Sunday, September 7, 2014

Summertime Gluten Free Restaurant Discoveries

So Labor Day has come and gone, my husband is back to work as an 8th grade teacher, and choir practice at church is back in session.

Summer is over.

And that's probably good thing, because I ate a LOT of food this summer. But the majority of it was good, real good. Just in case you end up near any of these places in your travels, here's some highlights.

The BEST
Chick Fil A - I'm sure you're wondering why on earth I'm including a fast food place and listing it in the best category. Well, I live in Michigan, and we don't have Chick Fil A near us anywhere. Not in Flint, not in Lansing, not in Grand Rapids. So I made my family stop there when we were on our way to Tennessee.
Not only was the food really enjoyable, (grilled chicken bites that were SUPER delicious and gluten free waffle fries) but the staff was stellar as well. LOVE Chick-Fil-A.


Burger Up - Okay, I really enjoy Red Robin, but Burger Up is my new favorite burger place EVER. Seriously, in my whole life. My burger has BEETS on it. BEETS! This burger has changed my life.
They use locally sourced beef, make their own ketchup so there is no HFCS, and their portions are super generous. Super. I love me some french fries (of which I could have received a free refill), but I could barely finish my lunch.



The Pfunky Griddle - As a Celiac, usually breakfast "out" is relegated to omelettes, as long as we can verify that it's not made on the same place as gluten filled pancakes. At Pfunky Griddle, you make your own food, on your won DEDICATED gluten free griddle. That's right, DE-DI-CATED.
So order up a batch of gluten free batter (which also comes with free refills) and your one free topping choice and create away.

Yogurt Mountain - So when we went on vacation, it was to see my 8 year old niece. And since we only see each other once a year (and we had just eaten a large lunch at Burger Up), I was the cool aunt that said, "How about we just have ice cream for dinner?' Yep, all of that is true. So after a quick visit to see my mom at work (she was working the night shift at the local hospital) we took a stop at Yogurt Mountain. Best part, ALL of the flavors that are gluten free are labeled RIGHT on the machine. No guess work, no asking a long laundry list of questions. Oh, and they give you little sampler cups so you can try flavors before you make you make up your frozen yogurt creation. Free ice cream? I'm in!

The Good
For Crepe's Sake - Sometimes you find the best gluten free products at your local farmer's market. We happened up on this brand new crepe business at the Lansing City Market that had not one, but 2 DEDICATED gluten free griddles. The owner has Celiac disease and totally understands the steps to prevent cross contamination. They were pretty good, and the owner even came to talk to us later, asked our input, and wanted constructive feedback on how he could improve things. Totally cool. Please check then out when you're in the Capital City.



Sweet Peaces Vegan Cafe - So my BFF college roommate is vegetarian and flew back to Michigan from Texas.  While she was back here for some family events, she was able to sneak a day away to come visit us. So I was totally interested in taking her to the new Flint Farmer's Market and to the new vegan restaurant inside. The majority of the food is Indian, which totally works, as Sarah's husband is from India. And I LOVE Indian food.
The best thing was the yam fries. The name is a bit misleading, as they are actually baked and not fried. This prevents the whole issue of oil cross contamination. And, it comes with some amazing chipotle dip made from Vegannaise. It was so good that my husband (who hates mayo) said that we could starting using it at home!

Jack's Place - I know I've written about Jack's Place before, but they are beyond wonderful. Our Celiac support group did a bowling outing there, and they treated us like family. The head chef has Celiac disease and prepares all the gluten free food himself, in a dedicated area. They even have rosemary potatoes to go along with their gluten free burgers instead of french fries. Their pizza, served on Gillian's crust, was so delicious. The spouse of one of our GF members said it may just be the best non-gluten pizza crust he's ever had at a restaurant.
If you ever find yourself in Flushing, MI do yourself a favor and stop in. And tell them Margaret sent you!

The Not So Good
The Corner Bar - The draw at this bar in Rockford is the hot dogs. They have a challenge that if you can eat a dozen of their chili dogs, sauce and all, your name is put up on the wall. They have GF buns, but in all honesty they weren't that good. They fell apart and the hot dogs themselves left much to be said for. Neat experience, but I don't feel the need to go back.

'WICHES - This sandwich shop in Oxford MI has gluten free sandwiches and gluten free cookies. AND they are trained by the GIG restaurant program, so you KNOW they understand the risks of cross-contamination. They were good, but like most places offering gluten free options, the gf bread was different and small...and there was an upcharge. In all honesty for the price I paid, I was disappointed. Overall, good sandwich and nice staff, but I don't plan on going back.

THE NIGHTMARE
57 Brew Pub and Bistro-
This is a first for me in so many ways. The first time I've purposely written to tell people to NEVER go to a restaurant. And the first time in my life that I have ever stood up from my table after ordering dinner and left the restaurant.

So, it was our anniversary and we were vacationing in the greater Grand Rapids area. My husband is SUPER amazing and he's really good about doing the things that I enjoy. On this trip, I wanted to take my husband to places that would make him smile and that he would enjoy. I wasn't a beer drinker before being diagnosed, but my husband does enjoy a good dark beer.
So we went to an establishment that brewed its own beer and specifically marked on its menu the dishes that they offered that could be prepared gluten free.
I should have run for the hills after walking in and the greeter showed me their pizza oven and stated that they cool all the pizzas there, GF and non GF, but that's okay because the oven is super hot and burns off all the gluten. But we stayed anyway.
And my husband ordered a beer. Now, he doesn't drink beer everyday, but he knows how beer is brewed and knows what he likes. He was surprised by the beer the waitress brought him, as he was expecting a different flavor based on the beer that he had chosen. He mentioned it to the waitress, and then she realized she brought him the wrong beer. Strike #1.
I decided on a salad for dinner and my husband ordered a turkey reuben. In case I haven't mentioned it before, I'm not the only person in the house with medical issues with food. My husband is allergic to pork and shellfish. (My husband jokes that even as a Christian, God intends for him to keep kosher.)
We sat quietly, talking while my husband sipped his beer.
When our food came out, my husband was the first to notice an issue with my salad.
There was a huge crouton on it. Strike #2
When the waitress walked away with it to make me a new one, my husband had greater concern that this establishment was not safe for me to eat at. When the waitress cam back to apologize again, we asked her to get a box for my husband's sandwich and we would just take his food to go.
So she brings him a box, and as he proceeds to place his sandwich in it, he notices something.
BACON. Strike #3.
We were both stunned. I immediately went to go look at the menu again, in case we missed something. Nope, no bacon listed on the menu for that sandwich.
It's at this point that the manager comes out. We explain the situation and then Brad asks if that is indeed bacon on his sandwich. At first the manager says no. Then, upon second look, he states that it was indeed bacon from the grill. He stated that we would not have to pay for any of our meal (ah, yeah) and asked if we wanted a gift card.
Yeah, that was a definite NO.
So, we left the restaurant, found a local small delivery pizza shop called BC Pizza that had safe gluten free preparation stations, and we shared a pizza for dinner. The staff was great and they even sang in the background. Not intentionally for us, but it sure helped lighten the mood from the experience we had just had.

So here's hoping you had some excellent gluten free dining choices during your summer travels. What places have you visited that I should be sure to check out the next time I'm traveling?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Homegrown Minestrone Soup

When you have Celiac Disease, you are always so grateful to those people who "get it," who take extra care when they prepare food for you, who understand cross contamination, and go out of their way to insure that you are safe.

I am so blessed that my husband is one of those people. After a few food incidents this summer, my husband has recently decided that he wants to make sure that our home is a total gluten free haven, and he is going to go gluten free in our household. He is definitely my biggest supporter and I am so blessed. I can't even begin to put it into words.

So what does this have to do with minestrone soup?

Well, I received some new pasta from a company called Banza, and wanted to make minestrone soup with our  homegrown tomatoes, zucchini, basil and green beans. The base was to be the leftover broth made from the local chicken we roasted earlier this week.

And then today I had one heck of a headache. You know, one of those that you don't want to move a single muscle, let alone get up and be among the moving. One of those headaches where a warm compress is your best friend and you need to suck on a peppermint because the pain has also made you nauseous.

So on this beautiful Saturday Michigan morning, my husband comes home from guitar practice and asks if he can make me some minestrone soup. Can he? Absolutely!

But when you're a blogger, habits are hard to break. So, bravely I ask,
"Can you use the new pasta and take lots of pictures?"

"Sure, no problem!"

Man, I am SO blessed.

So he took beautiful pictures, step by step, and served me one of the best meals in a long time. With flavors right from the garden, life doesn't get much better than this. It even helped open up some of my clogged sinus passages and quelled the icky feeling in my stomach.
(Although the opening up of the sinus passages may have something to do with the whole peppercorns that accidentally fell in the soup as my husband mistakenly broke the pepper grinder! I highly suggest leaving that step out.)

All of this is about to become some of the best soup I've ever eaten. 

Sometimes I think the most beautiful thing ever is the bright colors of fresh cut vegetables.

We are always "tweaking" things in our recipes. Even though the recipe didn't call for it, my husband added some delicious Miller Farms Chicken Sausage. No antibiotics and locally raised here in Michigan. 


Get in my belly! 
The neat thing about the Banza pasta is that you don't even boil it, so Brad was able to add it in at the last moment, let it take a warm soak in the chicken broth. It was good and held together well, but the recipe he followed didn't call for a lot of pasta, so I'm definitely going to have to use it in another recipe to give it a better review.

What's your fave way to use rotini pasta? What recipe should I use Banza pasta in next?




Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August 2014 Love It Like It Leave It

It's officially September. Labor Day has come and gone, school is back in session, and the weather is getting cooler. As I sit down after a nice walk, I have time to write about what new things I tried last month.

Love It

Frankly Fresh Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves - During our anniversary trip in Grand Rapids, I went to Costco for the first time. And it was everything that I dreamed it would be. I've been seeing posts from other friends for quite sometime now, with visions of huge loaves of Udi's bread and other gluten free finds. It was finally my turn to seek and conquer!

On this visit we found some of the most delicious grape leaves. I really like the grape leaves at my local middle eastern store, but they are definitely appetizer size. But the grape leaves at Costco are a major meal. At 60 calories per serving, they leave you feeling full without weighing you down. A 2 lb box only cost us $10, and we had them for lunch many days during that weekend. I wish I had some right now.


Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips- I have some blogger friends that have been talking about their love of these chocolate chips for some time. If you are unfamiliar with Enjoy Life Foods, they are free from 8 of the most common allergens. So, this means this chocolate chips are dairy free. I found a package on sale while I was on vacation, so I was excited to give them a try.
And now I know why people eat them by the handful! They are really good and they are PERFECT for making chocolate chip pancakes.They were also great in the chocolate chip cranberry cookie bars!
I've been told that if I like these that I really need to try the dark chocolate chunks. Those might have to be on my next shopping list.

Like It

Aldi's Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix - The new line of Aldi's gluten free products has been all the buzz lately. I've tried some of their products which I recently reviewed. This is the first time that I've tried the cookies. They were pretty good, and they went quickly at our church picnic. I don't think people even knew that they were gluten free!

Jimmy Dean's Delights Chicken Sausage- If living gluten free isn't enough of a challenge, our household is also pork free and shellfish free due to my husband's allergies. I was pleased to find this sausage as the store, especially when I had coupons for $1.25 off a package.
In general, we don't usually buy packaged meat like this, but every once in a while it's worth a try. I was really pleasantly surprised. The taste was wonderful without being weighed down by a lot of calories. One of the things I liked is that the sausages (links or patties) are packaged in smaller portions, so you can only take out what you need. Thumbs up!

Leave It
Plocky's Hummus Chips - I love to try new and interesting things. Enter Plocky's Hummus Chips.
We found these at a small local store while on vacation and thought they would go great with our grape leaves and the zukeanoush that we brought with us.
The only problem is, they didn't have much flavor.
I think I'll stick with my Mediterranean Foods crackers and lentil chips.


So what new things have you tried this recently that you think are worth sharing with the world? Please leave me a comment as I LOVE to hear about new products! 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Celiac Fundraiser a.k.a What I want for my birthday

I remember as a kid I was always concerned that my birthday was on September 13th. Honestly, for years I was afraid that I was born on a Friday. (I was actually born on a Tuesday.)
But everyone sees 13 as an unlucky number. Seriously, just ask my husband why 13 people couldn't be around the dinner table when he was a kid. Bad mojo.
Besides, 13 is an odd number and I have a thing for even numbers.

But this year I'm trying to make the number 13 a GREAT thing.

This year I'm participating in the Lansing FARE walk that is taking place on September 13th, on MY birthday!

So what exactly is FARE?
"Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is the nation’s leading organization working on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergy, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis.  Our mission is to find a cure for food allergies, and to keep individuals with food allergies safe and included."

 1 in 13 children have food allergies – "roughly two in every classroom."  (There's that number 13 again!) 

"But Celiac Disease is an Autoimmune Disease, not an allergy." 
While Celiac Disease is truly NOT a food allergy, the initiatives that FARE puts in place truly impacts the lives of those living with Celiac disease. While their main arms are Research, Education, Advocacy and Awareness, it is the Education component that makes the biggest difference in the life of a Celiac. 

Education

FARE’s educational programs and resources help individuals and families manage food allergies and live safer, healthier lives. With funds raised by our 2013 Walk teams and volunteers, we developed an interactive online training program for restaurant staff in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, and created a series of educational webinars on topics of importance to individuals and families managing food allergies."  

"So why aren't you donating money to a Celiac Disease Center instead?"
Through blogging and working with food fairs and support groups, I meet more and more moms, dads, and children who are living with multiple food allergies, trying to navigate the landmines of social eating and getting others to realize that food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances are a serious thing. I'm quick to stand up to people who get all twitterpatted because they don't understand why their school is peanut free. 

So this year I'm participating in the FARE walk. I'm toying with walking a half marathon next year (13.1 miles) , but this year, the FARE walk has everything organized for me to start quickly. I'm honored to be walking for Celiacs, nut free kids and people everywhere who just want to have a "normal" life.

So this year for my birthday I don't want gifts for myself. 
This year I want to give the gift of health and life to those living with Celiac Disease and other food allergies. How do I accomplish this? 

Here's where the number 13 comes into play again. 
I'm asking family, friends and followers to donate $13 in honor of my birthday towards my FARE walk page. $13 is the cost of one large pizza at most regular pizzeria's- Hungry Howie's, Cottage Inn, etc. (I won't even begin to talk about the cost of a gluten free pizza.) So, the question is, could you give up a take out pizza for a day for the sake of someone else who probably has to give up eating pizza out for most of the rest of their life? 

I have a few different fundraising goal levels- 

Goal Level 1- $133- This breaks down to approximately 11 persons donating $13 each. The prevalence of Celiac Disease is 1 in 133. This is why I highlight this number. And that's less than a dozen people, so let's think of a bigger amount!

Goal Level 2 - $286 - The breaks down to 22 x 13. Why 22? Because the prevalance of Celiac Disease among 1st degree relatives is 1- 22. Celiac Disease is GENETIC. If you are diagnosed or know someone who is, PLEASE convince them to get tested for Celiac Disease. PLEASE. If you have a friend with Celiac Disease, ask them if their family members have been tested. Don't know where to start? The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has a free online kit to help you get the ball rolling.  

Goal Level 3 - $ 832 - This breaks down to 63 x 13. Why this amount? Of the over 1 million people with celiac disease in this country, 83% of them are still undiagnosed. That means there are literally millions of people suffering with this disease and they don't even know it. One of my biggest passions is medical personnel awareness - this includes doctors, nurses, dentists and anyone that deals with helping care of the needs of others. A great way to start in this awareness now is to tell your doctors and all of your friends about this FREE online webinar for where they can get FREE CEU's. This is created by two of the most WELL KNOWN and TRUSTED physicians in that Celiac Disease realm, Dr. Fasano and Dr. Guandalini. Please print out the frotn page of this site and share it with ALL doctors that you know. 
http://limelightdc.com/clientarea/naspghan_gluten_webinar_06_13/landing_page.html

Level 4- $1330 - The breaks down to approximately 102 donors. This is 10 times my original goal and would TOTALLY blow my mind. But I also know that I have over 1,000 pageviews on my blog a month, so I know that my readers are totally capable! 

Level 5- If I can get more than that amount of money, I will be ecstatic. I'll will giveaway a prize pack to one person who donates above the $1330 limit! 

So please be willing to consider supporting this initiative of my birthday. You're even welcome to come walk with me, as there is no fee to register. There are always great family fun activities the day of the event, as well as free samples to take home. 

Here's to making 13 a lucky number, because we will have the funds for food allergy awareness and education!

Want to get involved? Donate by following this link-

http://www.foodallergywalk.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1102608&lis=1&kntae1102608=57B4811D27AD44C8B459E74F83AD7C5C&supId=411743709#





Click on this link to my FARE page to donate now.

Wondering if you might have Celiac Disease? Take this checklist. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Udi's Prize Pack

I took part in my first Twitter party this summer, and it was sponsored by Udi's. A Twitter party is an interesting phenomenon. It's held at a set time, and someone posts a question and everyone responds to it. You are able to see everyone's responses and it feels a bit like you are talking to lots of people from all across the country at the same time.
And there are often prizes, and I won a prize pack from Udi's. I was expecting a package with two or three things. There were 12 Udi's items in one box. Talk about a jackpot of a giveaway! Here's a recap of what I won. 

Breads
Mighty Bagels - This are probably my favorite bagels from Udi's. It's a close second to their Everything Bagels. With all of the seeds and cranberries, it's incredibly filling. 
Hot Dog Buns - Tried and true, these are probably the best gluten free hot dog buns I've ever had.
Omega Flax and Fiber Bread - This is the first time I've tried this bread, and let me tell you that it's addictively tasty. Because of its whole grain goodness, it's incredibly filling and amazingly delicious.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread - I love to have this toasted with a smear of cream cheese. And with only 150 calories for 2 slices of bread, it's a great indulgence without a lot of guilt.

Treats
Peanut Butter Coconut Cookies - Udi's came out with a new line of Soft Baked cookies, and I was excited to receive these as they were the one flavor I hadn't tried yet. They're really good. REALLY good. In an attempt to not eat them all at once. I put the box in a Ziploc bag and placed them in the deep freezer. (Out of sight, out of mind.) And after taking one out and letting it come to room temperature, they were incredibly soft and tasty once again. Win!

Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites- This small brownie bite is perfect for satisfying that chocolate craving. To increase the chocolate satisfaction, there are also mini chocolate chips in them!
Double Vanilla Muffins - These taste exactly like pound cake. I can totally see these cut open with fresh strawberries and whipped cream on top. I see this more of a dessert than a muffin, as is their double chocolate chip muffin. Especially at 250 calories per muffin, this is not something you would want to eat every morning.

Granola
I still cannot tolerate oats, so I had to rely on the reviews of others.
Sweet & Fruity Cranberry Granola - Laura and my husband both liked this. It's a bit on the sweet side and it's good on yogurt or for a dessert topping.
Cranberry Almond Granola Bars- Laura said that these were reminiscent of Quaker Chewy granola bars. She did state that they're not very filling.

Other Fun stuff
Ancient Grain Jalapeno Cheddar Crisps- I really enjoy this new chip line by Udi's. They remind me of Sun Chips, which I really missed after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I was surprised how much I enjoyed these Jalapeno Crisps, as I don't like spicy things. I was going to try crushing them and using them to bread chicken, but they were so good that the bag was finished off pretty quickly. Major deliciousness.
Tortillas (Small and Large) - Udi's sent me 2 packages of their tortillas, both the small and large tortillas. We've had these before and my non-gf husband really enjoys them. He even stated that he liked them better than regular flour tortillas. I found an interesting online link about making your own hot pockets with tortillas. I would only suggest trying to make these with the large tortillas. It was fun, although not quite the same. Important note, make sure to let it cool completely if you decide to make one. It honestly tastes better as the flavors meld together, not to mention you don't burn your mouth this way!

So which Udi's products would you like to try?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Celiac Awareness 2014 - Educating our health professionals

As the years pass and more is done in the Celiac Disease community to promote awareness, I am still amazed that there is one group that still seems to be in the dark- 

Doctors

Through being a blogger, a president of a local support group, and a gluten free fair organizer, I hear story after story of doctors who were not knowledgeable or downright negligent. I've heard stories of people who felt like they were close to death because doctors wouldn't run tests, stories of uneducated dietitians who told their patients to eat more wheat, and stories of doctors who told their client that they just needed to take an anti-depressant. 

Enough is enough. This year for my birthday, which also happens to be Celiac Awareness Day, I want to call on my fellow bloggers, friends and followers to help educate their primary care physicians, their nurses, their dentists - anyone in the medical field- to take the time to educate themselves about Celiac Disease. 

There are many ways that medical personnel can educate themselves. Some are free online and able to be done at their own leisure. Some are on-site, intensive, and require fees to be paid. Both of these are helpful and important. Please consider sharing these links and information with your medical personnel. I am listing them in the order of easiest to most involved. 

Entry Level- 
This online webinar from the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterologists, Hepatology and Nutrition is created by doctors that are knowledgeable and that I TRUST. Dr. Alessio Fasano is one of these doctors, and his book "Gluten Freedom" is a must read for everyone in my personal opinion, doctors or patients. If I could afford it, I would give a copy of this book to every doctor in Genesee County.
Don't let the name of the group presenting this webinar deter those whom you are sharing this with. "This activity is designed for pediatric and adult gastroenterologists, primary care physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, trainees, dietitians, and other health care professionals who are involved in the care of patients with gluten related disorders." 
This will take just over an hour of their time and they also get continuing education credits. There is no fee listed on the site. Win-win situation. This offer expires June 4, 2016
Link - http://bit.ly/NASPGHANceliacwebinar

Invested level- 
Harvard Medical School also offers an online training program. This course has a $40 fee, but they also get more continuing education credits as a result. This course is also created by doctors whose names can be trusted. This program is more "serious" as that participants cannot progress to the next section of the program without answering questions correctly. I LOVE this added feature! This offer ends July 29 2017
Link- http://cmeonline.med.harvard.edu/course_descriptions.asp?Course_id=125

Devoted Level- 
The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center offers a "one-of-a-kind preceptorship program." This center in Chicago is one of my most trusted hospitals doing research in the field today. While some doctors may be looking for a pill or treatment, U of C is looking for an actual CURE. Dr. Guandalini and his staff are at the forefront of research as well as assisting those already diagnosed. 
Their program is an on-site training program at U of C that only takes place once a year. This year's event is in December. While it is $500 per doctor and $250 for nurses and dietitians, the knowledge they will learn will be incredibly invaluable. The knowledge they gain will save someone's life. Priceless.
Link- http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/medical-professionals/preceptorship

(More info about what they offer medical professionals can be found here - http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/medical-professionals/guide) 

So what am I asking you to do, my family, friends and followers? This year for my birthday I don't want gifts or cards. (Although I'm considering doing a fundraising walk- more details to come later.) 

I want you to help me help others. 

How? While I want you to share the HECK out of this blogpost, even more importantly I'm asking you to share and ENCOURAGE your doctors and medical professionals to review this information. We need our health care providers to know the FACTS about Celiac Disease, not just what they heard from someone else or the opinions they have formed by comments of those following the gluten free fad. 

Recently I was talking to someone who had been struggling with Celiac disease for 2 years because their doctor lacked knowledge and was negligent. After talking to her on the phone for at least 45 minutes she said to me, "After talking to you I FINALLY have HOPE." 

Wow. While that honored amd humbled me, I was still heart broken that there are those living without hope due to ignorance. I just can't tolerate that anymore. 

So that's the bottom line. This year, I want to be able to offer hope to others- hope that they no longer have to suffer, hope that they're not in this alone, hope that they can truly LIVE again. 

Amen. 






Wednesday, August 6, 2014

More Mexican with Maseca

We've been busy in the kitchen with our Maseca flour, and it's time to share the love.

Tortillas-

My husband has perfected his tortilla making skills. After a first pressing of the tortilla, he uses his fingers to massage the center of the dough and thin it out even more. He then presses them again, and the tortillas are nice and thin and go to the edge of the tortilla press. The original directions on the Maseca bag suggested that one use wax paper to prevent the tortillas from sticking to the press. Sometimes I wonder if words get mixed up in translation, because we have found that using plastic cling wrap is so much better and makes the process quick and smooth.

With these tortillas, I don't think I ever want to purchase store-bought, premade tortillas again. Seriously. Easy, clean, and guaranteed to be gluten free because they're being made in MY house.


Black Bean Enchiladas -

More than once now my husband has made the most delicious enchiladas with our homemade tortillas. We can't seem to remember if he followed a recipe the first time he made these black bean enchiladas or if they were just created by his
imagination.Stuffed with black beans, corn, tomatoes and cheese, this is a restaurant style delicacy. To take it over the top, we add a dollop of Greek yogurt (we no longer use sour cream in our house) and a dollop of homemade guacamole.


Mexican Lasagna -

This recipe from Maseca really intrigued me, as I'm used to using tortillas to make a Mexican lasagna, not a dough. But I have to say this is definitely one of my new favorite dishes. With layers of ground beef and a mixture of cottage and mozzarella cheeses, it is a ooey gooey savory mouthful of YUM!

To make the dough layers even, I separated the dough in half, rolled it out in the bottom of my greased baking dish, then inverted the dish and flipped  the layer onto a plate.

Next time I make this I want to carefully try to roll it our in a 9x13 dish instead of a 9x9.  The dough layers in the pan were a little thick in comparison to the filling. But either way this is a dish that is sure to please!