Saturday, March 31, 2012

Homemade Pizza Dough

So, if you haven't figured it out - I like pizza.  Who doesn't?

I have tried a few pizza dough recipes.  Still haven't found the taste or texture.

The CIA (Culinary Institute of America) has a new book out but their pizza dough recipe requires you to pipe it out from a pastry bag.  I have come to the realization that I won't be able to hand toss pies anymore but that sounds a bit far off.  (Maybe i'll try to make it one day - just to taste it)

I have to give kudos to Peter Bronski's pizza dough recipe.  It is a bit different from his book but definitely better.

You can find it here

And you can see it here /\.

It was delicious.  It was raining (yes, it does rain in San Diego), so I put the pizza stone in the oven.  I found that after par baking it, if I flipped it over and put the toppings on the crisper side the crust turned out crispier.

At least Sunday pizza night is back - the kids ate it up.

Thanks Peter,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Udi's

So, if you haven't seen my post on making cinnamon rolls from scratch go back and look.  They were delicious but they took a bit of work.

Well Udi's has its pre-made frozen cinnamon rolls and we checked them out.

First of all - there are no directions on the box.  If you look online many people offer their cooking options and the Udi's website offers theirs.

Basically leave out overnight if you are going to eat them in the morning or defrost them for 10 -15 seconds in the microwave.  Then into the over 350 to 375 for about 10 minutes.

It comes with a packet of sauce to pour over it.  It was really good and super easy to make.  The kids want this now as a weekend treat.

Now for my shameless plug.  Udi's is having a contest for a GF recipe using one of their products.  I put in my recipe for BBQ Pizza.  If you feel like helping me out, please vote.  The winner gets to go to a GF cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu

You can see the recipe and vote here.

Thanks in advance,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Always on Guard

So we went out last night.  Early dinner and out to see a show - Mixed Tape.  If you haven't seen it, you should - it was great.

We went to Saltbox where I had a great experience if you read my other post about the restaurant.  Since I have been there the produced a GF menu (they also have a vegan / vegetarian menu).

I ordered the roasted nuts with espelette pepper and they were tasty.  I love espelette pepper, a nice smokey, spicy seasoning.

For dinner I ordered what I had last time: the roasted sprout salad and Devil's chicken.

Remember I was here before with a great GF experience and we had the same waitress and she put in the order as GF.  Out came the runner with my food.  In retrospect she didn't offer it to me as GF, but it was a salad, right?  We were having a good time, talking, and I was hungry.

I took a few bites and then got a crunch.  Oh no! There were a few bits of fried parsley on the salad.  I didn't remember that from last time.  I found the waitress.  I could tell by the immediate look on her face that it came out wrong and she promptly took it away.  I have never been a person to be scared or nervous but this and the other time it happened to me (at Raya in Laguna) my heart sank and I felt scared about how I am going to feel for the next few days and what damage it might do to my GI tract.

They profusely apologized.  The waitress, chef and manager all came over and although there was nothing they could do at that point they all apologized.  The chef prepared me a fresh salad - it was delicious and my chicken came out - GF of course.  They didn't even charge us for the meal, and they really hoped we would come back.

So, its the next morning.  I made it through the show and right now I'm not having any symptoms.  Luckily it was one piece of parsley and they had cleaned the fryer that day and potatoes had been in them but no other fried foods that day.  I'll try it again, I'm sure it won't happen again.  For me, even when I feel comfortable somewhere I am still going to question everything and I'll go back to asking to speak to the chef or manager before I eat so I know that the kitchen is aware of my eating restrictions.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Saturday, March 24, 2012


So i've blogged about them before but Udi's has become my favorite GF bread.

Now we have it at our local Trader Joe's fresh, not frozen.

My morning routine lately has been their cinnamon raisin bread toasted with butter.

We really like their frozen GF Pizza Crusts.  They are always in our freezer.

They are having a cooking competition on their facebook page for the best GF recipe using one of their products.  I entered my BBQ Pizza. (You can see the recipe below)

The Un-Gluten Guy

Udi’s GF Pizza Crust
Favorite GF BBQ Sauce
Red Onion
Gouda Cheese
Shrimp or Chicken (Optional)
We used to have Sunday Pizza night. The dough would be made in the morning along with homemade sauce. Come dinner time the pizza stone was hot on the grill and the smell of homemade pizza brought everyone to dinner.

After being diagnosed I have tried many recipes and still have not been able to duplicate “real” pizza. Udi’s frozen crusts are really close and easy to use so they are a staple in our freezer.

1. Chop up cilantro until you have 1/4 cup or more if you like and set aside. Thinly slice the red onion. Grate about 1 1/2 cups of the cheese.

2. Pull out an Udi’s frozen pizza crust and preheat the oven.

3. Brush your favorite GF BBQ sauce on the crust (I like Bone Suckin Sauce)

4. If you like pre-cook some chicken or shrimp and spread over the pizza crust. You can omit the meat if you want a vegetarian pie.

5. Sprinkle the cheese over top of the meat.

6. Lay out the red onion slices and sprinkle on the cilantro.

7. Into the oven until cooked and the cheese is bubbly and brown.

8. Pour a little more BBQ sauce on top. Let cool slightly (so the cheese doesn’t slide off), slice and enjoy.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Ribs are great.  Tasty, sweet, smokey and delicious.  It reminds me of summer bbq's.  Ribs always take a while to make.  It is usually an all day affair.  You can smoke em, grill em, or boil em.

When you want a quick way to make ribs you pull out the pressure cooker.

My kids like ribs so its a great way to get in some protein.  I use pork baby backs.

I cut them into four rib pieces each and dry rub with salt, onion powder and paprika.  You can even do this the night before and let it sit in the fridge.

Sear the meat side of each section then into the pressure cooker.

I add a bottle of GF beer, 1/2 Cup GF BBQ Sauce (we like bone suckin sauce), 2 Tablespoons of ketcup and 2 teaspoons of salt.

Cook in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes.

Finish on the grill on high heat and brush on the BBQ sauce, just be sure to not let it burn.  Or you can finish in the oven under the broiler to caramelize the sauce.

This is great meal with baked beans and some homemade potato chips.

Baked Beans

In a pinch I heat up Heinz vegetarian baked beans.

One of the baked bean recipes I like to make when I have time is Bon Appetit Root Beer Baked Beans.  You can find it here


As for the chips, my kids tell me that I don't cook them enough.  It's a bit of a chore but at least I know they are fresh - and they are good.  Out comes the Le Cruset dutchoven and in goes peanut oil.  Bring up to 350 degrees (use a thermometer and be careful).  I slice the potatoes thin on a mandoline and soak them in cold water.  Lay out papertowels on a baking sheet to dry out all of the chips (water and hot oil do not mix).  I usually cook a batch of 20 slices at a time and remove when brown, add some salt and enjoy.  I usually don't see the first two batches because they are eaten by little hands as soon as they cool off.  I make enough for dinner and a snack for lunch the next day (usually 3-4 large potatoes).

Tonight we had some left over brussels sprouts and I made some GF corn bread.

Enjoy lickin your fingers tonight,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Thai Kitchen

This stuff is great to put together a thai dinner at home.

Thai Kitchen offers up a ton of Gluten Free products.  Red and Green Curry paste, Pad Thai sauce, Peanut Sauce, Fish Sauce and Red Chili sauce to name a few.

If you have some coconut milk, brown sugar, curry paste and fish sauce you can whip up a quick meal anytime.

Tonight was one of those nights.  It's dinner time, we're hungry and nothing is planned for dinner.

Out comes the can of coconut milk into a pot to simmer and add red curry paste.  It calls for 1/2 to 1 tablespoon, but we like spice so it usually is 1 tablespoon plus a few teaspoons.  Add 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and simmer.  This is the recipe right off the bottle, so I can not take the credit.

Add in whatever you have.  Tonight we added some peas, carrots, and a few leftover asparagus spears.  I cooked up some chicken, my wife cooked up some shrimp and we threw rice in the rice cooker.

With only a few minutes worth of work dinner was served and delicious.


The Un-Gluten Guy

Friday, March 16, 2012

2 Good 2 B

If have been following me you know that I have blogged about this place before.

2 Good 2 B is my favorite Bakery around.  It is located in Encinitas, California and is a Gluten Free Bakery and Cafe.

They just finished a remodel and their website was updated too.  The have new tables and chairs, a new front prep station and cooking area, and another oven.  They added a flat-screen menu board with new items like soups, pasta and salads in addition to their sandwiches and pizza.  You can also find great bread and baked goods.

Today I stopped in for lunch.  I had never tried their pizza (I usually have a sandwich) but I ordered the margarita pizza.

They make their own dough, it was thin and delicious.  I almost forgot to take a photo (sorry for the crust bits and the napkin) but I remembered with one slice remaining on my plate, snapped a picture and then promptly downed it.

Being that it is St. Patrick's day tomorrow they had some cupcakes for the occasion.

Their cupcakes are always moist and fluffy and delicious.  After dinner the kids tore into their cupcakes while I ate a chocolate one.  Super satisfying.

If you haven't been here, you don't know what you are missing.  Even if you don't have to be GF you'll love their cupcakes, and their pies are so good you would say that they are too good to be GF.


The Un-Gluten Guy

Thursday, March 15, 2012


So, if you haven't seen some of my other posts - I like to cook.  But sometimes I am just too tired or there is nothing left to cook with and my back up frozen foods are gone or just not what I want to eat.

So, I'm always looking for something to keep in the house for just those instances.

I'm walking through Bristol Farms the other day and these bowls by Evol Foods caught my eye.

They are located in Boulder, Colorado and make some tasty stuff.

I picked up three of their bowls:  Bean & Cheese Enchilada, Chicken Enchilada and Teriyaki Chicken.  All of these bowls are Gluten Free.  There is also a Fire Grilled Steak Bowl on their website but I did not see it at the store.

Once home I needed to taste test one of them so into the microwave it goes.  And...........

It was good, much better than I expected and way better than you would think for a microwave meal.  It obviously didn't look as appealing as the photo on the box, but looks aside it tasted good.  If looks are that important to you, eat it in the dark.

I still have the Teriyaki and the Bean and Cheese in the freezer but I am hoping that when the time comes they stand up to the taste test.

If you need to fill up the freezer or maybe need a quick meal for work that you can throw in the microwave - pick these up.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

So i've been on this chocolate chip cookie binge.

If you look back to my cookie post on November 20, 2011 you'll see that I made Thomas Keller's GF Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They were a bit pricey, tasted good, but flat and crunchy.

I also made Bob's Redmill Chocolate Chip Cookies and didn't care for the flavor.

So it was back to the drawing board for something I can make at home, from scratch, that tastes good.

I took the Tollhouse recipe right off the back of the package and made it substituting my own GF flour mixture.  It was okay.  I think tweaking the combination of flours can make it better but there are a lot of combinations.  Well, off to try some others.

Enter Alton Browns Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe

Here are the ingredients.  I find cooking so much easier when you take the time to get everything ready before you start.

How were they?  They were a hit.  The kids liked them; I took them to work and everyone enjoyed them.  They have a tiny bit of a grittiness to them, but it is very mild (the difficulties with GF baking).  Taste-wise they are delicious and retain their chewy texture even after a few days.

Next I tried a recipe from a new book: Elisabeth Hasselbecks' Deliciously G-Free.  She uses millet flour for a lot of her recipes and for the cookies she has a blend of brown rice flour, potato flour, tapioca starch and millet flour.  Easy to make and then into the oven.

These were good - chewy, tasty, a tiny grittiness (just like Alton Brown's) but really good.  I tried one and then wolfed down two more.

I found one more on the blog "Adventures of a GF Mom".  She says this recipe is just like the tollhouse recipe.  Its made with rice flour, tapioca flour and sorghum flour.  You can find it here.

The first batch didn't really flatten out so I pressed down the second batch (the top cookie), you can see the difference.  Taste-wise they were really close to the original tollhouse cookies.  I didn't taste the grittiness that I noticed in the other recipes.  My daughter loved them.

So the winner?  Third place goes to Deliciously G-Free.  Second place to Alton Brown and first place to Tollhouse GF.  I may play with these three and come up with a new combination.  If its any good I'll let you know.

In the meantime pour yourself a tall glass of milk and enjoy a cookie.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Saturday, March 10, 2012

That Girl

I am going to vent, it's my blog, so I can do whatever I want - right?

I am glad that the world is becoming more aware of Celiac Disease but the idea of the GF Fad Diet is so counterproductive.

What happened?  Did someone see some underweight person just after they were diagnosed with Celiac Disease (I lost 15 lbs) and ask them what they ate.

"I have to avoid anything with gluten," would have been the reply, sadly of any newly diagnosed Celiac.

They then had some great idea that eating Gluten Free meant they could lose weight.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for those that want to go GF for health reasons.  Avoiding processed foods, cooking raw vegetables and eating good protein is definitely a healthy choice.

But the GF fad diet makes it difficult to eat out.  How many times have you been asked, "Oh, you're that sensitive?"

I figure there are three groups
1.  Us, those with Celiac Disease
2.  Those that are gluten sensitive, do not have Celiac Disease, but may have an upset stomach, neurologic, dermatologic or other symptoms by consuming gluten
3.  Those that can eat anything they want but choose to go GF for health reasons or because its fashionable.

So when I heard about Cecilia Bonaduces' youtube video I had to check it out.  This girl made a video about her and her Celiac Disease and how she felt.  This was a project for her class at UC Berkley.  I would give it an A+.  This verbalizes exactly how I feel and she does it in an incredible way.  You can see it here.

It is true what she says.  I used to eat everything and anything.  I was initially reserved and found it difficult to ask so many questions when I went out to eat.  Now I question everything.  I ask what ingredients are in everything, where it's prepared, if they've cleaned their hands, the knife and the work surface.

Hopefully we will see more GF restaurants or more awareness.  I read somewhere that a restaurant in Denver had both a GF menu and a Celiac Disease menu.  I am not sure what the difference was but it was nice to hear.  I do feel sorry for those Celiac patients diagnosed 10 or more years ago.  We definitely have more choices now and I look forward to more options in the future.

Ahhhhhh, I feel better now,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What is Celiac Disease

Many of you reading this blog have Celiac Disease just like me.  Some of you are here for recipes, or because you found this by accident, or I told you to check out my blog.

Well, don't worry if you don't know much about celiac disease.  I am a physician myself and I didn't know much about it.  I'm an Orthopedic Surgeon and all I could remember was a mention of Tropical Sprue during GI classes in medical school.  But I know a lot about it now.  Here is an explanation (I'm not an expert and the blog wasn't meant to be a forum for symptoms and diagnosis) if you have more questions I would recommend you followup with your physician.

First of all it is an inherited disease, so if you want to blame someone blame mom or dad - they passed on the gene to you.  You can't 'catch' it and it is not contagious.  It is more common in caucasians and those of European descent.  And it is more common in women than men (lucky me).

What is strange is that even if you have the gene that does not guarantee that you will develop Celiac Disease.  The gene test is great way to rule out Celiac Disease - if you do not have the gene you can not get Celiac Disease.  If you have the gene there also has to be some trigger - stress, virus, illness, something that turns the gene on - before you have symptoms and the disease.

1 in 133 Americans have the disease and 95% of people are undiagnosed.  The average time to diagnosis is 6 to 10 years.  This is because the symptoms are so varied.

Symptoms may include diarehea, constipation, weight loss, irritability, skin disorder (dermatitis herpetiformis), abdominal pain, fatigue, mouth ulcers, nose bleeds, poor tooth enamel in kids, depression and neuropathy.  Thus it can be very difficult to diagnose the disease.

This is what dermatitis herpetiformis looks like.

You can learn more about the disease at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness they have a page to check off your symptoms along with many other useful pages and links.

Once your doctor has a concern for Celiac Disease he can do blood tests that look for abnormal antibodies.  For the blood test to be positive you have to be eating a gluten diet so don't diagnose yourself before you have the tests.

The other test - the gold standard - is an intestinal biopsy that requires a scope to be placed down your throat and into your stomach and small intestines.  The biopsy in a Celiac patient shows flattened villi.  When flattened they can not absorb nutrients.  Here you can see the long finger like projections called villi; the bottom shows flattened villi is Celiac Disease.

The other test is a positive response to diet change - thus you feel better going gluten free.  So with abnormal labs, followed by abnormal biopsy, followed by relief of symptoms on a GF diet and a normalization of your labs you most likely have Celiac Disease.

Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disease and once the disease is triggered you attack your own intestines.  After a period of time your gut can heal - this usually occurs in 3 - 6 months in kids and in 2 - 3 years in adults.

What is gluten?  It is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

The only way to treat Celiac Disease is a life-long avoidence of gluten.  There is no medicine to take and you do not grow out of it.

Even a few crumbs can cause damage to the intestine.

If you do not follow the diet you are at an increased risk of osteoporosis, anemia (low blood count), intestinal cancer, low blood sugar, infertility, liver disease and other autoimmune diseases.

Once you are diagnosed it is recommended that you consult a nutritionist to make sure with your change in diet that you are consuming the correct amount of nutrients.  Many reports recommend a multivitamin and supplemental vitamin D and Calcium.  You should check with your doctor about testing you levels and how much you should take.  The NFCA website has a link for your doctor to take an online course about Celiac Disease for free continuing medical education credits.  I would recommend you mention it to them.

I hope this helps.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Saturday, March 3, 2012

New GF Book

So I received a copy of Elisabeth Hasselbecks' book Deliciously G-Free.  She must have been on a promo tour because my wife, mom and other women have commented to me about it.  She is on The View and is married to quarterback Tim Hasselbeck.

The book starts with a little history of her family and the cooking that went on within the family up to her diagnosis and the fight to re-do family recipes.  She has chapters on breakfast, appetizers, entrees and desserts.

I tried the Swedish Meatballs.  These are made with onions, pork, turkey and seasonings.  The dipping sauce is orange marmalade and beef broth.  They were easy to make and cook.  I liked them.  They would make a simple appetizer.  I would probably substitute ground chuck or veal for the turkey because even with dark turkey meat they were a bit dry.

Next, onto pot-stickers.  I admit I miss dumplings, pot stickers, gyoza, wantons so I was pretty excited about this one.  The dough calls for tapioca starch, potato starch, cornstarch, salt and xanthan gum.  You are then supposed to add two eggs and two egg yolks.  Well, I couldn't get the dough to work.  I tried working in a little water, I tried rolling it out between parchment paper but nothing worked.  I would try it again but I'll use 3 eggs plus a yolk or 4 eggs.  Even when I got it rolled thin it would break when I tried to fold it.

Onto an entree.  I tried her pulled pork.  I have made this many ways over the years many different ways but I thought I would try hers for an easy dinner.  Onions, garlic, adobo sauce, brown sugar and BBQ sauce.  Served on my favorite Udi's hamburger buns.  This was good.

Can't forget about dessert.  You'll hear about this in my battle of the chocolate chip cookie post too.  Her recipe calls for brown rice flour, potato flour, tapioca starch and millet flour.  What is millet flour?  It turns out it has a good deal of thiamine, iron and fiber.  It was a bit hard to find but I discovered it at Whole Foods.  These turned out good, tasty and chewy.  The kids liked them too.

She has some other recipes that look good too.  I was to try the sweet and sour chicken and the banana bread (with millet flour).  I also want to try her brownie recipe since I have been having a battle with different brownie mixes and recipes.  Hers calls for black bean flour which I could not find in San Diego so I ordered it and I'm waiting for it to come in.

Overall, it seems to have some good recipes and probably worth adding it to your stack of GF cookbooks.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Beer vs. Beer

You can see my previous beer post, where in the name of science I tried every GF beer I could find.  The winner

New Planet's Off Grid Pale Ale

I have to confess I like darker beers, always have and always will (miss them).  In the tasting of the GF beers (Bards, Red Bridge, New Grist, Green's and St. Peters) I found them to be light, fruity and well, just not very beer-like.

I was happy to hear that Dogfish came out with their first GF beer - Tweason'ale

I thought coming from a great beer company that this would be a great GF beer.  It pours light and honey colored.  The beer drinks the same - light.  The taste of strawberry and honey definitely come out.

I personally didn't care for it.  For a summer ale or for women or for men who like a lighter, fruiter beer this may be right up your alley.

For me, the winner is still New Planet's Off Grid.  I am looking forward to another challenger.  Epic Brewing from Utah is said to be coming out with "The Glutenator."  I hear it should be out in March so I'll let you know soon as I find it and taste it.

The Un-Gluten Guy