Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Eating Gluten-Free on a Budget

Eating a gluten-free diet is not the cheapest way to feed oneself. It can really be a shock to the pocketbook if you're not prepared for it and especially if you are starting out.

Here in Canada, if  you are celiac you can deduct a small portion of your gluten-free grocery items when it comes time to file your income tax. But not all of us qualify for tax deductions and even if we do, our grocery bills are significantly higher than those who do not eat a gluten-free diet.

Here are some tips that might help along the way.

Plan your meals.
Gail Vaz-Oxlade says it best, "do some meal planning [and] shop with a list." Gail is right. When you're shopping with a game plan in mind, your focused on what you need rather than those wants that can destroy a budget plan. Don't just scope out recipes to help out with the meal plan, consider the left-overs that you have or will have during the week. Making extra for dinner will help take the load off of planning for lunches too.

Cook at Home.
I feel silly saying this but if you are going out to eat, your budget will soon run out. Duh.

Don't let cooking at home be a chore, cooking is more fun when you have company in the kitchen. And cooking alone should never be done without some good tunes.  Remember, the best parties start in the kitchen. And everyday should be a party!

Grow Herbs.
So, you may not have a yard to grow a garden but herbs can be grown in containers. Just about anything you can think of!  And there is nothing to make a meal come together than fresh herbs!

Love the Legumes.
Oh my goodness, I love beans and chickpeas and lentils. Not only are they economical they make delicious dishes. Dried beans are cheaper than buying them canned and I find soaking them and then cooking them in the slow cooker works well.

One of my favourites is adding black beans to salsa with a handful of toasted cumin and lime juice and giving it a whirl in the food processor.

Shop Seasonally.
In season produce is not only cheaper it tastes better too!  Check out what is growing in the garden or available at the farmer's market.  I know at this time of year there are farmers markets popping up everywhere across the city.  It makes for a lovely Saturday morning outing too.

Be Creative.
Be creative with left-overs!  Left-over vegetable curry is delicious in an omelette.  And left-over mashed potatoes make a great crust for quiche.  You'll save a handful of cash by avoiding those pricey gluten-free pie crusts.

Stock your freezer.
I'm not talking about stocking your freezer with processed gluten-free foods. Stock your freezer with go-to items that  help to put meals together.

  • Instead of buying frozen waffles I make my own.  
  • And pancakes too!  My favourite are the zucchini pancakes and they freeze well.  I make them when zucchini is in season.  
  • I like making my own Red Pepper Tomato Sauce. I wait until red peppers are on sale and that is when I make a batch. It freezes well. 
  • Chicken Pot Pies also freeze well, I tend to double the recipe and stock up. They are great for brown-bagging it.  

Get to know your local businesses.
It seems like more and more stores are carrying gluten-free products. Check out your neighbourhood. Here we have a fantastic shop that bakes fresh bread, pastries, and carries a variety of flour mixes, and dry foods all gluten-free. Unlike the big chain stores they offer a 10% discount on purchases made mid-week. See what deals the smaller retailers have to offer, you might be surprised while supporting a local business.

Well, those are a few ways I try to stay on budget with my gluten-free grocery bills. How about you?  Any tips you like to share?


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Mushrooms

Sauteed Mushrooms, Yellow Beans, Fresh Basil, Portuguese Hot Pepper Paste, Gluten-free Soya Sauce, Olive Oil

These delicious mushrooms were made by my father, one of the greatest cooks I know, next to mom. They were delicious and I could have easily made this side dish my main course.  

Monday, 29 July 2013

Zucchini Pancakes

I love this recipe because these pancakes freeze very well and they are delicious spread with Apple Lime Jam.

Finely shred 2 cups of zucchini,








add zucchini to 4 beaten eggs,


 To the egg and zucchini mixture add 3/4 cups of gluten free all-purpose flour.  I really like Cloud 9 Baking Mix.

Along with 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. sugar, 3 tbsp. olive oil mix well and add 4 tsp. gluten free baking powder.

Using an ice cream scoop add pancake batter to a lightly greased skillet.

Cook until the edges start to bubble, turn and cook the other side until lightly browned.

To freeze store them in between layers of wax or parchment paper.


Sunday, 28 July 2013

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Anticipating a fruitful hull for my morning breakfast, I walk through the freshly cut dewy grass to the raspberry patch. Bare patches of dirt line the edge of the fence where raspberry bushes once flourished. Destroyed by the heat of the two past rainless summers, weeds are fighting to occupy the space. But there is hope.  Bushes decorated with red jewels, survived the summers past with the help of the shade of the apple and plum trees, are seen in the distance.

 Fresh raspberries and figs fill the bottom of my bowl, waiting for a creamy smooth finish.




















Topped with Greek yogurt, my delightful journey into culinary tastes continue.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Blueberry Rhubarb Cake


Blueberry Rhubarb Cake was made by substituting Cloud 9 gluten free flour mix cup-for-cup. This is the second type of cake that was made with this flour. It is a Canadian product and I'll give it two thumbs up. Way up!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Roast Chicken Gluten Free Pizza



Gluten-free pizza crust topped with pesto, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, roast chicken, yellow peppers, sun-dried olives and goat cheese.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Nicoise Salad



Tomatoes, leftover roasted potato, hard boiled eggs, sun-dried black olives, fresh-from-the-garden string beans, fresh-from-the-garden lettuce and tuna.

Arrange on plate.  Drizzle with dressing.

Dressing:

1/2 cup of lemon juice
3/4 cup of olive oil
fresh thyme
fresh basil
freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp. gluten free dijon mustard

Share and enjoy the conversation and company.

Friday, 19 July 2013

From the Garden



String Beans

Picked, washed and cut. This calls for Nicoise Salad for tomorrow's lunch.  


Monday, 15 July 2013

Black Bean Salsa

Easy Peasy Black Bean Salsa

1 can of black beans (rinsed)
2 tbsp. cumin
juice of 3 limes
1 cup of salsa

Blend in the food processor.

Easy peasy.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Weekend Omelette



Nothing says weekend for me better than an omelette. Mushroom, Havarti cheese, eggs, mmm, mmm, mmm.  


Saturday, 13 July 2013

Tonight's Gluten Free Dinner...



Portuguese Style Lasagna

Sliced Potatoes layered with roughly shredded Salt Cod, sliced Onions, diced Tomatoes, and drizzled with olive oil with Pira-pira sauce.

Bake in 350 degree over until potatoes are done.  

Friday, 12 July 2013

Tonight's Gluten Free Dinner...



Shrimp with Mango Salsa served on Balsmati Rice

Product information: Aqua Star Reserve Wild Shrimp & Sweet Mango Salsa (100% Natural and Genuine Wild) Available at Costco.  

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Best Cookie Recipe Ever!




Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies  

Substituted Coconut and Quinao flours for amaranth flour which I did not have on hand. They turned out great!

Adapted from the Incredible Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe found over at Reana's Table.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Greek Frittata



Black Olives,
Sundried Tomatoes, 
Marinated Artichoke Hearts, 
Fresh Basil,
Onions, 
Goat Cheese

Recipe from Wheat Belly Cookbook by Willliam Davis, MD

Friday, 5 July 2013

Fresh from the Garden





Fresh from the garden and tasting more delicious than the oversized ones found at the grocery store. 

Loving summer.