Featured

Gluten Free Plantain Nachos

Have you ever found that ONE restaurant? That “Hole in the Wall,” “Hidden Gem,” “Mom and Pop,” “Secret Spot,” that you just fell in love with instantly? That’s Patacon Con Todo. Where my husband and I lived in Orlando, there was this small business center a block away from our apartment complex. It had everything I could ever want. There was a 7-11, Nail Salon (amazing, by the way! It is called Debonair Nails Spa-everything from Massage, Waxing, Nails, Pedicures, etc,) Hair Salon, Sub Shop, Thai Restaurant, Sports Bar, Hookah Bar, and my 3rd love…Patacon. I feel an explanation is in order: #1. My husband, #2. Starbucks, and #3. Patacon.

Side note, this is how much I loved Patacon. It is August in Georgia, 10am, and our AC is busted. We live on the top floor, but I loved them so much, I am sitting here with my laptop burning on my lap, STILL writing about them! (I forgot to mention with Kidney Disease, I am unable to sweat, and therefore, at this time have an internal body temperature of 101 degrees, just to put the intensity of this love into perspective #refractoryceliaclife.) Now, back to the best Colombian, Fast-ish, Food Truck, in a Store-Front experience you’d ever get! My husband and I would seriously look at each other and say, “What’s for dinner?” It would always come back to Patacon, and off we’d walk (or drive,) to the pick up the most interesting dish I’ve ever had. It was simple when you think about it. Fried Plantain pieces. Like the step before you smash them into Tostones (for those of you who know Spanish/Puerto Rican/Dominican Cuisine.) Then they would add Onions, Peppers, and Meat. Your protein choices were Pork (that was the only part I didn’t like-it was always chewy, and fatty, not my thing,) Churrasco (Steak,) and Chicken. We of course picked all three! Since the meat and plantains were their only fried foods, they were 100% Gluten Free. Have I mentioned I LOVED this place!? Then one fine day, my husband and I decided to take a walk…and we became hungry…so we decided to stop at our favorite place…where our bellies feel at home…but that home was no more! Our bellies were so upset (in more ways than one, by now we were STARVING!) So I decided to get even, and kicked it up not just a notch, but about 20!

My recipe below, inspired by Patacon is seriously KILLER. Meet my Plantain Nachos. My belly will never be sad again, and neither will yours! If you modify the Cheese and Garlic and Herb Crema, this recipe can be Dairy Free, as well as abide by the Paleo Diet. It truly is and will be, the best and only way you will ever want to eat Nachos (and I’m not just saying that because it’s my recipe!) I would love for you give it a try, and comment below for an unbiased view!

So, in honor, and loving memory of Patacon Con Todo, I give you my Gluten Free/Sulfite Free/MSG Free: Plantain Nachos:

IMG_20170702_212959_901

 

Ingredients:
3 LG Green Plantains (per 2 large servings)
Garlic and Herb Crema:
8 oz Sour Cream
2 cloves Garlic (minced)
1/2 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
1 lb Ground Beef 80/20
3 tbsp Sofrito
1/2 cup Caramelized Onions
1 Roma Tomato
1-2 Green Onion/Scallion
1 pkg Cotija Cheese

Guacamole:
2 Hass Avocados
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

Directions:
1. Marinate meat in Sofrito, Seasoning, and Garlic for 2 hours in Refrigerator, covered. Then remove and brown on stove-top on medium heat. Drain grease.
2. While meat is browning, slice Plantain rind/peel vertically and run under running water, then remove peel.
1. Pour Black beans and its juice into medium sauce pan. Fill can half-full with water, and pour into pan as well.
2. Next add all ingredients, except onions, those will be completed in next step. You may also add peppers/jalapenos/chili sauce/Tabasco/etc to add spice. Cook on medium heat until sauce begins to boil, stirring occasionally. Then bring down to simmer, continuing to stir.
20161231_202711
1. Slice Peeled Plantain in 1/4 inch thick medallions, while heating oil in skillet, begin caramelizing the 1/2 cup of onions (for meat,) as well as the 1/4 cup of onions for the beans (3/4 cup total) until opaque and slightly browned. Once finished, add to cooked meat, and stir into beans.
2. Begin to fry plantains in oil 6-8 mins, stirring occasionally until brown freckles appear.
3. Remove from oil, then drain on paper towels.
20161231_204105
1. Spoon sour cream into bowl, chop cilantro, parsley, and mince remaining garlic cloves. Stir into sour cream. (I also add roughly 1/2 tsp Paprika for added flavor and a touch of color. The featured photo has 1 tsp Thai Chili Sauce (GF) mixed in, as well as 1/2 tsp Chipotle Sauce (GF) for a little kick.
1. Cut Avocados 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.
2. Taste Guacamole, add additional seasonings if necessary (may add chopped jalapeno or chili powder if you prefer some heat.)
six-layer-mojo-dip
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com
1. Slice, Dice, and Chop your remaining toppings (Tomatoes, Scallions, and Cheese.) I remove the seeds from the tomatoes, so the sogginess is limited.
**Build your Nachos to your liking…Just put your plantains on the bottom, and stack away. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have!
IMG_20170702_212959_891

 

Featured

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
IMG_20170423_180339_466
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!

IMG_20170122_180328_406

Gluten-free Plantain, Sofrito Ground Beef, and Andouille Nachos

Plantains are a close relative to bananas. Studies show they help boost the immune system, regulate digestion, and are rich in Potassium (among other vitamins and nutrients.) All three of these facts are extremely important in the diet of someone with an autoimmune disorder, especially one effecting the digestive system and vitamin absorption. So what is the nutritional value of plantains?

1 cup of cooked plantains equals:
200 calories
0.4 grams of fat
36% Vitamin A
36% Vitamin C
27% Potassium
24% B6
16% Magnesium
6% Iron
% in Daily Value

As you can see, they make for a great vitamin-enriched, low-fat side dish. Now, if you’re not familiar with Plantains, unlike bananas, they must be cooked to be enjoyable. Preparing them to cook, may be the most difficult task, which is why I leave this task to my husband! As I’ve stated before, he is originally from Puerto Rico, and Plantains are a staple in their diet, as well in many other Latin and African cultures. The best way to clean and prepare your Plantains varies, based on which dish you are preparing. If you’re preparing a savory option, as this recipe calls for, slice a vertical cut down your dark green (you do not want any yellow) Plantain, then cut off each end. While running them under warm-hot water, peel off the rind. Now, if your recipe calls for “Sweet” Plantains, you’ll want to pick plantains that are solid yellow and black, with no green whatsoever. For sweet plantains, simply peel as you would a banana. There are many ways to eat Plantains: Tostones, Sweet Plantains, Mofongo (I’ll be posting my Mofongo Burger recipe next week,) or my new recipe: Plantain Nachos!

Ground Beef Ingredients:
3 tbsp. Sofrito Marinade
2 tbsp. My #1 Seasoning Blend
1 1/2 lbs Ground Beef

Plantain Ingredients:
2-4 Large GREEN Plantains (2 feeds 2, 4 feeds 4)
Oil for frying (I use vegetable oil)
Andouille Ingredients:
Andouille Sausage (2 links-not Aidells, I had a reaction twice, even though this brand states gluten-free, I’d be weary.)
1/4 cup Yellow Onion
3 Cloves Garlic Minced
Mayo-Ketchup Ingredients:
1/8 cup Mayonnaise (I use Kraft Light Mayo, no lemon juice concentrate means no sulfite preservative.)
1/4 cup Ketchup (I use Organic)
1/8 tsp Adobo
1 Clove Garlic
Toppings:
2 Scallions/Young Vidalia Onion Stems
1-2 Roma Tomatoes, Seeded
1/2 cup Cilantro chopped
1 1/2 cup Gouda Cheese (or cheese of your choice, Shredded)
1 tbsp Gluten-free/Sulfite-free Sweet Chili Sauce (optional)
Directions:
1. Mix Ground Beef with Sofrito and #1. Seasoning Blend. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
2. Heat oil in skillet. Cut plantains on the bias, in 1/4in thick slices.
3. Fry Plantains, near-fully submerged, until brown “freckles” show, flipping over once. Roughly 6-10 minutes.
Frying plantains
4. Drain on paper towel.
5. Meanwhile, Brown Ground Beef.
6. Dice Andouille, and sauté along with onions and garlic for 6-8 minutes.
7. Chop Cilantro and shred cheese. Mix together.
8. Seed and Dice Tomatoes, Slice Scallions.
9. Mix Mayonnaise, Ketchup, Adobo, Garlic, and Sweet Chili Sauce (optional,) and whisk together.
20161231_204250
**Pictured above is the Mayo-Ketchup with 1/4 the Cilantro and Scallions
10. Plate as follows: Plantains, Ground Beef, Andouille/Onion/Garlic mixture, Cilantro/Cheese, Scallions, and drizzle with Mayo-Ketchup Sauce.
11. ENJOY!
IMG_20170331_194523_199
Featured

Gluten-free/Dairy-free Peanut Butter Truffles

truffles2
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com

There are many foods we “intolerants,” those suffering from food allergies, autoimmune diseases, etc., have to give up enjoying: certain donuts, chocolates, cupcakes, candies, and the list goes on. I want to find and create as many of these recipes, and to ensure they taste as delicious (if not better) as “the real thing.” We need to stop missing out on the tasty things in life! I remember after my diagnosis, It had been two years since I had enjoyed a donut. The first time I made my Gluten-free Beignets (this recipe will post at a later date)…I cried…crocodile tears! I thought my husband was going to laugh himself silly. He couldn’t understand why I was crying- well let’s take his PlayStation away for 2 years, and watch those crocodile tears fly off his face! I know some of you can understand my passion for the food that I have missed these past few years. That is one of my goals with this blog. I want to bring my love of good, real, and delicious gluten-free food, that is FULL of taste into your homes and hearts, so you don’t have to suffer the crocodile tears and laughter at your expense. You do not have to have a longing for what is forbidden any longer.

One of the recipes that I am sharing with you today is for a creamy, salty, and surprisingly not overly sweet Peanut Butter Truffle. It is 100% Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, MSG-free, sulfite/sulfate-free, and DELICIOUS! So grab your stand mixer, baking sheet, measuring cup, and parchment paper. Let’s roll some Truffles!!
Ingredients:
5 tbsp Dairy-Free Butter (I use Earth Balance)
2 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
1 cup Honey Roasted Smooth Peanut Butter (I use Skippy or Peter Pan)
1/2 tsp Vanilla (Pure Vanilla, I use Madagascar Bourbon)
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
Dairy-Free Chocolate Covering
1 cup Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips (I use Enjoy Life or any Gluten-free/Soy Based Chocolate)
1 tsp Honey
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
IMG_20170413_191904_959
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com
Directions:
1. Mix Peanut Butter and Powdered Sugar in mixing bowl on low speed until blended well.
2. Add Vanilla, Salt, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg. Blend on low speed until fully blended.
3. Roll into 1/4-1/2 inch balls. Cover, and set in refrigerator to cool for 30 mins.
4. Melt chocolate 2 ways: Microwave, 30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds, until fully melted.
Or, Melt on stovetop on double broiler. Boil water in pot, melting chocolate above boiling water in separate bowl until melted.
5. Add Cinnamon and Honey and stir well.
6. Roll balls into chocolate until fully covered, place on parchment paper.
7. ****Decorate as desired (see ideas below.)
8. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, and up to 5-7 days.
***Decorate with gluten-free Graham Cracker Crust crumbles, Nuts, Icing, Sprinkles, etc.
Featured

St. Patrick’s Day Gluten-Free Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by many nationalities these days, not just by the Irish. In talking with my husband, he told me it is not a holiday celebrated by Puerto Ricans (however, they do celebrate Cinco de Mayo- a Mexican Holiday.) So when he moved to the states, he began adopting a few of our traditions…and who wouldn’t want an excuse to drink green beer (other than a Celiac, of course?!) A little about the Patron Saint Patrick: Did you know he was British? He was taken captive to Ireland, converted to Christianity, where he eventually became an ordained priest. He is also the person to impose a sun onto the Christian cross, to create what we all know now as the Celtic cross. However, it is only a myth that he eradicated all snakes from Ireland. He is believed to have died on March 17th, 460 AD, which is where we get our St. Patrick’s Day!

So where did we get our St. Patrick’s Day traditions? Symbolizing the rebirth of spring, the Shamrock: Near the 17th Century, British rule had begun to seize Irish land and outlaw their Irish language and Catholicism. Irish Nationals began to wear the Shamrock as a symbol of national pride and to rebel against the English rule. Corned Beef and Cabbage: Though Cabbage has long been a staple in Irish food (and as we learned in Scrumptious Slaw, is also INCREDIBLY healthy for us,) Corned Beef only began since the turn of the century. Irish immigrants living in the lower east side of New York substituted Corned Beef for Irish Bacon in the diet to save money. They learned this substitution from their Jewish neighbors. Green: why do we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? Actually, Green wasn’t the first color associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Did you know it was blue? There is actually a color called St. Patrick’s Day Blue. Green came from the Shamrock, the Emerald Isle, and in 1798 they had the United Irish Uprising and wore Green uniforms. Only here in the United States, did we adopt green as the color of St. Patrick’s Day.

Now, back to my husband…I decided last year (after not being able to go out and partake in the drinking of the green beer,) that a new tradition must begin, and I started making Stuffed Cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. I told my husband we’d start our own tradition. He, of course, had never had Stuffed Cabbage, so I was excited to introduce him to a new favorite of mine. This meal is easy to prepare, reheat, and the best part: it is GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, AND MSG-FREE!! So grab your cabbage, throw on something green, and enjoy the tasty life with the gluten-free wife!

Sauce Ingredients:
1/3 c Chopped Sweet Onions
1 1/2 tbsp. Italian Seasoning Paste (Organic)
3 tbsp. Sofrito
1 tbsp. Minced Garlic
2 Jars Ragu Chunky Tomato, Garlic, and Onion (this specific bottle is Gluten-free)
1 Head Green Cabbage
Rice Ingredients:
1 1/2c medium or long grain (rinsed) White Rice
2 c Organic, Gluten-free Chicken Stock
1 packet MSG, Gluten-free Sazon Tropical, or 1 tbsp. #1 Seasoning Blend
1 tbsp. Minced Garlic
Ground Beef Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb Ground Beef
3 tbsp. Sofrito
2 tbsp. Minced Garlic
1/3c Chopped Sweet Onions
1/2 tsp. Chili Powder
Filling Ingredients:
2 large eggs
1/2c Gluten-free Breadcrumbs
1/2c Uncooked White Rice
1 1/2lb Ground Beef
IMG_20170317_191948_387
Directions:
1. Marinate Beef in 3 tbsp. Sofrito,1 tbsp. #1 Seasoning Blend, 2 tbsp. Minced Garlic, and 1/2 tsp. Chili Powder. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
2. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
3.Chop 2/3c Onions, sauté until opaque in color.
4. Add 1/3c Onions in medium sauce pan with jar of sauce, 1 tbsp. Garlic, 3 tbsp. Sofrito, and Italian Seasoning Paste. Bring to Boil, reduce to simmer, stirring frequently.
5. Boil a large “Pasta Pot” of water. Remove the core of the Cabbage, and submerge head first into pot for roughly 2 minutes. Remove leaves with tongs, one at a time (you’ll need 14-20 leaves.) Cut out the “rib” of the leave from the base of the Cabbage leaf with a knife, and set aside.
6. Combine the 1 1/2lb Ground Beef, 1/2c uncooked White Rice, 2 Eggs, 1/2c Breadcrumbs, remaining 1/3c cooked Onions. Mix with hands (like making meatloaf.) Then add 1c Sauce, mixing thoroughly.
7. Place 1c Sauce on bottom of 9×13 pan. Place 1/3-1/2c filling in an egg shape near where you cut the rib off of the cabbage. Roll up toward the outer edge, tucking in the sides as you roll (think like a burrito/egg roll.) Place each roll, seam side down onto the sauce. (if you run out of space, pour 1c sauce over previous rolls, and place next rolls into the seams on top of the previous rolls.)
8. Finish by pouring sauce on top of last row of rolls.
9. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour, or until meat is cooked, and rice is tender.
10. Have a Safe and Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and Enjoy!

cabbage roll 2016

Gluten-Free Slow-Roasted Succulent Ribs

 

I grew up in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. For those of you who don’t know, this is one of the barbeque capitols of the world. One of my fondest memories was summertime when my father would grill out or smoke up some AMAZING barbeque. I absolutely LOVE barbeque! It’s perfect for picnics, pool parties, tailgating, potlucks, or just a normal weeknight dinner with the family. My father and I would drive down the street, back home in KC, and I would say “I smell…” and he’d say “Barbeque!” It was a common scent on the streets back home. Kansas City is known for its amazing barbeque, so if you ever find yourself passing through or visiting, be sure to check it out. It has its own distinct flavors different from Tennessee, North Carolina, and traditional Southern barbeque. It is defined by slowly smoked meats, over a variety of woods, in a thick tomato and molasses based sauce. I find myself comparing every barbeque to that of Kansas City. Up until now, I don’t think mine has ever held a candle, but I think I’m finally starting to compete! Now, because my husband and I currently reside in an apartment community, we have shared grilling equipment. Due to cross-contamination, I oven-bake all my proteins. We were lucky to get a brand new oven (due to a newly renovated apartment,) so our oven has only serviced 100% gluten-free foods. You’ll find that this recipe is for Slow-Roasted, Oven-Baked Ribs. This provides the ribs with the most succulent, moist, and most tender meat you could imagine. Sometimes when you grill ribs, they end up a little tough, so I suggest even with a gluten-free grill, stick with the oven first to see if you prefer this method. I’ve already given you my Pulled Pork Recipe (Slow Roasted Pork) which is perfect for nearly any Pork dish, whether the dish calls for Barbeque, Mexican, or Roast…but I have to say, these Ribs are to die for! So whip out the foil, seasoning, your favorite sauce, and get ready to set-it-and-forget-it. As always, enjoy the tasty life with the gluten-free wife <3!

Equipment: Baking Sheet, Aluminum Foil, Basting Brush and Turkey Baster (though not necessary)

Ingredients:
St Louis Ribs (Seen above and below)
Or
Baby Back Ribs
My #1 Seasoning Blend
Your Favorite BBQ Sauce- I use Fox Bros, local to Georgia, Gluten and Sulfite-free (if GF, make sure no Worcestershire or Soy Sauce in it-both made with WHEAT!)

16788729_1715378052086298_4475722128523526144_n1
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com

Or you may use this as a barbeque sauce (it also makes a mean Sloppy Joe Sauce!)
1 lg shallot minced
1 1/2 cups ketchup
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Gluten-Free Worcestershire sauce (regular is made with WHEAT!)

slab of ribs
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 250°.
2. Wrap Baking sheet in aluminum foil.
3. Place ribs on separate sheet of foil (to wrap around when finished,) season abundantly with My #1 Seasoning Blend on both sides, and rub into meat.
4. Paste sauce onto both sides (leaving enough sauce leftover to top ribs for last 30 mins of baking time.)
4. Place ribs meat side down onto foil and wrap tightly.
5. Place onto baking sheet, and into oven for 3.5-4 hours for baby back ribs or 4.5-5 hours for St. Louis Style.
6. Take out last 30 mins, place meat side up, unwrap foil (careful- will be extremely HOT,) pour remaining sauce and bake final 30 mins.
7. Let rest for 30 mins and ENJOY!

*Check ribs every 45 mins to be sure sauce/liquid is not filling baking sheet. You may have to use a turkey baster to drain liquid from pan to prevent overflow of liquid.

**Picture (seen on top of page) Ribs were served with Scrumptious Slaw.

IMG_20170314_194319_093
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com

Gluten-Free Flavorful and Fabulous Flatbreads

glutenfree-flatbread-text-finalHere in Atlanta, we have such an amazing and diverse community. When my husband called me to say he was asked to transfer to Atlanta, and what did I think, food was truly one of my first thoughts. Coming from Orlando, FL, we lived in a tourist community. Now, one would think, that would make it easier for a Celiac to find gluten-free options, etc. But the fact is, most “chains” don’t necessarily cook fresh to order. Much of their sauces, marinades, dressings, etc., come in pre-prepared/frozen. This means MSG, sulfites, and gluten/wheat, are likely ingredients. Many people, also do not understand that just because they have gluten-free, doesn’t mean they know they have to wash their hands, use different utensils, clean cutting boards, etc. I have a family member, and a friend who both went to culinary school. They know I have Celiac Disease and said they wanted to cook for me. I was timid, at first, but I conceded. Then, they brought home a Teriyaki Pork Loin with the actual package reading…

Containing Up to Thirty Percent of a Flavoring Solution++ Ingredients: Pork, Pork Broth, Teriyaki Seasoning (Sugar, Dehydrated Soy Sauce [Wheat, Soybeans, Salt], Maltodextrin, Salt, Garlic Powder, Spice), Contains 2% or less of Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Soybean Oil, Cultured Dextrose, Dried Vinegar, Seasoning (Yeast Extract, Citrus Extract), Flavoring. Soy ingredients present, Wheat ingredients present, Gluten present

Needless to say, my husband went with them shopping this past year, when they came to visit. The moral of this story is, just because they know what they’re doing in the kitchen, doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing when it comes to our health. (Luckily, this was over a year ago, and they’ve since educated themselves greatly on the subject.)

Now, back to the food here in Atlanta…I was so excited when we got here, to find that it was real…gluten-free menu options were nearly everywhere! To top it off, there are many different local producers of gluten-free bagels, English muffins, breads, pita bread, and my new addiction…FLATBREADS!!! One day my husband and I were running errands, and he had to drop off something for his job at the convention center downtown. That usually means a gluten-free lunch date, so I was all in! We did a search (thanks to Find Me Gluten Free,) and found Flats. This is my new favorite place to eat whenever we go downtown! They make the best flatbreads. You can design your own, and pick what sauce, toppings, etc. They have breakfast, lunch, smoothies, salads…literally fresh, tasty, and amazing in every bite! The gluten-free flatbread holds its form, actually gets crispy, and is so tasty, you wouldn’t expect that it’s gluten-free. Now I know, that’s what we all say, but my non-Celiac husband said it too! If you’re local to Atlanta, or just visiting, check out Flats Atlanta. So, since we can’t go downtown every day, or even every week, I had to do something for my new addiction. I found O’Dough’s. (Bonus: If you live in Canada, they offer a $15 Sample Box to give them a try, AND give you $15 in coupons, so it’s like you’re getting all that gluten-free goodness FOR FREE!!) I’ve only managed to find these flatbreads at Kroger supermarkets, but if you live somewhere that does not have a Kroger, and happen to find who carries them, please comment below with the location? These flatbreads are so delicious! I put them in the oven (direct from freezer) without any toppings on them, sprayed with cooking spray and garlic powder on both sides, for 5 minutes, and flip for another 5 minutes. Then they’re perfect and ready for toppings!

Flatbreads work for any meal. They can be cut into finger-food size for a party dish, topped with eggs and bacon for breakfast, chocolate sauce and sautéed pears with cinnamon and brown sugar for a dessert, appetizers, dinner, lunch…so many choices!!! Below you will find a few of my favorite flatbreads, but get crazy with it! The options are limitless…If you find one you love, please add your recipe in the comments section? I would love to give it a try! Flatbread night is my husband’s favorite night of the week (and yes, we pretty much have flatbreads once a week in our house.) His favorite flatbread would have to be…

mexican-flatbread
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com

Mexican Bean and Beef Flatbread

Ingredients/Toppings:

Sauce Base:
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 tbsp. Seasoning Blend
3 tbsp. Sofrito
1/4 c diced Yellow Onion
Directions:
  1. Pour in can of beans into medium saucepan on Medium heat. Add 1/2 can of water.
  2. Add Minced Garlic, Diced Onion, Chopped Fresh Cilantro, Chopped Fresh Parsley, 3 tbsp. Sofrito (see recipe,) and 1 tbsp Seasoning Blend.
  3. Bring to a boil. Lower to Simmer and cook for 20 mins.
  4. Taste. Most of the time, as beans cook, you lose the seasoning you’ve added up until this point (so you may need to add more.)
  5. Once desired taste is reached, blend to a paste consistency (like refried beans.)
Or
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Fresh Parsley
4 Cloves Garlic
1/4 tsp Seasoning Blend
Directions:
  1. Place roughly chopped Parsley, Garlic, seasoning, and olive oil into food processor or blender. blend until liquid consistency is reached.
Ground Beef:
4 tbsp Sofrito (see recipe)
1 tbsp Seasoning Blend
1 lb Ground Beef
1/4 cup Yellow Onion
Directions:
  1. Marinate Ground Beef in Sofrito (see recipe,) chopped onion, and seasoning blend in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  2. Remove from refrigerator and let sit on counter for 10-15 mins. Brown beef. My secret is let it sit in juices before you stir for at least 5-6 mins. Then chop/stir.
  3. Drain grease.
  4. Taste. Season more if necessary.

 

img_20170117_191414_819
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com
Beef and Garlic Flatbread
Mojo (SEE PORK RECIPE– may 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. Measure all liquid ingredients into your blender/food processor.
  2. Add all dry ingredients, and roughly chopped herbs.
  3. Blend well until liquid consistency is reached, then add marinade to protein. (All proteins should sit in marinade at least 2 hours in refrigerator before cooking.)
  4. 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.
1 cup Shredded Chipotle Gouda Cheese
1 cup Sour Cream:
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro
1/2 cup Fresh Parsley
Directions:
  1. Mince Garlic, Chop Parsley and Cilantro, and whip into sour cream.
1 Package Wholly Guacamole
Pico:
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. Chop Parsley, mince Garlic, Drain Corn, and put all together in bowl. Add liquid with seasonings. Mix well.
20170107_144642-1
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com
Veggie and Cream Cheese Flatbread
Ingredients/Toppings:
Sauce Base:
1/2 cup Whipped Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Fresh Parsley
3 Cloves Minced Garlic
Directions:
  1. Combine Cream Cheese, Chopped Parsley, and Minced Garlic. Whip together.
Toppings: (or Veggies of Choice)
2 Roma Tomatoes
3/4 cup Chopped Broccoli
1/2 cup Chopped Cauliflower
1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro
Ranch or Poppyseed Dressing
Directions:
  1. Chop Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Herbs. Slice Tomatoes.
grilled-capicola-and-cheese-with-kale
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com

Grilled Capicola and Muenster Cheese Flatbread topped with a Kale, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad drizzled with an Italian (Rice) Vinaigrette

     Whichever Flatbread you choose, bake your flatbread in the oven at the directions it states (or find your own best…if using O’Dough’s, I suggest spraying with cooking spray and garlic powder both sides, place in oven at temp it states for 5 minutes, then flip for another 5 minutes.) Then sauce/spread, toppings, and any drizzle or dressing you decide. Welcome to my world of flatbreads!! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Don’t forget to get creative, and share your ideas. And as always, enjoy the tasty life, with the gluten-free wife!

 

 

Gluten-Free and Lactose-Free Tres Leches

Tres Leches: Many people think this cake originated in Latin America, but did you know that it is actually dates back to the Medieval European Era?! It only became popular in Central and South America in later centuries. Tres Leches literally means three creams/milks. I had already “mastered” a gluten-free yellow sponge cake recipe, which is necessary to soak up the liquid without becoming soggy (see the recipe below, or the previous blog post entitled “Killer Yellow Cake,”) s0 I thought to myself…what’s next? Well, my husband’s birthday was coming up, and I thought, what can I do for him this year? We had been relocated to Atlanta from Orlando (away from his family and our friends,) for his job. I knew this first birthday of his may be rough, since for the previous seven years I threw him a party, or gathered his friends and family for a dinner. So this year I wanted to do something special for him, and he had already eaten quite a few of my “Killer Yellow Cakes” (since he’s my only taste tester.) So I decided to make him his favorite: Tres Leches. Now, I had no idea how to make a Tres Leches, but I was going to try (never give up, never surrender,) and sure enough, it worked!! Then it happened…the Celiac bug struck again, and I developed a Lactose intolerance (this is before I found the magic of the Lactase Enzyme pill, email me if you are unfamiliar and want information.) So for my birthday, I found ambition (but when do I not love a challenge?) My brother-in-law and our friends were coming in town to stay with us for Dragoncon, and I decided to make a gluten-free, dairy-free Tres Leches birthday cake for my birthday (and a friend of ours whose was the same week.) Now, don’t get scared…I am going to throw a curveball and let you in on a little secret: I found an absolutely delicious way to make this DAIRY-FREE!! You’ll be surprised how close it is to the real thing! Below you will find the base for my Yellow Cake Recipe, Traditional Tres Leches, and Dairy-free Tres Leches (They all use the same base Yellow Cake.) Now, I add cinnamon in my Tres Leches and whipped Icing/TruWhip; however, you can use whichever you prefer, or cut the cinnamon (if you have an allergy.) Please remember to comment below if you made any changes to the recipe, so we can try it your way! I’m always open to suggestions and new additions!

Ingredients for Standard Yellow Cake Base:
1 cup White Sugar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tbsp Honey
5 Eggs
1 1/2 cups flour mixed
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Soften Butter and add to mixing bowl. Whisk in both White and Brown Sugars until smooth. Add Vanilla and Honey and whisk until incorporated.
  3. Add Eggs 1 at a time, mixing thoroughly, until well incorporated, before adding the next Egg.
  4. In separate bowl, add Flour, Xanthan gum, and baking powder, and incorporate.
  5. Add a few tbsps at a time to Sugar/Egg mixture, incorporating completely, before adding next tbsps (until all incorporated.)
  6. Spray 9×13 glass (preferably, or metal if no glass available) baking dish with non-stick spray and pour batter in. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula (or butter knife.) (I now “hit” the dish on the floor a few times to remove the air bubbles.)
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center of the cake and comes out clean (no crumbs on it.)
20150805_151442
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com

 

Ingredients for Traditional Tres Leches:
*Standard Yellow Cake Base Ingredients
Milk mix:
1 can Sweet Condensed Milk 14oz
1 can Evaporated 12oz
2 cups Whole Milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Soften Butter and add to mixing bowl. Whisk in both White and Brown Sugars until smooth. Add Vanilla and Honey and whisk until incorporated.
  3. Add Eggs 1 at a time, mixing thoroughly, until well incorporated, before adding the next Egg.
  4. In separate bowl, add Flour, Xanthan gum, and baking powder, and incorporate.
  5. Add a few tbsps at a time to Sugar/Egg mixture, incorporating completely, before adding next tbsps (until all incorporated.)
  6. Spray 9×13 glass (preferably, or metal if no glass available) baking dish with non-stick spray and pour batter in. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula (or butter knife.) (I now “hit” the dish on the floor a few times to remove the air bubbles.)
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center of the cake and comes out clean (no crumbs on it.)
  8. Mix Can of Condensed Milk, Evaporated Milk, and Whole Milk. Whisk together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. When Cake has completed cooking, cool for 30-60 mins.
  10. Pierce with fork all over top of cake (through to bottom,) then pour milk mixture over top of cake. Be sure to evenly distribute mixture. If more than an inch of liquid “pools” above cake, let it rest until it soaks in, then repeat with remaining mixture until complete.
  11. REFRIGERATE LEFTOVERS. GOOD FOR 3-4 DAYS.
20150711_150323
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com

Whipped Icing Ingredients:
1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
3/4 cup White Sugar

20150903_105620-1
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com

2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Mix Heavy Whipping Cream, Sugar, Vanilla, and Cinnamon on Low Speed until peaks form, and “frothy.” You’ll know it’s done, when it holds form, and can be spread as icing. MUST BE REFRIGERATED.

 

 

Ingredients for Dairy-Free Tres Leches:
*Standard Yellow Cake Base Ingredients
“Milk” mix:
1 can Coconut Milk 14oz
1 cup Lactaid 2% Milk
1 cup Italian Sweet Cream Creamer (Nestle Coffee-mate brand)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Soften Butter and add to mixing bowl. Whisk in both White and Brown Sugars until smooth. Add Vanilla and Honey and whisk until incorporated.
  3. Add Eggs 1 at a time, mixing thoroughly, until well incorporated, before adding the next Egg.
  4. In separate bowl, add Flour, Xanthan gum, and baking powder, and incorporate.
  5. Add a few tbsps at a time to Sugar/Egg mixture, incorporating completely, before adding next tbsps (until all incorporated.)
  6. Spray 9×13 glass (preferably, or metal if no glass available) baking dish with non-stick spray and pour batter in. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula (or butter knife.) (I now “hit” the dish on the floor a few times to remove the air bubbles.)
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center of the cake and comes out clean (no crumbs on it.)
  8. Mix Can of Coconut Milk, Lactaid, and Creamer. Whisk together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. When Cake has completed cooking, cool for 30-60 mins.
  10. Pierce with fork all over top of cake (through to bottom,) then pour milk mixture over top of cake. Be sure to evenly distribute mixture. If more than an inch of liquid “pools” above cake, let it rest until it soaks in, then repeat with remaining mixture until complete.
  11. Top with TruWhip, Dairy-Free whipped “icing,” then add cinnamon on top.
  12. REFRIGERATE LEFTOVERS. GOOD FOR 3-4 DAYS.

dairy free tres leches.jpg

Gluten-Free Killer Yellow Cake

Image result for let us eat cakeWhen I first was diagnosed, the hardest hurdle to get over was the taste (or lack there of) of gluten-free food. Most of the time, the pre-prepared meals/boxed mixes were awful. They tasted like energy bars (and not the good ones!) So I made it my mission to create the best cake recipe I possibly could. First one I tried a certain brand of flour that my husband thought was the worst thing he’d ever put in his mouth (I’m not blogging to bad-mouth certain companies, but to suggest the best, so I will not name the less tasty ones.) So, as my favorite saying goes…”Never give up. Never surrender.” I dusted myself off and tried again. Once I found Trader Joe’s, it was like the heavens opened up and the light had shined down from above. #1. They make a Gluten-free ALL-PURPOSE flour, so it can be used for EVERYTHING! #2. It is in a PINK bag, so it is extremely hard to miss. And finally, #3. It is only roughly $3.99, so it is EXTREMELY affordable, which considering how much we have to spend monthly on groceries to stay safe and healthy, it makes life that much easier! So, now I have my flour, I’m going to try again…and this time, it worked!! The perfect consistency, the perfect moisture, and the perfect amount of sweetness. I think my husband was even more excited than I was to know he didn’t have to sample any more “alternative” cakes. Now that I had my “base cake” I began to explore a little. I added fruit (lemon and blueberries) into the mixture, and made a glaze to pour over the top…glorious. I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I have these last few years. If you decide to get ambitious with it, as well, please comment below with what you’ve added to it? I’d love to try it! Please be sure to check out my Tres Leches Recipe as well! It is made with the same “base cake” as listed below, and can be made dairy-free, who would’ve guessed?!

Equipment: Stand Mixer with Paddle or Whisk Attachment (or Large Bowl with Electric Handheld Mixer)

Ingredients for Standard Yellow Cake Base:
1 cup White Sugar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tbsp Honey
5 Eggs
1 1/2 cups flour mixed
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Soften Butter and add to mixing bowl. Whisk in both White and Brown Sugars until smooth. Add Vanilla and Honey and whisk until incorporated.
  3. Add Eggs 1 at a time, mixing thoroughly, until well incorporated, before adding the next Egg.
  4. In separate bowl, add Flour, Xanthan gum, and baking powder, and incorporate.
  5. Add a few tbsps at a time to Sugar/Egg mixture, incorporating completely, before adding next tbsps (until all incorporated.)
  6. Spray 9×13 glass (preferably, or metal if no glass available) baking dish with non-stick spray and pour batter in. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula (or butter knife.) (I now “hit” the dish on the floor a few times to remove the air bubbles.)
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center of the cake and comes out clean (no crumbs on it.)

Ingredients for Lemon-Blueberry Cake:

*Same as Standard Yellow Cake Plus:
1 tbsp. Lemon Zest
2 cups Fresh Blueberries
Glaze:
1/3 c Fresh Lemon Juice
1/3 c Sugar (Mix/add more sugar until desired sweetness)
1 tbsp. Honey

 

20150805_134300
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Soften Butter and add to mixing bowl. Whisk in both White and Brown Sugars until smooth. Add Vanilla and Honey and whisk until incorporated.
  3. Add Eggs 1 at a time, mixing thoroughly, until well incorporated, before adding the next Egg.
  4. In separate bowl, add Flour, Xanthan gum, and baking powder, and incorporate.
  5. Add a few tbsps at a time to Sugar/Egg mixture, incorporating completely, before adding next tbsps (until all incorporated.)
  6. Mix in Lemon Zest thoroughly.
  7. Spray 9×13 glass (preferably, or metal if no glass available) baking dish with non-stick spray and pour batter in. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula (or butter knife.)
  8. Drop Blueberries evenly over the mixture. (I now “hit” the dish on the floor a few times to remove the air bubbles, and sink the berries towards the middle.) Squeeze Honey over the top of the batter for added sweetness (if desired.)
  9. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center of the cake and comes out clean (no crumbs on it.)
  10. For the Glaze, Warm Lemon Juice, Sugar, and Honey over Medium-Low heat, until sugar is dissolved. Taste to be sure desired sweetness is achieved. If not, add more sugar (May use Agave/Honey substitute for sugar.) Most glazes call for powdered sugar, but I’m not looking for a hardened glaze, just a shimmer/flavor booster. I find that powdered sugar gives an artificial flavor, so I prefer real sugar. The choice is yours though!
  11. When the cake is finished, cool for 15 mins. Poke holes every inch with toothpick. Pour glaze over cake.

 

 

20150805_151531
theglutenfreewifedotblog.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Gluten-Free Scrumptious Slaw

Cabbage

Cabbage, though quite smelly because of its sulfur content (not to be confused with the preservative-Sulfites/Sulfates,) is one of my FAVORITE sides! Did you know Cabbage, along with fish, rye bread (which we Celiacs’ are unable to consume,) oatmeal, apples and pears, and root vegetables in a diet, was found to decrease the incidence of type II diabetes in 57,000 individuals in a study in Denmark?! Not only can it help prevent diseases, but it also can prevent several cardiovascular diseases (it is high in antioxidants.) One of its sulfur containing properties is called sinigrin. It converts into a compound that has shown unique cancer preventive properties with respect to bladder cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. The other medicinal benefits for Celiacs and IBD sufferers alike, is that it is a natural anti-inflammatory, and has a very low negative effect on the GI tract. Not only is it good for your health in disease prevention, but it is also extremely high in vitamins and minerals. Usually when you cook your vegetables, you lose its benefits; however, Red Cabbage (when cooked) still has 79%DV of Vit K, 69% of Vit C, and 20% of B6. Now…how do you make it taste good? Many Coleslaws have sour cream, or an egg-based (Mayonnaise) sauce. This is my recipe for my favorite, Egg and Dairy-free Coleslaw.

Equipment: Food Processor (though not necessary)

Ingredients:

1/4 tsp Celery Salt
1/4 tsp Ground Mustard
1/8 tsp White Pepper
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar (I use Nakano All-Natural, No Sodium/No Sugar)
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Lime Juice
1 tbsp Honey
1 cup Red Cabbage
1 cup Green Cabbage
1/2 cup Red Onion
1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro
1/2 cup Fresh Parsley
4 Cloves Garlic Minced
1 tsp-1tbsp Jalapeno Pepper (depending on desired heat level)

 

Directions:

  1. Finely chop the Parsley, Cilantro, Jalapeno, Onion, and Mince the Garlic (or add all to food processor.) Add all to large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, pour Rice Vinegar, Lime Juice, Honey, measure (Salt, Ground Mustard, White Pepper,) add Olive Oil. Whisk. Taste. If less acidity is desired, add more Olive Oil. Add more seasoning if necessary for your taste.
  3. Wash, then Julianne (cut into strips) Red and Green Cabbage, then cut into equal, smaller pieces.
  4. Add All Cabbage to large bowl, then whisk dressing again, and pour over large bowl. Toss slaw thoroughly.
  5. Serve with your favorite barbeque, protein, or enjoy as a simple salad!

 

coleslaw21.jpg

 

Come back next month for my Recipe for St. Patty’s Day Stuffed Cabbage!