Friday, March 27, 2015

Gluten Free Friday: Things I Stockpile #glutenfreefriday


Welcome back, Gluten Free Friday! I missed you. A lot. This week I'm going to chat a bit about the groceries that I stock up on to make cooking gluten free at home easy. Some of these things might be weird! Some might be predictable. And hardly any of them are specialty products. This isn't a foo foo list of fancy gluten free products: it's more of a survival-of-daily-life-list of naturally gluten free products. Once you can start including as many naturally GF things on your grocery list, you can start saving booku bucks.

Alright. Let's rock.

Rice
I buy my rice by the 25 lb bag at this cute little Asian market. Most grocery stores sell bulk rice, too. Some days I'll just pop a whole bunch of rice in the steamer and snack on it all day. I use it as a side, as a snack, as a main dish, as a boat for carrying other food. Don't want to boil gf pasta and regular pasta for stroganoff? Serve it on rice. It makes it easy to cook one meal for my whole fam. Less pans. Less crying. More eating. If you are going to start investing in that much rice (which, really, it's a lot cheaper in the long run) I'd suggest getting a rice steamer. Mine's awesome and I use it nearly daily.

Corn Tortillas
My cast iron skillet doesn't get put away. It just lives on my stovetop. Not only is it a handy, easy-access weapon against monsters, it's always ready to make me a quesadilla at a moment's notice. Corn tortillas have been another go-to snack for me. I make quesadillas like it's my job. They're a great, GF snack/meal you can make really fast. Here are my fave variations:
 Cheddar, paprika, onion powder, leftover chicken
Mozzerella, tomato paste, pepperoni, oregano
Peanut butter, banana, honey

Which brings me to my next item:

Peanut Butter
 I also am majorly in love with peanut butter. I just bought a mega tub of it last time I was at the store. I eat it by the spoonful when I start feeling wibbly wobbly. I make Peanut Butter Cookies when I want to pretend I'm eating a protein-packed snack. I put it in smooties. I dip apples in it. I put it on rice cakes. It's versatile and yummy.

Canned Beans
A problem some people with Celiac can run into is a lack of fiber. If you relied on bread products to make up most of your daily fiber count, you are going to have to adjust. I sure had to! One way I got more fiber back into my diet was with beans. I never used to like beans as a kid, but now I'm putting them in everything: soups and tacos especially. I try to always have a few cans in the house so I can quick add a bit of fiber into a meal if I see the potential for it. 
Apples
I pretty much always have apples in the house for packed lunches and snacking. I know you can't really stockpile apples unless you have a cold cellar, but I do try to keep them in the house.
Mushrooms
Same as apples, you can't really stockpile produce (unless you get the dried kind, which I don't). But I do buy a box every time I'm at the store. I'm serious. File this in the weird pregnancy category, but I hated mushrooms until after Ernest was born. Now I eat them like crazy. I even made (and scarfed up) stuffed mushrooms on Sunday. Who knew?? Mushrooms are a great source of Vitamin D, another vitamin Celiacs frequently are deficient of. Mushrooms can find a place in almost every meal, so they are a great little supplement.

Tortilla Chips
I love Snyder's of Hanover's GF pretzels, but they are pricey when you end up eating the whole bag in one sitting. Heh. So I try to only buy them once every two weeks, and instead go for tortilla chips. Almost all tortilla chips are gluten free, but my faves are Milagros or Mission. Personal preference, I'm not getting paid or anything. I wish. ANYWAYS. I eat these buggers with hummus like nobody's business. That makes them a healthy snack, right? Hummus is healthy. And they make a good snack that you can share/take to parties and not make everyone feel awkward about eating the stuff you brought because it's "gluten free so only you should eat it." Been there. Done that. Ended up eating a whole plate of cheese dip with my own sad rice crackers because nobody else would touch it. 

Corn Flour
I pretty much always have a big bag of this on hand in case the mood strikes me and I want to make corn bread. When this mood does strike me, it strikes hard and we have about forty pounds of corn bread on our hands. 
Corn Starch
Recipe calls for a sauce to be thickened? Send in the corn starch. If we run out of corn starch, it is guarunteed that I will need it within the next 24 hours. Better to stock up than have runny, sad sauce. Or worse, sauce that is nice because you gave in a thickened it with flour but now that means you have to watch sadly as everyone else enjoys the sauce. Except you. Been there, my friends, I have been there.
That wraps up GFF for this week. What do you stock up on in your house? What items make managing Celiac at home easier for you?

Have a lovely weekend!
-Carolyn