Monday, December 28, 2009

Gluten-Free New Year’s

It’s 11:59pm, December 31st, 2004, you’re gathered around with your friends watching the ball drop in Times Square listening to Dick Clark count down — 10….9…8….7…. You reflect on the past year — in particular, the last 5 hours of your cocktail party. Did the appetizers come out right? Was there enough food for everyone? Could people tell that the food was gluten-free? Did they care? Were they just trying to be nice?

Now let’s rewind the clock to early December — plenty of time to plan your cocktail party menu, especially with a little help from the chef’s at This year we have a countdown of our own with some great tips for your New Year’s Eve party.

10…Focus on appetizers that are naturally gluten-free. Your hors d’oeuvres won’t taste funny (or gluten-free) because they are what they are supposed to be — naturally authentic. This will also help you out because you won’t have to hunt for special gluten-free items — you can actually shop at the grocery store! What a concept!!!

9…If hors d’oeuvres are the only food offered at your party there should be at least 6 different appetizers — figuring 2-3 pieces per person per appetizer.

8…To calculate for hors d’oeuvres not in pieces (like dips or pâtés) assume 1 ounce is equal to 1 piece.

7…Create a balance between hot and cold dishes.

6…If you are planning on having 20-25 guests or more for hors d’oeuvres you should include some ‘bulk’ type items in your menu. Otherwise you will find yourself making hundreds of little things.

5…For an hors d’oeuvre party where you are not planning on serving a ‘meal’, plan on serving some more substantial items with small plates and forks.

4…Be creative with your serving dishes. Plan some hors d’oeuvres to be served in fun cocktail glasses for a festive touch.

3…Plan desserts that can be served in bite-size portions and that can be prepared a day or so in advance.

2…Stock up on liquors and wine. Unless you plan on hiring a professional bartender, sometimes it is easier and more fun to serve just one type of cocktail, made up in batches. Or display just the four basic liquors — Scotch, Bourbon, Gin & Vodka along with an assortment of appropriate mixers, a bucket of ice and glasses of various sizes.

1…Once the party has started, sit back, relax and enjoy! Don’t fret about the little things. Most likely you will be the only one who will notice if forgot the garnish on the shrimp!

Here is a great New Year’s Party menu that combines both appetizers and a couple substantial soups for your guests to enjoy!

New Year's Party menu:

Happy New Year’s from Glutenfreeda!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Unbelievable Cookies

The holiday season is typically filled with special cookies and treats for all to enjoy. Just because you are on a gluten-free diet does not mean you have to forgo all the delicious treats the holidays have to offer. This holiday season we’d like to share some gluten-free cookies that are very gourmet, delicate and absolutely delicious that your whole family will enjoy. In fact, I would be surprised if they even could tell if these cookies were gluten-free. Surprise your family with some delicious cookies this Christmas — even Santa will be thankful!

Great holiday cookies for kids:

Gingerbread Cookies
Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Dipped Macaroons

Elegant Cookies:

Cornets with Fresh Fruit
Lace Cookies
Chocolate Cigarettes
Stained Glass Cookies
Almond Pine Nut Cookies

General Tips for Gluten-Free Cookies:
Gluten-free cookies can sometimes be a challenge. The gluten-free flours sometimes produce a very dry, crumbly cookie that is less than desirable. Here are some basic tips to consider for your next batch of gluten-free cookies:

  • Generally speaking avoid cookie recipes with more than 2 cups of flour.
  • Typically the more fat (butter, shortening or oil) in the recipe the better your chances of success.
  • Choose a good gluten-free flour mix. Our best success has been with using The Gluten Free Pantry’s Country French Bread mix flour as a direct substitution for gf flour.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

10 Sensational Appetizers for a New Year’s Eve Party

Planning a menu for a New Year’s Eve Party can sometimes be a little overwhelming, particularly if you are planning on having your guests enter the New Year gluten-free. We’d like to take the pressure off with 10 delicious appetizers — all equally delicious and guaranteed to be a hit with all your guests at your party. Many of these appetizers can be either prepared well in advance or require very little effort and time to prepare right before serving.

Make ahead appetizers:

Smoked Salmon Cheesecake — A delicious cheesecake with smoked salmon and red peppers. Serve with toasted gluten-free crostini or gluten-free crackers.

Shrimp Remoulade — Cocktail shrimp taken to a completely different level. These delicious shrimp are boiled in a brine of lemons, chile peppers, onions, garlic and herbs. The shrimp are served with a slightly spicy, very flavorful remoulade dipping sauce.

Chicken Liver Pâté with Cranberries & Pecans — This might put a few people off but after one taste you will be hooked…even people who think they don’t like chicken liver will love it!

Spinach & Artichoke Dip — A guaranteed hit. A delicious blend of spinach, artichokes and cheese. Perfect when served with gf tortilla chips.

Baked Swiss Chard — An unusual but absolutely wonderful appetizer or first course -perfect for a special occasion. This is one of our all-time favorites!

Sun-Dried Tomato & Pesto Torta — A delicious combination of cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto. Perfect for large holiday gatherings. Serve with gf crostini.

Quick Appetizers

Lemon-Ginger Marinated Shrimp — A very quick shrimp appetizer with wonderful flavor. These will go quick so plan accordingly.

Bruschetta with Smoked Salmon & Herbs — A beautiful presentation, not to mention absolutely "yummy" combination, of smoked salmon, roasted garlic, tomatoes on herbs.

Coconut Shrimp — Battered shrimp coated with coconut and fried to perfection!

Mini Beef Fillets with Horseradish Creme Fraiche — A tender beef filet seared and thinly sliced served on top of homemade gf horseradish sauce accompanied by gf crostini. Simple but very tasty!

Hors D’oeuvre Party Planning Tips:

  • When hors d’oeuvres are the only food offered at a three-hour party there should be at least 6 different appetizers — figuring 2-3 pieces per person per appetizer.
  • To calculate for hors d’oeuvres not in pieces (like pâtés and dips) assume 1 ounce is equal to 1 piece.
  • Keep your hors d’oeuvres bit size and tidy — avoid recipes that will be awkward in size or hard to eat
  • Create a balance between hot and cold dishes
  • If you are planning on having 20-25 guests or more for hors d’oeuvres you must include some of the "bulk" type items in your menu. Otherwise you will find yourself making hundreds of little things.
  • For an hors d’oeuvre party where you are not planning on serving a "meal" plan on serving some more substantial items with small plates and forks.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Gluten-free Guide to Potlucking

The holidays are traditionally a time for friends and family to get together for gift giving and meal sharing. This can pose a fair amount of stress and concern for those of us that are gluten-intolerant. As a guest, we worry that there may be nothing that we will be able to eat. And even if something looks are we are told that is gluten-free, is it really? Could it be contaminated by other gluten food or utensils? What about cross contamination from possible double-dipping in buffet lines? These are all genuine concerns, but there are ways to get through this time of food sharing with your health in tact and even to enjoy it.

What to do as a guest:

First of all, accept an invitation graciously and avoid complaining about your intolerance and your anxiety about your perception of the food you will not be able to eat. If your host or hostess is a friend or relative, they will probably already know about your intolerance, but there is practically no chance that they will be able to accommodate your needs when they are trying to prepare a traditional meal for many guests. Instead, that a positive approach. Offer to bring a main dish and as many dishes as you can as whatever you bring will likely be all that you will be eating. I usually bring a main dish, a salad or vegetable and a dessert. This way I know that I will have a complete meal without worry and I don’t feel left out, or worse hungry.

The next most important step is to get into the buffet line first or as close to first as possible. Even though each dish is likely to have its own serving utensil, double dipping does occur and it is safer to help yourself first rather than get to the gluten-free dish you prepared only to find the macaroni spoon plopped in the middle of it.

What to do as a host:

This is much easier, as you control the meal. Select the dishes that you want to prepare and ask your guests to fill in complimentary dishes. If your kitchen is completely gluten-free, be careful not to ask anyone to bring breads or rolls, in fact, it’s a good idea to let everyone know that your home is gluten-free so that they will not bring breads or beer into your home.

Contamination should not be an issue as your guests dishes will be contained. Be sure to send any leftovers home in the same dishes they came in. Wash all serving utensils and dishes in the dishwasher, as the water in the dishwasher will be hot enough to thoroughly clean them.

Make sure that you supply all gluten-free condiments.

Following a few simple and common sense tips will help you enjoy potlucking through the holidays, safely and worry-free.

Try these great gluten-free potluck type recipes for your next get-together!

Smoked Salmon Cheesecake
Chicken and Meatball Fricassee
Chicken with Lemons & Olives
Saffron Pilaf with Almonds
Fettuccini with Mushrooms & Roasted Peppers
Chicken Lasagne
Macaroni and Meatball Soup
Sherried Meatballs
Tamale Pie

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Halloween!

It’s amazing how all of a sudden one day you wake up and its fall! The leaves start falling and the weather shifts and changes to brisk mornings and cooler afternoons. You can even almost smell the difference in the air. The coming of fall also brings one of my kid’s favorite holidays — Halloween. Ever since my son was little we have made a special trip to the pumpkin patch a week or so before Halloween. It is a great time to get out in the cool autumn weather and share some wonderful moments with our kids. Riding the tractors, picking out their perfect pumpkins and enjoying the fall harvest festivals is something that we all will cherish for many years. Halloween has become an event not just focused around trick-or-treating, but a time to enjoy special moments with our family. Our lives are so busy these days — sometimes we need to just slow down and spend some quality time with each other and relish in the kid that exists within each one of us. Here are some fun ideas to make your Halloween unforgettable:

Plan a trip to the pumpkin patch:

Check your papers for fall festivals and pumpkin patches open to the public. Often there is much more to do at these farms then just pick out your pumpkins. The farms we have found have had tractor rides, music, pony rides, games, corn mazes and so much more. Make sure you bring lots of film!

Pumpkin carving night:

Choose a night a week or so before Halloween and plan a pumpkin carving party for friends and family. Kids too young to carve can use tempera paint and create their own crazy faces and/or give your young child glow in the dark stickers they can apply to their pumpkins. Make goofy pumpkins by attaching small gourds as ears or noses.

Pumpkin carving safety tips:

  • Don’t let children under 5 handle knives
  • Keep seeds away from younger children — possible choking hazards
  • Choose a flat, sturdy surface for carving
  • Don’t let younger children handle lit candles
  • Don’t place lit jack-o’-lanterns near curtains or other flammable material
  • Don’t leave a lit jack-o’-lantern unattended

And don’t forget the food. A pumpkin carving party would just not be a party without great food. Here are some great ideas for Halloween party fare:

Spinach & Artichoke dip with Tortilla chips
Hurricane Chili
Perfect Cornbread
Mini Chocolate Cup Cakes

Halloween night:

Make sure your children get a good balanced meal before they go out trick-or-treating. They will be less apt to eat tons and tons of candy and they will feel better all around. On the morning of Halloween start a stew like our Country Beef Stew and some delicious cornbread (try our Perfect Cornbread). No need for dessert — they’ll get plenty of that with all the candy.

Once your child brings home the candy, make sure to inspect the candy. Discard any candy that appears to have been tampered with or unwrapped or look suspicious in any way. Throw away treats that aren’t commercially wrapped or are known to contain gluten (unless you know the giver — and you trust that the treat is gluten-free). Call the manufacturers to verify that the candy is gluten-free. Keep in mind that manufacturers can change their processes at any time, so it is always a good idea to double check.

We hope you and your family have a safe and memorable Halloween!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Make Ahead Meals

These days most families are extremely busy. Whether you have school aged children or a busy work schedule you are most likely too busy throughout the week to find time to make a wholesome nutritious meal. With a little prior planning and some extra plastic containers or zip lock bags you and your family can eat wonderful meals through the week with little effort whatsoever. Spend some time on the weekend making a few one dish meals (perhaps double the servings so you can enjoy it the day it was made as well but still have left-overs). Freeze or refrigerate your meals for later on in the week. Here are some of our favorite meals that can easily be made ahead.

Meals that can be made and refrigerated for up to 2 days:

Braised Beef Shanks & Macaroni (Prepare the beef shanks ahead of time. Right before serving make the macaroni.)
Sausage Stuffed Chicken (Prepare the chicken. Remove from braising liquid, reserving liquid, and refrigerate until ready to eat.)
Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce
Enchiladas Verde
Green Chile Casserole
Asian Chicken Casserole
Turkey Casserole

Meals that can be frozen for up to 2 weeks:
(Note: To freeze these meals place in a heavy freezer bag, remove all the air and seal. To defrost, place bag in cold water — rotate the bag periodically until food is defrosted. Alternatively, open the bag and defrost in the microwave — be sure to place the bag in a bowl to prevent spillage as it defrosts.)

Minestrone Soup
Hurricane Chili
Chicken Stew & Pasta & Beans
Potato & Leek Soup
Country Stew
Chicken Chili
Chicken Juan de Fuca (Colorado)
Turkey & Rice Soup

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

10 Great Potato Recipes

No matter how you slice them, potatoes are just about everyone’s favorite in one form or another. Great accompaniments to just about any entrée, potatoes can be elegant or casual to suit any menu.

Mashed potatoes, one of our favorite quick meal accompaniments, can be completely changed meal to meal just by adding different ingredients to the same mashed potato technique. Make mashed potatoes with cream, or milk for a lower fat version, half & half or buttermilk. As toppings, add chives, sweetened nuts, fried shallots or any other interesting topping that will give mashed potatoes a brand new taste.

Roasted potatoes can be altered in the same way. To a regular roasted potato recipe add garlic, onions, red peppers, hard cheeses, and any assortment of herbs that strikes your fancy. Try mixing different kinds of potatoes together for a pretty and different presentation like Yukons, Reds, Whites and Purples.

Need more ideas? How about french fries, potato gratins, potato pancakes, potato soup, scallop potatoes, potato salads, potato skins, stuffed potatoes, or baked potatoes.

Need more ideas? Try these ten great potato recipes, we’re sure they’ll become your favorites too!

  1. Champ (Mashed Potatoes with Green Onions)
  2. Mashed Potatoes w/Glazed Nuts
  3. Parmesan French Fries
  4. Pear & Potato Gratin w/Horseradish
  5. Baby Red Potatoes Stuffed w/Roasted Garlic & Herbs
  6. Mushroom Potatoes
  7. Parsnip Potato Pancakes
  8. Potatoes w/Garlic & Parsley
  9. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes w/Fried Shallots
  10. Roasted Potatoes w/Pesto

For more great potato recipes, visit our Recipe Archives.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Colorful Late Summer Salads

As summer comes to a close we are given the last great opportunity to enjoy fresh seasonal late summer fruits and vegetables. Soon our vegetable and fruit options will be somewhat limited to what keeps well in cold storage or those hearty winter vegetables we all know and love over the cold winter months. But let’s not close the door on summer yet, most of us still have a month or so left of warm weather. While the weather remains warm and the produce abounds, brighten up your dinners or lunches with some beautiful, flavorful salads. These salads incorporate unusual pairings of fruits, meats, cheeses and nuts and the end result is a salad bursting with flavor and color! For your next salad, add some variety with one of the following late summer salads:

Mesclun with Watermelon, Feta & Toasted Pine Nuts

Asian Cucumber & Tomato Salad

Avocado & Mango Salad

Fresh Cherry & Prosciutto Salad

Grilled Pepper, Corn & Onion Salad w/Balsamic Vinaigrette

Romaine Salad with Oranges & Strawberries

Mixed Greens with Nectarines

Watermelon & Strawberry Salad

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Freezing Gluten-free Food

Many families and busy working singles struggle with lifestyles that make cooking every night difficult and substantially more difficult when having to cook gluten-free. It would be great to have a list of gluten-free food that would freeze well and that one could be assured would taste great when re-heated.

There are foods that generally freeze well such as rice dishes, pasta dishes, stews and soups.

When freezing cooked meats and poultry, prepare the recipe as usual, except undercook the meat. The meat will cook to some degree again when you warm it up and can get overdone if it is cooked all the way initially.

We have had tremendous success freezing cakes, brownies and cookies. In fact, we recommend that you freeze cookies before you bake for the best results.

Gluten-free cookies baked from frozen dough will amaze you! They are perfect in looks, texture and taste! And they rise just like they should, instead of spreading out into flat disks.

We aim to please, and here is a list of gluten-free meals that you can cook when you have time for those occasions when you don’t:


Arroz con Pollo w/Steamed Tortillas (Freeze the dish and steam the tortillas just before serving)
Enchiladas Verde
Curried Chicken
Baked Chicken w/Orange Juice
Puerco Verde
Beef Stroganoff
Louisiana Meatloaf
Orange Soy Chops
Asopao de Pollo (Chicken Stew)
Chicken & Meatball Fricassee
New Orleans Chicken Jambalaya

For Children

Corn Dogs
Chicken Nuggets
Spaghetti w/Meatballs
Macaroni & Cheese
Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies
Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies


Blueberry Ice Cream Cake
Chocolate Raspberry Squares
Decadent Brownies

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

GF BBQ Sauces & Rubs

What separates a good barbecue from a fabulous barbecue? Delicious sauces and rubs! The flavor of any meat, fish or vegetables can be greatly enhanced by marinating, using a rub and or basting with a sauce towards the end of the cooking process.

The terrific news is that all homemade marinades, rubs and sauces are easy to make and easy to make gluten-free.

Barbecue sauces can be made with a limitless combination of ingredients to produce traditional to very uncommon flavors. Although there are probably a million different formulas, there are five different groups of ingredients that combined together will produce delicious barbecue sauces; tomato ingredients, sweet ingredients, sour ingredients, liquids or flavorings and spices. We have a simple formula that you can use to experiment an develop your own signature sauces:
  • 4 cups of tomato ingredients
  • 1 cup of sweet ingredients
  • Up to 1 cup of sour ingredients, add a little at a time to taste
  • Up to 1/4 cup liquid or flavoring ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • Up to 4 teaspoons spice ingredients


Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes; stirring occasionally. Season to taste.

Ideas for Ingredients:

Tomato ingredients

  • Gf Catsup, tomato paste, tomato sauce

Sweet ingredients

  • Gf brown sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup

Sour ingredients

  • Vinegars, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, wine

Liquids and flavors

  • Fruit juices, jellies, gf hot sauce, mustard, soft drinks, gf soy sauce, gf chicken and beef stock, water, Worcestershire sauce


  • Allspice, basil, cayenne, celery, chervil, chili powder, chipotle powder chives, cilantro, coriander, cumin, dill, dry mustard, fennel, garlic, ginger, lemon, lime and orange zest, marjoram, mint, nutmeg, onion, oregano, paprika, parsley, tarragon, rosemary, sage, savory, salt, thyme, etc.

Be sure you right down your formulas so you can recreate your favorites!

Rubs are a combination of sugars, salts and dried spices and peppers. The prepared rub mix is ‘rubbed’ all over the meat you are going to grill or BBQ prior to cooking. For meats, we like to apply the rub generously about 4-6 hours before cooking. For fish, we apply the rub sparingly and just before cooking. Sauces can be basted on over rubbed foods or the rub can provide the flavoring by itself with terrific results!

The formula:

  • 1 cup sugar ingredients
  • 1 cup salt ingredients
  • 1/3-1/2 cup paprika
  • 2-4 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1-2 Tablespoons pepper
  • 3-4 spice ingredients, up to 1 teaspoon each


Blend all ingredients well.

Ideas for Ingredients:


  • Brown sugar
  • Maple sugar
  • White sugar


  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic salt
  • Onion salt
  • Celery salt


  • Same as for sauces

You can’t go wrong by following the general formulas and you’ll come up with special sauces and rubs of your own!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Delicious Summer Pies

Enjoying a slice of pie is the perfect ending to a delightful summer meal. Many people with Celiac think this is a forbidden pastime…well, think again. Making delicious gluten-free pies your whole family will enjoy is just within your reach.

The obvious challenge is the crust. Our solution to this problem is turn to the people who already have developed a great pie crust…The Gluten Free Pantry. The Gluten Free Pantry’s Perfect Pie Crust is absolutely delicious and virtually indistinguishable from the gluten variety. It is very simple to prepare – a little difficult to transfer to the pie crust, however if you are making a single crust pie, it is not critical if it doesn’t lay in the pie pan perfectly the first time. If it happens to rip, just piece in the dough until it forms an even layer along the bottom of the pan (no one will even know!). Poke holes in the bottom of the crust and bake at 400 °F for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. Let cool before filling.

If you prefer not to use a traditional pie crust you can also use a cookie crust with great results as well. Try our Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies as a great base for a cookie crust. We have also had great results with Pamela’s Shortbread Cookies. Just simply place the cookies in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add about 1 tablespoon of canola oil and pulse until blended. Press cookie mixture into a greased pie pan and fill with your favorite filling.

Make your summer dessert menu complete with one of these delicious pies:

Fresh Strawberry Pie
Mixed Berry Pie
Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie
Peach Pie
Blackberry Sour Cream Pie
Blackberry Crisp Pie
Chocolate Velvet Pie
Banana, Chocolate & Coconut Cream Pie

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gourmet Pizzas

Over the years, Glutenfreeda has spent many hours in the kitchen trying to perfect gluten-free pizza. Part of the difficulty with pizza is that everyone has their own idea of what perfect pizza is. Some like thin, crisp crusts and some like thick crusts. But the one thing that all pizza lovers have in common is that they want a pizza crust that doesn’t taste gluten-free!

Making Pizza dough:

Through hours of experimentation we have developed a pizza crust recipe that tastes like the real thing. It has a wonderful "non-gluten" free taste and comes out with a crust that is neither thin or thick…but rather right in the middle. Here is our basic pizza crust recipe:

Pizza crust:


  • 3/4 cup warm water (105-115°F)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 2 cups gf flour*
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Extra olive oil for forming dough


In a small bowl combine warm water, sugar and yeast. Stir and proof for about 5 minutes or until foamy.

Mix gf flour and salt in work-bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a paddle.

Add 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil to proofed yeast. Pour yeast mixture into flour mixture and mix on medium speed for 6-7 minutes. The dough should be soft enough that it somewhat adheres to the sides of the bowl. If the dough appears to be too stiff, add more warm water, about 2 tablespoons at a time until it softens up.

Turn dough out onto a greased pizza pan. Drizzle dough with olive oil and rub your hands with a little olive oil. Press dough into an even layered circle, creating a little lip around outer edges. If it starts to stick to your hands rub your hands with a little more olive oil.

Cover pizza crust with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake pizza crust for 7 minutes. Remove from oven (keep oven on). Top with your favorite sauce and toppings. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese (if using) has melted and is lightly browned in spots.

*We used The Gluten Free Pantry's Country French Bread flour mix for the gf flour in this recipe. To purchase this product please click here.

If you would rather create your own flour mix we have tested the following gf flour combination with great results:

Pizza gluten-free flour mix:

  • 1-1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1-1/2 cups white rice flour
  • 2/3 cup potato starch
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum

The Toppings:

After your crust has baked for the original 7 minutes, it is now time to get creative. Sure you can opt for the American favorites such as Hawaiian or Pepperoni, however some of the best pizzas are those that are topped with great foods that compliment each other or perhaps even contrast each other (for example, sweet & spicy, or salty & sweet). My favorite thing to do with pizza is raid the fridge for leftovers. One of the best pizza’s I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying was made from leftover filet mignon, ricotta cheese, basil and fresh tomatoes. You can also look outside of the "pizza box" and experiment with different sauces…you don’t always have to use a red pizza sauce. You can use a white sauce, pesto, or you can eliminate the sauce altogether as we did with our Mesclun Pizza and have the highlight of your pizza be the toppings!

It’s OK to take off the Domino’s hat and discover some new and exciting flavors that could turn a safe standby meal into a gourmet meal you’ll treasure.

To get your creative juices flowing, here are some wonderful pizza recipes developed by Glutenfreeda:

Pizza with Beef Tenderloin, Ricotta, Basil & Tomatoes

Mixed Pepper Pizza with Feta

Pizza with Pancetta, Onions, & Red Pepper

Mesclun Pizza

Ricotta, Sun-Dried Tomato & Artichoke Pizza

Sausage, Pizza with Caramelized Onions & Fontina

Pizza with Beef Tenderloin, Ricotta, Basil & Tomatoes


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Perfect Picnics

Outdoor dining can be a challenge on a gluten-free diet because many of the foods associated with picnics are typically gluten oriented. Gluten-free foods generally do not keep as long and can suffer quality if made too far in advance of your outing. The trick to great gluten-free picnics is to choose the right foods that will keep and travel well.

Here are a few ideas:


Breads and baked goods:


Main Dishes:


We hope these ideas have enticed your taste buds and have you looking forward to your first summer picnic.

Have a great summer!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Perfecting GF Coffee Cakes

The secret to a great, moist gluten-free coffee cake is in following a few simple tips that you can apply to any ‘gluten’ coffee cake with terrific results.

A great coffee cake recipe is wonderful to have in your repertoire. Coffee cakes are easy to make and perfect to serve for breakfast, as a snack or for dessert.

Tips for a perfect gluten-free coffee cake:

  1. Use no more than 2 cups of gluten-free flour.
  2. We use the Gluten Free Pantry’s Country French Bread Mix as a straight substitution for flour with great results.
  3. Use 1 teaspoon baking powder AND 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to give your cake lift.
  4. Use 1/2 cup vegetable oil instead of butter.
  5. Use 3 large eggs
  6. Use 1 cup gf yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk

For Crumb Topping:

  1. Use no more than 2 Tablespoons gf flour in the mixture
  2. Sprinkle the topping over the top of the cake after 40 minutes of baking, then continue to bake for the remainder of specified time.

Try one of our favorite recipes this month, ‘Cranberry Nut Coffee Cake’ . This coffee cake is truly delicious and will hold its moist texture the next day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Springtime Dinners

Light & Satisfying Meals for your Busy Spring Nights

This time of year always seems to be a blur. Most families are busy with the kid’s extra-curricular activities, their own commitments, work, school, yard work and so much more. This spring keep your energy up by enjoying light & satisfying meals. Here are some simple, delicious meals that you and your family can enjoy during this busy time of year.

Vietnamese Shrimp & Chicken Rolls served with Simple Cucumber Salad with Rice Wine Vinegar

Salmon & Dill Quesadillas served with Romaine Salad with Oranges & Strawberries

Grilled Tuna with Herbed Cream served with steamed rice and sautéed asparagus or green beans.

Grilled Herbed Porterhouse Steaks with Fresh Herbs & Olive Butter served with Braised Potatoes and a simple green salad.

Linguini w/Fresh Tomato & Basil served with Lettuce & Fennel Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Broiled Salmon w/Ginger & Scallions served with Lemon Rice

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Polenta Revisited

Over the years, we have shared many recipes using polenta as a main ingredient. Polenta continues to be one of our favorite foods and is a wonderful, nutritious addition to a Celiac’s diet.

Polenta is coarse ground corn meal but other than the size of the ground grain, it is the exact same thing as corn meal. Corn meal can be purchased from fine to coarse grind. Fine and medium grinds are generally used for making corn bread, muffins and most baking. When recipes call for polenta, it is the coarsest grind that they refer to.

Different methods of cooking polenta result in different textures. Cooked polenta can be creamy as in soft polenta, to gritty, as when added to a crust. For soft polenta the cooking method is similar to that of risotto, except that for risotto, heated broth is continually added throughout the cooking process and for polenta, the liquid is added all at once. Flavorings are added virtually the same.

There are a few tips to remember when cooking polenta.
  1. Generally, the liquid to polenta ratio is 3 to 1.
  2. Always add polenta to the simmering liquid in a slow steady stream to prevent lumps from forming.
  3. Always stir while adding polenta to liquid, preferably with a wooden spoon.
  4. Cook polenta in a heavy saucepan to avoid burning
  5. It is not necessary to stir polenta continuously once the cooking process has begun, but you must stir every 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Polenta is done when the mass comes away from the pan sides when stirred.
For this feature, we have compiled a varied group of polenta recipes from appetizers to desserts. Polenta is a refreshing change as a side dish from rice, potatoes or pasta and so much more. Explore these recipes and see if you don’t agree that polenta is a fabulous alternative to wheat.

Polenta Puffs
Polenta Croutons
Polenta Berry Pancakes
Braised Beef with Soft Polenta
Polenta Lasagne
Polenta with Smoked Salmon & Poached Eggs
Fried Tomatoes with Polenta
Chocolate Polenta Cakes
Apple Cranberry Polenta Tart

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Baking in Foil

Baking in foil is a method of cooking that locks in natural flavors and keeps food moist. Foil packets are also great ways to combine an entrée with vegetables and sauce all in one neat packet.

Foil packets can be substituted with parchment packets if you prefer. When using parchment be sure to butter it well and reduce the cooking time.

Foil packets create a wonderful steamy aroma when opened at the table. They are the perfect way to tantalize an appetite! Packets can be cut in different and fun shapes like clam shells, footballs, rectangles, squares or circles.

A great time saver, packets can be prepared ahead of cooking time and popped in the oven for 30 minutes or less prior to serving.

For a quick and simple anytime dinner, try these baked in foil recipes,

Sole w/Crème Fraiche in Foil
Chicken & Pepperoni in Foil
Shrimp, Procuitto & Lemon in Foil
Chicken, Pineapple & Cherry Tomatoes in Foil

Friday, April 17, 2009

Everything Eggs!

We are fortunate enough to live on enough acreage that enables us to keep chickens. Our chickens live free range and are only fed organic feed. This combination produces the most wonderful eggs; deep orange yolks buried inside an odd variety of egg sizes and colors ranging from beige to blue. With an endless supply of eggs, I find myself compelled to dream up different ways to cook and eat eggs.

Breakfast around our house just wouldn’t be breakfast without eggs. The key to eggs for breakfast every day is to keep it interesting! Try ‘Eggs in Tomato Cups’ for a completely different presentation of and egg and a tomato. Strattas, crepes, omelets are all made completely unique by simply using whatever ingredients you have on hand. One of our favorite recipes this month is, ‘Polenta with Smoked Salmon & Poached Eggs’, the flavors compliment each other perfectly in this surprisingly delicious meal. For a great side dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner, try ‘Potato and Egg Torta’, simple to make and just as satisfying to eat.

If you’re on the go and have no time to cook a big breakfast, try my favorite quick breakfast. This is best with very fresh eggs. Simply fry two eggs in a little butter. While the eggs are frying, heat a dry cast iron skillet over high heat. When hot, place a gf corn tortlla on the skillet and cook until brown spots begin to appear on the pan side. Flip over and cook until tortilla is soft, this will only take a few minutes. Cook two tortillas this way, roll up and serve with eggs. The tortillas are delicious with soft egg yolks and perfect for mopping them up. You'’ll never miss toast again!

Cooking eggs:

Poached: Heat a fairly deep skillet of water to a simmer. When the water is simmering, carefully crack the eggs into the water. Cook the eggs at a simmer for approximately 3 minutes. You can cook longer depending on how firm you like your yolks but do not cook longer than 5 minutes. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon.

Hard boiled: Bring a pot of water to a boil relative in size to the amount of eggs you want to cook. There should be enough water to cover all the eggs. Add about a Tablespoon of salt to the water. I know that that sounds like an incredible amount of salt, but salt helps to free the egg membrane from the shell so that it is easier to peel. This is particularly true of very fresh eggs. Once the water is boiling, gently place the eggs in the water with a slotted spoon. Turn the heat down slightly so that it is still boiling, but less vigorously. Remove eggs after 8 minutes and plunge into an ice water bath to cool. Peel eggs after 1 minute. If you prefer firmer yolks, cook the eggs up to 10 minutes.

Scrambled: The best pan for scrambled or fried eggs is a non-stick skillet. It is not necessary to add any liquid to the eggs when scrambling. Just about anything can be added to scrambled eggs, salt and pepper, vegetables, cheeses, meats, fish and/or herbs. Cook the eggs over low heat and stir frequently. The eggs will continue to cook when you turn the heat off, so turn the heat off just before you think the eggs are done.

For more great egg recipes try:

Eggs Benedict
Spanish Tortilla
Shrimp Stuffed Eggs
GF Mayonnaise
Lemon Curd
Angelfood Cake with Strawberries
Creme Brulee

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Easter!

As with most holidays, creating a delicious feast can be a struggle for those on a gluten-free diet. To ease the burden, we have prepared two fabulous Easter feasts for this spring holiday. This Easter, after the bunny has finished his or her work…prepare to sit down and enjoy a wonderful gluten-free feast!


Coffee & Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
Blueberry Coffee Cake
Salmon & Asparagus Strata
Ham with Mixed Berry Glaze
Pear & Potato Gratin with Horseradish
Cheese Blintzes
Fruit Dipped in Chocolate Fondue

Mushrooms Stuffed with Prosciutto, Pecans & Gruyere
Smoked Salmon & Chives on Chips
Garlic & Herb Duck Breasts
Pilaf with Toasted Pine Nuts & Fresh Herbs
Asparagus with Toasted Almonds & Balsamic Vinegar
Fruit Salad with Gourmet Greens & Balsamic Varnish
Chocolate Chip Cake

We hope you have a lovely Easter!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Great Sauces for Fish

Have you ever seen a picture of a great looking meal in a magazine or eaten something wonderful in a fine restaurant and thought, "I wish I could make this at home"? Many of our recipes are conceived in exactly this way. One of our favorite recipes in this month’s collection, ‘Pancetta Layered Halibut with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce’, was an idea brewing in our heads for weeks and tested twice before we got the desired result. The flavors in this dish perfectly compliment each other and all come together with a delectable sauce.

Having a few great sauce recipes in your pocket is a sure-fire way to dress up almost any fish recipe. We find fish greatly enhanced when topped with a sauce. The mild flavor of most fish can easily be influenced by the flavor nuances of other ingredients. Also, the soft texture of most cooked fish when combined with a sauce, seems to melt in your mouth.

There are numerous toppings other than sauces that are spectacular on fish including flavored butters, flavored mayonnaise and salsas. Besides being delicious, all of these toppings can be prepared ahead of time and added while baking, broiling, grilling or after the fish has been cooked; simple and delicious!

For an easy and elegant cream sauce for baked white fish, try our ‘Universal Cream Sauce’. This is a ‘can’t miss’ sauce that takes only minutes to prepare.

Universal Cream Sauce

Makes about 1-1/2 cup sauce

  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
  • Tarragon sprigs for garnish

Add the cream to a skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the tomatoes, gorgonzola and chopped tarragon to the cream. Let simmer until the sauce reduces and thickens. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper.

*Make sure you simmer at a low temperature so the cream does not separate.

Need more topping ideas?

Try these on snapper, halibut, salmon, bass, swordfish, or other white fish.

Bernaise Sauce
Champagne Sauce
Red Pepper Cream Sauce
Garlic Shallot Butter
Mustard Thyme Butter
Cilantro —Jalapeno Mayonnaise
Cilantro Salsa

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Shortcuts in the Kitchen

Do you find yourself wishing you could find the time to cook delicious, gourmet, gluten-free meals but simply don’t have the time? There are many basic items that can help reduce your prep time and still deliver fantastic results. Often this is more difficult to do on a gluten-free diet since many processed foods contain gluten, however there are still many ingredients that you can either prepare well in advance or simply buy — eliminating several timely steps altogether. Below you will find some of our favorite time-savers and ingredients that we like to keep on hand.

Roasted Red Peppers

If a recipe calls for roasted red pepper, roast 2 or 3 more than what the recipe calls for. It doesn’t take any more effort and they are absolutely wonderful to have around. They are great for pasta’s, salad’s, sauces and even as a topping for fish, poultry or meats. Roasted red peppers add a delightful hint of sweetness with a slight Italian flair.

To roast a pepper, place the pepper(s) on a baking sheet and place directly under a broiler. Broil, turning periodically, until all sides of the pepper are blackened. Transfer the pepper(s) to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let them steam for about 10-15 minutes. Peel off the blackened skins and discard the seeds and stem. Roasted peppers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.

You can also find roasted red peppers in a jar in some well-stocked grocery stores — usually in the Italian foods section. As with anything, please double check to make sure that the brand you are using is gluten-free.

Roasted Garlic
Roasted garlic is a wonderful addition to sauces, savory gf breads, dips, and just about anything that you want to impart the essence of garlic. Roasted garlic has a toasty garlic flavor with a touch of sweetness and it lacks the bitterness of fresh garlic. The same holds true with roasted garlic as does roasted peppers - it takes just as much effort to roast 1 garlic head as it does several.

To roast garlic, cut about a quarter inch off the top of the garlic bulb to expose the cloves. Place the bulbs, cut side up on a square sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Fold up the sides of the aluminum foil and seal to form a packet. Place in an oven preheated to 350°F. Let the garlic roast for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the cloves are very soft. Let cool then squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the skins. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

As with roasted red peppers, you can also find roasted garlic in a jar at some well-stocked grocery stores.

Chopped Garlic

Many people find chopping garlic to be a hassle and time-consuming task. Personally I believe there is no substitute, however, in a pinch you can use chopped garlic in a jar. This is especially helpful if you are planning on using a lot of garlic — perhaps if you are preparing a large meal for a dinner party. Chopped garlic is readily available in most grocery stores.

Gf Sun-Dried Tomatoes with Herbs

Sun-dried tomatoes are awesome in pasta, dips, sauces and even a welcome addition to gluten-free French breads. They add a nice savory-sweet flavor, much richer than fresh or stewed tomatoes. These are a pantry staple for us at Glutenfreeda. A word of caution, make sure you check the ingredients. Some jars of sun-dried tomatoes contain "herbs and spices" that are not clearly defined. These "may" contain gluten — so check with the manufacturer before you use them. If you stick with sun-dried tomatoes you find in the natural foods aisle or that are labeled "organic" you will probably be safer — but still we advise you to check first.

Amy’s Organic Pasta Sauces

For those of you with kids, prepared pasta sauce is a must-have pantry item. Nothing beats a quick dinner of spaghetti! Amy’s has a wide variety of great tasting pasta sauces — all organic and nearly all of them are gluten-free. Check their web-site for a complete listing of what is and isn’t gluten-free ( To add a gourmet touch to these fresh tasting pasta sauces, add your own gf sausage or any combination of fresh herbs. Serve your spaghetti with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for a perfect finish!

Major Grey’s Chutney

Another favorite pantry item of Glutenfreeda’s chefs — Major Grey’s Chutney. This chutney tastes great and gives just the right punch to quick sauces (see our notes on quick sauces below). The taste is slightly sweet but contrasts with a touch of vinegar. Use this in quick sauces or baste onto grilled meats or poultry for an amazingly quick and gourmet feast!

Crème Fraiche

Crème fraiche is incredibly easy to make. Simply take 2 cups of heavy cream and add 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. Stir to combine and then cover with plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature for about 24 hours. The end result is a silky smooth cream that tastes like a very mild version of sour cream. Once it reaches that thickened, smooth cream state, cover and refrigerate. The crème fraiche will keep for about a week. We use this in our quick-bread batter to add moisture and flavor, in sauces, and even as a straight substitution for sour cream. To add an even more gourmet touch, mix the crème fraiche with jalapenos, garlic and season with salt. Cover and let sit for about 30 minutes to an hour. Strain through a fine sieve. Use this infused crème fraiche over omelets, pastas, meats, fish, poultry or even tacos!

Flavored Butters

Flavored butters are easy to make and add intense flavor to grilled, baked, or broiled poultry, beef, or fish. They can also be used as flavorings for elaborate sauces such as beurre blanc or in sauces made by incorporating butter into braising liquids or even quick sauces (see below). To make flavored herb butter, mix about 1 cup of your favorite herb(s) with one quarter pound of unsalted butter. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Don’t feel as if you are limited to just herb butter. You can also flavor butter with garlic, cheeses (gorgonzola or parmesan, for example), dried mushrooms, lemon juice, hot chili peppers, tomatoes, and the list goes on. Be creative. The nice thing about flavored butters, besides the taste of course, is that they keep almost indefinitely, tightly wrapped in the freezer. So make a few and just label them for future use.

Quick Sauces for Meats

You can prepare terrific, almost instant dinners, that taste very gourmet using a variety of meats and sauces. Here’s how: First memorize the magic word: Sautéeing. Several types of meat can be sautéed in the exact same way producing a golden crust outside while remaining juicy and succulent on the inside. Boneless pork chops, beef tenderloin, fish fillets, chicken breasts, veal cutlets and even turkey cutlets will all perform in the same way. It is important that the piece of meat or cutlet you select be uniform in thickness. For chicken breasts, remove the tenderloin and cook it separately; for pork, try to select medallions that are about 1 to 1-1/4" thick. You can also buy bone in chops and remove the bone.

Be sure to choose the right size skillet. The pieces of meat should not be crowded, but should also not have too much space between them and the sides of the pan. A 12" heavy skillet is perfect to cook four chicken breasts or cutlets.

Chicken breasts and cutlets can be dredged in gluten-free flour. It is not necessary, but we’ve found that flouring adds to the fried flavor and protects the meat from getting leathery from high heat.

The Formula:
  • Prepare a sauce made from liquids and flavorings that mixed together equals 1/2 to 2/3 cup.
  • Flour and sauté the meat.
  • Remove the meat from the pan and keep warm.
  • Add the sauce and reduce to half.
  • Add enrichment.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Serve.
To prepare meat, season both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. To prepare the skillet, set over medium-low heat and add a mix of 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 2 Tablespoons butter. When ready to sauté, increase heat to medium-high. When pan is hot, add meat.

Cook the meat until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes per side, turning once. Transfer meat to a plate and cover to keep warm.

To prepare sauce, mix liquids and flavorings together. Total liquid mixture should measure 1/2 to 2/3 cup. Add to hot pan, scraping up browned bits. Reduce liquid to half.

Add enrichment, blend in and pour finished sauce over meat. Serve immediately.

*Almost any sauce can be enhanced by adding the extra step of sautéeing 1 minced garlic clove and or 1 Tablespoon minced shallots into the skillet immediately after the meat has been removed. Sauté for 1 minute, then add sauce and continue as directed.

Liquid = 1ž4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1ž4 cup gf chicken broth
Flavoring = none
Enrichment = 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Cream Sherry & Prunes:
Liquid = 6 Tablespoons cream sherry, 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
Flavoring = 1ž4 cup chopped prunes
Enrichment = 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Lemon Caper:
Liquid = 6 Tablespoons gf chicken broth, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Flavoring = 2 Tablespoons drained capers
Enrichment = 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Port & Cherry:
Liquid = 1ž2 cup port wine
Flavoring = 2 Tablespoons dried cherries, 2 teaspoons red currant jelly
Enrichment = 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Tomato & Tarragon:
Liquid = 1ž4 cup gf chicken broth, 1ž4 cup dry white wine
Flavoring = 1 teaspoons fresh minced tarragon, 4 canned tomatoes, drained & chopped
Enrichment = 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, 2 Tablespoons cream

Curried Chutney:
Liquid = 6 Tablespoons gf chicken broth, 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Flavoring = 2 Tablespoons chutney, 1ž4 teaspoon curry powder
Enrichment = 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Once you master the formula you will discover you simple it is to prepare an elegant meal in just minutes!

We hope these tips and time-savers not only help you out in the kitchen but give you the flexibility to explore new recipes and flavor combinations without feeling as if you have to spend all day in the kitchen!

Bon Appetit!