Welcome to Day 3. Today’s guest blogger is Ellen Allard from I am Gluten Free.
Ellen started her blog in January 2006, shortly after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Six months earlier, her hairdresser noticed two unusually large bald patches on her scalp. After appointments with three different dermatologists (the first two said it was nerves!), she was tested for and diagnosed with Alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes your hair to fall out. Six months later, a blood test confirmed Celiac Disease. It was at that point that she began connecting the dots, realizing that she had lived with stomachaches, headaches, muscle aches, mood swings, and intense non-stop hunger for her entire life, all because of undiagnosed Celiac Disease. In addition to being dairy free (one year after going gluten free), Ellen has embraced gluten free cooking and baking with unbridled enthusiasm and is dedicated to sharing her love of all things food with others. In addition to being a fulltime musician with her husband (www.peterandellen.com), she writes about gluten free living for numerous publications and she teaches gluten free cooking and baking classes. One of her most favorite activities is developing new and delicious gluten free and dairy free recipes (and sometimes egg free) that always have people asking for more!
Ellen’s recipe: Buffalo Tofu with Dairy Free Ranch Dressing plus Roasted New Potatoes
Ellen’s tip: always leave the house with a snack. Some ideas: crackers and peanut butter, sliced apples (sprinkled with lemon juice to keep them from browning) and cheese chunks, and celery sticks filled with cream cheese.
It seems to be that every person on the planet has a right to eat healthy food made from wholesome, nutritious ingredients. Foods that nourish us, not foods that cause us to be unhealthy. Not to mention how important it is for us to take the time to prepare food that will sustain us both in body and in spirit. That’s what Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is all about. And to join forces with Jamie, a bunch of us bloggers, myself included, are participating in Diane’s 30 Days To A Food Revolution. We hope to demonstrate via our blog posts, how easy it is to prepare healthy, delicious, nutritious food. By doing so, we will be giving our blog readers a new way to approach what ends up on our plates and ultimately in our bodies and the bodies of those we feed. We will be gently taking people by the virtual hand and encouraging them to resist the urge to order take-out or throw a frozen pizza in the oven and instead show them how to prepare food from scratch. Is it more time consuming? Um, sometimes. Is it worth it? Yes, yes, yes!
Ok, I’m ready to get to the food. My choice for this event is Buffalo Tofu with Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing.
Back in the days pre-GF, when we would eat out at restaurants that had Buffalo Chicken Wings on the menu, you could take it to the bank – for sure, I’d order them. I’m not much for eating chicken these days, and even if they were certified gluten free, chances are pretty good that I wouldn’t be ordering them. Though I used to love how crisp the outside of the wings were, today I know better. I probably did then too, but I ignored it. But the truth is, when you order them in a restaurant, they’re usually deep-fried and laden with oil not to mention that the sauce probably had tons of butter in it and the whole thing probably had at least a katrillion calories, and not the good kind either!
Back in the pre-GF days, I could’ve recreated that gotta-have-Buffalo-Chicken-Wing orgy by buying them frozen. Tyson makes ‘em. They’re called Any’tizers® Buffalo Style Hot Wings® and come frozen in a bag. But if you click over to the link I’ve included and look at the table, you’ll see why they’re a terrible choice, at least from a nutrition standpoint. Not to mention that they’re probably coated with some sort of breading.
And I could make them gluten free from this recipe: Gluten Free Hooters Buffalo Wings . But heck, they’re still a TON of calories, and again, not the good kind. I’m just not willing to waste my calories on deep-fried foods (unless they’re french fries!).
There are lots of other options for pre-made gluten free chicken wings but the whole purpose of this post is to get you to start thinking about making your own food from scratch and cutting out the middle man/woman.
As for me, I’ve been missing those wings and decided I needed to find a way to recreate the experience. I wanted that sauce to drip down my fingers. I wanted to practically lick the plate. But I needed to find a gluten free and dairy free way to do it that didn’t include chicken. A seemingly tall task, I know. I started thinking about what I loved so much about the wings. I realized that it wasn’t just the crispness of the wings, but it was also the flavor of the sauce that they were drenched in. I liked it so much that I probably would’ve bathed in it given the chance. I had to figure out a way to create that wow-over-the-top taste that had me swooning.
After a little online searching, I found a recipe from Chow Vegan’s blog that would prove to give me exactly the taste I was looking for. I used Chow Vegan’s recipe as a starting place and then made a number of modifications that suited my tastebuds to a tee.
Buffalo Tofu With Dairy Free Ranch Dressing
1 lb. extra-firm tofu
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika (can use regular paprika instead)
2 tbsp Earth Balance butter
1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Original Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Slice the tofu in rectangular slabs about 1/2″ thick. Slice each slab into smaller sticks of tofu. Place on a metal baking sheet with sides. Brush 1 tbsp olive oil over the tofu sticks. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/8 tsp smoked paprika. With a pair of tongs, gently turn the tofu over and brush on the remaining olive oil, sea salt, and smoked paprika.
Place in oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently but firmly use a spatula to loosen the tofu sticks and turn them over to roast for another 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the Earth Balance in a saute pan that will be large enough to hold all of the tofu sticks after they’ve roasted in the oven. When melted, add the hot pepper sauce and stir to combine. Add the roasted tofu sticks and toss to thoroughly coat the sticks with the sauce. Serve with carrot sticks, celery sticks, and ranch dressing.
1/4 cup soy milk
1/4 cup Vegenaise or other vegan mayonnaise
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine all of the ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. Chill until ready to use.
Round out your dinner by adding a fresh green salad with balsamic vinagrette dressing and roasted new potatoes and you’ll have a delicious and healthy meal that you made from scratch. Time it took to make: approximately 1 hour including prep time and the time it took to roast the tofu and potatoes.
Roasted New Potatoes
1 lb. small new potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
Scrub and quarter the potatoes. Toss with olive oil and kosher salt. Spread in roasting pan and roast in 450 degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes.
Find more from Ellen on her blog post, 30 Days to a Food Revolution- Gluten Free Style.
In order to be entered to win one of 7 cookbooks, here’s what you need to do to gather entries into the drawing. The more you do, the more chances you have to win!
- Leave a comment on this blog on as many of the 30 guest food bloggers as you like. Each comment is an entry.
- Sign up for The W.H.O.L.E. Gang newsletter.
- Visit that guest blogger’s site and leave a comment there too.
- Tweet about this project using both of these in your tweet so I’ll find you #30days2 #foodrevolution
When the initial 30 days of guest posts are over on June 4th, we’ll pick the winners.