Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quick-Fix Gluten Free: Spinach and ricotta cheese eggplant roulades

Today I wrote a review on this very pretty cookbook, Quick-Fix Gluten Free, by chef Robert M. Landolphi. But for my blog, this is where I put the book into practice. My sister was coming over for dinner, and being that I have been in a slump lately on my dinner repertoire, I decided to open the book to a random page, and that is what I would make. And I choose Spinach and ricotta cheese eggplant roulades, from the Tasty Comforts section of the book. First choice, and it had all the parts that I liked...vegetarian, eggplant and can it go wrong?

The ingredients were pretty simple...but I am going to be honest here, it was very labor intensive. Preparation is something that must be planned ahead of time. Baking time is listed as 35-40 minutes, but I would give yourself a good 2 hours. This recipe reminded me of my eggplant parmesan, but a bit less fried and a bit more healthy. But a whole lot to clean up afterwards.

I am not going to reprint the recipe, but I will give you the gist....I made my own right there, I probably added some time - maybe 10 minutes, but I just love the taste of my sauce compared to a jar. You then make the cheese mixture with spinach, egg and cheeses. You slice the eggplant, flour and lightly fry it. Once the eggplant slices are done, you place the cheese mixture inside and roll it up, place it in a baking dish lined with a light layer of sauce and top with more sauce. Bake and viola...pure fabulousness!!

Now, unfortunately, my daughter got a hold of my camera after my mini photo shoot in the kitchen and deleted my photo of the finished product. D'oh! But you can get the idea with the above picture, of how much it makes and how it can be placed in a 9 x13 baking dish. Now, just imagine it topped with red sauce, mozzarella cheese and a light covering of gluten-free bread crumbs.

This dinner was a huge hit with my family+sister. We all had seconds and would of had thirds if we had any room to put it. I will definitely make this again. It also makes me excited to try more recipes in the cookbook. I definitely want to hit the "International Flavors" section next!

I love how it uses eggplant instead of pasta, and next time, I may layer the eggplant rather than roll it, just to save some time. I may also leave out the sprinkling of gluten-free bread crumbs that it calls for on top. I don't think it was really needed, plus gluten-free bread crumbs, if you buy them, are not cheap, so that will save money too, and calories!

Lastly, I feel the chef left out one important step in this recipe....which I always use when working with eggplant. After it is sliced, I salt it, place it in a strainer, cover it with paper towel, and put something heavy on it to drain all the bitter juices and mositure. Sometimes you will get an eggplant that is not bitter, but if you do get a bitter is not good. So, when I know I am going to be making an eggplant dish, I try to get it prepped a couple of hours in advance so it has some times to sit.

Other than the draining-the-eggplant step, this dish was delicious!!

To read more about the cookbook, visit my review.

Monday, August 29, 2011

GFIW: Wallaby European-Style Sour Cream, Aug 29, 2011


As I was walking through Whole Foods the other day, they were sampling Wallaby European-Style Sour Cream. And usually, as many of us with celiac, turn away samples, because of possible cross-contamination. But this table seemed pretty was just..sour cream. I already love their yogurt, so I looked through the ingredients and it looked safe. It just contains cream and the good bacteria found in yogurt. It tastes very decadent, more like creme fraiche. This is definitely not low-fat.

At the time they were offering a $1 coupon, so it ended up being $1, I couldn't pass it up.

I have enjoyed it in potato salad and mashed potatoes. Very rich and yummy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Green Beaver personal care products and giveaway!

I love getting samples for new gluten-free items. And this time was definitely no exception. The people at Green Beaver sent me some personal care products to try out.

They have an extensive catalogue of products that include shampoo, conditioner, facial cleanser, eye-make-up remover, exfoliant, lip gloss, body lotion, bath oil, deodorant, toothpaste and more. They also carry a line specifically formulated for children, which includes...bubble bath, shampoo, detangler, lip balm and hand wash. They are based in Ontario, Canada, hence the French writing on their packaging.

All of their products are:
  • Certified organic
  • Contain no GMOs
  • Contain no synthetic chemicals
  • Biodegradable
  • Not tested on animals
  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
As we know, when we are gluten-free, especially in the beginning, we immediately think of food and drink, but we don't typically realize the extent of just what needs to be gluten-free, like lip stick, toothpaste, even shampoo and face wash that we would use on our face/head and may drip in our mouths. Since being diagnosed I check all of these products carefully, and call the company if I can't find the answer easily on the packaging or website.

These products are right up my alley, because I try to be extremely careful about what personal care products we use as a family. I tend to stay away from conventional products and stick with organic. It may not be as easy on the bank account, but the piece of mind that we are using something natural and safe is worth it!

Green Beaver sent me a lovely package of their shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion all in lavender rosemary scent, deodorant in lavender, and frosty mint toothpaste. As soon as I received the package, I put everything in the bathroom and used it the next time I showered. I love the scent and the clean feeling from all of the products. They all felt very high quality and left me feeling refreshed.

And it gets better...I get to offer a care package of their products to one of my readers. The care package they are giving away will include a shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion, in either lavender rosemary, fresh mint or cranberry delight.

To enter this giveaway*, comment below, and:

1. Tell us what personal care product you are willing to spend that little bit of extra money on;

2. Like Green Beaver on Facebook;

3. Follow Green Beaver on Twitter; and

4. Retweet this giveaway on Twitter, and tag @gfreemusings.

The contest will end Wednesday, August 31st at midnight EST, and be announced September 1.

*open to US residents only.

Good luck!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Winner: Joy Bauer's Food Cures giveaway

Last week, I posted about my giveaway for Joy Bauer's new book, Food Cures.

And, I have the winners to receive a copy of her book...

1. Missy Mutchnik

2. Laura Bosak

Please email me at, with your address so we can get a book out to you.

Thank you for entering!