Category Archives: Celiac Disease

4 Awesome Ways to Enjoy Gluten-Free Passover to the Max

gluten-free passoverIt’s Passover, bitches! I don’t know about you guys, but so far we’ve gone through about 8 boxes of gluten-free matzo. Matzah, or whatevs. My kids eat it like it’s candy, and I just feel obligated to grab some when I walk by because, come on, target market. This year, more than ever, the gluten-free Passover business is booming. See above for evidence. Also evidence that I will buy anything marked gluten-free.

If you’re also part of that target market then I suggest you keep Yehuda in business by picking up 12 or so boxes of your own matzo and matzo-ish products until they disappear from the shelves just like Elijah’s wine. I didn’t even know matzo farfel existed until I saw the GF version, and bam, look what I made with it!

gluten-free passoverThat’s some delish gluten-free granola happening right there, folks. I got the recipe from the LA Times and just omitted that pesky fruit (I have a weird fruit thing) and went to town. It smelled as good as it tasted. In other words, I had to hide it from my greedy family so I could enjoy it my gluten-free self. Still, I am suspicious that gluten-free matzo farfel is really just gluten-free matzo crumbs. I mean, if that’s how you want to play it . . .

gluten-free matzo
Sure you can hide the matzo, but if you make a lovely kale and artichoke dip (recipe in my next book, coming right up!) you can dip that gluten-free matzo right in and pretend you’re having normal crackers. Or you can buy those handy gluten-free matzo-like crackers, also by Yehuda. Also shown above in my supermarket splurge. Yehuda, you temptress.

gluten-free matzo ball soupThis is the first time I “made” gluten-free matzo ball soup and I’ll be sure to actually make it next time because, damn this mix was salty! While the actual balls were quite impressive in their texture, the soup mix that came with the gluten-free matzo ball mix was not my fave. Next time I’ll bust out the chicken stock and go to town, and just use their balls. Balls.

gluten-free matzo

I hope you saved room for dessert because this is the gluten-free chocolate covered matzo you’ve all been waiting for. Oddly enough, I remember using saltines to make this exact same dessert for Christmas back in Oklahoma. The only difference were the almond sprinkles on top. It’s really super simple, but the taste is out of this freaking world. Here’s how you make that magic happen: Continue reading

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Can We Talk About Cross-Contamination?

gluten cross contaminationWell, hello there gluten haters. Today in GIMB we’re going to have a quick discussion about that time someone served you an English muffin with your scrambled eggs, and after you screamed like a little girl, took it off and handed you that plate of eggs to eat as if no poison had come anywhere near them. We’re also going to talk about those five million times we’ve gone into a restaurant that made an amazing gluten-free dish even though they were not a 100% gluten-free kitchen, and there was peace in the valley.

Because the fact is, as celiacs (and gluten intolerants), sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. I know that we all get that, but what I think is fascinating is how differently we define winning vs. losing.

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Gluten-Free Crock Pot Lemon Chicken

gluten-free crock pot recipeIt may be springtime, but I’ve been rocking the crock pot all week, you guys. You see, yet again my old oven is broken, and that is not so rad for someone in the middle of developing recipes. Luckily I still have my stove top, my grill, and oh yes, a lovely crock pot.

Another awesome thing that happened is my co-worker brought me a shitton of lemons from her aunt’s tree.

gluten-free lemon chickenSO MANY LEMONS!!!!

While I was tempted to make cakes, pies, bars, cookies, and more sweets like that, instead I had to go no-bake. This is one reason for the lemon chicken, and also the reason in my new book you’ll see a recipe for gluten-free Limoncello. I’m also doing some lime experimentation, which I highly recommend. It’s like Sprite, but it will get you drunk. I’m assuming.

I do have to say this is a great family recipe. Which is to say, not a “I’m trying to impress my date,” recipe. It’s great, it’s solid. It’s just sometimes I have a hard time getting excited about chicken breasts. In fact, I’ve been known to turn up my nose and abandon a chicken breast dinner. Clearly, the ’80s taught me nothing.

But honestly, this was a crowd pleaser, super easy and a freaking fantastic use of lemons.

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How to Survive a Gluten-Free Earthquake

What hell a SoCal earthquake hath wrought.

What hell a SoCal earthquake hath wrought.

Before any of you lifelong Californians or folks from the Far East jump in, let me just inform you that I come from the land of tornadoes, came of age in the land of the occasional terrorist attack, and am very, very new to the land of the “you-never-know-when-it’s-coming” earthquake. I guess it’s just what you’re used to because, HOLY HELL THESE EARTHQUAKES ARE FREAKING ME OUT!!!!

I mean, let’s be honest, not as much as a terrorist attack, but still. It’s been a shaky couple of weeks. And one thing I worry about, of course, is what to eat during a disaster. OK, once I know no one is dead or seriously injured, ALL I think about is what I’m going to eat. Red Cross isn’t gluten-free you guys. (Is it? Maybe I’m unnecessarily judging.) Anyhoo.

We have stockpiled water, some canned goods (but let’s be honest, not cooked? that’s gonna’ suck) and randomly some V8 in case things get really desperate. Which is why I was stoked to get a box of RATIO bars from those nice folks right after a couple of medium ones hit.

gluten-free emergencyI’m not totally a “protein bar” kind of girl, yet I am a gluten-free eater who can get really ‘effing sick if I don’t have anything but gluten around. Like, you know, while traveling, after an earthquake, etc. In addition to the gluten-freeness, there aren’t any GMOs up in here, no soy protein, no artificial ingredients and no hormones. None of us need hormones, especially during a natural disaster. Since RATIO has peanut butter, well, I’m all set. I mean, I’ll have to fight that dino for it, but I’m feeling pretty excited about my stash the next time a biggish one comes.

Do you have an emergency gluten-free stash?

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So There Should Really Be a Gluten-Free ‘Chopped’

gluten-free cooking competitionDang, my family loves the “Chopped.” While I’m always like, “I should see if I can get on that show,” every time they’re “Pizza Night!” I realize how much gluten is up in there. You can’t make yet another bread pudding without the bread, you guys. Well, I can. But, anyhoo.

The point of me going on and on here is two-fold, 1) There should totally be a gluten-free episode of “Chopped;” and 2) Making your kids play “Chopped” for their supper when you don’t want to deal is GENIUS PARENTING.

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Gluten-Free Dog Food? I’m Serious This Time

gluten-free dog foodWell hello there, world! Everybody, meet Foxy Brown. Foxy Brown, meet everybody.

While we were not planning on getting another dog so soon (too soon? still pretty sad over here), a lovely gal at my work was in need of re-homing her puppy. That puppy you see there who is the tiniest Corgi-mix mutt abandoned in Compton you ever did see. April (seriously, that was her original name by the rescuers) went to live with my co-worker, who re-named her Bree, who then realized she already had a house full and this set up was not ideal for the world’s most adorable part-rabbit dog. It seemed like a no-brainer.

What’s not a no-brainer is what to feed this gal. You see, I have not had a puppy since I lived at home with the parents. I usually get rescue dogs who are older, and therefore have not had a “from fresh” dog in way too long. Bad habits, bad food, bad whatevs have already been ingrained. I supply the love, cuddles, and way-too-lenient attitude, and there we are. But this girl? This girl is new. And I don’t want to fuck it up.

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Hamantaschen for Purim!

gluten-free hamantaschenPurim is such a weird holiday. I had heard of it randomly, but the first time I learned what it was actually about was when we moved to LA and my daughter’s pre-school was celebrating. I always knew it was considered a “kid’s holiday” but wow, the story behind Purim—so not kid-friendly.

You take a story of deception, planned genocide and murder and turn it into a kid’s holiday (oh, and also one where adults get loaded). Ummm, OK. But hey, cookies! And clearly I don’t get it because, as my daughter said when we were making the delicious cookie treat that accompanies Purim, “You’re not the Jew here. I am.”

No pressure to convert there, amiright? But let me show you the difference between MY gluten-free hamantaschen and hers (aka, the girl in Jewish Day School). Mine:

gluten-free hamantaschen

Hers:

gluten-free hamantaschenYeah, eat that, girlie!

Which she did. Because, you know, it tastes exactly the same. The look, however, is supposed to resemble Haman’s (Boo!!!) hat. The evil advisor who tried to kill off all of the Jews. Again, we’re making a COOKIE that looks like this evil guy’s HAT. Not sure how that happened to become a tradition, but it sure is yummy.

The best guide in folding up the hamantaschen can be found on another I-married-into-this gal’s website, The Shiksa in the Kitchen. She made a first-timer’s try very, very easy. (Do not ignore her advice to have everything prepared and to work quickly, the dough will get too sticky fast.) And the actual cookie is a sugar cookie, so I’ve got this. I also decided to fancy up our hamantaschen by using a chocolate almond filling and a pomegranate jelly (thanks to my G-Free Foodie Box!). See here -

gluten-free dairy-free cookies

Regardless, making gluten-free hamantaschen is super easy (unless you’re an 8-year-old girl, apparently) if you follow The Shiksa’s instructions and my recipe below substituting ATK gluten-free flour. I also decided to go dairy-free because when you’re working with gluten-free dough, the butter just makes it less workable. So bonus!

One note, check the cookies after 18 minutes if you’re using the dairy-free recipe, these babies cook fast!

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Gluten-Free Las Vegas: Crush, Black Bear Diner & Mon Ami Gabi

gluten-free las vegasI’ve finally recovered from my trip to Las Vegas in January. OK, that’s not totally true. I’ve finally recovered from sitting through Jersey Boys in Las Vegas. My eyes! My ears!

But one thing that was super awesome was my gluten-free belly. Every single restaurant I found myself in had a gluten-free menu, you guys! Every. Single. One. Which is one good reason why even though Vegas is kind of, umm, gross, it’s also awesome!

Srsly, every time I go I’m like, “Well, I don’t really like Vegas . . . ” but I wind up having a bang-up time, mostly because of the company I’m in, but also because I keep thinking about how family-friendly Vegas could be and how it would blow the kid’s minds if we took a family vacation to the most surreal place on earth.  And the relief that comes from being able to eat safely kind of seals the deal about Vegas being a great vacation spot. Between the fancy (see above) to the greasy spoon, gluten-free grub is around every corner. That spread up there? That’s from the super fance MGM restaurant, Crush. In addition to the roasted cauliflower and hamachi you see above, I also scarfed down the shrimp risotto. They even have a vegan menu!

Now for something completely different, the Black Bear Diner is a local chain with breakfast as big as yo’ head. They also have homemade biscuits that everyone around you will eat and you’ll be sad. Still, check out this skillet full o’ gluten-free goodness. Continue reading

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Gluten-Free New York City: Maialiono, Artisanal, Gramercy Tavern + More

gluten-free new york city

I think this was supposed to me, and I’m scared

I just ate my way through NYC, you guys. I did. I’m lucky enough to have great friends who love great food so anytime I find myself in the area I get at least one dinner date that just blows me away and makes me say things like, “Ohmygod, New York food is sooooo much better than Los Angeles,” while I’m about three glasses of wine into a meal. Because, you know, judging dinner while drunk is an excellent measure of a meal.

Still, I did have some amazing gluten-free meals and can’t wait to head back, meet more friends (it was a quick trip), eat more food, and get more fab advice from NYC Grubber who I follow obsessively on Instagram. First awesome tip? Maialiono in the Gramercy Park Hotel.

gluten-free new york cityYeah, that’s some gluten-free pasta with cannellini beans and escarole, what of it? It was great and all, but two more things made this meal spectacular: gluten-free bread, and THREE KINDS OF GLUTEN-FREE PASTA TO CHOOSE FROM!!!!! Oh, and awesome friends. Duh.

The next night I had a bang-up risotto at Peasant. This restaurant, while a bit more difficult to navigate, was one of those magical places where you feel like you’re in a movie while you dine. The wine was crazy good, and our waitress had just enough attitude.

gluten-free new yorkSpeaking of movies, I highly recommend you follow up a dinner at Peasant with a vodka shot at Pravda coupled with an intense argument with your bestest friends about Woody Allen. Or maybe just the vodka.

Hold the mother scratchin’ phone! For those of you who have been reading for a bit, you know that I heart the cheese so much. I remember very well the first time I went to Artisanal right off Park Ave. and enjoyed cheese followed by a side of cheese. I met the dearest friend (wow, that sounds SO proper!) for lunch after a morning of wedding registry (not mine, hers) and was slightly worried about being disappointed on account of the lack of fondue I was about to consume. Guess what came out with the seasonal cheese tray?

gluten-free new yorkRecognize those Glutinos up in there???? I also had a lovely tuna lunch, which, while not a grilled cheese, was still good.

The true test of my fave New York restaurants came on our last day there. See, before we moved away my husband and I had a tradition of going to lunch at Gramercy Tavern on our wedding anniversary. Why lunch? Cheaper, no reservations, and the tavern seating is kind of more awesome than the white tablecloth dining room. Also, you still get the greatest food. See that cappuccino up there at the top? Yeah, they did that.

Gramercy is constantly at the top of like, every list, all the time. So I was pretty scared to walk in as if I could eat there safely. Yet, everyone was SO on board. Not only that, you guys, this may not look like much -

gluten-free new yorkBut what you’re looking at is seriously the greatest thing I have ever eaten in my life ever. And when I told the waitress that, she was like, “Yep. We get that a lot.” This is how good the house made bacon, whatever most perfect cheese in the world that was, freshly ground burger tasted. I said this, “I’m not even interested in that bun. It looks awful, in fact. I’m 100% sure that my gluten-free version is better.” I repeated this often and more than once I got the reply, “Yeah, you might be delusional.” Still, that’s what I FELT you guys. Oh, and look at this -

gluten-free new yorkWhat. The. Hell. Roasted + raw vegetables that taste as good as they look. Oh, just on the house with some dipping sauces, all gf. Beautiful!

Honestly, I didn’t have a lot of time to explore New York because it was a quick trip. Which now, embarrassingly, makes this post look like I ate an incredible amount. But I got a hot tip from a friend (an LA friend, actually because they’re all so down with the gf) about a bakery near my hotel.

gluten-free new yorkAll of that business up there was gluten-free! I got this savory spinach muffin and a super chocolate chip bar situation. SO GOOD. Pip’s Place, The Gluten-Free Cakery also has the best name. Pip’s, for chrissake.

All right, gang. This was another test (because all I do is test New York, apparently) when I went to my favorite very gluten-filled restaurant in my old neighborhood, No. 7. I loved their fried broccoli so much I recreated it gluten-free and vegan for my book. Still, gluten all up in there when you dine in. These gluten-free broccoli tacos, however, SHIZZLE -

gluten-free new yorkI forgot to photograph my steak, but yeah, you can get a steak.

Go forth to New York, my friends, and eat gluten-free.

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I Made My Husband Gluten Intolerant

gluten-free Indian foodIt’s a Tuesday night and the usual is happening. Kids are in bed, we’re previewing our DVR to see what we have to look forward to and getting ready to chow the hell down. Tonight it’s a homemade chicken masala with rice (hold the naan). I did decide to bake up some Brazi bites to go with our dinner, hoping it would make the naan-less Indian food somehow better. It did! For me. O.M.G. I love Brazi bites.

I would actually not know about whether or not my husband felt satisfied with the gluten-free version, because dude rarely complains about the diet that most of the household maintains. Also, I cook a heck of a lot more so naturally I’m not making gluten up in here. That’s just silly. But just last week my husband did actually have an issue, and it was 100% my fault. Or maybe 90%, 10% genetics. Or perhaps 60% me, 20% genetics, 10% processed wheat. Or maybe it was 90% processed wheat and 10% me. Oh, who am I kidding. It was totally me.

After three years of living with gluten-free me, my husband can’t really digest the gluten so well. We were out of town last week and dining it up and sure, he availed himself of the bread basket whenevs. No judgment from me. Hey, it’s not my kitchen and I say load up and party when you can, my friend. Then we got back to the hotel, and . . . not so much.

So yeah, I feel pretty bad. Not as bad as I do for me who really, really, really can’t ever gluten, but still BAD. If this man had not been enjoying the gluten-free life (or pretending to, because, come on) he would most likely still be munching away on breadsticks happy as a clam. Well, not a clam, because he’s kind of got a shellfish thing.

What I’m trying to say is, WEIRD. I know that I react much strongly now if I get cross-contaminated than I did before I cut gluten out of my diet and ate it every damn day. I mean, it’s brutal if I get gluten’d now and when I was shoving it up in my mouth I might have at least one day where I wasn’t on the pot 18 out of the 24 hours. I’m more sensitive now to gluten, it seems, and so is he. Bummer.

I owe that guy. I owe him.

Has this ever happened to you?

Oh, and here’s how to make that yummy winter dish!

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