One of the few things I have missed since being gluten free is mozzarella sticks. Not that I ever had them very often but there is something very nostalgic about cheesy, crispy sticks of warm goodness. Normally my favorite are the drive in kind with the tomato sauce on the side but they normally weigh in at over 500 calories a serving. Well my version is not only gluten free but its also very low in fat. Even better is the kids wont notice the difference.
6 Light Mozzarella Sticks ( Unwrapped and Cut in Half)
2 oz Corn Meal
2 oz Almond Flour
1 oz Skim Milk
1 Tbs Italian Seasoning
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Paprika
Place the cheese sticks in the freezer while you prepare everything else. In one bowl mix the milk and egg. In the second bowl mix the corn meal, flour, seasoning, salt and paprika. Remove cheese from freezer and coat in the egg mixture. Then role the pieces in the flour mix until well coated. Then dip again in egg and pack in flour mix to make sure you wave a thick coating. Placed each one on a well sprayed cookie sheet and spray the top of each. Bake at 45o degrees for a ten minutes turning halfway until they are golden brown. Make sure you keep an eye on the and that they do not become melted.
Serve hot out of the over with tomato sauce. Enjoy!
Not many people are aware but on many Saturdays I work at Sweet Christens Gluten Free Bakery creating specials and making brunch and lunch items. People come out to the bakery to get a week worth of gluten free goods and sit to have a quick bite of what ever I am making.
This week I whipped up some Basil BLT’s and everyone loved it. I wanted to share the recipe since its super easy.
Two sliced of your favorite GF Bread
4 Slices Cooked Bacon
2 Tomato Slices
1 Tbs Low Fat Mayo
1/2 Tbs Pesto
1/4 Cup Lettuce
*Extra Basil Optional
In a small bowl mix the pesto and mayo. Place a thin layer of the spread on each slice of bread. Put the bread on an oiled pan with a low flame with the pesto side facing up. Now build the sandwich with bacon, tomato lettuce and addition lettuce if you want. Close sandwich and flip. Once bread is slightly toasted and warm, remove and serve. Enjoy
I don’t think I ever just introduced an ingredient before but Pamelo is currently in season and an item many people are turned off from. This fruit is tradition in South East Asia. Similar smell and outer appearance to a grapefruit but about twice the size. The outer layer of the fruit is very thick. The inside is a bright pink fruit with a similar constancy and texture of an orange. The flavor is a cross between a sweet grape fruit and an orange.
Remove peel. Then slowly remove as much of the “pith” as possible including the thick marerial separating each section of the fruit. The pith is bitter and very think.
Panelo is easily eaten plan or traditionally served with a blend of sugar and chile powder blend for dipping.
Find on at any local Asian grocery store. Enjoy!
Clearly being “guilt free” I get very excited when I find a healthy substitute for something I should not be eating. I love munching on anything that is crispy and salty but its not easy to do with out all the fat and calories. When I learned you can do the same with a vegetable I was excited. I have been making these forever and they never get old.
1 Bunch Kale
Lots of Sea Salt
The first step is the most important and is better done a head of time. Rinse the kale well and dry. You can dry by patting with paper towel or laying out for a bit on some towels to air dry. Then tare the leaves of the thick center stem. Place each piece on a well sprayed and foiled cookie sheet. Then spray the kale on top well and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 12 minutes on 350 degrees turning half way. You will know when they are done as soon as they are all crisp. Some of the tray may finish first so just remove and continue cooking the rest.
They are best eaten as soon as they are done or store in a air tight container if needed.
Fish sticks are the only thing I ever ordered as a kid. Something about the crunchy out side and the flaky middle. Dipping it into anything and being able to eat with your hands. I have yet to find a fish stick gluten free that I like until I made my own. This recipe got a boyfriend stamp if approval so we know its good.
4 Tbs Corn Meal
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Salt
1 Pounder Cod
2 Tbs Milk
Mix corn meal, garlic, onion, salt and paprika in a bowl and pour onto a flat plate. In the bowl whisk egg and milk. Now cut fish into strips or large chunks. Dip each piece into egg and then roll in corn meal to coat. Place each piece on a sprayer foil baking sheet. Cook at 400 degrease for 10-15 minutes and turn half way until golden brown. Enjoy!
After the amazing response I received from my blog about my Gluten Free Mexico Vacation I figured it is important to share the tips and tricks I find on all my getaways. I just got back yesterday from a wonderful romantic ski trip to Vermont. I spent a week planning what food to pack because I figured the 8-hour drive and the long days on the slope would leave me with little gluten free options but I was very wrong. Vermont as a whole had a ton of great gluten free finds. Regardless I would always recommend packing good healthy options just in case. Check out the pack I made at the end of this blog to get some good ideas. Both Jay and I made almost every breakfast and lunch plus snack out of what we took with us which was a great money savor in the long run.
As for Stowe it self it simple is amazing. We stayed at the Butler House which was a quite little spot in town. Completely up to date which is hard to find and at a great price. We had a super cute room with a loft bed and a wonderful view of town. Check out what people are saying about this place at http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g57415-d3365145-r148447571-Butler_House_Stowe-Stowe_Vermont.html. If you are looking for more of a resort I would highly recommend the Trapp Family Lodge. This is the original lodge from the Sound of Music Family. They have great vacation packages along with activities all days for anyone in your family not hitting the slopes. They have a bunch of restaurants on site and a brewery that is working on the gluten free brew.
As for the mountain it was amazing. From beginner to export they have everything covered. With high speed quad lifts and an in-closed gondola that bring you to the top of one of Vermont’s highest mountain tops. Runs the would last from 20-40 minutes to finish. They had different lodges with food and drinks at the bottom and top of each peak with gluten free options like pizza, chili and salads. The best part is everyone knows everyone so it was totally a community feel very unlike the tourist traps I am used too. They even have this one run called Toll Road that zig-zags down the whole mountain at a very little incline all in the woods. You can actually see Lake Champlain on the way down and take a second to really appreciate the experience of being in a winter wonderland far away from the city life.
As for the restaurants, I was impressed every night. The first night we had been so beat from the drive and checking out town that we went down stairs in our hotel to Frida’s Taqueria and Grill which I read a lot about. Its a great modern Mexican spot with a ton of fun options including homemade 100% corn tortilla. We really enjoyed the table side Guacamole and fun taco menu. The even exposed me to a new gluten free beer called Celia Saison from The Alchemist Brewing Company in Waterbury, Vermont. The next day we went and checked out the brewery its self and got a bunch to bring home. The second day we went out to Burlington VT to check out the town and found a great spot called Duino Duende. The place is a gem. It focuses on international street food with a twist and with a gluten free menu its hard to go wrong. We split fried oysters and I had a Cuban wrap with kale on the side. The dark candle light atmosphere and Live Jazz made the whole experience something to remember. Not to mention a homemade chai tea with ROOT to warm anyone up after a long day on the slope. Our last night we stayed in Stowe and tried Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge. A really fun modern twist on a pizza spot. They have a full gluten free menu including pizza, pasta and sandwiches. We have great wings, salad and pizza and enjoyed every bite.
My Meals To Go Pack:
Turkey Jerky (read ingredient)
Dried Fruit (Like Raisin, Prunes, Figs Ect.)
Home Made Granola Bars (Try on of my recipes)
Sugar Free Hot Chocolate
Peanut Butter To-Go Packs from Peanut Butter and Company
Trail mix Individual Packs (Found mine at CVS for $2.5o but you can easily make your own with different nuts and dry fruit)
Big Bag of Baby Carrots
Big Bag of Sugar Snap Peas
Bottle of Wine
Box of little zip lock bags to bring to the mountain
The hardest thing about being gluten free is having trouble finding healthy good eats when on the go. I am a very outdoors person and I am always trying to find new things to take for long days out doors. I will not spend $3 on a gluten free granola bar. This recipe is amazing. Full of protein, gluten free, low in sugar and tasty.
1 1/2 Cups Rice Crispy Cereal
1 1/2 Cup Old Fashion Oat Meal (gluten free)
1/2 Cup Dry Coconut
1/2 Cup Dry Cranberries and or Raisins
3 Tbs Peanut Butter
3 Tbs Honey
4 Tbs Splenda / Sugar
1/2 Cup Crushed Pecans
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp salt
In one bowl mix peanut butter and honey and heat in microwave for a few second to loosen. After it cools add vanilla, salt and sugar then mix well and put it aside. In a larger bowl mix oatmeal, coconut, dried fruit and crushed pecans. Return to the first bowl with peanut butter and mix in eggs well then add this liquid mix to the dry bowl and continue mixing. Finally, add the rice cereal to the mix and mix everything together well. Press mixture into a square baking well greased baking dish and cook for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown. Allow to cool and then cut into bars. Enjoy!!!!
Salmon is truly my favorite fish and I am always looking for new and fun ways to change it up. I always see nut crusted seafood item’s on restaurant menu’s but they are never gluten free and they are always high in calorie. My version is easy to make and you will feel good about it.
1-2 Pounds of Salmon Cut in to Serving Size Slices
1 Cup Crushed Nuts (Walnut, Pecans, Pistachios)
1/2 Cup Chopped Parsley
1 Lemon Cut into Wedges
1 tsb Salt
1 Tbs Butter or Oil
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place Crushed nuts, parsley, 1/4 lemon, salt and butter in food processor to blend it all together into a paste. Spread even amounts of nut mixture on each piece. Splash a little more lemon on top and place in the oven. Bake at 350 for about 10-15 mins. depending on size and then boil on high for an addition few minutes until tops begin to brown. Enjoy!
3 Things You Should Know Before Filing for a Gluten-Free Food Tax Deduction
It’s no secret that gluten-free food packaged food is oftentimes more expensive than its gluten-containing counterparts, but did you know you might be eligible for a tax deduction to help make up the difference?
If you have never filed for a tax deduction for your gluten-free food purchases, there are some important things you should know before you do:
1. You Need an Official Diagnosis to be Eligible
Many people are eating gluten-free for a variety of reasons, but only those with an official diagnosis with a gluten-related disorder will be eligible for a tax deduction. You’ll need a prescription from your doctor for a gluten-free diet as your treatment option as well.
2. Keep Track of Your Food Purchases the Entire
Year In order to receive the tax deduction, you’ll have to calculate the difference between the cost of gluten-free alternatives vs. the cost of gluten-containing foods. For example, if you purchase gluten-free crackers for $4.50 and traditional crackers cost $2.50, you’ll only be able to claim the difference: $2
This will need to be done throughout the year as you purchase gluten-free food. Since you will have a lot of purchases to keep track of, some have recommended using a spreadsheet to help keep track of all of the figures.
Everyone rule has exceptions! Visit the Tax Deduction Guide for Gluten-Free Products from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to see which types of gluten-free food are eligible for a full refund.
3. Refunds are Only Given if Medical Expenses Exceed 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income
IRS rules dictate that refunds for medical expenses will be granted only if they are over 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) (the total gross income, minus specific reductions). Turbo Tax gives a great example for determining if your medical expenses exceed 7.5% of your AGI.
Once you figure out if you’re eligible for a tax deduction, the last step is moving forward and filing your claim. NFCA’s Tax Deduction Guide for Gluten-Free Products also provides more information on the specific IRS tax forms, rulings and publication reference numbers you’ll need to file
Since I was young I have always loved Chicken Wings. Being gluten free and also always health conscious I have found a way to make great wings with out all the extra oil from frying. My recipe is super easy and cuts down on 1/3 of the calories, super easy to do and avoids cross contamination from using a regular fryer. They are so good you can full anyone to thinking you ordered them from takeout.
30 Cleaned Chicken Wings
2 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs Paprika
1 Tbs Garlic Powder
1 Tbs Onion Powder
Start by washing and drying the wings. Place wings in a big bowl and coat all the wings with oil. Add all the seasoning and mix well. Pour wings on two foiled and well sprayed baking sheets. Make sure the wings do not overlap. Bake at 400 degrees for 60 min then flip them over and cook an additional 30 minutes.
Serve warm with any dipping sauce and celery sticks. A healthy alternative to the high calorie blue cheese dressing is 1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt + 2 OZ Blue Cheese Crumbles + Pinch of Salt.