Posts Tagged ‘celiac’

I am always on the look-out for a new way to make quinoa. I love it so much that I even have a separate category in my bookmarks for quinoa. I love how easy quinoa is to make, and how nutritious it is. So of course, when I saw this recipe from Cookin’ Canuck, inspiration struck again.

We have eaten this salad three times in the past three weeks. Once here at home, just for us, then once for a potluck at work, and then for our monthly celiac support group potluck meeting. It has gotten rave reviews from all!

Lemon Chickpea Quinoa Salad

Inspired by and adapted from Cookin’ Canuck

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa *

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1-1/2 cups tomato, chopped *

2 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1 avocado, diced *


5 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp honey

1-1/2 tsp dried oregano

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Cook quinoa in water according to directions. Cool. Combine with other salad ingredients, except the avocado. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Gently stir in dressing. Top with avocado.


* I buy Bob’s Red Mill quinoa from Costco in the large bags. It says that it has been rinsed already. Some quinoa will need to be rinsed to remove the saponin from the surface of the grains, check the box or bag.

* At this time of year I can usually find tasty cherry tomatoes.

* It is best to not mix in the avocado unless you know you will be eating it all since the avocado turns brown after a bit.

* I think this salad tastes best at room temperature.

Do you love quinoa as much as I do? If so, be sure to check out my other quinoa recipes, especially one of my most-viewed and most commented-on recipes – Sweet Potato, Quinoa and  Black Bean Burgers.

This recipe is cross-posted over at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays. Check it out for more inspiration!


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Last week I received a nice surprise – three of the new, gluten free LUNA Protein bars showed up in my mailbox. LUNA/Clif Bar was kind enough to send me the Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Cookie Dough flavors to sample for you. There are two additional flavors, Chocolate and Chocolate  Cherry Almond.

Since we haven’t been hiking much over the past month due to fire restrictions, I haven’t had much of a need for protein bars. But I figured I should break into them and check them out. Just for you, of course.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were chocolate covered! I love chocolate-covered anything. But it’s a good thing I didn’t wait to take them on a hike, they probably would have been a gooey, melty mess. For this reason they also probably won’t stash well in your purse or bag, although I may try it this week. Again, just for you.

As you may know, most (all?) LUNA bars have not been gluten free in the past, but these new protein bars are gluten free (not all of the LUNA products are gluten free, check the labels). And I have to commend the folks at LUNA as they have tried to hit it all in these bars.

Each 1.6 oz (45g) LUNA Protein bar has around 180-190 calories with 12g protein and 3g fiber, along with essential nutrients women need. It is high in calcium and folic acid, and is a good source of vitamin D, iron, fiber and antioxidants (vitamins A, C and E). Each bar has 6-9g fat and 13-15g sugar depending on the flavor.

That’s a heck of a lot of protein stuffed into a 180 or so calorie protein bar. Most bars only have a third to half that amount of protein.

So, what about their gluten free status – do they test them? LUNA/Clif Bar makes other products, so how safe are they? Here’s the deal:

At the beginning of 2011 we started to transition all LUNA Protein flavors to be gluten free. To do this, Clif Bar & Company has looked at all aspects of making our bars. Our ingredient suppliers have confirmed that all ingredients are gluten free, so they contain no gluten from wheat, rye or barley. The location where we make our food is capable of making a gluten free food and we test our finished products to confirm that they are gluten free.

Our newest flavors, Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate, are all labeled gluten free.

As of March 2011, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookie Dough, and Chocolate Cherry Almond transitioned to be gluten free, as well. You can tell if your LUNA Protein bar is gluten free by looking at the packaging.

When I inquired as to what level the bars tested at, here is the response I got:

In the absence of official FDA standards, we use the testing benchmark set forth by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which is less than 10 parts per million of gluten.

So there it is, and as always only you can make the choice that’s right for you.

LUNA Protein - Chocolate Peanut Butter

The chocolate peanut butter flavor was the first bar I tried. When I initially cut it open, I was a little worried, as I am normally not a fan of protein bars with this sort of mushed up substance inside. (My favorite bars are KIND bars, where you can see the whole ingredients like nuts and dried fruit.) That was when I actually took a look at the ingredients (‘doh!):

Protein Blend (Soy Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate), Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Coating (Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa, Soy Lecithin And Organic Vanilla Extract), Peanuts, Organic Peanut Butter, Vegetable Glycerin, Inulin (Chicory Extract), Natural Flavors, Soy Rice Crisp (Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour,), Salt, Soy Lecithin, Almonds.

So, a lot of ‘processed’ ingredients. And it contains soy, dairy and nuts, so it isn’t for everyone. But, all in all, a good flavor, just enough peanut butter flavor to balance the outer chocolate coating. There are little crispy nuggets within the ‘nougat’ (as they call it) which gives a little texture to the filling. Bottom line: Pretty good. I would eat one again.

Next up, the mint chocolate chip flavor.

LUNA Protein Bar - Mint Chocolate Chip

I’ll be straight up about this one – I am not a fan. The smell of mint flavoring permeated the air as soon as I opened the package. It was a little much for me, even though I am a fan of mint chocolate things. This one had the same type of nougat filling but it also had little chocolate chips and the soy crisps to give some variation in texture. Here’s the ingredients, which are similar to the first bar:

Protein Blend (Soy Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate), Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Coating (Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa, Soy Lecithin And Organic Vanilla Extract), Vegetable Glycerin, Inulin (Chicory Extract), Chocolate Chips (Evaporated Cane Juice, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavors), Cocoa Soy Rice Crisps ((Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Rice Flour, Organic Alkalized Cocoa, Alkalized Cocoa), Natural Flavors, Macadamia Nut Butter, Organic Alkalized Cocoa, Water, Salt, Soy Lecithin

Again, this one is gluten free but contains soy, dairy and nuts. Bottom line: I wouldn’t eat the mint chocolate chip flavor again due to the strong mint flavor, it just wasn’t for me.

Next up, the cookie dough flavor.

LUNA Protein Bar - Cookie Dough

The ingredient low-down:

Protein Blend (Soy Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate), Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Coating (Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa, Soy Lecithin And Organic Vanilla Extract), Chocolate Chips (Evaporated Cane Juice, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavors), Inulin (Chicory Extract), Vegetable Glycerin, Macadamia Nut Butter, Natural Flavors, Cocoa Soy Rice Crisp (Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Rice Flour, Organic Alkalized Cocoa, Alkalized Cocoa), Salt, Soy Lecithin

So, again, they contain soy, dairy and nuts. Doesn’t the nougat filling in the above picture remind you of cookie dough? It does to me, although the flavor wasn’t quite there. I tasted a bit of an artificial flavor to the filling in this one but it wasn’t enough to turn me off. This one also has the addition of chocolate chips and the soy crisps to add texture. Bottom line: I liked this one well enough and would eat it again.

Overall, I would eat the Cookie Dough and Chocolate Peanut flavors again but I am not sure I would buy them if I had other choices. And I might happen to pick up the Chocolate Cherry Almond flavor to try out if and when I see it.  I like the chocolate-covered factor but it can also be a hindrance here in the heat of the southwest. I will let you know how they hold up to the heat and being stuffed in my purse for a couple of days. (That’s what I like about KIND and LARAbars, I can stick them in my purse or pack and not worry about them, they’ll be just fine until I need one.) But, I could see keeping these in my desk drawer for a quick, healthy and chocolatey(!) mid-afternoon snack to hold me until dinner. There’s enough fat in them to make me feel like I have eaten something substantial and added fiber to help keep me feeling full. I also like the quantities of calcium and B-12 in one bar as they are items I monitor for my own health.

I haven’t seen them at my local stores yet, so keep your eyes open for them. Have you seen them in your area yet? A big thank you to LUNA/Clif for providing these for me to sample.

*These products were received free of charge but the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.*

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This week my eyes were bigger than my tummy while shopping and I picked up too many delicious peaches. Of course they all ripened at the same time and I needed to do something with them quick. That was when I remembered one of my wonderful, old standby recipes. One of the first gluten free recipes we ever made sixteen years ago when I was first diagnosed. And it is one that I find myself coming back to again and again because it is simple and requires no special ingredients. A perfect dessert for someone newly diagnosed and overwhelmed.

Now, I am not sure where this recipe ultimately originates so I apologize to whoever that might be. Over time I have changed the original recipe; this one has less sugar and more fruit. And I think I would like to try less butter the next time.

This is a quick, throw-it-together recipe – great for unexpected guests, if you happen to have ripe fruit on the counter. Or use frozen fruit, there is no reason why it wouldn’t work.

Peach Cobbler

1 stick of butter

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup milk

1 cup gluten free flour mix

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

2+ cups fresh fruit, I used peaches and blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a 9″ square pan. Mix sugar, milk, flour and baking powder together. Pour over melted butter. Do not stir. Place the fruit on top of the batter evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top begins to lightly brown.

Depending on the flour mix you use, sometimes the fruit sinks to the bottom and the cake portion is on top when done. As you can see in the photo above, my fruit stayed partially on top this time. So it goes!


* I’ve never used dairy substitutes in this recipe but I think they would work fairly well. I would use a neutral tasting milk alternative.

* Use any of your favorite flour mixes. I often use the Gluten Free Pantry’s French Bread mix as my flour mix for a lot of cookie recipes and it works great. Yes, it is a highly refined flour mix but it is one that works for me. But it is easy to find and use and it was one of the only mix companies around for years. Old habits die hard. If you use another (more) whole-grain flour mix, let us know how it works!

This recipe is also posted over at Seasonal Sundays at Real Sustenance.

This recipe is also linked up to Book of Yum’s Cobbler Carnival.

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I am hosting this week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap and the theme I have chosen is “light and easy” for summer. Here in New Mexico, it has been brutally hot. Surprisingly, we normally don’t hit triple digits, except for maybe a couple of days in July or August, but we have had many triple-digit days already this year. And now other parts of the country are dealing with hot temperatures too. So I thought we should highlight some of our light and easy favorites for summer, to give us all a break from the hot stove and oven, and even the grill, which is even too hot to stand over.

Here are a few of our light and easy favorites:

Spicy Ginger Noodles – you only have to boil some pasta.

Wild Rice Tabouli – you only need to cook the rice. Try a rice cooker to avoid turning on the stove.

Lentil Salad Provencal – turn on some lentils to simmer and then walk away from the hot stove. Or you could use canned, rinsed lentils or cook some up quick in your pressure cooker.

Moroccan Chickpea Salad – one of our favorite no-cook meals, minus the pita, of course.

What are your favorite no-cook or light-on-cooking recipes?

This week, we are having:

Three Bean Tacos – this is one of those meals that you make once and eat on it all week. Perfect.

Three Bean Taco Salad – using the leftovers from above to make taco salad.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad – cook up the quinoa in your rice cooker for no fuss.

Tofu Fried Rice – subbing in whatever leftover vegetables we have on hand. Cooled rice is best, so cook the rice the night before in the rice cooker and let it cool in the frig.

Here’s what everyone else is up to this week:

Heather over at Celiac Family says that they try to keep it light and easy ALL summer. Check out her tips on how to do it. And check out her menu. I am digging her Seven-Layer Salad – it’s been ages since I’ve made that – and she kicks it up a notch with a dill dressing. Sounds light and refreshing to me!

Over at Celiacs in the House, Wendy is trying to keep it cool too since the temps are forecast to be rising during the week. Her Asian cucumber and carrot salad topped with salmon sounds right up my alley (hubby would have to fend for himself – sorry, dear!). As well, her menu reminds us that omelets are a quick, delicious and light summer dinner. She also reviews Stephanie O’Dea’s new Totally Together Journal, which covers menu planning. Check it all out.

Claire over at My Gluten Free Home is trying to stay cool in the Dallas heat. She went light and easy this weekend and hung at the pool! Sounds nice to me. And she’s doing the light and easy thing by eating down the freezer – her tamales sound delicious to me!

For plenty of inspiration, check back later in the week to see what everyone else will be eating. Or head over to OrgJunkie (but hosted this week by Finding Joy in My Kitchen) on Monday for (literally) hundreds of menu plans (not necessarily gluten free or veg).

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Have you met Pete and Kelli yet? Over at No Gluten, No Problem?

Perhaps you’ve spotted one of their cookbooks – Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking or Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes.

No? Well, you should really check them out. Pete is a professional outdoor/sports writer, as well as a gluten free blogger and cookbook author. I’ve been following NGNP for quite a few years now and I have found that his posts are one of the first ones I will click on to read in the mornings because I enjoy his easy style of writing and I know the information (or recipe) I will be getting will be right on.

Pete caught my attention recently with his San Marzano Deep Dish Pizza and so when the new adopt your blogger post went out, it was still on my mind. So I scooped up No Gluten, No Problem for this month’s Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger.

As you probably know, Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger was originally started by Sea at Book of Yum. This month it is being hosted by Wendy at Celiacs in the House. Be sure to watch for the final round-up post at Celiacs in the House with all 25 adoptions and check out all the yummy goodies!

Now, on to the good stuff!

I chose three of Pete’s recipes this month. Mainly because I couldn’t choose just one! The first being that San Marzano Deep Dish Pizza I mentioned above. Wow! Yum! Pow! I have made it twice now and I really love it! It is simple to make, even for a yeasted crust and I love the doughy, deep crust edges. And like he says, buy the San Marzano tomatoes! I grow San Marzano tomatoes every year and they are some of my favorite paste/plum-style tomatoes.

The cheese did get a little dark and burnt in spots both times I made it, which could be my temperamental oven. But it was all bubbly, gooey and yummy, regardless. The first time I made the pizza, I made it exactly as the recipe says, no additions. The second time, I added some other pizza ingredients. I loved it both times! If you like deep-dish pizza, be sure to check out the recipe! And before you start, make sure that your oven will reach 500 degrees – not all residential ovens do. It is important to getting a good crust on this pizza.

Take One - the cheese got a little too brown, but still very tasty!!!

Take Two - even better!

San Marzano Deep Dish Pizza from No Gluten, No Problem

Next up, we made Chicken Tikka Masala 2.0. Except that we used chickpeas instead of chicken. Chickpeas are my usual go-to meat substitution. The flavor of the dish was right on – chicken or no chicken.

I used two cans of drained and rinsed chickpeas in place of the meat and I could have used a third can to balance out the chickpeas to sauce ratio. Instead of sauteing the chicken first, I skipped that step and then just added the chickpeas at the end, before the longer simmer, to heat them through and soak up the creamy sauce.

Chickpea Tikka Masala 2.1v

And finally, I had to try the Red Lentil Dal. We love lentils and I am always looking for new ways to make them. Even though it has been super hot outside and I don’t always want to cook something hot, or at least not for very long, this recipe has little prep and allowed me to step away from the stove for the majority of the cooking time. And red lentils, being so tiny, they cook quickly, which meant less time with the stove on!

I commented to my husband that this dal was great comfort food, with a great flavor. He agreed, and as he put it, it was “like eating mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving” (which is about the only time of year we eat them!) – meaning it was warm, flavorful and comfy.

The only thing I changed about this recipe is that I omitted the cilantro – not because we’re cilantro haters (we love it!) – but because all of my cilantro plants have bolted in the heat. So cilantro haters – don’t let it discourage you from trying this recipe. It is still delicious without!

Red Lentil Dal

All three of these dishes have now been added to our usual repertoire. I hope you will head over and take a look at all of Pete and Kelli’s other recipes and their cookbooks! I know I have enjoyed cooking along with them this month – so will you!

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It took me a while to get my meal plan together this week. I can get so lost out there on the interwebs looking at other blogs and recipes that sometimes it is hard for me to focus in and finish up my meal plan! In the end I ended up going mostly with meals we already have in our repertoire. Oh well. It’s always fun looking, and some things were bookmarked for later!

This week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap is hosted by Wendy at Celiacs in the Houseand the theme is olives! Over the past few years I have grown to love kalamata olives. My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t care for them at all. This week I think I will add them to the pasta with goat cheese dish below. Yum!

Here’s the plan:

Mexican Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing – salad with black beans, cheese, tomatoes and a creamy avocado dressing.

Tofu Stir Fry with rice – a nice and easy stir-fry with some fresh farmer’s market baby bok choy and some shitaki mushrooms.

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Goat Cheese (and olives!) with a massaged kale salad – we have fallen head over heels in love with massaged kale salads! I’ll probably add in a can of chickpeas for extra protein too, or add some avocado to the kale salad.

San Marzano Deep Dish Pizza with salad – have you seen this recipe from Pete over at No Gluten, No Problem? This will be my second round of making it. It is very tasty and now that I have all of my taste buds back, I hope it tastes even better! Last time I had a nasty cold and couldn’t taste everything. And we have lots of lettuce in the garden still and the grape tomatoes are coming on too.

Chickpea Curry with Rice – a back up, pantry meal in case plans change and we need something.

We have multiple cookouts this weekend to attend and I need to come up with things to bring along for those. One will be a quinoa salad – which one, I am not sure – and the other dishes are yet to be determined! I still need to confirm with the hostesses what I can make that will complement their other offerings.

What are you taking to your holiday gatherings this weekend?

Or do you have a pantry meal that you always keep on hand for back-up?

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