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Showing posts from February, 2009

Gluten-free Bread Made in Carson City, Nevada!

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I don't exactly think of Carson City, Nevada as a gluten-free mecca. While my relatives there are very supportive of my diet and have made wonderful meals for me, when I travel back to Carson City to visit I always wonder what exactly I'm going to end up eating when I go out on the town. Well, no more! I found out by accident that Carson City has some of the best wheat-free, gluten-free bread I've ever tasted. The City Cafe Bakery at 701 S. Carson Street is the producer of this fine GF product. They make a whole host of gluten-free treats, including sandwiches, scones, and muffins. They bake the bread on-site, and they sell it by the loaf. Loaves come sliced, frozen, and unlabeled. My stepmother Penny helped me vet the bread, and she said that she tasted corn flour. I called to get the list of ingredients, and corn starch is definitely in there. The bread also contains eggs and milk. Penny noted that the bread is much lighter than most GF breads. In fact, I th

Specialty Flours for Gluten-free Baking

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Last month I wrote a post about basic gluten-free flours : their properties, their uses, their virtues, and their downsides. Here is the promised extension to that original post, which hopes to shed some light on some other more specialized GF grains. Amaranth flour (also known as Inca wheat or quihuicha): This flour behaves quite a bit like sorghum flour, and has a lot of flavor. It is a grain high in protein and very nutritious. A dough made with amaranth is very delicate, wet, and tricky to handle. I only use a small portion of this flour in my all-purpose mixes for the flavor it adds. Buckwheat flour : a close relation to rhubarb, this grain is in no way related to the wheat family. It is a very dark flour with a strong, distinctive and pleasant nutty flavor. The flour has a very fine grit, and can be used in making whole-grain products. It does not behave well on its own, producing very dry and brittle product unless it is mixed with other flours. I usually recommend

Quick Dinner Options

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For participation in my first "What's for Dinner? Wednesday," I am going to just give one basic quick-and-dirty idea for an easy dinner: soup and a sandwich. Throw in a salad, too, if you feel like it! Tonight I had a grilled-cheese sandwich with Manchego cheese (purchased at New Seasons) made with Angeline's Just Right White Rice Bread (see my bread review here ). I always butter the bread and grill the sandwich open-faced on a cast-iron skillet. This bread gets nice and golden brown when cooked this way. I served this lovely yet simple sandwich with Progresso New England Clam Chowder soup. I have read many a soup label at the store, and Progresso is one of the very few brands that thickens its chowder with corn starch rather than wheat flour. The only down side to this soup for me is that it contains MSG. Was this a healthy meal? No. Was it quick and delicious? Yes. Here is an idea for a dairy-free alternative: make a BLT on Ener G Tapioca bread. Serve

Tinkyada White Rice Pasta Review

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Now with a new addendum! Whenever I go to a grocery store in another town, I always try to peruse their gluten-free options to see if they have any products I haven't seen in Portland. Last weekend I was excited to find a gluten-free pasta I hadn't seen before called Tinkyada White Rice Pasta. I have been looking for a white rice pasta since I went to Italy last spring. They have excellent gluten-free pastas there, and all of them are made from white rice flour. I haven't been able to find one like the Italian version in Portland. Imagine my surprise when I found a white rice pasta in Carson City, Nevada! The Raley's supermarket there has an excellent health food section. The ingredients listed on the pasta are: stone ground white rice and water. The cooking instructions should be taken with a grain of salt: the package tells you to cook it for 16-17 minutes! I know GF pasta takes a bit longer to cook, but I didn't boil it for nearly that long and it came

Savory Baked Polenta

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Now what you have all been waiting for: the recipe for the polenta that I served with the braised rabbit in my previous post. Unlike rabbit, polenta is completely vegan. At its simplest, it's made from just corn meal and water. This recipe uses vegetable stock and onions to give it a savory, hearty flavor. This dish can be served as a main course and topped with a tomato sauce, a white sauce, or cheese. Here I have it as a side dish, and it is tasty enough to be served plain. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan heat: 3 cups vegetable stock In a large skillet, heat on medium low: 2-4 Tbsp olive oil Chop into small pieces, then add to the heated oil: 1/2 onion Sautee the onions for about five minutes, then add the vegetable stock to the skillet. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together until smooth: 2 cups warm water 1 1/2 cup yellow corn meal Slowly add the corn mixture to the stock-and-onion liquid on the stove, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Simme

Braised Rabbit

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A friend of mine who is a dedicated gourmand recently commented that it seems like I truly enjoy being gluten-free. It's true; I look upon it as a culinary challenge, and my restriction has brought me to many a recipe that I would not have found if I could just eat a sandwich every night. I actually feel like my options have expanded and that I've become a better cook since I've started this diet. That I am capable of easily digesting everything I now cook helps to reinforce my gluten-free ways. My aforementioned friend has introduced me to some new recipes and techniques for making dishes that are traditionally gluten-free. The project we worked on most recently was braised rabbit - an animal that I had only eaten once and had never cooked. Rabbit is not readily available in most butcher shops, but you should ask about special orders at a specialty butcher shop. Or, substitute chicken, lamb, or another meat. Braising is a technique that produces a very tender meat.

Things to Eat When You Can't Eat Anything

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How many people can say they are on a diet that allows guacamole, fried potatoes, and ice cream? Those are three foods that I love that I didn't have to give up when I went gluten-free. Today a friend of mine told me that she has been tested for food sensitivities and will have to go on a gluten-free, vegan, sugarcane-free diet. She was struggling to comprehend exactly what she would be eating. I can sympathize with her plight because I have tried all of those diets myself and found it difficult to manage - and I didn't even try them all at the same time. I assured her that if she started to feel better she would be more than happy to keep the diet up. When I realized I would be on the gluten-free diet permanently I found the most helpful thing to do was to think of all the different things that I love that I can still eat and that are naturally gluten-free. Here I am dedicating to my friend a list of 30 foods that are traditionally gluten-free and vegan, and contain no