Monday, March 14, 2011

Tonight's dinner, yesterday's muffins, and a Christmas pie

Tonight's dinner: Cheeseburger and french fries
Clearly a healthy one tonight... but sometimes you just want a burger... I can't help it!  But, let me tell you, if you're going to have a burger, take my advice.  I've had some yucky ones in the past... for the first year I ate gluten free I didn't even eat burgers with buns because I couldn't find one that didn't make me want to gag.  There are some tricks to making the perfect bun... but first let me give you a summary of all the brands.  

First, the meat was ground beef from Trader Joe's, 96% lean (so that's good), the bun was a Kinnikinnick English Muffin (Why?  Because most stores for some reason are NOT selling the hamburger buns... I was mildly outraged until I realized the english muffins have the exact same nutrition facts, and I swear they are the same recipe), the french fries were Alexia organic french fries (which I just realized has a warning saying it's manufactured in the same facility as wheat, so I need to call them to ask about that), and the ketchup is Annie's organic Ketchup.  

The key with the bun is this...  From frozen, put it in the microwave on defrost for 30 seconds, then slice it.  I then put Earth Balance Soy Free butter spread on both sides, and then sprinkle gluten free garlic salt on both sides.  Then, Scott puts it on the grill of the bbq when the burgers are about half done.  The key with the bun is to toast it, but not in the toaster... if you're not bbq'ing, a grill pan on the stove also works.  The bonus is that if you're also cooking for a person who eats gluten, everything is the same except the bun!  Just butter their bun (so they don't feel left out), put garlic on it and cook it on the bbq far away from the gluten free one.  And keep the bbq utensils separate!  Then enjoy, and don't feel guilty because in Tucson at least, we can't go out for a burger on a bun anywhere!  
Yesterday's breakfast:  Blueberry muffins
Here's the recipe:
One morning, I really wanted a quick blueberry muffin recipe... I didn't want to mix a billion flours together, dirtying a full dishwasher of dishes just to get a few muffins.  So, I googled "gluten free blueberry muffins" and discovered this recipe!  I was so excited to find it was not only on the Food Network (which I am obsessed with), but it's by Erin Mckenna, author of my favorite cookbook Babycakes.  She owns a bakery in NYC, and she bakes gluten free and vegan, which works out for me because I can't have milk, and I am still undecided on whether or not I can/ should be eating eggs.  She also uses agave nectar in recipes (which is good for someone who is being careful about blood sugar because it doesn't elevate the glucose levels as fast as granulated sugar).  If that wasn't enough, her recipes call for coconut oil, which gives it a rich and flavorful taste, and coconut oil is the heart- healthiest oil you can have.  Basically I want to be her new best friend.  

This recipe is DELICIOUS and EASY.  I've tried a bunch, but this is it.  No sifting, mixing of a billion different dry ingredients, no use of egg replacer... it's really good and fast.  Also, it makes a difference to use fresh blueberries.  They are best fresh out of the oven, but if you're eating them a few days later, zap them in the microwave to warm them.  Put them in the fridge after 3 days to get them to last longer, or you can freeze them in ziploc freezer bags.    

Christmas pie

Speaking of Babycakes, while I was uploading the pictures above, I found this wonder I had completely forgotten about.  PIE!!!  At Christmas, I really really wanted a tasty dessert.  Sooo... I consulted my Babycakes cookbook after randomly buying a frozen pie crust at Sprouts (Brand was Gluten Not Included).  I just have to insert a quick story... sometimes when Scott and I got to Carrabba's to take advantage of their gluten free menu, we stop at Sprout's for some shopping after... gotta love grocery shopping on date night, but we always have a great time, so whatever.  Anyway, back to the pie... I got the crust home, now on a mission to make a good pie.  I found an apple pie recipe in the Babycakes book that I modified a bit so I could eat it.  I followed the apple filling part of the recipe, but I used my frozen crust instead of hers.  Then... I got a bit creative.  I used the vanilla cupcake recipe (made the cupcakes) and broke the cupcakes up, put cinnamon and extra oil in it, and crumbled it on the top of the pie to make my own Dutch apple pie.  It was sinful!  Sooo good.  I highly recommend it.  The hardest part is cutting up the apples for the filling, but if you recruit help like I did, it turns into a fun project.  

I hope you try at least one of these recipes sometime soon, and please let me know how you like it, and let me know if you have any questions!

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