Gluten-free ~ A Day in Review

There have been several instances lately where people who are unfamiliar with Celiac Disease or the gluten-free diet ask me what I can eat.  They ask with strange looks on their faces after hearing what I can’t eat.  If you take a step back & look at the big picture, there is really a lot more food that I can eat than food that I have to avoid.  It just happens that the foods that I have to avoid are the most commonly known & available foods.  So while I was running this morning on the treadmill (yes, I ran 8 miles before 7 AM ;) ) I thought that I would document my entire day of gluten-free eats for everyone to see. 

Pre-run snack – Banana that was not pictured because I hadn’t thought about doing this yet.

Breakfast – 2 Van’s Gluten -Free Blueberry Waffles topped with PB & Co’s Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter  topped with Pumpkin Butter and more raisins.  On the side I had a juicy white peach!  YUM!!

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Snack – Weil by Nature’s Path Goji Moji Bar

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Lunch – Homemade corn tortilla chips (bake with Pam & sea salt at 350 for 10 min or less); Red quinoa (double the fiber of regular quinoa) topped with leftover half of a sweet potato & grilled veggies (eggplant, zucchini & okra), feta cheese & Frank’s Red Hot.

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Dessert – Handful of dark chocolate covered cranberries & blueberries from Anthony Thomas (forgot to snap a picture of these).

Snack – Gluten-free Blueberry Chia Muffin

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Dinner – Large salad w/mixed greens, cuke, tomato, carrot, radishes, pine nuts, dried apricots and Fat Free French dressing; Trader Joe’s GF French Roll topped with fresh sliced mozzarella, fresh basil, tomatoes & balsamic vinaigrette then broiled; the rest of my grilled veggies (eggplant, asparagus, zucchini & okra).  Small glass (2-3 oz) of what was left of a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Dessert – Scoop of Turkey Hill Banana Split Ice Cream (OMG…TDF!) topped with blueberries & mini chocolate chips.

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Think I am full now!  Because it is summer, I have been incorporating all kinds of fresh fruit & veggies into my meals.  Not only do I love my fruits & veggies, but they are naturally gluten-free, which is a huge bonus in my book. 

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Gluten-Free Blueberry Chia Muffins

It is no secret that I love food.  To feed my fascination for food, I read many food blogs to get ideas for new things to bake or cook.  I happened upon a recipe the other day for Blueberry Chia Muffins over at Another Bites the Crust’s blog.   First, love the name of the blog, how clever! ;)  The muffins looked so good in the picture and I had a bunch of fresh blueberries, so off I went to make some changes to convert this recipe to gluten-free.

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Gluten-free Blueberry Chia Muffins

 

1  1/2 cups Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix

1/4 cup ground flax seed (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water (I used Ruth’s Chia Goodness that has hemp seeds & buckwheat in it too)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup nondairy milk (I used Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze)
1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine chia seeds in water until it forms a gel-like substance.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.  In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients together.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Fold in blueberries.  Bake in lined muffin tins for 15 to 20 minutes.  Check with a toothpick  inserted into the center for doneness.

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WOW!!!  These are amazing!!!  Guess who ate them & loved them?  Mr. I-don’t-like-blueberries, none other than Jon, himself.  I couldn’t tell him about the other ingredients or he wouldn’t have touched them!  HA!!  Super healthy!  Jon asked me to make them into banana nut muffins next time.  I feel an experiment coming soon!

**If you want to make these non-gluten-free, just replace the Pamela’s mix with whole wheat flour. 

Friday Foodie Fix

I love this event that Dianne over at The Whole Gang hosts every Friday.  This week the ingredient is eggplant…ooh…one of my favs!!  I buy at least 1 eggplant per week and love to eat it roasted with other veggies.  I slice the eggplant in rounds and place paper towels on each side and then pound with a frying pan to help lessen the bitterness.  I found this tip on another food blog (though I don’t remember where….I am getting old!) and it really works.  Then I slice into chunks or leave in rounds.  After they are in the shape I want, I toss in some olive oil (EVOO as Rachael Ray says), sea salt & pepper.  Then I roast in the oven at 375 or so for 20-40 minutes.  I have also grilled in place of roasting & they turn out great!  Another idea?  Cut the eggplant lengthwise and then use a the base for a burger and top with your choice of toppings & then top with another slice of eggplant. 

Here is a favorite, simple recipe I use for eggplant.

Easy Eggplant Parmesan

1 medium eggplant
1 medium zucchini
Mozzarella Cheese (or sliced fresh mozzarella)
Parmesan Cheese
Marinara Sauce (I used homemade today, but have used Prego 3 Cheese in the past)

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Slice eggplant & zucchini.
3. Spread sauce in the bottom of a glass pyrex dish. Start to layer eggplant & zucchini and cheeses with sauce. Repeat until ingredients are gone.
4. Bake at least 30 minutes. Test the eggplant with a fork, it should be soft. Broil for a couple minutes to brown up the top.

**I have seen a variation of this recipe with ricotta cheese too. That would make it more a meal, suitable for vegetarians.

Enjoy your Friday!! :)

A Work in Progress

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you may have noticed some changes over the past 2 days or so.  I had to do some rearranging of my pages to fit some new stuff in.  I hope there hasn’t been too much confusion.  If you happen to notice something that you think needs fixed, please do not hesitate to let me know.  This is a work in progress. 

During this transition, I am also working on my recipes page.  I hope to link all my recipes in this one location to make them easier to find for myself and for all of you as well.  It will take some time, but hopefully not too long.

Thank you for your patience and for reading Gluten-free is Life. 

:)

 

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Review: Boston’s Pizza

Take-out pizza.  When is the last time you had take-out pizza that was gluten-free?  I can tell you when I last had it.  Never.  Well, not until tonight, that is.  Sure, Donato’s Pizza makes a “No Dough” pizza, but it is not the same.  There is no “crust”.  The “No Dough” is either a soy crisp with sauce, cheese & toppings or sauce, cheese & toppings on a plate.  Not my idea of take-out pizza. 

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Enter: Boston’s, The Gourmet Pizza.  Boston’s has locations throughout the United States, with 2 locations in Ohio.  One of the Ohio locations happens to be right next door to my husband’s office, so I asked nicely if he could bring home some take-out for us.  :)  Of course, he did!  Jon ordered the pepperoni & cheese pizza, I ordered the Florentine pizza.  My pizza was topped with Boston’s special pizza sauce, fresh spinach and basil, mozzarella cheese, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic and freshly grated parmesan cheese.  The pizza were a little under 10 inches (the gluten-free pizza only comes in a size small).  There are many choices for toppings on the menu. 

Jon’s – Pepperoni & Cheese

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More Pepperoni & Cheese

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My Florentine Pizza

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More Florentine Pizza

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So, the part you have all been waiting for.  How was it?  In a word…..phenomenal!  WOW!!  Seriously, I am super impressed.  The toppings were plentiful & flavorful.  The crust was thin and crisp and held the weight of the toppings!  Jon ate his entire pizza by himself!!  I ate half and had a large salad on the side.  I wanted to save some for lunch tomorrow!  :)  I would definitely recommend Boston’s to anyone, gluten-free or not.  They have additional menu items for those who are not gluten-free, including pastas & grill items. 

***Editing to add some pricing information.  The cost of 2 small, gluten-free pizzas from Boston’s was $26.00.  Aaron was a little shocked by the price.  I found it to be in line with the price of Uno Chicago Grill’s GF Pizza and the Take-N-Bake Pizza from Holiday Baking Company.

Now, for some fun stuff:

New article up on The Examiner.

Check out Megan’s Chobani giveaway.

Giveaway and New Articles!

Megan, over at MegaNerd Runs is having a contest!!!  I love contests!  Visit her site to enter to win a bunch of Chobani Greek yogurt!  I would love to win this contest. :) 

Check out my new articles over at The Examiner. 

Gluten-free Bakeries in Columbus

Garlic Rosemary Potatoes

Hope you all have a great Monday!  I think we are heading to the pool! 

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Weekly Menu Plan ~ July 26, 2009

Can you believe it is the end of July already?  Where did this year go?  Seriously?  It seems like summer just started!  My baby girl is turning 7 in about 10 days and is going to start 2nd grade.  :(  The kids are growing way too fast. 

This will be a busy week.  Tomorrow, Grandma Linda is coming to visit and we are going to lounge at the pool.  FUN times!!  Ice skating on Wednesday night, a Zoo trip in there, library and maybe an indoor activity in case of rain, too.  I would love to take the kids to tour a local dairy.  Saturday is the yearly cookout for Hannah’s b-day. 

Sunday ~ Rotisserie Chicken night!  WOOHOO!!  Fresh green beans & salad, too.

Monday ~ Spaghetti w/meat (ground turkey) sauce, asparagus & salad

Tuesday ~ Boston’s Pizza, broccoli & cucumber salad (see recipe below)

Wednesday ~ Grilled Chicken, garlic rosemary potatoes or baked potatoes, asparagus & salad

Thursday~ Burgers on the grill, sweet potato fries, broccoli & salad

Friday~ Homemade pizza, veggies & salad

Saturday~ Cookout with burgers, grilled chicken, baked beans, corn on the cob, salad & fruit skewers. 

Baked Goods

Pamela’s Bread

Something GF for the GF people (Jon, my Aunt, cousin & I) to eat at the party

Recipe for Cucumber Salad

**This is also called Shanghai Cucumbers – Huang Gua

Ingredients

  • 1 slender cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Serves 4


Method

1. At least 30 minutes before you want to serve, halve the unpeeled cucumber lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and cut the halves across into thick chunks.

2. Place the cucumber pieces in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Mix well and leave for 30 minutes. At the end of this time, add the sugar, vinegar and chili oil. Mix well.

3. Just before serving, sprinkle with the sesame oil.

Esther, at Lilac Kitchen is hosting the Gluten-Free Menu Swap this week.  Her ingredient of the week is cucumber!  That is one of the reasons I decided to make that salad this week.  YUM!  Thanks for hosting, Esther. 

Also, don’t forget to check out lots more menu plan ideas at Orgjunkie.

Have a great week!!

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Dinner & an Answer

Today the kids and I headed out to the Farmer’s Market in between rain storms.  We stopped by Cherbourg Bakery’s booth for some more yummy goodies!  Jon had to get his Double Lemon Bar fix.  We were also able to sample the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, which were drool-worthy and the Polenta Cake (it was a savory cake versus a real sweet cake and it was amazing!).  The kids picked out their goodies and then we paid and were on our way.  Stopped by a couple more booths & picked up some fresh basil and tomatoes for dinner. 

I had thought about making pizza for dinner, but Jon was out with his cousin at the movies and Aaron & Hannah ordered pizza.  I was on my own.  I really wanted to use the fresh basil & tomatoes & remembered I had some fresh mozzarella in the fridge.  I toasted a Trader Joe’s French Roll and then topped each half with a slice of fresh sliced mozzarella, basil leaves & tomatoes slices.  Then I drizzled balsamic vinaigrette over the top & broiled until hot & melty.  Holy YUM!  This meal was soooooooooooooooooooooooo good!!  I paired it with a rather large salad and sauteed kale, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms & grape tomatoes.  Oh, I may or may not have had a nice glass of cabernet along with my meal. ;) 

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See the melty cheese? 

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Now, for the answer to yesterday’s bonus question.  The vegetable that I pictured & cooked was Rutabaga!!  I peeled & cut up my rutabaga, then sprayed with olive oil Pam and tossed with sea salt & fresh ground pepper.  Then I roasted it for 30 -40 minutes at approximately 375 degrees.  It came out great!  Ranks right up there with my butternut squash fries!  Perfect for dipping, a side dish or for on top of a salad. 

Now, the winner.  No one guessed correctly so I will just choose a winner from those that responded.  I asked hubby to pick a number from the number of people that responded (he had no idea why I was having him do this).  He chose #3.  So, Pam, you are the winner!!!  Email me at kbouldin@insight.rr.com your address and I will send your goodies off to you early next week. 

Thanks to all who played along! :)  I will be doing a couple new product reviews & contests in the upcoming weeks.  :)  Make sure to check back. 

Cherbourg Bakery

Last week I received my weekly email from Raisin Rack, my local health food store.  They mentioned that they were carrying a new line of gluten-free bakery products made by Cherbourg Bakery.  I was intrigued.  I had never heard of Cherbourg Bakery before, but I was bound & determined to find out more.  I went to Cherbourg’s website and tried to find out where they were located so I could plan a visit.  Turns out that Cherbourg is a wholesale bakery that is starting to sell products in local stores, at Farmer’s Markets and other pertinent health-related, Celiac or gluten-free events.  I sent an email to the owner, Geri Peacock and anxiously awaited a response.  Geri contacted me and we planned to meet up to chat. 

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I met Geri, who is just the sweetest woman, on Tuesday for coffee & a play date with our kids.  Here are the questions that I asked Geri:

Why did Geri decide to open a gluten-free bakery?

Once she had to go gluten-free, she really missed out on the treat that she once loved.  She found it hard to find anything comparable to the treats she enjoyed before she embarked on the gluten-free diet.  As a life-long baker, Geri started experimenting making her own gluten-free treats.

How long has Cherbourg Bakery been in business?

Cherbourg bakery has only been in business for about 4 months, but the recipes have been in the works for more than a year.  Geri started baking at 6 years old, so she got to work adjusting old favorites to be wonderful gluten-free treats.

Will Cherbourg Bakery be opening a brick & mortar location at any point?

Geri would love to have a store location and hopes to get to that point one day.  She wants to be able to provide a place for people to be able to go in, grab an amazing gluten-free treat & a drink and sit down tp enjoy it.  She would love for this location to be in the Bexley or Clintonville area.

Where can Cherbourg Bakery’s products be found?

Currently Cherbourg Bakery has products in the Raisin Rack (Westerville location), with several other stores in the works.  Cherbourg Bakery’s products can also be found at the Westerville Farmer’s Markets on Saturdays from 9:00 AM – 12 Noon. 

What ingredients does Cherbourg Bakery use to make their products?

Geri prides herself on using only local and organic ingredients for the best possible treat.  Geri’s treats are always fresh & are never frozen.

What was the first treat that Cherbourg Bakery made?

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.  After perfecting the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie, Geri moved onto other treats that she loved & missed. 

What is Geri’s favorite treat that Cherbourg Bakery makes?

Mini Marsala Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes and Chocolate Chip Cookies are Geri’s favorites.  (We agree, those cakes are amazing!)

What is the most popular treat that Cherbourg sells?

The Double Lemon Bars, Mini Marsala Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes and Chocolate Chip Cookies are the most popular treats. 

Does Cherbourg Bakery plan on expanding to other gluten-free products like bread, rolls or bagels?

Not at this time.  Geri is focusing her efforts on the treat side of gluten-free and all the things she loves. 

Upon meeting up, Geri walked in with a huge tray of her gluten-free treats for us to sample.  She brought along Double Lemon Bars, Mini Marsala Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes, Lemonade Sandwich Cookies & a brand new cookie that she has been working on.  Jon and I sampled a couple items during the meeting and were very impressed.  I don’t recall Jon ever gushing over anything as much as he gushed over Cherbourg’s Double Lemon Bar.  Later at home Jon and I sampled the other items and they were just as impressive.  The Chocolate Lava Cakes are everything I thought they would be and more.  I seriously think that Jon wants Geri to adopt him because he has done nothing but talk about her lemon bars & chocolate cakes all week! 

Thanks Geri & Cherbourg Bakery for meeting with us for this interview!  We will be seeing you sometime very soon!

Upcoming Events where you can check out Cherbourg Bakery:

Westerville Farmer’s Market ~ Saturdays from 9:00 AM – 12 Noon

New Albany Farmer’s Market ~ August 14, 2009

To keep up with the current list of locations or new possible places to find Cherbourg Bakery, please visit Cherbourg’s blog

Kicked Up Tuna Salad Melt

Since I have discovered Sriracha sauce in the past year, I have tried adding it to all sorts of food.  Just because I have to eat gluten-free, doesn’t mean I have to eat plain, bland food.  If you have ever had Sriracha, you know that it is far from bland or plain. 

Here is my new, kicked up Tuna Salad Melt recipe:

1 can or 1 pouch of tuna (packed in water)

1-3 tsps. Greek yogurt (I like Oikos.  To your own taste…I like 1-1.5 tsps)

Squirt of spicy brown mustard

1 tsp of sweet pickle relish

Sriracha sauce (to your taste….very spicy so add a little at a time…a little goes a long way)

chopped celery (1-2 TBSP)

chopped water chestnuts (1-2TBSP)

Squirt of lemon juice

Fresh ground pepper

Cheese of choice

 

1.  Place all ingredients in a bowl & mix well.  Taste to make sure it is to your liking.  Add more of whatever you like.  Remember, start with less, you can always add more (I tell Jon this ALL the time!).  :)

2.  Toast your bread, roll, bagel. 

3.  Top your bread with tuna salad & then top with your cheese of choice.  I like to use Swiss or extra sharp cheddar.  Lately I have been using a sharp Vermont white cheddar. 

4.  Pop under broiler in your over or toaster oven until it is all melty. 

5.  Enjoy!!  I will sometimes add a grape tomato to the top or a fresh sliced tomato.  YUM!

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