May 22nd and 23rd weekend is the weekend in which you can eat like those of us who follow gluten-free diets as part of the Gluten Free Challenge. It’s really not as difficult as it sounds, it’s just cooking at home or choosing restaurant items carefully.

If you have never eaten a gluten-free meal consciously, then you certainly have subconsciously. Generally, if you have had a meal without pasta, bread or pizza crust, then you’ve probably had a fairly gluten-free meal. You might have had gluten in a marinade or sauce, but that’s a different issue. Choosing to eat a weekend without gluten isn’t actually as difficult as it might seem at the start.
Here are my suggestions for a gluten-free day. Josh and I will be eating these this weekend, so I’ll post some stories and more recent pictures of our recipes. Why don’t you join me and then tell me what you thought of the menu?
BreakfastPamela’s Products Gluten Free PancakesSliced StrawberriesPlain or vanilla yogurtOrange Juice or Coffee (or both?)
Pamela’s GF Pancakes (with modifications) 1 cup Pamela’s Pancake mix1 large egg, beaten ¾ cup milk 1 ½ Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil 1/8 tsp almond extract 1 Tbsp sugar 1) Mix sugar and pancake mix together in small bowl. 2)Combine the liquids in another bowl, stirring to emulsify. 3)Pour liquids over dry and stir with spatula until most of the big lumps are gone, but is still a little lumpy. 4)Pour a little less than ¼ cup onto very warm (almost hot) nonstick pan, sprayed with oil. Fry on both sides, about 2 minutes on each side. *To tell if the pan is hot enough, preheat it on medium heat before you start the pancake batter. Pour a little water on your fingers and sprinkle onto the pan. When the water sizzles and jumps around, it’s hot enough. Makes 9-10 3” pancakes.
LunchGingered Carrot SoupToasted GF Baguette slices from Wheatless in Seattle (or your favorite brand)Spinach salad with slices of tomato, basil, sunflower seedsGingered Carrot Soup 2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped 4 cups water 1 Tbsp butter 1 ½ cup chopped onion 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 Tbsp grated ginger 1 ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp each cumin, ground fennel, cinnamon, allspice, dried mint 3-4 Tbsp lemon juice 1 cup lightly toasted cashews 1) Cook carrots in water until soft. 2) Meanwhile, saute onion in butter, and add garlic and ginger. 3) Add salt, cumin, fennel, cinnamon, allspice, and dried mint. 4) Stir in cashews. 5) Working in batches, pour half of the carrots and water into a blender or food processor. 6) Add half of the onion mixture. 7) Place a clean towel over the top of the pitcher (rather than placing the lid onto the blender). 8) Pulse the mixture until chunky, then turn to low speed. Blend until smooth. 9) Pour this batch into a large bowl. 10) Repeat with remaining carrot and onion mixtures. Blend until smooth. 11) Pour into the same bowl and stir to blend. *You may want to return the mixture to a saucepan to reheat.
DinnerGluten-free Linguine noodles with CioppinoToasted GF Baguette from Wheatless in Seattle Cioppino based on The New Moosewood Cookbook, 2000 Serves 6 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 cup chopped onion 1 clove garlic, minced 1 cup chopped bell pepper 1 ½ cups canned tomatoes in juice (14.5 oz) 2 Tbsp tomato paste 1 cup dry red wine ½ tsp dried thyme ½ tsp dried oregano ½ tsp red pepper flakes – more or less to taste 2 whole bay leaves 1 tsp salt 2 cups vegetable stock 1 cup dry white wine ½ pound fresh mussels, cleaned ½ pound fresh clams, cleaned ½ pound shrimp, cleaned and shelled 1 pound fresh scallops1 pound gluten free linguine pasta ( I really like Tinkyada Pasta Joy brand)2 quarts water1 Tbsp salt¼ cup fresh basil, sliced into fine strips1) In a medium frying pan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Stir in bell pepper and saute for 5 minutes. Transfer to a 4-5 quart slow cooker. 2) Add the canned tomatoes, red wine, tomato paste, herbs, spices, 1 tsp salt, white wine, and vegetable stock. Cook on low for 4 hours. 3) Turn up heat to high. Add mussels, clams, shrimp, and scallops. Cook 30-45 mins until shells open. Remove bay leaves. Discard unopened shells. Fold in the fresh basil. 4) About 20 minutes before serving, heat 2 quarts water in a large stockpot. Add 1 tbsp salt. Bring water to a boil, then add the pasta. Cook 14-16 minutes, or according to the package. 5) Drain pasta and rinse quickly in water. Place pasta back in empty pot. (If not serving immediately, drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent sticking)6) Serve Cioppino over pasta with plenty of chewy baguette toast points on the side*Make the baguette gourmet by slicing “on a bias” (at a diagonal) and then rubbing one side of the bread with a sliced clove of garlic, as though you are scrubbing the garlic slice on the bread. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and toast in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until toasty and hot. See, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it?So…what’s for dessert? Look for it after the ‘votes’ are counted for the gluten-free dessert contest!