/index.php
189 H Street Petaluma CA 707.778.6060

LOCAL DIVES, MUST-DO, & MUST-SEE IN PETALUMA:

Go have a drink in the 1920s speakeasy of Volpi’s Ristorante & Bar. Pass through the front restaurant to the bar hidden in the back. If gluten is not a problem for you, they have good Italian food and a cool old wood floor atmosphere.
124 Washington St Petaluma, CA 94952

To see all the beautiful animals that used to live in the area and the ghosts of hunter enthusiasts past, see the unofficial museum of Andresen’s Bar at  19 Western Avenue, Petaluma, CA 94952. Very small. Very local. Cash only.

If you want to see how the locals GET STUPID since 1938, go to the Buckhorn out at 615 Petaluma Boulevard South Petaluma, CA 94952.
http://www.buckhorntavern.com/

Read the history and see some beautiful photos of Petaluma here: http://www.petalumadowntown.com/welcome.html
There are lots of antiques, restaurants, cafes, and lovely architecture on Petaluma Boulevard. The good ol’ American Butter & Eggs Parade is in April or May. And there is just so much more…

Petaluma is a romantic contradiction of old and new. I love my hometown and hope you do too.

Article & Food Photographs by Jaden Alexander. Jaden modeling Sorella’s clothes, pictures taken by Lexi Radomile

Quest for the Perfect Gluten Free English Muffin

September 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

As you quest for the perfect gluten free English Muffin, I will help you by comparing the two gluten free English Muffin brands, Glutino and Food for Life, to Thomas’ English Muffins (the holy grail of English Muffins for Americans).

Glutino’s English Muffins have  a yellow-orange color and when cut open, look like a fluffy light bread. But if you close your eyes, the light taste and texture in the mouth is more similar to Thomas’ English Muffin than the Food for Life brand.

The Food for Life brand of gluten free English Muffin, I enjoy, but I know it is not for everyone. It is a heavier bread and a more pasty taste and texture. The Food for Life brand looks just like a Thomas’ English Muffin, but does not taste like one. As I said, I like it, but it is not for everyone.

The Glutino brand is more of a crowd pleaser, but the ingredients are less healthy.

Click here to see Glutino’s English Muffin ingredients made in Canada.

Click here to see Food for Life’s English Muffin organic ingredients made in the USA.

When it comes to gluten free organic flours, as Food for Life uses, the flavor result can be unique and an acquired taste.

Both English Muffins require some skills to defrost and toast to just the right taste. If the Food For Life English Muffin is not heated long enough, it tastes really bad. So don’t give up on it, maybe you need to warm it longer. Both brands I defrost in the oven on Bake 375. The Glutino brand, after defrosted, I cut open and toast with butter on Broil. The Food for Life brand, being heavier and thicker, tastes better closed with butter inserted, otherwise, it just gets too hard.

I have tried a variation of delicious organic toppings. Butter. Butter and cream cheese. Butter and a fried egg. Butter, cream cheese, avocado, and smoked salmon.

SUMMARY: If all you want is gluten free and good taste, go with the Glutino English Muffin brand. If you are nostalgic for the English Muffin look, want to be as healthy as you can be, and don’t mind trying new flavors, go with the organic FoodforLife brand.

 

Insalata Caprese The Simple Italian Salad of Tomatoes and Cheese

July 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Recipes Fast Easy

On a really hot summer day, one of the easiest, fastest, lightest gluten free meals to prepare is the delicious Italian tomato and cheese salad: Insalata Caprese.

American restaurants like to make the Caprese Salad very big with a lot of small tomatoes (cherry or Roma), fresh basil, and small scoops or cubes of Mozzarella cheese.

When you order this salad in Italy or France, the only way I have ever seen it prepared (and I have ordered it countless times in many places) is with large tomatoes sliced with equally large slices of mozarrella, olive oil, salt, and sometimes basil. Other ingredients may be balsamic vinegar and pepper. That’s it. Very easy, light, and satisfying.

Rarely do I shop for specific ingredients: I almost always prepare meals based on what I have in my refrigerator and cabinets that needs to be eaten before it goes bad.

Pictured here is my version of the gluten free Insalata Caprese, which is similar in presentation to the Italian style Caprese salad.

Slice large and lay out evenly on a plate these ingredients: Organic tomatoes, Ireland Dubliner cheese (because that is what I happened to have in the fridge, which has a cheddar-parmesean taste), and avocado.

Squeeze fresh organic lemon, add a drizzle of olive oil, and some dashes salt and pepper. I also usually include dried basil from my herbs and spices, but of course fresh basil is better if you have it!

INGREDIENTS ADDITIONAL NOTES:

Mozzarella tastes best with this salad, but other white cheeses make a nice substitute. I usually don’t have mozzarella on hand because it goes bad quicker than other cheeses, costs more, and has to be kept wet.

GMO (genetically modified) tomatoes tested to give rats ulcers, still they give them to humans. GMO tomatoes are made to endure beatings and look red longer. I strongly encourage you to seek and eat fresh organic tomatoes with their funny shapes and strange colors; they are much healthier and taste better. You can find organic tomatoes at local farmers markets and natural food stores. Me: I have a tomato plant that came with the house, which is very easy to maintain, you just water it; and I also receive Farm Fresh deliveries that sometimes include organic tomatoes.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Deviled Eggs Eyeballs

July 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Recipes Fast Easy

 

For a quick energy fix full of protein, get the party started with these Deviled Eggs Eyeballs. They are so easy to make.

What you need:

  • 6 to 12 eggs
  • Water
  • Cooking pot
  • Lemonaise
  • Blueberries (if you want pupils)

Bring a pot of water to boil. Use a spoon to gentle place each egg in the boiling water. Boil about 13 minutes.

Make sure you are at the lowest boiling temperature so that your eggs are not getting thrown by the forceful bubbles.

Pour out the boiling water. Run cold water over them in the sink. Let the eggs sit in cold water until you can handle them.

Peel the eggs and rinse of any shell pieces.

Slice the eggs down the long way.

Put all the yellow yolks into a bowl.

Put a fork of Lemonaise for every 3 yolks you have.

Mash up the yolks and Lemonaise until it is mostly smooth.

Place all your egg whites on a plate. Using a teaspoon, refill the yolk holes with your Lemonaise mash.

Pictured here, I added a blueberry to each Deviled Egg, which made them look like eyeballs, which I thought was funny. Could be good for theme parties, Halloween, or Horror Movie production snacks.

Takes about 20 minutes to make these, only of which 10 require your work. Enjoy!

What’s With The Gluten Free Label Craze?

June 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

People who don’t understand what gluten does to the human body are bothered by the Gluten Free label craze. If you don’t understand and don’t care to know, don’t worry about it. These products were always gluten free. It just means they were not made with white enriched wheat flour, barley, or rye. It’s just like labeling something as Dairy Free or Vegan. It doesn’t mean anything except for what ingredients are in it and what ingredients are not in it.

For people who must eat gluten free for their mental and physical well-being, the Gluten Free label is a way to quickly go food shopping without having to read all the ingredients every time, which is time consuming.

It is a strange feeling to be the odd ball out all your life, and then all the sudden, you are the cool kid.

That’s how it feels suffering from Celiac Disease before it was in the public conscious. Thirty years of extreme pain and awful symptoms… with doctors, family, and associates calling you a crazy hypochondriac… and now everyone wants to be in the Gluten Free club?

What happened in the past few years to cause this gluten free explosion? I don’t know. I guess the Internet. With everyone comparing notes, I can only guess that people figured out their gluten intolerance on their own, without doctors, but from the Internet. I happen to figure it out the old fashioned way, from a health magazine.

As a kid, not aware of how to eat healthy, naturally I gravitated towards sugary things that tasted good and so did my mother.

I have to admit that Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles were of my favorite childhood cereals. To walk down the grocery aisle and see them labeled with an enormous blue tag GLUTEN FREE this month, I nearly fell over… and bought them, of course.

Like many products, Pebbles have always been Gluten Free, but now they are labeling it to get the Gluten Free market.

What is shocking to me is that for huge food companies to be changing their labels, that means millions of people around the world have been suffering in silence, just like me. That is heavy. When you suffer some unknown ailment, you feel very alone and alienated.

Physically, mentally, and socially, eating gluten caused the kind of suffering that makes a person want to die, and there were millions of people who felt this way, apparently, millions of people who probably still feel this way because they are unaware of their sensitivity to gluten? That’s just crazy to me.

As the food markets clearly have become hip to the problem, I wonder, have the doctors????

Many mock the gluten free thing when they themselves are suffering, like members of my own family.

By the harassment I still get from the public in casual conversation, I know that the public does not understand how seriously people are affected by gluten, how it is not just a fad but a serious life threatening condition, like cancer or being allergic to bee stings or nuts or intolerant to dairy. People don’t get it yet.

To be honest, even I used to mock people’s various strange eating habits. Back in the day, before I understood my problem, I met many people who ate wheat free. They never explained it to me in a way that made sense to me. They pretty much only said that wheat made them feel tired. Feeling tired didn’t seem like a good enough reason to change one’s entire diet, so I disregarded something that would have changed my life.

There are so many products coming out with Gluten Free labels, it is just astounding. To me, that screams that this is a huge global health problem that lots of people are suffering from gluten.

These old products coming out with Gluten Free labels, I just want you to know, they haven’t changed their recipes. These are products like Cocoa Pebbles were always gluten free. They are just trying to make sure that Celiac Auto-Immune Disease sufferers and gluten intolerant people know they are gluten free and keep buying their products.

Avoiding gluten is one issue. That prevents the stomach aches, the diarrea, the constipation, and all the crazy headtrips that come along with malnutrition.

Avoiding sugar and processed foods is an entirely different thing. Sugars and processed foods like cereals cause blood sugar problems that can also make you crazy, cause anger, irritation, disorientation, fatigue, and diabetes, to name a few.

Eating things like Cocoa Pebbles occasionally won’t kill you. But if you eat them every single day for breakfast, gluten free or otherwise, the sugar and preservatives are not good for your long term health.

My personal goal is to eat as healthy as possible. Part of being healthy is to not completely deprive myself from things that also make me happy. Happiness goes a long way in health. Strive for natural organic whole foods, but if you want something not healthy sometimes, don’t make a big deal about it. Just do it and go back to the regular healthy routine, organic greens and natural proteins.

 

Need a New Gluten Free Addiction? Trader Joe’s 70% Cacao with Toffee is the Best!

April 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Desserts

On Valentine’s Day, I received this Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar elegantly inlayed with tiny bits of toffee, walnuts, and pecans. The house has been stocked with it ever since by the mystery chocolate elf.

The 70% cacao chocolate bar is smooth with salty crunchy niblets. They write, “The beauty of caramelized sugar reveals itself in flying colors when mixed with butter and artisanal sea salt to create rich toffee…” True, true.

When you have to eat gluten free and are on the go, but desperately need to fulfill a sweet tooth craving, dark chocolate is often a safe gluten free option and healthier than processed treats high in flour and sugar.

Always read the label. This one says “No Gluten Ingredients Used” and I have no negative reactions to it.

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