Monday, January 4, 2010

Gluten-Free Recipes:Cheese Strata

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8 slices gluten-free bread
1 cup diced gluten-free smoked ham
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup diced green or red peppers
2 cups grated mild cheddar or Swiss cheese (reduced fat cheese may be used)
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon gluten-free Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish and arrange the bread slices in one layer on the pan. Sprinkle ham, onion, peppers and cheese evenly over bread.

Whisk together eggs, milk, mustard and seasonings. Pour over bread slices. Bake 45-50 minutes or until bread is slightly puffed and edges are golden. Serve.

For a vegetarian variation, substitute 1 cup chopped frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
Contributed by Angie

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Gluten-Free Recipes and Info:Avoiding Certain Foods

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Celiac disease patients experience a digestive disorder that forces them to follow a specific diet. Celiac disease patients show digestive problem with food that has gluten in it, like wheat, barley and rye. Therefore cooking for patients with celiac disease patients can be a challenge.

A gluten-free diet means avoiding food that contains gluten like bread, pasta, cereal, cookies and a lot of processed food that has wheat, barley or rye. If that is your staple food then you have change your lifestyle or find alternative ingredients. To keep diversity in their diet, celiac patients can still enjoy bread and pasta made out of potato, rice, soy, or bean floor. Nowadays, it is easier since there are already manufacturers who sell gluten free bread, pasta and other food. Meat, fish, rice, fruits and vegetables does not contain gluten so these will be okay to include in your diet.

The disadvantage of having celiac disease is the difficulties of eating out. Following a strict diet makes it more difficult for celiac patients to buy lunch or food in the school cafeteria or food stalls near your work. The best way, therefore, is to prepare your own food to bring along with you. You could contact the manufacturers or restaurants that make gluten free food, but that can be quite troublesome if the location is quite far from you school or work.

Consulting a dietician or a health care professional specializing in food and nutrition can help people learn about the new diet. There are also support groups made of celiac patients and their families that can help the patients to establish their new life.

Some people may think that cooking food for celiac patients is very much boring and routine. This just means that you’ve been cooking the same food over and over again and have not actually expanded on your repertoire. There are many ways of cooking a great meal without risking the person’s health. Look at it this way, now is the time to explore other dishes.

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Some celiac patients still cook the food that they eat before they were diagnosed, but they replaced some ingredients with gluten content with ingredients that are pure, uncontaminated and gluten free. Celiac patients come up with different ways to make up an eventful meal without violating their diets. One example would be cooking a Blueberrry cake. Replacing the ingredients with Nearly Normal All Purpose Flour and gluten-free baking powder will be enough for persons with celiac disease.

So the rest of the ingredients like granulated cane sugar, eggs, milk, fresh blueberries, unsalted butter, and cinnamon will be fine. Celiac disease won’t be triggered by these ingredients.

Preparation would still be the same. Preheating the oven to 375 degrees or 350 degrees for convection an oiling a 9 inch springform pan and putting any extra in a small oiled 6 inch square baking pan or casserole would, of course be necessary. You need to combine Nearly Normal All Purpose Flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk. Toss the berries, pour the batter into the prepared pans, and set aside. Bake the small pan for approximately 40 minutes and the springform for 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of each pan comes out clean. You get the point.

The trick is to determine which alternative ingredients to use and which food do not contain gluten. Cooking for persons with celiac disease can be challenging, but with enough research, trials, and imagination, you can come up with a meal that is enjoyed by everyone in the family.

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gluten-Free Recipes: Oats

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Celiac disease is a condition brought about by the accumulation of gluten. Gluten is protein preset in bread, pasta, cookies, crust and other food that is made out of wheat, barley or rye. Oats also contain the protein gluten. There are many controversies surrounding oats and celiac disease.

A person with celiac disease experiences vitamin deficiencies with the brain, nervous system, bones, liver and other vital organs and other illnesses. What happens is that the person with celiac disease who eats foods with the protein gluten experiences an immune reaction in the small intestine. This may lead to small intestine damage and malabsoption of certain vitamins and nutrients from the food. There is no cure for celiac disease but people inflicted with this manage their disease by removing gluten from their diet.

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It is believed that celiac disease is a relatively rare disorder, it is now through to affect about one in 250 people worldwide. To manage their disease, patients with celiac disorder is advised to have a gluten-free diet, oats is one of the food that they take out of their list.

But there has been debates if it is acceptable for celiac disease patients to eat oats, since oat proteins are not the same as those in wheat, barley and rye. Even so, oats were believed to have toxic effects with people who are inflicted with this disorder that is why they are advised to avoid them.

Now, there are some celiac disease societies and medical centers who are advising their patients to eat limited amounts of oats which is said to even provide beneficial effects to them. There are studies with adults and children citing majority of patients with celiac disease who could tolerated limited amounts of oats. When they consumed no more than about half to three quarters of a cup of rolled dry oats per day for adults and a quarter of a cup per day for children, there were no abdominal symptoms. (Lapid, Nancy; Are Oats Safe for Patients with Celiac Disease?)

In an article written by Jefferson Adams entitled “Effects of Various Kinds of Oats on Celiac Disease”, he cited different kinds of study conducted by different groups of scientists and doctors about the relation of oats to celiac disease.

According to Adams, there were a team of Italian and Australian doctors who conducted tests on three kinds of oats: the avenins of the Italian variety Astra , the Australian variety Mortlook and the Austrlian Lampton variety. In the study conducted it showed that Lampton is much safer than either the Astra or Mortlock.

However, even if the Lampton variety is still safer it still has to be processes in a contamination free facility that tests oats if they are gluten free. For oat products to be considered gluten-free, they may show less than 220ppm of gliadin.

Even if there are patients who respond well to oats, there are still a small number of patients who could not tolerate oats. Even oats with low gluten content like the Lampton variety. With these patients, a protein in oats called avenin triggered an immune response similar to gluten. There was no way to tell in advance which patients would be sensitive to avenins.

Including oats in the diet of a celiac disease patient is of course a physician’s call. Including oats in the diet should always be done under doctor’s supervision. Oats can provide the necessary nutrients, fiber and diversity much needed to a celiac patient’s diet. But it should not compromise the overall well being of the patient.

New celiac disease patients are not advised to eat oats until their symptoms or disease in under control. Patients who are eating oats are still advised to see their doctor regularly to monitor any abnormalities or symptoms. Besides, patients with celiac disease are still to consume oats that are pure, uncontaminated and gluten-free. Oats and celiac disease can still dance together.

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Gluten-Free Recipes and Info:Fighting celiac disease

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Fighting celiac disease is a lifelong intestinal disorder. Celiac disease is triggered by the ingestion of gluten and may result to vitamin, mineral, and nutritional deficiencies. Patients inflicted with this disease need to follow a rigid and lifelong diet. Fighting celiac disease is a very difficult task to do and is not only the battle of the patient as well.

Gluten is a protein present in all forms of wheat, rye and barley. Persons with celiac disease eliminate all gluten from their diet. There is no cure for this disease but can be managed by following the gluten-free diet.

Symptoms of children with celiac disease may include growth failure, vomiting, bloated abdomen, and behavioral changes. While adults can experience recurring bloating or gas, chronic diarrhea or constipations, unexplained weight loss or gain, vitamin K deficiency, fatigue, missed menstrual periods, cankers sores in the mouth, and tooth discolorations or loss of enamel.

Fighting celiac disease or any disease starts with getting medical attention or consulting your physician immediately. Celiac disease is often misdiagnosed or undiagnosed because its symptoms are often confused with other sickness. Getting professional attention is the best way to address any health and medical issue.

As with any illness, early detection through health and medical tests is the key to fighting celiac disease. Celiac disease can be inherited, there is about 5 to 15 percent that a person can have this disorder if it present in their family history.

There are some cases that celiac disease is triggered by trauma like stress, infection or childbirth. There is no telling when celiac disease may hit you. Therefore, any symptoms or abnormalities noticed in your health should always be consulted to a physician.

A celiac patient’s lifestyle is a very disciplined life. To manage their illness, celiac patients must undergo a gluten-free diet. Patients are listed foods to avoid such as breads, cereals, crackers, pasta, cookies, cakes and pies, gravies and sauces, unless they are gluten free.

To manage their difficult lifestyle, celiac patients have the help of a local support group. Support groups are any groups that meet regularly for mutual support in handling celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.

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Every day can be a challenge, especially for people who are newly diagnosed. Over time, however, managing celiac disease will easily become second nature. To cope with the disease and the difficulty of managing it, talking to people who know what you are undergoing can be reassuring.

Celiac support groups can be found in your local community, or there are even listings in the newspapers or in the internet. There are numerous websites and forums were celiac disease patients can click and visit to check out the different tips patients and patient family members suggest to carry out the fight against the disease.

Aside from this, it is also advisable to contact or consult a dietician or nutritionist to assist the patient about the diet. There are creative ways to cook and prepare food for celiac patients without sacrificing their health. Gathering information about celiac disease will help the patient to know more about the illness and what should be considered to fight it.

Celiac disease, or any illness for that matter, is life changing. It does not only change the patient’s life but also the lives of the people around the patient. Families and friends serve as support core of the celiac patients. Any support generated from the people around him serves as the patient’s lifeline. Fighting celiac disease, or any illness, should never be just the battle of one.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gluten-Free Recipe:Country Chicken Pot Pie

A classic family favorite.  Click Here for Celiac Disease Specific Diet and Recipes

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
2 onions, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup peas
1 1/2 cups Gluten Free chicken stock
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4  boneless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp vegetable oil   

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5 Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
3/4 cups 35% cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat and sauté the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic until golden.  Add the peas and simmer for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Whisk together the milk and cornstarch until smooth then add to the vegetable mix and simmer until thickened. Add the thyme and parsley to the vegetables and set aside.

Cut the chicken breast pieces into 1 inch square peices. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat the oil over high heat and sear the chicken until golden and cooked through.  Add the chicken to the vegetable mixture.

Put the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and season with salt. Over high heat bring to a boil and simmer until tender. Drain the potatoes and let them sit for 5 minutes to steam dry. Put the potatoes through a food mill or mash with an electric mixer. Warm the cream and stir into the potatoes. Mix in the butter. Season to taste.

To assemble the pot pies fill 6 ramekins with 1 cup (250 mL) of filling each and top with the mashed potatoes or place mixture in a greased 9x13 pan and spread the topping evenly over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.
Contributed by Angie Halten

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