Sunday, March 24, 2013

Learned a few things this week

So, I learned a few thing this week!

First, I learned that the Albany Pump Station has a gluten free menu. We had been there a few years ago for a Jack and Jill shower and they didn't have a lot of offerings - it looks like they've greatly improved, serving burgers and sandwiches on gluten free bread, pasta dishes, etc. I used to love that place when we were dating and I'm excited that we can go back and try it again!

Also, a friend told me that O'Toole's is gluten free friendly. There are two O'Toole's restaurants, in Albany and Queensbury. The Queensbury location has a gluten free menu including burgers, fries (in a dedicated fryer), wings, tenders, fajitas in corn tortillas, pasta dishes, etc. They also have a few different GF beers and hard ciders (including Angry Orchard and McKenzie's hard cherry, two of our favorites!). The Albany location calls out GF items on their app and dinner menus. My friend told me she thinks they have a dedicated fryer but I haven't confirmed yet, so definitely check if you go! I can see my hubby and I stopping by for an after-work drink and nachos one of these days, though!

The same friend also told me she heard Juicy Burgers has gluten free buns - I have not confirmed yet, but that would be awesome! Anyone know for sure?

Also - when I went to Price Chopper yesterday I found out that Price Chopper is making their own store-brand gluten free mixes now. I saw chocolate chip cookie mix (didn't pick it up because the hubby doesn't like chocolate) but the box said they have knockoffs of all the Betty Crocker mixes. I foresee a yellow cake or pancake mix taste test in our future... :-)

Finally - the last thing I learned - and a mini rant.

Last winter CSA bag

Happy weekend! Hope everyone's doing well and looking forward to a forecast of 50 degrees or so on Easter! (Let's hope that lasts!)

We've been pretty busy, but mostly with work/school/other commitments. I did get the last CSA bag for two weeks this Thursday. There were a ton of great things in there:

  • Lots of onions: 

  • Rome apples: 

  • My favorite addition: hydroponic basil and arugula! 

We also got a root veggie grab bag (beets, carrots, and a couple of potatoes), frozen butternut squash and frozen kale, and an awesome muenster cheese from Palatine farms. Yum!

So what did I do with all this stuff?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lots of green stuff

Happy Saturday! Is it just me or did this week go by extremely fast? Our weekend and week were extremely busy, that might have something to do with it. Anyway, here's what we did for food with last week's haul
  • Thursday night I tried making daikon pickles. They weren't my favorite, but I'd try the recipe again omitting the oil, because my co-worker said they taste just like Van's. 
  • Saturday night a new-to-GF friend came over. We made baked ziti using Bionaturae GF pasta, Italian bread (and a loaf of rosemary-garlic bread, yum!) and a batch of gluten free cupcakes using Betty Crocker's mix. I had some homemade buttercream frosting in the freezer too, so that worked out perfectly. For greens, I sauteed the frozen green beans we received in last week's CSA in garlic and EVOO. 
  • Sunday I made a roast chicken with garlic mashed potatoes. I also sauteed the mushrooms with some peas in garlic and EVOO for a side, and made brown sugar beets. I'd never had beets before but I've gotta say, I was a big fan. They were delicious. 
  • I also made kale chips from the frozen kale. So far, I'm not that big a fan of kale. 
  • Monday, I made tilapia. I was on a garlic and EVOO kick so I made more of those green beans, and leftover rice in the fridge. 
  • The rest of the week? Leftovers! Love those weeks. :-) For veggies the rest of the week I just took veggies out of the freezer and heated them up. 

Here's a peek at what I got this week: 

Carrots, pea greens, cabbage, apples, a green basil garlic cheese, and frozen corn and blueberries. (I also received microgreens that I gave to a co-worker). 

So, what to do? 
  • Friday night we picked up some red crab on sale at Price Chopper (3 day sales are awesome). I used up the rest of my mashed potatoes (made them loaded with cheese, bacon bits and chives that I had on hand) and then sauteed the pea greens in EVOO and garlic. (I used up that last of my frozen garlic, can you believe it!?) I was surprised by how small the pea greens ended up after cooking them, but they tasted really good. 
  • Tonight, I'm probably not using any of them. I promised the hubby I'd make homemade mac and cheese before we go out. 
  • Tomorrow night, I'm planning on trying this milk can supper recipe from Cook's Country. I saw it in the latest issue of their magazine and it uses the cabbage (since we can't really do corned beef and cabbage without malt vinegar). It looks good and easy too - with lots of leftovers. 
  • The carrots are going right in the fridge - they keep a while, so I have time to figure out how to use them. 
  • The cheese and apples may be lunch today! 
  • The corn and blueberries went right into the freezer. I now have 2 things of frozen blueberries - I need to figure out something good to do with them! Maybe pancakes? 
Hope that everyone has a great weekend! I have quite a busy weekend planned - meeting up with some friends tonight to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, doing quite a bit of homework, meeting up with one of my best friends for lunch and to do wedding-related stuff (yay!) and some other stuff here and there. :-) 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

CSA veggies this week

Here's my CSA goodie bag from this week: 

I got:

  • Frozen kale and green beans
  • Apples
  • Beets
  • Crimini mushrooms
  • Potatoes
  • a Daikon radish

So, what have I done so far? 

  • Friday night, we did Skinny Texas Cheese Fries with the potatoes: 
  • Sauteed the green beans with EVOO and garlic, and the crimini mushrooms
  • Brown sugar glazed beets - this was my first experience with beets, and YUM!
  • Daikon radish pickles - Now I admit these weren't my favorite. I added the sesame oil and that's all I could taste. Big mistake. My co-worker did not use as much sesame oil and said they came out exactly the same as Van's. So - next time!
  • Made kale chips. I don't know if it was the fact that they were frozen first, but I was underwhelmed. 
  • Apples will go into work with us for lunches. :-) 
Have a great week! 

Friday, March 8, 2013

For a new-to-GF friend

Putting this together for a friend - have I missed anything? 

Brands we use

·         Kraft will not hide gluten on the label – so if it does not say wheat, rye, barley or oats it should be GF. This includes all the brands they own – Full list here:
·         General Mills will not hide gluten on the label either, and a lot of their products are labeled GF. This includes all the brands they own – full list here:
o   Many Chex cereals including Cinnamon, Corn, Rice, Chocolate and Honey Nut are labeled GF
o   Many Progresso soups are GF
·         All Boar’s Head products are gluten free. This includes meats, cheeses and condiments.
·         99% of Dietz and Watson products are gluten free: Also, you can ask the PC deli counter people to wash down their station before cutting your cold cuts, or call up and ask them to cut them first on the equipment to avoid cross-contamination.
·         Bionaturae pasta or PastaMia pasta is our favorite ($$$ but worth it!)
·         Bread goods – try Rudi’s or Udi’s. Usually sold in GF sections/in freezer aisles. Our Price Chopper carries both. Rudi’s makes really good cinnamon raisin bread. Udi’s also makes hot dog buns and hamburger buns.
·         Convenience foods – Starfish GF battered cod, haddock, shrimp, etc. is really good and is sold at Price Chopper. Bell & Evans, Tyson and Perdue make GF chicken nuggets and chicken tenders (Bell & Evans at Uncle Sam’s in Latham or Nisky co-op; Tyson at Glenville Wal-mart; still looking for Perdue)
·         Heinz list of GF products (inc. Ore-Ida, Classico, SmartOnes, etc.):
·         Price Chopper’s list of GF products:
·         Hannaford’s list of GF products:
·         ShopRite’s list of GF products:
·         Trader Joe’s list of GF products: (they also hav
·         Wal-mart Great Value brand products will label all GF items as Gluten Free or Naturally Gluten e an icon on the package itself) Free
·         Condiments:
o   Hellman’s mayonnaise is labeled GF
o   Heinz ketchup is GF (and I believe they have started labeling)
o   French’s mustard
o   Frank’s Red Hot
o   Dinosaur BBQ sauce is labeled GF, as is Sweet Baby Rays.
o   Soy sauce: La Choy, Wheat Free Tamari
o   Wish-Bone salad dressings are labeled GF
o   Ken’s GF salad dressings:
·         Booze:
o   Wine is GF J
o   Beer: Estrella Damm Daura and Omission are brewed with Barley and then made GF. There are also a lot of sorghum-based beers out there – Bard’s, Green’s, New Grist, Redbridge, Dogfish Head Tweason Ale, etc.
o   Cider: Woodchuck, McKenzies, Angry Orchard (often on tap!), etc. naturally GF

Restaurants with GF menus

·         Outback, Carrabbas, PF Changs, Pizeria Uno, 99 Restaurants – most chains will have something if you look for it, but some are more accommodating than others
·         Cheesecake Factory does not have GF menu, but ask for a manager and they’ll tell you what you can have
·         Delmonico’s has a GF menu with pasta
·         Chipotle – everything is safe but the flour shells, and employees will change gloves on request; Moes also has GF options. These are the best fast food options for GF around here!
·         Wendy’s has a GF menu – mostly salads, chili and baked potato
·         Urban spoon has a great list: Not all of these have GF menus, but you can ask your sever and they will usually accommodate you.
·         Hattie’s in Saratoga/Wilton is working on a GF fried chicken this year – not yet, but we’re so there when it comes out!
·         Circus CafĂ© in Saratoga has a decent menu.
·         Wheatfields has a GF menu (though we aren’t that thrilled with them)
·         We have not come across a fro-yo place around here that doesn’t have GF options. Toppings bar is at your own risk (cross-contamination possibility)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Happy weekend!

Happy weekend!

So this week was pretty interesting. Not a lot of cooking has happened. Mostly because on Tuesday I came down with the latest bug that's going around. I was out sick a bit from work this week and we ended up eating a lot of convenience foods because I wasn't up to cooking.

I did end up making the roasted kohlrabi recipe I talked about last week and... amazing.  Definitely a fan. I also tried the frozen corn which was sweet and tasted like it came just off the cob. Perfect with a little Promise and salt.

We also had another... interesting... thing happen on Thursday:
Yup, that's the puggle. On her third bath that night, after tangling with a skunk, and losing.  close to our house, so the smell seeped in even with out her. I learned a couple of things:
  1. Up close, skunk spray smells harsh and chemically - almost like burning rubber. And skunk spray can get through anything, even the most stuffed up noses.
  2. A mix of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and Dawn makes a great dog de-skunkifying shampoo
  3. The best way to deodorize a stinking house is to boil a combination of vinegar and water on the stove.
Anyway, back to food.

My CSA haul this week included frozen broccoli and frozen tomato puree (not pictured), as well as parsnips, sweet potatoes and apples: 

 Pea greens:

 And microgreens:

Parsnips and microgreens are new-to-me, and I've only eaten sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving. So, what to do?