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Jan. 9th, 2020

Frugal Celiac


This journal is dedicated to living a frugal, gluten free life. All the recipes are original creations by me and/or Mr. Frugal, unless noted otherwise.

One concern I've heard expressed by many people with Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerances is how much their grocery bill increased once they gave up gluten. Another concern is in regards to how there's not enough variety. This concern mostly comes from people who are new to a gluten free lifestyle.

This doesn't have to happen!

Read more here!Collapse )

Follow the tags on the left of the page or check out the Memories section of my user profile to see listings of the different recipes, company "safe lists", and more separated into categories.

Also, take a gander at the websites I have linked (also located on the left of this page). I will be adding to the list as I go along.

Hope you enjoy.

Scroll down to read most recent entries and check back regularly for updates.

Also, be sure to visit The Frugal Celiac Website for tips on money saving, sewing, cooking, and so much more!

Sep. 13th, 2011

Hello Out There!!!

Phew!  It's been a while and there have been an awful lot of changes since my last posts.

I got a lot of testing done and learned I do not, in fact, have Celiac's.  This came from blood work, biopsy, and genetic testing.  Instead, I simply have a gluten intolerance that acted like Celiac when I moved in with my previous (now ex) boyfriend.  Apparently extreme levels of stress can cause an intolerance to behave like an allergy in various ways.

My husband, however, got sick while doing the gluten challenge and went gluten free again before he could get the blood work done.  He went in to get the genetic test done with me, and he rated as having the gene.  Our doctor said that with his reactions and the genetic test, she felt safe saying he developed Celiac Disease.  (That's one reason I decided to keep this blog.  I'm "frugal" and he's "celiac".  I think that works.)

We've tried giving our son gluten the last few months; he was 3 years old at the time and was gluten free up until then.  He had very minor reactions at first, but mainly because my mother gave him too much too soon.  He's on a limitted gluten diet and seems to be doing fine.  For the most part, he's gluten free save a small bit once a week at my mother's house.

My daughter is a different story.  She's breastfed (though now eating purees too) and has always reacted whenever I ate anything with gluten in it (even the accidental small amount).  Needless to say, I'm on a gluten free diet still.

We plan to have both children receive the genetic test when we can afford to do so.

By the way, that's one of the huge changes we've been adjusting to... Our daughter!  She was born at the end of 2010.  A rough pregnancy, easy birth, rough post partum period.  She's amazing though and we are very fortunate to have her in our lives.

Lastly, we moved to a new state just a few months after my daughter was born.  With working full time, adjusting to the new baby and the life changes there, managing our son (toddler), packing, home hunting, and so forth... We were very busy!

So we'll see how things go with this blog going forward.  :-)

Mar. 8th, 2009

gluten free

Apricot-Cherry Pork Loin - T&T

I'm not usually a fan of meat cooked in crock pots but this turned out wonderfully. I definitely plan to make this again in the future. Best part? I didn't have to buy any ingredients since I had everything on hand whether as a staple or left over ingredients from previous recipes. This was a great way to use up items (the two preserves, mustard, and pork loin) that was taking up space in my fridge and freezer.

1 whole pork loin (approx. 2 pounds)
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/2 cup cherry preserves
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
vegetable oil
Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown all sides of the pork loin and place in the slow cooker.

In a bowl, mix apricot preserves, cherry preserves, mustard, honey, and lemon juice. Pour over the pork loin. Place cover on slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-5 hours.

Remove roast and keep warm. Strain cooking juices into a measuring cup. If it totals less than 2 cups, add warm water to complete the difference. Pour into a saucepan and heat. In a cup, blend the cornstarch and cold water. Slowly pour into the saucepan, stirring the juices constantly until the cornstarch is well integrated. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly, and cook for 2 minutes (or until sauce is thickened). Skim and discard any white foam that forms. Remove sauce from heat. Serve sauce with the pork loin (sliced).

Created: 7 Mar 09
Crossposted to athomechef</lj> and My Thrifty Family.

Feb. 28th, 2009

gluten free

Chocolate Covered Strawberries - T&T

This is a recipe my mother taught me recently. She's been making chocolate covered strawberries for years and they are always a hit. They are so decadent. I never realized how easy they are to make!

1 package fresh strawberries
1/2 bag cooking chocolate chips (any flavor, though I prefer semi-sweet)
Solidified Shortening like Crisco or palm oil shortening (optional)

Wash and dry the strawberries. Set aside.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Pour some chocolate chips (about 1/4 cup) into a microwave safe bowl. If using, also put in about 1/4 tsp or less of the shortening. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. If the chips aren't melted fully after stirring, put in for another 15 seconds and stir. Repeat until the chips are melted. Be careful not to overcook them.
Take a strawberry and hold by the leaves. Dip in the melted chocolate and move to coat evenly. Set on lined cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining strawberries. If the chocolate hardens too much, reheat in microwave. If you run low, melt more chocolate the same way as explained above.
Let strawberries cool. Serve.

If you want to take this recipe to another level, you can use second type of chocolate and redip the tips of the strawberries in it or use the second melted chocolate to make stripes or dots on them. My mother likes doing that as well, and they turn out beautifully.

Tested: 16 Feb 2009
Tags: ,

Feb. 12th, 2009

gluten free

Crustless Mozzarella-Onion Mini-Quiches

I sometimes make these while getting ready for work, and it only gets faster the more practice you get. Also, you can use muffin tins, which has sped up the cooking time for me in the past. I just love mini quiches!!!

4 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk (we used skim)
shredded mozzarella cheese
sliced onion
a couple tsps butter
cooking oil (olive oil or veggie oil)

Preheat toaster oven to 425° F.

Heat pan with butter. Toss in onion sliced and cook until somewhat soft and translucent. Set aside. Take mini pie pans and coat lightly with oil to reduce sticking. Place onions in the mini pie pans, filling them about 1/2 way. Add cheese to 1/2 remaining space (or slightly more, leave room at top of mini pan for expansion). Do not press down to pack tightly.

Beat the eggs and mix with the milk/cream. Pour over the cheese in the mini pie pans until it is just a little higher than the bulk of the cheese surface.

Place pans in toaster oven and cook until the tops start turning a light golden color (check after 5 minutes, and every 5 minutes after that... this doesn't take long). Turn down the heat to 350° F and cook another 15 to 25 minutes until done (check every 5 minutes after the first 15, but remember to keep watch as all toaster ovens are different). If toothpick is poked in the center and comes out clean without liquid filling the hole it left, than the quiche is done. Remove from toaster over, let cool slightly, remove from pan and serve (or put into bento!).

Created: 11 Feb 2009
Crossposted to Be My Bento.

Jan. 6th, 2009

gluten free

Spicy Mushroom Soup - T&T, OR

I made this soup last night. Basically, Mr. Frugal and I got home after doing some rushed grocery shopping at the Crown Asian Market and BJs. Too bad I didn't realize that we are almost out of dried Shiitake mushrooms!!! Guess we'll have to see if there's any at the tiny Korean convenience store around the corner. Anyways, we got home and felt hungry, but didn't have time to make something too complex or time consuming since we had to pick up the baby in not too long. We also didn't want something too heavy, but I wanted something with a good deal of flavor. We also already had some meat earlier, before we went to the grocery stores, so we wanted something with only vegetables. So... what better than an asian inspired soup!!!

Here's the recipe. (Picture will have to come later, if I have time.)

4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 small onion, quartered and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, sliced
1 green korean pepper, thinly sliced (do not remove the seeds)
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
4 large fresh white button mushrooms, sliced (type you find at most grocery stores)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 handful of dry Rice Flake Noodles (optional)
1 scallion (green onion), sliced into small pieces to garnish (optional)

Fill a 4 liter sauce pan half way with water. Place dried shiitake mushrooms into the water (dark insides facing down) and bring the water to a boil. Turn down the heat so the water boils lighly or is a strong simmer. (I prepped the other veggies while the mushrooms were rehydrating, to save time.) When the mushrooms are soft, take them out of the water to cool.

Put the onion into the mushroom broth. While the onion pieces are cooking, slice the shiitake mushrooms and put back into the soup. Stir. When the onions soften a little, add the carrot, korean pepper, ginger and garlic. Stir. Boil until the carrot pieces soften a little, and then add the white mushroom slices. Skim off any foam that might develop and discard.

After a minute or two, add the soy sauce and sugar. Stir again. Add Rice Flake Noodles. When the noodles are soft (to your preference), turn off the heat. Tranfer to soup bowls and garnish with scallion pieces.

If you can't find
green korean peppers, you may omit this ingredient (for a less spicy soup), add a different hot pepper that is mild to medium spiciness, or use a tiny amount of dried korean red pepper powder or small amount of dried red pepper flakes.

The ginger pieces can be a sharp flavor that some might not like. You may cut the ginger into chunks or slices and remove them before adding the noodles. This will keep the delicate flavor it adds without the sharp flavor that occurs when the pieces are eaten.

If you can't find
Rice Flake Noodles, you may cook some rice vermicelli noodles and put them into the serving bowls before adding the soup. If you can't find either, I would have the soup without any noodles. It's pretty hearty as is.

Created: 5 January 2009
Tags: ,

Jan. 3rd, 2009

gluten free

Pan Fried Buttered Skate - T&T, OR

I ate skate...

It was gooooooood!

Take the skate wing, rinse it off, pat it dry, and cut it into long slices across the muscle grain (which I don't think was necessary, but worked fine). In a large cast iron pan, melt several (approx 4) Tbsps butter. Mix some cornstarch, salt and pepper in a bowl and coated the skate slices before gently placing them in the pan. Turn the pieces when the meat started turning opague and the bottom was a light golden brown. After the other side is browned, remove them from the pan. (This only took a couple of minutes.) Place them on separate plates and spoon some of the remaining butter on top. They were served with leftover our leftover Oven Roasted Green Beans and Tomatoes side dish from earlier that evening.

The skate wing was tender. Very tender. Like a mix of flounder and cooked crab meat. The flavor was delicate like that of crab or lobster. It was almost disconcerting to eat something that you know *should* have a different texture and taste but doesn't (because... well... who would think a skate would taste or feel like that?!?). Some people do more to season the meat, but I wanted to get a good feel for the actual flavor. Hence why I used only butter, cornstarch, salt and pepper.

Created: 2 January 2008

(cross posted to mankycat  and athomechef )

Dec. 15th, 2008

Frugal Celiac

Quick update and thoughts on Baby Food!

Sorry for not posting in so long!

With a new baby (now not so new!), working full time, and my husband working several nights a week, things have been pretty darned busy.  I'm hoping to be a bit more on the ball and post a bit more often.

I started thinking about posting only the recipes I perfected, which is what a number of other blogs do, but I don't think I will.  I've always put a statement at the top and bottom of each food post, stating what could be done differently, what we plan to do differently if we make it again, and how we felt about it.  Anything that doesn't pass as a "I would try this again, just like it is" would not be posted here.  (If this changes, I'll let you know, but that also would mean less posts as I wait to try to perfect things I might not actually decide to make again for a good while.)

My husband and I have been making our own baby foods.  Our son only eats one veggie type per week at this point. We skipped the rice cereal stage, mainly because my son hasn't needed it.  I produce plenty of milk for him and probably could keep him exclusively breastfed without concern about him going hungry. He's 7 months old, and is in the top 90% to 95% in both weight and height. He's wearing 18 month old clothes. So, obviously, he's not going hungry anyways. The baby food is just to get him used to other tastes and textures (as the doctor put it).

Really, baby food right now is so easy and simple that I don't really feel the need to write the recipes. They are barely what I would call a recipe. But I will write some things about it, I'm sure.

This is the orange month, so my baby started with sweet potatoes. Cooked in the microwave, mashed, and pressed through a sieve to get the even, safe, paste texture. The sweet potato mush was then cooled and thinned with breastmilk. I thinned it to a cream soup consistency.

One way to get your baby to accept the food a bit easier the first time or two is to use your finger. Scoop up some of the soupy food and allow him (or her) to suck it off your finger. I did that a couple feedings to get him accustomed to the flavors and feel of the food, and then had no problem switching him to using a baby (or even a bento) spoon. Then again, my son is definitely an "Eater." He's loved every food so far and doesn't mind the spoon on bit.

He's also had a week of pumpkin and a week of carrot. (Both were steamed, mashed, sieved, cooled, and thinned.) We freeze most of it, using silicon icecube tray, and only keep out enough for him to eat in 2 to 3 days.

Today, I plan to prep some sweet peas for him.

We are holding off on fruits for one reason. They are sweeter than veggies. I want my son to try a few more veggies first (some green ones), so that he doesn't automatically turn his nose away from what could be bitter in contrast to fruit. When he does start fruit, his first one might just be a banana. *grins* (My little brother was addicted to bananas when he was a very young child, especially while my family lived in Korea. Needless to say, we had trouble getting him to eat anything else. Hence, some of my concern regarding giving fruit to early.)

Now... one concern to keep in mind when making your own baby food is pesticides. The levels used that are "safe" for adults are not typically so for children, especially infants. So keep that in mind if you decide to make your own. Also, a tip I read is to feed your baby the new food in the morning up to early afternoon. If he (or she) has an allergic reaction, you will have a higher chance of getting hold of your doctor and getting him (or her) there before the office closes.

Anyways, I will be posting some new recipes too (both my own and possibly some I've found). Till then, hope all of you are having a wonderful December!

Oct. 17th, 2008

gluten free

Blueberry Daifuku - OR, T&T

Tonight was my first attempt at making Daifuku. 

Daifuku is basically a mochi dumpling that is stuffed with a sweet filling. Usually the filling is an anko paste (a sweet red bean paste), but they aren't limited to that. Daifuku is a popular treat in Japan.

My husband and I aren't used to mochi or it's consistancy though we've tried it in a few forms. I know this might be an acquired taste, so we are going to give it more time. These were pretty good, this fact and that it was my first attempt. Go figure I didn't really bother with a recipe. I simply did a bit of research to get an idea of how they are made and then gave it a try. The consistancy felt right (from what I know about mochi) and the base ratios were correct. My husband liked that tang from the blueberries. This recipe is easy enough, I can see using it as a base for more different types of Daifuku.
So... I'm going to post the recipe with a few notes of changes I might try next time.
Blueberry Daifuku
 1 cup glutinous rice flour (also called sweet rice flour), like Mochiko
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar, plus extra for covering
1/8 tps vanilla extract
1 drop food coloring (we used green)
Frozen blueberries
Potato starch, for dusting
In a sauce pan, heat the water on medium-high heat. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the vanilla extract and the food coloring. When water is at a boil, turn down the heat to medium and add the rice flour. Stir to blend until smooth. If it gets too thick to stir, add a couple tablespoons of water.
When the rice flour in fully incorporated, transfer it to a cutting board or other flat work surface with a spatula. Don't use your hands as the mixture will be very hot. You may dust the surface with potato starch before putting the rice flour mixture on it, which may help with sticking. A thin layer of the mixture will stick to the pot. Don't worry about scraping it all off. Spread the rice mixture evenly on the flat surface to promote even cooling.
Dust your hands with potato starch and start pulling pieces off of the dough. Roll them into balls (about as big as a quarter all around), then flatten into disks. Take a blueberry and put one on each of the mochi disks. Pinch the edges of the disks together and seal shut. Gently roll the dumpling in the sugar and set aside to eat. When finished, serve immediately or freeze.

*Notes: Next time, I want to used a fresh fruit or harder filling. Defrosted frozen blueberries were a bit soft and runny. Thickened blueberry pie filling might work well, but it would need to be a paste-like consistancy and would need to be set in the freezer to harden. I would also use some of the final sugar more in the process. I would like to see how these would turn out if they were lightly baked or cooked further in some other method. I do have to say that it was pretty good for first try and for something we just aren't quite used to.

Created: 16 Oct 2008.   Also posted on Be My Bento.

Oct. 7th, 2008

Frugal Celiac

Food/Kitchen Meme

What's your cooking style?
Quick hodge-podge meals. Honestly. That’s part of why I LOVE making Asian inspired foods. Stir-fries are pretty quick, easy, healthy, and usually inexpensive. I do like to experiment with foods, recipes and styles from different countries and regions (including my own). I love recipes, especially when I’m trying a style that is very new or I just don’t want to “scrounge” or do a throw together meal, but usually they end up being more an inspiration to me or a tester. I usually do my own thing.

What's always in your pantry?
Rice, soy sauce, fish sauce, Korean ground red pepper, rice flour, sugar, and salt.

What inspires your kitchen?
I like my kitchen to be a comfortable place that has a “home”, warm, and semi-old world appeal. We have herbs and peppers hanging up to dry with onions in a basket nearby. I like people to be able to look around and feel peace and nurturing (as new age as that probably sounds). I feel the kitchen should help you relax, which will have a better effect on your food.

Favorite tool or element:
My silicone spatulas and cast iron pans.

Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:

A recipe is only a guide, not a rule (typically).

Biggest challenge in your kitchen:
Space. It’s not the smallest kitchen, but it sure isn’t large.  ;-)
Biggest indulgence:
My blender. I love that thing. (For my husband, it was a new Classic Kitchen Aid Mixer.)

Dream tool or splurge:
My own kitchen in my own house decorated and laid out the way I want it.

What are you cooking this week?
Hoping to make some chicken and carrot stuff I found recipes for. I’m still figuring out the rest.

Desert island cookbook?
My mother’s handwritten collection of recipes. It’s purely a sentimental thing. I love that book and told her that when she plans to toss it, I want it.

Favorite meal cooked here:
Refrigerator Pickles and my uber simple potato soup. :-)

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