Showing posts from July, 2014

Recipe: O Smoothie! (…Or, Make It Two For Me )

Sometimes, the most comforting Summer meal or snack is simply smoothie. Sweet, creamy, naturally gluten-free and whole-food-full -- they are inimitably excellent, celiac-safe, and fun to make.

There are foods I still associate -- on bleak days -- with gluten.  But smoothies? Oy, never.
And they make a day at home feel like an outing (especially  when I'm entertaining my younger relations or youngest sibling!)
Fig Chocolate Mocha Shake [ dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free ]
Best. Bloody. Smoothie. Ever.  (I have been scrimping fresh figs off the neighbors tree…oy, don't tell them. Though I think the birds will get them before the neighbors if I don't.)
2 large Mission Figs, frozen 1/2 ripe banana (or alternately, 1/2 frozen apple) 1/3 cup pureed pumpkin or squash 1/2 cup diced celery 1 cup ice 1-2 scoops MRM Veggie Elite Mocha Protein Powder (or 1 tbs organic cocoa powder + vanilla extract + 1/4 cold brewed coffee) 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (SO DELICIOUS, try it.)

Tricked-Out Tuesday: Pop Culture Radar Takes on Gluten Free Labeling

Last year, the FDA in the United States finally standardized rules pertaining to food and gluten-free labeling.  So as of August 6, 2014, any product claiming gluten-free status must adhere to one standard, and this is it:

 [… ]foods may be labeled “gluten-free” if they meet the definition and otherwise comply with the final rule’s requirements. The final rule defines "gluten-free" as meaning that the food either is inherently gluten free; or does not contain an ingredient that is: 1) a gluten-containing grain (e.g., spelt wheat)
 Any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 ppm.
This is set to be an enormous benefit for those with Celiac Disease.  Any company claiming their product is gluten-free now mustmeet specific guidelines formulated to be safe for those with Celiac.

But what are those guidelines, and how are they really enforced?

It certainly applies to all foods, including dietary supplements -- although unfortunately does not encompass phar…

Listers: Gluten-Free Fixin' All…Or Not


When I was first diagnosed, I had the happy but inflexible delusion that gluten-free meant all my problems were solved.  I had Celiac Disease!  If I ditched the gluten-and-wheat, all would be well; no worries; perfect life.


Seriously, if gluten-free fixes my gut, why can't it fix my whole life, mates?

…like this…


Or this…


3)  Maybe this one. No, I was not gluten'ed! …I actually just have a bad tummy ache. … Wait. Isn't that  nice for a  change?

4)  What could possibly be his problem?

5)  Why is mum mad? Weren't they for me?

6) When the day still turns out disastrous, but all your food was certified gluten-free…

7)  Or this:

8) Or, do I really have to be responsible and balance my life? Like, I'm gluten-free, dude.

9) What do you mean I could still be ingesting cancer-causing chemicals? IT SAYS GLUTEN FREE.

10)  Finally…

…and steak is so s…

Recipe: A Breakfast For Picnics -- (Apple Skillet Bread)

Oy. Best. Portable. Gluten-free breakfast. Ever.  This skillet bread has been a beach-buddy with me for days now.  I've been carting it down to the sand on free mornings; packing it for picnics -- slightly sweet, flexible, quick-fix and sticks together -- it wraps wonders too around fresh Summer fruit.

Apple Skillet Breakfast Bread  [ gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, paleo-option ]

The slightly-sweet, easy-fix breakfast bread really is perfect for plunging over sand-berms and convenient-eating on a towel.  I can make one round in my small skillet at a time in less than 10 minutes.  A blend of shredded zucchini, egg, and diced apple, it's also brilliant for soaking up any leftovers --  toss in the dregs of yesterdays rice, millet, or quinoa.  But the savoury underpin of a bit of sweet or red potato, along with the texture, is brilliant.

All the same, it needs no leftovers to shine.

1/2 small apple, chopped 1/3 cup shredded zucchini 1 large organic egg (optiona…

Product Review: Cereal Seriously (For Celiacs)

This is my favourite cereal.

This  cereal wholly embodies the whole-food mindset that finds the top-trench of quality in what's naturally gluten free.They make whole-happy  wholefood breakfast, wholly gluten-free – not just free, but stamped with variety on top of quality.

Corn. Rice. Quinoa. Buckwheat.  These cereals don't even need sugar to shine -- and most of them don't have it.  In fact, Erewhon's tops -- and my favorites -- have ingredient lists so short you could scribble them on the back of your hand with room still to doodle. 
Corn flakes? 
Ingredients: Milled Corn. Sea salt.
The Corn Flakes are sweet with that faint sweet of fresh corn, but it's always been the texture I loved in flake-cereal, and these little flakes crunch.
The Rice Crisps, both salted and unsalted, never seem to get stale.  Again, they've an ingredient list too short write home about; I wouldn't write home about ingredients anyhow if they didn't make something solid …

Celebrate Summer, Or Look Up! (Recipe: Peaches and Cream Stuffed French Toast)

Look up, not down -- at what you have, not what you don't.

I dared to disorient myself this morning. Things have been so mad-busy, I've felt runaround by the simple switch-up of having a peach on the counter rather than an apple.  (More on that…I've had bushels since California appears to think June and July are apple season.  Oy, Autumn is apples, whacked-out-seasonless-coastland! But it is nice to be able to pick an armload of fruit while walking round the neighborhood.

Anyhow, I woke this morning to no rush.  Except the faint one in my head, which is on automatic pilot, and I thought: What have I got, and what would be fun?

This is a thought that begins innumerable excellent adventures.

When I go auto-pilot, I don't look at what I have -- I look at what I expect to have. Often, I'm expecting rush, scarcity, or same-old same-old. Expectations can kill creativity…even in the kitchen.  It kills fun.

Fun is always a surprise.

 I've been eating apples intention…

Celiac Fact: Get the Good Bugs Back - Probiotics

Probiotics are probably more integral to Celiac Disease recovery than almost any other post-diagnosis regimen a Celiac can personally instigate.    Often referenced as key building blocks in  full  recovery, they replenish natural gut flora lost through intestinal permeability and damage, and ultimately kill off pathogenic bugs set on keep your insides full of holes.

Thus, I'll be participating in Bio-K's 12 Day Challenge. Twelve days, 1/2 bottle of bugs a day -- and then three days cold turkey -- and then I get to tell you what the difference is.

But what's a good bug from a bad bug? Why take a formula or capsule of yogurts and fermented foods have got these little buggers growing inside?  What is a good bug?

Bio-K, Canada's good-bug-based company has the only double-blind peer-reviewed probiotic on the market.

But as for good bacteria, the bugs that have been empirically observed to improve intestinal health, these are the criteria:

Must be  of human origin Resist natura…

Tricked-Out Tuesday: Can't Swing Budget, Can't Swing Free

No-no-no! I can't. I waved my arms wildly at the little old lady, mushroom-like, arms bundled full of baguettes and plastic-wrapped breads. The look she gave me said in no uncertain terms, wow. You're screwed.

Not particularly old-lady-like language. Some mushroom-fluff-headed old dames pull it off like ragtime though.

So what was wrong with her perfectly good food-pantry-food, she wanted to know?

It was bread. I was Celiac.  There was a matter of gluten between, and ne'er the twain shall meet.

But she still was skeptical as she dumped the bread, gave me an additional limp head of lettuce, and eyed the next person in line pointedly -- a slump-shouldered bearded biker with swollen eyes and a slur.

This was three or so years ago, and I was just out of school, perhaps 21, and living free -- free as no job, Celiac Disease, and friend's mum's rented garret could make me.  It didn't make me particularly full of beans, at least not enough to keep me full.  It certainly…

Restaurant Rec's: Hipster Town, Gluten-Free -- Austin, TX

Restaurant Recs: Austin, TX – Gluten Freeing It
There’s a terror of tricked-out gluten-free pop-ups in Austin.  The trip-up is: which are hipster and which know the grits-and-dust detail of dealing with celiac.
Don’t spend ages agonizing over safety – the restaurants I visited I took care of that for you. And I know they went the extra league to make their food prep as safe as any non-dedicated eatery can.

[For below: good procedure / cross-contamination still a risk ]

Though I wouldn't highly recommend because of the volume of customers, busy-ness, and shared-kitchen-risk, I do highly recommend in the area of good food, flavor-filled and top-notch celiac-awarness and customer service.  Hopdoddy makes a brill-burst of a burger.  Oy, and what else is one to look for in ranch-country?  They're 6 inch high, with millet-specked, slightly crumbly gluten free buns, but the quality of their produce and meat is a commitment they carry like anything, and their creative bur…

Recipe: Resenting Ruts, Food Frittering, and Cauliflower Pizza

I've been resenting my weekly food lately -- it's been a long list of dinners with one menu rotated.  It looked like so, ad infinitum.

Lentils and Rice Fish and Rice Tostadas (Homemade Frijoles) Tostadas (BetterBeanCo Frijoles) Red Lentil Curried Dhal Brazilian Black Bean Pan-Fried Burrito and Quinoa Black Bean and Quinoa

Some of my favorite food. Easy go-to mindless-making--I know the recipes by heart. But the same bloody thing over and over again. Variety isn't just a matter of nutrition; our minds and senses need the newness, the challenge and the novelty too.  One wrecked-end of the Celiac Disease (and food allergy-attacked) life is the fear at diagnosis that oy bloody heck, I shall be eating RICE FOR EVER NOTHING ELSE SHOOT ME NOW.

Pizza saved my life.

Yesterday, I broke the monotony. Neighbours with a bumper crop of tomatoes have shoved heaps of little cherry-rounds on me, and I had cauliflower.  It's easy to get into a rut, especially in the grips of what feel…

Tumble Gluten Free With Freedible: "Be More Than What You Can't Eat"

What are your freedibles?  I've dealt with Celiac Disease in multiple ways. But  the best way has undoubtebly been in word-play and humor.

What you laugh at hasn't got the power to hurt you. Finding the fun also puts the sometimes-strained-pained loss of social eating, eating-old-childhood-favourites, eating "what you want" in perspective.  Freedible is a new platform for peeps with food prescribed food restrictions -- and oy, celiac is at the top of that list -- and this site is playful, positive-focused, and set to become a huge resource for recipes, new-food-finds, and community.

It's all in our freedibles. What's edible is a different arena for those with celiac or severe allergies.

Focus on what you can eat!  I love Freedible because it fits right into where I started when I got the recovered-head part of this disease, as well as body.  Thinking on can't and restrictions keeps me sick, if not physically, certainly mentally -- and it makes me a rigid me…

Celiac Disease: Take Control, Flex, Don't Fall

Make your own wellbeing the priority! The National Foundation For Celiac Awareness is launching the first ever interactive whiteboard, displaying the facts:

Celiac Disease recovery depends on much more than simply the gluten-free food you swallow.

Community, awareness, coordination of travel and social events -- how do you manage it all without crashing?  This stellar new tool from the NFCA addresses the whole-person-equation to "erase the social challenges" and ignorances surrounding Celiac Disease!

In the end, none of us wants to be restricted or controlled by our gluten-free diet -- and we really aren't. Whole-person can be healed with whole-foods and a whole community.

That's what the NFCA is doing with their Whiteboard:  Promoting awareness, facilitating education and community, and offering what we need to see and experience the world fully, unrestricted by our "restriction".

Check out the upcoming topics, things I've addressed here and you've…

Freedom! (Or, a Recipe for a Free-From Fourth: Chili Dog Like a Boss)

There are two ways to do chili, and only one way to do Independence Day in the States as far as I’m concerned.
The only one way to do the 4th is a chili dog.
So use the brilliant tumbling-allergen-free Lime-Cilantro Chili Recipe below.
Or if you’ve no time to cook (it’s fairly fast, but not lightning), pick up a tub of the non-gmo, organic, BPA-free Better Bean variety– 3 Sisters Chili – which ratchets up flavour and zings a BBQ.

Lime Cilantro Chili
(serves 2) vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, dairy-free
½ cup white beans 2 medium tomatoes OR ½ can organic diced tomatoes ½ jalapeño pepper, finely chopped ½ yellow onion, diced ½ cup red or green bell pepper
½ carrot, in thin rounds ½ small lime 1 tsp apple cider vinegar ¼ cup fresh cilantro 1 clove garlic, crushed ½ tsp cumin (Spicely is a good choice, gluten-free, allergen-free, organic) ½ tsp chili powder 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1) Bring beans to a boil in a small saucepan. Boil on high for about 20 minutes, then tur…