Sunday, March 16, 2008

Meatball recipe II

This is a little more flavorful and "kicked up" meatball. I've also found that it makes your house smell WONDERFUL!


1 TBSP minced garlic
2 tsp. chopped parsley
1 TBSP dried basil
1 TBSP dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (can crumble Ener-G rice bread)
1 1/2 tsp. prepared yellow mustard (French's is gluten-free)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (can sub ground turkey)


1. In large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well using your hands, making sure cheese is evenly distributed.
2. Roll mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place in 9x13 baking pan.
3. Bake at 350-degrees F for 20-25 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165-degrees F.

** We also serve these with gluten-free spaghetti and gluten-free spaghetti sauce.



1 cup water
1 tsp (or 1 cube) of desired Herb-Ox bouillon flavor (beef, chicken, vegetable)
2 TBSP corn starch
2 TBSP cold water
salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat 1 cup water and bouillon to a boil, to create a broth.
2. In small bowl, mix corn starch and 2 TBSP water together to form a roux.
3. Slowly whisk roux into simmering broth. Whisk for approximately 1 minute to thicken into a gravy.

**I will use this recipe with chicken broth (or 1 cup of turkey drippings) at Thanksgiving. I've used the beef broth with meatballs as an appetizer.

Meatball recipe I

This is a very simple meatball recipe and is quite basic. I've made it for spaghetti and I've also made a beef gravy recipe to serve as an appetizer.


1 lb. ground beef (or sub ground turkey)
1/2 cup of gluten-free bread crumbs (or crumble some Ener-G rice bread)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 small onion chopped
1 large egg


1. Heat oven to 400-degrees F
2. Mix all ingredients. Shape mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. Place in ungreased 9x13 baking pan.
3. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes until internal temperature is 165-degrees F.

**You can serve this over Gluten-free spaghetti (we prefer Tinkyada). Hunt's has gluten-free sauces of several different flavors, if you opt not to make your own sauce.

Turkey, Rice, and Vegetable Soup


1 large Turkey Breast (or you can use 2-3 chicken breasts), cooked and cubed or shredded
1 package frozen soup vegetables (or frozen mixed veggies)
4 cups water
3 tsp. Chicken bouillon granules or 3 vegetable bouillon cubes
1/2 cup rice, cooked separately
Any spices, salt, or pepper that you would like to enhance the flavor (I didn't add anything)


1. Pour water and bouillon into large pot on stove (or in the crock pot). Add turkey and soup vegetables.
2. If using a pot on the stove, simmer for 2-3 hours. If using the crock pot, set on low for 4-6 hours.
3. Add cooked rice about 10 minutes before serving to make sure it is the same temperature as the soup, but don't leave in too long, or it will overcook and get too mushy.

**This soup stores well in the fridge and reheats well for lunch the following day.

Saturday, March 15, 2008




1 to 1.5 lbs. ground beef (can use ground turkey, too)
1 chopped onion
1 egg
1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (if you don't have any, you can always crumble a loaf of Ener-G rice bread and freeze those crumbs)
1/2 cup Heinz Ketchup
1/2 cup water
salt & pepper, to your preferred amount for flavor


1. Mix all ingredients and put into a loaf pan.
2. Cook at 350-degrees for 30 minutes.

Pork Chop Casserole - CROCK POT

Pork Chop Casserole


4-6 pork chops (I use boneless, since they fit better)
3 cups water
One cream soup recipe
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup rice, uncooked


1. Add pork chops to crock pot.
2. Combine water, soup, salt, and pepper and pour over pork
3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
4. Add rice with about 3 hours left to cook. This will soak up the remaining liquid, making it a rice casserole feeling. Adding rice at the beginning may make the rice too mushy, though.

Serve with your favorite veggie.

Quick and Easy Home Fries

Quick and Easy Home Fries


3 medium red potatoes, cut into tiny cubes
3 TBSP butter of margarine
salt & pepper to taste
Emeril's Rib Rub to taste


1. Rinse potato cubes with cold water, drain well.
2. Melt butter/margarine in large skillet over medium heat. Place potatoes in skillet, stir to coat with butter. Season with salt, pepper, & rib rub.
3. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook for another 10 minutes, turning frequently until brown on all sides and potatoes are tender.

Chicken Hotsy Totsy

Chicken Hotsy Totsy


1 Small Jar Ortega Taco Sauce (you choose spice strength)
2 recipes of the cream soup
1 small bag of corn tortilla chips or Doritos
4 chicken breasts cooked and cut into bite size pieces
2 cups Colby-Jack cheese, shredded


1. Mix Soups recipe and taco sauce together and spread on bottom of 9x13 or 11x7 baking dish. Layer tortilla chips/Doritos on top of mixture. Place chicken on top of chips and sprinkle with cheese.

2. Bake at 350-degrees F for 35-45 minutes uncovered.

Yummy Tilapia Recipe

Parmesan Cheese Tilapia

4 Tilapia Filets
1-2 Eggs
1/2 cup Kraft grated Parmesan Cheese
Emeril's Rib Rub

1. Beat Eggs in small mixing bowl. In a second small mixing bowl, stir Parmesan Cheese and Rib Rub (as much as you desire for spice/flavor) together.

2. Dredge Tilapia filets in egg and then in cheese mixture.

3. Place fish in large fry pan/skillet and pan-fry until internal temperature of 125-degrees F is reached.

**I serve this often with rice and a side veggie. It gives the appearance of a breaded fish, but it has a much nicer flavor, in my opinion, plus it is gluten-free.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A family favorite side-dish

Our family loves this Smushed Apples and Sweet Potatoes recipe. We served it at Thanksgiving (using a triple batch) and have served it with other meals as a veggie/fruit side dish.

The recipe is below:

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 TBSP butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice (although I use nutmeg instead and it tastes great!)
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/8 cup of milk (which I omit because I prefer this less liquidy)

1. Place the sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.

2. Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Mix in the sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Add the apple slices, cover, and let simmer for 5 minutes, or until apples are tender.

3. Mix the apple mixture into the drained sweet potatoes along with the milk. Mix well using an electric mixer or just a fork until potatoes are mashed. I have a little gadget that I use to really blend the mixture, so it's the consistency of whipped mashed potatoes. It works really well - much better than an electric hand mixer.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

My favorites...

If you don't have a bread machine, you should invest in one. Gluten-free bread that is already made (frozen or not) is just pretty much inedible. I DO love to use the loaf of Ener-G Rice bread for bread crumbs, though. I just crumble it up (either by hand or in a food processor). But, my favorite Rice bread is Gluten-Free Pantry's Favorite Sandwich Bread. If you can buy a 2lb loaf bread machine, you can make this all at once (and I've found that separating the loaf into thirds and freezing 2/3 of the loaf at a time, I can get the max out of the loaf without it getting moldy).

I love Tinkyada's pasta products, but I've also gotten into Mrs. Leeper's "rainbow" rotini pasta, as well. I like to use the rotini when I'm making something like tuna noodle casserole, or something of that nature. And Mrs. Leepers also makes a line of "boxed pasta dinner" options (you know, like the Hamburger Helper). We've tried the Lasagna version and that's pretty good! I haven't given the other ones a try yet, mostly because I like to stay away from the higher sodium contents in boxed meals like that and I make more things from scratch.

My daughter loves pizza and that was one thing I've really struggled with making sure we can keep as an option. I tried making my own with different dough mixes and "from scratch" recipes. So far, the only good pizza we've found that we can make at home is Amy's Rice crust frozen pizza in our grocery's freezer section. If you follow that link, scroll down about half way. My daughter prefers the Spinach pizza rather than the cheese pizza, but I've tried both and they are both very good. The Spinach pizza actually is dairy-free as well.

For now, those are some of my favorite brands/products for meals.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese

This is a recipe I got from my mother-in-law and I tweaked it to make it gluten-free. It's very yummy and definitely much better than the gluten-free macaroni and cheese you can buy in the store.

Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups uncooked rice macaroni (we have used elbows or pasta shapes - both from Tinkyada)
1 serving of the Gluten-free condensed mushroom cream soup
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. Gluten-free prepared yellow mustard
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste

1. Cook macaroni to desired tenderness, drain.
2. Mix together: soup, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper
3. Pour soup mixture over macaroni and mix.
4. Stir in 2 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese.
5. Bake in a casserole dish (I use 11x7) at 425 degrees F until hot and bubbly.
6. Just before removing from oven, sprinkle the last cup of cheddar cheese on top and return to the oven just until melted.

An AWESOME recipe for Gluten-free cake/cupcakes

We had tried the Gluten-Free Pantry's cake mix recipe earlier this fall. It was pretty dry and crumbly, but I went on the hunt for a recipe using that same cake mix, but modified to taste like "regular cake". We did a test run of it at Christmas time and it went over VERY well. I used it again for my daughter's birthday in January and no one could tell the difference. The recipe I used was from Catherine at Gluten-Free Guide. She was very helpful when I had some questions about the recipe.

This was, hands-down, the best gluten-free cake I have made. I plan on using the recipe again when my daughter goes to friends' birthday parties, but just making them in cupcake form, so all we have to bring is one cupcake.

As for frosting, I used a simple buttercream recipe using real butter, milk, gluten-free vanilla (McCormick's is safe) and powdered sugar. You can add food dye, if you would like a specific color. If you want pure white, you can use clear vanilla.

Here is the recipe Catherine posted on her blog, just in case something happens to her site:

Celebratory Cupcakes

Yellow Gluten Free Cupcakes (adapted from the Celiac Disease Delphi Forums)
1 package Gluten Free Pantry Old Fashioned cake mix*

1 package Jello vanilla instant pudding
1/2 cup sugar
4 extra large eggs room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 C orange juice
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons good vanilla extract

*Do not follow the directions on the package

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and beat on high speed for two minutes.

Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Fill liners 2/3 to ¾ of the way full.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If making a cake, grease the pan first, pour in the mix and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (adapted from Domino Sugar)
1 pound confectioner’s sugar
1 stick (8T) of good unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons good vanilla extract
¼ cup of milk

Combine half of the sugar with the butter and beat on low speed. Add the wet ingredients and beat. Slowly add the rest of the sugar while mixing until combined. Beat on medium-high speed for at least two minutes until the frosting is smooth and creamy. If you want the frosting to be a little bit stiffer (better for decorating) add powdered sugar a couple of tablespoons at a time. Frost cupcakes with icing at room temperature.

Tip - I find if I am going to a party that cupcakes are difficult to transport already frosted. Instead I keep the cupcakes and frosting in separate Ziploc bags or Tupperware containers and then frost them quickly upon arrival. They may not be pretty but they will taste good. This recipe stood up against cupcakes made by a professional working at Martha Stewart! Making homemade frosting is key – it doesn’t take that much extra effort on your part but it will take your baked goods to the next level.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A major staple recipe at our house

One of the biggest staples around our house before going gluten-free was Cream of Mushroom Soup. Once we went gluten-free, I wasn't able to find a gluten-free brand at my grocery store (which is really, pretty good at helping those who are gluten-free), so I looked online to see if there was a recipe to make my own. What I found was this recipe. It's very versatile and so far has worked in every recipe I've needed Cream of Mushroom Soup for. I will also post the recipe below, just in case, at some point that recipe gets removed or moved. I have also substituted vegetable bouillon for the chicken bouillon when I want something that tastes a little less "chickeny."

Oh, and in case anyone didn't know, Herb-Ox makes gluten-free chicken, vegetable, and beef bouillon.

Condensed Cream Soup
1 cup cold milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk milk and cornstarch till well blended.
  2. Stir in butter, bouillon, salt, and pepper.
  3. Heat to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer on low for one minute more to thicken.
Use in recipes to replace one can of cream of anything soup.

Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup:
Stir in a drained 4 ounce can of mushroom pieces to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Mushroom Soup.

Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup:
Stir in 1/2 cup cooked chicken pieces to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Chicken Soup.

Condensed Cream of Celery Soup:
Stir in 1/2 cup sautéed chopped celery to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Celery Soup.

Our Family's Favorite

This recipe started out as a family favorite before we were gluten-free, but with some slight modifications, we were able to make it into a gluten-free recipe.

Macaroni and Beef

1 pound ground beef (or turkey/other ground product)
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped (optional)
12 ounce can tomato paste
2-3 cans water (just use tomato paste can)
3-4 handfuls of rice elbow macaroni (we use Tinkyada)
gluten-free chili powder, to taste
salt & pepper to taste
1 can corn, drained

1. Brown hamburger with onions and green peppers in large skillet and drain grease.
2. Add tomato paste, water, elbows, corn, salt, pepper, and chili powder to the meat in the skillet, stir until paste is mixed well.
3. Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium until macaroni is tender (approx. 15-20 minutes)
4. Serve.

Yields Approximately 4 servings.

My family likes grated parmesan cheese on top of this dish, but that's completely optional. It changes the flavor from a Mexican-type dish to a more Italian-tasting dish, but I guess it's whatever your tastes are.

Getting Started!

This is my first blog entry, so I want to introduce myself. I'm a 30 year old mom with a 5 year old daughter who is currently on a gluten-free diet. She's not a Celiac, but has shown a marked improvement in her behavior since starting on the diet back in mid-October 2007. My husband and I are semi-gluten-free, meaning that we often eat a gluten-free dinner together as a family, but breakfasts and lunches are sometimes not gluten-free.

One of the most rewarding things I have heard from my daughter is this phrase: "Mommy, I'm glad that I'm on a gluten-free diet. I feel so much happier!"

On our quest to be gluten-free, I've made some modifications to our diet, but for the most part, I've been able to keep our meals the same, with some minor substitutions of ingredients that just don't make a huge difference in the taste.

My goal is to post some recipes that we currently use, as well as recipes that I come across that are fairly easy to modify.

I hope that I can help even one person to add a new meal or two to their repertoire that are healthy, tasty, and easy to make.