Archive for 2015

Naturally Gluten-Free Foods From Around The World!

July 22, 2015

If you’re living gluten-free, you’ve probably realized that there a plenty of naturally gluten-free foods that are safe (and delicious) for you to eat. We’re talking fruits, veggies, protein, and not to mention all the gluten-free options at the grocery store.  In fact, there are so many choices it’s possible to enjoy a gluten-free version of almost any of your favorite dishes! However, if you’re looking to try something new, we’ve got some ideas for you. There are tons of recipes from all over the world that call for naturally gluten-free ingredients, just waiting for you to make them. Below are a few of our favorites

Risotto

You might have tried Risotto, a Northern Italian dish consisting of rice and creamy broth. It’s ideal as a side dish to be served with meat, fish, or on its own! The nice thing about Risotto is that the broth can be flavored with almost anything you like, so you can make it work with the rest of your meal.

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked rice
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 3 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup Parmesan, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place the butter in a skillet over medium heat and melt
  2. Sautee the onion in the melted butter for 5-7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste
  3. Add the rice and stir, then add ½ cup of the broth and allow to simmer for 6-8 minutes
  4. Continue to slowly add broth, a half cup at a time and allow to simmer until absorbed. Cook for 10-12 minutes
  5. Stir in the Parmesan and garnish if desired

Brazilian Cheese Bread

Brazilian Cheese Bread, or Pao de Queijo, is easy to make, and simply delicious to eat. It’s soft and chewy, and naturally gluten-free! Set these out as a snack or a side with dinner and watch them disappear off the plate!

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 ½ cups tapioca flour
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  1. In a large saucepan over med-high heat, combine olive oil, water, milk and salt. Bring it to a boil and remove from heat
  2. Stir in tapioca flour until the mixture is smooth, then set aside for 10-12 minutes
  3. Add the cheese and egg into the mixture until well combined, but not completely smooth
  4. Drop ¼ cup of the mixture into a greased mini muffin tin and bake for 15 to 20 minutes

 

Polenta

Polenta is a great base dish that can be paired with almost anything, from tasty sauces to juicy meats. It’s essentially very coarsely ground cornmeal, so it’s naturally gluten-free! You can buy it at the grocery store and it can either be prepared creamy or as round, patty-style slices. Below is a basic guide to creamy polenta.

  • 4 cups water or broth
  • 1 cup Polenta or yellow corn meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  1. Heat water or broth in a large saucepan until it comes to a boil. Slowly pour in polenta and whisk constantly until smooth
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, whisking often. Cover and cook for 25-30 minutes, making sure to stir every 5 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and stir in butter and cheese until both are mostly melted. Cover and let stand for 5 more minutes to thicken. Add salt to taste and serve warm

What to Do With Leftover Hot Dog Buns

July 9, 2015

If you broke out the grill this 4th of July, you probably have some leftover hot dog buns lying around. You can always throw them in the freezer and save them for the next time you’re craving an all American grilled treat, or you can get creative. Believe it or not, buns are very versatile, and great for more than just hot dogs. Keep reading for some of our favorite ideas to use up those leftover buns!

French Toast Sticks

For a breakfast that is both yummy and fun to eat, turn those leftover buns in to French Toast Sticks! Just slice them lengthwise and dip them in a mixture of egg, milk, and cinnamon, and cook on each side for 3-5 minutes. The hot dog buns actually make for thicker, firmer French Toast sticks, which are better for dipping and dunking.

Panzanella

A perfect mix of flavors and textures, a Panzanella bread salad is a great use for hot dog buns. Cut them into bite size pieces and bake with a little salt and pepper at 325 degrees F for 4-8 minutes. Mix with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and a little basil and olive oil. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour and enjoy a tasty summer treat.

 Bread Pudding

Day old buns and rolls are ideal for a delicious bread pudding. They absorb the other ingredients and make for a soft, flavorful dessert that everyone is sure to love. Bonus: it can be served warm or cold!

 Spice Up Your Salad

These crunchy homemade croutons are a perfect addition to any salad, and they are ridiculously easy to make! Just like with the bread pudding, hot dog buns will absorb the seasonings, giving these croutons extra flavor!

7 Genius Uses for Coconut Oil You Might Not Know About

June 17, 2015

Coconut oil is making its way into the media more and more every day. It seems like these days, people are using it for everything from baking to beauty care .We’ve come up with a list of our own for a few handy uses for coconut oil we found particularly nifty.

Leather polish

Coconut oil can serve as a great, natural alternative to leather polish. Work a small amount of melted coconut oil into the leather and buff evenly with a clean cloth. This treatment can help condition your leather so it is softer and suppler!

Preserve eggs

Crazy as it may sound, coconut oil potentially extends the shelf life of eggs. It creates an extra layer that helps protects eggs from being penetrated by oxygen, which is what leads to rotting. Simply brush or dip your eggs in the oil, let them dry, and store them in the refrigerator!

Cold sore relief

The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil are said to have natural antiviral and antibiotic properties that can sometimes provide some relief from painful cold sores. In this case, it can be used both topically and taken as a supplement. Dab some coconut oil on the blister as soon as you feel it forming and take one tablespoon orally.

Remove stubborn stickers or gum

We all have those pesky stickers that won’t seem to come off completely, no matter how much you scrub and scrape. Try a mixture of 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 1 teaspoon baking soda, and let sit on the surface for 15-20 minutes. Scrape away with a firm-edged tool. This method can also work for removing gum from carpets, furniture, and even hair.

Get rid of under eye bags

Using coconut oil under your eyes before bed can potentially help to diminish dark circles and look well-rested the next morning. Massage a small amount under your eyes and let it moisturize your sensitive skin for a smooth, fresh look.

Toothpaste

The Lauric Acid and other antibacterial properties in coconut oil can fight bacteria that lead to tooth decay, bad breath, and plaque. You only need to use a very small amount. Try mixing it with a little baking soda for whitening benefits!

Coffee creamer

Instead of sugary coffee creamers, try a tablespoon of coconut oil instead! It will give you a creamy texture with a hint of yummy coconut taste. If the oil is separating and won’t dissolve, try throwing the coffee in a blender for a minute. This also works for iced coffee!

Our Favorite Infused Water

June 8, 2015

It’s always good practice to drink more water, and water infused with herbs and fruit is a tasty, refreshing way to stay hydrated. It’s so easy to make these infusions yourself, and you can experiment with tons of different ingredients that have numerous benefits.

To get started, fill a glass jar or pitcher with desired amount of water. Make sure to leave a few inches at the top for your add-ins. Wash and chop or slice your desired ingredients to fit in the jar easily. Let the mixture infuse overnight in the refrigerator. You can put ice in the pitcher if you like your water to be a little colder.

Infusing the water is easy, choosing ingredients is the hard part! Lemon slices are a great place to start. Not only do they infuse the water almost immediately, but they also have tons of health benefits! Lemons are high in potassium and vitamin C, and have been known to aid in digestion and flush toxins out of your body. Note: Too much lemon can be hard on your tooth enamel. One lemon’s worth of slices for a full pitcher of water should do the trick!

Cucumbers are another common ingredient in infused water, and for good reason. Adding cucumbers to water boosts your drink with extra nutrients like vitamin A, calcium, iron and antioxidants. Cucumbers also contain silica, which is good for both your skin and muscle health. Try adding a little mint to your infused water for taste and some extra antioxidants. Mint also contains menthol, which is a natural decongestant and can help soothe a sore throat.  Grapefruits are another popular add-in, because they are full of fiber and electrolytes. Basil is also a great addition, both for its light taste and its anti-inflammatory properties.

Some of our favorite infusions are:

  1. Watermelon + mint
  2. Lemon + cucumber + mint
  3. Strawberry + lemon + basil
  4. Rosemary + grapefruit
  5. Kiwi + strawberry + cucumber
  6. Raspberry + lime + basil

Guide to Going Gluten-Free

June 2, 2015

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or gluten-intolerance, or you are cutting gluten out of your diet for other reasons, there are some definite challenges associated with going gluten-free. It can feel limiting and frustrating, but luckily there are plenty of great resources and substitution options. Check out our friends at the NFCA for more info about Celiac disease, symptoms, diagnosis, and testing. They also have a widespread, supportive community that can help answer questions about living life without gluten. Below are some basics to help you get on the right track when going gluten-free.

One of the first steps to take when going gluten-free is to become familiar with different types of grains, and learn which ones are safe for you to eat. Wheat, Barley, and Rye are the three major types of grains that you should steer clear of, because they all contain the gluten protein. They are also the most common ingredients in most bread, pasta, cereal, gravy sauces, and beer. The good news is there are plenty of grains that contain no gluten, and can act as an awesome substitute to the more traditional forms of wheat many of us are used to. Arrowhead Mills Organic White Rice Flour and Organic Fair Trade Coconut Flour are both great gluten-free options for baking. Quinoa is another example of a safe grain, and has the added benefit of being a complete protein!

Fortunately, gluten-free food has become extremely popular, so there are more store bought gluten-free options than ever before. This comes in handy for staples like bread, pasta, and snacks, but it’s also important to remember that plenty of your favorite foods are naturally gluten-free! Fruits, vegetables, eggs, cheese, meat, and fish don’t contain gluten, and have numerous other health benefits as well!

One of the most crucial parts of following a gluten-free diet is learning to read food labels. If you are unsure if a product is safe for you to consume, check out the label and make sure it doesn’t contain any wheat products or flours, including Kamut, Semolina, Durum flour, Farina, Barley (malt, malt flavoring), Rye, Triticale, Spelt or Graham flour. If you’ve read the back of the label and you are still unsure, it is safer to go for something that is certified gluten-free.

Keep an eye out for cross-contamination. This can happen at the manufacturing level, at a restaurant, and even at home. If you are concerned about cross-contamination in store bought foods, make sure it is labeled “gluten-free,” because this means it is regulated by the FDA. You can also reach out to the company or manufacturer and ask if their products are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. When going out to eat, look for restaurants that advertise gluten-free options, and call ahead to make sure they are prepared in a way that eliminates the chance of cross-contamination. In your own home, make sure that you thoroughly clean all surfaces you might prepare food wash all utensils and dishware that may have been exposed to foods containing gluten.

Get creative in the kitchen! Like we mentioned earlier, there are tons of great substitutes for baking, and you can come up with awesome alternatives to some of your favorite recipes! If you need a little inspiration, head over to our recipe page and our Pinterest to get started on some homemade gluten-free goodness!

DIY Mason Jar Tinting

May 28, 2015

Mason jars are a functional staple for the home with tons of uses from storage to decoration. They are easy to find, and relatively inexpensive, and the best part is, there are a million different ways to personalize them to fit your style. You can paint them, glitter them, wrap them in ribbons, or you can try our tutorial for tinting them at home! It’s an easy, safe way to get beautifully colored mason jars that will last you forever. Use them as a vase, a candleholder, utensil storage, holiday decoration, or anything else you can think of! (Note: for safety, these Mason jars should not be used for food or drink after tinting!)

There are a few different methods fir tinting mason jars. The most simple, popular way calls for a glossy decoupage medium (like Mod Podge), food coloring, room temperature water, a baking sheet, and wax or parchment paper. You will want to cover your workspace with newspaper or parchment paper as well because it can get a bit messy.

Step one: Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F

Step two: Mix up to 10 drops of food coloring with a Tablespoon of water. The more pigmented you want your Mason jars, the more food coloring you should add

Step three: Pour about 1-2 Tablespoons of decoupage medium into your Mason jar, then add the water and food coloring mixture to the jar and stir well

Step four: Tilt the Mason jar around until the entire inside surface is covered with the colored mixture (including the rim). Once covered, pour the excess mixture out into a bowl and let sit upside down on top of the newspaper for 30 minutes to an hour or until dry.

Step five: Wipe excess color from the rim of the Mason jar and place upside down on lined baking sheet in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn right side up and let bake for 20-30 more minutes.

Step six: Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Enjoy your beautiful new Mason jars!

Fun Ideas for Camping with the Family

May 21, 2015

With Memorial Day coming up, lots of us are itching to gather the kids and explore the great outdoors. Here are some fun ideas to make your camping trip a blast for the whole family!

Have a scavenger hunt! Make a short list of items you would find in nature (EX: pinecone, feathers, a brown leaf, a green leaf, shiny rock) and walk around the campsite or trail to find them. This is a good activity to do in groups of two or more.

Create some one-of-a-kind leaf art. Bring along a few simple art supplies and the possibilities are endless! Try leaf rubbing by placing any type of leaf on a hard surface, covering it with a sheet of paper and rubbing a crayon gently over the leaf. Watch the shape of it appear on your sheet of paper! You can also use finger-paints to create leaf stamps. Let your kids paint some leaves with their favorite colors, and stamp them on a clean sheet of paper before the paint dries. Get creative with some leaf puppets. Use pipe cleaners or Popsicle sticks and some stick-on googly eyes and let the kids decorate their leaf puppets and put on a dinnertime show.

Amp up your campfire stories with shadow puppets! This is also a fun way for everyone to wind down in the tent before bed.

Experiment with your gluten-free S’mores. Try adding MaraNatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread instead of trying to melt squares of chocolate on your graham cracker. Or, ditch the graham crackers all together and make a s’mores burrito using Rudi’s Gluten-Free Plain Tortillas, some mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips. Put a handful of each in the center of the tortilla, roll it up like a burrito and wrap in foil, and place near the base of your campfire for 2-3 minutes. A tasty twist on a campfire classic!

Almond Oatmeal Cookies, Three Ways

May 18, 2015

By Susan O’Brien

I like to develop healthier options for dessert.  These cookies are higher in protein due to the almond meal/flour and they taste delicious.  I prepared them 3 ways to offer options. I hope you enjoy them!

Almond and Oatmeal Cookies, Three Ways

I have created three options for this cookie: jam in the center, chocolate on top, and plain. Bake your favorite one or enjoy them all! Please note that I used a small amount of ghee in this recipe. Ghee is clarified butter that has had the casein and other milk solids removed. If you are vegan, use coconut oil or melted vegan margarine instead. If you have an allergy to nuts, substitute the almond meal with the same amount of sorghum flour.

This recipe is found in my newest cookbook, Gluten Free Vegetarian Family Cookbook. Please check out my website at www.susanobrien.org

 

Makes 22–24 cookies

Time: About 45 minutes, including baking time

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon chia seeds

2 tablespoon water

1/4 cup ghee, butter, coconut oil, or vegan margarine

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

2 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup almond meal

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups GF oats

Jam or vegan chocolate chunks

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Put the chia seeds and water together in a small bowl and whisk them well. Let this mixture sit for about 5–6 minutes so it can gel.

3. In the meantime, put the ghee and coconut oil in a large mixing bowl and blend together with an electric mixer at medium speed until nice and creamy. Add the brown rice syrup, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Add the chia mixture and blend well.

3. Next, add the flour, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix for 1–2 minutes on high speed to fully incorporate the ingredients together. Stir the oats into the batter with a wooden spoon.

4. Using a rounded tablespoon, drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet, spacing the balls 2 inches apart. Press each ball of dough slightly to form a nice round cookie.

5. If you are making the cookies with jam, use the bottom of a rounded tablespoon (or your finger) to form a well in the center of each cookie. Fill each well with a dollop of your favorite all-fruit jam. If you are making the chocolate version of the cookies, lightly press chunks of chocolate across the top of each cookie. Or you can just leave them plain!

6. Bake the cookies for 20–22 minutes. Remove them from the cookie sheet and place them on a wire rack to cool.

A Toast For Every Occasion

May 15, 2015

By Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN

Summer is right around the corner and after the brutal winter we had in the Northeast, I am so excited for warm weather that I’m practically jumping out of my sandals!

Long, lazy days are ahead of us and that means picnics, parties and barbecues. With the kids at home, it means lots of hungry little ones looking for a snack. And, the timing couldn’t be better because Rudi’s Gluten-Free just reformulated their favorite gluten-free breads to make them fluffier and tastier. What’s more, the new bread slices are higher in fiber (4g per slice!) and as always, they’re free of GMOs.

Plus, Rudi’s Gluten-Free also has two new heat and serve toasts that make a super fun addition to easy summer meals. Here’s my guide to using the great new products from Rudi’s Gluten-Free for all of your summer celebrations!

The Cocktail Mixer: Radish-Cucumber Bites

I love a cheese plate and olives for drinks with our grown up friends, but I’m always looking for something fun and seasonal to serve alongside. This little hors d’oeuvre is pretty and colorful, and it’s the perfect bite to go with everything from a glass of rosé to a Negroni.

Here’s how:

Take a slice of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Original Sandwich Bread and toast it lightly. Let it cool, then spread a very thin layer of unsalted butter on top. Using an overlapping pattern, arrange thinly sliced radishes and thinly sliced peeled cucumbers on the bread (you can go red, green, red, or vice versa). Use a serrated bread knife to cut the bread into six squares. Makes enough slices of Radish-Cucumber Bites to serve each guest 2-3 bites.

The Get up and Go: Avocado Toast

Avocado toasts are hugely popular right now, and there are plenty of reasons why. Creamy, buttery avocados are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fat and potassium, and make a healthy and satisfying morning spread. I like to make mine on Rudi’s Gluten-Free Multigrain Sandwich Bread.

Here’s how:

Simply take half of an avocado and place it in a small mixing bowl, squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, sprinkle in a little sea salt and pepper, and mash. Then spread the avocado mixture over two toasted slices of the Rudi’s Gluten-Free Multigrain Sandwich Bread. Give each slice a little drizzle of olive oil and you’ve got a delicious breakfast that will keep you feeling full until lunch.

The Sleepy Sunday: Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

With three little kids, I pretty much never get a chance to sleep in. But, sometimes on Sundays my husband will let me stay in bed a little longer, which is pure heaven. I make it up to him by making this delicious French toast.

Here’s how:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together ¾ cups milk, 2 large eggs, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Place four slices of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Sandwich Bread into the milk mixture, turning to coat both sides. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, coat with 1 teaspoon unsalted butter and add the bread. Cook on each side for about two minutes, or until golden. And more butter to the pan and repeat with another four slices of bread. Serve with fresh berries and pure maple syrup.

The BBQ Buddy: Cheesy Toast and Garlic Toast

I love to grill. To me, there’s nothing better than cooking dinner outside in the fresh air. And clean up is always so much easier! But, it does always take a while to prep and heat the grill, and then cook all the food, which can leave you with some hungry kiddos. The new Rudi’s Gluten-Free Toasts are a great solution for a pre-BBQ snack. Since these toasts are already topped with savory goodness, this idea is the easiest of them all!

Here’s how:

You can simply follow the instructions on the package, which are to place the frozen slices of toast (four slices come per box) in a 400° oven until they are nice and crispy. Or, you can preheat your grill to medium and then place the frozen toasts on the grill for no more than five minutes, until fully thawed and crisp.

I hope you enjoy these fun ideas. Here’s a toast (pun intended) to a wonderfully delicious summer!

Gluten Free Playdough

May 11, 2015

Playdough is a fun, hands on way for kids to use their imaginations and express their creativity. However, if your kids are living gluten-free, traditional play dough might not be safe because it usually contains some form of gluten. Below is an easy recipe for gluten-free playdough that you and your kids can make together. It is just as good as the real thing, with the added bonus that it is safe for every kid to use!

  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch or potato starch
  • ½ cup salt
  • 3 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 2-3 drops food coloring
  1. Combine rice flour, starch, salt, and cream of tartar in a saucepan and stir.
  2. Add in oil, water, and food coloring and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Once mixture is sticky and forms a ball, remove from heat. Sprinkle some starch on a flat surface and knead the dough a few times to firm it up.
  4. Let cool for about 15-20 minutes and store in a sealable plastic bag
  5. Store in sealed plastic bag after each use