Sunday, November 21, 2010

US Thanksgiving 2010

I just want to remind you all that if you have found a gluten-free frozen turkey, or if you bought a fresh turkey and put it in your freezer, you should be pulling that out of your freezer today and starting the thawing process. The recommendation is 5 pounds per day. So, if you have a 20 pound turkey, it will take at least 4 days to thaw. If your turkey is only about 10-15 pounds, you might have a little leeway if you don't pull it out to begin thawing today, but don't forget to pull those turkeys out of the freezer and give it ample time to thaw before Thanksgiving. If it completely thaws by Tuesday, it will still be good for Thanksgiving on Thursday.

I also have some great recipes here on Gluten-free Beginnings that you might be interested in using for your Thanksgiving meal:

You can also make up your own mashed potatoes from scratch by peeling and boiling potatoes and using a potato masher. Just a tip: don't use beaters or blenders, necessarily because the starches will combine too much and make your mashed potatoes into gluey potatoes.

If you prefer mashed potatoes "easy style", Betty Crocker has her Potato Buds that are gluten-free. They even state that in large letters on their label!

Our family doesn't do a green bean casserole. We just serve a side of frozen, french-cut green beans heated with a bit of butter. But, if you want to try your hand at a green bean casserole, you can check out this recipe from Gluten Free Mommy.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Apple Crisp


1 cup Pamela's Pancake & Baking Mix
3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Quick Cooking Oats **
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 cups peeled, cored, and sliced apples
1/2 cup white sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (McCormick is gluten-free)


1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a medium bowl, combine baking mix, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter. Stir until crumbly. Press half the oat mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover with sliced apples.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine white sugar, cornstarch, water, and vanilla. Cook, stirring, until thick and clear, 10 minutes. Pour over the apples. Cover apples with remaining crumble mixture.
4. Bake in preheated oven 45 minutes, until bubbly and golden.

**Do not eat this if you are Celiac and sensitive even to gluten-free oats.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quinoa & Chicken

I wasn't sure I wanted to try quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) a second time. The first time I tried it, it was made for us the way rice is made. It was bland and there was a LOT of it (a lot more of those left overs than anything else). It took me a long time to decide to give it a try again and actually make it myself.

I did a little looking into better ways to prepare it, came across a couple different recipes, I changed them a bit, and made my own meal.

2 chicken breasts, cut into small bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup water
1 large carrot, diced into very small pieces (about 1/2 cup)
1-2 stalks of celery, diced into very small pieces (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic
2 TBSP olive oil
1-2 TBPS minced onion
ground black pepper

1. Rinse quinoa very well in a fine mesh strainer and place in a bowl of cool water for 2-4 hours (if you are in a hurry and can't soak the quinoa for 2-4 hours, at least rinse the quinoa very well - it has saponins, a naturally occurring coating on the outside, which can give a bitter taste, if not rinsed well).
2. In a large skillet on medium to medium-high heat, cook the chicken, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in the olive oil until chicken is cooked through and carrots and celery are cooked, but not mushy.
3. While the items in the skillet are cooking, drain quinoa, place in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water and about 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and once water comes to a boil on high, reduce heat to medium high and simmer for about 15 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed.
4. Stir quinoa into the chicken and vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in a sprinkling of parsley just before serving.

This serves about 2-3 people. You can double the recipe for larger groups.

One recipe I saw added finely diced red and green bell peppers to the chicken, celery and carrots mixture. We left these out, as they are not a favorite item in our house.

Monday, November 1, 2010

2010 Halloween Candy List

For those who are sorting through kids baskets today, here is a list I found that is pretty comprehensive for most allergens. Be careful when looking at each item on the list though. Some are "wheat-free", but not "gluten-free" - some don't contain wheat, but they contain barley malt. So, please read all the information given for the kind of candy you are researching. This list has definitely helped my daughter to have a reasonable amount of candy, but my husband is also happy that he has his own stash that my daughter and I can't touch!