Mary’s Memo #2263

     Everyday Gluten-Free Slow Cooking by Kimberly Mayone and Kitty Broihier, published by Sterling in March 2012, is good for those of you who must eat gluten-free as well as those of us who don’t! The slow cooker is one of my best “appliance friends” and I’m game to try a new slow cooker dish, whether it’s gluten-free or not! This cookbook is packed with 140 budgetfriendly, flavorful slow cooker recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. These imaginative recipes incorporate fresh vegetables, whole grains and everyday grocery store items. Because many people who follow a gluten-free diet also follow a dairy-free one, there are clearly marked recipes that are either dairy-free or can be easily prepared dairy-free with a few simple substitutions. A comprehensive vegetarian chapter and a chapter with non-slow cooker sides such as Curried Broccoli Slaw and Green Beans Almandine are also included.
     Kimberly Mayone is a published cookbook author and owner of WOW Delicious, a company that works with clients to develop recipes to their specifications. She is also the author of the Everyday Low-Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook and The Big Book of Low Carb. Kitty Broihier, MS, RD, is a published cookbook author and owner of NutriComm Inc., a food and nutrition communications consulting company serving food companies and public relations firms. In addition to being the co-author of the Everyday Low-Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook and The Big Book of Low-Carb with Mayone, she is also the author of Everything Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutritional Supplements Book.
     According to the authors, Beef Stroganoff is considered a dish of the 50’s but it appeared in cookbooks as early as the 1930s. The recipe that follows contains all the standard ingredients you’re accustomed to; it’s just easier because it’s slow cooked. Serve with your favorite gluten-free pasta or rice.

1-1/4 pounds sirloin tip steak, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1/2-inch slices1 medium onion, chopped(1) 8-pounce package baby bella mushrooms, sliced1/4 cup cold water2 tablespoons cornstarch1 tablespoon beef bouillon (such as Organic Better Than Bouillon®)1 teaspoon kosher salt1 teaspoon minced garlic1/2 cup sour cream2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (optional)Add the steak, onions and mushrooms to the slow cooker; set aside. In small bowl, stir together the water and cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved and mixture has no lumps. Pour it into slow cooker; then stir in beef bouillon, salt and garlic. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours (or 4 hours on HIGH). Turn off slow cooker; stir in sour cream. Serve over noodles or rice. If desired, garnish with fresh dill. Recipe makes 4 servings (about 1-1/4 cups each).
     The next time you’re following a recipe that calls for butter, try a butter alternative instead. Made with vegetable oils, they tend to have less saturated fat and sometimes fewer calories, Consumer Reports’ most recent tests found one, Land O’Lakes® Spreadable Butter with Canola Oil that tastes close to the real thing. Just check the label or contact the company to make sure
the product can be used for cooking and baking, since some work only as spreads. (Land O’Lakes® says its product can be used for cooking and baking.)
Source: Consumer Reports on Health, April 2012.

     Here’s more evidence that eating right is good for your brain and that a diet low in key nutrients and high in unhealthy fats may actually contribute to cognitive decline with aging. Researchers report that adults with higher blood levels of the B vitamins, vitamin C, D and E and omega-3s scored better on tests of mental performance and showed healthier brains on MRI scans.
Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, April 2012.

     Clafouti has been around for a long time. Originating in France, traditional claufouti is made with dark sweet cherries but other fruit may be used including strawberries. It’s part pudding and part cake but guaranteed to please the palate.

1/2 tablespoon butter8-ounces strawberries, sliced vertically2 teaspoons cornstarch3 eggs1 cup milk2/3 cup flour1/2 cup sugar1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla1/4 teaspoon saltPowdered sugarPreheat oven to 325ºF. Butter a 2-quart oblong baking dish. Toss strawberries with cornstarch. Arrange in prepared baking dish. In a blender or food processor combine eggs, milk, flour, sugar and vanilla. Pour over strawberries. Bake until puffed, about 50 minutes. Serve warm.
Source: Adapted from a Sunset® recipe.
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