GFCF Recipes

GFCF Recipes

11.30.2007

Meat rice easy dish

Here's a nice slap-it-together GFCF meal. Everyone in my family likes this one. And it's free of gluten, casein, soy, egg, beans.

- 1 recipe pizza sauce

- ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey)

- brown rice, cooked OR pasta noodles OR kidney beans OR quinoa OR potatoes

Now, make the pizza sauce in a sauce pan. Cook the brown rice or pasta. Brown the ground meat.

When done, drain grease from the meat. Add some pizza sauce to the meat and stir in -- as much or little as you like. Add a cup or more of the rice or pasta. Stir. Sprinkle with some sea salt and/or favorite spices.

Serve.


11.28.2007

Yummy gluten-free sausage

I don't mind, every so often, promoting a product that I come across. I found a pretty good brand of sausage that not only offers gluten-free varieties, but also states that it's gluten-free ON THE FRONT of the package. And, because they did so, I bought a pack of their sausage. This is Aidells sausage. I bought the chicken-apple flavor. It is gluten-free, no MSG and made with chicken not injected with hormones. Perfect! The kids liked it but I had to explain why there were small pieces of apple in the sausage. I told them it was potato, which they would prefer over apple. Anyway, great product.

Check Aidells out at its Web site. They also have this to say about gluten: "Gluten is an ingredient in soy sauce which we use in some of our sausages. These are Thai, Lamb with Rosemary and Lemon Chicken. As for dairy products, our Pesto Sausage contains Romano cheese. Our spice blends are our trade secrets. However, if you are allergic to any particular spice, please contact us. We will happily tell you if it is in any of our products."


11.27.2007

How cell phones and Wi-Fi might cause autism

I don't know about you, but this study makes a heck of a lot of sense to me.


Washington, DC (PressReleaseHelp) November 15, 2007 -- A groundbreaking scientific study published this week in the peer-reviewed Australasian Journal of Clinical Environmental Medicine warns that wireless communication technology may be responsible for accelerating the rise in autism among the world’s children. (J.Aust.Coll.Nutr.& Env.Med, 2007; Vol.26, No.2 pages 3 – 7; report attached.)

Autism is a disabling neuro-developmental disorder whose cause is not completely understood, but is known to involve heavy metal toxicity. American advocacy groups call autism "the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States." Twenty years ago, only 1 in 10,000 children were diagnosed with some form of autism; U.S. government data show the rate in 2002 to be 1 in 150; clinicians who treat the disease estimate the occurrence today to be closer to 1 in 100.

Although some of the increase in autism can be ascribed to more efficient diagnosis by the medical community
The children studied were seen by Tamara Mariea², a certified clinical nutritionist based in Nashville, Tennessee, specializing in treating autism. She is the primary author of the paper, along with Dr. George Carlo¹, an expert on the dangers of electromagnetic radiation (EMR), who headed the world’s largest research program on mobile phone health hazards in the 1990s. Their work revealed the autism-wireless technology connection following a series of tests on autistic children monitored during 2005 and 2006.

The autistic children followed specific detoxification protocols in an environment that was mitigated with regard to sources of EMR including mobile phones and WiFi³. Heavy metal excretions were monitored from hair, urine and feces over periods ranging from several weeks to several months. The researchers found that with protocols administered in the mitigated environment, heavy metals were cleared from the children’s bodies in a pattern dependent on time and molecular weight. The heaviest metals, such as mercury and uranium, cleared last. In many of the children, the decrease in metals was concomitant with symptom amelioration.Tamara Mariea, said: “These findings give us very important clues to solving some of the enigmas we see in the autism literature regarding the efficacy of detoxification. And, we are extremely pleased with the results we are now seeing in these children. Our protocols are working.”

Dr. Carlo said, “These findings tie in with other studies showing adverse cell-membrane responses and disruptions of normal cell physiology. The EMR apparently causes the metals to be trapped in cells, slowing clearance and accelerating the onset of symptoms.”

The authors point out that the rise in cases of autism is paralleled by the huge growth in mobile phone and WiFi usage since the late 1990’s – with worldwide wireless usage now having reached nearly 4 billion persons.

“Although some of the increase in autism can be ascribed to more efficient diagnosis by the medical community,” Dr. Carlo said, “A rise of this magnitude must have a major environmental cause. Our data offer a reasonable mechanistic explanation for a connection between autism and wireless technology.”

Notes to Editors:1. In the 1990s, Dr George Carlo headed the $28.5 million Wireless Technology Research program, funded by the mobile phone industry and overseen by the federal government, studying health hazards from mobile phone technology. He is currently head of the non-profit Science and Public Policy Institute, based in Washington, D.C. 2. Tamara Mariea is Director of Internal Balance, Inc. in Nashville, Tennessee. Since 2000, she has helped over 500 autistic children.

3. WiFi refers to technologies that use wireless communication to connect computers to the Internet.

11.26.2007

Helpful flu shot brochure

It's flu season of course, which brings all sorts of concern about flu shots, thimerosal (mercury) and other disturbing vaccine ingredients that those of us in the Autism Spectrum Disorder community worry about. Anyway, here's a helpful brochure from SafeMinds -- The Coalition for SafeMinds (Sensible Action For Ending Mercury-Induced Neurological Disorders). It tells you which flu shots to watch out for, if you're considering them.

Autism medicine research & a dose of skepticism

Nothing like a strong dose of skepticism to start the morning. Sorry folks, I'm very concerned about this. First, note the word "relieve" in the release. That, to me, means this would be like a cough medicine. If you give the medicine, your child's symptoms are relieved, but not cured. When the medicine wears off, they return. And, then, like other meds, there's other impacts. With my kids, the preservatives and dyes are problems. They cause behavior issues that are almost worse than the initial illness. Again, sorry, but I think this is the mainstream medical community seeking that "pop a pill" answer to autism rather than the complex treatments that actually make life-changing differences for many of us. Make up your own mind. You'll find the original release here.


INVESTIGATIONAL MEDICATION TO BE STUDIED IN CHILDREN WITH AUTISM
PITTSBURGH, Nov. 26 – Children with autism spectrum disorder between the ages of five and 17 years are needed to participate in a research study looking at how a medicine called fluoxetine works to relieve the repetitive behavior and other symptoms associated with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). The study will take place at the John Merck Child Outpatient Clinic and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).

Researchers are looking for both children with autism and those who have symptoms of ASD. For the purpose of this study, fluoxetine is investigational. An investigational drug is one which has not been approved for this use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Autism is a developmental disorder that is characterized by impairments in communication and social interaction skills, as well as the presence of stereotyped patterns of behavior. Many children with autism also experience challenging behaviors, such as overactivity, anxiety, irritability and agitation. The targeted behaviors for this study include:

· constant rocking, spinning, twirling or pacing
· repeating words or phrases over and over
· repeating activities such as going in and out of doorways, picking up and putting down objects
· insisting objects be in a precise order; or that they do things in a particular way or particular order, et cetera
· insisting parents or caregivers perform activities in the same manner over and over again
· asking the same questions or making the same requests over and over
· issues with any other type of repetitive behavior that interferes with daily function

The study will require nine visits, and additional visits may be scheduled if clinically indicated. Participants will be compensated for their time.

11.23.2007

Autism research at Harvard

If you missed Kent Heckenlively's piece "The Harvard Gang" at the Age of Autism site, it's worth reading. Here's a snippet, but you can read the rest by following the link. It's interesting stuff about what Harvard researchers are finding in the autism world.

THE HARVARD GANG
By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

You can always tell a Harvard guy,” my dad would say, beginning one of the innumerable jokes he told during my youth.

“How?” my brother and I would respond, knowing we were being set up.

“Because he has to tell you he went to Harvard within the first five minutes you meet him,” came the answer.

If earlier generations of the crimson and black were known for trumpeting their credentials, I have to admit that the current crop now impresses me with their research into solving some of the mysteries of autism.

Dr. Martha Herbert of Harvard Medical School first caught my attention back in 2005 with her article, “Large Brains in Autism: The Challenge of Pervasive Abnormality.” Dr. Herbert was investigating the most replicated finding in autism neuroanatomy, namely that autistics seem to have unusually large brains. In her review of autism research, she noted that the picture which was emerging suggested inflammation as a reason for the large brains observed in autistic children.

Dr Herbert wrote, “Although there is a great deal of heterogeneity to the medical complaints that frequently accompany autism, there are common threads that may indicate common or related molecular and cellular mechanisms between body and brain. For instance, the pathophysiologies of inflammation and oxidative stress, and excitotoxicity are greatly linked, and it appears these types of mechanisms are implicated in the brain as well as some of the sensory and sleep regulation, epilepsy, immune, and gastro-intestinal complaints commonly seen in autism.”

To translate the medical-speak, inflammation is something we know from infections or injuries, oxidative stress is another expression for the signs of stress on the body from chemicals, and excitotoxicity is another word for how nerve cells responds to toxins.

Read the rest at Age of Autism.

11.22.2007

Gluten free stuffing ... just in time for Thanksgiving

You'll find this recipe for a basic, Thanksgiving gfcf stuffing at the GFCF Recipes site at Recipe Circus. I tried this the other day. Pretty good.

Garlic, Onion and Sage Stuffing
Source of Recipe: Angela Lowry

List of Ingredients
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted GFCF margarine (I just used canola oil in a pan)
2 small onions, finely chopped (I used 1 medium onion)
2 celery stalks, diced (I used 1 stalk)
5 garlic cloves, chopped (I used 3)
6 cups GFCF bread cubes (I used 1 recipe of Noah's Bread)
1 1/2 tablespoons rubbed or ground dried sage
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (I skipped this and added a pinch of cayenne pepper)
2 eggs, beaten to blend (I used flax eggs)
1 cup chicken stock or canned broth (I used homemade)

Recipe
Melt margarine/oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add
onions, celery and garlic and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes.

Combine bread, sage, salt, oregano, thyme, pepper and other spices in large bowl. Stir in onion mixture and eggs. Add stock and mix well.

Use to stuff goose, turkey, duck or chicken, or prepare as a side dish by baking in a casserole dish covered with oiled foil. I baked 20 mins at 350.

Happy Thanksgiving.

11.21.2007

Pumpkin spice cake

This is a great recipe to make for the kids -- or yourself -- for Thanksgiving. It's an easy gluten - casein - soy free recipe for a pumpkin bundt cake. I have to confess that I found this on the Web at a recipe site or maybe another blog, but I've forgotten which one. If this is yours, feel free to claim credit here. I've modified it slightly. It turned out great.

Ingredients

1 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
Dash of ground cloves
1 tbsp carob or cocoa powder
3 flax eggs
1¼ cups sugar
½ cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin (Libby's is gluten free)
1 Tbsp powdered sugar (reserved for later to sprinkle over cooled cake)

Directions

In large bowl, combine flours, Xanthan Gum, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, and carob/cocoa. Mix. Set aside.

Place flax eggs (1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp water - microwave 30 secs., let sit 5 mins), sugar and oil in mixing bowl and beat until blended. Add vanilla and pumpkin, mix another minute. Add mixed dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Pour batter into 10 cup capacity Bundt Pan which has been greased. I use Spectrum organic shortening. Sprinkle pan with sugar (approximately 1 tablespoon sugar). Bake in 350° oven for up to 40 minutes, checking after 30. Turn Bundt out onto serving tray and allow to cool. Once cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Domino sugar is gluten free. Or, try a Wholesome Sweeteners product.

Forced vaccinations? What's going on in Maryland?

In case you haven't heard what's happening in Maryland, I'll repost a Christian Science Monitor Story (via CBS News) below. I don't know about you, but there's no way anyone's forcing me to give my kids vaccines. And I haven't read much about the autism families in Maryland and how they're dealing with this. So, read the article and try to imagine how much thimerosal was pumped into these kids' arms.


Maryland County Gets Tough On Vaccinations

(Christian Science Monitor) This article was written by Gail Russell Chaddock.

For the parents that converged on a courthouse in Prince George's County, Md., on Saturday morning, the choice seemed clear: Vaccinate your kids or go to jail.

In fact, there are exemptions for medical or religious reasons in the state of Maryland. But few parents standing in lines that stretched down the sidewalk outside the county courthouse said they were aware of them.

Flanked by protesters and television crews, parents said they just wanted to sort out immunizations, so their kids could go back to school - and they could avoid penalties of up to 10 days in jail and $50 a day in fines.

"I've got too many children to raise to go to jail," says Remy Durham, who cares for her nephew, Lamonte Hyter, along with seven other children.

All states require that children be immunized from some childhood diseases, but the crackdown in Prince George's County has attracted international attention.

"We've had calls and e-mail from all over the country, especially the Midwest, as well as England, Germany, and Poland," says Glenn Ivey, state's attorney in Prince George's County, in a phone interview.

A lot of the uproar over the county's new approach to this issue was fueled by misinformation, he said - especially Web sites that said "we were going to start arresting people." One critic "called me a jackbooted representative of a United Nations, international pharmaceutical conspiracy," he says.

In fact, no decision has been made yet on what steps to take next, and it was never intended to scare people, he says. He's boiled his answer to critics down to one line: "It's about getting kids back in school, not to put parents in jail," he said.

By the start of the 2007 school year, more than 2,800 children in Prince George's County were not in compliance with state mandates on immunizations. The school board asked the courts to help by setting up a date for parents to either have their children vaccinated on site or provide evidence that they were in compliance with the law.

11.20.2007

A Thanksgiving experiment

We've never cooked a real Thanksgiving meal for our kids. Without gluten or casein or soy or rice or corn -- what was left? Well, this year, we're going to try a modified meal that, if all goes well, mirrors the adult's dinner. That way, if the kids want something that's on an adult's plate, we'll have something for them. They may never know it's different. And, who knows, maybe some of the adults will want what's on the kids plates. So, I am cooking tonight and tomorrow night. I will let you know how these work out and post -- both the successes and failures. Here's the main lineup:

- Roast chicken
- Sausage stuffing
- Mashed potatoes
- Pumpkin cake
- Carrots

And if we don't connect again until later, Happy Thanksgiving.

11.18.2007

Pizza omelet - GFCF style

In the spirit of my last post, fried potatoes, and after realizing that likely didn't satisfy your hunger for a really good new recipe, I felt obligated to offer something much better today. Thus, the pizza omelet recipe. Nothing difficult about this one. Of course, this does have eggs, the real ones. So, anyone with the dreaded egg allergy/intolerance, will avoid this recipe (like on our home). However, like in our home, even if the children can't enjoy, the adults sometimes sneak a little something for themselves. :)

Ingredients
---------------
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced fine
1/4 medium onion, diced
sliced pepperoni (or, alternatively, bacon or sausage -- see below)
sea salt
4 eggs
oil - I use canola

Now, heat a little oil in a pan. I really only use enough to coat the bottom, if that. Once hot, toss in the potatoes. In 5 mins, add the onion. In another 5 mins, add the pepperoni.

When the pepperoni starts to look cooked through, crack the eggs over the potato mix. You can make these scrambled, if desired, or keep the yolks intact. Let cook through on one side, then flip with a spatula. Season with sea salt, and if desired, pepper.

Now, this is good. It looks fun too. The pepperoni circles resemble a pizza and the yolks help that look also. Plus, it tastes great.

You can buy GFCF pepperoni at your local supermarket -- I believe Hormel makes a GF brand. Also, our local Giant Eagle started selling GF pepperoni (and it's marked with a real GF symbol now -- they finally realized there's a market for this stuff -- yeah!). Or, you can buy Wellshire Farms pizza pepperoni. If not, use an alternative, like Applegate Farms sausage, or Applegate Farms bacon. All healthy stuff -- and it tastes great. Also, remember, not all traditional breakfast foods have to be just for breakfast. This can be a good dinner too, especially if you're in need of more dinner ideas.

Fried potatoes

This is another one of those recipes that's really not a recipe. So, forgive me. It's fried potatoes. We really don't fry much anymore. When the kids were first diagnosed and I didn't know how to cook very much gfcf, we ate fried potatoes a few times a week. Now, it's really just a weekend treat. Now, through the week, my oldest -- the potato lover -- eats Dutch potatoes. Much healthier. But, they eat so little that's not healthy for them that I don't mind treats like this every so often. So, I simply peel, wash and cut up 3-4 medium potatoes -- diced fine so cooking doesn't take so long. I use canola oil (Tuscan Sun), just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Heat on medium high. Cook until golden, tossing every so often. You may toss in some chopped onion if you wish, or even chopped bacon (or fake bacon, i.e. - cut up hot dog). You'll find preservative free bacon and hot dogs out there -- Applegate Farms is one brand, Wellshire Farms is another.

11.16.2007

Banning hormone-free labels?

Not that we can drink milk here. But, I just thought this was stupid enough to repost and share with you. Pennsylvania decided to cave to pressures from the milk industry rather than do something productive to resolve the more pressing issue of whether the hormone injections actually are being passed along to humans in milk and beef. Whadya expect from government?

USA Today
Pa. bars hormone-free milk labels
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania is stopping dairies from stamping milk containers with hormone-free labels in a precedent-setting decision being closely watched by the industry.

Synthetic hormones have been used to improve milk production in cows for more than a decade. The chemical has not been detected in milk, so there is no way to test for its use, but a growing number of retailers have been selling and promoting hormone-free products in response to consumer demand.

State Agriculture Secretary Dennis C. Wolff said advertising one brand of milk as free from artificial hormones implies that competitors' milk is not safe, and it often comes with what he said is an unjustified higher price.

"It's kind of like a nuclear arms race," Wolff said. "One dairy does it and the next tries to outdo them. It's absolutely crazy."

Agricultural regulators in New Jersey and Ohio are considering following suit, the latest battle in a long-standing dispute over whether injecting cows with bovine growth hormone affects milk.

Effective Jan. 1, dairies selling milk in Pennsylvania, the nation's fifth-largest dairy state, will be banned from advertising that their product comes from cows that have never been treated with rBST, or recombinant bovine somatotropin.

The product, sold by St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. under the brand name Posilac, is the country's largest-selling dairy pharmaceutical. It is also known as recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rBGH.

It has been approved for use in the U.S. since 1994, although safety concerns have spurred an increase in rBST-free product sales. The hormone is banned in the European Union, Canada, Australia and Japan, largely out of concern that it may be harmful to herd health.

Monsanto spokesman Michael Doane said the hormone-free label "implies to consumers, who may or may not be informed on these issues, that there's a health-and-safety difference between these two milks, that there's 'good' milk and 'bad' milk, and we know that's not the case."

Rick North of the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, a leading critic of the artificial growth hormone, said the Pennsylvania rules amounted to censorship.

"This is a clear example of Monsanto's influence," he said. "They're getting clobbered in the marketplace by consumers everywhere wanting rBGH-free products."

Acting on a recommendation of an advisory panel, the Pennsylvania Agriculture Department has notified 16 dairies in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts that their labels were false or misleading and had to be changed by the end of December.

"There's absolutely no way to certify whether the milk is from cattle treated or not treated" with rBST, Wolff said. "Some of the dairies that have enforced this, it's absolutely the honor system."

Rutter's Dairy Inc., a central Pennsylvania company that sells about 300,000 gallons a week, began promoting its milk as free of artificial hormones this summer. It has fired back at the state decision with full-page newspaper ads and a lobbying campaign. It is also urging customers to protest.

"We just think the consumers are more keenly aware in today's world about where their food comes from and how their food is manufactured or handled," said Rutter's President Todd Rutter.

Rutter's sells its milk at the state's minimum price, but a national spot check of prices by the American Farm Bureau last month found "rBST-free" milk typically costs about 25% more.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

11.15.2007

GFCF and egg-free Hash browns -- McDonald's style

I hate to measure my cooking successes by how close I can replicate McDonald's foods. But, there's just a few things that I can't resist. This is one.

This hash brown recipe is another example of using one recipe in several ways. And, it's egg-free, soy-free, gluten-free and casein-free. It can be corn and rice free too with a little flour switching.


- 3-4 potatoes, shredded or diced in small pieces (your preference)

- 1/2 medium onion, shredded or diced in small pieces

Make batter according to directions and let sit 5 mins. Shred potato and onion. Mix into batter. Spoon into hot pan with 1/4 inch of oil or less. Form into shapes, if desired, using greased cookie cutters - circle, etc.

Fry on both sides until golden brown.

This was a treat last weekend. I don't think we'll do this too often due to health reasons.

11.14.2007

GF Pepperoni Bread

So, talk about easy and good. And, devious.

Yes, devious. I've made this into a morning bread for my youngest daughter. Very difficult to feed -- no egg, soy, rice, gluten, casein, etc. Anyway, making a variation of Noah's Bread, I've found something that gives her some meat, bread, fiber and other healthy things.

Here's how.

- make one Noah's Bread recipe
- add 1/2 tsp salt
- add 1 tbsp sugar
- cut up as much gf pepperoni (like Wellshire Farms, Applegate Farms or Hormel) that you want. Of course, you could use any meat, or salami, etc. Using more makes it more appealing, and filling.
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal mixed with 3 tbsp water; heat in microwave 30 secs and let sit 5 mins.)
- corn meal

So, mix the bread recipe, add the other ingredients. Spoon into about six lumps on a lightly greased baking sheet. Smooth the tops of the lumps down by wetting the back of a spatula or spoon - form the lumps into rounds. Sprinkle corn meal over the tops. Bake according to the Noah's Bread recipe.

Yum.

The Rescue Post has moved

For those of you who enjoy the Rescue Post, note that it has moved and been renamed Age of Autism. Same people, it seems. You'll find it at:

11.13.2007

Wal-Mart, autism and vaccines -- a holiday story

Thought you guys might like to read this. First, because it gets into the flu vaccine, thimerosal and mercury. Second, because this was written by Dr. David Ritchie of Boulder, Colorado. What's cool about that, you might ask? Well, he's my brother and an invaluable (free for me) resource when it comes to health issues. Enjoy the snippet. The rest of the article is on his blog, which you can find at this link.

My wife and I take both of our daughters to a chiropractic center near us that focuses on whole-body wellness. There is some research indicating that different types of chiropractic treatment (not the bone-crunching kind) helps kids with autism spectrum disorders. We believe -- without any scientific evidence -- that the treatments have helped some. I may post more on this later. There was an interesting piece on this in the last Schafer Autism Report, if you missed it.

The Flu Vaccine: Questionable at Best

By Dr. David Ritchie

It’s that time of year again… yup, it’s Flu season. You may have thought it was election season, seeing all the curbside signs to get $25 flu vaccines at Walmart, beckoning you as if they wanted your vote. Walmart, endlessly proving to the world that it is a one-stop-shop for everything; from food to patio furniture to underwear to… yup… you guessed it… vaccines. It looks like our health care system has taken the next step and is now being franchised like everything else. Does it concern you, even just a little bit, that the flu vaccine is being pushed so hard and you don’t even need to visit a doctor’s office to get it? Well, hopefully after reading this you might think twice.

Read the rest at Dr. Ritchie's blog, Innate Health. Or, if you're in the Boulder area, ask him about it yourself!


11.12.2007

GFCF guide to hot dogs


I love hot dogs, and so do my kids. But, with the host of food issues they have, including the gluten - casein free diet and soy, finding an OK hot dog is tricky. We don't follow Feingold strictly, but we also try to avoid the dyes and preservatives. We bend the rules for hot dogs, since they don't get much of this elsewhere. However, we are in the process of switching hot dogs, to a brand that does not have the preservatives. I think it's worth the extra money. I'll be buying those in bulk to cut my cost. So, here's a look at some OK hot dogs with a few notes on each. Also note, there are turkey dogs and chicken dogs and tofu dogs out there. We can't do tofu, so you won't find that here.

1 - Best's Kosher: This is the brand we use. It is kosher. It is gluten/casein free. It is soy free. We can't find it in a local supermarket, but we can buy it through Sam's Club. You could also find it in a Jewish grocery or deli in your city. The only downside is that it contains preservatives, which we try to avoid. Otherwise, it's perfect.

2 - Hebrew National: This is the brand we used to use. It's similar to Best's Kosher in every way, except it contains soy. That's a no-no for us. If it's OK for you, it's a great hot dog, and you'll find it in your local supermarket.

3 - Applegate Farms: This is an excellent brand that is gfcf, soy free, and does not have the preservatives. It is sold organic and a non-organic package. Your choice. We buy it at a local food co-op but I imagine you'll find this at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's too.

4 - Wellshire Farms: This is the brand we're switching to. The reason is it's gfcf, soy free and preservative free. I can get this in bulk for the same price as the kosher hot dogs, which have preservatives.

5 - Shelton's: If you're looking for an alternative to beef, Shelton's is among the best, selling turkey and chicken hot dogs. My kids will eat this.

6 - Others: I've been told, and I've read, that other supermarket hot dogs are OK, such as some -- not all -- Hillshire Farms, Oscar Meyer, Ball Park, etc. This may be true. I've tried to steer away from those, not for any reason based in fact. I tried to head for hot dogs held to stricter ingredient guidelines, like the kosher dogs. Now, I'm going even farther in buying the preservative-free. Just trying to keep as much junk out of my kids bodies as possible.

Now, for buns, you're on your own -- for now. But, I've made hot dog buns using the Noah's Bread recipe. And for ketchup, Heinz is gluten free, but we buy Muir Glen brand, which is organic and does not have the high fructose corn syrup. Again, I buy bulk to cut costs. Annie's also sells a healthy ketchup. Mustard -- French's.

11.09.2007

From cakes to cupcakes -- gfcf, of course

I like recipes that you can use in different ways. Cakes and cupcakes are an easy example. Sometimes my kids get tired of cake. I can see it on their faces. So, I'll use my "chocolate" cake recipe (carob) to make cupcakes. And they love it.

Here's my cupcakes:
- 1 "chocolate" (0r carob) cake recipe - click here for recipe
- muffin pan
- muffin liners

Simply pour the cake batter into the muffin liners, if you wish, or just into a greased muffin pan. I actually decrease the water in this recipe by 1/2 cup.



11.08.2007

Chocolate milk -- without the chocolate

Huh - you might ask? Chocolate without chocolate. Well, this really isn't a recipe. It's just one of those things. You know, a creation, to get around a food intolerance. My kids can't have chocolate, for now. So, I turned to carob to make my chocolate cakes and cookies. And recently, I've been adding a little carob to our milk -- rice milk or DariFree. I've had great success with this.

All I did is pour a glass of your favorite milk alternative. Then, in another cup, add a Tbsp of carob powder and drops of water until it forms a smooth paste that you can spoon out. I spoon just a little into each of their cups, along with a tsp of sugar, and stir. I do the paste thing to prevent the carob powder from clumping in the milk.

11.07.2007

Another pizza sauce recipe

Found this pizza sauce recipe on the web and tried it last week. Very tasty, especially for garlic lovers. The recipe was called "Laura's Pizza Sauce."

Ingredients

A 6-Ounce can tomato paste
2 Tbsps oil
½ cup water
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tspn salt
¼ Tspn pepper
½ Tspn vinegar

Directions

In medium sized bowl, add tomato paste, olive oil and water; stir. Add remaining ingredients and stir.

Let sit for a while for flavors to mingle. Heat on low. Serve.

11.06.2007

Autism was everywhere -- we just didn't notice (HA!)

So, if the autism rate is a creation of better diagnosis, where are all the undiagnosed autistics from past decades? They must be everywhere, right? Look around your office or hometown -- how many do you see or know over age 20?

Take me, for example. I have two children with autism. A man in the next pod over has an autistic son. The supervisor two pods in the other direction has an autistic nephew. A supervisor nearby has a child with an autism spectrum disorder. My wife's best friend from her youth has an autistic son. So does one of my friends -- two children in his family. My last boss has an autistic son. Two families in my neighborhood are struggling with autism spectrum disorders. Two families in my small church are struggling with the same. There are about six children in my daughter's kindergarten class with spectrum disorders with more coming next year.

Now, how many kids did I know in high school who fit the autism profile -- maybe one, undiagnosed of course. Or, he might have just been very shy.

This is an item from the Huffington Post...

The Boys on the Bus
Posted November 5, 2007
By Kim Stagliano

My kids get door-to-door pickup service to their public schools. It's one of the "perks" of having autism. Remember the old jokes about riding the "short bus"? Not so funny anymore. On one of the two buses that stop at my house, I see three boys in the windows. Boy #1 is a good looking kid. He also has the telltale facial traits of Down syndrome. He sits tall, alert, and looks out the window at the world. When I wave to him he returns the gesture. His smile could light up a Broadway stage. He greets my daughter as she mounts the stairs. I call him "The Mayor."

Boys #2 and 3 are typical looking kids, blond, also handsome. They sit hunched over with their faces contorted, eyes squeezed shut and their fingers in their ears, blocking out the world as if in pain. If they happen to glance at me, they cringe and turn away instantly. (I haven't always had that affect on boys, in case you're wondering.) Boys #2 and 3 have autism.

You simply can't mistake their autism for anything else. It doesn't look like intellectual disabilities, DS, cerebral palsy, or any other category of disability. And yet the drums are beating in the national media (again) to tell you that there is no autism epidemic, simply better diagnosis. Or to promote this offensive explanation for the skyrocketing numbers of kids with autism: parents clamor for the diagnosis in order to get school services. Sure, blame the greedy parents! "I'll take reading, writing, 'rithmatic, a one-on-one aide, OT and Speech and a couple of those naked lady tees please."

In my household, autism is an epidemic. We're the New England Patriots of autism. 3 and "Oh!" (Our three daughters have autism.)

Along with telling us there is no epidemic of autism, a major push is on for two pediatric autism screenings by age two. That confuses the heck out of me. Doctors are already so good at diagnosis that we've gone from CDC stats of 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 150 in twenty five years. Is there a prize if we get to 1 in 50 kids?

I'm not sure the pediatricians are ready to take on the "two by two" challenge. They have not been trained in the neurobiological symptoms of autism. After all, autism is classified as a psychiatric/behavioral disorder, even in 2007. I asked hundreds of parents how helpful their pediatrician had been as they sought answer for their kids. Their answers were disheartening. The majority said that their pediatrician was an impediment to getting a diagnosis.

For instance, when a parent expressed concern that her child had regressed in speech and started chewing his clothing voraciously, "There's nothing wrong with him. He's just not a dummy, like most kids. He's worried about the world." To the Mother whose child couldn't sit up at 12 months, "She's a late bloomer." Another gem, "Do you see the way his eyes follow this block? That proves he doesn't have autism." To a mother whose child wasn't clapping by 12 months, "If he does have autism there's nothing you can do about it."

Here's my personal favorite. "I've never heard of a family with more than one child with autism." That's what my pediatrician told me in 1998 when I expressed concerns about my second child's lack of speech. He was in his mid-forties and affiliated with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the most respected hospitals in the nation.

I believe my old pediatrician. I'm sure he had never run across a family like mine. Because I don't think we existed. The epidemic is real. It's here. The faces of those boys on the bus tell me so.

Mashed potatoes minus the milk and butter

How can mashed potatoes still be good without milk and butter? Well, I'm not sure you could possibly duplicate the original, but this version does a good job. This is a mini-recipe. If you're feeding more than a few, you should double it.

-- 5-6 medium potatoes
-- 1/2 tbsp organic shortening (or CF margarine if you can eat it)
-- 2 cubes chicken broth (these are ice cubes -- each cube is about 2 tbsp.)
-- 1 tsp sea salt
-- Darifree or other dairy sub

Boil the potatoes. Drain, and toss back into the pot. Add the 2 cubes of chicken broth (I make my own broth and freeze it in ice cube trays. Each cube is about 2 tbsp of broth.) And, add the 1/2 tbsp of shortening - I use the Spectrum organic shortening. Use what you like. Add the salt. Start mashing to get the lumps out. Then, I 'whip' with an electric beater. I add 1 tbsp of Darifree at a time to reach my desired whipped potato appearance and texture. Plus, the Darifree adds a creamy flavor.

Of course, after all that, my kids force me to make ketchup faces on their mashed potatoes. :)

11.05.2007

Easy pizza sauce gfcf

I found this on the web somewhere and used it. It's very simple. And it works. It's the first of two pizza sauces I'll post this week. Both are good. And, both can be used in other dishes, which I'll get into later.

- 6 oz. can tomato paste (I use Hunt's)
- 8 oz. tomato sauce (any gfcf like Muir Glen)
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- dash pepper
- dash oregano
- 1 tbsp olive oil or other oil
- optional: dash cayenne pepper

Mix in a sauce pan and heat on low until blended.

11.02.2007

Quick and easy gfcf chicken nuggets -- just like McDonalds

I found a recipe for Batter Fried Chicken Nuggets over at the GFCF Recipes Yahoo site at Recipe Circus. (So, no credit to me for the recipe) At first glance, I didn't think it could possibly work. Well, it does. There's no author listed. And, I -- of course -- played with the recipe a little bit. The best part of this recipe is that you can use any flour you like and it turns out pretty much like the nuggets you buy at McDonalds. So, if that's what you're looking for, this is the recipe.

- chicken: I cut up about 3 breasts.
- 1/3 cup gf flour (I used about 80 percent brown rice flour and 20 percent tapioca)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp Heinz vinegar (or other gf brand)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup water

So, you mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Then, combine the vinegar and soda in another small bowl, quickly dumping it in the flour as it reacts. Then, quickly add the water. Whisk well. Let this sit for about 5 minutes. It thickens. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a frying pan. Mix your chicken pieces in the batter and let them sit in there while the oil heats. When hot, fry until golden brown and cooked through.

Trust me, this works. And it's quick. And it's very simple.

11.01.2007

Translating GFCF Recipes

I'm amazed daily at how many people find my little blog each day from around the world - from Australia to Hong Kong to India to Israel to Germany, Spain and France, and nearly every state in the U.S. So, to make blogging easier for you, I've added an easy translation link to my site, located in the "GFCF Blog Guide" section near the top right corner. The scrolling message prompts international visitors to a free translation site hosted in the language they choose. Or, the link may immediately translate the page without having to plug in the blog address.

This makes it nearly as easy to read my blog in Chinese or Arabic as it is for a Pittsburgher to read it in English. I'll be expanding the service in the future.

Thanks for reading.

GFCF tortillas - great for sandwiches!

I put off trying gluten - casein free tortilla recipes. I'd never made tortillas in the past and was sort of afraid? Well, afraid may be too strong of a word. Anyway, I didn't. Until now. Let's call this the "Version I" tortilla, simply because it works for some things, but would not work for anything gooey or with sauce. It will fold, but not retain the bend. So, saucey stuff will run out. And, it doesn't keep too well. But, if you're looking for an alternative to regular breads and rolls for lunches and snacks, this would work. This version uses corn flour, but I know you could try any other flour -- brown rice and sorghum come to mind. Millet? Amaranth? Quinoa? This is very easy and quick. I had six tortillas in about 15 minutes, counting the mistakes. I had some for lunch and the following day after keeping them in the fridge. The hardest part of this recipe is the technique. Like many gfcf breads, it's sticky. The key is lots of flour. So, here it is.

- 1 1/2 cup corn flour, not corn meal
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2/3 cup luke warm water

Mix all the ingredients until you're able to scoop some up and roll a ball in your hand. It will be "loose." I taped wax paper onto my counter and coated it with corn flour. I floured my hands. I floured two spatulas. Yes, I used two. You'll see why. I put 1/2 tsp oil on a pan and heated it on high. When hot, I grabbed a golf ball size of dough, rolled it in my hand and then flattened it with my hands as much as possible. Then, I put it on the floured surfaced, flipped it so both sides were floured. Using the palm of my hand, I flattened more, keeping a circular shape, but not too much pressure. Now, using your hands to flip it will be difficult. It fell apart on me. So, I used the floured spatula to get underneath the dough and flip it. I flattened it more with my hand (I had to keep flouring my hands through all this), then I used the spatula again to get under it and plop it onto the pan. I cooked this about 1 minute on each side. A little more if you want.

Like I said, this is great as a sandwich alternative. I threw some lunch meat and mustard with lettuce in one for lunch. It's a nice change-up for my yeast-free daughter who eats buns at lunch from the Noah's Bread recipe.

I'm going to work with this a little more to get a tortilla that holds when it's bent.