Gluten-free at Chick-fil-a

We don’t eat out a lot, but when we do, Chick-fil-a is one of the places we depend on for fast gluten-free food. Chick-fil-a has a gluten-free menu that can be viewed here. I love to get the Chargrilled Chicken Garden Salad – it is a really good size salad and keeps me full for a while. I also steal a few of Jon’s waffle fries!

Jon loves to get the chargrilled chiken breast, waffle fries & vanilla shake*.

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As you can see Jon was eating the food faster than I could get pictures of it! LOL! Now, a warning about the shake. The ingredients of the vanilla shake are gluten-free, but be cautious when ordering. The shakes are handspun and the shake mixer may also have mixed cookies & cream shakes. So, unless you are there when they are not busy & can get an employee to clean the machine, you may want to stay away from the shake. We happened to be there at 11 AM on this day and the manager was very accommodating.

To find a Chick-fil-a near you, click here.

Easter Candy – Just Can’t Stop!

I wanted to share some last minute, helpful info with you guys for Easter Candy. I have been partaking in too much already, as is the norm every year. I used to give up sweets for Lent, but stopped because it was pure torture! There are lots of sales this week on candy, so I wanted to make sure to get this posted so you can print the list and take it with you, if need be.

My Gluten Facts is a great place to look up your candy. It is free to join! You can find the Easter Candy List and also printable versions for the US or Canada.

Surf Sweets & YummyEarth also have gluten-free candy for Easter.

Now, let us talk about Peeps. I think that you either love Peeps or you hate them. I am part of the “hate them” group, or I was. I have this theory that chocolate makes everything better & that stands to hold true with Peeps! Have you seen the new Chocolate Covered Peeps?

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Yeah, chocolate makes Peeps palatable and dare I say this – good! They are even labeled “gluten-free” on the back.

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Starburst Jelly Beans are plentiful in my house right now. They also say “gluten-free” on the package.

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I love companies that make it easy for us!! I will buy these jelly beans over another brand that isn’t labeled gluten-free. I proudly support those companies that recognize that eating gluten-free can be a real struggle and do what they can to simplify my life.

What is your favorite Easter candy?

Great Deal!

I have all kinds of catching up to do from my vacation last week, but I need to share this first. As my miles are ramping up in my marathon training, I am really burning through my Clif Gel Shots quickly. I went through 4 on my 16 miler yesterday! At $1.19/each, that sure adds up. I looked on Amazon.com to see if I could get a deal and sure enough, I did!

For a box of 24 Clif Shots, I paid $15.88 = $.66/each!! That is just about half price! The list price is $18.68, but if you join the “subscribe & save” program, you get free shipping & an additional 15% off, making the order $15.35 with free shipping! There is no cost to join the program and you can choose the frequency of shipments. You can cancel at any time, so if you decide to never get another shipment, you just simply cancel your subscription.

Clif makes several gluten-free products:

If you are a runner or use the Clif Shots, don’t miss this deal!

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Remember that song by En Vogue? That just brought back a flash of memories! WOW!

By the time you read this, we should be home from our Atlanta Spring Break adventure. We had a wonderful time with my Mom, sister and her family. In case you missed it, here are some of the things that we did this past week.

We ate at Moe’s – not once, but twice. Oh, and Jon got take-out for the trip home. So, we went from not eating out but once a month to eating 7-10 meals out in the past week. I am so excited to get back to menu planning & making my own meals! While we had many amazing gluten-free meals out, I do miss my “normal” food.

I ran the ING Half Marathon and helped the Baby Steps team raise awareness and close to $1,000 for mirco-preemies. It was so cool to run a race in a city that I was not familiar with.

The 3 girls (my Mom, sister & I) had an amazing meal at Aqua Terra Bistro. This is one place that I go back year after year when we come to Atlanta. The food is out of this world!

I shared a new recipe on Celiac-Disease.com for Tuna Salad Spring Rolls. These were so good!!

I reviewed Clif C Fruit & Nut Bars. They are very good and great to keep in your purse or backpack.

I had 5 different people write guest posts while I was gone – THANK YOU GUYS!! You can read their posts here:

Andrea from Off Her Cork

Sarah from Celiac in the City

Heidi from Adventures of a Gluten-free Mom

Annie from Mimi’s Toast

Erin from Gluten-free Fitness

Now, onto my meal plan. Do I know what is in my freezer at home? Not so much, but I am going to wing it, okay?

Sunday – Rotisserie Chicken, baked potatoes, broccoli & salad

Monday- Salmon, coconut baked brown rice, asparagus & salad

Tuesday-Tacos or Mexican Pizzas, refried beans, corn & salad

Wenesday-Spaghetti & marinutta sauce, green beans & salad

Thursday-BBQ Chicken Breast, sweet potato fries, snow peas & salad

Friday- Pizza, roasted veggies & salad

Saturday – leftovers

Baked Goods

Cake mix cookies (new recipe that I will share next week)

Bread

Scones – I need to experiement with new combos

Blueberry Coconut Bars

 

Don’t forget to visit Orgjunkie for many more menu ideas.

A Long Time Coming

Thursday I had the pleasure of finally meeting an online acquaintance in Atlanta for lunch. Julie and I met online via my sister. Julie goes to church with my sister, Kelly, and also happens to have Celiac Disease. Kelly passed along my email to Julie and the rest is history. Julie & I became fast friends through email & Facebook. When I scheduled my trip to Atlanta this spring, I made sure to schedule some time with Julie as well.

Julie & I met at P.F. Chang’s for lunch. They just debuted their updated gluten-free menu on March 8, 2010. I have eaten there once since the debut, but didn’t really order a “new” dish – I seem to be stuck on the Singapore Street Noodles. At lunch, I was determined to try a “new” dish. Our server was extremely knowledgeable about Celiac and the gluten-free diet. As a matter of fact, he is a trainer for P. F. Chang’s. He told us that 1 out of 5 of his tables orders off of the gluten-free menu! This is big, people! The manager came over & spoke with us about the new menu & mentioned that her mother has Celiac! She also informed us that all of the marinades for the proteins in the restaurant are now gluten-free, so they can potentially modify any dish on the entire menu to be gluten-free. You just have to ask. If you choose to go this route, please make sure to speak with the manager to ensure all the proper precautions are taken.

Julie & I ordered the Chicken Lettuce Wraps to start. I am never disappointed with these and am pretty sure that one day my meal at P.F. Chang’s is going to include lettuce wraps & the chocolate dome. For our entrees, we ordered the Shrimp Fried Rice, Hong Kong Beef with Snow Peas and Chang’s Spicy Chicken. This was my first time trying the fried rice and the Hong Kong Beef. Julie & I were in gluten-free heaven!

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I have no words to describe the food. It was that good. Everything was so flavorful and cooked to perfection. Do you see the “P.F. Chang’s China Bistro” printed on the plates? This “tags” the dish as being gluten-free so that the staff is all aware. Julie & I ate until we were stuffed! There was no room left for dessert, though I did get some to-go, along with some Philip’s Better Lemon Chicken, for Jon. I am giving this visit to P. F. Chang’s 5 stars. I couldn’t have been more pleased. Julie and I have already set a tentative date for my visit to Atlanta next year.

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Julie, I can’t tell you how great it was to finally “meet” you! You are just as sweet as I imagined you would be. I really enjoyed our lunch together.

Anyone else have any experiences with the new menu at P.F. Chang’s that they would like to share?

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Program…

For a very important reminder announcement: Live Gluten Freely has re-launched their site and is also on Facebook! Make sure to check them both out. I am now blogging for Live Gluten Freely in addition to another blogger, Vanessa Maltin of Celiac Princess. I am thrilled to be part of this brand new endeavor with Live Gluten Freely! There are so many exciting things on the horizon.

Not only does Live Gluten Freely have helpful articles, but they have lots of great gluten-free tips and recipes, too.

Do you know someone who was just recently diagnosed with Celiac or just started following a gluten-free diet? Do you want to send someone a gluten-free token of your appreciation? Check out these product boxes from Live Gluten Freely. For $24.99 + shipping you can ship a gluten-free box of goodies anyone!

Guest Post: Introducing Andrea from Off Her Cork

Hi guys! My name is Andrea and my little home on the web is over at Off Her Cork. Kim and I are both runners and Ohio residents. We are practically neighbors! We first “met” when I put together a running support email group last fall for the upcoming Columbus Marathon and 1/2. I sadly had to pull out of that race because a previous hamstring issue was starting to resurface and cause me some stress. Kim ran that half strong though and she even had the flu!

But enough about Kim and I! I’m here for a guest post and my topic is about athletes and protein needs. I am talking /all/ athletes. It doesn’t matter if you are a runner, swimmer, walker, lifter, or Mall Mover, we all need protein. We hear it enough, “Eat lean protein!” but most times that is followed by recipes for skinless boneless chicken breast.

Ugh. I don’t know about you but I’m totally over chicken as the go-to for lean protein.

There are loads of ways to get protein into our bodies to help maintain and build a solid muscle base.

Soy is a great start. I understand that there is currently some controversy surrounding soy and it’s effects on the body. However this is related to overly processed and genetically modified soy products.
There are organic and Non-GMO soy products available to us, we just have to take a second to read labels to make sure we are getting the best we can.

Soymilk and tofu are excellent sources of protein. In fact, I typically have a glass of chocolate soymilk after an intense workout session as a recovery drink. It has everything the body needs after working out:
Protein and Carbs.

Beans are also an excellent source of lean protein. Pitas (GF for those who need it) and hummus provides carbs and protein, both things athletes need.

Quinoa is making the scene as a whole grain that is also a complete protein. There are lots of things one can do with quinoa, it doesn’t have to just be eaten as a side with some veggies. It can be baked to make a crunchy snack similar to granola, it can be added to oatmeal, and it can be used in baking. Pretty versatile for a grain!

Let’s not forget dairy! Cheese and yogurt are great protein sources.
So are eggs! An egg with a slice of slightly buttered sprouted grain or gluten-free toast is a great snack or addition to lunch.

My favorite source of lean protein though comes from the sea. I love seafood! Seafood is jam packed with lean heart-healthy protein.
Whether it’s fish, shrimp, or crab, you are supplying your body with the protein it needs to keep functioning and staying healthy!

I love all seafood, okay well maybe not octopus so much, but everything else! One of my favorites that we have a lot at OHC is salmon! Whole Foods has salmon in vacuum packed bags for a decent price. If you are a Columbus native, The Andersons has wild caught Norwegian salmon for amazing prices! They are in the freezer section.

OHC marinated salmon

This is my go-to recipe for easy dynamite salmon!
1 1.5lb fillet of Norwegian salmon
1/2C Teriyaki sauce (La Choy & San-J have GF versions)
1TBSP Asian Garlic Chili Paste
1TBSP Light olive oil
1/2TBSP Maple Syrup
1tsp Garlic powder
1/2tsp Chili powder
1/2tsp Smoked paprika
Pinch sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie or baking sheet with some foil and spray with nonstick spray or brush with light olive oil. In a glass measuring cup or small mixing bowl combine marinade ingredients.
In a storage bag place the salmon and cover with marinade. Allow to sit in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes. Salmon really doesn’t need a very long time to take on flavors.

Place salmon on prepared baking sheet and place in oven. Bake for about
10-15 minutes. I like my salmon when it hits the just done stage. If you prefer a little more rare, keep an eye on it and remove it just before 10 minutes is reached. Serve immediately and enjoy!

You do not have to use Norwegian salmon, Alaskan sockeye works just as well! Always keep in mind that you want to use wild caught salmon from companies who practice safe and sustainable fishing methods. Take the time to read the labels to see if the fish is wild caught or farm raised.

Come visit me over at Off Her Cork where I talk about food, wine, running, and life!

Guest Post: Introducing Sarah from Celiac in the City

As a sign language interpreter, I am often asked, “So, how did you get into the interpreting field?” It had become the most common question I got. Until now.

These days, my “real” job seems to be on the back burner. I still love my job, there is no doubt about that, but since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease in February 2008, a whole new conversation has taken over.

The moment people find out I have Celiac Disease and am on a gluten free diet there is a chain of questions to follow. People are curious. They want to know what I CAN have, which is a lot really. I am never suffering from lack of food. It’s the opposite really. (which makes Kim a great motivator with all this running going on!)

Most people understand that I cannot have wheat, barley, rye or mainstream oats, but have a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea that it can hide in things like salad dressing, salsa, soy sauce or yummy dessert-like drinks at coffee shops. I had a hard time understanding at first too.

After mentioning to my doctors each year at my check up that something “just wasn’t right” with my stomach, you would think someone would have caught on. No luck. I was seen for headaches, IBS, spastic colon and still not one doctor ever mentioned Celiac Disease or any type of allergy or intolerance. Lucky for me, my sister (who also has Celiac) had been doing research and told me she thought she had Celiac Disease and that I might too. At that point, I was willing to check into any option that would help me feel better.

My doctor was hesitant to test me, just a simple blood test, because he knew that a common symptom was weight loss and I quote, “Sarah, I just don’t see that with you.”

Ouch. So he was calling me a big-fat-liar. :(

I then told him that I wanted him to test for it. And you should have heard how embarrassed he sounded when he called to tell me the test was positive. Then I hit the books and internet to find out everything I possibly could about Celiac Disease and the gf diet. Shortly after the blood test, I underwent the endoscopy procedure to be absolutely sure. (Give up pizza AND beer? I had to be sure.) My gluten free adventure started that day, and I have never looked back.

Determined to maintain an active social life without feeling held back by Celiac Disease, I started my blog “Celiac in the City“, began to experiment in the kitchen, and made phone calls to get gluten free items at my favorite restaurants, bars and ballparks. Just last month, I set up a Gluten Free Get-Together group for gf friends in Milwaukee. Loving it!

As I mentioned, there is no lack of food in my world. I have been around the gluten free block vand here are some of my favorites:
Glutino pretzels – My friends and family are converted over to these. Crowd favorite.
Kinnikinnick personal size, frozen pizza crusts – Gluten-eaters like these too.
-Bread- Udi’s, Molly’s GF Bakery French loaves or buns and Elizabeth Barbone’s Easy Sandwich Bread (once I got over the fear of making gf bread, I realized how easy it really is!)
-ANYTHING from Molly’s Gluten Free Bakery– If you are in the area, go there. They are hoping to start shipping soon. I’ll even go pick something up for you and mail it. That good. Seriously.

Guest Post: Introducing Heidi from Adventures of a Gluten-free Mom

I am thrilled that Kim asked me to write a guest post on her awesome blog! My name is Heidi, and I am the quirky personality behind “Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom.” A blog that is primarily on gluten-free cooking. I do a lot of copycat recipes for mainstream processed foods that kids love, like GF Goldfish crackers, but I tweak them to make them gluten-free and often offer suggestions to accommodate other food allergies. I also try to make them healthier by using ingredients such as Smart Balance (dairy) or Earth Balance (non-dairy) buttery spreads instead of butter. Spectrum shortening instead of Crisco, and just recently I started tinkering with replacing eggs (which are high in dietary cholesterol) with flax gel. It is extremely satisfying for me to overcome some of the restrictions of a gluten-free diet by making my own, equally tasty, gluten-free versions of popular foods from my previous gluten-filled life.

Even though I love to cook and experiment, I am a mom, first and foremost, to two little boys, ages 6 and 2. My six year old son was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008 (hence my pursuit of GF Goldfish!) and it can be time consuming balancing cooking from scratch and everyday life with baseball, homework, and other commitments, so I do rely on some pre-packaged gluten-free foods from time to time. I am very picky though and I refuse to waste my money on products that are sub-par. I did enough of that when I was first diagnosed with celiac in 2005!

Some of our family’s favorite gluten-free packaged foods:

Udi’s GF Bread: When I found Udi’s for the first time, I cannot tell you how over-the-top I reacted! I danced, I cried, I laughed and cried some more. I first discovered it in June, 2009 before it was really well known. Because I live only 6 hours from Denver, I think Albuquerque was one of the first cities to carry Udi’s in our local Whole Foods Market. Up until then, I had experimented making my own GF bread and had come up with a few tasty options… as long as you ate it fresh and not as part of a sandwich. The homemade bread was too dense for me to use in a sandwich, and a day later, it would need to be toasted anyway. I don’t know about you, but a toasted PB & J sandwich is still toast. Not a soft, pillowy PB & J! Not to mention, a toasted PB & J sandwich is just not all that desirable a few hours later when you pull it out of your lunch box! Udi’s, without a doubt, changed my view of the gluten-free life, forever. I finally KNEW it could be done. Gluten-free no longer had to by synonymous with dry, grainy, or “tastes like cardboard.” I quit trying to make my own GF bread after finding Udi’s, I can’t top it, so why waste valuable time?

Tinkyada GF Pastas: Without a doubt, a clone to gluten-containing pastas! It does not fall apart and get mushy like many GF pastas. I always use the Tinkyada pasta WITH the rice bran, for added fiber.

Glutino GF Pretzels: Love these, both the sticks and the twists… now they just need to make a Pretzel Rod!!

Schar GF Shortbread Cookies: I use these for all sorts of things, like making my own GF version of Twix candy bars. I have tried to make my own GF shortbread cookies, but I cannot seem to get them hard enough without burning them in the process. My husband eats the plain shortbread cookies every night with a glass of milk before he goes to bed!

Erewhon Organic GF Crispy Brown Rice Cereal: I use these to make Rice Crispy Treats, just be sure to add 1 tsp. GF Vanilla to the melted marshmallow mixture. I also use them in homemade GF “Nestle Crunch” bars!

General Mills GF Chex Cereals: Love ’em all (R.I.P. Strawberry Chex)

Cerealvit GF Cereals: Corn Flakes and Choco Stars

Enjoy Life Foods: Perky’s Nutty Flax and Nutty Rice Cereals

Kinnikinnick S’moreable: A truly great GF Graham Cracker!

Better Batter GF Flour: I love this flour blend, although I am still figuring out exactly how it works, most things are out of this world, but a few things haven’t turned out as well; like thickening gravy (still prefer Tom Sawyer’s GF Flour for gravy).

Ener-G GF Crackers: I love these, both the original and onion flavors. We use them in all the standard ways you would eat a cracker (with cheese, nut butters and we even spread butter (actually Smart or Earth Balance) on top to replace bread & butter with dinner).

Those are our gluten-free family’s favorite packaged GF foods that are always on hand in our house. There are a few other packaged foods that we splurge on here and there…

Glow Gluten Free Cookies: Miss Chips Ahoy! since going GF? Then you gotta get ahold of a Glow Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie! All of Glow’s cookies are divine!

Crave Bakery GF Cheesecake: All you have to do is see my review with the photos of my 6 year old attacking the cheesecake…

The gluten-free life can be trying at times (okay, most of the time!) but there are a lot of great resources out there that can make this long and winding road of a journey a little bit easier. Kim’s blog is one of those resources! Kim is up-to-date and ON TOP of all “Breaking News,” which is why I fondly refer to her as the “Gluten-Free CNN,” subscribe to her blog and follow her on Twitter, I do and it has made me “in-the-know” on the important things that affect me and my family. :-)

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Kim here – sharing a picture of Heidi & I back in October when she was visiting family here in Columbus:

It was so great to meet Heidi in person! :) We had lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise!

Welcome to Moe’s!

Yesterday was the first time we had tried Moe’s Southwest Grill. They have a list of their gluten-free options online. We have enjoyed Chipotle many times, so I was very excited to try Moe’s.

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I love the menu & the names of the dishes! Some of the choices include: Homewrecker, Art Vandelay, Close Talker and Joey Bag of Donuts. I had the Close Talker – Lettuce, choice of meat, beans, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, cucumbers, black olives and your choice of dressing. The Southwest Vinaigrette is awesome! We brought in our own chips – Tostitos Baked Scoops. Jon had the Homewrecker in a bowl with a side of Queso. The manager even gave us a basket for our chips!

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They even name their salsas – Moe’s Rock’n’Roll & Who is Kaiser Salsa are 2 of the salsas that caught my eye.

We really enjoyed Moe’s and wish there was one closer to where we live! The closest one is over an hour away. Jon said this was his new favorite place to eat! Perhaps another visit before we head home may be in order.

You can see all of Moe’s locations here.

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While I have you here, make sure to check out the Live Gluten Freely re-launch today! I am proud to be a blog contributor on this new site! Let me know what you think!

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