gluten free recipes

Blackberry Smoothie

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I really wanted to try an alternative to my normal strawberry and blueberry smoothies. I have not been feeling my best and have to watch a lot closer what I eat! I decided to try a blackberry smoothie and just started throwing things in! I LOVE it! One of the best smoothies I have ever had! I loved using the blackberries because of the antioxidants, and the fiber! It has many health benefits!

1 cup of organic blackberries
1/2 cup almond milk
1 Teaspoon of organic chia seeds
1 Tablespoon low fat plain greek yogurt
Handful of spinach
Couple cubes of ice
Protein powder of your choice if you desire ( I use skinny fit-miss gluten free protein powder every once in a while)

Just mix it all in the blender and your ready to go!

gluten free recipes

Gluten free chicken and quinoa Mac and Cheese

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Who misses a good gluten free mac and cheese?

Serving size for this recipe feeds 4

2 cups Organic Gluten free Quinoa
Gluten free Italian style bread crumbs (I use either 4C breadcrumbs or Ian’s panko crumbs. Whatever I have on hand is what I will use!)
Thin boneless, skinless chicken breasts (modify to how many people you are serving. I will cook 2 chicken breasts for 4 people)
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Garlic powder
Paprika
1/2 cup Milk (Whatever you prefer) I use 1 percent
2 eggs

Bring a sauce pan to a boil.
Measure out 2 cups of the organic gluten free quinoa. I like to wash it in a bowl and soak for a few minutes then drain back into the cup.
Pour the quinoa into the sauce pan and cover, simmer for about 13 minutes or until water is soaked up and quinoa becomes fluffy.

In a skillet dice up and saute chicken breasts to bite sized pieces.
Set aside once done.

In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup of milk, Garlic powder and paprika in a bowl with 2 eggs. I usually like to add more than a tablespoon of each spice to add in more flavor. Add in a little more milk if you want the mixture to be creamier.

Drain what’s left of the water from the quinoa and add in the mixed bowl of ingredients. Add in and mix 1.5 cups of sharp cheddar cheese and let melt. Once melted add in the chicken.

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking dish with non stick spray or any gluten free alternative so the food doesn’t stick to the pan.

Scoop everything out evenly into the baking dish. Top with extra sharp cheddar cheese followed by bread crumbs if desired. Bake for 30 minutes!

This is a great comfort meal on those cold days! It really fills you up and hits the spot!

Uncategorized

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!

Thank you to all those veterans who served our country and to those who continue to still serve! Your service is greatly appreciated.

As we are all going out to our Memorial day cookouts, don’t forget to pack that gluten free sunscreen and prep yourself with you gluten free essentials!

Where am I going with this? Well, when you have celiac disease, it’s hard eating out but almost harder when you have to attend family events. When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, everyone around me tried so hard to show great support. The biggest concern was that family and friends would not fully understand the disease, and what cross contamination is.

It was hard for me the first few years, when family would cook something that was gluten free and I felt awful if I didn’t try it. It was hard to just say no thank you, I’ll bring my own food. One thing for sure is that years later, i’ve mustered up the courage to just say no thank you as politely as possible. I am the only one who can help my body stay safe from gluten.

If you haven’t heard about Coral with Serving Celiacs, I suggest checking her out. She has these great downloadable resource cards that explain exactly what celiac disease is and cross contamination! I found these super helpful recently, as I have been going out a lot more to family events. Before finding those downloadable cards though, I had to figure out the best way to approach family and friends. When an event or invitation would come up I would just tell them not to stress about finding or making food for myself and to be safe and avoid cross contamination I would love to bring my own meal if possible. Not obviously at major events like weddings, this is not possible. Most people understood and gladly obliged that it was one less thing to worry about. Some people however, insisted they make a gluten free dish. In the past, I would risk eating their meal and feel awful later it. Trust me, it is not worth the effects! I would feel sick and it would last for 24 hours or so. It took a few days to get myself back to normal.

So here are a few tips when heading out to a party or family gathering. (weddings not included) :

If you don’t know the meal that is going to be served ahead of time, bring a gluten free dish or two. This will help to say that you didn’t know what they were having and wanted to bring a side or extra meal. (then you can also stick to eating these foods and staying safe) Be sure however to keep it separate from gluten containing foods.
Don’t expect any host to know 100% what celiac disease is. If you feel comfortable with that person ask them about what food will be offered and ask if it would be ok to bring your own food or eat ahead of time. Just be honest and tell them any chance of cross contamination will have side effects on your body.
For cookouts I would bring your own hot dog or hamburger rolls anyway and just let the host know you are bringing them to keep separate on another plate.
Make sure you check the condiments at parties for hidden sources of gluten.
I will always try to eat something ahead of time, but that’s just what i do to hold me over.
Now I have reached the point that with the people I feel comfortable with, I will tell them not to stress or worry about my food. I will still get some that offer items like gluten free brownies etc, however those people are now so fully aware of how sick I get that i trust that they take those extra precautions.

I know these are just opinion based tips but they were some that really helped me out. It’s hard to just tell people that you can’t risk eating their food, unless you feel 100% comfortable with them.

On that note I am off to the cookouts!

Wishing you all a safe Memorial day!

XOXO
Alicia
The Celiac Corner

gluten free reviews

Outshine!!!

I recently came upon the brand outshine and have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this product! I took a leap and purchase the fruit bars and popsicles at my local Market 32. There is so much to love about this brand.

I have been looking for alternatives as summer quickly approaches. I admit that I am a huge ice cream fan. I pretty much spent last summer indulging in so many gluten free ice cream cones and creamy, chocolate ice cream! I needed however this year to find a healthier alternative, that is also dye free for my son!

Outshine offers frozen fruit bars, popsicles, yogurt bars, cream bars, half dipped bars, and kids fruit and veggie bars! I have only tried the frozen fruit bars and popsicles. Their products are made with real fruit and or real fruit juice. It lists that there are no GMO ingredients, a wonderful source of vitamin c and no high fructose corn syrup. All the colors are added from natural sources and its also gluten free! Their brand denotes that this goes for all of their products except for the coconut bars, I believe.

My kids absolutely fell in love with this brand. It hit the spot on a hot day we just had. I loved the taste of the fruit juice, as did my children. In some of the fruit bars, you will find pieces of fruit which we also loved. I enjoyed the different varieties that came in each package. My favorites were the strawberry and grape. I would give the fruit bars, and posicles a 10/10 for flavor, ingredients, and packaging. I would highly recommend trying this brand out!

Restaurant Reviews

The Wild Willy’s Review

Hey All! So I wanted to hop on here real quick and tell you a little about this place called Wild Willy’s. Located in Worcester, Massachusetts, you’ll find a menu that offers almost everything to be made gluten free! Now this restaurant is something else. They have always offered gluten free items, as far as I can remember.

Back when I was first diagnosed, Wild Willy’s was the first place I went to since I heard about their gluten free items. I had many great experiences with them! Back then you could place your order, make them aware of your gluten allergy or celiac disease. They would then give you a card that you would place on the table and then choose your own seat, and wait for your food to be brought out to you! I quite enjoyed the way the atmosphere was.

As for the food, I absolutely loved the gluten free hamburgers as well as the fries and fried fish! They currently offer gluten free sugar cookies as well as pre packaged items from the company, Something Sweet Without Wheat. The staff was very accommodating as well, especially when it came to letting them know I have celiac disease!

SO where am I going with this? I believe that maybe a year or so ago the restaurant was put under new management. There have been mixed reviews by many, many people from friends and family, all the way to random strangers. I have been there a few times this current year. The food has recently been hit or miss. This restaurant has changed a few things. While they have added in more entertainment, comedy and country line dancing, they have changed the seating procedures as well. You will now have a full table service experience. I personally am not a huge fan of the new table service. I liked the picking of our own seat and not having to have a waiter or waitress. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for waiters and waitresses when I dine out, but this place was so relaxed that I just enjoyed having it be pick a seat and hang out with your family.

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Overall I am pretty happy with the restaurant in terms of location, and gluten free food options! Most of the customer service has been great as well. Table service is now slow that it has changed and I almost feel rushed out when we dine in. I do have one thing though that has been on my mind and bothering me quite a bit.

I know this establishment has been open for many years and has been noted to be one of the premier places to eat gluten free. This sounds great and all the while I have eaten there many times and never been sick, I still had questions for the manager or owners. I recently reached out via email with no response in a few days and decided to reach out via facebook with just a few questions!
Mind you, I have been reaching out to many places in Massachusetts to add to my blog for some wonderful gluten free finds. I was shocked to say the least by the response. I am not sure if it was an owner, manager or just another employee, but felt that if an establishment truly cared for those that have a gluten issue or someone like myself with celiac disease then these questions should of been answered.

Some of the basic questions involved asking how they prep their food and if the staff changes their gloves when preparing a gluten free order. I asked if the same pans are used for both gluten free and gluten containing items. I did ask if there was a risk to cross contamination and politely let them know that even if in a shared prep area there could be a chance. In my mind, I felt that these are basic questions that anyone looking to help people like us would 100% be able to answer.

The response?

“We did receive the email. We’ve just been pretty busy lately and haven’t had a chance to reply. However, since we’ve been safely serving the Celiac community for more than a decade, (and some our employees are strict Celiacs), it’s safe to say that we’re well educated on the topic and have a pretty good handle on our processes. Thus, while we’re not opposed to helping out with your blog when we have a bit more time, some of these questions do seem like they’d be more appropriate for a place in its infancy.”

Now this response was not upsetting in the fact they finally responded, and I truly appreciate the fact that they let me know some of their employees are strict celiacs which instills more trust in the establishment. However I was hoping that they could just answer the questions outright so that I may help others that are gluten free and not make my questions seem like they should meant for a newer establishment and not them. My point is here, is that if you have never been to this place and you have questions and have celiac disease, you would want to have clear information and not go in blind. Even this company has been in business for over a decade etc this community can’t risk without knowing answers. Yes ok I will restate I have eaten there without questions and without getting sick so it sort of goes against my points because i did go in there blind, but this is why I am now trying to create a good and safe list!

At that point I simply told them I appreciated their response but that these were standard questions any celiac person would be hard pressed to know the answers to, especially if they have never been. I also explained many people don’t always go by one review. People with allergies or in this case an autoimmune disease like to see the answers in black and white to know when they go they will be safe. And then I just thanked them for their time.

So here is the full scoop, Yes their food is safe as far as I know and only by my opinion and experience of not becoming ill and I will eat there again…ok I will take out and not dine in, but not often as its further from my area of town.

*Please note I am not trying to dumb down or write a negative review for Wild Willy’s. Every review listed will be based solely off my own opinions and experience as well as questions that have been asked to the different establishments if they were able to answer!*

Below is one of my favorite dishes and great one to get especially during Lent if you can’t have meat on Fridays!

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gluten free recipes

Gluten free french toast!

Canyon Bakehouse country white bread
Paprika, Nutmeg, Cinnamon
2 eggs

I love using the canyon bakehouse brand! This bread taste just like the bread I used to have prior to having celiac.

Mix the two eggs together then add about a tablespoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle in a bit of paprika, as well as a 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.

Soak the pieces of bread in the mixture and cook each side about 1-2 minutes.

I know this is a very basic and simple recipe but one of my absolute favorites!

Some of the toppings that i love to use are maple syrup, blackberry jam or powdered sugar.

gluten free reviews

Gluten free chicken nuggets!

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Let’s be honest here, shall we? I don’t know about any of you out there but I am so tired of food shopping all over the place just to find and buy different gluten free items. I however decided to try a local Market Basket this pay day to do my 2 week food shopping extravaganza!

I’m not going to lie the Winnie the pooh nuggets caught my eye first! They were in a separate freezer section with the all natural, certified gluten free chicken nuggets! I was skeptical at first and decided to get the winnie the pooh as well as the regular golden platter “adult version” I only paid about $5.99 per package. I love that they are all natural and no hormones or preservatives added in.

I would advise maybe cooking it a minute shorter than the directions say! They came out so crispy and it was most certainly kid and adult approved! I love this product and cannot wait to try more!

gluten free reviews

Morelli Gluten Free Pasta

Let me just tell you straight up! This gluten free pasta is the best pasta I have ever tasted since being diagnosed with celiac! My father recently went on trip to Italy and Greece, and to my surprise he found a package of gluten free pasta in a little shop. Unfortunately most of our processed foods even those labeled gluten free are not the best options for us. I have had my fair share of pasta and even though I am a huge fan currently of the gluten free Barilla brand, I often feel heavy after eating it. Now I’m not talking about feeling heavy in terms of weight, it’s just the feeling you get when something is sitting in your stomach. The food just feels heavy.

This pasta by Morelli, was made only with two ingredients: corn flour and water! I didn’t feel tired, after eating it either. There was no heaviness to it and it was very fulfilling even with one small serving. The texture was amazing as well! I only had to cook it in boiling water for less than 9 minutes. It did not fall apart, or taste slimy like some of the pasta made from rice taste like.

I found out that you could purchase this brand on Amazon. There are some on amazon that show really high prices, but there are others that you can purchase two packages for about $23. As of right now, the linguine and panccheri pasta are the only gluten free pastas available on amazon. I know these seem pricey, but i feel that it is well worth it to try this brand out!

Who Knew???

Gluten and the Dental Office

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Photo by Daniel Frank on Pexels.com

Did you know that gluten could be hiding in the products that your hygienist uses? I never really thought about that. In fact, I never really thought about that until a few years after my diagnosis. I had been on a strict gluten free diet but from time to time I didn’t realize the products I was using at home ….my body washes and toothpaste etc were also affecting me. My body was still attacking itself in one way or another. It then got me thinking…. How much does my hygienist and dental office know about celiac disease? Do they have any other patients with this autoimmune disorder? If I am using products at home that had contained gluten, then whats to say the products at my dental office wasn’t the same?

I have to admit, I felt concerned and rightfully so. I also felt nervous reaching out to the dental office with a million questions. After doing some research on the subject myself, I found out that the fillings can contain gluten as well as fluoride and polishing paste. There were so many questions going through my mind. So what did I do? I sent them over an email asking for information.

I have to say I didn’t expect a response so quickly but was overjoyed not only by their response but the fact that they were proactive about finding the answers they didn’t know the questions to. The dental office had confirmed that all the products their office uses for the cleanings were confirmed to be gluten free, which included the prophy paste, fluorides both topical and varnish. They even gave me the company names in case I wanted to go the extra mile and verify myself. The office did let me know that restorative treatment there could be gluten in the topical anesthetic gel and were waiting back on a confirmation from their company’s lab. The office let me know they would make a note on my file that said that I could not use the topical gel as precaution until they found the answers. About an hour or so later the dental office confirmed that the topical gel was indeed gluten free but were surprised to find out that some brands (ones they don’t use) do contain gluten. I feel like this was a great step forward communicating with my dental office.

As for my readers, if you have celiac disease I would recommend writing down a list of questions or concerns you might have and want to discuss with your dental office. I suggest discussing with them what celiac disease is and how if affects your body. Then ask them about their products they use, and if they could check the products that are used on all procedures to see if they contain gluten. I would also either ask for the brand names to reach out to the companies for extra verification to see if the products are processed on shared equipment with those products that contain gluten.

I want to say a huge Thank You to my dental office for their quick responses and dedication to finding the answers on a patients behalf. It is truly appreciated!

Until Next Time
XOXO
The Celiac Corner

gluten free recipes

Cast Iron Rib Eye and Caesar Salad

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2 thin rib eye steaks
Softened Unsalted butter 2 Tablespoons
Extra virgin olive oil
Paprika and Garlic Powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
Parsley
Romaine Lettuce
Light creamy gluten free Caesar dressing

Usually the morning that I’m going to make this meal, Ii like to marinate the steaks for a few hours.
Start by rubbing the steaks with paprika and garlic powder and a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil. I’ll throw in some of the fresh, minced garlic cloves for a stronger flavor. Leave in ziplock bag in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Put cast iron skillet in the oven to heat up for 10 minutes

While the skillet is pre heating, cut up some organic, fresh romaine lettuce. I use about a tablespoon of gluten free, creamy caesar dressing and toss the lettuce around. I’ll then put it back in the fridge to stay cold while the steak is cooking.

Once the skillet has been pre heated, remove from the oven and put over medium heat on the stove top. Take the steak out from the marinade and sear each side for 3-4 minutes. Then broil on high for 4-5 minutes each side.

While the steak is searing and broiling mix together softened, unsalted butter
with 2 garlic cloves minced as well as the other spices. Once the steak is cooked add the garlic butter to melt on the steak. Add the cold salad on the side. Gluten free croutons are optional.

Simple but tastes AMAZING!

Enjoy!