Five Things to Know About Being Gluten-Free

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month. I plan on sharing several posts that pertain to awareness this month, beginning with Five Things to Know About Being Gluten-Free.

Starting out on a gluten-free diet can be very scary. The foods that may have once provided a source of comfort & satiety – pastas, bread, and cereals – are now off limits. On top of feeling robbed of old favorites, you may not be feeling all that great either. Gluten can wreak havoc on the body and can cause a multitude of symptoms for those who can’t tolerate it. Here are five basics to know about being gluten-free.

1. Do not embark on the gluten-free diet until all of the testing that you & your doctor have talked about doing has been completed. It is understandable that once you get your blood test results and find out that gluten has been causing your problems that you just want start the diet and feel better. However, the test that doctors use to confirm Celiac Disease, an endoscopy with an intestinal biopsy, is most accurate while you are still consuming gluten. Removing gluten from your diet before the testing is complete can skew the test results.
2. Start simple. Instead of stressing out and combing through countless articles and labels, buy the basics that are naturally gluten-free. Fresh fruits, vegetables, rice, potatoes, most unseasoned meats (feel free to add your own salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc at home), milk and plain yogurt are all naturally gluten-free. Sure, there are thousands of items in the store that are gluten-free, but starting out simple will make the entire process seem a whole lot less daunting.
3. Once you have the hang of it, there are many gluten-free replacement foods on the market. Arm yourself with your lists of safe & forbidden ingredients and get to work. Several mainstream companies have begun to label their foods as “gluten-free. Some of these companies are Van’s International Foods, General Mills, Kraft and Hormel. Triumph Dining has a grocery guide to help navigate the grocery store. There are also many specialty companies that make breads, mixes, rolls, cakes, pies, etc.
4. Eating out is still possible when you are following a gluten-free diet. Many of the chain restaurants now have gluten-free menus available. Triumph Dining also has a dining guide & cards available for purchase to help navigate the restaurant world. Aside from making sure the food you order is gluten-free, you need to make sure the staff is aware that you are following a gluten-free diet and that precautions should be taken to keep the risk of cross contamination to a minimum. Some of these precautions include mixing your salad in a clean bowl where no croutons have been tossed previously, cooking your food in a separate pan or clean area of the grill and using separate utensils to flip and/or stir food.
5. Attending public events is still possible. As soon as you receive notice of the event, start your plan. Contact the person in charge of the event and find out what, if any, food is going to be served. Casual family functions may be the easiest, as you will feel most comfortable explaining your dietary needs to them. If your friends and family are not willing to accommodate you or you don’t feel that they have grasped the severity of your needs, simply eat beforehand or bring along a dish to share that you can eat. More formal functions can be handled by contacting the person in charge of the food and going from there. Most restaurants or conference centers can accommodate you in some manner. Always keep a gluten-free bar or snack in your bag, car or purse. There are several gluten-free options that travel well, including Lara Bars, Pure Bars, Zing Bars and when in doubt, nuts.

So, while starting the gluten-free diet can seem intimidating, it can be tackled one step at a time to make the transition more manageable. Of course there is so much more information, but I want to try to put this information into small, easy-to-read & access posts. If you are ever looking for more information, please make sure to check the links on the right side of my blog. There are restaurant menus, grocery store gluten-free lists, celiac links and more. Furthermore, if you can’t find information you are looking for, you can always email me and I am happy to try and help.

Do you like savings?

Do you like saving money? I know I do, especially since gluten-free mixes can be on the pricey side. Mixes from the Heartland has many gluten-free mixes from pancakes to muffins to pies to dip to soups & casseroles. I reviewed some of their products a few months back. Mixes from the Heartland now has a new Gluten Free Buying Club that offers some great savings incentives.

  • 15% discount
  • Lower prices not offered on the website
  • Access to new recipes
  • Special orders
  • Expanded variety of new products not offered on the website

How much does the Gluten Free Buying Club cost?

  • One year membership – $25
  • Lifetime membership – $40
  • Group/Wholesale membership – $100

There is also a sale going on right now for members: Assortment Packages for $28.00 ($8.00 off). There is free shipping on all orders over $100 and $10 flat rate shipping on all orders under $99.

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A little more about Mixes from the Heartland:

  • No peanuts, eggs, tree nuts, soy, barley, wheat or rye in the factory
  • No bean flours
  • Eliza testing at 5 ppm

I just received an email from Teri, CEO of Mixes from the Heartland, with a coupon code for everyone to use through May 30: GFMFTH If you haven’t found Mixes from the Heartland on Facebook or Twitter yet, please make sure to check them out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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General Mills Gluten-free Bisquick & Hamburger Helper Debuts

General Mills is continuing to expand their gluten-free foods line by adding Gluten-free Bisquick and Hamburger Helper. These products will be debuted at the Celiac Disease Foundation Annual Education & Food Faire in Los Angeles on May 15, 2010.

The event starts at 8:00 AM and goes until 4:00PM. On the agenda:

FEATURING TOP NATIONAL SPEAKERS

Peter H.R. Green, MD Professor of Clinical Medicine, College of Physicians & Surgeons Columbia University, New York
Director, Celiac Disease Center Columbia University

Sheila Crowe, MD Professor of Medicine, Gastroenterology/Hepatology and Researcher University of Virginia Health System

Daniel C. Adelman, MD Senior V.P. & Chief Medical Officer Alvine Pharmaceuticals

Shelley Case, BSc, RD Registered Dietitian, author, speaker, and leading international nutrition expert on celiac disease and the gluten-free diet

Anne Lee, MSEd, RD, CDN Registered Dietician, Certified Diabetes Nutritionist, Director of Nutritional Services for Schär USA food products

&
Back by popular demand
Frank Baldassare, “The Missing Ingredient”

Also featuring

Question and Answer

Peter H.R. Green, MD and Sheila Crowe, MD

Cooking for Kids with Celiac Disease and Food Allergies

Lunchbox options and enticing gluten-free family meals
Elizabeth Kaplan, Chef

Parents of Celiac Children

Marc & Melissa Riches

CDF Connections & Chapters

Meet local support group leaders and members

Young Adults & Teens Get Together

Presentation of the 2010 Champion of Celiac Disease Awareness Award

Meet the Authors – New Books Sales & Signing

Dr. Green – Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic Revised and Updated
Dr. Crowe – Celiac Disease for Dummies
Shelley Case BSc, RD – Gluten-Free Diet A Comprehensive Resource Guide – Revised and Expanded

Gluten-free Pancake Breakfast and Luncheon*
Gluten-free Goodie Bag with each registration
Raffle
Extensive vendor displays with gluten-free food samples and sales

* Please contact the CDF office for dairy free or vegetarian meals

Registration information can be found here. There is still a discount until April 30, 2010, so if you are interested in going, register soon!

It is important to know that the Gluten-free Bisquick & Hamburger Helper will not be available in stores at this time. The Hamburger Helper, which will come in 3 different gluten-free varieties: Chicken Fried Rice, Cheesy Hashbrowns and Beef Fried Rice, will be available beginning at the end of May. The Gluten-free Bisquick will not be available until July. Due to lags in shipping times, there may be a delay until these items are commonly available in stores. Please visit Live Gluten Freely for the most recent information.

When I shared the General Mills news on my Facebook Fan Page, there was quite the discussion that blossomed. Anne Steib, my colleague at Celiac-Disease.com, wrote about the new products last week. There was a lot of mention of how the new products are highly processed and aren’t we, as a country, trying to get away from processed foods. The sodium levels were also mentioned as a concern. While these products may not be for everyone, they will certainly be filling a void in the market. There are specialty companies that make baking mixes and the helper type mixes, but no mainstream company, such as General Mills, has taken on such a task.

If you follow a gluten-free diet should you start eating the Cheesy Hashbrowns for every meal? No. Just as with everything else in a healthy diet, moderation is key.

What purpose do these mixes serve then? They provide safe options for those needing a fast meal. When I say “safe”, I mean gluten-free. I don’t necessarily mean low-fat, low-sodium or full of only healthy ingredients. I am strictly referring to the gluten-free status of this product.

Can you make the meals healthy? I think that the meals can be rounded out nicely by added some fresh steamed veggies, salad and maybe even some fruit for dessert. Again, maybe not something to have on a regular basis, but it will certainly be useful for many.

As far as the Gluten-free Bisquick goes, while I have not seen the ingredients, I can’t see this as being much different from something like Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix.

What are your thoughts?

Amazing Grass Winner & Weekly Menu Plan April 26, 2010

This has been a busy week! Yesterday I hit a PDR (personal distance record) with my running. I ran 20 miles! This was the hardest week of my marathon training. Now I am in the tapering stage. I was able to do the 20 miles in 3 hours 14 minutes & 57 seconds. I wasn’t pushing it, I was just running. I ran the first 10 miles with a friend, so that helped pass the time. I feel ready for my race on May 16th. To celebrate & refuel, I headed out to dinner last night with the kids and my in-laws. We went to a restaurant that just rolled out a new gluten-free menu, so I had high hopes. Unfortunately, the kitchen staff over-salted the pasta water & the dishes were not edible. They apologized & gave us a $50 gift card to come give them another try. I went with the intention of writing a review on this restaurant, which I am now waiting to write. I don’t feel it is fair to not give them a chance to fix the problem. They were busy and this was only the first or second week of the gluten-free menu. I will complete my review and share all of my thoughts once we go back again, hopefully later this week. So, what is a girl to do when she has only had a salad, roasted carrots & a glass of red wine for dinner? Cold Stone Creamery! I enjoyed a coffee ice cream with Heath bar mixed in and then came home for more wine.

In case you missed it, I also wrote True Blogger Confessions last night after a couple glasses of wine and apparently the post was a hit. 😉 If you missed it, please check it out and share your secrets. :) Andrea wrote me the funniest comment:

Dear Kim, Please drunk-blog more often because the results are awesome. Hugs and kisses, A

I got a good giggle out of that.

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Now, the Amazing Grass Winner. Thank you to all who entered the giveaway. The winner is:

kelly
April 21st, 2010 at 10:24 pm
well any thing chocolate or peanut butter sounds yummy to me!

Congrats Kelly!! Check your email

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Now for the menu plan.

Sunday – Rotisserie chicken, baked sweet potato, roasted okra & tomatoes & salad

Monday – Filet mignon, leftover baked sweet potato (they were huge!), asparagus & salad

Tuesday – Taco night – ground turkey tacos, refried beans & corn off the cob (Jon has braces & Hannah is missing 3 front teeth), salad

Wednesday – Perhaps a revisit to the restaurant with the $50 gift card

Thursday -Grilled BBQ chicken, yucca fries, steamed broccoli & salad

Friday -Spaghetti with roasted veggies & marinutta and salad

Saturday-Leftovers or breakfast for dinner

Baked Goods

Scones

Bread

Pumpkin Bread

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Weekly Recap:

Jules Gluten Free Flour Cookies e-book FREE

Holiday Baking Company adds new menu items.

Whole Foods Dublin now offering Udi’s Gluten-free goods.

Teenagers following the gluten-free diet

Rusty Bucket locations now offering a gluten-free menu

Gluten-free Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

Review: Food for Life English Muffins

Review: Coconut Aminos & Coconut Vinegar

Nutritional Yeast Success

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Did you guys see the finale of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution? Jamie announced on Twitter today that they reached 500,000 signatures on the petition! WOOHOO!!

“Done it 500.000signatures+ I cant tell u how incredible that is 271.000 started real change inUK there is hope we can do it thank u all jox”

Do you think that Huntington will stick with the changes? What did you think about the schools bringing the processed crap food back on Fridays? Can you believe they had an order placed through 2011? Hopefully Jamie got there in time to help rectify that. I love the transformation that Alice has made. I was so skeptical of her in the beginning; I am really glad that she is one of Jamie’s allies now. Here is a link with lots of recipes & how-to videos from Jamie’s site. I am sad that the show is over now.

True Blogger Confessions

Okay, this is probably the post that shouldn’t be, but I was thinking about this the other day and never got around to writing it. Now that I have had a couple of glasses of wine, I am getting around to writing it. It may be because I am choosing to forgo the to-do list I have due to the vino I have had or it may be because I am too tired to get off of my chair.

Do you have any hidden secrets to confess? I do. My secret is one that I have been keeping for a while, but don’t like to share. Want to know who really made me think about it? Dr. Oz. I kid you not. I usually have his show on in the background & this one piece caught my ear/eye.

I don’t floss. Or didn’t. I do now. I have always hated things in my mouth. Dentist? No, thank you. I go because I have to. When they ask if I floss, I say “sometimes”. That is, or was, a lie. I couldn’t stand it and the last time I did it I ended up losing a crown! That ended up a huge debacle. I am now getting my teeth cleaned on a regular basis and flossing, too. I have been fortunate that I haven’t had any major dental issues aside from things that occurred years ago and I am just getting around to taking care of (thank you crappy dental insurance). You can read all kinds of info on flossing here on Dr. Oz’s site.

So, the questions of the day are: #1 Do you floss daily? #2 Are you keeping any secrets?

What I am doing about my flossing? I am now committed to flossing daily. I have a 4 day streak going right now! That is huge progress for me.

Does this have anything to do with being gluten-free? Kind of. Dental floss is gluten-free, so that makes it blog-worthy. Of course, this is my blog, so I can blog about whatever I want to. However, I want to attract readers, not send them packing, so 98% of my posts relate to the gluten-free lifestyle.

Want some gluten-free info? Some new gluten-free news: General Mills is introducing Gluten-free Bisquick & Hamburger Helper in the next few months. Anne, from Celiac-Disease.com, wrote about it here.

Hope you all have a great Saturday night! I am heading to bed here shortly

Product Review: Coconut Aminos & Coconut Vinegar

I received some complimentary samples from Coconut Secret back in March. Raw Coconut Aminos & Raw Coconut Vinegar are just 2 of the products that Coconut Secret offers. They also offer Raw Coconut Flour, Raw Coconut Nectar & Raw Coconut Crystals. All of the products are gluten-free and vegan. Coconut has many health benefits, including helping to reduce obesity, improving heart health, reducing sugar cravings and improving digestion.

Some information on coconut sap:

“The nutrient-rich coconut sap comes right out of the tree naturally abundant in 17 Amino Acids (the building blocks of protein), broad-spectrum B Vitamins (especially rich in Inositol, known for its effectiveness on depression, high cholesterol, inflammation, and diabetes), Vitamin C, Minerals (high in Potassium, essential for electrolyte balance, regulating high blood pressure, and sugar metabolism), as well as FOS (a prebiotic that promotes digestive health).

Coconut tree sap produces a multitude of delicious products, including our Coconut Vinegar, Coconut Aminos Seasoning Sauce, Coconut Nectar, and Coconut Crystals, all made through raw methods of either fermenting the sap (for up to 1 year), or evaporating it (for only 45-90 minutes at low temperatures) after it is collected.

The most remarkable blessing about tapping a coconut tree, is that once it is tapped, it flows its sap continuously for the next 20 years. From a sustainability viewpoint, the harvestable energy production from tapping coconut trees for their sap (which yields 5,000 liters per hectare), rather than allowing them to produce fruit, is 5-7 times higher per hectare than coconut oil production from mature coconuts.”

I was truly fascinated when I was reading about this process. 20 years? That is awesome!

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I bet you are wondering what I have been doing with this stuff, huh? Well, I have been using the Coconut Aminos in place of soy sauce. It has less sodium than traditional soy sauce and I love the taste! I saute veggies with this stuff and they turn out great! I also made this dish:

pasta

It was a stir fry pasta that used the Coconut Aminos & Coconut Vinegar. It was so good!! Here is a list of the ingredients I used, though I didn’t measure, I just seasoned to taste:

Notta pasta
Chickpeas
Spinach
Roasted zucchini & mushrooms
Peanut Butter
Coconut Aminos
EVOO
Coconut Vinegar
Salt
Pepper
Sundried Tomatoes

The Coconut Crystals & Coconut Nectar are low glycemic (both with a GI of 35) sweeteners that can be used in place of sugar, agave, honey, etc. They are perfect for diabetics.

Coconut Flour is a great source of fiber. Just 2 TBSP have 5 grams of fiber and 62 calories. Coconut flour is great to use in gravy or to blend with other gluten-free flours. Use a ratio of 1/4 cup coconut flour to 3/4 cup gluten-free flour of choice (an all purpose mix would work here). Another option for using 100% coconut flour is one that I just read about on the Coconut Secret site:

“Add 4 eggs to 1/2 cup of coconut flour. Since coconut flour is gluten-free, eggs act as a gluten substitute in any recipe. It can also be helpful to increase the liquid content in coconut flour recipes by adding an extra 1-to-1 ratio of liquid per equal amount of flour”

Coconut Aminos & Vinegar can be found at Whole Foods. I can see this becoming a staple in our house. I really enjoyed sampling these products.

Sneaking Success!

I am always looking for ways to boost the nutritional value of my food. I have been hearing about the benefits of nutritional yeast for a while, yet had never taken the leap to try it. I finally bought some the other day from iherb.com and have found a new love. I love the way this can help boost the protein in my meals! With all the training I have been doing for my marathon, I can use all the help I can get. Based on my weight, I should be consuming at least 47 grams of protein per day. I don’t eat a lot of meat or soy, so the nutritional yeast is a nice way to boost my protein up. I have stirred into my marinara sauce and sprinkled on roasted veggies. 2 TBSPS have 60 calories, 4 grams of fiber & 9 grams of protein. You can read about the rest of the stats here.

Nutritional yeast contains 18 amino acids and 15 minerals. It is rich in B-complex vitamins and is an excellent source of folic acid. Nutritional yeast is grown on cane sugar or molasses. Once it is harvested, it is washed & dried & sold in the form of flakes or powder.

How to use nutritional yeast:

  • Topping for veggies
  • Topping for popcorn
  • Mixed into sauces
  • Mixed with vinegar & oil for salad dressing
  • Add to soup
  • Use for cheesy flavor in pasta or on pizza
  • Sprinkle on eggs

I have to let you in on a secret. Can you keep a secret? Tonight while making dinner for Jon & Hannah, I decided to add nutritional yeast to the marinara sauce for their pasta. We normally use Prego Three Cheese, but ended up buying the Tomato, Basil & Garlic because the store didn’t have any Three Cheese. Anyway, I figured that I could add the nutritional yeast to the sauce & it would mimic the parmesan cheese that I would tell the kids I added. I know, probably not the right way to go about it, but you know what? They liked it! LOL! Jon knew something was up and asked repeatedly. I told him I added parmesan cheese since we couldn’t find the Three Cheese sauce the other day. He said it was good, but he just wanted to know. I probably should fess up, huh? The thing is he is at that age where he lets appearance take precedence over taste and Hannah follows along like a little puppy dog. Both kids cleaned their plates and had a very nutritious meal – pasta with altered marinara, steamed broccoli, salad & strawberries.

Here are a few recipes using nutritional yeast. I now that I am late jumping on this bandwagon but seriously, this is one of the best kept secrets! I wish I would have jumped on the nutritional yeast bandwagon a long time ago!

Amazing Grass Smoothie & a Giveaway

I received some complimentary samples from Amazing Grass a few weeks back & have been working on sampling them.

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A little about Amazing Grass:

Our Mission
To help people lead healthier more active lives by achieving their full potential through better nutrition. We strive to educate the world by spreading the word about the amazing benefits of cereal grasses. Amazing Grass will spare no resources or expense to produce nutritionally superior products with the highest quality organic cereal grasses available anywhere in the world.
Our Vision
To enhance peoples lives by connecting health, nutrition, and the environment.
Our Story
How we got started….
We started out of our garage (well it was really a dining room table) in August of 2002 in San Francisco, California. We were two guys with a desire to build a ‘grass’ roots business that aligned with our passion for the outdoors and a healthy lifestyle.
We had each spent 7 years at large telecom companies and met 4 years ago at a start-up telecom company that was trying to break the bandwidth bottleneck, but ended up going broke instead. Working in a start up environment, we witnessed first hand the effect 17 hour work days, lack of exercise and poor eating habits had on many of our colleagues. Constantly hearing people say “I’m exhausted”, “I’m sick” and “I need to get in better shape” seemed to be directly related to stress and diet.

Todd noticed that Brandon seemed immune from the common cold and the contagious mid-afternoon yawn. Brandon’s thumb is the furthest shade from green, but luckily his uncle has continued to run the family dehydrating business that his Grandfather started over 50 years ago. Brandon swore the wheat grass he’d been taking gave him more energy, a stronger immune system and an overall healthier life. He gave some to Todd along with a great book by Ron Seibel called Cereal Grass, What’s in it for you. Within weeks, Todd was a big believer…he developed increased energy throughout the day and saw his need for sleep decrease. In fact, Todd has eluded everything including the common cold since taking wheat grass. Brandon had a long list of friends that were hooked on wheat grass and would often call or stop by when they ran out. His freezer was being raided on a daily basis. (We know this sounds like a scene from Cops, but we swear it was just wheat grass.)

With the help of a college marketing class at Cal Poly SLO, their wives, families and friends, Todd and Brandon started Amazing Grass.

It is our passion to educate the world about the benefits of cereal grass, green foods and the improved quality of life from eating healthy. It is our goal to always listen to our customers and constantly improve what we do. We pledge to produce the healthiest products that offer real benefits at prices everyone can afford. It’s an amazing adventure to grow this business to reflect our dreams, passions and beliefs.

Today, Amazing Grass offers the most potent green vegetables in a convenient way that aligns with our hectic lifestyles. We take great pleasure in hearing your stories about how Amazing Grass has changed your life and encourage our new friends to write us with their stories. One timeless phrase will sum up many of our responses…”You are what you eat.” Eat Grass…Get Healthy!!!

Brandon and Todd

Jon had the KidszSuperFood Chocolate and really liked it. I should have kept the packet hidden, though, because he read it and vowed to never have another because he saw all the healthy stuff in it! I explained that he should go by the taste, much like “not judging a book by its cover”.

The Chocolate Whole Foods Energy Bar is really good. I loved the flavor & texture.

I made a smoothie with the Amazing Meal Chocolate Infusion. Into the smoothie I put:

  • Amazing Meal Chocolate Infusion packet
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup Almond Dream
  • Spinach

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I loved the flavor of the smoothie, but couldn’t get past the texture. I had never had a “green monster” up until that point. Perhaps I needed to blend it more? Maybe I am just not cut out for green smoothies or monsters? All the cool bloggers drink them, so I figured they had to be good. LOL! 😉

BTW, this was my first time trying Almond Dream and it was good, but it was not my beloved Almond Breeze (I love the unsweetened vanilla).

Want to find Amazing Grass products? Click here for retail locations or you can shop online.

Now for the fun part! Want to win some Amazing Grass goodies? Here is what the winner will win:

  • 3 Green SuperFood Bars (Whole Food, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Berry Whole Food)
  • 2 Organic Wheat Grass Drink Powders (yes, this is gluten-free)
  • 2 Green SuperFood Drink Powders
  • 2 Green SuperFood Drink Powders w/ Goji & Acai infusions – Berry Flavor
  • 1 Green SuperFood Chocolate Drink Powder
  • 1 Kidz SuperFood Drink Powder – Wild Berry Flavor
  • 2 Amazing Meal packets – Original & Pomegranate Mango Infusion

Here are the rules for this giveaway:

1. Leave a comment telling me which Amazing Grass product you would most like to try = 1 entry

2. Become a fan (or “like”) Gluten-free is Life on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me you did= 1 entry

3. Follow me on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did = 1 entry

4. Tweet about this giveaway and make sure to use @kbouldin in your tweet so I can count it = 1 entry

5. Blog about this giveaway & link back. Leave me a comment telling me you did = 1 entry.

You can earn up to 5 entries by using the methods outlined above. Giveaway will run from now until Friday at midnight. The winner will be announced Saturday. I also have some bonus samples & gluten-free goodies that I will toss in for the winner! Good luck!

A Late Evening Treat

Dessert for Jon’s party was originally going to be Pistachio Cheesecake. That went out the window when I realized I was missing some key ingredients. I had made some Betty Crocker Gluten-free Cupcakes earlier, so I knew that would serve as part of the dessert.

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I used the yellow cake mix & rich & creamy chocolate frosting that Live Gluten Freely sent me earlier last week. I knew the cupcakes wouldn’t be enough, so I set out to make more goodies. This is what I came up with:

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Peanut Butter Chip Brownies. Yes, they were freakin’ amazing! The picture can’t even begin to show the scrumptiousness that was these brownies. The recipe will be up on Celiac-Disease.com later this week. I will make sure to let you know when.

After the festivities of Jon’s party died down we went to watch his rec hockey game. Jon scored a hat trick for his birthday and the game winning goal, to boot! Go JON! After the game, the boys headed home and my mom and me headed out for some girly time. We went out with the intention of just having a glass of wine, but after having eaten “dinner” at 5 PM, we were a touch on the hungry side. We tried Marcella’s, known for it’s great atmosphere & gluten-free menu, but there was a 20-30 minute wait to just sit in the bar! You know you are getting old when you don’t go out on the weekends anymore & find that you may actually have to wait to eat at a restaurant! That doesn’t typically happen when you eat at 5 or 5:30! HA!

We decided that Brio would work and I was sure that I could find something that was gluten-free there. Brio doesn’t have a printed gluten-free menu, but the chef was more than happy to let me know if my choices were gluten-free. We ended up splitting the Wood Grilled Salmon Salad (sans crispy shoestring potatoes). I wish I would have had my camera with me to show you how big half of this salad was! It was a very decent size for being half! It was the perfect light 2nd dinner! I had a wonderful glass of Malbec to go along with my salad, while my mom enjoyed a glass of chardonnay. We really enjoyed each other’s company Saturday night. We don’t get to do this type of thing too often, as the kids are usually with me. We finished the night off with a Mini Caramel Crème Brulee. The cutest little dessert that came in an espresso cup! It was the perfect size. I love crème brulee, but hate that most places serve the dessert in a very large dish and I feel like I have to finish it all. This was no problem to finish & didn’t leave me feeling like I needed to unbutton my jeans. :) Want to find a Brio close to you? Click here for locations.

momkimjonsbdDAY

I love my mom!! I love how close we have grown over the years. I wish she lived closer.

Weekly Menu Plan – April 18, 2010

Phew! The end of a crazy week! I can breathe a little now. While this week is slowing down socially, it will be my craziest running week in my marathon training. This week my mileage will peak at 40 miles, with a 20 mile long run on Saturday. I need to make sure that I am getting plenty of sleep & nutritious food this week.

Sunday – Chicken breast (leftover from the BBQ), millet, roasted veggies & salad

Monday –Bourbon chicken, brown rice, broccoli & salad

Tuesday -Mexican Pizzas, refried beans & salad

Wednesday -Breakfast for dinner

Thursday -Shrimp Scampi, quinoa pasta, green beans & salad

Friday – BBQ pulled pork, mashed potatoes, zucchini & salad

Saturday -Leftovers

Baked Goods

Bread

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Weekly Recap

Starkist recalls SeaSations for undeclared wheat.

Westlake Food Corp recalls 140,000 pounds of meat for undeclared wheat.

Boar’s Head gluten-free deli products are in Columbus.

Trader Joe’s – The Story Behind the Store

Rocky Mountain Organic Meats Review

Review of Crave Bakery products.

Larabar is coming out with new flavors!!

Come join in the discussion about gluten-free pasta.

Panera Bread updates gluten-free menu.

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