Saturday, November 29, 2008

Learning as I go

Well, I've been gluten free for 4 days now, and I'm starting to get the hang of it already. Lessons learned thus far:

  1. Nearly ANYTHING can be made gluten free!
  2. Try to minimize cooking and serving foods with gluten in them because it's too easy to gluten yourself. I glutened myself tonight when I absent-mindedly took a small bite of red beans and rice that I was preparing for Paul and the kids from a pre-packaged mix. Beans and rice do NOT contain gluten, of course, but the seasonings in the package had wheat products in them. I suppose I can cook things like that, but it's safer to make them gluten free myself from scratch, that way I can eat them too!
  3. Don't use brown rice flour to make gravy (too gritty); use potato starch or something like that.
  4. When making broccoli-cheese casserole, if you must use cream of mushroom soup rather than condensed cream of mushroom soup, be sure to thicken the soup with cornstarch first.
  5. Gluten free foods can make you gain weight, too. Try to go low carb as well as gluten free to lose weight (lean meat and poultry, veggies, omelettes, etc.).
Anyway, it's been fun to try different things, and to look products up on the Internet and find out that they're gluten free, or not, as the case may be.

Tonight I made turkey enchilada casserole, New Mexico style (meaning layered, not rolled up). I cut up leftover turkey into cubes (about 3 or more cups of turkey), and shredded cheddar cheese (about 4-5 cups of cheese total). I used La Victoria (one large can) and La Palma (one small can) Green Enchildada sauces, because they both seem to be gluten free, from what I could find out on the Internet and from the ingredients. Plus that's what I happened to have in the pantry! :)

Green Turkey Enchilada Casserole

Mix in medium bowl:
Cubed leftover turkey (at least 3 cups)
2/3 of the shredded cheese (4-5 cups total)
most of a drained can of sliced olives (save some for on top)
1 1/2 cups green enchilada sauce

In a 13 x 9 pan, sprayed with non-stick spray:
Coat the bottom with 3/4 cup enchilada sauce, then lay corn tortillas on the bottom, overlapping. Tear a couple of the tortillas in half so that they have straight edges to go against the sides of the pan.

Put half of the turkey cheese mixture on the layer of tortillas and spread evenly all the way to the edges. Place another layer of corn tortillas on top, pour half the remaining sauce on the tortillas. Put the remainder of the turkey cheese mix on top and cover with another layer of corn tortillas. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top, garnish with remaining cheese and sliced olives. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until the edges are bubbling and cheese is melted on top. Makes 8 servings.

It's great that so many Mexican dishes are naturally gluten free!! :)

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