Tag Archives: gluten-free shopping

Making Gluten-Free Awesome Out of Guten-Free Meh

Why yes, those bars are gluten-free peanut butter rice krispie treat-like with chocolate chips on top! Which is what I had to do to camouflage some puffed rice cereal that was just not cutting it. I’ll save the “Why do normal Rice Krispies have to be made with barley malt?” discussion for another day, as there are tons of gluten-free puffed rice options out there. It’s just that none of them are very good.

So I’m wondering why I brought these all the way back from Paris -

when I knew they also were barely so-so. I think it was that bug making the crazy eyes at me.

But this is why god made rice krispie treats and had the good sense to add a peanut butter option, people. To dress up the boring! Which is exactly what I did in like five minutes last night. Five minutes at night = a weekend worth of deliciousness. That’s what I call max efficiency. And ohmylord, the smell of peanut butter and marshmallow is intoxicating. Or I just need to get out more. And no, I was not satisfied with only the peanut butter and instead threw some chocolate atop. That’s how flavorless those Riz things were.

You can do it too!

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Filed under Celiac Disease, Recipes, Uncategorized

Gluten-Free Paris: Le Coq Rico, La Maison Rose & Moi

I’m back from the land of the meat, cheese, and cigarillo and wow, am I hungry. My hunch, that I later ignored, was in fact correct:  Paris is not so gluten-free. No matter, my friends! In spite of 9 days filled with longing, a pregnancy scare, getting kicked out of a market, one broken foot*, and having a hand in losing my husband’s iPhone within 12 hours of his arrival, Paris was awesome. Why? Because Paris is awesome. Everyone knows this. I’m not sure why we’re even discussing it.

Even though every place on my gluten-free “must go” list was on vacation (Helmut Newcake opens up again today, FYI you lucky gluten-free Parisians), I still ferreted out some places for you to grab a meal that won’t make you sick. Two, in fact! Three if you’re counting the one buckwheat crepe I found in all of Paris. Let’s count it!

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Filed under Celiac Disease, Gluten Free Restaurants, Reviews, Uncategorized

Problem #589 With the Gluten-Free Diet

Wow, the gluten-free diet does suck, does it not? From travelling, to going to PTA meetings with donuts-a-plenty, to visiting relatives who secretly hate you — there are a zillion ways things can go horribly awry. Which is why I have been amazed at my own ability to not eat gluten — intentionally, anyway — ever. Well, okay, there was that one time I drank a beer because I was slightly encouraged to give it a shot, on account of the lack of wheat. And I’m horrible at peer pressure. But I’m never going to do that again, because that was dumb.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered maybe my gluten-free diet isn’t so gluten-free after all. Did I say surprise? How about tears followed by raging anger followed by crazy regret at not making one ounce of that gluten count. I could have had croissants, people. Pastries!!!! It turns out, gluten really does sneak into you even when you think you’ve got its number. (It’s number, by the way, is 666.)

Yep, I had one of those follow-up endoscopy things today and guess what? I’m totally fucked!

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Gluten-Free IKEA Swedish Food Market

So my friend Tami and I go out for a night on the town to Chevy’s Fresh Mex and IKEA. Because we’re classy, that’s why. Tami was filling me in on the gluten-freeness of Chevy’s and I was all, “That sounds amazing!” As soon as I put the directions to the Burbank eatery into my GPS I thought, “Wait a minute. I’ve been here before.” Sure enough.

Chevy’s did not disappoint, yet again, and this time I actually did enjoy some tequila. Which totally explains our epic run through IKEA across the street, which was closing in five minutes when we walked in the door. Not only did we lap the entire store (and I even took note of a lovely new kitchen cabinet I liked), we hit up the Swedish food market and I immediately began hunting for the gluten-free. This is what I came home with: Continue reading


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27,000-Hour Gluten-Free Greek Lasagna Just Might Be Worth It

Have you ever cooked up something and you were like, “Oh my god, that was so amazing. I’m never making it again.” That’s how I feel about this delicious gluten-free Greek lasagna that seriously took me HOURS to make while I kept telling my family dinner was almost ready. Yes, I lied.

I picked up this magazine called, “Light and Healthy” because you know, we’re trying to eat light and healthy between my forays into deep-frying and sugar loading. I mistakenly believed that light and healthy also meant super easy. But there’s a “light and healthy” bechamel sauce in here, gang! This is where I give you another tip: Always read the recipe in its entirety before deciding you can whip up something in half-a-Wilco-album time.

Seriously, I’m pretty sure this recipe was more difficult than childbirth, if I’d actually experienced child-birth. Which is way TMI for this gluten-free food blog. That’s why I took a picture with the goods, coming out of my oven.

I would not be surprised, however, if you found this recipe to be much more simple than I did. Perhaps, I too could have had an easier time had I not; a) Started dinner at 6pm in hopes of having it on the table by 6:30pm, and b) Not had to throw Tupperware at my children’s heads to distract them from their requests to “help” with all the chopping and sautéing. So perhaps it will only take you like, two hours to complete instead of my 27,000. Good luck with that.

Here’s how you can make a light and healthy Greek lasagna gluten-free. Continue reading


Filed under Celiac Disease, Recipes, Uncategorized

The Best Gluten-Free Grilled Cheese Includes BBQ Pork & Dessert, Of Course

Yesterday was National Grilled Cheese Day, you guys! Which means all of us gluten-hating types stayed in bed with the covers over our heads. That was my plan at least, until Udi’s tipped me off to their gluten-free grilled cheese challenge. “Hey April,” they said, “how about we send you some bread and you work your magic?” “On it,” I said. Here are the breads –

And that is how I wound up in the kitchen making gluten-free grilled cheese sandwiches three different ways. One of which, didn’t actually have cheese. I know! Your mind is totally blown right now, yes? All three were amazoids, but for the purpose of this challenge, I had to pick a winner. That winner is the BBQ Pork, Extra Sharp Cheddar, & Stone Ground Mustard served on Udi’s Omega Flax & Fiber gluten-free bread.

A close second was served up on Udi’s Millet-Chia gluten-free bread, where I combined the magic of brie, ham, and caramelized onions. Of course, I like to call the ham “jambon” and the grilled cheese some kind of a “monsieur” because I’m part French! And part ridiculous. Here ’tis the Frenchie.


And for the finale, I grabbed some of Udi’s classic gluten-free white and made a peanut butter and chocolate grilled sandwich. It was gone this quick –

She looks like she’s really contemplating the beauty of the marriage of chocolate and peanut butter, yes?

So if you want to grill up a mess of gluten-free sandwiches, grab some Udi’s and go to town. Like so: Continue reading


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Gluten-Free Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake: CSA Box Recipes

Beets. The hot vegetable popping up on every farm-to-table menu across the U.S. of A. is reaching the super ingredient tipping point. Pancakes, any kind of salad, a pot roast — you can throw beets in all of those things and call it gourmet. I, however, hate beets.

Nonetheless, these kind of amazing looking chioggia beets showed up in my CSA box and I was determined to do something with them that I would also enjoy. Otherwise they would just go bad and get thrown out, and what a waste. I have plenty of other vegetables that meet that fate every other week, so I wasn’t going to blow this opportunity. Look at these cuties –

I’ve heard rumors about cakes made with the beets, and this chocolate beet bundt cake was not bad. I mean, it was delicious and moist, and people were requesting the recipe. People who love beets, I’m guessing. People who hate beets probably felt like there was too much beet flavor inside. So you must decide if you want to get your beet on, or you want to have just a normal cake, sans hipster vegetable. Here’s where I give you a tip!

If you’re making a cake for the first time, and you want to taste it before you serve it up, pour a little bit of the batter into a ramekin and take it out about 5 — 10 minutes before your big cake finishes. Use a toothpick to test, by making sure it comes out clean. Then you won’t have an embarrassing moment of OMG, my cake tastes like ass and everyone is eating it! Then, add edible flowers on top so people think, wow, that’s pretty, I don’t even notice the beet/dirt taste!

But seriously, lots of people loved this, it was almost awesome. If not for the beets.

Regardless, it was a totally fun experiment. After that hard sell, here’s how you can do it. Continue reading


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Gluten-Free Pasta With Leeks & Thyme: CSA Box Recipes

If you’ve ever joined a CSA program — that’s Community Supported Agriculture for you non-hippies — you know how awesome it can be to have loads of farm fresh produce delivered to you every week. You also know how freaking challenging it can be to use all of the food before it goes bad. After all, it’s organic and local so it’s not sprayed with cancer in order to make it last longer. So you’d better make those leeks work for you, and fast. When in doubt, I say grab the gluten-free pasta and go to town. But leeks weren’t my only challenge.

Faced with this -

I can get intimidated. Those are edible flowers, you guys!

Which is probably why it was the best lesson ever when it was my turn to bring home my daughter’s school’s CSA box (in addition to our own) and create tasty meals for her class the very next day. It was like Iron Chef or Top Chef, or one of those chef shows that I don’t watch but probably should. In a matter of hours I had whipped up six awesome dishes, along with those macaroons, for kids who probably won’t even eat leeks. But guess what? All the bowls were empty when they came home. Which means the kiddos ate vegetables, or the adults allowed me to save some face by dumping out the rest. I’ll take either, really.

Here’s the first round in the CSA challenge (after the macaroons, of course). Continue reading


Filed under Celiac Disease, Recipes, Uncategorized

Gluten-Free Quick Meatloaf Using ‘4 Ingredients’

Welcome to the most helpful post you’ll ever read as a newly gluten-free human. Well, other than this one, and maybe this one also. But if you, like me, started to freak out a little bit when you viewed the rows of gluten-free flours and complicated blends to make the perfect cake, sans gluten, then 4 Ingredients Gluten-Free is going to make you cry gluten-free tears of relief.

This should be obvious by the title, but just in case clarity is in order, these ladies created a cookbook where every single recipe uses four ingredients or less, and now they’ve gone g-free. Simply the easiest gluten-free cookbook you’ll ever come across. So easy, in fact, my daughter made gluten-free meatloaf last night all by herself. (She also insisted that I let you all know that she had NO assistance from me. She’s prideful like that.)

Sure I like to bust out the stand mixer and kitchen shears from time to time, but I can’t do that kind of cooking every day. And if you can, I hate you. So having a cookbook handy that makes dinner redonkulously easy, makes me incredibly excited. See?

Because all you need to do for this gluten-free meatloaf recipe is mix together eggs, ground sirloin, gluten-free bread crumbs, and tomato paste. And any 6-year-old can handle that process. Although my girl did decide to add two extra ingredients; salt and pepper. For some reason my kids have been stoked to put salt and pepper on every plate of food that comes out in front of them. I think it’s the pepper grinder, which is a lot of fun if you think about it.

Anyhoo! Fast, easy, and totally gluten-free. And you guys — there are 400 more recipes in 4 Ingredients Gluten-Free you can also whip up in no time. Everything from Tandoori Lamb to Pears in Coffee Syrup. Which you know you’re going to get to, right after you eat up all your meatloaf.

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Ham & Corn Chowder For the Cold Yet Lazy Celiac + Another Giveaway!

Gluten-Free Challah Courtesy of The Sensitive Baker

Dang it’s been cold this week in Southern California. While I can hear all of you in Canada snickering at me right now, it’s barely busted out of the 50s, you guys! Which means, I need a light jacket and some hearty soup.

Luckily a brand spanking new cookbook , The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food Into Family Life landed on my doorstep and I have a zillion yummy options to choose from, that are naturally gluten-free. Wheeee! My first stop was right on the Ham & Corn Chowder recipe that took me less than half an hour to make, and about 15 seconds to slurp up into my chowder hole. Kelsey Banfield has this cooking thing figured out, and if you’re the lucky winner of my next giveaway — you can see her beautiful, super easy, yet fancy, new cookbook with your own two eyes.

I first discovered Kelsey’s delicious blog when I was an editor at a parenting site and was tasked with pulling together a food blog. Since I immediately bookmarked three recipes on The Naptime Chef, I knew she was onto something that I was loving, and everyone else would as well. And now the Gen X Martha Stewart has a whole book full of delicious, and easy (she makes them during her daughter’s naptime — get it?) recipes that make you feel happy inside.

The weather (I know, I’m a total wuss) was the main reason I chose this naturally gluten-free chowder recipe, but let me just throw some other names of Kelsey’s amazing options in her new book that are gluten-free, or easily tweaked: Baked Cheese Dip, Sweet Potato & Lentil Stew, Creamy Parmesan & Chive Polenta, Mint Chip Meringues, and Dutch Oven Pulled Pork. I’m going on a mad cooking spree this weekend with The Naptime Chef, and you can too!

To get your own copy of The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food Into Family Life, head over to my Facebook page, and tell me what your favorite cold weather gluten-free food happens to be. And how cold it is where you live, so I can feel vastly superior about my own weather. Thank you, and good luck!

Now for the recipe. YUM.

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