Friday, May 18, 2012

Dinner Foods

Dinner Foods: 

Schär Gluten-Free Pastas

In search of a good tasting gluten-free pasta, I did a lot of research. I read articles, spoke to people on gluten-free diets, and read labels in the store. I found the Schär brand to taste most like regular pasta. The fusilli pasta in this line is made with corn flour, rice flour, pea protein, and edible fats. Other types of pasta in this line may have different ingredients. To me, this one is the best tasting, and the spaghetti tastes the same as the fusilli. Last night I made this pasta and found it does take a little longer to cook than regular pasta, but only about 3 minutes more. Do not overcook any pasta or it becomes mushy. I followed that rule here. I made beef strogranoff for dinner and used this pasta, some chopped up flank steak, chopped up portobello mushrooms (washed and gills removed), diced yellow onion, a packet of gluten-free mushroom gravy mix, and a can of gluten-free mushroom soup from the brand Gluten-Free Cafe'.

I found the mushroom soup from the Gluten-Free Cafe' line to be good tasting, low in salt and the flavor to be "earthy" which I typically do not like, but when mixed into the big pan of strogranoff I was making, I could not tell. Remember, I added a whole can of Campbell's beef consumme' soup to the pan, plus the gravy packet plus a tsp. of worstershire sauce and I had all those onions and mushrooms in there browning with the beef, so there was plenty of flavor. I did not add any salt to my cooking, and I normally don't do that anyway. With stroganoff, you have to make it slightly more salty than your normal dinner food, so that when you add in the sour cream, you still have taste and not "blah". So I added a handful of salt to the boiling pasta water instead, and that gave the pasta plenty of nice flavor which really added to this dish. I also added chopped garlic and fresh parsley, as well as REAL WHOLE NATURAL NOTHING ADDED TO IT SOUR CREAM. I like the Daisy brand the best. When you look on the label, it says under ingredients: CREAM. And that's all! Other sour creams which have modified food starch added to them are not gluten-free. You have to remember when you are grocery shopping that the only foods that contain gluten are those made from WHEAT, RYE AND BARLEY. But since most products contain flours made from all those grains, that eliminates about 80% of what is in the grocery store from our diets. But MEAT has no wheat in it, neither do MILK, EGGS, BUTTER, and OLIVE OIL. Frozen peas contain no flour, neither does fresh fruit. So do not forget all the products that are naturally gluten-free. Here is a photo of the gluten-free soup, and the link to the Gluten Free Cafe' web site


My favorite pasta sauce for spaghetti is Classico Tomato & Basil - It has no modified food starch in it.

Any pasta sauce you find in the store that has only whole, natural ingredients is gluten-free. For example: read the label - if the ingredients are only tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onion and herbs, then it is gluten-free. Sauces that contain words like "spices" and "modified food starch" are not gluten-free. "Spices" could mean spice-blends that contain wheat starch and all "modified food starch" is derived from some wheat or rye or barley grain. Most breaded coating mixes and gravy and sauce packets contain modified food starch. Most canned soups contain modified food starch. Most cereals and desserts also contain heavy levels of modified food starch. Even baby food has it! At stores like Henry's & Sprouts, you can find gluten-free sauces.

Lunch Foods

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Snack Foods

Snack Foods: 

Pamela's Whenever Bars, Oat/Raisin/Walnut/Spice

These cinnamon filled, tasty snack bars are delicious and offer whole grains, antioxidants and are gluten-free. Made with gluten-free oats, chia seeds and lightly sweetened with agave and coconut sugar, Pamela’s Oat Raisin Walnut Spice Whenever Bars taste simply amazing! I could not believe this was a gluten-free product!! I can't stop eating them for dessert!

Click here to go to the Pamela's web site

Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins, Crackers

A crispy round cracker with BOLD flavor, a hint of salt, and just enough real cracker taste to fool your friends! These are made with almonds and rice. The texture was great, did not taste dry or mealy. Blue Diamond makes the best nuts, so I'm not surprised they make a great cracker too. They come in many varieties, but I chose the Almond ones.

Click here to go to the Blue Diamond web site

Back to Nature Multi-Seed Rice Thins

Here is another great cracker you would not believe is Gluten-Free. These have incredible taste, great texture and go really well with hummus and other gluten-free dips and salsas. They are made with rice, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and flax seeds. Since these crackers are big enough to hold up to it, my favorite way to eat these is with cannellini beans topped with tapatio sauce. Other bean dips, cheese spreads and relishes are also great with these crackers.

Click here to go to the Back to Nature web site

Snyder's of Hanover Eatsmart Naturals 

Garden Veggie Crisps

This is the best tasting Gluten-Free veggie chip I have found so far. You might find them to be seemingly plain at first, but they grow on you. They are also low in salt but not on flavor! They have a roasted potato taste, but you can also taste the tomato and spinach in them. These are not added flavors; they are natural flavors, so when you taste tomato, it's because they are made with tomato, not "coated" in tomato flavoring. They have great crunch and do not seem to get stale.

Click here to go to the Eat Smart Naturals web site and click on the Gluten-Free tab for more details on this product

Breakfast Foods

Breakfast Foods: 

Van's Gluten-Free Waffles, Blueberry

Tastes just like Kellogg's Nutrigrain waffles only these are even more moist inside than those, and they toast up nice and crispy on the outside. The little bits of berries inside are a treat! The photo I have pictured here is the only berry one I could find, but the variety I had was labeled "Buckwheat - Berry", not Blueberry. I slathered these with 1 Tbl. unsalted butter and drizzled on a little bit of pure maple syrup. Then I had a big glass of milk and I was off on my way out the door to work. I was not really hungry again until lunch time, but I did snack on a few Gluten-Free veggie chips that I bought at a regular local grocery store last week, not even knowing they were gluten-free. When I get the brand name I'll post it here under SNACK FOODS.  

Click here to go to the Van's Foods web site

Glutino Genius Multi-Grain Sandwich Bread

This bread is sold in the freezer section of your local health food type store, such as Henry's, Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. I found mine at Henry's, because we don't have a Whole Foods market within 90 miles of my house and Trader Joe's is farther away for me than my local Henry's. Anyway, I heard raves and raves about this bread so I just had to try it. I have tried other breads such as Rudi's rice bread (AWFUL!) and other brands. Nothing compares to this Glutino bread! The taste is FANTASTIC and the texture is VERY GOOD. You can't expect when you eat a gluten-free bread that it is going to taste like a whole grain wheat bread or have the doughy ooey-gooey texture of normal bread. But you can bet that if you try this bread and toast it up, smear on a little bit of butter and serve it with your dinner, you will be very pleased with it. If I had to say one thing that I noticed about all gluten-free breads, it is that they are a little bit more "dry" than normal bread, and that they tend to be not as "soft" as normal bread. But of all the ones out there, the majority of people like this one brand the best and I can see why. Glutino also makes a "white bread" version of this product, but I found the multi-grain one to taste like whole grain white bread to me. So if you are worried you would buy this bread and it ends up tasting like hay from the barn, NO, it won't. It is better toasted than eaten in a sandwich, I'll say that - but it would also be good to soak and make excellent french toast with!