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Category Archives: Ingredients/Products

Tinkyada Pasta… a staple in our gluten-free kitchen!!

My husband is a pasta-lover! Sometimes I tell him he has spaghetti sauce running through his veins instead of blood. He could eat pasta with red sauce three meals a day for an entire week and not get bored with it. Now, I like a good Italian meal, but not to that extreme. Also, I want to clarify that we don’t really eat pasta all day, every day – because I do most of the cooking and I like variety!

When we had to switch our cooking style to gluten-free, we tried so many brands of rice pasta and corn pasta that we did eat it often. It was like being Goldilocks with the three bears – this one is too soft, this one is too hard. Then we found the Tinkyada brand. I’m not saying this will ever replace a fresh semolina wheat pasta dish from a really good Italian restaurant – but seeing as that would send my husband into days of illness, the Tinkyada brand has really been a great substitute.

I can purchase this brand in my local grocery store in their organic foods section. It comes in several different shapes and pasta-types – spaghetti, linguine, ziti, elbows, spirals, and probably more. Ask your grocer to stock it if you don’t see it – maybe they will.

I have also tried using it to make a cold pasta salad, which did not work as well as I’d hoped. It turned out too tough and chewy as a cold dish. So, my suggestion is keep it hot and covered with a yummy sauce of your choice. As with anything I suggest, your personal taste preferences are what matters the most. If you like it – great! If not, move onto the next product and keep trying to find the one you like best…

Enjoy!!

P.S. Some fun news from Gluten-Free Medley… I have just started a Masters of Science program in Holistic Nutrition! It’s an online course and it will take me about 2-3 years to complete. I’m very excited about this program and I hope to incorporate some of the information I will be learning into this blog, so stay tuned…

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2012 in Ingredients/Products

 

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Italian Tiramisu…Schär Ladyfingers work great!

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts! With a hot, frothy cappuccino alongside, it is the perfect ending to any meal. We recently went to some friends’ home for dinner and this is what we brought for dessert. My husband is usually the one who makes it, because it started out being my “birthday cake” a few years ago. Now, the tradition has stuck – it’s his culinary “baby”! And he does an excellent job, too – so creamy, luscious and light. Even though it has cream cheese and heavy cream, it still tastes light. The ladyfinger cookies soak up the coffee and become soft, the coffee liqueur adds a wonderful full flavor and the chocolate powder on top is just right.

Once our kitchen became gluten-free, though, this dessert could no longer make an appearance. I think the ladyfinger cookies would be hard to duplicate from scratch, although I never really tried…

But, then I found the Schär company (see my earlier post about their sandwich rolls)! These ladyfinger cookies can be bought online through Amazon.com or directly from Schär’s website. They worked great! I challenge anyone to tell me this tastes different than a regular wheat recipe! We adapted this from the Family Circle magazine recipe – “Coffee-Scented Tiramisu”.

Buon Appetito!!

Italian Tiramisu

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup coffee liqueur

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups heavy cream

2 pkgs.(5 oz. each) Schär Gluten-Free Ladyfinger cookies

1 cup strong brewed coffee

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Beat cream cheese, sugar, coffee liqueur and vanilla in a medium bowl until light and creamy. Whip heavy cream to firm peaks. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until well blended. Arrange one package of ladyfingers in an 8 x 8 inch dish, one layer only. Drizzle the ladyfingers with half the brewed coffee. Top with half the cream cheese mixture, spreading smoothly. Sprinkle with half the cocoa powder. Arrange the remaining ladyfinger cookies over the cocoa, one layer of cookies only. Drizzle with the remaining coffee. Top with the remaining cream cheese mixture, spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining cocoa powder on top. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Makes about 8 servings.

 
 

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Gluten-free rolls, best texture so far…Schär!

My husband LOVES bread and sandwiches, so when he became intolerant of wheat gluten, it made him very sad…until very recently!

We’ve been experimenting with gluten-free breads and rolls for a few months now. We’ve tried buying them frozen at the local supermarket, fresh at Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe’s, in box mixes or making them from scratch – somehow they just never seem to taste quite good enough. Most of the products are crumbly and dry – which makes it difficult to use them for sandwiches. Gluten adds so much to the texture of breads and rolls, it’s hard to find a satisfactory substitute.

Just last week, I finally discovered a gluten-free roll that will hold up to making a deli sandwich, plus it tastes good. My husband rates it an A+! It’s made by a European company called Schär. (http://www.schar.com/us/)

The company has been around since 1922, but launched its first gluten-free line of products in 1981. Although its headquarters are in Italy, it began expanding into the United States in 2007, and then opened it first US production facility in 2011. They have an online store on their website, or you can order some of their products through Amazon.  My local grocery store stocks the “Classic White Rolls”, but I know I’ll be ordering more of their products soon to taste-test them. I’m especially interested in their Ladyfingers – we have a great recipe for Tiramisu. What better place to find gluten-free Ladyfingers than from an Italian company… I’ll keep you posted!

Enjoy!!

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in Ingredients/Products

 

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Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix…

I thought before I head off into gluten-free recipe heaven, maybe I should give a more thorough description of the main ingredient I use in my baking.  I realize you can go to their website and look up the ingredients for yourself, but I thought I’d save you that extra step…plus include a few extra tidbits of information!

One of the reasons I love this baking mix so much is because it is so simple and easy to use, plus it tastes great! The flours they use don’t have funny aftertastes and the mix already has baking powder, baking soda and salt in it. It saves me time while I’m trying to get something in the oven quick.

Let’s look at the label now… the ingredients list is as follows:    (in order of appearance on their label)

brown rice flour, white rice flour, cultured buttermilk, natural almond meal (may appear as brown flecks), tapioca starch, grainless & aluminum free baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, xanthan gum

Rice flour is made from finely milled brown or white rice and it helps soften the texture of a baked good. Buttermilk is the low-fat portion of milk or cream left over after it has been churned to make butter. It is “cultured” by adding lactic acid bacteria to it. Cultured buttermilk is low in fat and calories and the acid in the buttermilk, when combined with baking soda, produces light baked goods and adds extra tenderness, moisture and flavor. Almond meal is most often made from whole almonds (with a skin), which is probably why they mention the brown flecks in the list. It adds moistness and a rich, buttery flavor. Tapioca starch is ground from the root of the cassava plant. It helps your breads have a nice crispy texture. In muffins and cookies, tapioca starch adds structure without grittiness. Baking powder, baking soda and salt are commonly used in all baking methods.

Now, xanthan gum sounds like it’s from another planet! It is actually a fermented corn sugar product. It helps all the other ingredients bind together, so the baked goods don’t end up as just crumbs! (This is the normal job of wheat gluten.) In some of my recipes, I add extra xanthum gum for better binding. But, too much can cause your baked goods to be gummy or heavy, so measure carefully.

Okay, so maybe I’ve given you more information than you really wanted. I was just trying to share why this mix is SO good. Pamela’s Products (http://www.pamelasproducts.com/) uses ingredients that taste good together and are healthy. I use this baking mix so much, that I buy it in bulk from Amazon and it gets shipped automatically. Some health food stores or regular grocery stores carry it and you can buy it right from their website, too.

Please note, if you have allergies to milk or nuts, then this mix is not for you. Sorry…

Check back soon for some great recipes for Thanksgiving, or click “FOLLOW” and receive an email notice every time I post a new recipe! Have a great day!

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2011 in Ingredients/Products

 

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