Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gluten Free Slowcooker Blog

I was given a new Crockpot for Christmas by my MIL, and I love it. We share our church with another congregation and this is our year for the late session. By the time I gather up my kiddies and husband and visit a little, it's at least 4:30 when we get home. So I have been trying to use my Crockpot every Sunday. I love it, I love it. It is so nice to come home to a house that smells delicious and a dinner that is already made.

So far I've made a pot roast, shredded pork tacos and beef stew, but as I browsed the little cookbook that came with my Crockpot, I was bummed that so many of the recipes are not gluten-free (add a can of cream of mushroom soup...). I was just thinking "Hmmm, I wish I had more GF slowcooker recipes, "when I remembered that my friend Alison had told me about a slowcooker blog she liked. I looked it up and started reading and suddenly realized that the WHOLE BLOG was gluten free! (I can hear "Synchronicity" by The Police playing somewhere in the background.)

Anyway, the blog is "A Year of Slowcooking: A New Year's Resolution to Use the Slowcooker Every Day in 2008" by Stephanie O'Dea. I haven't cooked anything off her blog, yet, but you can be sure I'm gonna! Here's a link

Sunday, January 24, 2010

GF Shredded Pork Tacos

This turned out great! I actually made it last Sunday and have been trying to get it posted all week, BUT PEOPLE KEEP INTERRUPTING ME! Imagine that!

Gluten-free Shredded Pork Tacos
3-4 pound pork roast
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 c. mild green taco sauce (I used La Victoria)
1 c. water
1 package low sodium taco seasoning
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

If you are not using the taco seasoning, combine spices in a small bowl. Trim roast of visible fat. I used a shoulder roast, but next time I think I'll use a loin roast, just because it is leaner. Place ingredients in a large crockpot, sprinkling the spices over the top of the meat, and cook on high for 6 hours, or until it is so tender that you can shred it. Drain drippings into a gravy separator, and wait for the fat to separate from the drippings. Shred the meat, then stir in enough of your drippings to season and moisten the meat. Serve on corn or other gluten-free tortillas, topped with lettuce, tomato, and avocado.

Some people at my house can't deal with tomato, onion or pepper chunks in their food, so I make "Unchunky" Spanish Rice. You can probably find a GF mix for Spanish Rice, but this is tasty and pretty easy.

Gluten Free "Unchunky" Spanish Rice
1 tsp. onion powder
4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
2 T. olive oil
2 c. rice
3 c. chicken broth
1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1/2 c. mild green taco sauce (La Victoria again)

Combine spices in small bowl. Saute rice in oil until it starts to brown. Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, and taco sauce. Give it a good stir, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low and cover your pan. Cook for 20 minutes and then stir before serving.

Refried Beans Without the Refry from
I love this recipe, it is simple and delicious. I use a small can of mild green chiles instead of the jalapeno, and chop up the onion. It makes a lot of beans, and I divide it into 1 cup portions and freeze them in freezer bags. Then when I want to use them I just put a "bean brick" in a bowl and use the frozen vegetable setting on my microwave to heat them up.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Momma Award

This Happy Momma Award goes to Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Fast Food Fries! (The prize is a shout out to all my gluten free buddies that I think this product is great!)

We were never huge consumers of fast food. My oldest son was diagnosed with diabetes at age 16 months, and fast food and diabetes are better left unmixed. BUT, every one needs a treat now and then, so we used to hit a fast food place once a month or so. Then came celiac disease. Most fast food is no longer an option, and while we do hit In-N-Out Burger once in a while for a protein burger and fries, we eat even less fast food than we used to eat. BUT, (again with the big but!) I think every diet has a little room for fries. These are my favorite frozen fries. They taste good, they bake up crispy and YES, they are labeled gluten free! (I did my little happy dance in the freezer section when I saw that!) Actually Ore-Ida has quite a few products that are labeled gluten-free: here's a link to their web site. Pass the ketchup, please!

Here's a link to Ore-Ida's web site listing their gluten-free products.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gluten-free Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

I think breakfast is the hardest meal of the day to pull off at my house, for several reasons. It's got to be fast on school days, it's got to be something that my son will eat, it's got to be something that won't mess up his blood sugar (like cold cereal!), and it needs to be reasonably healthy. Shortly after he was diagnosed we started buying oatmeal from GlutenFreeOats.Com. and for a long time he ate regular oatmeal, happily, several days a week. But then he just got tired of it. So I started looking around for alternatives and I came up with this recipe. It's my version of baked oatmeal. I cook it the night before, slice it into bars and wrap them up, and then just warm them in the microwave for 10 seconds or so. It isn't overloaded with sugar, and it has lots of fiber and some fat in it, so it burns nice and slow and doesn't mess up his blood sugar, and he really likes it. It makes a cake-like bar that isn't overly sugary, but reminds me of oatmeal cookies.

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Makes 6 bars

2 eggs

1 1/2 c. gluten-free old-fashioned oatmeal

3 T. sugar

3 T. Splenda
1/2 c. milk

1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. chopped nuts
1/4 c. raisins
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased 8" pan. Let it sit for a few minutes while you are preheating your oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. It is delicious warm, but it slices better if you let it cool.

This is a very flexible recipe. If you can find GF quick oats, they make a slightly cakier version. You can use all Splenda or all sugar. You can also use any variety of dried fruit, the nuts are optional. I like it cinnamony, but you can reduce it to 1/2 tsp. or try other seasonings like nutmeg. Happy Breakfast!

Note for diabetics: Slice it into 6 bars, and it has 25 g of carbs per bar.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy Momma Award

This is the first Happy Momma award; I hope to make it a weekly post. The only prize is a shout out to all my gluten-free blog friends that I think this product is great! Why call it the Happy Momma award and not the Happy Monkey Award? Because one of the qualifications for this award is that when I find it I get so excited I do a little dance of joy!

So without further ado, the winner of the first Happy Momma Award is Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers!

When my friend Rachelle told me she had bought yummy gluten-free crackers at Sam's Club, I didn't really believe her (sorry Rachelle!). But when I walked into Sam's Club and saw the giant stack of cracker boxes, I started to get really happy! And when I took the box home and opened it and saw how many crackers you get in a box I got even happier! And when I tasted them and had the gluten-free monkey do a taste test, I stayed happy! We had a great time this weekend trying out various cracker toppings! (Clockwise from top, chicken salad, hummus, olive spread, and guacomole.)

They cost me $7.16 for the box, which contained two 10 oz. bags of crackers. Great price! I always feel really ripped off paying $4 for a 6 oz box of gluten-free crackers.

They are 100 percent whole grain, oven baked, cholesterol free, and low sodium. They are certified GF by the GFCO. (Ingredients: Brown Rice Meal, Sesame Seeds, Potato Starch, Quinoa Seeds, Safflower Oil, Flax Seeds, Amaranth Seeds, Tamari Soy Sauce Powder, Corn Maltodextrin and Salt.) They also contain 280 mg of Omega-3 per serving.

And they really do taste good! These thin crunchy crackers taste less "ricey" than most rice crackers, and they taste slightly nutty, and vaguely like sesame and soy sauce. (Sorry, I'm not a good flavor describer!) I'm not a celiac and I like them, and my oldest, celiac son and youngest son liked them -- the middle one doesn't like anything) and I really wouldn't hesitate to serve them to any one.

If you'd like your own Crunchmaster crackers, try your local Sam's Club or you can contact the maker at or 1-888-574-7737.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I'm back and I'm resolving to be a better blogger. Well, at least on my GF blog. I'm actually closing down my family blog (sorry, Grandma, but you know as well as I do that I haven't updated since June!) and my birding blog (fun, but a lot of work!). I have some new recipes and ideas and I'm excited for the new year. We had a fun, gluten-free holiday season and we hope you did, too!