Author Archives: Leslie Morris

Wouldn’t it be great if a wheat-killing fungus turned the whole world gluten-free?

Wheat_harvestActually it wouldn’t be great at all. However, did you know that nine out of ten wheat crops around the globe are susceptible to a killer fungus that attacks wheat? It’s called the Puccinia rust fungus.

The fungus causes wheat, barley and rye stems, leaves and grains, causing them to rot and die just a few weeks after infection. Infections can lead up to 20% yield loss. The fungus regularly affects North America, Mexico and South America, and is a widespread seasonal disease in India.

Previous solutions to the problem relied on simple crossbreeding. Beginning in the 1940s, breeders began combining rust-sensitive commercial wheat with hardier rust-resistant strains. However, those solutions were only temporary as the rust always managed to find a way
around rust-resistant genes.

Scientists now use what they think is more effective method of thwarting rust. It’s wheat breeding, called pyramiding, in which multiple rust resistant genes are loaded onto a single wheat strain.

Not all of the wheat strains susceptible to rust will be affected in any given year. The possibility that large percentages of the world’s wheat crops could be destroyed by rust are very real, hence the intensity of the efforts to develop rust-resistant strains. However, if these efforts fail, or lose traction, look for non-wheat crops to fill the gap. That will mean large numbers of people going gluten-free for reasons having nothing to do with celiac disease or dietary fads.

Gluten-Free in the Company Café?

Arbuckle_Dining_stationI live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area. Every now and then I have lunch with friends who work at one of those hip Silicon Valley tech companies that have on-site restaurants. You know the ones I’m talking about – the Googles, Adobes and Facebooks of the world.

The food is convenient and sometimes free. It’s presented beautifully and there are usually patios with tables under umbrellas to enjoy it on. One café I visited had a place to tie up your dog in case you happened to bring your dog with you to work that day. Click to continue reading »

Gluten-Free Cocoa Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce

pancakesIf you are one of those families that eats breakfast together every morning because the evenings are just too crazy with sports / homework / showers then this recipe may turn into one of your favorites. It’s a little sweet for breakfast every day but it is a good enticement to get everyone out of bed and to the table on time.

This pancake is also great with chocolate sauce, confectioner’s sugar or bananas sautéed in sugar and butter. Here it’s served with a fresh raspberry sauce.

Ingredients

• 1 teaspoon whole flax seeds

• 1⁄2 teaspoon psyllium husk powder

• 1⁄4 teaspoon chia seeds

• 11⁄4 cups gluten free all purpose flour without added gums* (7 ounces)

• 3 tablespoons high quality cocoa powder (3/4 ounce)

• 1⁄2 cup almond flour (1.8 ounces)

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt

• 11⁄2 cups milk

• 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for the pan

• 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar Click to continue reading »

Restaurant Review: Grease Box in Oakland, California

Lizzy Boelter, the chef-owner of Grease Box , a gluten-free Southern restaurant in Oakland, California, opened her restaurant for the same reason many other gluten-free people do – lack of options. Her goal was to make quality food without additives to emulate the effects of wheat gluten.

Grease Box is a cute little spot in a quiet neighborhood. The restaurant’s website bills the food as “gluten free, gum free, weird shit free, locally and sustainably sourced, and AWESOME.” Boelter was after the deep-fried, gut-busting cuisine of her native Louisiana, but healthier, in a way that would highlight the amazing local, seasonal produce that northern Californians have access to. Most importantly, in spite of the gluten-free stipulation, she wanted to serve real food.

Grease Box’s signature dish is skillet-fried chicken. It’s very good and is made with chickpea flour and millet flour.

You can also stop by the restaurant for a full breakfast of pancakes, egg dishes and baked goods. Other items on the menu are Texas-style beef brisket with house-made barbecue sauce and whiskey-jalapeno pork ribs. Sides include red okra fries, sautéed greens and cubes of salted watermelon.

Gluten-Free Tin Foil Dinners | Triumph Dining

0abc4ec06c4c563d42a039e6100f6c11The suffocating summer heat has passed in many regions leaving in its place leaves turning colors, cool mornings and nights, and weather perfect for light jackets. This is a great time of year to go camping. If you find yourself camping and in search of some easy foil dinners, here are a few new ones to try:

Salmon with Artichokes and Kalamata olives.

Double up foil. Set piece of salmon on top. Douse with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic, salt, marinated artichoke hearts and Kalamata olives. Fold the foil into a tightly sealed tent and grill on medium heat for 15 minutes. Click to continue reading »

A Question for the Gluten-Free Gurus | Triumph Dining

 

labelsDear Gluten-Free Gurus,

Over the weekend we celebrated a milestone event and had many people to our home. One of our guests walked in and immediately asked which of the foods on the buffet were gluten-free. There were lots of fruit options but it hadn’t occurred to me to label which other items met specific dietary needs.

This begs the question – what is a good host or hostess’s responsibility to offer a variety of dietary options? If you go with the Dear Abby belief that a host or hostess is on the hook for making their guest comfortable and seeing that they have a good time then you would absolutely do this. However, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a buffet table at someone’s home with foods labeled “gluten-free” or “dairy-free”.

What would have been the right thing to do?

Sincerely, Miffed Hostess

Click to continue reading »

Gina’s Pizza, Newport Beach | Triumph Dining

5ff1b1f9e4cc28f28cb6ccc7b9ca100dWe’ve just returned from a long weekend down south, Southern California that is.

While there we stumbled upon this pizza shop in a strip mall. This being Newport Beach in August, prime vacation season, we were happy to find a good restaurant off the beaten path.

Of course the eaters in our group had varied dining requirements. Luckily they offer a gluten-free pizza crust for those who prefer their pizza that way but are not hugely afraid of cross-contamination.

If you need higher-end pizza, head for Mario Batali’s Pizzaria Mozza just down the Pacific Coast Highway.

An Easy Gluten-Free Salad | Triumph Dining

zucchini-shaved1000A few years ago my parents turned their in-ground swimming pool into a garden. My mother had just retired and this garden soon became her new hobby. We’ve benefitted greatly from the bounty of things she’s grown and when I saw this recipe, I knew we’d make it often.

Shaved Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Almonds, and Asiago

Serves 6

Credit: Bay Area Bites

Ingredients

  • 5 or 6 small zucchini, trimmed (about 1 1/4 lbs total; I like to use a mix of different colors)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 oz. Asiago, Pecorino, Parmesan, or ricotta salata cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons chopped roasted, salted almonds; toasted pine nuts; or chopped toasted walnuts

Directions

Using a vegetable peeler, shave long strips of zucchini from the stem end to the blossom end into a shallow serving bowl or plate. As you shave ribbons, rotate the zucchini until you’ve shaved down to the center core of seeds. Discard the core (or shave it as far as you can!).

Shave edge of cheese with a vegetable peeler to create thin strips.

Drizzle with a little oil (1-2 tablespoons), squeeze the lemon over the top, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the ribbons evenly. Sprinkle with the cheese shavings and nuts and serve.

Jujubeet – A Plant-Based Juice Bar | Triumph Dining Review

Review of Jujubeet in Seattle by Triumph DiningOn a trip taken to Seattle a couple months back, one of the last places I stopped was Jujubeet in Bellevue. This juice bar also offers gluten-free food items. Their goal is to provide quick, simple, delicious, nutritionally rich food.Their storefront offers a variety of proven superfoods and they claim that everything they sell is crafted to provide you with the energy and the nutrition needed to make each day spectacular.

I enjoyed my Green Limeade Smoothie made of spinach, parsley, kale, celery, cucumber, apple, lime. It had a bit of a bite, which I liked. They also offer Happy Greens, Liver Purifier, Carrot Zinger and Just Beet It!  Click to continue reading »

Glutenfreeda Oatmeal | Triumph Dining Product Review

Triumph Dining Review of Glutenfreeda OatmealIf you’re often pressed for time in the morning and can’t squeeze in making a full, hearty, homemade breakfast, Glutenfreeda has a product for you: All Natural Whole Instant Oatmeal. This instant oatmeal comes in 6 flavors; Apple Cinnamon with Flax, Banana Maple with Flax, Maple Raisin with Flax, Cranberry Cinnamon with Flax, Natural Instant, and Strawberries & Brown Sugar with Flax. If you can’t make up your mind on which to try, they also have a variety pack that includes 3 different flavors (Apple, Banana and Maple).

All varieties are wheat- and gluten-free, made with natural and organic ingredients, and don’t have any GMOs. All of Glutenfreeda’s products are made in a 100% dedicated facility and have less than 5PPM of gluten. According to their website, they “welcome anyone who chooses to live on a gluten-free, diet but (they’ve) built (their) business for people with Celiac disease who have zero tolerance.”Just read the ingredients list and you’ll be amazed at how you are actually able to pronounce everything. Real ingredients for real people.  Click to continue reading »