Tell Us Your Gluten-Free Gift Ideas & Win a Combo Pack ($50 retail value)

We’re putting together our annual top 10 Gluten-Free Gifts List for 2009, and we want to hear from you. Tell us about your favorite kitchen gadgets, books, or miscellanies that make your gluten-free life easier…or maybe they are things that you don’t have yet, but are lusting after this holiday season. Let us know what’s on your  mind (gluten-free related, of course) this gift-giving season by leaving your thoughts in our comment section We’ll pick one lucky commenter right before Christmas who’ll win our our complete set of products — a gluten-free restaurant guide, grocery guide, and dining cards in 10 different languages.

We’ll publish our 10 favorite gifts in time for the holiday shopping season. Stay tuned!

Leftover Turkey Gluten-free Recipes

ThanksgivingFeastHopefully everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday! At our house we over ate a bit but were very happy to enjoy a completely gluten-free holiday. The food was as good (or better!) than any gluten containing dishes from yesteryear. From turkey with dressing and gravy to Honeybaked Ham with pineapple casserole – we ate like gluten-free royalty. Even those in the group who can eat gluten enjoyed our bountiful meal and no one complained that anything was missing from the wonderful dishes we shared.

It’s simply a wonderful feeling when you can relax and enjoy a totally gluten-free meal, knowing that no one misplaced a serving spoon and therefore contaminated something you put on your plate unknowingly. When all the dishes served are gluten-free, there is no anxiety about getting sick later. When all the desserts are gluten-free, there is no feeling left out when everyone raves about a treat you can’t have. It’s odd, I think, to have such strange feelings about food, but most of us can’t control how we feel.

So, our big holiday weekend is over and now many of us have more turkey leftover than we know what to do with.  Luckily, all one has to do is search the gluten-free blogosphere to find  a plethora of handy recipes to help use up leftover turkey creatively. Here are a few interesting ways to rid your fridge of turkey and one super simple way to make turkey noodle soup.

  • Karina, the Gluten Free Goddess, created Turkey Sweet Potato Enchiladas which use up two leftover Thanksgiving foods.    
  • Natalie, aka Gluten Free Mommy, posted an easy Turkey Noodle Casserole recipe. If you don’t like broccoli, consider using asparagus instead. 
  • Here is a very unique Turkey Crepe Wrap recipe from Teri Gruss at About.com. Just use Thanksgiving turkey instead of deli turkey.
  • Last but not least, here is a super simple recipe for Turkey (or chicken) Noodle Soup from Recipe Zaar.

For the most part, turkey can be used in the place of chicken. Make turkey tacos instead of chicken tacos or substitute turkey in your favorite chicken casserole dish. If you have a quiche recipe that calls for chicken, use turkey in it instead. Finally, when you just can’t eat another bite of turkey, wrap the plain leftover meat in freezer bags for future use. Make sure to mark the date on the bags so you don’t pull it out in a year and a half and wonder how old it is. I’ve done that more times than I care to admit.

If you know of a creative way to use up leftover turkey, please list it in the comments below.

Easy Delicious Gluten-free Dinners from Progresso

logoDuring this time of year, everyone is in a rush and most of us don’t have time to spend a lot of time making dinner every night. Thanks to the Chicken Cheese Enchilada soup from Progresso, we can have a super easy and gluten-free dinner without much work at all!

One can of the delicious soup will work for six small or four large boneless chicken breasts. Place the chicken in a baking dish and pour the entire can of soup over it. Use non stick spray for metal pans and no spray for glass dish. Bake for approximately 30 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Make sure chicken is cooked through and serve chicken and sauce over white or brown rice. Add some healthy veggies like asparagus or a nice green salad and you have and easy and tasty gluten-free meal.

Another idea for this versatile soup is to cook some gluten-free pasta and add the pasta to a saute pan of the heated up Chicken Cheese Enchilada soup. Thoroughly coat the pasta and get everything hot and you have another easy gluten-free meal that is anything but bland. You can also just serve the soup over rice since there is protein (chicken and cheese0 in the soup – easy, nutritious and delicious!

38804One of the reasons I like to support Progresso products is that they are removing MSG from all their soups and they are labeling the gluten-free soups they make right on the back of the can. The gluten-free marking is easy to see which makes is easy to grab and move on when you’re shopping. Any company that labels their products gluten-free and doesn’t add a lot of junk to their food is okay in my book.

Recently Campbell’s created a website that lists all their gluten-free items and none of their soups are listed. At one time about five or so Campbell’s soups were considered gluten-free by the company. The representative I spoke to said at present, there are no soups the company considers gluten-free in the product line, but they might be able to add some of the soups to the gluten-free list eventually. Several of their Swanson broths are gluten-free.

It is pretty easy to tell which companies care about making money off of the gluten-free consumer. In my opinion, the companies that take the time to know which of their products are gluten-free and label them as such, deserve my hard earned money. The companies that tell me to read their labels and I’ll be able to figure out if the product is gluten-free are essentially asking me to spend about three times as long grocery shopping as the average consumer has to. Label reading is certainly required much of the time so when possible, I choose to support companies that treat us like the valued customers we are.

Many people are surprised to find out how many soups from Progresso are now gluten-free and labeled as such. The Creamy Mushroom soup was what we used for our green bean casserole for Thanksgiving dinner. I thickened it with a little cornstarch and it was absolutely perfect for the dish. To check the gluten-free status of Progresso soups, click on ‘nutrition’ and then the type of soup on the website.  Thanks to Progresso for making some wonderful MSG and gluten-free soups!

Gluten-free Cupcakes Delivered on a Truck!

cupcakestoplogoCan you imagine being able to buy a gluten-free cupcake from a truck – like one would buy ice cream on busy city streets? Normally I’d say I could not imagine it but when I found out this incredible privilege is for the New York gluten-free set – it all made sense. In NYC, the gluten-free products and dining out options will have your head spinning. The list of wonderful places to eat and massive selection of products to buy is truly overwhelming.

One of the gluten-free jewels of the Big Apple is a little bakery in Brooklyn that ships their fabulous food all over the U.S. So it’s no surprise that the gluten-free cupcakes on the cupcake truck are from that bakery. Everybody Eats makes many fine products but the stand out items for us are their incredible pizzas, French baguettes, ravioli and famous sticky buns! It’s not that common to find a gluten-free replacement food that is better than the gluten item it’s trying to replace but the gang at Everybody Eats accomplished just that with their sticky buns. The decadent treat is better than anything you’ll find at T.J. Cinnamon’s or Cinnabon – no doubt! We have never had the cupcakes from the bakery but I’m betting they are delectable!

cupcakeumbnailjpgThe CupcakeStop in NYC offers gluten treats but the gluten-free cupcakes are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. Right now there are only two flavors of gluten-free cupcakes offered. If demand becomes high enough for other flavors, they may look into offering other selections. The CupcakeStop truck roams the Big Apple and even has a real time feed on their website so that customers know when they truck is in their area. How fun would that be to walk up to a truck and buy a gluten-free cupcake?  I wish I could to go NYC just to get a cupcake from a truck…those gluten-free New Yorkers have it made in the shade I tell you!

Excerpt from CupcakeStop website:

It’s a well known fact that New Yorkers are always on the go. At CupcakeStop, we believe that despite this, everyone deserves to indulge themselves with a gourmet snack. That’s why we decided to take our delectable cupcakes, baked fresh daily from the highest quality ingredients, and load them onto New York’s first mobile cupcake shoppe.

Check the Everybody Eats website to find out which of their products might be sold near you. Many things are available for online purchasing, but not all. Their ravioli is some of the best you’ll ever have – regardless of ingredients. If you need a dairy and gluten-free treat or special occasion cake, contact the bakery directly. They recently made a gluten-free cake for 400 attendees at a Columbia Celiac Disease Center event. Now that’s a lot of cake!

Make sure to get your Everybody Eats gluten-free cupcakes from the CupcakeStop truck if you’re in the NYC area! Special thanks to the gang at Everybody Eats for always trying to up their game and think outside the box. Your fans are very thankful for you this holiday season!

Special thanks to Catherine – aka A Gluten-Free Guide for the CupcakeStop info!

Don’t Forget the Gluten-free Chex Party Mix!

chexoriginalr6709fpBefore gluten-free Corn and Rice Chex came along, we used Health Valley Chex-type cereals to make gluten-free Chex-like party mix. Health Valley Corn and Rice Crunch’Ems cereals are gluten-free but are not marked as such. Rice Chex and Corn Chex cereals (and four other flavors) are now gluten-free and are marked as such.

chexpizzar45854fpWe use the traditional Chex party mix recipe from the General Mills website – omitting the bagel chips and the Wheat Chex, of course. But there are many versions of this fabulous savory holiday snack and the Chex website lists some pretty creative ones. There are many sweet treat options as well!

  • These Honey-Peanut Butter Bars look pretty terrific!
  • How about a Chex Cookie Pizza? It’s so festive looking too!
  • Check out this Chex recipe that includes cranberries which are very healthy. With this treat we can feel good about our snack indulgences!

The Chex website has both gluten containing and gluten-free recipes. If you are new to the gluten-free diet, you might want to stick to the gluten-free options. It’s easy to convert recipes to be gluten-free, once you’re been around the gluten-free block – so to speak.

No matter what Chex party mix you make, no one will ever know it’s gluten-free – unless you tell them. In the case of Chex cereals, the reformulated gluten-free versions were perfected until gluten eaters could not tell the difference between the original version and the new gluten-free one. The Health Valley Corn and Rice Crunch’ems taste pretty much like the Chex cereals to us. In most markets, the Chex cereals cost less than the Health Valley products – another plus to using Chex products.

We use Glutino twisted pretzels in our Chex party mix but sesame pretzels from Ener-G also work well. Sometimes we add peanuts and sometimes we don’t. I love nuts in everything and my husband does not. Therefore, I take turns putting nuts in brownies, cookies and Chex mix. The homemade snack mix runs circles around the gluten version in a bag. In fact, the difference is like night and day to us and everyone we share it with. No matter which recipe you use, it’s a super easy and extremely delicious snack to make.

Once you’re party mix is made, let it completely cool before storing it in an airtight container. We use a large tin for ours and it stays fresh for at least a week. However, it is usually gone either the day it’s made or the day after. The Original Chex party mix is highly addictive if you like savory snacks and I’ll choose something savory over something sweet any day of the week!

Enjoy your Chex party mix this holiday season – savory or sweet. Since it’s the season of giving – remember to share it with the glutenoids in your life – no matter how much you want to keep it all for yourself! With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I am truly thankful for all the delicious gluten-free products available these days. And I’m pretty sure there are many more to come!