Gotta love peppers!

I love simple recipes, remember? Here is a basic recipe for anyone who loves stuffed peppers…no flour alteration needed to make it gluten-free. It can easily be made dairy-free by leaving off the cheese or using a substitute.

Inside Out Stuffed Pepper Casserole

• 1 lb. ground beef
• 1/2 C. chopped onions
• 14 oz. can stewed tomatoes, cut up
• 1 large green pepper, chopped
• 1/2 C. uncooked long-grain rice
• 1/4 C. water
• 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/4 tsp. pepper
• 1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
Brown ground beef and onion; drain. Transfer to 2-quart casserole dish. Add all other ingredients and mix. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until rice is tender. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

Baking with Pamela…

You will hear me endorse Pamela’s Products a lot. All the mixes I have tried are great. Pamela’s website has a great deal of recipes and ideas of things to do with Pamela’s Pancake & Baking Mix: I like to buy the large bag (it can be found at Kroger in some locations, local health food stores and larger chain health stores like Whole Foods or Earth Fare). There are so many things you can do with it! The website also has a section to browse recipes by diet. It’s always gluten-free, but you can also look up recipes that are also dairy-free, egg-free, etc.

On the back of the large bag or on Pamela’s website, you will find recipes for pumpkin bread, banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, muffins, biscuits, etc. Of course, the mix also makes pancakes and waffles. I have tried Pamela’s recipes for these things and they are delicious! If you have nut allergies as well, be aware the baking mix contains almond meal. Also be aware that it is not dairy-free.

Soup Can Blues & Cream Soup Lifesaver

I do not like to cook, but I do love good food. GF folks who want to eat the things they used to must cook…ugh…so I like easy recipes that save time. Of course, they must also be YUM. Gone are the days of opening up a can of cream of chicken soup to make a casserole. Sigh! Recipes for cream soup are numerous and I searched and searched for the easiest sounding one, then adapted it to suit my needs. This one is GREAT and JULIA APPROVED.

This is about equal to one can of cream soup & may be used in your old casserole recipes. You can make up a larger batch of the dry mix and put it in the freezer so it’s ready to go for your next cream soup need.

GF Cream of Chicken Soup

Dry Mix:
1 cup rice flour (I always use brown rice flour)
1 cup dry milk*
¼ cup dried minced onions

1 chicken bouillon cube (check labels! Knorr brand is GF)
1 ½ cups chicken stock or broth

Use 1/3 cup dry mix and add chicken bouillon cube to 1 ½ cups GF chicken stock/broth in a saucepan. Stir often with a whisk and heat over medium until thickened. Add more dry mix if you want it to be thicker.

Cream of mushroom: follow instructions for cream of chicken soup but add liquid from one 4-ounce can of mushroom bits and pieces to the saucepan. After soup thickens, add the mushrooms.

*If you have a dairy allergy as well, trade out the dry milk for more rice flour.

Welcome to Julia’s World!

If gluten makes you sick, you either have Celiac Disease, gluten-intolerance or gluten sensitivity. Whatever it is, cross-contamination is your biggest enemy. You can look at a piece of bread and decide not to eat that, but what to do about all the crumbs? Yes, even just a crumb can make you sick for weeks (I am sick for at least 3 weeks for an unseen amount of gluten). Small amounts still cause harm to your intestines. It’s important to be vigilant in keeping as much gluten out of your life as humanly possible. If you’re lucky enough to live in a completely gluten-free household, you won’t experience many problems at home. How do you share the kitchen with the wheat-eaters?? Here are my tips:

1. Get your own toaster (a new one) or a toaster oven with a tray you can wash. In my house, I use the rack for gluten-free bread and my husband uses the tray for wheat products.

2. Keep your counters clean. It’s always a good idea to wipe off your counters before you cook gluten-free.

3. Make sure you change out your kitchen towels regularly. Throw sponges in the dishwasher after you wash a pan that cooked gluten and wash anything you use to wipe off your counters.

4. If you are newly gluten-free, you may want to wash out your silverware drawer and ask the wheat-eaters to prepare food away from that drawer.

5. Never share utensils. Dip a spoon into a pot of wheat pasta and then into gluten-free pasta? NO!!

6. Get squeezable everything you can like mayo. Have separate containers of butter, jam, peanut butter, etc. Label it GF so everyone knows what can be used on wheat bread and you know what is safe for your rice bread. Yes, crumbs will make you sick!

Dealing with cross-contamination when eating out is the hardest. You can ask to speak to the manager of the restaurant and advise them of your food allergy so they can be extra careful. Ask about their kitchen procedures for making things gluten-free. This is a website and an app that I love for finding gluten-free options at restaurants: (Put the app on your smartphone and you can navigate to gluten-free food when you travel).