Saturday, October 29, 2011

Decadent Gluten Free Brownies

Normally, I'm not a huge brownie person, but these were super good.  Very chocolatey, very moist, light and delicious.  You basically couldn't even tell they were gluten-free. 

They were so good I just had to share.  If you are craving chocolate, a batch of these is sure to satisfy.

They aren't healthy really...they DO have sugar in them..but for those times you just want or need a gluten-free chocolate treat..these are IT.  And, fairly inexpensive to make too.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pasta Brocolli Alfredo

I'm half Italian, which means I grew up on pasta and absolutely love it.  I mean, LOVE it.  It is total comfort food to me and the one food I always fall back on when I don't know what to make for dinner. 

 I really, really, really love pasta.  So, when we went gluten-free, giving up pasta seemed like a tragedy.  Thankfully, there are many, many gluten-free pastas on the market.  Unfortunately, they aren't inexpensive, especially compared to regular pasta.   Although, it's still much cheaper than eating steak..or a lot of other foods, which is why pasta has remained a part of our diet, even after going gluten-free. 

A few months back I got an awesome deal on Sam Mills Gluten Free Pasta.   I was able to find it for only 1.79/bag and I stocked up on 36 bags worth.  Yes...36!  It's a pretty good pasta...a bit on the thick side and it does better in baked dishes (like macaroni and cheese) than just cooked, but it can be pretty good cooked too, with the right sauce. I don't like it so much with a tomato-based sauce, but it's really good with a cream or cheese based sauce (but then what isn't good with cream or cheese??).

Tonight I came up with this recipe, and it was so good, I just had to share.  It's pretty inexpensive, very filling and definitely delicious!  

Pasta Broccoli Alfredo

1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 16 oz. package frozen broccoli, thawed
1 16 oz. package gluten-free pasta
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add onions and garlic and saute until tender.  Stir in broccoli, arrowroot starch, salt and pepper and mix until smooth.  Stir in milk and heat until sauce is thickened and starts to boil.  Add in cheese and mix until melted. 

Mix sauce with pasta and enjoy!   Bon Appettit.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sticking to a Gluten-Free Budget

For the last several weeks, I've been working really hard to lower our food budget even more.  Actually, this is the first time I've actually had a real food budget.  In the past, I had a general idea, but when I'm at the grocery store just throwing things into your cart, it's easy to get to the cashier and be a bit shocked at the total!!

Well, no more of that for me!  I've found that the only way I can really keep our food spending in check is to really watch how much I spend at the grocery store.  When I mean watch, I mean watch.  As in, I take along a pencil and paper and write down the price of every single thing I throw into the cart.  This includes weighing produce and figuring out how much that bag of broccoli or those ten apples really cost.

Then, I take my handy, dandy little cell phone and use the calculator to add everything up and figure out my total.  If it's too much, I start reconsidering what I REALLY need and what I we can do without.   It really helps a ton and helps keep us in budget.

I also try to keep a "weekly" budget of certain items in mind... basics like cheese, eggs, milk and meat and stick within the budget for those items.  Then I allot a certain amount per week for produce and a certain amount for other items which are bought less regularly (like oil, flours, etc).  I also allot a certain extra for stocking up on sale items.

Do you have food budget?  What measures have you taken to cut costs?  Strict budget?  Sales?  Coupons?