Archive for September, 2013

The Scoop on Robin Hood Gluten-Free Flour

The Scoop

Several months ago, we shared the exciting news that Robin Hood now has a gluten-free flour blend that is made in a dedicated facility. At $8.99 for a 1.8 kilogram bag, it’s far more affordable than some other flours. (I’ve seen it on sale for as low as $4.99, too.)

The Ingredients

Here are the ingredients in this blend, in order:

  • Rice flour
  • Sugar beet fibre
  • Potato starch
  • Tapioca starch

Test Results

We’ve done some experimenting in the kitchen, and so have our readers. Here are the results!

  • Cookies, muffins, and loaves all turned out pretty well although they were slightly dense.
  • Biscuits and pizza crusts did not turn out as well. The flour seemed to give these items a strange taste (which possibly is masked by the items that would be added to cookies, muffins, and loaves).
  • This flour also worked well in savoury recipes with a small amount of flour (for example, when adding a few tablespoons to gluten-free breadcrumbs to make a coating).

The Verdict

If you’re baking sweet treats, this is a good flour to use as long as you add about a teaspoon of xanthan gum. For savoury treats (like pizzas and rolls), we’d recommend a more balanced blend, like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour.

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What’s For Dinner? Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken Wings!

Since discovering Six Sisters’ Stuff on Pinterest last year, it has become one of my favourite recipe websites. Although they do not focus on gluten-free living, many of their recipes can be adapted to be gluten-free.

Why We Love It

You can serve these wings as an appetizer, or pair them with rice and steamed veggies for a delicious supper.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ⅓ cup gluten-free soy sauce (such as San-J or VH)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
  • Dash of black pepper
  • 15-20 chicken wings, split and tips removed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Approximately 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • Cooking spray

Method

  1. In a saucepan, mix the honey, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sriracha sauce. Season to taste with black pepper.
  2. Bring the mix to a boil.
  3. Lower the temperature and simmer for 5 minutes (until the sugars have dissolved and the sauce is beginning to thicken).
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  5. Spray the crock pot with non-stick cooking spray and place the chicken wings inside.
  6. Pour the sauce over the chicken and move the chicken around a bit with tongs so that it is completely coated with sauce.
  7. Put the lid on and cook on High for 4 hours, flipping chicken a couple of times during the cooking process.
  8. Once finished cooking, remove the chicken pieces and place on a plate.
  9. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and water. Pour it into the crock pot with the leftover sauce. Mix together well, place chicken back into the slow cooker, and let cook for about 10 minutes (or until the sauce starts to thicken up).
  10. Just before serving, sprinkle with torn cilantro leaves and sesame seeds.

Tips

  • You can also cook the wings on Low for 8 hours.
  • If you’re serving this dish as an appetizer, serve the wings directly from the crock pot to ensure that they stay hot.

(Source: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/06/slow-cooker-sticky-chicken-wings.html)

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Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cookie Mix Now Available in Canada!

Betty Crocker’s gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mix is finally here in Canada! We found a 1078 gram box for $9.69 at the Bayers Lake Costco today. There are two pouches in the box, enough for about 60 cookies.

I’ve purchased these mixes in the United States before, and I really love them. They have a great taste and texture, and they’re easy to make. They’re also made in a gluten-free facility.

The Betty Crocker site also has a few great recipes featuring this mix. Here are some of our favourites:

If you’ve got more ideas for this fantastic mix, we’d love to hear them!

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What’s For Dinner? Simple Spaghetti and Perfect Garlic Bread!

There’s nothing that I love more than a big Italian meal with pasta, bread, and Caesar salad. It’s easy to make it gluten-free!

Why We Love It

This meal can be prepared and served in less than 20 minutes – perfect for a weeknight Italian feast.

Ingredients

Pasta

  • One 450 gram package of corn or quinoa spaghetti noodles (about one pound)
  • One or two cloves of garlic (depending on your preference)
  • About one tablespoon olive oil
  • Handful of fresh parsley, basil, and/or oregano (depending on your preference)
  • One 400 mL can of diced tomatoes
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese

Bread

  • One loaf of French-style gluten-free bread (such as Udi’s French baguette)
  • Approximately ½ cup of store-bought garlic butter (if you want to make your own, see the Tips below)
  • Approximately 2 tablespoons of fresh Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup cheddar or mozzarella cheese, grated (optional but delicious!)

Method

Pasta

  1. Boil a big pot of salted water.
  2. Peel and chop the garlic.
  3. Place about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan. Heat it up over medium heat and sauté the garlic.
  4. Finely chop the herbs while the garlic is sautéing.
  5. Once garlic is slightly browned, add the tomatoes and the herbs.
  6. Allow everything to cook through for about five minutes, or until bubbling.
  7. While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta in the boiling salted water according to package directions.
  8. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Drain spaghetti and add to the pan of sauce. (You can re-use the spaghetti pot if it’s easier.)
  10. Serve topped with fresh Parmesan cheese.

Bread

  1. Slice the loaf in one-inch intervals, almost all the way through.
  2. Soften the garlic butter in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Then, mix in the Parmesan with a mixer or fork.
  3. Spread this mixture over the loaf and between each of the slices. You may need to make more mixture depending on the size of your loaf.
  4. If desired, top with grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese.
  5. Wrap loaf loosely in foil. Bake according to package directions. (I usually cook a room-temperature loaf at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.)
  6. Once baking time has been reached, you may want to peel back foil and allow the loaf to brown.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • Fresh ingredients make all the difference in this dish!
  • We found the Udi’s French baguette at Masstown Market.
  • You can also make your own garlic butter! Simply soften half a cup of butter and stir in a clove of minced garlic and a few leaves of chopped parsley.
  • Round out the meal with a Caesar salad featuring Renée’s gluten-free Mighty Caesar dressing.

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Gluten-Free Items Now Available at Second Cup!

I stopped by our local Second Cup the other day for a coffee and was delighted to see three gluten-free treats available: coconut chocolate macaroons (packaged individually), nature bars (also packaged individually), and biscotti (in a jar by the cash). Since the first two items were packaged individually, an ingredient list, allergen list, and nutritional information was available right on the wrapper. This information was not available for the biscotti.

I tried a nature bar (which is made of candied pineapple and nuts) and found it quite delicious and filling. However, I think the allergen information on the wrapper might give Celiacs some pause. The list clearly states that wheat may be present, although it has been tested to below 20 parts per million (Health Canada’s requirement for gluten-free labeling.) Although it’s nice to have gluten-free options, extremely sensitive Celiacs may want to stay away from Second Cup’s gluten-free treats.

It’s worth noting that this follows the availability of gluten-free coconut macaroons at Tim Hortons. These products contain no gluten, have been manufactured in a dedicated facility, and are certified by the Canadian Celiac Association. Several years ago, Starbucks tried offering gluten-free products, but cancelled the test run. It will be interesting to see if they give it another try!

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