Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Adapted from a recipe in Gluten-free Girl and the Chef.


1/2 c. starch* (I used half cornstarch and half potato starch)
1/3 c. rice flour** (I used half brown, half white)
1/2 c. other gluten-free flour(s)*** (I used half soy and half millet)
3/4 tsp. xanthan gum (could probably get away with 1/2 tsp.)
1/4 tsp. guar gum
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs
2 tbs. oil
3/4 c. applesauce
3/4 - 1 c. peeled, diced crisp apple
1-2 tbs. water, milk, or extra applesauce (if necessary to moisten batter)

1. Mix flours and gums. Sift. Add remaining dry ingredients and stir.
2. Mix wet ingredients in a seperate bowl. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add, mixing until just combined, adding extra moistening ingredients if necessary. Stir in apples.
3. Fill muffin tins about 1/2 full. Cook at 325º for about 30 minutes, or until muffin tops begin to turn golden brown.

* Original recipe calls for tapioca starch.
** Original recipe calls for sweet rice flour.
*** Original recipe calls for half almond flour and half teff flour.

Verdict: I did not like these quite as well as Pamela's, but they were still very good. A different combination of flours would likely yield a different taste. The second time around, I used part flavored applesauce (wild berry flavor), and they were even more tasty!

Gluten-Free Baking from Scratch

To be honest with you, I have used gluten-free mixes in almost every single thing I have baked so far. Yesterday, I made my first true foray into making something completely from scratch (apple cinnamon muffins). To celebrate the occasion, I thought I would share pretty much the extent of my very limited knowledge on baking gluten-free from scratch.

And now I will immediately cop out and quote from Gluten-free Girl and the Chef, which has been my chief source up to this point:

"The main difference between gluten-free baking and the more traditional kind is that you must combine flours to bake gluten-free. [...F]or the most part, you will need at least three flours. One of the three should be a whole-grain, a solid base: sorghum flour, brown rice flour, garfava flour. The next should be a starch, to lighten up the mixture, since gluten-free baked goods tend to be dense: potato starch, tapioca starch (also known as tapioca flour), cornstarch, or arrowroot powder. The third flour should have a particular personality you want to add to your baked goods."

So for the sake of my list-making mind, let's review...

Bases: brown rice flour, garfava flour, sorghum flour.
Starches: cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch, or arrowroot powder.
Other flours: almond, amaranth, arrowroot, coconut, mesquite, millet, oat (make sure it's gluten-free), quinoa, sorghum, soy, sweet (or glutinous) rice flour, teff, white rice flour.

Just FYI, contrary to the sound of the name, "glutinous" rice flour has nothing to do with gluten, but rather glue, because of its stickiness.

And another note, I'm not sure the particular base flours above are a hard-and-fast rule. The original muffin recipe didn't include any of these.

The following are notes about the particular flours from the book:
"Amaranth flour has a soft texture and slight malt flavor. We like it in cookies and cinnamon rolls.:
"Almond flour adds protein and a bit of fat for flavor."
"Coconut flour adds taste to baked goods, but it sucks up all the moisture around it, so you have to play with the amount of liquids in your treats."
"Millet flour makes a great crumb."
"Quinoa flour is savory and great in quiches."
"Teff flour is the finest-textured flour in the world, so during baking it almost melts, which helps to bind together muffins and quick breads."

These particular authors tend to use a lot of almond and teff flours, which sound great, but they are a fair bit more expensive than other flours, so I haven't tried them yet. (Well, except for the almond flour that I bought about 2 years ago, used a few times in random cooking experiments, and then let the rest go bad. Bummer.)

If you want a gluten-free all-purpose mix, these authors suggest mixing equal parts sorghum flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and sweet rice flour. Another favorite of theirs: 40% brown rice flour and sorghum flour, 60% potato starch, tapioca flour, sweet rice flour, and cornstarch.

A couple more important ingredients in gluten-free baking are xanthan gum and guar gum. These are both used as -- what else? -- a gum-like substance in baking, to help bind the flours together and keep your baked goods from falling apart. They are expensive, especially xanthan gum, but fortunately you only need a tiny bit per recipe. I have not personally had experience with trying to bake without them, but I have heard that it will generally end up as a crumby mess.

How much? Some guidelines from
* Bread and pizza dough recipes: Add 1 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum per cup of gluten-free flour used in bread and pizza dough recipes.
* Cake, muffin and quick bread recipes: Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum per one cup of gluten-free flour used.
* Cookie and bar recipes: Add 1/2 teaspoon (or less) xanthan gum or guar gum per one cup gluten-free flour used.

In most recipes, I have almost always seen both xanthan and guar gum together, with 2-4 times more xanthan gum than guar gum.

Note: Xanthan gum is corn-based, so if you have corn allergies, you may need to avoid it.

Annnnd... that's about all I know. I'll keep you updated on my favorite flours and baking adventures.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

This recipe was handed down from my sisters... I'm not sure where it came from originally. I've altered it just slightly, mainly by using mixed veggies instead of green beans to add a wider variety of flavor. This is definitely a favorite of my husband's and mine. My kids are picky about pretty much everything but hot dogs and ham these days, but even they eat this fairly well. Besides tasting good, I love it because it includes so many veggies that I don't have to prepare any on the side!


1 lb. ground beef*
1 med. chopped onion
3 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
¼ tsp. pepper
salt to taste (I use about 1 tsp.)
½ tsp. each basil, oregano, and thyme
¼ c. water
mashed potatoes** (using about 5-6 medium potatoes)

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. In a skillet, cook beef and onion until onion is tender and beef is no longer pink. Remove from heat, drain fat, and place in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
3. In a separate pot, cook mixed veggies. Drain and add to beef mixture. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, pepper, salt, spices, and water.
4. Drop mashed potatoes in mounds on top. Smooth mounds if desired.
5. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for about 30-35 min. or until veggie / meat mixture is hot and bubbly. Optional: if potatoes are not yet turning slightly golden-brown on top, place under broiler for 2-3 minutes or until desired level of browning is achieved.

Alternate cooking instructions: The above is the way I have always made this dish. But I just now noticed that my recipe has different directions... hah! Following these directions, you add everything except the mashed potatoes into the pan where the beef was cooked and bring them to a boil. Then transfer into the casserole dish and continue with step 4. This will decrease baking time to about 20-25 minutes. I will probably try this next time I make it and alter this recipe accordingly if it works better.

* Also works well with turkey. If using turkey, add ½ tsp. sage instead of oregano.
** To make mashed potatoes dairy-free, I normally use rice or almond milk and dairy-free butter spread like Earth Balance or Smart Balance (make sure it says "dairy-free" or "vegan"). Yellow or yukon potatoes work especially well. Make sure you salt the boiling water generously!

Turkey Meatballs

These meatballs are great with spaghetti or by themselves. I often serve them along with lentil soup (recipe to come soon). They also freeze well, so they can serve as a great meal or snack when you need something quick and easy!


1 lb. ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs. parsley flakes
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. gluten-free bread crumbs or crushed crackers (optional)*

Combine all ingredients. Shape into balls (about 1 inch each). Broil on high for 9 min.; flip to other side and return to oven for 4 min. OR cook at 350° for about 25 min or until cooked through.

* I often add these for a slightly bready taste and moister texture, but the meatballs work fine without these as well.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Better-Than-Oreo Chocolate Cookies

While experimenting last summer with an ice cream maker that my husband got me for Christmas, I decided to try my hand at making a gluten-free cookies 'n' cream ice cream. (I'm not talented enough to give you a dairy-free ice cream, sorry. I just made it with regular cream and lactose-free milk, since I think lactose is the main problem for most of the family.) I'm pretty sure I actually never got around to making the ice cream. But the chocolate cookies I discovered in the process were almost as good as the cookies 'n' cream would have been.

I adapted this recipe for Homemade Oreo Cookies to make it gluten-free. This recipe gives instructions for adding the cream filling to these cookies, but I found them tasty enough without it. You can check it out if you want to try the filling... I'm not sure if it would work without real butter if you have dairy issues, but they do look pretty good! We like the plain chocolate cookies, which have a nice slightly-chewy texture and freeze well if you want to conserve them for longer. (If you are like me, you'd better put them in the freezer soon or you will eat them all in a flash.)

For those without dairy problems, I'm betting they would be positively delish if you add some vanilla ice cream in place of the cream filling...


1¼ c. Pamela's Pancake & Baking Mix*
½ c. cocoa
1 c. sugar
5/8 c. butter or butter substitute (½ c. plus 2 tbs.)
1 large egg

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Combine first three ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
2. Beat in butter, then egg. Continue mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
3. Place rounded teaspoons of batter and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet, approximately 2 inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten dough.
4. Bake for 9 minutes in preheated oven. Set on rack to cool.

* If you use another flour or baking mix, check whether or not it already contains baking soda, baking powder, and / or salt. (Pamela's does.) If not, I'm guessing you will need to add 1 tsp. baking soda, ¼ tsp. baking powder, and ¼ tsp. salt.

Turkey Chili

Adapted from the recipe here: Terrific Turkey Chili. Along with a few minor changes, I added the beans and corn. It just doesn't seem like chili to me without beans, and the corn adds a nice note of sweetness and crisp texture that is just plain yummy! I've only made this a few times so far, but it is already one of my all-time faves.


3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 batch taco seasoning
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14.5 oz.) can beef or chicken broth
1 (16 oz.) can salsa
1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 (14.5 oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble turkey into the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to break apart as much as possible. Season with taco seasoning mix, coriander, oregano, and tomato paste, and mix until meat is evenly coated with seasonings. Continue cooking, reducing heat if necessary, until turkey is well browned.

2. Pour in beef broth, and simmer to reduce liquid slightly, about 5 minutes. Add salsa and tomatoes, and continue cooking at a moderate simmer for ten minutes. Adjust the thickness at any time you feel necessary by adding water.

3. While chili is still cooking, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and green bell pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell pepper is lightly browned. Add onion and bell pepper to the chili, as well as corn and beans. Continue cooking at a very low simmer.

4. In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, and cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the zucchini to the chili, reduce heat, and continue cooking 15 minutes more. Again, adjust the consistency with water as needed.

The author of this recipe suggests adding sour cream, sliced green onions, and cheese to the individual bowls, but because of our diary issues I didn't add any of these. It tastes delicious just as it is. I can't stop eating it! Mmmm...

Taco Seasoning

Copied from Taco Seasoning I. Since taco seasoning packets very often contain dairy and/or gluten, I have found this recipe to be a very useful alternative. This recipe makes the equivalent of one packet.


1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper*

In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients. Store in an airtight container.

* I reduce the amount of pepper to 1/4 or 1/2 tsp. to make it less spicy for my kids. It's plenty flavorful either way.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pamela's Blueberry Pancakes

These are made using the recipe on the back of the Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix bag (recipe available here). For blueberry pancakes, I add 1/2 c. frozen blueberries, a tsp. of lemon juice, and about 2 tbs. extra pancake mix (because the condensation on the frozen blueberries thins the batter a little). Pamela's suggests adding the berries just before flipping, but I don't see a problem with adding them right into the batter. I saw an episode of "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" recently where Bobby added the blueberries to his batter and the challenger added them on the griddle, and Bobby's pancakes won, so... ;-)

I am mostly adding this post and picture to give hope to those who may just be starting out on the gluten-free diet. You can still eat great food!! These pancakes happen to be the best I've ever had, with or without gluten. (Except maybe IHOP... but I bet if I cooked these with butter instead of cooking spray, they would be just as good!)

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

I came up with this recipe last summer when I was bored with plain quinoa and threw a few more things in on a whim. I was super excited with how it turned out! My husband and some of his family that were visited enjoyed it as well. My oldest daughter is not a fan of quinoa, but if I remember correctly, even she ate it. (She does love beans.) Unlike most grains, quinoa is a complete protein, so while this dish is light enough to be considered a salad, it is hardy enough to fill you up pretty well, too. (I've eaten the leftovers for breakfast a few times!)

NOTE: If you've seen / copied this recipe before, I changed it slightly to add more beans. Pretty sure this is how I made it originally... I just forgot how many cans of beans I used when I copied down the recipe.


1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 medium tomatoes
1/3 - 1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 (15.5 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. lemon juice

1) Rinse quinoa. In a small saucepan, combine quinoa, broth, minced onion, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer about 15 min. or until broth is absorbed.
2) Meanwhile, dice tomatoes and chop parsley. Place these in a medium bowl and add black beans.
3) When quinoa is finished, let cool a bit before adding to the bowl. Drizzle oil and lemon juice over the salad and mix. Serve warm or refrigerate for an hour or two to serve cold.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sausage Frittata


½ lb. ground sausage
1 small onion
1 small green pepper
8 eggs
¼ c. milk
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
½ c. cheese (optional)

1. In a large, oven-safe frying pan, cook sausage over medium high heat. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
2. Using the same pan with reserved sausage drippings, saute onion and green pepper for about 1-2 minutes, till beginning to soften but not yet tender.
3. Meanwhile, lightly beat eggs in a small bowl with a fork or whisk. Add milk, salt and pepper.
4. Return sausage to pan and mix with veggies. Reduce heat to medium. Add egg mixture and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until eggs appear to be well set underneath. (They can still be runny at the top.)
5. Heat oven broiler to 450°. Place pan on middle rack of oven. Cook for about 5-7 more minutes, or until top of frittata has set. If you can eat dairy and want to add cheese, add it after frittata has set and cook under broiler for a few more minutes, till cheese is melted.
6. For a slight crisp on top (if it is not crisp already), move pan up to top rack and cook for 1-2 minutes more, until beginning to turn a light golden brown. (Keep your eye on it, because it can burn quickly!) Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before slicing.

Note: This is my own recipe, so if you try this, please let me know if you have any problems or can think of any improvements!

A Quick Note

I should mention briefly that although I have been cooking gluten-free for about 2 years, I realize I still have a ton to learn. I've collected a fair number of recipes so far, but I do tend to repeat the same things quite a bit. I love to search for and try new recipes, though. I'm thinking of this blog as basically the sharing of my recipe box with you, and I would love it if any of you have any suggestions for me. And for those with more experience than me, I would love for you to impart your wisdom. :-)

Sample Gluten-Free Meal Plan

When I started eating gluten-free, I already had a fair amount of gluten-free dinner plans under my belt, but I had a more difficult time finding things to eat for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is especially challenging, particularly if you are also eating dairy-free. And if you grew up like I did, you may be used to eating cold cereal every morning.

I allowed myself to eat cereal with oats at first, so I didn't have to eliminate my Trader Joe's O's, Honey Nut Cheerios, and other such things right away. When I got more serious and removed oats from my diet, I was pretty much stuck with Chex, Chex, and... more Chex. Blah. I will admit that a few things like Trix and Cocoa Puffs (which are not labeled gluten-free but don't specifically contain gluten ingredients) occasionally passed through our doors, simply because I was so sick of the monotony. (I still eat these on some rare occasions... shhh!) But yeah... if you want cold cereal that is specifically gluten-free -- and actually contain some valid nutrition -- your choices are extremely limited.

When I became pregnant with my third, I realized that a couple bowls of Chex in the morning was not going to hold me over till lunch. So, even though it meant losing the convenience of being able to make and eat breakfast in a span of 5 minutes, I began to expand my horizons. And I am glad I did. I don't normally plan my breakfasts out like the menu below or vary my choices this much in a single week, but what is below pretty much sums up my breakfast options.

As for lunch, I most often eat leftovers from a dinner the night or two before, but I will occasionally eat one of the meals below, and I often feed one of these to my kids. Of course, they would be happy to eat hot dogs and chicken nuggets for practically every meal, but that's another story...

Day 1
Breakfast: Eggs
--Scrambled, boiled, fried... whatever we are in the mood for.

Lunch: "Snack plate"
--My mom used to give us these all the time. Usually consists of lunch meat (I use Hormel, which is preservative-free and gluten-free) and a sampling of 2-3 of the following: frozen vegetables (cooked), baby carrots, pickles, apple slices, grapes, almonds, gluten-free pretzels, etc.

Day 2
Breakfast: Muffins

Lunch: Sandwiches
--I use Pamela's or Udi's bread with Hormel lunch meat or peanut / almond butter and 100% fruit jelly.

Dinner: Tacos (with homemade seasoning)

Day 3
Breakfast: Quinoa or oatmeal
--I buy organic quinoa in a 4-lb. bag at Costco (can't remember the exact price, but I think it is around $12). It is pretty plain when cooked with water, but tasty with chicken broth.

Lunch: Hot dogs
--I like to make sure I get hot dogs that are nitrate-free. (You can read about why to avoid nitrates elsewhere.) Trader Joe's has great hot dogs (about $4), and there are some other good brands, such as Applegate Farms, available at health food stores. But the cheapest and most commonly available are Oscar Mayer Selects. (My favorite is the hardwood smoked turkey variety.) They sell for around $3-$3.50 at many local grocery stores.

Dinner: Julie's chicken*

Day 4
Breakfast: Pancakes or waffles
--Both these can be made with Pamela's mix, but I often use Trader Joe's frozen waffles if I'm in a hurry.

Dinner: Turkey chili

Day 5
Breakfast: Egg salad on toast

Lunch: Spaghetti

Dinner: Chicken roaster

Day 6
Breakfast: Sausage frittata

Dinner: Meatloaf*

Day 7
Breakfast: Homemade granola*
--Excellent over cow or goat yogurt, with berries on top, if you are not too sensitive to dairy.

Dinner: Chicken pot pie*

Oh, and for a quick snack, I am particularly fond of Nature Valley's new gluten-free nut bars, available in almond and peanut varieties.

*Recipe to come shortly.


These are my variations on the basic muffin recipe on the back of Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix. If you use another flour or baking mix, check whether or not it already contains baking soda, baking powder, and / or salt. (Pamela's does.) If not, I'm guessing you will need to add about 1½ tsp. baking powder, and ½ tsp. each salt and baking soda.

2½ cups Pamela's baking mix
¾ cup water or rice milk (vanilla works best)
1 tbs. lemon juice
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tbs. vegetable oil
½ cup water
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
1 cup dried cranberries

If using milk, combine rice milk and lemon juice. Let sit for 5 minutes to sour it a bit (optional). Mix in remaining ingredients, adding a few tbs. more water if batter is too thick. Pour into muffin tin, filling cups a little over half full. Bake at 350º for 20-25 minutes or until tops of muffins start to turn golden brown.

Makes: 12 muffins.

Notes: If you use Pamela's, you may notice that I left out 1 tsp. vanilla. As you may know, most vanilla contains gluten, so a celiac will have to buy vanilla that is specifically labeled gluten-free. These are available at health food stores for around $10 per bottle. I used to use this type of vanilla in my muffins, but I got into the habit of making them so often that I could go through a bottle of vanilla about every 2-3 weeks. I hated to pay that much, so I switched back to using regular vanilla for a while. It is probably so little gluten that it doesn't do me much harm personally, but one day I decided to just try muffins without the vanilla. I couldn't taste any difference. And if you are dairy-free and use vanilla-flavored milk, you have your vanilla flavoring right there. Voila.

Update 6/23/11 -- I've discovered that McCormick and some other brands of regular vanilla are now labeling their products "gluten-free." I don't know whether these are truly celiac friendly, but I'm glad vanilla makers are making an effort to appeal to gluten-free consumers! I actually found a huge 16-oz. bottle of vanilla at Costco labeled "gluten-free" for about $6 or $8 (can't remember the exact price), as compared to a 2-oz. bottle I got at the local grocery store for $4. I'll take that! You may be seeing a resurrection of vanilla in my recipes from this point.

Another note: I've added some oil to these recipes because I think they are more moist and tasty that way, even without added butter.

And speaking of milk, you'll notice that I did say "water or milk." The Pamela's recipe calls for water. I used milk for a long time of my own accord, but recently I've been noticing how quickly we go through rice milk around here with five people drinking it (myself, my husband, and all three of my girls), and rice milk isn't exactly the cheapest thing in the world. So I switched to water, and the Pamela's recipe was right -- it tastes just fine that way, too. I still do add the lemon juice, though.

2½ cups Pamela's baking mix
¾ cup water or rice milk
½ tbs. lemon juice (optional)
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Same directions as above.

2½ cups Pamela's baking mix
½ cup water or rice milk (vanilla works best)
½ tbs. lemon juice (optional)
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tbs. vegetable oil
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 bananas)

Same directions as above.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jessica's Most Frequently Used Product List

On my most-frequently asked questions list: "What type of [bread, pasta, flour, etc.] do you recommend?" Wonder no longer. Here are the products that I use most frequently. (Please note my warnings for those with true celiac or other allergies.)

Substitutes for gluten-containing products:

* Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix -- around $11 / 4-lb. bag with Amazon's Subscribe & Save deal on pack of 3, around $5-$6 / 24-oz. bag on Amazon and elsewhere. I avoided buying this mix for about a year of my gluten-free eating, unsure that I would use it very much. Finally, I tried it out, and I have not looked back. I purchase three 4-lb. bags on Amazon at least every two months. We use this stuff up like crazy. It works great as an all-around quick-rise baking product, for uses from pancakes to cookies to quick breads and muffins. The only drawback for some people is that it does contain some dairy and other potential allergens (like almonds). It doesn't seem to bother my girls, though, and even one of my nieces who is significantly more sensitive to dairy can eat it in moderation. But please don't sacrifice me to the allergy gods if it causes some people to react to the dairy. If you need a dairy-free flour mix, my sister recommends Better Batter, which sells for around $11.50 / 2.5-lb. box on Amazon. (I am unfamiliar with the price elsewhere.)

* Bob's Red Mill Organic Brown Rice Flour -- around $2.25 / 24-oz. bag with Amazon's Subscribe & Save deal on pack of 4, around $3-$4 elsewhere. This is the flour I use when I need to throw in a small amount into a recipe as a thickener, to make a roux, etc. I don't generally use it in baking (the Pamela's mix covers that), but it is nice to have around as a substitute in recipes that call for a small amount of wheat flour. It generally acts fairly well when used 1 for 1 in place of wheat flour. Warning: although many Bob's Red Mill products are labeled "gluten-free," some celiacs still react to this company's products. Other brown rice flours are available if you are extremely sensitive.

* Udi's whole grain bread -- around $6 / loaf (available at some Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and other health food stores). This is the best sandwich-like bread I have found. Unlike many gluten-free breads, it is not gritty and does not crumble as easily as other brands. Gluten-free bread is not going to be very elastic in general (because gluten is what gives bread its elasticity), but this bread is about as elastic as you can get with gluten-free. And it tastes pretty darn good, too. I am picky about my gluten-free bread substitutes, and this one really is good. It is a bit pricey, so I don't buy it often, but it is certainly handy to have around in case you need a quick and portable meal like a sandwich.

* Pamela's Bread Mix -- around $4.50 / bag with Amazon's Subscribe & Save deal on pack of 6, around $5-$6 / bag elsewhere. This homemade bread is so yummy I feel like I could eat the whole loaf when it's straight out of the oven. It is a bit heavy, so not as suitable for sandwich bread, and it tends to crumble more easily when it is not freshly baked. It also contains sorghum flour, which can tend to make you gassy... But it really is quite worth it in moderation. Even gluten-eaters enjoy this bread.

* Tinkyada pasta -- around $3-$4 / bag, available at health food stores and many other stores that sell health foods. (I buy it at Super Walmart.) When I first started having digestive issues, I switched from regular to whole wheat pasta. I quickly grew to love whole wheat and despise white flour pasta. When I cut out gluten, I quickly grew to love brown rice pasta even more than I loved whole wheat. Some gluten-free pastas can be rather mushy and flimsy, but this brand really holds up well and can be cooked to a nice al dente. I use the spaghetti noodles in particular.

* Trader Joe's penne and rotini -- around $2 / bag. Honestly, this brand doesn't taste quite as good as Tinkyada, but the price difference is significant enough and the taste difference is minimal enough that I can make the compromise. I don't use TJ's spaghetti anymore, though... the difference in taste and texture is a lot more noticeable.

* Trader Joe's gluten-free waffles -- around $2 / box of 8. These are not my favorite taste-wise, but they are handy when you need a quick breakfast, and you can't beat the price. There are other more tasty brands out there (such as Van's), but they generally run for at least $3.50 per box of 6, so I usually stick with TJ's. (The Pamela's pancake mix makes a mean Belgian waffle when you in less of a hurry, though.)

* Glutino's mini pretzels -- around $7 / large bag or $4 / small bag (available at locations from Whole Foods to some Super Walmarts). You'd never know they were gluten-free. Seriously. While on car trips, I have to keep my gluten-eating husband away from them or he will consume half the bag by himself. They are on the pricey side, but they are definitely worth it if you love pretzels. I just try to make them last as long as possible so I don't have to buy them that often.

* Trader Joe's Savory Thins (brown rice crackers) -- about $2 / bag. Nice, cheap crackers, perfect when you are in the mood for a snack. These also work nicely as a substitute for bread crumbs when crushed.

* Trader Joe's Gluten Free Ginger Snaps -- about $2 / bag. These cookies have been a staple in our household since I began eliminating gluten. I've tried another brand or two of ginger snaps, but there really is nothing that quite matches the real gingery bite of these cookies. When I need a grain or cookie fix, a few of these babies do the trick.

* Pamela's Simplebites Mini Cookies (chocolate chip) -- about $2.40 / bag with Amazon's Subscribe & Save deal on pack of 6. Super yum. I bought another brand of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies recently (because they were on sale and we were out of these), and they just didn't match up at all. Like the pretzels, you would never know these are gluten-free. And in case you were wondering, I love chocolate. And I love cookies. And did I mention super yum??!

I also use McCann's Irish oatmeal when I need oats, but I don't use it very often. For some reason, I dislike the taste of their rolled oats when used as oatmeal. They taste different than your standard Quakers for some reason (perhaps because they are lacking in gluten contamination?). I do enjoy their steel-cut oats, but don't make them very often because I'm not usually patient enough to wait 30 minutes for oatmeal.

For mixes for things like cake, brownies, pie crusts, etc., I haven't used anything often enough to have a favorite brand, but some brands I have tried and liked are Gluten-Free Pantry, Namaste Foods, and of course Pamela's.

Substitutes for dairy-containing products:

* Trader Joe's Organic Brown Rice Drink -- around $3 / half gallon. I know it doesn't taste like milk, and I don't generally drink it plain, but it's my personal favorite milk substitute when I want chocolate milk or something to pour over my cereal. I've been using it and giving it to my girls for nearly 4 years now, and now whenever I taste regular milk, it actually kinda grosses me out (the cow's milk, that is).

* Rice Dream Enriched Original Rice Drink -- around $3-$4 / half gallon at some Walmarts and Target stores. Tastes about the same as TJ's rice milk. I prefer the enriched original version, but the vanilla is good too if you want some extra flavor, especially in baking.

* Earth Balance Buttery Spread (original or soy free) -- around $3-$4 / 15-oz. tub, available at health food stores and many stores that sell health foods. I buy it at Super Walmart. I can believe this is not butter, but after having avoided dairy for so long, I actually like it a lot better than butter in most cases.

* Smart Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread -- around $3-$4 / 13-oz. tub, available at health food stores and many stores that sell health foods. (The tubs I've bought lately don't look anything like this one, though... I think they must have redone the design lately.) I can't seem to find this at Super Walmarts I've visited, but I've found it at our local grocery store for $4, and normally can I find coupons. Tastes about the same as Earth Balance.

I also occasionally use various brands of coconut, almond, or soy milk if I'm using it in a recipe that calls for whole milk or cream, since these other milks are noticeably thicker than the rice milk.

My sister has her own list of her gluten-free favorites, a few of which I haven't tried yet, so check it out if you're interested!

Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets

For some reason, my kids have not been too fond of chicken lately (unless it is a plain old roaster). But after the miracle of getting them to eat fish because it was breaded, I figured it was high time to try some breaded chicken: more specifically, chicken nuggets. I tried once and was fairly satisfied, but my second attempt made me quite happy.


2-3 chicken breasts (enough chicken to make 15-20 nuggets)
1/4 c. milk or milk substitute (or water)
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 egg
1/4 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. brown rice flour
1 tsp. cajun seasoning*
1/2 tsp. salt
vegetable or canola oil for frying

1. Mix milk and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Chop chicken into standard nugget-size pieces.
3. In another small bowl, mix cornmeal, rice flour, seasoning, and salt.
4. Beat egg into milk mixture until well blended. With each chicken piece, dip into milk mixture, shaking off excess, then coat with flour mixture.
5. In a large frying pan, pour enough oil to coat bottom of pan with about 1/8 in. oil. Heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken nuggets and fry for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Set on paper towels to drain. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Makes: 15-20 nuggets

Note: if you are making more than one batches, you will not necessarily need to multiply the milk/egg mixture ingredients. I made 3 batches, there was just enough milk mixture to cover all three. If you are making only 1-2 recipes, you could probably use less milk... it just might make the breading a little more egg-y.

*I make my own mix using the recipe found here: (I use black pepper instead of white -- white pepper is just the same as black except for the color -- and I leave out the cayenne pepper because it is too spicy for my kids, but it is a nice kick for a more grown-up palate.)

Oh, and by the way, the girls loved the chicken nuggets... almost as much as I did. ;-)

Tofu Stir Fry

I have don't know that I'd ever even tasted tofu before I was married. My family's main courses, and my own thereafter, usually included a healthy portion of meat (usually beef or chicken). I have recently been exploring the idea of eating for your blood type, and I thought we were doing pretty good, since I knew I and at least 2 of the girls were Type O, which are good with eating a lot of meat. A few months ago, however, we discovered that my husband is Type A. And (of course!) Type A's don't digest meat very well, and do well with a low meat or even vegetarian diet. Lovely.

So, I have been endeavoring to expand my horizons and create a few meatless dishes, and as a result, I have been exploring the world of tofu. To my surprise, it is actually not that bad. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a satisfactory recipe that is both gluten-free and dairy-free but is NOT a stir-fry. So... I've been doing a lot of stir-fry.

I have tried a few stir-fry recipes, but I usually have to modify them to some degree to suit my tastes (usually by adding more veggies and often more sauce). Stir-fry is kind of free-form by nature, but I like to have an actual recipe on hand to help me plan and keep me from getting too confused... and that doesn't work so well when you're modifying everything. So since I seem to be so picky, I decided to try my hand at making up my own recipe last night. And I have to say, I liked it better than any of the other recipes I've tried so far. So here you are...


1 lb. pack firm or extra-firm tofu, chopped into bite-size pieces*
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 head fresh broccoli (about 1.5 c.), chopped into bite-size pieces
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c. wine (red gives more flavor, but white works fine)
3 tbs. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ginger
3 tbs. olive and/or sesame oil (I used about half and half)
1/2 c. water
1 cube chicken bouillon or 1 tsp. granules
2 tbs. cornstarch
2 tbs. water

*Tofu works better if it is set out to dry on a stack of paper towels for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

1. Heat 2 tbs. oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes, till tender. Add broccoli and carrots. Fry for about 4-5 minutes, until beginning to get slightly tender. (Reduce heat slightly if veggies are crisping too quickly.) Add onions and fry for about 2-3 more minutes. Add mushrooms and zucchini and fry 2-3 more minutes.

2. Mix together wine, soy sauce, and ginger. Add to veggies and simmer until veggies are all fairly tender (a few more minutes).

3. While veggies are frying, heat another 1/2 to 1 tbs. oil in a medium saucepan. Fry tofu for a few minutes, until lightly browned. Dissolve chicken bouillon or granules in 1/2 c. water. (Or use 1/2 c. chicken broth if you prefer, though you may need to add a bit more salt.) Add to tofu and simmer for about 3 minutes.

4. Add tofu mixture to veggie mixture. Combine 2 tsp. cornstarch with equal part water, and whisk with a fork till smooth. Add to tofu and veggies, stir well. Cook for 1-2 more minutes until sauce begins to thicken slightly. (Add more cornstarch and water mixture if necessary to achieve desired sauce consistency.) Serve over brown rice.

Makes about 6 servings.

If any of you try this, let me know how you liked it and if you come up with any improvements!

Garlic Lime Chicken


3 lbs. chicken
1/3 c. lime juice
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. minced parsley
2 tbs. chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs. grated lime peel
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme*
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a bowl, combine the last nine ingredients. Place chicken in a large, resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade into bag and shake or squeeze bag to coat chicken. Refrigerate for several hours.** Place in a baking dish and cook in the over at 350° for about 1 hour.

*It is really best with fresh thyme if you have some around, but about 1/2 tsp. of dried works too.
**Sometimes when I am pressed for time, I skip this step and put it directly into the oven. Then I just make sure to baste it with the marinade every 10-15 minutes while cooking.

Serves 4-6.

(Source unknown to me.)

I think I can safely say that this would NOT taste so good with Worchestershire sauce on it, though I have never really tried it... ;-)

Chicken Carrot Pilaf


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips or chunks*
1/2 tbs. olive oil
1 1/3 c. uncooked brown rice
5 med. carrots, sliced
1/2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 med. onion, chopped
1/4 c. chopped sweet red pepper
3 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 tbs. minced fresh parsley

In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil. Remove and keep warm. Add rice, carrots, mushrooms, onions, and red peppers to skillet. Cook and stir until rice is browned and onion is tender. Stir in broth. Place chicken over rice mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 35-45 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in parsley. Let stand 5 min. before serving.

*Also works great with leftover chicken from a roaster or other recipe.

Serves 6.

(Source unknown to me.)

I often like to increase the vegetables and rice to as much as double. I am a big fan of rice, can you tell? ;-) And yet again, we like to add Worchestershire sauce. My husband is the ultimate sauce eater and on this count has polluted us all.

Squash and Turkey Rice


1 lb. ground turkey
1 1/2 to 2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves
2-3 large summer squash
1 c. brown rice
1 tbs. olive oil
2 c. chicken broth

In a saucepan, saute the rice, one onion, and two garlic cloves in oil until onion looks clear. Stir in 1/2 cup water until it is absorbed. Add chicken broth; cover and simmer 45 min. Place squash in a separate pan with a little water; cook until tender. Meanwhile, brown turkey, 1 clove garlic, and 1/2 to 1 onion. Combine rice, turkey and squash.

Serves 4.

(Source unknown to me.)

This one tastes great with a little Worchestershire as well.

(Cheesy) Beef 'n' Rice

This recipe is excellent with or without the cheese.


1 c. uncooked brown rice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tbs. olive oil
3 to 3 1/2 c. water
2 med. carrots, shredded
2 tsp. beef or chicken bouillon granules (2 cubes)
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. each salt, basil, and minced onion
1 lb. beef, cooked and drained
1/2 c. shredded cheese (optional)

In a large saucepan, saute rice and garlic in oil until golden brown. Stir in water, carrots, bouillon, parsley, salt, basil, and onion. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 min. Stir in beef. Cover and bake in 9-in. pan at 350° for about 45 min, stirring twice. (May take 5-10 extra minutes for the water to be absorbed.) Optional: Sprinkle with cheese and bake 5 more minutes.

Serves 6.

(Source unknown to me.)

Tastes great with a little Worchestershire sauce sprinkled on it!

Turkey Soup


1 lb. ground turkey breast
1/2 tsp. dried herbs de Provence, crushed
1 (15 oz.) can navy or Great Northern beans
1 (14.5 oz.) can chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes w/ garlic and onion, undrained
4 c. chopped fresh spinach

Cook turkey in a large saucepan over med heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add herbs, beans, broth, and tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 min. Stir in spinach; simmer 5 min.

Serves 4.

(Source unknown to me.)

Now here's the part where I give you all my alterations and substitutes. :-) This recipe is great as it is, but I've found lots of ways to make it flexible and change it up. First of all, it's sometimes hard or expensive to find the herbs and the particular type of diced tomatoes. So I usually just use Italian seasoning, and then I use regular diced tomatoes and add dried garlic and onion (about 1/2 tsp. each). You could also add fresh garlic and chopped onion to the meat while you are cooking it.

Then there are lots of ways to change up the other ingredients. Instead of turkey, I have tried Italian sausage and even ground beef one time (on accident, but I could barely tell). I have also substituted various beans for the navys, with kidneys and pintos being my favorite. I often double the beans, partially because my girls like to eat them all out, and partially because I just like it better that way. :-) You can also use various greens in place of the spinach (my favorite substitute is kale), and you can use frozen rather than fresh to save yourself the trouble of chopping it all. Just don't do 4 whole cups if you use frozen... only about half that. And to make the soup a little thinner (it is rather thick in the original recipe) and stretch it to feed more people, I usually at least double the chicken broth.

This is a great recipe for me because it is SO fast and easy, not to mention cheap. It also freezes well, so it can be a time saver there too!

Why I Started This Blog

Since I began eating gluten-free, I have had quite a few friends ask me about my diet. Some have been diagnosed with gluten intolerance themselves, some suspect gluten as an underlying problem for them, and others are simply curious. ("You can't eat all those things? Well, what CAN you eat?!") This blog is mostly for the benefit of the first two categories of folks, but certainly does not exclude the last. I hope to share my favorite gluten-free recipes -- some inherited from pre-gluten-free days (no, I didn't eat gluten at every meal), some collected from various sources, and some that I have invented myself. I will also share gluten-free products that I enjoy. And besides providing a resource for those already eating gluten-free, I hope to convince a few unbelievers that this kind of diet really is doable. ;-)

With the recent (and rapid) increase in celiac diagnoses and rising popularity of gluten-free cooking and products, I do not consider it a terribly unique thing to have a gluten-free blog anymore. (Gluten Free Girl is one of the most popular that I have run into so far, as well as A Year of Slow Cooking, whose author cooks gluten-free. Both these ladies have their own cookbooks for sale. I received the former author's second book for Christmas, and it is quite good so far.) Yet, I have had a hard time finding a website that I can just throw out there as the best one I can recommend, the one on which I can always find something that I want to cook. So naturally, I am just going to have to create it myself.

Hats off to my sister and her friend for having the recipe blog that I recommend the most, though: The Main Course. They don't post super often, but there is a nice collection of recipes already up there. I mostly just want my own spot to share recipes that I particularly enjoy. Hopefully I'll post often enough to make it worth it. And probably steal a few recipes from over there while I'm at it.

A few things about this blog that are a little different than some:

1) My cooking is also almost always dairy-free. I do not have any dairy sensitivities as far as I know, but my husband and children do. Since I have been nursing and cooking for these children for nearly 4 years, I have gotten pretty used to eating dairy-free (mostly) myself. Though, I have to admit that I'm probably gonna get me a big whopping bowl of ice cream on the day my baby weans. Nobody's perfect.

2) I am by no means an expert chef. I grew up with lots of older sisters and a younger sister who loved to cook, so I barely knew how to boil a pot of frozen vegetables when I got married. (Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad...) At the same time, I have developed a love for the Food Network over the past few years, and I love learning more about how to cook delicious, nutritious food. So the recipes you see from me should not be too complicated for the inexpert cook, but (hopefully) they will also be appetizing enough for even a more picky palate.

3) I have three kids under 4, and a husband whose job takes him out of town fairly often. That means two things: first, you know I don't have a whole lot of time to cook every day; second, you know I am working with unsophisticated palates as well.

4) Oh yeah, and one more thing. Look at the blog title. Yep, that's me. To me, probably the most painful part of cooking gluten-and-dairy-free is how it affects my grocery bill. My husband does make a fair paycheck, but we are both pretty darn cheap. I clip coupons every Sunday, shop sales nearly every week, and buy as much as I can from Walmart without disturbing my whole-foods-loving conscience. So the recipes I post will not often include exotic ingredients (not more than is necessary for a gluten-free diet, anyway), and I plan to recommend where you can get good gluten-free products as cheaply as possible.

All that said, I don't expect that I will have a huge readership outside my circle of friends (or friends of friends). So if you are one of those reading here, please do comment as often as you wish! I love comments, and I would love to hear your stories and try your recipes as well. If you have a story or recipe that you would like to share, please email me at (or my personal email address for those of you who know it). Thanks for reading!!

About Me -- Why I Don't Eat Gluten

Warning: frank discussion of bodily functions of a medical nature (digestion, etc.) follows below. Those of you who are too proper to discuss or read such things, you have been duly warned.

For any of you who don't know me, my name is Jessica. I am a child of God, the wife of a wonderful hard-working husband, and the stay-at-home mom of three cute little girls. I love coupons, sales, and clearance racks: few things make me happier than getting a good deal. I have never been much of a picky eater, but I love to make and eat good food. And the food I eat is gluten-free.

Many resources on the internet can explain better than I can what gluten is and what it means to be gluten intolerant or to have celiac disease. If you are reading this website, I am assuming it is because you already know or suspect a gluten problem. If not, and you are suffering from chronic health issues -- particularly digestive issues such as chronic diarrhea, constipation, IBS, nausea, or stomach pain [though digestive problems are by no means the limit of possible symptoms] -- I would encourage you to research the symptoms of gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Here is a good starting place for information:

For those who have trouble with gluten, the only solution is to eliminate it from one's diet. This is why I and several members of my family eat gluten-free.

I grew up eating everything from boxed mac'n'cheese to Pop Tarts to Raisin Bran to sourdough bread. I LOVED gluten. As a teenager, I once went on a sugar-free, grain-free diet, and after the first couple of weeks, I never missed the sugar, but I still longed for bread and pasta. When my sister was diagnosed with celiac disease, her diet sounded like my worst nightmare. I hoped against hope that I would never have to eat like she did.

I have always had a fairly slow digestive system, with a tendency toward constipation. It was never terribly troubling, however, until after I had my first child. Any mother out there can tell you that the first several weeks of dealing with your firstborn are probably the most tiring, stressful days of a woman's life. Added to the normal stresses was the fact that our daughter had a complicated birth and spent her first few days in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Thereafter, though a healthy baby, she had a horrible time learning to nurse properly. So one can imagine that I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to my own body or health within the first several weeks after her birth.

About 10 days after DD#1 was born, I realized that my bowel movements were becoming extremely painful. Every movement felt like a knife slicing through my rear end. I began experiencing blood with my stool and stools coated in white mucus, and nearly every trip to the bathroom was excruciating. At first I thought I must have hemorrhoids, which are common after pregnancy and childbirth, but the medical descriptions I read did not sound anywhere as painful as what I was experiencing. I finally decided that I was suffering from an anal fissure, which was most likely caused by constipation. Determined to conquer the constipation but unwilling to try a total gluten-free diet, I quit eating white flour and switched to whole wheat, as well as upping my fiber intake with my diet and supplements.

This seemed to work... sort of. I learned to live with the pain and dealt with it for a few months, until I was put on an antibiotic (for unrelated reasons) that had diarrhea as a side effect. Most would consider this a curse, but to me it was a blessing, because everything was so loose that my fissure actually had a chance to heal. I continued to have intermittent bouts of constipation and pain, but figured I had dodged the gluten-free bullet after all. (Whew!)

Before long, I became pregnant again, and gave birth to our second daughter when the first was just under 18 months old. I was terrified of having the same problems after the birth that I did the first time, so I unabashedly downed the fiber and stool softeners. Things were not as bad as they had been with DD#1, but soon enough I started noticing the constipation again. I began experiencing aching pains in my lower back / rear area, that I finally came to associate with the constipation. I also began having random bouts of mild nausea and stomach pain -- nothing enough to induce vomiting, but enough to be rather irritating and disconcerting.

Finally, I'd had enough. I went on a test-run for about a month of eating as little gluten as I knew how to avoid (which was pretty substantial from what I knew from my sister). The only thing I ate knowing that it might contain gluten was oats (which, if you are new to the gluten-conscious world, you will find is controversial as to whether they contain gluten or not). The nausea and the back pain went away, and the constipation improved somewhat.

At the end of that month was DD#1's second birthday. I made her an oatmeal cake using whole wheat flour and decided to eat some of it myself. I believe it was the next day when I noticed my stomach acting up again. Nothing excruciating, but I knew it would only get worse if I kept it up. And I was not going back to the land of fissures. That was the end of gluten for me.

This was nearly two years ago. Unlike many who eat gluten-free, I have never been officially diagnosed with celiac or gluten intolerance. Problems with gluten are known to be hereditary, however. And since my mother and one brother were diagnosed with gluten intolerance, and a sister and one of my nieces have been diagnosed with full-fledged celiac, it is quite clear that the sensitivity runs in the family. Those with a genetic predisposition to gluten intolerance can live without symptoms for many years, but the sensitivity can be triggered by a lifestyle change or a stressful situation, such as having a baby.[1] I believe this is how it happened for me.

I know that my symptoms are not anywhere near as severe as a true celiac. That is why I have self-diagnosed myself with gluten intolerance. I will not suffer the effects if I consume a tiny smidgen of gluten as some do, but if I continually eat foods with small amounts of gluten, I will notice the effects. I have stopped eating oats unless they are specifically labeled as gluten-free (though the most sensitive of celiacs will tell you that even some of these trigger their symptoms), and I no longer allow myself to "cheat" on various things (like the barley malt in Rice Krispies) nearly as much as I once did. As a result, I have been virtually constipation-free, and I no longer experience any of the pains or stomach aches that I once did.

If you are suffering from chronic health issues and are contemplating a gluten-free lifestyle, I can't promise you that it will be the magic pill that will solve all your problems. But if gluten is your underlying problem -- boy howdy! -- even a mildly gluten-intolerant sufferer like me can tell you that the difference is SO worth the effort.

Read about why I am starting this blog in my next post...