Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Gluten-Free Magazine

      It strikes me as odd that this past Christmas I bought a subscription to Vegetarian Times over any gluten-free magazine available. I did this for a number of reasons, but mostly because the gluten-free magazines are filled with articles I do not care to read and recipes that I cannot eat or modify easily. I happened to stumble across this gem of a magazine, however, and am quite impressed at what I have found inside and wanted to share it with you quickly before I run off to work.

      Delight Gluten Free Magazine is a newer magazine based out of Boulder, CO that covers all things gluten-free. They have a doctor Q&A section and an awesome start on a recipe collection - check out this 100% non-intimidating recipe for gluten-free Tiramisu. The gluten-free popovers look just as appetizing and they give a diary free version, as well. Starting in May they will have a full travel section to help you along the gluten-free trail no matter where it takes you. They also have a section called Healthy Living that shows you how to make ordinary meals a bit more healthful and looks like they're even having a Get Healthy Challenge for the readers. I think the best part of all is the Gluten Free Meals on a Budget section - just as much of a life saver as it sounds!

      Browse their website, read their articles, check out some recipes and let me know what you think! I might even have a picture up soon of some of my own popovers from their recipe!
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gluten-Free Austin

      I had a great time out on the town with one of my sisters this past weekend. We saw a movie, toured a museum, hit a local bar for some darts and ate at a couple Austin favorites of mine. Also this past week, I got in an awesomely comfy tee from NadaMoo! I wore it out on Saturday with the sister and several people made a comment about the great dessert it was. People in Austin know their local businesses – especially when they're as good as NadaMoo!

      Speaking of local Austin business, if you live in Austin or plan on visiting and have never been to the Alamo Draft House, you need to make a point of going to this town icon. This weekend we caught the pre-screening of the final Futurama movie at a free showing. They serve tons of food and drinks while you watch movies there. They do some theme nights like Rocky Horror showings and 80's sing-a-longs and even Saturday morning cartoons served with cereal, but they also show some of the current movies out. It is an Austin favorite and worth the slightly long lines to see the good shows. (Get there early!) As a bonus to all us Celiac's, they serve ACE cider and have plenty on the menu that's gluten-free. My sister, who is not a Celiac, shared some chips and queso with pico, guacamole and jalapenos. Everything was tasty, reasonably priced, unlike some movie houses, and best of all did not make me sick.

      Another Austin favorite we hit up this weekend was Freebirds for the best burrito in town. For the Celiac crowd, they serve tacos or nachos made with 100% corn chips and tortillas. They only put in what you want and have a wide selection of ingredients. When my sister finished up she told me she understood what everyone was talking about when they gushed over Freebirds being so great.

      We had dinner out at Whip-In and while there is much potential in their homemade Indian food and newly acquired on-tap beer selection, the newly expanded staff isn't always the most helpful and the menu tends to change quite often making this hard to still call a favorite. It's a great place to stop on the way home from work and pick up to go Indian food with your beer or wine selection. They also stock lots of chips, salsa, frozen vegan and gluten free tamales, desserts, and baked goods from local bakeries making this a great way to support the local economy.

      We also got pretty silly drunk at The Dog and Duck Pub playing some form of darts. While this pub does serve a pretty serious lunch almost everyday of the week, their dinner menu is scaled back a bit to mostly finger foods making it not very Celiac friendly. On the brighter side, however, they do serve Woodchuck's Apple and Pear cider on draft at a reasonable price per pint. The atmosphere at the pub is a slightly older crowd than what you would expect for downtown Austin and offers darts, pool, boardgames and a pinball machine that seemed pretty popular. My arm is still sore from the epic dart games.

      I am hoping to showcase more things gluten-free around Austin in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Heart Healthy February

      Happy February everyone! I hope the chill of winter is beginning to lift for most of you. I know the weather here has been gorgeous the past several weeks with only one or two days of dreariness. February always seems to be a busy month with people buzzing with the knowledge of spring just around the corner start escaping from the closed doors of winter. Many new developments have already happened this month - I have been doing more research on the link between Dermatitis Herpetiformis and iodine and have found some interesting things to share about that. Also, I just got in the mail my first shipment from an awesome online grocery store and things in the kitchen have been going well, too. I have been testing out new recipes and trying to do some sort of meal planning to make things a little easier on me when I get home at 2AM from work. I have been working on a few things for the Etsy shop, too when I get some down time (haha).

Goats to the Rescue?

      Recently on the internet I have been hearing some buzz about genetically modified goats that are producing human proteins in their milk so that medicines can be made from these collected proteins. Poking around a bit, I found that there are several different places around the globe that are using goats for this purpose. An ABC news article explains how at the UC Davis campus researchers have been able to make goats produce lysozyme, a protein that fights bacteria, in their milk. They never actually state the purpose of the drug they are making, but they do reference third world childhood disease in the article. This same article also references, but does not name, other drugs that are being made from a different set of goats that prevents clotting of the blood. This anti-clotting drug is being made for patients who lack antithrombin due to a genetic condition according to this article from the Washington Post.

      By far the most interesting article I found on this topic must be this one from the Telegraph. The article tells of a similar goat farm outside of Moscow that is trying to get a high level of a protein found in human milk, lactoferrin, from goat milk. The benefits of this would be broad – from helping women who have difficulty breastfeeding to treating cancers and digestive disorders. The last paragraph was what I found particularly interesting - the author casually mentions how similar studies are going on in China and Netherlands. I suppose it just strikes me as odd that the food industry is making a big deal about not having ingredients made with GMO (non-Genetically Modified Organisms), but the drug industry is promoting genetically modifying goats to make drugs. While I realize there is a potential good side to all of this testing and experimenting, it does leave me wondering why one side says go for it and the other says stay far away?

Dermatitis Herpetiformis and Salt

      I've read several forum posts at the boards relating salt and iodine intake to dermatitis herpetiformis or DH. Iodine is needed to produce the actual skin reaction of DH and the theory is that the less iodine you consume the less outbreaks of DH you will have. This sounded crazy at first but the more I researched it and the more I found that supports this idea, the more convinced I became. I've been using less salt for about a week now and I must say that I do notice a difference. I'm not itching everyday like I was and when I do it seems much less intense than before. I'm hoping to continue to see improvements in this area. I've been dealing with fairly constant DH outbreaks for the last two years as I'm incredibly sensitive to gluten and casein. (The carpet shampoo in my new apartment actually set off DH on my feet for the first few days we were here!) I've gone to no dairy even after losing my first loves, cheese and ice cream, so what should be so hard about cutting out the salt? I
do not really loose anything from cutting it out other than the pleasure of the taste. There are plenty of salt substitutes out there and the good news is that I've just recently fallen in love with one of them. Bragg's Liquid Aminos is a natural salt replacement and tastes wonderful to boot! I've been going a little nuts with it and using it in nearly everything. This will certainly be a challenge, though – much more so than going gluten and dairy free has been. I thought gluten was in everything, but salt really is in almost everything. I will be sure to keep updates on things that do give any sort of relief to DH – I know the nightmare it can be! For some good tips, check the forums for DH at!

Online Grocery Store (that is actually worth it!)

      A few days ago, the boyfriend and I got in our first order from, an online grocery store based out of Tuscon, AZ. We ordered right around $100 worth of groceries and got over 15 pounds of dry goods including nuts, cereal, quinoa, black and anasazi beans. We also purchased regular groceries such as apple sauce, gluten free bread and pasta, pudding mixes, a few canned goods and various glutenous items for the boyfriend. I was impressed with the quality and the wide selection they offer for the gluten-free diet. The site even offers cleaning products with labels you can read making it less likely to get glutened from your cleaning supplies.
      What I'm hoping to accomplish with these online orders is to purchase primarily bulk items as needed and visit the grocery store only for the produce we need. Hopefully some of this will be supplemented by the farm subscription and any patio gardening we do.

Glutened From Tea!

      Scouring the vending machine at work while famished the other day, I paid $1.70 (!) for a bottle of Lipton's White Tea with Raspberry to try out. Bad idea. Less than half way through the bottle I was light headed with a horrible headach
e and the beginning of hives. I contacted the company when I got home that night and they responded with the following email:

“Hello Patricia,

Thanks for stopping by!

Gluten is found in wheat rye, barley, and oats.

Because our products are formulated for use by the majority of our consumers, and not specifically for those on restricted diets, it is possible our product formulations may change at any time. As a result, we cannot provide a list due to several factors:

- Lists of this type reflect products as formulated at a specific time
- Possible that more products/varieties may have been added
- More important, changes in existing products may have occurred

Therefore, we suggest reading all ingredient labels carefully.

We hope this information is helpful.
Your friends at Lipton”

Thanks for nothing, Lipton. Too bad I'll never buy another Lipton product with 'natural flavors' on the label.

A Recipe or Two

      First off, I wanted to s
hare where I found the Mung Bean Flatbread recipe I posted earlier on the site. I could not find the source at the time of posting and had just gone from memory. I had suggested the recipe to a coworker and she reported the recipe I gave her came out a little wet, a problem that I have since ran into a couple times. This has led me to track that recipe down and share it with you so that you can enjoy it.
      Valentine's weekend I made a pot of white bean chili that lasted until noon the next day. The boyfriend and I ate and nearly all the company we had ate some, too. It went pretty fast and being it was such a hit, I wanted to share the recipe.

White Bean Chili

1 c Dried White Beans, soaked overnight or all day
1 chopped onion
3 stalks celery sliced finely
3 medium carrots chopped
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 stock cube
3 cloves garlic minced
oil for frying

Boil white beans for around 45 minutes with stock cube before starting pan for frying vegetables. Heat large frying pan with oil over medium high heat and add onion, celery and carrots. Saute for 5 to 8 minutes or until vegetables become tender and slightly browned. Transfer vegetable mixture, garlic and tomatoes to beans and continue to boil another 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot with favorite gluten free crackers or toast.
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Friday, February 6, 2009

A Blur of a Month....

      The past few weeks have been a complete blur for me. The last week and a half of January was spent moving and unpacking. Cleaning and dusting and getting settled in as quick as I could before I had to start a new job working an odd shift that puts me home close to 2 AM. I've had to rearrange my schedule a bit, but it didn't take long for me to get used to it. By nature I am a natural night owl and I do enjoy the hours. The boyfriend and I are also trying to get in shape for two races in March – the Texas Independence 5k and the Statesman 10k. I've been biking to work which gives me nearly 18 miles a week on the bike on top of grocery store runs and the like. The actual running will start sometime in the next week or so.

      I've stayed just as busy in the kitchen with new ideas and recipes to try as I
have been outside of the kitchen. Even now, I'm enjoying fresh baked chocolate macadamia cookies that I made earlier this evening and the boyfriend is eating a second plate of the quinoa stuffed peppers we had for dinner. There have been so many wonderful things come out of the kitchen lately that I'm not sure where to begin it all.

      The one dish that sticks out the most from this past month has to be the fettuccini with kale and pesto sauce from earlier this week. The hardest part was making the pesto sauce – other than that it was boil, sautee and mix together. Simple and delicious! Just the way I like it.

      Another success was curried cauliflower. A few months ago the boyfriend and I picked up some amazingly tasty curry powder that has the perfect amount of heat to it – I've been overlooking it for a while now, but when I needed to use up some extra cauliflower last week it was one of the only thing I had on hand. The combination of still crisp cauliflower with spicy curry and savory rice was wonderful. The curry sauce was a simple mixture of 2 tablespoons of curry powder dissolved into 1 cup of milk. I added the cauliflower to this and let it simmer for around 5 minutes. I dumped in a mixture of 2 teaspoons of sweet rice flower mixed with a half cup of water into the simmering pan and turned the heat off. The residual heat kept the sauce cooking long enough to let it thicken up, but not get too thick.

      We also got hold of some of the hottest cayenne we have ever tasted. The first night that we had it we added one half a teaspoon to a skillet of fried potatoes and onions we were having and neither of us were able to get through our meal without a sweaty brow, runny noses and a few tears. It's lasted us quite a while and we are trying to use it up, but it's proving a little difficult. We love spicy foods, but this cayenne is almost over the top.

      Collards have been in three of our last four produce pick ups from the local farm and I've had to find new recipes to keep things interesting. I tried a gluten free collard calzone that turned out a little dry and not very appetizing. The best way I've found of cooking the collards is to just boil them for about 45 minutes or so in some spicy, salty water. The collards will absorb the flavor and this gives you time to whip up something else to go with them. My meal of choice with the collards was beans and rice, as you can see.

      Most of the meals I've made as of late have been as simple as possible. Not only does it make things easier to make, but the closer the food is to the natural state the better it is for you. Lots of avocados, fresh fruit, salads and raw food bars have been our main snack foods with one large meal and one or two smaller meals during the day. Eating this way is best for our lifestyle – it keeps us going with all the energy we expend on a daily basis.

      I am toying with a peanut sauce recipe that should be coming up in a post soon. Also coming out of the kitchen soon will be some delicious pierogies and white chili! I have found a great recipe for a cheese sauce made from nutritional yeast, but the yeast I got is laced with gluten – I got it from the bulk section of Whole Foods, but the bin was surrounded with flours of various sorts and I get hives every time I try to eat it on anything. More on that when I find a better source. Until then...
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