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This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Sloppy Joe Skillet. This is the gluten-free, casein-free answer to Hamburger Helper; one-dish cooking that’s healthy! I used grass-fed ground beef and organic potatoes, an organic onion and even organic tomato paste to make this tasty dish. Nicholas enjoyed it very much and said it was easily 100 Thumbs Up! It was also excellent for leftovers for lunch the following day.
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.
As I have said before, it’s tough to find high-quality, yet healthy, GFCF snacks for your family. This week’s review is of Mrs. May’s Pineapple Fruit Chips. According to the company website: “Pineapples are rich in bromelain, a group of sulfur-containing proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes that not only aid digestion, but can effectively reduce inflammation and swelling, and has even been used experimentally as an anti-cancer agent.” As many people who follow a GFCF diet know, it’s very important to eat natural foods that can help with digestion and/or reduce inflammation. And, here’s a product that can do both! Plus, there are only 40 calories in a serving and only 7 g of sugar (no added sugar).
Mrs. May’s Pineapple Fruit Chips are one of 5 different flavors of fruit chips that the company offers. The other flavors are: Apple, Strawberry, Pear, and Mango. The only ingredient in the fruit chips is the freeze-dried fruit. There are no added nitrates or preservatives that often get put onto dried fruits. And, the package is small enough to fit in a purse or lunch bag very easily.
Mrs. May’s Pineapple Fruit Chips are tangy and just a tiny bit sweet. They have a nice crunchiness to them, but don’t taste like bland cardboard (as other brands of dried fruit often do). I’m actually not a huge fan of eating pineapple on its own because of the strong acidic flavors, but I enjoyed these chips and I would like to try their other varieties too. I think these freeze-dried fruits would also be an excellent thing to have in an emergency food kit since they can provide you with real fruit that won’t need refrigeration.
You can purchase Mrs. May’s Pineapple Fruit Chips at most grocery stores, natural food stores, and even shopping clubs like Costco.
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 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.
This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Asian Chicken. Don’t let the photo fool you…this is not a bland recipe! I know it looks pretty plain in the photo, but this chicken is full of warm, sweet, tangy orange flavors guaranteed to dance across your tongue. And, for having a lengthy list of ingredients, this recipe is actually quite easy to make. My husband volunteered to give the thumbs up rating on this one: 100 Thumbs Up! (He also took ALL the leftovers to work the next day; this is a compliment to me, for sure.)
I know it’s October, but here in Southern California we’ve been riding a few heatwaves lately! So, I remembered I’d seen this recipe in the May 2012 edition of Sunset Magazine for “Ginger Shaved Ice with Apricots and Sweetened Condensed Milk.” I figured that it would be a fun time to try this recipe out.
One problem – it’s way past apricot season! So, I had to substitute peaches for the apricots. I think the recipe still worked and I hope you’ll consider trying it too. (One word of caution: it’s not something you can whip up in a few minutes for dessert; this one requires some advance planning!)
The flavors of this are really amazing. You have the hot spiciness of ginger with the cool ice and the sweetness of peaches. Not your traditional ice cream dessert!
Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Ginger Shaved Ice with Peaches (Nicholas Rating = 20 Thumbs Up!)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped ginger (unpeeled)
3 peaches, sliced (or, a 15-0z can of sliced peaches in their own juice)
1/3 cup coconut cream
4 small mint sprigs (for garnish)
1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water and the sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove syrup from the heat.
2. Meanwhile, mince chopped ginger in a food processor. Then, add 3/4 cup of water to the ginger and whirl until juice gets extracted. Pour the mixture over a fine strainer set over a bowl and using a large wooden spoon, press the ginger to extract the juices.
3. Stir the liquid ginger into the syrup. Reserve 1/2 cup of the ginger syrup mixture and chill in refrigerator separately.
4. Pour the rest of the ginger syrup mixture into a 9 x 13-inch pan. Cover the pan with foil and freeze until slushy at edges (between 2 and 5 hours). Stir well with a fork, breaking up the lumps, then freeze until solid (overnight works best).
5. Meanwhile, stir the peaches into ginger syrup liquid, at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
6. Scrape the frozen mixture with a fork to make large flakes. Spoon ginger ice into bowls and top with coconut cream. Drain the peaches, then spoon over ginger ice. Garnish with mint sprigs.
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.
Comparing the SCD Diet to the GFCF Diet
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was formulated in the ‘50s by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas. It is also known as the SCD Diet, and it is the direct precursor to Dr. Elaine Gottschall’s GAPS Diet. While it is not entirely gluten-free and casein-free, it does have similar objectives to the GFCF Diet and other autism diets: To help free those with gluten and casein intolerance from the gastrointestinal and behavioral issues that sometimes come along with disorders in the autism spectrum.
How does the Specific Carbohydrate Diet Work?
The initial diet is called the “Intro Diet,” and it is practically identical in most ways to the GAPS Introduction Diet. There are a few exceptions. SCD allows a few things that GAPS does not such as peanuts, navy beans, white beans, and cottage cheese. The allowed foods in this diet more closely resemble the same foods that the GFCF Diet permits.
However, the SCD Diet closely follows the same stages as the GAPS diet from the Introduction part, which consists of several stages, and then the full-on diet stage. Just as with GAPS, the SCD Diet takes a while to implement. Each stage takes weeks or months to get through, and there are quite a few exceptions to rules. For instance, one rule is to avoid dairy, but cheeses made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk that undergo at least 30 days of natural aging are permitted.
The foods and beverages that are disallowed are:
- Alcoholic beverages like brandy and sherry
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Curry, onion and garlic powders
- Freshly brewed coffee
- Grains such as rice, barley and wheat
- Instant coffee
- Juices made for commercial sale
- Milk and milk-based drinks and creamers
- Processed meats like ham, bacon, hot dogs, sausages, salami and other sandwich meats
- Starchy foods such as potatoes, corn starch, parsnips and yams
- Sugar sweetened beverages
Unlike most diets of this type, this one actually allows the consumption of dry wines, vodka, and whiskeys like rye, scotch and bourbon.
So How Does it Compare to GFCF?
As a diet that is seen as an alternate autism diet, it is a mostly gluten-free and casein-free diet, with the exception of the very limited dairy allowance, and it certainly seems to help in similar ways to the GFCF Diet. However, the Specific Carbohydrate diet is just as complicated to follow and as difficult to implement as GAPS.
If there is any criticism of GFCF compared to SCD, it is that GFCF is slightly more lax with the inclusion of occasional sugary treats. Nonetheless, GFCF is, out of all the autism diets, the easiest to follow and the strictest in terms of gluten-free and casein-free foods.
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This week’s recipe, GFCF Homemade Battered Fish Portions, is a recipe that I adapted from Nigella Lawson. The original recipe is titled Goujons of Sole and I found it on the Food Network website. These seem almost too easy to make and it’s hard to believe they have so much amazing flavor, considering the simplicity of the recipe. My son would not touch them as he has stated, “I don’t eat fish, Mom!” But, my husband who is a very tentative fish eater himself, was amazed at how incredibly yummy these were! Therefore, I must rely on the Husband Rating this week.
GFCF Homemade Battered Fish Portions (Husband Rating = 1000 Thumbs Up!)
2 fillets of sole, skinned
1/2 cup of gluten-free cornstarch
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (I used Dr. Schar Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Cut the sole fillets in half lengthways, then slice each fillet into about 4 long strips on the diagonal. (You should have 8 fish portions per fillet.)
2. Put cornstarch in small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Put bread crumbs into another shallow bowl.
3. Beat eggs together in their own bowl.
4. Dip each fish portion first into the cornstarch, coating it well. Then, dip the portion into the egg mixture. Finally, dredge the fish portion in the breadcrumbs.
5. Set the fish portions aside while you heat up the oil (medium-high heat) in your skillet.
6. Fry the fish portions until they are crisp and golden, about 3-5 minutes each. Remove the fish portions as you go and set them on a plate with paper towel so you can blot any excess oil.
7. Serve hot with rice, potatoes, or even quinoa (pictured above).
I have been eating Glutino Gluten-Free Honey Nut Cereal for breakfast for the past few days. As many people on the GFCF Diet already know, finding a good breakfast cereal can be tricky business. However, Glutino seems to have made a real effort at making their cereal taste like something other than flavored sawdust!
Glutino Gluten-Free Honey Nut Cereal is described as being, “corn cereal rings flavored with honey and nut.” It is definitely not a gluten-free copy of Honey Nut Cheerios, though. The strongest flavor I could taste was definitely the honey flavor, but it’s different from other cereals flavored with honey because it actually tastes like real honey, not an imitation flavor. The cereal has a satisfying crunch to it, even when in milk. The other plus about the cereal is that it is very low in sugar, only 4g per serving; an important factor in choosing a cereal to feed your child.
One main negative about the cereal is that it is not rated as “non-GMO” and I am really trying to eliminate GMO’s (aka, “non-genetically-modified organisms”) from our diet here at home (more on that soon in an upcoming post). So, I probably won’t purchase this cereal again unless they can certify it as “non-GMO”. (For information on what is certified non-GMO, click here.)