Monday, November 28, 2011

Udi's

So I heard, or I should say my wife heard, about this company called Udi's.  They are based in Denver, Colorado.  They are not only a Gluten Free Food company but by looking at their website they are truly interested in those with Celiac Disease.  They have a forum, they have a step by step for those recently diagnosed and a page reviewing the signs and symptoms of the disease.  You should also check out the article today (11/28/2012) in the NY Times on going GF.

We picked up some frozen bagels although I have not tried them yet.  But I did get a chance to try their whole grain bread.  I have tried a few GF breads and they were horrible - and that is being nice.  I have made my own but it usually only lasts a day or so.  Being that I have just made 3 loaves of bread for stuffing and cooked for Thanksgiving the last thing I wanted to do was cook more bread.  In comes Udi's to the rescue for my leftover sandwich.
Let's just say it was a welcome surprise as to how good it was.  I toasted the bread and spread some of my homemade cranberry sauce, topped with stuffing and turkey and it hit the spot.  It was so good I went back and made another.  This would be great for morning toast and probably for french toast too.

A staple we used to keep around the house for a quick snack for me and the kids was frozen pizza.  Now that frozen pizza is out we needed an alternative.  Udi's to the rescue again.
Udi's frozen GF Pizza Crust is a must have for your freezer.  We top it with homemade sauce, cheese and sometimes pepperoni and into the toaster oven for 8 minutes and viola - pizza.  The kids like it, our nephew was over and downed have a pizza and he is 3.  Great for a late night snack once the kids are in bed and I have even made it and brought it to work for lunch the next day.

I am looking forward to trying their hotdog and hamburger rolls.  They also just released cookies, which if they are as good as their other products, may just be our go to cookie when we are out of homemade.

Good GF Eating,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Saturday, November 26, 2011

C Level / Island Prime

The Cohn Family owns a number of Southern Cali restaurants and I have eaten at a few, including 333 Pacific, Prado, Indigo Grill and Corvette Diner (we have kids).  C Level is within the Island Prime building but a more casual dining experience all located at the end of Harbor Island.

This was my first time going back since being diagnosed and I'll give them an overall grade of a B; let me explain.

We called ahead.  Yes, they have a separate GF menu.  The chef even got on the phone with my wife and asked if I had Celiac and to ask for him when we arrived so he could be sure that there was no cross contamination.  He said they had a separate GF fryer.

So this is where things go downhill.  After arriving I asked for the GF menu.  First three items: fried potato chips, french fries, and tuna stack with fried taro chips.  But they have a GF fryer right?  I ordered the tuna stack (did not have soy sauce, I checked) and the chicken.  I asked the waitress to have the chef come out because he had said to ask for him when we arrived.  I also told her I had Celiac Disease and I saw her write it on the check.

No chef and out comes the tuna stack with the taro chips.  I asked the runner for the waitress or chef.  In comes the manager, Jeff, I believe.  When I gave him the story he quickly took the dish back, saying that I could not have anything from the fryer (but didn't the chef say they had a GF fryer?).  I told him I was also having the chicken and he said he would pull the ticket and inform the chef/kitchen.

Most times at this point I would be done and would have waited to eat at home but he said they have just been educated.  He told us they had a Doctor come in and go over Celiac Disease with the whole restaurant staff (but my waitress was not there that day, I was told).  He said they were very concerned about those with Celiac and surprised at how common it was.  I felt better at this point.

The tuna stack returned now over a bed of sliced cucumbers and it was delicious.

Out came the Chicken with a spicy, smoky rub over spinach and mashed potatoes.  This was moist and tasty.  Once again the runner, my feared weak link, did not mention my dish was GF and was not really sure what I was talking about.

Test complete: no symptoms.  So based on the initial fumbles I gave them a C for execution but due to their comeback and the recent effort to educate the staff I gave them an A for effort for an overall grade of B.  They should update their GF menu - Do you or do you not have a GF fryer?  It sounds like they have GF food but will adjust that for those with Celiac Disease.  I'll try it again but I'll ask for the manager first (which I do at some restaurants).

Hopefully, C Level and others can find a way to pass the info from the kitchen to the runners so that when the food hits the table the allergen free dish is verbally introduced as GF - it makes eating out a less stressful experience.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gluten Free Thanksgiving 2011

So this is my first gluten free Thanksgiving.

We have gone to friends in the past where everyone brought a dish.  No way I can be sure that everything is GF or cross contaminated so that was out.  So we invited friends and family and had a house of adults, children and one in the oven.

I will preface this by saying I am a foodie and like to cook.  So I put the menu together, we made a list of ingredients and then a layout of what could be made when; because, there is never enough oven space.

To take the risk of cross contamination out of the picture we had our friends who are Napa lovers bring the wine.  It was delicious.  I used to be able to drink a few glasses a night, especially on a long, special night.  But since I was diagnosed I can usually drink one glass otherwise my stomach feels a little rough.  The wines they brought were delicious.  The Arns is a delicate but full wine with nice oaky tones and Pride is a full napa cab.

My sister and brother-in-law brought over cheeses.  They got them from a cheese store and they were out of this world.  Some washed rind cheese, goat and hard cheese, with quince paste and apples and pears.

The menu

APPS:  confit tomato, tomato-basil-mozzarella, melon-prosciutto
SOUP:  Creamy Tomato Fennel
SIDES:  Creamy corn polenta, Brussel spouts, green beans, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing
TURKEY:  Roasted brined breast and confit leg and thigh
DESSERT:  Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, Flourless Chocolate Cake, Cinnamon Ice Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream

I prepared some confit tomatoes.  This is done days ahead.  Score the bottom of the cherry tomatoes.  In a large pot pour 4 cups EVOO, a bunch of thyme, rosemary and 12 garlic cloves and a few tablespoons salt.  Cook for an hour at 200 or until tender.  Peal the skin and store in the olive oil.  We also made skewers of tomato, basil and mozzarella and another with honeydew and prosciutto.

Soup.  I made a tomato fennel soup.  I sauteed two fennel and two large onions until translucent then added 10 large tomatoes and simmered.  Once soft I immersion blended.  Salt and pepper to taste and a bit of heavy cream.

Sides:  The polenta I actually got off the side of Rice dreams box but this was rice milk, green chiles, polenta (GF Bob's Red Mill), cheese and corn kernels.

For the brussel sprouts I fry up in a bit of peanut oil with salt and pour a little rice vinegar over it before serving.

Green beans sautéed in some oil and prosciutto fat and and shallots with a dash of GF soy sauce.

Cranberry sauce.  I used two 12 oz bags.  One cup water, one cup OJ, two cups sugar and cooked until all berries popped.  Then I add a handful of dried cranberries and a bit of Vermont maple syrup.  This I made a few days ahead and stored in the fridge.

Potatoes are the realm of my wife.

Stuffing, here comes the dilemma.  So I baked 3 loaves of GF bread.  Then cut them into bits and toasted them in the oven.

They have to be dry.  They add onions and celery that we cooked in some rendered bacon fat and then salt, pepper, chicken stock.  It was good, it was different but not in a bad way.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Turkey two ways seems to be "the thing" this year.  So I cut off the legs and wings Tuesday and dry rubbed with salt, sage, thyme and bay leaf.  Wednesday I confit in duck fat and peanut oil for 3 hours and stored in the fat until Thursday.  I reheated to 500 degrees and pulled the legs out and then put under the broiler to crisp the skin.  The meat was soft and tender and moist and delicious.

For the breast I brined on Wednesday in a salt bath with aromatics and buttermilk.  Rinsed and roasted with the cavity stuffed with lemon, onion and pear.  Rubbed the skin with butter, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika.

For Dessert with got a GF pumpkin and apple pie from 2 Good 2 Be Bakery and they were a hit.  As expected you could not tell they were GF.  I made my flourless chocolate cake which was enjoyed by all.  You can find the recipe here from Epicurious.com.

Cinnamon Ice Cream I found the recipe here on allrecipes and my vanilla recipe I found here on foodchannel.com.


At this point there is still a pile of dishes to clean but dinner was great, the dessert was awesome and the company even better.  Hope you had a good Turkey Day and this may give you some ideas for next year.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Wife

I have to say I really do love her.  She has been great through all of this.  I would hope that I would be as accomodating as she has been but I can be a bit hard headed.

She was the one that saw that something was wrong but backed off and gave me space for a while.  She eventually pushed me to see someone and since the diagnosis she has been great.

Our house now is probably 90% GF and moving to 100%.

It's expensive.  We threw out or gave away wood cutting boards and tons of food.  The next expensive issues was buying and tasting GF food.  We tasted many things only to throw them away because of how bad they tasted.

Currently we have one cabinet of "gluten" foods (kid cereal, dog treats (they have flour too so I have to be careful handling them - but we are going to GF dog and cat food), and some snacks).

But we have found a ton of GF snack, chips and treats.  Enviro kids cereal has been great for me and the kids but more on that another time.

She has watched my weight more than I have and she has encouged me to eat as I have felt better.  I am almost back to where I started.  A bowl of ice cream every night probably helps.

She has gone through cabinet after cabinet cleaning all of the pots, pans and then scrubbing the cabinet down.  We have a few more drawers to do but the kitchen is GF clean.

I can't thank her enough for how supportive she has been.  She was the one who found the GF Expo here in SD that we went to (see other post for that one).  She has changed how and where she shops.  She has started cooking differently too.  Although the kids had blood tests which were normal she has tweaked their diets and found equivalent tasting food that is GF so they don't even know the difference and we don't have to worry about "Gluten Crumbs."

Well, today she is off to pick up our GF pies for Thanksgiving.  I'll fill you in on our GF Turkey Day in another post.

But tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I am sure thankful for her.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pressure Cookers

So my new kitchen gadget is a pressure cooker.  I had been talking about getting one for years and finally my wife went out and bought one for me.  We got the Cuisinart electric pressure cooker and at first I thought, "no I wanted an on the stove pressure cooker like all the cool chefs on t.v. have.  I have to admit this is a nice product.  I can program it and take the dog for a walk or go to the park with the kids and it will shut off and stay warm (you still have to relieve the pressure but it gives you some leeway).


The pressure cooker purchase came about due to beans.  I wanted beans for my dishes and the more I looked into canned beans, many were processed in a factory that processes wheat.

I contacted Organics, which is a branch of Safeway.  After three emails going back and forth about what store did I buy the can at, what was the bar code number, etc I gave up.  Either they are or they are not and if some of the beans are processed in a factory with wheat I am not touching any of them.

SW Beans: "Yes, wheat is present in the manufacturing facility." was their response.

Many cans that I looked at in all of the supermarkets list on the label that they are processed in a factory that processes wheat.  I know some of you have not had any issue with canned beans but I'm not taking a chance with cross contamination.

So back the pressure cooker, I needed a way to cook dry beans at home - quickly.

Well, this is now super easy thanks to my handy, dandy new pressure cooker.

Dish #1 - Hummus.  I pressure cooked some dried garbanzo beans for 30 minutes.  Then into the strainer and off to the food processor with lemon, tahini, garlic, salt and parsley.  Delicious.

I found a company Gold Mine Natural Foods for my beans - they list that they are Gluten free.

They have a lot of GF products that you can order online.  I found mine at Jimbo's.

Dish #2 - Chili.  I pressure cooked Kidney beans, 20 minutes.  I then used the browning button and seared the mean in the cooker then put it aside after it was browned.  Then into the cooker some oil, onions and peppers.  Then added chopped tomatoes, meat, beans, tomato juice, tomato pasta and seasoning.  I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and smoked paprika.  On with the lid and now on low pressure cooking for an hour.  Yum.  This was lunch on Sunday and lunch for work and I still had some left over that I froze for a last minute meal.

Well, hope that stirs up some ideas for you.  I'll be creating more and more with the pressure cooker and if I come up with some great recipes I'll let you know.

The UGG (Un-Gluten Guy)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gluten Free Cookies

Is it just me or is all of the Gluten Free craze about sweets - cookies, brownies, cakes and muffins.  Me, I miss scones, cranberry walnut scones to be exact.  That is my next project is trying to recreate that in a GF form.

Cookies are the other big one.  We have tried many but the house hold standard has been Nestle Tollhouse right off the back of the bag.

So we went big and started with Thomas Keller's Gluten free Bouchon cookies.
You can find them at Williams Sonoma.  They do taste good but they are flat and crunchy.  If that is how you like your cookies you will be happy.  If you like chewy and soft it will disappoint.  The flavor is great though - as you would expect.  I am going to retry them and turn down the oven temp and cook for a few minutes less.  We tried a batch in the fridge before baking but they still came out flat and crunchy.  I don't mind crunchy and the taste did have you thinking you were eating a GF product.

They also passed the kid test.  They did not last more than a few days in the house.

Next up - Bob's Red Mill.  Now, I have used a lot of their products and I have been happy with them.  So I picked up the Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Mix.
Easy to make and this is how they turned out.  Soft and chewy.  Unfortunately, the taste left something to be desired.  I am not sure what caused the flavor twist but I personally didn't care for it.  And they failed the kid test - after a week of sitting on the counter I emptied them in the trash.

Next test.  I am going to try the Tollhouse recipe but substitute in GF flour.  This might take a bit and that means lots of taste testing.  I guess that is one way I can put some weight back on.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rendezvous Del Mar

Well, I found it.  I thought after being diagnosed that chinese food was out.  I figured that there was no way to prevent cross contamination.  I assumed that wonton soup and fried food dishes would keep me away from the woks and fryers.

Well, luckily I was wrong.  I found Rendezvous in Del Mar.  Actually I have driven by here for years but never ventured in to try the food.

They have a GF menu and it is big.  Three tapas, four soups, 27 entrees.  And they are super receptive to those with Gluten allergies.  We did take out the other day and they even put my GF food in a completely separate take out bag then the rest of the families food.

And it was delicious.

I had their hot and sour soup.  Tofu and mushrooms in a delicate broth.


Next I had the Curry chicken over rice.  Tender pieces of chicken in a pungent curry sauce (I know, not typical american Chinese food).


Next, (I just got off a crazy long day at work and was super hungry) I had the shrimp pad thai.  Usually I am fearful that aside from a thai restaurant the pad thai will be disgusting but this proves that theory wrong.  Perfectly cooked noodles and and savory sauce topped with shrimp.


Findmeglutenfree.com has others reviews which are also positive.

If you have been looking for a Chinese restaurant - this is it.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pizza Night

I mentioned it before, so here it is.  Sunday used to be homemade pizza night.  We would make the dough and sauce in the morning and cook it up for dinner on the grill with a pizza stone.  It tastes great, works for leftovers and is fun for the kids to help out.

Now I get diagnosed with celiac disease.  Well I tried a few mixes and they just didn't cut it.  I starting using Thomas Keller's Cup 4 Cup and that has worked.  Although it is gluten free it is not dairy free, but luckily I don't have any dairy issues.

Here is the recipe I use.  If you are able to eat anything use regular flour but if you have celiac or a gluten sensitivity replace with your own mix or some other GF flour.

1.  1/4 Cup warm water in a bowl and a packet of yeast (make sure it activates)
2.  Add 1 1/2 Cups flour, 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp salt, 3 TBSP EVOO and mix
3.  Knead it on a board with some extra flour.
4.  I usually split it into two doughs and place in bowls, cover with dish towel and let rise a few hours.

Here are a few slices from this weekend.  The kids ate the rest.

With regular flour I could throw it real thin.  With GF flour I roll it out with a rolling pin.  You need to have some corn meal or corn grits (make sure it is GF) and pull the rolled out dough onto a pizza spatula.  Then add toppings.  I cook my pizza on a pizza stone on the grill and get it up to 550 or 600 degrees.  At that temp it doesn't take long to cook but crisps the dough nicely.

For sauce I use San Marzano crush tomatoes.  I puree two garlic cloves in a blender, pour in the can of tomatoes and add dried oregano, salt and sugar (yes, sugar) to taste.

The pies I have made
1.  plain (sauce and cheese)
2.  pepperoni
3.  our red and green pizza which is drops of red sauce, drops of pesto, broccoli, and tomatoes
4.  bbq sauce with shrimp or chicken, gouda cheese, cilantro and red onion
5.  caramelized onions, thinly sliced filet, gouda and mozerella, garlic and olive oil

Enjoy,

The UnGluten Guy

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Advice for Restaurants

For all of those chefs, owners, managers out there please learn about celiac disease as one of the 8 common food allergens.  If you don't have the time to learn and a patron calls to ask if you have a GF menu just say no, we can eat elsewhere.

You can check out The Celiac Disease Foundation and a local site Gluten Free in San Diego.

Those places that are GF friendly usually offer a separate menu.  This takes away the issue of dealing with a wait staff person who does not fully know the menu or is not educated on Celiac Disease.  Nothing makes the restaurant look worse than when the waiter recommends an item that clearly contains gluten after being told that I have celiac disease and can only eat GF foods.

We are not on a fad GF diet but it is a treatable disease by avoiding all gluten.  This even means cross contamination.  That means nothing in the fryer unless you have a dedicated GF fryer.  Hand washing, cleaning knives and utensils to serve the food are essential to prevent cross contamination.

When the staff know the menu and understand the disease they make us happy to eat there.

Please educate the staff.
1.  Make sure the waitstaff know the menu and what items contain gluten.
2.  Find a way for the waitstaff to communicate to the kitchen that a patron has an allergy / sensitivity.
3.  Make sure the kitchen communicates back to the waistaff when the food is served.  Especially if there is a runner.
4.  It really puts us at ease when the staff serves the plate and confirms it is GF.
5.  Make sure the kitchen has an area dedicated to GF food prep or cleans the area prior to prepping a GF plate.

Putting together a short GF menu helps.  It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive.  I would rather have a choice of 2 or 3 apps and 2 or 3 entrees that I know are GF then having to digest a large menu, read every accompaniment and garnish.

Create an area of the kitchen for GF food preparation.

Understand if we get glutened we are sick, we have pain, it attacks our gut, we miss school or work for days, and won't be coming back to the restauarnt.

I applaud a few SD establishments and hope to find more.  They include George's Modern, Urban Solace, Rendezvous, Mountain Mike's Pizza, and 2 Good 2 B.

The UnGluten Guy

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kappa Sushi


Kappa Sushi is a sushi place in SD at the end of Mira Mesa near the 15.  We found the place by following one of our favorite Sushi Chefs - Kat.  We met her at Roy's in La Jolla then followed her to Nozomi in Carlsbad and now to Kappa Sushi.  One of the owner's Eric we knew from Sushi on the Rock in La Jolla.  This place is hands down great sushi and the myth about women's hands being too warm - she does not ruin the fish - it is delicious and melts in your mouth.

When I was diagnosed even sushi became a problem.  I had to search out new GF soy sauce.  I tried Tamari but it didn't agree with me, I think, on two separate occasions, I then tried Bragg's soy alternative.  That was okay but I was not fond of the taste.  I then found Kikkoman's GF soy and that is my choice now.  I bring it with when ever we go out.


I still have to find GF ponzu or make it myself. So unfortunately, that takes away some of the great plates they make.

I usually stick with the chef's shasimi plate.  The fish is always fresh and delicious.  The spicy sauce is made with sirachi and is GF so I usually have a few spicy tuna handrolls.


I have talked to Kat and Eric and they clean the area to prevent cross contamination.  I was afraid to eat rolls since some of the rolls are made with tempura ingredients.  They will use a clean roller if you order roll sushi.  I have eaten here numerous times and never be glutened.

A full and content Un-Guten Guy

Saturday, November 12, 2011

SD GF Food Expo

Today was the 1st ever GF Expo in San Diego and we got there.  Boy was it raining hard.

Inside there were many vendors with lots of things to taste.  I can't touch on everything but I'm gonna give you my favorites.

I'll start with Mountain Mike's Pizza.  Let didn't have any to try but I've seen there ads and website and was curious.  The owner said his daughter has Celiac Disease.  They have the dough produced offsite to prevent contamination.  The sauce and other bins of toppings for the GF pizza is kept separate and remade everyday.  The flour used in the entire place to prevent sticking is corn flour.  I am definitely gonna try this one.

As far as bars.  I have been using Lara Bars or Think Thin.  A company that I saw today was PureFit.  These were really good.  I tried the berry almond crunch and almond crunch.  They look like the texture of old power bars but taste good.  For athletes the are 40/30/30.  I'll definitely pick these up.

Cookies.  There were so many my kids were walking past cookies and cupcakes at the end - they actually had enough.  The Pure Pantry stood out.  I have made their pancakes before and they were good.  Today I tried their sugar cookies and you could not tell they were GF.  They are a local company based out of Encinitas so I would strongly recommend trying their stuff.
Mac and cheese.  Me I would prefer pasta and a homemade 4 cheese sauce but my kids were kraft kids.  We have tried other brands but they have not liked them.  Pastariso had their GF microwavable mac and cheese and the kids loved it.  Great for a quick snack and you can buy it on Amazon.
The Sauce Goddess.  We tried her Sticky Sweet grill sauce and it was out of this world.  The other flavors were good too.  She said they are available at Sprouts.  She said there is a GF and non-GF bottle for each style so be sure to pick up the jar that says Gluten Free.

My favorite Bakery was there 2 Good 2 B.  I had a new cookie that I have not had before, the cranberry walnut, and it was good.  There was also a table for Three Senses Gourmet.  The offer basically a flour-less cake/soufflĂ© in oven safe plastic that you throw in the oven.  These were a hit with all of us.  A great freezer item for when you get a chocolate craving.

As far as restaurants two new ones that I found were The Trails and Casa de Bandini.  The Trails is on Jackson in San Diego and offers a GF menu (you can find it on the website) - I'll try this place.  The longest line was was for Casa de Bandini in Carlsbad.  They have a large GF menu on their website and they were serving up plate after plate of food at the Expo.

Speaking of Mexican I think I have found my tortillas.  The French Meadow Bakery is based in Georgia.  We found them at Jimbo's and Ralphs.  The tortillas were perfect.  Even though you can find corn tortillas the risk of cross contamination has kept me away.  These tasted like a flour tortilla and were so good, the kids even circled around for a second round of quesadillas.  They also offer cookies, brownies, pizza crusts and bread.

If you missed it this year you missed out.  I hope they have another one next year and based on the turn out I will expect an even bigger space because it was packed.  I only wish they would allow sales at the venue because they were not allowed to sell products this year.

Hope you find this helpful, I know I did.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Friday, November 11, 2011

Nine-Ten

If you are in a rush let me get right to the point.  If you have Celiac Disease DO NOT go here.

I am sad to say that because before I was diagnosed I have eaten there and liked the food.  Chef Jason Knibb does a great job, BUT.

We went for dinner and we were meeting friends.  Called in advance and spoke with the manager who said that although there is not a GF menu but to let the server know and they would communicate that to the kitchen.  Sounds good so far, right?  I thought so too.

Sit down at the table and asked the waiter if he could direct me to what was GF on the menu.  He bends down to look at my menu with a big UM?  Soon as he started with "I think"  I should have walked.  But you know the situation, I am out with friends, don't want to make a scene, and I'm hungry.  After pointing out that I could have the farro I let him know that farro was part of the wheat family, a whole grain form, and is something I have to avoid we moved on.

Lets say I have the parsnip soup and the swordfish I asked.  Please check with the kitchen and let me know if it is GF.  I reminded him nothing fried (i.e. from the fryer).

We are all good, he says the kitchen says that both are GF.  Out comes the amuse bouche.  I check with the server and I'm good, parsnip puree, apple and truffle.  And it was good.

Apps hit the table, parsnip soup.  Good.  Not great but good, garnished with pork belly and some pickled veg.

Dinner arrives.  Okay what is the fried garnish?  Fried salsify I'm told.  I nicely let him know that I can't eat from the fryer if anything has gone in the fryer with wheat.  I hear the ever common comment - "Oh, you are that sensitive?"  Nicely, I say yes, I have celiac disease and I'll have 3 days of pain if I have any contact to wheat.  I want to say, yes you jackass that is what I told you when I started.  Nine-Ten is that your IQ, somewhere between 9 and 10.

Now, I have been to other restaurants, told them I have celiac and they not only pick out the menu item but say sorry but I can't have anything from the fryer.

If you are curious as to what Salsify here is a picture.  It is a root veg, looks like but does not taste like carrots.

I should have just sent it back and had a glass of wine.  I allowed him to take it back and re-plate.  Oh, I ordered the swordfish, the side dish was broccoli with potatoes with fried salsify.

Now I'm starving, the other members of our party are eating and my food comes back.  At first glance looks okay.  I eat the swordfish and then look - Salsify in the broccoli.  Crap, they must have picked it off.  I call over the waiter and and he says he watched them re-plate.  What that actually means I don't know but as far as I'm concerned it means they did a half assed job of protecting their diner.

Needless to say I skipped dessert.

Maybe the Chef doesn't know what celiac disease is, maybe the staff is un-educated, maybe I just got the worst waiter.  In any event - I am not going back and would recommend avoiding it if you have Celiac.

The Un-Gluten Guy, hungry, at home, eating Rice Chex and hoping I don't feel like crap tomorrow but already don't feel great.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

GF Cooking. The never ending battle

My wife says it's good that I like to cook.

I have always liked to cook.  It is a way to relax and I like my food.  Only now I have to change what I cook.

So this weekend we had rain.  An uncommon occurance in Southern California but a great reason to stay in the kitchen.

I made another batch of Brownies from Ad Hoc (see my other post on Brownies).

I made my French Onion soup.  I use a combination of yellow onions, a few sweet onions and leeks.  I cook them down slowly until they just about carmelize.  I add beef broth and some fresh thyme and bay leaves.

As for the cruoton, I made a loaf of GF bread, nothing special.  It worked great for a panini style grilled cheese with gruyere, provalone, swiss and mozarella. and now I had something for my soup

A thin slice of toasted bread on top of the soup then covered with a slice of gruyere and under the broiler until bubbling. YUM.

Then, another way to do chicken.  Green Curry.  I start with some oil in a pan, wack a stalk of lemongrass and let it simmer then add carrots and onions.  After this a bit of green curry paste.
I like Thai Kitchen stuff, I have used it for years and it even labels itself as GF.  Then add chicken broth, coconut milk, fish sauce (also from Thai Kitchen and also GF), brown sugar, potatoes and chicken.  Let it come to a boil then reduce and simmer.  Great over rice, great for lunch and great for leftovers.

Hope that helps with a few more Un-Glutened foods.  This saturday 11/12/2011 in San Diego there is a GF food Expo

The Un-Glutened Guy

Friday, November 4, 2011

What to bring for Lunch

This was a big problem once I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  I used to live on PB&J for a breakfast snack on the go at work.  Lunch usually consisted of a sandwich (tuna, turkey, chickenbreast).

So now what?

I can't have bread, no pasta, can't go the cafeteria and risk cross contamination (that is, even if they had something that was GF).  On top of that no kitchen, so it has to keep in the fridge or be easily heated in the nuke machine.

So this is what I have come up with so far, hopefully it helps you.

1.  SALAD, no shit.  But I have come up with variations with tuna, chicken, salmon, nuts, cheese.  Use your imagination but it is possible to make a salad at work more than a boring pile of lettuce.

2.  Quinoa.  I have done it cold and heated.  The leftover dinner is usually an easy lunch.  Usually sauted onions &/or peppers mixed in.  My new cold dish is a take on the greek salad.  Quinoa with olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese and a little drizzle of a vinaigrette (I make my own but you could use any salad dressing out there).

3.  Left over pizza.  I'll get to my pizza story sometime but Sunday night is usually pizza night.  I make extra and bring in a few slices for lunch.

4.  Antipasti.  I have made a few platters of salami, cheese, roasted peppers.  It's nice to have some variety and pick and choose from the pieces on the platter.  I'll load up at the deli on the weekend and make a platter for an easy lunch one night when I'm tired.  No cooking required.  I like Molinari meats.  I contacted the company and they said all of their meats are GF.

5.  Chicken.  How many ways can you skin a bird?  My kid likes chicken nuggets so my wife gets chicken tender strips and breads them in a GF breading.  He eats them and I get to bring them to lunch.  Eat them hot, cold, plain, with BBQ sauce.  I'll sometimes make a side of Kasha, you might know it as Buckwheat, but contrary to the name there is no wheat in it, its actually a fruit.  It's a nice grain, nutty in flavor and about the size of barley but not as mushy.

Well, that gets you a few days.  Hope it helps.  I'll post more as I come up with new ideas.