Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Athletes and the Gluten-Free Diet

Here's another gluten in the news article for all your reading pleasure.

It's pretty interesting especially if you are an athlete/weekend warrior/little leaguer/high school or college competitor.

I really am loving all this attention that the gluten-free diet is getting lately.
As I have said before, it makes our lives easier and tastier!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Is Gluten Making America Fat?

I saw this article on Yahoo, and was instantly sucked into reading it:

Well, if it's true then we can all thank our lucky stars that we can avoid the pound-catcher.

All in all, I agree with what cyclist Tom Danielson (who chose to live a gluten free diet) says:
"I became more dedicated and took a more professional approach to my training when I went gluten-free. I couldn't get lazy and down whole pizzas and bowls of pasta. I had to focus on putting better food in my body, and this made me realize how much my eating habits off the bike affected my performance on it." 

It's true, reading labels and always being mindful of what we are putting in our mouths helps make healthy food choices.  Yes, I was shocked when I saw some of the ingredients in common foods and all the artificial/preservative/sugar/lard-laden ingredients in gluten containing (and some non gluten containing) food that I used to love.  (Not that I don't indulge sometimes).  Eating an entire box of gluten free cookies will definitely do the same thing to your waistline that an entire box of gluten-full cookies will.

Anyway, interesting article.  Made some good points.  I think that if there's going to be a gluten-free movement in the food/restaurant industry, I say awesome, because it sure does make my life easier and a whole lot tastier.  

Read the article and let me know what you think.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

For Those Who Can't Eat Oats...

A friend let me in on this little tip if you are having a hard time with oats.

Use sliced almonds!  
She said it worked great and results were delicious.

Good to know, thanks Natalie.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Red Velvet Cake

Forget everything I said about the Gluten Free Chocolate Mallow Cake.  
This is the best dessert ever.
It will make you the most popular person in the room.

If  you make this, there will be people begging for the recipe, your husband cheating on his diet and you craving another bite for days.

Yep, it's that good.
And it's able to be GF, even better.

The recipe came from Bakerella, look here for the original, unmodified version.

 Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake
2 1/2 cups GF flour
2 rounded t. xanthan gum
2 cups sugar
1 T. cocoa
1 t. salt
1 rounded t. baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 T. vinegar
1 t. vanilla 
2 oz. red food coloring 

A few random thoughts...
* Bring all ingredients to room temperature.  Let the eggs and buttermilk sit at room temp. for about 30 mins.  Do the same with the frosting ingredients.  It really does make a difference.
* You will need 2 bottles (1oz each) of the food coloring.  I don't even want to know what my insides look like after that much dye.  You can find it by the regular food coloring in the baking aisle.
*Round the baking soda and xanthan gum for better baking results.  I know our mothers said to scrape the top, don't do it!  The cake won't be as dense and grainy.
*The recipe says 2 8 inch cake pans.  My pans are packed in storage right now, so I used 8 inch disposables with not very high sides.  I was worried about the cake spilling over so I put 2 cups of batter into 3 cake pans.  I actually really liked the end result.
*When the cakes are cooling, cover with plastic wrap to keep them moist.

Enough with the tips, on with the recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 2 (or 3) 8in cake pans. 
Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk.  Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended.  Set aside.
Place all dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together with another wire whisk.
Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about one minutes or until completely combined.  
Pour into cake pans and then drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.  
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in pan for 10 mins, then remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.  Cover with plastic wrap to keep moist.
Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 t. vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter on high until creamy.  Add in vanilla.
Add the sugar in batches until all the sugar in mixed in.  Scrape the sides of the bowl in between each addition.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Island Pork Tenderloin

This pork is really good.
The salad is ok.
I think that I'll use the pork for tacos, over rice, or something other than salad.
If you want to make the salad, it's just spinach, raisins, red pepper, and your favorite salad dressing.
The pork recipe comes from the BeachBody cookbook for P90X.

Island Pork Tenderloin

16 oz pork tenderloin
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. chile powder
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 T. olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 T. Tabasco sauce

Stir together salt, pepper, cumin, chile powder, and cinnamon, then rub into the pork.  (Don't be afraid to use your hands here).

Heat the oil in a skillet over moderately high heat and brown pork for about 4 minutes on each side.
Stir together brown sugar, garlic, and Tabasco sauce and pat onto top of the tenderloin.  

Place in crockpot and cook until tender.  Or cook in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
(If using the crockpot, pour in a little water about 1/4 of the way up the pork.  Pour the water down the side of the crockpot so the rub and sauce don't run off the meat.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

No-Bake Cookies

Sorry, once again no picture.  I just couldn't get any of them to look good.

These cookies are the solution to my chocolate-peanut butter cravings.  And I feel a little less guilty because there are oats in the recipe, meaning it's a tiny bit healthy right? 

Super easy, super good, gone super fast.

No-Bake Cookies

1 cube butter
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
3 cups GF quick cooking oats
3 T. cocoa
1 t. vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1/2 t. salt

In a saucepan, combine butter, cocoa, milk and sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Cook for 1 1/2 mins, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat

Add peanut butter, oats and vanilla.  Mix well.  Drop by spoonful onto wax paper.  Cool.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lemon-Garlic Chicken

Sorry, no picture. 
Just looks like a nice piece of grilled chicken.

I like this recipe because it so easy and you only have to marinate the chicken for 1 hour.
It has a nice sweet, lemony flavor.
I got the recipe from the BeachBody cookbook for the P90X diet and for being "health" food, it's good.  I modify it a little to make it even easier.


Lemon-Garlic Chicken

1/4 cup fresh or bottled lemon juice
2 T. molasses
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced (you can chop the cloves, but I have found you get more garlic flavor if you mince)
2-3 chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a nonreactive dish and add chicken.  Cover and marinate for at least 1 hour turning occasionally.  

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

Grill chicken until no longer pink.  Baste with marinade if you want a more lemony-garlic flavor.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pesto Sauce

As you can see we had a very green meal.
Perfect for St. Paddy's Day if you are thinking ahead.
This is just grilled asparagus, my fav veggie, wild rice blend, chicken with a pesto sauce.
The pesto sauce is so good.
I posted a different pesto sauce earlier, and I'm not sure which one I like better.  This one is more nutty tasting because you have to toast the pine nuts, where the other is more basil-ly.  
So you be the judge!  
This sauce is great on chicken, talapia, pizza, pasta or just with veggies.

Pesto Sauce

1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil, packed
2 T. garlic, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 T. water or apple juice (it's suppose to be white wine)
3 T. lemon juice
1/4 c chicken broth
1/4 t. salt

Heat skillet over medium-high heat and toast nuts, turning until golden brown.  (Don't let them burn, which happens as soon as you turn your back!)

In a food processor or blender, puree basil, toasted nuts and garlic.  Add Parmesan cheese, water, lemon juice, and chicken broth and process until desired consistency.  Add salt to taste. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Red Pepper Soup

Aren't they lovely?
(I'm talking about my cookie sheet, haha, just kidding)
Red peppers, so beautiful and so delicious.
And so pricey.
So save this recipe for when red peppers are on sale, a special occasion, or if you feel like you can splurge.
I did. For Valentine's Day we had this wonderful Red Pepper Soup.

To roast the peppers follow these directions from The most important step is letting them sit for 20 minutes in the sealed container to steam. The skins came right off, no problem.

Red Pepper Soup

1 cup chicken broth or 1/2 c. apple juice + 1 c. chicken broth (it should be white wine, but I didn't have any, the apple juice will add a sweeter flavor)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 roasted red peppers
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 T. garlic, minced
1 plum tomato, chopped
2 T. tomato paste (not sauce, paste)
1 cup chicken broth
1 T. dried thyme
1/8 t. pepper
1/8 t. ground cumin
salt to taste

Heat chicken broth (or apple juice) in a large heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, red peppers, and celery. Cook and stir for 3 minutes. Stir in garlic. Cook for 2 more minutes, adding more chicken broth if necessary. (I didn't need to)
Add tomato, tomato paste, and broth; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
Puree soup in a food processor or blender in batches. Return to the pan, add seasonings and heat through.

Makes about 6 cups.
This soup also freezes really well.