Tuesday, April 2, 2013

S'MAC MIDTOWN NYC FOR GLUTEN FREE MAC & CHEESE


Here's my previous review of S'Mac, and I still stand by the description of the food. Hot, bubbly, served in individual cast iron pans. Nothing but mac and cheese, except for salad and drinks. Mac and cheese, gluten-free (with gluten-free bread crumbs) or conventional, in many varieties. Here's their site for the delicious details.

But NOW it is actually possible to eat comfortably. Dine, one might say! there are counters, tables, comfy booths and a general airiness that was sorely lacking at the overcrowded, oh-so-popular east village spot.


And for convenience, can you beat these New York City hours?? Open till 11pm Mon-Thurs & Sun and till 1am Friday and Saturday nights. I see this becoming the hot post-movie destination after date nights at the multiplex on 32nd Street.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

FAST AND FRUGAL GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN INDIAN MEAL FOR TWO


Ever feel like cooking up some Indian food at home, but don't feel like facing a long ingredient list? This $1.99 package from the frozen section at Trader Joe's is the ideal jumping-off point to a well-rounded Indian meal for two. It starts with subtlely seasoned eggplant. Eggplant, which, considering its texture once microwaved according to the package instructions, is more like a spicy sauce. So, that is how I use it, and it works perfectly.

Begin with a package of Trader Joe's basmati rice. Cook up one cup of rice to two cups of water. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

While rice cooks, steam a half pound of Trader Joe's frozen broccoli florets. Set aside.

Brown a third of a cup of Trader Joe's raw whole cashews in a small frying pan (no oil needed).

If you have some fresh cilantro around, mince a couple of tablespoons of it.

When the rice is done, half-fill two large soup bowls with it. Divide broccoli into each. Top with eggplant, then cashews, then cilantro.

Fast and frugal gluten-free, vegan Indian dinner for two in minutes! Note: These are generous servings, so you might have leftovers for lunch the next day--also great!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

SCHAR'S VANILLA SANDWICH COOKIES


My favorite thing about this gluten-free cookie is its delicate flavor. Some gluten-free cookies seem to go overboard in a weird attempt to compensate for lack of gluten. 
As in "DOUBLE CHOCOLATEY!!" or "SUPER GINGER!". 

But what about those times when you'd like a plain old good-tasting sweet little thing to accompany a cup of tea or glass of milk?

Try these Vanilla Sandwich Cremes by Schar. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

GLUTINO GLUTEN FREE ENGLISH MUFFINS


Gluten free English Mufffins --- the very phrase makes me think of nooks and crannies filled with melted butter and jam. Now, it is true that English folks do not eat our mainstream version of their traditional baked good, Thomas's English Muffins, and Glutino, being Canadian, might be split in their loyalties to the British crumpet and the American Thomas's, but really, does what I have pictured above resemble anything but a soft roll? I think not!!

One of my pet peeves re gluten free products is to shape and then label them in the manner of the desired glutenous food and, it seems to me, hope for the highest level of gullibility in the consumer.
Yes, these are labeled English Muffins. Yes, they are the correct shape. But please, just call them small sweet rolls and be done with it!!

These below are no longer available at my local Trader Joe's, but if they are at yours, definitely give them a try:



Here's the original review I wrote of them.  (Oh, how I miss them now.)

Do you know a gluten-free English muffin worth recommending? Please let us all know!

Monday, December 10, 2012

GLUTEN FREE VEGAN CRACKLEBRED CRACKERS

I was looking for a gluten free and vegan cracker for a dinner party I was planning and came across these old friends. I remembered cracklebred and its imitators from my glutenous days. I am addicted to all things crunchy, and with the slight spiciness of this cracker, I am now totally a fan!
I served these crackers with three kinds of hummus (sun dried tomato, red pepper and lemon garlic) as well as with two kinds of cheese (goat cheese with kalamata olives, and sliced muenster cheese) and these crackers stayed crunchy through all manner of toppings. When I was eating gluten, and when I was heavier (by about thirty pounds!), I really used to run through boxes of these, so especially considering the snappy new flavor, I have to be careful. If you're a devotee of crunch, I'd recommend you do the same!

Friday, December 7, 2012

GLUTEN FREE FLAMOUS ZATAR CHIPS


I'll be honest. Sometimes my square meals are a little off-kilter. I don't think of them that way, but I'm sure others might. For example: Cottage cheese and rice cakes, grape tomatoes and a granny smith apple for dessert. (Even the cook likes her time off!) Sounds fine, right? But then the guilt sets it and I think of how many of those rice cakes it's possible to consume in one sitting, how high their glycemic index must be, how I really shouldn't be doing this...and on and on...


Which is why I was so happy to find Flamous Zatar Chips. Three grams of protein per serving, about eight chips. Guilt receded! Why the protein? Perhaps its the multigrain mix of brown rice, flax and buckwheat, or the beans and sesame seeds. Yowza! All in one small six-sided snack!

I can now have the quick lunches I sometimes prefer and feel I'm doing something good for myself. Oh, and the Zatar blend of spices? Perfectly pitched for a creamy spread like cottage or goat cheese, though I also recommend the with garlic and lemon hummus: snappy!



Thursday, December 6, 2012

GLUTINO GLUTEN FREE DAIRY FREE PRETZEL STICKS


I was quite the pretzel fiend before I was diagnosed with celiac disease, and nothing like having to follow a gluten free diet was going to stop my lifelong love for this snack. I love them small and crunchy, soft and salty, as sticks, twigs, or traditionally twisted. 

As you can see below, I just plain love them!





These Glutinos are probably my favorite, unless you count the ones that look and taste (in my memory at least) like the little Rold Gold pretzels I used to consume by the bag when I ate gluten. The crunch on Glutinos is perfect, never soggy, and the saltiness is just where it needs to be. Apart from those criteria, I don't demand much else from my pretzels. 

Oh, yes, that they not be coated. In chocolate, white or brown, in "yogurt" or what passes for it, or in anything but salt, or, if need be, sesame seeds (Glutino makes rings with sesame, not my favorite, but will do in a pinch). Glutino makes the coated pretzels. If you've tried them, could you let me know what they're like? I just can't see myself going through a bag of those odd items, but, who knows, if the reviews are stellar enough, I just might try!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

WOW GLUTEN FREE GINGER COOKIES


Ginger is one of my favorite flavors....so versatile! Great in sweet or savory dishes of so many cultures. So I was ready to love these little cookies!


Unfortunately, it was more of a Like than a Love reaction. A little too grainy, a little too sandy, but lovely flavor. Perfect size, not too big. So much to potentially admire but the texture just threw me off. Sorry, WOW, this wasn't one.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

DELICATA SQUASH: GLUTEN FREE & VEGETARIAN


I eat delicata squash as much as I can, not because it is gluten-free and vegetarian, but because it is, of course, delicately delicious! 

Easier to handle than butternut squash, because its skin is thinner and it cooks faster, soft as an acorn squash, but sweeter, I find each year I prepare these more and more, and more and more simply. When I first noticed these at the farmer's market, I treated them like acorn squash. Gussied them up way more than they really needed, I soon discovered. Butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, maybe a bit of maple syrup. I'd really go to town on these little guys. And then I pulled back. Salt, pepper, nutmeg, butter. All great ways to prepare them.

But now look. I just oil a foil-lined baking pan. Slice the squash in half, remove seeds, place them face down in the pan till the edges start to brown. I flip them over for a few more minutes and enjoy them just as they are. I like them with some curried vegetable stew or a bowl of chili or if I'm looking for a lighter meal, paired with lightly salted steamed green vegetables. Then, wow, does that natural sweetness come through!



Here are some other squash ideas you might like: