Friday, January 29, 2010

Skillet Lasagna

I love lasagna but I rarely have the foresight to plan ahead for it or the time because I didn’t plan. This dish is a quick version of lasagna that saves time and is easy enough to whip together after work. It was my first try at not cooking the lasagna noodles before using them and I was very pleased with the results. If you haven’t tried that yet please do, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Skillet Lasagna
Adapted from Kraft

1 lb ground beef or buffalo
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 C water
¼ C Italian dressing
12 GF lasagna noodles, broken into thirds (I use Tinkyada)
½ C cottage cheese
1 C mozzarella cheese

Brown the meat and garlic in a large saucepan. Add the spaghetti sauce, water, and dressing. Bring to a boil then stir in the noodles and cover. Cook on medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until the noodles are tender, stirring occasionally. Be sure to separate any noodles that stick together or they won’t all cook through properly. Add the cottage cheese and mix well then top with the mozzarella and let stand until the cheese is melted.
For a dairy free option omit the cottage cheese and use DF mozzarella (Daiya is my fav). It will still be delicious. Be sure your spaghetti sauce is DF, our favorite had cheese in it so we had to buy the non-organic version which is DF.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Colombo's Gluten Free Pizza Crust

I about fell over with excitement when I walked into Colombo’s for lunch yesterday, thank you so much Kelly for calling me for an impromptu lunch! We were standing in line to order and I always get the salad bar but still look at the pizza options when I noticed a lovely sign that has changed my world. It simply states Colombo’s now offers gluten free crust and soy cheese. My wish has come true! I was so excited I didn’t think to ask about cross contamination but I did let Joe know that I was so happy to see GF pizza crust in town. I promptly texted DH and he texted back saying I should pick some pizza up on my way home. Woot for not having to cook and for getting pizza!

I called in my order and talked with the cook to ask about cross contamination. He said the pizzas come on their own aluminum tray so they never touch the same surface the regular crusts touch including the brick oven. I then asked if they had a dedicated pizza cutter for the GF crust and he said he didn’t even think about that but to just state at the time of the order that a clean pizza cutter will need to be used for the GF crust. So I ordered two pizzas and asked that he use a clean pizza cutter which he happily agreed to do. They are the same size as their small pizzas. When I picked them up the cook said he was very careful about cross contamination and let me tell you it was a hard car ride home smelling those delicious pizzas.

The pizzas were really good and I liked the thin crunchy crust. Hubby said it’s not as good as their regular crust but we weren’t expecting it to be. These are a tasty option and as long as you ask them to be cautious about cross contamination you will have a great GF pizza experience. Thanks Colombos!
Veggie Delight

Colombo's is located at 1003 W College, 406-587-5544.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Maple Syrup Brussels Sprouts

Last fall I felt daring when I picked up a package of Brussels sprouts from Costco, I figured they were worth a try since I really had never had them before. I feel these poor things have a bad reputation, it’s just one of those vegetables that people automatically put in the terrible category. I crave this recipe and even though the rest of my family doesn’t really care for them, Hubby will eat one and that’s it, I’ll happily eat them all. My girl did eat all of hers so hopefully I’m at least bringing one of the kids over to my side.

Maple Syrup Brussels Sprouts
Adapted from Mrs. G.F.

15 brussels sprouts, washed and sliced in half (I just used 1/2 the bag)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T butter (you can use olive oil)
2 T olive oil
4 T maple syrup
1 T butter (again you can use olive oil)

Warm the olive oil and 2 T butter in a skillet on medium. Add the garlic then lay the Brussels sprouts in the pan cut sides down. Cover and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

Heat the maple syrup and 1 T butter in the microwave. Add the syrup mixture to the Brussels sprouts and toss to coat. Happily serve to your family even though they don’t appreciate all of the Vitamin C and K packed into these bundles of love.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gluten Free Ice Cream Sandwiches

Have I died and gone to ice cream sandwich heaven? Quite possibly! It happened as I was in Lee & Dad's IGA in Belgrade walking down the ice cream aisle. I was thinking how nice it would be if we had gluten free ice cream sandwiches in the area and so I decided to give the shelves a thorough look. I had to re-read it a couple times because I just couldn't believe it, we have them here!

Julie's Organic ice cream has teamed up with GlutenFreeda to offer us GFer's safe ice cream sandwiches. Our after school snack this afternoon was my new discovery and I can say we all loved them. The cookies are soft and sweet and balanced perfectly with the ice cream. There are four sandwiches in a pack and they are thick. My boy devoured his and requested another one and my girl split one with me though I think she could have easily eaten one on her own.

These ice cream sandwiches are delicious!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Food For Thought Specialty Deli, Gluten Free

I've been meaning to contact Food For Thought for months now to see if they have gluten free options and I finally did last week. You can see on their website that they mention some of their gluten free items but I wanted to check and see what they did to prevent cross contamination and if they had more GF items available. Here's the response I got.

"We have a variety of gluten free options at FFT. We purchase GF bread for our sandwiches, they are made on individual plates off of the sandwich cart and wrapped in foil when placed on the panini grille.

We have a variety of GF entrees, sides,desserts and salads prepared daily. Our chef is GF herself and has been for over 15 years, She is very adept with GF cooking and baking. We have separate cooking utensils and cook ware for our GF food, however I cannot say that we can do much more than that for cross contamination. We make sure to educate our GF customers regarding cross contamination stance, so that they are aware of the risk."

To me it sounds like they're very careful with their cross contamination and I can't wait to stop by for lunch one of these days.

Food For Thought is located at 270 West Kagy, Unit B in Bozeman. They are open Monday through Friday from 7:30am-7:00pm and Saturday 9:00am-3:00pm.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gluten Free Mama &

Amazon is finally doing what I've been wanting them to do for awhile, they're carrying the Gluten Free Mama products! I'm going to compare the prices to local stores but so far it seems like Amazon is the cheapest way to go. The last time I purchased the GFM products I bought them directly from her website and shipping was steep, it still balanced out to be cheaper than buying it locally.

I buy a few items that we love in bulk from Amazon since they do come out being cheaper than buying from local stores. With the free shipping when it's sent directly from Amazon you just can't go wrong. I support local as much as I can but we all know that buying GF products really hits the pocket book so this is a way to help offset some costs.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tilapia Parmesan

Here is a low calorie quick meal that is delicious. It’s easy to make and gets my kids eating fish. My boy won’t touch salmon yet but tilapia is such a mild flavored fish that he doesn’t think twice. If you have a different fish on hand try the sauce, it really hits the spot.

Tilapia Parmesan
Adapted from All Recipes

½ C grated Parmesan *
2 T butter, softened - Use Earth Balance for DF
3 T mayonnaise
2 T lemon juice
¼ t basil
¼ t pepper
1/8 t onion powder
2 pounds tilapia fillets

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Mix together the Parmesan, butter, mayonnaise, lemon juice, basil, pepper, and onion powder.

Arrange the fillets in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 6-8 minutes, flipping once, or until the fillets are cooked through. They will easily flake when pricked with a fork in the fattiest portion when done. Cover the fillets with the Parmesan sauce and bake another 2 minutes.
*For a dairy free option I like to use 1/2 Daiya mozzarella cheese and 1/2 vegan parmesan cheese topping. You can find the parmesan at Rosauer's Huckleberry Market.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Children's Museum in Bozeman

I received the Children's Museum of Bozeman Newsletter for January today and happened upon something that I thought I'd share. One of the new things at the CM is below.

"Barley in the Sensory Table. If your kids liked playing with the beans, they'll love the new barley!"

This obviously poses a huge risk for any little ones that are Celiac or gluten sensitive. The more I've thought it about the more I'm realizing the risks. As kids play with the barley it will be spread around the CM, not only in it's full form but I can see cross contamination issues since hands won't be washed.

I sent the CM an e-mail bringing up the issue of having barley around and the risks it poses to little ones that can't have gluten. I'm not sure what kind of response I'll get but I'll post anything I hear.

I for one will be avoiding the CM with my kids until they are no longer using the barley, it's just not worth the risk to me. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Caramel Apple Pork Chops & Coconut Fried Rice

This is a recipe I stumbled on while searching for some ideas on how to use up the pork chops in our freezer. I like pork chops but it can be so hard to not overcook them and I get paranoid about undercooking them. I like this recipe because even if I do overcook them a bit it can be easily hidden. Plus it contains caramel apples so who isn’t happy with that? The whole family likes this dish and in my book that makes it a keeper.

Caramel Apple Pork Chops
Adapted from All Recipes

4 pork chops (I get the big daddy’s from Costco so they need to cook for quite a bit)
Grape juice for marinade (I use whatever juice we have in the fridge at the time but grape is fantastic)
olive oil
4 T brown sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
¼ t ground cinnamon
¼ t ground nutmeg
4 T butter
4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (found organic ones at Costco)

Marinade pork chops over night in the grape juice flipping once.

In a large skillet add olive oil and pork chops cooking over medium heat. Turn occasionally and cook until done, salt & pepper to taste. I usually keep them covered while I cook them.

Meanwhile in a bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Melt the butter in another skillet then add the brown sugar mixture and apples. Cover and cook until the apples are just tender. This only takes a few minutes so watch it, if you cook it too long (like my picture below) the caramel gets to be too runny.

To serve top the pork chops with apples and sauce.

I merged different recipes I saw online to come up with a different fried rice recipe, nothing I saw was exactly what I wanted to do. I've also added some of my own things and I must say this rice is fantastic. It's got a little kick to it with some sweetness, definately a keeper.

Coconut Fried Rice

2 T GF soy sauce
3 T lime juice (lemon works also)
1 T brown sugar

2 C cooked rice
1 medium onion, diced
½ t red pepper flakes
2 T coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh ginger
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
3 eggs lightly beaten
1/3 C coconut

Sauté the onion and pepper flakes in coconut oil over medium heat until the onion are soft. Add the garlic and ginger sautéing for another minute or two. Add the eggs then top with the rice, pineapple, coconut, and sauce. Let it sit for 1 minute then stir and continue to cook until the eggs are cooked through.

If you would like to add shrimp use 1 lb and add it with the garlic and ginger. Make sure the shrimp is fully cooked before adding the eggs, etc. You can also add color with some green onions or other vegetables. Add them in after the eggs.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gluten Free Rustic Holiday Tart Review - Oak Street Natural Market

I had to give Oak Street Natural Market’s rustic holiday tart a try, for the sake of this blog really. I pre-ordered two tarts and picked them up the day before Christmas Eve. They travelled great until I got to my parents house and managed to drop one, I’m good at things like that. It was still edible just not very pretty so I was obligated to graze on the crumbs to save the rest of the family from having to eat it. I thought the tarts were delicious, they weren’t too sweet and the crust was to die for. It was so good I could have just eaten that alone. It was crisp on the outside but not dry and the subtle sweet to it was perfect. I want to make crust like that.

When I was picking the tarts up I noticed that Oak Street Natural Market now offers gluten free bread as an option for their sandwiches. It costs $1 more but that’s standard and the great part is it offers another lunch option for us GFer’s in the area.