Gluten Free Week 6: Kitchen Prep plus recipe

By Barbara Evangelista, Publisher February 13, 2019

Week 6 of gluten-free eating!  My hungry daughter cluelessly ate a leftover box of Christmas tea cakes (a British treat with a sugar cookie, marshmallow and chocolate -- yes, you saw it... COOKIE) this past weekend when she was in the middle of chocolate cravings.  It said "WHEAT" in big bold letters in the ingredients.  I pointed out to her if she bites into something and there's a cracker, cookie, biscuit or some kind of breading, it's pretty much going to be wheat.  Oops.  I expected she might get a bit of a rash or an upset stomach but she was fine.  Hopefully she's right back on track because I really do see major improvements in her auto-immune disorder.

This week I wanted to talk quickly about prepping your kitchen for gluten-free eating.  I was surprised about the need for this when we started; I guess I never saw how gluten crumbs sneak into surprising places.  (Of course, preventative techniques like these are an absolute necessity for those with celiac disease, who have to avoid every crumb of gluten.)  My goal was to really eliminate as much exposure to gluten as possible to see the real effects, so I did make some changes in my kitchen.

The essential thing is to make sure you're not exposed to the crumbs that end up everywhere from bread, pizza crust, crackers, etc.  One of the key items to tackle is your toaster.  We use a small toaster oven for toast and baking small items, so I picked up a really cheap toaster for our gluten-free toast, waffles and bagels.  I labeled it, and nothing else gets toasted in it except our GF food.  I have to admit, when I make a gluten free pizza, I do use the regular toaster oven but I brush any crumbs off the rack first.

What about pasta?  A colander can be really hard to clean -- that pasta starch STICKS -- so I got a separate colander, labeled it, and store it in a separate cabinet.

This one didn't occur to me until I saw a video on YouTube -- how do you avoid the crumbs that get into butter, jelly, peanut butter, etc.?  Picture it -- you've got a lovely toasted bagel, you use a knife to shmear some cream cheese on it but, oops, you didn't take quite enough so you dip back into the cream cheese container to get some more.  You now have gluten crumbs in the cream cheese, making it unusable by anyone avoiding gluten.  The key here is to take all of the shmear that you need right at the start.  Put your toasty bagel on a plate, scoop out what looks like the right amount of cream cheese, deposit it on your plate, then use your knife to put it on the bagel.  If you need more... use a NEW knife to get it out of the container. Never put a used knife or spoon back into the condiment.  (Actually, thinking about it, this is a really good idea at all times!)  So, you end up going through a lot more utensils but it works.  But you have to be careful about it, especially when you have visitors, who can unknowingly contaminate every single condiment in your fridge.  In a gluten-free kitchen, it's a good idea to refuse help from guests, no matter how much they insist.

So, what did we eat this week?

Breakfasts were generally a GF bagel or an egg and slice of GF toast.  Lunches are generally leftovers. Snacks are fruit or popcorn. 

Dinner: "Breaded" haddock, using GF breadcrumbs, potatoes, peas

Dinner: Pork with mango salsa, rice (thought I'd like this recipe better but we really didn't enjoy it)

Dinner: Shrimp fried rice (recipe next week)

Dinner: Breakfast for dinner: Hash brown casserole, fruit salad

Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole (Gluten Free)

This casserole is delicious for "breakfast for dinner", for a holiday brunch, or as a quick breakfast option (cut it into pieces and freeze them; warm up in the microwave when needed).


1/2 bag Ore-Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes (already gluten free)
2 tbsp oil
10 Jimmy Dean turkey breakfast sausages (already gluten free), sliced
1 small onion, diced
5 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups cheddar or mixed cheddar/colby shredded cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a very large oven-proof skillet, add 2 tbsp oil and heat over medium heat.  Pour in 1/2 bag shredded hash brown potatoes, distributing in pan to form an even layer.  Cover and let cook over medium heat, stirring and turning occasionally, for about 10 minutes.  They should not be brown or fully cooked at this stage.  Turn heat off under skillet.
  3. Meanwhile, saute onion and sausage slices in a smaller skillet until onion is tender and sausage is turning brown.
  4. Add onion and sausage slices to potatoes.  Mix well but gently.
  5. Let potato mixture cool a bit while you beat 5 eggs with 2 cups milk in a bowl.  Add 1/2 tsp pepper and 3/4 tsp salt. Mix well and pour over potato mixture.  Stir gently but thoroughly.  Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups cheese over potato/egg mixture and stir gently but thoroughly.
  6. Place large skillet into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Check to see if top is still runny.  If the top appears to be fully cooked and dry, remove from oven.  If the top is still a bit runny, return to oven for 5-10 more minutes (or alternatively, carefully broil until the top is cooked but not too brown).
  7. Slice into triangles (like a pie) and serve.  Makes 8 servings.

Week 1 article and recipes

Week 2 article and recipes

Week 3 article and recipes

Week 4 article and recipes

Week 5 article and recipes

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