Rants & Reviews

Food Companies Shying Away From Statements on Gluten Ingredients: The Harmful Effects on Consumers.

Rice Cereal GlutenSo it happened. Last week I ate gluten without knowing it.What does that mean for me? Severe stomach pain, lasting about 3-4 days, relentless fatigue, aches in my joints, mood swings, and difficulty eating.

The thing is, I couldn’t figure out what was the culprit. I’d been diligent about reading labels, checking everything I bought twice before adding it to the cart. Later, I found out that an ingredient in one of my new favorite recipes (Healthy and Delicious Gluten-Free Energy Bites) contains trace amounts of gluten: Rice Crispies cereal!

The culprit ingredient in this cereal is malt. After some research on the internet, I found that Kellogg’s has not released a statement or any sort of warning on their labels about this ingredient.

While it many only contain trace amounts of this gluten-laced malt, sometimes that’s all it takes to make someone really sick. Some people have allergies to gluten that can be deadly– reactions far worse than I’ve described above. These people cannot be in contact with ANY sort of food or products that contain gluten, or their lives are put at risk.

The fact that Kellogg’s has refused to include a statement about their cereal containing gluten is dangerous and irresponsible. The FDA requires that food companies list gluten-related ingredients on their labels at certain levels of containment, but are these levels and guidelines good enough? People are still being affected. Perhaps it’s time for these laws to be reevaluated.

What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts on this matter. I can’t wait to read them and keep this conversation going!

 

Recipes

Gluten-Free Orange Chicken

Gluten-Free Orange ChickenAs you may already know, it’s difficult to find gluten-free Chinese food. This recipe allows you to enjoy safe, amazing food from your own home: no delivery or take-out required! It’s simple, quick, zesty, spicy, and dare I say it, better than some restaurant quality!

The star ingredient of this recipe is fresh, squeezed, and grated oranges. The aroma will make your home smell amazing and fresh! Cornstarch will add a crispy coating to the chicken that pairs nicely with the sweet and spicy orange sauce.

Read on for this quick and simple recipe below!

What you’ll need:

1-1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp. garlic, minced

1/2 cup corn starch

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup orange juice ( I used freshly squeezed)

1/4 cup water

1/4-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (depending how spicy you want it to be)

1 tbsp. orange zest

1-2 green onions, chopped (to garnish)

 

What you’ll do:

Cook the chicken in a frying pan coated with some of the oil until fully cooked and browned. Add in the garlic near the end, stirring in the flavor and sauteing well. Next, add in the cornstarch and the remaining oil, stirring often until the coating turns brown and crispy. Turn the heat to low.

Mix together the remaining ingredients (except the green onions) into a medium-sized bowl and pour over the chicken. Turn up the heat to a medium temperature, allowing the sauce to boil slightly and thicken. Remove from heat and garnish with the green onions, adding a nice color to the dish. Serve over rice if desired.

Enjoy! 🙂

 

Rants & Reviews

What’s in my Kitchen Cabinet? Select Gluten-Free Faves!

For those like me with celiac, gluten sensitivity, or wheat-related allergies, you know it can be tricky to find awesome gluten-free foods to mimic your old staples and go-to favorites. Sure, there is a pretty good gf selection on the market, but some of it just isn’t the same. It’s either got a weird texture, an inability to hold up without crumbling out of your hand or off your fork, or it just tastes funny. Some of my favorites that have proven difficult to mimic (until now) include pizza crust, noodles, and pancake mix for weekend breakfasts.

Before my diagnosis, I had no idea just how ubiquitous gluten is in our food. It’s in gravies, soups, sauces, it coats fries, it holds together pastries, cakes, beverages, gum and candy. It’s even in soaps, shampoos, lotions, makeup and more! I knew I had to be careful what I was putting into my body, and once I found these great products, I knew I wanted to share them with others.

Here is a list of some excellent gluten-free foods:

*Please note: these reviews are not sponsored or paid. They simply reflect my own opinions!*

Mamma Mary’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts

PizzaHummusandGravyThese awesome pizza crusts tend to be a bit crumbly, but they are the closest thing I’ve tried yet to the old pizza crusts I used to eat. Just spread a bit of olive oil on top, add your favorite toppings, bake, and enjoy!

 

Sabra Hummus

I love hummus! It’s packed with protein, it’s savory and delicious, and it pairs well with tortilla chips. What’s not to like? 🙂 I have the roasted pine nut flavor in the picture, but original is great as well.

McCormick Gluten-Free Brown Gravy

Poutine is delicious, and it needs a tasty gravy to top it. This one is just right!

BarillaPenneAnnieChunPadThaiBarilla Gluten-Free Penne Noodles

These noodles are made with a mixture of rice flour and corn. They have a great texture and an excellent, light taste.

Annie Chun’s Brown Rice Noodles for Pad Thai

These noodles are awesome for Pad Thai! They boil in only five minutes and are quite healthy. So far, I am only able to find them at Whole Foods, but they are definitely worth the trip!

 

 

 

RiceLasagnaNoodlesDe Boles Gluten-Free Rice Lasagna Noodles

While I don’t make lasagna very often, it’s nice to have a gf noodle option to depend on. These convenient noodles don’t need to be boiled. Just layer and put them in the oven to bake!

 

 

RedMixPancakesKirklandChickenStockBob’s Red Mill G-F Pancake Mix

I associate pancakes with easy-going Saturday mornings. This mix is quick, tasty, and a great thing to have in your cupboard! We like to add berries or bananas to the mix for extra goodness and flavor. 🙂

 

Kirkland Organic Chicken Stock

This gluten-free stock makes a great base for soups and sauces, and it adds extra flavor to rice instead of using water. We order this in bulk from Costco.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please leave a comment below with your own favorite gluten-free products and brands! If you like this post, let me know and I will post more of them!

 

Recipes

Protein Packed Taco Pasta

This delicious recipe combines three of my ultimate food cravings: spice, carbs, and cheese (of course). It’s super simple to make, very healthy, and doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare. Read on for the recipe and please leave a comment below once you’ve tried it, or plan to try it! 🙂

What you’ll need:

1 box gluten-free noodles (I used penne)

1 1/2 lbs. lean, organic ground beef

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

1-2 green onions, chopped

1 jalapeno, chopped

1-2 bell peppers, chopped

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can corn, drained

1 can diced tomatoes in their juices

1 package gluten-free taco seasoning

crushed red pepper flakes to taste

cheddar cheese to top

What to do:

First, start by browning the ground beef, onion, and garlic in a pan until fully cooked. Bring a pot of water to boil, then add the noodles and cook according to the directions on the package.

Once the beef is thoroughly cooked, add in the jalapeno, bell peppers, and black beans and cook for a few minutes more on low heat. Then, add in the taco seasoning and a bit of water (about 2/3 cup), and bring to a light boil, until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat, and add in the green onions.

In a small saucepan, add the diced tomatoes and corn, boiling gently until only some of the juices remain. Add in the red pepper flakes to increase the spice. Once heated, remove from heat and combine with the ground beef mixture.

Once the noodles are done, drain and run the colander under cold water to stop the cooking process. Combine everything into a large pot or serving dish, and serve hot with cheese on top.

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I hope you like it! Happy cooking 🙂

Recipes

Healthy & Delicious Energy Bites – No Baking Required! 


Don’t be fooled by the look of this snack. It’s MUCH tastier than it looks! In fact, my boyfriend and I finished them faster then I could capture a picture of the batch! Read on for the recipe below :).
What you’ll need:

1 cup gluten-free oats

1/2 cup Rice Crispies cereal

*UPDATE* Sadly, I’ve come to find that Rice Crispies contain trace amounts of malt: a gluten ingredient. I want to make a formal apology for publishing a post that cited a gluten ingredient.

A safe, alternative, gluten-free option for this cereal is Nature’s Path Crispy Rice Cereal.

1/2 cup Nutella

1/4 cup natural peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1 tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Optional: raisins, chocolate chips, peanuts

Directions:

Mix everything together in a large bowl. It helps to use a spatula to collect the Nutella and peanut butter. On a flat sheet of foil or parchment paper, roll the mixture into small balls. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or for 10 minutes in the freezer to set. Happy snacking! 🙂

Recipes

Chicken & Rice With Broccoli and Cheese Sauce

FullSizeRender Are you looking for a quick, simple, healthy meal to throw together on a week night? Try this!

What you’ll need:

1.5 lbs boneless & skinless chicken breast, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, chopped

2 cups rice

3 cups gluten-free chicken stock

1/4 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups broccoli, chopped

1.5 cups cheese, grated

1 tbsp. cornstarch

1/2 cup half & half

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Saute the garlic and onion in a large frying pan. Add the chicken and cook thoroughly. Meanwhile, cook the rice in the chicken stock in your rice cooker until done. Once cooked, add the broccoli and close the lid, allowing the broccoli to steam.

Add the crushed red pepper flakes, the cornstarch, and the half & half (slowly) to the pan, stirring until thickened. Turn off the heat, and add in the cheese, mixing well. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes, until the cheese has melted. Add everything together into the pan and mix well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, serve hot, and enjoy!

 

Recipes

Twice-Baked Potatoes

IMG_0594

Ingredients

2 medium-sized potatoes, rubbed lightly with olive oil

¾ cup low fat sour cream

½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

¼ butter, melted

2-3 green onions, chopped

Pepper and salt to taste

Directions

Preheat your oven to 425. After coating the potatoes lightly with oil, place them on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes, or until tender to the touch (careful, they’re hot!).

Carefully cut the tops of the potatoes, about 1 inch deep. Scoop out the potato filling, transferring to a pot or large, sturdy bowl. Make sure you leave the potato shell in tact, allowing for a few inches of potato to remain inside.

Mash the potato you removed from the shell, incorporating the melted butter. Add in the sour cream, cheese, and most of the green onion. Mix well and transfer back into the potato shells. Put the potatoes back in the oven for an additional 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let cool, and garnish with the remaining green onions.

Recipes

Copycat Veggie Burrito Bowl: Inspired by Chipotle

 

FullSizeRender

Ingredients for the rice

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 an onion, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups rice

3 ½- 4 cups gluten-free chicken stock

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Veggie mix

Mixed bell peppers, chopped

½ an onion, chopped

Cumin, to taste

Cayenne pepper, to taste

1 can black beans, drained

1 can corn, drained

½ can diced tomatoes, drained (optional)

Toppings

Juice of a lime

Cheddar cheese, shredded

Low-fat sour cream

Salsa

Salsa verde

Green onions, chopped

Directions

Saute the onion and garlic in a frying pan until they turn a light golden brown. Add in the uncooked rice, stirring constantly until browned as well. Transfer the rice into a rice cooker, adding the chicken broth, cayenne pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Set the rice to cook.

Meanwhile, add the onions and peppers into a pan, cooking for about 3-4 minutes. Add in the spices, mixing well. Toss in the black beans, corn, and tomatoes, and let simmer on medium-low heat for a few minutes more.

Once cooked, pour the veggies over the rice, and top with the juice of a lime, cheese, sour cream, salsa, and green onions. Enjoy!

Recipes

Chicken Pad Thai

IMG_0482

Looking to try something new and flavorful? This savory, spicy recipe is sure to delight!

Ingredients

1-package rice noodles

2 tbsp. butter or margarine

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

¼ cup vegetable oil

5-6 eggs, cooked and scrambled

2 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1 tbsp. fish sauce

3 tbsp. white sugar

¼ tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes

¼ cup crushed peanuts

3 green onions, chopped

1 lemon or lime, cut into wedges

Directions

Cut up chicken. Saute in butter until cooked thoroughly. Remove from pan. Heat oil and add eggs, scrambling them together. Cook thoroughly. Place cooked chicken back in the pan with the cooked eggs. Reduce heat and cook for a few more minutes. Remove the chicken and eggs from heat and add in the green onion.

Boil rice noodles for 5 minutes, or according to the packaging directions. Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Next, mix together the sugar, white wine vinegar, fish sauce, and crushed red pepper flakes. Then, add the noodles slowly into the pan with the chicken and eggs, pouring the Thai sauce onto the mix, ensuring an even coating. Add more oil to the noodles to aid in coating the sauce onto the noodles evenly.

Serve hot, adding crushed peanuts and lemon or lime juice on top.

Recipes

Layered Taco Dip

 

Ingredients

1 package gluten-free taco seasoning mix

1 can refried beans

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1 (16 oz.) container sour cream

1 (16 oz.) jar salsa

1 large tomato, chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 cups cheddar cheese, grated

Directions

Blend taco seasoning and refried beans in a small bowl. Spread mixture onto the bottom of a medium sized serving platter with sides. Mix together the sour cream and cream cheese in a small bowl. Spread over the refried beans. Top the layers with salsa. Add a layer of tomato, green pepper, and green onion. Top with cheese.

Store in the fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy!