Monday, November 11, 2013

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Pizza

Hello Friends,

I recently responded to a request for my quick pizza recipe.  Here it is:

What You Need:

Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Personal Size Pizza Crust  (Comes with a Pack of 4) Great for Thick Crust! GF Marinara Sauce- (Ragu, Costco store brand work)Daiya Chedder and Mozzarella ShredsLiteHouse Spices  (whichever you like on your pizza- I use Oregano, Basil)1/2 of  Diced Zucchini1  Bell pepper Hormel Gluten Free Natural Choice Turkey Sausage.  (Only used 1/2 a sausage for 5 pizzas)

We first start with the attached Pizza crust. You can get it at Sprouts, Whole foods or Krogers. I think Market street may have it as well. We really like the because we like the thicker crust pizzas. I will then add a jar of GF Marianara sauce. You can use Ragu or Costco bran. We also like Sweet Barbque pizza (Great sauces are the Honey Pecan by Stubbs or the Honey Sweet by Rufus Teague). But keep it simple for your first. 

I have my side of diced veggies: squash, zuchinni, bell peppers, mushrooms. I also add Gluten free chicken sausage from Sprouts or if you like pepperoni, grilled chicken, turkey sausage...Whatever toppings you like. I also season the pizza with oregano, Season All and basil.   I use LiteHouse Freeze Dried Spices as its had no additives, its just the pure spice. The pizza packs come in fours. So I usually spread the four out on to a large baking sheet or baking stone. Sometimes I put it directly on the oven shelves for the crispyness. Anyhoo, so spread the marinara sauce, then toppings, maybe a little more sauce then add your cheese. If you are going the dairy free route, use Daiya Cheddar Shredds. If you like dairy, then grab a few combos of shredded cheeses to sprinkle on to the pizza. I mix the cheddar and the Mozzarella . Stick it in the oven on 375 for about 25-30 mins. My kids and hubby love it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Identifying Hidden Sources of Gluten

I found this interesting article on identifying sources of Gluten.  This is great info to know for those who are just getting started and a great reminder for the seasoned Gluten free parents.

Identifying Hidden Sources of Gluten

Perhaps you’re on gluten-free diet and it seems to be working well for you, but every once in awhile you find yourself glutened yet can’t identify the culprit. Unfortunately, this happens to many Celiac and gluten intolerant folks because of hidden sources of gluten in foods that we might assume to be gluten-free. Where may some of these ninja-like gluten offenders be? In Rice Krispies (although there is now a gluten-free version, but look for a clear gluten-free label), salad dressing, soy sauce, chips, soups, candy, medication, ice cream.  Sometimes it can feel like gluten is around every corner.

Verifying the gluten-free status of some products will become a little easier with the recent FDA ruling that demands that products labeled “gluten-free” must contain less than 20 parts per million. That ruling should help clear up at least some products’ gluten-free status.  However, it’s still important to hone your detective eye for hidden or unexpected sources of gluten in order to avoid accidentally purchasing gluten-filled product or consuming gluten while dining out.
So what’s a person to do? Not consume products that aren’t clearly gluten-free until you’ve checked with the manufacturer and then memorize a list of all the “safe” products? Well that might be the safest course of action for people with Celiac or severe reactions to gluten, but for people with a lower gluten sensitivity there are ways that you can keep protect yourself as you navigate shopping and eating.

Know common “hidden” gluten ingredients:

Learn red flag ingredients that you may spot on labels. There are the obvious ones, such as “wheat flour,” that can be hidden in unsuspecting products like licorice candy, chips, and soup. Products that contain wheat should, by law, be labeled as such in bold letters, as it is one of the top eight allergens. However, it seems that not all ingredients that are wheat-derived are labeled, and there are other non-wheat sources of gluten.
Red flag ingredients include:
  • “Barley Malt” or “Malt” – Examples: Rice Krispies, Cornflakes, Lindt Truffles
  • “Soy Sauce” – Contains wheat unless the item is made with gluten-free “Tamari” soy sauce. Also, I used to think that all Tamari-style soy sauce was gluten-free, but recently saw that Kikkoman makes a non-gluten free Tamari soy sauce—that’s a good one to ask your waiter or friend if you’re a dinner guest.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – I’ve found this ingredient to be particularly sneaky as some versions contain gluten and some don’t.  I once had a housemate tell me “Hey, you should eat this chili with us, it’s gluten free,” and then watched him pour a whole bottle of Worcestershire sauce into his bubbling pot. It’s easy for people to not even wonder whether a sauce has gluten in it or not, so this is the kind of ingredient that it might be good to ask about specifically.
  • Wheat, barley and rye in their Latin namesTriticum vulgare (wheat), Hordeum vulgare (barley), Secale cereale (rye),Triticale (cross between wheat and rye), and Triticum spelta (spelt, a wheat variety)
  • Finally, there are several common ingredients whose gluten content is debated or for which there are gluten-free and gluten-filled versions. These include: Dextrin, Maltodextrin, Modified Starch/Modified food starch, Natural Flavor, and Artificial Flavor. Some companies are now labeling whether their products’ food starch comes from corn or wheat, but many remain unlabeled. Dealing with these ingredients may be a matter of avoiding them “just in case” or testing products that have no other signs of gluten on an individual basis.

Know what kinds of unsuspecting foods might have a gluten ingredient:

If you’re like me, you read any label you can get your hands on before putting anything in your mouth. If you don’t read every label, keep in mind the types of products that commonly have hidden gluten (those labels you might want to start reading!): canned soup, salad dressing, chips, ice cream, noodles (yes, some rice or buckwheat noodles have added flour), and pretty much any “snack” food. Conveniently, the foods that you know are the safest—unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables—are better for your health anyway!

Know the taste and appearance of gluten ingredients:

Ideally, you’d know whether something contains gluten before it’s sitting in front of you ready to eat, but sometimes miscommunication occurs. I’ve found this kind of mishap common when traveling with a language barrier or where “gluten-free” is not a well-known concept. You may want to “double-check” (ask about specific ingredients that you suspect might be in the food) when something suspicious comes up. I keep an eye out for:
  • Dark-colored and salty sauces (suggests soy sauce might be an ingredient)
  • Thick and/or opaque sauces (may have been thickened using flour/be roux based)
  • Creamy soups (may use flour as a thickener)
  • Foods that appear to have been deep-fried (may have been fried in the same oil as gluten-containing products, may be breaded)

Yes, it often feels like gluten stealthily infiltrates some of the most unexpected places. However, the more you know what to look out for, the more you can sidestep gluten encounters. Read labels. Look up unfamiliar ingredients online. When in doubt, ask a waiter or friend. When he or she has no idea what you’re talking about, remain a patient advocate for your own health and use the encounter as an opportunity to educate others about Celiac disease and gluten intolerance.  Sneaky gluten may be popping up everywhere, but being attentive, having knowledge about obscure gluten-containing ingredients, and communicating with people who are preparing or handling your food are key techniques for avoiding those hidden sources of gluten.

What are some hidden sources of gluten you’ve found?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I have never been a big fan of Pumpkin but recently experimented with a pumpkin muffin that is just EXCELLENT. Its so good you want to just slap yourself. Teehee!!! In other words, it is sooo good and you definitely can't tell that is Gluten or Dairy Free.  I am providing the recipe below for you to try.  Please let me know what you think?  ( I just demolished my third muffin as I type.....dangerous!!!) You could also use Sweet Potato/Yam puree and add pecans or walnuts. My kids are allergic to nuts but feel free to add on your own. 

I really believe flour will make or break any Gluten free recipe.  I have tried many and the only baking flour that I have found that works the best and eliminates the "grainy aftertaste," alot of Gluten free products share, is Bella Gluten Free. I met the creator and owner, Mary Capone, at an Allergen convention in Dallas a few months ago. She had a true heart to create a good product any person with or without allergies would love.  She provided me with some free samples to experiment with. I have not been disappointed yet.  I highly recommend using her flour if you would like a similar if not better baking product texture of regular all purpose flours. 

*Just a side note, I was not paid for this endorsement, nor have I received anything for this review.  I am just sharing my wonderful experience with her product. 

Janice's Yummy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

1 3/4 All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons of Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
2 Lg Room temperature eggs
1 cup of Pumpkin puree (If you like Sweet Potatoes/Yams, this is great as well)
1 1/2 of Organic Sugar
1/2 cup of Enjoy Life Chocolate chips.
1/2 cup of Mediterranean Blend Oil (Canola, Olive and Grapeseed Oil- I ran out of plain Canola Oil)
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla extract
1/4 cup of Agave Syrup
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling

Yields 24 muffins

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Line your muffin pans with paper liners.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together your main dry ingredients: Flour, Baking Powder, Salt,  Sugar (leaving a little for sprinkles later) and chocolate chips.

4. In another bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients: Pumpkin Puree, Oil, eggs, Agave Syrup and Vanilla Extract.

5. Blend all of your dry and wet ingredients together.  Mix until smooth.

6.  Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pans until each cup is two-thirds full.  Sprinkle remaining sugar and confectioners on top of each muffin.

7.  Bake for 25-30 mins. I cooked my muffins for 30 minutes and they came out perfect.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Baked Ziti Marinara with Italian Ground Turkey

2 Bags Baby Spinach (Washed - Apx. 10 oz) 
2 Large Jars of Marinara Sauce (Apx. 55 oz)- I use Kirkland's from Costco..its GF 
1/2 jar of Mince Garlic
1 Small White Onion
2-3 sweet peppers
1lb Ground Turkey
2 small Zucchini (diced)
Ziti Noodles (16 oz of Mini Penne- I use GF rice ziti noodles)
Ricotta Cheese (16 oz) See Dairy Free Recipe below
Mozzarella (I use a package of Daiya Dairy free Mozzarella)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and boil the pasta until al dente, tender but still slightly firm. drain.  

Saute diced onions, diced sweet peppers and minced garlic in a separate skillet. Then add ground italian seasoned Turkey. 

Mix one Jar of Marinara Sauce with the diced Zucchini, cooked Ziti Noodles, cooked ground turkey, Spinach, and Ricotta Cheese in a large bowl. Spread 1⁄2 Jar of Marinara Sauce evenly in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Place large bowl mixture into the dish. Spread the remaining 1⁄2 Jar of Marinara Sauce over the top. Sprinkle the Mozzarella right on top. 

Turn the oven to 350. cook dish at least 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove lid and let set for 10 minutes to firm up. When you first remove the lid it may look a little soupy, which is why we let it firm up.



  • 2 12-oz. blocks Extra Firm Silken Tofu,
  • 1 t. honey or agave nectar
  • 2 t. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 t. salt, plus more to taste


In a small bowl, mash the tofu with a fork or crumble with your hands. Mix in the remaining ingredients until well combined. Ricotta will keep for 3 days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Makes 2 cups

Monday, February 4, 2013

Healthy Valentines Snacks for the Kiddos

How cool is this?!  I ran across this great food blog for kiddos called School Bites, I just love it! Check it out for different options to sweeten your sweet peas, big and small, taste buds!  Yummo!!!
You also could definitely recreate these for Birthday party treats... Here are some more delicious pics from School bites.

Check out this School bites blog out for more great snack ideas, recipes and pictures!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Crockpot Ratatouille (Great Daniel Fast Recipe)

New Years is a great time for new beginnings.  I have noticed alot of churches participating in a Daniel Fast. Its a fast that concentrates on eating foods from the earth. (Semi-Paleo) Here is a Crockpot Ratatouille recipe to try.  If you want to add nitrate free Chicken Sausage or Turkey Sausage- its not Daniel Fast or Paleo but is just as yummy.  We spoon it over Basmati rice or Jasmine rice. The flavors are so fresh. There’s something specific about the layering of the veggies and the order in which you layer them that makes the dish so good.  Let me know what you think!   Stay Warm,  Janice

Crockpot Ratatouille

2 large onions
1 large eggplants
4 small zucchini
2 garlic cloves
2 large green bell peppers
2 large tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 TBS fresh basil
1 TBS fresh oregano
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ cup fresh parsley
¼ cup olive oil

sharp knife/cutting board
measuring spoons

Slice the onions, eggplant, and zucchini.
Mince the garlic.
Cut the peppers into strips.
Cut the tomatoes into wedges.

In your crockpot, layer in this order:

Half of onions (slices)
Half of eggplant (slices)
Half of Zucchini slices
Half of Garlic (minced or pieces or slices)
Half of Green pepper (sliced)
Half of Tomatoes (quartered or smaller)
Half of Herbs, salt & pepper
Dot with Half of Tomato paste

Repeat Layers
Drizzle with Olive Oil
Cook in the Crockpot on low heat for 7-9 hours

Yields 8 Servings

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hmmm, Desserts!!!!!!

Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding- Gluten Free/Dairy Free Version


  • 2 (7oz) bags Schar's GFDF Shortbread cookies
  • 6 to 8 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups Almond milk
  • 1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
  • 2 (8-ounce) package Vegan Gourmet Dairy Alternative cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) container Soyatoo! Extra Creamy Non-Dairy Whipped Cream
  • 1/2 cup of Organic Sugar
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of agave nectar.


Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer sliced bananas on top. Sprinkle Bananas and cookies with a little of the organic sugar. 
In a bowl, combine the almond milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Add tsp of Vanilla extract.  Using another bowl, combine the Vegan cream cheese and condensed coconut milk together and mix until smooth. Add 4 sliced bananas into the mixture. Mix well. Add 1/4 of cup of Agave Nectar. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Add 1/2 cup of Organic Sugar into mix. Blend well. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Sprinkle any remaining sugar over the cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.