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Cinco de Mayo Queso Blanco con Carne

Cinco de Mayo, or the 5th of May, is a holiday that celebrates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla. It is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico; however, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become a celebration of Mexican heritage. In the Battle of Puebla, Benito Juarez, the elected president of Mexico, gathered 2,000 men and sent them to Puebla to face off against 6,000 French troops (led by General Charles Latrille de Lorencez.) Though greatly outnumbered, the Mexican troops, led by Ignacio Zaragoza, prepared for a battle that began at daybreak. This battle lasted the day and into the early evening. Eventually the French retreated, after losing nearly 500 soldiers, although the Mexican troops lost less than 100. Though not classified as a major win, this battle on May 5th represented a great symbolic victory for Benito Juarez and the Mexican Government. With support from its Northern neighbor, the United States (after the Civil War,) France finally withdrew in 1867.

In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is mainly observed in Puebla. Their traditions include military parades, battle recreations, and other festivities; however, it is not celebrated as a federal holiday. Here in the United States, it is interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. Many celebrate through parades, music, traditional foods, dancing, festivals in U.S. cities (such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston,) and many local bars run specials on their Mexican beers and cuisine (try and find a bar NOT running a Corona special on May 5th!)

As a Celiac, we commonly cannot eat Queso, due to it containing a “Rue” (a flour mixture used to thicken liquids,) that restaurants use in their dips, soups, and sauces. It took me some time, but I have found a tasty, Gluten-free, Sulfite-free, and MSG-free pre-prepared product from On the Border. With my recipe, you can no longer taste the processed flavor commonly found in pre-prepared dips and sauces. It tastes just like homemade, in half the time! I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as my husband and I have. We use to have it every Friday. We called it our Dip, Date Day <3. Enjoy your Dip Days and Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Ingredients:

Beef:

3 tbsp Sofrito
1 1/2 lbs 80% Ground Beef
2 Large Cloves Garlic
1/2 cup Chopped Sweet Onion
Queso:
1 Jar On the Border Monterey Jack Queso
1/3 cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1/3 cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 cup Shredded Cheese of Choice
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Directions:
  1. Massage Sofrito and Seasoning Blend into Ground Beef. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
  2. Saute Onions and Garlic until opaque and fragrant.
  3. Add meat and brown. Drain grease.
  4. Meanwhile empty jar into pot and warm.
  5. Add chopped Herbs.
  6. Once brought up to temp, add browned meat and shredded cheese. Heat until melted.
  7. Pour over corn chips, and top with your favorite toppings.
  8. Enjoy!

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Gluten-Free Goodness Gracious Guacamole

Individuals with Autoimmune Diseases (like Celiac Disease,) or multiple food allergies, tend to have multiple vitamin deficiencies. Speaking for myself, I have to take Vitamin D, B complex, Iron, Zinc, Probiotics, occasionally Potassium, and have to fill my diet with high Fiber and Protein due to Anemia. Because of this, it is extremely important, to fill my meals with “superfoods” (vitamin enriched foods,) that can give me as many additional vitamins and minerals as possible. A really good example of a “healthy fat” and “superfood” is the Avacado. The Avacado offers the following vitamins and minerals (which are necessary in everyone’s diet, not just the immunosuppressed:)

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin K
  • Folate
  • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Potassium
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin

There are many ways you can introduce this wonderful fruit into your diet: sliced or diced on a salad, sliced on toast, halved with salt and pepper, or my favorite…Guacamole!! The recipe below is my basic recipe. Feel free to add your own “flare” to it, whether it’s jalapenos for spice, tomatoes for acidity, or roasted corn for a southwestern twist. This dip/topping is great for any party or to top any Southwest/Mexican cuisine.

 

 

Equipment: Food Processor (though not necessary)

Ingredients (Serves 2:)

2 Hass Avacados
2 Large Cloves Garlic (minced)
1/2 cup Cilantro (pre-chopped)
1/16 tsp White Pepper
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Paprika
3 tbsp diced Red Onion
1 tsp Lime Juice

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Gluten-Free Perfect Pico

 

One of the many

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hurdles you run into, as an individual with Celiac Disease, is not being able to purchase bottled sauces, marinades, dips, etc. There are very few pre-made products that I am able to consume that are sulfite-free, gluten-free, and MSG-free (I am one of the lucky lactose-intolerants, who can take a lactose enzyme to help digest lactose-THANK GOODNESS-I love my cheese!) This is mainly a problem when someone wants to cook for you. My brother-in-law went to culinary school (an amazing Chef,) and is new to gluten-free cooking, thanks to his gluten-free sis. I know he’s learning, and tries so hard to accommodate me; however, I feel like such a burden every time I have to ask him to make everything from scratch (instead of being able to buy a bottle and pour it in.) One product that I have a problem with is salsa, so I have created this fresh “Perfect Pico” de Gallo recipe which can be used in its place. I’ve used it in every Nacho, Taco, Burrito, Party Dip, etc. recipe. The best part is that you can make it as spicy as you like it!

Equipment: Food Processor (though not necessary)

Ingredients:

1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp lime juice
2 oz rice vinegar
1 oz olive oil
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 can southwest style (or fiesta) corn
2 Roma tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Whisk all liquid ingredients for Pico de Gallo with dry seasonings,
  2. Chop Tomatoes, Chop Cilantro, Mince Garlic, and Drain Corn.
  3. Toss all together with liquid ingredients.
  4. Serve with your favorite chips, or atop your favorite dish!

*May add Crushed Red Pepper, Jalapeno, or Pepper of choice for added spice/flavor depending on desired heat level.

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Gluten-Free Black Bean Salsa Dip

 

Many years ago,

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my mother had a Pampered Chef party, and her Pampered Chef consultant brought this dip. It was beautiful, colorful, and VERY tasty! When I asked what was in it, I almost hit the floor. Don’t be frightened when you look at the ingredients. I know it doesn’t sound like it will taste right, but it literally is one of the best dips I’ve ever had. When my Girlfriend/Sister-by-Choice, Desiree, was pregnant with my niece, she would request her own container of it (and wouldn’t share.) Well, when she met the man of her dreams, I volunteered to throw her bridal shower. I made the individual Martini Dips pictured (above, left,) to be sure she had plenty of “her dip” to go around! This is a really creative way for you to guarantee a cross-contamination free dish. Pot lucks are frightening. You never know what the dish has in it, whether they crossed spoons, etc. So I volunteered to make everything, and made sure everyone had their own cup (plus this went along with the 1930’s theme of her wedding!) Below, you will find my adapted version of the “infamous” Black Bean Salsa Dip.

Ingredients:

1 Can Black Beans (no salt added- Drained and Rinsed)

Pico de Gallo (see Recipe Below) may substitute store bought Salsa

1 can Fiesta/Southwest Corn (If using store bought salsa instead of Pico de Gallo)

1 8oz package Shredded Cheese of Choice (Check Ingredients-Kroger brand has sulfites)

1 8oz package Cream Cheese (I use Greek/Cream Cheese blend)

3 tbsp Mayonnaise (Kraft Light Mayo is Sulfite-Free, No Lemon Juice Concentrate)

1 package labeled gluten-free Taco Seasoning (NOT all is Gluten-Free)

Pico de Gallo:

1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp lime juice
2 oz rice vinegar
1 oz olive oil
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 can southwest style (or fiesta) corn
2 Roma tomatoes

Directions:

  1. For Pico, mix all dry seasonings into all liquids, whisk together. Chop Parsley, mince Garlic, Drain Corn, and put all together in bowl. Add liquid with seasonings. Mix well. Set aside.
  2. In your serving bowl, mix your Cream Cheese, Mayonnaise, and Taco Seasoning until smooth and incorporated. Using a spatula, spread onto sides and bottom of bowl evenly.
  3. Add Black Beans over Cream Cheese evenly.
  4. Add Pico de Gallo (or drained can of corn, then Salsa if not making your own Pico) evenly.
  5. Sprinkle Shredded Cheese over the top of the entire dip.
  6. Enjoy with Gluten-free crackers or my favorite, Blue Corn Chips.
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Gluten-Free Baked Crab or Baked Spinach Dip

One of my favorite appetizers to order was Spinach Dip. The problem I have found is, every restaurant I have gone to since my diagnosis, puts the dreaded WHEAT FLOUR in their Spinach or Crab Dip!! It has been such a bummer. So this past Christmas, I decided 2 years has been far too long, and it was time to take action. I found a basic Crab Dip recipe (not gluten-free of course,) and adapted it to my diet and taste. It was well-worth the wait! One thing you should know, is that my husband (who grew up in Puerto Rico,) is NOT a seafood fan. So I created a Spinach Dip just for him (See below the Crab Dip Recipe.) A main concern for Celiacs, is DO NOT use Krab meat (for those who may not know, that is the artificial crabmeat.) It is NOT gluten-free. In every recipe that calls for Crabmeat, real Crab is required. Where I am located, we have the Kroger Chain. I know for a fact, that their prepared Crab, in the meat department is, in fact, gluten-free, and quite often, on sale (roughly 5.99/lb.) I have thoroughly inspected all seasonings they use in the preparation of the crab, and it is given to you in the shell, limiting the cross-contamination. If you are not going to cook it within 2 days of purchase, ask that they get it from the back (frozen,) and keep it frozen until you are ready for use. To defrost it, run it under room temperature water (in the shell) for about 10 minutes, then crack the shells, and remove all meat, being sure to remove all tendons, shells, etc. I run my fingers again through the meat 3 or 4 times to be sure no pieces have slipped through the cracks. It is time-consuming, but VERY yummy! If you try this recipe out, please let me know what you think in the comment section below?

Equipment: Seafood Cracker, Cheese Grater

Ingredients for Crab Dip:
1 Tbsp. butter (I always use Lactose-Free Blue-Bonnet or Earth Balance)
¼ cup Yellow Onion, finely chopped
¼ cup Celery, finely chopped
2 tsp. Jalapeño, finely chopped
½ cup Spinach, chopped
½ cup Roma Tomato, seeded and chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese (I use a Greek Yogurt/Cream Cheese Blend)
4 oz. Crab
2 cups shredded Gouda cheese (not smoked) (Hard to Find, I get it at Trader Joes)
1 cup Gruyere cheese (Hard to Find, I get it at Trader Joes) Gruyere/Cheddar blend
¼ cup Italian parsley
¼ tsp White Pepper
½ tsp Paprika
¼ tsp dried Sage

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1. Heat oven to 350°F.

2. In a medium sauce pot, cook onion, celery, garlic, and jalapeño in “butter” until tender. Stir in Cream Cheese until melted and becomes a thickened “sauce.” Stir in spinach and tomato; remove from heat.

3. Pour into Oven-Safe Dish (Pyrex/etc.) add crab, chopped parsley, dried seasonings, shredded cheeses, and smooth top of dip. Bake 15-20 minutes or until heated through and top is golden brown. Garnish with additional parsley, if desired. Serve immediately with gluten-free crackers or corn chips.

Ingredients for Spinach Dip:
1 Tbsp. butter (I always use Lactose-Free Blue-Bonnet or Earth Balance)
¼ cup Yellow Onion, finely chopped
¼ cup Celery, finely chopped
2 tsp. Jalapeño, finely chopped
1 cup Spinach, chopped
½ cup Roma Tomato, seeded and chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese (I use a Greek Yogurt/Cream Cheese Blend)
2 cups shredded Gouda cheese (not smoked) (Hard to Find, I get it at Trader Joes)
1 cup Gruyere cheese (Hard to Find, I get it at Trader Joes) Gruyere/Cheddar blend
¼ cup Italian parsley
¼ tsp White Pepper
½ tsp Paprika
¼ tsp dried Sage
1/2 cup Artichoke Hearts (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350°F.

2. In a medium sauce pot, cook onion, celery, garlic, and jalapeño in “butter” until tender. Stir in Cream Cheese until melted and becomes a thickened “sauce.” Stir in spinach and tomato; remove from heat.

3. Pour into Oven-Safe Dish (Pyrex/etc.) add Artichoke Hearts (optional,) chopped parsley, dried seasonings, shredded cheeses, and smooth top of dip. Bake 15-20 minutes or until heated through and top is golden brown. Garnish with additional parsley, if desired. Serve immediately with gluten-free crackers or corn chips.

 

 

 

 

Gluten-Free Six Layer Mojo Dip

This dip is sinfully good! It is yet another way to stretch and repurpose that “Pork Butt” (see my Barbeque Pork Latke recipe, if you’re looking for other ideas as well!) There are only 2 components of this dip that require “cooking,” so it is easy to compose and prepare. An excellent dish for any party, snack, or as a full meal! It would also make a great dish for an upcoming Super Bowl party. So grab your Pork Butts, and get a Slow-Roastin’, because this Six Layer Mojo Dip is seriously as yummy as it looks!

Equipment: Food Processor (but not necessary)

Ingredients:

Guacamole:
2 Hass Avacados
2 Large Cloves Garlic (minced)
1/2 cup Cilantro (pre-chopped)
1/16 tsp White Pepper
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Paprika
3 tbsp diced Red Onion
1 tsp Lime Juice

Pico de Gallo:
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp lime juice
2 oz rice vinegar
1 oz olive oil
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
3 cloves minced garlic                                                                                                                                   1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 can southwest style (or fiesta) corn
2 Roma tomatoes

Sour Cream:
Sour Cream
2 cloves Garlic (minced)
1/4 cup Cilantro (pre-chopped)
1/4 cup Parsley (pre-chopped)

Black Beans:
1 can Black Beans (I use low sodium)
1/2 can Water
2 cloves Garlic (minced)
1/2 cup Cilantro (pre-chopped)
1/4 cup Parsley (pre-chopped)
1 packet msg/gluten-free Sazon
1/4 tsp White Pepper
1/4 tsp ground Thyme
1 tsp Adobo
1/4 c diced Yellow Onion

Shredded Cheese of choice

Mojo Marinated Pork (marinate pork and put into refrigerator overnight):
1/4 cup 100% OJ
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar (the GF brand I use is Nakano “All Natural” No Sodium No Sugar)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 tbsp organic Lime Juice (it is sulfite-free. If no sulfite-intolerance, any lime juice concentrate.)
4 lg cloves Garlic
2 cup Cilantro (chopped)
1 cup Parsley (chopped)
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper (or 1/4 tsp White Pepper)

Directions:

  1. Take Mojo Pork out of refrigerator and put on stovetop on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, lower heat to simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, put entire contents of can of black beans, half can of water, 2 cloves minced garlic, chopped cilantro and parsley, dried seasoning, and diced yellow onion into medium sauce pot on medium heat. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally, then reduce to simmer.
  3. Whisk all liquid ingredients for Pico de Gallo with dry seasonings, chop tomatoes, chop cilantro, drain corn, mince garlic. Toss all together with liquid ingredients.
  4. Cut Avacados and remove pit. Put into bowl and mash with fork. Finely dice Red Onion, mince garlic, wash and chop cilantro, and mash and stir into the avocado mixture. Stir in the dry seasonings.
  5. Taste Guacamole and Pico, add additional seasonings if necessary (may add chopped jalapeno or chili powder if you prefer some heat.)
  6. Spoon sour cream into bowl, chop remaining cilantro, parsley, and mince remaining garlic cloves. Stir into sour cream.
  7. Layer dip: Mojo Pork, Shredded Cheese, Black Beans, Sour Cream Pico de Gallo, Guacamole
  8. Enjoy with your favorite Corn Chips!!
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