Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday Free Gluten Free Cookbooks

Photo by EmmiP

It's that time of the week again--Thursday Free Gluten Free Cookbooks day! Each Thursday I comb through the cookbooks on Amazon for the best gf cookbooks available for free. Giving free cookbooks a try is not only a great way to save money, but you'll also learn different techniques and how to work with various alternative flours. You'll also gain experience and build a large stock of gluten free recipes for you and your family.

Here are this week's free gluten free cookbooks!

Gluten Free Cookbook:  Easy Everyday Recipes for Good Health
The Gluten Free Cookbook:  Easy Everyday Recipes for Good Health offers simple and easy gluten free recipes for anyone who’s chosen the gluten free lifestyle. Not only is this book filled with great recipes, you’ll also find a wealth of information about living gluten free, including how to stock your gf pantry, a list of gluten free substitutions and foods that are on a “No-No” list, and much more. In addition, each recipe comes with nutritional information, so you’ll know how many calories, etc. that each dish contains.

The Only Gluten Free Cookbook You’ll Ever Need
The Only Gluten Free Cookbook You’ll Ever Need is filled with information on gluten and how much better you’ll feel once you’ve gotten rid of the gluten in your diet. This cookbook promises recipes that will demonstrate “bland” doesn’t have to be part of your gf life. You’ll find the recipes use simple ingredients for quick and easy meals.
40 Delicious Coconut Flour Recipes – Gluten Free Recipes for the Whole Family
This cookbook is a great introduction to cooking and baking with coconut flour. Coconut flour seems to be popular these days, but I’ve not tried it yet. We don’t have all of these alternative flours available in the Czech Republic, but when I’m home next, I want to give coconut flour a try. 40 Delicious Coconut flour recipes offers recipes ranging from breads to cookies, pancakes and more.

Polly Dunegan’s 20 Amazing Gluten-Free Bread Recipes (Gluten Solution)
You’ll be able to easily satisfy your hunger for bread this Polly Dunegan’s 20 Amazing Gluten-Free Bread Recipes. This book offers bread recipes like these:  gluten free cinnamon raisin bread, French bread, yeast-free dinner rolls and much more. In addition, you’ll find bonus recipes including pizza crust, substitution ideas, and more recipes. These bread recipes are tasty and easy to make, in addition to being healthy!

Give these cookbooks a try and if you have a chance, leave a comment here to share your views on the cookbook and recipes you tried. If you have a chance, it's also a great idea to leave a comment for the author on Amazon. It really does help to know what readers like and don't like about our books! Thank you!

These books were free at the time of this posting; however, prices are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee these cookbooks will still be free when you read this post. 

That’s all for today!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thursday Free Gluten Free CookBooks

Pizza Gluten Free Recipes
Photo by beglib

Another week’s gone by—where has the time gone? It’s time for another Thursday Free Gluten Free Cookbooks day already. This week’s cookbooks are on the topics of slow cooking, gluten-free vegan and Paleo Italian foods!

Slow Cooker Recipes:  30 Simple and Easy Gluten Free Slow Cooker Recipes
Slow Cooker Recipes:  30 Simple and Easy Gluten Free Slow Cooker Recipes offers a wide variety of easy and healthy gluten free meals. You’ll find recipes for lemon pepper chicken, turkey stuffed peppers, beef stroganoff and much more.
Slow cooking is a great way to create thrifty, convenient and healthy meals. Your slow cooker uses a lot less energy than cooking with your stovetop or oven, and it keeps your kitchen from heating up during the summer. Your crock pot can be started in the morning and when you get home, a nutritious and tasty meal will be waiting.
Gluten-Free Vegan: Health Everyday Recipes in Under 30 Minutes
Gluten-Free Vegan: Health Everyday Recipes in Under 30 Minutes offers recipes that are both quick to fix and nutritious, without sacrificing flavor and the “yum factor.” You’ll find recipes for gluten-free vegan meals that can be fixed in 10 minutes, salad recipes, lunch and dinner recipes. Dinner recipes include lasagna and pizza.
Gluten Free Vegetarian-The Ultimate Recipe Guide
Gluten Free Vegetarian – The Ultimate Recipe Guide offers gluten free vegetarian recipes. You’ll find recipes for snacks, such as maple syrup and peanut butter rounds, Greek salad, roasted asparagus and tomato pasta and much more. The recipes use alternative flours such as almond, coconut and teff and include healthy proteins such as lentils, beans and tofu.

Paleo Italian:  Pizza – Delicious, Quick & Simple Paleo Recipes:  Paleo Cookbook for the Paleo Lifestyle – Paleo Recipe for Pizza Night
Who would have thought of Paleo pizza? The Paleo Italian:  Pizza – Delicious, Quick & Simple Paleo Recipes offers 8 pizza crust recipes with 15 topping combination ideas, 2 Paleo cheese recipes and 5 sauce variations, including spreads and dressings! These recipes make use of alternative flours, including almond and coconut flours. 

These books were free at the time of this posting; however, prices are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee these cookbooks will still be free when you read this post. 

That’s all for today!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Gluten Free Taco Seasoning Recipe

Gluten Free Tacos
 Gluten Free Tacos
Photo by Sher Vacik

Planning meals on a budget is challenging by itself, but meal planning becomes tougher when you have to cook gluten free. You might consider fixing  your family’s favorite Mexican foods at home, from scratch. Mexican food can become a gluten free fiesta with simple, inexpensive ingredients.

One of the nice things about many Mexican dishes is that meat becomes a side, rather than the main part of the meal. Many Mexican recipes call for beef, chicken or pork; using the ground versions of these meats make your meat stretch farther. You can stretch the meat out even farther with the addition of simple ingredients, such as cheddar cheese, rice, lettuce, tomatoes and more. Such sides and toppings can make a Mexican dinner very healthy and low-fat, too. Mexican food adds a  nice variety to your gluten free diet with a mix of flavors and textures not found in other foods.

You can buy taco and enchilada seasoning packets at the store; however, many of these contain wheat. To save money and avoid the wheat/gluten, make your own taco seasoning at home. Here’s a simple recipe that is versatile and tastes much like the taco seasoning you find at the store.

Gluten Free Taco Seasoning Recipe

1 tablespoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

In a small mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients until well blended. Store in an airtight container. This mix is about the same amount as store-bought taco seasoning packets.

This is a versatile seasoning recipe—it’s easy to increase or decrease certain spices to fit your family’s taste preferences. This recipe is also easy to make in batches, and then freeze individual portions it in ziploc bags (2-3 tablespoons/bag) ready to use the next time you want to make a Mexican dinner.

Cooking Directions
You use this taco seasoning mix in the same way as the store-bought versions.

1 pound ground meat (beef, pork, chicken or turkey) or chicken, sliced thinly
2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
¾ cup water

1). Brown meat in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Drain fat.

2). Stir in 2-3 tablespoons (more or less, according to your preference) and the water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3). Spoon meat into warmed taco shells or tortillas, then serve with assorted toppings.

Gluten free Mexican dinner side dishes.
Suggested sides for your Mexican dinner.
Topping ideas 
Grated cheddar cheese
Sliced lettuce
Chopped tomatoes
Sour cream
Mexican beans
Spanish rice
(Note--Always be sure to read the labels on all food items and ingredients you plan to use. Manufacturers sometimes change their recipes without notice.)

You can use this seasoning to make tacos, burritos and much more. In addition, you can buy corn tortillas or taco shells, and buy regular tortillas for the gluten-eaters in your home.

That’s all for today!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Free Gluten Free Cookbooks Thurday

This week I found a couple of free gluten free cookbooks to share with you. Again, these cookbooks offer a variety of recipes. Variety on a restricted diet is a good thing, as it helps you stay motivated to make the diet work. Staying gluten free is imperative when you have celiac, some form of gluten intolerance or allergies.

The Gluten Free Goodness Snack Recipes cookbook offers snack recipes that will add some zing to your life. Snack recipes include spicy chicken bites, bacon quesadilla, chicken taquitos, ants on a log and more. You can use these snacks for every day, keep them on hand for an on-the-go-snack, or serve them up as hors d’oeuvres at parties and other gatherings.

30 Gluten Free Meals – Tasty Gluten Free Dinner Recipes to Try Tonight (Gluten Free Cookbook – The Gluten Free Recipes Collection) 
30 Gluten Free Meals offers a nice variety of comfort foods, including roast pork tenderloin, roasted chicken and meatloaf! Each of these recipes can be cooked up for an easy dinner. The recipes are easy to follow and you’ll even find some one-pot recipes to make a quick supper for your family!
That’s it for this week’s free gluten free cookbooks! If you use one of these cookbooks, please leave a review for the author. Reviews help writers know more about what their readers are looking for. Plus it makes a writer feel good to know their work helped someone out.

These books were free at the time of this posting; however, prices are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee these cookbooks will still be free when you read this post. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Gluten Free Recipe Roundup

Swirling Chocolate

I have a bunch of gluten free recipes from over the years; now I have to go through and make them, take pictures and post them here! While the recipe gathering process is coming along, I’ll start sharing recipes from around the web that I’ve tried. This will be called Gluten Free Recipe Roundup and I’ll share these each Monday, at least that’s the plan. If it gets too hard to find new recipes, then I’ll do this once a month. For now, we’ll try it every Monday.

Here are today’s gluten free recipes from around the web! These recipes are perfect for chocoholics. I’ve tried each of these and recommend highly recommend them!

Gluten Free Brownie Mix
This Gluten Free Brownie Mix is quick and easy to make, using ingredients I typically have on hand. The dry ingredients can be mixed and put in a jar for a gift—or made up to keep on hand for when you need something quick and easy to bake. All you need to add are “wet ingredients”:  eggs, vanilla and butter or margarine. This recipe’s easy and tastes wonderful. Wait till you smell these brownies! I have to leave out the nuts, due to my nut allergies; however, I can imagine these brownies would taste very rich with walnuts.

I’ve made this recipe numerous times over the last couple of months and have had rave reviews each time. The rave reviews were all from gluten-eaters.

MD (my husband) prefers a thin layer of frosting on the brownies, so I make a glaze with powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla and cocoa (or melted chocolate). You could also use a light dusting of powdered sugar to top off these brownies.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake
I found this recipe a few years ago and it quickly became a favorite at our house. The One Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe is quick and easy—kids can easily bake this cake. The recipe makes use of ingredients you already have on hand, including vinegar. The vinegar works with the baking soda as a leavening agent, giving the cake a nice springy texture. You can’t taste the vinegar in this chocolaty recipe. The cake’s also not too sweet, and comes out moist (if you don’t over bake it).
This one bowl chocolate cake tastes great with vanilla or chocolate frosting. If you’re a chocoholic like me, then you’ll prefer chocolate frosting.

Brownies in a Mug
This is a little gem of a recipe I came across on HubPages a couple months ago. Brownies in a Mug is just that—you make individual brownies in a coffee mug or a ramekin. These brownies are easy and economical; on top of that, they taste heavenly! This recipe comes in handy when you don’t need or feel like baking an entire brownie recipe. You can easily use them as a novel dessert for a nice dinner with your family or with guests.

I was skeptical of how the brownies would come out in the microwave, but these taste like regular brownies. They will stay moist—just be careful to not over-microwave them! In addition, baking with the microwave takes a short time, uses less energy than a regular oven and doesn’t heat up the whole kitchen.

I followed this recipe exactly, but substituted 1 ½ tablespoons of rice flour for the wheat flour. Again, I made a little powdered sugar chocolate frosting to top them off. They tasted wonderful!

That’s all for this week’s Gluten Free Recipe Roundup! If you use one of these recipes, please leave a comment as to you liked it or what changes you made, including variations!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Free Gluten Free Cookbooks Thursday

Shredded coconut
Source:  mconnors

Thursday again—already! The days seem to fly by! Thursdays are free gluten free cookbook days, here, at Thrifty and Gluten Free. Looking for free recipes and free cookbooks is a great way to save money on your gluten free diet. I’ve done this for years. These days there’s a wealth of free gluten free material online, which is a blessing for those of us who need to be thrifty and gluten free.

Today’s cookbooks include a two-book package on using coconut and almond flour in gluten free recipes, recipes as seen on Food Network, bacon recipes and much more! 

Gluten-Free Flour Book Package:  The Coconut Flour Cookbook & the Almond Flour Cookbook
Cooking and baking with almond flour is a great way to add nutrients to your gluten free diet. In addition, almond flour is low in carbs and sugar, and high in fiber. You’ll find recipes for pancakes, desserts, snacks and bread.
The second cookbook in this package offers recipes with coconut flour. Coconut flour is high fiber and low carb, making another healthy option for those of us on a gf diet. Reviewers on Amazon say the book offers a variety of recipes that are simple and yummy.

As Seen on Food Network:  Gluten Free Recipes (Gluten Free for Everyday Eating)
You’ll find gluten free recipes for everything from breakfast meals to gluten free entrees and more in this cookbook. This book offers a wide variety of recipes, making it easy to stay on you gluten free diet. You will eat well by adding this cookbook to your gluten free library.

Bodacious Bacon:  Paleo and Gluten-Free Recipes for Bacon Lovers
This bacon cookbook offers 30 bacon recipes, ranging from starters, entrees and sides to snacks and desserts. Yes—bacon desserts! What’s more, these recipes are completely paleo! If you love bacon, don’t pass up this gluten free bacon cookbook!

Gluten Free Recipe Cookbook:  Global Gastronomic Adventures Presents A Real Taste of Gluten Free Cooking:  Simple and Easy Gluten Free Recipes (Global Gastronomic Presents a Real Taste of Gluten Free)
You’ll find food adventures in this gluten free cookbook. The book offers 10 gluten free recipes from around the world, including such dishes as pumpkin chicken curry, falafel, chicken and asparagus risotto and much more! If you’d like to try some gf dishes that would spice up your day, then be sure to check out this cookbook!

That’s it for this week’s Free Gluten Free Thursday!
Please note—I have not yet tried these cookbooks, so I’m not able to review them. However, these are free and it’s worth giving them a try!

These books were free at the time of this posting; however, prices are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee these cookbooks will still be free when you read this post. 

Thanks for stopping by!


Czech Off the Beaten Path
BellaOnline Asthma Site
Sher’s Kindle Bookshelf
Sher’s Stuff
Asthma’s Nothing to Wheeze At!

Welcome to Thrifty and Gluten Free!

Welcome to my new Thrifty and Gluten Free blog, where I’m going to share ideas on frugal living on a gluten free diet. As this blog grows, you’ll find grocery coupons, tips for gluten free cooking and much more.

I’ve been gluten free for over 14 years, after being diagnosed with multiple allergies (including food allergies) and asthma. In those days, I was a single mother of two kids living on a very tight budget. These days, my kids are grown and on their own, and I’m now living as an expat in the Czech Republic. The lessons learned about being thrifty and living gluten free have been applied to my expat life, too.

When I was first diagnosed with gluten/wheat allergy, there were not as many gluten and wheat free products on the market, as there are now. My doctor told me to stay away from all wheat and gluten products. Well, once I started reading labels, it was soon obvious that staying away from gluten and wheat was going to take a lot of work. This new diet also proved to be very expensive.

It was about this time I ran into a cookbook called The Gluten Free Gourmet, by Bette Hagman.  This book was literally a godsend. Hagman developed recipes that were easy and tasted great. The texture and taste took a little time to get used to, but with her cookbook I was able to more easily make the transition to a gluten free life. The Gluten Free Gourmet became my gluten free “bible,” teaching me how to bake and cook the wheat free way.

Since that time I’ve learned how to adapt “real” recipes to their gluten free versions. I also save money by using simple and easy to find gluten free flours, such as rice flour, potato flour, potato starch, etc. This blog will share what I’ve learned over the years, and what I continue to learn about better wheat and gluten free cooking.

You can find some of my recipes on HubPages, too! 

Thanks for stopping by and my hope is you’ll find helpful information and yummy recipes to help you on your own gluten and wheat free journey!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Gluten Free Tomato Zucchini Soup

Tomato Zucchini Soup

Soups are a great way to save money on any diet plan, including the gluten free diet. Before going gluten free, I occasionally made soup from a can. Boy, I had no idea what I was missing! After diagnosis, canned soups became a thing of the past; I had to learn to cook from scratch. Soup was the very first gluten free meal I made and ate! It was a simple microwave potato soup. Nowadays, with a little more experience, I’ve branched out into all different types of soup. They are a mainstay for my Czech husband and me.

Czechs typically begin lunch and dinner with soup, rarely eating it as the main course. After moving to the Czech Republic, I had to learn how to cook different types of soup. Eating the same kind day after day gets tiring very fast. As a result, I’ve done many internet searches for simple soup recipes over the years. Tonight, I made one of our favorites—Tomato and Zucchini Soup.
This soup is packed with nutrients and flavor, plus it’s easy to add your own variations to the base recipe. Tonight, I fixed soup and a main dish salad. The salad was made with lettuce, tomatoes, grated carrots, Italian hard cheese, and leftover schnitzel chicken from last night’s supper. We also had some crusty bread with our meal.

Our entire supper was created using ingredients I already had in the fridge. This is a great way to save money—cooking with what you already have on hand. You can save a lot of money by using up leftovers and other ingredients before they expire or spoil.

Now on to the recipe! This recipe is husband tested and approved!

Tomato and Zucchini Soup

1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic (or more to your preference), minced
2 tablespoons rice flour (or other gluten free flour)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or 4 cups of water and 2 chicken or vegetable bullion cubes)
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
5 grinds of Italian grinder (*see note below)
Salt and pepper to taste

1). In a small mixing bowl or colander, lay zucchini slices and sprinkle with salt. Let stand about 30 minutes.

2). In a large stock pot, heat vegetable oil or butter over medium high heat. Sautee onion and garlic until onion is translucent (about 10 minutes).

3). Stir in rice flour, then add about ½ cup of chicken broth and stir until rice flour has been dissolved. Add remaining chicken broth, spices, salt, pepper and tomato; simmer for 10 minutes and then add zucchini and simmer for another 10 minutes.

4). Serve and enjoy!

Variations:  This evening I included a little bit of rice in the soup, to make it more filling. You could also add chicken or other meat, or include lentils in your soup.

Makes 6 servings

Serving suggestions: you can use this soup as a starter, or serve soup and salad, together with some crusty bread. This soup’s also good on its own!

*Note: I use McCormick Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder. It appears to be gluten free. Please be sure to check the label or check McCormick's website to ensure this product is still gluten free, as recipes do change from time-to-time.

Czech Off the Beaten Path
BellaOnline Asthma Site
Sher’s Kindle Bookshelf
Sher’s Stuff
Asthma’s Nothing to Wheeze At!