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gfcf_croutons

Croutons…definitely one of those little “treats” that I miss from my days of eating gluten! However, here’s a super easy way to make your own at home.  I guarantee these are even better than the ones in the store and you won’t have to worry about eating any gluten. My son has stopped eating the crusts on his gluten-free bread sandwiches, so when I cut them off (prior to putting anything on the bread), I’ve been saving them and putting them in Ziploc bags in the fridge. Then, I repurpose them to be gluten-free croutons; a much better solution than wasting all that expensive gluten-free bread! And, ironically, Nicholas thinks these croutons are fantastic! He gave them 100 Thumbs Up.

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Croutons (Nicholas Rating = 100 Thumbs Up)

4 slices gluten-free bread, cut into 1/2-inch size cubes (or the equivalent of leftover crusts)

1/4 cup melted ghee

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning blend

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Melt ghee in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, then add onion powder and Italian Seasoning and stir well.

Add bread cubes, stirring until all cubes are well-coated with butter mixture. Spread cubes on shallow baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, and bake for 10 minutes longer.

Cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Makes about 2 cups of croutons.

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gluten-free, casein-free pupusas

This week’s recipe has a funny name, but a great taste. I found this recipe in The Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook: Every Recipe Is Free of Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Nuts, and Eggs by Elizabeth Gordon. According to the author, pupusas are El Salvadoran street food. Besides being super easy to make, pupusas are also very versatile. I put refried beans inside these, but you could also use barbeque-flavored shredded pork or beef, a cheese alternative, or a combination of cheese alternative and beans. They freeze well so you can make a big batch and stash some away for later.

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Pupusas (Nicholas Rating = 100 Thumbs Up!)

2 cups masa harina corn flour (NOT cornmeal); I used Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Corn Flour

2 cups plus 2 Tbsp water

Coconut Oil, as needed

1 cup vegetarian refried beans (or substitute bbq-flavored meat)

1 cup Daiya Cheese (optional)

Toppings of your choice: cubed avocado, salsa, shredded cabbage (optional)

1. In large mixing bowl, combine corn flour and water with your fingers. It should form a dough that is not thin and watery, but thick and moist. Press plastic wrap directly on top of dough and let it sit for 5 minutes.

2. Lightly oil griddle or large skillet with coconut oil. Preheat pan/griddle over medium-high heat.

3. While heating pan/griddle, form the pupusas. With wet hands, roll 2 Tbsp of the dough between your hands to form a ball. Poke a hole about a quarter of the way through the ball with your thumb. Press 1-2 teaspoons of your choice of filling into the hole, and form dough around the filling until it is a ball again. Then, pat the pupusa between your palms until it is flat like a pancake. The edges should be smooth. If the edges crack or look dry, add 1-2 Tbsp water to the dough.

4. Place the pupusas on heated griddle/skillet and cook over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes per side. Continue rolling and stuffing the pupusas until all dough is used.

5. Serve immediately with any toppings of your choice.

6. Leftovers can be stored in refrigerator in airtight container for up to 3 days. Or, you can place completely cooled pupusas in an airtight container with squares of wax paper between each one and freeze for up to three months. To reheat frozen pupusas, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place pupusas on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through. Serve immediately.

gfcf_tuna_pasta_salad

This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Tuna Pasta Salad.  If you’re looking for an interesting, healthy way to pack some tuna into your child’s lunch (or maybe even your husband’s?)…this is it. Not only is it better than a plain tuna sandwich – it’s easy to make too! This recipe will make a lot of servings, so you could even serve it for a quick weeknight dinner or take it to a potluck. It’s versatile in that you can serve it either hot or cold and it still tastes great. You can also play around with the different forms of pasta or even some of the condiments to adjust the flavors if you like.

gfcf_steak_fries

Homemade steak fries – so versatile, and so easy! This recipe is my “go-to recipe” for making a side of potatoes to go with hamburgers, steak, chicken, or even turkey burgers. The recipe works well for either red potatoes or russets, although those potatoes have a slightly different taste. And, the bonus is that these reheat very well to enjoy for lunch the next day! Even though my son has become very picky about food lately, he always loves these. Therefore, Nicholas gives these 1000 Thumbs Up!

GFCF Homemade Steak Fries (Nicholas Rating = 1000 Thumbs Up!)

3-4 large russet potatoes, or about 6 medium-size red potatoes

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, combine the oil, onion powder, and paprika and mix well. Set aside.

Slice potatoes into planks, leaving skins on if you choose, that are about equal in size and thickness.

Stir potatoes into bowl with oil and seasonings, making sure that all potatoes get well-coated.

Dump potatoes out onto foil-lined baking sheet and spread evenly so they aren’t clumped together. Drizzle any remaining seasoned oil over the top. Sprinkle salt and pepper across top of potatoes.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until well-browned.

 

gfcf_chicken_peppers

This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Chicken and Peppers. The original recipe can be found in Betty Crocker’s Cookbook  (1986 edition).

This recipe is so simple and light, yet so flavorful. I also really love the fact that after making it a few times, you can do it from memory. I made this on a recent vacation for my family (we were staying in a condo with a nice kitchen), since it’s easy to get the ingredients at any grocery store. Serve it with either brown rice or quinoa. My husband always says how much he loves this dish whenever I make it. He gave it 100 Thumbs Up!

 

save money on GFCF grocery shoppingYes, you can save money!

Everything is getting more expensive today. From gas to groceries, our hard-earned dollars are challenged to stretch further. Now, we may be able to ride a bicycle around town if we can’t put gas in our cars. But, we have to eat. There’s no getting around that. So, we have to find ways to spend less on groceries while still getting the things that we need to feed ourselves and our families.

6 money-saving tips

  1. Clip coupons. They put those in the newspaper for a reason. If there are new items you want to try, use a coupon to get it at a discount. If you like it, you have saved some money. On the other hand, if you hate it, you didn’t pay full price. For me, coupons save an average of 35-50% per visit! That’s money in my pocket that I can put towards gas for the car. Also, you can visit the websites of many manufacturers and download free coupons. Or, visit the Stockpiling Moms website and learn how to really save lots on gluten-free, dairy-free items!
  1. Buy more staples than prepared foods. It is easier to buy a frozen gluten-free dinner, but is it more economical? A large box of gluten-free pasta and a GFCF marinara sauce will make more servings for your family than one gluten-free frozen dinner. This is especially true for baked goods! The next time you go shopping and pick up a box or bag of an already prepared item, ask yourself if you can make that at home for less. If you can, then put that item back in favor of less expensive staples.
  1. Buy in bulk. Consider the food items that you use most often. Gluten-free snacks, meats, vegetables, condiments, juices, and paper products can be bought in bulk usually at a lower price at food warehouses like Costco, BJ’s, and Wal-Mart. If you have a coupon, you’ll save even more money. Yes – you can find more and more gluten-free, dairy-free items at the warehouse stores. And, don’t be afraid to request certain products through the manager; that’s how they find out what their customers really want!
  1. Don’t shop when you are hungry. This is a definite no-no. Shopping on an empty stomach means that you will pick up more things than you need. You are more likely to pick up that box of gluten-free cookies when the growling gets underway!
  1. Take a grocery list with you. This is another protection against picking up things that are too costly. Check your cabinets and the fridge to see what you need and write them down. Remember, the goal is to stick to the list as much as possible.
  1. Shop at the same stores. This is more of a frustration reliever. In a new store, you spend most of your time looking for things and walking up and down every aisle, which oftentimes leads to forgetting an item or two. Going to the same store each time makes you more familiar with the prices so you can estimate your bill as you write your grocery list. I also find that you get better service if the store employees know your face. (Last weekend, an employee at Trader Joe’s not only helped me find a great watermelon, he cut it open for me to see that it was appropriately ripe; what a great help!)

You can succeed!

Rising prices don’t have to mean a lean dinner table. There are ways to make your food dollar go further and if you take the time to implement the ideas listed above as well as others of your own, you’ll see savings each and every time you shop.

Know any money-saving tips?

If you have some great shopping tips to share, please add them in the comments section below. Thank you!

GFCFcarrot_zucchini_bars

Here’s a different way to get vegetables into your picky eater…make it look like cake! This week’s recipe is GFCF Carrot Zucchini Bars and it is adapted from a recipe in Better Homes & Gardens: New Cookbook 14th Edition.  There isn’t too much sugar in these, although they have a pleasant sweet taste to them. The original recipe does call for a cream cheese-style frosting, but as you can see in the photo – I opted not to do that. My son did spot the evidence of vegetables in them immediately, and refused to try them. (I guess this is where the frosting might have been helpful to mask the veggies!) However, my husband and I tried them and thought they were very tasty.  My husband provided the rating for this recipe; he gives it 12 Thumbs Up!

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Carrot Zucchini Bars (Husband Rating = 12 Thumbs Up)

1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp xantham gum

1 tsp gluten-free baking powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 1/2 cups shredded carrot (about 3 medium)

1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium)

3/4 cup organic brown sugar

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, ginger, and baking soda in large mixing bowl.

Add eggs, carrot, zucchini, brown sugar, walnuts, raisins, oil, honey, and vanilla. Mix until combined thoroughly.

Spread batter into an ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking pan.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve.

Yield = 24-36 bars, depending on size

gluten_free_dairy_free_avocado_soup

The weather is warming up and summer is upon us. What better treat to try for an easy dinner on a hot, summer evening than chilled avocado soup? The soup is not boring at all, it has a pleasant spiciness that isn’t overwhelming. It can also be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for several days (for a lunch item, perhaps?).

This recipe is something I adapted from an avocado soup recipe in Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce: A Guide to Easy-to-Make Dishes with Fresh Organic Fruits and Vegetables. That recipe looked pretty good, but mine is both gluten-free and casein-free which makes it even better if you have food allergies!

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Avocado Soup (My Rating = 100 Thumbs Up!)

2 ripe avocados

1/4 cup chopped green onions, including 1/2 of dark green stalks

2 Tbsp fresh orange juice

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 cup canned coconut milk

3 cups vegetable broth

1. Put all ingredients in food processor fitted with a metal blade or a blender. Cover and process until smooth.

2. Chill for at least 1 hour, prior to serving.

3. Serve in small cups or bowls. Garnish with crumbled bacon or more sliced green onions, if desired.

Serves: 6 (1 cup servings) or 12 (1/2 cup servings).

Rachel with son Nicholas

Welcome to my blog about how “eating differently can still be delicious”. The Gluten-Free, Casein-Free diet (also known as the GFCF Diet or the Autism Diet), is not new but is gaining in popularity. Many parents of children on the Autism Spectrum have seen dramatic changes in their children after switching to this diet. As the mother of a son with Aspergers, I can speak from experience on this topic.  To read more about my story and background, please check out the About Me page.

This blog contains GFCF recipes, tips on how to follow the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free diet, as well as product and restaurant recommendations. I encourage you to check out the FAQ section if you have questions about this diet or any of these terms. Please also feel free to Contact Me with specific questions as well.

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