Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

I have been compiling a list of brands and items that I have found helpful in living the GF DFI lifestyle.  In a previous post I listed a few items and here are some more.

Baking Items
Namaste All Purpose Flour - I really like this one as they already have the Xanthum Gum added
Gluten Free Bisquick - who knew!!!
King Arthur GF Chocolate Cake Mix - you don't even know you are eating gluten free.  This is one of the best cake mixes I have ever used.

Bionature - I have used the penne and rigatoni.   I served it to family and I don't think they knew the difference.

Mexican Coke - made with real sugar (why can't they just make it all with real sugar???)
Blue Sky Ginger Ale - made with real sugar and very tasty

These things have made the transition a lot easier.   There will be more to come in the future as I continue this journey.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gluten Free/DFI Jam Thumbprints Cookies

I love all the baking this time of year.   But now that I have DFI, I have been adapting some of my favorite cookie recipes.  This is based on Ina Garten's jam thumbprints.  The original recipe calls for coconut to be egg washed on the cookie but since coconut is high in fructose/sorbitol, this can not be tolerated by DFIers.  

Hope you enjoy this adaptation.

Gluten Free/DFI Jam Thumbprint Cookies

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour (I used Namaste All Purpose Gluten Free)
1/4 teaspoon Xanthum Gum (Note - please check your all purpose flour brand - I did not need to add since Namaste brand already has this included in the mix.  Bob's Mill Brand does not so you will need to add this)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
DFI friendly jam (I used a cranberry jam I found and an apricot one for my other half)

In a mixer, cream the butter, sugar and extract until creamy.   In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients.   Once the butter mixture is creamy add in the dry mix slowly until blended.   Dump the mixture onto some plastic wrap and create a big ball.  Put in the fridge for about 45 minutes to chill and firm up.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Take the dough out of the roll into small balls.  Put the balls on a cookie sheet and press in the center with your thumb.   Spoon the jam into the thumb print.

Bake for 25 minutes.   Once done cool on a cooling rack.   Enjoy.

Finished product

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gluten Free Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Every year my mom and Nana would make lemon ricotta cookies.  Now I make them but this year there is a new twist, they are gluten free.   I used Bob's Mill All Purpose Gluten Flour, this may change in the future as I experiment with the different brands on the market.    I have tasted the cookies and they taste just as they always do.   Here is the recipe for sharing.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies GF

2 1/2 cup(s) Gluten Free all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Xanthum powder
1 teaspoon(s) baking powder
1 teaspoon(s) salt
1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cup(s) sugar
2 large eggs
1 container(s) (15-ounce) whole-milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
grated zest from one lemon

1 1/2 cup(s) powdered sugar (make sure it is organic for DFI friendliness)
3 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
grated zest from one lemon

heat oven to 375°F. line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, xanthum gum and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat mixture until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs,  the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest and beat to combine.  Stir in the dry ingredients.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie onto prepared baking sheets.  Bake 15 to 18 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Cool on a cooling rack

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and zest; stir until smooth.  Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon onto each cookie in a swirling motion.   Taste to see if you need more lemon or sugar depending on your preference.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dinner with Friends - the GF DFI addition

Last night we had two of our favorite people over for dinner.   This was the first time since my diagnosis we have had people other than family over for dinner.   For dinner I made a simple roasted chicken with potatoes and carrots.  As a side I made a roasted cauliflower dish.  Since my DFI is tends to have a more moderate effect, the cauliflower did not cause my symptoms to appear. 

The cauliflower dish was inspired by one of my favorite dishes at a local restaurant.  It is roasted cauliflower in an orange sauce with gnocchi.   I had a head of cauliflower and some oranges so I thought why not.    Here is the recipe.

Orange Roasted Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower chopped into bite size pieces
The juice and zest of one naval orange
approx a tsp of red pepper flakes (I pinch and eyeball)
drizzling of olive oil (again this is an eyeball technique) approx 4 TBSP
salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven at 375.   In a roasting pan, mix all the ingredients together.   Put in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes until the cauliflower begins to brown.

I also experimented with dessert.  In the past I have made my Lemon Mascarpone tart with shortbread crust and fruit, but this would be the first time making is GF & DFI friendly.   Since the original used a lot of wheat and fruits that may not agree with the DFI diet, it was a bit of a challenge for me.   Luckily it was a success and nobody seemed to realize it was GF or DFI friendly.   I did use raspberries to top the tart.  If you are a low tolerance DFI you may wish to omit and find another fruit which will work for you.

Lemon Mascarpone Tart - GF DFI Addition

Tart Shell
7.25 oz box of Lemon Short Bread (I used Pamela's Products not an overpowering taste)
1/2 stick of soften butter
2 oz Filberts

Preheat the oven to 350.  Combine all the ingredients in a food processor until it blends.  Spread the mixture into a lightly greased tart pan (I used a 9 inch) and blind bake for 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove and cool.

Tart Filling
8 oz mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBSP Powder Sugar (for DFI - use an organic blend since it is the right glucose to fructose ratio)
2 tsp lemon zest
2 TBSP Lemoncello
1 TBSP lemon juice

Raspberries & Slivered Almonds

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until blended. (you can use a hand mixer for this)  Once mixed, pour into the cooled (very important) tart shell.   Top with fresh raspberries and slivered almonds.  Place in the fridge for a about 2 hours or until time to serve.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snowy Day Mushroom Enchiladas

I was watching the Cooking Channel during the Minneapolis blizzard and was inspired by a person making enchiladas.  The person was using a red sauce and wheat tortillas.   All of a sudden I was craving these so I decided to see how I could
make them GF and DFI friendly.  

Now before I continue I must clarify after weeks of experimenting with the DFI changes I came to find I have a medium to high tolerance to fructose foods.  This means I can eat a little wheat and foods that may effect others don't effect me for example tomatoes.   I just have to make sure I balance the glucose levels with the fructose.  

This recipe is more for those who are like me in the medium to high tolerance range.  If you are low tolerance than I would suggest omitting the salsa.

Here is the recipe:

Snowy Day Mushroom Enchiladas
2 cups sliced mushrooms  ( I may have used more)
8oz of sour cream (I used Breakstone)
1 cup fresh salsa ( I used Salsa Lisa's Hot salsa)
8 corn tortillas ( Sonoma Organic)
1 bag of shredded Mexican cheese (reserve about a 1/4 of the bag to top the enchiladas)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Saute the mushrooms (season with salt and pepper) in olive oil.  In a bowl combine the sour cream, cheese and salsa.  When the mushrooms are cooked added them to the mixture.

Lightly grease a baking dish (I used my lasagna dish).  Take a tortilla and add a tablespoon of the mixture in the middle.   Roll the tortilla and place in the dish.  Continue until all the tortillas are used.   The left over mixture should be poured over the tortillas.  Spread evenly and then top with the left over reserved cheese.

Bake in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes until it is bubbling and the top in melted and slightly brown.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sweet Dreams

You would think being diagnosed with DFI you would have to give up a lot of great things like ice cream.  Well as long as it is made with real sugar (a friend to DFIers) than you can have it and many other sweets.  

We have family coming over this weekend and for dessert I am making chocolate cupcakes (King Arthur Gluten Free Cake Mix which is new on the market) and ricotta ice cream.  The ice cream I am making from scratch with my handy ice cream maker.    I was watching the Cooking Channel and saw this recipe on one of the many Giada shows.   It is made with simple syrup, just table sugar and water.   I opted to not include the chocolate chips as many varieties are still made with HFCS and other sugar solutions which could make any DFIer ill.

Here is link to the recipe.   I am going to try different variations later.  I am thinking this will make an amazing lemon ice cream similar to the lemon ricotta cookies my Nana use to make and that I am going to be making in the next few weeks but gluten free.

Friday, December 3, 2010

GF HFCS Freedom

When I was first diagnosed with DFI, I wasn't sure how shopping and eating were going to be.   I have learned grocery shopping does take what feels like 5 times longer, since I need to read every ingredients and figure out the fructose to glucose ratio.  Luckily the gluten free aspect is easier.   Though I still need to read the ingredients to make HFCS, Agave or any type sugar alcohol doesn't appear.  If it weren't for places like the Linden Hills Co-op, Whole Foods and Lunds Byerlys, I think this would be more difficult.  

Favorite products so far are (please note these are products that fit the DFI lifestyle first)
Namaste Brownie Mix. 
Simply Organic Pumpkin Cake
Whole Foods Prairie Bread.   (Most GF breads are very dry but this one is really flavorful)
Quinoa Elbow Macaroni
Liberte Yogurts (even the ones that are on the DFI no list seem to be fine for me ... knock on wood)
Mexican Coca Cola - believe it or not this is made with sugar and not HFCS.

More will be coming but I am glad this is turning out to be easier than one might think.