Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chocolate Adventure Contest

Is there anything more heavenly than chocolate? No, absolutely not! Well maybe coffee.

Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker and TuttiFoodie.com invite you to enter their 6th annual Chocolate Adventure Contest, and I encourage all my fellow gluten-free cook enthusiast to enter the contest. (Wheat eaters can't have all the fun, wink wink).

So get crazy, get experimental, share your creation (yes you can share after the contest is over so no one steals your idea), but never forget to have fun with it. Maybe I can come up with something that combines both my loves - chocolate and coffee. Hmmmm....

For more information please visit the Scharffen Berger site.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer Vegetable Bake

Every summer my father-in-law brings us bags of ripe vegetables grown from his own garden. I love it because (besides saving money) it forces me to try out some veggie recipes -yes I said forces me because I'm ashamed to say I don't eat enough veggies a day --but here's one that was simple and yummy, it's a
Provencal summer veggie bake. So if  you still have some summer vegetables leftover in your fridge or if you stumble on a good end of sale on Summer veggies at your local market - and I'm sure you will since summer is ending, try this recipe.

Look at these vibrant colors!
Heat oven at 400 degrees.  Peel and halve onions; cut into 1/2 inch thick slices. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Once pan and oil are hot, cook onions and add a dash of salt to release some of that onion "juice". Cook for 8 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the herbes de Provence. Pour this mixture into the bottom of an oven-safe casserole. (I used a 9 x 13 pan)

Slice veggies into 1/4 inches thick slices. Veggies I used: green and yellow squash, tomato, and one eggplant.  Toss veggies with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, pinch of salt and more herbes de Provence, about 2 tablespoons.

Arrange veggies on top of onion mixture in 1 layer as photographed. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil and add crumble goat cheese to (French style) or Reggi-parmesano cheese (Italian style) which is what I used on top and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Now enjoy!

Voila! My Provencal summer veggie bake

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Beginner's Gluten Free Quick Guide

Guess who's back! Sorry for the lack of entries these past couple of months. Pregnancy has taken its toll on my body, and appetite. Some days I'm ravenous, and other days I have no desire to look at food. At least I'm in the home stretch (my final trimester), and soon I'll have a screaming baby in my ear as I cook. I welcome it, my husband and I have waited and prayed for this moment. So it's a great blessing for us.

And before the sleepless nights begin, I want to do my best to enter some more entries to my blog. After all, I love blogging and talking about food!

On a recent tweet Miley Cyrus posted she has gone gluten free and loves it. No surprise, we've all been feeling the benefits of a gluten free living, but I am glad to hear another celebrity endorsing and going completely g.free!

A friend of mine, Antonette, for medical reasons has also gone gluten free.  She had asked me to point her in the right direction --where to start? Since I have a two year jumpstart on her in the gluten free world, I shared with her a few of my go-to websites, products, as well as a few of my favorite cookbooks so far.
First things first, finding good replacements for the foods you eat on the daily.

Breakfast: If you're a cereal and milk person, this is no biggie. You only need to make sure the cereals you buy specifically indicate gluten-free. My top picks: Erewhon and Nature's Path. There is a line of kid's cereal also by Nature's Path called Envirokidz, even though it's for kids, I'll occasionally buy a box of the Panda Puffs, it's sort of reminds me of Peanut Butter Cap'n' Crunch cereal.

Lunch: You can still enjoy a sandwich for lunch - *helpful tip - toast the bread, it just helps with the flavor, specially if you're making a BLT. My top favorite bread - Udi's Millet-Chia bread. For cold cuts I swear by Applegate Farms meats, both their organic and natural meats are gluten free and chemical free (a big bonus). *tip -try out their Stadium-Style hot dogs, oh so yummy!

Dinner: You'd be surprise to find that a lot of the dinner staples are already gluten free: rice, beans, grilled meats, salads, and veggies. But say you want to make spaghetti and meatballs for dinner (check out my meatball recipe), you must try this brand, Pasta d'Oro. Affordable and delicious.

Websites to Bookmark

Gluten-free foods seem to be popping everywhere, I even found it at my local  food market. However, just in case it's not offered anywhere near where you live, these sites will be helpful:

Gluten Free.com

Gluten-Free Mall

Gluten Free Saver - for deals of the day at deep discounts. I've discovered more great gluten free goodies through this site. Sign up today and you'll receive an alert when they have a deal, always gluten-free.

Support Sites

Anytime anyone asked what were the benefits of going gluten free, I would refer them to The G-Free Diet website by Elisabeth Hasselback. I read her book in 2 days! If you ever need motivation, just glance at her site.

Of course, the mother of all gluten free websites : Celiac.com - even if you're not suffering of Celiac disease, this is a chock full of good stuff to know about gluten free living.

Fun Sites

I absolutely LOVE Elana's Pantry blog. I recommend you look through her recipes, you will get tons of inspirations. She also has a great cookbook The Gluten-Free Almond Flour cookbook. I was lucky enough to receive for my birthday this year.

Gluten Free Girl and the Chef is a very popular and well-known blog. Another site full of inspiration, specially if you enjoy cooking. They released their first cookbook which I recommend, great recipes along with heartwarming stories.

Remember, if you're new to gluten-free foods and you slip up, don't be hard on yourself. Like anything else, it will take some getting use to. Eventually you will begin noticing how much better you feel that you won't think twice about slipping.

Good luck to you, and please feel free to share with me your thoughts and any new things you find.