Friendly Gluten Free Foods

Adventures of a recipe tinkerer and food explorer

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This is my digital notebook of gluten free and dairy free recipes I’ve modified/created as well as reviews of local gluten free bakeries and commercial products labeled as gluten free. My choice to be gluten free is based on medical reasons other than celiacs. My gluten and milk fat sensitivity has physical and mental symptoms that have kept me on a low gluten and a diet low in dairy-fat.

Hope you enjoy the GF food reviews, the gluten free bakery reviews and recipes! Leave a comment to tell me your thoughts.

Gluten Free Bakery Reviews:



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Overnight Breakfast Polenta Bowl

After a stint with Thistle meal delivery service, I was introduced to polenta and decided to make an overnight polenta breakfast similar to overnight oats for quick morning meals.

I have tried to make polenta in the past and didn’t care for the time and attention it needed, so I switched to the tube of polenta (no herbs or flavorings added). If you want to make polenta from scratch for this recipe, I’m sure it would work. Kitchn has a quick way to make polenta.

Polenta bowlIngredients

  • 1/2 tube of already cooked polenta
  • One small piece of whole fruit (nectarine, apple, peach, pear, 1/4 cantaloupe, cherries or dried cranberries) or 1/4c jam
  • 1/4 cup milk (coconut, cows, rice, etc)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sweeter of choice (maple syrup, honey, sugar, stevia, brown sugar, etc)
  • 1 tablespoon diced nuts (walnuts, almonds) or granola

Heat polenta in a bowl for 1 minute. Smash polenta with a fork. Add 1/4 cup milk and heat 30 seconds more. Smash polenta with fork some more. Add extra milk for desired consistency.  Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup into polenta mixture.

Layer 1/2 diced whole fruit into a pint mason jar then 1/2 polenta mixture. Finish with remaining fruit then polenta mixture. Put in refrigerator over night. Top with nuts or granola and enjoy.



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The Switch to Bulk

The bags these bulk items are in are biodegradable and are re-used as compost bags

The bags these bulk items are in are biodegradable and are re-used as compost bags (total cost $12.61 for who knows how many meals!)

Because of this Eat Clean challenge (starting with the one back in August), today my house now has become more of a bulk house in terms of sugars and flours. I will only buy these products as needed for certain recipes and will buy in bulk at a store with good turnover and mostly organic instead of a big package from the grocery store.

Yesterday was my third trip (in my life) to Rainbow Grocery to buy bulk food and after hearing about a family that reduced their yearly waste to the size of a mayo jar by buying bulk, I’ve made the switch to bulk. It may be a little more inconvenient to get to the bulk store, but the ingredients will be fresher and the container of sugar or self-rising flour won’t be just sitting on my shelf for months and months.

In addition, while at Rainbow – to pick up only quinoa and rice – I ended up realizing quick cooking oats was on my grocery list… well what do you know, I can buy that in bulk! Ready in 2 minutes and one less container to throw away!

It was pretty cool to be overwhelmed by the choices in rice! The variety in my life just opened up because of this revelation. I did end up buying short grain (sticky) brown rice but boy am I excited to try out other rice varieties.

There were choices for quinoa too! I picked up the fun mix of colors. Much more exciting than shopping at the big grocery store.

Zero Waste Home

I started eating more clean in August 2015 which reduces the intake of sugar and processed foods. In that journey, I’ve explored eating more grains and legumes. Slowly my containers which held processed sugars, flours, etc are now being used to hold flax seed, rice, black beans, split peas, etc.

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Simmered Orange Fennel Chicken

1 medium fennel bulb with stalks
2 teaspoons olive oil or coconut oil
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup prechopped onion
1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
1/3 cup orange juice or 3 clementines peeled and blended
10 pitted kalamata olives, quartered
1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted diced tomatoes, drained or 6 roma tomatoes diced
1 cup whole-wheat couscous or quinoa prepared

1. Trim tough outer leaves from fennel; mince feathery fronds to measure 2 tablespoons. Remove and discard stalks. Cut fennel bulb in half lengthwise; discard core. Vertically slice fennel bulb, then cut in half.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until well browned. Transfer chicken to a plate.
3. Add sliced fennel, onion, and carrot to pan; cook 3 minutes. Add cinnamon and red pepper, if desired; cook 1 minute. Add orange juice, olives, and tomatoes. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add chicken and accumulated juices to pan. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 20 minutes or until chicken is done.
4. Prepare couscous or quinoa per directions
5. Serve chicken and vegetables over couscous/quinoa. Top with fennel fronds.



Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust

Wow, a good gluten free pie crust!

I followed the instructions on the package, using 12 tbsp butter and 8 tbsp margarine and then pre-baked the crust for 12 minutes before filling it to make a pumpkin pie. 

It makes enough for two crusts or a single double crust pie. The second crust is in the freezer for use later, per the package instructions. 

Product: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust
Price: Not sure, it was a gift to me
Buy again: Yes
Recommend to friends: Yes, I would tell them that it isn’t as flakey as much as their gluten counterparts.

  • Not very sticky! I used a rolling pin with the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap.
  • Was not crumbly and weak after it was cooked! This is amazing for something gluten free!
  • It was not grainy.
  • It had a crunchy dense texture. They are not as flaky as as their gluten counterparts.
  • Is a great substitute for pizza crust with gluten or store bought frozen gluten free crusts.
  • Not so easy to make but would have been worse if the ingredient included eggs







“Unstuffed” Peppers

My CSA box overloaded me with little tiny peppers and I couldn’t get stuffed peppers out of my mind. So I made these unstuffed peppers with onions, fresh basil, tomatoes and garlic (all organic) from my CSA box.

Sauté the onions, garlic, celery, carrots in oil for 5 minutes. Add Italian seasoning (thyme, oregano, basil), salt and pepper. Cover the peppers in olive oil and roast for 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Blanched the tomatoes to remove the skin and pre-cook them. Remove seeds and juice from tomatoes or use a can of tomatoes (squeezed). Add the tomatoes and fresh basil to the onions and sauté for 5 more minutes or until liquid is gone. I had to suction out the liquid because I didn’t squeeze my tomatoes well enough. Then added cooked rice (1 cup uncooked) and topped it with the roasted peppers. Put it in a casserole dish and heat 4 minutes, top with cheese (if desired) and heat 4 more minutes.


Betty Crocker Gluten Free Pizza Crust

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Betty Crocker Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Betty Crocker has done it again!IMG_6623

It’s tough finding a good gluten free dough (pizza crust, biscuits, pie, etc) as most gluten free doughs are extremely sticky and unable to roll with a rolling pin. However, as with all other Betty Crocker mixes, like their Devil’s Food cake that I’ve tried, this pizza crust turned out great!

Product: Betty Crocker Gluten Free Pizza CrustIMG_6629
Price: $4.99
Buy again: Yes
Recommend to friends: Yes, I would tell them that it don’t rise as much as their gluten counterparts.

  • Not very sticky! I had to use a little corn flour on my fingers when I punched it out but I bet I could have used a rolling pin.
  • Was not crumbly and weak after it was cooked! This is amazing for something gluten free!
  • It was not overly grainy and I wouldn’t have noticed if it was because of the cornmeal bottom I added.
  • It had a crunchy texture, like a thin crust pizza. They do not rise as much as their gluten counterparts.
  • Is a great substitute for pizza crust with gluten or store bought frozen gluten free crusts.
  • Easy to make.
  • I added polenta (corn meal) to the bottom of the crust.

Check out that pizza holding it’s shape under the weight of all of those toppings!


But let’s get back to the beginning…

The dough formed well and rose slightly during it’s proof stage.


This is the dough on the pizza stone with cornmeal under neath after it came out of the oven. It has some cracks in it but that didn’t make it loose it’s integrity.


I piled it high with toppings (pepperoni, dairy free cheese, green peppers, onion, garlic, fresh basil and dried oregano)




The finished product was so good that I ate half the pizza in one sitting. Next time I could use a rolling pin and get the crust a little thinner.


Easy instructions, like all of Betty Crocker’s mixes.



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Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix

I have heard from a number of people that Bob’s Red Mill does not make a good gluten free mixes. I received this brownie mix for free and I agree with other’s assessment that there are much better products on the market (like Betty Crocker’s gluten free brownies).

Product: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix

 Free to me
 Buy again: No.
 Recommend to friends: No. I would recommend other brands like Betty Crocker.

  • The batter tasted bland before it went into the oven.
  • The baked product has a weird aftertaste.
  • It is not complex or very chocolatey.
  • More cake-like than fudge brownie like.