Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest

I’ve been attending this gluten free food sampling Mecca since it started in Indy. In fact, when it started, it was not owned by Gluten free & more magazine. It was a local creation.

After the initiation years and public build-up, the magazine purchased the show and took over. However, things have changed.

While I still love the accessibility to new gluten free products, sampling before buying and the ability to take my kids somewhere they can eat, there are things that I miss about the old show.

1-The old show gave me the opportunity to sample gluten free alcohol and learn about some of the options on the market that were safe.

2-There were nearly three times the amount of vendors available to sample.

3-The old show didn’t have such a highly represented number of unrelated, non-food vendors.

On the up side, this show does encourage participation from companies that produce products that are free from additional allergens, in addition to gluten.

Perhaps there is a way they can strike a balance to keep numbers up? Did you attend? What are your thoughts?

Gluten free condiments

One of the things people ask me the most about eating is, “is there really gluten in condiments?”

Yes, sadly, there is. More often than not, wheat is used as a filler, binder and (I suppose) just for good measure. I also see a lot of barley malt, which is made from barley and therefore gluten containing, as well.

Add to it the arduous task of finding them free from high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients and (for our family) pineapple and you just might be eating that burger plain.

I have recently been privileged enough to get to try @batchno2 sauces. I have to admit, I thought eh, it’s catchup and mustard… what could be so great? Until I tried them. Not only are they naturally gluten free, made with only good ingredients and a local company, but they are also FANTASTIC. Seriously.

The tomato catsup reminds me of a snappy bbq sauce. It was so good that I used it as dressing on my sons salad. Don’t be too grossed out, he eats bbq sauce on everything and since he’s allergic to dairy, it cuts out all of the dressings he would otherwise enjoy. BTW, he loved it so much, he ate it all! (sadly, I didn’t get a photo before he dig in but he ate it again, the next night, on his burger) This won’t last long in our house!


Then I tried the ballpark mustard on a hotdog. It’s amazing how enjoyable mustard can be without all of the extra sugars and the addition of some turmeric.  Sadly, I have not previously been a big mustard fan. But I have now tried their whole grain mustard and I’m convinced that I can eat it on just about anything. If you are a little daring, you will find that their purple pride mustard is the perfect pairing for wine, cheese and gluten free crackers.

 

I love their commitment to healthy ingredients, vegan and gluten free statements of faith and omission of “the cheap stuff”. Give Batch No 2 a try! 

Easy gluten free stir fry

It’s literally pre made!

If you are like me and struggle to feed the kids something besides hot dogs, corn dogs and chicken nuggets (although there are some amazing gluten free options out there), this is a simple meal hack they will enjoy.

Trader Joe’s, Costco, Market District and many others have two things that can make dinner time super easy:

Fresh or frozen chicken breasts

Precut fresh or frozen vegetables

Throw the two together in a skillet (or wok, for those of us from the 80’s) and sprinkle in a sauce of your choice. We like Braggs aminos (gluten free soy sauce).

Toss and eat. 

Sometimes I just need a reminder that I don’t have to make dinner complicated in order to switch it up. 

Gluten free mushrooms

While I’m detoxing, I need extra flavor and extra veggies. This recipe combines both with flair!

Spray skillet with oil of choice

Wash and slice one basket whole fresh mushrooms

Place mushrooms in skillet over medium heat

Add 1/4c GF worchester sauce 

Add 1/8c Boar’s head spicy mustard

Simmer and turn until they darken.

Eat alone or add to a bowl of quinoa kale. I used Path of Life frozen mix from Costco below.

Sweet potato chicken 

I love sweet potatoes!

I also love that they are allowed on a healthy, get fit menu. They can be used in so many ways and are abundant with natural sweetness.

In this recipe I tried something new, with what I had on hand and it turned out fabulous!

This is made in my //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=gftifshealtht-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B01B1VC13K&asins=B01B1VC13K&linkId=66a3b8ea209f1a8f15c24c4600e880d8&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=e629dd&title_color=e633c8&bg_color=faf5fa” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Fagor pressure cooker, otherwise referred to as the “magic pot”. I consider it magic because of the meals that can be made in just minutes.

Add two cups of water to clean pot.

Peel and rinse 6-8 small sweet potatoes and add to pot.

Cover with 1/2 c applesauce

Add 4 frozen chicken breasts

Cover with a full jar of Trader Joe’s peach salsa

Cook on pressure setting for 10 minutes.


Voila!

Skinny fit… day 1

I’m on a 14 day journey to try out Skinny Fit Detox Tea. 

I’ve been wanting to do a cleanse and I liked the wholesome ingredients and lack of allergens and laxatives in this one. 


Upon opening the bag I was overwhelmed by the fresh berry smell and pleased to see mesh bags.


The taste is subtle, pleasing and easy to consume. It wasn’t mediciny, bitter or harsh. If anything it smelled more like berries than it tasted but it was good. 

I will be drinking this am and pm as it’s recommended once or twice daily. I will also be eating a Whole Foods, clean diet. Lord knows there’s no tea, detox or other magical cure that can work in its own. 

I’ve been eating “fun” for awhile now and my body has a lot to overcome. Let’s give this a go!

Gluten free treat bars

You know I love easy recipes!

Here’s one of my favorites for celiacs and non-Celiacs will love them too.

1 16 oz container Marshmallow fluff (I prefer this brand as it’s food coloring free)

1.5C Coconut oil

10oz (half a family size box) Cheerios (your choice of flavor) I use the original flavor because the fluff is so sweet and it’s a nice contrast.

Add-ins welcome: chocolate chips, sprinkles, nuts mini marshmallows, etc

Line baking dish with wax paper and spray with coconut oil (Critical if you want them to come out of the pan after cooling). 

Heat coconut oil over medium heat in large stock pot. When melted, add entire container of marshmallow fluff and stir continuously until entire container is warm (about 3 minutes) then add cheerios and stir until all cereal is coated. Immediately transfer onto the lined baking dish. 

If you use add-ins, sprinkle then on top now. Mini marshmallows can be placed in holes to help them melt slightly and stick in the texture.

For bars you need to chill for about 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator. Or you can consume warm by scooping with a spoon.


Cheerio!

Bubbles. Bubbles. Pop, please.

Normally, bubbles are fun, relaxing and even clean! However, spewing out of the dishwasher is not where I want to see them.

This morning my daughter did the dishes for me and added dawn instead of cascade. Suddenly, my dishwasher sounded like it had an upset stomach.

Upon asking for help from friends and googling, I found several solutions including salt, vinegar and olive oil. It wasn’t working but I felt like I should throw in a couple of eggs, a dash of vanilla and a cup of gf baking mix just to round things out. 

Another solution said to scoop out the bubbles, wipe things down and start again. One even said to wait a day! I have never known a bubbling agent to deactivate by sitting. Feeling frustrated, I tried one more suggestion and filled the dispenser on both sides with fabric softener and prayed. 

Within three minutes of turning on the rinse cycle the bubbles disappeared and the washer started draining again. What a relief! 

Gluten Free Trader Joes

The staple gluten free items available at Trader Joe’s are endless and cost effective. If you are lucky enough to have access to one near your home or while traveling, you will find consistency in their offerings. 

While on our current trip to Chicago, I was able to score a room at the Homewood suites. We like staying here because one room has a living area with a fold out sofa for the kids as well as a refrigerator, stove and microwave. 

This allows us to pop into Trader Joe’s, pick up some favorites and be prepared for back up meals.

My typical buy list (at home) consists of:

Gluten free rolled oats

Gluten free pretzels

Joe Joe’s Gluten free cookies

BBQ sauce

Gluten free chicken breast nuggets (frozen)

Gluten free multi grain bread

Gluten free cornbread mix

Gluten free mini chicken tacos (frozen)

Broccoli and kale slaw (bag mix)

Organic creamy tomato soup

Taco seasoning mix!!! (I use it for chili too)

Fruit bars (variety)

Individual bags kettle corn

On the road, these help us out:


Add to it their gorgeous and affordable flowers, fresh fruit a plenty and variety of vegetables (chopped, frozen and in fresh picked form) and you have more than enough variety for a cost effective, allergy friendly diet. 

In the frozen veggie section you can also find chopped cauliflower, shelled edamame, shredded carrots, organic corn and more!

Stop in. Grab a list of gluten free options from the desk and shop a plenty!

Light and fresh smoothie

I love the plethora of fresh fruit options this time of year. If you like a think and chunky smoothie, freeze them first. This one was light and refreshing with fresh fruit. 

1 nectarine

2 slices watermelon chunked

1T honey

1scoop protein powder

1C water (or juice for additional sweetness)

This was really light and fresh and didn’t taste like protein at all. Enjoy!