Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Tomato Soup

I wasn't a big fan of tomato soup when I was young, so I didn't really miss it when I was first diagnosed with celiac. It was only a few years ago that I started to crave tomato soup. This was probably because my husband (then boyfriend), who was on the university diet of canned foods and instant noodles, ate it quite frequently. As you probably know, campbell's tomato soup containes wheat, and I wasn't able to find any canned tomato soup I could eat. So I started looking for ideas online and eventually came up with this recipe. I'm sure it's much healthier than canned soup, mainly because you can control the sodium content and add extra vegetables, and I'm positive it tastes better!

You can make a double recipe if you're feeding more than about 3 people, or if you want to freeze some for future lunches. I like to sprinkle some grated cheddar on top and eat along side grilled cheese. 

3 cloves garlic
1/2 onion chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 sticks celery chopped (can be omitted)
1/2-1 tsp dried basil (or fresh chopped)
1 large can diced tomatoes (or you can use 2-3 cups fresh tomatoes, but you might need a bit more liquid)
3/4 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
you can add any other vegetable you like.


Saute garlic, olive oil, celery and onion in a sauce pan for a few minutes.
Stir in salt, pepper and basil. Add tomatoes with juices and broth.
Boil for 10-15 minutes or until onions and celery are soft. Add sugar.
Puree mixture with a hand blender until no chunks remain. (unless you like it chunky)
Add milk and reheat but don't let it boil.
Serve with grated cheese and garlic bread or grilled cheese sandwiches.

sautee onions and garlic

chunky soup

after blending

Monday, 29 August 2011

GF Bread Mix by King Arthur Flour

GF bread mix
I tend to be a bit sceptical when it comes to gluten free bread... and to pre-made mixes, so I wasn't sure what to expect with this mix. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the end result of this bread. It is as good, if not better, than the pre-made gluten free loafs you can buy in the store, and it was larger in size than most
The directions are very straight forward, and could be easily followed by an inexperienced baker. The box includes a yeast packet along with the mix, and only requires the addition of water, 3 eggs, and 4 Tbsp melted butter or oil (I used canola oil). The rising of the batter takes a bit of time and attention, like any yeast bread.

I used a 8 1/2" x 4 1/2 " loaf pan and was surprised at how high the bread rose while baking (pretty much twice the height of the pan). I was afraid the loaf might fall when I took it out, but it didn't at all. The instructions end by saying to cool the loaf on a rack, but I think it would be helpful to note that the bread needs to cool completely before attempting to slice it, which I did with great results. I was able to cut the bread quite thin (I got 17 slices not including the end pieces) and noticed right away how flexible the bread was. It had a very nice, moist texture and mild taste, and before I was even done slicing I had eaten one of the smaller pieces.

The texture was impressive when the bread was fresh from the oven, but I wanted to see how it held up on the counter overnight and in the freezer. I found that the bread wasn't as good at room temperature after sitting, but it reclaimed most of it's flexibility after microwaving. The frozen bread held a similar texture when microwaved, but both the frozen and counter top bread were amazing toasted.

The ingredients in this mix are fairly simple (mostly rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and xanthan gum), but there was one ingredient I didn't recognize: emulsifier. I was searching the King Arthur Flour website and found they had a "miracle ingredient" they called
cake enhancer that was made of the same ingredients as the emulsifier. I wonder if this is their secret to creating such great gluten free bread! Luckily they sell this cake enhancer by itself... and I might just have to do a little experimenting!

The taste of this mix is great, but it is lacking in whole grains. It would be better if they could include some brown rice flour or other flours with fiber, vitamins and protein. I think if I were to make this again, I would add some ground flax seed into the mix.

At $6.95, the cost is decent for gluten free bread (most pre-made GF loafs that are any good are similar in price) and can be ordered
online for those outside of the States. If this mix was in Canadian stores, I would definitely buy it, but when you add the shipping cost to the price of the mix it gets a little out of my price range.

Health 3 stars
Cost 4 stars
Taste 5 stars
Texture 4.5 stars
Overall Rating: 4.1 stars

my finished product

Sunday, 21 August 2011

King Arthur Flour GF Mixes and a GIVEAWAY

Giveaway is now over!

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/is a well known and trusted American company that has been providing high quality baking ingredients since 1790. Recently, they have come out with a line of gluten free baking mixes and flours. Unfortunately, these products are only sold in the US (lucky for my American viewers), but international customers can order these mixes from their website.

The wonderful people at King Arthur Flour were kind enough to send me a few of their new gluten free mixes to try. The 3 mixes that will be featured here are the cookie mix, the pizza crust mix, and the bread mix. For all gluten free mixes sold by KAF check out their website. I am impressed with the quality of the ingredients featured in these mixes. They are a bit pricy (especially if you have to pay for shipping as well), but you definitely get what you pay for. When compared to the wheat flour mixes by KAF, you will find that the gluten free versions are very similar in price, which is uncommon and pleasantly surprising.

KAF Gluten Free Cookie Mix

This mix is very easy to put together and only required the addition of 1/2 cup butter (I used margarine), water, and 1 egg to create. You could choose to add 1-3 cups of your favorite add-ins (chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, etc) or simply cook the brown sugar based cookies as they were. I added 1/2 cup chopped raw almonds and 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

I loved the taste of this dough and so did my husband (who is not gluten free). I mixed the dough by hand, but you could also use an electric mixer. The suggested cooking time was 10-12 minutes and mine took 11. The mix made 30 cookies with an avg diameter of 2 3/4" (plus my husband probably ate 1-2 cookies worth before I could bake them).

The taste of the dough was great, but the baked cookies were even better. They were actually chewy! Something I have yet to create. I left some on the counter in a plastic bag overnight to see how they would keep and they were still chewy and soft! I also froze some and, after reheating in the microwave, found them to retain that same texture. My dad (who is gluten free) declared them "outstanding!" and my gluten-eating husband gave more of a "those are pretty good for gluten free" kind of review. I, however, am very impressed with the taste and feel of these cookies and am having a hard time resisting the ones sitting on my counter top. I would definitely recommend this mix because I have never tasted a better gluten free chocolate chip cookie!

I can't give this one a great review for health, something I wouldn't expect from a cookie anyway, so I will leave that part out of the overall rating. The mix is a good price for a brand like King Arthur Flour ($6.95), but still a little high for a batch of cookies. I would encourage you to treat yourself and try this one out! But don't feel the need to share with anyone who isn't gluten free ;)

Health    1 star
Cost       3 stars
Taste      5 stars 
Texture  4.5 stars

Overall Rating: 4.2 stars

my finished product

KAF Gluten Free Bread Mix

 click here for review

KAF Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix
click here for review


My very first giveaway! I’m so excited!

One of my lucky readers will get to choose 2 of King Arthur Flour’s new GF mixes to try for themselves.
You can enter up to 5 times, just follow the directions below! Note: this is only open to Canadian and American readers.
(you will need to post a different comment for each entry because I will be using a random number generator to pick one of the comments)

This is what you have to do:

1.      Leave a comment on this post with your name and an email address I can reach you at (or if you’d prefer not to show your email address to the world, you can send me an email at AndraGlutenFree@gmail.com identifying yourself) (This gets you 1 entry)
2.      Follow King Arthur Flour on Twitter. Then post a comment saying you did. (1 entry)
3.      Like King Arthur Flour on Facebook. Then post a comment saying you did. (1 entry)
4.      Sign up for the King Arthur Flour newsletter. Then post a comment saying you did. (1 entry)
5.      Join the community at King Arthur flour. Then post a comment saying you did. (1 entry)

Entries will be received until September 9th (2011) and the winner will be contacted by email and announced on this page. The winner will have 48 hours to respond. If I have not heard from them by then, I will choose a new winner and they will have 48 hours to respond etc. etc.

So good luck everyone!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Millet Bread

This bread is soft and has a good, mild flavour and texture (similar to whole wheat bread). I often substitute millet (or a combo of rice and millet) flour in recipes that call for sorghum flour. I’m sure you could substitute sorghum for the millet in this recipe if that is what you have. It is best toasted and should be kept frozen in an airtight container. I find it safest to make gluten free bread (and baking in general) in a smaller size. That way it is easier to tell if it's cooked through, plus it's less likely to fall. The slices of this loaf are about 2/3 the size of a regular slice of bread.

(makes 2small loaves)

1 1/3 cup millet flour (I use bajra flour which has a bit of rice flour mixed in with the millet)
1 1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 Tbsp guar gum (or xanthan gum)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp (one 7g packet) unflavoured gelatin
2 tsp egg replacer
2 ¼ tsp yeast (or 2 tsp if using instant) + 1/4 cup very warm water

2 eggs
1 tsp vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup ground flax seed (optional)

Soak the yeast in warm water and let sit for 10 minutes (or less if using instant yeast)
Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and beat in eggs, milk, vinegar, oil, and prepared yeast.
Mix well, spoon into 2 oiled bread pans and smooth the top. If you are not using non-stick, line the bottom of the bread pan with oiled foil so that it comes out more easily  (as you can see, I forgot to do this with the glass pan. scroll down for example of failure).
Cover with a tea towel and let rise in warm, draft free area for 1 hour.

Bake at 375 for at least 1 hour. Cover loaves with foil if the bread gets too dark on top (around 20 minutes left). Do not undercook. If you aren't sure if the bread is done or not, play it safe and cook it a bit longer than you think.

Take loaves out of pans and let sit on a rack to cool.
Slice and freeze in airtight container.

This is what happens if you forget to line the pan with foil. I ended up using the larger pieces to make a form of french toast and the rest I will use for bread crumbs. So not all is lost, but if you can help it, don't forget the foil!

Millet Bread Fail!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Angel Food Cake

gluten free angel food cake with skor bits and whipped cream
Angel food cake is one of those things I really miss as a celiac. There's just nothing like it. So I was pumped when my mom offered to try and make a gluten free version for my birthday. It turned out amazing! Perfectly paired with whipped cream and fruit (or skor bits).

It's easier to make with a mixer, but you can do it by hand as well. The recipe doesn't use too many special ingredients, which is a plus, and you can use egg whites from a carton if you don't want to be left with 8 eggs yolks. Just be careful to follow the directions exactly.


8 egg whites (at room temp)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup rice flour


Sift together flour, starch, and 1/4 cup of sugar very well.
Beat egg whites until frothy.
 Then slowly add cream of tartar and salt and continue beating until soft peaks form (soft peaks look like rounded hills).
Add the rest of the sugar (1 cup) one tablespoon of a time while continuing to beat until stiff peaks form (egg whites stick up and don't droop).

stiff peaks

Gently fold in vanilla and flour/starch/sugar mixture 1/4 cup at a time.

Pour into ungreased 10 inch tube pan.  Watch to not leave air spaces. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes

After baking wait 15 minutes to cool and then invert the pan.  When it has completely cooled, cut around the edges to loosen from pan.  For best results, use a tube pan with a removable bottom.

You can freeze leftover pieces of cake (with or without whipped cream) for several weeks. Simply let thaw at room temperature for 10 minutes and enjoy.

Monday, 8 August 2011


This recipe is courtesy of Nanna (my husband's grandmother). She leaves it out as a snack when we're too impatient to wait for dinner. I prefer mine with milk for breakfast. Other's like it on yogurt for an afternoon snack. Whichever way you like it, I'm sure you will find that a batch doesn't go quite far enough... if you are planning to share, I suggest you make a double batch ;)

store in airtight container
You can pretty much add any seeds, nuts, or dried fruit that you want. Feel free to add your own variations to my original recipe. Just make sure you don't add the fruit until after the granola has baked... raisins and craisins tend to become hard as a rock.

(makes about 4 cups)
3 cups GF Rolled Oats (Can use quick cooking or old fashioned)
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2-3/4 cup coconut flakes (sweetened or unsweetened)
2 T ground flax seed
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp salt
 2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup br sugar
1/4 cup table syrup (or any syrup)
2 T honey (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4-1/2 tsp nutmeg

(optional - sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, craisins, etc)


Stir together all ingredients except for dried fruit.
Spread out on 2 cookie sheets (ungreased) and bake at 350, stirring well every 6 minutes for about 18 minutes or until mixture has browned but not burnt.
Be sure to stir after taking it out of the oven for the last time. Granola will become crunchy as it cools.
Combine raisins and any other dried fruit with the granola mixture.
Once cooled completely, store it in an airtight container at room temperature.

before baking

after baking