Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review of Annie's Naturals Organic Papaya Poppy Seed Dressing

Annie's website describes this dressing as, "This unique version of poppy seed dressing with its innovative fruity-sweet flavor leaves the palate with hints of succulent papaya and onion. It’s a perfect match for green and fruit salads, as a marinade or sauce base for pork – even drizzled on ripe avocado!"

A reviewer had this to say about it: " It tastes a lot like Wendy's honey mustard sauce and it makes me really happy since I can't eat that now, being a vegan. It's soooooo good! Highly recommended."

My vote? It is creamy, sweet and totally delicious.  I love that is organic, has no artificial flavors or synthetic colors.  It is Gluten free and Vegan.  I will definitely be buying it again.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Make Your Own Customized Red Robin Allergy Free Menu

This great link will take you to a place where you can create your own Red Robin Menu based on your inputted allergens. After you put in what you need to avoid it will let you know what items you can have, and what you would need to leave off, etc, to make it allergy-friendly. Red Robin carries Udi's buns so this is a fun option if you can have them. My daughter gets a kid's burger with the bun. I like to get the natural burger or the natural chicken "burger". They will always give you a lettuce wrap, too. The fries are the score point.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Gluten Free Grains Alternative Grains and their Benefits

I found this great resource at care2.com
photo from Awesome Cuisine.com
1.  Millet:
Gluten free millet provides a host of nutrients, has a sweet nutty flavour, and is considered to be one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available.  It is one of the few grains that is alkalizing to the body. Millet has always been a favorite grain of mine since I discovered it in my hippy days in the 70s!
Read about millet’s 12 health benefits, some interesting trivia and history, 10 tips how to use it, and 3 delicious millet recipes.
We use millet in our Healthy BootCamps. Besides all the health benefits, it is tasty and economical.
2.  Quinoa:
Quinoa is a Powerfood Vegetable Seed! Although referred to as a grain, it is actually a seed from a vegetable related to Swiss chard, spinach and beets. Quinoa is pronounced keen-wa not kwin-o-a. Learn its benefits, history, tips and cautions. Read all here:  8 Health Benefits of Quinoa – the Mother Food
3.  Brown Rice:
Rice feeds the world! Three billion people worldwide depend on rice for over half of their daily calorie intake. Most of them eat white rice.  Find out all the benefits of rice and which is better, white or brown at Brown Rice vs White Rice: Benefits and Cautions
4.  Cornmeal whole grain (not corn starch):
Cornmeal is an excellent source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin B-6. And cornmeal is good for: weak digestion, heart disease, high blood pressure, edema and gallstones.
Because corn is often genetically modified, one should only purchase organic corn or corn products.  However, even organic-labeled corn does not guarantee it is GMO free. Most individuals get  exposed to corn in so many products, often as a sweetener.  If you are not eating it in packaged or junk food-form, corn can be a healthy addition.
5.  Buckwheat:
Buckwheat is rich in flavonoids like rutin and a good source of magnesium. Buckwheat is good for your cardiovascular system. It’s a valuable food for those with diabetes, as it can be helpful for regulating blood sugar.
Note:  These grains are the most common grains that a person tries when they start going gluten free.  Read more less-known grains on the next page.
6.  Oats (make sure they are pure and uncontaminated):
Your grandma and the Scots ate oats because its inexpensive and grows anywhere. I eat oatmeal for its taste and nutrition and its many other benefits. Read all the benefits here:  10 Smart Reasons to Enjoy Oatmeal
There is some  controversy about whether oats is really gluten free.   Read here:  Is Oats Gluten Free?
7.  Sorghum (whole grain):
Sorghum contains large amounts of fiber, protein and nutrients.   In studies it has been shown to possibly inhibit cancer growth, protect against diabetes and help manage cholesterol. Sorghum is significantly more nutritionally dense than ordinary white flour. It is often eaten as a porridge but can also be ground into flour.
8.  Teff:
Teff leads all the grains in its calcium content, with a cup of cooked teff offering 123 mg, about the same amount of calcium as in a half-cup of cooked spinach. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient not commonly found in grains.  It can be grown in areas that won’t support other crops.  The seed is so small it cannot be refined so is always a whole grain.
9.  Amaranth:
Amaranth contains significant amounts of B vitamins, calcium, iron and Vitamin C. Amaranth may help lower cholesterol. At about 13-14 percent, it easily trumps the protein content of most other grains. Amaranth was a major food crop of the Aztecs, domesticated between 6,000 and 8,000 years ago. The Aztecs didn’t just grow and eat amaranth, they also used the grains as part of their religious practices.
10.  Popcorn:
Movie lovers will be happy about this one! Popcorn has an abundant source of fiber and it has B vitamins and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc and phosphorous. Popcorn’s crunchy hull is rich in polyphenols—antioxidants that provide several important health benefits such as protection from coronary artery disease, protection from cancers, healthy bloodsugar levels and prevention from premature aging.
10.  Montina (Indian Rice Grass):
Indian rice grass was a staple of Native American diets. Pure Indian rice grass flour is super high in protein and fiber with 17 grams of protein, 24 grams of dietary fiber, and 24 grams of insoluble fiber in just 2/3 of a cup.  It has a strong wheat-like taste.
All the above grains are recommended by the Canadian Celiac Association.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/eleven-gluten-free-grains.html#ixzz3DylPGxu3

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Allergy-friendly Sugar Free Oatmeal Cookies

Photo by Christina Weedon
I want to take note of this website where I found these (here). I can imagine many other yummy goodies coming from here. I made these recently. Ok, maybe I ate them for breakfast. And why not? They have oats, bananas, raisins and no refined sugar. They are like granola in a cookie. I made half of my batch with raisins and the other with Enjoy Life chocolate chips. We at the raisin ones for breakfast and the chocolate chip ones for dessert (after breakfast). You should have seen my child's eyes light up when I broke the news of what we were having for breakfast. There were SO delicious. I was surprised at how easy they were to whip up. We snuck down to my husband's office at lunch time to surprise him with some. These cookies brought a lot of happiness into an ordinary day.  They beyond a doubt just became a staple at our house. As I was eating the first cookie I was already thinking about getting ingredients for my next batch. The only thing I would change is to make a double batch and freeze half as I usually do!

3 Cups Gluten Free Oats {I used two cups old-fashioned, and one cup quick-cooking.}
1 1/2 Cups Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 Cup Maple Syrup {the real stuff!}
1/2 Cup Oil {grapeseed, canola, another neutral oil}
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 Well-Mashed Bananas {for very small bananas, use two... very large, maybe just one.}
1/2 Cup {or so} Mix-In's, such as raisins or other dried fruit, nuts, chocolate... 

Combine oats, flour, xanthan gum, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Stir thoroughly.
To the flour mixture, add maple syrup, oil, vanilla, and mashed bananas. Mix well to combine.
Add your mix-ins, and don't be afraid to experiment! This batch used raisins and just a few mini chocolate chips. {Keep in mind that some mix-ins may add a touch of sugar to the recipe.}
Place rounded spoonfuls of dough on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake at 375 degrees for about ten minutes, until the edges are golden and cookies have a nice 'puff' to them.
Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack.

Note: this is a sticky, messy dough! Don't be alarmed {I was!}, the cookies will bake up nicely and with a dense, chewy texture.  

{Gluten and Dairy Free} Fish Tacos

4 cod fish fillets
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Taco seasoning
 The juice of 1 Lime
Salt and Pepper

Santa Barbara Mango Peach Salsa (or click on the link to make your own)

Gluten free store bought Guacamole or this recipe

Drizzle EVOO in the frying pan. Take the cod and put the fillets in the pan. Sprinkle with the taco seasoning (not too thick), the salt and the pepper. Drizzle with lime. Cook on medium heat until cooked through. (5 minutes per size or so).  When you flip the cod over sprinkle with some taco seasoning.  Shred the cooked fish, and put in corn or rice tortillas. Sprinkle with salsa, lettuce, tomato and guacamole (if desired).  I like to top mine with Daiya cheese.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

{Gluten and Dairy Free} Breakfast Quesadillas

If you can't have eggs, you can just use the other ingredients to make a quesadilla!

Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 15 min
Serves 4

10 Chicken Eggs or 6 Duck Eggs
1/4 cup water or unsweetened milk substitute
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 cup diced tomato
2 green onions chopped
1/4 cup Jalapeno Jack Daiya Cheese plus more for topping
1/4 cup finely chopped spinach
2 cloves garlic minced
2 TBS olive oil plus more for the pan
salt and pepper to taste
GF Udi's Burritos

Top with Pico de gallo
a dollop of vegenaise
and optional guacamole

Pico de gallo

1 cup finely chopped onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped - or more to taste
2 limes juiced
2 and 1/2 cups Roma tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped

1 tsp sea salt

Put olive oil in large frying pan. Put onion garlic and eggs in pan. Over medium heat cook while stirring regularly. When it starts to thicken add tomatoes, spinach and Daiya cheese. Put one tortilla in another large frying pan greased with olive oil, top with half of the eggs and liberal amounts of "cheese". Put another tortilla on top and a lid. Cook until softened. Remove from pan and cut into quarters. Do the process again. Top with Pico de Gallo, Vegenaise and guacamole if desired.