Gluten Free Fitness

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Gluten Free Grilling is Easy

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It’s Summer… Gluten Free Grillin’ is Easy

It’s hot here in Oregon.  Dry hot… Stupid hot… Way too hot at times!  Days like this, you don’t want to heat up the oven and by extension, the kitchen.  And so we grill.

Grilling is an incredibly easy way to get a whole bunch of flavorful and healthful food prepared at the same time.

I’m a huge believer in preparing ahead for healthy gluten free eating success. If you are cooking, you might as well cook big.  By cooking big, I mean so that you have lots of food leftover, and ready to package into your own takeaway meals.

Case in point—I made a reduced fat version of scalloped potatoes last weekend.  It was awesome, very flavorful, and by using smaller amounts of flavorful cheese and a lower fat cheese all the cheesy goodness was maintained.  I also used about 3 pounds of potatoes.  That’s a lot of potatoes.  However, we had plenty of food for a few days.

Grilling imparts that wonderful smoky flavor to food.

Probably I could eat a shoe if it was marinated and grilled.  Or not, I don’t know for sure, and let’s not test that out.  Anyway; everything tastes better on the grill… right?  Think you don’t like a particular vegetable?  Betcha you’d like it grilled.  This weekend I experimented with jicama on the grill.  In all fairness, I like jicama raw, but grilling it brought out even more sweetness and yumminess.

Generally, we grill a bunch of meat.  If there’s room on the grill, I’ll add on some veggies.  Summer squash, mushroom, onion, and bell pepper are my favorite veggie kabob.  Stone fruits, like peaches, are incredible grilled.  I’ve heard you can grill romaine lettuce, although I admit I’ve not yet tried it.  How about placing a block of cheese on the grill and smoking it?  We’ll saving smoking for another time but until then, think about how that might taste.

The grilling process starts a few hours before the actual onset of grilling.

In the morning I’ll trim and clean whatever meat will be grilled.  In this case, it was several pounds of chicken breast and a flank steak.  I then use zip top bags to hold my marinade until it’s time to grill.

Marinades:

Happily, most marinades you make at home are naturally gluten free.  However, if you are trying a store bought marinade, be sure to read your labels very carefully.  Also check your spice mixes.

  • Steak: garlic, steak seasoning spice mix (I use Montreal Steak), fresh squeezed lime juice, 1 TBSP of coconut oil
  • Chicken: garlic, lemon pepper seasoning, fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • Veggies: fresh chopped basil or thyme, sea salt, cracked pepper, minced garlic (or use a garlic press), dash of coconut oil
  • Put the ingredients of the marinade in the bag, shake to combine.  Add your meat/poultry/veggies but use separate bags for each.  Fish generally doesn’t need to marinade as long, so you could get away with marinating the fish just before grilling.

Grilling guide:

  • Stick these babies back in the fridge and go have fun doing something active.  Or cleaning your house and doing laundry, which seems to happen so often on weekends.
  • When grill time comes, pull your food out of the fridge and it’s ready to go.  Let your meat come to room temperature before grilling, and also pat it dry.  Drying the surface will help it sear.
  • Grill for appropriate time. This is based on the suggested internal temperature found in your cookbook
  • Enjoy cold gluten free adult beverage of choice while food is cooking.  Or water or iced tea.  But it’s the weekend, kick back and have an adult beverage if you’d like.

Love the grill marks.  Don’t they look great! Awesomeness.  Here is one of recipes for Grilled Corn

Char-Broil Classic 360 3-Burner Gas Grill with Side Burner (Lawn & Patio)


List Price:$140.86 USD
New From:$140.86 USD In Stock
Used from:$98.60 USD In Stock

You’ve now created not just a great meal for the night, but great food for a couple days.

Package it up in some portable containers, make lunch for work, have it ready for grab and go.

You’ve now made it easier to make more healthful choices.

When you have easily accessible real food, you will be much less tempted to grab a convenient but less nutritious snack.

A resource for more grilling ideas is Eating Well.  I read the magazine and visit the site often.  Many of their dishes are naturally gluten free – score!

For more tips on eating gluten free and healthfully, check out Gluten Free and Fit 101. If you’re looking for a system for living more healthfully (ie: gluten free), check out our other articles here on Gluten Free Fitness.

I’d love to hear your tips and experiences with grilling!  What’s your favorite thing to grill?  Share it below in the comments!

Tackle it with a Gluten Free Fitness perspective

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One day is not going to make you fat. Not Christmas, not Thanksgiving, New Year, not even Superbowl.

What matters is the other 359 days a year that aren’t holidays, however, these days can be a bit of a calorie bomb. If you are eating well 80-90% of the time, these days are simply a blip on the radar screen of wellness. But-maybe you’re trying to get in the swing of eating more healthfully, or simply want to be aware of what your options can be.

We generally have people over for a get-together fairly regularly. Our house has an open floor plan, and is set up wonderfully for parties. This time, the “let’s have a few people over for the Superbowl” had turned into a 30 person party.

And so it goes.

I enjoy cooking, and I especially like being in control of the food so I know exactly what is in everything. From a gluten standpoint of course, but also so that I can make choices that reflect quality and health of ingredients whenever possible.

Here’s a sampling of our Superbowl menu:

Cheese and crackers

I have chosen Mary’s Gone Crackers, and Nut Thins. These will be on a separate table from the regular Wheat Thins. For my cheese, I have chosen Cabot’s 50% reduced fat cheddar (the only reduced fat cheese that I have found that tastes good and has a good texture,) regular fat extra sharp cheddar, and goat cheese. Goat cheese will be 1 log of regular, and the 2nd I will make a “spread” by adding fresh snipped herbs. Goat and feta cheeses are naturally a bit lower in fat than cheddar, and have strong flavors so you can use less. I will also have sliced cucumbers a’plenty. This is so after I have a couple crackers, I can use the sliced cucumbers instead of crackers to save some calories if I wish. (I also use the cucumber trick for salsa instead of tortilla chips.)

Salsa and chips

I make my own salsa, for which I’ll provide as close as I can get to a recipe below. (I don’t actually measure, so it’s all ballpark.) For chips I use Baked Scoops! and baked blue corn tortilla chips. I love, love, salsa-so after a few chips I’ll switch to cucumber slices.

Shrimp cocktail

Shrimp is a naturally lean protein, and quite yummy. Instead of commercially prepared cocktail sauce, I use Heinz Reduced Sugar Ketchup and horseradish to make my own cocktail sauce. I have no recipe-just combine the two, and a bit of lemon juice until you find a flavor and consistency you like. This will save some of the sugar that is common in cocktail sauce.

Fruit plate

This will be near the cheese. Grapes, apple slices, and strawberries. YUM! Florida strawberries are just coming into season…

Tuna Dip

This is for my fiance. There is absolutely not much that is redeeming about this dip, and I just don’t eat it. I would if I used low fat mayo-but to stay true to the original recipe from a local restaurant it’s full fat mayo all the way. A lot of full fat mayo. There are so many other great choices, I won’t even miss not eating this stuff.

Veggie crudite and dip

Love me my veggies, and it gives something very healthful to munch on. This will be red bell pepper, grape tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, and baby carrots. I will make a quick and easy dip with nonfat Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, and some fresh herbs. You can also add a gluten free powdered Italian or ranch salad dressing packet to the Greek yogurt to be even faster.

For the “real food” we are grilling chicken breast and burgers, for which we’ll use 93% lean ground beef. Nothing wrong with that. The gluten-eaters can have their buns, which I will be keeping an eye on to make sure they don’t contaminate anything, and they never go on the grill. Friends are bringing some sides.

For dessert I will be making Shirley’s Flourless Oatmeal Cookies from Gluten Free Easily. I had considered using peanut butter chips, but will use mini chocolate chips. I will also be making the stealth “black bean brownies” which deserve their own post next week. Maybe some chocolate fondue if there are any strawberries left at this point.

Salsa Fresca
– Whole bunch of Roma tomatoes, or whatever tomato looks good. You’ll cut these in 1/4’s, and seed them. (Squeeze them over the garbage so the seeds come out-keeps your salsa from getting too watery.)
– Bunch of fresh cilantro, stems removed
– 3-4 fresh garlic cloves
– 1/2 onion
– 6 limes
– sea salt
– 1 small jalapeno pepper (optional)

  • Tomatoes, onion, garlic, and pepper all go into the food processor. I remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno. You choose how spicy you want to go. Pulse until combined. Add cilantro, and fresh squeeze the lime juice into the processor. Pulse. Add a few shakes of sea salt, taste, and pulse. Repeat until desired consistency! Enjoy!

Make smart choices, and truly enjoy your food. Eat what you want to eat-don’t just eat something because it’s there. What sometimes gets lost is the idea that get together and gatherings are about the company we keep, and being present with your friends and family. Oh-and yeah-there’s a game on, right?

Click here for the additional Defense against your gluten free diet.

What are you going to have/did you have for Superbowl? Come back after the game and give your favorite commercials!

Ignite Naturals Gel Review for the Gluten Free Endurance Athlete

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Gluten-Free endurance athlete

As a cyclist, I eat my fair share of portable, hopefully non-meltable food.

In my post on fueling the gluten free endurance athlete, I outlined some options that I have tried myself.  I have a new gel that I’ve used since, and also a DIY energy gel recipe that you can use to refill a flask and save yourself some $$.

First, Ignite Naturals Reload Energy Gel.

I had wanted to try the Reload gels as they are made from “real food” ingredients.  The main ingredient is fig paste.  Yup, the stuff that is the inside of a Fig Newton.  The gels come in 3 different fruit flavors (which honestly all tasted very similar to me, but I am not focusing on any flavor complexities when I’m shoving gel in my mouth with one hand on the handlebars and trying to breathe.)

Each gel is about 100 calories and provides 25 grams of carbohydrate.  I found the packaging fairly easy to open with my teeth.  The gel itself is a bit thicker than I would prefer, I felt like I almost had to chew it.  When I reach for an energy gel, I do not necessarily want to chew.  It still went down fairly easily, with a swig of water to wash it all down. Overall, a great option and one I will continue to use.

Ignite Naturals also has a few other products that I am looking into, one I am particularly interested in in their Adrenal ReBoot.  As an endurance athlete training 8-15 hours a week, and with a history of autoimmune disease and hormonal imbalance, I am especially concerned with adrenal support.  Ignite Naturals is a company I will be doing additional work with in the future, as I am especially impressed with their dedication to natural ingredients and their company philosophy.

Now it’s my turn…

Here is my recipe for a DIY energy gel.