Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Did you know???

Starbucks has a gluten-free baked good! It's a Valencia Orange Cake and it's individually wrapped. All you need to do is go to a Starbucks location (most locations carry them, but you might want to call ahead, especially if it's a small shop in a mall that might not carry the full variety that a stand-alone store might), ask for a Gluten-free Valencia Cake, and pay them $1.95! I ordered mine with some orange herbal tea and it was fantastic! They do have almond slivers on the top, so if you have any nut allergies, you would want to stay away from them, but if you simply cannot have gluten, this is a wonderful item.

One thing that Starbucks has NOT done is market this product very well. So, if you like Starbucks and want to see them feature this item and market it properly, so they can increase their business among people with a gluten-intolerance or Celiac Disease, be sure to tell your local Starbucks that you would like to see them market the gluten-free products a little better. I even went onto Starbucks' website and sent an e-mail telling them that I thought they were doing a wonderful thing and that they should do more to promote their product and the fact that they are willing to cater to people with gluten sensitivities. I encourage anyone else who wants to try this product to go support Starbucks and give them YOUR feedback as well!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

All In One Dinner

The vague title had me intrigued. The ingredients were all things I had or could obtain fairly cheaply from the grocery store. And it sounded fairly simple to put together and cook up in the oven. I gave it a shot and the reviews were good. My family likes it. My husband said it reminded him of what you might use to stuff peppers or make stuffed cabbage. It's got a lot of substance and a lot of wonderful flavors.

1 10-oz. box frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 green pepper
1 onion
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes (undrained)
2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
3/4 cup uncooked rice
1/4 cup grated gluten-free Parmesan Cheese
3/4 tsp. gluten-free chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 400-F.
2. Squeeze the spinach dry. Place it in a large bowl.
3. Chop the green pepper and onion into small pieces. Add them to the bowl.
4. Sprinkle ground beef into the bowl (raw).
5. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, rice, cheese, chili powder, salt, black pepper, and water. Stir well to blend, breaking up meat and spinach with the edge of a spoon.
6. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish (I used an 11x7 oblong) with non-stick spray or lightly grease with olive oil. Place the mixture in the casserole dish. Pack it down lightly, and smooth the surface.
7. Cover the casserole with an oven-safe lid or foil. Bake for 1 1/4 hours (temp should be at least 165-F).

**This recipe is from the "Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults" by Connie Sarros. This cook book is a wonderful addition to my kitchen. Lots of simple recipes that use ingredients that most of us keep around the house, rather than lots of unusual or expensive ingredients and complicated assembly.

Cheeseburger Pie

I've made this twice for my family. I adapted it from a recipe given to me from a friend. The first time around I had to fudge around with the proper amounts for the "bread" portion (baking mix to water ratio), but I just made it again the other night with "proper" amounts of everything and it turned out fabulous!

1lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup G-F All Purpose Baking mix (I use Arrowhead Mills)
1/3 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4-1/2 cup milk (start with 1/4 and slowly add more as needed)
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 400-F
2. Brown beef and onions, drain. Stir in salt.
3. Scoop into a greased pie pan (I use a small amount of olive oil).
4. Sprinkle cheese on top of beef mixture.
5. Mix eggs, milk, and baking mix (combined with xanthan gum). Consistency should be similar to pancake batter (not too runny, but still able to "pour"). Add milk in small amounts until desired consistency.
6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

***We serve this with diced fresh tomatoes and organic leaf spinach over the top with a little G-F ketchup on the side for dipping.