Quote of the day

December 24, 2008

Gluten-Free Hams & Turkeys

As we were defrosting our turkey for Christmas Eve it reminded me that people new to the gluten-free diet might not know to check if the turkey or ham is gluten-free. The glaze or preservatives can contain gluten. If you are going to someone's house you may be concerned about whether the meat contains gluten. Here are just a couple that can be gluten-free.

We're making a Honeysuckle White turkey. The packaging states that it is free of MSG and gluten and their website confirms that the majority of their products are gluten-free with a few exceptions which they list.

The following Jennie-O Turkeys are gluten free:
Natural Choice Prime Young Turkey, Premium Basted Young Turkey, Fresh Young Turkey

The HoneyBaked Ham Co. has changed their glazes on the signature meats to be gluten-free. You can enjoy the HoneyBaked Ham, Sliced & Glazed Turkey Boneless Ham.
You can search their site for additional nutrition information. The new glaze contains modified food starch which is corn based.

December 23, 2008

Gluten-Free Chex Mix Recipe

Hopefully you've already heard that Rice Chex is now gluten-free. General Mills changed the barley malt to molasses and that was it! It's nice that there is another cereal choice in the "regular" grocery stores.
Now that Rice Chex is gluten-free I thought I could make a gluten-free Chex Mix. Growing up I remember my mom making homemade Chex Mix during the holidays. I called my mom to get the "family recipe." It turns out the recipe she has been using all along is the same recipe found on the box.
Note that the other Chex cereals are not gluten-free so I modify the recipe to be all Rice Chex.

9 cups Rice Chex® cereal
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup bite-size pretzels (we use Glutino Gluten-Free Pretzels)
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1. In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals, nuts, and pretzels; set aside. In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.
2. Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 6 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.

Oven Directions: Heat oven to 250°F. In large bowl, mix cereals, nuts, and pretzels; set aside. In ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in oven. Stir in seasonings. Gradually stir in cereal mixture until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.

You can find more gluten-free recipes using Rice Chex on their website:
Gluten-free Chex Mix recipes

December 19, 2008

Mislabeled Wellshire Farms Products

I am so disappointed with Wellshire Farms. I heard children were eating mislabeled foods that contained gluten and having allergic reactions. I assumed we didn't buy those products. As I read an article a little closer I noticed that we do buy the dino chicken nuggets, chicken corn dogs and beef corn dogs as an occasional treat. I have completely lost my trust in their company and will be skeptical of other companies going forward. So many people spend so much time and money to eat gluten-free so the can be healthy and not worry about feeling sick.

You can read more about the history of it here and here.

I still haven't decided how to break the news to Matt that I won't be buying the chicken nuggets or corn dogs anymore.

December 15, 2008

Arico Cookie Pouches 50% Off Online

Select Arico cookie pouches are 50% through December 23rd. We have only tried the Lemon Ginger cookies so far. The cookies were soft and chewy but had strong ginger flavor that was too much for us. However, I am interested in trying the Almond Cranberry or Peanut Butter cookies. It's not very often you see gluten-free cookies 50% off.

December 13, 2008

Gluten-Free Beers

Nate never acquired a taste for beer but I know for some people it is one thing they miss or find hard to give up. Many restaurants that offer a gluten-free menu will carry one of these.
Some gluten-free beers:
Bard's - Founders Craig and Kevin were diagnosed with celiac disease.
The Bard's website has a locator at the bottom of the page.
Green's - Green's can be ordered from John's Grocery
New Grist - Click here to locate liquor stores and restaurants/bars that sell New Grist
Redbridge - product of Anheuser-Busch

December 11, 2008

Da Luciano's Gluten Free Shop & Holiday Special

Da Luciano's is an Italian restaurant in River Grove, IL. Da Luciano's also has a Gluten-Free Shop where you can purchase homemade sauces, pasta, soups and desserts. Four of their seven children have Celiac disease.

From now until Christmas you can receive gluten-free sugar cookies with your order of $50 or more.

Spend $50.00 (excludes shipping and handling) on your next online order and receive a FREE ½ lb. box of gluten free sugar cookies!

Spend $100.00 (excludes shipping and handling) on your next online order and receive a FREE 1 lb. box of gluten free sugar cookies!

December 10, 2008

Dinner at King & I Thai with Family

I have been obsessed with Thai food lately and have been wanting to try the King & I Thai but haven't gotten around to it. Kristy picked the King & I Thai for dinner after the Holidazzle Parade so I was super excited. We heard they would accommodate for a gluten-free diet but we weren't sure exactly what would be available gluten-free. Our serve brought us a menu with items highlight that could be made gluten-free basically the make the items without soy sauce. They serve family style so we ordered a variety of dishes to share. We ordered the yellow curry, green curry, beef & broccoli and fried rice. The yellow curry was definitely my favorite, not too spicy but just enough kick. Those who don't like spicy food as much as the rest of us really enjoyed the beef & broccoli with rice noodles. The fried rice was good although Nate said it's not as good as mine. Maybe he's just saying that so I'll make it more often....

Great choice Kristy! I am ready to go to King & I Thai again.

Land O'Lakes Gluten-Free Baking Recipes

Land O'Lakes has a section of their website dedicated to Gluten-Free Baking Recipes. I expected to find 3-5 recipes but was pleasantly surprised. The selection includes cookies, bars, brownies, cakes, truffles and more. The recipes include those that are flour based as well as some that are naturally gluten-free. The Land O'Lakes website also has a recommended Gluten-Free Flour Blend that their Test Kitchens developed. Don't forget to read their Gluten-Free Baking Tips section for helpful tips with your holiday baking.
Let me know if you've tried any of these recipes.

December 5, 2008

Gluten-Free Dining in Chicago

Pizza: I figure I better blog about our gluten-free experiences in Chicago before I forget. After our visit with Gary and Jonelle we stayed in Chicago for a couple of days. We wanted to try some pizza and I've heard that Lou Malnati's Pizzerias offer a pizza that is gluten-free. The Crustless Sausage Pizza is not really your typical pizza. They use ground sausage pressed into a deep dish pan for the crust. I would recommend ordering lots of veggies on it with all of the sausage and cheese. :) It was definitely worth the 40-45 minute wait.

Chinese: The next night we decided to try Ben Pao Chinese Restaurant. When we arrived we asked the hostess for a Gluten-Free Menu. As we were seated our waitress quickly acknowledged that we had a Gluten-Free Menu and informed us that they serve family style. Nate and I decided to split the Sesame Chicken and the Chicken Fried Rice. I enjoyed how light and fresh the fried rice was. Unfortunately we were too full for dessert because I thought their Mango Creme Brulee sounded really good, maybe next time.

Cupcakes: On our way out of Chicago we stopped at Swirlz Cupcakes. They specialize in cupcakes. Swirlz offers "regular", gluten-free and reduced sugar cupcakes. We brought a few of each to Thanksgiving and in the excitement of sampling them I forgot to get a picture which was unfortunate with all of the cute frosting designs. It was definitely a fun treat and I was impressed with all the flavor options. Nate had to take over and decide because I was a little overwhelmed.

December 3, 2008

Panera Bread's Gluten-Free Items

Marcie also shared a partial list of gluten-free items at Panera Bread that she received from corporate. I must admit I was surprised with all of the soup options since wheat is often used. It is also nice to know which salad dressings are safe. Please note that menus can vary by location and menu items can change.

To find ingredients for a specific item: Click on Menu and Nutrition, choose the Bakery or Cafe menu, select a product category from the links at the top of the page, then click on the individual menu item to display a page with that item's ingredients and nutritional content.

(including the salad dressing) (source of modified food starch is corn)
Greek Salad
Fandango Salad
Caesar Salad (without croutons)
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (without croutons)
Asian Sesame Chicken Salad (without Won Ton noodles)
Classic Cafe Salad
Strawberry Poppyseed Salad
Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken
Fuji Apple Chicken Salad
California Mission Chicken Salad
Orchard Harvest Chicken Salad

Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean
Cuban Black Bean and Lentil
Vegetarian Roasted Red Pepper & Lentil
Vegetarian Butternut Squash
Creamy Tomato (without croutons)
Low-Fat Vegetarian Southwest Tomato & Roasted Corn
Turkey Chickpea Chili
Summer Corn Chowder

Salad Dressings:
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Raspberry Vinaigrette
Asian Sesame Vinaigrette
White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Roasted Garlic & Meyer’s Lemon Vinaigrette

Juice, both apple and orange

Soda, fountain and bottled
Tea, regular and Chai Tea
All lattes & Frozen beverages
Strawberry Smoothie

December 2, 2008

Jimmy John's JJ Unwich is Gluten-Free

The previous post made me think of Jimmy John's since the restaurants have the same fast-paced feel. Jimmy John's focus is on sandwiches so one would automatically assume that it could not be gluten-free. However, they offer a gluten-free option on their menu. The JJ Unwich is a sandwich wrapped in lettuce instead of bread. Feel free to ask them to change their gloves if they do not automatically change them. All employees are supposed to be trained on allergies and using new gloves and separate cutting boards. They also prepare the unwich on the paper it will be wrapped in. Be cautious of the condiments/spreads, they put most of them on with a spatula. Any of their sandwiches can be made into an unwich and prices are the same.

Bacon, Ham, Capicola, Salami, and Turkey are gluten-free.

Beef and Cheese are not gluten-free.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Recently we went to visit Gary and Jonelle in Indiana. Before we left I wanted to see if there were any gluten-free restaurants. I found my new friend Marcie through the Celiac Sprue Association and I really lucked out. Marcie emailed me an extensive list of restaurants in the area. Nate and I were seriously overwhelmed with all of the suggestions.
When Gary was done with work the four of us decided to grab a bite to eat at Five Guys. Their menu is pretty simple - burgers, dogs and fries. The fun part is you pick your burger, a regular one is 2 patties a little one is 1 patty and then you get to choose from their 15 toppings with no upcharge. To keep the meal gluten-free order without the bun, but with all of the topping choices I don't think you'll mind. You could also ask them if they could wrap it in lettuce instead. The french fries are made from fresh cut potatoes and are made in dedicated fryers. We were all very pleased with the quality and quantity of the meal. Unfortunately the closest location to us is in St. Cloud or we could always visit Gary and Jonelle again.