Browsing Tag

gluten intolerant

Thankful for Gluten-Free Alcohol

By November 3, 2012 Giving Gluten-Free Thanks
Thankful for Gluten-Free Alcohol

Saturday, November 3rd – I am thankful for gluten-free alcohol.

I am 23 years old. I went gluten-free at age 19, so I was in that whole drink cheap booze that is provided at college house parties phase. Clearly, once going gluten-free, I could no longer take advantage of the free kegs or mystery punch. At first I was jealous of everyone basking in the free alcohol while I had to purchase and pack my booze for any party I went to.

After feeling sorry for myself for a split second, I realized something – I am a classy drinker gosh darnit.

No, I cannot drink your keg of Natty Light, but I will sit over here with my mixed drink that actually tastes good and have just as much fun as you are having.

No, I cannot play your game of beer pong because I am allergic to one of the essential game pieces. Instead I will refrain from drinking a beverage that a dirty ping-pong ball was thrown into. I will probably avoid a sickness or two along the way as well.

The obstacles I once had to face throughout my college years have made me into the wine-loving, mixed drinking, creative cocktail individual I am today.

I am thankful for wine. I am thankful for a variety of vodkas. I am thankful for hard ciders (especially Woodchuck). I am thankful for margaritas.

Who cares if I can’t have beer? It smells weird anyways.

Disclaimer: There IS gluten-free beer available for all those beer lovers turned gluten-free drinkers out there, so don’t freak out.

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Thankful for Friends

By November 2, 2012 Giving Gluten-Free Thanks
Thankful for Friends

Friday, November 2nd. I am thankful for my friends.

My best friends and I try to get together on any weekend we possibly can. Seeing that we do not live in the same city anymore, things can be a tad difficult. I often make weekend trips to for mini-reunions, and what does that mean? Packing gluten-free food.

I can handle a day trip somewhere – pack a few snack bars, an apple, maybe some grapes. But, the trouble lies when there’s an overnight trip. You need breakfast, lunch and dinner. Without the help of my friends, I would never be able to prepare for weekends away like this on a regular basis.

They understand what gluten-free truly means and all of the preparation that goes into it. They understand cross-contamination issues. They understand where I can and cannot dine at, and they always make sure I am included.

I am thankful for my friend Alana buying me breakfast ingredients for the next morning. I am thankful for my friend Brit making sure she only packs the brands of food or drink that are gluten-free. These may seem like small things, but they are in fact the things that help me out the most. Making it easy for me to leave my house for 2 days without a cooler packed to the brim.

I am thankful to have friends that want to learn about my dietary restrictions so they can help me. I don’t know what I would do without them.

 

 

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What is Gluten-Free?

By October 24, 2012 Gluten-Free Experiences
words of wisdom

I am sure there is a lot of confusion about what gluten-free means. With the media doing spotlights on gluten-free celebrities, athletes, and diets, people may not be sure whether this is a diet individuals choose to maintain, or a diet that they have to maintain.

To end this confusion, I am going to spell a few things out…

Apparently, gluten-free is…

Trendy. It seems that every day a new celebrity is tweeting, Instagramming or blogging about their gluten-free diet. So does that mean they all have Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity? Nope.

Dieting? Miley Cyrus and Lady GaGa attribute their recent weight loss and tight bods to eating gluten-free so that means everyone on a gluten-free diet will lose weight, right? Nope.

Vegan. I see a bunch of packages at the store that say all sorts of free-this and free-that, so they must all be the same thing. And that girl I follow on Instagram that takes pictures of her food always hashtags vegan AND gluten-free, so clearly vegan IS gluten-free…at least I think so? Nope.

Paleo. I don’t know what the paleo diet is besides the fact that they give up a bunch of food and instead have to make everything all on their own, substituting this and substituting that. So, I bet that’s the same thing as what gluten-free people do. Nope.

In reality, gluten-free is…

A lifestyle. Those that maintain a gluten-free diet are not in it to lose weight, be hip, or to have something to Instagram. They do it for their health, meaning that this diet is not something that they do for the time being. It is FOR-EV-ER.

Not a choice. Those with Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity did not choose to go through years of pain, stomach aches, and horrible symptoms. They did not choose to have to spend $5.99 for a loaf of bread or to learn what xantham gum is. The gluten-free diet is for health. It is hard at first, but after these people realize how it benefits their mind and body, the diet doesn’t really seem that bad anymore.

A community. It is truly amazing how tight-knit the gluten-free community is. We want to help one another, whether it be guiding one through the diagnosis process, beginning the diet, or simply helping by sharing recipes. We are bound together by our diet restriction and instead of letting it bring us down, we help to bring each other up.

Me. Gluten-free is anyone that has Celiac Disease of Gluten Sensitivity. It is the recently diagnosed middle-aged man or woman, as well as the toddler whose parents finally know why their child has been so ill. Gluten-free is who we are, and who we will be. It is something we are committed to. It is two words our friends and family have heard over and over again. Our kitchens have been dedicated to being gluten-free, and our toasters have been segregated in the name of it. Gluten-free is me, you, and all of the future Celiac’s and Gluten Sensitive individuals. Gluten-free is love.

Spread the g-free love and educate people on the reality of gluten-free. Let’s debunk the myths that today’s media, celebrities, and hipsters are promoting.

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Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

By October 21, 2012 Gluten-Free Recipes
Pumpkin Heaven

Tis the season to put pumpkin puree in anything & everything you can.

I stumbled upon a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares recipe on the Baker Street website earlier this week and immediately said to myself I’m making a gluten-free version of this. You can find the original recipe in the Pumpkin section of Baker Street’s Recipe page, or you can follow the instructions below.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (I used AgVantage Naturals All-Purpose Baking Mix)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips 
First things first – preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, line the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan with foil so when your pumpkin treat is all baked, you can simply lift the entire pumpkin cookie out of the pan to cut. Then, whisk together the dry ingredients – gluten-free flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer and cream the 2 sticks of butter and sugar on medium-high speed until it becomes smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined. After that, it’s time to bring the pumpkin into play – add in the 1 cup of pumpkin puree as your last wet ingredient.
Now, combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix on low-speed. After it is all mixed, fold in the chocolate chips.
Grab your 9×13 inch pan and spread the batter evenly. Lick the batter that remains on the spoon and bowl. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until edges begin to pull away from the pan. Let cool.
Once the pumpkin chocolate chip sheet is completely cool, lift out of the pan. You can now cut your squares to whatever size your heart desires.
I hope you enjoy this Fall gluten-free treat just as much as I did!! Be sure to check back to my Recipe page for more simple gluten-free meals and baked goodies!
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares
Recipe Type: Baked Good
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: Depends
This will be your favorite recipe this fall as it has both chocolate AND pumpkin in it.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (I used AgVantage Naturals All-Purpose Baking Mix)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line bottom of 9×13 pan with foil
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients (gluten-free flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt)
  4. In separate bowl, use electric mixer and cream 2 sticks of butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth
  5. Beat in egg and vanilla extract until combined
  6. Add 1 cup of pumpkin puree as last wet ingredient
  7. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix on low-speed
  8. After all is mixed, fold in chocolate chips
  9. Spread batter evenly into 9×13 pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from pan.
  10. Let cool
  11. Once cool, lift out of pan and cut squares into whatever size your pumpkin-loving heart desires.

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Goldbaum’s Gluten-Free Foods

By October 20, 2012 Gluten-Free Products
Goldbaum's Box of Goodies

If you’re looking for a line of gluten-free products that has almost everything you may crave at one time, Goldbaum’s is the answer.

I received a sample pack from Goldbaum’s that included Brown Rice Pasta Spirals, Brown Rice Pasta Spaghetti, Chow Mein Noodles, Croutons, and Ice-Cream Cones. This may sound like an eclectic list of products, but if you visit their website you will find many more gluten-free products to love! The first thing I went for  in my box of goodies were the pasta spirals because I had a bit of a craving for some Italian. I followed the simple instructions on the bag – bring water to boil in large pot, cook pasta 3-5 minutes, turn off flame and leave pasta covered for 15 minutes, then drain & rinse. Not too bad, Eh?

When I rinsed the noodles and poured them into a bowl, I was immediately impressed because they didn’t have that sloppiness look that some gluten-free noodles tend to have. The noodles stayed intact and didn’t start to become one huge hunk o’noodle. I paired the spirals with some tomato sauce and Italian sausage and had myself a fantastic, easy dinner!

Shortly after enjoying dinner that evening, I decided I might as well take advantage of the ice-cream cones and have dessert. The first cone I went for was the sugar-waffle cone because waffle cones were my absolute FAVORITE back in the day. I also must tell you that I am not a big ice-cream lover so I instead filled my cone with rainbow sherbert. While eating it, I couldn’t wait to get down to the cone part so I could have some bites with the gluten-free sugar-ness. When I made it down to the cone, I enjoyed bite after bite of heaven. Goldbaum’s also has cocoa sugar cones and jumbo waffle cones which I haven’t tried, but boy would I have a hay day with them!

Now after enjoying one type of cone, the normal (self-controlled) individual would save the other type for a rainy day. Not me. I was on a roll that evening so I decided to chug along and open up the other box of gluten-free cones as well. This time I put a little less sherbert on top because I simply wanted to get down to the good stuff ASAP. This cone also had a great texture. I may be bias since I haven’t had that one binding protein we all love to hate in over 3 1/2 years, but I think this cone matched up to the gluten alternative! You should probably go out and get some today!

Next on the taste-test list was Goldbaum’s Chow Mein Noodles. Being that I hadn’t had  Chow Mein Noodles in the longest time, I was VERY excited for this one. My stepdad had mad a stir fry for dinner, so instead of heating up some rice to pair with it, we decided to go the chow mein route.

Best decision ever.

My taste buds were very impressed with these noodles. They are crunchy but not “dry”, and after they were mixed up in the stir fry, they had a texture that I really enjoyed. If you are a stir-fry, chow mein loving person, you should probably check these babies out today.

I also tried Goldbaum’s Croutons, which I poured on top of a chili concoction I made (since I don’t exactly like salad). The croutons were tasty, and their small size made me think of how perfect they would be for meatloaf!

If you like what you see here, visit the Goldbaum’s website and check out what other gluten-free products they have to offer AND enter their raffle for $200 worth of Goldbaum’s gluten-free food!!! You can also follow them on Twitter @Goldbaums!

 

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Zatarain’s Gluten-Free Jambalaya

By October 18, 2012 Gluten-Free Products, Gluten-Free Recipes
photo

I love it when I find out products are gluten-free.

I experienced that loving feeling this week when I was asked to participate in the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness sponsored Zatarain’s Gluten-Free Campaign. After being “assigned” the Jambalaya Maque Choux recipe, I was immediately excited since I had not eaten this spicy, soul food in I don’t know how long.

The recipe is actually quite easy too, and that’s saying a lot coming from me! What do you need? You can find the ingredient list below, or visit the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness website.

Zatarain’s Jambalaya Maque Choux

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 lb. gluten-free Andouille sausage, cut into 1/4 in. slices
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (my vegetable drawer only had yellow bell pepper)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 package Zatarain’s Jambalaya Mix
  • 1 cup frozen corn

The first thing you have to do is heat up the oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add your sliced sausage in and cook it on up for about 2 minutes. Then, add your celery, bell pepper and onion, stir for about 3 minutes or until the sausage is browned and the veggies begin to soften.

Next, you stir in the water, tomatoes and Rice Mix, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and take a seat while your skillet of awesomeness simmers for 20 minutes. Then, you stir in the corn and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender.

Remove the skillet from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes (even though the wonderful smell will make you want to dig right in). After you’ve counted down each and every second, fluff your jambalaya up and begin serving.

The above recipe should serve 6 people (or if you eat as much as I do, maybe you should split that number in half).

So what did I think of this jambalaya? AWESOME. My stepdad (who helped me cook it of course) loved this gluten-free jambalaya too, and he loves his gluten more than the next guy!

You all know I like my fair share of spicy hot flavor, and I sure did get it with this recipe. I haven’t had jambalaya in a very long time because 1) it’s not something you can get too often up in the buckeye state, and 2) I would seem skeptical of a restaurant having a gluten-free version with all of the spices involved. SO, that’s why it is even better that Zatarain’s offers Celiac’s and those with Gluten Sensitivity a chance to enjoy some Louisiana lovin!

Mmm, mmmm, GOOD!

You can even make the recipe a bit healthier and substitute the sausage with turkey sausage, etc…but I chose to not care about calories and go hog-wild (literally).

For more information on Celiac Disease, and to help spread Celiac Awareness, visit the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. You can also find Zatarain’s full list of gluten-free products on their website!

Enjoy jazzin’ it up with Zatarain’s!

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