Sunday, November 30, 2008

Key Lime Pie in Gluten-Free Whole Foods Crust is delicious

I thought it would be fun to make key lime pie for Thanksgiving while visiting my parents in Florida.  We bought a pre-made crust from Whole Foods and filled it with the following recipe from GourmetSleuth.  It was delicious and I would definitely make it again!

Key Lime Pie by GourmetSleuth
This is a recipe for "real" Key Lime pie. Real Key lime pie is not green and it does not have a soft "pudding" texture. The pie gets its true pale yellow color from the egg yolks that predominate the ingredient list. And the texture is a "firm custard".

Be careful that you don't over-bake the pie or it will be "rubbery". For best results use fresh Key Limes, not bottled juice. The traditional preparation does not put any meringue on the top of the pie. This is a very simple recipe and only takes a few minutes to prepare and 12 minutes to bake.

Servings: 5 - 6
16 graham crackers, crushed
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cube (1/4 lb) margarine or butter

4 large or extra large egg yolks
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh key lime juice (approximately 12 Key limes)
2 teaspoons grated lime peel, green portion only

Whipping Cream For Garnish (Optional)
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the ingredients and press them into a 9" pie plate. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 10 - 12 minutes until lightly browned. Place on a rack to cool.

Pie Filling
Use an electric mixer and beat the egg yolks until they are thick and turn to a light yellow, don't over mix. Turn the mixer off and add the sweetened condensed milk. Turn speed to low and mix in half of the lime juice. Once the juice is incorporated add the other half of the juice and the zest, continue to mix until blended (just a few seconds). Pour the mixture into the pie shell and bake at 350F for 12 minutes to set the yolks and kill any salmonella in the eggs.

If you are using the whipping cream garnish, prepare the cream. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Seasons 52 a healthy, gluten-free option

I ate last night at Seasons 52 in Boca Raton.  The staff was very accommodating and they had a gluten free menu.  All of the wait staff carry a PDA that has all of the allergen information in it for every dish on the menu.  Also, all of the entrees are 475 calories or less!

This is a chain, so check out their site and see if there's one near you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gluten-Free dining cards on your iPod

Having been a fan of the traditional printed version of a gluten-free dining card by Triumph  I was intrigued to learn there is now an electronic version available for free on iTunes. 
 Just go to iTunes and search the store for Gluten-Free.  The cards are available as a free application. On a side note - the search also pulled up some music - curious.  I did see some negative reviews online saying the text on the card can be hard to read, but its' an interesting thought.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gluten Free and Low Glycemic Index - is this possible?

I've been interested in cooking Low GI for a while, but it felt overwhelming.  A friend gave me this book:  The New Glucose Revolution Low GI Gluten-Free Eating Made Easy: The Essential Guide to the Glycemic Index and Gluten-Free Living available here on  
It still seems hard to handle, but I intend to keep chipping away at it.  One thing that has been bothering me for the past couple of years is how much of our food ends up being high in fat or sugar to compensate taste-wise for the no gluten.  So, I'm intrigued with some of the recipes in this book - including one for brownies.  I intend to try some of them out after Thanksgiving.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gluten Free Cookie Bar by Arico is quite tasty

At our local North Texas Gluten Intolerance Group, I was given a sample of Arico Natural Foods Company's Almond Cranberry Gluten Free Cookie Bar.  There were so many other treats at the time it took me a while to get to it.  However, I finally ate it last night and boy was I glad.  It has almost a biscotti-like texture.  I would consider it moderately healthy - it has some fiber, some protein and not a ridiculous amount of carbs.  More importantly, it was quite filling and kept me going though a weight training workout.  Also, it's only 140 calories - which for many GF bars that size, you'd expect closer to 200 calories.  I will definitely be trying to find this on local shelves. For now, it's available online for sure.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

DFW Gluten-Free christmas cookie swap

The North Texas Gluten Intolerance Group will be holding a cookie swap Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008 at 10 AM at the Richland Hills Church of Christ.  They are asking everyone who is confident that they can bake safely gluten free to bring 4 dozen homemade gluten-free cookies to share.  They will provide large size ZipLock baggies for you to bring your cookies home in.  This way, everyone should leave with at least 3 dozen different kinds of cookies to take home!  It sounds like a blast!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread is delicious

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread mix is easy to use and hits the spot.  I made it with baked acorn squash, grapes and rice crackers with goat cheese.  The cornbread was more like cake than a rougher corn texture and was quite tasty.  I ate it for snack for the past week.  Non-Gluten-Freers like it too as evidenced by my boyfriend's disappointment that I'd eaten the last piece yesterday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

International Celiacs

There is a blog called Wheatless Bay, which has great recipes and photography from an English Celiac.  It's definitely worth a look at a world without wheat across the pond!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Toasted pumpkin seeds

You can actually do this with any type of squash with large seeds, but I usually think of doing it with pumpkin seeds.  I wash the seeds off in a colander.  
Then, I pour about 1-2 tbps of olive oil on a cookie sheet.  Next, pour the seeds onto the cookie sheet, toss them in the oil and then pat them down into a single layer.  
I like to sprinkle some kosher salt on top. Use two cookie sheets if necessary.  
Place the cookie sheets into a 375 degree, pre-heated oven.  Set a timer and toss the seeds with a spatula every 3-5 minutes.  
The seeds are done when they are lightly browned - usually 30 - 45 minutes.  They should feel light and if you taste one it should be crunchy, not chewy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gluten-free pasta served hot at Central Market

It took me a few tries and an achy belly to get this right.  However, I think I've got it all figured out.  At Central Market's pasta/pizza bar they have rice noodles and mung-bean noodles.  You can get them to make the curry dish or spaghetti with marinara sauce using these noodles, but the key is to ask them to warm the noodles in a separate pan.  Normally, the noodles are warmed in water cross-contaminated with wheat pasta.  Today, I figured out to ask for them to be heated separately and had a delicious spaghetti with baby bellas for about $8.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Grace - a new allergy and food sensitivity-friendly restaurant in Fort Worth

Grace at 777 Main Street in Fort Worth is a new, modern version of a steakhouse.  All of the food - salads, appetizers, main courses, dessert is ordered a la carte so you can mix and match easily. The chef aims to make his food friendly for people with allergies and food sensitivites.  I hope to have more details soon.  The grand opening is Nov. 17, 2008.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kinnikinnick - Smorable Graham Crackers

I bought a box of Kinnikinnick's Smorable Graham Crackers and finally tried some. To be fair, the box does call these graham-style crackers not graham crackers.  They're not terrible to eat on their own, but they don't have that little kick that glutinous graham crackers have.  I used them this weekend for s'mores and they were quite adequate.  I plan to use the rest of the box to make a cheesecake crust.  The bottom line is - is it better to buy these vs. spending 4 hours making graham crackers by hand that might not taste that much better?  Of course.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gluten-free pancakes over the campfire

In my experience, cooking over a campfire is a challenge any way you slice it, but when you throw gluten-free products into the mix, watch out. Anyway, a dear new friend of mine wanted to try it.  So, she pre-mixed Pamela's gluten-free pancake mix and brought it camping with us in a cooler.  Then, she tried using a dutch oven to cook the pancakes.  The mix needed a little thinning and the finished product was more biscuity than pancakey.  It was definitely edible, though.  I guess the point of this is that with a little pre-planning and generous friends you can do just about anything you used to before going GF.  
I still prefer an easy morning of GF cereal and a banana when I'm camping, but that's mainly out of laziness.  If someone else wants to do the cooking.... I'm all for it!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Genghis Grill can be Gluten Free, Soy Free

I wouldn't have believed it, but you can eat fairly safely at Genghis Grill.  My friend with a soy allergy showed me the ropes.  The biggest deal is that you have to get them to clean the portion of the grill they will be using to make your food.  The next important part is that you don't poison yourself.  You pick your own spices, sauces and ingredients.  There are two sauces that ought to be safe - see the nutrition PDF - but they look spicy, which is not my cup of tea.  I suspect that you could bring your own sauce, however, which is what I plan to try next time!  Also, when you choose a starch, choose something without gluten, like rice.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A&W root beer confirmed Gluten-Free

I'm not a huge root beer fan, so it had never occurred to me to look into its gluten-freeness.  I had always heard that if it was carbonated, it was safe.  But, one of my co-workers educated me that we needed to watch out for the caramel coloring and other ingredients.  
She went the extra mile to contact A&W root beer about their diet soda.  Here's what they wrote back:

November 3, 2008
Dear Ms. Uecker,

Thank you for contacting us about the presence of gluten in our products. Consumer inquiries such as this are appreciated because they provide valuable feedback about our brands.

Gluten is a mixture of complex proteins found in the grain of wheat, barley, oats, rye, rice, corn, and other grains. Many soft drinks, including those produced by our Company contain high fructose corn syrup which is derived from corn and which may contain very small amounts of corn gluten, but no other type of gluten. According to the Celiac Sprue Association, corn gluten
is not of concern to people who have Celiac Sprue disease.

All A&W products (and all of our carbonated drinks in general) are therefore considered gluten free.

We encourage consumers with more specific questions about Celiac Sprue to contact the Celiac Sprue Association at 402-558-0600 or your health care provider.

We appreciate your inquiry and hope you will continue to enjoy our soft drink brands.

Consumer Relations

Thanks Karla!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Flour made from Cabernet grapes has vitamins and antioxidants

I recently learned about grape flour from Gluten-Free Baking cookbook author Rebecca Reilly, who also writes articles for Living Without magazine.  She was telling us about powdered grape skins and seeds that are made into a fine flour.  Supposedly, you can get all of the health benefits of dark-skinned grapes and add it to your baked goods.  So far, your best bet is to buy it online at sites like this one.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gluten-Free baking mixes available in Arlington, Texas

I went to my first North Texas Gluten Intolerance Group meeting and was overwhelmed by the wealth of information and free, gluten-free treats available for sampling.  Everyone was so warm and welcoming that I felt right at home.  
One woman I met, Dacia Lehman, often brings Gluten-Free baking mixes to sell at the meetings.  She has basic flour mixes, chocolate chip cookie mix, cream soup and many more.  She said she would be willing to ship her mixes, but that the shipping costs were high due to the weight of the products.  
For more information, contact Dacia: (817) 479-4608 or email her