Thursday, December 25, 2008

Soy has taken over the world!

Has soy always been so pervasive or is it increasing at a rapid rate???

I typically make our own bread but lately have been in situations where I needed to buy bread products. It has been a challenge to find bread that does not contain soy flour.

When visiting my mother recently, she wanted to make a casserole with Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup in it but that contained soy protein. I looked later at the store and all brands and all varieties of Cream of X soup contained soy protein.

And finally today, the glaze packet that came with our Christmas ham contains soy flour. Agh! Good thing it will be a simple thing to come up with on the fly since we won't be able to use the glaze packet!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gluten-Free Cornbread

Last time I made cornbread, I used a mix. This time, I made my old cornbread recipe which calls for half flour, half cornmeal and substituted brown rice flour for the all purpose flour.

This turned out so, so good! I think the texture may have been even better than when making it with regular flour. I liked this gluten-free cornbread a lot and I am sure it comes out cheaper this way than buying a mix.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Enjoy Life Boom Choco Boom Bar

This is a dairy,gluten, nut and soy free chocolate rice-milk bar. I like that they are very safe - without the 8 common allergens and tested to be sure they are safe.

The flavor was very good, tasted like a chocolate bar. The texture was not as great. I bought mine a few months ago, so I thought it may be a bit old, but there is not a "use by" date on there so I am not sure. The bar is just really hard to bite and there is no creamy or melt in your mouthness to the chocolate.

It sure does satisfy that chocolate craving though.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Yummy Rice Chips!

I found a really tasty GF snack chip. These are really really good! Not as hard and dry as rice crackers. More like the texture of a light Triscuit or Sun Chip. And they have lots of flavor.
Allergy note - contains sesame seeds and dairy

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Diet Changes

Well, I have been mulling over this post for quite a while trying to figure out exactly what I want to say about my diet, and my journey for health over the past year. But I guess I am not feeling very introspective today, and I definitely have very little clarity and confidence in my next steps. So this will be short.

Basically, I am not longer following a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free diet. I don't believe it improved the way I felt at all and did not resolve the problems I was trying to address when I made the big change. It is frustrating and I am confused about what to do with all the information and diagnosis I received from my naturopath. I just couldn't find the motivation to keep it up when I still felt badly.

My son is still allergic to several foods, so I may continue to post some related items here. Besides that, I doubt I will be posting much for a while so I can go and figure out my next steps.

Thanks to everyone I met in the GF community who was so helpful and willing to take their time to help me. I really do appreciate it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Taco Recipe Online!

I just realized that the black bean taco recipe I use almost every week is actually online! It is so good.

Black Bean Taco recipe from Vegetarian Times

Give it a try! Our family loves it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kinnikinnick Brownies

I posted a while back about how I had bought brownie squares from Kinnikinnick and then discovered they contain soy lecitin. They have been sitting in my freezer since then.

I am eating soy now (long story!) so I figured I would pull them out and give them a try. I hate food to go to waste.

They are not bad. My reigning favorite is still the Namaste brownie mix. Unfortunately I was not able to do a side-by-side taste test so it is hard to do a good comparison. The texture of the Kinnikinnick ones are good and there is no weird flavor or chalkiness. It is denser that the Namaste one, maybe more fudgy than brownie like. I prefer the Namaste texture and the flavor as well.

I'd say if you can't get the Namaste ones, these are a good thing to have!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cooking Light June 2008 Recipe - Greek Lamb Pilaf

I was excited when I saw this recipe as I have both parsley and mint growing in my herb garden and I am always looking for ways to use them. This was pretty good but not that great. I don't eat lamb very often and usually only when dining out. The ground lamb did not really stand out in the dish, in fact, my husband thought it was ground beef until I told him. One thing I would do differently is to drain it after cooking the lamb, as I thought the dish was a bit greasy.

Oh well, better luck next time.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

think Organic bars

Tried another bar for when we are on the go...

Not as happy with this one. I tried the apricot coconut one. It just wasn't very interesting.

I like the Boomi Bars and Lara Bars better. Plus this was really expensive where I bought it - like $2.50!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cooking Light June 2008 Recipe - Chipotle Salmon Burgers

I really enjoyed looking through the June issue - and I flagged a lot of things that happened to be GF, or could be with minimal effort.

These salmon burgers are GF as long as you leave off the bun. It was easy to whip up in the food processor. We liked them pretty well but did not think it was particularly exciting. I might increase the cilantro and green onions in the future.

In addition to the items mentioned, I also topped mine with avocado which I thought was a great addition.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

3 Grain Breakfast Porridge

I am still working on healthy breakfasts. I had a revelation the other day that I just need to come up with 2 breakfasts and then I can just alternate them. Then, if I am lucky and can add a third to the mix then I will really be doing well.

That will be a huge improvement from the standing at tha pantry groaning every morning.

I tried to make a porridge from millet, amaranth and quinoa but wasn't that crazy about it. I think it tasted just like quinoa and just didn't taste breakfasty, or any different from the quinoa I eat frequently at dinner.

Hmm! Maybe I will try it with just millet and amaranth....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Boomi Bars

Wow! These Boomi Bars are GOOD!

I have tried two of the many varieties
  • Fruit and Nut
  • Maple Pecan

and I liked them both.

Both are free of soy, gluten and dairy - of course, and both tasted really nice.

I like that in addition to fruits, nuts and seeds, they also contain amaranth, which is supposed to be a really healthy grain.

The ones I bought initially were $2 each which is of course pricey. But I ordered some from the Boomi Bar website and they were a bit cheaper than that, even with shipping. In fact they have a flat shipping rate for the first 7 or so boxes so if you could find someone to split an order with, you could get it down even further.

Since I have 2 boxes now, I am going to have to be careful to make sure I ration them out over time, but I love having an option to keep in my purse for times I get hungry unexpectedly and also to take on hikes for when I need an energy boost!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Chebe Flatbread

This Chebe bread is pretty cool. I have only tried one kind - the flatbread - but I would definitely like to try the others - like pizza crust and cinnamon rolls!

That said, I am not quite certain it turned out right, as far as texture but the flavor was good and it was so nice to have something bread-like. It was VERY easy to make and didn't seem all that expensive for a specialty item of that kind.

I'll have to do some more research...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Peach Coconut Milk "Ice Cream"

I should have known it was too easy to be good!

I ran across a recipe for Peach Coconut Milk "Ice Cream" and I thought, "great, I have all the ingredients on hand." I should have stopped when I realized that the can of coconut milk I had was low-fat but I just steamrolled ahead. When I get an idea in my head, watch out!

Anyway, basically you blend up 2 cups fruit (I used Peach), and then add a can of coconut milk and put that mixture in the freezer for about an hour (according to the directions).

No go! I think it was mainly the lowfat coconut milk - the fat content was all wrong for a good freeze. It took way longer to even resemble frozen and when it did, it was icy.

Live and learn.... I may have to splurge for some of that coconut ice cream I have recently heard has popped up in the grocery store.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ragu Pasta Sauce

I have a bunch of jars of Ragu pasta sauce that I got at some point on a really good sale. Of course, they put SOYBEAN OIL in there. It is just becoming more and more clear that I need to make everything at home with multiple allergies to worry about. Fortunately, I had some homemade tomato sauce in my freezer I could pull out and use instead.

It is really better this way anyway, because when you cook at home:
  • your food contains less ingredients (you don't throw random things like soy lecithin or preservatives in your food)
  • you know what is in your food (you know the ingredients AND you actually know what it is - not some words you have never heard before)
  • you can control exactly what is in your food
  • you can make it the way you like it

That said, you will still see me buying some specialty allergen-free convenience food. I am still totally new to this restricted diet so I have a lot to learn about how to make some foods, especially baked items.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

More Mayonnaise Drama

I may have to rename this blog "The Mayonnaise Chronicles"

Mayo appears to be my favorite topic, which is funny because I have never been a big mayonnaise fan. But for some reason I am eating more of it than usual. I think that since I am not eating bread or sandwiches, I am making more salads and some of them (chicken salad, potato salad) are mayo based.

Anyway, on my last trip to PCC I stopped in the mayonnaise section to get the Spectrum Canola Mayo I have bought before. As always, I reviewed the labeling and noticed it did not say Gluten-Free. I had a little moment of stress there in the aisle. I could not remember if I had verified it was GF or not.

I bought it anyway and headed home. At home, I checked my old almost empty jar and it says GF. Now I was really worried. Maybe they had realized they were not actually GF and removed it from the packaging. Oh no! So off I went to their website and here is what I found:

Are Spectrum's Mayonnaise products gluten-free?

All of Spectrum's Mayonnaise and Mayonnaise products are gluten free, and our new labels are marked 'Gluten Free.'

While all of Spectrum's Mayonnaise and Mayo products contain white vinegar derived from corn and rye, the gluten is removed while distilling the alcohol. The mixture of grains - the mash - that has fermented is heated. The gluten stays in the tank while the alcohol is distilled and then rectified. Due to consumer inquiries, we also had a gluten analysis done and no gluten was found in the alcohol.


Whew! Not sure how I ended up with one not labeled GF since the date is later than my old jar but looks like I am safe. I can continue eating Spectrum Canola Mayonnaise as a gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free choice!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Alexia Sweet Potato Julienne Fries

I recently bought two bags of fries at the store, just to have on hand to help fix quick meals.

We liked the Sweet Potato Fries. They actually did get crispy which is very hard to do. When I have tried to make them myself, they have never done that. When I have the time, I think I just prefer to bake my own sweet potato chunks. We all like them that way too, and no added ingredients!

We also tried the Salt and Pepper Crinkle Fries. I liked these but my husband only likes skinny fries and my kids thought the pepper was too spicy!

It was handy to have these around, to complete some simple meals without gluten, dairy or soy.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Trader Joe's Gluten Free Brownie Baking Mix

I was very excited to see on another blog that Trader Joes has a gluten free brownie mix now. Last time I was there I picked up one. The 1 pound bag was $2.99 and I was so excited that that was so much less than what I have paid for any other gluten free baking mix. Then I realized it was actually a good bit smaller in size.

I paid around $6.50 for the Namaste Brownie Mix (at Fred Meyer) I made last week but it is actually a 2 pound bag. So twice as much mix for just a little more than twice the price.

And I liked the Namaste one better. My test is not very good because I accidently overcooked the Trader Joes batch. They are definitely very similar (the ingredients lists are almost identical) and both are fine. Both better than the others I have tried.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Email Response from Baja Fresh

Back in the fall, I sent an email to Baja Fresh asking about eating there gluten and dairy free. I forgot to post the response they sent.

This is a portion of the response:
The following Baja Fresh menu items contain dairy products: Sour Cream; Jack, Cheddar and Cotija Cheese; Ranch Dressing, Breaded Fish, Flour Tortillas, and Chipotle Lime Seasoning in our Chile Lime Chicken Salad.

The following items contain gluten: Flour Tortillas, Tostada Shells. Flautas, Tortilla Soup, Breaded Fish, and Raspberry Iced Tea.

Please note, the above information is based on standard product formulations and is current as of August 15, 2005. Variations may occur due to differences in suppliers, ingredient substitutions, recipe revisions, or product assembly at the restaurant level.

We use only one fryer in each restaurant to fry both gluten and non-gluten items; Chips, Taquitos, Flautas, Tostada Shells, Breaded Fish.

There is some interesting information there. I found the date on the information humorous (more than 2 years old!) and the fact that the ingredients may vary at the restaurant level difficult.

I am beginning to see that to eat out it is also necessary to speak with a manager at the actual restaurant you will be dining at. Hopefully, they would know what you are eating!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Trader Joe's Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix

My husband made pancakes for me the other morning, when I could not come up with anything to eat. (Wasn't that sweet! I am still struggling with GF breakfast.) I have never been very good at making pancakes so he is the pancake maker in our family. A few months ago, he made pancakes using Bob's Red Mill GF Pancake Mix and we thought they were good.

This time he used Trader Joe's Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix which I spotted for the first time on my last trip to Trader Joes. These did not turn out good at all. The look and texture reminded me of the shiny rice tortillas they sell there, just not as thin. They were best fresh off the griddle but only 1/2 of us really ate them then and I don't think the leftovers will get eaten.

We are going to switch back to Bob's Mix for this one. I am surprised, I usually LOVE Trader Joe's products!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Soy-free Mayonnaise

I posted previously about our brand of mayonnaise (Best Foods) and how it is gluten free - see earlier post. At the time, I was eating soy so it was ok that it is made from soybean oil.

However, when I gave up soy, I switched to Spectrum Canola Mayonnaise which I bought at PCC Natural Market. When I tasted it at first, I wasn't sure about it, but I have since decided that I like it. (And it does say Gluten Free on the label)

That jar is almost out so now I am looking for something else. Since I was at Fred Meyer, I decided to look at the mayo they had to see if they had one that would work. I got very excited when I spotted the Best Foods Canola Cholesterol Free Mayo that is of course made from canola oil instead of soybean oil. It was the same price as the regular Best Foods mayo as well. Fortunately, I took a minute to carefully look through the ingredients, and about halfway down it says Flavors(Soy). Oh well!

I just realized that I should have looked in the natural foods section while I was there to see if they had another option, instead of planning another trip to PCC.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Namaste Brownie Mix - Gluten-free brownies!

Continuing my quest for a good brownie mix, I purchased a Namaste brownie mix at Fred Meyer for over $6. The 2 pound mix does make a 9x13 pan full and the brownies were a good thickness.

Texture and flavor were better than Bob's Red Mill. Only negative was a little chalky residue in my mouth, which bothered me at first but doesn't really now. I also like their allergen free facility.

Update- I like these even more now. I cut the 9x13 pan of brownies into about 32 pieces and froze them. I just pull one out here and there. I really like this brownie mix. I have one more brand waiting in my pantry to try - Trader Joes.

Bob's Ingredients:Evaporated Cane Juice, Ghirardelli® cocoa, potato starch, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, corn flour, sea salt,baking powder, xanthan gum.

Namaste Ingredients:Organic evaporated cane juice, sweet brown rice flour, Dutch cocoa, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, salt, and xanthan gum.

Interesting to review the ingredients - they use a completely different mix of flour. In looking at the Trader Joe's Gluten-free brownie package, they use the same basic ingredients as Namaste.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Trader Joes Flavored Rice Boxes

When I first went gluten-free, I went by myself to Trader Joes one evening and spent what seemed like hours wandering up and down the eisles, buying basically anything I could find that did not contain gluten and dairy.

One thing I bought were two boxes of flavored rice (sorta like rice a roni) We don't usually eat those but I felt like I needed to just have food, any food on hand that I could eat. (I was so hungry those first couple days.)

Anyway, we had two different flavors, one of which was Spanish Rice. We were not crazy about the Spanish rice but we liked it a bit better than the other one which is escaping me right now.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Storebought Granola - Bakery on Main

I purchased some granola this week. I got the Apple Raisin Walnut flavor of Bakery on Main Granola. I guess I liked the granola I made myself a little better. But this is pretty good, especially to add some variety.

I know I tried another gluten-free storebought granola a few weeks ago. I'd like to compare as I believe the Trader Joes one was a good bit cheaper than this one, and I liked it about the same.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dining Out Gluten-Free - Chipotle?

I haven't been to a restaurant now for about a month. I received a coupon in the mail for a free burrito at Chipotle. Check out their menu online . From looking at their online allergen statement , it looks like a pretty good place to get something gluten-free. The only gluten containing item is the flour tortillas so the hard-shell tacos, the burrito bowls, chips and salsa and salads should all be ok.

And dairy is only in the obvious - sour cream and cheese.

The only hitch is they use soybean oil in almost everything. Now many allergy doctors tell you soybean oil is ok, so I guess it depends on your particular case. I am not supposed to have any soy, including the oil, right now. Oh Well!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Even more Butter/Margarine Problems

I posted about butter and margarine a while back At the time, I was unable to find something both my son and I could eat, so he was eating butter and I was eating Earth Balance.

It has gotten even more complicated now that I cannot eat soy either. So Earth Balance is out for me. So now I have absolutely no butter / margarine item I can eat. I sure wish I could find something. It is hard to eat a baked potato or grits without it.

Any ideas? Does such a thing even exist?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Trader Joes Mango Fruit Floes (Popsicles)

These popsicles are really good. They even have chunks of mango in them which is a nice touch. (You can pretend you are eating fruit instead of dessert!) Not really, as they are very sweet.

My only complaint is they are too big. I don't need such a big popsicle for a sweet treat. I wish they were have the size they are.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kinnikinnick Bread Crumbs and Meatloaf

Since going gluten, dairy and soy free I have been craving meat more than usual. I was eating meat about 1-2 times per week and now I am having it at least twice that. I need to sit down and make a plan because I don't want to end up eating it every day again.

So today I made meatloaf for dinner. I used my mom's classic basic meatloaf recipe and just substituted the Kinnikinnick Bread Crumbs in for the typical bread crumbs. I thought it turned out great.

I'll have to check the price on these in order to decide whether to keep buying them. Since I am not "doing" (buying or making) gluten-free bread, I can't just make my own. Maybe one day I will be there.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Costco Rotisserie Chicken is Gluten Free!

I go to Costco once every 6-8 weeks. I have a set list of things that I stock from there when we get low. Not the frozen foods or the snacks, but things like paper products and oatmeal.

This time my husband went for me and was observant enough to notice that the rotisserie chicken (yummy) is labled GF. He picked one up to supplement a very simple dinner. It appears to be soy and dairy free as well, how wonderful.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Alison's White Chili and Quick White Beans

I made a few recipes this week that I found at another gluten-free blog - Penny Thoughts.

The Quick White Beans were a great quick lunch for me one day when I needed something fast and easy that I already had all the ingredients for lying around. I used basil as the fresh herb because that is what I had.

The White Chili is really good too - it has lots of flavor even though I went easy on the jalapeno so it would not be too spicy for the kids. I did make a few minor changes based on what I had on hand and I also sneaked in the leaves from a small bunch of chard, finely chopped up in the food processor. I figured with all the cilantro it would just blend right in. Turned out great!

I'll add these to my recipe notebook!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pamela's Ginger Cookies

Tried a new cookie today. Sure is tough to find an already made one without soy, dairy and gluten. Thought this one was pretty good.
The Chocolate Chip cookies by Pamela that I wrote about previously are out now because even though they do not contain gluten or dairy, they do contain soy.
I really need to try my hand at gluten-free baking as I have never been a big fan of ready-made items anyway. I'll have to work on getting my nerve back up

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Crispy Potato Cubes

I made this recipe and substituted brown rice flour for wheat flour. I wasn't that crazy about the flavor. Since I liked the brown rice flour fine in the breading for yesterday's chicken, I think that it may have been the mix of spices. I think I will try something a little different next time.

Just to mix things up a bit, I also used this to bread some carrots and roasted them alongside the potatoes. I thought they turned out pretty good and it was nice to have something a bit different.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kinnikinnick Bread Crumbs and Breaded Baked Chicken

I used another item from my Kinnikinnick order this week. I used the bread crumbs (mixed with some brown rice flour and spices) as a breading for baked chicken.

They worked great and it turned out really good. My son kept saying how yummy the "outside" of the chicken was. I tasted a few plain out of the package and wasn't that exciting but the package does recomment toasting them before eating. Seems like a good idea.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Banana Quinoa Muffins

I tried my hand at a little gluten-free baking this week. I have a box of Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes and noticed a recpe on the back for Banana Quinoa Muffins that had simple ingredients. It uses quinoa flour and quinoa flakes and no oil or margarine/butter making it dairy-free and soy-free as well.

The texture turned out really nice even though I was worried as they did not seem to rise up much. The flavor was a little strong on the quinoa I think. Not enough honey and banana flavor to mask it I guess. My kids did not like them and I have never seen a muffin they would not eat. I was pretty surprised I did not think they were that bad. I may put a little honey on the last few to finish them off though!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Peanut Butter Cookies

Yes, it's another goodie post.

I went digging in my oldest recipe box for this golden oldie Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe I got from my aunt in 1987. The only 3 ingredients are peanut butter, sugar and egg. Gluten, dairy and soy free! (Make sure your peanut butter doesn't contain soy. Some do. I used natural.) And easy too.

I'm sure you've seen this recipe before, it is pretty common. And with simple ingredients I could whip it out to address a nagging sweet tooth.

I think they were pretty good. A little crumbly and not a ton of depth in the flavor but it hit the spot. It was definitely better than some allergen free sweets I have purchased and a heck of a lot cheaper.

Update - these are better the next day. Not as crumbly. I like them a bit chewy - if you do too then be sure not to overbake!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Rice Milk Quandries

I like having some sort of milk-substitute around. I don't use much of it but like to have a little something to put on my cereal or granola or to use in place of milk in recipes.

I went to the store today and spent about 15 minutes in the non-dairy milk section looking for something that was also marked gluten-free. Whew! I almost gave up but finally found Pacific brand rice drink that was labeled GF. They had two other brands (at Fred Meyer) but neither was specifically labeled as gluten-free so I did not want to make a mistake.

I guess I could call and find out if they actually are, although I know I have seen Rice Dream labeled as gluten-free before so I wonder what has changed.

I glanced at the other non-dairy milks (besides rice drink) but did not see any other kind that was dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free either.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Morning Snack - Peabutter and Crackers

Tried a couple of new products - and it was successful! I ordered these online from the Gluten Free Mall. If we continue to get these I'll have to shop around a bit as it came out pricey especially with the shipping fees.

Schar Table Crackers - these are big square crackers that resemble a Ritz cracker. You wouldn't know they are gluten-free. They taste good and have good texture. They are very fragile though and several were broken when they arrive, despite extra packing material around them

Peabutter - This is the only peanut butter substitute I have seen that my son could eat. He is allergic to nuts and seeds and soy. My kids and I tried this with crackers. It is really good. We all three liked it. My oldest used to eat soy butter and I hated that. This has much better flavor. It unfortunate that it is not all natural but I guess the peas need a little boost. Next I'll have to try and see if the kids like it on a sandwich. It will be nice to have a sandwich spread option for picnics this summer.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

More on Brown Rice Pasta

Well we had pasta again tonight. I only had one box of the quinoa pasta that I mentioned last week, so I had to use some of the brown rice pasta that I already had in my pantry.

This happened to be Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta Spirals. This was much better than the brown rice pasta I complained about last time. I love Trader Joe's and I especially love their prices but maybe I'll stick to Tinkyada for a while. I thought the texture was much better. Let's see if I can do that consistently.

I had heard Tinkyada was the best but I thought that I liked the TJ as well. I have a few more bags of the TJ in my pantry so maybe I will figure out how to make the texture better.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Peach Smoothie but not with Ricera Yogurt

The kids and I had Peach Smoothies for snack this afternoon. Well, I guess I can call it a smoothie. I am not sure what it has to have in it to constitute a smoothie but it certainly looks like one.

This one contains a little leftover pineapple juice, lots of peaches I tray froze last summer (partially thawed) and a little rice milk and water (as needed to keep the blender flowing.)

What it did not contain was Ricera Yogurt (non-dairy yogurt made from brown rice.) I opened it up and took a taste fortunately before I dumped it in my blender. It tasted and smelled terrible. Not sure if it was somehow spoiled or just bad. This was the first time I had ever bought it. I won't be buying that again.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Summer Salads

In spite of our less than stellar summer weather, I am moving forward on my summer salad plan. I made several salads over the last week so that they would be available for picnics and other outings.

Here is what I have made:

1. Roasted Potato and Tomato Salad (from Moosewood Daily Special)

2. Southwestern Corn Slaw

3. Black Bean and Corn Salad

4. Quinoa and Black Bean Salad (Not pictured)

Salad seems like a great item to investigate if you are gluten-free - there are lots of salads out there that don't even need to be adjusted, you just need to double-check all your ingredients.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Homemade Granola - Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Soy-Free

I had better luck finding Gluten-free oats yesterday at PCC so I made some granola. I am no expert so I just made my old recipe with a couple tweaks to remove the offending foods. Next time I want to try using applesauce and decreasing the oil - some people have blogged that this works for them.

Here is what I made, based on what I had on hand.

Gluten-Free Granola Recipe

6 c rolled oats (certified Gluten-Free)
1/2 c brown sugar
3/4 c flaxmeal
1/4 c raw sunflower seeds
2 c chopped pecans
2/3 c honey
2/3 c vegetable oil
2 T rice milk
1 1/2 t vanilla

1. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients
2. Combine wet ingredients in small bowl. Add to oat mixture and mix thoroughly.
3. Turn into two large shallow greased baking pans or cookie sheets. Heat in 300 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until lightly toasted. Stir twice during heating.
4. Let cool for 15 minutes after removing from the oven and then stir again. Store in tightly sealed container.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Kale Chips for Snack

We had a bunch of Kale from our CSA so I made some Kale Chips one afternoon. I would not say they taste just like potato chips but they were pretty good. Made it easier to eat a fair quantity of Kale. I though the texture was nice and I am sure you can play around with the seasoning if they are too bitter.

I will make these again as it is a good idea for a healthy snack food.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Kinnikinnick Hamburger Buns

We had hamburgers a couple of nights ago and I wanted to have a bun like everyone else. I toasted up my Kinnikinnick Hamburger bun. It was pretty good. I liked the flavor but it did sort of fall apart when I was trying to eat my burger. At least it was edible - I have had to thrwo out more than my fair share of GF bread.

And more telling was the fact that when I had a leftover burger the next day, I chose to eat it without a bun. I will try these again as I still have the rest of a package. I have a veggie burger recipe in mind to try in the next week or so.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta Shells

I adjusted one of my usual recipes for Broccoli Raab Pasta to be gluten, dairy and soy free. My recipe is based off of this one that I found when surfing around. We have had Broccoli Raab 3 out of the last 5 weeks in our CSA box and this is what I have made each time.

Today I used a new-to-me type of pasta. The Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta Shells are actually a corn and quinoa blend pasta. I thought it turned out really well. I was really worried about overcooking them so I tested them every 1 minute after 6 minutes to be sure that did not happen.

These have twice as much fiber in them as the Brown Rice pasta I have been using and they were not pasty at all. I may not have cooked them the perfect amount of time as the texture was not perfect but I thought it was nice and my whole family ate it without complaint.

I guess my only real complaint is that the box size was very misleading. The box is the exact same size as a typical 1 pound box of pasta but it actually only has half as much pasta in it. I don't generally mention the price or cost of gluten-free foods as I feel like I just need to expect that it is more expensive. But it frustrated me because I feel like they designed it to mislead. I was shocked to open the box and discover it half-empty.

I have been looking for corn spaghetti noodles but have not found those yet.

Another Mistake - This time with Kinnikinnick's JB Brownie Squares

I decided to break out the Kinnikinnick brownies I bought for a little afternoon snack today. I wanted to do a side-by-side comparison to the brownies in my freezer from the batch I made last week .

Fortunately, I looked at the label again before opening them up. There is an ingredient on the list called lecithin. It does not say soy lecithin, just lecithin. That made me suspicious enough to pull up their website again and sure enough it says it contains soy. Oops.

I don't want all these goodies to go to waste. it is so frustrating to spend so much money on things that I can't eat.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pizza with Kinnikinnick Crust

We eat pizza at our house about once a week. It is a great way to use up whatever leftovers we have. We typically eat veggie pizza with whatever we have that needs to be eaten. Before going off gluten, I would make the crust myself and I typically have cheese on hand so it was such a convenient meal to work in as needed.

A while back, I tried to make a gluten free pizza crust and it did not go very well at all. Tonight I tried the ready-made Kinnikinnck pizza crust. It was really good. I made my pizza with leftover spaghetti sauce and some leftover sauteed vegetables on a thawed crust and cooked in directly on the rack at 450 for 10-15 mins. It was crispy around the edges and really tasty. It was only slightly crumbly. I will definitely be having these again. What a handy thing to have around!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What I am Having For Dinner

I made big batches this week so I could have the same thing more than once for dinner, as well as having leftovers for lunch if needed.

1. Black Bean Tacos (on Corn taco shells) and Roasted Asparagus
2. Homemade Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce on Brown Rice Pasta and Salad
3. Same as above but served on polenta and Roasted Veggies
4. BBQ Chicken, Quinoa and Spinach

I think I discovered the "secret" to Quinoa. Well, it is not such a big secret but I did not realize that it tastes much better if you rinse it very well and then toast it before cooking. Very yummy.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Oats

Pooh! I was going to splurge on some of these when I went to PCC yesterday but they were all out. There was a little sign up that they were out of stock due to a problem at the factory. I can't remember what it said, but it made me think the machine was broken or something.

I was going to use them to make myself a batch of granola. Anyway, I really wanted that for breakfast today so instead I had Gorilla Munch. It is fine in a jam but not much to it and I got hungry really soon after.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Larabars - Excellent Snack Choice!

I love Larabars. I can't believe I haven't written about them before. They made such a good, simple, on-the-go snack. I actually found them even before this gluten-thing. I get very cranky when I am hungry. I was finding that I would be out with the kids and get hungry and either continue to be grumpy or stop for a Snickers bar or fast food. That ended when I started carrying Larabars. I have one of those instead.

I just love the short ingredients list. I am so thankful that i already was eating a snack I could continue to eat.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Here's what I have been having for Breakfast

Peach-Strawberrry "Smoothie" with Rice Milk
Trader Joes Gluten Free Cranberry Maple Nut Granola

*Note - I still have some Lifestream Waffles in my freezer from last time I went GF but I realized this morning that they contain soy (the item I am adding to my restrictions this time). Luckily I found a bit of granola to eat.

Bobs Mighty Good Breakfast Cereal
Eggs over easy
Lots of salt and pepper

*I served these together in a bowl and tried to use the egg yolk to mask the fact there was no butter!

3. Kinnikinnick Waffles

* I had these for the first time this week. I was not very excited. I hate to say it but I think I may like them better when gluten is a more distant memory. Anyway, I will finish off this box so maybe I will grow to like them. I did think they were better than the other gluten-free waffles I have tried.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I am so frustrated with myself. I do such a poor job reading labels. I guess I redeem myself slightly by reading them over and over again so I always realize my error before eating the wrong thing.

After realizing my Mary's Gone Crackers weren't going to work, I realized I also have a box of Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins in my pantry. Right after I cut open the bag, I read the ingredients list for the 3rd or 4th time and discovered it contains milk - says it plainly right there on the package.

So frustrating that I have a whole stack of food that I can't eat -- and I am so hungry!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Brown Rice Pasta? Is there a trick?

I just can't figure it out. I have been buying Trader Joes Brown Rice Pasta. I know I have liked it some of the times I have made it but the last two times it has been not very good. Maybe pasty? Something off about it.

Anyone have any tricks for cooking gluten-free pasta?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Kinnikinnick Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

Yum! Yum! My box from Kinnikinnick arrived today. I tried the Cinnamon Doughnuts. They were really good - a cakey doughnut. Maybe a bit dense but my kids and I all enjoyed them.

Looking forward to trying the other items I ordered (Not all desserts!)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bob's Red Mill GF Brownie Mix

I had a craving for something sweet today after lunch so I mixed up a batch of Bob's Red Mill GF Brownies. When I read the directions, I was a bit stumped. I don't have any butter or margarine that does not contain dairy or soy. I ended up substituting canola oil. Not really sure how that affected the final produtct.
It satisfied the craving, but probably not something I will make again. I wasn't crazy about the overall flavor although I though the texture was pretty good. It made a big pan (good thing since this is pricey!) so I froze them individually to satisfy future cravings.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mary's Gone Crackers Won't Work For Me

The crackers I ate last time I was off gluten were Mary's Gone Crackers - Original. In fact, I still had some left in my pantry. I pulled them out to check and see if they would work.

But no - they contain soy (tamari for flavoring) I tried to look through their site to see if any of their varieties of gluten-fre crackers were also soy-free, dairy free but it was hard to navigate through. I guess I will try to take a look next time I am in the store. Unfortunately, I still have 1.5 boxes of these that I can't eat.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Preparations - Soup and Salad

I start my diet restrictions on Tuesday so I have been busy preparing.

Today I made a giant pot of soup - the same one I mentioned before. I put some in the fridge to eat for lunch or snack or whatever and some I froze in individual servings for something quick when I am not prepared.

The other thing I am going to have on hand is salad stuff. I have lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, peas, corn, and mushrooms all ready to go. Last time, I had some frustration over salad dressing but since then I have actually been making my own (like a Good Seasons Italian type) so it is nice to be able to control that as well.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Chocolate Chips Containing Soy

When I was at Trader Joes last week, I was going to pick up some of their Semi-sweet chocolate chips. They do not contain dairy or gluten. I was just re-reviewing the ingredients as I put them in my cart and they contain soy lecithin - so back on the shelf they went.

Gluten-Free Salt Products

I was browsing around on the Mortons and I came across this information that I thought might come in handy.

Which Morton Salt products are gluten-free?

Please be assured that the following Morton® products are gluten free:• Iodized Table Salt• Plain Table Salt • Coarse Kosher Salt• Sea Salt (Fine and Coarse)• Salt Substitute• Lite Salt™ Mixture• Salt & Pepper Shakers• Canning & Pickling Salt• Popcorn Salt• Nature’s Seasons® Seasoning Blend • Hot Salt™• Seasoned Salt• Garlic Salt• Sausage & Meat Loaf Seasoning• Tender Quick® • Sugar Cure® (Plain) • Smoke Flavored Sugar Cure®

Then when I saw Seasoned Salt in the list, it made me think to check the brand I have in my pantry which is Lawry's Seasoned Salt. Their website did not say but after browsing a bit around the internet I am pretty sure it is gluten-free. Apparently, Unilever (the parent company) is one that always declares gluten sources. Funny while I was looking, I discovered a place where someone posted the ingredients in their shaker and it contained soy lecithin. That scared me for a minute because I thought I had looked pretty closely but they must have taken it out because it is not on mine. No gluten, no dairy, no soy.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Peanut Butter

Fortunately, I am already accustomed to Natural Peanut Butter (which took me a while to adjust to, I admit) because some peanut butter contains soy.

I noticed that JIF Extra Crunchy (My husband eats this) contains soybean oil and we had the reduced fat version recently which had additional soy added, not just the oil.

I am so happy to know that my peanut butter only contains two things - peanuts and salt. Naturally gluten, soy and dairy free!

Soy-free Mayonnaise

Thanks so much for the tips on mayonnaise without soy.

Right now we are using Spectrum Naturals Canola Mayonnaise, although I got some comments for some possibly cheaper options when this jar runs out. I think I bought it at PCC Natural Markets.

So in addition to being soy-free it also appears to be gluten and dairy free. I'm thinking chicken salad or potato salad or egg salad. Maybe I can use some lettuce leaves (from our CSA) for the "bread."

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free and Soy-Free Shopping

Well I've been doing some menu planning and shopping. I am really excited about a little splurge of mine. I ordered some products to try from I have heard (read) some good things about their products and I am looking forward to trying them next week and reviewing them here.

I had not previously noticed their products in my local stores and according to the product finder on the Kinnikinnick website, they did not have them at anywhere convenient. But when I was browsing at Fred Meyer today I noticed several of their products - although a couple we out of stock. Hopefully they are just really yummy and not discontineued. I did not compare prices but I will at some point.

Here is a list of the Kinnikinnick foods they were carrying at my Fred Meyer:

white sandwich bread

blueberry muffins


english muffins

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Busy Preparing

I am busy preparing for a two-week trial diet. I will be avoiding gluten, soy AND dairy.

Last time I tried gluten-free, I jumped right in and found the first week or two very difficult so this time I am planning ahead - making a meal plan and researching some foods. It is much more difficult this time because last time I was gluten-free and dairy-free but this time I will be soy-free as well, and we know how many products have soy in them.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Canned Tuna Fish Contains Soy!

I am so naive! I thought canned tuna fish contained tuna and water. Even after all this time of reading labels, I can't believe I am still so clueless to skip labels of things I assume I know what they contain.

We rarely eat tuna, but I had a few cans sitting around that I did not want to go to waste. I actually have 2 brands of White Albacore Tuna (Chicken of the Sea AND Bumble Bee) and they both have the same ingredient list:

Tuna, Water, Veg Broth (containing soy), Salt and Pyrophosphate

While I am on the subject of unwanted ingredients, what the heck is Pyrophosphate??

This does solve a problem for me though. Right after my son tested Negative for a fish allergy, I gave him some tuna and I thought he had a reaction. Duh! It was the soy. I had no idea so I ended up having him retested to clear tuna before he had any more fish. I totally missed that!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Day 1 Soy Free

Yeah! Finally managed a day with no soy. It was much easier once I finished off my leftovers and headed to the grocery store with a new list. The only little problem I had was not til I got to the store did I realize the Kielbasa contains soy. So I had to buy some all natural chicken sausage instead for my recipe. Hope it turns out!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Amy's Shepherds Pie Contains Soy!

I don't know what a person does who cannot do dairy or soy. If it is not one, it is the other. Fortunately, both are on the list of allergens that have to be called out explicitly on food labels.

My lunch plans did not work out and I really needed something so I grabbed a gluten-free dairy-free Amy's Shepherds Pie out of the freezer but it does contain soy. I confess I ate it anyway. So far I have not managed a soy-free day yet. Oh well!

I am so thankful that the 8 most common allergens are actually listed clearly on packaging. My son is allergic to some of those, as well as sesame seeds (and other seeds.) I have heard sesame seeds are the 9th most common allergen. I am bummed seeds are not called out like the other things he is allergic to, as that does make things easier. And we all know how hard it is to figure out if something contains gluten or not!!

My point is : Even though soy is everywhere at least it is listed clearly.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce contains Soy Protein

**UPDATED JULY 2011 TO ADD :::: I am still getting a lot of comments on this post so I just wanted to update to say that apparently the recipe has changed. The label no longer lists hydrolyzed soy and corn protein as ingredients. Several readers chimed in and also said they contacted the company and confirmed it is now soy-free.**

It is funny that I thought I was a pretty good label reader but I am discovering more and more that apparently I am not careful enough. All sorts of foods contain things that I would not have expected.

A while back, I verified that Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce is gluten-free. As I was making a big batch of Chex Mix today, I took another look at the label. The last ingredient is hydrolyzed soy and corn protein. Ugh! IT CONTAINS SOY! I guess I'll just watch everyone else eat my Chex Mix.

The other item I wasn't thrilled about on the list is High Fructose Corn Syrup. In general, I am trying not to buy things that contain this. I don't use this sauce much so I guess that is not too big a deal but definitely a problem if my son and I are going to be soy free!

Monday, March 3, 2008

More Eliminating Soy

Wow - this is totally boring, I am eating the same thing every day. I am the poster child for boring food blogs. And here, is a photo of another grilled cheese sandwich, but this one is quite different from the 473 others I have posted...blah...blah...blah...

Toast w/PB and honey

Chicken Salad (Finally the end!)

Chicken and Veg Tikka Masala
Brown Rice

The only soy I had today was the chicken salad and I have finally finished it off! I'm off to make a grocery list!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Eliminating Soy

I think I'll make my first soy-free menu plan for Wednesday since I am still eating up lots of leftovers living in my fridge. Right now I am just trying to be aware of where soy may be hiding in common foods. Note - my menus right now contain dairy and gluten as I try to figure things out!

Whole wheat toast with Natural Peanut Butter and Honey
*I make the bread myself so I know this is fine.

Chicken Salad and Green Salad with Annie's Goddess Dressing
*Same problem from yesterday with Mayo
*Also just now checked the dressing bottle (oops!) and it has soy sauce

Afternoon Baby Shower
*Hmm! I did not eat much but there may have been some soy hiding.

Sweet Potato Fries
*Made at home so know no soy!

I am definitely seeing a trend. How nice to make foods from scratch at home and know exactly what you are eating and be able to control it. I have some nice homemade dressing here too that I should have picked!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Trying to Eliminate Soy

I've decided to try to eliminate soy from my diet for a while on the recommendation of my doctor. I haven't had a chance to plan a new set of menus since I decided so I am eating what I already have on hand. I figured it would be a good chance for me to become more aware of soy in my diet as I prepare to transition next time I go to the store.

Today's Menu
Toast with Natural Peanut Butter and Honey

Chicken Salad and Avocado Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries
*The #1 ingredient in Mayonnaise is soybean oil. I wonder if there is such thing as a mayonnaise without soy?

*A friend made this so I am not 100% sure.
*Checked dressing and made sure soy-free.

A Recipe to Share : Dirty Rice and Beans

Here's a recipe we've been having a lot lately. I adapted it from a recipe I found in Cooking Light last fall but I simplified the ingredients. I also frequently use it for a framework for a baked rice dish, and can add whatever I have and whatever sounds good. I love that it is truly a one-pot meal.

Dirty Rice and Beans
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free
(check your chicken broth to be sure!)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2-3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice
5 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (or broth water mix)
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
3. Add bell pepper and onion to pan; cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
4. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned.
5. Stir in rice; cook 30 seconds.
6. Add broth and remaining ingredients; bring to a simmer.
7. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Soy, Soy, Soy !

My doctor keeps telling me it would be a good idea to stop eating soy. To completely eliminate all soy from my diet. Ugh! I am really dragging my feet on that. As you know, right now I am eating an unrestricted diet and it is so nice. I think the worse part in dietary restrictions is going over to friends houses which I do pretty regularly. I hate not being able to participate along with everyone else.

We don't eat a lot of soy at home anyway as my son is allergic to soy so it would be pretty easy to implement at home.

A side note, the medicines I am taking do seem to be helping my stomach, I'll have follow-up tests next month.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Test Results

Last week I got some interesting test results back. Included in the GI test results was the prescence of several bacterial infections - things that should not be there. So I am once again optimistic that we have found something that will help. I am taking some things to get rid of those I believe the plan is to retest next month.

In the meantime, I am still eating gluten and dairy, making this gluten-free blog VERY boring....

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Puffins are not Gluten-Free

I don't know how I missed that the Puffins we have contain oats and therefore are not gluten-free. Even though I know that wheat-free and gluten-free are not the same somehow I still get that mixed up.

Anyway, most varieties of Puffins contain oats. The Honey Rice ones do not but are made on a line that processes wheat so they are not labeling them gluten-free either.

Luckily, I don't like them anyway and did not munch on them while thinking I was gluten-free.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

More on Default Dinners

I love my new Default Dinner list . I did not do a good job planning this week and I did not know what we were going to have for dinner tonight and the rest of the week. I don't really feel like going to the store today either.

So I browsed my default dinners blog entries and then took a peek in the freezer and pantry. Now I have a plan for tonight AND tomorrow night, using items that I already have on hand. Tonight we will have vegetable soup and tomorrow we will have pasta with clams. If I don't make it to the store in time, I think I will have what I need to make fried rice the day after that! So wonderful!

BTW, my doctor's appointment is not until next week and then I may be making some more diet changes. I have to admit, I am really enjoying my freedom right now!