Gluten Free For Good


 

More About Melissa

Archive for August, 2007



a toast to gluten-free beer (and cider)


Australians are a lively bunch and this article in the Herald Sun indicates what that country’s celiacs are most concerned with. Finding gluten-free beer on tap in every bar in Australia!

That seems to be a priority in the UK as well. My 27 year old celiac daughter (Tevis) went to school in London for a semester and lived in Glasgow, Scotland for a year while getting her Master’s in British Literature. She knows her GF beers and contributed the information listed below, including the ones she likes the best. So, if you can’t have gluten and want a beer on a hot summer afternoon, read on. . .

Tevis’s GF beer picks

Bard’s Tale
Strongbow Cider
Woodchuck Draft Cider
Original Sin Cider
Redbridge
Ramapo Valley Beer
Green’s Gluten Free Beers
New Grist

She also suggests checking out the Gluten-Free Beer Festival website, or BellaOnline, Carolyn Smagalski’s Beer and Brewing Site, for more detailed information on what’s available in GF beers.

Cheers!

peach salsa

 

 


Yes, I’m still eating peaches at every meal. Not that I’m complaining. Colorado peaches are the best, no exaggeration! This salsa came out so good – and it’s versatile. Serve it over fish, straight out of the bowl, or with GF corn chips. And it’s easy, healthy, and refreshing – what more could you ask for?

This isn’t a “real” recipe so just throw the ingredients together, stir, and enjoy!

what you need
1 or 2 peaches, diced
1/4 to 1/3 cup diced white onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup chopped cucumber
2 or 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Celtic sea salt to taste

what you do
mix together, taste, and smile

*Next time I make this, I’m adding some chopped jicama. Yum!

gluten free gazpacho


My neighbor brought over a bag of fresh, juicy tomatoes from his garden. He hung them in a bag on my door knob and disappeared – he didn’t even ring the door bell.

Well, I assume it was my neighbor. He’s retired and grows the most amazing tomato garden every summer. Just tomatoes and lots of them. I anxiously await mid-August when I know he’s about to serve up a bounty of the best, juiciest, red tomatoes around. And he can never eat them all. What a shame . . .

Spanish Gazpacho is perfect for hot summer days – a delicious blend of the best garden vegetables. This is my gluten-free, dairy-free version of the classic tomato soup. You can make this any way you’d like. It’s hard to mess it up if you have the right ingredients. Use fresh, ripe veggies. Organic is always best.

what you need
4, 5, or 6 fresh, ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped (or 1, or none depending on how spicy you are)
2 gloves garlic, peeled and minced
6 to 8 scallions, chopped (all the white part and about half the green)
the juice of 3 limes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or none if you don’t like spicy)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 cup water
16 ounces R.W. Knudsen Organic Very Veggie Juice (or something similar)
fresh ground pepper and Celtic sea salt to taste
chopped avocado for garnish
1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (Sometimes I add these, sometimes I don’t. I used one piece of Montina bread crumbled up in the batch I made in the photo. It gives it a little body, but if you don’t have any gluten-free bread, it doesn’t matter, just skip it.)
Notes: you can also add a couple of tablespoons of agave honey, which adds a nice hint of sweetness.

what you do
Reserve a small amount of chopped scallions, cucumbers, red bell peppers, a touch of cilantro and all the avocado for topping. Using a food processor or heavy duty blender, blend the remaining ingredients to desired consistency. Taste and adjust as necessary. Add more liquid, salt, pepper, vegetable juice, cayenne pepper – whatever strikes your fancy. You might have to blend this in two batches or cut back on the amounts and only make half as much. This recipe will serve 6 people. Serve chilled. Yum!

Nutrition Notes: Fresh, organic, whole fruits and vegetables impart more nutritional energy than the canned or frozen variety. In fact, the word vegetable comes from the Latin word vegetare, which means to enliven. Raw foods (called live food) contain active enzymes. Enzymes are sensitive to heat and are destroyed with pasteurization and cooking. They help break down our food so we can efficiently absorb the nutrients. Enzymes are the worker bees of digestion.

So raw is good – for everyone, but especially for people with impaired digestion (yes, that would be those of us with celiac disease). Gazpacho is packed with good stuff, including lots of fiber. Here’s the short version – I’ll highlight a few of the super foods in this Spanish soup.

Tomatoes (which are actually a fruit) are high in vitamin C, A and potassium. They’re also a great source of lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant (good for prostate health), and niacin, vitamin B6 and folate.

Red bell pepper – these are another super antioxidant and are also high in lycopene. Good stuff, for sure.

Cayenne pepper and jalapenos not only add a zesty zing to food, but also contain a substance called capsaicin. The technical name is 8-methyul-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide, in case you want to throw that around at your next cocktail party. People in Thailand eats lots of capsaicin and they also have a very low rate of gastrointestinal cancers. Studies show it is protective against those types of cancers.

Warning – don’t rub your eyes after chopping jalapenos! Wash your hands!

Cilantro (the leaf of the coriander plant) is one of my favorites, partly because it’s so detoxifying. Research shows it helps detox heavy metals from the body (among other environmental toxins). It’s also a good digestive aid.

Okay, I’ll stop with the nutrition lecture – for this time. Enjoy the gazpacho, it’s full of healthy ingredients with very few calories! And if you’re wondering, that’s an organic Kalamati olive thrown on top. Oh, I love those. . .

Palisade peaches & Colorado cobbler


It’s peach season in Colorado! Georgia has nothin’ on us when it comes to sweet, juicy peaches. And Morton’s Orchards in Palisade, Colorado grows some of the best in the country (certified organic). They also grow cherries, apricots, and nectarines, all with specific ripening and picking dates.

After a weekend trip to the local farmer’s market, I decided I better get creative with all these peaches I bought.

Colorado cobbler (gluten-free/dairy-free)

what you need
peach filling

5 or 6 fresh, ripe peaches (remove pits and slice)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons GF flour mix* (or your favorite)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of salt
note:
(whisk together brown sugar, GF flour, cinnamon, and salt and set aside to use as a coating mix for peaches)

what you need
topping

1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup GF flour mix* (or your favorite)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup Earth Balance 100% vegan Natural Butter (cold)

what you do
peach filling

preheat oven to 375 degrees
put sliced peaches in large bowl and coat with prepared coating mix (gently stir to cover peaches)
pour prepared peach filling into a greased baking dish (pie pan size)

what you do
topping

whisk together brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in medium sized bowl
mix in the chopped pecans
using two knives, cut in the Earth Balance Natural Butter
cover prepared peaches with topping mix

Bake in 375 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes until bubbly, checking after 30 minutes to make sure topping doesn’t burn. Loosely place a piece of tin foil over the cobbler for the last 15 to 20 minutes to keep the top from over-browning. Keep an eye on it, don’t let it burn.

Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes and serve. Top with your favorite ice cream or non-dairy ice cream. Yum!


*GF flour mix – use your favorite general GF baking mix or try the one listed below.

*gluten-free flour mixture (makes 9 cups)
4 cups finely ground brown rice flour
2 cups finely ground white rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
2 cups potato starch flour
Store in refrigerator or freezer and use as needed.
I like Authentic Foods superfine white and brown rice flours.

http://www.authenticfoods.com/

montina bread makes for good hiking


Montina is the trade name for a baking flour made from Indian Ricegrass (it’s not related to rice). The flour is milled from the seed of the wild rice grass used by Native Americans hundreds of years ago. It’s naturally gluten-free and is high in protein and fiber. It’s grown in the Northwestern United States and milled and packaged in a gluten-free facility in the small town of Ronan, Montana. Doesn’t that just seem like it would taste good (and it does)! The website has a long list of tasty recipes and links to retailers who sell the flour and baking mixes. It’s a great addition to our growing collection of gluten-free “alternative” flours.

I didn’t make the Montina bread pictured above, Dana at XDC Confections in Denver gets the credit. But I did go on a nice hike in Colorado’s high country today and brought along a sandwich made from the flour and I have to say, although the picture doesn’t do it justice, it tasted absolutely wonderful at 13,000 feet! And because the bread’s a bit hardy (in a good way), it doesn’t totally fall apart when it’s shoved down into a backpack. It travels well, even at high altitudes!

The other snacks featured in the photo are apple slices and almond butter. Yum! Everything tastes good when you’re wandering around in the great outdoors.

mile-high brownies


As a nutrition therapist, I’m definitely into nutrient-dense, nourishing, and healing foods. No junk food. But sometimes “healing” comes in the form of a good, old fashioned treat and “nourishing” means sweets for the spirit. That’s what these brownies are. Rich, chocolatey, and totally yummy.

what you need
brownies

1 cup sugar
1 stick (8 oz) “Earth Balance” 100% vegan butter
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 bottle (22 oz) “AH!LASKA” organic chocolate syrup*
1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon GF flour*
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
(whisk GF flour and xanthan gum together)

what you need
frosting

11/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons “Earth Balance” 100% vegan butter
6 tablespoons coconut milk*
1/2 cup “Tropical Source” GF/DF chocolate chips*

what you do
brownies

cream sugar and margarine in mixing bowl
add eggs and vanilla and blend well
add chocolate syrup and blend well
add flour/xanthan gum and mix thoroughly
pour into greased 151/2 by 101/2 x 1” pan
bake at 350 degrees for 23 to 25 minutes (until middle bounces back with light touch)
let cool and frost

what you do
frosting

melt vegan butter, sugar, and milk in saucepan over medium heat
watch and stir continually, bring to boil (medium boil, not a rolling boil) and let boil for about 45 seconds to 1 minute
stir in chocolate chips and blend well until melted
pour over cooled brownies and spread evenly
let the brownies cool for a little while and then refrigerate before cutting
store in the refrigerator or freezer (layering with wax paper helps keep them from sticking together, they’re good right out of the freezer)

*gluten-free flour mixture (makes 9 cups)
4 cups finely ground brown rice flour
2 cups finely ground white rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
2 cups potato starch flour
Store in refrigerator or freezer and use as needed.
I like Authentic Foods superfine white and brown rice flours.
http://www.authenticfoods.com/

*Organic AH!LASKA chocolate syrup is 100% dairy-free and gluten-free. I buy it at Whole Foods.

*I use either Thai Kitchen or Native Forest organic coconut milk.

*Tropical Source (by Sunspire) semi-sweet chocolate chips (rich dark chocolate) are 100% dairy-free and gluten-free

These are great brownies and no one would suspect they are gluten-free and dairy-free. Best if kept refrigerated (or frozen). They don’t last as long as gluten-containing treats, so make them and either freeze or refrigerate and eat them fairly quickly.

Enjoy! Melissa

meme me?

Meme? I don’t know what meme means. Kelly, one of the hip and groovy celiac chicks, meme’d me. Huh?

Geez, I’m confused enough as it is with this new blog endeavor, now I’ve been meme’d.

What’s a meme, anyway?

The word “meme” comes from evolutionary biology and was coined in 1976 as a “unit of cultural transmission.” It’s a piece of societal thought passed from person to person, like gene replication passes from generation to generation. The word was specifically intended to sound like “gene.” It’s “meme,” not me-me. Oh, okay, now I get it. Kind of anyway.

According to Richard Brodie at Meme Central, “Memes are contagious ideas, all competing for a share of our mind in a kind of Darwinian selection.” Sounds a bit like blogging.

So, I’ll follow Kelly’s lead and post something meme-ish about me (see below). Then I’ll pass it along to Gordon, who is hiking the Appalachian Trail. He’s trekking and blogging as the Breadless Horseman and is raising funds for celiac awareness in the process. He’s been hiking since last spring and is probably about to emerge from the 100 mile wilderness in Maine, grubby and ready for a gluten-free beer. He’s almost finished with 2,000 miles of hiking from Georgia to Maine. Wow, very impressive! Congratulations, Breadless Horseman!

Here goes (random facts about me)

• I have DQ2, what about you?

• I grew up skiing, hiking and hanging out in the mountains

• Yoga, yoga, yoga

• Telemark skiing

• Backpacking and climbing (backpacked the whole Wind River mountain range in WY, from one end to the other)

• Good food, family and friends! Yippee!

shiitake mushrooms and wild rice


Yummy food therapy! The recipes on this blog will always be gluten-free and dairy-free. They will also be a bit vague as I don’t follow directions well and most of my recipes I’ve adapted from somewhere else, or flat-out made up. I like to play with my food. My kitchen is like a big chemistry set, so if I’m not too clear at times, send me a comment and I’ll try to explain. I’ll also include some nutritional and healing benefits of the food . . . because that’s my job.

I love shiitake mushrooms. Partly for their medicinal properties and partly for their rich, earthy flavor. They’re a symbol of longevity in Asia and have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. They contain an active substance called lentinan, which helps rev up the immune system. Lentinan is also thought to lower cholesterol and fight cancer (especially stomach, intestinal, and colon cancers). Add these mushrooms to your arsenal of high-end, healing foods for boosting your immune system and protecting your digestive system, especially if you have celiac. Shiitakes also aid against environmental allergies, boost detoxing, and fight candida. And they’re high in vitamins D, B2, and B12 and depending on where they’re grown, can be rich in all kinds of minerals.

So that’s the short version of the legendary benefits of this funky looking little superstar.

shiitake mushrooms and wild rice

what you need
2 cups of wild rice
4 cups (or a little more) of “Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth” (or GF veggie broth)
chopped onions (maybe 1/3 cup or so)
chopped garlic (2 or 3 cloves)
5 to 7 shiitake mushrooms (washed and chopped)
2 – 4 tablespoons of grapeseed oil (enough to sauté with)
Celtic sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
handful of raisins
handful of walnuts
rice cooker

what you do
lightly sauté garlic and onions in grapeseed oil and place in rice cooker
lightly sauté mushrooms and add to rice cooker
rinse rice and add
salt and pepper to taste (or other seasonings)
pour 4 cups of chicken broth on top and stir
turn on rice cooker and wait until it’s finished

I always check when it’s finished and see if I need to add a little more chicken broth. I prefer it rich and creamy so I like it moist. Then I add some raisins and nuts and sometimes fresh spinach. Whatever strikes your fancy. Keep on warm until ready to serve.

Put the leftovers in the refrigerator and use cold, mixed in a fresh green salad with veggies the next day.

Enjoy!

tribute launch to Bette

 


I’m sitting at my computer, my desk pushed up against a large east-facing window. It’s early and the morning light seems hesitant to interrupt the lead-gray clouds resting on the horizon.

I feel the same way – hesitant. I’m writing the first entry for my glutenfreeforgood blog. Why is this hard? I’ve been thinking about doing it for months now.

My goal is to increase awareness of celiac disease and help people live a healthy gluten-free lifestyle. Healthy, in a holistic way. I want to be doing this. I’m supposed to be doing this (long story that I’ll save for another time).

I get up early (ridiculously early) and have my tea and read my favorite blogs. It’s such a nice way to start the day. Much better than reading the newspaper. Shauna (glutenfreegirl) with her eloquent writing on life, love, and food. Karina’s (glutenfreegoddess) endearing sense of humor and fun spirit, Seamaiden’s international flair for GF food (definitely yum!), and on and on. There are too many to mention. And I can’t forget Brendon’s (somethinginseason) well-written response (rebuttal?) to the article in the New York Times last May about gluten intolerance. I love this little subculture of gluten-free advocates. I want to add to the mix.

But how do I start? Someone inspired me.

“The CeliacChicks have posted something new.” Sadly, it was word that the original gluten-free queen, Bette Hagman, had died. It was a lovely post by Kelly and the significance of it inspired me.

This is supposed to be my first post on my new blog. A tribute to Bette. After reading Kelly’s post, I pulled out all my Gluten-Free Gourmet cookbooks and made some of Bette’s cookies. Yes, I was eating cookies at the crack of dawn, and I’m a nutrition therapist, no less. Cookies as therapy? That works on occasion.

Many years ago, my daughter was diagnosed with a wheat allergy. We had no idea what to do, so we bought one of Bette’s books and learned the fine art of mixing up a batch of “alternative” flour. We continued to buy her books. Then my dad got sick and I bought my parent’s one of Bette’s books. And on it went.

My daughter has since been officially diagnosed with celiac disease. I have celiac disease and I suspect that celiac disease contributed to my dad’s death two years ago. That’s why I’m doing this.

Thank you, Bette, for jump-starting my gluten-free journey in more ways than you’ll ever know.

Namaste,
Melissa

Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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(co-written with Pete Bronski)



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