Showing posts from August, 2014

Recipe: Black Sweet Rice Balls with BGreen Food (Onigiri)

Gluten free diets get a bad rap for lack of variety, you know.  Rice? people say.  Is all you can eat rice?Oy so bland.

But only the badly uninformed could call rice bland. Rice. Basmati. Jasmine. Short grain. Long grain. Jade green. Red and Wild.  Rice is wild.

And finally, I discovered B-Green Food's beautiful Black Pearl Rice in San Diego (GFFA Fest), short ebony grains with a sticky sweet texture tilted between silken and chewy. Mostly, I've been steaming heaps of it, eating it with chopsticks, sashimi, adzuki beans; stir-frying with beets and greens and onion.

But then I thought onigiri and breakfast.

These Black Sweet Rice Balls are sticky and just sweet enough. Roll them in yogurt. Toast to crisp their outsides. Eat with a classic Japanese omelet.

Extraordinary Black Rice Breakfast Balls (onigiri)

1/4 c. dry B-Green Food Organic Black Rice (steamed, about 3/4 cup) 1/4 shredded summer squash 1 tbs black or white sesame seeds 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 egg white …

118 Degrees of Good Food -- Restaurant Review

"Do you serve celiacs?"

This little cafe in Laguna Niguel says nothing specific to the question of Celiac Disease on its website. It looked bloody brilliant -- local, freshly-made, raw, almost no grain really. But I took the trolley down the coast without making a call. When I walked in, I wasn't sure what I'd get
But 118 Degrees Cafe  did the best thing any restaurant can do for a patron with Celiac.  Or, the bloke behind the counter did. Eric immediately assured me he knew what celiac disease was, and went on to explain exactly what that meant to the cafe's food preparation process.
Also, "My sister has celiac," was his response when I told him I had it.  "I know exactly what you're talking about. She eats here all the time." And, "Only one item on our menu has gluten, and it's from sprouted kamut. So no flour." He even knew flour could be a contaminant and stay in the air.

He went on to describe how dangerous it is to have…

Product Review: Celiac Safe Protein Supplements

Protein is the primary building block in muscle, and essential for  mental as well as physicalhealth.  Without proper protein intake,  muscles atrophy, stress hormones spike, and blood sugar slips or shoots -- and in those with Celiac Disease, protein is a key macronutrient the gut often has difficulty in absorbing until fully healed. Anxiety, dizziness, inability to concentrate, and no stamina are all symptoms of inadequate protein intake or absorption.

Sometimes, you can get it from your regular food intake.  Sometimes, you can't. Sometimes, your body struggles with absorbing.  Sometimes, it just needs a bit of a leg up.

So do you supplement?  Healthy weight gain and strength usually fall by the way -- we have a culture obsessed with sickly.  Sickly thin. Sickly in general.  But for me, recovering from Celiac Disease for the first two years meant protein shakes and supplements -- and after a bloody bad bout of stress and gut-reactions (following being gluten'ed last year) it…

Why I Love Beans (Or, Among Other Things, People)

"The best food was simple and homey; it reminded us of when we were young, or felt loved, or were lit up with believing in something."  -The Last Chinese Chef, Nicole Mones
I worked all day with Better Bean Company Tuesday -- and it never gets old.

Some companies set out to make good food, make good money, and build a solid business. Other companies seem to start out a bit different, though they pull in all the strings. Some companies start out to make good, and by making good, they hope their quality and integrity will also make money, make business, and build a brand.   But that brand is based on goodwill first.

Better Beans, in my experience, is the  last and latter.  No wonder it's so much fun to work with them!

I'm enjoying more and more exploring the process of Hannah and Keith's family recipes, their commitment to keeping it all small and family-based -- and their in-depth knowledge of beans.

I love beans.  I've always loved beans. I've written befo…

LISTERS: Fun Food Hacks, Celiac-Style

So you have to eat a certain way… Sometimes, it takes MORE TIME.  Because if you're celiac and gluten-free, you get the chance to be keenly and sometimes painfully aware of what goes into your food. Anyhow, I do -- so I put some fun in too.

This is a brilliant sneak into food hacks.

What if is maybe the best beginning to a sentence in the English language. Er, about most things. Maybe not existentially.

Anyhow, without further ado, a list of food-hacks which make eating more fun, faster, slower, or more tasteful.  But these little blokes also save coin, time, and waste.

1.  Stick your vanilla extract in a little spray bottle. Spritz on gluten free toast, over smoothies, over scones and quick breads before baking.  (Most excellent on cinnamon toast made in a toaster oven.)

2.  Chill gluten-free cookie or scone dough prior to cooking for crisper finished goods.

3. Homemade soda. Like a boss.  Half fill a glass with seltzer water, add apple cider vinegar (Bragg's is best), 1 tsp van…

Find Me Gluten Free Found Me with Send Me Gluten Free! (Product Review and Giveaway!)

Find Me Gluten Free found me with a Send Me Gluten Free package…

Have you ever really just wanted someone else to do the shopping? And get you an exciting variety of celiac safe gluten-free products?

Find Me Gluten Free reached out to me a few weeks ago, asking if I'd like to test-drive their new service which does just that:Send Me Gluten Free boxes arrive on your doorstep, safe, packed, and monthly.

Send Me Gluten Free is a subscription box that aims to bring new products, or stellar old ones, to your door at a cost that actually undercuts buying them store-shelf-style. For a full year, it's $20 American per month. Shipped to your door. You get 8-10 products, some full-sized, some samples, supplements, sweets, and household cleansers.

Though I've occasionally wanted someone to do my shopping for me, I'm skeptical of services that say they'll manage it well.  So I was pleasantly surprised to crack open the Send Me GF box.  Especially because the first thing I saw wa…

A Throwback For Thursday: Recover and Thrive, Don't Just Survive

Tumbling Gluten Free Anniversary
Celiac Disease can take a long time to bounce back from; even after proper diagnosis.  But harder still are months, often years, spent without a proper diagnosis.  Due to the fact that a celiac's autoimmune system wrecks his or her small intestine, many end up malnourished -- underweight or otherwise -- but since malnourishment causes so many other health issues, the disease sneaks by. Bloody turned my life not into a tumble, but a free fall. 

Beginning around 9, I had constant infections.  I fenced competitively, but my doctor couldn't explain my flagging stamina, or bad bouts with diarrhea and constipation, except to say "Perhaps anxiety". I entered uni.  still fencing, underweight, diagnosed with mild depression after 10 months of bronchitis on top of a thyroid that had gone hyper.

In uni., I spiraled downhill.  Eating options were even more prone to be quick, processed, and gluten-filled. (At my parents, making stabs in the dark, m…

Lunchboxing For Kids with Celiac or Food Intolerances -- Make It Fun

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."  --Benjamin Franklin
Lunch-boxes. Bentos. Brown-bags.  "Pack-it-or-lump-it, love--" said my adopted Welsh gran. (In other words, don't whinge about no-food, food you can't eat, or the cost of pre-prepped if you haven't taken the time to make a sack.)

But how do you pack for little ones? I work with a passal of preschoolers.  They're sticky, impulsive, and don't know the word 'celiac' from 'celeriac', except to think it sounds a lot like silly and is just as funny to say.  I've never had a small Celiac in my class; but I work regularly teaching and consulting with families who have got little ones with food allergies, or sometimes worse, the autoimmune attack of Celiac.

There are 3 plain rules I give them from the starting line:

If you're talking packing food,

1) Make It Fun 
2) Act Like It's Normal (it is)
3) Give Them Responsibility
and keep rules to …

Hooked on Probiotics…Works For Me

After finishing 12 days of a 1/2 bottle of Bio-K Plus per morning, I stopped -- as per instructions -- cold turkey for three.  Then I felt sick as hacking old harry.

Coincidence?  It's only anecdotal, and the the connection is definitely correlative, not causal.  But after taking other probiotics in the past, and taking Bio-K's challenge, my gut is a happier camper populated by good bugs -- and bugs that stick.

I love the way Bio-K writes up their product benefits and mission statement -- like a declaration of war:

You want the best soldiers fighting the war for your digestive health and restroom freedom. In the last 20 years, Bio-K+®, on a microscopic level, has chosen its patented strains to infiltrate your digestive battlegrounds. L. Acidophilus CL1285®, L. Casei LBC80R®, and L. Rhamnosus LR02®make up the special forces of the good bacteria military. Not only do they each contribute their own beneficial skill set, but they are natural allies who work synergistically for the…