Monday, March 31, 2008

What is the Shaolin?

The Shaolin is a state of mind. No. Not really, it's the nickname of outer-outer borough, Staten Island - which is where I'm blogging from....Generally, Staten Island is stinky for the gluten-free eater. We do have a Chili's, Outback, Charlie Browns, and a Carabbas - but we don't have a Trader Joe's, Wegman's or a Whole Foods. So, I can eat meals at the same restaurants over and over, but I have to pay a toll to go food shopping. But there is two AWESOME outposts for the gluten-weary.....Tuttoriso Cafe - an amazing organic, gluten-free, corn-free Italian restaurant! It is right near the Staten Island Ferry and home to the Staten Island Celiac Meetup. The other awesome outpost is the Asian Supermarket in the Bloomfield Industrial area - near the Burlington Coat Factory. On a gluten-free blog or chat board, I read that you can get gf flours & starches for a fraction of the cost at asian supermarkets - so I crossed the West Shore Expressway and made my way in. IT WAS AMAZING!!!! I got 1lb of: White Rice Flour, Sweet Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour, Corn Starch, Potato Starch, and a six pack of Pork/Cabbage Buns (not GF - but hubby loves them) for......$5.00!!!!! Yes, five dollars. This is my new favorite market :o)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sometimes it just doesn't turn out right.....

Last night, my parents came up for the day. The just got back from snowbirding in Florida and wanted to see the wee one. He had a blast all day with them - especially since they got him a tricycle! Hubby and I wanted to make it an easy, peasy dinner - so it was "quick" paella.

  • Goya Yellow Rice (Word to the GF - try a different brand or just plain rice - see below)
  • Chicken Sausage (We used two different types - Sweet Italian & Sundried Tomato)
  • GF Chicken Stock
  • Tomatoes
  • Scallions
  • Frozen Shrimp
  • Whatever frozen veggies I have on hand
  • Whatever fresh herbs on hand
  1. We cooked up the rice, sausage, and stock in a deep bottomed fry pan;
  2. Once the rice was cooked, stir it up and let it simmer (covered) for 15 - 20 minutes;
  3. While it's simmering, chop up the tomatoes, scallions, and herbs;
  4. Throw in the tomatoes, scallions, herbs, shrimp, and veggies.
  5. Once everything is cooked, serve.

Lo and behold, the paella was quite spicy - without any added spicy flavorings. My mom tried to eat it, but didn't work. I looked at the Goya box and looked at the ingredients. Lots of spice & some questionable "glutenous" ingredients. Did some research (love laptops) at the table, the rice is quite questionable in the GF world. I dumped my serving, my dad and husband ate up, and my mom just ate the sausage & shrimp. Thank god, I had made some Pamela's Brownies to save the day!

Next time....PLAIN RICE!!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Take on Rachel Ray...

Yesterday, I bought Rachel Ray's magazine. The catchy titles drew me in......"Weeknight Dinners: Fast, Easy, Delicious", "Cook What You Crave, and Love it!", and "+45 New Recipes". Then I got home and remembered I'm a Celiac. Crap. I'm not at the point of making different types of flour mixes, but I'm beyond naturally gluten free food - so I thought we'd try to "adjust" one of her recipes. And it was Cheeseburger Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes.

  • 2 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 1 Red Onion - finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup of GF Ketchup (why do people add wheat to ketchup?????)
  • 2/3 cup of GF Breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of bread & butter pickle chips - chopped (we omitted this)
  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
  • 8 oz of cheddar cheese, cut into cubes (watch out for some shredded cheeses - they are dusted with wheat flour to keep them from sticking)
  • 2 pounds of new red potatoes
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring untilslightly softened, about three minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ketchup, bread crumbs, eggs, and pickles; mix with onion. Crumble in the beef, add the cheese and mix together. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and shape into a 4 x 12 inch loaf. Bake until and instant read themometer inserted into the center registers 160, about 35 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, halve the potatoes and place them in a large pot with enough salted water to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer till tender, 10 - 15 minutes. Drain, return to the pot, and mash with the cream.
  4. Let the meatloaf rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with the mashed potatoes.

Verdict? Not our style. Both of us are used to Italian-Style meatloaf - smothered in marinara sauce. Plus, it feels like we are betraying my husband's roots by putting ketchup in meatloaf.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Steak & Blue Cheese Roll Ups

When I went back to work today, the big question on my staff's minds were "what kinds of gluten free goodies did you have this weekend?" (my staff loves the leftovers I bring in on most days - especially my secretary, she is our family's official taste tester!) I had to tell everyone about Stephanie's Steak & Blue Cheese Roll Ups! So here is her recipe:

--1 1/2 lbs of flat beef (about for slices of round tip)
--1/2 cup red wine
--1/4 cup soy sauce (GF of course - LaChoy)
--2 T Worcestershire sauce (GF of course - Lea & Perrins)
--4 cloves garlic
--package of blue cheese (for the gluten free people: please read this and this.)

  • Make marinade out of the wine, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Soak your meat in it overnight. Or do what we did - by this nifty vacuum sealer from Ziploc. We only needed to marinate for an hour!
  • In the morning or an hour later, dump everything into the crockpot.
  • Slice your blue cheese into strips.
  • One at a time, take the meat out of the marinade mixture and place strips of the cheese all over it.
  • Roll it up.
  • Place back into the crockpot, and repeat with the remaining slabs of meat. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. This does not take long to cook.

We ended up doubling the marinade (to add extra into the crockpot) - mainly because we enjoyed its goodness before marinading the beef! Yummy.

Yes! I made it.

When my husband I and were dating, he was both shocked and saddened at my lack of culinary skills. One of the first things he noticed was that my fridge consisted of only Red Bull, Beer, and Ragu. Since then, he has been the one in the kitchen. Until the diagnosis....

Since going gluten free, I started regarding the kitchen as my friend, not the place where my husband hangs out. On Friday, I baked myself a loaf of the Gluten Free Pantry's Favorite Sandwich Bread and some of Pamela's Chocolate Chunk Cookies in a bar pan (well, I don't have a bar pan, so I used an 8" layer cake pan). That night, I made Ginger Lemon Girl's Cafe Atlantico Baked Parmesan Flounder (post with our random changes coming soon). On Saturday, we made Stephanie's Crockpot Blue Cheese and Steak Rollups (again, post coming soon). To top it off, my husband found Bell and Evan's Gluten Free Chicken in the freezer aisle at King Kullen that night!!!!!

On Sunday, we had an awesome breakfast of smoothies consisting of random fruits from the freezer, orange juice, blueberry-pomegranate juice, vanilla fro-yo, and some vanilla almond milk. Mind you, I'm not CF, but I've been reading in so many boards and blogs about the tastiness of almond milk, I had to get it. Then for lunch, we busted open a box of Bell and Evans Chicken Tenderloins. The little guy had his cut up. My better half had his smothered in Franks Red Hot (dripping, really), and I tossed mine lightly in Red Hot, put it on two slices of toasted GFP's Favorite Sandwich Bread, and topped with a little GF Blue Cheese. I was crying at how good it tasted. No one was allowed to speak with me while I was enjoying my deliciousness.

That night, I made a cheesecake for Easter Dinner (which we had at my in-laws). Okay, I kinda made cheesecake. As most people know cheesecake is made with the gluteny goodness of graham crackers. So I improvised. I crushed three boxes of Pamela's cookies (Chunky Chocolate Chip and Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chunk) to make the crust along with Splenda Brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. I was so worried about the crust, I forgot the cheese part. So we ran to Stop and Shop, and got two containers of the new Philly Cheesecake filling. I dumped the containers in the gluten free shell and drove to the inlaws. The verdict: the crust rocked. The filling - way to sweet and the consistency was more of a mousse than cheesecake.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Taco Soup

Ever since I went gluten free in January, my awesome husband has been along for the ride (and let's not forget my 2 yr old too!) One of our main sources in cooking gluten free has been the internet. We drool over blogs trying to figure out what to make. This is a first in a series of posts of awesome recipies that have brought joy into my home from my fellow bloggers.....Let's start with a recipe from one of my favorite gf bloggers, Stephanie over at A Year of Crockpotting . Her zest for crockpotting gluten free is AWESOME. Here is her recipe for Taco Soup (including my family's additions)....

  • 2 cans of kindey beans (which we subsituted cannelli beans for some odd reason - good, though)
  • 2 cans of pinto beans
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomatoes and chiles
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (if you are gluten free, stick to McCormick)
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix (make sure there isn't hidden gluten, I went with Hidden Valley)
  • 1 lb browned hamburgershredded cheese and sour cream for embelishment

The Directions:

  • put one of those crockpot liners in the crockpot. totally helps with the clean up.
  • brown meat
  • drain fat and add to crockpot stoneware insert (the meat. not the fat.)
  • sprinkle seasoning packets on top of meat
  • drain and rinse the beans and add (This is where I noticed the kidney/cannelli bean mix up)
  • add the ENTIRE contents of the corn and tomato cans
  • cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5. I think the longer you cook soup, the better, so if you have the time, opt for cooking on low.
  • At some point during the cooking, the husband tasted the soup. He loved it, but wanted more "zing" (as he put it). So, he dumped some salsa & Frank's Red Hot in. This is completely optional.
  • serve with a handful of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

This ROCKED!!!!!!!!! All of us, including the babe, ate it up. Plus, I had leftovers! I ate like a queen at work that week. We are planning on making this for the inlaws (minus the sour cream - my FIL doesn't think sour cream should be legal)

Welcome to Gluten Free in the Shaolin!

Hi! I'm Kerrie and welcome to my new blog, Gluten Free in the Shaolin. I'm new to blogging and pretty new to the whole gluten-free life. This blog will serve as my entrance into the gluten free blogosphere and also a repository for all the AWESOME GF recipies out there! To tell you a little bit about myself, I'm a 30-something married mother of one who recently went gluten-free. I'm Jersey born and bred, but now I reside in Staten Island (a.k.a the Shaolin) where I work as a teacher.