Author Archives for Tania Aranki

About Tania Aranki

Just found out you or a member of your family need to go gluten free? Overwhelmed? Telling you that you’re not alone would be a gross understatement. Celiac Disease is being diagnosed in record numbers these days and, as is still the case, the disease is often not discovered until teenage or adult years. By this time our eating habits and probably our cooking methods, if we cook, are already established. Going gluten free is as foreign a concept to some as being told we can no longer breathe oxygen. Because American cooking is wheat based, the very idea of eating or cooking without it may feel downright impossible. Most likely you fall into one of two camps. Either you have never been much of a cook or you you’ve already learned to cook and do so regularly. Fortunately there are positive elements to each. If you’ve never been much in the kitchen, you have little to nothing to relearn. You are a clean slate. If you are a seasoned cook, you know that kitchen concoctions are little more than tasty science experiments with each ingredient having a purpose - rise, elasticity, moisture, etc. Either way, albeit a lot to chew, learning to cook gluten free is doable and tasty. The most important element into your foray is patience and humor. Give yourself room to make mistakes and to experiment. Although you may be romanticizing what eating or cooking with gluten filled ingredients used to be like, it wasn’t always tasty nor did it always turn out right. Being Celiac and having one of my two children as a Celiac has proved an interesting adventure. I've always enjoyed creating meals but once my eldest and I were diagnosed I needed to revisit what I knew about cooking and discover ways to make tasty meals that the non Celiac members of my family could enjoy as well. This blog will serve as the final edit of my cookbook OFF THE BEATEN PATH. I invite you to join with me in the kitchen to test out my recipes and offer feedback. Let's get cooking!

Gluten Free Irish Beef Stew

A yearly tradition! We are at it again! ❤️

Gluten Free and Off The Beaten Path

This stew calls for a bottle of gluten free beer, an interesting twist on traditional beef stew.   And, while there are several varieties of gluten free beers out there, a tasty staple in our house is Redbridge by Anheuser-Busch made from sorghum.  And, as good as this stew is the first day, it’s even better the following day!

What You Will Need:


2 lbs. of Stew Meat, cut into large but bite sized pieces (Money Saver Tip:  buy a rump roast, trim it and cut it into cubes)

1/4 C. Olive Oil

2 T. Butter or Ghee

1 Large Onion, chopped

2 Cloves Garlic, minced (Tip Saver Tip:  use store bought minced garlic or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)

5 Roma or 3 Large Tomatoes, chopped (or 1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce – no one will think any less of you)

3 tsp. Gluten Free Beef Soup Base (see…

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Juice Plus+

Phytonutrients that are bioavailable immediately! Best thing ever!!!

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

IMG_7213Here’s What You Will Need:

4 C. Fresh Cranberries

1 T. Freshly Grated Orange Peel (make sure not to grate the white pith because it’s bitter)

1/2 C. Orange Juice (I use fresh since we’re zesting one anyway and I don’t want to put it back in the fruit bowl naked)

1 1/2 – 2 C. Sugar (the amount here is just a preference on tartness so feel free to add a bit more if you have more of a sweet tooth)

Potato Masher – looks like this and comes in really handy for a variety of things


Rinse the cranberries and heat them in a deep pot over medium heat.  Meanwhile, if you haven’t already, grate the orange peel (zest) and toss that in the pot along with the sugar and the juice.

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Periodically give the cranberries a stir and a good mashing with the potato masher, continuing to cook over medium heat.  The process will take 18-20 minutes in all.

You may hear a popping sound as the cranberries swell and split.


After a few minutes, the mixture will begin to bubble and thicken.  Keep smashing away with the masher.

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Once the mixture breaks down and thickens up like the picture below, you can remove the pot from heat.


Serve like so, or refrigerate and enjoy cold.  Leftovers store quite well covered in the fridge.


Gluten Free Homemade Herbed Stuffing

For those adventurous cooks who are craving homemade stuffing but need it to be free of gluten, try out this yummy recipe just in time for Thanksgiving.  You can make this ahead of time, cover, and refrigerate until you are ready to bake it.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

1 Loaf Gluten Free Bread

1/2 Medium Onion, chopped

3-4 Stalks Celery, chopped

1-2 Cloves Garlic, minced

4 T. Butter

3 T. Olive Oil

2 tsp. Poultry Seasoning

1/2 tsp. Sage (optional)

1/2 tsp. Salt (optional)

Several turns of fresh ground pepper (to your preference)

2 Cups Chicken Broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 7 x 11 casserole dish.

Cut up the loaf of bread into cubes and place in a large bowl.


Meanwhile, heat olive oil and TWO of the tablespoons of butter over medium to medium/low heat until melted and add the celery and onion, cooking and stirring for approximately 8 minutes or until onion is translucent.  Lower the heat a tad and toss in the seasonings (including salt and pepper) and minced garlic.  Stir and continue to cook for approximately 30 seconds more.






Add the onion mixture to your bread cubes and, using a fork, toss to combine.  Gently pour in the chicken broth and toss using your fork, just until combined.





Pour contents into your prepared casserole dish and evenly drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over the stuffing.



Once ready to bake, lightly spray aluminum foil and cover the casserole dish.  Bake for 30 minutes (add about 10 more minutes if you’ve made this ahead of time and refrigerated the dish).  Uncover, bake for 15 more minutes.  Serve!



Old Fashioned Pie Crust

This pie crust is nice because you can actually roll it out.  While you do need to use a little more TLC because it’s gluten free, I think you’ll find the tad bit more care needed to make it will be worth the effort once you taste it!

Makes a double crust. If needed, halve the recipe or wrap well with plastic wrap and store the other half in the freezer.

In your food processor add the following ingredients in order:

3 C. Superfine Rice Flour

1 tsp. Guar Gum

1 tsp. Salt

Pulse for a few seconds to combine.

½ Stick of Chilled, Unsalted Butter, cut into chunks

Pulse a few more seconds until the butter is thoroughly broken up

2 Egg

4 Ounces Regular Cream Cheese

Pulse again for a few seconds.

½ and ½ (about 6-8 T.) –while pulsing, add only as much cream as needed to form a dough. The finished product should form itself into a ball.

Turn out onto waxed paper lightly dusted with GF flour. Use more flour as necessary while rolling out. Once rolled to the desired size, flip the waxed paper upside down (pastry side down) into a pie plate. Gently press down into the pie plate and then carefully remove the waxed paper. Fill with your favorite pie or quiche recipe, crimp edges and bake according to each pie recipe’s instructions.

Gluten Free Chicken and Noodles

Fast track this recipe with a fully cooked rotisserie chicken from the market.  You’ll thank me later. 😉

Here’s What You’ll Need:

1 Fully Cooked Rotisserie Chicken (do not throw the bones, skin, or cartilage away – I mean it.)

10 Ounces of Frozen Peas and Carrots (I used the variety with julienned carrots because I saw them and it was my impulse buy for the day – I was really living it up.)

1 T. Chicken Base (I rely on Better than Bouillon Soup Base – you can find this lovely ingredient in the soup aisle).

Rice Flour (white or brown is fine though I like brown because the noodles don’t look anemic)


1 Large Clove Garlic

2 Eggs


2 T. Milk

1 T. Dried Parsley (I actually prefer dried in this recipe)

Now We Begin!!

Remove the chicken from the bones, shred and set aside.  Remember above when I told you to hang on to the bones, etc?  Here’s why.  We are going to make broth and it’s EASY.


Place the leftover chicken parts and the peeled garlic clove into a stock pot and add enough water to cover completely by approximately 2 inches.  Just eye ball it.  Bring this to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer as long as you like, adding more water as needed when it evaporates. Once the water is warmed I add about 1 T. salt but this is optional as you will do a taste test later and add salt as needed.

I tend to cook my broth for hours but as little as 1-2 hours will do in a pinch and it will still taste amazing.

Remove the chicken parts and the garlic carefully and discard using a slotted spoon or a mesh strainer like this one.

mesh strainer

Keep the broth in the stockpot and add 1 T. of that flavor bumping Better than Bouillon Chicken Base and another 4 cups of good ol’ H20.

Add the chicken back to the stockpot along with the dried parsley and the frozen veggies.  Amp up the heat and bring it back to a boil.


Meanwhile…we make noodles.  Now even though these are not only worth it but easy, no one will judge you if you want to toss in some prepared gluten free noodles and skip this step.


In a medium sized bowl, combine 1 1/2 C. Rice Flour, 2 Eggs, 1/2 tsp. Salt, and 2 T. of Milk or Milk Alternative (flax, almond, cashew all work great).

Mix this until everything is combined and then toss it out onto a rice floured surface and knead gently until it is no longer too sticky to handle.

Roll to desired thickness (1/4 inch ought to do ya), regularly dusting with more rice flour as needed.  Now fold (don’t roll) your dough like in this picture and slice into even, yet thick pieces.  Hint:  Dust between folds so that the layers won’t stick together because we’re going to be unraveling these beauties in a second.

You can make the noodles any size or shape you would like but once I sliced them as you see above, I sliced them horizontally and then unraveled to produce these chubby rectangles you see up to the right.  Once you make your noodles, lay them out on a surface that won’t stick.  I had mine hang tight on this perforated pizza pan until I was ready to throw them in the pot.

Once all of your noodles are ready, gently stir them into the simmering broth and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes.


To thicken the mixture, in a small separate bowl, mix together 1/4 cup more rice flour with just enough water to make a paste before adding to the broth.  Cook five more minutes and give it a taste test to see if it needs more salt and… voila!  Comfort food heaven.


Zippy Tomato Salad

For those who have a lot of what Summer had to offer with tomatoes, try adding a flavorful oil, such as Black Cumin Oil (health benefits below) and a zesty twist on traditional balsamic – such as Fig or Date Balsamic.  Toss along with Pink Himalayan Salt – to taste – and devour!

Yummy and perhaps under known benefits if Black Cumin Oil:  antioxidant, antispasmodic for those unruly muscle spasms, antiviral properties, anti-hypertensive, as well as an anti-inflammatory.  And gues what? It tastes amazing!

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