Gluten-Free Cinnamon Snacking

I buy most of the sugary snacks for my son because I just don’t need the extra calories. But, Glutino Cinnamon & Sugar Bagel Chips are just for me.

Sweets with cinnamon are my weakness.  I cannot resist cinnamon buns or cinnamon and sugar toast.  I prefer cinnamon gum and I used to buy cinnamon Lifesavers, but they are impossible to find these days.  I like apple and cinnomon waffles, spicy oatmeal cookies and pumpkin pie because of the spices.  There are a few savory Lebanese dishes from my childhood that used cinnamon and my crazy Uncle George was quoted as saying everything is better with cinnamon.

Glutino Cinnamon & Sugar Bagel Chips

I ate the entire box in two sittings…so I cannot buy these every time I shop because I clearly cannot eat just one!

Kendall

Advertisements

GF Panko Crusted Cod

I aim to serve fish as many times per month as I possibly can.  Everyone in my family eats it without complaint so it is high on my “happy and healthy” dinner choices.

I try to buy non-farmed varieties and I really try to pick a fish that has not come from the other side of the world…somewhere up and down the eastern seaboard is just fine with me.  I do pay attention to the heavy metal and overfished warnings as well.  And finally, I take a look at the price.  Sometimes the filets are more expensive than prime beef!

Whole Foods had some beautiful cod filets last week and they are much easier to cook in a saute pan versus a grill so it was perfect for a cold winter evening.  I bought enough to feed the five of us.  For this dinner, I used the Aleia’s Panko to make a fantastic crust for the filets.

aleias panko

A quick rinse of the filets and a dredge in seasoned gluten-free flour starts the process. I am a big fan of King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Flour for things like this because I only need to add a touch of salt, pepper and garlic powder and it sticks like regular flour.  I then dunk the fillet in an egg white and milk wash and mash it into the panko.

One thing that I think is really important is to rest the filets with the crust on it so that they dry a bit.  I find that it helps the crust stick to the fish.  The other important things are a hot pan, good oil and only turning the filet one time!

We have everything from tartar sauce and lemon wedges to siracha, cocktail sauce, ranch dressing and wasabi mayo on the table for dipping sauces.  I never much cared what the kids put on the fish, I only cared that the ate the fish!

The panko crust is absolutely perfect and no one asks, or cares, if it is gluten-free.  I know it is, but the crust is also a lightly toasted, golden brown with a crackly crust holding together a flaky white fish filet.  Yum!

Kendall Egan

Mainstream Recipe = Gluten-Free Success!

I was browsing through a past issue of Martha Stewart Living and came across a dessert recipe that I thought would be easy to make gluten free.  The most important ingredient was pretzels and I knew Glutino pretzels would work well.

I think it is important to remember that mainstream recipes are a great resource as long as you have some gluten-free brands you know will substitute one for one for a gluten containing ingredient.  As for this dessert, these cookies were the perfect salty/sweet/chocolate/peanut combination of flavors to serve with a cup of coffee in order to continue the fun dinner party conversation.

I cut them into two bite squares so that people would try a small piece and go back for seconds.  Everyone had seconds.  The host and hostess of the dinner party kept some of the cookies for their kids and everyone took home a goody bag.  I had left some of the misshapen squares for my kids, but they were a little miffed that I did not bring home more.

Kendall Egan

pretzel cookies

Happy New Year and Happy GF News!

photo

This was the news from our high school and middle school on the first week back from school.  The food service group had done a soft launch of gluten-free sandwiches prior to the holiday break as a test run.  My son was asked to try it and give feedback, which he did and it was positive.

I am just delighted not to pack lunch every day anymore.  He could always buy an egg omelet on Fridays, which he did, but the pressure was on to have gluten-free goodies for a packed lunch the rest of the week!

An the even bigger bonus is that when the cafeteria does a wrap, he will eat some lettuce in it.  If I were to put lettuce in a wrap, he would say lettuce is disgusting.  I will take whatever magic or special vegetable fairy dust the food service providers put on the gluten-free wrap to get something green in that kid.

Happy start to 2014 for me!

Kendall Egan

A new phase…the celiac high schooler

Raising a celiac child really adds a layer of trial and error to an already full plate of trial and error.  And thus, my son and I enter a new chapter as he figures out high school and celiac disease.

The daily lunch routine is no big deal and his social life is pretty easy since all of our pizza places have a gluten-free option and Chipotle is every teenagers dream meal.  The movies do not present a problem and as far as I can tell, the drinking scene is not that appealing to him yet.

Where I am worrying is all the team bonding dinners around athletics.  He is a very good athlete so I never worry about him getting picked on or teased for his diet.  But, at the kick off BBQ for football, he literally had a plate of meat.  To me it was gross, I put a chicken breast on a salad and had a balanced meal.  He had a chicken breast, a bunless burger and two bunless hot dogs washed down with a couple of sodas.  Yuck.

The first team dinner was a carbo load, gluten-avoider’s total nightmare.  Three types of pasta, breaded cutlets, brownies and garlic knots with a small tray of caesar salad with croutons.  I volunteered to bring a tray of penne alla vodka and brownies so that he could eat something.

My son and my husband thought I was nuts to go to so much effort.  My son insisted he would just get a pizza later.  But what I explained is that the mom who was hosting would feel so bad if the kid who had three touchdowns the week before had nothing to eat and was just sitting there…even if he looked like he was having fun.  What I said was that he would stick out more if there was a huge fuss made around preparing something different from her kitchen that he could eat.

In the end, the hostess has two nieces who are celiac so she understood the whole thing and asked some great questions about keeping the spoons from the other pasta out of the gluten-free pasta.

Yesterday I stocked up on gluten-free brownie mix and gluten-free pasta.  I think I will just bring a dessert and a 1/2 tray of some sort of pasta to the team dinners.  I might even work out a special football order with one of the local pizza places so that whomever is ordering can just order the “GF Football Dinner” for one.

First dinner went off without a hitch.  He ate and had a blast with his team mates.  I will have this all perfected after a bit of trial and error.

Kendall Egan

 

Gluten-Free Cracker Alert

I have waited and waited for really good gluten-free crackers to come along.  Rice snaps are really good with cheese, but sometimes you just want a snacker-cracker.  A snacker-cracker is the type that you just reach you hand into the box, pull out a couple and eat them.

I bought a box at Fairway and I have to say, at long last, this is a cracker that fits the bill!

crackers

I could have eaten the entire box.  They are flaky and crisp with the right amount of salt and toasted onion flavoring.  I could have used them for a dip or paired them with cheese but they did not last in the pantry long enough for those opportunities.

Absolutely Gluten Free crackers, find them! Ask your grocer to order them!

Kendall Egan

Um..Which one is gluten-free?

I am almost embarrassed to write this post since it shows the rather processed food dinners I served my kids this weekend BUT the real story is the difficulty I had telling the gluten-free version of the meal apart from the gluten containing meal.

I had “designer dogs” for dinner on Saturday evening.  Fresh from the butcher hot dogs grilled and served on a fresh from the baker hoagie roll.  The gluten-free version was actually an Udi’s baguette from the freezer with a designer dog but I had to mentally remember that the gluten-free bread was “on the left.”  The two dinner plates looked so much alike that it was confusing.

Even the bread texture on the hot-from-the-oven rolls was totally similar.  The gluten-free version was golden, the crust was crackly and crispy when pierced with a knife and the white innards had a fluffy, spongy consistency.  Seriously, my rule of thumb when serving up gluten-free and gluten-containing meals in one household is to stick to my golden rule of gluten-free “to the left, to the left.”

Yes, it does stem from a Beyonce song, but it really becomes more and more important as the food looks more and more similar.

Last night we were home from the beach late and watched the Little League World Series from the DVR and by the time we finished, I was only up for throwing some Belle and Evans chicken nuggets into the oven.  The GF box is black, the regular nuggets have a blue box.

Once you get the packages out from the box, it is time to really pay attention!  I got out two different size cookie sheets to start and I was mentally focused that GF nuggets were on the larger cookie sheet placed on bottom shelf of the oven.  Once cooked, I took them out and placed them to the left.  They do not get as golden as the gluten-containing nuggets but it is REALLY close.

Whatever works for you…way back in the day this was never an issue because the gluten-free version either did not exist, like GF baguettes or GF chicken nuggets, or they looked so materially different (meaning gross) that no one would ever confuse the two.

Nowadays…you need a kitchen strategy!  “To the left, to the left….”

Kendall Egan