Hello, fellow Fresh Approach Gluten Free Cookbook Club members!
Don’t know about you Thursday people, but on Wednesday we had a delicious meal. Not one “strike out” on the entire menu and several “home run” recipes. We were batting 1000! My personal favorite was the ooey, gooey cinnamon rolls. Actually that’s their name, “Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls.” They were served hot out of the oven, slathered in a sweet, rich icing. Don’t think twice. Try them this weekend!
Miscellaneous Grocery Store “Finds” and Other Information
Ellen, Brooke and Ginny started the conversation by telling their favorite grocery store gluten free brands: Pamela’s Biscuit and Scone Mix, King Arthur Gluten Free Muffin Mix, Chebe Bread Mix (for Brazilian-type cheese bread made from tapioca flour), Live Love Pop with Truffle Salt (popcorn). Also, kelp noodles (delicious as topping on soups and salads or in stir-fry), Rao’s Tomato Sauce (you can buy it at almost any grocery store).
Ginny told us to watch out for hidden, vaguely-written ingredients. If you can’t identify an ingredient, then don’t assume there’s no gluten! Also, know that regular buttermilk typically contains glutens, but organic buttermilk does not.
Ellen also provided us this article, Nutrition Facts: An Interactive Guide to Food Labels, by the Mayo Clinic. You can also download another article by the National Diabetes Education Program entitled Learn How To Read Food Labels.
Dishes Made in February With Comments from the Cooks
Beverages and Appetizers
Austin Eastcider Original Dry Cider– This hard cider which Ginny brought is a light, gluten free alcoholic beverage option available at Central Market.
Crab Dip with Homemade Garlic and Parmesan Crackers, p. 32– Brooke served this appetizer which is delicious both cold and hot. Don’t be deterred by the amount of cayenne. It wasn’t too spicy and…the dip is good even without the crab! Also, the crackers are a good gluten free choice and Brooke added rosemary for extra flavor.
Cucumber and Smoked Salad Rolls with Chive Cream, p. 52– Buffy couldn’t get the cucumbers to stay rolled, so she suggests cutting them paper thin, maybe even using a mandolin. Also, she thinks it would be a great idea to let the cucumbers drain overnight to eliminate excess moisture.
Easy Chicken Satay Skewers, p. 46– Ann made these as an appetizer and they were tasty! She used less garlic than was called for and substituted chicken breasts for tenders. Interesting fact: chicken tenders are the little pieces of meat that hang off a chicken breast.
Soups and Salads
Kale Salad (Recipe Below)- Emily created a version of Central Market’s kale salad. Her secret to eating raw kale? Massage the leaves to make them more tender. Yes, massage! This dish can be made up to a day ahead of time, so is a great choice for entertaining.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad, p. 148 – Ann Stuart brought this beautiful and hearty salad that could also be a main dish if you add protein.
Minestrone Soup a la Venus de Milo, p. 118– As a quick and easy option, Jeanne suggests making this delicious soup using frozen vegetables. It had a surprisingly sweet taste! Remember that Jeanne ordered gluten free orzo from Amazon which is hard to find locally.
Home Style Chili with Gluten Free Beer, p. 211- This was an easy recipe which Melanie served with sour cream, cheese, Fritos. But of course, Fritos are gluten free!
Emeril’s Pork Medallions with Cabbage and Apples, p. 242– Betty cooked the pork tenderloin whole rather than as medallions. It would be easy to make ahead and is a good wintertime main course.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas, p. 235– Silky loves Jamaican jerk chicken,so was excited to try this recipe. Next time she’d be sure to use peas, rather than kidney beans, for a more authentic dish.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts in Spicy Mustard Sauce, p. 166– Ellen says don’t worry about boiling these first as the instructions say. Just roast them in the oven and serve up with the yummy mustard sauce.
Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions, p. 170– Sally made this casserole topped with HOMEMADE onion rings! The only changes she made? She used 2% milk and cooked it a little longer.
Grandpa Kief’s Pork, Apple and Sage Stuffing, p. 185– Nancy made several versions of this stuffing using different types of gluten free bread. She brought two of these versions: One used gluten free bread crumbs from Whole Foods and the other used a baguette made by Against The Grain (a tapioca based bread purchased at Whole Foods). She recommends the latter option to achieve the correct flavor and consistency. Also, she added extra salt and cut the pepper by half.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Squash, p. 179– Ann Stuart thought these were “super easy.”
Breads and Desserts
Perfect Blueberry Muffins, p. 81– These mini-muffins were chockfull of blueberry flavor and had a fine (not coarse) consistency. A winner made by Kathy!
Meyer Lemon Meringue Icebox Pie, p. 286– With its tall meringue and lemony filling, this was a show-stopping dessert made by Silky. Perfect for a dinner party!
Sugar Cookie Jam Thumbprints, p. 305– Laurie was surprised these cookies doubled in size and had a cake-like, rather than shortbread, texture. She’s not sure if they were supposed to turn out like that. In any case, they were delicious! FYI, Laurie added a little extra salt, more vanilla and dusted them with sugar before baking.
Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls, p. 86– These cinnamon rolls passed the “kid test,” with Meredith‘s children wanting them “a lot!” Meredith said they weren’t difficult to make, just time-consuming. They sure were good.
Okay, Cookbook Club members, what was your favorite dish this month? Thursday group, let us know what happened with you! You don’t have to sign up, just continue “anonymously” as a guest.
- 1 pound kale (approximately 2 bunches), stems removed and roughly chopped
- 2 ounces pepitas
- 4 ounces dried cranberries (Craisins)
- 3 ounces slivered almonds, toasted
- 3 ounces crystallized ginger, grated
- 8 ounces Orange Sesame Vinaigrette (See below)
- 1 ounce slivered almonds, raw (optional)
- ⅔ cups orange juice (or one Tropicana single serve box)
- 2 tablespoons shallots chopped (or substitute equivalent red onion)
- 2 teaspoons ginger root
- 1½ ounces rice vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh chives,chopped
- 2 tablespoons ground flax (to thicken in order for dressing to stick to kale)
- Combine kale, pepitas, cranberries, almonds and crystallized ginger.
- Very Important: Massage vinaigrette into kale until kale wilts just a little.
- Refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with more almonds before serving.
- Put orange juice, shallots, ginger root and rice vinegar in blender and blend.
- Pour into bowl or measuring cup.
- Whisk the chives and ground flax into blended mixture.