Category Archives: Quick Tips

Gluten Free Meal Ideas

Cooking simple, naturally gluten free meals when transitioning to a gluten free life can be a great way to get started. Discover numerous meal ideas for natural gluten free products that can be purchased at most grocery stores.

Breakfast
Drinks - juice, milk, coffee, tea,
Main Course
scrambled eggs, omelets, ham, bacon, sausage, gluten free oatmeal, Gluten Free Chex Cereal, hardboiled egg
Side Dish
- banana, grape fruit, yogurt

Most grocery stores now carry gluten free Bisquick. Use this gluten free mix for easy, great tasting pancakes, biscuits and waffles. Check out tasty gluten free Bisquick recipes.

Lunch
Drinks -
lemonade, carbonated drinks, iced tea
Main Course
salad, fried rice, white rice with vegetables, lettuce wraps, Amy’s Gluten Free Frozen Meals
Side Dish
fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, celery with peanut butter, cheese, veggies with hummus, hardboiled egg, cottage cheese, sliced apple with almond butter
Snack
Kraft’s JELL-O, nuts, raisins, dried fruit, trail mix, chips

Be careful of dressings – Most vinaigrettes are gluten free, but be sure to check closely. All of Kraft’s dressing will clearly state if wheat, barley, rye or oats are included.

Dinner
Drinks
milk, wine
Main Course -
hamburger, pork chops, steak, grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken kabobs, slow-cooked roast beef, ham, turkey, fish, tacos w/ corn tortillas or shells
Side Dish –
rice, baked potatoes, beans, quinoa, asparagus, green beans, corn, corn tortilla chips and salsa, rice noodles
Dessert –
fresh fruit, popcorn, popsicles, Kraft’s pudding

Be careful of marinades and seasonings – Many marinades and seasonings include gluten, and if you’re not comfortable reading ingredients yet then purchase Kraft’s products. All Kraft’s products will clearly state if wheat, barley, rye or oats are included.

Double recipes – If you don’t have time to cook, then simply double your recipes when you have the opportunity to cook. Store the leftovers in individual, easy-to-grab sealed containers for lunch. This will help you save time, money and prevent an empty stomach or reduce your risk of being glutened.

Be prepared – I keep dried fruit, nuts, and gluten free instant oatmeal packets at my desk for a convenient snack or meal. Thankfully, I have the opportunity to cook dinner most nights, so my family and I usually have plenty of leftovers in the fridge and freezer to eat during the week.

BACKUPS – Keep a back up gluten free frozen meal at work – just in case you happen to forget your lunch. Always keep a gluten free granola bar in your purse or car, just in case all else fails.

Getting Started
Learn more great tips and advice for transitioning to a gluten free life.

Gluten Free Main Meals Recipes
Check out tasty gluten free meal recipes your whole family will enjoy.

How to Keep Tortillas from Breaking

Learn how to keep your tortillas from breaking, and turn them into pliable, tasty tortillas.

Yes, unfortunately our tortillas turned out like the ones on the left in the photo above. As you can see, we ended up eating a chicken enchilada casserole for dinner that night. I’ve determined that warming tortillas in the oven and microwave don’t work very well for folding corn and gluten free tortillas.

However, as you can see in the photo on the right, I had far more success using the quick, easy steps included below.

Use these quick, easy options to make flexible, delicious tortillas:

Traditional – Heat a small skillet of oil or enchilada sauce over high-heat. Cook tortillas on both sides for 5-10 seconds. Transfer tortillas to paper towel and dab with paper towel to remove excess oil. Stuff with enchilada mixture, roll-up and place folded side down in pan.

Fast and Easy – Heat a small skillet of oil or enchilada sauce over high-heat. Cook one side of the tortillas for 5-10 seconds. Transfer tortillas to paper towel oil side down; stuff with enchilada mixture, roll-up and place folded side down in pan.

Low Fat – Use a pastry brush to lightly brush both sides of tortillas with extra virgin olive oil or enchilada sauce. Heat up an empty small skillet; cook both sides of tortillas for 5-10 seconds on high-heat. Transfer tortillas to paper towel; stuff with enchilada mixture, roll-up and  place folded side down in pan.

Fat Free – Heat an empty small skillet. Cook both sides of tortillas for 5-10 seconds on high-heat. Transfer tortillas to a plate, stuff with enchilada mixture, roll-up and place folded side down in pan.

I enjoy using these quick, easy options with my favorite Mexican recipes.

Although oil and enchilada sauce are not essential, I do believe they add a meaningful difference to the finished dish. Cooking tortillas in oil before baking also causes the tortillas to absorb less enchilada sauce, and prevents tortillas from getting soggy.

Please note the oil and enchilada sauce add flavor and calories to the tortillas.

Gluten Free Cooking Tips
Learn more helpful quick tips about cooking gluten free.

Gluten Free Chicken Enchilada Bake
This incredible meal includes chicken, corn tortillas and a deluxe cream cheese filling. Not only is it simply divine, it’s also fairly simple to make.

Common Gluten Free Substitutions

We sometimes forget to pick up all the items we need at the store. The last thing anyone wants to do is run back to the store for one more item.

Here are common gluten free substitutions to help get you by:

1 Tbs cornstarch = 2 Tbs gluten free flour
1 tsp baking powder = 1/4 tsp soda & 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup milk = 1/2 cup evaporated milk & 1/2 cup water
1 cup heavy sour cream = 1/3 cup butter & 2/3 cup milk
1 cup thin sour cream = 3 Tbs butter and 3/4 cup milk
honey = molasses = agave nectar = maple syrup = brown sugar
almond milk = soy milk = rice milk = cows milk
1 egg = 2 egg whites
1 egg = 3 Tbs water & 1 Tbs flaxseed meal
butter or oil = applesauce

Betty Crocker
Check out this great list of emergency substitutions for when you’re really in a pickle.

Converting Gluten Free Recipes
Gluten free cooking doesn’t have to involve extreme changes. Learn how to convert recipes to gluten free simply by substituting the right ingredients to your favorite recipes.

Gluten Free Taco Seasoning

When cooking gluten free, there are many products and brands to watch out for. Two brands that provide gluten friendly information are Ortega and Old El Paso. These brands will clearly disclose gluten in the ingredients list, and will not be hidden in other ingredients.

Ortega and Old El Paso (General Mills) products are gluten free as long as you don’t see the following ingredients listed:
wheat, barley, rye, oats

Ortega and Old El Paso adhere to very strict labeling policies. These companies require their labels to clearly state if any gluten or casein-containing ingredients are included. These rules apply to North America, so when traveling out of the country be cautious of wheat ingredients in these products.

Ingredients are subject to change, so be sure to check labels each purchase to ensure products are still gluten free.

General Mills Products List
All General Mills products clearly disclose gluten in the ingredients list. Check out other General Mills products.

Gluten Free Mexican Lasagna
Mix up your typical taco dinner with this tasty southwestern style lasagna.

Are Doritos Gluten Free?

Yes, some varieties of Doritos are gluten free. Check below to see if your favorite flavors are:

Gluten Free Doritos – Flavored Tortilla Chips
1st Degree Burn Blazin’ Jalapeno
2nd Degree Burn Fiery Buffalo
3rd Degree Burn Scorchin’ Habanero
Blazin’ Buffalo & Ranch
Cool Ranch

Late Night All Nighter Cheeseburger
Pizza Supreme
Reduced Fat Nacho Cheese
Salsa Verde
Spicy Nacho
Taco
Tapatio
Toasted Corn
Baked Nacho Cheese

Doritos with Gluten – Flavored Tortilla Chips
Nacho Cheese
Nacho Cheese 100 Calorie Mini Bites
Spicy Sweet Chili

According to Doritos’ website, the only Doritos that contain gluten are the original Nacho Cheese Doritos and the Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos. All the other Doritos appear to be gluten free. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Taco Pizza
This delicious taco and pizza combination is a Midwest favorite.

Gluten Free Taco Seasoning
Check out which taco seasoning brands are gluten free and safe to eat.

Freeze Homemade Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Save time and money by freezing homemade gluten free pizza crust.


Simplify making pizza crust by doubling
your recipe and storing the extra dough in the freezer.

Directions
1. Spread the dough out on wax paper in the shape of crust you desire and place in the freezer.
2. Wait 1-2 hours, or until dough is frozen, and wrap well in plastic wrap.
3. Freeze until you would like a quick and easy meal.

Be sure to thaw the pizza crust completely before baking. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Taco Pizza
This delicious taco and pizza combination is a Midwest favorite.

Gluten Free Taco Seasoning
Check out which taco seasoning brands are gluten free and safe to eat.

Are Snickers Gluten Free?

Technically yes… According to Snickers website, the company has strict policies on clearly stating the eight most common allergenic foods: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, soybeans and wheat.

A May contain <allergen>” statement is required to be clearly labeled in the ingredients section on every package for the eight common allergenic foods.

However, barley and rye are not included on the top 8 allergen list. This means barley and rye are not clearly labeled on the ingredients list, and at Mars snacks are at risk for gluten cross-contamination.

Milky Ways have barley, and if Snickers are made on the same equipment as them, the chance for cross-contamination is high enough not to risk for someone with Celiac.

It is important to listen to your body, and decide for yourself what you want to do. Maybe next time instead of grabbing a Snickers, grab a safer gluten free snack instead.

Is Coca Cola Gluten Free?
Is the caramel coloring in coca cola and other dark sodas safe to drink?

Mars Allergy Information
Check out more on Mars Snackfood US Policy on allergen labeling

If You Are Gluten Free, Avoid Snickers
See what others are saying about gluten and snickers’ ingredients.

Are Dove Chocolates Gluten Free?


Yes, Dove’s individual candy bars are gluten free!

Thank goodness. I enjoy fixing my chocolate cravings with Dove’s individual wrapped dark chocolate pieces. Indulging on these small pieces of dark chocolate can help curve your chocolate cravings, and may even help lower your blood pressure.

Even the special shaped Dove’s chocolates such as the heart-shaped chocolates during the holidays are gluten free. But as always, continue to check the ingredients label. Products are subject to change without notice. The best way to protect yourself is to always read the ingredients labels using the gluten free food cheat sheet.

Also remember when you’re nibbling on your dark chocolate to eat in moderation. Reduce the extra dark chocolate calories by eating less of other things or taking a walk outside around the block.

Are Snickers Gluten Free
Check out why Snickers may be making you sick.

Mars Allergy Information
Check out more on Mars Snackfood US Policy on allergen labeling

How to Measure Dry Ingredients

When cooking gluten free it is very important to accurately measure dry ingredients. Use these simple steps to ensure your recipe turns out right.

Use standard kitchen dry measuring cups for the following steps:

1. Always lightly spoon dry ingredients into measuring cups.

2. Level off dry ingredients using flat side of kitchen knife.

Do not scoop measuring cups directly into dry ingredients, or you will end with more ingredients than the recipes calls for. This can cause recipes to turn out  shorter, thicker and less moist.

Also use these guidelines for measuring dry ingredients with measuring spoons.

Make Your Own Mixes
Learn ways to save time and money by making your own gluten free mixes.

Gluten Free Baking Tips
Check out useful gluten free baking tips for making gluten free recipes and converting old family recipes.

Adding Xanthan Gum to Recipes

Xanthan gum is a natural sugar derived from corn, and is used as a food stabilizer in gluten free cooking to bind, thicken and integrate ingredients. Xanthan gum is often used whenever a rich and moist quality is sought.

Use Xanthan gum to recipes such as bread, cookies and muffins to help gluten free recipes rise well and stick together.

Here are a few quick tips for using Xanthan gum:

  • Try adding ¼ tsp Xanthan gum for each cup of flour
  • Add Xanthan gum last to batter or dough
  • Limit stirring of Xanthan gum to 5-6 strokes

Common mistakes people have with Xanthan gum is caused by over mixing the gum. This will cause gluten free cakes, cookies and muffins to become tough and rubbery. Limit mixing the dough or batter to 5-6 stirring strokes, then add batter or dough to pan as directed.

Converting Gluten Free Recipes
Learn easy tips to convert your favorite recipes to gluten free.

Make Your Own Mixes
Learn ways to save time and money by making your own gluten free mixes.