Archive for February, 2009

Feb
17

Leftover Chicken Dinner

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Use leftover chicken to make this quick and easy dinner. It has a thin soupy consistency, not a thick creamy one.

Chicken Spaghetti

Ingredients:

2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 Cups chicken broth
1 can (15 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
Gluten-Free Spaghetti
2-3 Cups cooked chicken, diced
Handful of fresh baby spinach leaves, cleaned
Optional: Parmesan cheese, olives, feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; saute onion and garlic until onion is tender and translucent.
  2. Stir in broth and tomatoes. Add in basil, salt, and pepper to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes over low heat.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.
  4. Place cooked chicken in sauce to heat through.
  5. Drop spinach in saucepan and cook for 2-3 minutes, just before serving.
  6. Drain pasta and place into serving bowls.
  7. Spoon sauce over hot pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Additional Notes:

  • For a slightly different flavor, omit the Parmesan. Instead, add kalamata olives and sprinkle with feta cheese.
  • Use fresh roma tomatoes (3-4 cut up) and/or basil if you have it.

For more recipes with spinach, check out Friday Foodie Fix at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.

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Feb
16

Upcoming Whole Foods Gluten-Free Events

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Here’s just a sampling of the gluten-free events happening at Whole Foods Markets around the country. Visit their website to check the store in your area. 

What: Boot N The Gluten Meeting
When: Thursday, February 19, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Where: Whole Foods in Tempe, AZ
More Details: Event is free.

What: Gluten-Free Cooking
When: Thursday, February 19, 6:30 pm
Where: Whole Foods in Wellington, FL
More Details: Event is free, but registration is required.

What: Gluten-Free Support Group
When: Friday, February 20, 7 pm
Where: Whole Foods West Bloomfield, MI
More Details: Event is free, but registration is recommended. Contact Concierge Karen at 248-538-4600 or email Karen.russell@wholefoods.com, for more information.

What: Gluten-Free Tasting Fair
When: Friday, February 20, 3 pm – 7 pm
Where: Whole Foods Greenville, SC
More Details: Sample a variety of gluten-free items.

What: Gluten-Free Cooking Class and Store Tour
When: Saturday, February 21
Where: Whole Foods Highlands Ranch, CO
More Details: Learn to cook Thai Fried Rice gluten-free and dairy-free (2 pm – 3 pm). Take a tour of the store at 3:30. Both events are free.

What: Gluten-Free Tour of the store
When: Monday, February 23, 6 pm – 7:30 pm
Where: Whole Foods in Carmel, IN
More Details: RSVP with Sarah Smith at Carmel: 569.1517. Leave message for Sarah Smith.

What: Gluten-Free Support Group
When: Wednesday, February 25, 7 pm
Where: Whole Foods in Rochester Hills, MI
More Details: Bring your favorite gluten-free recipes to share with others. To register, contact Concierge Aimee at 248-371-1400 or aimee.soltis@wholefoods.com.

What: Gluten-Free Tour of the store
When: Thursday, February 26, 4 pm – 5 pm
Where: Whole Foods Boulder, CO
More Details: Event is free. Tour will start at the concierge desk promptly at 4 pm.

What: Whole Foods Gluten-Free Vendor Fair
When: Saturday February 28th, Noon – 3pm
Where: Whole Foods in Fairfax, VA
More Details: Event is free, but you are encouraged to pre-register for the event at customer service. I recommend getting there early, as these can get crowded.

What: Gluten-Free Support Group
When: Saturday February 28, 2 pm
Where: Whole Foods, Winter Park, FL
More Details: Event is free, but please register. Join this support group on the side patio — featuring gluten-free recipes and samples inspired by Valentine’s Day. Also learn about gluten-free supplements available in our Whole Body department.

Categories : Newsworthy
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Feb
13

Chocolate Creme Brulee

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Looking for a dessert to make for Valentine’s Day? This wonderful dessert is naturally gluten-free, but heavy on the cream. So, it’s not for those on a casein/dairy-free diet! And, if you’re lactose intolerant like me, make sure you take some lactase with it.

I’ve never been a big fan of Creme Brulee — mostly because I’ve been avoiding dairy since I was 10. But I fell in love with the Chocolate Creme Brulee at Bonefish Grill a couple months ago. Bonefish is one of our favorite restaurants. We love the food and are happy they have a gluten-free menu and staff who seem knowledgeable about the gluten-free diet. This dessert was one of the daily specials. And once we got the kids home and into bed, I immediately started looking for a recipe. Here’s what I came up with:

Chocolate Creme Brulee

Ingredients:

2 Cups heavy cream
3.5 oz. semisweet or bitter chocolate, finely chopped (I recommend 60-75% cocoa.)
6 large egg yolks
1/4 Cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
For sugar topping: 2 TBSP sugar and 2 TBSP dark brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Position oven rack in the middle.
  2. In a medium saucepan bring the cream to a simmer. Watch carefully so it doesn’t scald or boil over. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Continue to stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Beat in 1/4 Cup sugar. Pour a small amount of the hot chocolate mixture into the yolks and thoroughly whisk together. Then, very slowly whisk in the rest of the hot chocolate mixture; continue to whisk together until smooth. (It’s important to do this slowly so you don’t cook the egg yolks with the hot chocolate mixture.) Whisk in the vanilla. Cool to room temperature. 
  4. Place four to six 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups in a baking pan. Fill the ramekins with the chocolate mixture. Then fill the baking pan with water so it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the custard is set. Carefully remove the custards from the water and cool on wire racks. Refrigerate the custards for 6 hours or overnight. 
  5. Preheat the broiler. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine 2 TBSP sugar with 2 TBSP brown sugar, breaking up any clumps. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the tops of the custards.
  6. Broil the custards 2 inches from the heat source for 1-2 minutes to melt the sugar. Watch the custards carefully so that the sugar melts and lightly caramelizes but does not burn. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. (Of course, if you have a kitchen torch, you could use that to melt the sugar instead of the broiler.)
Categories : Desserts, Dining Out, Recipes
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Feb
12

Gluten-Free Valentine Sugar Cookies

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Time for the Valentine parties at school. What will you be contributing? For our parties, we’ll be taking gluten-free candy hearts and gluten-free sugar cookies to share with classmates.

The candy hearts were a lot more work than I had anticipated. I encountered some confusion with the allergy statements on the Brach’s and Necco’s Conversation Hearts, so I decided to go with SweetTarts Hearts this year. Wonka SweetTarts Hearts were the only candy hearts I could find made by a company that says their candy is gluten-free and has labeling on the candy packaging that consistently indicated it was gluten-free. The kids love the candy and it’s heart-shaped, so all is good!

For my son’s class, I signed up for the sugar cookies. I always try to sign up to bring something that is not usually gluten-free, because I know I will be bringing a gluten-free version for my kids to have with their classmates anyway. (In addition to the treats we signed up to bring, I will also be bringing gluten-free cupcakes, pretzels and sandwiches for my kids so they can eat the same foods along with their classmates.)

Here’s my Sugar Cookie Recipe:

Ingredients:

3/4 Cup unsalted butter
1 Cup sugar
1 large egg
1 TBSP vanilla extract (Make sure it’s gluten-free! We use McCormick’s brand.)
1 Cup Brown Rice Flour (Superfinely ground is best for texture. We buy Authentic Foods brand.)
1/2 Cup Potato Starch (not potato flour)
1/4 Cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 Cup Sweet Sorghum Flour (Or use Sweet Rice Flour.)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt

  1. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer until light and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  2. Add flours, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt. Beat until a thick smooth dough is formed.
  3. img_29841Place the dough on plastic wrap and divide into two pieces. Then flatten each piece into a round and wrap in plastic wrap. Place them in the refrigerator to chill until very cold (30 – 60 min.).
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Position rack in center of oven. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet or lightly grease cookie sheet.
  5. Once the dough is chilled, unwrap it and place on parchment paper (wax paper and plastic wrap works, too). Place plastic wrap on top and roll it out until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. Then remove the plastic wrap and cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place the cookies on a prepared cookie sheet. If using decorative sugar, sprinkle it on the cookies before baking.
  6. img_2988Place the cookie sheet in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack for cooling.
  7. Spread icing on cookies if desired.* Store in an airtight container. Recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies.

* For cookie icing, I simply mix powdered sugar with a small amount of water and desired food coloring. Adjust the water and sugar to get a preferred consistency: not too runny that it runs off the cookie, but thin enough to spread easily. Try starting with a cup of powdered sugar and a couple tablespoons of water. Once you’ve put the icing on the cookies, give it a few hours to dry and harden before putting into the airtight containers.

This recipe was modified and inspired by Annalise Roberts’s recipe in

Categories : Desserts, Holidays, Parenting
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Feb
10

Gluten-Free Valentine Party Treats

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Whether you are taking treats to your kids’ schools, having a Valentine party at home, making treats for a loved one, or just making yourself some yummy eats this Valentine’s Day; try some of these gluten-free ideas:

  • Brownies Cut using a Cookie Cutter

    Chocolate-dipped strawberries

  • Pink Pretzels – Mix melted white chocolate with pink (or a little red) food coloring to make the candy/chocolate coating. Then dip the pretzels in the chocolate, or drizzle the chocolate over the pretzels. Don’t forget to use gluten-free pretzels! We use Glutino brand.
  • Fruit kabobs – Skewer fruit pieces on swizzle sticks, straws or coffee stirrers.
  • Heart-shaped fruit – Use your heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out fruit slices. If you could find some good watermelon this time of year, it would look great!
  • Jell-o jigglers or Knox blox – Make these with a red gelatin and then use cookie cutters to cut them into heart shapes.
  • Rice Crispy Treats – Make sure you use a gluten-free crispy rice cereal. Kellog’s brand is not gluten-free. We buy Erewhon brand. Once you’ve made the treats, use heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut them out. Or, you can decorate them with frosting and sprinkles (gluten-free, of course). Or, do both.
Categories : Holidays, Parenting
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