Before I share this week’s menu plan, I’d like to share an excerpt from Friday’s New York Times Magazine article, Should We All Go Gluten Free? that caught my eye (bold emphasis added).
During the week of my visit to General Mills, eight women attended Alcocer’s meeting. Lunch was served and questions were asked. Alcocer was interested in the holidays. What did they miss? What did they need? How could Gluten Freely make their lives easier?
The women talked about how hard it was to go to holiday parties and find nothing to eat for their children. They discussed the need for better pie crusts. Then one of them, Mary Podvin, raised a subject that resonated with everyone at the table: Casseroles.
There was something, Podvin said, about gluten-free Progresso cream of mushroom soup that simply didn’t work in the casseroles she loved to make. “It needs to be — ”
“Gelatinous!” answered Dena Larson, from across the table.
“Glue,” Podvin said with a nod. A gelatinous glue was exactly what cream of mushroom soup typically brought to a good casserole — and that’s what they wanted now from their gluten-free recipes.
“Is that even possible, though?” Carol Bagnoli, whose 3-year-old son eats gluten-free, asked.
“Anything,” Alcocer replied, “is possible.”
The women at the table laughed. The notion that anything is possible isn’t one that gluten-free folks hear very often. But Alcocer wasn’t joking. It was, he told me after the lunch, “a holy-moly moment.” He had no idea that casserole was a problem for his customers. There were, after all, recipes for casseroles on the Gluten Freely Web site. “But if it doesn’t turn out,” he said now, “it’s no good to anybody. So we’re going to go down to the kitchen, and we’re going to say: ‘We need help. These people need help.’ How can we get that can to become that can?” In other words, how could they get a can of gluten-free Progresso soup to act like the can of condensed soup called for in the recipes that his customers loved? “There’s got to be a way,” Alcocer said, “to take this great product and make it work.”
Um, I could have told them that. Progresso Cream of Mushroom Soup is a NOT a suitable replacement for Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup. Not even close, it’s entirely too watery. I know this as I’m a casserole/”hot dish” expert…I’ve got some serious Midwestern blood coursing through my veins! One of the primary reasons I cheated for 3 years after my celiac diagnosis was because I didn’t know what to eat – EVERY SINGLE ONE of my family recipes called for that darned can of condensed soup!
And I absolutely agree with Dom Alcocer, the gluten free guru over at General Mills…”Anything IS Possible” when it comes to the gluten free diet, and I have the battle scars to prove it. Where do you think my tag line, “Where there is a will, THERE IS A WAY” came from? How do you think I finally managed to quit cheating on the gluten free diet a few years ago? Why do you think my non-celiac husband voluntarily gave up gluten after our son was diagnosed with celiac disease?
We didn’t do it because we love eating cardboard disguised as food. We did it because we figured out how to make the gluten free foods we wanted that tasted BETTER than the gluten-filled foods we craved!
And yes, it also helped that companies like General Mills stepped up to the plate for the gluten free community and I am deeply appreciative to them for that. Even though I limit my family’s consumption of gluten free convenience foods, they are indeed a lifesaver at times.
So, you want a gluten free condensed soup that is a “gelatinous glue” to hold your favorite family casseroles together?
I’ve got ya covered my friends and it’s almost as easy as opening that famous BPA-lined can!
And General Mills…you are welcome to the recipe if you’d like to mass produce it (preferably free of GMOs and strange 20-syllable chemical additives please…those of us with ill intestines really don’t need any more problems). I actually thought of sending the recipe to Campbell’s a few years ago, along with a marketing plan that included green soup labels (hey, they make pink labels for Breast Cancer Awareness, so why not?). I mean really, talk about a gold mine! (And while you’re at it, a dairy-free version would be great too…just sayin’)
Menu Plan – Week of November 28
Monday: Roast Beef Salad (recipe to come)
Wednesday: Seared Flank Steak with Shallot Mustard Sauce* (see note) baked sweet potatoes and garlicky green beans Note: The 365 brand of Dijon mustard at Whole Foods is corn-free and I will use expeller pressed coconut oil instead of the corn oil and homemade dairy-free/corn-free butter.
Thursday: Sweet and Sour Sicilian Chicken and Salad
Friday: Fish Tacos* (see note), and fruit salad Note: Due to my corn allergy, I either eat these “open-faced” or wrapped either in a lettuce or Swiss chard leaf (Swiss chard is very mild so if you are green adverse, this is a good “entry level” green to try. We also omit the sour cream and cheese altogether and still think they taste great!
Saturday: Steak Chili
Sunday: Chicken Piccata* (see note), Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Salad **I will skip dredging the chicken in flour since I’m grain-free but dredging the chicken in sweet rice flour (a.k.a. glutinous rice flour) is a great gluten-free dredging flour. I highly recommend purchasing the superfine rice flours from Authentic Foods, they have a great texture and zero grit.
Lastly, here’s a new video from Dr. Vikki Petersen on How to Get Rid of Your “Dessert Stomach”
Have you ever tried my gluten-free condensed soup recipes?
If so, how did they work in your favorite casserole recipes?
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