Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Interesting Yahoo Health Article

My mother-in-law sent me the link to this fascinating article.  I have seen a variety of results for people when it comes to weight loss/gain while on a gluten-free diet.  The majority of those in our family lost weight when we went on a gluten-free diet, but I would guess that is partly due to the fact that we went off of dairy products the first two years as well.

I love the increase in good gluten-free products as a result of more people on gluten-free diets.  Even though I like the convenience of picking up a loaf of Udi's or Rudi's, I still love that warm homemade bread fresh out of the oven.  Try my Whole-Grain Bread (P. 42) or Quick Rice Bread (Pgs. 42-43) when you get a chance.  Make sure to use small bread pans; they are worth the money.  These recipes are sure to please.

By the way, I hope to include a photo of our living room with the new flooring in a future blog entry.  The only problem is...the living room floor is covered with the furniture/kitchen table from the room next to it.  I guess there is opposition in all things, 'cause just when we were giddy with excitement about how great the new flooring looks, we found mold under the old flooring by our back doors.  Aargh!  Life is still good, though.  :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Surprise for My Husband

Recently we bought some new laminate flooring for some of the rooms in our home.  I have wanted it for years since our carpet was dirty and worn and couldn't be cleaned well enough to look decent.  My husband was out of town for a few days this last week, so I started to dream up a plan to surprise him and have the living room flooring all done before he returned.  Right after he left, I started moving books out of the bookcases and getting furniture out of the way.  Our two teenage sons were excited about the surprise and I hired my brother-in-law to help. Every time my husband called from Texas, I was careful to avoid "spilling the beans" and I told everyone to stop the construction noise while I ran to the other end of the house and went into the walk-in closet with the door shut to have a quiet place to talk on the phone. 

I loved helping and drilling screws into the particle board--projects are awesome!  Of course, we needed food for energy.  We had "Rich and Cheesy Halibut" (except I used salmon) the first night of the project, and "Magnificent Steak Burritos" the second night.  I really think you will love these recipes. 

My husband was due to arrive home at about noon on Friday.  I was reading in my scriptures this morning and found a verse that fit our situation on Friday perfectly.  It describes tender mercies of the Lord helping to deliver us.  I consider it a tender mercy that one of our sons was home from school that day.  The other students had a career fair, and he had a "get out of school free" card.  We were so close to finishing the project, but we really needed a few more hours.  We worked hard and fast all morning.  I went to give my husband a ride home when he dropped off the rental car, and delayed as long as I could to give my son more time to finish the flooring.  We stopped at a restaurant to find out if they had gluten-free food (which they did and they made their steak/cheese sandwich into a steak/cheese salad...yum!)  and went to the grocery store for a few items.  Our son finished just minutes before we arrived.  My husband was astounded.  He loved it!  It turned out great!  He had absolutely no idea we were doing it.  Aren't surprises awesome?!  :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wall Street Journal Article

It has been amazing to see the absolute growth of awareness about celiac disease and gluten intolerance.  Isn't it wonderful?  Think of all of the improved health that will come from it. 

My brother sent me this link to a Wall Street Journal article.  It is fascinating.  They quote Dr. Peter H.R. Green, who kindly wrote the foreword to my cookbook.  Check it out:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cooking Tips

When I asked my eleven-year-old daughter what others should know about gluten-free cooking, she said, “Don’t forget the xanthan gum!” She knows that we have had several failures when we have tried to bake bread, muffins, or cookies without xanthan gum. These baked items simply won’t hold together without it. We tend to forget the xanthan gum most often when we are trying to convert a wheat-flour recipe to a gluten-free recipe.
One of the first disappointments I experienced with gluten-free cooking was the change in the texture and look of baked bread and rolls. Gluten-free bread and rolls are denser, misshapen, and a bit grainy. Before I got celiac disease, my baking included white bread and rolls that were light and fluffy. Once you get accustomed to the idea that it will never be the same, you can be happy with baking anything that is similar in taste to wheat-based items.
When it comes to baking gluten-free bread, I didn’t have any success without the use of smaller bread pans. If you use regular-sized bread pans, you might as well bring in a brick and place it on the table, because the bread will be very similar! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gluten-free Products

I enjoy learning from others about delicious gluten-free products.  Someone in our celiac support group told me about Udi's bread.  I love to toast it and eat it with fried eggs.  Kinnikinnick donuts are a favorite for a holiday treat or when our kids with celiac disease miss out because donuts with gluten were served at a school activity.  Tinkyada noodles are so good, my children who are on a regular diet like the taste just as well as noodles with gluten.  I appreciate knowing there are tasty gluten-free cereals right in the grocery store when I haven't been able to get to the health food store, like Honey Nut Chex.  Have you tried Nature's Path Crunchy Vanilla Sunrise?  It reminds me a lot of Honey Bunches of Oats, which I used to eat before I found out I had celiac disease.  Yum!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

¾ cup sugar
¼ cup pineapple juice
½ cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
4 to 5 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut in strips
¼ cup cornstarch
cooking oil

  1. Combine sugar, pineapple juice, cider vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and salt and simmer in a saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, dip chicken in cornstarch or shake the chicken in a bag with cornstarch. Fry the chicken in cooking oil until browned and cooked through.
  3. Pour heated sauce over chicken and heat until sauce is slightly thickened. Chicken can also be fried until browned, placed in a casserole dish, covered with sauce, and baked at 350ºF for 50 to 60 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6

Fried Rice

1½ cups white rice
1½ cups brown rice
6 cups water
cooking oil
½ teaspoon crushed garlic
2 eggs
3 green onions
ground ginger, to taste
garlic salt, to taste
onion salt, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
  3. Pour a thin layer of cooking oil across the bottom of the dish.
  4. Pour rice and water into dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
  5. When rice is cooked, pour small amount olive oil in large non-stick frying pan or wok until the bottom of pan covered.
  6. Add crushed garlic, eggs, and chopped green onions and stir together.
  7. When scrambled, add the cooked rice, ginger, garlic salt, and onion salt.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Slow-Cooked Roast

This recipe can be found in my cookbook.  I love this recipe because I can get the roast in the oven during the morning hours, and the gravy is nearly ready when the roast is done.  I strain the broth from the roast and bring it to a boil.  I add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch to 1/2 cup of milk and stir well, and then add it to the boiling broth.  I repeat with more milk and extra cornstarch until the gravy is the right consistency.  The roast is tender and falls apart when you touch it with a fork.  Enjoy!
1 cross rib or chuck roast
1 tablespoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon crushed garlic

Gluten-free substitute for onion soup mix
1 tablespoon gluten-free beef bouillon powder
2 tablespoons instant minced dried onion
½ teaspoon onion powder

1 can substitute for 1 can of cream of mushroom soup (See recipe below)

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Cover the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with a piece of aluminum foil. Place roast on foil.
  3. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over roast. Cover roast with a piece of aluminum foil. Fold over edges of the two pieces of foil together and seal. Bake roast for 8 to 9 hours. Use broth mixture for gravy.

Serves 5 to 8
Mix for Easy Cream Soup 

2 cup powdered non-fat dry milk
¾ cup cornstarch
¼ cup gluten-free chicken bouillon
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  1. Combine ingredients in a plastic bag and mix well.
  2. Store the soup mix in an airtight container until ready to use.  
Mix combined with liquid equals 9 cans of cream soup.

 Substituting mix for 1 can of cream soup:

1. Combine ⅓ cup mix with 1¼ cup cold water in small saucepan.
2. Cook and stir on stove top or in microwave until thickened. Allow mixture to cool before adding to recipe.
3. Add thickened mixture to casseroles as you would a can of soup. Add mushrooms and chicken, if desired.

Tip:  Make ahead to allow time to thicken before using in a recipe.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

"We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude."  --Thomas S. Monson (

Celiac disease is a difficult challenge.  However, I can't help thinking that an attitude of gratitude is the answer when we feel the longing for a gluten-filled food we should not eat.  It doesn't take long to look around and see that there are many trials much more challenging than ours.  We can do it!  I am grateful for the supportive friends and family I have who offer an encouraging word when I get discouraged.  I know the strength and power of the Atonement of our Savior is there for us to help us through anything

Thomas S. Monson sums it up perfectly by saying, "...those things which provide deep and lasting happiness and gratitude are the things which money cannot buy: our families, the gospel, good friends, our health, our abilities, the love we receive from those around us. Unfortunately, these are some of the things we allow ourselves to take for granted."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Testing for Celiac Disease

We were tested by a lab in Texas (see and through a blood test our doctor authorized.  Many people are tested by an upper gastrointestinal scope, to find out if the villi are flattened in the small intestine.  Initially, we went off of all dairy products, along with gluten.  This was extremely difficult, and gratefully after two years we were able to re-introduce dairy products.  It took a while to start feeling better, but it is huge blessing in our lives to have better health now.