Turkey is by far the most popular main dish at holiday meals, but there are certainly other possibilities. Click on the name of the main dish to watch video demonstrations of these dishes being prepared. I have recommended two videos for each main dish — click on the name of the food to view one video — click on the word ‘another’ to watch the nother demonstration. I have listed the dishes in alphabetical order to avoid possible prejudice.
The ‘season to be jolly’ begins this week for wheat-eaters as well as for people who live gluten free. Our Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, and Super Bowl Sunday celebrations center around food, people, food, and gifts. Our status as people who live gluten free will affect what we do and how we celebrate. We will be at parties with people who are totally unaware of our dietary situation, particularly if we are relatively new to gluten free living. We will need recipes (when we are the host) and strategies for staying ‘safe’, avoiding embarrassment , and trying our avoid our hostess. We will also need to approach the holiday season with a very special attitude. Since the recipes and cooking techniques are the easiest to write about, I’ll start there.
During the 2010 holiday season, I pieced t0gether several videos to provide a step-by-step guide to preparing a gluten free dinner, using a videos designed to enable fledgling cooks to prepare a complete holiday dinner. I labeled the articles “Thanksgiving dinner” but of course, the same menu is useful at almost any holiday. Click here to begin the series.
That series of articles was great for relatively inexperienced cooks, but many people would prefer to have more options. Turkey is the most commonly served main course, but there are certainly other options. Click here to view video how-to demonstrations on how to cook and serve ham, goose, duck, prime rib, and rack of lamb as well as how to make them the main course in your holiday feast. In the next few days I will write similar articles about holiday side dishes and desserts.
Problems at allegedly gluten free restaurants are almost invariably caused by cross-contamination. Here are some strategies that may improve you chances for having a great experience.
♦ Do lots of homework before visiting the restaurant but don’t reveal your knowledge to the restaurant staff. Ask lots of questions, and be prepared to walk out of the restaurant if you do not get appropriate answers.
The disastrous storm on the East coast reminds us that no one — including people who live gluten free — are immune to natural disasters. I suggest that you reread the article I wrote about my family’s survival plan. Also, I recommend this article called “How to Prepare a Gluten Free Emergency Kit“. One of the best articles I’ve ever read on this subject came out just before the Y2K disaster scare when no one really knew if the international computer ‘system’ could survive the transition to the 21st century. I was pleased to see that the article is still on-line, although many of the links are no longer functioning.
If a kitchen serves anyone who lives gluten free, all the users must agree on strategies to keep the gluten free food ‘safe’. The simplest approach is for everyone to agree to live gluten free, but that may not be realistic and will often increase food costs for the wheat eating users. On the other hand, the person living gluten free has very little room to compromise. Everyone involved needs to deal with several issues:
♦ Will baking with wheat flour be done in this kitchen? If so, the flour can remain suspended in the air for many hours. This will affect everyone who lives gluten free and there is no simple solution.
♦ If wheat-based and gluten free cooking are to occur at the same time, there will need to be separate utensils for each type of cooking. This will involve flour sifters, colanders, spatulas, cooking spoons, muffin tins, frying pans, and cutting boards. An alternative to this would be to cook all the gluten free food first and make certain that everything is thoroughly prior to the next meal.
♦ Two toasters will be needed. It is virtually impossible to clean a toaster well enough to remove all possible cross-contamination.
♦ Double-dipping may have severe consequences. Wheat eaters and celiacs will margarine tubs, peanut butter jars, etc. In some cases, the problem can be solved by using ‘squirt bottles’ for things like catchup.
Here are two guides for assuring that your home kitchen is ‘safe’. Check out “What is Gluten Cross-Contamination?” and/or “How-to Tips for Gluten Free Kitchen Safety“. Cross-contamination is also a big factor in determining whether your restaurant meals are gluten free. That will be the topic of my next article.
Reading the information on a food package is your first defense against cross contamination (click here to read the introduction to this series on cross contamination of gluten free foods.) Here are specific things to look for:
From a celebration planners point-of-view, the spookiest thing about Halloween is that there are more than 27 million references to it on the google search engine. This is my 22nd effort to write about it. TMI (too much information) makes our task more difficult.
However, since Halloween will be celebrated next week, I thought that I should say something. So I updated my best article on the subject. You may wish to check it out. I’ve also linked you the best suggestion I have ever read about how to fill a trick-or-treat bag. The article is about Easter baskets but the principle is exactly the same.
Proteins are major component of all diets, including the ‘My Plate Diet’ which has replaced the Food Pyramid as America’s official diet. Meats are the most common source of proteins, but in this article I will talk about less expensive sources of protein. Here is anoverview on the subject of high-protein gluten free foods.
Here are several suggested articles — choose the titles that may met your needs: “Ridiculously High Protein High Fiber Gluten Free Muffin Recipe“, “Everyday High Protein Gluten Free Breakfast“, “Power Bars“, and Gluten Free Dairy Free, High Protein French Toast.
This is the last in my series on the ‘My Plate Diet’, a relatively simple but healthy balanced diet. With very minor adjustments, this diet is appropriate for people who live gluten free. When we are first diagnosed with celiac disease of gluten intolerance, our only goal is to fill our stomachs with ‘safe’ food. But soon our horizons broaden, and we can begin to think about following a balanced diet. The ‘My Plate Diet’ is an appropriate option. Click here if you wish to review or reread my series of articles.
Living gluten free does not require that we avoid all grains. By avoiding wheat, barley, and rye, we can participate fully in the ‘My Plate’, the modern replacement for the traditional ‘Food Pyramid’.
Gluten free bread will provide most of the grains in your ‘gluten free / my plate’ diet. I have written many articles on this subject. To look at them, type the term “gluten free bread” in the search box in the upper right corner of the page.
This is my fifth article in a series about the gluten free version of the ‘My Place’ diet. This diet replaces the ‘My Pyramid’ diet which has provided guidance to millions of Americans in past years. Click here to read the introduction, here to read about fiber in the diet, click here to read about the vegetable group, and here to read about the fruit group. The final post in this series will be an article about ‘proteins’,the last of the food groups involved in the diet.
Fruit is an important component of the healthy diet, whether that diet is wheat-based or gluten free. Fruits can be included in desserts and in salads which makes the homemaker’s task a bit easier, but it is still essential to serve a large variety of fruits in an an attractive manner.
Check out this article “Healthy Fifteen-minute Fruit Desserts“ and/or this one called “35 Sumptuous Dessert Recipes“. You may also want to try this very-well collection of “Summer Fruit Dessert Recipes“.
This article is titled “Healthy Kids Snacks” and includes 90 suggestions, not all of them ‘safe’.
When choosing commercially prepared fruit snacks for children, consider the cautions described in this article. As you can imagine, a picture of a fruit on package does not guarantee that the contents are either gluten free or healthy in any other respect.
This is the third in a series of articles describing the essential elements of a healthy diet and providing suggestions about how to follow this diet without compromising our gluten free life style. I used ‘My Plate’, the program designed by the Department of Agriculture, to enable all American’s to eat a healthy diet. You may wish to reread my introductory article or my articles on high-fiber and vegetables. My next article will be on ‘grains’ and the final article will be on ‘proteins’.
Experts recommend that about of each of our meals consist of vegetables. That’s great news for people who live gluten free — vegetables are ‘safe’ unless they have been contaminated by gluten-toxic ingredients. It’s good news for anyone living on a budget — vegetables are relatively inexpensive. The troubling news is that vegetables have a really bad reputation — many people find many vegetables very unappetizing. Fortunately, this problem can be corrected by using great and ‘presenting’ the vegetable dishes in an appetizing manner. One expert sums up the situation by advising us to provide “Lots of different vegetables served in lots of different ways.” Here are some suggestions for doing that:
Check out this article called “Twenty Kid Friendly Veggies“. I’m not sure if these twenty items should be called ‘recipes’ or ‘ways of presenting’ vegetables. Many of these items would appeal to me just as much as they would to children.
Here are more ideas for attractive and unusual ways to prepare vegetables — “Vegetable Quiche with Gluten Free Almond Crust, “Top Ten Grilled Vegetable Recipes“, “Asparagus Fritata“, and “Zucinni Fritata“. To round out this list, consider “My Top Seven Recipes for Kids“.
This is the third article in my series on the My Plate diet, the regimen designed to be the basic diet for all Americans. In addition to my introductory article, I have written about the importance of fiber as well as this article about the vegetable group. Tomorrow’s article will deal with fruits. The last two articles will deal with proteins and grains. There will be links to these as soon as I actually publish them.
An adequate intake of high-fiber foods is important for everyone, including people who have chosen to live gluten free. A good place to start is by watching this short (2:45) video “Common High Fiber Gluten Free Foods” and studying the transcript that is included on the site. Then click on the Betty Crocker website (you may need to enter the terms “gluten free” and “high fiber”) and you will see dozens of well-photographed and clearly-explained recipes.
Is our gluten free diet truly healthy in all respects? Each of us should be asking that question. Very few people need (celiacs or otherwise) need an athlete-in-training diet, but all of us can follow the “My Plate” diet without consuming gluten-toxic food.
The “My Plate Symbol” was designed to replace the “Food Pyramid” program which was the Department of the Army’s recommendation for several years. “My Plate” is not designed for athletes-in-training but it is OK for most of us. I suggest you read this article if you need a quick introduction. I wrote this article to provide
more details. This article talks about the ‘My Plate’ diagram and what it symbolizes.
As you can see, the ‘My Plate’ diet divides the diet into four sections — protein, fruit, vegetables, and grains, and I am planning articles containing recipes for each section. The diet emphasizes high fiber, and high fiber gluten free recipes will be tomorrow’s topic. That will be followed by an article on fruit and an article on vegetables. The last two articles will cover ‘grains’ and ‘proteins’. No links yet since I have not yet actually published the articles.
These gluten free recipes will will be welcomed by children who live gluten free. In each case, I have provided two choice. Let the kids decide for themselves which goodies they will enjoy.
Sourdough bread is gluten free if you are willing to bake it at home. There is even a blog dedicated to it. Here are three recipes for gluten free sourdough bread. Since titles are all basically the same, I’ll just refer to them as #1, #2, and #3. I was not able to discover any ways to purchase gluten free sourdough bread.
Does fermentation destroy gluten or turn it into a non-problem? The only honest answer to that question is “maybe”. Click here for more information.
People who live gluten free are concerned about food issues, particularly those that result in the food being recalled by The Food and Drug Administration or The Agriculture Department. I’ve installed a “Food Safety Widget” in the right sidebar that will link you to detailed information about the three most recent recalls, as well as tips about food care. This is not a gluten free widget in the usual sense of the word. Many of our concerns about food are shared by everyone in the nation. The current peanut butter recall would be a good example of this.
Since rice has a significant place in our gluten free diet, we are concerned about reports that rice may be contaminated with arsenic. What should we do? First of all, I will suggest several articles to provide information, then I will tell what I intend to do.
First of all, be aware that The Food and Drug Administration is looking into the matter but that it “… does not have an adequate scientific basis to recommend changes by consumers regarding their consumption of rice and rice products.”
This article “Gluten Free Options for those Concerned About Arsenic in Rice“. It’s beautifully researched. The author contacted dozens of companies and summarized their responses and their suggestions for minimizing problems with arsenic”.
This post from US News takes a different, approach stressing the idea of ‘not making perfect the enemy of the good’ and ‘don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. This is particularly important for people who live gluten free. We already have major restrictions on our diet. Do we need to add more? If it is necessary, we can add new restrictions to our diet. We’ve done it in the past and we can do it again.
This current concern over arsenic in rice was generated by a report from “Consumer Reports”. Click here to read the whole thing.
What do I intend to do about this? Well, I just went to my pantry and was pleased to find out that my favorite pancake mix does not contain rice flour. I’ll choose non-rice alternatives when it is convenient, and await further word from the FDA.
Sushi and fondue are two great dishes to serve at a Halloween party for adults. No worries about cross-contamination or guests who are squeamish about trying gluten free food. It’s not that simple, of course; you’ll need other items at your party. But it is a great place to start!
For your fondue, start with this basic article on gluten free fondue and then consider prepare “monster mash fondue” and to help you get into the spirit of the evening. The dippers ‘severed fingers’ described in the post are not gluten free, but the substitutions will be no problem. Remember that the appearance is at least as important as the taste or texture. Use a carved out pumpkin shell for your fondue. Sure, that will change the taste of your fondue, but it will work magic on the holiday atmosphere.
Here’s a basic article on gluten free sushi. Then try “Halloween Salmon Tamari Sushi” and/or “Halloween Sushi Rolls“. Be sure to include “Candy Sushi” on your holiday table. You’ll enjoy this video demonstration.
Morgan Freeman is not dead, despite the announcement that appeared on the internet on August 27. The Facebook page titled “RIP Morgan Freeman” is still posted on internet and is still receiving comments from people who are learning for the first time about Freeman’s alleged demise. (I checked the site yesterday.)
Situations like this are a nightmare for people like me who strive to present accurate and useful information on the internet. It’s bewildering for people who rely on (or merely hope that they can rely on) that information.
Virtually everyone who has responded to this horrible incident have labelled it a cruel hoax. There is another possible explanation — it may have been an honest mistake that got that got totally out-of-control. Perhaps a Morgan Freeman fan believed (for some reason) that Morgan Freeman was dead. Instead of confirming this rumor, he or she ran to the computer and expressed frustration or anger. Suddenly, this preposterous story had a life of its own. The real problem: someone passed on information that he or she had not confirmed.
This happens in the gluten free world. People refuse to eat buckwheat because they are unaware that it is not a type of wheat. People refuse to use any type of vinegar because they are unaware that experts have concluded that distillation eliminates gluten. I could site hundreds of other examples.
The moral of this story: read ingredient labels DEFENSIVELY, study websites DEFENSIVELY, listen DEFENSIVELY, be wary when you make a decision to dine at a particular restaurant. In my case, it means to WRITE DEFENSIVELY and THINK CAREFULLY before I release my words on the internet.
Obviously, this is an editorial and these are my personal opinions.
Have a great week.
I enjoyed two bottles of Omission beer last night. This is the first time in since my diagnosis that I have enjoyed beer well enough to ask for a second bottle. What more do I need to say in the way of a review? This is great stuff.
But is it gluten free? I had no reaction and certainly intend to keep on drinking it. The official answer to that question is that it depends on where you live. The beer is made with barley malt — which makes it like any other beer except that it has been processed in such a way that it contains less than 10 parts-per-million gluten. So is it gluten free or isn’t it? That depends on what state you live in and on whether or not the beer has been transported across a state line. Things are fine in Oregon but in some states this beverage is unavailable and in others it must be repackaged to remove all references to its gluten content. Click here to read more about this!
The school Halloween party is one of the first big challenges for gluten free children and their parents. There are two pieces of good news:
During the school party, conversation will center around Halloween parties and trick or treating (either ones that have already occurred or that are coming up.) Be sure your child has something to talk about. Emphasize the fun, not the hassles of avoiding gluten, so that he or she will do the same when talking to his classmates.
Check out an article I posted last year that features five video demonstrations on how to make and decorate Halloween cupcakes. You may wish to modify some of the cake recipes but the frosting is all that really matters.
I’ve written other Halloween-related articles during the last few weeks. If you wish to re-read them, move to the right side bar, find the widget labelled “Recent Posts” and click on the article title. The titles are: “Making Gluten Free Doughnuts”, “Halloween Recipes for Children”, and “Is Food Coloring Gluten Free”.
Food coloring is almost certainly gluten free. The internet says very little about that subject. I read the label on McCormick’s food coloring and found out that water is the only natural ingredient. (That raises other issues, of course, but we can say that their food coloring is gluten free.) Continue Reading
This article contains recipes for edible Halloween decorations, not food gluten free food in the usual sense of that term. Not all the recipes are gluten free, but the substitutions should be obvious and keep in mind that the important thing is not what the item tastes like but what it looks like.
Has anyone heard from Lady Gaga lately? On August 6, her handlers announced that was ‘going gluten free’ (their term) in order to lose ten pounds. Presumably, she has met that goal by now or has given up completely. Many of us would have said that her regimen was actually a low carbohydrate diet that was also gluten free. In any case, she hasn’t done anything or said anything important enough to be reported in an article that that made it to page 4 or better on the google search engine since August 24. (FYI: that is the criteria I use for success in my writing.)
On May 6, Domino’s Pizza announced a new product that was both gluten free BUT inappropriate for people with celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance. Don’t waste your time looking on the internet to find out if they reached their goal of producing a pizza crust that wheat-eaters would pay $3 extra to consume.
Your tooth paste is probably gluten free. Tooth paste is not food, and therefore does not require an ingredients’ label. However, it is certainly an item that is ingested frequently so we need to be concerned. These four companies specify — in the Frequently Ask Questions section of their websites —that they are gluten free:
If you are concerned about gluten, stick with the four brands listed above. At least three of them should be readily available.
I know I’ve been glutened because “my body proceeds to beat the crap out of me”. An honest answer, but not particularly useful. After all, our bodies do all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons. The blogger who wrote this was looking for an eye-catching way to start her article — I agree, that’s why I quoted her. The article also passes on a lot of helpful information. Many readers have written valuable comments about their experiences being glutened.
Others have written on this topic — and responders shared personal experiences — a winning combination. I recommend these articles from The Gluten Free Dude, Gluten Free Easily, Healthy Food Naturally, and Sure Foods Living. Next week I will share my thoughts — talking about my experiences being glutened and the things I’ve learned writing a celiac-related web-site.
To prepare homemade gluten free doughnuts you need recipes and techniques. I needed to study the techniques first — I had never made any type of doughnut. I found these three articles helpful: chick here and/or here and/or here.
These articles contain recipes but those recipes are not gluten free. Use these instead: click here if you are interested in buttermilk doughnuts. Click here for doughnuts that are totally grain-free. You may find this article useful.
I salute Giant Foods for including this important reminder on their website even though I do not agree with it fully. I will quote the full statement and then comment on it.
“Following a strict gluten-free diet when not medically prescribed poses a significant risk for inadequate intake of folic acid, B vitamins, iron, calcium, vitamin D and fiber. Your physician can order testing to determine if you have celiac disease and need to follow a gluten-free diet. As with any health related condition, consult your physician first, prior to any dietary changes.”
I’ll repeat the statement including my opinions in parentheses: “Following a strict gluten-free diet when not medically prescribed poses a significant risk for inadequate intake of folic acid, B vitamins, iron, calcium, vitamin D and fiber. [These difficulties can be overcome with effort and study. Most diets are dangerous if a person simply jumps into them without guidance and/our professional advice.]
Your physician can order testing to determine if you have celiac disease and need to follow a gluten-free diet. [A diagnosis of celiac disease indicate that a life-long commitment to the gluten free diet is required. A negative test for celiac disease does no rule out the possibility that some form of the gluten free diet might be helpful for some period of time. Getting tested for celiac disease is an important first step, but the final decision is up to the individual.]
Obviously, these are my personal opinions. I’m publishing this on Sunday and am planning to post a different editorial each week. I’d love to reactions to these ideas. my e-mail address is email@example.com or leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
We’ve talked about commercially produced ice cream as well as ice cream that we consume in public places. Today, in the third and final part of this series, we consider the ice cream treats that we prepare at home.
Gluten free cookie dough ice cream is easy to prepare. Just make sure that your ‘cookie dough’ is gluten free. Try this recipe.
Here’s a recipe for gluten free cappuccino ice cream cupcakes. The ‘crust’ is made from ground up gluten free ice cream cones.
Try these gluten free ice cream sandwiches. The ‘sandwich’ part is made with what the author calls gluten free crispy rice snacks.
Virtually every recipe for home-made ice cream is gluten free. Our job is to make these ice cream into very special treats by adding ‘safe’ decorations. Dreyer’s ice cream has given up 14 suggestions for turning ordinary ice cream into extra-special treats. This is not a gluten free article but it will certainly enhance creativity. The substitutions will be obvious (if not always worth the effort.)
Ice cream is naturally gluten free and is — in my opinion — absolutely essential to good living. But, as so often happens, various kinds of contamination creeps in and spoils our fun. I first wrote about gluten free ice cream in 2007, and that article is the most frequently-visited post on this site. It seems right to present updated information about gluten free ice cream during this week when I will be publishing my 1500th article. I’m dividing my coverage of the topic into three parts:
Chocolate is naturally gluten free and is a major part of many of our favorite candies, baked goods, and other delicacies. You may wish to try some or all of them: (Every item is listed twice because that seemed like the simplest way to give you a choice of two different recipes)
Meat is naturally gluten free, of course, but sometimes the meat is processed in such a way that it becomes unsafe for us. I identified three more companies that promise that at least some of their products are gluten free. These companies are Carl Budding, Organic Valley, and Welshire Farms.
I chose this topic because — as of today — gluten free meat products are the most sought-after items on this website . The only information I could provide is a four year old article containing only four company names. So, I made a few minor ‘repairs’ on the old list and added these three names. We now have seven options, all listed in the same newly-updated article.
I’ll be writing my 1500th article some time before the end of this month. I’m not running out of things to write about but I think it is time to build on what I have already accomplished. You’ll see more articles like this one in the near future. I hope this concept works.
Successful gluten free living requires some cooking skills. Celiacs with unlimited budgets and/or people to cook for them may be able to sidestep this problem. Fortunately, there are possibilities. I recommend these three books:
Gluten Free in Five Minutes. This book starts assumes that the user has a microwave oven and a few utensils for mixing and chopping. Access to a refrigerator is not mentioned but would certainly come in handy. It starts from the beginning — including recipes for preparing corn-on-the-cob and poached eggs. It also spells out fact that an unshelled egg will explode if you put it in the microwave and what you can do to solve that problem. It also tells you how to make a chocolate sponge cake that serves two or a single tortilla. Obviously, this book targets celiacs who live alone or are the only person in the house who lives gluten free.
Gluten Free Cooking for Dummies. This book assumes that you have access to a full kitchen and goes into much more detail. But, the information is very readable and useful.
Living Gluten Free for Dummies. This book covers all aspects of gluten free living but includes many useful recipes and straight-forward directions for preparing them.
The widget below will enable you to order these books from Amazon. Note the first item in second row which lets you buy the two “dummies” books in a money-saving bundle. I get most of my information on all subjects from that series 0f books. We are not dummies, we are people with questions. These books provide answers.
Choosing an appropriate college or university is a celiac’s first step in a ‘safe’ college career. Here are the results of a survey 25 colleges and universities. Officials at 25 colleges and universities submitted specific information about what they are willing and able to do to help guarantee a successful college experience for students who live gluten free. For more information,read this article titled “Fourteen Colleges that Cater to Gluten Free Students“.
Yesterday, September 18, Lady Gaga and her handlers announced that the entertainer had ‘switched’ to a gluten free diet. Click here to read the full text of the press release followed by one writer’s reaction to the announcement.
Here is part of his reaction: “… I can’t stand the fact that gluten free has become a fad. I feel part of some lame pack of sheep. … when gluten was pretty much unknown outside the celiac world I never felt stupid or awkward.” The blogger includes several relevant comments and criticisms in his post. I disagree with blogger in one regard. We had *&%(./ we’d better ‘stand what is happening’ and do something to correct the situation. Problems like this are not going to go away. This is particularly important to me as a celiac and a journalist who writes about gluten free topics. Also, we need to consider the possibility that Lady Gaga is one of the millions of undiagnosed celiacs that are suffering needlessly in our society. I have a few questions:
A “504 Plan” protects children from discrimination because of a difficulty. Section 504 is the portion of the Americans With Disabilities Act that spells out the procedure and specifically includes celiac disease as a potential disability. Here are two articles that explain this more fully. (Click here for the second article). Finally, read this article by The Savvy Celiac, a gluten free author and blogger whose celiac daughter has a ’504 Plan’.
First of all, I should mention that I am a retired elementary school teacher who has worked with children who have these plans. As a school counselor, I wrote several. (We did not use the term ’504 plan’, but the meaning was the same.) Here are my personal reactions to this ‘hassle’:
On the other side of the coin,
I am not recommending that you attempt to establish a full-fledged ’504 Plan’ during the hectic weeks that precede the opening of school. It might be more realistic to mention this possibility now and make the full plan your objective for the year
Labor Day is is the last and arguably the most important holidays that are traditional celebrated with a picnic or barbecue. Here are five collections of recipes that may be useful to you. Since the titles of the articles are pretty-much interchangeable, I will simply list them as #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5.
“Parents of gluten free children will have to pack at least 175 lunches (per child) this school year. Our goal is to make sure that the lunches we pack are envied (or at least not scorned) by other (wheat-eating) children, and will be eaten (not traded or thrown away) by the child.” I wish I knew the source of that quotation. I added the words in parentheses. This is no easy task but it can be done.
Here are 100 specific suggestions from Glutenfreeville (dot com). Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom (dot com) supplies 30 more ideas. If you need more food-for-thought, take a look at these 20 ideas from Wise Bread (dot.com).
We have 150 ideas now! These writers have also shared their insights with America’s Gluten Free Community — Suite 101 (dot com), Triumph Dining (dot com), and Kitchen Stewardship (dot com). Obviously, we don’t need to worry about running out of ideas before the end of the school year. I’ll write more about gluten free school lunches later this week.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION. This article contains input from dozens of different writers each of whom has a different approach to gluten free living. Check to make sure that the foods you feed your children are safe for them. Older students should be encouraged to read these articles so they can assist you with your decision. I am experimenting with the idea of including a paragraph like this in every article. People who live gluten free must read defensively and decide carefully.
Gluten free canned soup is available if you choose carefully. I’ve identified four brands that provide soups labeled gluten free but in every case you but must choose a specific type of soup. These companies all produce soups that are ‘safe’ and others that are ‘unsafe’.
I began living gluten free without really understanding what the term meant. Now I’ve moved from the stage when I ate what the experts told me to eat to the present I write professionally (I hope) on the subject of gluten free living. I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately to clear up my own thinking on this topic. Here are some articles that I can recommend to you:
This article, simply titled “Gluten Free“, explains why a ‘zero tolerance’ to gluten is neither feasible nor desirable. It explains the Codex Alimentarius, a document by the World Health Organization that set standards for food labeling.
This article from ‘Living Without magazine‘ explains the idea of “parts per million”, the measurement used to describe the gluten content of food. It points out that most experts agree that twenty parts-per-million is an acceptable limit.
This article talks about ‘homogeneous’ and ‘heterogeneous’ mixtures. It’s important and not as complicated as it sounds. For example: tomato soup is a homogeneous mixture. Every spoonful of soup will almost certainly contain the same amount of gluten. Compare that to a soup that contains a mixture of vegetables and gluten free grains. Most spoonfuls will be OK. A few will be gluten-toxic. How do we label this soup?
This chart prepared by the Celiac Sprue Association compares the information in the Codex, the regulations proposed by America’s Food and Drug Administration, and the requirements for certification by their organization.
Where am I going with all this? I’m convinced that the term ‘gluten free’ is being used in so many different ways that it practically useless. I’m determined — at least on this website — to give it a specific meaning. Here is a link to my latest article on the subject.
Granola is an important part of my gluten free summer. I posted a list of gluten free granola recipes in July and followed that with a an article about how to make ‘safe’ granola bars. This article completes the series by targeting people who prefer to purchase their gluten free granola ready-to-eat.
Several types of gluten free granola are available at the on-line supermarket ‘The Gluten Free Pantry’. Click on the rainbow widget in the right sidebar if you are interested.
As it so often does, Amazon (dot com) offers an incredibly wide variety of choices. In this case, you have 527 options (their computer counted them — I didn’t.) The prices on Amazon are excellent because they sell their items in case lots. You are welcome to share your costs (and the products you receive) with friends who live gluten free. Click on the words ““>gluten free granola” to see what is available.
There are approximately 200,000 diagnosed celiacs in the United States today. Let’s multiply that number by five to accommodate the undiagnosed celiacs and others who have made a lifetime commitment to the gluten free diet for medically valid reasons. That’s a million people! But we also know that roughly sixty million people in America purchase gluten free food annually for reasons that I can’t begin to understand.
Summer is a great time for salads. Take advantage of the fresh fruits and vegetables, all of which are naturally gluten free and relatively inexpensive at this time of year. This article works well with an article I wrote last week on no-bake gluten free desserts. Choose fresh naturally gluten free ingredients, combine them with the gluten free salad dressings mentioned below, add one or more of the no-bake deserts explained in the last article, and you will produce an excellent an gluten free meal without ever having to heat up the kitchen.
These links will lead you to collections of recipes for salad dressing. Click here and/or here and/or here and take a look at this recipe for home-made mayonnaise. Don’t forget the croutons. Keep in mind that crouton are primarily small squares of toasted and dried and that gluten free bread has a relatively short shelf-life. Click here and/or here for ideas.
Gluten free tortillas are readily available. They can be made with corn, teff, or rice flour. When you are shopping for tortilla, look for the brand names ‘Mission‘ or ‘LaTortilla Factory‘. With other brands, read the ingredients label carefully — a product labeled ‘corn tortilla’ could include other grains.
Are the corn tortillas served in restaurants gluten free? Good question! Items marked as ‘corn tortillas’ may contain other other ingredients. The tortillas may have been heated in a way that causes cross-contamination. Ask questions! Read this article for suggestions.
If you are interested in making your own tortillas, click here. Be aware that the terms tortillas, wraps, and crepes are at least somewhat interchangeable. These two links (click here for the second link) will take you to you-tube demonstrations on making tortillas at home. In both cases, the demonstrators have a simple method for avoiding the need for a tortilla press.
Keep your kitchen (and your home) cool this summer by not using your oven during August. These no-bake gluten free recipes will make it easy for you!