Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan

This is Tyler Florence's recipe from the Food Network Website. I meant to take a better picture of all of the layers and gooey, cheesy yumminess, but I totally forgot, and/or had temporary amnesia brought on by the aforementioned cheesy goodness.

Your GF subs and things to verify are...
- kalamata olives - verify that your brand is gluten free
- Verify your dried spices - I use McCormick.
- Use GF flour - I use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
- Verify your cheese. - I use Kraft shredded (bagged in the refrigerated cheese section, not the shaker can) for the parm and Precious for the mozz.
- Use GF pasta. We use nothing but Bi-Aglut here. But to be honest, we don't make pasta to go with this. We cut it like a lasagna and just dig in. That and a salad and you'll be stuffed.

This is so incredibly good. The first time we had this, my husband made it and we had five non-gf friends over, including two teenage boys. We demolished a huge pan of it and the boys had seconds. What better review can you get than that?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

GF Chicken Nuggets

Gluten free kids need chicken nuggets. It's that simple. These plates look no different than thousands of other plates all over the country tonight, and that's very important. (I'd like to think that my countertop looks the same as other countertops too - holy criminy.)

On most nights Ore Ida Tater Tots or Curly Fries would also be on that plate, but I had plans for the rest of that chicken and was just trying to get the kids fed.

While most parents can just reach into the freezer, grab a handful of frozen nuggets, throw them in the microwave and call it dinner, gluten free parents don't have that option. At least without taking out a second mortgage.

BUT! These are super easy, super quick and super good. I either buy thin-sliced breast filets (which these were) so they're a nice and even thickness, making them easy to cook, or tenders. I take them straight out of the package, coat them directly in my gluten free breadcrumbs and fry them in a little corn oil (soy and canola bother my stomach).


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Crunch 'N Munch

I can't even tell you how much I'm obsessed with Crunch 'N Munch right now. I discovered it a month ago when I was having one of those salty/sweet cravings moments.

I have no idea if the other flavors are gluten free, but Buttery Toffee definitely is. Because if there was even a little bit of gluten in it, with the (vast) quantities I've eaten lately, I would have had a reaction by now.

These are the things I think about when people express to me that they have symptoms of gluten problems but don't want to try the diet because they think they wouldn't be able to do it. Or when people look at me and say with such sweet and heartfelt compassion, "Oh my gosh. That must be so hard. I don't know how you do it."

When Patrick overhears these kind of comments, he just rolls his eyes because he doesn't feel sorry for me at. all. What with the Crunch 'N Munch and the Tater Tots and the Haagen Dazs. And the sodas and the Cheetoes. And the ranch dressing. And the bacon. And the - Well, you get the idea.

This is probably the point where I should mention that I'm not a health food blogger. The gluten free diet isn't about health food. Eating more healthfully is a great additional choice, and one that I should (obviously) make more often, but it isn't necessary to the GF diet. At all.

In my gluten free life, the great motivating factor for me has been figuring out how to have normal food. I want my kids to be able to have chicken nuggets and french fries. I want them to have pretty cookies and cupcakes to bring to birthday parties. I want them to be able to eat pizza at those classroom pizza parties and BBQ at the church. Sure we bring our own, but that's fine with them and it's fine with me.

Another thing I think about a lot is all of those regular, non-health-food people out there who have a strong suspicious that they have a gluten problem and who think they can't do it. I went to a celiac support group meeting once where a solid third of the people who were there were well past retirement age. That really got to me. My goal for this blog is to make sure that everybody from a retired couple to a stay at home mom knows that they. can. do. this. You're not going to be eating sprouts and tofu. You'll have a full, complete, enjoyable life full of really good and completely ordinary food.

The gluten free world is getting bigger every day. We've already got cake, cookie and brownie mixes from Betty Crocker and Chex from General Mills and beer from Anheuser Busch. Many other manufacturers are verifying their product line and putting the words "gluten free" right on their packages. From what I've read lately, Snyder's gluten free pretzels and gluten free Bisquick are going to be heading out to store shelves sometime in the next few months. I mean, Gluten Free BISQUICK? How amazing is that?

Anyway... I'm going to get back to my Crunch 'N Munch. We're heading over to the grandparents' for Fourth of July.

Have a great day everybody!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Gluten Free Breadcrumbs

These are a major staple in our house I always have a big batch of them in the pantry. I've used them in the place of seasoned breadcrumbs (such as Contadina, Progresso, etc.) in any recipe I've come across. I use them at least once a week to make chicken nuggets, I've made onion rings with them and used it as the breadcrumb topping in casseroles. They're awesome.

The best breadcrumbs I've tried are Ener-G Breadcrumbs. You'll have to trust me on this. Ener-G's bread is nasty, but for some reason their breadcrumbs are perfect. They have a nice texture and crunch, without that weird chemical taste their bread has. If you're in the Sacramento area, I've found these at Elliott's and I believe at Sunrise Natural Foods. Call ahead to check on availability.

For spices I always use McCormick. They say that they fully disclose any and all gluten and they've never let me down. You can also vary the amount of seasoning. We love paprika around here so I use a ton. You might want to start with just a teaspoon or two if you're not a paprika fan. I also tend to up the garlic powder a bit.

Gluten Free Breadcrumbs

1 cup Ener-G Breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp oregano