Celiac Disease / Recipes / Uncategorized

Gluten-Free Election Night Recipes: Ohio Specialities That Swing

artwork by Esme Goldman

We’re only a day away from the U.S. Presidential election, everybodys, and it’s all about Ohio.  Let’s throw a gluten-free election party that  can help you get inside the minds of those people who hold so much sway over our nation and its future. What makes those good people tick? How do they fuel their voting fingers? So I asked a few friends of mine who hail from the Buckeye State, and holyohmygods, you guys — people in Ohio eat CRAZY stuff. And they’re going to pick our next president! Daaaaamn.

Out of all of the options (tomato juice and chocolate chunks in the middle of your ice cream, anyone?) I settled on three:  Skyline chili, buckeyes, and the purple cow. Ohio, you’re kidding me.

Let’s start with the purple cow. My Okie grandma loved a good Coke float, but I understand if root beer floats are much more popular nationally. This immediately allowed me to relate to those Ohioans from Geneva as they pour on the grape soda over ice cream during the Geneva Grape Jamboree every year. Except, when my local showed up he explained it’s actually GRAPE JUICE people pour over ice cream. Umm, I’m sorry but that’s gross. I say, as I finish my carbonated purple cow for breakfast.

As an expert pretzel buckeye maker, I was also shocked when my Ohio friend, Abe, came over and sadly told me that real buckeyes are only the peanut butter mixture covered in chocolate. That whole pretzel thing is just fancy-ing it up. Sigh. So while I thought I was nailing a couple of Ohio traditions, I was actually butchering them. Abe  insisted I was improving on the two, but he’s just one nice fella’. Maybe like all of those Ohioans? Who love health care and hate curtailing women’s rights? I hope?

All of the input I received from Ohioans explained that Skyline chili is an acquired taste, yet one that is insanely popular around the state and beyond. As a Texas chili cooker my snob-o-meter went off when I read about some of the ingredients in this all-beef tomato based recipe. We’re talking cinnamon and chocolate, people. But that’s not even the biggest shock to those of us who grew up on chunks of beef and jalapenos. After the chili is all cooked, it goes on top of spaghetti, is smothered in cheddar cheese, chopped onions (optional), and crumbled saltines. CRAZY. Crazy, good, actually. Which is what I said after shoving some in my gullet. This much –

Yes, this is what your table should look like tomorrow night if you want to feel what Ohio is feeling. Personally, we already ate it up because we live in California and the election will be decided before we even finish our commute home from work. Still, get out there and vote people! May the best Democrat win.

Gluten-Free Skyline Chili

adapted from food.com

Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 1 hour 45 minutes


2 lbs ground beef
2 onions, chopped
16 ounces tomato sauce
4 cups gluten-free beef stock
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 ounce grated unsweetened chocolate or 2 3/4 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 bay leaf

1. Brown ground beef and onion together in Dutch oven.

2. Drain beef, and add beef stock and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for one hour, uncovered.

5. Remove bay leaf, and skim excess fat from the top.

6. Serve over gluten-free spaghetti, cover in shredded cheddar cheese, and crumbled gluten-free saltines (I like Glutino’s table crackers). Add chopped onions if desired.

Makes: 12 servings

4 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Election Night Recipes: Ohio Specialities That Swing

  1. Wow i’m totally laughing. I’m an OHIOAN….a democrat healthcare-loving, pro-choice OHIOAN. Who doesn’t know how to make skyline chili and has never heard of a purple cow ! i gotta get out more. i do however LOVE buckeyes. There is nothing better but you gotta get the pb mixture just right and the right chocolate and they are fab.
    I can tell you I don’t feel like i’m deciding the election at all, but i cannot WAIT until the robocalls and ads are over. I’m not kidding you when i tell you for the last 4 months EVERYDAY i get robocalls. The past few sundays my phone has rang at least 10x’s a day with election related calls, people knocking at the door, etc. Its just nuts. I really hate it. Happy that Ohio is getting so much attention….lets just hope that we can deliver a win!!!!

    As for other foods…many parts of Ohio have GREAT ethnic communities. Within 5 mins of each other you can find polish pierogies, hungarian goulash, homemade italian macaroni, and homemade corn tortillas. We also are home to what is supposedly considered the first place to sell hamburgers and the first farmers market. Ohio has great food if you ever get out here !

    • That is nuts. I may not like being in California where it totally doesn’t matter what I do with my vote, but I much prefer that to having someone calling me 10 times a day. All that attention would make me add some vodka to that purple cow.

      • You have a point…sadly they only care about OH to get elected. If they would take the $ they spend on calls and ads and just put that to work in our state to get people say JOBS or something that might make us a bit happier : )
        Oh well…its OVER. finally. and all the crazy “rape is god’s will” peeps didn’t get elected so that made me happy as well. now if only they could decide on food labeling….

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