Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Say It Loud

Gluten Hurts My Tummy Ornament (Round)

I ran across this website today and it made me laugh.  Because yes, gluten does hurt my tummy.  I want this.  I also like this one:

Gluten Free Kisses Only Ornament (Round)

Get it, kisses? 

Monday, November 26, 2012

biPro Whey Protein

Last month the folks at biPro emailed me asking if I'd like to try their Whey Protein.  I like to try new things so they sent me a few samples.  biPro is unflavored, gluten free, carb free, sugar free, fat free, and lactose free.  It is 100% pure protein and doesn't have any added fillers.  I don't generally use protein powder in my day to day life, but two men in my life do.  I figured I'd give it a try and ask them to try it as well to get their expert opinions.

My man friend runs his own personal training company.  Not only does he train people, but he exercises a lot.  (I eat cookies a lot.)  He usually has a protein shake before he goes to the gym.  Here's what he thought of biPro:

"I think the product is good mainly because it's natural in comparison to similar products.  Other protein products are compounded with unnecessary ingredients that don't necessarily digest well.  Although I normally would rather a flavored brand of protein, this one mixes well with chocolate and fruit when making smoothies."

Because he usually just mixes protein powder with water quickly before the gym, he prefers when the powder has a taste.  Conversely, my dad has been searching for a protein powder that does not have a taste.  He had major surgery a year ago that has made it very difficult for him to gain weight (not a problem I am familiar with).  He is very particular and hates sweet drinks.  He has been drinking smoothies with protein powder as an afternoon snack and really dislikes the flavors of the protein powder sold in most stores.  biPro was a good find for him because it is unflavored and easy to digest on his post surgery body.

I love smoothies and decided to mix biPro with one I purchased by work.  I prefer all fruit smoothies rather than the addition of milk, yogurt, or ice cream.  However, I do like my smoothies a little thicker.  biPro thickened my smoothie without the addition of any fat or carbs.  What's not to like about that?

With my samples came a few different recipes for baking with biPro, all of which are gluten free.  I didn't get a chance to try any of them, but I think it's a cool idea.  Overall, I think biPro is a good product for whatever your whey protein needs may be.

Disclaimer - I did not pay for my samples of biPro.  However, everything I said here is true.

Thanksgiving 2012

I didn't take any pictures while I was home.  This is from the summer.
But it is the view from my backyard.  Vermont is lovely.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It's all about food and family.  I like it so much that this year I went to Canada for Canadian Thanksgiving just so I could celebrate the holiday twice.  Around Thanksgiving time most food bloggers post all sorts of new recipes for the holiday.  I didn't because we eat the same thing every year and I love it.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Last year we had to adapt Thanksgiving to be gluten free.  With the experimenting last year, this year was a breeze.  My mom even made me homemade gluten free stuffing this year using Udi's bread since I've never tried a packaged GF stuffing I've enjoyed.  I bought a mini GF pumpkin pie at the local co-op since I really didn't need an entire full size gluten free pie laying around.  It was pretty delicious.  We also had the creamed spinach, sweet potatoes, and mashed cauliflower again.  This year we added brussels sprouts to the menu, which I love.  I also had Almond Nut Thins around for all the cracker and cheese appetizers.

I spent six days at home laying low, eating good food, and visiting with family and friends.  What could be better?

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey - ebook review

Last Monday I got an email from Sibel Hodge asking if I'd like to review her cookbook: A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey.  My first thought was "heck yes".  My second thought was "...what is Turkish food?"  I didn't have to wonder for long because within a few hours I had a copy of Sibel's ebook.

Sibel has dual Turkish Cypriot and British nationality.  She started cooking gluten free for her husband who has Celiac.  I really enjoyed this little anecdote in her introduction about getting to know her husband:

I’m coeliac,’ he admitted sheepishly, just after I’d invited him round for dinner early on in our relationship.

‘Coeliac?’ I gave him an odd look, thinking he was trying to prepare me for some bizarre sexual quirk that sounded a bit dodgy.

Well, I breathed a huge sigh of relief, I can tell you, when he explained to me he had a disease that meant he was unable to eat gluten, not someone who wanted to dress up in lederhosen and be slapped with stinging nettles. Then I thought, unable to eat gluten? That must be really horrible, but how difficult can it be to cater for that? Well, not as easy as I first thought…

A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey is filled with funny little notes as well as a lot of great recipes.  It is broken into Meze, Soup, Salad, Egg Dishes, Pasta, Vegetable Dishes, Meat Dishes, Seafood, Dessert, Bread, and Drinks.  I like it because most of the recipes are naturally gluten free.

I couldn't decide on just one dish, so I made a Turkish feast (shout out to my boyfriend who eats everything I cook, even when I clearly have no idea what I'm doing).  I started with a yogurt and cucumber dip served with fresh veggies and individual corn bread.  I love yogurt dip as a dip, but also on main dishes like chicken and rice.  I'm so happy that now I know how to make it on my own.  The individual corn bread reminded me more of corn fritters than of what I would traditionally call corn bread.  But hey, who doesn't like a corn fritter?

I made two main dishes: Aubergine Bake and Chicken Casserole.  Aubergine is what we call eggplant in the US. According to Sibel, eggplants are eaten daily in one form or another in Turkey and North Cyprus.  I haven't cooked with eggplant in awhile so it seemed like a good opportunity.  Both of these recipes call for mozzarella melted on top.  How can you go wrong with melted cheese on top?  The answer is, you can't.

Other recipes I'd like to try include: Hummus, Sexy Cabbage, Bean Salad, and Beetroot Salad.

Overall I like this cookbook.  Sibel is funny and it's nice to have recipes on hand from a different type of cuisine.  A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey is available on Amazon for $4.99 and will be available in paperback soon.