Monday, November 30, 2009

Gluten-Free Oven Fried Chicken

This is easy recipe to make, and if you can believe it, is crunchier than when it is made with wheat flour. I can't tell a difference between this version and the wheat version I used

to make.


3-4 lbs cut up broiler-fryer chicken

½ to 1 cup of corn starch

¼ cup canola oil

salt and pepper to taste

spices (anything you like – paprika, oregano, etc)


Heat oven to 425° and mix corn starch, salt, pepper and spices in a gallon plastic zipper bag. Rinse chicken well in cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken in plastic bag (one or two at a time) and shake well until they are thoroughly coated. Drizzle canola oil in the bottom of oven safe baking dish. Place coated chicken in baking dish and bake skin side down for 30 minutes. Turn chicken and bake another 30 minutes, or until juice is no longer pink in the center (when thickest pieces are cut).

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"Fast Food" on Road Trips -Traveling with a food intolerant/allergic baby

It's Holiday Time again, which means long road trips (at least for our family) to visit relatives. Every time we travel, I get a feeling of dread and worry: what will I feed Little Z? Where can we stop? Will he have a reaction if I feed him a plain hamburger patty from McDonalds? (which is the last thing you need when you are away from home!).

In the past, we just fed him carby snacks (like chex and apple slices) but those are not very filling, and if it is a really long car ride, that is just not acceptable. I discovered an easy solution to this problem: We always travel with an ice-filled cooler and containers of homemade, allergy-friendly meals. When we stop to get gas, I simply microwave his meals in the gas station's microwave.

This is also something that doesn't have to take that much pre-planning since I started making and freezing a lot of the meat ahead of time. It is easy enough to take meal portioned amounts and throw in some frozen veggies and leftover potatoes (or boil a quick batch of GF pasta).
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Puppy Snack - Puppy Chow minus the dairy and soy

As a child, I loved it when kids would bring Puppy Chow to school for our Holiday Parties (The original Puppy chow is made with chocolate chips and peanut butter melted over Chex and covered in powdered sugar).

A few weeks ago I made Puppy Chow for myself, and I was trying to figure out ways to make it without chocolate chips and peanut butter (you can buy allergy-friendly chocolate chips, but I have never introduced them to Little Z, and probably won't until he is a bit older). This is what I came up with. It is easier to make than regular Puppy Chow; Although it is not quite as delicious as the original, it is a nice second, and Little Z loved it. He scarfed it down, getting powdered sugar and cocoa powder all over himself in the process.

I don't really provide great measurements because I just “eye ball” it.


Rice or Corn Chex Cereal

Canola Oil (a few Tbl Sp – just enough to lightly coat the cereal when drizzled over it)

cocoa powder

powdered sugar (contains corn; see here for a corn-free recipe)


With a spoon, drizzle canola over the cereal, while mixing to lightly coat all the cereal. Once cereal is coated, sprinkle cocoa powder over the cereal using a sifter. Once the cereal is coated with the cocoa powder, sift powdered sugar over the cereal and mix until coated. Seal in an airtight container.

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Rice Crunchy Treats

If you have been following my blog, you know that I wondered if my son was intolerant to corn. I recently re-introduced corn into his diet, and he seems to be tolerating it well. This is wonderful, because it opens up so many new opportunities for meals and snacks since corn and corn derivatives are in just about everything (including most brands of marshmallows).

Rice Crunchy Treats are simply a new version of Rice Crispy Treats, and in my opinion, are easier to make than the original version because you don't have to waste your time melting butter. When I was breast feeding (and before I knew my son had gluten issues) I made these with Rice Crispies, and even though the oil element in this recipe is canola oil, everyone who has eaten them says they cannot tell they are made without butter. Since finding out Little Z is intolerant to gluten, I make them with Rice Chex. I can't really taste a difference between the original loved standard, except for an almost imperceptible texture difference due to the difference between Rice Crispies and Rice Chex. I have been using the Walmart brand of Marshmallows because it says on the package "naturally gluten free."


¼ cup canola oil

10½ oz safe marshmallows (about 36 large marshmallows)

7 to 8½ cups Rice Chex Cereal (depending on how gooey you want your treats)


In a large pot, combine oil and marshmallows and turn the heat setting to medium-high. Stir with a wooden spoon continuously until the marshmallows are melted. Add the Rice Chex Cereal and stir until well mixed and thoroughly coated with marshmallow. Place in a greased 11x13 pan and press and smooth out bars with a plastic zipper bag on your hand. Let cool and cut. Makes about 24 bars.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Rice Dream coupons available

$1/2 Off Rice Dream beverages are available on the Mambo Sprouts Web site.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Make-Ahead Chicken

A time saving and money-stretching trick I started employing at my house recently is cooking hamburger and chicken ahead of time so when I am in a rush, I can just pull it out and it is already made. This is not quite as easy as pulling out a freeze-ahead homemade meal, but to be frank, there just are not a lot of freeze-ahead meals that are gluten and top 8 free (rice noodles just don't hold up the same way!).

The first time I did this, it was a huge hit with my husband (who really doesn't like chicken-on-the-bone). I am able to get several meals out of it, and it is perfect for casseroles, Chinese food, enchiladas and goulashes, and you can save the bones for an allergy friendly, inexpensive chicken broth.

In the photos shown here, I cooked 10-12 lbs of chicken (I bought it when it was on sale for $.99/lb), removed the skin and visible fat from the chicken, drizzled it with canola oil, and seasoned it with garlic, salt and pepper (seasonings that will go with just about any meal). I baked it in a 350° oven for around an hour to an hour and a half. This is a great method, too, because you don't have to rely on the expensive chicken in a bag that often has solutions that may bother an allergy sufferer.

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$1/1 Hain Celestial Group Coupons

I just got a call from my sister-in-law telling me about this great coupon. Sign up for the Gluten-Free Choices Newsletter and you will be able to print several coupons for products from Hain Celestial Group (like De Boles Pasta and Rice Dream). It let me print 20 (this is unheard of) and they don't expire 'til 2011.

This one will go fast, so get it while it is still available.
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hu Hot = Not so Hot for allergy sufferers

Last week my brother's family and my family went on a weekend family vacation. The vacation was a blast, and it's something we do every year. Now that we have a son with special dietary needs, we have to do a little more planning, as well as make sure we get hotels/lodging with a built in kitchen. We still like to eat out once or twice though, so we make sure to call ahead and do the legwork necessary to make sure Little Z doesn't have to go hungry or eat only a potato/rice.

Because of the great experience with BD's Mongolian Grill, we thought Hu Hot (West Des Moines, IA) would be a great restaurant choice because they would have a special grill in the back for allergy sufferers (and I really like Hu Hot's food). We called ahead, they assured us they deal with allergies all the time; although they don't have a special grill, they "clean the grill three times, don't share utensils," and so on.

Well, cleaning the grill constituting spraying it down with water and scraping it 3 times. Even though I told the employees he was an allergy customer (I don't even mess with explaining intolerant and celiac disease), they still shared utensils. I asked the manager if he could cook or microwave his food in the back, and he said that he couldn't because they couldn't make sure the meat would be cooked fully. I was really disappointed -- there was no way his food could have been cooked in the back somehow? Not in a pan?

Well, I decided to only let Z have the rice that is brought to the table when you arrive. Well, it must have been cross contaminated with an offending ingredient because he woke up that night around 1 am and screamed (SCREAMED) until around 3 when we could finally calm and settle him. Little Z developed the standard yeast diaper rash and diarrhea. It took him 5 days before he took more than a 45-minute nap and didn't sleep fitfully at night.

Lesson learned: don't assume anything, and always make sure you inquire more deeply into a restaurant's allergy practices; i.e. when they say they clean a cooking area, ask how they clean it. Do they use soap?

Rice Dream Frozen Dessert Coupons

Rice Dream Frozen Dessert coupons
($1/1) are available on You should be able to print two from each computer.

I want to point out that these deserts all have soy.