Celiac Disease & Gluten-Free Diet Resources

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Sep 30 2014

Review: Aldi’s Live Gfree White Bread

I have been pretty loyal to the gluten-free bread that I found I liked best. Part of that has to do with the size of the slices of bread, as they are the size (or a little larger) than “normal” bread. I went back to Aldi this weekend with Jon to stock up on some of the Live Gfree products he likes and picked up a loaf of the White Bread, which is priced at $3.99/loaf.

Jon planned to take the bread back to school with him, so I knew if I wanted to try it, I would have to do so right away. I grabbed two slices fresh from the package (not toasted) and made a PB & J.

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I didn’t have to put a layer of peanut butter on each slice of bread, I made it like I would with “normal” bread. This bread is unbelievably soft and so far from what I am used to with gluten-free bread. There is no crumbling, no breaking! I enjoyed this sandwich more than I have enjoyed a sandwich in a very long time. I made another one for Jon and he is very picky when it comes to textures and he agreed that it was amazing! The only negative thing I have to say about the bread is that the pieces are small, but that can be easily rectified by making 1.5 – 2  sandwiches. If you have an Aldi close by, I highly recommend giving this bread a try!


Sep 29 2014

Review: Russo’s Gluten-Free Gourmet Mozzarella Sticks

When I was grocery shopping at Meijer last week, I spotted some gluten-free mozzarella sticks in the freezer section and decided to pick up a bag for Jon as a surprise. He was on his way home to spend the weekend with us and some friends and I knew how much he used to love them before he started the gluten-free diet. We did find another brand a couple of years back, and while they were really good, they spread out and ended up being flat. I crossed my fingers that we would have better luck with Russo’s Gluten-Free Gourmet Mozzarella Sticks.

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All of the Russo’s Gluten-Free Gourmet products are made in a 100% dedicated gluten-free facility. I followed the directions on the package and heated the oven to 350 degrees and placed the mozzarella sticks on a baking sheet for 4-8 minutes. I checked on the sticks after 4 minutes to make sure they hadn’t flattened on me. The directions said they were done when you begin to see cheese coming out of the sticks, which for me turned out to be just about at 8 minutes.

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These turned out perfectly! Not only do they look amazing, but they taste amazing too! I managed to swipe a full stick before Jon dug in, and thoroughly enjoyed it. These are especially tasty dipped in marinara sauce or a spicy honey mustard sauce.

Shop for Russo’s Gourmet Gluten-Free products online or in your local health food or grocery store. Have you tried the Russo’s Gluten-Free Gourmet Mozzarella Sticks? What about any of their other products? They also offer gluten-free Eggplant Parmesan, Italian Bread, Bread Crumbs, Tiramisu, Lady Fingers and Canoli Shells.


Sep 27 2014

Aldi Live Gfree Stuffed Sandwich Review

We are starting to work our way through the Aldi Live Gfree line of products. Jon is home for the weekend and was thrilled to see the new products I had stocked up on. He wasted no time choosing the Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Sandwiches as his lunch.

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There are two individually wrapped stuffed sandwiches in each package ($2.69/box). The directions on the box said to microwave for 2 minutes and then to let them sit for 2 minutes. Since I heated both of the stuffed sandwiches up at the same time, I cut them open in the middle to see if they were hot all the way through. They were warm, but not hot, so I heated them up for another 30 seconds.

Jon dipped his stuffed sandwiches in marinara sauce and oohed and aahed his way through them. He said they were just like the Hot Pockets he used to eat before he started the gluten-free diet and that is saying a lot from someone who is super picky. He also asked if I could get him some to take back to school with him to keep in his room, as he has a freezer and microwave.

Have you tried any of the Live Gfree products? Do you have a favorite?


Sep 26 2014

Recipe: Better-For-You Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes

The theme for me lately seems to be comfort foods. I just received a recipe in my inbox for pumpkin mashed potatoes from Allen Dikker, owner and creator of Potatopia, and that certainly seems to fit the theme. Potatopia is an all-potato concept restaurant located in Edison, NJ, Staten Island and NYC.

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The easy fall recipe below was created by Allen Dikker. The recipe, as written, is gluten-free.

Better-for-You Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 15 mins
Ingredients:
1   pound medium baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
2   cloves garlic, peeled
1   cup canned pumpkin
2   tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
1   tablespoon butter or tub-style vegetable oil spread
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup fat-free milk
Directions:
1. In a covered large saucepan, cook potatoes and garlic in enough boiling water to cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain. Mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed until nearly smooth. Beat in canned pumpkin, cream cheese, butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Gradually add milk, beating until light and fluffy. Return to saucepan; heat through.
2. If desired, spoon mashed potatoes into Miniature Pumpkin Bowls and garnish with sage leaves. Makes 4 servings (3/4 cup each)

I love all things pumpkin and I love mashed potatoes. I was the kid who chose mashed potatoes over French fries any day. Combine two of my favorites together and I am sure I will be in heaven when I sit down to enjoy a large bowl of these potatoes.


Sep 25 2014

Recipe: Gluten-Free Beef Pot Pie

Fall has officially arrived now. The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping at night, even though they may reach 80 during the day. This is my favorite time of year! The leaves are just starting to change color here, which means it is time for comfort foods. 

When I was a child we would play outside all day long on the weekends, weather permitting, of course. Some of the best times I remember were in the cool, crisp fall weather, building forts in the woods in my friend’s yard. Since she lived almost next door, I was often able to smell the aroma of what my mother was cooking for dinner wafting across the backyards. As the sun began to set, there was nothing better than heading home with chilled hands and noses, knowing that mom had a hot pot pie waiting to be eaten. 

Once I began the gluten-free diet, the pot pie is one of those dishes that I missed, even though it wasn’t something we ate on a regular basis. Shortly after mentioning that to my mom, she was able to create a gluten-free version on one of her next visits. The results were nothing short of spectacular!

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Beef Pot Pie
**Recipe for Pie Crust from Pamela’s, see below

  • 1.25 lbs beef stew meat1 lb carrots, cut to bite size pieces
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled & cut to bite size pieces
  • 4 stalks celery, cut to bite size pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 TBSP Kitchen Bouquet
  • 3 TBSP Cornstarch
  • 2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
  • 3 cups water total, divided
  • 1 10oz box package frozen mixed vegetables
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Thyme or Marjaram, to taste, approx. 1 tsp

1.Cut beef into bite size pieces. Heat oil in pressure cooker; brown meat. Remove meat from pressure cooker to insert cooking platform/basket; add ½ cup water and add beef to basket. Seal pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes after rocker/pressure is reached.

2.Cool pressure cooker to remove lid. Add all veggies (including frozen ones), salt & pepper, add another ½ cup water; seal pressure cooker, bring to pressure, cook 5 minutes. Cool pressure cooker to remove lid.

3.Dump basket of food back into pressure cooker pot.

4. In gravy shaker add 2 cups cold water, 3 TBSP cornstarch, thyme or marjoram & Kitchen Bouquet and shake well.

5.Bring pressure cooker to boil then add cornstarch solution. Stir until boiling & thickened. Taste, add more seasonings if necessary.

6.Pour into prepared pie crust (see additional instructions).

7.Top with remaining crust

8.Bake at 350 for 30 – 40 minutes or until crust is nicely browned.

Pie Crust for Pot Pie

  • 3 cups Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix
  • 4 tsp sugar (omit for savory crusts, like pot pie)
  • 8 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 4 TBSP vegetable oil
  • ½ cup ice water

Yield: 2 9-inch pie crusts or 1 9-inch top & bottom

Combine mix & sugar (if using) in bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with 2 knives until butter is in very small pieces. Add oil, then ice water, slowly until dough comes together, not sticky. You may not need all of the water. Roll dough between sheets of parchment or wax paper. ***We were able to press this right into the pan for our pot pie without rolling and then form the top on a piece of wax paper without rolling. Foil can be placed along the edge of the crust to decrease the edges browning.

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Enjoy!