My daughter and I are going strong with our gluten-free diet! This has been a pretty easy (if somewhat expensive) diet change, especially compared to past diets that I've tried. Those were for weight loss though, so even if I wasn't hungry I still felt deprived and all whiny and sad (boohoo, poor me, you know how it is). I haven't lost any additional weight eating gluten-free (I actually put back on a pound or two that I lost last week) but I do feel more energetic during the day. We've been able to find pretty decent substitutes for most of the gluten products we used to eat. Gluten-free tortillas got the thumbs up when we had fajitas, and I was happy to find that my favorite fajita sauce is already gluten free. We haven't tried gluten-free pizza crust yet though. Looking at the frozen GF pizza dough that I found, I'm pretty sure it's not going to be the crusty, chewy pizza that I love, so I'm delaying the disappointment. Maybe we can find a local take-out pizza place that offers gluten-free pizza?
Happily, I even find my daughter checking labels and asking my husband about the ingredients if he's cooking. She didn't pay much attention in her nutrition classes and, at 14, she's pretty much completely focused on YouTube. But I'm impressed at her determination to stick with this and see how it goes. Maybe this self-discipline will lead to her tackling other hard things, like maybe studying or her room? One can always hope.
Here are some of the meals we had this week (GF = gluten free):
Breakfast is either GF cereal, GF toast and an egg, or GF waffle
Lunch is usually leftovers
Snacks are usually fruit or GF popcorn
Dinner: Shrimp scampi, rice, vegetables
Dinner: GF Meatloaf (recipe below), mashed potatoes, GF McCormick Beef Gravy, peas, GF sticky toffee pudding (recipe below)
Lunch: GF haddock, sweet potatoes and spinach at Not Your Average Joe's (a delayed holiday lunch with Assistant Publisher Wendy!)
Dinner: Chicken fajitas with onions and peppers, Badia fajita sauce (GF), GF tortillas or rice
Dinner: Chicken soup with GF noodles
Dinner: Chicken piccata with GF breaded chicken (recipe in next week's newsletter), rice, broccoli
Dinner: Chicken parmesan soup with GF breaded chicken and GF noodles (recipe in next week's newsletter)
Wondering where I get my meal ideas? I use some cookbooks but mostly choose and modify recipes from my weekly Emeals meal plan that includes 6 different gluten-free recipes every week. They have 14 different meal plans to choose from, and you can switch meal plans at any time without an extra charge. I've been on both the Quick and Healthy Meal Plan and the Gluten Free Meal Plan, and they're both great! Use this link to get a free two-week trial.
Gluten Free Meatloaf
Ingredients (be sure to check that cheese, bread, ketchup, and Italian seasoning are gluten-free):
1/2 large onion, diced
3 slices GF bread, torn into tiny pieces
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1.5 lbs ground beef (I use 85%)
1 tbsp ketchup
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed cookie sheet or 9" x 13" pan with foil and spray with oil spray. Set it next to your work area.
- In a large bowl, combine diced onion, torn-up GF bread, parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup ketchup, egg, milk, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Milk well until bread is soaked and egg is completely mixed in. Use the side of the spoon to break up bread. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to let the bread soften and break down.
- Add ground beef and knead thoroughly with your hands until the bread mixture is completely incorporated into the beef.
- Scoop meatloaf mix out onto the foil-lined pan and use your hands to pat it into a rectangle about 6" x 10" and about 4 inches high. Don't make the loaf too high, to ensure that it cooks evenly.
- Wash your hands thoroughly. Use a spoon to spread 1 tbsp ketchup thinly on top of the meatloaf and put the pan in the preheated oven.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove the meatloaf and use a meat thermometer to ensure that the center has reached 160 degrees.
- Let rest for 10 minutes then slice in thick slices and serve as is or with GF beef gravy, if desired.
Gluten Free Sticky Toffee Pudding with Caramel Sauce
This traditional English dessert is sweetened with dates and a caramel sauce. Rich and delicious, and the gluten free flours worked very well! All the flours/starches are available in the baking aisle in the Bob's Red Mill display.
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pitted dates
1 cup water
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp GF baking powder
1 1/2 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 cup 2% evaporated milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" x 9" baking pan.
- Combine dates and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. If you prefer to not have date pieces in your cake, use a hand mixer to puree dates.
- In a small bowl, mix together sorghum flour, white rice flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, xantham gum, baking soda and salt with a whisk. Stir thoroughly.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar with a hand mixer. Scrape the bottom and sides with a spatula. Add vanilla and 2 eggs and beat mixture for 2 minutes. Add flour mixture and dates and mix on low speed until well-incorporated.
- Spoon batter into the prepared pan and level with a spatula. Let stand 30 minutes to allow batter to expand.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- For caramel sauce, combine butter, brown sugar and honey in a medium saucepan and heat until simmering. Cook for 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens and bubbles. Add evaporated milk and remove from heat.
- Pour a small amount of sauce over cake while it's still warm to soak in.
- Makes 9 servings. Serve a square of cake while warm, topped with more caramel sauce.
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