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gfcf_twinkies

This week at Stockpiling Moms I fulfilled another reader request, a Gluten-Free, Casein-Free version of the Twinkies snack cake. I had fun making these, despite how labor-intensive the recipe turned out to be. I’ve never liked Twinkies myself, because they just seemed like chemicals to me.  However, this version….well, let’s just say it’s tough to eat less than 2 in one sitting! The cakes are nice and light and so is the creamy frosting. I made them in muffin tins, because I don’t have a Cream Canoe Pan, but you could try the canoe pan if you have one. These are a fun item to surprise your children with in their lunches too! Nicholas Rating = 200 Thumbs Up!

Tender Beef Snacks…an alternative to Beef Jerky

It’s tough to find beef jerky-type products that aren’t loaded with MSG and other preservatives, while also being gluten-free. However, this week’s review is about PJ’s Beef Snacks.  I tasted all three varieties of PJ’s Beef Tenders and their Cracked Pepper Beef Slices. My overall impression was that these are a great alternative to traditional beef jerky. First, they are (as the name implies) quite tender unlike traditional jerky which can be quite tough to chew. Second, they have distinct flavors that are neither overpowering with salty flavor or greasy (like some other brands of jerky). The snacks are not only gluten-free and free of preservatives, they even have 35% of your RDA of Vitamin C and calcium too.

The Original Flavor of the Beef Tenders might be referred to as “plain”, but I found it to have a nice beefy flavor without being too salty. The Teriyaki Flavor  of the Beef Tenders was slightly different from the Original Flavor, it was like “Original Plus” because it was a subtle teriyaki flavor, not an overpowering one. And, the Cracked Pepper variety of both the Tenders and the Slices definitely had the most kick to it, but again you could taste other flavors besides the pepper so it definitely had some dimension. I believe my favorite flavor was the Teriyaki though.

The only downside to this great snack right now is that it’s not yet in stores. You can order it directly from the company here. Or if you’d like to check out this great snack option in person, you might want to visit a tasting event that PJ’s is hosting in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

Disclaimer: PJ’s Beef Snacks provided me with  free samples of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

 

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!

 

I have learned some potentially tragic news this week….there may be something in coffee that irritates the stomach like gluten. Oh, no – my one vice is having 3 (sometimes 4, depending on the day!) cups of coffee each day. But, now, I have learned that my beloved coffee could be harmful to my intestinal tract.

coffeeHere’s a summary of  the research that I found about this possible link:

  • Coffee cross-reacts with gluten antibodies (in other words, gluten antibodies can hop on other non-gluten and really mess up your system; coffee is excellent and attracting gluten antibodies)
  • Only 10% of coffee is a protein that cross-reacts with gluten, but apparently it is enough to do damage
  • You can find out for sure if you are sensitive by going through expensive lab tests, ordered by your doctor
  • Coffee is apparently one of the most harmful foods to a gluten sensitive/intolerant individual
  • It’s not the caffeine that causes the problem, so decaf coffee will still cause a problem

See more specific information here –

Dr. Clark’s Brain Based Blog 

Body Ecology

The Healthy Home Economist

As an avid coffee drinker, this was some tough news to swallow (no pun intended!).  But, I thought it was something to be concerned about too. So, I’ve decided to try giving up coffee for 30 days to see if I notice any change. I know that when I gave up gluten the first time, I noticed a definite change when I reintroduced it for ten days to get tested. As of 8/28/12, I switched to black tea instead of my usual coffee. I will write a follow-up post towards the end of September to let you know how this little experiment goes. (Personally, I’m really hoping they are wrong as I really enjoy coffee! But, my health is most important to me – so I will make the sacrifice if I have to!)

Anyone else interested in joining me for this experiment?

NicholasWow! Where has the summer gone? It’s hard to believe that Nicholas will head off to school next week already. (The photo is of him clowning around at the TACA Picnic this summer; he has a bit of a mustache fetish.) It’s been a busy month around here, but I did manage to find 8 Recipes I Love for August. Here they are –

1. GFCF Almond Flour Biscuits from Ask Georgie.com – these work great as a side bread for dinner or even as a mini sandwich.

2. Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing from Food Lush – it was so great to find a tasty, dairy-free ranch dressing. It’s also gluten-free, so it would be a great option to serve with carrots.

3. Homemade Food Coloring from Melis Ann at HubPages – one of the toughest things about baking cakes or cupcakes is that if you want to avoid dyes and colors, you have to use either vanilla or chocolate frosting. But, check out these fruit-based colors!

4. Gluten-Free Ground Beef Hash from Elegantly Gluten Free – here’s an easy recipe that is definitely casein-free and very easy for a weeknight meal.

5. Paleo Chicken Salad  from Everyday Paleo – this is a yummy chicken salad recipe, just in time for your Labor Day picnic! Bonus: there’s also a tuna salad recipe just below it!

6. Cinnamon Sweet Potato Ice Cream with Toasted Walnuts by Paleo OMG! – here’s a new twist on ice cream that is dairy-free and gluten-free but perfect for these last few weeks of summer heat.

7. Watermelon Gazpacho with Lime by Gluten-Free Goddess – here’s a great way to make use of all the cheap watermelon out there and enjoy a nice cool soup in the heat.

8. Gingerbread Protein Pancakes by Healthful Pursuit – a tasty variation on the old breakfast classic, pancakes. This is not only gluten and casein-free, but is also good for those who need to limit their sugar intake.

gfcf_corndogs

Just look at the smile on his face! Nick was absolutely thrilled that I found him some Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Corndogs from S’Better Farms.

When I told him I was writing a review, I asked what he wanted me to say about the corn dogs. He said, “Tell them that they are SOOOO Delicious!” Nick also said he’d give them 100 Thumbs Up!

Although I don’t want to feed him corn dogs every day, if I have to give him them sometimes – at least these are pretty healthy. The beef for the corndogs is actually from grass-fed cows and you can see the other ingredients at the link above.  Pair these with some organic ketchup and you’ve got a great treat for kids, or even husbands (my husband had a few bites and said they were excellent too!).

I purchased the corn dogs at Sprouts, but they are also available at Whole Foods and these other locations. I noticed that S’Better Farms has some other allergen-free products, like Party Wings, Chicken Ballontine, Chicken Fingers, and Chicken Siciliano. Based on the success of the corn dogs, we’ll definitely be trying more of S’Better Farms’ products!

gluten-free, casein-free scones

This week’s new recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Scones. I was asked to create a gluten-free scone recipe by the lovely ladies of Stockpiling Moms, so I decided to go to my 1964 version of the Joy of Cooking  cookbook  for inspiration! My mother has always referred to this cookbook as a “cooking bible”, so I thought it would be a good place to start. The result was a simple scone that is both gluten and casein free (in my version, not the original). Because it is essentially a plain scone, you can “dress it up” with whatever added ingredients you like, such as cinnamon or currants. Please post a comment below about your variations; I’d love to hear them!

Here they are! The very GFCF Sugar Cookies that I made for the Gutzy Gear Party this weekend. This recipe is an old favorite of mine; originally printed from cookierecipe.com in 2000. The original recipe was called “Drop Sugar Cookies.” Here’s my GFCF version –

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

1 cup organic vegetable shortening

1 cup canola oil

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 1/2 cups Celeste Clevenger’s gluten-free flour mix*

1/4 tsp konjac powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cream sugars, oil, shortening. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until nearly white.

3. Add flour, konjac powder, baking soda and cream of tartar.

4. Roll into 1-inch little balls. Roll in white sugar and flatten with palm of your hand.

5. Bake for approximately 12 minutes, less if you make the cookies smaller.

*Celeste’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix = a blend of brown rice flour, white rice flour, sweet rice flour, and white bean flour.  (All flours are from Bob’s Red Mill. This recipe, found in Celeste’s Best Allergen Free Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking yields 5 1/2 cups of flour mix.)

gfcf_sweet_sour_grilled_chicken

This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Sweet and Sour Grilled Chicken. This recipe is a new twist on sweet and sour chicken. It’s an easy dinner for a weeknight because you can marinate it the night before and then only have to do about 30 minutes of dinner prep on the night that you eat it. Because it’s a mild, sweet dish, I believe most children will find it very appealing. Finally, it also can be made with ingredients that it’s easy to keep on hand, so it’s a great answer to the age-old question….”What should we eat tonight?”

This great recipe can be found in Celeste’s Best Allergen Free Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking; I will be reviewing this cookbook on the blog next week (stay tuned!).  My husband and I enjoyed this dish very much. Nicholas gave the sauce a “100 Thumbs Up” rating!

I am trying something new this week – a video review of what came in the Savorfull box for August 2012! I hope you enjoy getting to “see” the products. I’ll discuss each item below in more depth, but I encourage you to check out the video first:

Lucy’s Cookies – I do love Lucy’s Cookies, so I was excited to find these 2 new flavors in the box.  The Ginger Snaps are very “snappy” as they have real ginger in them and even some cayenne pepper. My son didn’t like these as well as my husband and I did. The Maple Bliss cookies reminded me of maple nougat candies and my son really liked this flavor a lot.

Crunchmaster Crackers – I found both the Multi-Grain and the Multi-Seed crackers to be very tasty. Both had an excellent crunch and even though they were a more “plain” variety, I thought they had nice dimension due to the seeds/grains in them. These would be excellent paired with some soy cheese or even peanut butter!

The Gluten Free Bar – this bar reminded me of a Clif Kids bar or a Balance bar. A bit dense, I think you’d want to drink water with it, but really good flavor. The oatmeal raisin flavors were evident without being overwhelming. It had a nice crunch to it, too.

Put A Little Soy In Your Life cookbook – I mistakenly stated, in the video review, that this book was from the staff of Savorfull. It is actually put out by the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee (Savorfull is located in Detroit, MI). It is definitely a great resource about soy, and has a lot of recipes in it. You can even learn how to store soy products most effectively. Although as a rule, I try not to give my son too much soy, I will read this book more thoroughly and consider making some of the recipes.

Overall, I was pleased with the box. I think I would have preferred more food items than the soy cookbook. However, for $15 (including shipping), the Savorfull box was a good value. Considering the high cost of allergen-free products and the convenience of having it delivered to your home, I think this is a unique and fun way to try out new products.

(Note: I was provided with a free box of products from Savorfull in exchange for this review. However, Savorfull did not require me to write a positive review. The review is all my own opinion, but I do appreciate the opportunity to review their service.)

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