Sunday, June 24, 2012

Erewhon Cereal

I used to have cravings for cereal.  Not Seinfield like, but occasionally I would want a bowl of raisin bran or cherrios.  That is out now.

We have tried many different brands but I recently picked up a new brand and I am very happy with it.  Erewhon Cereal is produced by Attune Foods.  This is also the same company that makes Uncle Sam Cereal.

I tried their Gluten Free Corn Flakes.

They were good, crunchy, crisp and tasted like - well - corn flakes.  Add milk, I like a sprinkle of sugar or banana slices and my taste buds are happy.

As far as the GF status, this is what it says on their website:

All of our gluten free cereals are made in a facility that while it's not free of wheat, does practice good cross contamination prevention. Our gluten free cereals do share lines with gluten and wheat, so we have several steps in process to help prevent cross-contamination. Prior to running the gluten free products, the machinery is sanitized and thoroughly washed. After the gluten free cereal is made, it is tested to ensure it is less than 20 ppm of gluten. We sent our cereals to a separate facility to test how low the gluten levels were and found them to be under 5 ppm.  Our Erewhon gluten free cereals were certified gluten free by GIG in late 2010.

I also picked up their GF Crispy Brown Rice.  This one was good.  I like it even better than the GF Rice Krispies.

Regarding the GF status of the Crispy Rice this is what it says on their website:

 Crispy Brown Rice- Gluten Free cereal is sweetened with gluten free organic brown rice syrup instead of barley malt and is certified gluten free. (Although some brown rice syrup is made with a barley enzyme and is not gluten free, the brown rice syrup we use does not contain this barley enzyme and is gluten free.)

The have a few other kinds on their website but I didn't see them in the store by me.  I could only find them at Bristol Farms in San Diego.

They also have an Attune GF Dark Chocolate Probiotic Bar.  I need to find that and try it out.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Taco Night

Taco night.  It used to be an easy night - easy to make, kids ate it up, and easy to clean up.

I've been skeptical about all taco shells.  Where can you find corn taco or tortillas without the risk of cross contamination from a flour tortilla.  You can look but I thought why not make our own.

Now you have to find corn masa.  I tried corn flour (that is not corn masa), and quinoa flour but it didn't work.

Corn masa is whole grain corn that is dried, cooked in a lime solution then ground.  I used Maseca corn masa.  I did check their website and tried emailing them but could not find out about their GF status.  I read thru many, many posts on many different websites and forums and the consensus was that it was safe.  I now found out that Bob's Red Mill has a GF Corn Masa that I'll probably try.

Taco Shells

You basically mix  2 Cups of masa with 1/4 tsp salt and 1 1/4 Cups water.  Mix and then add more water if needed.

Roll the dough into small balls and flatten.  You can roll it out with a pin between two pieces of wax paper or get a tortilla press.  We have a press and the kids like helping out.  The press definitely make them more uniform.

Then get a griddle hot and cook each side until it starts to brown.  We like crunchy shell so we heated some oil in a pan and lightly fried the tortillas and folded them as soon at they came out of the oil.

As for the taco meat, we used to use a packet but figured we could make our own seasoning.  This is what we use for a pound of ground beef.

Taco Meat
2 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
3 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt (I use Morton's Kosher Salt, you can also use Diamond - DO NOT use plain table salt, it will be super salty)
1 tsp black pepper

Cook your meat in a pan until brown, drain the oil then add the seasoning and mix.  Next add about 1/2 cup of water and cook down until it thickens.

Shred your lettuce, cheese and chop up your tomatoes and dinner is served.


The Un-Gluten Guy

Monday, June 18, 2012

San Diego Safari Park

I must say that the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has some work to do.  Disney and Legoland do a great job with a GF list that you can pick up at guest services.

We went to the Safari Park the other day.  I stopped at Guest Services and they said to check in the park at the Ranger Station.  At the Ranger Station they called another person on the phone and then informed me that they did not have a list - I should ask at each place.

So I'm supposed to go into every place and ask?  If I'm hungry, and wait in line, and then find out they do not offer anything I'm supposed to just go to the next place and wait in line again?

Now, we brought food (always prepared); but, I wanted to check out the GF options for potential visits in the future and for "research."

I stopped by Mombasa Island Cooker.  The only option was baked chicken strips.

I went to the Oasis Deli.  This kid was nice and surprised that the Park didn't have a list.  They have one salad.  The other two salads have either cous cous or croutons.

We stopped by Samburu Terrace.  They had baked chicken strips and had corn tortillas and offered to make a baked corn tortilla taco (essentially a taquito).  The guy said that the taco meat seasoning was GF.

It was hot, and after the Tram we stopped by Lion Camp Slush & Snacks.  The kid at the register here was also surprised the Park didn't have a list.  He was nice and offered to help.  He wanted to know if gluten was a type of sugar.  He did grab a box of the Slush mix.  It was ICEE Brand and the ingredients did list artificial flavorings.  We checked online (gotta love smart phones) and ICEE is GF.

So you are on your own to check out the other seven dining locations.  It doesn't seem to be too difficult to offer a list with the GF items at each site to make your stay more enjoyable (Get to work Safari Park) - but hopefully this helps.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Friday, June 15, 2012

Saltbox Revisited

So we had a night to go out to dinner and we choose to go back to Saltbox in the Gaslamp district of San Diego.  You can see my previous posts about the restaurant.

Well,  it was a great meal.  Our waitress Lygia took care of us again.  Nic, the manager, stopped by the table to make sure everything was okay.  And Niles, the chef, stopped by when we sat down to reassure me that the food would be okay.

The menu has been changed a bit since I was there last.  To let you know the Gluten content they have 3 symbols

GF - Food is Gluten Free
*GF - Dish can be prepared GF
TG - Dish contains trace Gluten

I had the brown butter and lemon popcorn to start while we looked at the menu.  It was something we had seen on the menu before - but never tried.  It was good, and the lemon added a neat flavor profile.

For my appetizer I had the lobster cobb salad.  This had nice pieces of lobster, crisp bacon, tomatoes with a mix of greens.  This was very tasty.

For dinner - I cleaned the plate.  I had the fish which was a seared seabass.  Over top was gastronomical powder of chorizo.  Also on the plate were slices of chorizo, a puree of fennel, confit potatotes, and some edible greens and flowers.

For dessert I had the pot de creme.  This was super delicious.  Bill Cosby and his jello are no match for this dessert.

For the star rating
Gluten Free Menu - one out of one stars
Waitstaff knowledge - one out of one star
Dishes served stating they are GF - 1/2 out of one star.  Chef brought out my entree personally but another runner brought out the salad with no mention of GF (I might be picky because it is listed on the menu as GF, but I think it is important - we checked with my waitress)
Food - 1 1/2 out of 2 stars.  The entree was a 2 star dish.  The salad and popcorn, although good, didn't have a wow factor.

Their total:  4 out of 5 stars.

Definitely visit Saltbox if you have not been there.  And if you have been there - go back soon.  Chef says they are working on the new summer menu.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Raye's Mustard is a small mustard mill in Maine.  I visited it once when my wife and I were visiting Maine and we picked up some mustard.  They have all types and they are all delicious.  They make great gifts, too.

I had not had some in a while and wondered whether or not it was safe to eat - so I contacted them.  They let me know that almost all of the mustards are gluten free.  They are kosher certified and the non-gluten free ones are produced on a separate line.

The non-gluten free ones are the beer mustards (and these are not kosher certified and therefore produced on a separate line from the other mustards).  She even checked with the company that supplies their wine - and the wine is gluten free - but it is not kosher certified and therefore made on the same line as the beer mustards, so there is a risk of cross contamination (I would avoid it).

So if you stay away from the beer and wine mustards you should be fine.  I have had no problems.  The Down East Schooner is one of my favorites.  This is how mustard is supposed to taste.  Old World Gourmet is good too.

They also have 4 packs and 6 packs which make great gifts.

Cook up a hot dog on a GF bun and spread on the mustard,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Saturday, June 9, 2012

No to Domino's

So the end of the school year is among us.  My daughters teacher was having a pizza party and let us know she was getting a GF pizza from Domino's for my daughter.

Thanks for the thoughtfulness but without even researching it at that time we said "no thank you" and brought in a homemade GF pizza when they had the party.

So I did some digging and indeed Domino's does now offer a gluten free crust.  They did work with the NFCA but (from their website FAQ):

Domino's worked closely with the NFCA and recognizes that with our current operational model we cannot, beyond all doubt, provide the environment needed to assure those with celiac disease that the whole pizza is 100 percent gluten free.

They do not use separate ingredients so their is a high risk if not certain risk that their will be cross contamination.  The crust includes:

Gluten Free Crust: Water, Rice Flour, Rice Starch, Potato Starch, Olive Oil,
Evaporated Cane Juice, Tapioca Flour, Potato Flour, Fresh Yeast, Avicel, Salt, Calcium Propionate

So maybe a salad?  No, that is out too.  They state that although it is made at a separate station it shares ingredients with the pizzas and there is a risk of contamination.

So they do have a GF crust but DO NOT have a GF Pizza.


The Un-Gluten Guy

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I'm Tired

I'm tired.

I'm tired of reading labels to find out what is really in my food.
I'm tired of accessing the web to check companies websites to see if their food is GF
I'm tired of emailing companies to await a response before I consume something.
I'm tired of walking thru a supermarket looking at all of the food I used to eat.
I'm tired of worrying about eating out.  Do they offer a GF menu?  Is it cross contaminated?
I'm tired of getting some food at this store and others at that store.
I'm actually tired of cooking.
I'm tired of preparing a full day's worth of food at home for my day at work.
I'm tired of being tired.

But,  I feel better than I did when I was diagnosed - not perfect - but better.  I have a lot of ideas for some new recipes but just have to find the time to make them.  It would be nice to have all supermarkets carry more GF products.  It would be nice to have more restaurants with GF menus - not just the burger without the bun.  I look forward to the day when all food has clear labeling and products that can easily be made without gluten, are.

Sometimes you just have to vent.  I did - sorry you had to hear it.  You are entitled too - so vent.

I tired of complaining,

The Un-Gluten Guy