Great Culinary News for Individuals with Autism

August 2nd, 2010 by Jean Duane


Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook has been reviewed by many national magazines and newspapers. Here’s a recent review in Autism Asperger’s Digest.

Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free is a cookbook that will “tingle your taste buds and inspire you to set off on a culinary baking journey” A review of Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free appears in the July-August 2010 edition of Autism Asperger’s Digest magazine, giving culinary hope for those following the gluten-free, dairy-free (GFCF) diet that days of “baking without” have come to an end.

Autism Aspergers Digest

Autism Aspergers Digest

‘Cakes don’t rise as they should and their texture is somehow off? Breads crumble in your fingers into a heap of morsels that might work to coat a chicken breast, but certainly aren’t what you need for that sandwich you wanted to take to work. The mock cheese doesn’t melt, and the crust on your pizza is more like cardboard. And, just what the heck is that funky bean taste in the middle of that freshly baked brownie?

If you’ve ever attempted to bake gluten and dairy free, you may chuckle (or not!) over these and other baking disaster stories of your own. While the benefits of this dietary program may be obvious to you or your child, the reality of it is that sometimes you feel like you’re living ‘without’ – not just gluten and dairy, but an entire recipe box of beloved foods that seem to have faded from life. Sigh – you’d sell a year of your gym membership for one creamy slice of the decadent chocolate layer cake you once so enjoyed.
Turn those frowns upside down and grab your spatula. There’s help to be found in the form of a delightfully instructive cookbook full of delicious GFCF baked goods, most completed in five easy steps. “Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free will make you reevaluate what you thought you knew about GFCF diets! ” Author Jean Duane’s innovative ideas will tingle your taste buds and inspire you to set off on a culinary baking journey that ranges from cheesecake to cheese crackers, brownies to breakfast muffins, and apple pie to pizza. Just as the title says, you’ll soon bake deliciously again!’

About Autism Asperger’s Digest: Multiple-award winning national magazine on autism spectrum disorders focuses on real life information for meeting the real life challenges of autism spectrum disorders. Addresses traditional, alternative and emerging thought, with contributions from parents, individuals on the spectrum, and noted experts in the field. Exclusive column by Temple Grandin, whose HBO released movie on her life recently captured 15 Emmy nominations. Autism Asperger’s Digest.

About Jean Duane, Alternative Cook: Author and entrepreneur, Jean loves cooking deliciously ‘without.’ Embarking on this journey when she was diagnosed with gluten and dairy allergies, Jean has harnessed her creativity and passion for cooking into fun, practical and easy to master instruction media that include a series of full-length cooking DVDs (Chocolate, Mexican, Italian and Kids’ Meals), video streams and the Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free cookbook. Alternative Cook.
(c)Alternative Cook, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Mochi

June 24th, 2010 by Jean Duane


I once knew a cat name Mochi, but it wasn?t until recently that I ate Mochi (not the cat) and liked it! If you are looking for a fast, easy, GFCF snack food — try Mochi. Mochi is gluten and dairy-free, rice-based puff pastry commonly eaten in Japan. It is made from sweet rice that is beaten into a pulp, molded and cut. It can be baked, grilled, boiled, steamed or fried into tasty treats. When baked, it is crisp and brown on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Mochi GFCF Rice Puff Pastry

Mochi GFCF Rice Puff Pastry

Purchase Mochi at the health food store. The easiest way to make it is to cut it into 1? to 2? squares. Set squares on an oiled baking sheet and bake them for 10 minutes at 450 degrees. They puff up and can be filled with jelly or dipped into a sauce. Grainaissance makes several flavors including: Cashew-Date, Chocolate Brownie, Pizza, Raison-Cinnamon, Sesame-Garlic and Super Seed all gluten and dairy free!

Grainaissance Mochi

Grainaissance Mochi

Here?s a simple sauce to try with the Sesame-Garlic Mochi. Combine 2 TBS raw sesame tahini; 1 tsp wheat-free tamari, 2 TBS water in a bowl. Whisk to incorporate ingredients. Microwave for 30 seconds and whisk again until it turns into a sauce consistency. Bake the Mochi and dip warm Mochi into the warm sauce. Enjoy!
?Alternative Cook, LLC, 2010. All Rights Reserved.

Bella Gluten-Free

May 26th, 2010 by Jean Duane


For those times you feel like baking, turn to Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free cookbook. We’re excited to announce that we are doing our second printing. Bake Deliciously! is flying off the shelves and getting rave reviews.

But there may be times you are in a hurry and want somebody else to do the work. Enter: Bella Gluten-Free Mixes. Mary Capone – The Wheat Free Gourmet has just announced a new line of mixes. Ranging from pizza to sandwich bread, all-purpose flour mix and raisin bread. With these mixes, you can make a wide variety of foods.Bella Gluten-Free Mixes NOW AVAILABLE

I love statistics, and a while back, The Wheat Free Gourmet conducted a survey. Here are some of the results of The Wheat Free Gourmet presents New Allergen Free Dry Mixes survey.

“Our Profile
95% of us are gluten sensitive, intolerant or celiac
35% of us are dairy/casein intolerant
25% are allergic to soy
10% are allergic to corn
* Most of us follow a gluten-free diet because we have to in order to stay healthy
* 62% of the households have 2 or more people following a gluten-free/allergy-free diet
* We rank taste, texture, and nutrition as the top three things we are looking in our foods
* We are somewhat satisfied with what is out there
* Most of us are likely to try new mixes

For a look at Bella Gluten-Free ‘s complete product line and launch date visit www.bellaglutenfree.com.”

(C)Alternative Cook, LLC 2010. All Rights Reserved

Blossoming Lotus Restaurant

May 4th, 2010 by Jean Duane


It?s official. I found my favorite restaurant of all times ? Blossoming Lotus. The food is INCREDIBLE and fresh ? most of it harvested locally and made fresh. Lovingly prepared nut creams and spreads served on flax crackers or fermented into cheese. Served with colorful vegetables in a creative, ?fusion vegan? style.

From Live Wraps with tahini-cilantro pate, cucumber, sprouts, carrot, and avocado goddess sauce to my personal favorite, Live Falafel Wrap with walnut and brazil nut falafel, tahini-cilantro pate, cucumber, onion and fresh tomato wrapped in a beautiful chard leaf with cashew sour cream and hemp seed tabouleh. Great care is taken to offer gluten-free selections. I felt safe eating the foods recommended. And of course, it is all dairy-free.

Beautiful Salad and Wraps

Beautiful Salad and Wraps

We were given a tour of the kitchen, where the dehydrators were humming and happy chefs were busily chopping vegetables and making creations like smoked maple tempeh and Eden nuts ? a house special. The kitchen had a fresh aroma of herbs and spices.

One of the ways to tell if meal is good for you is to reflect on it three hours after it is consumed. Are you feeling well, invigorated and energetic? Or bogged down and bloated? The meals I had at the Blossoming Lotus made me feel healthy and energetic.

This method of cooking brought me back to my roots and inspired me to create more dishes using nuts, nut creams, seed and nut cheeses and lots of fresh vegetables, as shown on the Mexican, Italian and Kids? Meals DVDs. I can?t wait to attempt to replicate some of the dishes on the Blossoming Lotus menu and create more inspired by their creativity!

If you are in the Portland area, this restaurant is worth a trip. Seriously, if I lived there, I’d find a way to eat there as often as possible You?ll find it at at 1713 NE 15th Avenue, Portland OR. ?Alternative Cook, LLC. 2010. All Rights Reserved.

Press Release: Jean Duane, Alternative Cook speaks on Gluten-Free Bread Baking at the IACP?s Convention April 21-24 in Portland, OR

April 8th, 2010 by Jean Duane


Bread is known as the ?staff of life?, but take out the wheat (and dairy) and bread making gets a lot more challenging. Jean Duane, Alternative Cook will take the mystery out of gluten-free, dairy-free baking in the SLICED Symposium on Trends in Baking and Breadmaking at the International Association for Culinary Professionals conference this year in Portland, Oregon from April 21-24. IACPGraphic1

Centennial, CO (PRWEB) April 1, 2010 ? Gluten-free is the new buzzword in the culinary world. Every day, we hear more and more talk about gluten-free diets as restaurants offer gluten-free menus and grocers offer gluten-free off-the-shelf selections. The International Association for Culinary Professionals is a forum over 3000 culinary professionals from 30 different countries. This year, the Annual Convention in Portland Oregon will be a gathering and information exchange for world-renowned chefs, cookbook authors, food critics, restaurant owners and culinary professionals. ?Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free? cookbook author, Jean Duane, Alternative Cook will demonstrate how to make gluten-free sandwich bread and gingerbread muffins on Saturday, April 24. The four-hour SLICED symposium will cover trends in baking and breadmaking.

?Presenting at the IACP is a great honor and I celebrate that by presenting to this audience, ?gluten-free? will one day be available in virtually every eatery around the world? says Jean Duane, Alternative Cook.

For many, a gluten-free lifestyle is hardly a fad. People who cannot break down the protein gluten often produce antibodies in their bloodstream, making gluten-intolerance systemic ? it can cause over 200 different symptoms such as migraines, joint pain, pervasive itchy rash, digestive disorders, weight loss, weight gain, and more.

Joining Ms. Duane are presenters Nancy Baggett, author ?Kneadlessly Simple? ?The All-American Cookie book and numerous others, Silvana Nardone, Editor-In-Chief Everyday with Rachael Ray and author of ?Cooking for Isaiah? and Peter Reinhart, James Beard award winner, author of ?Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor? and baking instructor at Johnson & Wales University. Ms. Nardone and Ms. Duane will present on gluten-free baking and Mr. Reinhart and Ms. Baggett will present on the no-kneed phenomenon using traditional bread ingredients. Bob?s Red Mill will provide tastings of the ?next generation of grains? and show alternative flours used in gluten-free baking. It should be a rip-roaring session and attendees will leave feeling empowered to bake virtually any kind of bread.

The International Association for Culinary Professionals (http://tinyurl.com/ctyhnc) is a not-for-profit professional association that provides continuing education and development for its members who are engaged in the areas of culinary education, communication, or in the preparation of food and drink.

Jean Duane, Alternative Cook and IACP member, loves cooking deliciously ?without?. Her passion for cooking, combined with her professional training has enabled her to create a series of full-length cooking DVDs (Chocolate, Mexican, Italian and Kids? Meals), video streams and the Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free cookbook. For more information, please visit www.alternativecook.com

Top 10 Tips for Troubleshooting Gluten-Free Bread

March 19th, 2010 by Jean Duane


LOTS of things can go wrong with making bread, and when you take out the gluten, it gets even more challenging. Take out the dairy and gluten to make it GFCF and it gets even more challenging. The recipes in Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook have been tested 3 or more times and worked consistently for my testers and me. So what can alter results? Let?s examine a few variables that can make a difference.

1. Temperature of the room the bread rises in. Recipes for bread always say ?let bread raise in a warm spot?. But nobody defines ?warm?. I?ve had people write to me saying their bread didn?t turn out because they put the bread outside in Phoenix in the summer. That is too warm! My house thermometer is set at 68 degrees. Since I?m often in the kitchen with the oven on, I keep the house cooler. To raise bread, it is usually best to place it on top of the stove with the light on the hood on. Rising bread in a warmer room can cause bread to over-rise and have large holes in it, so if your house thermometer is set higher, consider leaving the light on the hood off.

Light, White Bread from Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook

Light, White Bread from Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook

2. Rising bread in an air-tight container. Bread works best when it is risen in an air-tight container. I offer several methods to do this in Bake Deliciously! Use a container that is large enough to be filled three-quarters full with the batter and cover with plastic wrap.

3. Batter? Yes! Gluten-free yeast breads are made with batter, not with traditional dough that needs kneading. A couple of veteran wheat-bread bakers have told me they added more flour to the gluten-free recipe because it didn?t look ?right? ? like traditional wheat-dough. It won?t look like that. Gluten-free yeast breads are wetter and resemble quick bread batter.

4. No kneading? Yes! Gluten-free yeast breads are not kneaded. There isn?t any gluten to develop, so there?s nothing to knead.

5. Yeasts. Yeasts may be more potent, so if your bread has too many big holes, consider reducing the yeast by about 25%.

6. Substitutions. I think of ?starch? based gluten-free flours as being interchangeable and substitute cornstarch with potato starch, arrowroot, tapioca starch or sweet rice flour. But if you substitute a ‘starch’ flour with a ‘grain’ flour such as sorghum, amaranth, millet or brown rice flour, you’ll have different results in the recipe. Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free cookbook goes into a lot of detail about how to customize recipes to suit your diet, and how to make substitutions that work. I?ve been experimenting a lot with potato starch in bread and have had beautiful results.

7. Not completely done? Gluten-free bread usually bakes at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes. This is not a typo! It takes a while for the interior to get done, but the top browns quickly, making it look done. So, cover the top with parchment after about 25 minutes of baking.

8. Instant Read Thermometer. To be absolutely sure bread is done, use an instant read thermometer. Bread is done when it reaches 205-207 degrees.

9. Raise bread in the pan you intend to bake in. Since gluten-free breads rise only once, it is best to let the bread rise in the container you plan to bake it in. Letting it rise in a bowl and then transferring it into a baking pan would ruin it.

10. Check the oven temperature. If your oven has a hot-spot. Rotate the bread half-way through. It is best to have an oven thermometer so you can make sure the oven is really at the right temperature.

For more tips on baking bread and anything else your heart desires with lots of helpful information on substitutions, please check out Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook. For a video overview, please go to www.alternativecook.com.

? Alternative Cook, LLC. 2010. All Rights Reserved.

“Alternative” Tortillas — GLUTEN AND DAIRY FREE

March 11th, 2010 by Jean Duane


When you think about it, most cultures have some kind of wrap or tortilla. The Mexicans and Brazilians offer corn tortillas, Thailand has a rice tortilla, China has wheat tortillas for Moo Shu, the French have crepes and Socca made from chickpea flour. Ethiopians have teff tortillas. Nepalese have chappatis made from amaranth flour. Thank heaven, here in America there are gluten-free tortillas we can buy off-the-shelf. Candy?s Corn tortillas and Food for Life rice tortillas are gluten-free staple foods in my kitchen, but there is nothing more comforting than a homemade tortilla. The gluten-free world needs its own tortilla! Let s call our tortilla the Alternative tortilla, to signify a gluten-free safe-to-eat tortilla. This may catch on — imagine going into Chipotle and saying, I’ll have mine on the Alternative!

Tortilla Techniques
Most traditional tortilla recipes call for lard or saturated fat. Substituting oil means the preparation is a little different. Use warm water, and mix the water and the oil together separately. Then combine the water/oil mixture with the flour and salt. Then, with a whisk, incorporate the water and flour mixtures. Oiling your hands before forming the balls keeps the moisture in the dry, gluten-free dough. Let the dough balls rest a few minutes. This yields a lighter product. A tortilla press is a true kitchen marvel. Corn tortillas are usually pressed in a tortilla press, and wheat flour-based tortillas are usually rolled with a rolling pin. That is because the gluten in wheat flour is more resistant to pressing. Gluten-free flour tortillas work well in a tortilla press. If you have one, place plastic wrap on the top and bottom plates of the press. Place the ball off center toward the hinge and press until the dough reaches the outside of the press. Transport the dough on the plastic wrap to the griddle. If you use a rolling pin, oil it before rolling out the dough. It is preferable to cook tortillas on a cast iron tortilla griddle because they hold the heat, but any frying pan will work too. Press the tortilla while it is cooking with a pancake turner. Flip it once and cook the other side.

Place Dough on Press

Place Dough on Press

Tortillas can be stuffed with savory beans, fresh or roasted vegetables and topped with fresh chopped salsa or eaten plain as a snack. Making fresh tortillas is something your whole family can enjoy doing together.

Alternative Flour Tortillas by Jean Duane, Alternative Cook

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
1 cup warm water
3 TBS sunflower or olive oil

And Press

And Press


1. Whisk together the flours, baking power, salt and xanthan gum. Separately mix water, and oil together, then add to the flour mixture. Mix with hands or a pastry whisk until incorporated. Oil hands and form dough into 8 golf balls.
2. Place plastic wrap over the bottom of a tortilla press and put a ball of dough on the plastic wrap. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top of the dough, and slowly press the tortilla with the press until it is flattened. (Or, roll the dough out on waxed paper with an oiled rolling pin.)
3. Heat an oiled cast iron pan or griddle and place the tortilla on it. Press it while it is cooking. When browned, turn and cook the other side. Place in a tortilla warmer until ready to serve.

(c) 2008 Alternative Cook, LLC. A portion of this article first appeared in the Scott Free Newsetter, Spring, 2008.

Elisa EZ Gluten Test Strips

February 11th, 2010 by Jean Duane


Is there gluten in that food? Now, we can find out once and for all. Elisa Technologies, Inc (www.elisa-tek.com) makes ?test strips? so we can test foods, that we suspect may have caused a reaction. The EZ Gluten Test strips can detect gluten in foods up to 10 parts per million. According to the brochure in the test strips ?persons with gluten sensitivity have a heightened immunological response to ingested gliadin and glutenin.? In America, gluten-free is defined as 20 parts per million. (In other countries, ZERO parts per million are tolerated in processed foods.) So packaged foods labeled ?gluten-free? may contain gluten, and may be causing you to have reactions.

The tests are easy to use. According to the directions, a food sample is ground to a fine consistency, and the ?gluten extraction solution? is added, and then mixed. Mix for 2 minutes. Set the vial down and let it settle for 5 minutes and then transfer drops (using the transfer pipette) to put 10 drops in the test tube and insert the EZ Gluten test strip with the arrows pointing down. Leave it undisturbed for 10 minutes and compare it to the pictures.

Elisa Technologies EZ Gluten Test Strip

Elisa Technologies EZ Gluten Test Strip

It is as easy as checking the pH in the hot tub.

Considering the inconvenience, the intense itching, lack of sleep (due to itching), calls on the doctor, trips to the pharmacy and the frustration of having a reaction, I can easily justify the price of these strips. Now I can test foods that I eat regularly to be sure I?m not inadvertently eating gluten.

I stumbled upon a website that shares results of the EZ Gluten tests. It is a site for people who feel they react to foods that are labeled gluten-free, but that still contain some gluten. The site is called www.glutenzap.com. I plan to share my results on that site and I would encourage you to do so as well. Together, we can share the costs of the tests, and share the results with each other. We?re in this together!
?Alternative Cook, LLC, 2010. All Rights Reserved.

JK Gourmet Finely Ground Almond Flour

January 30th, 2010 by Jean Duane


JK Gourmet Almond Flour - Gluten-Free

JK Gourmet Almond Flour - Gluten-Free

If you haven’t tried JK Gourmet’s finely ground almond flour, consider trying it today. It is wonderful. It can be added to baked recipes to fortify the nutrients, or used instead of bread crumbs in meat loaf or added into stuffing. It tastes wonderful and is finely ground. Add 1/4 cup to your favorite cookie recipe, or substitute it 1:1 for bread crumbs in recipes. It is a high protein, low carb alternative.

Here’s a recipe I developing using JK Gourmet’s Finely Ground Almond Flour. These gluten-free, dairy-free, GFCF stewed tomatoes just hit the spot as a side dish on a cold wintery night.

StewedTomatoes

Stewed Tomatoes

4 tomatoes
1 onion, cubed
1 TB olive oil
1/4 cup JK Gourmet’s Finely Ground Almond Flour
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

1. Cut an “X” in the bottom of the tomatoes and place in boiling water. When the skin starts to peel away (after about 1 minute), remove from water and peel. Cut into quarters.
2. In a sauce pan, saute onion in olive oil until translucent. Add tomatoes. Place a lid on pan and cook about 5 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. Stir in almond flour, salt and pepper.

This is truly a tasty dish, and one I think you’ll enjoy. There’s so much you can do with this flour. Try it and share your recipes right here. To order the almond flour, please visit www.jkgourmet.com. (c)Alternative Cook, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Pregelatinized Starch NF ? Does the Medicine You Take Contain Gluten?

January 26th, 2010 by Jean Duane


It is hard to describe the FRUSTRATION one has when following a strict diet, with care and thought given to virtually every mouthful of food consumed, only to wake up with a reaction ? and knowing it will get worse before it gets better. Yep, the same reaction as ?before? is back again. It means somewhere in my diet, and likely over a period of time, I am inadvertently consuming gluten. But in what?

Several months ago, I began an experiment and cut ALL GRAINS from my diet, even the gluten-free kind. I wanted to cleanse once and for all and by cutting out all grains, I can add back one gluten-free grain at a time (eat a mouthful of a cooked grain and wait 2 weeks to see what happens). By doing this, I can rule in or out once and for all, gluten-free oats and other high-protein gluten-free grains that I think may cause me problems.

Here?s the really perplexing part? I?m still in the ?no grain? part of this experiment, and am having a reaction similar those when I was consuming gluten! I made a list of anything new I have eaten in the past few months. I?ve called manufacturers and stores to ask if they changed their recipes and if their product could contain gluten ? even things I?ve eaten a while and considered safe. I?ve re-read the labels on all of the cosmetics, shampoo, body washes and every other product that touches my skin. Couldn?t find anything. Until?

Do any of these contain gluten?

Do any of these contain gluten?

I started taking a prescription in August. I recently ?stepped up? the dose. I never checked the ingredients in the medicine. I just didn?t think to. (I knew better?my bad.) Anyway, the medicine contains Pregelatinized Starch NF. Turns out that Pregelatinized Starch NF can be made from corn, potato or wheat. Pregelatinized Starch NF is a “inactive ingredient” binder used in medicine to hold the pill together. I am pretty sure based on this reaction that the pills I have were made with wheat. This medicine may be the root cause of my reaction.

Uncovering this was a big endeavor. First, I had to remember that pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medicine could use gluten-containing binders. Then I had to go to the pharmacy to ask for the ?med sheet? because the information online about this drug didn?t contain a listing of ?inactive ingredients?. Then, I had to go back home and look up every ingredient online to see if it contained gluten. Really, food intolerances should have a prerequisite of ?research skills?.

From time to time, I receive emails from people having reactions who are conscientiously follow the gluten-free and often dairy-free or GFCF diet and are desperate for ideas about what could be causing it. If you have a reaction and you’ve been good about the diet, look in your medicine cabinet — at your cosmetics and re-read labels of any processed foods you eat.

It also goes to show that even after years, we must always be vigilant. You can?t think, ?oh that little bit won?t hurt me?. Think about how small a pill is ? if it is the culprit!

Man, I could have eaten a chocolate cake containing gluten and had the same reaction as taking a tiny little pill. It is a constant endeavor, isn?t it? Even with the best intentions this can happen. ?Alternative Cook, LLC. All Rights Reserved.