Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gluten free Christmakah: GF Lasagna, GF Potato Latkes and GF Chocolate Pudding Pie

This holiday season I spent the time with husband's family in the Midwest - Milwaukee to be exact.  This has got to be one of the most #glutenfree friendly cities around!  From high end restaurants like Roots to the Bradley Center's gluten-free kiosk, to an abundance of GF options at local grocery stores like Metcalfe's Sentry, Pick-N-Save and Outpost, I had no troubles finding good gluten-free eats.

Our Christmas/Chanukah dinner consisted of gluten-free lasagna and freshly made potato latkes.  However, these recipes take a lot of if you are willing to devote the time, you will have some good rewards!  The potato latkes took about 2 hours from start to plate, but came out really good.

The best part was the dessert.  It was my first time making this pie, with a special recipe from my sister-in-law (recipe coming as soon as she emails it to me!) to make fresh creamy chocolate pudding with Kinninnick gluten-free graham style crumbs.  And I have to say wow - the guests loved it and especially made comments about how good the crust was!  The only thing I would have added would be some whipped cream to top it off.

Hope you enjoy these dishes.

Gluten-free lasagna


Gluten-free chocolate pudding pie (recipe coming!):

Gluten-free potato latkes

Gluten free ham (we just used one from the store and followed the directions for the glaze):

A total meal, with roasted carrots:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gluten-Free Holiday Sugar Cookies

If you are looking for an easy way to make Gluten free sugar cookies for the holidays, check out Gluten Free Essentials Vanilla Sugar Cookie Mix.  I found this at The Gluten Free Trading Company in Milwaukee, WI - where my in-laws live - a few years back and I look forward to making these cookies every year!

All you need to make this mix is a stick of butter and 2 eggs.  The trick to doing this right is to chill the dough.  The recipe is on the back of the cookie mix bag.

I usually add a little bit more of GF Vanilla Extract as well to make it just a bit sweeter and to take away any grittiness which sometimes happens with all GF baked goods.

The recipe calls for the melted stick of butter to be mixed with 2 beaten eggs.  Then you add in the dry mix (I do this slowly and with a hand mixer) until it is all incorporated.  I then add the little bit more of Vanilla extract.

At this point, you can refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes, but it can go longer if you need to.

Then, pre-heat the oven to what it says on the package (I think it's about 375).  On a non-stick cookie sheet, lightly grease the pan and roll the dough into balls.  Place the dough on the cookie sheet, allowing room in between each for them to expand.  Cook for about 10-12 minutes.

When they come out of the oven, allow them to sit for about a minute.  Then gently use a spatula to lift them off the cookie sheet to a drying rack.  They will get a bit more brown during this time.

The mix should yield about 18-20 cookies. Let them cool completely before frosting with your favorite GF frosting!  I used Betty Crocker's vanilla (and it says Gluten Free on the label!!) with red and green sanding sugar.  Very festive and delicious!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Braised Chicken with Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce

I had an idea to make something with chicken drumsticks and thighs, and came across a braised chicken recipe in the Healthy Family Cookbook, that I modified for gluten-free.  It came out amazing...thanks to a bit of help from some Greek wine (from my honeymoon) and a little help from my husband!

You can cook this in a Dutch oven which makes cooking and clean up easy since it's all in one pot.  

I made this along with some spinach and re-heated the gluten-free stuffing we had leftover from Thanksgiving - the sauce was amazing with it!!  

GF Braised Chicken with Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce

1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken drumsticks and thighs, skin on.
         Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 cup mushrooms sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons corn starch or GF flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or one package of Herb Ox chicken bouillon (make as directed on package)
1/2 cup dry white wine (or - in this case - Greek Muscat!)
2 bay leaves

1. Adjust the oven rack in the lower - middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees.  Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, about 7-10 minutes.  If your chicken doesn't all fit in one round, do this in batches.  Transfer the chicken to a plate.

2. Pour off some of the oil and fat until about 2 teaspoons is left and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, thyme, herbes de Provence, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the corn starch, a small bit of water and whisk for about 30 seconds.  Whisk in the broth and wine, scraping the bottom for any browned bits.

3. Stir in the bay leaves and add the chicken back to the pot, along with any chicken juices that may have accumulated.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven for about 30 minutes.  Check on the chicken, rotate in the pot and continue cooking until the chicken is falling off the bone, about another 15 minutes.  

4. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate and tent with foil.  Finish off the sauce (if needed) by letting it rest for about 5 minutes, skimming off any fat, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

5. Take off the heat, discard the bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper.  Pour sauce over the chicken and enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Snoopy, turkey, stuffing - perfect holiday!

I know it's a bit late to post this but I think I just got out of my food coma that ensued after the amazing gluten free Thanksgiving I had with my husband!

Our menu included Brined Turkey using the kit from Bed Bath & Beyond, Mashed Potato Casserole, Aleia's GF Stuffing (savory), Pumpkin Pie with GF crust from Jillian's, Sauteed Green Beans and Honey Glazed Carrots with Almonds.  We also made GF Turkey Gravy.  I have to say that the pie crust for the pumpkin pie was not as good as years past.  We tried to brown it by brushing a layer of oil on it.  NOT Recommended - it tasted like fried chicken!

The mashed potatoes came out great but I think the asiago cheese was a bit  too strong for this meal.  I think I should have kept it as mashed potatoes to keep the flavors of the meal more consistent.  The bold taste of this dish was overwhelming when eaten with the rich and heavy turkey with gravy.

The stuffing was a bit more crumbly this year than in the past, and I think that had to do with excess of chicken stock I used to make it.  Instead of the stuffing getting more flavorful, it just fell apart.  I'd keep it pretty consistent to what the recipe calls for.

The honey glazed carrots were new this year.  I first dry roasted the almonds in a 12" skillet to give it more of a smoky flavor.  It really enhanced the dish.  The recipe is from the America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook and is listed below.

Honey Glazed Carrots with Almonds

This string bean dish has become a new staple in my house.  So easy to make and very flavorful! You simply need to buy about one pound of fresh green beans, wash them and cut off the ends of each bean strand.  Then you heat up a little bit of oil in a 12" skillet and add the beans.  Saute them until they begin to get a little brown and then in the center of the pan, add a tablespoon or so of more oil with minced garlic.  Let this cook about 30 seconds until it becomes kind of like a paste.  Once that is ready, mix it all together and cook for about another minute or two.  Remove from the heat and top it off with a bit of lemon juice.

Sauteed Green Beans

Honey Glazed Carrots with Almonds
1 1/2 pounds carrots (about 9), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch think on the bias (slanted)
1/2   cup chicken broth
        salt and pepper
2      tablespoons honey
1      tablespoon unsalted butter
2      teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2      tablespoons sliced almonds

1. Add the almonds to a 12" skillet to dry roast them.  Stir them around until they turn light brown in color, about 5-7 minutes.

2. Bring the carrots, broth, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat.  Cover and reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the carrots are almost tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Uncover, increase the heat to high, and simmer rapidly until the liquid measures about 2 tablespoons, 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the honey, butter and almonds and continue to cook, stirring often, until the carrots are completely tender and the sauce has reduced to a light golden glaze, about 4 minutes.

4. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving - Gluten-free style

This may be one of my favorite weeks of the year - and my husband's favorite holiday, where cook together, go to the parade on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and watch football (Go Green Bay!) 

I am so thankful to have a great partner in life who will do a 100% Gluten Free Thanksgiving for me, including gluten-free stuffing, mashed potato casserole, and pumpkin pie in a gluten-free crust.  I have many recipes already on my blog from year's past but here is a quick re-cap with links to all my favorites made gluten-free:

Gluten-free pumpkin pie

Gluten-free stuffing

Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows

Citrus-glazed carrots

Mashed potato casserole

Gluten-free string bean casserole

Gluten-free brined turkey

Gluten-free apple pie

What are you making this year? 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gluten-Free Frozen Pizza

I'm lucky to live in NYC where they have amazing gluten-free options for pizza, including Mozzarelli's (with great cookies too!), Pie by the Pound (just had a great meetup there!) and even random places like Pizza Bash (near my office in Union Square).  Side note on this place - we were working late setting up for an event in our office and someone mentioned they ordered pizza.  Which normally for me meant I need to leave and eat at home.  And then I heard - no, I think they ordered GF for you.  I was shocked but yes - a gluten-free pizza was delivered to me and it was pretty good!

But I point in writing this piece was to applaud Glutino for providing great options for gluten-free pizza like this Spinach and Feta cheese pizza I had today for lunch while recovering from a cold.

It is super easy to make, has mass distribution (I can usually find this at Whole Foods, Fairway, and in both NY and other cities like Florida and Milwaukee), and tastes great!

For a quick fix meal this is a great option.  Thanks Glutino!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Gluten-free Burgers, Fries AND Onion Rings - Oh My!

On a recent work trip to Atlanta, my team and I went out to lunch at Yeah! Burger, and I have to say it should be named OH YEAH! Burger because it was just so great to feel "normal" at a Burger joint. 

The burger comes however you want it and on Gluten free bread - pretty good too as it wasn't too flaky or rubbery.  And you can get a ton of delicious fried foods - normally off limits to us - and they even combine together the fries and onion rings into the "50/50."  

Yum all around...great place to take your family and friends.  They have indoor and outdoor seating.

Check it out online at Yeah! Burger's website.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Green with Envy: Guacamole and Chips

Each year after Cinco de Mayo, as the weather warms up in NYC, I love to eat guacamole and chips.  Last night I had some friends over for dinner and we made homemade guacamole, which came out delicious!

This simple recipe can be modified to you own tastes, by adding beans, or cumin, or more jalapeños - it's all up to you.  Best's naturally Gluten-free!

2 small avocados or 1 large avocado
½ red onion, diced
½ jalapeño, diced
¼ tbsp. cilantro
Kosher salt
Lime juice (from fresh lime)

Cut the avocados in half and scoop out middle into a large bowl, discarding the pit.  Mash until large chunks are gone.  Add onion, jalapeno, cilantro, salt and lime juice.  Mix all ingredients together.  If taste is a bit bland, add more salt.  Serve with chips.

* A trick to getting more juice out of your lime, microwave it for about 30 seconds before cutting it open.  You will get a ton more juice out of it that way!

**When cutting the jalapeño, you may want to use a glove or cover your hands, as the seeds may make your hands sting from the acids in the pepper.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gluten Free Raspberry Cheesecake - Need I say more?

On a recent trip to see my family, my sister-in-law and I made this cheesecake recipe, using Kinnikinnick gluten-free graham crackers for the crust. I had never really seen GF graham crackers before so I was really excited to try this. 

They actually tasted great and really held up as a crust!!  I'd definitely recommend using this for other pie crusts.

After making the two layers listed below, top with your favorite fruit pie filling.  If you are not sure pie filling is gluten free, you can cook some fruit with a little sugar and water on the stove top till you have a nice sauce.  I used fresh raspberries and added some sugar in a pot on the stove, with a little water to mix it together. 



2 cups GF crushed graham crackers (you may need to buy 2 boxes)
1/2 cup butter (melted)
1/4 cup sugar

Mix together all crust ingredients in a bowl.  Pour into a 10x5 pan and press down with a fork till you have an even base.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1st Layer:
3 8oz packages of cream cheese (softened)- full fat is best, but low fat will work-don't use no fat
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat together all ingredients with electric mixer till mostly smooth, the pour over crust.  Bake for 25-35 minutes (till firm).  Let completely cool.

2nd Layer:
1 16oz package of sour cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together all ingredients and smooth over cooled 1st layer and crust.  Return to oven for 5-10 minutes.

Chill for at leat 6 hours.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Taste of Greece - Gluten-free Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes

My honeymoon in Greece was so amazing and the food was just spectacular!  Best part...most of the food was Gluten-Free!! 

A recently bought a Greece cookbook to learn how to make these amazing dishes at home.  My first attempt...stuffed peppers and tomatoes.  The recipe below serves 6, so feel free to adjust for less people.

I found dry roasting the pine nuts was utterly amazing and I plan to do this for most of my other dishes too, including salads.  Very fragrant and earthy.


6 very ripe tomatoes
6 large green bell peppers
1 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup chopped almonds
1 onion, chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup golden raisins
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 1/2 ounces scallions
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup tomato juice
3/4 ounce fresh mint
1 tbsp sugar
1 ounce flat-leaf parsley

1. Wash the tomatoes and peppers. Cut a small slice off the base so they can sit flat in the pot and cut off small "lids" on top. Use a melon baller or small spoon to scoop out the tomatoes and reserve the flesh in a separate bowl. Then remove the seeds and membranes from the peppers.

2. Dry-fry the pine nuts in a skillet on the stove over medium heat. Remove, then do the same to the chopped almonds. In another skillet, add 3 1/2 tbsp. oil and add the chopped onion. Fry for 3 minutes until softened and then add the rice. The amount of rice will depend on how big your peppers/tomatoes are. Stir the rice in rapidly, then add the raisins, chopped garlic, chopped scallions, cinnamon, pine nuts and almonds.

3. Add the reserved tomato flesh and stir. Pour in just enough water and diluted tomato juice to cover the mixture. You can also substitute water for chicken broth if desired. Leave to cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.

4. Chop the mint and add to the rice when it is tender and the juices have been absorbed. Season to taste and give the mixture a final stir.

5. Arrange the tomatoes and peppers in an ovenproof dish. Smear the insides with a little sugar, then fill them with the rice stuffing.

6. Put the "lids" back on the stuffed peppers and tomatoes. Pour a generous amount of olive oil over each one. Place in a 375 degrees pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes, basting regularly with the oil and cooking juices. Serve hot or cold scattered with chopped parsley.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas: Naturally Gluten-Free

For the holidays this year my husband bought me the best cookbook, America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.  It is so informative and has great ways to cook healthier.  I look for recipes that I would be easy to modify to make it gluten-free.  Lucky for me, this green chili chicken enchilada recipe was naturally gluten-free and seriously delicious!!

I modified it slightly since I couldn't find fresh tomatillos at the grocery stores in Manhattan so I bought Chi-Chi's brand green chili salsa from which had all the same ingredients such as jalapeños, tomatillos, onion and garlic.

Here is what it looked like before I put it in the oven.

I had a lot of leftover chicken filling so it was great to have tacos with it the rest of the week.
And here is the final product...delish!


1 package chicken thighs
2 1/2 cups green enchilada sauce (salsa)
2 tsp. vegetable or corn oil
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
1-2 hot Jamaican peppers (or any other hot pepper)
2 cans Chi-Chi's green chilis, diced
10    corn tortillas (six inch)
    Salt and pepper
1 lime

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Combine the chicken and the enchilada sauce (green salsa) in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer oven medium-low heat, 10 to 15 minutes. When the sauce is simmering, flip the chicken over, cover and continue to cook until the chicken registers 160-165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 10-15 minutes.

3. Transfer chicken to a plate and shred into bite-sized pieces when cool enough to handle. Combine the chicken, 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, cheese, chiles, and cilantro in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cover to keep warm while heating the tortillas.

4. Lightly coat both sides of the tortillas with vegetable cooking spray or oil. Place tortillas onto a baking sheet and bake until the tortillas are pliable, 2-4 minutes.

5. Working quickly, while the tortillas are still warm and pliable, spread them out over the clean counter. Place 1/3 cup of the chicken mix evenly down the center of each tortilla. Tightly wrap roll each tortilla around the filling and lay them, seam-side down, into a 13x9 inch baking dish. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.

6. Pour 1 cup more of the sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake until the cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes longer. Use a large spatula to remove each tortilla and squirt the lime juice over the plate when serving.