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Thursday, January 31, 2013

French Toast & Eggs

French toast and eggs is an easy weeknight dinner option!  If you have gluten free bread on hand.  

I used Udi's bread this time but in the past I've really really liked whole food's brand gluten free sandwich bread.  It's really only good for french toast - otherwise it's pretty awful.  However, I almost always have a loaf of Udi's on hand - which is great for everything bread related (and it freezes well!).

Without really measuring - I added 3 or 4 eggs to almond milk (or soy milk or real milk - whatever you have) until is was about this consistency.  I flavored it with a little vanilla, cardamon, and cinnamon.

Soak your bread for just a minute and then fry in a pan with a little butter. *I was surprised how well the almond milk worked - this was my first time really cooking with it.

I also decided to try making a fried egg.  It turned out pretty well even though I broke the yolk!

Yum! 

Enjoy!!

-J


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

GF English Muffins by Whole Foods

I ran through Whole Foods the other day, which I don't do very often.  I think they're a little over-priced and the store in general is stimulus-overload.  Anyways - I bought these gluten free english muffins to try out.  



Be warned, these are nothing like english muffins, but they are delicious if you don't have any pre-conceived expectations of them being soft and english muffiny.

I tried toasting them in the toaster but it wasn't quite strong enough - my toaster cost all of 8 dollars so I don't blame the toaster.  I finished them off under the broiler and added some tuna salad.  It was wonderful!

Sometimes its nice to try out special gluten free offerings.  These were great but I can do without.  

Worth a try.

Enjoy!

-J


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Valentino's Pizza

Valentino's has pretty great gluten-free pizza.  

I remember hearing about their leap into the gluten free world when I use to attend CSA (celiac sprue association) support group meetings at the Hyvee on 84th & Holdredge (Lincoln).  I was super excited to head over to SouthPointe and get me some pizza - it had been almost two years since I had indulged. 

The girl at the counter didn't quite understand my excitement over a gluten free pizza - I was practically bouncing up and down while waiting the 20 minutes it took to cook.  I tried explaining how momentous this was for me - she was less than interested.  It didn't dim my excitement one bit.  I took the box out to my car and ate half of it before leaving the parking lot!


It still gets me excited today, four years later.  Oddly enough the last two times I've decided to order it, it's been pouring rain and I always feel bad for the delivery guys so I end up getting soaked and picking up the pizza myself.  In addition to the Val's at Southpoint in Lincoln - there are at least two Omaha locations which have gluten free pizza: 132nd ish & Center and 84th & Park.  They have pepperoni, hamburger, and cheese options available.  

You should go check it out - don't forget the superbowl is coming up!

Enjoy!
-Justine



Valentino's on Urbanspoon




Monday, January 28, 2013

Green Belly + Stupid People



I understand it's quite a challenge to train and educate staff people on every food allergy.  But if you're going to have a separate gluten free menu - the staff needs to understand the implications.

For example:  I went to Green Belly recently for lunch.  Seems easy enough because it's essentially a salad bar restaurant.  I saw they had a separate gluten free menu posted by the register so I was pretty excited.  I ordered CLEARLY off that specific menu, told her it was my first time being there, and also decided to mention - "no croutons" just in case.  Well my gluten free salad bowl arrived with a huge dinner roll plopped on top.  Thanks.  

I was on a business lunch so I refrained from exploding, casually placed the roll off to the side (pictured above) and ate my salad - which wasn't anything spectacular.  Then dealt with a massive stomach ache the rest of the day.  

Until the staff better understands "gluten free" - I will be avoiding this establishment.  

Gluten free is not a fad people - it's a serious medically induced diet.

I'm not Lady Gaga, I'm not gluten free to be popular.  I'm gluten free to save my life.

WARNING.  Not a great idea for GF lunching.

-J


Greenbelly on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 25, 2013

We're eating healthy these days...

I'm happy it's Friday.


Kevin is not impressed with my new healthy habits - don't worry I only had the bananas to make banana bread :)

Have a great weekend!!

-J

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Red Lobster

Red Lobster happens to be my Dad's favorite restaurant.  And I have to admit, I like it too!  You have to give chain restaurants credit for delivering great and consistent food. 

It's also possible to enjoy Red Lobster gluten free; they don't have a separate menu but it's definitely possible!


I had the grilled tilapia, I should have ordered the lunch portion because this was huge!  Also I can't resist french fries sometimes even though a baked potato would have been a safer option.

Sometimes the smell of the garlic biscuits really get to me, but those I can resist!

Enjoy!

Red Lobster on Urbanspoon
-J

Friday, January 18, 2013

Food Adventure Part 3 - BIG MAMA'S

I wasn't even hungry the next morning but we were dedicated to our adventure.  I had been wanting to try Big Mama's for a long time and I heard they had a huge gluten free menu!

We went for breakfast but will definitely be going back for dinner!


In case you didn't know what you were getting into!


This is a gluten free blog, not a health blog. 


YUM!  Love me some fried eggs


Fried eggs, hash browns, grits, and coffee = breakfast of champions.  If I could eat this everyday, I definitely would, I would also be fatter than my car.  But indulgence is allowed occasionally :)

Big Mama's = Big WIN.  

Check out their gluten free menu online.
 
 
Big Mama's Kitchen on Urbanspoon
 

Enjoy!  Enjoy this very much!

-J




Thursday, January 17, 2013

Food Adventure Part 2 - Jones Brothers

Well I was pleasantly surprised when we walked into Jones Bros. on Saturday night for dessert.  They heeded my advice and moved the cookies & creme macarons to their own special case!

Gluten free WIN!!

Now the other macarons are safe from contamination.  I couldn't be happier!  They really are the best macarons I've found anywhere.

See them way over there... in their own little dome?

Cookies & Creme Macarons are NOT gluten free.

Yay!! No crumbs!  These are safe to eat now! WIN

Strawberry, Blueberry, & Vanilla.  Blueberry is absolutely the best.


Jones Bros Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

Enjoy!!

-J




Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mother India - Food Adventure Part 1

I know I know, I love Mother India and mention it quite often.  Well if I'm going to eat out, I'm going to my favorite place!!

My best friend came to spend the weekend in Omaha last weekend and we went on a food adventure.  I'm going to share over the next three days the highlights!

Part One:  Mother India

There's nothing like Indian Chai Tea

Papadums - lentil flour crackers (but HUGE).  With green spicy dipping sauce

Vegetable pakoras - like tempura but with chickpea flour

Vegetable Biryani (my favorite!)

We had way too much food!!  The Naan is Christina's obviously :)



If you still haven't been there - go.  Go now!  36th & Leavenworth


Mother India on Urbanspoon


Enjoy!

-J





Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Green Gateau

Recently, my friend Hannah and I were having an in-depth conversation regarding eggs benedict.  This has always been one of her favorite breakfast options and I never really had any interest in the dish.  However, I've seen many food movies, books, and cooking shows feature this dish in many different ways and I was actually thinking "damn, I would really like to try that."  But I just assumed they were off limits because traditionally they are served 1) on top of an english muffin and 2) most places cheat and use flour to thicken their hollandaise sauce even though if made correctly it should not have flour!

When I was younger and had less refined tastes, I wasn't a very adventurous eater.  Now with Celiacs I find there are dishes I would really really love to try but will never know.  In some ways, I'm very happy I was diagnosed at age 21 and had years of wheat eating but I didn't utilize them to the best of my ability.  

Less than a week after our benedict conversation - another friend and I decided to have a quick breakfast date at Green Gateau.  I hadn't been there in quite a while and was very happy to discover they now have a full gluten free menu!  Yay!


*Guess what was on it?!  Eggs Benedict!

I didn't read the menu very well because I was just so excited, please note I did not eat the canadian bacon it was served on top of.  I've recently fallen in love with egg yolks - obviously the most delicious part.  It's been a long road - I usually don't even put them in scrambled eggs if I can avoid it.  But now oh man - they are amazing!! 

Soon I'm going to attempt poaching eggs at home, I've tried previously and failed miserably.  But now I have more motivation because I will actually eat the wonderful little pillows of eggy deliciousness.  I'm excited just thinking about it :)

Please note the hash browns are not on the gluten free menu - I took a risk and ordered them.  Lesson learned, they were definitely NOT gluten free and I dealt with my bad decision the rest of the day and most of Sunday.  How the hell do you get gluten in hash browns!!  UGH.  

Enjoy!

-J

Green Gateau on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 14, 2013

Gluten Free Mags!

I spend quite a bit of time reading at Barnes & Nobles... Here are two Gluten Free Magazines that I really enjoy.  Oddly enough, they are both Canadian but they have tons of great tips and the same products we have here.  Only occasionally do they mention products that you can only find online (or in Canada).  



Check them out!  

-J


Friday, January 11, 2013

Ingredient - One Pacific Place

Sorry, I've been busy and neglecting my blog this week.  Oops!

I went to lunch this week with a friend and we stopped in at Ingredient in One Pacific Place.  I'm not sure if I mentioned this previously but I've decided to go meat-free for the most part for the next year.  I've spent the last couple days making sure I can eat meat-free at all my favorite restaurants :).  I'm not doing this for any political reason and I'm not specifically going vegetarian and definitely not vegan (I don't have that kind of dedication - I also firmly believe in the Beef industry!).  I just find that meat is very hard on my digestive system and I'm giving my body a break for awhile.  This might not last as long as I think it will - sometimes all my will power is expended on being gluten free (which we all know is a struggle in an of itself).  However, reflecting back - I've been gluten free for almost 4.5 years, so I pretty much have those temptations under control.  

Anyways...

I ordered the caesar salad... with a grilled portabello mushroom.  I'm not a mushroom fan, it's something I'm working on but this was actually pretty delicious.  It tasted wonderful - it's the texture that was hard to deal with.  But I think it was a great meat-free option!

I always order a side of cottage cheese at Ingredient, I just love it.  Dairy is a very very hard indulgence to give up - I've tried and never last more than a day (actually to be honest, I've probably never lasted more than a few hours). 

Ingredient has quite a few gluten free options, but they aren't readily visible with a gluten free menu.  You need to do a little research ahead of time and know what will work for you.  

Enjoy!

-J


Ingredient on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sugar Cookies!

I understand this post probably would have been more helpful before christmas, but my life got complicated the week after this baking extravaganza.... so you can just save this little gem for Valentine's Day!  Cookies are cookies and they're always delicious :)  Just change the color of the icing and you're ready to go!

*This is Kevin's table and we were interrupting his bird watching time... he was fairly uninteresting in cookie baking.

My friend Alison came over to help bake - we make Caramel Cake and sugar cookies.  I'll have the caramel cake recipe for you soon!

I hate making frosting... and I don't really like it either.  I only like seven minute frosting which isn't appropriate for cookies.  So I used canned frosting.  Both Pillsbury and Betty Crocker frostings have flavors that are certified gluten free - just look for it on each can!

Super Soft Sugar Cookies:

1 cup butter (as soft as possible)
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 eggs (room temp)
1 tablespoon vanilla (use good vanilla!)
2 & 3/4 cup Domata flour 
1/4 cup cornstarch (this is the secret ingredient!)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt

preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.  Then add in the vanilla.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients.  The batter will be super thick.  You can start out using a mixer but might need to finish using a wooden spoon.  Wrap the batter in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes (or longer - you can make this ahead of time and use the next day).  When ready to bake either break off pieces and roll into balls or roll out and use cookie cutters.  Cover baking sheets with parchment and put on your cookies - they can be close together because they won't spread out.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Cool on racks completely before frosting!  

Enjoy!

-J




Monday, January 7, 2013

Technical Difficulties

I'll be back tomorrow... I'm struggling with technology. 

Here's a Dilbert comic instead.


-J

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Years Resolutions?

I'm all for bettering yourself and I do believe in New Years resolutions.  I want to say that you should practice "bettering" yourself throughout the entire year - but for me personally I do need that one boost of annual resolve to get me started.  And I have direct proof:

2011 was my best year to date.  I set a "goal" of running a marathon.  Now that sounds great - you may think I was a runner and this was just a random goal, but I wasn't - I wasn't a runner one bit.  In high school I was always the last one to finish our annual dreaded mile run during PE and I hated every grueling minute of it.  I was never athletic, never really played sports - it just wasn't my thing.  Why did I set this goal after my two day NYE hangover?  I hadn't even been working out regularly.  Most people do couch to 5k... well I did couch to marathon in 6 months.  Pretty damn lofty goal.  But I did it.    I just knew I could because everyone else figured I couldn't and those are the best kind of goals - the ones that prove people wrong.  

2011 was the first year I set a substantial NY Resolution.  I wrote it down.  I told people about it.  I committed to it.  I paid money and signed up with a team (TEAM in Training with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society).  

Reflecting back, it really set the tone for my entire year - 2011 was one of the best years of my life to date.  I ran my first full marathon (26.2 miles), I ran three half marathons (13.1 miles), I was in the best physical fitness since birth, I met life-long friends through TEAM in Training, I raised money for a great cause, I was deeply involved in my community, I participated in Leadership Nebraska, I was really enjoying my job for the most part, I traveled extensively with friends and family, and I officially received my undergraduate degree (long story but a great personal accomplishment).  Also looking back I was in a really good place not only physically but mentally and emotionally.  

In 2012, I'm realizing that I did not set a New Years Resolution.  A couple things hit me right out of the gate.  I changed jobs.  I quickly realized I had gotten myself into a career I didn't enjoy.  I lost my running buddy (Her life took a wonderful turn into motherhood but took her out of the running game for an extended period of time*).  Training for a marathon alone, and hating my job, I realized my life was losing focus and direction.  I struggled through 26.2 miles at Lincoln in May and after quit running permanently.  I honestly believe that traumatic experience has frightened me from running ever since. Things were turning around though, I discovered my dream job - and jumped in head first.  However, giving too much has its downfalls also.  Working 70 hours a week takes it toll on one's social life and friendships. Dreams are short lived and one always wakes up eventually - sometimes very abruptly.  My position was eliminated the first week of December and I was devastated to say the least.  2012 was rough physically, mentally, and emotionally.  The entire year was literally a roller coaster of ups and downs unlike any year I've experienced.

I have spent the last couple weeks evaluating and reevaluating.  (I realize this post is getting long but bear with me).  Here is what I learned in 2012:

1).  Resolutions are important.  They set the tone for the entire year.
2).  It is ok to grieve the loss of your dream job, even if it means crying for days, it was your dream job - you deserve to be sad that it's gone.
3).  Running really is therapy.  I will start running again.
4). Being in a job you love is desperately important.  Being happy above all else is crucial however you find it.
5). Money isn't everything, yes that's clique, but it's true.  Being happy is everything
6).  True friends will call when they read in the paper that you got fired and ask if you need a drink
7). You won't die running a marathon - I proved that at Lincoln this year.  Even if you walk, it's finishing that counts.  You finish because you started.
8).  Blogging is really great - I'm so happy I started this.
9). I have an incredibly supportive family and group of friends
10). 2013 will be my year of redemption.

So here's to 2013!  This will be my year, this will be my year of redemption, I will conquer.  

My 2013 New Years Resolutions:  I am recommitting to my personal fitness first and foremost.  I've decided to do Crossfit, recommit to my yoga practice (for my physical being and my mental being) and I'm going to run three half marathons - Lincoln, Omaha, and St. Louis.  This is in writing now, it's published on the internet, it's set in stone - so I will accomplish. 


This is an inspirational / extreme book that I bought and read in Jan. 2011 and decided that if it kicked that year off right - I should obviously revisit it this week.  So I'm enjoying a cup of green tea at my favorite coffee shop and diving in.  

Happy New You! and Happy New Me!

<3 Jus



*I am in absolutely no way implicating my running buddy getting pregnant had anything to do with my downfall in 2012.  I love her dearly and we plan to run the St. Louis half marathon together in 2013.  She will always be my greatest inspiration as a woman, a friend, a runner, and now as a mother.





Thursday, January 3, 2013

Biaggi's

Biaggi's on 137th (ish) and Dodge has a HUGE gluten free menu.  Finally, an Italian restaurant where you can eat and feel super normal!!


This is literally the entire gluten free menu.... seriously - it's this big!


I didn't really need the bread, but I couldn't resist because honestly how often (never) do we get to have bread when we go out?!! 


Salad, because I was trying to feel a little healthy :)


This is my half eaten meal because I was so excited when it arrived I forgot to snap a picture!  

After dinner, we (my mother and I) headed downtown to the Orpheum to see Billy Elliot - it was absolutely hilarious.  Such a wonderful night!

Enjoy!

-J





Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano on Urbanspoon