Monthly Archives: November 2010

Before the Turkey: GF Snacks for Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving, the holiday where we give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. Like elastic waistbands.

In our family, the holiday eating begins as soon as guests arrive. Usually, this means 10am. That leaves us with at least 6 hours for pre-turkey snack foods – a serious commitment, gluten or no.

Whether you think of it as picky food, finger food, snacks, appetizers, or hors d’oeuvres, the pre-feast feast is a great time to be gluten-free. Because there are lots of smaller dishes, it’s fairly easy to accommodate a range of dietary restrictions without making anyone feel left out.

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The Great American Comfort Foods – Fried and Gluten-Free

FRYFried food has always had its place in the canon of Southern eating, but recently, state fairs have taken things to a whole new level. Treats such as deep-fried banana splits, deep-fried s’mores, deep-fried PB&J, and deep-fried mac ‘n cheese have joined the ranks of state fair heart-attack classics such as deep-fried oreos and deep-fried Twinkies. While my arteries shudder at the thought of such culinary monstrosities (and the kid inside me whispers “Hey I’d really actually kinda like to try a bite!”), it doesn’t dim my love of fried food. I just make sure to indulge in moderation! When dining out, fried food is most often NOT gluten-free because nearly all restaurants share fryers with gluten-containing foods, although the Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide has listings for several restaurants with dedicated GF fryers. Also, any food on the menu that is battered before frying is probably made with gluten-containing flour. However, there are hundreds of gluten-free recipes to be found for frying all types of foods (and, really, you can fry ANYTHING that’s edible). Here are some gluten-free versions of classic fried recipes:

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Gluten-free Travels: Italy, or How I Gained 5 Pounds in 5 Weeks

Teeth aching from all that gluten-free Halloween candy? Not quite ready to tackle thoughts of gluten-free Thanksgiving?

No worries. A little bit of escapism, for the between-holiday time. Last month, I wrote a blissed-out post from gluten-free Bologna, promising more information about traveling gluten-free through Italy. Here we go:

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The Double Diet: Gluten-Free AND Vegetarian

Photo courtesy of Thanks, Green Mom!

Photo courtesy of Thanks, Green Mom!

Less chance of obesity and disease, less chance of painful menopause and energy loss, less chance of dying (young) and less chance of destroying the planet and having to move to the moon? Dang, that sounds good. According to the Vegetarian Times, those are only a few of the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Well, super for them, you’re thinking, there’s no way I can throw out another “food group” with gluten already having gone the way of the last unicorn. Gluten-free vegetarian – or scarier yet, a gluten-free vegan – just sounds impossible.

I’m right there with you – I’m not a vegetarian. I do like the idea of cutting down on meat, though, even if just to eliminate it one or two days a week. (Any Catholics out there? Give yourself a pat on the back; you already do the gluten-free vegetarian thing on Fridays during Lent!) The way I read it, the facts state loud and clear that being vegetarian is better for your health and better for the environment. Of course, it’s ok to disagree with this, but even if you’re just a little bit curious, or want to try out a vegetarian meal or two, read on!

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Better Living through Science, aka Gluten-Free Microwave Mug Cake

Have you ever had a mug cake? Also known as microwave cakes, they’re exactly what they sound like: cakes made in a mug and cooked in the microwave.

mug cake

Are mug cakes good? I have no idea, in large part because I don’t have a microwave. They look simultaneously delicious and strange, though – one of my favorite combinations of adjectives.

What’s more, it’s easy to make the basic recipe for mug cake gluten-free. For playdates involving both gluten-eating and gluten-free children (or late-night study sessions, or office holiday parties, or nights at home alone in front of the TV), this could be just the ticket.

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Gluten-free? What You Need to Know about the ADA

A few weeks ago we published a post on gluten-free jail time.

I mentioned that celiac disease is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and one commenter questioned my sources (and rightly so). Some more in-depth research ensued, and what I found out surprised me.

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Bachman Gluten-Free Pretzels Promote Autism Awareness

GFPretzelsRemember when Snyder’s started producing gluten-free pretzels certified by the GIG’s Gluten-Free Certification program? So do I. And now, we’ve got another big-name pretzel company on board. Recently, Bachman started making gluten-free pretzels as part of their 3-year-old partnership with Autism Speaks, the largest non-profit organization working toward increased autism awareness.

What’s different about Bachman gluten-free pretzels? Well, they’re shaped like puzzle pieces, mimicking the Autism Speaks logo that has been printed on Bachman packaging since 2008. But even that’s not the most super part. What really sets these pretzels apart is that 5% of the proceeds (from both the regular puzzle pretzels and the gluten-free puzzle pretzels) is donated to the Autism Speaks organization.

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Gluten-free Opera, More Proof of Portland's Awesomeness

As if I needed one more reason to think Portland was awesome, Oregon Live published this article about the Portland Opera’s production of Hansel and Gretel.

The production is the same as opened in New York last year to rave reviews – there’s a lot of cooking and eating and fighting with food involved. This time around, though, it’s all gluten-free.

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The Land of the (Gluten) Free

flagIt’s Election Day 2010. Time to cast your vote for your candidates and…your gluten intolerance?

Today, we elect legislative, executive, and judicial leaders, but our civic duty continues throughout the year. In grade school, we learn that we have a responsibility to hold those elected accountable, and as we become adults, we start to choose the issues that matter most to us.

Food safety is a big concern for many Celiacs, and the U.S. Senate is currently considering a bill to update certain FDA standards and regulations. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) was introduced in March of 2009 and has been the source of some controversy regarding small farm agriculture. Still, the house version of the bill (HR 2749) passed with bipartisan support. S. 510 mostly addresses the prevention and detection of food safety concerns, but, as written, does nothing to address gluten.

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GF News: Record Gift Funds Celiac Research at University of Maryland

Big news!

The University of Maryland’s Center for Celiac Research is already known as a leading figure in the gluten-free community. Now, thanks to a $45 million gift, the university is poised to play an even bigger role.

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