Every now and then I like to peruse the aisles of the grocery store slowly and without a list in hand. Most often I’m on a mission when I’m there. List in hand, dashing aisle to aisle in search of the things we need, never straying from our tried and true brands and rushing out of the store to beat some kind of non-existent deadline. Oh, and with some chocolate thrown in.
But sometimes I like to meander. Zig zag up and down every single row, take in all of the items that I wouldn’t normally gaze at, see what’s new, what’s on sale, what sort of finds I can convince my family to eat. I did this today with the sole purpose of healthy snacks. We’re a fruit and veggie for snacks family or this is when my kids eat a bowl of cereal but sometimes it’s nice to mix it up. Surprise them with a new cracker that tastes delish or offer a different kind of nut or seed to go with that apple.
Just to make it even more difficult we’ve got the gluten and dairy free factor in our home so the mission became greater. As I stood in front of the section labeled “natural foods” I read labels like gluten, nut, and corn free! I read dairy and egg free! I read no GMO’s, I read organic and I read 100% natural. In my mind, as I was standing there, all of these no’s meant only one thing. The label might as well have screamed out, “No gluten, no dairy, and absolutely 100% no flavour!” Cause that’s the truth about many of these products.
I came home with nothing in the snack department besides a new granola for me that, while vegan, definitely has gluten. My wandering produced a big fat zilch today so instead of coming home with pre-packaged snacks for the kids for after school I bought a few things to make one of our favourite dinners. The plus side is I saved a ton of money by foregoing the gluten free cookies and crackers. Seriously? $7.99 for 6 cookies that taste like chalk? No thanks!
As I was making this I thought I should share it here because it is truly one of my family’s favourite meals. The boys groan in that soul satisfying good way when I say i’m making it for dinner and there are usually some deep “oh yeah’s” and fist pumps thrown in. It’s a tried and true recipe that I made a similar version of before we were gluten free but have just recently found an alternative that is just as good now that we are!
Here’s the recipe straight from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Gluten Free Section. My modifications are at the end.
Happy Family Feeding!
- 1 kg bag of frozen Hash-browns (2 lbs)
- 2 tbs. chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 1 tin of cream of chicken soup
- 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp salt and pepper (or to taste)
- 1/4 cup butter (melted)
- crushed cornflakes for topping
- Mix all of the above and spoon into greased baking dish
- Top with the crushed cornflakes
- Bake for 45-60 min. at 350 degrees.
- 1 kg (2 lbs) of frozen Hash-browns
- 1/2 chopped fine onion
- 1 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 slightly rounded tsp of sweet rice flour
- 3 slightly rounded tsp of cornstarch
- 1/2 link of farmer sausage
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- crushed gf cornflakes
- Slice sausage thin, and pan fry in coconut oil for a few minutes.
- Mix sweet rice flour and cornstarch, salt and pepper and stir into the two cups of milk
- Drain fat from the sausage, then add the milk to the sausage in the pan and cook, stirring until thickened.
- In large mixing bowl mix all the ingredients, adding the hash-browns last and spoon into buttered baking dish.
- Top with cornflakes and bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.
I usually make my own hash browns by dicing up potatoes because many store bought hash browns are cooked in soybean oil which is a no-no for my GF boy but also a no-no for all of my boys.
We use Almond milk instead of whole milk to nix some of the dairy.
Lastly, make sure your corn flakes are gluten free! You’d think with a name like Corn and Flakes that they naturally would be, but alas, they’re not. (Nor are rice krispies unless you get the brown rice version which is specified as gluten free!)