Gluten Free Kitchen Tour

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Welcome to my kitchen! This month I am giving you a sneak peek at my kitchen. This is part of a kitchen tour series that myself and some other bloggers are participating in.

Let’s start with the fact that I am a very messy cook and this is why I don’t usually take pictures of my food while I am cooking. So here is a rare pick of my kitchen semi-clean.

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You’ll notice the counter with snacks and veggies and my dog Max in his favorite spot. He likes to be in prime position in case I drop anything while cooking. My kitchen is my favorite room in our house. It was the reason we bought our house since it has been remodeled recently.

A peak at a few of my favorite kitchen items.

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First my T-fal deep fryer, this was a Christmas present last year from my husband and it is amazing. Oh how I missed fried chicken! I know deep frying isn’t very healthy so I only use it once or twice a month but when I do use it-deliciousness.

Next is my mini Cuisinart food processor. This is amazing for saving a little bit of time and work when chopping veggies for soups, breads, and pureeing. I personally love it for chopping onions which is not my favorite thing to do.

Then we have my meat thermometer. I have to admit I am one of those paranoid people when it comes to my meat being done. I personally recommend splurging for the digital Cuisinart one. They are about $15 and work a lot better then the classic ones.

Last is my favorite rolling pin, my husband gave this to me last year, what a perfect gift.

Here is a look into one of my cabinets.

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As you can tell I eat a lot of cereal. I also bribe my toddler with fruit snacks when we go grocery shopping. Yup proud to share that.

I try to keep some color wonder markers and paper in my kitchen and some gluten free play dough to keep my little guy entertained while I am cooking.

We do have a few gluten filled items in my house for my husband’s lunches (like Cheez-it crackers) but we keep in a cabinet in a separate from all other foods and wrap in huge plastic bags to prevent any crumbs getting in the kitchen.

In the next few months some of my blogging friends are going to be posting tours of their kitchens! Please check them out and here is last month’s kitchen- Brianna from Flippin’ Delicious.

So that’s my family’s kitchen without the dirty dishes :)

Gluten Free Bisquick Breakfast Casserole

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Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal. This breakfast casserole made with gluten free Bisquick is a quick dish that is delicious and easy to make.

I know as a mom our mornings can be crazy and some mornings I don’t have time to cook. I love making casseroles at night so I can just pop a piece in the microwave the next morning.

I need to admit I may be sort of a casserole lover. I already have two delicious breakfast casseroles I make. But you can never have too many easy and yummy recipes or food for that matter. Sausage,eggs, cheese and Gluten Free Bisquick make this like a delicious breakfast everyone will love- gluten free or not.

I kept this recipe pretty simple but think you could add some of your own favorites like tomatoes, mushrooms, cooked bell peppers etc to suit your taste.

Please visit my recipe page to find more breakfast casserole recipes.

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[Read more…]

Easy Brazilian Cheese Bread

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A few months ago I dined at Fogo De Chao, a delicious Brazilian steakhouse. It was my first time to any restaurant like that and it was love at first bite.  I mean 16 kinds of tender mouthwatering meat.  Yumm. With our dinner we were served Pão De Queijo, a traditional Brazilian cheese bread. I had heard stories of unlimited naturally gluten free bread at Brazilian steakhouses but I thought I may have only dreamed about that. Needless to say I was in a food coma when we left.

So here comes the really amazing part of  this story. The Pão De Queijo, the soft and delicious Brazilian cheese bread, literally takes just minutes to make and is so easy. Seriously this recipe is a dream come true.

You know how sometimes you watch a cooking show and they have like ten ingredients and say you can whip this recipe up in minutes. When in reality this is only true if you have those ingredients pre-chopped and prepped. Well no worries because when I say this Brazilian cheese bread can be whipped up in minutes I mean it. Plus all the ingredients are very inexpensive.

As a bonus if you are a messy chef like me you can store the batter in the refrigerator for up to three days. I love this because these are best fresh from the oven. And yes I can make a mess out of my kitchen with only six ingredients or sometimes just making a sandwich.

I played around with several different variations on cheese and oils of this recipe but found I enjoyed the bread the most with a sharp cheddar cheese and high quality extra virgin olive oil. If you have never had Pão De Queijo it is not a normal thick crusty bread. They are a little crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. They are airy and sometimes even a little bit hollow. Some of your tops may sink a bit after puffing up that is completely normal.

Two things that you will need before attempting this recipe- tapioca flour and a mini-muffin pan. The tapioca flour can not be replaced by any other all purpose gluten free flour, almond flour etc. A mini-muffin pan works best and you can generally find one for $5-$10 dollars. I used Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour and a mini muffin pan I got at Target.

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Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão De Queijo Recipe) [Read more…]

Guest Post by Sandi from Fearless Dining

I am happy to welcome Sandi from Fearless Dining today. She is sharing her gluten free journey with us and some of her favorite recipes. Her site has so many delicious gluten free recipes as well as the scoop on which the best restaurants for gluten free dining in the Bay Area.
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I am so grateful to Nicole for sharing my page and letting me introduce myself to you. My name is Sandi and I run the gluten free blog, Fearless Dining. We live in the California Bay Area and our family has been gluten free for over 5 years now.

My husband was the first in our family to be diagnosed. Nobody else in the family exhibited any symptoms, so we didn’t run tests on anyone else at this time. Within two years of my husband being diagnosed gluten intolerant, our younger son started getting classic stomach aches. We had both kids tested. Our kids both showed high levels of gluten intolerance. My daughter had Cyrex Lab’s record as the highest reaction numbers they had seen. Our doctor said a number like that must show it comes from both parents so I was tested shortly after. Even though I didn’t show any symptoms, my numbers were also high. Within a few months of going gluten free, I was able to go off all of my asthma medications. Now, if I accidentally ingest gluten, I am flat out sick with stomach pains and a migraine for two days. Since my diagnosis, my brother and his young son were also diagnosed.

I started my blog because I was tired of getting sick when I dined out. I didn’t realize how dangerous cross contamination was for a person who can’t have gluten. I started to call around to Bay Area restaurants and asked lots of questions. Within just a few months, I had built up a database of over 645 Bay Area restaurants’ safe gluten handling procedures. No other site does this. I have talked to every single restaurant in my database.

I am still struggling with how to expand my database to other cities. It is incredibly time consuming to call and question each restaurant.

Is every restaurant good at managing cross contamination? Nope…and I say what the restaurant does, or doesn’t do, so you can make an educated decision whether to dine at that restaurant.

Here are a few of my most popular articles about restaurant cross contamination:

  1. The Top 10 Scary Things Restaurants Have Told Me – You won’t believe what I have been told. It is downright scary!
  2. The Top 6 Questions to Ask That Pizza Place Before You Order That Gluten Free Pizza – Pizza restaurants are difficult because flour is in the air. Know what to look for.
  3. The Top 7 Tips to Stay Safe In a Sushi Restaurant – It is possible to stay safe in a sushi restaurant if you know what precautions to ask for.
  4. Is There Gluten In That Glass of Wine? - This one really surprised me. Occasionally, there is a bottle of wine that makes me really sick…often after only half a glass. Now I know why!

I also love to create delicious gluten free recipes for everyone to enjoy. I love to use nut meals, coconut sugar and coconut oil to make my recipes healthier and lower glycemic.

Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Chestnut Scones -Watson

Gluten Free Chestnut, Apple and Bacon Scones. This was my first baking experiment since becoming a Beta tester for IBM’s Supercomputer “Chef” Watson. (Remember the computer that won Jeapordy?) Chef Watson comes up with unique ingredient combinations using food chemistry. He is still in the very early stages, but programmers are improving his output every day. [Read more…]

Top 10 Sites For Printable Organic and Gluten Free Coupons

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I have discussed before how I am a big fan of printable coupons. Believe it or not there are a lot of coupons available for organic and free foods.

It is so easy to print a couple coupons on your favorites before heading to the store. Since I started using coupons three years ago I have saved so much by using organic food coupons and gluten free food coupons.

There are  ton of coupons out there for gluten free and organice foods. In this recent article I covered nine different places where to find gluten free coupons. But a lot of people love the convenience of just printing a coupon before heading to the grocery store.

I have a created a list of all the sites where you can print healthy, organic, non-gmo and gluten free coupons from.

Manufacturer Coupons:

  • Coupons.com- I am seeing a lot more organic and gluten free coupons on this site. The best time to print coupons is at the first week of the month. At the beginning of each much providers reset their print quantities and release new coupons listed on the manufacturer site. Like a lot of the other sites they had a huge increase in gluten free coupons during May for Celiac Disease Awareness Month.
  • CommonKindness- Common Kindness is a huge resource for organic and non-gmo coupons. Not only that but when you sign in and select a non-profit and then print coupons, every time you redeem CommonKindness printable grocery coupons they provide funds to your favorite non-profit – at no cost to you!  You save money and give back.
  • HopsterHopster gives you access to exclusive savings you can’t find anywhere else. They have so many coupons for healthy and organic products. I love all the coupons for toddler and baby food. But they also have coupons for green cleaning products, dairy free foods and so much more.
  • Mambo Sprouts- Mambo Sprouts is a site dedicated to healthy living. Not only are they full of information but they also have printable coupons for all your favorite health, natural and organic products.
  • Health-E-SaversHealthESavers.com provides valuable printable coupons from all natural brands for food, groceries, natural remedies, natural beauty, nutritional supplements and pets. 

Store Coupons:

Manufacturer coupons can be paired with store coupons at many stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts Market. If you are unsure of what stores allow combining or stacking coupons just refer to the stores coupon policy.

Remember to follow your favorite organic and healthy companies on Facebook and to sign up for their newsletters and email notifications. If there is an offer for a high value coupon that is sent out print immediately those usually have a print limit and go fast. I get coupons from Annie’s Organic, Earthbound Farms and more in my email.

Thanks to the huge popularity of coupons in the last few years there are plenty of coupons available, you just need to make the effort to try.

If you are interested in more ways to save, I cover how to save money on vegetables and fruit in these posts about couponing on whole foods and saving money on produce.

I also understand that not everyone loves coupons. There are still plenty of ways for you to trim your grocery bill. Check out this post I wrote on Eight Ways to Save Money On Groceries Without Coupons.

I hope this inspires you to save, please remember to view my round up of gluten free coupons and deals.

This page was linked to on Thrifty Thursday’s on Living Well Spending Less.

Gluten Free Coupons, Deals and Free E-Book

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Specialty diet food does not have to be expensive. There are plenty of great deals out there to help you save.

Here are the latest digital and gluten free printable coupons.

Click on the links below to print your coupons. Please be aware some of these companies make non gluten free products also – always check your packaging. Coupons change constantly so please let me know if any of these links are broken.

Remember to follow your favorite companies on Facebook and sign up for their email notifications or newsletter. Many high value coupons are sent out to followers.

Hope this helps you save some money on your gluten free favorites.

Gluten Free Breads/Pizza:

Gluten Free Meats:

Dairy:

Gluten Free Cereals/Oatmeal:

Gluten Free Pasta:

Salad/Vegetables/Produce:

Gluten Free Snacks/Crackers:

Gluten Free Granola/Bars:

Gluten Free Dips/Salad Dressing/Sauces/Spreads:

Gluten Free Meals/Frozen Foods:

Gluten Free Fruits/Baby and Toddler Foods:

Gluten Free Baking/Sweets:

Remember coupons change frequently so if you see a gluten free coupon you like print it now. If you are looking for more healthy organic coupons be sure to check out Common Kindness and Mambo Sprouts.

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Get $10 off $30 at Vitacost! Vitacost is one of my favorite places for amazing deals online! They have a huge selection of healthy foods, natural beauty and baby products, cleaning products and more.

If you are new to Vitacost, you can take advantage of their referral program- when you refer a friend, you get a $10 credit, and your friend gets a unique coupon code for $10 off any $30 purchase!

Here’s how to use this deal:

  • Go here and sign up with Vitacost using a valid email address (this link is my own personal referral link).
  • Wait for your welcome email to arrive, which will contain your unique coupon code for $10 off a $30 purchase.
  • Go shopping!!! Put $30 or more of items into your cart.
  • Check out, apply your $10 off coupon code, and watch your total drop!
  • Pay $4.95 flat rate shipping, unless you have a total of $49 or more after your coupon code, in which case you will receive Free shipping!

Amazon Gluten Free Coupons

There are a ton of gluten free coupons available on Amazon right now, here are just a few:

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Jump Start Your Gluten-Free Diet! Living with Celiac / Coeliac Disease & Gluten Intolerance

The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center is dedicated to raising awareness, increasing diagnosis rates and meeting the needs of people affected by celiac disease nationwide through education, research and advocacy.

With this free ebook you’ll understand the differences between celiac disease, intolerances, and allergies; learn about the 300+ signs and symptoms associated with celiac disease, genetic and antibody blood testing, diagnosis, and required follow-up testing; and understand safe/unsafe ingredients, how to safely cook at home, and learn tips on dining out. Go here to download.

Guest Post from Raia of Raia’s Recipes: Sharing Her Story

Today I am happy to share with you a guest post from Raia of Raia’s Recipes.  She is such an inspiration for living healthy and she manages to do it with a big family.  I am thrilled to have her share her journey for healthy living and a few recipes with us!

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I’m so thankful to Nicole for letting me share my journey to a gluten-free life with you all today! If you haven’t read my blog (don’t worry, I’m not offended) let me introduce myself…

Hi. I’m Raia. It’s pronounced rye-uh, in case you wondered. I’m a homeschooling, stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids, with number five on the way.

I grew up with a mom who made everything from scratch and never let me eat sugar, but I lost sight of my healthy heritage during college. After graduating and getting married I promised myself that I would do better.

A couple years and two kids later, my husband and I moved our little family over to Far East Russia. Even though we had been eating a healthier version of the SAD (Standard American Diet), the majority of food we ate in Russia was unprocessed and free of pesticides and preservatives.

As our bodies got used to the cleanliness of our new diet we noticed changes in our health: less sickness, fewer allergies, and (though we weren’t really overweight) loss of unnecessary body fat.

After returning to the US, I immediately became sick. Every time I ate I would have severe stomach pains accompanied with diarrhea. This lasted for two months. When I gave birth to my third child a few months later things became even worse. Not only could I not lose any of my pregnancy weight, my stomach pains became so severe that I would lie in bed for hours after eating, unable to move because of the pain.

After three months of this torture a friend whose daughter was gluten intolerant convinced me to give up gluten for a week and see if it helped. Only three days later the pain stopped. After one week of this “test” I ate a big helping of lasagna and garlic bread and within 5 minutes I was lying on the couch in pain.

I was floored. How could I be gluten-intolerant? I’d been trying so hard to eat healthy!

According to my midwife (who also happened to be gluten-intolerant) all the stress of moving and switching back to the SAD, combined with the stress of labor, had triggered auto-immune disease in my body. “Trauma-induced gluten-intolerance,” she called it.

As of 2011, my family has been gluten-free. A few months after quitting gluten, I also quit eggs and refined sugar. After the birth of my fourth child I cut out dairy, as well.

Unfortunately, this was not enough for my body to heal. My food intolerances continued to get worse, until I could barely eat anything without reacting in some way. This led my family to go on the GAPS Diet in 2013 (you can read all about that here). After only one month on the Intro Diet, I was able to eat foods I hadn’t enjoyed in years!

Through this journey I have discovered that “healthy” doesn’t only mean not eating processed foods. We need to listen to our bodies – they are designed wonderfully with an amazing sense of what we need to flourish!

I started my blog as a way to encourage other gluten-free-ers that eating with allergies and intolerances doesn’t have to be bland and frustrating – it can be tasty and fun!

Here are some of my family’s favorite recipes:

Easiest Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes
Free of gluten and refined sugar.

Easiest Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes | gluten-free, sugar-free | RaiasRecipes.com

Nothing says good morning quite like a fresh batch of fluffy pancakes. ;) These are super easy to mix up, and they’re tasty and filling too! [Read more…]