Deglutenized, Delicious, and Definitely Healthy Slow Cooker Meals

The Healthy Slow Cooker 135 Gluten-Free Recipes for Health and Wellness, Second Edition (Robert Rose Inc, 2014)

Courtesy of The Healthy Slow Cooker, Second Edition by Judith Finlayson © 2014 Reprinted with publisher permission.

Courtesy of The Healthy Slow Cooker, Second Edition by Judith Finlayson © 2014 Reprinted with publisher permission.

Judith Finlayson
ISBN: 978-0-7788-0479-6
352 pages, 135 recipes

Recently I read about the possibility of cartilage regeneration in a column by Mark Sisson, on his website Mark’s Daily Apple. In this particular article, Sisson recommends drinking home-made bone broth as a possible aid to the regeneration of cartilage. This information was still fresh in my mind when I first explored the pages of the second edition of The Healthy Slow Cooker: 135 Gluten-Free Recipes for Health and Wellness (Judith Finlayson, 2014), I happened upon a recipe for slow cooker hearty beef stock; in a box entitled Natural Wonders (115), opposite the hearty beef stock recipe (114), author Judith Finlayson has written detailed information about the health properties of home-made beef broth. She mentions the nutrients and the healing properties of gelatin, the beneficial ingredient in well-made bone broth. The recipe for beef stock sounds delicious; its presence in a cookbook is, though, unsurprising. The nutritional information about bone broth that appears on the opposing page is, however, an unexpected find in a book devoted to slow cooker recipes. Many such nuggets of nutritional information appear throughout this book, all under the headings of either Natural Wonders or Mindful Morsels. One Natural Wonder’s note even explains the dangers of hidden gluten to people with Celiac and details ways to identify and avoid these hidden dangers. This type of information is an exciting addition to a cookbook; with it, one can easily relate the nutritional value of the ingredients she uses to the healthy meal she serves her family when she prepares slow cooker recipes from this cookbook. Continue reading


Mi-Del Gluten-Free Candy Cane Cremes, Gluten-Free Cashew Spinach Fontina Cheese Pancakes, and Such

Today I have two things to say to anyone who wants to listen: Mi-Del’s Gluten-Free Limited Edition Candy Cane Cremes and Trader mi-del candy caneJoe’s cashew meal / flour. I’ll try to cover these topics quickly: the temperature is supposed to reach a whopping high of 40 degrees within the hour, the ice is melting, and I HAVE to get out and run before the temperature drops and darkness falls.

I’ll begin with Mi-Del gluten-free Candy Cane Cremes. These cookies are chocolate sandwich cookies filled with a peppermint cream filling. DO NOT BUY THESE COOKIES, unless you have will-power of steel. Oh, one cannot stop at just one of these chocolate peppermint cremes, or two, or a few! Considering that these cookies are store-bought, as well as gluten-free, they are exceptionally delicious. Mi-Del released this flavor just before Christmas; however, on a recent trip to Whole Foods (at The Quarry in San Antonio) I found some still in stock and picked up a box or two (Ok! Three boxes! But don’t judge me until you’ve tried the cookies . . . . ). Not one to habitually purchase cookies off the store shelf, I am relieved that these cookies are seasonal. I fear I lack the will power to resist buying boxes of these cookies often were they on store shelves all year long. I’m thinking of using these cookies for a Christmas-y dessert; perhaps I’ll develop a recipe for gluten-free peppermint bark cheesecake and use Mi-Del Candy Cane Cremes for the crust. I’m working it out in my mind right now. Of course, I’ll have to buy more boxes of the cookies for research and development purposes. Um, yeah. I’ll need a few more boxes for experimentation, and for no other reason. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. Continue reading

Bubba’s Gluten-Free Turkey Burger: A Satisfying Post-Work-Out Meal

Bubba's Turkey Burger 1

The burger is there, under the lettuce and tomatoes, I promise!

“I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.” (John Steinbeck, Travels With Charley: In Search of America)

Yesterday I had one of those magical runs, the type of run that inspires the subliminal thought “this is why I love running” to flow underneath all the conscious thoughts that one ponders as she runs. I can’t say why, exactly, the run was so awesome – at least from a training perspective. I ran only five miles, a shorter distance than I had planned for the day, and I had gotten a late start. The temperature was already hot. The bright sun, already high in the sky, was unrelenting in its determination to super-light and heat the world (or at least the part of the world in which I was running). The Crown Ridge neighborhood I had chosen for its hills had zero shade under which I might find some relief as I ran my hill repeats. Yet though my pace was slow, I managed to run the reps without walking even one step. I listened to the cry of the red-tailed hawks as they glided on wing over-head, flying low enough to occasionally cast their shadows over me as they circled above. I could hear the Tejano music on the radios listened to by the construction crews as they worked building houses in the distance. Somehow all of these elements of my run came together to excite in me anew my sense of place: I was home. Everything in that moment came together perfectly to exemplify what makes South Texas, well, South Texas! With the exhilaration that accompanies a run well completed and enjoyed, I drove home from Crown Ridge looking forward to and planning my second work out for the day. Plans for a second work out include careful planning for lunch. Since I had a fairly arduous late morning work-out and planned a second, evening work-out, I would have to eat well, but not too heavily, for lunch

Last week, I picked up some gluten-free Bubba Turkey Burgers at Sprouts. I had never tried these burgers. They’re frozen, but judging from the cooking instructions on the package, the burgers cook easily and quickly. They seemed like good way to get in some protein at lunch or supper time, or between work-outs. Yesterday, I decided to try a Bubba turkey burger as my between-work-out meal. The burger did cook quickly. I pan fried it, just a few minutes on each side. I planned a fifteen mile bike ride as my second work-out of the day, and since I had a hard work-out just before lunch, I decided to get in a few carbs in addition to the protein by eating the burger on Udi’s millet chia bread. The four ounce turkey burger fit perfectly on the Udi’s gluten-free bread slices. I topped the burger with muenster cheese, some Organic Girl super greens, and a small tomato from Phil’s garden. The burger was actually juicy, as the Bubba website claims. It had a texture much like the texture of a home-made turkey burger. The flavor was ok; I prefer beef burgers to turkey burgers, though, so I’ve never had a turkey burger that tasted better than ok. I have, however, had turkey burgers that tasted less than ok. I liked the Bubba turkey burger enough to make Bubba burgers a part of my regular quickly prepared double-work-out day meal rotation. Next time I believe I’ll top the burger with cheddar cheese, bacon, and Fredericksburg Farms Sweet and Hot Jalapenos. Yum.

The Unsandwich: Eating Gluten-Free at The Jalopy

The folks at The Jalopy have a nice, easy concept: stuff some chicken with rosemary and garlic, brine it overnight in salt, !cid_E4CC3B9C-0AB4-4F0D-931C-D23BE1FB8AB6@gateway_2wirevinegar, and rosemary, then slow-cook it with some vegetables. Shred and serve it in various ways (with a choice of sauces and always pickled onions) on home-made savory flatbread. The bread sure does sound delicious, but of course people who have Celiac cannot have the bread. We can, however, safely eat at The Jalopy, for they will serve all their menu items in a bowl! An unsandwich! Or perhaps a sandwich in a bowl? Whatever one calls it, the food served by the folks at The Jalopy is delicious, and well worth the trip to 15th and San Antonio for a meal.

!cid_DF270A68-C33F-4B8E-AEC2-D0BC27D488EB@gateway_2wireElizabeth and I recently took B and H to The Jalopy, in our on-going quest for safe, gluten-free eateries in Austin. Although the trailer is parked in the grass right beside a parking lot, that parking lot is a pay lot. We drove around the block and managed to find parking by a meter, just about a half block from the trailer. The time was about noon, or shortly thereafter, a busy time for lunch spots, but we easily found a close parking space. Continue reading

Gluten-Free Peruvian: Aji De Gallina

“In these recent years of hard times, people have started new collaborations and new models of businesses with very low expenses: using a

Gluten-Free Aji De Gallina

Gluten-Free Aji De Gallina

personal home or the art studio of a friend is always cheaper than renting, decorating and managing a restaurant,” she tells us. “And the results are attractive, because the service feels warm, human and intimate – you are not part of a commercial routine.” Paula Mourenza, Barcelona Correspondent for Culinary Backstreets (qtd by V Larson in “Barcelona’s Restaurants Go Underground,” Culinary Backstreets, 13 February 2013)

On a recent visit to the grocery store, I saw a jar of Costa Peruana Aji Amarillo Paste. I’d never seen this particular chili paste before, so I decided to try it out. Aji amarillo peppers belong to a different class of peppers than the peppers we commonly use in Texas (jalapenos and poblano). It has a deep yellow-orange color, and a fruity taste. It’s one of the main ingredients that Pervians and Bolivians use in the dishes they cook. When I got home, I (naturally) did a Google search to see what others do with aji amarillo paste. On a website called SaltShaker, I found an interesting recipe for a traditional Peruvian dish called aji de gallina, which I decided to make with my chili paste. Continue reading

Abundant Beauty, Rich Experience, Luscious Food: Eggs Baked in Cream on a Spring Morning

To the Virgins, to Make Much of TimeIMG_0911

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.
(Robert Herrick)

The speaker in Herrick’s rather light-hearted poem uses the lines to woo young ladies out of their chaste rebuff of hopeful, would-be lovers; however, a serious matter buttress’s the speaker’s words of seduction and truth is truth no matter one’s motive for uttering the words. Spring’s rich beauty, glorious as it may be, lasts but a moment for “this same flower that smiles today / tomorrow will be dying.” The lines of this poem ran through my head yesterday, as I ran trails decorated with spring’s bounty at McAllister Park. Continue reading

Duck Fat Plus Gluten-Free: A Delectable Combination

“Jemima Puddle-Duck became quite desperate. She determined to make a nest right away from the farm. She set off on a fine spring afternoon along the cart-road that leads over the hill. She was wearing a shawl and a poke bonnet. When she reached the top of the hill, she saw a wood in the IMG_0515distance. She thought that it looked like a safe quiet spot.” (Beatrice Potter, Jemima Puddle Duck)

”If you want good-tasting food you need to use a good amount of fat,” he said. ”It nourishes meats and seafood. It makes them much more silky. I use duck fat to sear scallops and lobster since it has a nice rich flavor. We don’t advertise it on the menu, because unfortunately people get nervous.” (Chef Christian Delouvrier of Lespinasse, as qtd by Melissa Clark in “The Rich Little Secret of Top Chefs: Fat”)

Jemima Puddleduck is a wonderfully naïve and independent character created by Beatrice Potter. I spent hours of my daughter’s childhood reading to her about Jemima, wearing her poke bonnet, barely escaping the clutches of Mr. Fox one day while on a quest to hatch her own eggs. Elizabeth loved Jemima Puddleduck, who to her young mind, existed as a real creature in our very real world. So it happened one day, while reaching for a frozen duck in the freezer section of our nearest H.E.B grocery, I was stopped mid-action by Elizabeth’s plaintive, fervent objection to my buying and roasting a duck that looked so strikingly like – well – a duck, and hence so strikingly as Jemima might have looked had she not been rescued by the good farm dog who had dutifully followed her that day she left her farm-home. Continue reading

Hazelnut Heaven

Hazelnut Apple Sausage Quiche

San Antonio in autumn may lack the glorious, colorful leaf changes and the frosty, clear mornings of a New England autumn, and those of us who live here may have to pick our pumpkins from the selection the local Methodist church imports in for its annual pumpkin patch fundraiser, but with the help of a vast international transportation system that gets food to places they might otherwise never appear, we do have access to traditional fall produce and flavors. This past fall, while getting into the spirit of the season, I decided to work with hazelnut flour. Nut flours are interesting flours with which to work. One benefit of having to cook and eat gluten-free is that one’s creativity has a chance to soar. Continue reading