Friday, June 15, 2012

pups in a blanket

         There is a common misconception that gluten-free automatically means healthy. That is not necessarily true. There are plenty of things that are gluten-free that are not good for you. Candy, for example. Eating only baby ruth, snickers and peanut butter cups is technically a gluten-free diet, but will definitely not help you lose weight or be healthy.
        Eating gluten-free means cutting out a lot of the preservatives and eating out less, which is a good thing and has had a positive impact on me and my family. Entertaining isn't easy when you are gluten-free. You can't stop and grab a few pizzas on the way home, or grab a few packages of hot dog buns and hot dogs. (We are a strict no gluten house, after a few cross contamination issues.)

        I was so happy to recreate pups in a blanket that are so dear to my heart, in a gluten-free version. This makes a great appetizer or little snack. The old way was a pack of hot dogs and pop open refrigerated biscuits. The gluten-free way is almost as easy and twice as good. 

Pack of hot dogs (Bar S are my favorite & gluten-free!)
Gluten-free dough (made from GF bread mix)

& then any sauce to dip!
I love spicy Brown mustard.

I've added a little drizzle of honey to the bread mix to give that little sweetness we are used to from corn dogs.

Make sure to let the dough rest for at least a half hour before you attempt to make them.
Usually I will put little spots of dough about the size of the hot dogs all over baking sheet, then place the pieces of hot dog on top and then one more bit of dough to form them into the pigs in a blanket.
In a preheated 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until a little golden brown on top.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

quesadilla burgers

        Giving up bread was the hardest thing about going gluten-free. There are gluten-free breads, and hamburger buns available, but they may not be as affordable or as accessible.
Regular buns cost about $1 for an 8 pack, while gluten-free buns are around $7 for a pack of four. 
        Quesadilla burgers are an awesome way to still enjoy hamburgers at a barbecue, and even to entertain with. We really like white corn tortillas in my house, they have a milder flavor than regular yellow corn tortillas. I love the crunch of a pickle with my burger, so I added sliced pickles to mine. But corn salsa is really good in this, with pepperjack cheese, I use this dairy-free cheese

Even if you aren't gluten-free I recommend trying this out.

You can leave a hamburger patty whole and use two corn tortillas with cheese on top and bottom, (YUM) or you can slice it like I did.
Fixings for my quesadilla burger, and my home-made onion rings!

Hamburger patty
White corn tortillas
Cheese of your choice
Toppings: Salsa, pickles, jalapenos, bacon

Onion Rings:
two medium white onions
1/2 cup corn starch
1 cup all purpose gf flour
Garlic powder
Chile powder
Sea salt 
1 cup tonic water
Grapeseed oil for frying

Happy barbecue season! I am definitely taking advantage of my grill this summer & encourage everyone to do the same.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

gluten-free chinese food

        I make this once a week, my interpretation of chicken fried rice. It's so easy and very good. And you can always have the ingredients on hand, the beauty of frozen vegetables.

        I start by cooking the rice. You can follow the instructions on the bag. I usually bring 1 cup of rice & 2 cups of water to boil, cover, and then turn it down to simmer for 15 minutes. This can be done hours ahead of time.
        Next is cutting up the chicken, I find small, thin pieces work best because it cooks faster and it stretches out the chicken and feeds more with less. About the size of a quarter works perfect for me.
        I like using the frozen vegetables. Prepare them with a microwaveable steamer, the easiest thing in the world. So I fill our quart size steamer with mixed veggies on the bottom and broccoli florets on top. Five minutes in the microwave is usually enough. If you don't have a steamer, no worries. The package usually has a couple of different instructions on how to prepare them.

Now the prep is done, time to get cooking.
        Heat about 3 tablespoons of oil in a fairly large non-stick skillet, (or wok) on medium to high heat. Add the chicken, season with garlic powder, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Once the chicken is no longer pink, add diced bell peppers, I love orange ones in my Chinese food. 

Take the chicken out. 
Add a little more oil.
Scramble two eggs over medium low heat in the same pan. 
Take the eggs out. 
Add the vegetables to the skillet with a few tablespoons of soy sauce. 
Turn off the stove. 
Slowly incorporate the cooked rice, mixing well. Add more soy sauce to taste if your rice is looking pale. 

Finally, add back in the cooked chicken & eggs.  
Once everything is incorporated, it’s ready! 

I like to top mine with sesame seeds and sunflower seeds for a little crunch. 

If I am feeling fancy or have fresh Zucchini* on hand I like to add them and cook them once the chicken is almost done.

This usually feeds 4 adults

2 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 cup cooked rice
2 cups frozen mixed veggies
1/2 cup frozen Broccoli florets
Gluten-free Soy sauce
Vegetable oil
Garlic powder
Red pepper flakes
2 eggs
Hulled sunflower seeds or sesame seeds
*1 medium zucchini cut into crescent shapes