Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Trying Things I wouldn't Have Tried Before Celiac Disease Crept Into My Life

The Recipe: Nachos

Gluten-Free Nacho Cheese Dip Recipe (from

  • Cooking time = 10 min
  • Makes 1 1/4 cups
  • I doubled the recipe for nachos for 3 people, but I would've been fine without doubling it.

2 tbsp. amaranth flour or sweet rice flour (check your local grocery's gluten-free section or look at Dale's Natural Foods Store on Miller Rd. across from BD's Mongolian BBQ, Red Mill is a good brand)
2 tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 c. milk or dairy free substitute
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, or whatever other cheeses you prefer
1 1/2 tsp. gluten-free taco seasoning (recipe below)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
2 tsp. finely diced fresh jalapeƱos or to taste (optional)

1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan on medium low heat. Whisk in amaranth flour and stir until a bubbly paste forms. Cook for two minutes being careful not to let the mixture brown.
2. Add milk or substitute and whisk until the sauce is smooth and thick. Bring just to a slow bubbly boil and remove from heat.
3. Add grated grated cheeses, garlic powder, onion powder, gluten-free taco seasoning and jalapeƱos. Stir until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth and creamy.

Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons gluten free onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free garlic powder (not garlic salt)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons crushed dried red pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons gluten free ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


Place all ingredients in an 8 ounce jar and shake until seasonings are well distributed. Makes about 6 tablespoons of mix, or enough to season 3 pounds of ground beef. Store in a cool, dry location.

The Rest:
I browned a pound of ground beef, heated up a can of refried beans, diced tomatoes, and cut strips of lettuce, then arranged everything over a plate of tortilla chips along with a few spoonfuls of salsa.

The Evidence, Plain and Simple

My Take on the Bake
Ahhh the adventures of cooking and online recipes. The nacho sauce turned out pretty bland and not sharp enough. For one thing, I used a Mexican blend of shredded cheeses from the store. I will forever more ignore the Mexican cheese mix when I'm making Mexican meals and instead use sharp cheddar. But the real problem was I thought that the direction listed by the gluten-free taco seasoning *see below* meant that it was made up of the next three powdered ingredients. Even though the amounts of ingredients didn't make sense for that, it was an online article, not a proofread cookbook I figured. I missed the link below hidden among many tips for the dip recipe. So if you make this, use taco seasoning and it'll turn out great. Also, I didn't season the meat, so it was also pretty bland. Next time I will also use taco seasoning for the taco meat.

There's a pro to a disease? Huh?
After adding some mild salsa (yes, this is spicy for me) I was more satisfied with my meal. I was excited to finally make my own nachos with the exact toppings I wanted and not just what the restaurant had on them.                
I'm excited to make more seasoned nachos next time. Would I ever have made nachos with my own personal pick of toppings that were satisfyingly fresh if I hadn't gotten celiac disease and struggled to find foods I could eat? Probably not. At least I can thank celiac disease for making me a more adventurous and satisfied person.

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