Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bake

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Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bake

6 Cooked Chicken Strips ( You can shred them or leave whole)

1- 18.5oz. Can Progresso Gluten Free Chicken Cheese Enchilada Flavor Soup

(Optional) 1/4 to 1 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper (depending on how much heat your family likes)

1 Cup Freshly Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Heat oven to 400* F.

Grease a 9 -10 inch baking pan. Spread cooked chicken strips in bottom of pan, sprinkle with pepper and pour soup over chicken and bake for 18-20 minutes. Or until soup is hot and bubbling. Remove from oven and top with grated cheese. Serve with your favorite rice and beans or chips. Enjoy!

Variations: Add Hot peppers and onions for a kick, or cooked quinoa, to make it a casserole.

Sage Burgers

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Sage Burgers

1 pound of lean Ground Beef

1 Tablespoon Rubbed or Ground Dry Sage Leaves (plus 2 teaspoons reserved)

1 Tablespoon Gluten Free Lea & Perrins Worchester sauce

1 Teaspoon MSG Free Season Salt

In medium size bowl mix ground beef, 1 tablespoon of the sage, Worchester sauce, and season salt. Blend all seasonings well with beef and pat out patties to desired size. I can usually get 5 burgers from one pound of ground beef.

Preheat Grill to 350* to 375*F.

Place each patty on grill, cover with lid and cook for 5-8 minutes. Raise lid and turn patties, then sprinkle each burger with remaining sage. Cook burgers for another 8-10 minutes, depending on how thick you make your burgers. Check the center of burgers to make sure there is no pink left in meat. When done serve with Gluten Free buns and any toppings you desire.

Eating Out Gluten Free

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Eating Out Gluten Free

With everyone on summer vacations, I thought this would be a helpful post. I know there are apps that will help in finding Gluten Free restaurants, but it has been my experience that only a few of them are listed on the apps.
Recently I have had several people tell me, since they have started eating Gluten Free, they can no longer go out to eat. Well you can, you just have to do your homework. I have even had some Bakeries and Restaurants message me and tell me they are using some of my recipes!  So you never know when you go out to eat you may see some of my Gluten Free recipes on your menu.

Here are a few tips.
ALWAYS, tell your waiter that you need the Allergy, or Gluten Free menu, and if you are Celiac tell them it is medically necessary that you eat Gluten Free. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Such as do you have a dedicated fryer for fries, or are they fried in the same oil as all of the other breaded items, like chicken or onion rings? Ask if they toast the Gluten Bread in the same toaster or grill that wheat bread is toasted on. Always ask!

With the help of other sites and friends we have compiled a list of Gluten Free places to eat in several states. Please be aware, things can change. Chefs come and go, as do knowledgeable waiters and waitresses. Always ask questions, and if you don’t feel safe, don’t stay and eat. I am in no way endorsing any of these restaurants. As you well know if you have Celiac Disease or food allergies it is always a risk when you go out to eat. Please Feel Free to comment and add your favorite and SAFE Gluten Free places to eat in the comments below. Please remember, just because a chain restaurant in one city has a very good reputation for serving SAFE gluten free options, others may not. Always ask questions and make sure!

EATING OUT GLUTEN FREE BY STATE

ARKANSAS:

Angus Jack- Springdale, Arkansas
Callahan’s Steak House- Siloam Springs, Arkansas ( It’s better if you call ahead for this restaurant)

COLORADO:

Austin’s- Fort Colon’s, Co.

MARYLAND:

Alexander’s Tavern- Fells Point, Baltimore

MASSACHUSETTS:

Wagamama’s- Boston, Ma

MICHIGAN:

[V] = Dedicated Vegan
Dedicated GF
Wow (Okemos),1754 Central Park Dr. Meridian Charter Township, MI 48864
Live Gluten Free Bakery & Café 1062 E. Sternberg Rd.,Norton Shores, MI 49441 Just Off US 31 exit 109B
Moo Cluck Moo (Canton/Dearborn)42126 Ford Rd. Canton, MI (734) 844-0000 (behind Panera Bread) 8606 N. Telegraph Rd.,Dearborn Heights, MI (313) 562-9999(carry out only) (one block south of Joy rd.)**Be aware this is no longer a dedicated Gluten Free facility**
Little Mustard Seed Café & Shoppe, 51111 Washington Street,New Baltimore, MI, United States, 586-716-9255
Renee’s Gourmet Pizzeria (Troy/Southfield) 1937 W. Maple Road, Troy, MI 48084 248-280-7800, 29705 Northwestern Hwy. Southfield, MI 48034 (carry out and delivery only) 248-208-6000
Rumi’s Passion Gluten Free Bakery 41120 5 Mile Road, Plymouth, MI 48170, 734-335-7145
No More Belly Aching Bakery, 10049 Grand River Ave #100, Brighton, MI 48116 (810) 225-9773
[V] Try It Raw Inc. 213 E Maple Rd.Birmingham, MI 48009 (248)-593-6991
Celiac Specialties, 1928 Star-Batt Dr. Rochester Hills, MI 48309 (248)-860-0680
Ethel’s Edibles, Gluten Free Baking Company 22314 Harper Ave. St Clair Shores, MI 48080 (586)-552-5110
Heavenly Cakeballs 3522 S Lapeer Rd. Metamora, MI 48455 (248)-431-0740

Missouri :

Fuddruckers: Branson, Mo. ( has GF buns)

NEBRASKA:

Heidi Payton-Holstein Nebraska Great Plains Celiac group – Gluten Free
Published by Heidi Payton-Holstein · April 14 ·
Here is a list of Restaurants in Sidney Nebraska, that have gluten free menu options.
Buffalo Point Steakhouse & Grill—Yes they have a GF Menu, Yes they have a GF prep Area, chance of CC is extremely low
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery—–Yes they have a GF Menu, Yes they have a GF prep Area, chance of CC is extremely low
Applebees—–Yes they have a GF Menu, Yes they have a GF prep Area, chance of CC is extremely low
Sam and Louies Pizza—-Yes they have a GF Menu, Yes they have a GF prep Area——–The Cross Contamination is high with gluten based flour floating in the air.
Hillside Bar & Grill—-Offer ONLY a Chief Salad, but can not guarantee that all ingredients used (meats) used would be gluten free..
Sonic—–Yes they have GF options, Yes they have a GF prep Area, could not guarantee a a low CC chance.
Arbys—– Yes they have GF options, Yes they have a GF prep Area, could not guarantee a a low CC chance.
Chilli’s and Sam & Louie’s – Scottsbluff and Gering, NE.

NEW JERSEY:

Bill’s Bar and Burger – Atlantic City, NJ.

NORTH CAROLINA:

Shagger Jacks- Oak Island
Five Guys – Oak Island ( and all over the East Coast) (be aware of possible cross contamination)
Bob’s Dogs- Oak Island
My Way Tavern – Holly Springs

OKLAHOMA

The Chuck Wagon Café- Sycamore Springs Ranch 12754 South 442 Road, Locust Grove, Ok.74352 (918) 598-3310,Steaks and Baked potatoes!  (Beware of the fries they are not fried in dedicated Fryer) Just tell your waitress what you can have and they will work with you.
Denny’s- Pryor, Oklahoma
Los Cocos – Salina, Oklahoma
Rowlands Quick Shop – Locust Grove, Oklahoma ( Baked Chicken)
Applebee’s – Muskogee, Ok
Lone Star Steak House- Broken Arrow, Ok ( Currently Closed, Sept. 2017)
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers-Broken Arrow, or Tulsa, Ok
(The Photo was taken at Red Robin in Broken Arrow, and yes that is a GF bun)
Red Lobster-  51 Street, Tulsa, Ok
Lyn, just added Hideaway- Broken Arrow, Ok
Hideaway Pizza- Edmond, Ok
Five Guys- also Broken Arrow( be aware of possible cross contamination)
Los Cabos- Jenks or Broken Arrow, Ok
Scholtzskys has a gluten free bun
Incredible Pizza – Tulsa, OK (gluten free pizza if you request it)
Domino’s – Durant, Ok
Roma’s Italian Restaurant- Durant, Ok

SOUTH CAROLINA

McAllister’s Deli

TEXAS:

Cheesecake Factory- Frisco, Tx
PF Chang’s – Allen, Tx
McAllister’s Deli- Sherman, Tx
Jason’s Deli- Allen and Dallas, Tx.

Rosemary Dill Cucumber Salad

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Rosemary Dill Cucumber Salad

5 Cups washed peeled and sliced Cucumbers ( about 5-6 Large Cucumbers)

Dressing:

1/8 Cup of Milk

1/2 Cup of Gluten Free Mayonnaise ( I use Hellmann’s original)

1/4 Cup plain Greek Yogurt

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Chopped Rosemary Leaves

1/2 Teaspoon Dried Dill Weed

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/8 Teaspoon ground Black Pepper

In large mixing bowl (or serving bowl) add all ingredients for dressing and whisk together. Add peeled and sliced cucumbers and fold together. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. You can also mix the dressing and refrigerate the night before and it tastes even better. Enjoy!!

 

Cowboy Beans

Spring is a very busy time of year for us. Planting, working cattle, preparing for hay season, etc. So if I have used up all of my freezer meals, that I grab in a pinch, this is my go to quick meal. Cowboy Beans! I think my sister is the one that came up with this one years ago. We love it, hope you do too!

Cowboy Beans

1 Pound Lean Ground Beef

1/2 Teaspoon (MSG free Season Salt)

1- 28oz. Can of Bush’s Best Original Baked Beans

In medium sized skillet, on medium high heat, brown ground beef and season with salt. When meat is well cooked with no red remaining, add beans and stir. When mixture is bubbling and cooked through, remove from heat and serve. Enjoy!

Variations: Instead of all ground beef add 1/2 pound of sausage. You may want to add chopped hot peppers and minced garlic. Use your imagination!

Quick Breakfast Skillet with Hash Brown Crust

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Quick Breakfast Skillet with Hash Brown Crust

2 Cups peeled and shredded Potatoes ( Or additive free unseasoned frozen Hash brown potatoes)

3 Tablespoons melted butter or butter substitute

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

2 Eggs Scrambled and chopped

1 Cup cooked Ham Chopped ( or sausage, depending on what you prefer)

1 Cup freshly grated Cheese ( I use sharp Cheddar)

Gluten Free Picante Sauce

Preheat oven to 450*

Grease 8 inch skillet on bottom and sides. Spread shredded hash browns to completely cover bottom and up the sides about an inch. Drizzle with melted butter over the potatoes in the bottom of skillet. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 20 minutes or until potatoes are crisp. While potatoes are baking, prepare eggs and meat.  Remove skillet and top with eggs, meat, then cheese, spreading evenly. Return to oven for 1 minute or just until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and serve by slicing through topping and potatoes underneath, cutting desired portion, then dip out with heat proof spatula. Top with picante sauce and  Enjoy!

For large family, just use a larger skillet and double recipe.

Ham and Mushroom Gravy over Pasta

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Ham and Mushroom Gravy over Pasta

2-3 Cups Chopped left over GF Ham

1 Cup cleaned and sliced Mushrooms (or 1 large Can)

1 – 14.5 oz. Can of GF Chicken Broth

1  1/2 Tablespoons of Cornstarch to thicken (or GF Flour)

Cooked Gluten Free Pasta (any kind and as much as you want)

In large skillet, add ham, mushrooms (if you use canned go ahead and add the juice too) and 1/2 the can of chicken broth. Turn heat to medium high for about 2 minutes or until juices and ham start to bubble. Add corn starch to the other half of the chicken broth and whisk until dissolved. Then pour into skillet and stir until thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Pour all ingredients over cooked GF pasta, garnish with a bit of chopped basil or parsley. Enjoy!

Variations: You can use Shitake mushrooms, or add a bit of chopped hot peppers or black pepper.  To make more gravy just add another can of chicken broth and double the amount of cornstarch, or you may also add butter if you want.

Note: I do not add any more salt, as the ham is very salty anyway. You may want to season more to your taste.

Trouble Shooting Tips For Gluten Free Bread

IMG_2186 This is what my dough looks like when it is done mixing.

Trouble Shooting Tips for Gluten Free Bread

Over the years I’ve tried to keep track of all of the things I did wrong making GF bread as well as the things that worked. So here is a list of some of these tips.

If your bread sinks in the center.

  1. Possibly your dough is too wet.
  2. Baking time may not be long enough, if bread is not done in the center, that will cause it to sink.
  3. You may be putting too much oil or butter on top when you smooth out the dough.
  4. If you use a second mixing cycle in your bread machine or punch down the dough for a second rise. GF dough does not like to be disturbed after the first rise.
  5. If you are have a recipe that calls for a different GF flour than you are using. The reason for this is GF flours are so different, they do not absorb liquids at the same rate. Some absorb more liquid than others and some just don’t want to absorb liquids at all. For example Coconut flour absorbs much more liquid than rice flour. This can also be the reason your breads turn out so dry, even though it does rise.

 

More Gluten Free Baking Tips

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More Tips and Tricks for Gluten Free Cooking

Gluten Free flours have gotten a lot better over the years, but there are still some tips that will help you a lot in exchanging regular wheat flour for Gluten Free flour.

  1. Right off the bat, NO I have not found a GF flour that you can just exchange in the same amounts that you would use in wheat flour. It just doesn’t work the same.
  2. There are so many different blends of flours, some use corn starch, or potato starch, or tapioca starch, (none of them are the same) and they do not react the same to the other ingredients in the recipe. That is why so many Gluten Free recipes fail. When you figure out the positive chemical reaction for each GF flour. Then you will have a successful recipe! That is why I name each Brand of flour I use in all my recipes.
  3. A lot of the Gluten Free Flour blends have a rice base. Some are bean flour. Rice and Beans are both hard when they are dry, so in order for them not to have a gritty texture, you must let the dough or batter set for a while and soak up the liquids before baking or cooking. Except fried foods, when fried at high heat the rice flours become crisp not grainy. Also the flours absorb oils better than it does butter, if the butter gets cool. But you also give up a lot of flavor when using oil.
  4. Because Gluten Free flours are heavier than wheat flour, it takes gluten free flours longer to rise than wheat flour. So I add more baking powder and more yeast than I did for wheat flour. I also let most of my dough set longer in a warm place to rise. (Except my sour dough, it doesn’t need the extra time) The warmth of steam, seems to help activate the yeast so it can rise. So when I start to bake a loaf of bread, I will start a pot of water to boil on the back of the stove.
  5. When baking Gluten Free yeast breads, you should not try to punch down the loaf for a second rise. Most Gluten Free dough will not rise a second time. When it rises, it is ready to bake.
  6. Baking times usually will be at a lower temperature setting, but they will need to bake longer. Most of the time I will use 325*F. setting and about 10 -12 minutes longer baking time. It depends a lot on your type of oven, and the thickness of the item you are baking. For instance, bread dough will always take longer to bake than a cake batter.

Entering the Spooky World of Gluten and Food Additives

spooky world of glutenand additives

Entering the Spooky World of Gluten and Food Additives

I am constantly amazed at the number of people that still don’t know what gluten is, but I do enjoy helping to educate anyone willing to listen. I was checking out at the grocery store the other day and the girl noticed as she was scanning my groceries, that I had several items labeled Gluten Free. She asked what is that like for diabetes? So I explained to her what gluten was and that we had Celiac Disease and why we had to avoid gluten. I could see the light come on behind her eyes! ( I love it when that happens) ( Oh and BTW, I was the only one in line, there was not anyone behind me waiting while we had a gluten lesson.)

Anyway I’ve noticed that a lot of you are new to eating Gluten Free are having trouble figuring out what is and what isn’t gluten free. It is confusing I know, with all of the food additives that have hidden gluten. So here is a partial list to help get you started.

Anything that obviously contains wheat

Barley

Rye

Malt ( is derived from barley)

Cellulose ( this can be made from wood chips, wheat or barley straw)

MSG, monosodium glutamate  ( a lot of people believe that this is not gluten, but when you research how it is made, it becomes clear, that the base of this product is wheat gluten) MSG, is a big scary one for our family. My sister and I both have extreme reactions to it.

The FDA says there is not gluten in MSG, but here are some links that prove them wrong.  http://msgtruth.org/msgand2.htm

http://msgtruth.org/

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/90/3/728S.full

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monosodium_glutamate

http://www.truthinlabeling.org/HowIsItManufactured.html

http://dogtorj.com/what-is-food-intolerance/gluten-vs-glutamate-vs/

Other Possible sources of gluten are:

Maltodextrin ( in the US maltodextrin is supposed to be safe, my problem with this is, how do you know that a product made in the US did not buy some of their ingredients from other countries?) That is why we have to be diligent and do our research.

Citric Acid

When in doubt go to the company’s web site or some have phone numbers you can call and just ask.

If you have a reaction to a product, don’t eat it. There are most usually alternatives.

This is not a Recipe or maybe it is

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This is not a Recipe

Or maybe it is. I’ve been having some health issues so I’m a little behind in getting my recipes posted. So just bear with me, while I give myself and some of my other Celiac friends a little pep talk.

I know this disease is not easy to live with, but it could be worse. We are still here. If you have just been diagnosed or if you’ve known for awhile that you have CD or Gluten Sensitivity, then you do know. By that I mean you know what you have to do to stay healthy. For so many years I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I knew there was something, but doctors just kept treating me for the wrong things. Now that we know, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

For me I do a lot of praying. I go outside take a walk, clear my head and know that life will get better. It is within my control to make my health better. I don’t have to wonder anymore what I need to do to get better.

We can do this! Celiac Disease does not have to control our lives. We can take control, eat healthy, get the exercise we need and enjoy life. It may not be what we had before, but it has to be better than the suffering we had before our diagnoses.

Just know that me, and a lot of us are right there with you! Reach out if you need support.  I guess this is my “Cheering You On Recipe.” We will do this together!!!

Gluten Free or Not Gluten Free?

Pure Ingredients = Pure FLAVOR!!

Not only is eating Gluten Free a necessity for some of us, it is a choice for others. Gluten free cooking has so much more flavor! Simply because you cook with pure ingredients. There are no fillers in the spices, no additives to the meat, you actually taste the real food.

I have had this conversation so many times with people. They always ask me or tell me that soy sauce is already gluten free, it is made from soy not wheat. So why is some soy sauce labeled gluten free and some soy sauce is not? Because some food companies like to cut corners and add wheat or gluten containing fillers that are cheaper. The same with spices, I’ve also had people wonder why do I put in my recipes “additive Free”?  Sometimes the product has been produced in the same plant or on the same equipment as gluten containing products, thus it will contaminate the pure spice. If the company did not clean their equipment, that bottle of cheap spice that you just purchased may contain the remains of what was previously processed, then you did not get an additive free product.

I’ve also had a conversation about turkeys, they are not made from gluten so they are gluten free right? Well they should be, but if the meat was injected with flavorings or preservatives that contain gluten, then the turkey is no longer gluten free. Ham is the same way, if it has been injected in the curing process with gluten containing products or preservatives, then it is not gluten free. People just assume that food products are pure. Anyone with food allergies or celiac disease will tell you this is not true. If you have ever had your throat close up and you can’t breathe because of MSG or other food additives, then you become very diligent, even to the point of being paranoid about what is in your food. Or you’ve had body aches, stomach pains or other digestive problems so bad it puts you down for a week or sends you to the hospital; or your child cannot control himself and the school is calling you every day because he has gotten gluten or other food additive that sends him into a tailspin, then you become obsessed about what you put in your mouth, or on your child’s plate!

So whether it is by choice or necessity, pure true ingredients win out over fake every time!

Still Working on Christmas Cookies

IMG_1552I know, I need to practice on the decorating a little more, but they pass the taste test!  Gluten Free Soft Butter Cream Cookies

Still Working on Christmas Cookies, Soft Butter Cream Cookies

on December 9, 2014

  Gluten Free Soft Butter Cream Cookies

1 1/2 Cups of a fine ground GF Flour ( used Better Batter)

½ Cup Additive Free Powdered Sugar

1 Teaspoon Gluten Free Baking Powder ( note if you use a heavier GF flour then you will need to add another teaspoon)

½ Teaspoon Baking Soda

½ Cup Salted Butter (1 Stick)

4 oz. Original Philadelphia Cream Cheese

1 Tablespoon Additive Free Vanilla

2 Large Eggs

In medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, and soda. Soften butter and cream cheese in microwave. Don’t get it too hot, it will kill the baking powder. Beat eggs, and add to flour mixture, along with vanilla. Then add cheese and butter folding in all ingredients. Pour dough into food processor or mixer and blend until dough is smooth. Don’t over mix, it will make the cookies tough. Place dough back in mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate until dough is cold.

Preheat oven to 375* F.

When dough is really cold, pour onto wax paper that has been covered in powdered sugar. Make sure dough is covered on both sides with powdered sugar so that it doesn’t stick to rolling pen. Roll out dough a little thicker than ¼ inch. Using cookie cutters cut out cookies and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12- 14 minutes or until cookies start to brown. Let cool before removing from cookie sheet. You may brush with melted butter and dust with powdered sugar, or ice cookies and decorate.

Powdered Sugar Icing

2- 3 Cups Additive Free Powdered Sugar

¼ Cup cold water

Mix until smooth. Add more powdered sugar if you want it thicker.