Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bread, from the Bread Machine

I still have yet to develop my own recipe for the bread machine. It's really a challenge! (But I'll keep trying and let you know...)

But here's a loaf I made today with the 365 Gluten Free Sandwich Bread Mix. (That's the Whole Foods store brand). It's almost the same mix as the Gluten Free Pantry Sandwich Bread Mix. They are the only two mixes that I have had any success with. And they both ALWAYS come out right.

Hello, Sandwich!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NC Triangle Race fo the Cure 2009

Hi Everyone!

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!

I just wanted to share with everyone (if you have not already heard). Zach from the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog has set up a team for the NC Triangle Race for the Cure. What a great cause, and what a great way to bring fellow GF people together in service to the community.

If you live in the Triangle area and would like to join up, you have just a few minutes left, today is the deadline! You can sign up here.

If you'd like to donate to help out our team, we would appreciate it!

Two things you can donate to:
  • To raise funds for Gluten Free Week at Camp Kanata (through Zach's blog)
  • To donate directly to the Komen Race (through the GF team)
Thanks to Zach for putting this together and see you at the race!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy, Healthy Fruit Smoothies

One of the ways I reward myself when I actually go to the gym is by making myself a refreshing smoothie to enjoy afterward.

A cool treat on hot evenings. And can be pretty good for you too.

So, to celebrate today's gym night, I made a smoothie batch and will share it here with you!

Smoothie Q & A

What's in a smoothie?
  • Whatever you want to put into it--fruit, juice, yogurt, flaxseed, etc. etc.
What do I need to make one?
  • A Blender
  • A Spatula
  • Another Spatula (a backup for when you chop up the first one by accident)
Specific Ingredients?
  • Bags of Frozen Fruit
  • Fruit Juice, Milk, Soy Milk, Rice Milk--any liquid you prefer
  • A Banana?
  • Yogurt?
  • FLAXSEED meal--(provides Omega-3's, yea!)

As you can see, I have filled my blender with frozen fruit (peaches, pineapple, mixed berry blend), Pomegranate juice, and 2 Tbsp. Flaxseed Meal

Put the lid on the blender.
Turn it on.

And...voila! ...Wait!--your smoothie is not blended. (What??)

Now comes the most important part of the directions. The rest of making your smoothie is completed by the very scientific process that I like to call, "Trial and Error". Most likely, you will need to add more liquid, if your smoothie started out like mine looks.

But if it gets too watery, then you'll need to throw in some more frozen fruits or a banana. I use a spatula to push the chunky fruit at the top down to the mixing blades. I have killed about 4 spatulas this way. (Always keep a spare around! That must be why they often come in 2-packs.)

In the end, it should look something like this:

Today, I enjoyed a half glass smoothie, and made SMOOTHIE POPS! Check out my new toy that I just got on popsicle molds. You probably already know this, but when I was growing up in Ohio, your mom didn't love you if she didn't make you homemade pops! (We never even knew what store-bought pops were.) Underground Thought of the Day:
It is so true, now more than ever: Homemade IS Better. It's a delicious fruity treat--WITHOUT high fructose corn syrup--woohoo!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What's to eat Underground?

Here in the Underground, life gets a little busy.  I saw someone put up a tweet the other day asking for ideas of GF things to eat that are "quick, easy and not Amy's".  I love Amy's.  I found some great prices on Amy's frozen dinners at Kroger this afternoon.  The Rice Mac'N'Cheese was 2.89 (the best price I've found in Raleigh), and the Rice Lasagna was 2/7.00 (3.50 each). 

That said, what else is there to eat?

Well, lots of things.  This weekend I had Singapore Noodles from a chinese restaurant (one of the few dishes without SOY SAUCE).  Corn Chips.  Yogurt.  Jello.  Fruit Smoothie.  The other day I had a Glutino Pizza Crust pizza.  Today I've got some bread in the machine for the upcoming week.

My little brother thinks a gluten free blog is a little bit silly.  Because he doesn't really feel like he goes out of his way to find GF things to eat in his life.  He said, "come on, just have your corn chips, grits, and eat plain other stuff like meat, vegetables, rice and potatoes."  You know, he's right.  There are times that I think to myself, there's no need to blog any of this stuff, it's so obvious.  

Ten GF things that are amazingly easy to find/make/eat:
  1. Corn Chips (I dip in salsa, guacamole, plain greek yogurt, or hummus)
  2. Rice. It only takes 20 minutes to cook rice.  Serve with butter, or Mrs Dash, or other seasoning.  Combine with any vegetables and it's a great side or light meal.  Put extra in the fridge for later.  Sometimes I'll eat plain rice with butter, even for breakfast.
  3. Tuna Salad. Mix a can or pouch with real mayonnaise (check label to make sure it doesn't have modified food starch) and relish.  Spread tuna salad on GF bread for a sandwich, or onto gf rice crackers.  Nut Thins are awesome crackers for this.
  4. Personal Pizza.  Use either a Glutino Pizza Crust* (see note below), piece of GF bread, half a GF French Roll or English Muffin from Trader Joe's, or your choice any other bread product.  Spoon spaghetti or pizza sauce onto bread or crust, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake in oven @ 400 until all cheese melts.  Broil about another minute, to make the cheese bubble, if desired.  Also easy to make in a toaster oven, or even a microwave (careful in the micro, though, it will prob. turn out mushier).
  5. Fresh fruits and vegetables.  This week I had a bag of oranges that I was enjoying one a day.  Apples are very good anytime.  Celery and carrots.  Melon.  If you're not eating enough of these, go out and find a cool new vegetable/fruit cutting board and big knife.  Then you'll want to use it--and just from excitement you'll be bringing home all kinds of pretty new produce.  You can throw these into recipes too.  Have them both ways. 
  6. Hummus.  Anything goes with hummus.  These days, they have all kinds of amazing flavors, such as:  roasted garlic, red pepper, basil, cilantro, white bean, etc.  I eat it with corn chips, baby carrots, any other veggie or chip.
  7. Yogurt.  Just double check the ingredients to make sure they don't have modified food starch.  I think Breyers used to be OK, but now it isn't.  (anyone know?)  But I've been trying to move to the organic yogurts more and more, and lower sugar ones.  Most of the time, I've just been getting plain greek yogurt.  You can add any fruit, fresh or frozen (I esp. like fresh apple pieces, frozen raspberries or cherries).  Honey too, if you are into that.  It's wonderful stuff, and very good for you (lots of probiotics).
  8. Soup (homemade).  I don't know anyone who can't get a carton of GF organic/low sodium broth, a bag of frozen vegetables, a chopped onion (also available frozen), a couple cut up potatoes, a can of tomatoes (and leftover meat, or a ham bone, etc).  Put everything into a big pot and cook for an hour or so.  Vary with whatever's in season or make with any variety of beans or lentils.
  9. Salad (oh, yeah!) Any to-go salad or bag of greens will do.  Some ideas: add fresh grilled chicken, salmon or veggies--mushrooms, grape tomatoes, cucumber slices, julienne carrots, etc. (**Just watch out for the dressing.  Assume that all dressing is EVIL (GLUTEN) unless proven otherwise--esp. watch for Modified Food Starch.  Read the ingredients.  I usually enjoy Maple Grove Farms dressings). 
  10. Any cut of meat, poultry or fish.  Seasoned any way you like, just without CARAMEL COLOR or MODIFIED FOOD STARCH or SOY SAUCE (also found in TERIYAKI).  Grilled, broiled, baked, etc. etc.  Of course!  So simple, yet so good.
There you have it. Mix and match any of them for a delicious meal.  It doesn't have to be hard.  Just leave the pre-made foods out of it.  Simplify.  It's easier than it sounds.

*Glutino Pizza Crusts.  A few years ago when I first tried these, I was very disappointed in them.  I felt that they came out very DRY from the oven.  They seemed flavorful enough (they have tons of sodium, so they must taste good), but just dry.  I hate dry I discovered this Underground Tip: Rinse the crust (both sides) in warm/hot water when you take it out of the freezer, for about a minute.  Then, turn the crust upside down and douse it in water, set it on your cookie sheet/pizza pan.  Soak like this for about 5 minutes, until the water seems absorbed.  No longer or it will be soggy.  Flip over, cover with sauce, cheese, toppings.  Bake until cheese melted all over (about 12-15 min) @ 400.  Tell me if this works for you!  It's really good to me.