Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Say hello to...Asian Home Gourmet spice pastes.

I LOVE asian food and am so thankful for the variety of asian products here in Seoul. When my schedules too hectic and I don't have time to make an elaborate meal from scratch, I like to use Asian Home Gourmet spice pastes. You don't have to find some odd asian spice, chop it up, or mix it up. All the hard work is done for you, just add meat and vegetables! Although the company doesn't label their packages as gluten-free, the ingredients are clearly listed. My favorites are Butter Chicken, Korma Curry, Lemongrass Chicken, and Green Curry. Check out the full Asian Home Gourmet product list.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Say hello to...Trader Joe's gluten-free brownie mix.

When my friend came back from her vacation in the States, she brought back a gluten-free surprise for me! She surprised me with Trader Joe's gluten-free brownie mix. I'm not a huge fan of brownies but was more than satisfied with these. I substituted apple sauce in place of the vegetable oil, and they were nice and moist! If you live near a Trader Joe's, give them a try!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Say hello to...honey mustard dressing.

A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for an easy balsamic & olive oil dressing. I received a comment on that post and realized that a lot of people probably don't make their own salad dressings. Once you make them yourself though, you'll soon realize that they taste SO much better. Here's a new salad dressing recipe that I recently discovered:

1/2 tsp chopped or smashed garlic
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard (dijon mustard works great too)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil

Mix all the ingredients together and shake well before using. I like to triple the recipe and keep it in my fridge for the whole week.  This recipe serves 4. 

Enjoy your salad :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Say hello to...chicken bouillon cubes.

Of course homemade soup broths are everyone's first choice. But in case you don't have time to make your own homemade broth, Herb-Ox offers gluten-free, MSG free bouillon cubes in many flavors; chicken, beef, pork, and vegetable. Check your local grocery store today for Herb-Ox bouillon cubes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Say hello to...McCormick spices.

It's hard to believe that some companies include gluten in their spice products. But it's nice to know that there are companies out there that do carry gf lines, and clearly mark their products when there is gluten. McCormick spices 'Gourmet Collection' is entirely gf, along with many other McCormick products. Below is their company statement of whether their products include gluten or not:

All of our single ingredient spices and herbs are gluten-free and 100% pure, with nothing added to them. All of our extracts, including Pure Vanilla, are also gluten-free. Some of our products do contain gluten, and this will be clearly listed in BOLD type within the ingredient statement. We do not maintain a list of gluten-free products, as our formulas change from time to time.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Say hello to...Nikaido tea.

While it seems only natural that tea should be gluten-free, there is some tea that contains gluten. Celestial Chai Tea and Teavana Utopian Jewel Oolong both state on their websites that they contain/may contain gluten. Still, there are great companies like Stash and Tazo (sold at Starbucks) that state on their websites that they are gluten-free. I tend to stick to loose leaf tea not only because it's safer, but it tastes a whole lot better too. My absolute favorite tea these days is from Nikaido tea shop in Steveston, Richmond, BC, Canada. Yes, it's a pretty specific location, but well worth the visit. If you happen to make it there, definitely try their Sencha green tea.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Say hello stores on ipod touch.

Not only is there loads of information on the internet regarding gluten-free stores, but now you can have your very own list on your ipod! If you haven't tried out the ipod touch, you have yet to find out how easy it is to use, and how much information can be accessed through it. Although I do have an ipod touch, I'm unable to access the gluten-free stores since I'm currently not living in North America. However, if you have used this function on the ipod, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it and whether or not it's been helpful. It sounds like a pretty useful tool to me.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Say hello to...cashew chicken.

I've mentioned before how much I love Thai Food. This Thai dish (Kai Pad Med Ma Muang) 
is made with oyster sauce (which has wheat), but I substitute it with Suree Brand Pad Thai sauce since they have the same thickness. The Pad Thai sauce is sweeter, so I hold the sugar from the regular recipe. Here it is:

2 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp gf soy sauce (I use tamarind sauce)
pinch ground pepper
3/4 cup chicken breast, thinly sliced
2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1/2 cup onions, sliced
1/2 cup straw mushrooms, cut in quarters
1/4 cup carrot, thickly sliced
1/4 cup water chestnuts, cut in quarters
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 tbsp pad thai sauce (instead of oyster sauce)
1 tbsp gf soy sauce
1 tsp chili oil
1/3 cup spring onions, cut into lengths
10 small dried red chilies
1 tsp coriander leaves, coarsely chopped to garnish

1. Whisk corn flour, soy sauce and pepper, then add chicken and stir until coated. Heat the oil in the wok, and fry the chicken, turning occasionally until tender. Place them to drain on paper towel and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in the wok and fry garlic until beginning to color. Add onions, mushrooms, carrots, water chestnuts and cashew nuts, and fry until all vegetables are cooked and crispy.  Add chicken and season with pad thai sauce, soy sauce and chili oil until well combined. Sprinkle spring onions and cook for about 30sec. Remove from heat.

3. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and dried chilies. Serve over brown rice.

Hope you find it tasty!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Say hello product list.

Do you ever get overwhelmed by all the non-labeled products at the grocery store? Until you're familiar with most brands, it can be a tedious task to research products and contact companies. Gluten-Free In SD is an informative site for individuals living gf within San Diego. They have a section on product updates that lists dated quotes of gf products from manufacturing companies (american products). Of course you should always still read the label in case there has been a change since the company last sent out their information. These lists should give you a good start to your research. Happy shopping :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Say hello to...positive things about celiacs.

I couldn't help but want to share this lovely positive note posted by the Gluten Free Optimist. Here are her top 10 positive things about having celiacs:

1. Your health is better!

2. You helped improve the health of other people by telling about the importance of testing for celiac disease.

3. You don’t need medicine or surgery to treat your disease.

4. You don’t have to share your food.

5. You save money by not impulsively buying sweets, by not impulsively eating out, and by not buying your lunch daily.

6. Since you read labels, you have a better idea of the nutritional facts and ingredients of the foods you eat and can make more informed choices.

7. You appreciate the small things in life and find joy in them like new good gluten free foods, the mention of gluten free or celiac on a television show, gluten free lists of foods and medicines, and an informative blog post or review.

8. You eat healthier at home when you don’t feel like driving far to eat out or buy gluten free convenience foods.

9. You have something to blog about.

10. You participate in amazing internet networking with other celiacs and have an instant bond with them.

Hope you're encouraged :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Say hello to...balsamic mustard vinaigrette.

Since I bring my own lunches to work, which are usually salads, I like to have a variety of salad dressings. I can't buy gluten-free salad dressings in Seoul, so I've started to make my own. There's a lot that you can do with simply balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and different arrangements of herbs. Here's my latest mix:

1 heaped tbsp of wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
5 tbsp of best olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Serves 4.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Say hello to...Larabar.

It's so convenient to always have a Larabar in my purse for when I'm hungry on-the-go. These nutritious bars fill the hunger pains, or atleast carry you over until your next meal. They consist of 100% real food (fruit & nut), have no added sugar, are unprocessed, raw, non-gmo, gluten-free, dairy free, soy free, vegan, and kosher. As you can see they come in a variety of flavors, however I really like the Apple Pie flavor. Try them out for yourself!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Say hello to...frozen tofu.

The other day I brought a tofu salad to an outing with my friends. When they saw the tofu, they were surprised by how it looked and tasted. I wondered how many people don't know about this tofu secret, and how everyone should hear about it! It's easy to make and has a completely different texture from the smooth and silky tofu that you're probably used to. Most people compare this sponge-like texture to meat, and it absorbs flavors much better than the smooth tofu. Simply buy tofu (preferrably firm tofu), drain the water from the container and give the tofu a gentle squeeze to release excess water. Put it in a sealed-tight container and freeze for atleast 24hrs or up to 2 weeks. When ready to use, de-thaw the tofu (preferrably not in the microwave, it'll crumble to pieces). You'll notice water rising in the container as it de-thaws, drain the water. I often cut it into cubes (squeezing the water from each cube) and bake it in the oven with a small amount of vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. It tastes great on salads with balsamic and olive oil dressing. Definitely give it a try!