gluten-free

All posts in the gluten-free category

Sweet Tea

Published July 18, 2016 by lynn k scott

I am a native New Yorker, who now lives in Northern California.  My mom was also technically a “Yankee” but spent half her life in the South.  If you ever heard tell of her childhood, half of the kids were born in the North and half in the South.  She said, “we fought our own civil war”.

One thing my mom always enjoyed was homemade iced tea.  There are many ways to make iced tea.  Pour boiling water over tea bags, quick steeps, long steeps, etc.  My favorite way to make iced tea is to start with sun tea.  Why should I pay to turn on my stove, when the sun is a natural resource and with a little planning, I will never run out of tea; especially in the summer.

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My mother preferred her tea (and coffee) unsweetened.  I prefer sweet tea, myself. However, one simply cannot take a glass of cold,  unsweetened tea and add some sugar and call that sweet tea.  Having not been raised in the South, even I know that much.

As previously stated, I don’t make my tea on the stove.  However, having been a bartender in my youth, I prefer to make a simple sugar mixture to add to my tea.  One cup of sugar to one cup of water, stir, heat until sugar is dissolved.  Simple!  Then, I let it cool and add it to a container to add to my tea. I like to reuse the Martinelli’s apple juice jars; perfect for simple syrup.20160711_204127.jpg

Over the years, I have discovered that the quart-sized mason jars are perfect for this.  I make a half-gallon of tea at a time, simply by using two quart jars.  I just add three decaf tea bags per jar.  I use decaf only because my coffee is caffeinated and I drink tea into the evening.  I need to sleep ya know.

They now sell plastic lids for mason jars and they are the best ever for making the jars reusable.  Ok, so that was the canning nerd side of me, but you get my point.

Normally, once i get home from work, I bring the tea in (set out before I leave for the day).

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I add about 1/8 cup of simple syrup.  It’s really a personal taste.  Add as little or as much as you like.  Then I add some lemon juice.  I’ve always loved lemon iced-tea.  Maybe that’s not part of the sweet tea most people know, but again, I’m technically a “Yankee” for this venture, and in the true spirit of being a New Yorker, “I did it my way”.  So, in goes the lemon.

Put the cap back on, shake it up and there you have it: sweet (lemon) iced tea.

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Watermelon Popsicles

Published July 17, 2016 by lynn k scott

If it’s summer, that means there’s watermelon.  It’s one of the few foods that I have to consume as soon as the seedless melon hits the shelves.  Yes, I do the seedless, it’s worth the extra ten cents per pound.  Keep reading and you’ll understand the necessity as well as the preference.

In my quest to eat healthier, I prefer homemade popsicles to store bought.  Each year, I experiment more with flavor combinations.  It would appear I have started a collection of popsicle molds; I’m up to four now.  So far this year, it’s been relatively simple creations. I’ve taken frozen mixed berries, blended them smooth.  Sometimes,  I will add a bit of pomegranate juice to thin out the berries for pouring.  The mixed berries offer a nice, sweet flavor and tend to be a bit more cost efficient than buying several quantities of blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries all at the same time.

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I have also blended up watermelon and added bits of fresh strawberries to the mold.  So a nice refreshing taste with a hint of strawberry here and there.  It’s a great way to use up some of that large watermelon you had every intention of eating, but half of it is still in the fridge.

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This past weekend, I stopped by my local produce stand and they had yellow watermelon. How I have not heard of this previously, is beyond me. However, I had to try it.  It looks just like regular watermelon, only yellow.  I personally think, it’s a bit sweeter than its red counterpart.

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Last night, I chose to make my first layered popsicle.  The bottom of the mold was mixed berries and the top was yellow watermelon.  When unmolding, the watermelon would become the bottom and the berries would be the top.  I need to play around with this more, but they turned out really well and were super yummy.On the days it’s too hot to cook and you can’t imagine eating, I have no issues with eating a few popsicles to hold me over until it cools off a bit to think about making food.  After all, it’s 100% fruit and it’s good for you!  I am still thinking up new creations to add to my popsicle recipe list.  I’m working on how to incorporate yogurt for an ever more satisfying, and filling popsicle.

wp-1468773772641.jpgDo you make homemade popsicles?  What are some of the ingredients you like to use?

 

 

 

 

In just 3 years….

Published July 17, 2016 by lynn k scott

If you have a Facebook account, you might be familiar with a semi-new feature called, “On this day”.  It allows you to look back on your posts that you made that day, from years ago. Some days, the memories are ones I don’t care to remember.  Others are one that I can’t believe I had forgotten or immediately bring a smile to my face.

Since 2012-2013, when I discovered I had Celiac’s Disease, during one of the hardest times in my life, losing my sister and mother within a year of each other, I started undergoing a body transformation.

Can I pinpoint exactly what has caused the weight-loss I experienced?  No.  There’s been a combination and I to say which one has done more is virtually impossible.  Obviously, having to change my diet to a gluten-free one was a factor.  Having a stress-level, that probably reach an unhealthy level was another.  Then there were the days and weeks that I was accidentally “glutened” or just didn’t care and ate food that would hurt me.  My body responded appropriately and emptied my system (rather violently at times) and/or caused great pain to remind me that I can’t do that.  Eating healthier, giving up soda, becoming addicted, and competitive, on with my basic FitBit, drinking more water has all played a factor in my weight loss.

So what does this have to do with Facebook?  On July 6, 2016, I had “memories” to look back on and there was one from 2013.  I couldn’t believe looking at the picture how much I had changed.  Ironically, that morning, I had my daughter take a full body pic of me (almost never do this).  I had her do it because I liked the comfy outfit I was wearing and the jeans now another size smaller.

I decided to put the two pictures side by side.  I was blown away.  So much so, I shared it with my Facebook friends.  Those who know me, know I don’t share many pictures of myself, esp. full body ones.  Even my eldest child, who loves to give me grief and isn’t known for compliments, gave me credit for my dramatic change.  I didn’t spend money I didn’t have on a gym, diet pills, or even increase my exercise level dramatically.  I walked a bit more and watched what I was eating.  Ok, I had to watch what I was eating because of the Celiacs, but it was still an opportunity to evaluate my food and beverage choices.  I occasionally will have a soda from time to time or on a bad day, eat half a tub of ice cream, but I still am dropping the weight because I choose to make a conscious effort.

I never thought I would lose as much weight as I have; over 40 pounds.  It’s staying off because it’s been gradual.  Slow and steady wins the weight-loss race.

 

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Crock Pot Potato Soup

Published January 16, 2016 by lynn k scott

This morning, as I was checking out what happened on Facebook while I slept, my friends had posted this recipe for a Crock Pot Potato Soup.  I shared the post and thought, I have all the ingredients to make this.

After I got back from the gym, cleaned the kitchen, I decided to whip this up.  I love my crock pot and if there is a recipe that I can make in it, using fresh ingredients, I’m all over it.  Add to the fact it’s been rainy and a bit on the nippy side here today, and potato soup, with a little cheddar cheese added to it, sounded pretty good.

I adore these little video clips adding the ingredients and quickly showing you quantities.  I personally don’t need the videos, the recipe would suffice too.  However, for those who may not cook often or are new to using the ever versatile crock pot, they are quite helpful.

Watch the video to see the soup come together in mere seconds.  I’ve listed the recipe below should you want to jump to the head of the line.

  • 4 cups potatoes; diced
  • 3/4 cup of onion; chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock (I used homemade vegetable stock)
  • 1/2 TBSP salt
  • 1/2 TBSP pepper
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Add the potatoes, onions, stock, salt and pepper and stir (the video omits this step).  Set the crock pot on Low for 6 hours or High for 4 hours.  After the set time has expired, melt the butter and add the flour; stir.  I used Pamela’s gluten-free flour and it worked great. Let the mixture cook for about a minute and then add the heavy cream and sour cream. Stir mixture until it thickens a bit.  Add the mixture to the crock pot, stir, reset timer for another 30 minutes on Low.

I didn’t think there was enough salt for all those potatoes.  As soon as I tasted it, I knew I was right.  It could use more, but easily corrected by the person eating the soup.  Garnish soup with cheese, scallions, bacon bits, etc.  I like the texture of the diced potatoes.  If you prefer a creamier soup, by all means use an immersion blender or blend in batches in a traditional blender.

This soup would be great in a bread bowl or served with a few slices of baguette.  Sadly, these aren’t options for me, but it’s how I would have eaten this in the past.  I will definitely be making this soup again.  With my substitutions, the soup is now vegetarian and gluten-free (for those that need/want those options).

Enjoy!

Crock Pot: BBQ Pulled Pork

Published January 15, 2016 by lynn k scott

Before heading out the door for work yesterday, I managed to start the crock pot so dinner would be done when I arrived home.

I had thawed some boneless pork roast.  You can use the bone-in kind too, but you just have to remove it from the bone.   That’s a time-consuming task that I’m willing for forego the majority of the time, esp. when we’re talking pennies on the dollar for boneless.

I cut the meat into chunks and placed them in the crock pot.  Then sprinkled with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika.  After giving the meat a quick toss so spread the seasonings around, I added about a cup or so of (homemade) vegetable stock.  I then added roughly a quarter cup of BBQ sauce (gluten-free, of course).  Gave then crock a quick stir, add the lid, set on low for 6 hours and off to work I go.

When I come home, the pork chunks are a bit browner and ready to be shredded.

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The easiest way to shred these is put the pork in a bowl with some of the cooking liquid (1/4-1/2 cup or so).  Take your hand mixer and begin shredding.  No need to tear apart with two forks, the blender is king for this task!

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Once the pork is shredded, you can add a bit more liquid if you think the meat needs it.  If not, you can add more BBQ sauce or serve it on the side.  Take the shredded meat, pile onto a hamburger bun and enjoy.  When I could still eat hamburger buns, before I added the top of the bun, I’d add some mayo-free coleslaw.  Heaven on a bun!

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Mayo-Free Coleslaw

Published January 15, 2016 by lynn k scott

I was excited to post this coleslaw that I made last night.  It’s the second time making it since originally find it in a friend’s Facebook post.

I thought I had taken pictures of my prep work, but apparently I hadn’t.  Then I only took one picture of the final product and managed to delete it upon reviewing pictures.  UGH! How am I supposed to blog about it without sharing pictures?  UPDATE:  I uploaded the pic to WP before my deleting spree took effect.

Never fear…Google to the rescue!  I actually tracked down the exact recipe from another food blog!  The recipe is really simple.  I like that it only has a few ingredients and one of them isn’t mayonnaise.  I have never liked the creamy oil and egg concoction.  I’d go without eating than eat a sandwich with mayo slathered all over it.

Not to mention, mayo-free means less calories.  No longer need to worry about spoilage for a summer picnic.  I know for some people it won’t be the same.  As I never jumped on the mayo bandwagon, I wasn’t missing anything and I am more willing to try dishes such as this.  Using fresh ingredients also means I can guarantee it’s gluten-free, which is a requirement for my diet.

Another reason I like this recipe is the use of fresh lemon juice, instead of vinegar.  Don’t get me wrong, I love vinegars; have 6 variations in my pantry.  I like the “pop” of flavor from the lemon and its zest.  This recipe also uses honey instead of sugar.  I have significantly cut refined sugar from my diet; including my coffee!  I’ve noticed how sluggish I used to be once my sugar-high crashed like the waves against a shoreline in a Category-5 hurricane.  It’s nice to be free of those highs and lows.

I’ve listed in the ingredients and recipe below, but please visit the website to see the amazing pictures of this simple, yet tasty, coleslaw.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 small red cabbage
  • 1/2 small green cabbage
  • 1/2 carrot, shredded
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Remove any tough outer leaves from the cabbage.
  2. Trim the core and any tough stems from the cabbage and thinly slice.
  3. Add to a bowl with the shredded carrot, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and black pepper. Toss to combine.
  4. Serve this right away for more of a salad, or store it in the fridge overnight for a slaw that’s more pickled.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Originally found on:  http://www.pbs.org/food/fresh-tastes/no-mayo-coleslaw

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