GFCF Recipes

GFCF Recipes

4.27.2008

More Amy's pizza -- GFCF spinach


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.

4.23.2008

Amy's gluten-free, dairy-free pizza

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 handle soy, leaving them little option. For those people (my kids included), this product is not for you. There's definitely soy in here.

If you can handle the soy, this pizza offered a very nice experience.

I'm impressed with the cheese replacement and equally impressed with the simplicity of the rice flour crust and the taste of the crust. Many GF bread products smell GFy from store aisles away. This didn't. It was good.

This is a personal-sized pizza that would be great to split for a lunch or snack. It might not be enough for a dinner -- if you split it. I would hesitate to serve the entire pizza to my child because of the fat (28g) and carb content (46g).

My wife and I split this pizza for an evening snack and we both enjoyed it.

As for allergens, Amy's is great about listing ingredients on their products and offers a tremendous website that notes allergen issues. This item is listed as gluten-free, dairy and lactose free, vegan, corn-free and kosher.

Other highlights worth noting are that the product has no trans fat, no added MSG and no preservatives.

Other notes from the ingredient list:

- the flour used is rice and tapioca.
- tomato is used for the sauce.
- oils used are safflower, sunflower and olive.
- the crust contains yeast.
- potatoes are listed.

I would recommend this product. Very tasty.

4.22.2008

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.

4.20.2008

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 chopped onion, shredded carrot and starch. Stir together.
Heat half the oil in a pan on medium high. Mold a 1/2 cup of the mix into a burger shape and brown on each side -- two burgers at a time.

Number of Servings: 6

Nutritional Info
Fat: 4.5g
Carbohydrates: 20.6g
Calories:193.8
Protein: 16.2g

4.17.2008

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.

4.15.2008

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.

4.09.2008

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 posting this because it was a big step for us. I also wanted to point out that some businesses -- even at a national level -- seem to have found ways to include those of us concerned about GFCF, food intolerances and cross-contact issues. It can be done.

4.07.2008

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 safe -- I glanced at a couple online lists after getting home.)

So I called the toll free number on the package from the store. In a few minutes, the rep asked what I needed. I told her. She said she could help me. I read the UPC numbers to her. And, then (here's where it gets nuts)...

She said, "Well, if you could tell me what type of gluten you're trying to avoid, I can help you."

A little stunned, I said, "Uh, all types."

She responded, "But there are many different forms of gluten. It's in wheat, corn, rice ...."

I had to stop her. "Sorry, I don't know what you're reading to me, but it's incorrect. There is no gluten in corn or rice. The information you're providing is factually incorrect."

"Sir, we're just asking that our customers trust our labels and trust that we'd indicate clearly whether an ingredient contains gluten."

I said, "Well, then you can tell me whether there's any gluten in the ingredient named 'flavoring' in these hot dogs.'"

She stammered. I said, "I don't think you can tell me for certain whether these hot dogs have gluten or not. And since you can't, I'm not going to buy your hot dogs."

That's when she told me to hold for a few minutes while she consulted others. When she returned, she still could not tell me but promised to call back with an answer.

The point of this is not to pick on the poor lady on the phone. There's two important messages here.

First, companies like Sara Lee need to be more open about their ingredients. Other companies do it, and gladly do it. Until they do, they won't get my business.

Second, we need to be super careful about checking items for gluten. Just because you get some nice person on the phone assuring you that there's no gluten in your favorite hot dog doesn't mean that's good info. We need to ask questions, test the answers and push for clarity when the responses seem fuzzy. Otherwise, we -- and our kids -- will pay the price.

By the way, you can check out some good hot dog options at my previous Hot Dog Guide post.

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.

4.05.2008

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 flax in bulk at $1/lb, put it through a coffee grinder, and then regrind it, and use it as a flax flour. I also use the flax for my flax eggs that you'll see here from time to time.