Gluten Free, Life

Made this a while ago…

I was going to post this long ago. It was something that I decided I was going to make one night. Simple shrimp and creamy tomato sauce. All you need are your favorite form of pasta. Though after my most recent blog you know not to expect a lot of pasta after what recently happened to me. Anyway, in addition to the pasta find your favorite tomato sauce/or make your own and your favorite alfredo sauce. If you’re gluten free make sure you check the labels very carefully on the alfredo sauce. After you have found the two different sauces you need then find whatever size shrimp you like. I tend to go towards the medium sized shrimp that are already peeled and deveined. You can buy the ones that have the tales left on as this is easy to remove once you thaw shrimp out.

Side note: Once you thaw shrimp you should cook them right away. It’s not good to keep thawing and re-thawing shrimp. Or make sure you only pull out of the bag just the amount you want thawed and instantly return the rest back into the freezer. Also, remember this shrimp cook EXTREMELY fast so medium heat is best and keep an eye on them. If they start to form something that looks closer to a circle than a letter c they are overcooking.

Step One: Boil the water for your pasta and add a dash of salt for a little flavor to the noodles. I tend to cook mine only for about 8 to 10 minutes in boiling water so they come out more al-dente. If you like them on the softer side leave them in for just a few minutes more than that. You don’t want to over cook the noodles either.

Step Two: Once the noodles are done drain them and run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Once you’ve done that time to pull out your sauces and get those into a pan.

Step Three: You want to start out with the cream sauce first. Then pour in your tomato sauce. Be careful to make sure you get the right balance that you get a nice tomato cream sauce going on. You don’t want it to taste too much like tomato sauce or too much like cream sauce. That’s the trick is getting the mix just right that it taste perfectly creamy with a hint of tomato sauce. When it comes to tomato sauce a little bit goes a long way in this case because it is such a powerful flavor.

Once everything is all combined it should look like this. A nice light pink creamy color and that means that it’s mixed just right

Step Four: Take the noodles that you had drained and rinsed and pour them into the sauce. Mix that all up and leave it on low heat to make sure the noodles are warmed up enough for you to eat them. No one likes cold pasta when they are expecting it to be warm.

Step Five: Take the shrimp that you cooked and pour that into the pot as well. Heat everything together for a few minutes until everything is evenly heated and up to the temperature you want it to. Be sure not to turn the heat up too high because you don’t want to cook the shrimp all over again. You just want to warm them up a bit so you can eat them.

That’s it…that’s all you need to make the dish.

When all is said and done it should look like this

What do you do?

What do you do when you come home from work and feel so alone you just want to cry? Do you pull out a book and start reading? Do you put on one of your favorite go to movies? Do you go in the kitchen and find anything that you know is bad for you but will make you feel good? That last one I used to do that a lot. So much so that now I’m in a whole new health problem of a world. On top of being gluten free I now have to alter my diet again.

So yeah I now feel like why me? Why does shit always happen to me. Just when I start to get some sort of positivity and hope back in my life something else comes along to set it back. I had to be in the hospital on Tuesday because I was in so much pain and vomiting (sorry it’s gross) that I couldn’t stand it anymore. So now I also have hospital bills to stress out over. The end result. It was my gallbladder. I have what is called biliary sludge. That caused me to have the pain and what I ate that day a few hours before caused my gallbladder to make me sick.

So I have to go on a low fat diet and have a follow up with a doctor to talk about where I’m at and how I’m feeling. They said it could be a one time thing or it could occur again so it’s best to make the diet adjustment now. The upside is that there are options out there to eating a fat free/low fat diet. More veggies is a must and less dairy. Though we need a little dairy to survive so that is why they make fat free or skim milk for those that need it. Now it takes even more of an effort for me to plan what I’m going to eat.

So now you will see more low fat and gluten free options on my blog. The good side is low fat and getting back to the gym should help me lose the weight I really want to lose. Now back to my Christmas movies because when I’m sad that’s what I watch even though they tend to just make me more sad.

Gluten Free

Breakfast of champions…

Okay well maybe not champions but it’s my champion breakfast. Three eggs scrambled and in a pan. Basically it’s omelet style without being folded over. Just cook them enough and flip it over into the other side. Once the eggs are done cooking the rest is easy. 

Pull out whatever pizza sauce you would use if you were making a homemade pizza. Spread it on the eggs and sprinkle with your choice of cheese and toppings. In reality you could fold it over into an omelet. I just don’t. I would rather eat it looking like a small pizza than folded over it’s all a matter of preference. 

I prefer my eggs more well done with mozzarella and pepperoni as my toppings. If I’m just eating a plate of scrambled eggs with has browns and bacon it’s got to have cheddar cheese in the eggs. I can’t eat plain eggs I just don’t like the taste. I’ve tried. 

One thing that is the key is make sure it is cooked enough before you try to go flipping it. Also make sure you are either using a non-stick skillet or putting some butter or oil in the bottom to keep the eggs from sticking. Trust me they will stick of you don’t. It’s much easier to flip it if it’s cooked enough that it will stay together. 

Once it’s all said and done you just pop it in the microwave or whatever and once the cheese is melted pull it out and enjoy!

Gluten Free

Tonight’s dinner

Tonight’s dinner menu was breaded chicken, potatoes and peppers. 

To make this I bought some chicken breasts, eggs, and some gluten free breadcrumbs. I tend to buy the chicken that’s seasoned with Italian seasoning. 

So you start out the way you always do when it comes to breaded chicken. First it’s you dip the chicken in your flour whether you are doing it gluten free or not, it helps the egg adhere better. Once it’s coated in flour dip it into the egg mixture. For my egg mixture I usually add some milk into it. Then it is into the breadcrumbs. I buy 4c Gluten free Italian breadcrumbs. 

I buy normal potatoes but you can buy whichever you choose. Then I buy one red pepper and one green. So I get the potatoes to the bare point (no skin) and cut them into bite size small pieces. Then I do the same with the peppers monies skinning the peppers. I combine the peppers and potatoes with some olive oil. Throw them in the oven at 400 degrees with some olive oil, salt and pepper.  

You can either bake the chicken or do what I do and stick it in olive oil and make sure you time it. Don’t walk away and let the chicken over cook in the oil. Once the breading is browned pull it out. Otherwise the breading will burn and the chicken will be over cooked. 

It should look like this. A nice light golden brown color. 

The pepper and potato mixture should look like this. Nice and yummy. 

Then all you need to do is plate it and enjoy. 

Gluten Free

Fried cheese and meatballs

So tonight I decided to try this recipe that I saw while scrolling through Facebook. It was on the food networks Facebook page. The recipe was shared by Guy Fieri and originally it was frying a thing of provolone. I am not big on provolone cheese so I decided to use the recipe but do mozzarella instead. 

I also decided that obviously I can just have fried cheese for dinner so I bought gluten free meatballs at the store. I was not going to have enough time between going to the store for the ingredients for the cheese and to come home and make meatballs. That’s something I need to do when I have time. 

Anyway the recipe for the batter goes like this:

1. 1 cup of cornstarch

2. 1 cup of flour (obviously mine is gf)

3. 2 cups of cold club soda*

4. 1 teaspoon of salt

5. 1 teaspoon of parsley flakes 

6. Whisk together until smooth and refrigerate for a half an hour

It should come out looking like this. 

Now originally they make a tomato salsa to go with this recipe. I’m again trying to save time and not bother with the salsa. I will just heat up some tomato dipping sauce. 

Once the batter is cold and pulled out make sure you have your oil heated. Then simple steps dip the cheese slices into flour and then into batter. Once they are coated in batter they go into the pot. They obviously do not have to be in there very long or else it would be a nasty giant pot of oil and melted cheese. 

After a few attempts it was not holding up so instead I improvised and used the batter as a base and put breadcrumbs on the mozzarella slices. This held up a little better. So they turned out like this. 

I don’t think we need a picture of the meatballs as we all know what those look like. So anyway that is what’s for dinner tonight. 

Until next time…

Gluten Free

Pretty much the best thing in my world food wise…

I can’t handle spicy food at all. About the most I can handle when it comes to spice is a medium chunky salsa and really mild buffalo sauce. I can’t eat wings if I can smell the buffalo before they even get to my table. Right off the bat I know those will be way to spicy for me. 

Fear not though for those of you like myself who like that buffalo taste but can’t handle if it’s too hot. I have found a gluten free buffalo dipping sauce that you can dip your wings or whatever in. So instead of having them drenched in that too spicy for you buffalo sauce you can dip and have just the right amount you want on the meat. 

Bonus it’s even gluten free. This company makes a lot of gluten free sauces that you can use. They have a really good BBQ sauce that is gluten free. It’s actually the only BBQ sauce I will eat on my chicken. I normally can’t stand BBQ sauce at all but when it comes to this brand you can’t go wrong. What brand is it you ask? This one. 

This creamy dipping sauce is just perfect for people who can’t tolerate the heat. It’s not overly spicy and it’s already cooled by the other ingredients. It’s almost like taking ranch dressing and adding buffalo to it and mixing it together. Which I will admit I have done that. I’ve also done it with bleu cheese. I’m still waiting to find a bleu cheese buffalo dressing that is actually gluten free. I’ve found dressings that combine both but unfortunately not gluten free so I ended up buying the two ingredients separately and mixing as I want to dip things. 

If anyone out there knows of a good bleu cheese buffalo dressing that I can buy in stores that is gluten free let me know. Otherwise the search will continue but for now this dipping sauce will do the trick. I just miss that bleu cheese flavor. 

Gluten Free

Chicken, broccoli, and pasta with cheese sauce…

It’s new recipe time everyone! This time I’m taking my five cheese mac and cheese recipe and kicking it up a notch!

Tonight’s dinner menu is chicken, broccoli and penne pasta with a cheese sauce. I’ve modified the five cheese to only be a few cheeses. 

So obviously the first thing you need to start off with is a chicken breast that you’ve either thawed overnight in the fridge or thawed out in the microwave before slicing it into bite sized pieces. Then you want to oil up your pan. 

My go to oil to cook with

I just like the flavor of extra virgin olive oil but feel free to use whatever oil you like. It’s just to keep the chicken from sticking and to keep it moist. 

Then you want to add your seasonings to the chicken. A little salt and pepper goes a long way. I also like to add a sprinkle of garlic and italian seasonings to my chicken. It just adds that nice bit of flavor to it. 

While you are prepping the chicken make sure you have your pasta water on and are getting that boiling. It is going to take a bit longer to do the pasta than it is the chicken. Also you want to add a bit of salt to your pasta water just for some flavor. You can add oil if you choose though it doesn’t really help it not stick together. You just have to keep stirring your noodles to keep them seperate. Putting a lid on it will help the heat stay in the pan and bring it to a boil a bit faster. 

Once you have the water up to a boil add in the pasta of your choice. Obviously as you can see by the earlier paragraph I chose to use Penne pasta. You can use elbow noodles if you want it to feel more like a mac and cheese. 

Now that your chicken should be done and your noodles are cooking it’s time to prepare the sauce. You want to start with butter and flour and milk to start your base for your sauce. Or as we call it a rue. It will look a little weird at first until you add in the milk. 

Just the butter and flour mix

You will for sure want to have a whisk on hand to make the cheese sauce. 

After the milk is added you have a rue

Once you have the rue started time to add in the cheeses and stir it up until it’s just right when you’re done it will look like this. Depending on the cheese it will be a yellow color or a white color. I like a lot more white cheeses like Monterey and Parmesan. I only add a little bit of cheddar to mine. 

Once the pasta is almost cooked but not quite why not save yourself some extra dishes and add the broccoli right into the pasta water with the noodles 

Let them cook until ready and then pull your colander out and give them a good drain and rinse. Once that’s done time to add it all together grab yourself a plate and enjoy it! 

Gluten Free

Five cheese mac n cheese my way 

First things first I’m going to take these ingredients and turn them into something delicious. 

This is my shopping list:

  1. Gluten free elbow noodles
  2. Gluten free breadcrumbs
  3. Shredded Parmesan 
  4. Shredded Monterey Jack 
  5. Shredded sharp cheddar
  6. Shredded provolone 
  7. Shredded mozzarella 
  8. Milk (whichever you prefer)
  9. Butter
  10. Gluten free flour
  11. Ground turkey

The last three ingredients come into play later.

First things first you want to make sure you get your pasta cooking. Boil your water with a little salt and oil in it. Once it’s at a rolling boil toss your pasta noodles in there. Keep a watchful eye because you don’t want to overcook the noodles. You want them as close to al dente as possible as you will be using the oven. 

Once you’ve got your noodles in there cooking it’s time to get started on browning the meat. You don’t have to use ground turkey I just like to switch between that and ground beef. 

Season the meat with a little garlic, salt and pepper. That will just help to add a little extra flavor to it. It won’t take long to get the meat cooked so you should probably just stay in the kitchen. Throw on some music and jam while you’re cooking this meal. 

Once you have the noodles and meat done throw them into the colander and rinse them off. I do this step with them both together as a time saver. You can do them separately if you choose. 

The next step is super important when you are making any sort of cheese sauce. You want to start with what is called a bechemel base to the sauce. So you first want to take butter and on medium heat get it melted down. Once it’s melted you want to add flour to the mix. You want to use your wisk and wisk it until it is not clumpy slowly adding milk to it. Eventually you want the bechemel base to look like this. 

It’s a nice and creamy base to start out your sauce with. Then you just want to start slowly adding your cheeses into the sauce wisking it until it is smooth. Eventually it will turn out like this. 

If you find that your sauce is still too thick feel free to add a little bit more milk to thin it out. This is all about eyeballing when it comes to how thick or thin you want your sauce. 

Once you have your sauce prepared and your noodles and meat done it’s time to throw it all together. First pre-heat your oven to 350. Find your favorite pan that you use when throwing things in the oven and combine everything together in that pan like this. 

Then just before you toss it into the oven add the gluten free breadcrumbs on top of it for a little something extra. You want to keep it in the oven just long enough to brown the breadcrumbs. I also sprinkled just a bit more cheese on top of it for a little added something. 

Keep an eye on it while it’s in the oven so you don’t burn it. The worst thing to clean on a pan is burnt cheese sauce. Once you pop it out of the oven it’s time for this. 

Scoop it out and enjoy!

Gluten Free

Veggie pasta and olive oil

So I’m a big fan of pasta but as we all know pasta can not be the healthiest of your diet options. I’ve cut it down to only indulging in pasta once a week but I thought I’d share with you another version of pasta that I like to eat. Normally I am a big fan of the pasta with your typical variation of tomato sauce depending on your taste. However now and then I like to switch things up a little bit. This is how I became a fan of eating it the way I’m going to tell you about in this blog. 

First things first though when it comes to pasta. Make sure you have a good pan to cook your noodles in. This is by far one of the best things I ever got from my mama. 

Rachel Ray collection
This is the perfect pan to use for so many things but it is also great for cooking straight pasta noodles without having to break them apart. It is one of my absolute favorite pans I have in my kitchen. 

When cooking pasta if you’re like me you can do one of two things to add a little flavor. You can cook the noodles in chicken stock instead of water or if using water add a little salt to it. Contrary to the popular belief adding oil to your pasta water does nothing to prevent sticking. You have to make sure to stir the noodles to prevent this from occurring.  

I prefer my noodles more on the al dente side which means they are cooked but they are not super soft. When cooking pasta you should always try to aim more al dente because especially in the case with this dish you are going to be adding the noodles back into a heating source so you don’t want to have them get over cooked. 

The next step on my list is once the noodles are cooked rinsing them off. Then it’s time to work on the veggies for the dish. I took tomatoes and cut them up and then I took some red, green, and yellow peppers and cut them into bite sized pieces as well. I took some garlic that I had already bought chopped and added that into the pan. I started with just a small amount of extra virgin olive oil to cook the veggies in. 

I also added into it some thyme, rosemary, oregano, and basil and two bay leafs for flavoring. You want to have the veggies be able to absorb some of that flavor while they are cooking. Again you want to watch that you don’t overcook the veggies as well. That’s easy to do if you walk away from the kitchen. 

Once you have the veggies cooked it is time to add the noodles back into the pot and add a little more olive oil into the mix. Stir it all up and it will look something like this. 

Feel free if you feel that you need some sort of meat rather than just pasta to add meatballs to it. I did this and it turned out just as good. I also am guilty of liking to sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on every Italian thing that I eat. 

This is what my dish looked like before I sprinkled in the cheese. You don’t have to add cheese naturally it’s your preference. I just always go in the mindset of cheese just makes a pasta dish taste that much better. 

That’s it that is my simple easy meal that I decided to try out. If you try it for yourself and enjoy it let me know!

Gluten Free

The Struggle with Eating out

So for all of you who are like myself gluten free you know that when someone asks you to dinner the anxiety you feel is almost instant. When you start to think about where you are going to eat and is it going to be safe you start freaking out. Rest assured there absolutely are places that you can go to that will be okay for you! More and more places are ensuring the safety of their customers when it comes to needing gluten free diets.

There are some great mobile phone apps out there that will also help you be able to find the right places. My favorite app that I use is called find me gluten free. This app will actually as long as you give it permissions find your gps location and it will tell you what restaurants are around you that are safe for you to eat. It will also display something that will say a certain percentage of users voted this place to be celiac friendly which is great for people like myself and probably a few of my readers. It is available on both Android and Iphone platforms.

This is what the app button will look like on your phone.

Eating out when you are on a certain diet does not have to be anxiety inducing. It is all about doing your research and making sure you know the environment you are going into. You don’t have to panic when thinking about going out to eat with someone. I know what it feels like to sit there and say they always have to adjust where they’re going to go to accommodate me. However, if the person you are going out with is a good enough friend of yours they are not going to matter where you have to go to eat. They’re going to go where you need to go because it’s your health.

I got into the city quite often and I have never had an issue going out to eat. Most of the places that I’ve gone to are very understanding and cautious about my diet needs. Sometimes the managers even come over and let me know that they’ve made sure their staff is aware of my needs and if anything goes wrong to tell them. So far since I’ve moved up here not one place has made an error when it comes to my diet needs. Yes it may be because it’s a big city and they’re more used to seeing a large volume of people with all kinds of diet needs.

At the end of the day is it easier to just stay in and make your own meal? Absolutely but let’s be honest there are some nights that you just do not feel like cooking a darn thing after working all day. I know that there are plenty of days that I myself feel that way. Sometimes I just don’t want to cook and deal with the hassle. There are other days that I start planning my dinner the second I wake up because I’m excited to make it. Don’t be afraid to go out just because you have to be on a special diet. Make sure you take time to spoil yourself and go out to eat. Just be safe and do your research and it will work out. I promise that there are good places out there that have gluten free food.