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January 31, 2012

Homemade Gluten Free Croutons

Let’s talk about BUTTS!

Let’s just say I'm not a fan of the butt of the bread, who is? BUT for how expensive gluten free bread is my mom decided to put the butts to work! This recipe is simple and AMAZING. For a while I just gave up on croutons, BUT now these are a perfect addition to all gluten free salads.

Now I am wishing the loaf came with more butts :)

Ingredients:

Butts of the bread (any brand) I prefer Udi's Whole Grain Bread
Butter
Garlic Spread
 

1. Spread a generous amount of butter and garlic spread to both sides of the bread.


2. Grill each piece on the stove on medium heat.


3. As the bread is grilling press down on each piece evenly.


4. Flip a few times and once the bread is ALMOST burnt transfer to a cutting board.


5. Let bread cool. Cut bread into even pieces.


6. Toss on top of your salad and ENJOY!


January 30, 2012

Superbowl Sunday Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Strawberries


Strawberries are back in season and I couldn't be happier!I found these on Pinterest and HAD to make them for Superbowl Sunday. A great day no matter which team you're cheering for filled with great company and yummy food! Stay tune this week for great gluten free Superbowl munchies but in the meantime enjoy these hand dipped chocolate berry delights!


Ingredients:

Wilton's Candy Melts Dark Chocolate 
Wilton's Candy Melts White Chocolate
fresh strawberries
white icing





1. Melt one bag of dark chocolate and one bag of white chocolate candy melts in a crock pot on medium heat until melted stirring occasionally.


2. Once chocolate is melted throughout dip each strawberry one at a time. Dip twice evenly coating all sides and immediately transfer to a wax paper covered surface.


3. Allow milk chocolate to set up and dry before adding white icing detail.


4. Draw one horizontal line at the top of the strawberry and one horizontal line towards the bottom. Draw four horizontal lines in the middle of the berry and connect with one vertical line.


5. Enjoy! Your Superbowl guests certainly will!

January 26, 2012

Traveling Gluten Free

We are about a month into the New Year and all I have on my mind is where am I going to travel this year? I have been keeping a close eye on Groupon and Expedia deals in hopes of planning a dream vacation with little stress in the process. Although finding a gluten free meal is the last thing I want to stress about when enjoying my vacation. While planning my trip several thoughts enter my head...

What am I going to eat there? What cultural food will I be able to eat?
Am I going to get sick in another country?
How will I communicate that I am allergic to gluten?



The following article was recently published on CNN.com; It provides several resources for accommodating  allergies while traveling. Even more insightful, the article links websites of our fellow Celiac's personal travel experiences. 

One of my go to websites is Travel Gluten Free- Your One Stop Guide for Traveling Gluten Free. The below topics are provided for a number of countries, thus making the anxiety of traveling more manageable. 
  • Where To Eat? - Some of the best restaurants in the country for dealing with a Gluten Free diet.
  • Where To Stay? - Which hotels offer the best in house restaurants/breakfast rooms for a Gluten Free diet?
  • Chains - Often the easiest places to eat out/stay, how do they all do in terms of Gluten Free food?
  • Stores - When travelling, you may want to self cater. Where can you buy those all important Gluten Free ingredients?
  • What To Say?
Like all trip planning, a little bit can go very far so why not take a few more minutes to plan out a few meals and make the trip that much more enjoyable for you and your digestive system!

Safe gluten free travels!

January 25, 2012

Gluten Free Girl Scout Cookies Petition

How awesome would it be to eat Thin Mints, Samosas, and Tagalongs again?!?!?!?!?
The petition started on May 8, 2011 lets keep it going! 
Click HERE to sign it!



Change.org is hosting a petition for gluten free and allergy free Girl Scout cookies. The cookie manufacturers and the Girl Scouts organization states that if they see enough need to launch an allergy friendly line, they will do so! 

This past fall the Girl Scouts of America began selling Gluten Free Blueberry Pomegranate Nut Crunch. Definitely a step in the right direction, next goal- a gluten free Girl Scout cookie!


Please pass the link on to anyone who would enjoy a thin mint again, I know I would! 

January 24, 2012

Gluten Free Pineapple Ginger Sauce

I LOVE easy to prepare meals! I spotted this sauce at Stella Lucy's Gluten Free Market for $6 and literally jumped up and down in the aisle. Simply Boulder Pineapple Ginger sauce has a mild spicy taste and is made with agave nectar and extra virgin olive oil. I simply marinated several pieces of chicken while I was at work and sauteed them once I got home, added brown rice and had a flavorful meal in 10 minutes

Stella Lucy's Gluten Free Market is located in Claremont: 101 North Indian Hill Blvd. Ste. C1-102,


Ingredients:
Water, Organic Agave Nectar, Cider Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Organic Blackstrap Molasses, Lime Juice Concentrate, Ancho Chile Powder, Dried Garlic, Salt, Dried Onion, Hungarian Paprika, Xanthan Gum, Spices, Dried Ginger.


Enjoy!

January 23, 2012

My Favorite Gluten Free App!

I recently entered the iPhone world and am in HEAVEN!

The first thing I did was ask my fellow bloggers what are the BEST gluten free apps?!?! There are so many I didn’t know which ones to download, some were free and others were $20!  


@GFree_Gal Tweeted- FindMeGlutenFree!
With little advertisement done on restaurants that cater to gluten free consumers, I rely heavily on blogs and word of mouth in San Diego! One problem though when I am out of town I find myself in a bind…

This past weekend I used this App while visiting my boyfriend in San Luis Obispo. I simply had the App search the surrounding area for anything gluten free, to my surprise Woodstock's Pizza, one of my favorite places to hang out in college popped up!

I couldn’t believe my eyes, I had NO idea Woodstock’s catered to the gluten free diet.

FindMeGlutenFree is not only very useful but it is FREE!


iPhone Screenshot 1iPhone Screenshot 2

iPhone Screenshot 3iPhone Screenshot 4

iPhone Screenshot 5


The great thing about this App is it is a work in progress, if you’re enjoying a gluten free meal and want others to know about your discovery anyone simply submit a restaurant review and add to the database.

Click HERE to download the app for your iPhone or Android or to submit a restaurant

Happy Gluten Free Finding!

January 21, 2012

Sweet Saturday- Gluten Free MINI cupcakes!

I LOVE cupcakes! So what better way to celebrate a birthday than with 24 mini GLUTEN FREE cupcakes from GNI Bakery! My sister surprised me with these bite size treats! 
12 Red Velvet & Cream Cheese frosting mini cupcakes and 
12 Vanilla & Butter Cream frosting mini cupcakes! 
Both sweet, fresh and tasty!


I love her for so many reasons but this takes the cake...literally! 


GNI bakery also carries a variety of other gluten free products, click HERE to check out their website or visit their bakery in Escondido of the 15 freeway!

Happy Weekend!

January 19, 2012

Fork and Beans- Guide to Gluten Free

When I was first diagnosed with Celiac I wanted to stick with the basics in order to get my diet and health back on track, but now that I have had some experience and know what my body can handle I have decided to venture out and try some new ingredients. I came across this GREAT guide on Fork and Bean's Blog for incorporating grains, lentils, beans, and rices in everyday gluten free living. 

Fork and Beans encourages adults to start playing more with their food, ironic right? Growing up we are told STOP playing with your food, but NOW the more I play with my food and experiment with various ingredients the more diverse and exciting my gluten free diet becomes!

Click HERE to access the Guide to Gluten Free


By simply adding one or two of the above ingredients to my recipes I am creating exciting new dishes with a yummy twist and added nutritional benefits. 

Not only was this guide a great find, but the ENTIRE Fork and Beans blog is a hidden treasure! Check it out by clicking HERE- its definitely one of my favorites to visit on a DAILY basis. I love her inspiring story, food pictures, recipes and most of all HOPE that there is life after gluten! 

ENJOY!


January 18, 2012

ALWAYS a GREAT experience @ the Old Spaghetti Factory


the Old Spaghetti Factory was a staple restaurant in our family growing up. I can remember going to the one downtown, where now Petco Park stands and getting to sit at the Trolley table. As I have gotten older the Trolley table isn’t as important to me as a great meal. the Old Spaghetti Factory has catered to Celiacs for some time now. This week I visited the San Macros location and as ALWAYS had a wonderful experience. Below is their extensive "Gluten Free Menu," can you believe it? it's a WHOLE page!!!!


The staff is well versed in the gluten free menu. As I was giving the waitress my order I asked for a salad with pesto dressing, she noted as she was writing my order down, no croutons. I didn’t say a word about the croutons she just knew that I can’t have them and they shouldn’t even touch the plate.

It was a great feeling, for once I felt like I had someone on my team! I would like to give Old Spaghetti a big shout out for setting the bar in how nutrient specific dining should be.

I wanted to share a few pictures of my meal. I have 1 recommendation- order the “Hearty” portion, not only do I enjoy a great amount at dinner but I am guaranteed leftovers to take to work the following day- SCORE!!  

Click HERE to find a location nearest you! Happy eating! :)




January 17, 2012

Day 1- Starting your Gluten Free Journey


The question I get asked the most is-

Do you have any tips for someone who is starting out on a gluten free diet or has been newly diagnosed? 

Below I have listed my top 6 ways to navigate thru the first couple months on a gluten free diet. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact me and I would be more than happy to answer!

1. Learn about Celiac Disease- I have been diagnosed for 4 years and still learn something new EVERY day. Some of my favorite sites that I visit on a DAILY basis are:



2. Organize Your Pantry- Go thru each shelf and separate items that contain gluten from gluten free products. I have my own shelf at my place!



3. Always have a backup snack handy whenever you're out and about. My favorites- Multi-Grain Crackers from Crunch Master, EnviroKidz Crispy Rice Peanut Butter bars, Trader Joe's trail mix, The Laughing Cow & Baby Bel cheeses.




4. Surround yourself with support! Not only are my family, boyfriend and friends supportive but joining local support groups and learning about the gluten free options in your area is very beneficial.
Click HERE to see all the support groups in San Diego!

CSA/USA
San Diego
Chapter #57

5. Keep it simple the first few months- Fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, rice & potatoes! This change alone made feel a hundred times better. I have found that whenever I have a serious reaction to gluten I fall back to the basics. 


6. Plan out your meals before heading to the grocery store. Not only will you not be overwhelmed once you get to the grocery store but you will be surprised with how much money you can save by planning ahead!



Cheers to another gluten free year!!

January 16, 2012

Udi's GLUTEN FREE Hamburger buns at Red Robin!

What a fantastic birthday week it has been! I started the birthday off with lunch with my coworkers at Red Robin and was SO excited to find out that the UTC location recently started to offer the GLUTEN FREE hamburger bun! Udi's and Red Robin have teamed up to offer an American favorite minus the messy lettuce wrapped alternative. 

Because the Brushetta Chicken Sandwich is my favorite the waitress happily offered the gluten free bun instead of the ciabatta bread that it usually comes with. I was also able to enjoy their French fries because the seasoning is now gluten-free as well!


It’s exciting to see one of my favorite restaurant chains becoming more accommodating towards individuals with special dietary needs. 

Click HERE to see the detailed gluten free allergen menu Red Robin currently provides &
click HERE to become a Red Robin Club member to receive news on their latest menu items, a free birthday burger and a bunch of coupons sent to your email!


High five Red Robin, just one more reason I LOVE this place!