Entertaining Your Gluten Eating Guests

image via IMDB

image via IMDB

Do you know what’s super fun? Having a house load of guests that you love. Lots of eating, laughing and of course, karaoke. But you know what’s not awesome? When you’re gluten-free and you’re secretly worried about what everyone will think since you’re serving gluten-free bread and stuffs.

Luckily, I have amazoids friends and family and even more luckily I’m super into saving my intestines so I won’t be serving up any gluten in my kitchen. (Bringing it in, and keeping it segregated is kind of okay, I just won’t be the one slicing up those bagels.) Still, as the only person who has to eat gluten-free, I want to make damn sure everyone is too busy stuffing their faces to notice what may or may not be in their breakfast. Also, I try to get everyone liquored up so aren’t as concerned about the food. That’s a pro tip, and you are welcome.

So here’s what I whipped up with visitors in town. Easy, breezy, yummy in all the gluten-y tummies. Continue reading

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How to Be Gluten-Free & Vegan (Before 6pm)

gluten-free; vegan; dairy-free

Gracias Madre is the Bomb

As I kick off week 4 of trying the Mark Bittman “Vegan Before 6” way of eating, no one is more surprised than I am. You all have seen me complain through a Paleo diet, then the super Paleo Whole 30 diet, and just a general “I should probably eat healthier” stage as well. Clearly my conscious is telling me to put down the pumpkin cheesecake and try something else. I am great at ignoring my conscious.

However! When a friend told me how she and her husband were digging the Vegan Before 6 situation (which is exactly like what it sounds—no dairy, meat, processed foods or other junk before 6, limit that biz after 6) I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Because I’m the kind of girl who likes to know at some point during the day there will be cheese, it seemed like a pretty good idea. (For more specifics on “unlimited foods” vs. “sometimes foods” check out Bittman’s book.) While I have yet to reject all processed foods (but honestly, being gluten-free I’m already most of the way there) and I probably should limit the fromage a wee bit more, I’m doing pretty darn good.

I’ve limited the amount of food I feel the need to stuff in my gullet, and I’m getting more creative in the kitchen. Although, admittedly, it’s incredibly difficult to dine out on this meal plan. Maybe if I weren’t also in the GF camp it would be easier. Anyhoo!

Here’s some of this action that’s keeping me all up in Vegan Town.

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Gluten-Free Prosciutto Lasagna, Perhaps for the Last Time

gluten-free prosciutto lasagnaYou guys, we’ve been eating a lot of gluten-free lasagna lately in our house. In part because lasagna is delicious, but the pure volume has increased because of my son’s love for Garfield, and by association, lasagna. This was his Halloween costume—

gluten-free lasagna recipeYep, it’s Jon Arbuckle. So once a week, most of the time, I make gf lasagna, which means I’ve started to get creative. Hence, the prosciutto roll-ups that are so easy even a Garfield-loving 5-year-old can do it.

easy gluten-free lasagna recipe(Hot tip: even if the lasagna says no boil, just give it a lil boil unless you’re using the amazingly flexible RP’s gluten-free lasagna sheets)

So we’re eating a ton of lasagna in our house, and for the first time I’m very concerned about my ability to continue scarfing it all down. Guys, dairy is suddenly all, “Back off, beatch,” and I do not feel so awesome when I ingest great big gobs of ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan. In fact, ever since I’ve been doing this VB6 thing if I have more than a small (read=normal) amount of cheese and/or ice cream I feel like someone has taken a bag of oranges  and beat me right in my belly. So maybe I can’t have this amazing, kid-pleasing lasagna anymore? Or maybe I should have just stopped at one serving. Either way I’m learning a lesson in gluttony, or developing even more sensitivity to dairy. Which, if the latter is the case, FUCK THAT.

I know this isn’t the first time dairy has been like, “Uhhh, maybe don’t have an extra large milkshake with that cheeseburger,” but it’s happened twice in the last two weeks of me being vegan’ish. Perhaps an argument against veganism. I mean, I’ll argue against anyone if it means I can keep ice cream and ricotta in my diet.

Sigh. Here’s how to do that gluten-free lasagna thing. Continue reading

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How to Put Sugar in Sugar-Free Peppermint Mocha Truffles

gluten-free, dairy-free trufflesSomething my dad used to say that was horribly inappropriate, not accurate in context, but yet I thought of this week when I tried to make a recipe from the fab new cookbook using only Sweetleaf stevia* is this: You could fuck up a wet dream.

Yes, he is crazy, Cajun, and a lot of other things I won’t say here, but I was trying really hard to create this amazing refined sugar-free, gluten-free truffle situation and then I fucked it up. Don’t get me wrong—these truffles are freaking delicious, they’re just not sugar-free.

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Oh Man, I’m Going Vegan for Food Day. Maybe Longer.

KALE!!!!!!!

KALE!!!!!!!

Okay, not exactly vegan and not EXACTLY just for Food Day, but I thought it was the most awesome time to talk about healthier eating, is it not? It’s Food Day, guys! Let’s try and eat some whole and delicious foods, mmm’kay? This is the fourth October 24th when foodies and activists and other rad people gather to talk about eating sustainably, as well as changing the American diet to combat obesity and other health risks. I realize, while gluten-free, many of my recipes are not even close to being appropriate for any diet. Still, a girl’s gotta’ indulge every now and then, amIright? But I have come to my very own realization. I know. Hang on to your hats. Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Meet My New Most Favorite Pizza

best gluten-free pizza Do you know what’s super cool? When you stumble upon gluten-free deliciousness, and not at all on purpose. That happened to me three times on a lunchtime walk the other day. Three times! Apparently that’s what can happen when you walk around Los Angeles. Who knew? Who knew you could even walk around Los Angeles? Now, you all do.

So the first gluten-free spotting I had was Caffe, Etc. where I found these awesome signs: Continue reading

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WTF is Gluten Ataxia?

gluten ataxia

Grandma and Tiny E on the farm, circa 2008

Gluten is an asshole.

Those of us who wind up in the pot after a lunch meeting know this, and those of us who came back from the brink of death after going gluten-free know this as well. And after returning from helping to move my mother into a more secure memory care unit in her assisted living facility, I think those who are unlucky enough to suffer from gluten ataxia, really, really, really, know it.

When I first learned about gluten ataxia and connected it to the strange and devastating decline of my mother, I had hope. I did. I now realize that it was too late for that and unlike me, my mom wasn’t going to have a magical recovery simply by following the gluten-free diet.

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