Sunday, March 1, 2015

Homemade Gluten Free Deep Dish PIzza

I have a confession to make. This blog post is about the first time I've ever had deep dish pizza...ever. My whole life, I don't think I've ever , gf or not, had deep dish pizza.

But thank God, all of that has changed.

Last Christmas I used my large spring form pan to make an apple cake. My memory could be off, but I think it was the first time in our 11 years of married life that I had ever used it. (Or at the very least, not in a VERY long time.) I was super intrigued. What else could I make with it? Searches turned up cheesecake, chicken pot pie, lasagna, and DEEP DISH PIZZA. What?! Why had I never thought of that?

And then life goes on, you forget about such things until one day, miraculously your memory works for once and you say, Oh yeah, I've been meaning to do that.!

Enter Domata Pizza Crust mix. Domata was a vendor at the Lansing Gluten Free Fair in 2014 and they were generous enough to give me a few boxes of their products to try. One of which was pizza crust. Oh yeah.

So I searched the internet for how one makes an authentic deep dish pizza. And then I came across the world's most inspirational recipe. Individual deep dish pizzas made in MINI spring form pans. Which I actually own because I bought them to make hamburger buns. This was going to be EPIC!
(I did make one change- I did not do a top dough crust. There were plenty of recipes that didn't have one, so I figured I would be fine. Besides- extra crust would take away from the cheese!)

So I started with the Domata Pizza Crust mix, following the directions word for word. It was honestly a big gooey blob. I added quite a bit of my Krusteaz flour to make it so it was solid, rollable, and able to be worked with. As I knew I only had 6 pans, I separated my dough into 6 portions, rolling it into a circle probably a good 1-2 inches bigger than the circumference of the pan. This allowed for the dough to fit all the way up the side.

Following the recipe, I placed mozzarella cheese on the bottom. pepperoni, sauteed veggies, then sauce and more cheese. Because, cheese., right?

Loaded with cheese and in the oven!

6 servings of awesomeness!
In all honesty, my husband had fallen asleep on the couch when I was making these. When he woke from his slumber, he was amazed at the smell. Not a bad way to wake up, huh?

And even better, these came perfectly out of the pans. My most recent baking pan purchases have been Wilton products, and I have NOT been disappointed.

While my camera and my photo skills don't do this justice, believe me, they were wonderful. Not only were they great fresh out of the oven, my husband said it was great in his lunch the next day, and they were even still delicious frozen and reheated weeks later. The dough, even though it had originally hard to work with, was very tasty.

While I may not use the Domata flour again, I will DEFINITELY be making these deep dish pizzas again. Hopefully I have encouraged you to try it on your own. If you don't have a spring form pan, I did see some recipe that suggested making  large single deep dish pizza in a cast iron skillet.

***P.S. While Domata's Recipe Ready Flour made AMAZING gluten free chocolate chip cookies, the flour blend did not pass the pancake test, and in general I wasn't pleased with it. I used the seasoned flour according to their recipe. My first attempt wasn't my favorite, but I want to try it again. Their products are also pricey. Honestly, if I was doing a Love It, Like It, Leave It post, I think it would be a "Leave It." Bummer.

So, have you had successes with Domata Flour or with deep dish pizzas. I want to learn from you!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gluten Free No Boil Baked Ziti

I love gluten free pasta. But one thing that I don't love is that 
sometimes it tends to fall apart when you boil it. 

That's why I've been on a mission to make baked dishes 
in which you don't need to boil the pasta first. 
That's right, no boiling the pasta first. 
Just put it in raw. 
Trust me on this. 

I have some Schar Bonta D'Italia Penne sample packs leftover from the Lansing Gluten Free Fair. They had a case left over and were nice enough to give them to me- to pass out to support group members, to give to those newly diagnosed, to play with and to share with the local homeless shelter that I serve. 
I've been able to make good on all of those options!

We will again be serving at My Brother's Keeper Homeless Shelter this Thursday and I wanted to try out a no-boil baked ziti recipe, trying it at home before serving it to 
40 hungry men. 

 The original recipe didn't call for any vegetables, but I added sauteed onion, red pepper and spinach. When it first came out, it was a bit loose. Regardless. it was super delicious and it had set up beautifully once it had cooled a bit and we went back for seconds. The pasta was cooked perfectly and even amazing reheated the next day when we had it for leftovers. 

This recipe is definitely a go for this Thursday....
and will be made again in our home for sure!

We served the ziti with pan sauteed chicken and roasted potatoes.

**I adapted this recipe from the Ragu website.**

1 jar (1 lb. 8 oz.) spaghetti sauce (I used Prego)
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese (I used cottage cheese)
    2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (about 8 oz.), separated
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    12 ounces uncooked ziti pasta (used 12 oz. instead of the original 8 oz.) 

Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine Sauce with water in large bowl. Stir in ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese 
and Parmesan cheese, then uncooked ziti.
Evenly spoon ziti mixture into 13 x 9-inch baking dish. 
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 55 minutes.
Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
 Bake uncovered an additional 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Chebe Thanksgiving Pasties

I think it's safe to say that the signature dish of Thanksgiving is stuffing. Turkey is great, cranberries are tasty, but good stuffing is the highlight of the meal.

So what if you made a "stuffing" pie crust, filled it with traditional Thanksgiving staples and baked it in the oven? You'd have a Thanksgiving pasty that you could eat on the go!

When Chebe sent me a case of products to play with this past fall, they included their focaccia mix and a few recipe cards. I looked over their recipe for stuffing and thought about how I could combine that with the idea of a pie crust to stuff it with Thanksgiving favorites. As the focaccia mix is loaded with herbs, all that was missing was the sage and thyme. I added about a tsp. of each, used 4 tbsp. frozen, grated butter like I did in the regular pie crust recipe, and chilled my dough. It weighed approximately 18 ounces, so I separated the dough into three sections.

As far as proportions for the filling, I followed a pasty recipe on Cooking Channel TV website. For those of you unfamiliar with pasties, it is a Michigan staple. A crust filled with meat and tasty bits, baked in the oven, and edible anywhere. It's traditionally filled with ground beef, rutabaga and potatoes- but for my creative recipe I focused on deli turkey, butternut squash, potatoes, cranberry goat cheese, and onions. And a bit of brie cheese for good measure.

I mixed all the ingredients in a bowl and stuffed each piece of dough with approximately 3/4 cup of ingredients. I didn't measure how many I had of each ingredient- sorry. I know I used 4 oz. of squash and cubed one small potato. I used about 2-3 oz of goat cheese. As far as red onion, I just used what I had left in the fridge. Probably a 1/2 of a red onion. 

And this is how it turned out. The smell from the oven was amazing. And since I made three, the hubby got to take one to school.  

It was a bit dry, which I think is because I used already cooked deli meat. (Plus I faield to brush the outside with beaten egg.) I definitely want to play around with this again, using raw dark turkey meat and more goat cheese. My husband's suggestion is to leave the potato out entirely and solely focus on the butternut squash. We did serve it with homemade applesauce, which was a great addition, like a fruit flavored gravy!

So what creative things have you made with Chebe products? Do you have something you'd like to see me create? Leave me a comment below and let me know how Chebe has impacted your baking.

Also, I'll be helping out at the Chebe table at the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest in Columbus and the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo in Chicago. Stop by, say hi, and take advantage of some great Chebe deals!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Send Me Gluten Free Subscription box review and giveaway

   As a person with Celiac Disease, as well as a gluten free blogger and support group chairperson, I love to try new gluten free products. Even better, I love to be able to get the word out about companies that are working hard to service those who follow a gluten free diet. With an ever expanding gluten free market, it can be hard to know what to try.

   That's where Send Me Gluten Free subscription boxes come in handy. Once a month, they will deliver a box of assorted gluten free products right to your door. It's like going to a gluten free expo once a month without leaving the comfort of your own home!

   While Send Me Gluten Free has only been around since August of 2014, the people behind this company have been working to "make gluten free life easier" for almost a decade. What started in 2008 with a Chicago expo run by Jen Cafferty, has now become a major marketing group with dedicated gluten free expos around the country, the Find Me Gluten Free restaurant app and now the Send Me Gluten Free subscription box. Through these platforms, they have helped over 2 million consumers and worked with over 500 brands.

   I previously purchased a three month subscription and was pleased with every box. I think September's box was probably my favorite. But don't' just take m y word for it. Check out these reviews of the AugustSeptember and October boxes  from other bloggers. I think the September box was my favorite by far. With products from GoPicnic, Pamela's Products, Virtuous Living, Lovely Candy Company and Schar, what's not to like!

   They recently contacted me about reviewing one of their boxes on my blog, and I was very excited. I've been to their Chicago Expo and use their Find Me Gluten Free App all the time to ensure that I can dine safely. Here's a look over what they sent me! (And I'll be representing the Chebe Bread table at their Chicago GFAF Expo this year, so be sure to follow my blog, Instagram and Twitter for reviews about new products there!) 

(Disclaimer- I was provided a box for free but all of my opinions are my own.) 

   While I haven't tried everything in the box yet, I'm SUPER excited about the Birch Benders Pancake Mix. We have pancakes in our house EVERY Saturday. I plan to make those this weekend.
The Brownie Thins are tasty, because they're chocolate! (And made with Cassava Flour and FIVE ancient grains!) I quickly devoured the Luna bar (LOVE their protein line of products) and the Ocho candy bar. (Their website says they have a Dark Coffee bar that I'd LOVE to try!) I'm really excited about the coupon for the free TransOcean seafood products. It says on their website that as of Fall 2014, their ENTIRE facility is 100% gluten free. I place high value on companies that take steps to make the changes necessary to ensure my safety!

The Send Me Gluten Free box is a great way to try new products. It's ideal for:
  • A college student carepackage, or gift for someone gluten free
  • Newly diagnosed Celiacs or individuals new to gluten free living
  • People who want to experience new products and brands
  • Individuals who are unable to attend the Gluten & Allergen Free Expos
Honestly, it's great for just about anyone following a gluten free diet. 

Send Me Gluten Free offers month to month, three month, six month and one year subscriptions. Prices range from $20-$30 per month depending on the subscription length with free shipping for all customers.

And here's an added bonus! If you enter BLOG20 at checkout, you will get 20% off

If you ordered the 12 month subscription (normally $240) and enter the code at checkout, that would bring your total price down to $192, which averages $16 a month. Considering the pouch of Birch Benders Pancake mix sells for $9 alone on their website, $16 a month seems like a pretty good deal! That's almost 50% off their single month price! 

But wait! There's more! 

Send Me Gluten Free is allowing me to give one box to one lucky reader! To enter, comment below by February 24th, noting what type of item you would wish would be in the box. One lucky winner will have a box shipped to them by March 2nd! 

So leave me a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Margaret Clegg

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Gluten Free Special K + recipe

Kellogg's has added a new gluten free cereal to their line up- Special K
With the loads of Special K items and derivations in the grocery store, it seemed natural that they would offer this sooner or later. This "Touch of Brown Sugar" cereal has a hint of sweetness. 

For those that don't know, Kellogg's is a Michigan company based in Battle Creek, Michigan. It was started by Will Keith Kellogg. He and his brother, John Harvey, were the original inventors of flaked cereal. The were Seventh-Day Adventists and believed in eating a vegetarian diet. Brother John Harvey was a certified physician and believed that most diseases are related to poor intestinal health, including bacterial flora. 
Special K was the first high protein cereal on the market.

 When my husband was young, his mother would make a dish that was called "Special K Loaf." She purportedly got the recipe from her boss, who himself was Seventh-Day Adventist. While the name "loaf" may be misleading as it is actually made in a 9x13 pan, it is a high protein meal. It is made with cottage cheese, numerous eggs, seasonings and Special K. As odd as it may sound, it's rather tasty. My husband was so excited that I bought this cereal and made this dish!

Special K Loaf
1 24 oz. container cottage cheese (I suggest Daisy brand.)
1/4 c. oil or melted butter
1/2 c. milk
2-4 packs of George Washington Broth seasoning
5 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp. onion flakes (or one small onion, chopped)
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces/meal (can substitute other nuts)
5-6 cups lightly crushed gluten free Special K cereal

In a large bowl, mix ingredients in the order listed. Place in a 9 x 13 greased pan. Bake 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. For a firmer loaf, you can omit milk.
(When I served leftovers the next day, the loaf had set up very well, and was delicious rewarmed.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Krusteaz Gluten Free Products at Sam's

We've never been Sam's Club members. Being a household of only two people, both with food allergies, and no children, there hasn't really been a need for it. And after an amazing visit to Costco in Grand Rapids this past summer, I was even more convinced that Sam's would never hold anything for me. 

Then someone told me about the new Krusteaz products at Sam's. Well, maybe Sam's is worth a look after all. 

So, a friend of mine agreed to take me to Sam's, as we don't have a membership, and I went on a shopping adventure. We went aisle by aisle, looking at what gluten free food items they have to offer. All gluten free items have a teal sign, and all organic items have a green sign. I was pretty impressed. 

I found what I came searching for- the 3 lb box of Krusteaz Fudge Brownie Mix and the 5 lb bag of Krusteaz Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. The cost was incredibly reasonable-$7 and $10, respectively. I was shocked at the low price of the brownie mix- I think one package at Meijer is $4-$5 alone, and this large box has THREE packages in it. I quickly put these in my cart and continued shopping. (I also found some great, lean gluten free turkey meatballs. At $10 for a 4 lb package, I thought they were a great deal. They'll be reviewed on February's Love It, Like It, Leave It.) 

I quickly put the All Purpose Flour to the standard test- pancakes. I followed the recipe on the back of the bag. I'll admit, at first I was skeptical because it called for WAY more baking powder than I'm used to, and I had concerns about the xanthan gum in the flour blend. The last big bag blend (not Krusteaz) that I bought made awful pancakes, which I blamed on the gum. Plus, this pancake batter was incredibly thin.

But they were AMAZING. Light and fluffy, no grit, delicious. Daresay, I think I like them more than my Bob's Red Mill pancakes. One batch made close to 18 pancakes with only one and a quarter cups of flour. I even made a few with chocolate chips in them, in honor of the hubby's birthday. 

Now, the bag says that this flour can be a cup for cup replacement for wheat flour. Again, I was skeptical. So since we were snowed in from an early February snow storm, I decided to make muffins. Well, muffin tops anyway. I found this dairy-free applesauce muffin recipe on, replacing the whole wheat and all purpose flour in the recipe with the Krusteaz flour, and subbed Larabar's new Cinnamon Nut Renola for the granola called for in the recipe.

These are SO good. I originally shared half a muffin top with my husband, and he immediately came out to the kitchen for a second one. Super, super yummy. I might just need to go eat another one right now....

One of the things I like about this flour, other than the super reasonable price, is the ingredients. It is loaded with whole grains. Check out this list:

"Whole grain sorghum flour, brown rice flour (rice flour, rice bran), whole grain millet flour, rice flour. Contains 2% or less of the following: food starch-modified(tapioca), whole grain quinoa flour, xanthan gum. May contain milk, soy and eggs. " 

I think I'd still l like to try a few other things, especially things that you want light and fluffy. I'm thinking a two layer cake is in order and we will see how well it rises. Leave a comment below as to what type of cake you think I should make. 

I wasn't quite as impressed with the brownies, but my husband thought that they were great. I made two separate batches. For my first batch I made one package and mixed in a 1/2 cup of each - coconut, butterscotch chips, and peanuts. I also added 2 more tablespoons water, because it was extra thick with all the add-ins. If you want to get creative with the Double Chocolate Brownie mix, you can find recipes on their website. 

I was surprised that the grains used in the brownie mix were different than the grains in the all purpose flour. The only grain in the brownies is rice flour, with the first ingredient being sugar. I'm tempted to make brownies with their all purpose flour to see how they stack up. 

I baked these in my jelly roll pan, so they were super thin and almost came out more like chocolate brownie brittle than brownies. Which my husband really loved and was super excited that there were leftovers. 

I made the other two bags and baked them again in the jelly roll pan. I made no recipe substitutions and baked them according to the package. We took them to the free community family film night at our church, and all 35 of them were quickly consumed. 

So, in general the All-Purpose flour is something I'm willing to buy again. The brownies are good in a pinch, and because of the large quantity, I might only purchase them if I'm making them for a large function.

For a smaller batch of healthier brownies, check out the one I created Delight Gluten Free Magazine!

Have you bought these products? What do you think of them?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Beyond Basic Provisions Gluten Free Waffle Mixes

If anyone ever wants to get me a gift, it's safe to say that if it's a gluten free food item, I'm probably going to like receiving it. Because, well, FOOD!

My aunt gave us a food basket for Christmas filled with towels, assorted jams, All But Gluten Peanut Granola Bars and two boxes of Beyond Basic Provisions Gluten Free Waffle Mixes. While they make many flavors, French Vanilla and Double Chocolate were in the basket.

We made the French Vanilla waffles when my folks stayed over night. The batter was a bit thick, so I added more water. We made the Double Chocolate waffles when we had a friend over for breakfast on Christmas morning. With out the extra water, the waffles were a bit hard. I've also tried the Praline Royale waffle mix, and while it was good, the caramel bits in it were too sweet. You can find out more about their gluten free mixes, here, but note that they make GF AND non-GF mixes.

When I saw tham at an East Lansing store, there were pretty pricey. But my aunt left the price tag on the boxes she bought us, accidentally, and she had bought them someplace called "Bailey's" in Ohio for $0.99 a box! For that price I would definitely purchase them again. Full price, maybe not.

Double Chocolate Waffles

January 2015 Love It, Like It, Leave It

Life's been busy here in Flint, Michigan. And looking back I realized I haven't done a "Love It, Like It, Leave it" since the end of September. That means I have 4 months of new products to highlight! Don't worry, I won't write about them all. We all have better things to do with our lives. :)

I've tried lots of gluten free pastas in the past decade, and these may just be my favorite. Unlike most other pastas that are just a base for a sauce, these actually have a delicious flavor all on their own. They come in many different shapes, and we've tried the shells, linguine, and Veggie Curls. The Veggie Curls are extra fun as they are tri-colored. I've used the shells to make Mac and Cheese, the linguine to make chicken pomadoro, and the tri color Veggie Curls make a beautiful side pasta.
I managed to find all of these at Big Lots for $2 a box, so I stocked up.

They're usually much more expensive than this at any regular store, but you really should try them. They're worth it! 

BFree Brown Seeded Rolls
Photo from BFree Foods website

I first learned about BFree products at the Chicago GFAF Expo back in April 2014. I tried their wraps then, but wasn't overly impressed. I found these rolls at a specialty store in E. Lansing and they remind me of what I remember whole grain bread tasting like. They are by far not cheap, but for a special splurge, they're worth it.

Sam Mills Buckwheat and Millet Strawberry and Almond Granola

Photo from Walmart website
While certified gluten free oats are safe for some, they make me terribly ill. As more certified GF oat products pop up in the market, finding a granola without oats is getting harder to do. When I found this granola with oats and WITH buckwheat, I was super excited. Totally delicious and nutritious, it's great on its own, in milk, or on top of yogurt. It ranks slightly higher than Larabar's new Renola (which I also LOVE), simply because it's cheaper. Sam Mills products are made in Romania and are lower in cost than many other gluten free items. I don't think there has been anything from this company that I haven't liked. :) 

A few other things I've loved in the past few months- Simply Nature Kids Broccoli Bites from Aldi's, Blue Diamond Honey Mustard Nut Thins, evol Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese, Beanito's White Bean Nacho Cheese Chips (not to be confused with their Pinto Bean Better Cheddar, which are not tasty)

Like It

Rudi's Multi Grain Hot Dog Rolls- The reason I "like" these hot dog buns is that they really seem less like hot dog buns and more like hoagies. We used them for coney-style dogs, and they were delicious. My biggest complaint is that they are not already split. Word to the wise, if you're going to warm them in the micro for 10 seconds, keep them whole before splitting them.
We're having them today with leftover meatballs from the Super Bowl.
***Be warned, Rudi's Bakery makes GF AND non GF products. Make sure you're picking up the right item.

Mi-Del Candy Cane Cremes-
I'll be honest- I bought these because I was feeling sorry for myself. So many of my fellow bloggers were posting pictures of the new Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe Joe's, and I was wanting some pretty bad. Then I was in my local Meijer store and came across these! It was like a gift from God! They were tasty, and really good dipped in white chocolate. But in all honesty, now that I've had them, I think my craving will be permanently satisfied.

Thai Feast Garlic Black Pepper Chicken-

I wanted to mention this product because it's Michigan made and can be found at my local Kroger store. I also want to mention it because the family that makes this product also catered for Clint Eastwood when he was in Michigan filming "Gran Torino." Their business card has the coolest picture of the owner's mom next to Clint. Major awesomesauce. Plus, I love that this only has 300 calories per package.

Other products I've liked in the past few months- Kinnikinnick Soft White Bread, Edward & Sons Onion & Garlic Rice Snax, Russo's Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Aldi Live GFree Fusilli pasta

Leave It
Gillians's Homestyle Stuffing
I made this for myself this past Thanksgiving. I was majorly disappointed. It was very dry and not the flavor I was looking for, I guess. I'm better off making my Bob's Red Mill cornbread and making my own stuffing from scratch.

Sophie's Kitchen Vegan Crab Cakes

The Crab Cakes are to the far right of the picture
These are just a "no." I was originally so excited when I saw these at Foods For Living in East Lansing, MI. My husband has an shellfish intolerance, and these "crab"cakes were shellfish and gluten free. When we baked these up at home, they tasted bland and didn't remind me of crab at all.

Udi's Jalapeno Chicken Apple Sausage Breakfast Burrito
I was really excited when they Udi's burritos came out. But when I tried this burrito, I was less than enthused. Maybe one of their non-breakfast burritos will be better. In all honesty, I haven't found a frozen GF burrito that I've liked yet, so maybe I'm just really picky. And just now looking up the product URL, I never noticed that the "Jalapeno" on the package. I now see it was written in little letters and not in the main title.

Wholesome Cravings Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Baking Mix-
Bought this at "And That," without reading the label really well. Made them and then realized it said GF oats. My husband likes them, but they're not something I would buy again. Read the Celiathelete review here- she wasn't impressed either.

So there you have it. Four months of new food adventures wrapped into one blog post. I'll try to stay more on top of things this month, I promise. :) 

Bloomfield Farms Pizza Crust Mix

Everyone knows that living gluten free isn't the cheapest thing in the world. That being said, I am notorious for buying items that are on clearance. Recently I found a box of Bloomfield Farms Gluten Free pizza dough mix on clearance at my local Kroger and decided to purchase it.

The product in the box was enough to make 2 pizza crusts, and there were 2 recipes on the back of the box- one with and one without yeast. I made one of each.

I used the non-yeast crust to make an appetizer veggie pizza for our family Christmas party. I pressed the dough into my jelly roll pan. With this pan I can get 35 2 inch square servings.
Everyone in the family thought it was a huge hit.

For the second crust WITH the yeast, I made a spinach and artichoke pizza. Our support group was having a pizza party and one of our members is allergic to tomatoes, so I needed to make a pizza from scratch. I've been having some issues with the yeast in our house, so the crust didn't rise anywhere near as high as I wanted it to. That being said, this pizza was AMAZING! The person who must eat tomato free immediately asked what I had used for the crust. I happily showed her the box. :)

You can find this amazing recipe at I will say that I used more whipped cream cheese than the recipe called for, but that could be because my crust was larger that what was used in the original recipe. I don't remember how much, I just know that it was a whole large container. 
Each time I look at this picture I salivate and wish I had more. SO good! 

Their products are GFCO and CSA certified, which means that they have been independently tested at less than 10ppm and 5ppm, respectively. They are also nut free and kosher.  

Have you tried any of the other Bloomfield Farms mixes? They can usually be found at HomeGoods stores. You can also purchase their products online at their website. Leave a comment below about which of their products are your favorite!