For you Philadelphians interested in learning more about the gluten-free diet, register for the Mt Airy Learning Tree Class Why and How to Go Gluten-Free
. I am leading the workshop, which will be held at Food For All Market and Café
, and in addition to some delicious samples of their gluten-free fare, I'm including my ebooks Gluten Free: Practical Advice for a Happy, Healthy Gluten-Free Life
and So What CAN You Eat? Gluten-Free Paleo Vegan (mostly) Recipes for Health and Weight Loss
(which I will have printed out for your benefit, of course!)
Here's the course description:
Do you feel lousy and don't know why? Have doctors not been able to figure out what's wrong? Have you recently been diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance? Do you wonder if going gluten-free can help you lose weight? Do you want to know what all the buzz is about? During this fun and interactive hour and a half session, you'll get facts and practical tips for eating gluten-free safely and well.
Tuesday, May 7th, 6:30 - 8 pm
Food For All, 7127 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19119
$20 for the class, $5 Materials fee REGISTRATION THROUGH MT. AIRY LEARNING TREE IS REQUIRED
I hope to see you there!
[Join my final webinar installment: October 29th 8 pm Eastern time, when we'll talk about eating out safely, getting ready for Thanksgiving and the secret to happiness:
http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=E950DE85854738October 22 replay featuring office parties, unsupportive family, and more ideas for food: http://www.anymeeting.com/clairebakerok/EC52DD858648September 22nd replay featuring the basics for who should go gluten-free and how to shop for gluten-free foods, stay safe in your own kitchen and eat out. http://www.anymeeting.com/WebConference/RecordingDefault.aspx?c_psrid=EC50DF898547
In my gluten-free webinar series, we have been discussing getting ready for the holidays. One technique to guarantee that you have gluten-free food to eat at parties is to host it yourself or take some excellent dishes to the party at someone else's house. I created a You Tube video featuring three great party foods: Peanut Chili Dip, Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms, and Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates.Peanut Chili Dip
Peanut Chili Dip has been a favorite of ours for a long time. I modified our family favorite to be gluten free.
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 T. water
1 T. Gluten-free tamari
1 T. honey
2 cloves minced garlic
1 T. chili powder
Dash of cayenneMix all the ingredients together. At first it looks like it won't mix together well, but don't worry and keep stirring. Before long it will get a creamy consistency. Serve with baby carrots. You can eat it right away, or chill it for a few hours and let the flavors mingle.
Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms
You definitely CAN make stuffed mushrooms with your favorite gluten-free bread crumbs, but these quinoa-stuffed babies combine an interesting texture with superior nutrition.
24-32 mushrooms, depending on size
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 T. olive oil
1 clove chopped garlic
3 T. chopped kale
1 T. chopped pecans
1 T. Herbs de Provence (or basil or parsley or whatever you are in the mood for)
3 T. cream cheese
2 T. pecorino romano cheese or parmesan cheees
3-4 drops of gluten-free liquid smoke
Preheat oven to 350.
Prepare the quinoa according to the package instructions.
Brush/wash the mushrooms and remove stems.
Saute the garlic, kale, pecans and herbs in olive oil until the kale softens, about 5 minutes. Combine with quinoa, cheeses and liquid smoke in a bowl, stirring until well combined. Stuff the mushroom caps with the quinoa cheese mixture. Arrange on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned. Delicious warm or served room temperature.
Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates
This is hardly a recipe. It's more of a reminder that you can create easy party food with two ingredients.
enough peanut butter to fill the dates
Depending on the size of your dates, you may want to pit them and stuff the peanut butter inside. For the ones I did for the video, I cut the dates in half, removed the pits, and filled the date "boats" with peanut butter. They were a little sticky, but delicious. I know there are people out there who roll peanut butter stuffed dates in powdered sugar, and the guy at the health food store also recommended using Nutella. And in keeping with the bacon wrapping theme of my October 15, 2012 webinar, I've also seen bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with peanut butter and chocolate on-line. Experiment and have fun!
[May is Celiac Awareness Month, and I’m giving away copies of my ecookbooklet: So What CAN You Eat? Gluten-free Paleo Vegan (mostly) Recipes for Health and Weight Loss, to all who join the mailing list. Visit the homepage here.
19 fast, easy recipes!]
1) I'm cooking most of my own food, so I know what goes into it
2) I'm more likely to just get a salad (with dressing on the side) when I eat at a restaurant that doesn't have a gluten-free menu, helping me meet my weight management goals
3) I can't succumb to the temptation of workplace pizza or doughnuts when they appear
4) I'm more mindful of the nutritients and calories I'm putting into my body
5) I've gotten to experiment with new foods and have found some new things to add to my list of favorites, and they are healthy (Beets! Brussels sprouts!)
6) I've befriended nutritional yeast as a replacement for some of the B vitamins I lost with enriched carbs, and I LOVE it!
7) I've come up with new ways to prepare vegetables and make them satisfying as the MAIN dish
8) I've begun using condiments in interesting ways (yellow mustard on broccoli is delicious!)
9) Nuts and beans are great protein sources, AND they make good dips, spreads and hummuses (or is that hummi?)
10) (This should be number 1!) I generally feel so much better and have so much more energy!
What gifts have you found from having to live gluten-free?
I made this video when on a trip for work, but I figure it applies if you are traveling for holiday as well, especially if you are traveling somewhere that hasn't reached the enlightened state of the Gluten Free Menu, or you are staying with hosts that mean well but don't quite get it.
1) Plan ahead. How many meals and snacks will you have for the duration? On a scale of 1 - 10, how likely are you to find gluten-free fare while you are gone? The lower the score, the more you need to plan and food you'll need to pack. Will you have easy access to a grocery store where you can pick up items you need?
2) Pack it in. Be sure to take enough food for the trip and for your first meal or snack at your destination so that you have enough time to solidify your plan on arrival.
3) Implement the plan. If you flew to your location and are renting a car, maybe you can stop at a supermarket for the things you'll need before you arrive at your final location. Maybe your mother-in-law will be making a run to the store and you can offer to ride along and then pick up a few things. For the big family meal at a restaurant, suggest a place that you've researched in advance and know has a gf menu. Chain family restaurants like Olive Garden have unthrilling gf menus that can be a definite back-up plan if you don't have a more interesting choice. If the restaurant has already been established, call in advance to discuss your options. Imagine what it will be like to get all of your meals and snacks handled, and if this part is especially challenging, pretend you are a secret agent on a mission to secure the top secret gf packages. Have fun with it! Since you've got a little food on hand that you packed, no need to freak out.
4) Enjoy your stay! Once you are secure in the knowledge that you will be able to eat safely (even if your food choices aren't thrilling, like in my video), then remember the purpose of the trip -- spending time with family, networking, or whatever. Be in the moment and have fun with it. Don't spend a bunch of time being bent out of shape that you have to do all these dietary shinanigans. Life's too short.
Safe travels, and let me know how it goes!
I went to the Philadelphia Gluten-Free Potluck MeetUp yesterday and the topic of pizza came up. Lauren in the group spoke well of Bob's Red Mill pizza crust, and since I was apparently taking the day off of my paleo-vegan diet (an inherent challenge of gf potlucks when my willpower is at an ebb), I decided to dust off the package of BRM crust mix I've had in the pantry for months and give it a try.
One thing I like about it is that it contains the yeast packet and the flour mix all together. Some other expensive mix I bought recently required that I have my own supply of xanthan gum. What is the point of the mix if I have to go out and purchase the other dry ingredients? Especially something as expensive as xanthan gum when the mix is already incredibly expensive by itself. Very annoying, so Bob's crust gets a thumbs up for requiring me to only have eggs and olive oil on hand.
Because I don't have tons of prior experience in making gluteny pizza dough, I wasn't too encumbered by what I thought it would be like. I've also gotten used to the idea that gf doughs for ANYTHING are more like batters -- very gooey, wet
and sticky. And, just as Jessie at last month's gf potluck had described about gf dough in bread machines, the pizza dough crawled up my beaters and threatened to gum up my mixer. I stopped several times during my "mix on medium speed for about one minute" instruction. I had to fake it on how much time was actually spent mixing, and hope that I wasn't wrecking the integrity of the dough while I farted around with ungooping the beaters.
Which brings me to a complaint I have with Bob's. Maybe it's because I don't have much gf baking experience that one thing I'm not as crazy about is their folksy directions. "Mix warm water and yeast and let it sit for a little while." What does that mean? One thing I do know is once yeast is in the equation it's like a science project and I need to know if a little while is 1 minute, 3 minutes or 10 minutes. I went with 3. I also don't like that they tell you at the top of the directions to preheat your oven, when the mixing and the rising and the spreading on the pizza pan takes a good half hour. No one needs to preheat for a full half hour. I was also a little confused about the "Divide the dough in two in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes to let it rise." Two balls of dough individually wrapped? Two blobs in the same bowl but with plastic wrap over the whole thing? If I'm using all of it do I need to split it into two balls anyway? I went with two blobs, each covered with plastic wrap. When I came back 20 minutes later, it sure didn't look very risen. Still, I soldiered on.
I spread the goopy batter as best I could in or 15-inch pie pan (it says it will make 2 12-inch pizzas or 1 16-inch pizza -- I had too much dough for our pan so I threw a little blob of it onto another pan to cook up.) It spread on pretty think, which worried me, since I have yet to see a professionally-made thick gf crust. Would it turn out gummy or soggy? I tried to make it medium thick, what ever that means. I went ahead and did the pre-baking (long enough? maybe not given our hinky oven. Bob's doesn't say if its supposed to be browned or look all pale. Mine looked pretty pale). I added sauce and cheese, finished baking it, and it came out looking just like a pizza. Jenn had come in from outdoors during the pre-baking and she told me later that the initial waft wasn't a pleasant smell. Yikes! She was pleased to report that in the end it smelled like pizza should. Whew!
Then for the performance and taste test. I was very happy that it lifted out of the pan pretty easily. When something that wet goes in, I worry that it will stick. It did turn out to be a little on the thick/doughy side, so next time I will spread it thinner. The bites with cheese and sauce were very enjoyable. The bites of mostly crust by itself not so much. Pizza crust should be enjoyable on its own merits. I remember being a broke college student ordering crust-only pizzas for delivery for about $3 -- it was like getting fresh hot bread delivered. Bob's crust doesn't stand up in that sort of catagory. Still, it was way better than the GF Bisquick pizza, had most of the ingredients included, and cost only $4.50, which compared to $8 - $12 for a pre-made frozen gf pizza crust or up to $11 for other mixes, I'd say it was an excellent value and one I would do again. When I'm taking a day off of being a gf-paleo-vegan, that is.
Technology is amazing.
And to answer a couple of questions:
1) Is the kitchen at the top of my website my actual kitchen?
Yes it is! Well, in my mind anyway. Got to have something to shoot for, right? My current kitchen is featured in the video below.
2) What kind of camera do I use for my videos?
Camera, shamera. It's my iPhone! I can upload directly to YouTube. Amazing.
3) Why haven't I figured out to turn the phone sideways so that it's oriented on the screen correctly?
Ah, but I have! I just haven't demonstrated my learning. Plus I need to do an experiment to figure out which way to turn it so that I don't do a video all upside down.
4) What editing software do I use?
None! You'll note that they are all expertly done in one take. If I really goof up, I start over. It's sort of the difference between stage and screen. No telling what kind of excitement might unfold in this "live" format!
5) Is this all I do all day?
No! Not yet, anyway. Mostly I go to a day job and then I spend meaningful time with my family on the evenings and weekends! And I work out! But still, I want to do this more.
Thanks for visiting!
Oh, and check out my video tips on how to live happy and gluten free even if you share your space with gluten-eaters.
I'm in Day 25 of my no sugar etc. challenge. I'm still feeling great, but my self-imposed paleo-vegan diet did present me with a delimma: Do I go to my first Philadelphia Gluten-Free Potlucks MeetUp
where I know the menu will be very tempting with loads of GF pastas and yummy baked goods and either a) stand out even in a GF crowd by what I CAN'T eat, b) cave in and eat everything? I have to admit I was a little intimidated by the group because of the description of their December cookie swap potluck that I didn't attend -- they sound pretty darn serious about their gf baked goods! I decided to just put myself out there and go anyway, and do what I do for every mainstream potluck -- take something that I know I like and can eat and stick to that. I made a bean dip with carrot and celery sticks, which was pretty good, but which needed a little more pizzazz. (Next time I'll volunteer to bring my Spicy Red Lentil and Spinach Stew
-- so good!) I also planned to drink lots of water and tea and concentrate on the company and the conversation instead of the dessert table.
And I'm very glad I went! It's funny how having one little (okay, major) common denominator like having an auto-immune disorder can really break the ice! The conversation was about food, and celiac, and life, and the intersections of all of the above. It's a great group of people. We laughed a lot. Everyone was welcoming and engaging and though I was a little self-conscious about not really being able to eat much that other people brought, I felt supported anyway. And I felt encouraged by organizer Jessie, who noted that it was nice to see some vegetables on the table, since they tend to gravitate toward making items that are typically not naturally gluten-free. I'll take that as an invitation to come and participate in the way that meets my health goals and be happy to share something that everyone else can enjoy as well, even if they quickly move on to the cupcakes.
I have to note that I'm proud of myself for not caving. I was tempted. If I knew the group better I'd have smelled everything like I do when gluteny desserts cross my path at work. I really enjoy the smell of tasty treats even if I can't eat them. Maybe next time.
I borrowed this photo from Cathy who was in attendance and who organizes Greater Berks Gluten Free Social and Support Group
in Reading, PA. Check it out!
I made and posted some new videos on easy gf living. Find them here on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/clairebakerOK?feature=mhee
Let me know if there are other topics that would be handy to hear about. I'm happy to share how I deal with any particular challenge regarding easy gluten-free living. Frankly, if it's not easy, I won't be sticking with it, so I figure out a way to live with ease, which makes me happy, and I don't mind having celiac.
Here's a pic of my son clowning around with a slice of gluteny pizza. In the foreground is my GF spinach pie, made with care by people at Carmen's
in Delaware County, PA. They really truly get it. All I want in a dining experience is to be able have what I want and the people I'm with have what they want. At Carmen's, my son gets delicious pizza, and I do too. I'm not "settling." I'm not ordering the salad and hoping they took me seriously when I say "no croutons, dressing on the side." I'm treated like a regular person and beyond asking for the GF menu, I don't have to ask all of those annoying questions. I don't feel a bit self-conscious there. My energy can go to having an excellent, very fun time with a great non-celiac kid rather than fretting about whether the food I ordered will be made with care to insure that I won't get sick. This is my desire for all of us who need to live a happy, healthy, gluten-free life.