Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Grain options: you can eat much more an rice!

Since gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, some people may think that their carbohydrate options are very limited once they begin a gluten-free diet. However, there are a wide variety of gluten-free grains to choose from I have found that my carb options have expanded since I was diagnosed.  All are a good source of fiber and provide a range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, as well as have varying tastes, textures and culinary uses. Here is a list of gluten free grains that I use as my alternatives:

·         Quinoa (high in protein and fiber)
·         Millet
·         Amaranth (great source of fiber and protein)
·         Teff (iron and fiber source)
·         Wild rice (which is different from white and brown rice)
·         Sorghum (good source of iron and potassium)
·         Corn/polenta
·         Certified gluten-free oats [FYI - some Celiacs (4-8%) cannot tolerate them]
·         Buckwheat
·         Potato (sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fiber, Vit A and Vit C)

This list is not comprehensive but may give you some options you hadn’t considered before. Please note that inherently gluten-free grains can become cross contaminated with gluten, so it's a good idea to purchase from manufacturers that incorporate safe practices to prevent contamination from happening. Bob’s Red Mill is an excellent vendor that is common in most grocery stores. They ELISA tests their grains to assure that they are free of cross-contamination.
Happy eating!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

August Product of the month

Since Louisiana Chicken Pasta is my recipe of the month, I had to share the fabulous product that makes the tasty recipe casein-free! Being gluten-free is one thing but being allergic to soy and dairy as well, makes the challenge of living with Celiac Disease two times harder. So I was elated to find this product in the organic food store and I always have some of it on hand. My husband has grown to love my version of the Louisiana chicken pasta and requests it often.  The MimicCreme, along with the Manchego cheese that I use in place of the parmesan, gives this recipe the safety I need but the flavor we both love!

August Recipe of the month

Ever since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and my dairy and soy allergies, there are certain restaurants I miss eating at and certain dishes I am no longer able to eat. One of the restaurants I miss dining at is The Cheesecake Factory. My favorite dish there was the Louisiana Chicken Pasta. I was delighted to find a recipe that allows me to enjoy the dish with some minor substitutions.

Louisiana Chicken Pasta

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs ( I toast Udi's bread and crumble it for a quick
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (I use Manchego sheep's cheese for a dairy-free substitution)
1 cup milk (I use almond or rice milk)
2 tablespoons flour ( I use Bob's Red Mill All-purpose gluten free flour)

Cajun Sauce:
1 tablespoon butter (Enjoy Life Soy-free)
1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
3/4 small red onion, chopped
3 whole garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/4 pints whipping cream (I use Mimiccreme for a dairy free substitution)
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
4 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 cup grated parmesan cheese ( I use the Manchego here as well)
1 package bow-tie pasta(Tinkyada brown rice pasta)
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add yellow and red bell peppers, mushrooms, and onion to same skillet and saute until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.
Add minced garlic and crushed red pepper to skillet and saute 2 or 3 minutes.
Then add whipping cream and chicken stock (for a thicker sauce - omit chicken stock). Simmer until sauce re-heats and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
Add basil and 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese to sauce, stirring to incorporate. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, simmer. Sauce will reduce and thicken.

Cook chicken:
Wash and drain chicken breasts. Pound until very thin, as thin or thinner then 1/4-inch thick (the thinner the chicken breasts the better).
Mix breadcrumbs, flour, and Parmesan cheese together. Place milk in dish for dipping. Dip chicken in breadcrumb mixture and then in milk and then back in breadcrumbs.
Place in fry pan that the oil has been heated and fry at medium high temperature until golden, crisp, and cooked through. Add more oil as needed. Remove and drain chicken. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook bow-tie pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain and return to pot. Add sauce and toss to coat.
Place pasta with sauce on plate, and top with chicken breast. Serve, passing additional Parmesan separately.