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Showing posts from 2008

Cream soup -- GFCF & soy-free too!

I don't know where it came from, but my oldest daughter (7) not too long ago asked me to make cream soup for her. I don't think she'd ever had cream soup. And, us adults don't really make cream soup. So, it was one of those out-of-left-field moments. But, it was enough of a challenge to get me thinking of how to do it. As many of you know, we're not just GFCF, we're also soy-free. So, it's not like we can just jog down to the store and buy some. Anyway, I found a recipe and tinkered with it a little bit and I think it was successful. My daughter loved it and ate cream of chicken soup for two days. I'm not opposed to variety! I also did one better, I made it in the crock pot over the weekend. So, I dumped the food in the pot, turned it on, and left it all afternoon. I love 'easy' too.

So, here's what I did. You might tinker more with the "cream" ingredients to fit your family's diet needs and preferences. For example, I used Dari…

GFCF Scalloped potatoes

I love potatoes -- all types. And, I sorta miss having scalloped potatoes since we've become mostly a GFCF household. Being soy-free also doesn't make subbing dairy any easier. I've tried to develop scalloped potato recipes a few times but failed. Getting the right flavor and texture is vital to this recipe. Finally, I've come up with a recipe that's pretty darn good. It's something I can live with. And, my kids like it too. I did this in the crock pot, but I'm sure you can adapt to the oven.

Ingredients
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Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Dairy free margarine or ghee -- I used Spectrum shortening
Sea salt
Black pepper
GF tapioca flour (I think potato starch, corn starch would work too)
GF chickpea flour (I think potato flour, rice flour, etc. would work too -- anything that's a fine flour and not grainy)
Garlic powder
Dairy free milk -- I used Vance's DariFree.
Water
Corn starch (I think tapioca or potato starch would work too)

I use a big crock p…

GFCF "Rice Krispies" treats

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I came across this treat in the store the other day. It's expensive -- I think about $5 a box. But, it was a nice surprise for my kids and will be an every-so-often treat for them. I'm going to try and replicate this recipe. If I do, I'll post it here.

The treat -- a marshmallow treat similar to Rice Krispies Treats -- is made by "glenny's." And, it's gluten-free and casein-free. Note that the box says there's the possibility of trace amounts of tree nuts.
These are very good. And, the kids love the colorful wrappers -- just like the other kids enjoy.

GFCF Sloppy John Joes Burgers

Gotta love that name. That's what my oldest daughter calls Sloppy Joes. And, she calls it a burger because that's how I make it for her. I tried the real Sloppy Joe recipe for them, thinking it'd be an easy and economical meal that they'd enjoy. But, no dice. They can't deal with the loose meat and then they didn't like the GF buns that I made for them and then they didn't like just having a pile of loose meat on their plates. So, I gave up on that for a while. But, now, I've simply revised the recipe by merging burgers and joes. It's the taste, just in a burger.

So, either use your own Joe recipe or try this simple one.

1 lb ground beef
1 good squirt of ketchup -- probably about 1/4 cup.
1/2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (Lea and Perkins)
1 dash of ground red pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Now, combine everything together and make about 4-5 burger patties. Bake on 350 for about 20 mins. Serve as you would a regular burger.

Allergy book for kids

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As if there aren't enough challenges finding and making foods for your children on a gluten-free, casein-free diet. Toss in a few added food allergies or intolerances and life can be difficult, at the least.

And then, there's trying to explain to your child why he or she cannot eat the same foods that most of the other kids enjoy. Pizza. Ice cream. Grilled cheese. Oreos. Etc.

I'm trying to explain this to my young daughters now. Through a friend, I've found a great book that helps young children understand and accept the food issues they face.

It's called "One of the Gang" and it's authored by Gina Clowes. You can find this on Amazon by clicking here.

If you're having difficulty explaining this to your kids or find they are having a difficult time accepting their issues, this book might help.

GFCF pumpernickel bread

For some reason, my kids don't like light-colored bread. They'll go for dark-colored breads every time. There's a GFCF bread on the market that's made from a red rice that they like, but it has yeast in it and my youngest can't tolerate yeast very well. So, I set out to make my own yeast-free GFCF pumpernickel bread. I did it. Here's the recipe. This makes two loaves. I froze one and I'm using the other. I'm gonna tinker with this recipe more, so I'll update the blog if I can improve it.

Ingredients
2 flax eggs ( see my recipe)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup GF molasses
1.5 cups water
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
2 cups corn starch
1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch
1/4 cup corn meal
1.5 cups sorghum flour
1/2 cup flax seed meal (ground flax)
1/4 cup cocoa or carob powder
4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Get out two larger mixing bowls.
Make the flax eggs in the microwave and let those sit for 5 mins.

GFCF Rice Chex

So, hello everyone. I've been lax in posting for a while, but I'm still here. I realize I'm likely very behind on this one, but I didn't find out that General Mills made its Rice Chex cereal gluten-free. I popped in the supermarket today to check. They did. So, if your kids like cereal, this is a great option that you can grab in a bind.

However, I noticed it's priced higher than the Health Valley Rice Crunch Ems I normally buy for my kids.

So, which should I buy?

With health value in mind, I'm sure the Health Valley is better, with no preservatives, etc.

Pricewise, the Health Valley is less expensive and thru my food co-op, I can buy it in cases at a 20% discount.

But, there's also some value in supporting a mainstream company -- General Mills -- that's willing to offer a gluten-free product on my supermarket shelf.

Hmmm.

Maybe, I'll buy one of each.

Bad GFCF pizza crust

I love to talk and write about the GFCF foods I love. Here's one I really didn't care for -- and I'll tell you why. This is the Nature's Hilights Brown Rice Pizza Crust.

This looked great in the freezer section at Whole Foods and I thought I'd give it a try for ~$5/2 crusts. I usually make my own, but this was worth a shot.

Here's the problem, the crusts are very chewy after they're cooked and they only become tougher and chewier -- like jerky -- upon cooling. It's actually just bad. I would not recommend this to anyone.

For now, I'll keep baking my own crusts.

GF/CF/SF Rice Cheese

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OK -- so I've had a few comment about the kind of rice cheese I'm using. This is gluten free, casein free and soy free. I understand it might be tricky finding this stuff, but I assure you it exists. To prove it, I'm including a photo of the packaging. It clearly states gf, cf and sf. And, the ingredients indicate the same.

I buy this at a local Whole Foods and also at a local food co-op. I notice two things about this particular item that might help you find it.

First, it's not the brick of cheese, it's just the slices.

Second, this packaging also has a lot of Spanish on it. I've seen other sliced Galaxy cheeses that contain either soy or casein. This one is different.

I hope that helps and I hope you can find it.

GF/CF/SF Toasted cheese sandwiches

Here's another great classic you now can make, thanks to Galaxy cheese slices, which are gluten-free, casein-free and soy-free. Note again, as in previous posts, that the Galaxy cheese chunks are not casein free, just the slices.

So, head out to a Whole Foods or your local food co-op and find the following:

-- Galaxy cheese slices, either American, Cheddar or Pepper Jack flavors.
-- Ener-G gluten free bread (I buy the brown rice, yeast-free bread. There's others.)
-- Whatever type of margarine or oil you use that's dairy-free. Some use Fleischmann's Light spreadable margarine, or ghee, or oil. I use canola oil.
-- Sea salt.

You know how to make this. It's easy. I'll note a couple of tricks that I found helpful. And, of course, you can use any type of gluten-free bread. I just happen to be using the Ener-G bread right now. Other times, I'll make my own.

OK, get a frying pan out and pre-heat on medium-high. Let it get hot. This is crucial to get the nice toasted br…

GF/CF/SF chili-cheese fries

Bet you didn't think this was possible on a gluten-free, casein-free diet. Well, it is possible, and even without soy too. For my money, the soy-based cheeses are really bad.

So, how do you do this? You can grab everything in one trip to Whole Foods.

-- French fries: either Whole Foods' 365 brand or Cascadian Farms brand.
-- Chili: Amy's brand chili is OK.
-- Cheese: Galaxy brand rice cheese (yes, the slices are casein-free, not just lactose free -- be careful because the bricks are not casein-free). They sell sliced pepper-jack, american and cheddar. The pepper jack adds some zip to this.

So, toss the fries in the oven for 10 mins, then turn them over. Bake another 5 mins.
Spread the chili over top and bake another 3 mins. Add the cheese with about 1 minute left. I cut this up into smaller pieces and toss over top.

There you go.

You could also add some salsa to this if your kids like it -- plain Tostitos brand salsas are OK and so is Muir Glen brand, among others.

Sending Michael Savage email

Ahhh, the email link I posted below to send Talk Radio Network you opinion on Michael Savage's remarks about autism doesn't really work. You have to go to an online contact form, which you can find here:

http://www.talkradionetwork.com/contactus

Savage's autism comments

If you haven't read or heard Michael Savage's comments about autism. Here they are. Remember, he's a talk show host and is looking for ratings. Attacks like this are mostly attention-getters intended to draw listeners. Still, we must respond.


Savage Defends Remarks Questioning Autism
NEW YORK, July 22, 2008
(CBS/ AP) Right-wing radio talk show host Michael Savage, who described 99 percent of children with autism as brats, said Monday he was trying to "boldly awaken" parents to his view that many people are being wrongly diagnosed. Some parents of autistic children have called for Savage's firing after he described autism as a racket last week. "In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out," Savage said on his radio program last Wednesday.
Savage said: "What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, `Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere i…

Gluten-free sandwiches

Note: Although the recipe below is still very valid, full disclaimer that I've ultimately turned to store-bought bread for my girls. My oldest prefers the Kinnikinnick Tapioca Rice bread and my youngest likes the Ener-G Yeast Free Brown Rice Bread. I buy bulk to cut down the cost.

 Ahh, the most difficult food item to re-create in my children's diet -- and arguably on the Autism Diet in general -- lunchmeat sandwiches. This is difficult for a number of reasons. What lunchmeat is OK? Even if it's OK, what about harmful preservatives? And, finding a gluten-free, casein-free bread that your picky child will eat is nearly impossible. In my house, it's been a struggle for years.

I've finally found a solution to all of this that works. It's a compromise, for me. I'm using gluten-free lunchmeats but give on the preservatives. I buy meat that's prepackaged to prevent the cross-contact issues. If you're not satisfied with that, buy some of the preservative-f…

Yes! Advertising ...

Yes, that banner you see above this post is a real advertisement. It's a first for my blog. I don't intend to dimish the content here by offering advertising. However, I've had some interest in putting ads here since so many of you visit each day and so many more of you are finding this blog too.

So, what I've decided to do is to control the ads that appear. I don't want to give ad space to a company that can rotate anything in the ad space that they want. If I'm going to have ads, I want them to be for businesses and products that we will use. You know, like gluten-free products or dairy-free items or allergy-specific foods, etc. You get the idea. That way, there's some benefit in this for everyone.

Some people come to this site looking for help with the autism diet. They don't know what to do or where to turn. The ads also will serve as starting points for people who don't know where to find products on the web.

However, the help offered on this blog…

Corn bread - revised and GFCF

I love when I have leftover stuff in the kitchen. That's when I try to try out variations of some existing recipes. This past weekend, my corn bread recipe was the victim. This was a very simple corn bread that my daughter loves. But, she also gets bored with it after a few days. So, I changed this by swapping the syrup called for in the original recipe with applesauce. You can use any kind, even homemade.

It gives the corn bread a great hint of apple but not too much. Very tasty, and still easy.

I added two tablespoons of applesauce in place of the 1 tbsp of syrup.

Try it out. Experiment with other flavors.

Autism Web site seeks justice

Thanks to those who have faxed or e-mailed petitions regarding the Anyah Glossinger situation. The family is gathering a lot of support. If you have not signed a petition, please do so -- see the post below for simple instructions.

Also, the family has created a Web site, Justice for Anyah. You can read more about this crucial case there and leave your thoughts.

This case is vitally important to all of us. We trust our children for hours virtually daily to therapists, teachers and other instructors. We need to be able to trust that they'd care for our kids the way we care for our children. If they don't, they need to be held accountable. That's the only way the rest of the world will know that we'll stand up for ourselves when something goes wrong.

So, the tragedy may have occurred in California, but it impacts your lives too -- it doesn't matter if you're in Florida, Maine, Texas or Canada. And for my international visitors, it's the same for you, too.

We need…

Autism petition - 5 year old girl drowned

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I need your help today. Don't worry, it doesn't require that much effort and I'm not asking for money. I work with a relative of a 5-year-old autistic girl who drowned in January in California. She drowned while in the care of others during a hydrotherapy session. The DA won't file charges.

Her name is Anyah Raven Glossinger.

So, the family is seeking help. They want to talk with the DA and turn in petitions signed by people like us, who believe our autistic children deserve better care while under the watch of others.

I'm asking you to take 5 minutes today to print out the petition below, sign it and either fax it to 760-778-6541, Attn: Emily or scan it and email it back to me at jlr500@yahoo.com. The sooner the better. I'll get your petition into the family's hands.

I'll thank you now. And I'll also include a link here to a news article about this case if you're interested.

Here's the petition. Printing tip -- the best way is to copy the petit…

GFCF Milkshake

Well, if we can make dairy-free ice cream, then we also can make dairy-free milkshakes. I have a very simple recipe to make shakes, but I'm sure there are more involved methods that might get better results. My kids love this.

Oh, and this is not just dairy-free, it's also soy-free. We use DariFree for the milk base -- a potato-based milk alternative.

First, start by making one recipe for my GFCF ice cream.

Freeze the ice cream and after four hours, it should be just right to make shakes. Or, after freezing, let it sit out for at least 30 mins, maybe more, to soften enough to make shakes.

I make chocolate, so you could use Hershey's cocoa powder or you can make fake-chocolate by using carob powder -- that's what I do and I add about 1 tbsp. carob powder.

So, take 1/2 cup of the soft ice cream, put it into a cup, and then add 1/2 cup of cold DariFree liquid, then stir to gently combine. It won't be too thick, but it won't be runny. Serve with a straw.

Of course, you c…

Coasting along

Hey -- I haven't posted much lately and I recently asked myself, "why?" The answer is that I've really been coasting along, making the foods that really have worked and don't take much time. It's a good thing. So I really haven't tried much new lately. I have made pizza a few times with my "polenta cheese" and GF pepperoni. The kids love it. Still working on how to best make the crust. I like a thin, firm crust rather than soft or thick. I'm still tinkering, but I'm at the point where I think making a bunch of mini personal pizza crusts rather than a sheet crust is the way to go. Any time I've made the mini pizzas, the crust has been perfect. It gets soft or soggy when I make the sheet. I'll keep trying and update you later. I'm very happy with the sauce I use and the toppings.

New GFCF pizza crust recipe

Note: This is an older recipe. I've refined my pizza crust recipe, which you can find by clicking here.

This is a revised pizza crust recipe, which my kids like much better. I do too.

I still base it on Noah's Bread.

For mini pizzas or a small pizza, use 1 recipe. For a larger pizza, double this recipe.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup brown rice or sorghum flour
1/4 cup corn meal
1/3 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup CF milk
1/3 cup water

Recipe
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix all ingredients well. This will make a very liquidy batter, like a cake batter.
Grease your oven pan -- I use Spectrum shortening.

To make individual pizzas, put the batter in plastic bag, like a ziplock bag. Cut a corner and squeeze the batter out onto the pan. I make english muffin-sized circles and then take a wet spatula to even the batter out. Or, make a small pizza by dumping the batter onto your pan and use the wet …

A GFCF offer, from me

Just a note that you'll soon notice a small ad -- for myself -- on this blog. I've been asked several times now how to convert recipes to GFCF or to develop GFCF meals that children will eat -- especially for kids with other food allergies and intolerances.

It's no problem -- I enjoy doing it. It just takes time and I've decided to offer it on a regular basis to those visiting my blog. The fees will be very affordable, but enough to cover the time it takes to do it. Payments would be accepted thru PayPal or check. I'll post those details later.

So, if you're interested, just email me, let me know what you're looking for and we can agree on a price before I start.

jim

Secret non-dairy & soyless cheese

I've been on an endless search for a way to make my kids a real pizza -- you know, something that looks and tastes like the real thing, or as close as possible. So, first, the problem was making a gluten-free crust. That took a while. Now, I've finally developed a crust recipe that's actually very good. It's a variation of Noah's Recipe.

Then, it was the sauce. That wasn't so hard. I use a very basic pizza sauce, based on Hunt's tomato paste, which is GF.

The toppings really aren't that difficult either. Choose any you want that you know is GF and CF. I buy a GF brand of pepperoni. It's perfect.

The problem, of course, is the cheese, especially if you can't eat soy, which is what most "fake" cheeses are made from. Even so, most soy cheese tastes horrible.

And in my kids' cases, the cheese doesn't have to taste great, it's more of the appearance of real cheese that's important to them. We just can't have something that t…

Spicy rice - a GFCF dish

Don't think I'm weird for posting this recipe. It's super easy, but if you read this blog, you know that I like super easy recipes. I've dubbed this "spicy rice" because that's what got my oldest to eat rice. My youngest can't eat rice -- food intolerance. But, I really wanted my oldest to try something other than her favorite potato dish -- Dutch Potatoes (really just steamed potatoes). But, she wouldn't eat the rice I'd make her. No brown rice. No white rice. I figured it was a no go.

One day about two weeks ago, I was in a bind. I was running late, didn't have time to cook, but had a bowl of leftover brown rice in the fridge. I made the following recipe in 5 mins and she ate it. What was missing (to her) -- the spice. She likes her foods spicy, both in appearance and taste. So, now we have "spicy rice."

Ingredients
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Brown or white rice, cooked
Oil -- I use canola. Olive would be fine.
Sea salt.
Black pepper
Or any other fa…

More Amy's pizza -- GFCF spinach

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Ok -- here's another Amy's review. And, it's another pizza. I'm very impressed with the taste of Amy's Kitchen pizzas so far. This time, we tried the Rice Crust Spinach Pizza. This is a whole frozen pizza, perfect for two to share for a meal, or four kids at snack time. Not too spinachy. Not too gluten-free-ey and again, very good soy cheese flavor. Like the last pizza, this has soy. So, obviously, if you're avoiding so, this isn't for you. And, again, with the rice crust, anyone avoiding rice should stay away. Overall, this tastes like a real pizza. Very tasty. I'd recommend this. The pizza is GFCF, Vegan and Kosher. It contains soy and rice and also has some potato in it.

Amy's gluten-free, dairy-free pizza

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Ok -- so this is the first in a handful of product reviews that I'll post. Amy's Kitchen has supplied a few items with no strings attached. If I offer a poor review, they likely won't do it again. I agreed to this because I thought it might help readers looking for good pre-made products to grab in the store.

The first item is called the "Single Serve Non-Dairy Rice Crust Cheeze Pizza."
The first bite of Amy's gluten-free, casein-free pizza surprised me because it lacked the cardboardy taste of soy cheese.
The folks at Amy's somehow found a fake, soy mozzarella that really passed my taste test. I forgot I was eating a GFCF pizza.
Pizza is a tough issue in GFCF land. First is replicating the crust, which is not easy using GF flours. Second is how to replace the cheese. The options aren't great. Some skip it altogether (I'm among those since I can't stand soy cheese). Others suffer through the bad taste of soy cheese.
Many GFCF folks also cannot ha…

Amy's Kitchen review coming

I'll be reviewing some GFCF foods from Amy's Kitchen in the next few days and I'll post my review for you to read. You might already be familiar with Amy's, but if not, the company makes quality vegetarian and organic foods. Many are GFCF and the company's website offers easy-to-use guides for allergens like soy.

A GFCF TVP burger

OK -- this recipe won't be for everyone, especially if you're avoiding soy. If you can eat soy, this would be an interesting experiment. I've tinkered with TVP lately -- that's textured vegetable protein. It's really dry chunks of soy that you can reconstitute with water quickly and make meat substitutes, like burgers, nuggets, chili, etc. I'm using it for myself -- trying to lose some weight. The TVP is high in protein and has some carbs. It's a good way to get protein food without the high cholesterol in regular beef. I posted this recently on the SparkPeople website -- a health site.

Basic TVP burger

Ingredients
1 cup dry TVP -- you can find this at a health store. It's inexpensive.
1/2 onion for 1/4 cup
Shredded carrot for 1/2 cup
Corn/tapioca starch 1/2 cup
Olive or canola oil 2 tbsp
1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
1/4 cup water
spices

Boil broth and water, add spices -- I use soul seasoning, pepper, salt. After boiling, pour over dry TVP. Sit 10 mins.
Add …

Patience

Thanks folks. The issues seem to be worked out. You still may find a missing photo here or there in the old posts. If so, feel free to let me know so I can fix them.

Technical issues

Sorry for the shabby look of the blog today. Something really went wrong with some graphics. I'll try to find time to correct it in the next day or two. You can still find the links to my recipes at the bottom of the blog -- they should be down the side. It's all there -- just looks goofy.

BK & GFCF

Following the theme of my last post, I thought I'd mention that we've had nothing but success at Burger King restaurants. I've now taken my kids to three different BKs, including one out of state. They all fry the same way and seem to have a uniform process that we can count on. To bring some of you up to date, you'll find in my Restaurant Guide that I found Burger King fries their potatoes aside from the other items so there's no risk of cross contact. They are gluten free. And, you can order a plain burger without the bun -- they put it in a little salad container for you. It's a great thing to know when you're on the run and need to stop somewhere for a quick bite to eat (not everyday though -- have you seen the calorie counts on the Whopper?) Anyway, we were visiting relatives out of town recently and stopped at a BK without problem. Just thought I'd mention it.

A restaurant success

I have to update you on our first real restaurant outing. It's taken a long time to get enough courage to try this, but we went to a local Red Robin. See my restaurant guide about how to find a GFCF place. Anyway, it went remarkably well. The restaurant did very well. They didn't give a confused look when I asked to see a gluten-free menu. They immediately handed the kids crayons and a coloring sheet to keep them busy. They got their own water cups with kid-friendly designs on them -- even lids to help avoid "the spill." We just got plain burgers and fries with ketchup for them and they loved it. When we first sat down and the waiter arrived, my oldest turned to him and said, "Hey, where are my fries?" It was funny and he took well. He also paid close attention while ordering from the gluten-free menu. We definitely will return.

Please, I'm not posting this to preach. I realize not everyone with autism can handle this type of outing. I'm simply posti…

A GFCF caution with Ball Park Franks

It's amazing to me how good some companies have handled the gluten thing and how badly others have botched it -- and blown it. After all, I won't buy anything that possibly contains gluten, especially with those mysterious ingredients like "flavorings."

So, I'm sure you'll appreciate this phone conversation I had tonight with a Sara Lee Corp. representative. Sara Lee makes Ball Park Franks.

See, I stopped at Sams Club looking for a pack of Best's Kosher hot dogs, which is what I always buy for the kids. It's definitely GFCF, and they're good. But they were out. Unbelievable! So, I looked to the other shelves and there were the Ball Park Franks. I checked for some indication of gluten, but found nothing, either way. I struggled to remember my GFCF lists as to whether they contained any. I suspected they were OK. But, I hated to buy it and find out later I'd have to return it. (I should not now that, indeed, most GFCFers consider Ball Park Franks …

Is it pork or chicken

I think we all know about picky eaters. I have a few in my house. It seems if it isn't a hot dog, burger or chicken pieces, then they won't eat it. I keep trying new things, but it doesn't always work. But, sometimes, I win. Here's an easy one to win if your family can handle pork.

I bought some lean pork chops, boneless, or cut away the bone. These were slightly thick. So, I put them in an oven pan and baked for 30 mins on 350. When done, and no longer pink, I cut them into "nugget" sized pieces.

Then, I sprinkled with salt, pepper and chili powder and a little olive oil, like a couple of teaspoons. After heating an oven top pan, I tossed the mix in just for a minute or two to combine. Then, I served. I didn't even tell them it was something different. I just served it like I would for any of my other chicken recipes -- some of which look very similar.

They ate it all.

Flaxy cookie cut-outs

This is based on my previous recipe for Gingerbread people. I just changed a few things with the premise of making a cookie that included flax that my kids would eat. This one works.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup brown rice or sorghum flour
1/3 cup ground flax seed
2/3 cup tapioca starch
1 tbsp carob or cocoa powder
1 TBL cinnamon
1 tsp ginger (use more for a cookie with a real ginger bite)
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda or 2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup DariFree or other milk sub

Recipe
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then, add the liquids.

Mix well. Add tapioca if necessary to get a dough that you can knead.

Roll the dough out on a floured board or surface, using the tapioca, to about a quarter-inch thickness. Cut out gingerbread person shapes, flouring the cutter with tapioca.

Bake at 350 degrees on a greased cookie sheet (Spectrum shortening) for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.

FYI -- I grind my own flax seed and save a bundle. I buy fla…

Dangers of Teflon cooking

I've heard about health issues concerning teflon pans in the past but with so much going on in my life regarding food -- GFCF -- I didn't really look into it. Until now. So, I thought I'd share what I found.

The problem with teflon is that it emits toxins when heated too high. Studies have shown this. What's not shown -- independently -- is whether toxins are emitted at lower temps.

A great source to start with is the Environmental Working Group , which did a study on teflon. You can find it at: http://www.ewg.org/reports/toxicteflon.

The EWG simply recommends turning to cast iron pans. BTW -- while you're there, look up the EWG study called Skin Deep -- you should find a link on the front page. I use this study often to analyze the safety of cosmetics. Very good stuff.

I've read elsewhere that we don't use aluminum pots and pans anymore because of links and fears to Alzheimers disease. I'm not sure that's been proven. But, why risk it?

There's a tit…

Ham dinner -- gfcf style

So, this won't work for everyone, especially our younger children who are dead-set on hot dogs and tators. But, every so often, I like to throw something new at my kids to see what they do. And, when I do, I usually employ trickery in my presentation. So, I'll post this very easy and quick recipe for a ham dinner, but first explain the trickery.

My wife and I made this dish Saturday. Here's what I do. Make the ham dinner for the adults and sit down to eat while the kids' meals are "still cooking." This is often what happens. My oldest will wander over to my side of the table to see what I'm eating. Then she'll ask what I'm eating. I never offer it to her. About 75% of the time, she'll then ask to try it. So, I give her a bite. Then she wants another. I give it to her. Then she'll ask for some on a plate. So, I push my plate to her and say, "Here, eat some of mine while I get you a plate, but don't eat it all." Then, I exit to …

GFCF Pizza Wedgie

Here's a neat variation on a GFCF pizza, or cheeseless pizza.

It's sorta like a wedgie, if they sell those where you live -- or really just a folded over pizza. It has the same pizza taste but resolves one of the big issues with pizza without the cheese -- the visual of not having cheese.

So, make your pizza or follow directions for my version.

But, after done baking, use spatulas to fold the pizza over, just like you do when folding a blanket -- end to end. Then, brush the top with olive oil, or your choice of oil, sprinkle with anything you wish (garlic salt, paprika, red pepper crushed, black pepper, oregano, etc.) or nothing at all. Bake another 5 mins.

Now, I'll tell you now that I'm trying to find a way to create a goo-like texture within the pizza -- but I can't use dairy or soy. Any great ideas, let me know. Right now, I'm tinkering with corn and potato mashes. Stay tuned.

Chocolate pudding -- minus the chocolate and the dairy

So, how in the world do you make chocolate pudding without chocolate or dairy. It's actually very easy. This is great the day it's made, but does not store well for two or more days.

Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (or potato)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 cups liquid DariFree
- 1 Tbs margarine or shortening (like Spectrum)
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder or carob powder


Combine the dry ingredients. Stir in the Darifree until smooth. I imagine you could use any dairy sub here.
Microwave uncovered on high for 3 minutes.
Stir.
Microwave 4 - 6 minutes more, stirring every minute until thick.
Stir in margarine/shortening and vanilla.
Cover with plastic wrap to avoid "skin".
Refrigerate.

I found this on the gcfree.com website in Australia -- a specialty site and seller of Darifree.

Oh, for vanilla pudding, omit the cocoa/carob.

Making autism case public

Hey -- sorry I've neglected the blog for a few days. I've been busy establishing a presence on Facebook and MySpace. It's like playing with new toys. Anyway, I promise some new recipes this week. I've recently had success with a "chocolate" pudding recipe (no dairy, no chocolate) and also a cutout cookie recipe. For now, I'll reprint a recent opinion piece from the New York Times regarding the autism court case. Worth reading.
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New York Times
March 11, 2008
Editorial
A Puzzling Autism Case
The federal government’s concession that vaccines may have triggered brain deterioration with symptoms like autism in a young girl is sure to exacerbate concerns among parents worried about immunizations. It is imperative that the court for vaccine compensation unseal documents involved in this unusual case so that experts, families and their doctors can better understand exactly how Hannah Poling, now 9 years old, came to be harmed after receiving a battery of shots when…

And on Facebook, too

Hey guys -- I also started a GFCF Diet group site on Facebook to work in conjunction with this site. So, all of you on Facebook, stop by. You'll find the group by clicking here or simply by searching in Groups for "GFCF."

Blog now on MySpace too

Hey guys -- this is just underway. But, I'm starting a mini-blog on MySpace. The page is up and running at http://www.myspace.com/gfcfdad, so any MySpace users, feel free to drop by, comment and all that stuff. There's a new post there today and I will be adding similar recipe and news posts there each week. Just another portal to get helpful info out.

GFCF Restaurant update - Damon's Grill

Damon's Grill was just added to the restaurant guide but with disappointeing results. Take a look. For kiddies -- no fries, no burgers. But, some adult offerings.

Fed court: Yep, vaccine caused autism

This from David Kirby on the Huffington Post. I'm sure you'll find it interesting. But, the question he raises is right -- what now?

Government Concedes Vaccine-Autism Case in Federal Court - Now What? After years of insisting there is no evidence to link vaccines with the onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the US government has quietly conceded a vaccine-autism case in the Court of Federal Claims.The unprecedented concession was filed on November 9, and sealed to protect the plaintiff's identify. It was obtained through individuals unrelated to the case. The claim, one of 4,900 autism cases currently pending in Federal "Vaccine Court," was conceded by US Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler and other Justice Department officials, on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, the "defendant" in all Vaccine Court cases.The child's claim against the government -- that mercury-containing vaccines were the cause of her autism -…

GFCF Pizza wrap

So, now that we know how to make a GF wrap that bends, here's one yummy way to make a great dinner for the kids. First, you have to make the wraps. Second, you make a 10-minute pizza sauce, and the recipe's right here. Third, you make the filling. For now, I'll show you my favorite, which is what I like to call Pizza Burger filling. But, remember, you could plug anything in here you want -- pepperoni, salami, chicken, turkey, hot dog, avacado, lettuce, lunchmeat, tomato, onion, etc. Be creative. But, for the pizza burger, you want to make a double batch of the pizza sauce. And, brown about a pound of ground beef in a pan. Drain the grease. Stir in half of the pizza sauce, sprinkle with some sea salt, chili powder, ground red pepper.

Now, take a wrap, spread some sauce on there like a pizza, plop a couple of tablespoons of filling in the middle, add diced onion, lettuce, tomato or any other fillings your kids love (none if they don't), and fold the wrap. Serve and eat.

Ma…

Study shows link between mercury and autism

I don't jump on every study or finding that pops up about autism, mostly because I find the waves of hope and dispair too stressful. But, I found this recent study interesting, mostly because it gets to the heart of the million dollar question -- can mercury cause the problems our kids are struggling to overcome? Sure, all the medical groups and the feds tell us "no." Then, they chastise us for even considering the possibility. Why don't they instead say, "Gee, we're not really sure. So, instead of guessing, we'll study the possibility in an open, nonpolitical environment and let the world know our findings." Yeah, I know, I'm dreaming. Anyway, here's a link to the Rutgers and UMDNJ study and a few lines from the summary.

Link:
http://www.scipub.org/fulltext/ajbb/ajbb42218-225.pdf

Abstract:
"We have shown that mice exposed to either methylmercury (MeHg) or valproic acid (VPA) in early postnatal life display aberrant social, cognitive and mo…

Stealing an autistic child from his home

Has anyone out there seen this? Very disturbing -- from Sunday's Orange County Register -- Opinion writer Steven Greenhut.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008
Child abuse by the government
Government rips an autistic boy from his home because it prefers a different treatment than the one offered by the parents.
STEVEN GREENHUT
Sr. editorial writer and columnist
The Orange County Register


What kind of society rips a 17-year-old autistic boy from his loving home and places him in a state-run mental institution, where he is given heavy doses of drugs, kept physically restrained, kept away from his family, deprived of books and other mental stimulation and is left alone to rot?

Certainly not a free or humane one.

Yet that's exactly what has happened to Nate Tseglin, after a teacher called Child Protective Services, the county agency charged with protecting children from many forms of abuse and given power to remove children from their family homes in certain circumstances. The teacher reported se…

Crok pork roast -- an easy gfcf dinner

Now that my children are a little older -- 4 & 6 -- and not so stuck in the burger, nuggets, sticks phase -- I've dared to experiment a little, branch out our taste buds into some more adult areas. Like pork roast. Why? For a few reasons, and some very selfish. I'd like my kids, who would love to eat chicken pieces and potatoes for the rest of their lives, to learn to appreciate other foods. I know this will be a challenge. Like so many of our kids, mine are stuck in a rut. Deviation from their menu will not be accepted lightly. But, I've learned a few tricks over the years. The one that works best is to make my plate first, sit and eat while their food continues to "heat up." They always, well 75% of the time, want to try my food. So, here's a recipe I'm going to try with them. I chose it because I miss roasts -- beef and pork. They are delicious and often very simple in terms of time and ingredients. That's the selfish part. I realize some young…

GFCF Sandwich Wrap

Like many of you, I've had a difficult time getting my kids to eat a GF bread, whether it's store-bought or homemade. My youngest has eaten Noah's Bread at times, but not regularly. I created a deviation of Tom's Bread that I dubbed Lindsay's Bread that she once ate but wasn't overly fond of and eventually got tired of it as a lunch bread. So, I've figured the best thing for my kids is variation, having a few breads that I can get them to eat if I mix them up and don't serve them daily. I know, it's a real pain. But, by using them sporadically in lunch and dinner menus, it's not that bad. So, that brings me to this very simple recipe for a sandwich wrap. You'll find many variations of this recipe on websites and in cookbooks. I use a mashed potato base. That's essential to give the wrap some flexibility. Without it, you come up with a dry tortilla that easily cracks. Here's how I make it.

Ingredients are potatoes, salt, Darifree (or m…

Stop the presses! You can treat autism through diet!

Yeah, there's a little sarcasm there. You may have seen this item from the Feingold organization circulating across webland. If not, save these links, print out the article and post it on the fridge. Yippee.
A doctor from Children's Hospital in Boston wrote an article for the American Academy of Pediatrics' AAP Grand Rounds publication on the impact that food additives have on people with ADHD. Those of us dealing with the spectrum know how additives, colorings and preservatives really can screw your day up.
So, here's the links for you to enjoy.
-- the actual AAP article is at this link: http://www.feingold.org/Research/PDFstudies/AAP08.pdf

-- a previous study on this issue published in Lancet, in the UK, is at this link: http://www.feingold.org/Research/lancet.html
-- the Feingold write-up on this is at this link: http://www.feingold.org/aap.html

-- Feingold's "Behavior, Learning and Health" publication is at this link: http://www.feingold.org/BLUEBOOK.pdf
I&#…

Burger King and the pirate ship

My wife, kids and I took a very important outing yesterday. We stopped at Burger King on the way back from a doc visit. Why Burger King? Gluten-free fries, of course. If you missed my GFCF restaurant post, don't panic, I've put a permanent link down the right side of my blog. Or, just click here. This was the first in a very long time that the four of us actually sat and ate at a restaurant. The kids got a plain burger, no bun, that they put in a plastic salad plate. And, they got small french fries, which are cooked in a dedicated fryer. Water to drink. Heinz ketchup packets (gf). We got a window booth and the kids pretended they were on a pirate ship and the sea was out the window. They had a blast. It really is a test run for us. First, we want a fast food place that we know we can rely on when traveling or visiting out of town. I think Burger King is that place. Plus, we want to try other restaurants in our area that provide GFCF options. There are a few. Check out that pr…