Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tomato Free / Gluten Free Chicken Cacciatore Recipe (naturally dairy free as well)

I recently put together this TF Chicken Cacciatore recipe and it was such a success I thought I’d share. I used a jar of unmarinated roasted red peppers, but I’m sure you could roast your own if you preferred. I’m just not sure how many you’d need - the 32oz jar gave me 4 cups of puree. I think if I were to roast my own, I might try roasting the onions as well.

Tomato Free Chicken Cacciatore
1 jar (32 oz) plain roasted red peppers
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbps olive oil
4 chicken breasts (about 1.5 pounds) cubed
1 large yellow onion chopped
2 large green bell pepper chopped
4 cloves garlic, diced
(1 cup sliced mushrooms, optional)

1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf

How to prepare:
Add peppers from jar to blender being careful to remove any seeds. Add some of the liquid from the jar as well and puree (remember you can always add more liquid if needed). [Note: add all the seasonings except the bay leaf here to blend them in well.]

Brown chicken in the olive oil and then remove from the pan.

Next, brown the onion, garlic and peppers and when done, remove them from pan as well. [I'm not a big fan of mushrooms so I don't include them. If you'd like to add them, do so here.]

Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Stir in the seasoned red pepper puree.

Return the chicken and vegetables to the pan. Add the bay leaf and cover. [If you didn’t blend in the seasonings at the beginning, add them here.]

Simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through about 30 minutes. [If you choose to use whole chicken pieces (bone-in or boneless) you may need to adjust the cooking time until the chicken is properly cooked through.]

Discard bay leaf and server over hot gf pasta or rice.

Serves 5.

If you try this recipe and have success please let me know by leaving a comment below!

Other recipes you may enjoy:

Gluten Free / Dairy Free Chicken and Rice Recipe (Arroz con Pollo) – if needed you can omit the tomato paste or replace it with a little red pepper paste instead.

Tomato Free Chili Recipe

Click here for more No Tomato Recipes

And click here for more Heartburn/GERD/Acid Reflux Friendly Recipes

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Restaurant Review: Bangkok Kitchen (Caldwell, NJ)

Someone at the October meeting of the Fine Grind GF Club (Little Falls, NJ) mentioned that the Bangkok Kitchen (391 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ) had a GF menu. I recently met one of my cousins for dinner there and it was great! I had looked up their menu online and all but about four items were flagged as gluten free.
Gluten Free Ka Tiem at Bangkok Kitchen, Caldwell, NJ

Most Thai dishes tend to be naturally gluten free (and like most asian cuisine, tend to be DF as well). The owner has Celiac disease and has modified most of those that aren’t naturally GF to be GF as well. Please note: make sure you mention you need a gluten free dish when ordering as some items flagged as GF on the online menu aren’t normally prepared GF but rather are modified when you order them that way.

Bangkok Kitchen is a store front restaurant with Thai décor. The in-store menu does not list the GF items (although everything except the dumplings, spring rolls, and chicken wings can be made GF). I had the Ka Tiem (chicken sautéed with cilantro garlic sauce and vegetables) as you can see at the right. The offline menu flags the spicy items by changing the first letter in the item to red. My cousin had the Masamun Beef and said the spice level was fine (not mild but not too spicy either).
GF Masamun Beef at Bangkok Kitchen in Caldwell, NJ

The restaurant is BYOB and in addition has a nice selection of Vegetarian/Vegan dishes as well. With such a wide-ranging Gluten Free menu I will certainly be going back!

Other restaurant reviews you may enjoy:

If you are looking for other ideas of where to eat, check out my big list of Gluten Free Restaurants in NJ.

Bangkok Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease: Post Walk Recap (Part 3)

Continued from Part 2 - Recap of Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease

Sorry for the delay, but here is the final installment of my vendor recap from the Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease.

Other vendors:

A Taste of Thai – They sent along a heap of individually wrapped fortune cookies as samples, but didn’t attend. The packages lacked ingredients but it turns out they are GF/DF. I do like a number of their instant rice cartons and keep some in my desk drawer for emergencies.  The fortune cookies are nothing like a chinese fortune cookie and I've never seen another Thai fortune cookie so I have no point of comparison.  They are sweet and a touch cinnamony maybe?
By-the-Way Bakery Gluten Free / Dairy Free Baked Goods

Bakery on Main – They had samples of their GF granola and granola bars.

Boar's Head - They had a giant prize wheel and everyone who spun won something. I won a reusable lunch bag.

By the Way Bakery - They're an actual local bakery at 574 Warburton Avenue, Hastings-On-Hudson, NY 10706.  They were sampling their cupcakes, pound cake, biscotti, granola, etc.  I tried their marble pound cake which was good and their lemon pound cake that was out-of-this-world!  Their entire menu is gluten and dairy free!

Breads from Anna – These are some amazing mixes that are very allergen aware.  They're all gluten free, most are dairy free but there is something for everyone as some are yeast free, corn free, soy free, nut free, and even rice free.  I last saw them locally at Linda’s Diet Delites in Clark (see my gluten free store list for contact info), but hopefully they'll shortly be available at more local shops.

Charley’s Organic Toffee - they didn't have anything DF at the show, but they do have one DF product via mail order only.

Deb's Farmhouse Gluten Free Dairy Free Cookies
Cogolulu Café - (991 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897) this is a 100% GF cafe in Wilton, CT.  Not sure how DF they may be.

Conte’s Pasta  - I actually didn’t see them there.  Most of their items contain dairy as well, but not their Potato/Onion Pierogies, nor their Gnocchi.

Deb’s Farmhouse Kitchen  - One of the highlights of the show! Deb’s makes good and hearty cookies (Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Raisin) which are also dairy free and contain whole grain rolled GF oats, almonds, and bean flour but still manages to taste like a cookie! Currently, they are only sold in NY and CT.

Ener-G - One of the oldest gluten free companies. I use their egg replacer still but have switched to newer products for most of their other items.

Gilbert's Gluten Free Dairy Free Cookies
Everybody Eats  - all of their samples contained dairy but they do have a handful of dairy free products. Unfortunately, most of their products are extremely expensive.  With the exception of their dairy free chicken ravioli’s some other company is making a much less expensive competitor of their other four DF/GF items.

Enjoy Life  - They weren’t at the fair itself but did send along little goodie sample bags. This bag included a sample of their new large crunchy cookie.

J&L Feel Good Food - this is a brand new company and I can't find much more than a facebook page on them.  It looks like they bake for different farmers markets in the NY area.  Their entire line is GF and they have a couple of DF items too.

Gilbert’s Goodies - They have a variety of very soft cookies.  I've had their bite sized cookies from Whole Foods in the past and am excited that they now are available at the GF Cart at the Prudential Center!  Their entire line is gf/df/nut free/corn free and all but chocolate chips are soy free.

Gluten Free Living Magazine - I actually subscribed to this magazine at last years fair.  Very informative and provided in depth coverage of some important questions: is their gluten in toothpaste?  naturally gf flours? gum? etc. 

Izzi B's Gluten Free Dairy Free Cupcakes
Izzi B’s Allergen Free Cupcakes -  Very attractive cupcakes sold in the freezer case. I gave her a copy my store list so hopefully they will make their way to New Jersey soon!

Jovial Foods - they had a table full of samples of their GF pasta and fig cookies.  You can read my review of their cookies here: Jovial GF Fig Filled Cookies.  Their pasta is good and holds up quite well too.

Juice Plus – I’m not going to include a link here as I just spent 10 minutes on their website and couldn’t find a list of ingredients, nor a guarantee they are gluten free (important considering they do list the 17 fruits/vegetables/grains they source from and oats are included).

Kitchen Table Bakers - They make crackers out of cheese.  That's a big no-no for me!  (Although, I do here they are good.)

Le Garden Bakery – Their website is no longer active.

NJY Camps - This organization runs a summer camp for children. They have recently upgraded their gluten free dining options so all their gf attendees can enjoy the camp!  (They keep kosher so dairy free shouldn't be too tough to manage.)  They had 20 GF campers last year and hope to host even more this year.  They are also planning a fully GF family weekend in June.

The Gluten-Free Guides - they have travel guides for NYC, France, Italy, and Washington, DC.
Gluten Free on a Shoestring -  Nicole from Gluten Free on a Shoestring was there selling her cookbook. This is one of the blogs I follow on a regular basis.

Nugo Nutrition - they make a wide variety of snack bars.  Be careful as only some of their bars are GF/DF.

Organic Bistro/Helen’s Kitchen - I've been meaning to write a review of Organic Bistro for quite some time now.  I usually have a couple of their dinners in my freezer for quick meal if I'm rushed.  They're launching three new varieties: Grass-Fed Beef with Mushroom Sauce (Butter), Wild Salmon with Pesto (Cheese), and Southwest Style Grass-Fed Beef (DF).  All their products are GF and most are DF as well.  Helen's Kitchen is a sister company specializing in Vegetarian/Vegan frozen foods (about half of which are GF as well).

Rudi’s -  I actually prefer Udi’s breads so I ended up skipping this booth. There products tend to be soy free for those who need it.

Three Dogs Gluten Free Bakery - A dedicated GF bakery in Briarcliff Manor, NY. I didn’t get anything from them this year, but have in the past and it is very good. 510 North State Road, Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510.
The Lunch Buffet was provided by Pizza 2000 but it was too windy outside so we didn’t try it. Their online menu lists only GF pizza and GF pasta in marinara sauce. The buffet appeared to have some additional items, so perhaps they are working on expanding their menu.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Restaurant Review: Pizza Fusion (Ridgewood, NJ 07450 and Red Bank, NJ 07701)

I recently had lunch with a friend of mine at Pizza Fusion in Ridgewood, NJ. This was the first pizza place in NJ to offer both Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pizza and is one of only a handful that now do.

Pizza Fusion is a gourmet pizzeria using mostly organic ingredients and has a heavy environmental slant (they’re heavy into recycling, renewable energy, energy efficiency, etc.). Their menu clearly marks the gluten free options and vegan options. For the dairy free they offer both a soy cheese and Daiya cheese (the GF crust is dairy free but contains egg).
Gluten Free / Dairy Free Pizza with Grilled Chicken,
Roasted Garlic, and Basil at Pizza Fusion in Ridgewood, NJ

Since they are gourmet (and organic, and buying renewable energy, etc) they are a bit pricey. There is an additional charge for a gluten free crust and dairy free cheese. Their price on their GF crust came down 25% since they first opened and they now also offer a personal sized pizza so it’s not as bad as it once was.

They are very careful, preparing the GF pizzas in a dedicated area, using dedicated utensils, and baking them on the top shelf of their oven (which is also dedicated GF). The staff is very knowledgeable on what is safe and what isn’t (gluten free items are marked GF on the menu and vegan items are marked V and the staff easily confirmed the lack of dairy in everything I ordered). The crust is thin and crisp and all of the toppings are high quality and fresh. They’ve also got a nice variety of beverages including various Boylan sodas, Honest Tea’s, and fresh brewed teas and coffee.

Left over pizza freezes well and can be reheated in the oven for 10 minutes at 350. Since the crust contains bean flour I wouldn’t recommend storing the leftovers in the refrigerator as that bean aftertaste will become more prevalent.

The highlight of their menu (at least for me) is the Gluten Free / Vegan brownie on their dessert menu! It’s light and airy and one of the few desserts I can order anywhere in the state!

(p.s. I’ve heard rumors that they’re expanding their GF offerings but there isn’t any info on their website and I didn’t notice it on the menu while I was there.)

Pizza Fusion on Urbanspoon
Other reviews you may be interested in:

Rutherford Pancake House (Rutherford, NJ) - they have dairy free cheese for their pizza but I've yet to try it.

Janice A Bistro (Ho-ho-kus, NJ) - no pizza here but an amazing restaurant in the Ridgewood area.

And of course, don't forget to check my giant List of New Jersey Restaurants with Gluten Free Menus and my giant list of Chains with Gluten Free Menus.

Friday, November 4, 2011

La Riveria Trattoria (Clifton, NJ) featured on Schär's "Better Without" Video Series

La Riviera Trattoria (421-27 Piaget Avenue [Rt 46E], Clifton, NJ 07011) was featured in the latest episode of Schär's Video Series "Better Without".  The episode details advice for eating out both at restaurants with and without a gluten free menu.  It covers the questions to ask to make sure you'll be safe.  It contains some really good advice but there are two tips I'd add to it:

1) Call or Email ahead rather than waiting until you are in the restaurant if possible - if you get there and they don't get it, you then have to get up and leave and find somewhere else to eat!  Of course, you should still talk with your server when you get to the restaurant to double check everything.

2) I'd place more emphasis on dining in restaurants that really get gluten free.  You'll be safer and you're helping to support those who are stepping up and providing us a place to eat.  I'd rather spend my money in a restaurant that is already doing the work needed to attract me as a customer, rather than somewhere that views me as an annoyance or an afterthought.  (You can check my list of NJ Restaurants with a gluten free menu but keep in mind I haven't yet tried a lot of these restaurants so I can't speak to their level of understanding.)

But speaking of restaurants that really get it . . . the episode includes details of the steps La Riviera takes and even tours their kitchen to show the separate gf prep areas, special gf plates, separate gf pots, and overall precautions for cooking and serving gluten free food.  I've eaten there a number of times but had no idea how stringent they were!  [When not in use they cover their pans with plastic wrap and keep their GF bread crumbs in sealed containers - all to reduce the chance of cross contamination.]

Their waitstaff really gets it as well.  The last time I ate there was with two friends with Celiac Disease.  We mentioned to our waiter when we were seated that we were all gluten free but that I was also dairy free.  Later on, when we were ready to order, I accidentally ordered a gf pasta dish with cheese on it.  The waiter remembered I was dairy free and pointed out that he'd have them make it without cheese instead!

If you need more convincing, you can check out my previous review here: Restaurant Review: La Riviera Trattoria (Clifton, NJ).  If you've never been, I highly recommend you give La Riviera a try!  The food is amazing and as you can see from the video they really go above and beyond to make sure we are safe. 

La Riviera Trattoria on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gluten Free / Dairy Free Lasagna Recipe (easily made vegan and tomato free)

I’ve been making this GF/DF lasagna for a couple of years now. I started off with DeBoles no boil noodles but this was at a time when I was still eating tomato sauce (albeit very little) and there wasn’t enough moisture in my pan to fully cook the noodles (I only used about a ½ cup total). That first attempt came out ‘crunchy’. When was the last time you used ‘crunchy’ to describe a really good lasagna? Nope, me neither.

GF / DF / Vegan Lasagna (with Tomato Free Sauce)
I’ve since tried making this with Tinkyada noodles as well as the DeBoles but this time boiling them a bit first. Both were fine but some challenges remained. First, if you use the Tinkyada, the 15-16 minutes recommended on the package is delusional – try about 10 minutes or less (remember they’ll continue cooking in the oven). Second, the both brands are 10” long so if you pan is shorter, you’ll have to cut them (my current pan is 10” by 14” but my original was 8”x8”). Finally, these noodles tend to stick together while cooking especially if you don’t have a big enough pot. I had been cooking them in batches in a 12” sauté pan but that just adds to the time and complexity.

The last time I made a big batch of No Tomato Pasta Sauce. I set aside enough to try this recipe again, only this time using the DeBoles and not boiling them. This recipe will work with regular Tomato sauce or my tomato free sauce.  It is vegan as written and only contains meat if you want it to (or serve it with meatballs).

1 cup sauce (Tomato or Tomato-Free Sauce)
1 box gluten free lasagna noodles (DeBoles or Tinkyada) 10oz
1 block Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella Cheese (enough shredded to cover top, about 1/3 to 1/2 the block)

Tofu Mixture:
1 package silken tofu (14oz)
1 cup sauce (Tomato or Tomato-Free Sauce)
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup shredded spinach (optional)

How to prepare:
If using Tinkyada, boil the noodles for 10 minutes (Tinkyada says 15-16 min but this is way too long) or until done. Drain, rinse with cold water and lay out flat before they crumple and/or stick together.

If using DeBoles No Boil, skip the previous step.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl combine the tofu, 1 cup of sauce, parsley, basil, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper (include optional shredded spinach if using). Hint: crumble the dry spices in the palm of your hand before adding to increase their flavor. Use a spoon and stir the tofu mixture until it resembles the ricotta cheese filling of real lasagna. (Do not use shredded mozzarella in the mixture; it will not melt like real mozzarella unless it is broiled on top.) [Notes: don’t over stir or the mixture will become too smooth. If using soft tofu, a whisk may be easier to use to get the correct consistency.]

Preheat the oven to 375. (350 for No Boil.)

Coat the bottom of a lasagna pan with 1/2 cup of sauce.

When the noodles are ready, add a single layer to the pan topped by a layer of the tofu mixture (I used about 2 heaping tbsp of mixture per noodle). Alternate layers until you are out of noodles (hint preserve some of the better [unbroken] noodles for the top). Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of sauce on the top layer of noodles. Bake covered at 375 for 20-30 minutes until heated through. (Or if using No Boil, bake covered at 350 for 40-60 minutes. Start checking at 40 minutes for doneness.)

Remove from the oven and cover with shredded soy mozzarella. Place under the broiler and broil – watching carefully until shredded cheese begins to bubble. Remove promptly once the cheese is melted as shortly thereafter it will blacken and then burn. [Warning, if you bake the soy mozzarella on top of the lasagna it may dry out and not melt as much when you broil it, it is better to add after baking.] [You can also use Daiya Shredded Mozzarella, if so, uncover and add for the last 5-10 minutes of baking.]

One final note, I’ve been pre-melting my Vegan Gourmet in the microwave and then drizzling it over what I’m making. I find this works best for things that aren’t oven baked – cheese steaks, tacos, nachos, etc. I think the next time I make this, baked ziti, or stuffed shells, I’m going to stick to broiling it.



Meat Lasagna – include cooked ground beef either in the tofu mixture or in a layer on top of the lasagna but below the shredded cheese.

Baked Ziti – I use this same tofu mixture tossed with cooked pasta (ziti, etc) to make Gluten Free / Dairy Free / Vegan Baked Ziti 

Lasagna rolls – Haven’t tried this yet but should be able to use the tofu mixture in individually rolled Lasagna noodles. Obviously, this won’t work with No Boil Noodles!

Stuffed Shells – I also use pretty much this same recipe for Gluten Free / Vegan / Dairy Free Stuffed Shells

Recipe Pages:

All of the recipes on this site are listed here: Gluten Free Recipes flagged by allergen, but you may also be interested in my listing of Vegan Recipes and/or my list of Dairy Free Recipes (that you'd expect to contain dairy).

If you try this recipe and have success please let me know by leaving a comment below!