Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Recipe Round Up

Thanksgiving is almost here!  If you are looking for some last minute gluten free and allergen friendly Thanksgiving recipes, look no further!  Here is a list of some delicious crowd-pleasing recipes.

If this is your first time cooking for someone with food allergies or intolerances, be sure to check out my How Do I Cook Gluten Free For You? entry.

Cornstarch Gravy

Gluten-Free Stuffed Celery Bites

Gluten Free Skillet Cornbread with Apples and Thyme Recipe

Gluten-Free Cornbread Dressing Recipe

Udi’s Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe

Gluten Free Stuffing

Wild Rice Stuffing With Pine Nuts, Dried Cranberries, and Fresh Herbs

Mom's Mashed Potatoes

Gluten free green bean casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Baked Risotto

Grandma’s Pie Crust
Homemade Gluten-Free Apple Pie

Sweet Potato Pie Cookies with Orange Glaze
(Be sure to substitute your favorite gluten free all purpose flour mix)
Have a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Back on dairy?

On Friday night, I was craving pizza.  I am normally not one to crave things so strongly, so I decided to give in to temptation.  My local grocery store has a pretty decent gluten and dairy free selection, but there is only one option for frozen gluten free pizza.  With cheese.

I've spent years thinking about when would be a good time to do a dairy challenge.  Friday nights are the best since I can have the whole weekend to recover.  I have been working most weekends and have non-stop things to do, so normally I don't have a weekend "off".  With an uncharacteristic free weekend ahead, I decided now or never with a simple dairy challenge.

I ate an entire cheese pizza (I was hungry) and had no major side effects.  Just really minor things that don't cause any concern.

My goal has been to be able to tolerate some dairy again.  Mainly, so I can go out to eat and only be "gluten free".  I am not rushing to the dairy case to buy a gallon of milk or a carton of ice cream anytime soon.  I love the dairy free alternatives.  I now know that if I go out and I hear that the delicious chicken I just ate was marinated in yogurt (as was the case in an Indian restaurant on Saturday), I can enjoy the meal wondering where the nearest bathroom is, getting nauseous, or having a panic attack.  It frees me to enjoy more foods again, but everything in moderation!  I can now sneak chocolate kisses from the candy bowl at my mom's house come Christmas time, but should probably stop at two instead of two handfuls.

I have been dairy free since Spring 2009, gluten free since June 2010 and low fructose since February 2012.  Has anyone else experienced a food intolerance disappearing as time goes on and the gut heals?

GIG Recap: Gluten Free Beers and Simple Squares

Our October Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) meeting was all about healthy snacks and delicious drinks!

First up in our packed and tasty meeting was Simple Squares.  Founder and Chief Square Kimberly talked about the origin of Simple Squares and how they are a tasty snack.  All of the squares have five ingredients or less and are perfect for snacking on the go.  She shared samples of her soon-to-be released coffee flavor square.  What a great morning snack!  Simple Squares are organic whole food snack bars with vanilla and herbs - without any wheat. gluten, dairy, soy or refined sugar!  I try to always have some squares on hand for grab and go snacks.

In honor of Halloween, SurfSweets sent us their spooky spider gummies!  These are perfect treats to give kids for Halloween without worrying about allergens or high fructose corn syrup!  Their fun shapes even brought smiles to the adults in the room.

We sampled several different types of gluten free beers and ciders.  I tried everyone that was available, had around a dozen empty cups at the end (don't worry - they weren't poured to the top) and found some new favorites.

Gluten free beer has been transforming over the years.  Bard's Beer is perfect for traditional beer lovers - its sorghum flavoring hits the spot (and is perfect for making beer brats).  New Grist also carries a sorghum based beer that we tried.  We sampled three different options from Green's - wow - some of these had the largest amount of alcohol and tasted great!  Pace yourself!  Goose Island recently introduced Queen-OA, a quinoa based beer from Chicago's popular brewery.  My new favorite is New Planet beer - there are three assorted flavors (Tread Lightly Ale, 3R Raspberry Ale, and Off Grid Pale Ale) and are perfect for those who love fruity flavors in the style of malt beverages like me!

The best part about the tasting was that everyone had their own new favorite and we all tried some very delicious beers.  Gluten free beers can be expensive, so having several companies provide samples for our group has been the best way to see what is out there!  This was our second annual Gluten Free Octoberfest Beer Tasting and I can't wait to see what products are on the market next year!

What is your favorite gluten free beer?  Leave a message in the comments!

Our next meeting is Monday, November 5 and we will be talking about gluten free Thanksgiving, swapping recipes, and sampling some bread.  We meet in the South Loop Whole Food's classroom at 8:00pm!  Hope to see you there!