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Gluten Free Foodies

Celebrate the foods that you can eat!

Healthier Without Wheat … A Must Read!

September 10th, 2009 at 7:37 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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I just started to read this book by Dr. Stephen Wangen, “Healthier Without Wheat”. I had to put the book down because I thought it was so important to tell you about this book. It is an excellent book that helps to explain some very confusing information about Wheat Allergies, Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance. I heard about this book at theGIG Conference that I attended earlier this year. Stephen had participated or responed to some of the questions during the various seminars that were offered. He mentioned his book several times. Ironically, after my ONE BITE episode, I picked up the book and began to read. I wanted to know if he had any further information as to why I was feeling so bad. I must say that some of the information I already knew but it was presented to me in a way that made me feel more empowered to stay motivated and get past this bump in the road.
Contact your local library, favorite bookstore orAmazon.com and get the book! Get a few copies of the book for your family and friends. Everyone must read this book just to be educated about the underlying causes of most illnesses.

The book is easy to read and beautifully organized to help you understand why we have so many problems with wheat, gluten and diagnosing problems associated with the sensitivities. Some of the information is hard to understand but once you read the book and then go back to certain sections it will make more sense as to why it is very important to take your intolerance, sensitivity or allergy to wheat or gluten very seriously.

Although living without wheat is hard to convince yourself to do, and may seem somewhat drastic, when you start to feel better and healthier it will be easier to understand. This is a great book that I will keep in my library to remind myself why I work so hard. It will continue to keep me motivated to plan gluten free meals, talk to grocery stores about offering more gluten free products, talking to restaurants and cafes about adding Gluten Free menus and talking to people like you who are trying to be healthier without wheat. I hope you find this book as helpful and informative as I do.
Enjoy!
Lisa

Bacon Ranch Cheeseburger Salad … Gluten Free!

September 9th, 2009 at 8:10 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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I know sounds … delicious and oxymoronic …
Bacon Ranch Cheeseburger + Salad = Gluten Free???!!!
I have been having the worst craving for something that usually isn’t gluten free. I didn’t have to think too long and hard about it because I knew I really wanted the ultimate burger. So I put it down on paper as if I were creating a painting. Dark green Romaine lettuce leaves from my mother’s homegrown garden, rich red vine tomatoes, purple onions, big thick brown slices of Niman Ranch bacon and a big juicy burger stuffed with pepper jack cheese and topped with homemade ranch dressing (and not that package stuff!). Oh, it was divine! It was so beautiful, so tasty and satisfying. There was one problem. I can only tell you about it because … I forgot to take a picture of it before I dove into it and ate the whole thing! Once again, I will have to make a BIG note to self – Must take picture before eating!

Maybe I will have to just make it again soon just to take a picture of it and share it with you.
Oh, the sacrifices one makes for others. I can hear the Gluten Free Foodies laughing at me once again. What? no pictures?

Note to SELF – Insert Picture here, as soon as possible …  then eat!

(Originally posted on Gluten Free Foodies blog – June 30, 2009)

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Summer Fling … Wild Blueberries and Lemon Shortbread Cookies

September 8th, 2009 at 11:03 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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 summer fling blog
I spent the day yesterday wrapping up my summer fling of passion for our abundant season of wild blueberries. I know everyone else has moved on to blackberries … stopping their cars on the side of the road as if there is some sort of free giveaway. Those blackberry people are armed with buckets and goofy grins on their faces as if they have found gold. Well, I have to say that I made the commitment to blueberries long ago and this season was the reward for my loyalty! I am committed to blueberries!

 So the other day when I happened to notice a box of Gluten Free Lemon Shortbread Cookies from Pamela’s Products at the Co-Op store in Port Townsend, I had to try them. They had me at the first bite! Wow … lemon-yyyy … talk about a pucker!

I suddenly imagined the perfect pairing, what if I made a crust out of these amazing Gluten Free Lemon Shortbread Cookies and made Cheesecake with Wild Blueberry Glaze? On the drive home, I stopped and bought another box of cookies and thought about all the ingredients I would use.  

So our big holiday date – Labor Day, this was the day to officially say goodbye to summer. I took out the ingredients so that they would warm to room temperature and off we went. I used about a cup of the best blueberries, a cup of sugar and a cup of water. I put them in a saucier and lit the fire below. As I stirred the concoction, I began to notice the bubbling water, the bursting of the berries and the sudden release of the blue ink. This was it, they were now turning into something different a liquid puree. I continued to let it simmer, stirring for a few more minutes, added a sprinkle of cinnamon and then let it rest and cool.

On to the gluten free crust … was this going to work? Did I really know what I was doing? I tried not to think about it and just dove in. I opened the cookies and put them in the Cuisinart. Chop … crush … chop, chop and it was over. A box of cookies was now a bowl of crumbs. I put them into a metal bowl with cooled melted butter, about 4 tablespoons. I used a fork and began to remember many years ago when I used to make cookie bars with graham cracker crusts for my brother and sister. I remembered how I discovered that it was important to use a fork and not a spoon to keep the mixture fluffy and yet still combined.
 

I portioned out a bit of the lemon crust mixture into the 12 mini cheesecake pans and put it in the over at 375 degrees for 7 minutes. I watched them closely so they wouldn’t burn. Ding … they were perfect, I put them on the cooling rack while I mixed the cheesecake. I turned the oven down to 325 degrees and started to mix – 16 oz of cream cheese, 2 eggs, ¼ cup of heavy cream, ½ cup of raw cane sugar, pinch of salt. Mixed it together until creamy and then portioned it out onto the cooled crusts in the pan. 20 minutes later they were done, onto a cooling rack and then in the fridge for 2 hours. Tell me it wasn’t hard to wait – I am not a patient person.

 

So to fill my time I went back to the cooled blueberry puree, put them in the blender and pushed a few buttons. I poured the liquid through a sieve to make sure the puree was smooth. I put the puree back into the saucier and heated it again, this time I added a little bit of cornstarch to some water and then to the puree. I continued to mix it and watched it thicken into a beautiful blue purple glaze. It made me think of my watercolors and how I needed to go back to painting now that the season is changing. 

 

 

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a wonderful Gluten Free Summer then to end it with a bit of bittersweet. YUM! Crunchy, lemony crust with the creamy center and the sweetness of the blueberry glaze! YUM! YUM! YUM!

Goodbye to a wonderfully hot summer fling with wild blueberries … until we meet again!

Enjoy!
 
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The Pizza Quest … continues … on to Foley’s Pizza

September 6th, 2009 at 8:14 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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foley's deluxe italian saladLast week I ventured out to visit a very sweet woman by the name of Mona Foley at Foley’s Pizza in Bremerton.  I made the journey in the hot summer weather, sun roof back, wind blowing through my crazy long hair and working up my gluten free appetite … for GLUTEN FREE PIZZA.  So many people have been talking about pizza lately that I couldn’t take it anymore.  It seemed everywhere I turned someone was talking about Foley’s Pizza in Bremerton.  I woke up that day ready to face the challenge to find the ULTIMATE GLUTEN FREE PIZZA!  Luckily my mind was in full gear because I called to make sure that they still served Gluten Free Pizza.  (I have had sad experiences in the past that have ended up in tears after a long journey to find out that ”other establishments” gave up on the Gluten Free thing.) 

Mona answered the phone and took my order.  I told her the approximate time that I would be there and off  I went.   (It was easy to find the location because it is by the Harrison Hospital, just follow the blue signs. )  As I walked in I could smell all sorts of Italian specialty foods cooking.   I introduced myself to Mona and told her I was ready!  It is a very quaint cafe, so I sat down at a small table and started to have a conversation with Mona and the other customers.   Mona began to tell me that she makes the pizza crusts by hand and then freezes them so that when customers come it they are basically ready to go.  She started making the Gluten Free Pizzas because one of their customers said that they hadn’t had pizza in years due to their Gluten Intolerance.  Mona said she couldn’t imagine going so long without pizza and took on the challenge to make the perfect Gluten Free Pizza Crust.

I ordered a Deluxe Salad with Italian vinaigrette dressing and an Italian Gluten Free Pizza.  When Mona brought it to the table I was in heaven!  The salad had the perfect blend of seasonings, artichoke hearts, red onion, tomato, bacon and the perfect amount of dressing.  The pizza was a thin crust that crunched as you took each bite.  It was loaded with Italian sausage, onions, peppers, cheese, fresh garlic, mushrooms and pepperoni.  YUUUUMMM!   

foley's pizza pizzaI have to say it is worth the trip … all the way to Bremerton … to experience this Gluten Free Pizza treat!

Foley’s is in the Sheridan Village at 724 Lebo Blvd., Bremerton, WA and the phone number is  360 373 7222.  Always call first to make sure that they have a Gluten Free Pizza crust ready to make for you!  Thank you to Mona and her husband for keeping us Gluten Free people happy and full of awesome Gluten Free Pizza!

Enjoy!

Lisa

Gluten Free Foodie

You can read more about the Gluten Free Foodies events and additional info on the original blog.

 

 

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Gluten Free Pizza Quest …

September 5th, 2009 at 7:58 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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bob's red mill gf pizza mix blog

I am not sure what set this off in me but suddenly I have to have PIZZA!          I think it is because it is the one thing that we all crave and want the most. So I have spent the past few days investigating, shopping and searching to find the best tasting, easiest and least expensive way to get the ULTIMATE GLUTEN FREE PIZZA … (Oh and not having to travel via ferry all the time to Seattle.)

Here are the results so far – (See scrumptious pizza picture above.)
The best tasting, approximately 1 hour 15 minutes isBob’s Red MillGluten Free Pizza Crust Whole Grain Mix – (It has a bright green label on it.) I bought it at Central Market for $3.59 not including toppings. I used local meat from Isernio’s Sausage Hot Italian flavor,Red Onion and Mozzarella Cheese and Olive Oil lightly sprinkled on top. The basil is fresh from my garden, but put it on after it has cooked to get the best flavor. The directions on Bob’s package were a little basic but I would maybe suggest a few changes. There was plenty of dough to make it in a half sheet pan (12×17) and a jelly roll pan. I don’t mind the shape, taste is most important to me. I also like a thinner crust … ease of getting it out of the pan is also important! (It called for 2 – 12 inch pizza pans) I haven’t had luck with the round pans and gluten free pizza crust in the past so I opted with the shorter sides of the half sheet pan. The dough had a good yeasty taste to it but next time I would suggest adding Italian seasoning and garlic powder to it. For a first time with the mix it was easy. The directions said to use wet hands to spread out the dough and that was the best part because it made it soooo much easier than doing it dry with more flour! I highly suggest this mix and now knowing a few things to tweak it, look forward to future cravings and pizza parties. I think this mix would be good to make bread sticks out of as well, maybe add some Parmesan cheese to it and Italian spices. YUM!
Tip: I have found the best way to re-heat pizza is to use a non-stick pan with a lid and heat on low for approximately 5-8 minutes. If you do not have a non-stick pan with a lid put a few drops of water or olive oil in the pan, heat it slightly and then put the pizza in the pan and cover it for a few minutes. The crust will crisp right up as if it were made in a wood fire oven!)
The easiest is Glutino’s Gluten Free Duo Cheese Pizza – $4.89 at Central Market in Poulsbo.
It was OK for a quickie pizza in 10-15 minutes but I needed to add spices to it wake up the flavor. Look for it in the freezer section. It is small so if you are feeding a few people and in a hurry you might want to grab one per person and have a big salad.

Next … I will be trying a frozen Brown Rice Pizza Crust by Nature’s Hilights $5.99 for 2 crusts in one box. Look for an update in a few weeks  … I have to go walk now before I turn into a pizza!

 

In the past few weeks I have heard “rumors” about new pizza places that offer really good gluten free pizza – all over WA state.  Feel free to contact me glutenfreefoodie@gmail.com  with any and all info.  Stay tuned as more reviews will follow … in the meantime, enjoy the suggestions above to get you through those rough patches or sudden end of summer blues  … and join me on the

ULTIMATE GLUTEN FREE PIZZA CHALLENGE!!!

(This was orginally posted on the Gluten Free Foodies blog on August 18, 2009.  I just want to make sure that the newbies don’t miss the VIPi aka Very Important Pizza info!)

For more info about Gluten Free Foodies events and other Gluten Intolerant resources go to http://www.glutenfreefoodies.blogspot.com

Gluten Free Birthdays

September 4th, 2009 at 10:34 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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  lisa's luscious birthday cake

I would like to wish everyone a
Happy Gluten Free Cake Day!
It is that time of year when I wish for something special, something that reminds me that .
I can eat cake and love it!
So this year I decided to make a rich, moist, dark chocolate cupcakes with a coconut carmel pecan topping. I have been craving this for weeks and I just broke down today and made them. I used Pamela’s Products Chocolate Cake Mix. I followed the Pamela’s Luscious Chocolate Cake directions. The packaging gives several suggestions to make different cakes and desserts with this mix. I might change the title of my creation to – Lisa’s Luscious Cupcakes with Coconut Pecan Topping (After all it is my birthday! I can rename them right?)
 

Coconut Pecan Topping

I used 3 large egg yolks, 1 can of evaporated milk, 1 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 3/4 cup of butter at room temperature. Heat at medium temperature and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, a pinch of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 package of coconut flakes, 1 1/2 cups of pecans. I hope you enjoy Gluten Free Cake Day regardless if you try this recipe or your own. Let me know what your favorite special cake day treat is and share it with other Gluten Free Foodies!
Don’t forget to put a candle on it and make a wish!
 

 

 I thought about my birthday cupcakes today when I remembered it is my friend’s birthday today … Happy Birthday … Neinah!  Let me know when you are ready for your cupcakes!

  

(Originally posted on my birthday, June 25, 2009 -gluten free foodies blog.)

 

 

 

 

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Gluten Free Pecan Shortbread Cookies and Earl Grey Tea

September 3rd, 2009 at 9:27 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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bob's red mill shortbreadToday was just one of those days to sip hot tea, devour warm Pecan Shortbread Cookies … Gluten Free of course … and chatting with old friends. I got a call earlier today from some friends saying they were stopping by to catch up. So as any good hostess would do, I opened my Gluten Free Pantry and found my bag of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie Mix. I turned on the oven, filled the tea kettle with water and started to make the cookies. Luckily the recipe called for just a few ingredients to add to the mix. I love it when baking is this easy! Butter, a large egg yolk, water and the mix … I added chopped pecans to it as well. The timing was perfect because just as the doorbell rang, the cookies were ready warm out of the oven. The tea kettle whistling as well. So we sat down and began to chat as we enjoyed our warm treats and Earl Grey Tea. I have to say that these particular friends are of the “gluten” crowd and are also the ones that often say … How do you do it? I don’t know how you can live without wheat!!! and then in the same breath … these cookies are really good! Where did you buy them?

 I have to laugh as I take a really big BITE of a cookie before they realize that the Pecan Shortbread Cookie is Gluten Free! I could show them the packaging but do I really need to give all of my secrets away? Check out this mix at your favorite grocery store with the other Gluten Free Bob’s Red Mill products. You can also purchase the products directly at Bob’s Red Mill online.

Enjoy!

Learning to Live Gluten Free

September 2nd, 2009 at 10:08 am by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie
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Lisa Pizza Pie to Living Gluten Free

Originally posted on Gluten Free Foodies blog, May 2009

I always knew that I should listen to my instincts. About six years ago I was in an auto accident. It changed my life. I was suddenly in massive pain all over my body, mostly my back. The fatigue was so overwhelming that I felt as if there was a magnet pulling me to the core of the earth. I could not sit, sleep or eat. I was very ill and my doctors could not help me with a diagnosis or cause of the pain. The only thing that they did was run tests, very, very expensive tests. The doctors’ “practice” was to give me prescription pain medication and cortisone injections in my spine. I began to have allergic reactions to the pain medications. This was getting scary and I felt as if I was getting deeper and deeper into the hole and the system.

I wanted to find the root of the pain that had become chronic and debilitation after six months. I continued to question everything. Why would I have this odd intense pain on my face, arms, legs, hands and all over my back. My pain was so deep that my shoulders would freeze or go into spasms and I wouldn’t be able to turn my head to the side or take long breaths. My legs would cramp up so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed and walk into the other room. Migraine headaches would suddenly come on and last for days. I could not get out of bed. I lived in the city, Seattle, at the time. I couldn’t handle it – the smell, sounds, fast pace and just the vibe drove every nerve in my body crazy. I had to do something to feel better and fast. I moved across the sound to Bainbridge Island.

I remember thinking to myself that if I got to a point of feeling better, healthy…heck…just being able to sit down at a table and eat a real meal, then I would do what I could to help anyone that is faced with Chronic Pain and Celiac Disease. I remember talking to many, many doctors after I had researched and read books over the year to try to figure out what was wrong with me. I finally figured out after many blood tests and questioning one particular doctor … What is Celiac Disease and could I have it? The blood test came back positive and yes I did.

So what now? What is gluten and why is it in everything? Are you kidding me…it is in PIZZA??!! I loved pizza … my brother and sister used to call me “Lisa Pizza Pie” for goodness sake! I loved to cook, entertain, not follow recipes mind you, but create food that looked, smelled and tasted amazing. I read more about the foods that I could eat. I read about nutrition and supplements so that I could get my strength back just to eat. It was hard in the beginning because I was so tired and the brain fog never seemed to lift. I had to read things over and over before it would connect. My memory was off so it was harder for me to retain the information but it took too much effort to write it down at great lengths. I did a little bit at a time and kept fighting to get back to being healthy.

I talked to people everywhere I could. I checked out books from the library, cookbooks, nutrition, medical, motivational, everything and anything that looked like it might be part of getting me to the bigger picture. I went through every type of physical therapy to get my strength and stamina back but I would have setbacks. It seemed as though I would take a very small step forward and about twenty back. I kept at it. I listened to visualization Cds to help cope with the stress, insomnia and of course, the intense pain. I continued to talk to people, question everything and learn as much as I could.

Things began to turn around for me. In 2004, Gluten Free foods were hard to find. It was really had to stick with the “new and improved Gluten Free lifestyle” because just buying the individual flours to make bread or waffles was 3-4 times the price of the bad stuff. The other risk was that I do not like to follow recipes…I create on a whim….this does not qualify as a baker. Luckily my mom was the baker in the family and she was brave to try all sorts of recipes – the pioneers like Bette Hagman and Carol Fenster. We went through the books and I dreamed of something familiar to comfort me. I began to try any of the new GF products that would appear in the market. There was a glimmer of hope and “spitting” disappointments. I kept packaging to remind myself that something earned an encore or never again. I made a book with notes. I shared info with random people I would meet. I found more cookbooks – Rebecca Reilly, The Culinary Institute of America’s GF Baking and others. I tried to convert recipes. I just had to keep the appetite going to cook and create.

A few years ago I decided that there were a few things that were important to me to stay moving and motivated. I tried to find some sort of physical activity to keep me moving – walking and yoga. I began to watercolor, paint and draw to make me happy and calm. I started cooking again little by little in waves, to nourish me. I also remembered many a dark time when I promised that I would help anyone that was in Chronic Pain and/or Gluten Intolerant or diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I was helping people with brief encounters of information and experience. My mom was learning things too and sharing the information. I just wanted more.

My intention for this blog is to share my experiences with products, recipes and stories of people that I have met with you. I also hope that if you are reading my story and it sounds somewhat familiar that you will be strong and learn to feed yourself the proper nutrition for you – Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy or Casein Free – allergy free. I am excited about sharing information and ideas to celebrate the foods that we can eat and be healthy!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Take care,
Lisa “Gluten Free Pizza Pie” aka Gluten Free Foodie

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About Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie

Learning to live Gluten Free is a challenge. Gathering with like minded people while exchanging ideas, life experiences and gluten free food is more interesting! So I created, Gluten Free Foodies, to support people with Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerant and other Food Sensitive people by gathering at events and celebrating the foods that we can eat! Do you have a Gluten Free question you want the answer to? Feel free to send me an email at glutenfreefoodies@gmail.com Original blog - GlutenFreeFoodies.co After all, didn't Erma Bombeck once say ... "I am not a glutton, I am an explorer of food."

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