Quinoa Salad

As a Celiac living in a gluten filled world, I had to learn pretty quickly some foods I could travel with successfully.  Retreats, camping, work conferences, etc. all required foods that could be enjoyed without a microwave and stored easily.  I love me some veggies and some quinoa so my favorite quinoa salad was born.

Instead of olive oil and balsamic, I’ve been using salad dressing lately.  Italian works but my favorite is SoyVay’s Cha Cha dressing (it’s gluten free but it’s the only SoyVay GF dressing so beware when you’re purchasing).

Quinoa Salad

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My Favorite Dinner

Lasagna has always been one of my favorite dinners.  I was devastated when I was first diagnosed with Celiac because it meant the loss of lasagna and garlic bread (I’m still mourning the garlic bread.).

A few months into my Celiac journey, Eric’s aunt, Lorrie–wonderful aunt that she is–suggested we try making polenta lasagna.  I was hooked.  It’s easy and it’s freaking good stuff.  We get the polenta rolls at Trader Joe’s (and will sometimes use 2-2.5 rolls instead of one and use a 9×13 dish instead).

Polenta Lasagna

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Donna’s Blonde Brownies

My best friend’s mom is Donna.  Donna won me over long ago–partly with the depth of character she instilled in her lovely daughter but, if we’re honest, mostly with her baking.

When Donna’s dad passed away a few years ago, Eric and I helped them move his things out of his apartment.  It was a long, hot Saturday morning and after an hour of moving, we were both cranky and ready to be home.  Our reward, a brown lunch sack filled with blonde brownies, probably saved our marriage.  On our half hour drive home with a dresser we’d offered to take to Goodwill for Donna, we ate the twelve brownies she had given us.  And we were happy.

I modified the recipe to be gluten free after my Celiac diagnosis.  I use my favorite blend of flours (sorghum and tapioca–recently I’ve been using millet too and changing the recipe to 2/3 C tapioca, 1/3 C millet, 1 C sorghum) and add some xanthan gum to hold it all together.  We tried using quick cooking GF oats and they were way better than the rolled oats we’ve always used in the past.

So without further ado, here you go: relationship saving blonde brownies ala Donna.  Feel free to print and fold in half.

Blonde Brownies

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In which I praise the goodness of my friends at Franz

Just when I had lied to myself long enough that I’d convinced myself that Udi’s was just as good as normal bread, my world was rocked.

Enter Franz.

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My buddies at Franz bread (Portland based) even have a separate gluten free facility (!) where they make the magic.

It seriously tastes like sourdough bread. Really.

Fred Meyer has it for $5.99 a loaf. Costco has the seedy version (I didn’t like at all but have had friends rave about it) for $4.39. The Franz factory (Des Moines, WA) has it for $3 a loaf.

Best news for me about all this…my incredible husband takes the bus to north Seattle. The Franz factory is feet from the park-n-ride where his bus departs. Cheap, fresh, delicious, and safely gluten free bread for me!

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Tent it (or, I’m a genius)

Gluten free bread isn’t always bad. There are some really good commercial options (Franz and Udi’s are our favorites) and some good recipes for homemade bread too.  Nearly all gluten free bread improves with toasting.

BUT.

After toasting most bread (and for some reason this is especially true for gluten free bread) and placing it on a plate, you will end up with two soggy pieces of bread.

Not anymore, my friends.  Enter: the tent solution.

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Now that I’ve rocked your world, go out and enjoy your gluten free bread!

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Ravioli Goodness

FINALLY!

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FINALLY!

(don’t be alarmed by the unappetizing photo…it’s actually delicious.)

Costco used to sell gluten free raviolis when we lived in California.  We would find them about every other Costco trip we made.  One day, they were gone.  When we moved to Washington, I checked.  And they were there!  Until they weren’t.

In my devastation at the raviolis’ disappearance from our new Costco location, I wrote to the company that sells the GF ravioli to beg them to bring them back.  I received a lovely letter and a few coupons in the mail but still have not seen them at our Costco.

BUT. Our Safeway knows what’s up.  Thank you, Safeways of Washington state for joining together and with your collective bargaining, bringing delicious GF ravioli to our lovely evergreen state.

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Matcha Green Tea Muffins

Many many moons ago, I made Trader Joe’s matcha green tea muffins once a week. I would eat two every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning as I took the bus from the campus parking lot up to my 8am early American lit class.

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Then one day they were gone. I checked my regular Trader Joe’s and after asking a manager about it and hearing they weren’t stocking the muffin mix anymore, I determinedly hopped in my car and drove down Highway 1 to see if the Capitola TJ’s had any left in stock. I was met with another grim faced manager who told me (and two other people who had the same sadness in their eyes) that the muffins really were discontinued and he’d already sold the last case to an awfully distraught woman.

That’s how good those muffins were.

I’ve searched since then for a recipe that could replicate the original ones and have been sorely disappointed.

Until now.

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to our version of

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Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea Muffins

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 tablespoons Matcha green tea powder (so very expensive! Much cheaper at our local Asian market than at the overpriced health food store)
1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 brown sugar
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 eggs
1/3 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cup almond milk (add more if batter is too thick)

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Preheat oven to 375.

Beat eggs, butter, milk, brown sugar, and agave nectar together.

In a separate bowl, combine flours, Matcha, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.

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Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Add more almond milk if it’s too thick.

Spoon into muffin cups, bake for 25-30 minutes, and enjoy!! :)

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