Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gluten Free Shopping Survey

Gluten Free Shopping Survey

In the midst of getting our new site ready, I was proposed with a few question that I'd like to get your opinions and feedback on.  We all know that shopping for gluten free items is more time consuming and definitely more expensive than buying "normal" food. (Which drives me nuts to say the least!)

1)  Would you be more apt to buy your favorite gluten free products in bulk or by the case of you could pay a wholesale price? 

2)  Would you be willing to pay a minimum membership fee in order to be able to purchase your products at wholesale prices? 

As a mom, I am always looking for the products that I use on a regular basis at discounted prices, and I know that I would by a case of a favorite product if the price was right.  I'd love to get your feedback and you will be helping us to give you the best products at the best prices. 

From our home to yours, we wish you a happy gluten free day!

The Celiac Shack

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gluten Free products that rock!

Gluten Free Items I've found outside of the "Gluten Free Sections"

I'm always looking for items in the grocery store that used to be on my shopping list that I can use now.  I was VERY pleased to discover that two of my favorite staples are GLUTEN FREE!  This is a feeling that only a person with a gluten issue can possible understand.  I used to go buy whatever I wanted without one thought of what the ingredients were in my favorite products.  I just liked them, and that was all I needed to know.  Now however, I am constantly scanning labels (which I've gotten pretty good and fast at doing, I must say) and when I scan over my old favorites and find that they're safe....pure heaven! 

Okay, ready for two of the items that I've found?  Here they are:

Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix
Fabulous product indeed!  Love it as a salad dressing, but also use it in many of my recipes to add flavor. I like to add it to green beans, veggies, meat loaf, hamburgers, dips, chicken, and the list goes on.  I called Kraft when I first looked at the label, as it has undefined spices listed on the label, and they assured me that it's gluten free.   Clearly a win for Susan on this product!

Alouette Soft Spreadable Cheese
My mouth waters every time I think of my Garlic & Herb cheese spread with my favorite gluten free crackers. YUM!  I used to buy this product pre-gluten free, and I can still buy it now.  It's usually on sale at Kroger, and when it is, I stock up.  I also use this product on a variety of dishes since I know it's safe and delicious.  I use it as a dip for my crackers, veggies, in place of mayo on sandwiches, on chicken, on pasta, etc...

I'll continue to share my "normal" foods that I find to be gluten free.  I find new ones everyday and love sharing my information with all of you.  If you have any questions, please drop me a line and I'll be happy to help you if I can. 

From my home to yours, I wish you the best gluten free day ever!

Susan :)
The Celiac Shack ~ Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What is wrong with society?

When did we just give up on what we put into our bodies? When did we, as a nation, decide it is just okay to advertise, solicit, promote, and push crappy food? I just saw an advertisement on the boob tube for Wendy's. I watched in complete disbelief and disgust that they are now offering a "VALUE" meal for the low low price of $2.99. This comes complete with a fat loaded burger on a wheat filled bun, a medium sugary drink, and an order of fries! WOW...thank you so much Wendy's for offering a crap meal for such a value. What would we possibly do without you offering all of us food that has made our nation fat, unhealthy, and full of food issues.
I know I sound like a complete preacher here, and I admit that at one point in my past life, I used to be one of those people that would've seen this deal as a VALUE! Amazing to me how my view has changed. I now see this deal as the worst thing any fast food restaurant could ever offer it's patrons.
Instead of charging less for your unhealthy food, you should do all of us a favor and raise your prices so only the elite consumers can afford your product. This way, when their arteries fill up with you fat, when they stroke out, and when they gain an obscene amount of weight and dependency on your crap food, they'll be able to afford the doctor and hospital bills to cure their ailments. Spare the rest of us your "VALUE" meals and call them what they actually are..."High sugar, high fat, high calorie, gluten filled slop"!
Back to my complaint...I can drive my car through the drive-thru window at Wendy's twice a day, and spend less then I do on healthy food. I am on a budget, and it's difficult to buy fresh fruit and veggies for my family, but I do. I find it insulting that buying the food I NEED to buy for my family is so expensive, and Wendy’s can offer slop food at deep discounted prices. What is wrong with this picture? It's not like I'm out buying crazy food. I'm buying healthy choices for my family, which should be the norm! It's like our society sees fresh fruit/veggies, lean meat, natural choices as being the "Alternative" way to eat. Again, I'm buying the food that my kids need to grow and be healthy. I'm doing the responsible thing by watching my children's fat intake. Watching the snacks and calories on a daily basis. Yet, I end up paying out the nose for being responsible. I just don't get it.

It's official that I am now that crazy activist Mother on a mission to keep her kids healthy!

That's it for now...Have a great gluten free and HEALTHY night!

Susan :)
The Celiac Shack ~ Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gluten Free Chili Mac to die for!

Here is another one of my recent creations that was a huge hit with my kids. I used to make a cheesy, gooey, absolutely delicious chili Mac that leaves my mouth watering. I had to come up with a VERY close runner up to that recipe to fill my chili Mac void, so here is my gluten free substitute: (Keep in mind that I try very hard to keep all of my food low fat and healthy, but if you're one of those lucky people that don't need to watch their calories or fat intake, then please feel free to buy regular items ~ and don't even think that the rest of us calorie/fat counters are secretly hoping you get fat one day...HA-HA) joking

Gluten Free Chili Mac ~
From the kitchen of Susan Jones (The Celiac Shack)

2 lbs Ground Turkey ( I use the 85/15 blend because I find turkey breast is too dry for my taste, but you also can use ground beef if that suits your fancy)

2 cans diced tomatoes
1 large onion (chopped)
1 green pepper
4 tablespoons oil
1 16oz fat free sour cream
2 cans unseasoned black beans
2 cloves of garlic to taste
Chili powder to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
Cumin powder to taste ( I use a lot of cumin!)
1 family sized bag of gluten free noodles ( I really like Tinkyaya noodles, but I use whatever I have on hand)

Cheddar cheese to taste

Brown the meat, chopped onions and green pepper in a large pot with a little oil. I add my cumin powder, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper at this point. Once this mixture is nice and brown, add to tomatoes and black beans. Simmer until everything has melded together. Add seasoning if needed to your taste and add the sour cream.

Cook your gluten free pasta noodles according the package instructions and drain.

Add the noodles to the chili mixture (I heard that you should always add noodles to sauce and not sauce to noodles...not sure if it's true, but it's what I do now)

Top with the cheddar cheese and serve with a nice salad or gluten free bread.

Delicious, easy to make, and completely gluten free. Hope you guys enjoy it, as this recipe makes enough for my family of 6 and I always have leftovers for lunches the next day. Cut it in half if you don't have an army to cook for ;)

Susan :)
The Celiac Shack ~ Making gluten free fun one day at a time!

Monday, April 5, 2010

SPRING is a great Gluten Free time!

I've have a renewed excitement in cooking, baking and living gluten free! I consider myself to be a pretty good cook (and yes, my family would agree...I hope!) I was getting into my winter cooking blahs, but now that Spring is out!

I'm not one to follow recipes exactly. I'm a busy Mom, and I "fidget" recipes to work for me in my day. I like to experiment, and sometimes my creations work...sometimes they're not requested again, but this is how I run my kitchen and I like it this way. Some of my family's favorites have come from me combining two different recipes, or just experimenting with ingredients. I also lack the desire to actually write down my recipes, which drives my husband nuts! He thinks I should have a book of recipes that the kids love, but I say, "Who has time"?? All of my cooking knowledge is in my head, which can be a pretty chaotic and scary place, depending on the day. Some days my chili has a tad more cumin than others, but this is okay in my time is too precious to worry about the small details - ha-ha

This new blog format will serve multiple purposes. It will allow me to share my everyday cooking experiences with you, and it will also make my husband happy because I will actually be documenting my recipes for future use...blah blah blah. I'm joking, because I am really excited to share my trial and errors with all of you and document my successes so I look like a really good gluten free cook! :)

This is one of my creations that I used to accompany my fruit salad on Easter day.

1 8 oz package fat free cream cheese
6-12 Strawberries (dependant on your taste- I told you that I fidget recipes!!)
1 banana
Approx. 1 cup low fat Cottage cheese
Approx. 1/2 cup fat free Plain yogurt
Honey - as much as you need for sweetness
1/2 teaspoon Gluten free vanilla

Add the first 3 ingredients into a blender and slowly blend until slightly smooth. Slowly add the remainder of the ingredients, watching for consistency. You don't want your mixture to get too runny, so if you need to cut back on the yogurt and cottage cheese, please do so. Blend all the ingredients together, and serve with any fresh fruit you have on hand.

Simple, easy, healthy, and it is delicious. I'm not a big fan of adding extra calories, especially to fruits and veggies, but this is a nice healthy alternative to get cottage cheese and yogurt into my kids' diets.

I will be posting more fabulous gluten free recipes everyday, so check back!

Susan :)
The Celiac Shack ~ Making gluten free fun one day at a time!