30 Days to a Food Revolution Day 4- The Gluten-Free Homemaker

30 Days to a Food Revolution Day 4- The Gluten-Free Homemaker Welcome to Day 4.  Our guest blogger today is Linda from The Gluten-Free Homemaker.   Linda began her gluten-free journey in 2000 when she was diagnosed with celiac disease.   Her desire to share recipes and information about living gluten free led her to begin blogging in August 2008.

Linda’s recipe:  Gluten-Free Foccacia Bread & Hamburger Buns

Linda’s tip:  Get organized and plan

30 Days to a Food Revolution Day 4- The Gluten-Free Homemaker Most of us lead busy lives, and when premade packaged food is so readily available it’s easy to depend on those products and restaurants.  Being on a gluten free diet pushes me to to cook more and to cook from scratch.  I admit, though, that there are shortcuts I depend on.  I don’t make my own pasta sauce.  Spaghetti is one of those quick and easy meals I like to rely on, and it’s not hard to find gluten-free pasta sauce.  But I wish I did make everything from scratch.  It’s usually healthier, often cheaper, and almost always tastes better.

TIP:  Get organized and plan. I think one of the biggest reasons we turn to convenience items is because of time.  If we want to change that, we have to plan.  Plan how you are going to make changes, and plan what you will eat.  That will look different for each person.  I’m not a big menu planner on paper, but I do some planning in my head, and most of the time preparing real food dinners is not where I fall short.  It’s breakfast, lunch, and snacks.  Not that those don’t include real food, they just don’t get as much of my attention and sometimes fall short.  I could benefit from sitting down and thinking about where I want to go with that.

Here are some ways to organize and plan that might benefit you:

1.  Start with Recipes. Before you can cook anything you have to know what it is you want to make.  Get your recipes together and get them organized.  I used a database to compile mine. Lynn from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures has a great video on how she organizes her recipes.

2. Make a List of Quick & Easy Meals. If you don’t have a menu plan, or circumstances have changed and you can’t stick to it, it helps to have a list of quick meals you can throw together.  It might include things like tacos, a hearty salad, or spaghetti.  You can make these meals quicker by keeping cooked meat in the freezer such as shredded chicken, or browned ground beef.

3.  Menu Plan. When I do menu plan on paper, I usually do it for a whole month.  A week goes by quickly and it doesn’t take that much longer to plan a month than it does to plan a week.  Here are my easy menu planning tips.

4.  Try Freezer Cooking. Freezer cooking means that you cook and bake meals or pieces of meals ahead of time and freeze them for later use.  Try cooking on Saturday and freezing items for later in the week.  It doesn’t have to be a whole meal, though it might be.  Many times just having part of the meal done makes cooking that meal go so much faster, or at least seem a lot easier.

I buy large packages of ground beef, chuck roast, and chicken from BJ’s.  I usually divide the beef into one or two pound portions, brown it, sometimes adding onions or taco seasoning, and freeze it.  Chuck roast and chicken I usually cook in my pressure cooker, debone it, and shred it in my KitchenAid mixer.  I then divide and freeze it.

Cooked meat can be used in casseroles, salads, tacos, spaghetti, and more.  I don’t usually have the actual meal planned when I cook batches of meat, I just know it will help me out later.

One other benefit of freezer cooking is that it really does save time.  It’s quicker to cook and clean up six pounds of ground beef than it is to do one pound of beef six different times.

Gluten-Free Foccacia Bread & Hamburger Buns

30 Days to a Food Revolution Day 4- The Gluten-Free Homemaker

I went back and forth on what recipe to share on this post.  I decided on this because it freezes well and also works well with frozen meats like I mentioned above.  I like to make a batch of hamburger buns and freeze them for cookout season.  Then when we have burgers or are invited to a cookout, I can pull one out of the freezer.

I also like to use the buns or cake pan size foccacia bread sliced horizontally to make barbecue chicken or beef sandwiches.  If you have the meat already cooked, you can focus on making the bread and adding some vegetables.

I know homemade bread can seem like a big chore, but this is a flat bread, and it’s not difficult nor too time consuming.  I hope you give it a try if you haven’t already.

30 Days to a Food Revolution Day 4- The Gluten-Free Homemaker

Ingredients

Dry:

1 1/3 c. brown rice flour

2/3 c. sweet rice flour

1 c. tapioca starch

1 Tb. Instant (or bread machine) yeast

2 tsp. unflavored gelatin

1 Tb. xanthan gum

1/2 tsp. onion powder (optional)

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. sugar or honey

Wet:

1 – 1 1/4 c. warm water

4 eggs

1/4 c. olive oil

1 tsp. vinegar

Topping:

olive oil

Italian seasoning

coarse salt

Instructions

Mix the wet ingredients together in the bowl of your mixer using 1 cup of the water.  Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and beat for 2 minutes. Add more water if it is too dry.  The dough should be very soft and sticky.

Transfer the dough to greased pans. I use English muffin rings to make hamburger buns.  You can also put it in two 9 or 10 inch cake pans if you want to slice and make large sandwiches, or  a large cookie sheet if you want to use it for dipping to just to accompany a meal.  Let it rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and Italian seasoning.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. The top should be nicely browned.  Don’t slice the bread while it is still hot or it will be gummy inside.  Let it cool at least until it is just warm.

You can find more on Linda’s blog post today Food Revolution.

Don’t forget:

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!

  1. Leave a comment on this blog on as many of the 30 guest food bloggers as you like.  Each comment is an entry.
  2. Sign up for The W.H.O.L.E. Gang newsletter.
  3. Visit that guest blogger’s site and leave a comment there too.
  4. 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.

29 Responses to 30 Days to a Food Revolution Day 4- The Gluten-Free Homemaker

  1. Jenn April 29, 2010 at 1:34 am #

    Wow Linda, you are just a wealth of useful information, I learn something every time I read what you write! Thanks for these great tips and mmm that bread looks awesome!

  2. gfe--gluten free eas April 29, 2010 at 2:07 am #

    Linda–Wonderful post! I'm like you … I tend to do more planning in my head than on paper, and sometimes breakfast and lunch plans do fall short. I find it's especially never a good idea to have lunch arrive and have no plans. So I almost always have a variety of foods and snacks in my lunch bag (banana, apples, different nuts–my old standbys), but it's helpful to me to plan that protein every day. I do best when I buy a variety of salad greens (including the shredded cole slaw mix) and a roast chicken for the week. A week of salad greens topped with a little chicken, different nuts, dried cranberries, etc. really does make me feel good and keep me happy. And, I really do love making breakfast or lunch out of little bites, usually a variety of leftovers.

    Your breads always look amazing! I came close to making your pockets last night, but was running too late. Hopefully, this weekend though. I know they will make Mr. GFE very happy … and me, too, for that matter. Now off to check out your links!

    Thanks so much,

    Shirley

  3. Jenn April 29, 2010 at 4:04 am #

    Wow Linda, you are just a wealth of useful information, I learn something every time I read what you write! Thanks for these great tips and mmm that bread looks awesome!
    BTW I love your blog!

  4. Linda April 29, 2010 at 5:17 am #

    Jenn ~ Thanks so much. I love your blog too!

    Shirley ~ Great ideas. I often depend on salad too. I was actually thinking more of my family when I mentioned the other meals. Since they can eat gluten, there is more junk food to fall back on. I was doing better with breakfasts for a while, but have gone back to just offering cereal. I try to make good choices there and don't by sugary cereal, but I prefer to have other food for them at least some of time.

  5. Aubree Cherie April 29, 2010 at 5:46 am #

    Thanks Linda, you raise some great points! I, too, do a lot with freezer food. Its a lifesaver! And as always, you're so practical. I really appreciate that about you and your blog. Fancy is nice in photos, but simpler recipes and/or tips are what we all need for our day to day living.

    The hamburger buns look great. I've never tried to make anything like them before, it would be interesting to give them a try!

    ~Aubree Cherie

  6. Janette April 29, 2010 at 6:13 am #

    Recipe looks interesting. I'm a vegetarian though – can I substitute pectin for the gelatin? Or is there something else I can substitute? Thanks!

  7. Sarah April 29, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    Great tips, thank you!

    I am going to try those recipes :)

  8. mama April 29, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    i'm a paper, er iPod, planner. I find myself stressed when I don't fully plan my meals for the week. breakfast, lunch, and dinner. usually I also plan out a few snacks to make during the week too but most of the time snacks are fruits and/or veggies.

  9. Kelly April 29, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    Wow that looks good! Well done =)

  10. Jenna April 29, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    I often do freezer cooking, it is a great help on busy days. I haven't actually tried to make gf bread, but this might be a good time to try. Hamburger buns would be great to have in the freezer for the BBQ season.

  11. Linda April 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    Aubree Cherie ~ You have me pegged right as practical, and I agree, that's what we need for day to day.

    Janette ~ You can just omit the gelatin. It helps with the texture a little, but the bread will be fine without it.

    Sarah & Kelly ~ Thank you, and you're welcome.

    Mama~I need to plan all the meals, that's great that you do. I agree that fruit and veggies are great snacks. I think we would all reach for veggies more if I had them washed, cut and ready to eat.

    Jenna ~ Glad to know freezer cooking works well for you. I hope you give the bread a try.

  12. Marissa April 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    Organization truly is key especially if we want to see follow through and success! Working with clients on simple dietary changes has shown me that what once was seemingly so simple, really isn't for some people these days. We need re-education and support in taking things step-by-step! Thanks for leading the way!

  13. Breanna April 29, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    Hi Linda- thanks for the organizing tips; I need to organize, especially my recipes, and this is good inspiration!

  14. Cathy April 29, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    This looks like a very practical recipe that can be used with a lot of different fillings. Thanks!

  15. Deanna April 30, 2010 at 3:05 am #

    I really need to get some english muffin rings. So many gluten free bun recipes need them. Mmmmm….

  16. Jennifer April 30, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    Looking forward to trying this… I am definitely a planner. Yet, I haven't gotten myself to the point yet where I'm planning more than a few days ahead – much less a month. It is definitely on my to do list though! Thanks for the tips.

  17. Linda April 30, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    Marissa, Breanna, Cathy, & Jennifer ~ You're all welcome. I appreciate your comments.

    Deanna ~ English muffin rings definitely come in handy. I started with one set and ended up buying another. I think they are worth purchasing.

  18. Melissa April 30, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    Thank you so much for having your own food revolution! I love it!

  19. Ellen Allard April 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Linda – what a wonderful and informative post. I've read through it twice, and plan to read it again. Great links, too. My best weeks, from a nutrition standpoint, are the best when I plan meals for the week. I always feel so accomplished when I do that, which I must confess, I don't do as much as I'd like to. But your email has inspired me. I fully plan to return to weekly menu planning. Another thing I've always wanted to do is OAMC (once a month cooking) – you know, make duplicate meals and freeze. That would be hugely helpful too. Someone else mentioned about using their Ipod for planning menus. Duh. Why didn't I think of that? I have these great tools literally and figuratively at my fingertips – time to put them to good use! Again, thank you so much for your inspiration and wonderful content.

    Ellen
    http://www.Iamglutenffree.blogspot.com

  20. Alta April 30, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    I'm definitely a planner too! I do like the idea of cooking JUST to put it in the freezer for later. I do this with broth and soups, but not much else. I should have an all-out cooking day!

  21. Dinners and Dreams May 2, 2010 at 3:56 am #

    Wonderful bread. Perfect for a sandwich.

    Nisrine

  22. Linda May 2, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Melissa ~ You're welcome. Thanks for the comment.

    Ellen~You're welcome. I'm glad you found it so informative. Good luck on the menu planning and cooking ahead.

    Alta~I can see you as a planner. I plan on doing a baking day and cooking day in the very near future, and was thinking about getting others to join. We'll see.

    Dinners & Dreams ~ Thanks!

  23. Holly Varner May 3, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    I don't have sweet rice flour is there something I could try instead?

  24. Linda May 3, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    Holly ~ Just use more brown rice flour in place of the sweet rice flour. Sweet rice flour helps make it moist, but it should still be good.

  25. cindy May 4, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    I have to try and make my own hamburger buns…sounds good…

  26. Kelli May 17, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    I really just need to take the time to make hamburger buns. Thanks for the recipe.

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