Eating Gluten Free

    Ideas for "Regular" Gluten Free meals

    One of the most difficult things about being diagnosed with Celiac is the negativity - your mind seems to run constantly on what you can't eat.  We've found that one of the most helpful things you can do for yourself is to sit down and make a list of all the things that you CAN eat.  Trust us, this list is a long one!  The examples below are only some of the "regular" foods that you can still eat, without doing any gluten free baking at all.   


    *        Migas (mix: bacon, scrambled eggs, sauteed corn tortilla pieces, cheese)

    *        Eggs and bacon

    *        Yogurt (check labels)

    *        Fruity Pebbles (check labels)

    *        Puffed Rice

    *        Omelet

    *        Fruit

    *        Hashbrowns

    *        Cream of Rice Cereal

    *        Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter and Honey

    *        grits

    *        Polenta

    1. LUNCH

    *        Corn Tortilla Sandwiches

    *        Salads (Chefs, chicken, ham, etc.)

    *        Rice Crackers with Tuna or Lunchmeat

    *        Hot Dogs

    *        Baked Potatoes

    *        Corn Tortilla Quesadillas

    *        Leftovers from Dinner

    1. DINNER

    *        Hamburger Pizza (Pizza toppings on burger patties)

    *        Meat (Burgers, etc.) and Potato Wedges

    *        Roast Beef / Grilled Chicken / Pork Chops / Steak with: mashed potatoes, veggies, potato salad, etc.

    *        Spanish Rice

    *        Chicken Fried Rice

    *        Teriyaki Bowls (check Label of Teriyaki sauce)

    *        Using Corn Tortillas:Enchiladas, Tacos, Fajitas, Tortilla Soup, Chimichangas

    *        Chili and Rice Stew (thickened with cornstarch)

    *        Stuffed Peppers (Chilis Rellenos)

    *        BBQ ribs

    *        Baked Potatoes

    *        Spaghetti Sauce on rice or spaghetti squash

    *        Kalua Pig

    *        Taco Salad

    *        Beef and Broccoli

    1. SNACKS

    *        Cheese and Rice crackers

    *        Yogurt/ Go-Gurt

    *        Apples and Cheddar Cheese

    *        Cottage Cheese and Fruit

    *        Carrots with dip/Ranch Dressing

    *        Ice-cream

    *        Popcorn

    *        Chips and Salsa

    *        Smoothies

    *        Jerky (Check ingredients)

    *        Dehydrated fruits

    *        Celery and Peanut Butter


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    Tips for Modifying Recipes


    1. TRY IT. And then TRY IT AGAIN.
    2. Don't try to adjust a regular bread recipe by simply exchanging flours. It will not work, and you will get discouraged. There are several fabulous GF bread recipes that have been thoroughly tested ? modify one of those to fit your needs instead.
    3. Use recipes that are moist already - they hold together better.
    4. Recipes that are supposed to be drier (like cornbread) also work well; no one can tell there's rice flour in them.
    5. Use Featherlight mix. It seems to act and taste the most like wheat flour. (Hagman's Bean Flour mix also acts much like wheat, but sometimes has a funny aftertaste.)
    6. DON'T FORGET THE XANTHAN GUM. It's necessary.
    7. For Cakes: If your first attempt turns out too dry or heavy, try adding about ½ c. applesauce, mayonnaise, or sour cream.
    8. If you have problems with lactose, substitute yogurt for buttermilk, and use lactose free milk. Things will still turn out.

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    Tips for GF Cooking in General


    1. Find a cooking buddy. Trying new things is much more fun when you've got a friend to work with, and laugh over failures with.
    2. Make dry mixes ahead of time, and just write on the bag what wet ingredients are needed and the date you put it together.
    3. Save all stale/unused bread for meatloaf, stuffing, casserole toppings, etc.
    4. Watch the oven. Hagman's recipes often seem to have baking times that are too hot or too long, and it's awful to burn something you've worked hard on.
    5. Make notes in your recipe book so you know what kinds of modifications to make in the future.
    6. Letting a cake sit with frosting or glaze on it softens the cake.
    7. In cookies: beating the eggs for a long time seems to make them more cakelike/fluffy. If you like that, do it. If not, don't.
    8. Don't eat the raw dough of anything containing Bean Flour. YUCK!
    9. Always cover GF baked goods. They dry out very quickly.
    10. Kraft and Hershey's always list any gluten in their products, so if it doesn?t say it, it doesn?t have it.

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    Some General Pie Crust Notes:


    1. Too much water makes pie crusts tough, ESPECIALLY gluten free ones. An extra tablespoon or two can make your crust rock hard. Try to use the least amount of water listed.
    2. The pie crust should peel a little as you roll it out . . . kind of like sunburned skin. If it tears as you are rolling it, just press the two pieces back together. (This may require the use of a little water as "glue" between the two pieces.) (Another way to avoid tearing your crust while rolling it out is to place plastic wrap on top of - as well as beneath - your dough.)
    3. Make sure your rolling pin is clean before you use it on a GF crust . . . you don't want cross-contamination.
    4. Make sure you roll the crust thin enough . . . a thick crust can cover up the taste of a good pie.
    5. GF crusts sometimes crack as they are transferred to the pie plate. Just press the crack closed with your fingers. (This is especially important for bottom crusts so the filling doesn't leak and burn while baking. Cracks in the top crust, however, are okay. In fact, top crusts generally need steam vents cut into them so they don't get soggy. Just try to make the cracks look intentional.) ;0)

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    Tips and Hints for Making Gluten Free Bread


    1.  Gluten Free bread will not be the same consistency as "regular" bread. A common mistake when making GF bread is trying to get it to the kneading consistency. Gluten Free bread dough should be about the consistency of thick cake mix. "Regular" bread is kneaded in order to make it stick together. The kneading changes the gluten protein, making the bread dough firm and smooth. Gluten free bread, on the other hand, uses xanthan gum to make it stick together. Kneading is therefore unnecessary. To "knead" GF bread simply turn on your heavy duty mixer.

    2.  When adding yeast to your bread, it is easiest to simply mix up the dry ingredients, place them in a large mixing bowl and pour the yeast on top. Do Not Mix It In!! Pour the warm water on top of the yeast/dry mix and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Then mix in the rest of the ingredients.

    3.  GF bread dough needs to be well mixed. We suggest beating it on high for around 5 minutes. This changes the protein structure of the eggs, giving a better texture to the finished product. So set your timer, turn it on, and grease your pans while you wait.

    4.  Be careful not to over-proof your bread. If you let it rise too long before baking, too much air will get into your bread dough. This makes it more likely to fall once it is removed from the oven. We suggest letting our bread dough rise for 20 minutes. It probably won't look doubled in size, but put it in your preheated oven anyway. It will finish rising as it cooks and when it comes out will not fall as easily.

    5.  Make sure to cook the bread at the right temperature. If you cook it at a temperature that is too low, the bread will need to cook longer and will turn out dry and gritty, because it was over baked. If your temperature is too high, the top and bottom of your bread will cook, but the middle will still be gooey. We generally recommend a temperature of 375 degrees for yeast breads.

    6.  Cook your bread for the right amount of time. We have discovered that, using our bread recipe, large loaves only need to cook for 35 minutes rather than the 45-50 we originally suggested. Small loaves take about 25 minutes and English muffins around 20 minutes. Baking it too long will result in dry bread.

    7.  Once you pull your bread out of the oven, let it sit for about 5 minutes, then turn it upside down in its pan for 5 minutes. This will make the top and sides of your bread softer. It also helps your bread to stay light and fluffy, instead of compacting. If you leave it in the pan, the condensed steam from the bread will make the sides of the bread wet and cause the sides to fall.

    8.  GF bread keeps best in the fridge or freezer. Slice your bread while it is still slightly warm and then put it in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate or freeze it. Then pull individual slices out and reheat them in the microwave for 15 - 30 seconds. It will taste just like it did when it first came out of the oven.

    9.  Don't eat GF bread cold. If possible always warm up your bread before making a sandwich or eating it for dinner. This makes it more pliable and less crumbly. It also gives it that freshly baked taste!

    10. When you make pizza crust, don't let the dough rise at all. Use a spatula to spread the dough thinly on a well-greased cookie sheet. Stick it straight into a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes. When it is done, remove it from the pan, let it cool, and then either freeze or top it. To use a frozen pizza crust, defrost it in the microwave for 40 seconds or so. Then top with sauce, cheese, and other toppings. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees.

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