Gluten-Free Simplicity

Useful Info, Tasty Anecdotes and Simple Recipes for Attaining Gluten-Free Simplicity

Archive for the ‘G-F Cooking’ Category

Believe it or not, this Blogger used to be a Chef. Now he will try to adjust some of his dusty cooking knowledge so that it can be put to good use in helping people learn about Gluten-Free Cooking. (c. 2008, William T. Beverly, Ph.d.)

Lean Lemon Pork Schnitzel with Mushrooms

Posted by nepeht on March 31, 2010

  This is a Gluten-Free innovation of a very popular, yet incredibly simple dish that I learned to prepare in one of Atlanta’s wonderful restaurants almost 30 years ago (Spencer’s and Sidney’s Just South).  I learned to prepare it using freshly cut and tenderized Veal.  It can also be modified and prepared using thinly cut, lean and boneless chicken or turkey cutlets.  Surprisingly enough, given my adaptation is to use lean Pork cutlets; among the very similar classical origins of this recipe is Classic Israeli Schnitzel.

  Click here for the recipe!

Posted in G-F Cooking, G-F Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Stuff Your Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Turkey with Gluten-Free Corn Chex Stuffing!

Posted by nepeht on October 22, 2009

G-F Turkey Plate

G-F Turkey Plate

 Click here for Gluten-Free Turkeys with Gluten-Free Giblets and Gravy. 

And Click here for the Recipe.  This stuffing is DELICIOUS!!! 

Gluten-Free Corn Chex Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing (c.2009, WTB)

Gluten-Free Corn Chex Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing (c.2009, WTB)

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Gluten-Free Pepperoni Hash Brown Casserole Dish Pizza

Posted by nepeht on May 26, 2009

Gluten-Free Pepperoni Hash Brown Casserole Dish Pizza

Pizza!!! Gluten-Free.... Click Here for Recipe. (C.2009, WTB)

Pizza!!! Gluten-Free.... Click Here for Recipe. (C.2009, WTB)

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How to Tell if a “Gluten-Free Menu” is Truly Gluten-Free

Posted by nepeht on February 2, 2009

How to Tell if a “Gluten-Free Menu” is Truly Gluten-Free

By William T. Beverly, Ph.D.

  First, it is important for me to acknowledge the efforts of Food Service People.  For one, I am very grateful for their sincere attempts at constructively addressing the important consumer need — “Gluten-Free”.

UPDATE (April 21, 2009): If you are a Food Service professional and you would like to look into this post from that perspective, please go to my site at: Gluten-Free Simplicity for Food Service Professionals .  Given the fact that this is going to be a really big issue in the food business for quite a while now, I have started working on ways to help food professionals through this.

  As a person with Celiac Disease who spent many years (about 20) working in food service, prior to just as many years in higher education, I have closely examined “Gluten-Free” Menus whenever I have been afforded the opportunity.  Following a brief period of wonder and gratitude, I could not help but start to notice the potential for misunderstandings that can lead to big problems. 

  By all means, please keep the “Gluten-Free” Menus.  But at the same time, please consider these areas that may call for closer attention.

  I can see for myself the various ways in which a food-service menu item advertised as “Gluten-Free” by well-meaning food-service planners and menu designers could be slightly altered by well-meaning restaurant staff to become Gluten-Contaminated. 

  Then I started thinking about how (given my experience) such maladies could fall between the cracks and become tragedies for both unsuspecting Celiac Disease or otherwise Gluten-Sensitive persons as well as for well-meaning restaurateurs.

  I have constructed a list which if used wisely, can help both consumers and sincere food-service persons to rule out sources of potential Gluten Contamination in the best of “Gluten-Free Menu” -offering food-service establishments.

  Please feel free to print this list and offer a copy to the managers of your favorite dining establishments.  And if anyone needs further clarification or could use some more focused help with this, I will be glad to accommodate.  My contact information is at the bottom of the list.

  1.  If you have a G-F menu, did the consultant or who ever designed it specify certain brand names for various items such as Vinegar, Rice, Pepperoni, Sauces etc. to use regardless of cost or convenience?  Are Buyer & Chef aware of these requirements and either committed or required to use these brands? (Why: Because certain brands of various ingredients are Gluten-Free and Certain brands are not.)
  2. Have key Staff (i.e., Managers, Chefs, Bartenders, Waitrons and Buyers) been oriented to the differences between Gluten-Free items and ingredients versus those with Gluten?
  3. Are key Staff (i.e., Managers, Chefs, Bartenders, Waitrons and Buyers) aware of the possible adverse and long-term effects of Gluten-Exposure?  (Why: Because staff who are aware of the seriousness of Gluten exposure may be more conscientious about serving Gluten-Free food.
  4. Have Staff been trained to leave Gluten-Contaminated off of plates upon request?  Have they been trained to offer non-Gluten substitutes? (i.e., Can they leave off the toast and substitute it with grits; or how about some fresh fruit instead of pudding?)
  5. Are preparation and line staff using the prescribed “Gluten-Free” methods and ingredients for thickening Gluten-Free sauces, gravies, soups, puddings, ice creams, shakes, icings, and toppings etc?  (Why: Perhaps the Chef has decided that flour-made Rouxs make richer cream soups than do those using Corn Starch.)
  6. Are the brands of prepared sauces used in food preparation of “Gluten-Free” items known to be “Gluten-Free”? (i.e., Vinegar, Ketchup, Tomato Sauce, Jelly, Syrup, Yogurt, Sour Cream, and Peanut Butter etc.).  (Why: Because even though the corporate recipe might call for a certain "Gluten-Free" brand of ketchup and mayonnaise used to make that Thousand Island Dressing, the Chef might have decided to use a different brand because it is less expensive — and possibly Gluten-Contaminated.)
  7. Are brands of prepared Cooking seasonings used on “Gluten-Free” items, actually “Gluten-Free” and MSG free? (i.e., Soy Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Marination, Wine, Sherry, Alcohol, Juices, Stocks, Consumes, Sprinkled Taste Boosters and Seasoning Salts). (Why, It could be that the Chef likes to  use a dash of his homemade meat tenderizer combination on ALL grilled and roasted entrees and this tiny dash has just enough Gluten to make it unsafe.)
  8. Is there possible Cross-Contamination of pre-shelled, pre-cut, pre-formed, pre-grated or milled items such as nuts, corn meal, canned fruits, cheese toppings, or prepped frozen potato items such as hash browns?  If so, do any Staff members actually  think it is acceptable to simply rinse off this item before serving in order to make it Gluten-Free? 
  9. Are any of the items being used that are NOT prescribed among the Consultant or Corporate Brands possibly Gluten Coated (i.e., Rice, Frozen Foods and Marinated items etc.)?
  10. Has Gluten been ruled out as an ingredient in certain non-suspected Pre-made items such as pop corn, pop corn seasoning, potato chips, mints,  bacon bits, condiments, candies, cold salads, desserts, cheesecakes and pre-portioned extras like ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, tarter sauce, cocktail sauce etc.? (Why: It could be that the Chef uses the prescribed "Gluten-Free" brand of ketchup in cooking, but the little packages of ketchup given to customers on to go orders are not"Gluten-Free".)
  11. Are the cheeses and Cold cuts offered on the “Gluten-Free” menu actually “Gluten-Free”? (Why: The original plan could have been to offer hot dogs that are “Gluten-Free”, but the the manager decided to get the others instead because they are about 1/2 the cost and in his opinion they taste the same.)
  12. Is there Gluten in items like Corn Bread, Corn Bread Stuffing, Corn Meal Fry or Bake Coatings, Nacho Chips or Corn Tortillas?
  13. Are all Ready-Mixes used for "Gluten-Free" items actually "Gluten-Free"? (e.g. Hollandaise Mix, Salad Dressings, and Brown Sauce).
  14. Are the fryers, Grill spots, and cutting boards where “Gluten-Free” items are prepared totally free of Gluten?  (Why: Grills and Cutting Boards can be cleaned, but a batch of fry grease that has been used to cook breaded vegetables has gluten in it and cannot be used to prepare “Gluten-Free” French fries.)
  15. Are the Dishwasher Chemicals, Table cleansers, and Hand Soaps all “Gluten-Free”?

 Please feel free to submit comments or suggestions at www.glutenfreesimplicity.wordpress.com.  One can also write to William Beverly, Ph.D. at nepeht@hotmail.com, or send U.S. mail to P.O. Box 1271  Edinburg, TX 78540.

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Posted in G-F Cooking, G-F Diet Tips, G-F IQ, G-F Recipes, Gluten Watch!!! | Tagged: | 9 Comments »

Way #89: Learn Some Kitchen Basics so You Can Experiment and Enhance your Sense of Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on December 17, 2008

Way #89: Learn Some Kitchen Basics so You Can Experiment and Enhance your Sense of Gluten-Free Simplicity:

  It is one thing to be about to try new foods here and there that are made by another person for us.  But unless one is extremely resourceful,  that can be a difficult thing to expect on a regular basis.  Thus, I suggest that you learn how to do some Kitchen crafting on your own.

  No offense of course, if you are already a kitchen person.  But if not — and IF you need to be Gluten-Free — it is highly suggested that you try your best to take it up as soon as possible.  Look at it as a hobby if you must.  There are some web sources which freely offer up tips for such a venture.

  Some experts advocate separate toolsof certain types for a truly Gluten-Free Kitchen and this is for good reason.  As one moves along in this venture, one learns more and more.  There are many great tipson the Internet about prepping certain items or which items on the market react in different ways when cooking.

  Then there is the whole mental thing.  Open your mind if you can!  Try some new and creative ideas and combinations.  If you are embarrassed, just make a little at first and don’t tell anyone about it until you find the right combination.  Try these ideas:

  • Make some super easy basic Gluten-Free spaghetti sauce, Sirloin Beef tips with sauce, Chili, or Eggs and put one of these over a baked potato.
  • Develop new and diverse versions of basic rice.  Do this by trying out adding small amounts or onion, tomato, mushrooms, peppers, G-F Chicken Broth, Broccoli, Almonds or a thousand other things.
  • Integrate Yellow or White Corn into  dishes such as soups, chili or sautes.
  • Experiment with making basic sauces with Corn Starch.  There is a trick to this, but it is great and handy once you get the hang of it.
  • Include Edible Garnishes in meals with simple slices or wedges of Orange, Lemon, Lime, Apple or Pineapple.
  • If you are craving fried meats, explore lightly breading pork chops, chicken, fish, seafood, vegitables or steak with either Gluten-Free Corn Meal or Maseca.

  The key will be to follow some basic rules at first:

  1. Only make a little (one or two servings) at a time.
  2. Only change one or two variables at a time so as to NOT get confused about what causes what results.
  3. Document what you do.
  4. Ask for advice on basic preparation of things such as corn starch, rice, sauces etc..
  5. Practice with constant forgiveness.  There really is no harm done if it tastes awful.  You can always learn and move on.  Who knows, perhaps the next project will be incredible.
  6. Keep kitchen safety in mind (i.e., Gluten-Contamination, Heat/Hot Burns, Food Freshness/Storage, Knife Safety).

  These are just a few very basic ideas that probably require as much creative energy as they do basic cooking skills.

  Let me know how it works out.

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity, G-F Cooking, G-F Diet Tips | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Way #28. Try New Foods and Explore New Cuisines to Enhance Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on December 17, 2008

Way #28. Try New Foods and Explore New Cuisines to Enhance Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  If you think you might get bored with your eating on a Gluten-Free Diet, think again. 

  There is a lot out there.

  It is quite possible…. and even probable that there are foods out there — I mean entire sets of cuisine out there — that you have never even heard of, much less sampled or tried to prepare.

  I really do not mean to offend anyone here or to suggest that people are simple.  I just know that in my experience as a person who has studied and experienced numerous cultures, that there is a lot out there to learn — even for those of us who think we have been around.

  Look up (follow these links to some) IndianThai, Ethiopian, French or Polish dishes.  Hopefully you will soon see that the U.S. obsession on Wheat products is not shared universally.

  Who knows, you might find a new favorite food in there somewhere.

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity, G-F Cooking, G-F Diet Tips | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Feeding Two Birds with ONE Seed

Posted by nepeht on December 15, 2008

  I was checking out this blog titled, “Deb Brammer: You and me — working together” and its posting, “Gluten-Free Company“.  It started out with,

“You’ve just invited company and now you find out they have to have a gluten-free diet. Now you are having second thoughts. What will you fix? Maybe you wish you hadn’t even invited them.”

I was a little bemused … if that’s the correct word for…. what???.  Then I read on:

“But consider this. People who need a gluten-free diet (celiacs) are often very nice people who don’t get invited out much. They will especially appreciate the extra effort you take to prepare the meal. They didn’t ask to have this problem and they don’t have any choice about it. They can live absolutely normal lives when they figure out how to handle their diet. Their biggest problem is eating out or eating with people who aren’t used to cooking gluten-free.”

  I could not totally agree with the statement, “they can live absolutely normal lives”, but the “when they figure out how to handle their diet” part rang genuine in a big way.

  I went… Oh… OK, much much much much much better!!!

  This was  a great idea.  This article then pointed readers to another Internet post on  Easy pointers for how to feed a Gluten-Free person.  Which led me to a link about just “How To” do this in a simple way. 

  Then it hit me — what better way to also learn about how to deal with a Gluten-Free diet for people who ARE Gluten-Free (or need to be) and are either new to it or are still learning the basics.

  So I just had to kind of echo both Ms. Brammer’s message and the “About.com” article on the “How to” of it.  There are some simple and basic truths about living a Gluten-Free life.  Sure, much of this path is very complex and can grow to be as rich as it is complicated, but at the beginning, the fundamental building blocks are both simple and essential.

  As a person who has spent much time and effort as a professional teacher, one of the things toward which I gravitate is teaching about Gluten-Free living.  I also see evidence of others struggling with this.  And even in the professional realm, the idea of teaching Gluten-Free tasks is picking up steam.  It appears they are teaching a class in it at the Culinary Institute of America.  This is great news as it means a whole new generation of chefs will be operating with G-F needs in mind on some scale.  Many are excited about this.

  So the idea of “Feeding Two Birds with ONE Seed” is that while a blogger is writing about how a host should go about treating Gluten-Free guests to appropriate hospitality; this blogger is also contributing valuable knowledge and tips to those of us who are still learning about how to go about this Gluten-Free life. 

  I am glad she did that.

Posted in G-F Cooking, G-F Diet Tips, G-F Lifestyle | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Slideshow about Gluten-Free Commerce

Posted by nepeht on December 15, 2008

Posted in G-F Cooking, G-F Diet Tips, Gluten Watch!!!, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Gluten-Free Energy Diet (part 2): Energy Levels with Celiac Disease and Its Partner, Gluten-Sensitivity (Part 2)

Posted by nepeht on December 11, 2008

  OK, I’m back.  I have a little more energy now.

  One can roll around the Internet and find others talking about this issue.  At Celiac.com there has been a discussion about whether or not Energy Drinks are Gluten-Free. At the same site in a different space is a discussion about how in adjusting to the Gluten-Free diet requirements, one person finds his/her self eating Gluten-Free Cookie Dough, thus lacking energy. Meanwhile, in response, others are suggesting they eat more protein etc..

Where to go from here? (c.2008, WTB)

Where to go from here? (c.2008, WTB)

  It really seems that this is an important topic for us.  I ran across a study about Body Composition and Dietary Intakes for persons with Celiac Disease.  One of the authors’ recomendations is,

“Strict follow-up and dietary advice in terms of the choice and composition of foods seem necessary to prevent malnutrition.”

  I know that even though I have had Celiac Disease for almost 10 years and Crohn’s Disease for almost 30 years, I still have a whole lot to learn about things like nutrition among other things.  For instance, I recall the “food pyramid” from elementary school, but lets face it: (1) That was in the last century (almost midway); and (2) A lot has changed both in foods as well as in my body.  But just in case you need a primer (as do I), here is a slideshow about it.

  I was reading last night in that book, “Gluten-Free for Dummies” and I was able to put together the basic sugar/insulin/low energy versus protein/high energy concepts.  Please excuse my ignorance here.  I also discovered that one probably cannot fully discuss this topic without at least a mention of the link between Celiac Disease and Diabetes

  You see, we really are talking about the body’s primary source of energy (sugar), and how the body handles it.  Then cross this up with the idea of sugar-carrying proteins for this body being significantly altered as one attempts to achieve and maintain a gluten-free diet.  In summary about proteins,

“Protein is an essential nutrient that is important to your health. Protein consists of chains of amino acids that are used by our bodies to grow muscles, hair, nails, skin and internal organs.

Diets rich in high protein foods are often recommended for athletes and body builders. In addition, many weight loss diets such as the Atkins diet prescribe a high protein, low carb diet.

Although protein is an essential nutrient, some research suggests that too much protein can increase the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney stones and osteoporosis” Quoted from HighProteinFoods.net.

  Let me remind you, I am nota Dietitian.  But some things are starting to make sense to me.  It seems one of the smart moves at this point would be to learn about which foods are both Gluten-Free and also contain proteins.  

  And this is going to be a challenge.  For instance, one can look at this website’s listing of High Protein Fast Foods, and one will immediately notice how few of them are Gluten-Free.  Bummer!!!

  OK… let’s keep looking.  So here’s a list of Fruits and if one clicks on a given fruit, one can get the reported protein value.  And here are the Veggies and their values.  And nuts & seeds etc…  You can follow that lead from here.

  How much protein do we need each day?  That is a good question.  I quote:

“Our protein needs depend on our age, size, and activity level. The standard method used by nutritionists to estimate our minimum daily protein requirement is to multiply the body weight in kilograms by .8, or weight in pounds by .37. This is the number of grams of protein that should be the daily minimum. According to this method, a person weighing 150 lbs. should eat 55 grams of protein per day, a 200-pound person should get 74 grams, and a 250-pound person, 92 grams.”  From a Low Carb Diet Website.

  What I am getting thus far is that in order to have better energy, I need to start the day differently.  More protein.  Then follow throughout the day, trying to substitute more proteins for fewer carbohydrates and fats.  Maybe I can also lower my caffeine intake and just plain out sugerrrrry stuff.

  I am not necessarily recommending a “Low-Carb” diet.  I really cannot recommend anything as far as Diet goes with good conscience.  I am just learning.  But I am going to try and apply some of this and then move on.

  More later.

Posted in Celiac Disease, G-F Cooking, G-F Diet Tips, G-F Lifestyle | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Gluten-Free Energy Diet (part 1): Energy Levels with Celiac Disease and Its Partner, Gluten-Sensitivity

Posted by nepeht on December 9, 2008

  How is your energy level these days? If you are like me then you are possibly looking for various ways to boost your energy because Celiac Disease (CD) and its Gluten-Sensitive (G-S)partner tend to take just about all I got sometimes. 

   There are always the standard recommendations for boosting energy such as eating right (woopssss!!! right there…. bang bang bang bang… “problem sir”!!!!).. 

Good, Smart, Dependable Info Does NOT Make Energy By Itself (c.2008, WTB)

Good, Smart, Dependable Info Does NOT Make Energy By Itself (c.2008, WTB)

  Even with the best information in the world, it can be difficult to “eat right” when one has CD or G-S.  First of all, the energy to follow such advice is already lacking from the start.  Then, there are other issues such as adverse cravings etc…

  I am not meaning to poo poo it all.  Just to be realistic… at least being true to my reality.

  OK… wait a minute.  I am NOT trying to bring you down.  I’m just trying relate ya see???

 I remember hearing about an early French scientist who proposed the idea that energy never really goes away, it just changes form or phase.  Well, if that is so, then where does it come from one has CD and/or a G-S problem?  Perhaps supplements could help kind of like little pieces of kindling for a fire.

  Then there is the idea of getting plenty of sleep… man sleeping is also irregular (at best) these days.

  But no kidding, I do try to eat enough veggies, fruits, proteins, dairy etc…, but it never seems to be enough to boost my energy level.  I even take B-12 injections sometimes.

  I have been curious about supplements.  I found a site that gives some specific recommendations about CD and Vitamin supplements.  Exploring this can help clue one into the various related vitamins if nothing else.  But first I need to quote from the site:

“Claims made on line about specific vitamins formulas or individual health supplements on or through this site have not been evaluated by the FDA and Vitamins on line custom vitamins, custom multivitamins, herbal supplements and health supplements are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.”

  Now, I can say that this site is at http://www.mitamins.com/formulation/showFormulaDetail.do?AT=showOutDetail&actionType=formulator&dformulaID=966&diseaseName=Celiac .

  It is interesting to see the various vitamins that a person with CD or G-S might need as a supplement to her/his diet.

  I am not recommending that anyone try this.  But it is food for thought.  And I hope it is food that gives energy instead of that which taketh away.

  To be Continued … as soon as I get the energy.

 

Posted in Celiac Disease, G-F Cooking, G-F Diet Tips, G-F Lifestyle, G-F Simp. Philosophy, The Personal Side | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »