Partying Gluten-Free

•May 23, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Last night is the first time I attended a party since going gluten-free.  I followed all the advice out there that says to bring something you know you can eat.  I wound up making some marinated chicken skewers (see the Wild Thymes marinade review) that were a hit.  I also contributed some tortilla chips and gluten-free bean dip. The dip was okay – certainly not worth a review of its own, though. My friend had my favorite hot artichoke dip from a nearby market – and thankfully I knew what was in that, and was able to scoop it up with tortilla chips…yum!  There were lots of things I couldn’t have, though – quiche, pizza toasties (crostini with pizza toppings), and most of all beer. I’m not a big beer drinker, but I think it’s just like anything else – you always want something more when you can’t have it! As a matter of fact, I cleaned out my fridge and brought all the beer I had (which wasn’t much) to the party just to get it out of the house. I had a glass of white wine, but just the thought of grilling outside and not being able to pop open an ice cold Corona is a bit upsetting. I know there are some GF beers out there – so if anyone who follows me has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated.

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Review: Wild Thymes Marinades

•May 23, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Last night I went to a get-together and I needed to bring some finger food. I decided to bring something I was sure I’d be able to eat, so I settled on marinated chicken skewers. While perusing the new Whole Foods near me, I found some gluten-free marinades that looked very interesting. The company name is Wild Thymes.  There were many different flavors, but the two that I chose to use were Tropical Mango Lime and Chili Ginger Honey. Both got rave reviews from all the guests – even the kids! The Chili Ginger Honey was sweet and spicy, but not too spicy.  The Tropical Mango Lime had a sweetness from the mango and a tanginess from the lime. It was a very well-balanced flavor.  I didn’t have time to let them marinate very long, but even after 15 minutes, the chicken came out moist and flavorful when grilled.  I’m not sure if all of their flavors are gluten-free, but whichever ones are will wind up being taste-tested in my kitchen (or more likely on my grill…) this summer!  Here is a link to the company’s marinade page:

http://www.wildthymes.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=25

Enjoy!

Recipe: Mustard Chicken Salad

•May 23, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I really need to stop watching Food Network… I caught an episode of Barefoot Contessa this afternoon, and just couldn’t get this recipe out of my mind! I decided it would be great to take for lunches this week, since it has chicken AND veggies in it!  The mustard dressing is delicious – I used Hellman’s Light mayo and it works just fine. As far as the wine goes, I had an open bottle of Sauvignon Blanc in the fridge and it worked very well, but I would imagine a Pinot Grigio would be okay, too. I just don’t think I’d use Chardonnay…I think it would be too overpowering.  I also cut down on the salt – I don’t usually use much anyway, and I tasted the dressing before I added any. I think a tablespoon, which is what the original recipe called for, would have been way too much.One more thing – it is worth it to buy the fresh tarragon for this – then try to find something else to use it in. It really does make the salad.

Barefoot Contessa Mustard Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 whole (4 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and dice the chicken in large bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile, add the broccoli florets to a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook for 1 minute, until crisp tender, drain, and place into a bowl of ice water until cool. This will stop the cooking and set the bright green color.

For the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, wine, mustards, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add enough sauce to the warm chicken to moisten well. Add the tarragon, broccoli, and tomatoes and mix gently to combine. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe: BBQ Meatloaf

•May 14, 2010 • 1 Comment

One of my go-to dinners is meatloaf – especially in the winter. This past week was rather chilly, gray, and rainy around here so I decided to make a meatloaf using one of my all-time favorite recipes. This one was originally in Cooking Light magazine a long time ago.  I’ve made some adjustments to it, but I still feel like I should give credit where credit is due!  I thought about using oatmeal as a binder like my grandmother used to, but I never did like the texture so I decided to try Aleia’s GF breadcrumbs for the first time. They held together just fine, and have a nice, toasty flavor. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  pounds  ground beef, extra lean (raw)
  • 1/2  cup  dry breadcrumbs (I used Aleia’s GF)
  • 3/4  cup  chopped onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3  cup  barbecue sauce, divided
  • 1  tablespoon  prepared mustard
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  chili powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  large egg whites
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spray a large skillet withe cooking spray. Saute the onions, peppers, and garlic over medium to medium-high heat until softened.

Combine the beef, breadcrumbs, vegetables, 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce, and remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.

Shape meat mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Spread remaining barbecue sauce over top of meat loaf. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut loaf into 12 slices.

Review: Glutino Pretzels

•May 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Pretzels are one of my favorite snacks. I was afraid I would never have a pretzel again when I went GF. Luckily, I found Glutino pretzels! They are crispy, light, and better than any regular pretzels I have ever eaten! Even friends and colleagues who are not GF don’t hesitate to break into my stash. My favorite ones are the unsalted twists, since I’m not a big salt person – but these little pretzel sticks are a great snack when I’m in the mood for the salty/crunchy thing. If you haven’t tried them yet – you might not want to, because they are addictive!!

A pancake mistake…

•May 11, 2010 • 1 Comment

Last night I was hanging out with my friend’s two daughters – two of my favorite kids on the planet. I don’t think I could love them much more if they were my own. They make me laugh, they drive me nuts…and they are so darned cute! The older daughter is 9 years old is a very bright, sensitive girl who just happens to have Type I Diabetes. The younger one is 5 and she is just a bubbly, fun monkey.

After the monkey’s swimming lesson at the Y, everybody was starving and I wasn’t quite sure what to do for dinner. I had brilliantly put the kids in the tub right after swimming (why get all dry when you’re only going to get wet again anyway, right??) so going out wasn’t an option since they go right from the tub into PJs. I started scrounging around the house for stuff that I could eat – not much given the fact that I was in a non GF household. I was going to just make the girls mac and cheese and figure out my own dinner later when the older one says, “OOOOH! I have an idea! Breakfast for dinner! We can make pancakes and eggs!”

The eggs part – okay. I can do that…but pancakes? Ugh. Not good…but at least they can eat them. So we got cooking – the little one helped me mix the pancake batter and set the table. The older one scrambled and cooked the eggs to perfection (almost entirely by herself!) while I flipped the flapjacks.  I was told I was an awesome pancake maker. And oooh…they smelled SOOOOOO good!

When everything was ready, we sat down and I dished out eggs for everyone and pancakes for the girls. When I didn’t take a pancake, the little one says, “Why aren’t you eating pancakes?” I tried to explain why – knowing that the older one would understand, given the fact that she has something that makes her have to watch what she eats. My explanation didn’t necessarily convey the message that I wanted, and the little blue eyes looking at me while the little one said, “But you have to eat one of our special pancakes…” was just too much for me. So, I ate one…and paid the price later with a wicked stomach ache.

It was still one of the best pancakes I have ever had. 🙂

Recipe: Antipasto Pasta Salad

•May 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I decided I would grill out tonight, and one of my favorite sides on grill night is a good pasta salad.  This one came out really yummy, so I figured I’d share!

Antipasto Pasta Salad

12 oz. GF pasta, cooked according to package directions and rinsed in cold water until cooled ( I used penne)

8 oz. stick pepperoni, cut into chunks (Boar’s Head is my fave!)

12 oz. ball fresh mozzarella, cut into chunks

1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped

1 jar roasted peppers, drained and roughly chopped

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 – 3/4 cup GF Italian dressing or balsamic vinaigrette

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss until coated with dressing. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.