A Day Off-ish….

Whew!….. I just finished “cleaning out”/catching up on my google reader. That was intense!

I apologize for my seeming disappearance from the blog world, once again. This new job
is leaving little time for eating, much less blogging. Thank goodness for the kindness of GF Guy and my mother in-law! GF Guy has been cooking me omelettes and his mother has been shoving food at me when I stumble into her house crazed with starvation! Today has been a “semi” day-off. I still did some work on the computer, but I didn’t let it consume my day. I even made cupcakes (which are still cooling on the counter, waiting to be frosted) and calzones for lunch! GF Guy was thrilled, to say the least. This was my first attempt at a calzone. Not to shabby, if I do say so myself!

GF/DF Calzones

Ingredients:
– 1/2 recipe Bob’s Red Mill GF Pizza crust dough
– Marinara Sauce
– Oregano
– Garlic Powder
– Spinach
– Vegan Mozzerella Cheese
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Divide pizza dough into to equal portions.
On an oiled pan, spread dough into two circles using damp hands.
Place sauce, oregano, garlic powder, spinach, and cheese on half of each circle.
Wet your hands once again, fold the bare half of the dough over the side with the toppings. Press the edges together. (Our dough was delicate and developed little holes which I attempted to patch.)
Brush calzones with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Bake at 400 degrees about 20-25 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Serve with extra marinara sauce for dipping.

GF Guy and I both loved this recipe! I can’t wait to try it again with different “stuffings”. Roasted Vegetable Calzones, anyone?

Sometimes You Just Need Pizza….

Life is simply crazy, beautiful!
Crazy because I have no time! My brain seems to be running a mile a minute lately. I have so many ideas for my new job and business venture. There are so many things I want to accomplish… RIGHT NOW!
Beautiful because suddenly, out of nowhere, I am living my dream! It is like the heavens decided to open up all at once and God poured out his blessings and favor in one big bucket of sunshine, rainbows, and ponies!……. you get the picture….
I may be sick. I may be exhausted. I may be overwhelmed. BUT, these are nothing when compared to how overcome I am. I am overcome by such a deep sense of joy, gratitude, and awe. I did nothing to cause these doors to open. All I know, is that I must continue to walk through them, remain grateful, and persevere.
That being said, I have been eating whatever has been quick and easy this past week. Leftovers and strange medley’s of veggies topped with marinara sauce have been eaten in abundance in the Gidget kitchen. Last night, GF Guy and I were exhausted. We were spent both physically and emotionally. We wanted comfort food! Not any old comfort food would do. We were too far gone. We needed College Comfort food = PIZZA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I prepared our version of what is usually a gluten and dairy laden meal. I topped our GF crust with Muir Glen Pizza Sauce, Spinach, Pineapple Tidbits, and Vegan Follow Your Heart Mozzarella Cheese.
 Simply scrumptious!
Nom, nom, nom…..
Wow… I look exhausted. Maybe that’s because I am! Oh well, I would rather be exhausted and happy than rested and sad!
What inspires you this new year?

Too Long….

Oh my friends, I have been gone too long!!!! I have missed your comments and reading your blogs, as well. You see…. here is the thing….

On Tuesday, I received a HUGE promotion at work! I am super excited about my new position. It is something I feel passionately about and for a company I truly believe in. (Check out a little of my work so far) However, on top of my new duties, I have to continue working my old position until they find a replacement for me. This being said, I have been working 12 and 13 hour days AND I am sick. Sooo…. things have been a bit crazy around here. (I’m not complaining. I thrive on the business and I LOVE my new job.)

Last night, I had no clue what GF Guy and I would do for dinner. Enter Ivan from Viitals GF Bakery and Cafe .
You may remember, I interviewed him a while back about his high protein muffins and crackers. I also visited his newly opened Cafe and had the BEST sandwich of my life! Well, since that time, he has become a dear friend. He stopped by my work last night, after working all day at his Cafe, to drop off 2 of his GF, Vegan Sandwich Rolls and 2 of his high protein GF, Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. (my favorite!) I was surprised and overwhelmed by his kindness. He has such a pure, genuine heart. Not one to simply rest on his success, he continues to improve his products. He is also expanding his menu to include GF, Vegan Birthday Cakes and is supplying 2 local pizza restaurants with his GF, Vegan Pizza Crusts! (*sigh*) He is wonderful! If I wasn’t married….. I’M JUST KIDDING!!!!!! 😉
But enough about that, here is where my night became fabulous. I arrived home to find GF Guy had dusted, vaccumed, and “swiffered” the entire house. He was also defrosting the leftover Ham Bone Soup that we froze for emergency purposes. We each enjoyed a steaming bowl along with our Sandwich Rolls from Viitals . Forget about the soup! Look at that bread!
It was unbelievably fluffy, moist, soft, pillow-like,…….. I think you get the picture!
(Pardon the horrendous lighting.)
Absolute perfection! Thank you Ivan! You made dinner exceptional!
For dessert, GF Guy and I split one of Viitals GF, Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Keep in mind, GF Guy does not like Oatmeal or Raisins. He ate his entire half… and liked it! I obviously loved my half as well. The cookie practically melts in your mouth!
Seriously, If you have not stopped by Viitals GF Bakery and Cafe in Tampa, FL, you must! They have a menu online and are working on updating the website. They take online orders and will ship to anywhere in the US. So…. TRY THEM TODAY!

Don’t Give Up…..

Hello my friends! I apologize for my sudden disappearance in the blog world. Life has become exceedingly busy as of late and will hopefully continue to stay this way! It’s been a wonderful, invigorating kind of busy, and I am LOVING it! You can keep up with my escapades by following me on Twitter!
That being said, I have been cooking. The meals have just been repeats of old favorites from the GF Gidget recipe archives. (Enchiladas Tropicale w/ Vegan Cheese; a re-imagined Spicy Vegan Thai Green Curry) I am itching to get back in the kitchen, but social and work duties keep pulling me away. Today is GF Guys birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are planning on celebrating with dinner at PF Chang’s tonight. I always order their GF Egg Drop Soup and Buddha’s Feast w/ Brown Rice! Just make sure they leave out the tofu. For some reason it is not listed as gluten free. It must be the spice rub they use. Either way, the food is delicious and the company will be even better!
In other “official” and sad business….
I have been unable to contact the winner of my Xagave giveaway. This is sad for her, but lucky for all of you. Why, you ask? Because I have to pick a new winner. Once again, using a random integer generator from Random.org, the winner is…………………..

Jenny of PBand Jenny fame!

Congratulations, Jenny! Email me your mailing address ASAP. I will forward it to the lovely folks at Xagave and they will mail your Xagave and cookbook to you.

That’s all for now. I will try to post again soon. I have a lovely little Kabocha Squash sitting on my counter calling my name! Any suggestions?

Don’t Rub a Chicken The Wrong Way….

 Here in America, we hold all sorts of delightful traditions and holidays, many of which revolve around food. Take Thanksgiving for instance, people cook for days in preparation for this day of thanks. In return, they are left with enough leftovers to feed a small country for about a week! And these are just the leftovers from the meal. No one ever mentions the leftover ingredients! I was rummaging through my spice cabinet yesterday (searching for inspiration for the Butternut Polenta Lasagna) when I stumbled upon… or rather it fell on my head… a leftover spice rub someone gifted to me over the holidays. Nantucket Off-Shore is a spice company that uses 100% pure and organic spices to create rubs and marinades. I was given their Holiday Turkey Rub. The ingredients are very pure and delicious sounding: Rosemary, Sage, Oregano, Thyme, Black Pepper, Onion, Dried Cranberry, Ginger, and Lemon Peel.
That’s it, no salt, no sugar, no “natural flavors”, simply pure spices! Coincidentally, I happened to have a whole, organic chicken in my freezer. I always buy 2 when they are on special and freeze one. (How often do you find an entire 5 pound organic chicken for 4 dollars?!) The emerging creation was, once again, based on what I had in the pantry. Just toss it in there and hope for the best… a little prayer never hurts, either!
Cranberry Orange Roast Chicken with New Potatoes
Ingredients:
– 1 4-5 pound Whole Organic Chicken
– Nantucket Off-Shore Holiday Turkey Rub
– 1 large Sweet Onion, chopped
– 9 mixed Red and Gold New Potatoes, halved
– 1/4 cup Fresh Cranberries (or frozen and defrosted)
– 1/4 cup Sweetened, Dried Cranberries
– 1/2 Naval Orange, sliced, skin on
– juice of 1/2 a Naval Orange
– 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– splash of White Wine
– zest of 1 Naval Orange
– 1/4 cup Water
Preheat your oven to 475 degrees.
Rinse chicken with cool water and pat dry.
Rub chicken, inside and out, with Spice Rub.
Place in a 9×13 casserole dish.
Stuff bird with 1/3 of the Onion and the Orange Slices.
Scatter the remaining Onion, the Potatoes, Cranberries, and Dried Cranberries around the bird and sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon Spice Rub.
In a measuring cup, combine the Orange Juice, Oil, Wine, and Orange Zest. Pour over the chicken.
Pour 1/4 cup Water in the bottom of the casserole dish.
Roast at 475 for 20 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue roasting chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear.
Allow to rest 10 minutes before carving.
By now, you may have started to notice I use the same basic roast chicken recipe over and over again. I simply change the accompanying ingredients. Make the recipe work for you! Have fun and experiment! Email me photos and links to your creations. I will put together a special post featuring all of your recipes. It will be like a “Roast” of Gluten Free Gidget! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
PS- Michal: please contact me! I don’t want to have to pick another winner!

Butter-nuts About Polenta….

“Necessity is the father of invention.” 
It is cold. Everyone in Florida is on lock down. It is dinner time. I am NOT venturing out in 27 degree weather! The challenge: Create a meal using only the contents of my pantry and refrigerator.
A wonderful, naturally gluten free alternative to the noodle is polenta. In northern Italy, polenta is just as popular as pasta in the south. Pre-made tubes of polenta can be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores, though it is not necessary to keep them refrigerated. I love slicing these tubes into rounds and layering them in place of lasagna noodles.
I hope you enjoy this new recipe. Seemingly decadent, but remarkably healthy, this alternative to lasagna is sure to keep you cozy this frigid winter.

I am submitting this recipe to What Can I Eat That’s Gluten Free.

Butternut Polenta Lasagna
(based on the recipe found here)
Ingredients:
– 1 tube Pre-Made Polenta, cut into 1/4′” thick circles
– 1/8 cup Almond Milk (or hemp milk- I ran out)
– 1/2 cup Butternut Squash Puree
– 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
– 1 egg, lightly beaten and divided
Spinach Layer:
– 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1 10oz. box Frozen Chopped Spinach, defrosted and drained
– 1 small Yellow Onion, diced
– 1/2 teaspoon Herbamare
– 1/3 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
– 1/2 teaspoon Sage
– 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
Butternut Squash Layer:
– 3/4 cup Butternut Squash Puree
– 1/2 of the beaten Egg
– 1/4 cup Unsweetened Plain Hemp Milk
– 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
– 1/2 teaspoon Herbamare
– 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepeer
– 1/4 teaspoon Sage
– 1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
“Ricotta” Layer:
– 1 box Mori-Nu Silken Lite Firm Tofu
– 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
– 1 teaspoon Oregano
– 1 teaspoon Basil
– 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
– 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1/2 of the beaten Egg
Begin by making the Ricotta.
Place tofu, garlic, oregano, basil, lemon juice, and oil in a food processor. Pulse until combined.
Place Ricotta in a small bowl and stir in the 1/2 of an Egg. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
Add onion and saute until translucent.
Add spinach and spices and cook over medium low until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine ingredients for the Butternut Squash Layer.
Time to begin assembly!
Pour 1/8th cup Almond Milk in the bottom of an 8×8 pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Place 1/2 of the Polenta rounds in the bottom of the pan.
Evenly spread 1/2 cup Butternut Squash Puree over polenta.
Spread 1/2 Butternut Squash Mixture over the puree and polenta.
Next, layer the Spinach Mixture.
Then, spread 1/2 of the Ricotta Mixture over the spinach.
Top with the remaining Polenta rounds.
Spread remaining Butternut Squash Mixture over top polenta.
Spread remaining Ricotta Mixture over the butternut.
Top with a 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes.
Cover lasagna with foil. Bake, covered, at 400 degrees about 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook about 15 minutes.
Allow to cool about 7 minutes before cutting.
 
GF guy had 3rds! I think he liked it! I liked it as well. The polenta lasagna was surprisingly light and full of flavor. So, next time you are frozen in your home, explore your pantry. You may be surprised by what you come up with!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

PS- Michal: Please email me your mailing address so I can get your prize shipped to you!

Another Winner….

It is that time again……
WINNER TIME!!!!!!!!!!!
As chosen by Random.org, the winner of the Xagave Agave Nectar and Cookbook is……………………..
Michal, the writer of the blog Earth Muffin. Michal wants to use Xagave to make the Fresh Strawberry Pie.
 YUM!!!!!!!!!!
I hope you enjoy your Xagave Agave Nectar and Cookbook, Michal!
Thank you, Xagave, for making this giveaway possible!

BB Random Fun….

Guess what? I got an award! Gluten Hates Me, but I’m Surviving bestowed this honor on my little blog. The catch? I have to list 7 random facts about myself. Get ready for it!
7 Facts:
1) Trail Mix completely grosses me out. I mean, the thought of it full on activates my gag reflex.
2) I hate even numbers. I set all timers and alarms oddly. (11:57, 2:01, etc….)
3) I have 4 siblings: 3 sisters and 1 brother.
4) In high school, I ate fast food at least 4 times a week. (Sacrilege, right?)
5) GF Guy proposed to me atop an ancient Mayan temple in Cancun.
6) I lived in Bermuda for 3 years.
7) The first time I cooked a frozen pizza (I was 17), I thought the cardboard bottom was a disposable pan and started a fire in the kitchen!

Were you surprised by anything?

Through The Grapevine….

I have some exciting news to share with you! It will especially excite the coffee aficionados among you. Starbucks is set to introduce new Gluten Free Pre-Packaged Snacks on the 12th!
I don’t know if this will only be in their test market locations or a national movement. A friend of mine works for a Starbucks in Indiana. She had the opportunity to try one of the GF cookies set to be released on the 12th. She said it was good! Does anyone else have more information? I couldn’t find anything on their website. Regardless, thank you Starbucks!

No More Leftovers….

I did it! I used every last scrap of that darn leftover ham, even the bone! I made a soup inspired by a Ham and Red Bean Soup created by Alta of Tasty Eats at Home.  The only difference is, well…. Okay, the only ingredient I had on hand was leftover ham. I improvised the rest! 🙂 You know… the usual! This soup was surprisingly good. (this coming from someone who doesn’t particularly like ham). Hearty and filling, this is a sure fire “Man Meal”. Enjoy and keep warm!
Ham Bone Soup
Ingredients:
– 1/2 pound dried Great Northern Beans, soaked overnight then drained
– 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1/2 White Onion, diced
– 3 Carrots, chopped
– 3 cloves Garlic, minced
– 1/2 teaspoon Thyme
– 1/2 teaspoon Sage
– 1/2 teaspoon Fennel
– 1/4 teaspoon Cumin
– 1 Bay Leaf
– 1/4 teaspoon Herbamare
– Freshly Ground Black Pepper
– 8-10 cups Water
– 1 Ham Bone
– 2 cups Cooked Ham, chopped
– 1 teaspoon Chile Powder
– 10 oz. frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and drained
Heat oil in a large stock pot.
Saute onion, carrots until soft.
Add garlic and saute about 15 seconds.
Place soaked and drained beans, spices, and ham bone in the pot.
Cover with water (about 8-10 cups).
Bring to a bubble, reduce heat to a simmer, cover partially with a lid, and allow to simmer about 1 hour.
After 1 hour, add the cooked, diced ham, spinach, and the chile powder.
Continue simmering, partially covered 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until beans reach desired tenderness.
Serve with a big old hunk of Oat So Good Bread and a steaming mug of tea!
GF Guy and I ate our soup while watching The Biggest Loser premiere. I love that show! I particularly love the orange team mom. She is a tiger! Watch out world!
Do you watch The Biggest Loser? Who is your favorite so far?