Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gluten Free Gossip's Go To Snack Items

Snacks are one thing that I find difficult when sticking to the gfree diet. Yes, there are tons of fattening cookies and sweets but that gets expensive and is definitely not healthy. I have been trying to come up with some healthy, quick, and cost effective ideas to take to work and here is what I have come up with:

  • Roasted Chickpeas - chickpeas, olive oil, spices of your choice roasted for 30min

  • Chex Mix - make it yourself: corn/rice chex, peanuts/almonds, cranberries/raisins, chocolate/yogurt chips

  • Spiced Pretzels - Glutino pretzels, ranch dressing mix, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, olive oil - mix together and place on baking sheet in the oven for 15min

  • Kind Bars - shop around at different grocery stores for the best price in your area

  • Sunbutter - goes great with everything: apples, carrots, celery, rice cakes, bananas, pretzels

All of these snacks are easy to grab on the go or keep in your purse/car/desk for easy access. Make a bunch of the homemade snacks, they last for a very long time - if you don't eat them first!

If you don't like any of these options - stick to the basics: fruits and veggies! Happy Snacking!

That's all for now, check back later this week for more Gluten Free Gossip!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gluten Free Gossip is back! Restaurant Style

Well, GlutenFreeGossip is back! I know it has been a VERY long time since I last posted, but after a number of requests I have decided to re-start GlutenFreeGossip and @glutengossip!

There is no way to update this site with all the gluten free discoveries I have made over the past year and a half, but I am going to make an effort to include all the important information throughout my first few entries.

I would like to re-start this blog with my favorite topic: Restaurants!

New York
Living in NYC (Manhattan specifically) I have access to some of the best restaurants in the world. I know that I can walk into almost any restaurant in my neighborhood and be served in a safe manner. (Of course there are exceptions – I don’t expect Patsy’s Pizzeria or Amy’s Bread to contain the massive amount of flour that flies around their store just for me!) I personally enjoy ethnic foods (Mexican, Indian, Thai, etc.) which tend to be extremely convenient when avoiding gluten, but a majority of the restaurants in NYC have become more aware of gluten “allergies”. (Just to clarify – I have Celiac in addition to a gluten allergy – however in restaurants I recommend everyone using the word allergy when explaining your dietary restrictions, it just makes the point more non-negotiable.) My favorite GFree (or gluten free friendly) restaurants in Manhattan are always changing but here are a few:
  • Lilli and Loo: Asian cuisine, 792 Lexington Ave - Recommendation: try the dumplings and general tzo’s tofu
  • Dakshin II: Indian cuisine, 54 First Ave -Recommendation: try the dosa, but everything is delish!
  • Bistango: Italian cuisine, 415 Third Ave - Recommendation: ask for gfree garlic bread (not on the menu but it is really good)
  • Calle Ocho: Mexican cuisine, 446 Columbus Ave - Recommendation: go for brunch – all you can drink sangria is amazing!

I know that not everyone is as lucky as I am in regards to the plethora of gfree restaurants I have near me, however it seems to me that restaurant options are improving all over. I was in Atlanta, Georgia earlier this month and although I often avoid chain restaurants I was convinced that going to Outback Steakhouse was a MUST! Before you roll your eyes (as I did) and say “if you’ve been to one you’ve been to them all” – read on. This specific outback in Roswell, GA has an extended gluten free menu. The staff was incredibly knowledgeable and not only knew about the options but had tasted a majority of the gluten free dishes in side-by-side taste tests with the “normal” products. If you ever find yourself in the ATL area I highly recommend giving this Outback a try. I ordered the following (all gfree):
  • Bloomin' Onion
  • Bread
  • Gold Coast Coconut Shrimp
  • French Fries

There were a number of other options on the menu, in addition to the normal gfree Outback option, i.e. chicken fingers, molten chocolate cake, burgers with buns

Rhode Island
I spend the majority of my weekends during the summer in Rhode Island and I am constantly finding new restaurants that are introducing gfree menus. The credit for my latest discovery belongs to my mother – who tried to find someone to accompany her to this restaurant for 2 years before we finally gave in! The vegetarian restaurant located in Pawtucket, RI is called Garden Grille CafĂ©. This local gem has based its menu off fresh locally grown ingredients and has an outstanding variety of gfree options. There are many tofu and tempeh dishes and they use gfree options like corn starch and/or tamari for all most of the dishes. My favorite dishes:
  • Vegetarian Crab Cakes (made with hearts of palm instead of crab)
  • Black Bean Cakes (which actually stuck together)
  • Eggplant Rollatini

For now that is all, please check back later this week for more Gluten Free Gossip!