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
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
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.
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
1 – 1 1/4 c. warm water
1/4 c. olive oil
1 tsp. vinegar
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.
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.