Delicious, Affordable Gluten Free Pastas – THEY DO EXIST!!

Pasta dishes and salads play a huge part in our summer time events and family get-togethers. This can be a little frustrating when you have gluten intolerance and you want to bring a dish to share at an event. Gluten free tends to have a stigma of having bad texture or taste and people tend to shy away from these types of products. After sampling many products I have to tend to agree with the general consensus. (At this point I’m thinking folks are starting to feel sorry for my husband who has to sample all of my failures until I reach success).

I set out on a shopping excursion and bought some of every type of gluten free pasta available so I could make a palatable tuna salad for our annual family get-together. I was surprised at how limited the selection and expensive these items were. I won’t go thru all the brands we hated but I did find one manufacturer from Canada that specializes in only Rice Pastas, “Tinkyada: Pasta Joy ™”.If you visit their website they have a list of products that they manufacturer. I contacted the company and they provided me a list of stores that carry their products in my area. They don’t manufacture anything but rice pastas so their costs are cheaper and their products are by far the best that I’ve tried to date.

Tinkyada Pasta Joy Brown Rice Elbows
Tinkyada Pasta Joy Brown Rice Elbows

I found Tinkyada Pasta Products locally at Marquette Food Co-op, Walmart and Super One Foods but there were numerous online sources available also if you don’t mind the shipping charges. I would definitely consider buying online if I were buying in bulk.

I brought my tuna salad to the family reunion, didn’t tell anyone it was gluten free and no one knew the difference. TRHAT’S THE TRUE TEST! I was a little disappointed that there was none left over to bring home for a little midnight snack but it was well overshadowed by my satisfaction in finding a descent product. THANK YOU TINKYADA!!


1 – 16 oz. package Tinkyada Pasta Joy Brown Rice Elbows (cooked per package directions and cooled)

1 ½ Cups diced organic celery hearts

1 Cup fresh blanched or frozen garden sweet peas

2 – 5 oz. cans Dolphin safe water packed tuna (drained)

1 ¼ Cups olive oil mayonnaise

1 ¼ Cups Miracle Whip Light

Combine all ingredients and chill. Serves 8 – 10.

Delicious Gluten Free Tuna Salad
Delicious Gluten Free Tuna Salad

Fragrant, Effervescent and Refreshing Ginger Ale

Refreshing Healthy Ginger Ale
Refreshing Healthy Ginger Ale

Summer is now in full swing and the temperatures have been in the mid to high 80’s (up here that is a heat-wave my friends). And there is just nothing better than an icy cold delicious glass of homemade Ginger Ale to beat the heat. It really is simple to make homemade soda and truly homemade soda is chocked full of great health benefits, like wonderful probiotics. The best part is that YOU control how much sugar goes into the soda and the artificial colors and preservatives and other bad stuff is non-existent. It’s so easy you won’t believe you are really doing it! Once you taste it you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it all along.

Ginger Bug Starter
Ginger Bug Starter
Bubbly Ginger Bug
Bubbly Ginger Bug

September of 2014 I published a post called Ginger Ale, Ginger Ale, Where for Art Thou Ginger Ale! on how to make a ginger bug. Ginger bugs are easy to care for. If you leave it on your counter top just feed it a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of minced ginger root once a day. If you keep it in the fridge just feed it a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of minced ginger once a week, let it bubble back up and then put it back in the fridge for another little nap. Always replace the liquid you use with non- chlorinated water, and if it gets too full of ginger root scoop some out and discard it into your compost. Once you have a ginger bug established you can make all sorts of soda, but Ginger Ale is my personal Favorite, to date.

Ginger Ale


1 to 2 knobs or knuckles or Tablespoons of minced unpeeled ginger root

2 quarts non-chlorinated water

½ to ¾ Cup raw sugar or granulated sugar plus ½ Tablespoon molasses

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ Cup lemon juice

½ Cup Strained Ginger Bug (Don’t forget to add non-chlorinated water back to your ginger bug jar)

In a large pan add the water, sugar, (molasses if used) and ginger root and sea salt, bring it to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and leave cool to room temperature. This is referred to as wort. Once your wort is cooled completely, strain it into a pitcher and add the lemon juice and ginger bug. Mix and pour into bottles with tight fitting caps. I prefer Grolsch-style bottles. Leave the bottles on the counter for 48 to 72 hours then refrigerate and enjoy! Take care not to forget to refrigerate the bottles after 72 hours as they can continue to carbonate until they explode. (VERY MESSY INDEED)

Vive Le Gluten Free Bread

Soft and Delicious Gluten Free Bread
Soft and Delicious Gluten Free Bread

The first thing I learned about making gluten free bread is that I needed to set aside everything I ever learned about conventional bread making and take on a whole new mind set. The next thing I learned is that there are dozens of ways to fail at making gluten free bread. It’s important to remember that gluten free bread does not start out as a dough, but as a batter, so you must take care not to over fill your bread pan. The batter has a similar texture to cream puffs. Also, even though I detest metal baking dishes I had to purchase a 9x5x3 inch coated steel bread pan as I could never get the internal temperature of the loaf to 210 degrees, which is what is required to keep the loaf from deflating after removing it from the oven. As with all my recipes, when I find ways to improve them, I will edit my posts to reflect these minor changes. They are always a work in progress. I guess that makes me a bit of a mad kitchen chemist.


Sift together

½ Cup Brown Rice Flour

½ Cup Sweet Rice Flour

½ Cup White Rice Flour

½ Cup Potato Flour (starch)

½ Cup Tapioca Flour (starch)

½ Cup Corn Starch

1 Tablespoon Xanthan Gum

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt


1 ½ Cups Warm Water

1 Tablespoon Yeast

3 Tablespoons Sugar or Honey or Agave (or combination)


2 Eggs

2 Tablespoons Grape Oil

1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

In large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients except yeast. Proof the water, sugar and yeast in a large liquid measuring cup. Mix eggs, oil and lemon juice in small bowl. Combine all and mix well. Use cold water on your hands to pat batter into place in greased metal 9x5x3 inch bread pan and let rise until bread crests the top of pan. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for approximately 45 – 50 minutes (times vary depending on pan size) until the internal temperature reaches 210 degrees. (Tent foil over top of bread if bread is getting too dark).

Pat Batter into Greased Pan with wet hands
Pat Batter into Greased Pan with wet hands
Let Rise until top crests the Pan
Let Rise until top crests the Pan
Bake until internal temp is 210 degrees. Cool. Slice. Enjoy
Bake until internal temp is 210 degrees. Cool. Slice. Enjoy

This recipe can also be used for 6-8 hamburger buns just divide batter evenly in greased mini cake pans and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until the internal temp is 210 degrees. Cool and enjoy. I wrap my bread in waxed paper and put it in Rubbermaid Bread Keeper to store it. I tried keeping it in the refrigerator but it seems to dry out quicker and I end up turning some of it to croutons or bread crumbs.

Mini Cake Pans
Mini Cake Pans
Hamburger Buns
Hamburger Buns

Also, I discovered, as one of my batches overflowed the sides of a pan and dropped to the baking sheet below that you can spoon the batter onto a greased cookie sheet, let rise and bake for dinner rolls/buns. Sometimes we have happy accidents!

Dinner Rolls/Buns
Dinner Rolls/Buns

As always feedback is welcome 🙂

Left over bread ends

**NOTE: Gluten free bread definitely has a short shelf life compared to the preservative filled breads you find in the supermarket, and I just abhor waste, so I’m thinking that I can try taking cutting the leftover bread ends into cubes and air drying them to use in other ways. Perhaps once the cubes are dry, tossing them with some herbed olive oil, sprinkling them with sea salt and browning them in the oven on a baking sheet for salad croutons or perhaps using them for a savory stuffing.   STAY TUNED!

Nothing Hidden About this Ranch Dressing. It’s ALL Good and Good for You!

Ranch Dressing

Now that summer is in full bloom so are the fruits of the spring planting. The lettuce seems to gently wave to me in the breeze beckoning “Pick Me…Pick Me” and so I must oblige! There is nothing tastier that an “in season” garden salad full of greens and tasty herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers all at the peak of freshness and bursting with juicy flavor, topped with savory, tangy and healthy, YES HEALTHY Ranch dressing. Nearly everyone loves Ranch Dressing but not the calories, fat, preservatives and price. I can help with that! I’ve played in my kitchen until I’ve come up with a “two thumbs up” healthy version approved by even my 5 year old grandson. We all know what fussy eaters kids can be.


fresh veggiesherbs

Nanna’s Ranch Dressing


1 Cup Milk Kefir or Low-fat Buttermilk

½ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

½ Cup Olive Oil Mayonnaise

1 Teaspoons Sea Salt

1 Teaspoon Lemon juice (optional)

1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest (optional)

1 Teaspoon Fresh Chopped Chives (optional)

Crush finely

½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder

½ Teaspoon Onion Powder

½ Teaspoon Dried Italian Flat Leaf Parsley

¼ Teaspoon Dried Dill Weed

¼ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Combine crushed herbs with the salad dressing mixture, blend well and chill overnight to let the flavors blend. Makes about 2 cups.

This also makes a great dip for veggies or chips!

Simple to make!  Simply Enjoy!!

As always feedback is welcome 🙂