21 September 2010

Quick and Easy Gluten Free

GF Rainbow Layer Cake

Wow. I have been amazed at the level of interest around the whole gluten-free thing!?!
I only have a few moments before i have to be somewhere but thought I'd write up a quick post to address some of the comments and questions...

Isn't it really restrictive and a big hassle?
No, not really. Going Gluten Free has actually been relatively easy and painless! I'm not just talking about my measly one gluten free day so far, I mean with transitioning Miss Fab to the GF life.
I've been cooking gluten free for our whole family's evening meals since July, and it has actually helped us all eat healthier, and less rubbish than before. I managed to make a gorgeous and delicious Gluten free tea party
for her - nobody would ever have know they were eating gluten free. It was all delicious and yummy, and best of all, simple and easy. Click here for that Menu...

Delicious GF Cupcakes

Isn't it really expensive??
Well, some things are. Like the bread. You will pay $6-7 for a tiny loaf of rubbery bread. And the pasta. You can make a decent pasta dish with GF pasta (if you stand there stirring it the whole time so it doesn't overcook and turn into a gelatinous mass) but one 250g packet of pasta is about $4, and you need TWO of them to feed the family. So what do you do? You change your staples.
Don't have pasta as your main carb option - keep it for a special treat. Use rice or potato as your starchy filler. Use the bread for occasional toasted sandwiches (it's better cooked/toasted) and think creatively about alternative GF options rather than sandwiches for lunch.

Also if you get good at reading labels, you will discover heaps of "regular" food items that are actually free from gluten, although not actually trumpeted as "Gluten Free".

All GF Treats

Isn't it all really bland and yucky??
No, not at all!! And GF baking is really simple, if you use the right ingredients. The biscuits and cake have a different texture, but the good ones are just as yummy.

And some gluten free foods are actually yummier than the regular kind. Like the bacon. And the ham. Soooo good. Like it used to be before they started injecting water and sugar into it all.

I will be writing a post soon about all my great gluten free discoveries - like Twisties. And Cheezels. And Rashuns. ALL GLUTEN FREE. Yep. You would never think, would ya?

GF Rocky Road
Last night I did a twist on Spaghetti and Meatballs. It was delicious, easy and gobbled up by all.
I used Rice.


Microwave some basmati rice while you prepare the rest.

500g good quality beef mince
1 egg
1-2 tablespoons cornflour
A splodge of tomato ketchup (Watties is GF)
A squirt of GF Soya sauce (Ceres Tamari)
Cracked black pepper

Smoosh all the ingredients together with your hand and form small handfuls into little meatballs. Place on a roasting dish lined with baking paper and bake in the oven at 190oC for approx 20 minutes or until cooked through.

1 tablespoon olive oil
handful garlic flakes (or 2 crushed garlic cloves)
4-5 button mushrooms, grated
1-2 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
1 apple, grated
1 Jar of tomato-based pasta sauce (Dolmio etc)

Heat the oil and then quickly add the mushroom and garlic, followed by the zucchini. Add the apple last and then the jar of Pasta sauce. Allow to simmer until the rice is cooked through.

To serve:
Spoon rice onto each plate, then meatballs, top with pasta sauce.

Oh look - the veges are all hiding in the sauce! Nobody will ever know they are eating a bunch of veges! That's why I grate everything.

The apple makes the sauce slightly sweet, delicious.

It took my Italian-loving hubby a while to get used to the idea of meatballs with rice not spaghetti, but he still declared it delicious. And the kids plates were clean, with no complaints about veges.

Plus it only took me 20 minutes to prepare. Bonus.

I will post more lazy cook GF dinners soon :)

PS: For non-New Zealand readers, the BRANDS don't matter. Just check the ingredients of your regular tomato-based pasta sauce and ketchup; you may find they are already GF (most ARE); The Soy Sauce is the tricky one. The one I use is Organic and brewed entirely from Soy, no wheat.

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SoMo Mom said...

Thanks for visiting on my sits day! I think I'm am still reeling from the blog "love"... I hope the family is on the mend now!!
Stephanie from www.southernmomentum.com

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

Always great when someone can embrace a family members differences and make it not so alienating for them. Well done.

I like the idea of apple in the sauce.....mmmmmm. Always up for easy meals - thanks! Must be the day for meatballs!

Unknown said...

Nice!!! I love it. But we don't have a lot of those brands that you just mentioned here in the states... I'm going to have to do my homework.

Leonie said...

oh Simone, you have just made me so happy, after 12 months of eating gluten free I have never checked the packets of twisties etc and just assumed they had gluten! Wow!! off to our local nz food stockist i go!!!

Dee said...

thanks for all the info...
another question:
have you found that elimnating gluten in food usually means there is the addition sugar or msg (ie twisties/rashuns/cheezels) to compensate?

Simoney said...

Good question Dee! No, not necessarily at all.

There is actually MSG in most flavourings and they use gluten as a carrier, so the GF ones usually have little or no msg. We are mostly restricted to plain or salt 'n' vinegar flavours for potato chips and corn chips. Some plain corn chips also contain gluten.

The twisties/cheezels/rashuns are a big surprise to me! They are certainly not marketed as gluten free as they are produced on a line that also processes items containing gluten. But it's nice to have a few "normal" junky treats that my daughter can eat as a treat, so the smallest smidgen of msg occassionally is OK. twisties are definietly not an everyday treat!

They DO have 621 (MSG) but so do nearly ALL other flavoured crisps/chips.

Mostly the GF ones do not.

I've just again checked the packages of two other flavoured GF snacks - Real Foods corn thins and Healtheries Rice Rounds... and they are GF and also DO NOT contain MSG in their flavourings.
Hope that helps??
Luv Simone

alicia said...

One word, WOW!! You are all kinds of inspirational. Thanks for sharing. There are many that will benefit from this.

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