Monday, August 31, 2015

Easy Gluten-free Spaghetti

This week is the third week of school, and you know what that means: tests! It's that time of the year when we have learned enough to take our first tests. Unfortunately it seems like I have a test in practically all my classes, so I know what I'll be up to this week! Sometimes you don't have time to make everything from scratch, so the recipe I'm going to share with you all today is for those times when you are running around and need a quick-fix dinner.
1 jar of gluten-free ready-made pasta sauce (I used the Trader Joe's Roasted Garlic one).
A quarter of an onion
4 mushrooms
Olive oil
1 pack of gluten-free spaghetti (I used the one from the Aldi)
Ground beef
Parsley (for garnish)

The Sauce
1. Fill 3/4 of a pot with water, and bring it to a boil. 
2. Chop the quarter of an onion and the mushrooms.
3. In a pot, sautee the mushrooms and onions.
4. In a separate pan, brown the ground beef (you can use as much or little as you like). I actually don't use any oil; I let the ground beef cook in its own fat. (It's healthier and less work).
5. Once the ground beef is done, add it to the pot, and stir in the jar of gluten-free pasta sauce.
7. Turn down the heat and cover the pot, occasionally stirring it so it doesn't burn.

The Spaghetti
1. Fill 3/4 of a pot with water, and bring it to a boil.
2. Add the pack of gluten-free spaghetti, and stir it in once the bottom half of the spaghetti gets soft (this way the water will cover all of the spaghetti).
3. Add salt to the water and occasionally check on it to ensure it doesn't get too soft.
4. After you've drained the water, rinse the spaghetti in cold water and add olive oil. Sometimes I'll even add dried parsley leaves or dried basil!

Voila! You've got a meal that didn't take too long and looks like you went to a restaurant. Decorate the table with fancy china and no one will notice ;). Also, be sure to garnish with parsley!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Gluten-free Chocolate Nemesis Cake

I can't believe that I've been in school for two weeks now! It feels like I was just in Norway, laying by the ocean side with a book in my hands, sipping the coffee I got from a quaint European cafe. Since the beginning of school, I have been swamped with homework and the college application process. It's so surreal that I'll be applying for college in a few months!
A wonderful Norwegian Sous Chef by the name of Thomas Hansen sent me a recipe for the delicious Chocolate Nemesis cake that just happened to be naturally gluten-free! It's a wonderful and easy "comfort food" for those busy and stressful times (I can attest to that)! The awesome thing about this recipe is that it doesn't require too many ingredients, and its chocolate-y goodness will be the perfect addition to your evening tea or study session.

2 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
5 eggs

1. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), and grease your baking pan (I used a 9 inch round pan). I also added a little sorghum flour to the pan to ensure that the mixture wouldn't stick to the edges, but you can use whatever gluten-free flour you have laying around.
2. Melt the two sticks of butter in the microwave (I did it in two forty second intervals, but it will vary depending on your microwave).
3. Melt the chocolate in a water bath and add the butter and sugar.
4. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the mixture.
5. Mix it well!
6. Pour your mixture into the baking pan and set it in the oven for about an hour to an hour and a half or until it sets.
7. Here comes the hardest part-don't eat it when it comes right out of the oven. If you allow it to cool, you can cut it into nice slices. Or I guess you could eat it immediately-whatever makes you happiest! (It's so good that you might not be able to wait)! ;)

Voila! You have a deliciously easy dessert! You can garnish it with powdered sugar and berries, or just eat it out of the pan-but please don't do so in front of your guests :).

If you decide to make this dessert, be sure to post a picture of it with the hashtag #eatwithoutgluten on Instagram or Facebook, so that I can see your fabulous creation!


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Easy Grilled Fish

While I was in Norway, I got to try all different kinds of fish in all different kinds of recipes. I ate fish soup, boiled fish, fried fish, and grilled fish. (You could say I ate a lot of fish this summer.) Today I was in the mood for grilled salmon, and it was absolutely delicious! It took five minutes to prep, and once it was cooking, I could forget about it until it was done.

Frozen salmon filets
Sour cream
Dill or Savory
Unsalted butter

1. Take a square of aluminum foil and lay it out on the counter.
 2. Take a spoonful of sour cream and spread it out on the aluminum foil (enough to cover the bottom of the fish).
3. Lay the dill or savory (whichever herb you are in the mood for, I used savory) along with two thin slices of unsalted butter on top of the sour cream.
 4. Put the salmon filet over your choice of herbs and butter.
5. Cover the top of the filet with more sour cream.
6. Fold the aluminum foil like a burrito-so that it covers the salmon.
7. Set it on the grill for about 20-30 minutes or until it's done.

Voila! You have a delicious dinner that didn't take too long to prep! While it's on the grill, you can cook some rice and make a side-salad. I also paired the fish with thousand island dressing, and garnished it with parsley.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

How to Establish a Gluten-free Lunch Program

Wow, I can't believe school is starting next week for me! I just got back from Norway a few days ago, and am still feeling the wrath of jet lag! I had a wonderful time in Norway, meeting new people and eating lots of fish, but now it's time to buckle down and get ready for school to start. Lunch is a crucial part of the school day-a time to socialize and eat. Sometimes I wake up a little later than I've planned and end up running out the door without a lunch. That's why it's great that there is one station in my school's cafeteria that offers a naturally gluten-free alternative-nachos/tacos! We all have those busy days, and starving should not be an option.

If you haven't had an opportunity to check out one of my previous blog posts on this topic, I have included the information below!

You have three options for school lunch:
1. Bring from home
2. Starve
3. Eat lunch prepared by the school.
I bet you are looking at option three and raising an eyebrow in confusion. But, federal law requires public school to substitute meals for students with life-threatening food allergies and celiac disease.
Many of the meal options at your school might already be naturally gluten-free. Sometimes all that's needed to be done is use GF breads and exchange the cookie with a fruit cocktail. Food handling procedures, however, will have to be in place in order to ensure there are no cross-contamination issues.
Some examples of possible gluten-free lunches offerings can be:  
1. Beefy GF Tacos, Mexican Rice, Buttered Corn and Fruit Cocktail + choice of milk
2. Stuffed baked Potato, Mexican Salad, Carrot & Celery Sticks and Pudding + choice of milk.
3. Hamburger with GF bun/without , Potato Smiles, Corn and Chilled Pineapple choice of milk
4. Hamburger, Mashed Potatoes, Peas and Applesauce/Apple/Orange + choice of milk
5. GF pizza, Garden Salad w/light ranch, orange wedges, chocolate pudding + choice of milk.
6. GF pasta, salad, corn, pears + choice of milk.
7. GF blueberry muffins, corn, warm sliced apples choice of + choice of milk.
6. Salad, Mexican Rice, Carrot and Celery, Fruit Cocktail + choice of milk.
You can enjoy all these meals at school thanks to food labels and food handling procedures! So stop starving; this might be the right option for you!
NCFA provides great information on how to request a gluten free school lunch in your school district. check out the information: 
Training and education of foods service personal is extremely important! 
Here is a link to a great training option that your school district might want to consider pursuing:
So, what are you waiting for?  There are so many options out there for you!!