October 13, 2007

Gluten-Free, Lactose Free, Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I found this recipe while watching the rotating gluten-free (GF) videos I have featured on my blog. You can watch it too by going directly to Gluten Free Cook. The one challenge the cook had when making her husband’s peanut butter GF cookies, was that they were very brittle and crumbly. I used her recipe and added a small amount of Xanthan Gum as an effective binder. The results turned out great! These are some of the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had, as well as the most easiest to make!

Peanut Butter Cookie Ingredients
  • 2 tsp baking soda (make sure it’s GF)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups peanut butter (natural/no sugar added is preferable)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum

Preheat oven to 325º F.

Spray your cookie sheets with cooking spray (check the ingredients), or line the baking sheets with foil. Whisk up the two eggs in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, baking soda, and xanthan gum together. Add the peanut butter to the eggs and mix. Then add the sugar/baking soda/xanthan gum and mix until thoroughly combined. Use a spoon or 1 inch ice-cream scooper and drop them on the cookie sheets about 2-3 inches apart. Use a fork and press them down enough to make a textured surface. Bake each batch for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for five minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack. Enjoy!

*Make sure to check out my other gluten free recipes! Look out for upcoming reviews of gluten free products!

October 11, 2007

Restaurant Review: Maggiano's Little Italy

Maggiano’s has got to be one of the nicest places to go for people suffering from Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivities. Every time I go there I feel very taken care of. For those who don’t know, Maggiano’s stocks gluten-free (GF) corn pasta, flour, and sometimes breadcrumbs. When you tell the waiter or waitress that you need GF options, they bring the chef out to your table to discuss what is available.

My partner and I went to Maggiano’s in downtown Philadelphia last Friday night. As usual the wait staff and chef gave great care in making sure that my condition was taken seriously. The chef asked me what I’d like and I asked him if he could make the best seafood pasta dish he could think of. I was asked what kind of seafood, and I responded with “all of it.” I was given a few choices before deciding on a light and creamy tomato/cheese sauce. The chef explained that usually they had GF breadcrumbs to make mozzarella sticks, breaded fish, etc., but that they were currently out. I appreciated the info, since I was unaware of those options. Next time I go there, I’ll have to order me up some breaded mozzarella sticks with a side of marinara sauce… it has been a long time since I had those. But I’ll have to make sure they don’t fry them in oil that has been contaminated by gluten.

The seafood medley that was delivered was beautifully presented and completely delicious. A few bites in and I was in seventh heaven, although I did have a few drinks as well, which could have contributed to the sense of eurphoria I was experiencing… let’s just say it was a combination of the two. Regardless, it was a great meal! The only GF desert option was Crème Brulee, which was cool since that’s one of my favorite sweets. In conclusion, Maggiano’s is a great place to go, whether you have gluten issues or not. Now they just need to post an online GF menu so I can link it on this site!

Here's a link to their website: Maggiano's Little Italy

*Make sure to check out my other gluten free recipes! Look out for upcoming reviews of gluten free products!

October 8, 2007

Shepherd's Pie

I cook a lot for myself. I cook a lot in general, but when it’s primarily for myself I like to make dishes that create a lot of leftovers. I remember when I couldn’t stand eating leftovers. I thought I was too good for them, and would usually throw them out. My mentality changed however, after my gluten-intolerance made it very difficult for me to just go out and grab a quick bite to eat somewhere. Now, if I’m going to be outside of my home for an extended amount of time, I always bring my own food and snacks. It’s not that I can’t go to a store and find something I can eat, it’s just more convenient to be prepared. There’s nothing more annoying than going over the ingredient lists of foodstuff after foodstuff, only to come to the conclusion that gluten is in absolutely everything! Something especially true for pre-packaged food.

This simple recipe for Shepherd’s Pie comes from the book: Easy Cooking With 5 Ingredients, by Barbara C. Jones. This book is no frills, with no pictures or glossy pages. What it has however, is a ton of easy to cook meals. Shepherd’s Pie can be made a ton of different ways. The way I make it here is not for the vegetarians out there. You can substitute the meat with ingredients like seasoned Tofu or beans. The recipe calls for instant potatoes, but since most instant potato products contain some form of gluten, I would recommend using old fashioned mashed potatoes, or find some guaranteed gluten-free instant ones. No matter how you make this dish, you'll most likely have leftovers! It's very tasty... and very filling.

Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients
  • 2 cups Mashed Potatoes (instant gluten-free if available)
  • ½ cup Salsa, or gluten-free enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup Shredded cheese (whatever you like)
  • 1 can Whole kernel corn (drained)
  • 1 pound Lean ground beef (or turkey, tofu, tofurkey, turducken, etc.)
  • Salt & Pepper

If using raw potatoes, you’re going to want to get them cooked and out of the way before starting the rest of this meal. You can make great mashed potatoes by boiling them without skins until soft. Drain them and mash them up in a large bowl, to which you add some butter, a little salt, and milk. Whip it up until it’s light and fluffy. This is to taste, so just add the butter and milk, little by little, until you got what you want. You don’t want potato milk soup!

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Brown the ground beef in a skillet on med-high. Make sure to chop it up good while it’s cooking. Once the meat (or substitute) if fully cooked, drain the excess grease, and then add the salsa (or gluten-free enchilada sauce) and put back over the flame. Find an 8-inch baking pan, or a nice casserole dish. Put the cooked beef/salsa mixture in the bottom of the pan, then add the corn, then the cheese, and then the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle some salt & pepper on top, along with some more cheese and put into the oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is slightly browned.

*Make sure to check out my other gluten free recipes! Look out for upcoming reviews of gluten free products!


Just So You Know...

The information presented in this blog is intended to educate and entertainment. However, I'm not a medical expert.  I also do not know absolutely everything about Celiac Disease.  What I do know has been learned through trial and error, research, and what has been taught to me by friends who also share my food-related affliction.  Please take the time to do your own research about Celiac Disease and gluten-related issues.  I have a list of links to useful resources along the left-side of this blog. Also, feel free to cross-check my statements. If you find contrary information, please let me know. Thanks so much for visiting Trav's Gone Gluten Free!