Chicken Marsala

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Eating spicy food—Indian marsala, in particular—is such a flavorful escape from the humdrum of the day. Chicken marsala, with its hot and filling consistency, always seems to hit the spot when you’re in the mood for a big dinner. While there are various frozen gluten-free marsala options that aren’t all that bad, nothing can beat fresh food, right?

Today I tried out a fresh recipe for ground chicken marsala that turned out pretty well.

I began by frying up a pound of lean ground chicken over medium-high heat for 15 minutes.

Next, I added diced zucchini and chopped red onion (just what I had on hand), along with about 2 tablespoons of cool water. I continued to heat these ingredients for 10 more minutes, before adding a touch of magic, and the crux of the dish: 1.5 cups of pre-made Patak Simmer Sauce: Tikka Masala Curry.

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I found this brand at Cost Plus World Market (one of the coolest places to spend 20 minutes wandering around the world when you can’t actually leave the country—it’s a fantastic international import chain store based out of the West Coast). It was only $3.99 and could easily be used for 2-3 dishes before running out. While this is a red curry, you can also easily find various green curries at Cost Plus, although I do really recommend the Patak gluten-free brand.

After simmering the concoction for an additional 10 minutes, it was ready to be devoured! I served the marsala on a bed of delicate baby spinach and a side of crunchy gluten-free Rudi’s multigrain toast to soak up extra curry sauce.

Try it for yourself for a filling dish with a kick!

Pancakes of the Lemon Poppyseed Variety

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Who doesn’t love pancakes? I could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and still be a happy camper.

Recently I came across a lemon poppyseed pancake recipe that I turned gluten-free, with good results.

The recipe:

2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour

1 tsp GF baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup sugar

A dash of salt

1/3 cup poppyseeds

4 tablespoons lemon juice

3 cups buttermilk

2 eggs

several slices of butter.

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Instructions:

Mix the solids and liquid separately. Combine. Don’t worry if it’s lumpy. Pour 1/2 cups of the batter onto a medium-hot griddle. Due to the heavy consistency, the pancakes will take a while to cook through. Make sure that the griddle is not too hot as the pancakes can easily burn.

Serve with maple syrup or agave nectar and enjoy!

 

Australian Coffee: My Love Story

In Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, one can find just about any kind of coffee drink imaginable. Elegant. Edgy. Simple. Decadent.

Lattes. Cappuccinos. Flat Whites.

Here is my documentation of some of the coolest coffee drinks I had the pleasure of trying on my recent trip down under:

Cappuccino

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REAL Chai Tea in Melbourne

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Sydney Australian Iced Coffee (Heavy Creme, Espresso, Vanilla Ice Cream, LOTS of ice)

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A New Zealand Hot Chai Latte (Extremely sweet, heavy froth)

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Sydney again: a very Australian Flat White (Similar to a cafe au lait, but with more milk; very strong and delicious)

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Melbourne: another Chai Latte and Flat White (always so pretty!)

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So, coffee snobs– I highly recommend you plan a trip Down Under- STAT!

 

Australia: The Mecca for Celiacs?

Recently I returned from a month long sojourn down under to Australia and New Zealand. I was enthusiastic about the trip as it had been in the works for some time, but nothing could prepare me for the food.

Normally, when traveling, I maintain extremely low expectations for finding good gluten-free food. Usually I am happy if I can just find a fresh salad or some fruit, and make do. But not in Australia. EVERYTHING seems to be gluten-free in Australia. Well, not everything, but it does seem true that every establishment has gluten-free options, from McDonalds to the local bakery, from high-end harbor bistros to hole-in-the-wall burger joints. It was HEAVEN!

 

 

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My hypothesis for this surprising occurrence lies in the genealogy of Australians. As most people know, when Britain first colonized the continent, it was used as a place to dump petty criminals, as the British jails were overflowing in the 19th century. Hence, the majority of Australian ancestors are of British, Irish and Scottish origins, and due to this, a larger percentage of Australians have Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, in comparison to the US. Or maybe the country just gives more of a darn than we do… In any case, the wide selections of gluten free breads, falafel,  cakes, salad dressings and pastas were greatly appreciated and impressive. If the US can start following Australia’s example in terms of gluten-free labeling and product support, it would mean a LOT to those of us who do eat gluten-free.

THANK YOU, AUSTRALIA!

You get my vote for being the MOST consistently gluten-free friendly place that I have ever visited.

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Cupcakes, etc.

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Gluten-free cupcakes. Never before have I succeeded in making a batch that hasn’t deflated, tasted like salt or burned. I think that my failure has been trying to adapt gluten-filled recipes with gluten-free ingredients, which does not factor in the differences in consistency or form.

Today I took an easier route, going online to find cupcake recipes based on Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Bisquick. I found a pretty simple recipe, and here it is, with some of my additions:

1 1/2 cups of gluten free bisquick

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup apple sauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix ’em all together, pour them into the cupcake pan (making 14 individual cupcakes) and bake them for 18 minutes. Let them cool, and then in a separate bowl, create the frosting:

Slowly combine 2 1/2 cups of powered sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 cup of butter. I also recommend adding gluten-free instant chai tea latte mix to make the frosting taste like Christmas spice and happiness.

After the cupcakes cool, frost them and enjoy! In the future, I would add a little less butter to the frosting, and more powered sugar to improve the consistency.