Category Archives: Baking

Gluten free groceries at Trader Joe’s! #glutenfree #traderjoes

TJ's Handy Product Lists

The big day is finally here– Trader Joe’s is open on Dorset Street in South Burlington! This is Vermont’s first Trader Joe’s so in case you haven’t been to one before, here’s some advice for gluten free shopping:

1. Go to the manager’s desk on your first visit. It’s on the main grocery floor and they will give you a copy of their entire list of gluten-free items. They are super nice and helpful and it’s great to carry this list around the first few times you shop there or if you are new to gluten-free shopping!

2. Look for their gluten-free symbol on some packaged food items. These are sure to be gluten-free. Read the ingredients for items without the symbol and use your own best judgement. I find many items that are not labeled but to my knowledge, seem gluten-free. Note that items will include a disclaimer if they are processed in facilities or on shared equipment with wheat.

3. Check out the frozen food aisle. Some of my favorite items are the gluten-free toaster waffles, which are much cheaper than the ones in traditional grocery stores. There’s a number of other treats you may find in that section too!!! I also stock up on frozen fruit for smoothies.

4. If you’re a snacker, like me, you will love their nuts and dried fruit section! No sugar added, no sulfur dried mango! Delicious. Near-by you can usually find their nitrate-free beef jerky– inexpensive, gluten-free and a great snack for the car or such.

5. If you tolerate dairy, there’s lots of organic (and non-organic) dairy options (although I try to buy Vermont products when I can!!!).

6. Chocolate.

7. Sauces. Korma simmer sauce. Artichoke dip. You will find your favorites.

8. Gluten-free baking mixes. Sometimes hidden on a low self, TJ’s GF brownie mixes are delish. Try them out and search for other mixes to try out.

So, explore and have fun!!! Find your favorite gluten-free options and let us know about them in the comments section!




Vermont’s Gluten-Free Thanksgiving and Holiday Guide

photo (3)Cousin Jill visiting with a gluten-intolerance. Brother Mike has gone paleo. Gramma must have her pie. How to juggle all these needs? Fear not, putting together a delicious, gluten-free Thanksgiving takes some planning and will turn out great.

Try a spinach salad or stuffing made with gluten-free croutons.

What about that bird? Most Celiac’s or gluten intolerant folks won’t eat a turkey that’s been stuffed with regular stuffing. Try one of these delicious gluten-free stuffings! All are crowd-pleasers.

Now, what about pie??? By far my favorite part of Thanksgiving, so please don’t forget the whip cream. You can buy a frozen crust, make one from a box, or try one of these easy recipes! Or this one! These are all tried and true pie recipes… even Gramma will love them.

Side dishes? Easy! Try a sweet potato dish a la my cousin Julie or sweet potatoes with a twist from Mark Bittman. See the croutons above for a great spinach salad recipe. Check your green bean recipe– could be easily made gluten free!

Looking forward to the rest of the holiday session, give Gramma Ginnie’s brownies a try– modified to be gluten free, they are easy and always delicious!

Check out Gluten-Free Goddess for even more great inspirations for the holidays!


Gluten free baking packing on LivingSocial! @JulesGlutenFree

Just in time for the holidays, LivingSocial is offering a deal on Jule’s Gluten Free. The package costs $30 and includes “Includes five pounds of flour, cookie mix, cornbread mix, and grahams mix and five e-books featuring 203 gluten-free recipes.” This could make a great gift for someone you know who’s just gone gluten-free!!!

Due to my food allergies, I was curious what Jule’s flours were made of as I had never tried them. The basic flour mix contains the following:

Expandex, Modified Tapioca Starch, potato starch, corn starch, corn flour, white rice flour, xantham gum.

Expandex??? What the heck is that, you might ask. I had no idea. A quick Google search reveled it’s a propitiatory process of modified tapioca starch, with the brand name Expanex. According to the Expandex website, “Expandex® modified tapioca starch is a revolution in gluten-free baking. It enhances the texture and appearance of bakery applications so those living a gluten-free lifestyle can enjoy the foods they love.” Sounds like a miracle flour. Personally, I try to not eat a tapioca-based diet (it has no fiber or any other nutritional value) but it’s a great treat from time-to-time! It seems like this deal would be great for the holidays.



vegan, dairy free, gluten free, sugar free (healthy) Chocolate Mousse!

Finally, a dessert for everyone!!! My friend Nada swears this recipe is the best— no diary, gluten or sugar added! She suggests going lean on banana if you don’t like that flavor. So what the heck is in there? Bananas, avocado, dates, almond butter and cacao powder. The author suggests adding a squeeze of agave– but why not Vermontify it and use a smidge of maple syrup? That’s never a bad idea. [Ok, it is not a good idea if you want to claim no sugar added and be kind to our diabetic friends! But it sure sounds tasty!]


Gluten Free Vermont

Get your [gluten-free] snack on! (+ GF sale items spotted)


Yum! Go stock up!

Yum! Go stock up!

At a recent work meeting, three of us gluten-free folks brought in our favorite GF crackers of the moment. Brought  a box of Mediterranean Snacks lentil crackers with rosemary and herbs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember where I bought them. Darn. Wandering around Home Goods this week, I found them! Get on over to your local Home Goods (or TJ Maax if you don’t have a Home Goods) and stock up.





Here’s why I like these lentil crackers:

1) the first ingredient is BEAN flour. Not corn. Not white rice flour. Not tapioca. But lentil, garbanzo and adzuki bean flour. Immediately that makes me feel healthy. Carbs with a purpose– protein, fiber! And for you watching total carbs, 1 serving is just 19 g– better (less) than a slice of bread!

2) they are delicious!

3) they go well with cheese!

4) they don’t look like bird food!

5) they don’t taste like bird food!

6) my gluten-heavy friends like them as much as regular crackers.

7) this might bring me one serving of beans closer to the Mediterranean Diet (?)

8) did I mention they are made of beans?! and taste wonderful?!

Ok, so while you’re at Home Goods (I went to the one off of Rt 7 right where I-189 comes in), check out some of the other gluten-free goodies awaiting you. Mediterranean Snacks also makes Baked Lentil Chips, which are also delicious. Today I had chicken salad with chips, but it would also be great with hummus or other snacks! I went out on a limb and tried the cucumber dill flavor and my risk was well-rewarded by their great taste.

Home Goods selection of gluten-free baking mixes

Home Goods selection of gluten-free baking mixes

Home Goods also has a large display of baking mixes. I wasn’t feeling ambitious enough to try them out on a big baking extravaganza this weekend but let me know if you try them. There were some new brands I haven’t seen before, which can always be a wonderful surprise or a huge bust!

Don't get your hopes up...

Don’t get your hopes up…







Speaking of busts, I also found these gluten-free biscotti by Coffaro’s. I had to try them since at our work meeting a friend lamented the loss of biscotti in her life. Now, I should be honest– I’m not a huge biscotti or scone fan but I have ones I found really yummy. I got the chocolate chip ones, planning to write a funny and cute blog entry about finding great biscotti at Home Goods. I *cannot* recommend these. I found them very flavorless, as well as “tinny” like there was too much baking soda or something. I haven’t thrown out the rest of the box yet but I likely will soon.

In other news, Healthy Living has Annie’s Gluten-Free shells and cheese on sale! Hurry while the sale lasts!



Just in time for Valentine’s! (@KarinaAllrich)

Thanks to Karina Allrich for posting a delicious gluten-free (naturally!) chocolate cake recipe just in time for Valentine’s Day. If you aren’t already familiar with her blog, Gluten-Free Goddess, jump on over there because you are missing out! I often use her recipes for inspiration while cooking… for example, I don’t eat fish but use her tequila lime marinade for chicken instead. Tons of dairy-free and vegan options on that site as well. Happy exploring!



Mom’s #glutenfree Croutons!

[Guest post from Mom! Celebrating 3 years Gluten-Free this January. Dined with her GF Brother this Thanksgiving]

Our family’s classic spinach salad with a poppy seed dressing from the Silver Palate cookbook calls for bacon pieces, mushrooms, red onions and hard-boiled egg pieces (we don’t include the egg.)

It also calls for croutons and there’s the rub.

How to make gluten-free croutons? The Silver Palate cookbook says to cut up pieces of bread in bite-sized pieces and either toast them in the oven at 400 degrees or put them in a fry pan with butter and garlic and stir fry.. Thinking that sometimes gluten-free baked goods can get kind of rock hard, I opted for the butter and garlic. Opting for garlic and butter is usually a good thing, right? Even if not the least caloric.

I used Udi’s bread. And the croutons were terrific. Gluten-free flour products have a tendency to scorch faster than wheat – at least, that’s my experience so I watched them closely. I made them a day ahead and then popped them in the oven to warm them just before we made the salad.

Our “unfrozen” turkey had been frozen and took almost two hours longer to reach 165 degrees than we had counted on. So folks standing around in the kitchen began nibbling on those croutons. A quick hand here. Then another one…plucking them from the undressed salad.

And pretty soon the croutons were all gone…an appetizer, I guess.

Stuffing!!!!!!!! #glutenfree

A friend just wrote me about stuffing. What’s the best for gluten free? Honestly, I’m UnAmerican or something because stuffing and gravy are lowest on my list for Thanksgiving foods. I know, weird right? That said, here are some gluten-free stuffing options that caught my eye. Let me know if you try them and have any recommendations!

1. Polenta stuffing

I’ve seen a lot of these recipes floating around. It seems like polenta stuffing is in vogue regardless of your GF status. I would try this recipe, as the recipes on Epicurious never disappoint! And sausage is always a crowd pleaser… unless you’re vegan (see below).

2. Cornbread stuffing

The Gluten-Free Goddess blog is my go-to for ideas and inspiration. I’m not one to follow recipes very closely so I often modify her recipes for what’s in my kitchen. If you’re looking for a stuffing side dish, you could easily make this cornbread stuffing with out the squash.

3. The time-saver

I’ve never made this as stuffing, but Aleia’s stuffing can be found in a lot of stores, including Hannafords or Stop N Shop around the holidays (watch for it to go on sale after the holidays too!). I’ve actually bought the stuffing and used it as croutons on my salad (the internet is a nice place to air your strange habits, that’s what its meant for right? Just look for Aleia’s stuffing on the end-caps or in special displays. I’m sure it would be a quick and easy GF stuffing for all to enjoy!

Let’s talk about pie #glutenfree @PamelasProducts @KingArthurFlour

Pie is a staple. I could give up anything wheat-based but pie. Well, croissants were a close second but they’re just not the same so I’ve all but forgotten about them. Here’s a round-up of my favorite pie-crust options:

1. The cookie-crumb “cheat”

Take your favorite GF cookies and throw them in the food processor (~1 1/2 cups of crumbs should do, add more if needed). Toss in half a stick of soft butter (add more if needed). Mix well. Press out by hand into a pie pan. Work hard to get it thin or let it be thick and make a little extra to get full coverage. Note: this is an excellent option for cheese cake, key lime pies and I would even try it with a pumpkin pie! My favorite cookies to use are blondies, ginger snaps and graham crackers.

2. The nut case

Use crushed nuts and some butter to form a crust. These recipes abound online and I’m sure we’ve all tried them. Yummy but very nutty. I’m kinda over it.

3. The prepared case

Some frozen gluten free pie crusts are EXCELLENT! I’ve found some of the mixes or complex recipes to be terrible– gooey, tasteless or worse. Whole Foods Market makes the best gluten-free pie crust I’ve found, although they don’t keep a large volume stock so you should buy ahead of time and keep some on hand in your freezer. The brand Gillian’s (no relation) seems to make a good pie crust as well and are more widely found. I’ve seen them at Healthy Living and City Market in Burlington. I should also note that never in my life before going gluten-free could I imagine that a frozen crust could rival anything I might make my self but these ones do rival any homemade pie crust I’ve had so far (but I’m still searching).

4. Made with love

This is the best gluten free pie crust I have made by hand but it is a labor of love. It calls for King Arthur’s gluten-free flour, which is widely found at almost any grocery store (locally I’ve found it at Hannaford’s). It requires pre-baking before adding the filling, hence why I see the labor investment as being a bit intensive. It’s a slightly sweeter crust, whereas my preference is typically a quite neutral crust. That said, I was fighting off the gluten-heavy folks to save a slice or two for left-overs. A big winner with all.

5. The experimental crust

This year I’m going out on a limb… I may make 2-3 pies but one of them will be an attempt to use my mom’s crust recipe with gluten-free flour. I’ve put it off for years, fearing failure. I’ve come to love and trust both Pamela’s and King Arthur’s GF flour mixes and believe I can substitute them 1-for-1 with the regular flour. At least that’s my hope. I’ll let you know how it goes. This is the simplest, most reliable crust recipe I’ve ever seen so if it works I will be baking pies much more often!

In a food processor, pulse 1 and 1/3 cups flour (gf blend) with 2-3 pinches of salt. Use 1 stick of frozen butter, cutting in thin slices and adding to the food processor while its on. Once the butter is incorporated, slowly pour in 1/3 cup of very cold water– it might take even less water than this. Stop adding water when the dough begins to stick. Its ready when it forms a ball. Turn the processor off and divide the dough in half– each half can be rolled out for 1 pie crust, so you can get two pumpkin pies out of this. Do not roll the dough out and try to bunch it together and re-roll, it will fall apart. Roll out once and be done with it. Fill with ingredients and bake as normal.


Sweet Potato / Yam Casserole #GlutenFree #BestEver!

This recipe comes to me via my cousin Julie who learned it from the Millers. Mashed and then baked, its a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. And naturally gluten free! Dare I try maple syrup instead of corn syrup?

Sweet Potato / Yam Casserole (Barb Miller)

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 eggs beaten
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Combine potatoes, salt, pepper & eggs. Place in a greased 2 quart dish. Combine remaining ingredients except nuts. Spread over potato mixture. Sprinkle pecans on top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Happy Thanksgiving!