Gluten Free Taco Meat Sauce

Gluten Free Taco Meat Sauce

Gluten Free Taco Meat Sauce

I have always liked Tacos at home as they are a super quick meal!  You can have them done in about 15-20 minutes.  Once going gluten free, I started really looking at the ingredients in the store bought taco seasonings and it’s pretty scary all the ingredients in there!  I decided to pick out the main flavor ingredients and see if I could figure out how to replicate it on my own.  According to my family, I have it down pretty good now.  Better than the boxed stuff!

Gluten Free Taco Meat Sauce

  • 1-1.5 Ground Beef (you can use chopped chicken too, or other ground meats)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 jar Fresh Salsa (I love using our local Frog Ranch Salsa Medium spicy!)
  • Minced Onion to taste (start with about 1-2 tbs)
  • Minced Garlic to taste (start with about 1 tbs)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Chili Powder to taste


Start by browning your meat in onion, garlic, salt, pepper and chili powder.  You can always add more of this to taste once it’s cooked throughout.  Once thoroughly browned/cooked drain off any fat.  Add water and salsa to meat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and evaporated.  I usually add more of the Salt, Pepper and Chili Powder at this point.  While simmering, taste test and add any of the flavorings to adjust it to your preference.


Serve with Gluten Free taco shells and toppings of your choice!  We usually add fresh romaine lettuce, Mexican Cheese and more Frog Ranch Salsa!



Send Me Gluten Free – September

So excited! I got a great coupon for ‘send me gluten free’ and here is my first box.

Send Me Gluten Free - September 2014

Send Me Gluten Free – September 2014


  • Lots of coupons for the stuff inside.
  • Soap box natural soap – Not tried yet
  • Extra virgin coconut oil – Not tried yet
  • Soy joy bar – Not tried yet
  • Shaar Honey Grahams – Really good!
  • Three different spice blends – Not tried yet but smells awesome!
  • Giddy up & Co granola – LOVE
  • Lovely candy. . The best!
  • Liquid both concentrate – Really good stuff!
  • Bean and rice chips – Just OK to me
  • Go picnic ready to eat meal. Super excited about this one!  – Turned out really good! Bought more of these!
  • Pamela baking mix
  • Chop sticks


Some coupons were as large as 40% off!  Thanks guys!


Oven Fries – Naturally Gluten Free!

These oven fries are Delicious and naturally gluten free!  Super simple to make too!


  • 6-8 Medium Potatoes
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper

Cut potatoes into wedges. I like to do this by cutting mine in half, then slicing the wedges, then cutting the wedges in half so they cook faster. Toss with oil, salt and pepper.


Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 400F for 45 min. Stir potatoes every 15 minutes while baking. Serves 6.

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

These things are pretty awesome and are a great spin on a classic.

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. light Karo syrup
  • 1 c. peanut butter
  • 6 c. Rice Krispies (GF) (We like Nature’s Path Organic)
  • 1  pkg. chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons Crisco ( butter might work also)

Cook sugar and syrup in 3 quart saucepan over medium heat until mixture boils. Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter. Mix in Rice Krispies. Press into 9″x13″ pan. Let harden. Melt in double boiler chocolate chips and crisco. Stir to blend. Spread over Krispie mixture. Chill 5 minutes until top is firm. Cut in squares and Enjoy!


Gluten Free Double Delicious Cookies

I have had these bar cookies that I’ve made since High School that everyone loves.  When I learned of my gluten issues, I stopped making them.  Problem is they have graham crackers in them.  I finally found a great Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crumbs by Kinnikinnick so I can make these cookies again!



Preheat oven to 350.  While oven is heating, cut up butter in a 9×13 pyrex pan and melt butter in the oven.  Once butter is melted, evenly layer the Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crumbs on butter.  Next layer the Sweetened Condensed Milk followed by the semi-sweet chips and peanut butter chips.  Lightly press down.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and slightly golden brown.  Let fully cool before cutting!

These are so good and rich be careful eating too many at once!!  Enjoy!

Our Favorite Gluten Free Chicken Tenders

Some gluten free substitutes for breaded items have a weird texture and taste.  We’ve found at our local Krogers the Saffron Road brand to make excellent chicken tenders!  You can’t even tell they are gluten free!  The texture is great and works best when you put them in the oven.  We like to use our toaster oven for these so we aren’t heating up our big oven to bake them.  I hope you like them!

The great thing about these is they are Certified Gluten Free!

Saffron Road Chicken Tenders

Saffron Road Gluten Free Chicken Tenders

Saffron Road Gluten Free Chicken Tenders

Gluten Free Pizza – Tastes like Delivery!

One thing you might miss when going gluten free is Delivery Pizza!  This is actually pretty simple to do at home if you just make one simple tweak to how you normally make pizza at home!

First I start with Udi’s Gluten Free Crust.  I can find this at our local Kroger’s for a pretty reasonable price (almost the same as gluten crust!)

Next I use a very simple, jarred pizza sauce.  By simple I mean something with very small number and natural ingredients.   I like to use Mid’s pizza sauce.  It’s usually just a few dollars in our Krogers.

Next you can put on any toppings you like.

Here’s how I made the pizza below.

Delivery tasting Gluten Free Pizza

Delivery tasting Gluten Free Pizza


  • 1 Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust
  • 1-3 tbs Mid’s Pizza Sauce
  • Shredded Cheese (sometimes I use Mexican style…no seasonings.., sometimes just mozzarella)
  • Hormel Pepperoni
  • Fresh Green Pepper
  • Canned Mushrooms (I prefer canned to fresh for some reason!)
  • Cooked Bacon (I just use leftover I’ve frozen or refrigerated)
  • Garlic Powder to taste (optional)
  • Onion Powder to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 375.  Layer pizza sauce, garlic & onion powder, cheese, then toppings onto gluten free pizza crust.  Bake for 7-10 minutes.  Once cheese looks nice and melted and toppings hot, switch your oven to broil for 1-2 minutes.  It’s important to keep an eye on the pizza at this point!  Watch until the cheese really starts to bubble and the edges of the pizza turn a golden brown.

Optionally: When you get ready to switch to broil, add a sprinkle of fresh cheese on top to help hold all the toppings together.

Ultimate Taste Test!  So for our oldest’s birthday party, I made these Gluten Free Pizzas for all the kids.  They were simpler with just cheese or pepperoni since that’s what they preferred.  I got lots of compliments from the 10-11 year olds on the pizza!

Why make your home Gluten Free?

If you have one or more in your home that has Celiac disease, it seems to be a debate on whether to try to keep separate gluten/gluten free areas or make the whole kitchen gluten free.

For us, I started figuring out my need to be gluten free in early 2011.  I slowly transitioned to wheat free in 2011 when initially thinking it was a wheat intollerance.  Through experimenting eating purely barley soup in early 2012, I found out that I also had major issues with barley.  I had been suspecting issues with all gluten because despite being wheat free, I’d still have unexplained symptoms when being wheat free.  Once I went gluten free completely in 2012, I quickly found out that even the tiniest amount of gluten threw my body out of whack.  Because of my extreme reaction to gluten, I talked to our kids pediatrician and he agreed it was worth screening the kids.  To our surprise, the oldest came back positive for gluten antibodies!  We found this out in November of 2012.

Since finding out he had to be gluten free as well, we started switching more to gluten free in general in our household.  We still kept regular gluten bread in the house for the other two kids and for dad, though.  We marked peanut butter, jelly and other jars as gluten free or not.  This was to eliminate cross contamination from someone making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with gluten bread and double dipping into the jar.  Even something like this was making me ill.

After 3 months of worrying if someone got the wrong jar we were finding a pattern that our oldest also got gluten symptoms at the same time that I did when there was a risk of cross contamination.  For example, we didn’t have 2 separate butter dishes.  So there was the potential for someone to make toast and get gluten crumbs on the butter.  Also I had to be careful to wipe out the toaster oven, counters, etc when making things for the two of us.  I was regularly making our meals on plates rather than counters or cutting boards.  It started to be pretty consistent when we both would have issues and I was getting very frustrated about getting sick in my own home!  It’s the one place you should feel safe to eat and not have to worry about getting gluten!  It was one thing for me to get ill myself, but to have my son describe the issues he had the next day to me really set it home for me!

The past few weeks I have removed all gluten from the house, I have started buying only Udi’s Gluten free bread for the whole family!  While this does increase our grocery bill by about $6-12 per week, a worst case of $50 extra per year is nothing compared to knowing that the house will be safe.

Since switching to all gluten free in the house I have had only one episode of gluten issues.  We do have a few pizza jar sauces in the fridge that have cross contamination potential in them.  I’m interested to see how this progresses over the next few weeks.

The first week that I shopped knowing I was not buying any gluten bread was such a relief!  I can’t describe how much relief I felt knowing that I wasn’t buying anything with gluten in it.  We already had switch all our pasta to gluten free about a year ago and only had a few misc things besides bread with gluten in them.  You will just feel so liberated and so much safer in your own home if you go all gluten free.

If you have someone in the household that has Celiac Disease, I highly recommend for their comfort, their health and your sanity to try going completely gluten free.  Besides having your home being a safe place, everyone will also be eating better.  The cheapest way to be gluten free is to simply get items that are naturally gluten free!

Gluten Free Grilled Cheese

Such a simple thing but Grilled Cheese is something you might crave when going gluten free!  Luckily, I actually think that Gluten Free Grilled Cheese is better than regular grilled cheese!

Our favorite bread in the house is Udi’s Gluten Free Bread. The great thing about their bread is that it has all these nice holes in it!  This is perfect for grilled cheese!  All that cheese seeps into the holes and makes it so gooey!  Most highly processed breads that are full of gluten are so processed and manufactured that they take out these nice small-medium holes and have tiny ones that the cheese can’t get into.


  • 2 pats of butter
  • 2 slices of your favorite cheese (gluten free!)
  • 2 slices of your favorite gluten free bread

Heat 1 pat of butter on low-medium, place bread, cheese, then bread and then the last pat of butter on top.  Cook for a few minutes until the bottom piece of bread is nice and golden brown.  Flip sandwich over taking care that the butter on top ends up on bottom.  Cook for a few more minutes until gold brown and cheese is melted.  Enjoy!


How to tell if something is Gluten Free

The easiest question to ask yourself to see if something is gluten free is:

Is it a man-made food or a man-altered food?

If the answer is no then it’s gluten free! 

If you can go out and pick it and eat it without doing anything to it, it’s gluten free.  (For example, fruits, nuts and vegetables)  If you eat meat, if man has done anything extra to the meat, then it may not be gluten free (added chicken broth, added flavoring, etc)!  See my post on Gluten in Chicken and Turkey!  If it’s not altered by man then it should be safe!  There should be only 1 ingredient, the meat itself!

Anything found in nature that’s directly editable is gluten free (fruits, vegetables, nuts and unaltered meats).  Some items found in nature that’s not gluten free are also not directly editable.  For example, barley is a grain found in nature but it’s not something you eat without processing and cooking it.  Same goes for wheat and the other wheat families.

Ingredients that always mean gluten:

Ingredients that sometimes mean gluten:

  • Natural Flavoring
  • Maltodextrin (unless specified that it’s corn)
  • MSG (mono sodium glutamate)
  • Oats (Unless certified Gluten Free!)
  • Natural Flavoring

You can always find a up-to-date complete list on some of the official Celiac websites such as

I’ve found through trial and error that when in doubt, just don’t eat it!  There has been countless times I’ve said to myself, well I don’t think it has gluten in it, and it’s come back to bite me about 9 times out of 10.

Always check with your doctor and/or dietician for the latest information.  Being gluten free though can be very simple if you just don’t eat processed foods.  The one great thing about having to be gluten free means you simply naturally eat better by eating directly from nature!