Monday, November 22, 2010

Am I Going "Crackers"?

I found myself profoundly missing crackers the other day. Crackers may be the thing I miss most. I LOVE crackers and would eat them liberally before this gluten-free thing. I don't think I have had a "real" cracker in over a year. I would eat them plain, with cheese, with peanut butter, it didn't much matter. And so when my husband picked up a box of Ritz Crackers at the store yesterday, I wanted to rip open the box in the car and dive in because I haven’t found a cracker that I truly find acceptable. Skinny Crisps are good but you certainly can’t compare them to a Ritz. The rest are gummy, mealy and quite frankly not worth it.

I read something by Shauna from Gluten Free Girl that kind of hit home for me. She said it was easy to go gluten-free because she had been so sick, reduced to eating jarred baby food at one point. As soon as she gave up gluten, she felt measurably better. I don't have that profound comparison.

When I gave up wheat, my digestion did get better, I had less digestive pain and gas, but I wasn't "cured" of my physical ailments. After not eating gluten at all for 6 months, my health care provider suggested I test eating gluten. When I did, I found that I was okay with it. So now I can treat myself to wheat every once in a while. For that ability, I am grateful.

But maybe that’s why I am finding it hard for me to be on a gluten-free diet – because I don’t have the stark comparison in my health before and after wheat. And unlike my vegetarianism, being gluten-free is not motivated by a profound ethical stance, leaving me a little bit in limbo. Hmm, something I am going to need to ponder a bit more . . .

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pre-Holiday Updates

In my last post I mentioned a couple of things that bear follow-up. First of all, the mini, gluten-free apple pie I bought at King Soopers was so bad I couldn't eat it. Mostly it was the crumb topping which was soggy and tasteless that ruined the whole thing.

Second, I made fudge yesterday and it turned out great. But I am not a big sweets person (especially something THAT sweet) so while tasty, I probably won't eat much of it. But I am planning on taking it to our Thanksgiving potluck along with mashed potatoes and balsamic glazed yams.

I am also bringing the pumpkin pie. I will make the crust with flour as pumpkin isn't my favorite pie so I don't care if I can't eat it. But my gluten eating friends will appreciate the "real" version of this classic dessert. Besides, Thanksgiving will me my "wheat cheat" day of the week so I will eat what I want. Thankfully I can do this with no digestive backlash!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's the Holiday "Gluten" Season

I am just realizing how close we are to the holidays and that this will be my second holiday trying to eat gluten free. The temptations are abundant - stuffing, rolls, pie, cookies, cakes, lasagna, and so much more. Sometimes you can find or make good substitutions. I recently bought a gluten-free apple pie at King Soopers. I have yet to try it but I am holding out hope. Gluten-free lasagna noodles actually come out much like wheat versions. But I have yet to find gluten-free Christmas cookies that even compare - and I have tried to adapt my "famous" recipe with no success.

If you have read previous posts, you will know that I am not celiac and therefore have more latitude with my eating. Last year, I did let myself have a piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and one of my Christmas cookies. But knowing I can't eat whatever I want whenever I want often makes me sad. And then I think about all the celiacs that can't even treat themselves with a cookie and realize I should be more grateful.

I thought my journey would get easier by now but it almost seems as if the reality of my situation has settled in and with it the realization that I just can't enjoy what I used to. So, to cheer myself up I have plans.

First, I am going to try to make my pumpkin roll recipe for Thanksgiving using gluten-free flour (I like Pamela's best). I have hope that it will be as good as the original.

Second, I am going to make my grandma's fudge sometime in December. This is the first year without my grandmother (she died at almost 98 earlier this year) and I think she would be happy to know that I am going to try making her fudge which is naturally gluten-free of course!

Finally, I am going to ask Santa for a better attitude about the whole thing. I am grateful for living gluten-free in today's world with so many really good options available and so at this Thanksgiving table I am going to say "thank you" for that and so much more!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tollhouse Bars

I am going to a pumpkin carving party tomorrow. I made pumpkin roll (pumpkin sponge cake with cream cheese filling) for my friend who requested it. I wanted something I could eat too. So, I decided to try to make Nestle Tollhouse bars using gluten-free flours.

Now I have to confess, I have been having quite a bit of success lately using gluten-free flours as substitutes in recipes. I made delicious oatmeal cookies a couple of weeks ago and my fussy "I don't like gluten-free stuff" hubby gobbled them down.

My trick? I have been using Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix blended with coconut flour and almond flour. I like Pamela's much better than Bob's Red Mill which I think has a strong flavor and can be grainy.

I made the Tollhouse bars exactly as the recipe called for except for the following flour substitution: 1 1/2 cups Pamela's baking mix, 1/2 cup coconut flour and 1/4 cup almond flour. They turned out terrific -- I don't think you could tell them apart from the original recipe. Try it, and enjoy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Noodles & Company - GF Menu

If you didn't know it already (I didn't) Noodles and Company has a gluten-free menu that includes rice pasta. You need to ask for it at the order counter but they have a separate menu.

I loved Noodles because they have a good pad Thai which is gluten-free with its rice noodles. It was only when I mentioned this to the cashier that she pulled out the gluten-free menu and told me I had many more options at Noodles than just pad Thai.

I did not ask about preparation though, so I can't be sure if they use different water to cook the pasta. If you are a celiac you will need to inquire before ordering. Yeah, another dining option!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tears in Costco

Sometimes you are just caught off guard. Your defenses are down and you don't realize a whammy is headed your way. It happened to me at Costco on Sunday. It was innocent enough . . . my hubby and I were walking through Costco picking up a few things we needed (and a few we didn't) when we wandered by the Morningstar Farms vegetarian sausage patties. I caught a glimpse of them and immediately got a little teary and a lot feeling sorry for myself.

I originally had to give up these tasty little sausages about three years ago because they contain soy and soy had really started causing me tummy troubles. But they also contain gluten so even if I could eat soy, I now couldn't eat them because of the gluten. And that makes me sad because I like them. And that makes me sad because it is one more example of something I can no longer eat and enjoy.

After that experience, I got to thinking about whether anything gluten-free has lived up to its gluten equivalent - and I can't think of anything. Don't get me wrong, I bless Udi's and Rudi's for their gluten-free breads. I am thankful for quinoa and rice pasta. Gluten-free waffles are tasty and convenient. But if you put any of those next to their full wheat counterparts and I am afraid they would lose, big time.

And so my pity party continues as we move towards the holiday season. I won't be able to eat the pumpkin cake I am making for a friend's birthday later this month. I won't be able to eat stuffing and rolls and dessert at Thanksgiving. I won't be able to eat my very tasty Christmas cookies that friends beg for every year. Well, I guess that isn't fully true. I am grateful I am not celiac and so I can eat a little something gluten every once in a while and feel okay. But who is ever happy with one Christmas cookie? I guess I will have to be happy with it. And grateful that there are ever expanding gluten-free options available to me. I am working on it, really!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I am in love with GF Bisquick!

I discovered gluten free Bisquick after getting an e-mail from the company talking about their new gluten free products (the cake mixes from Betty Crocker are awesome.) I found it in King Soopers a few weeks later.

So, why am I in love? Because it makes the tastiest gluten free pancakes! I am on my second box of the stuff and I don't even like/eat pancakes that often. I also used it to make a cobbler topping for a peach cobbler but since the package doesn't have a recipe for cobbler, I had to wing it a bit. It came out fine (I just added a little sugar to the drop biscuit recipe).

I have yet to try any other recipes on the box - how can I when I am addicted to the pancakes? Last night I made one big pancake for dinner, lathered it with almond butter and then drizzled pure maple syrup on top. Yum!

If you want to try it too, look for it next to the regular Bisquick in the baking isle. It is a much smaller box, but worth it!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wow! King Soopers!

I filled out a comment card for our favorite King Soopers (Kipling and Florida in Lakewood) thanking them for their extensive and ever-growing line of gluten-free products. Was I ever surprised when someone from the store called me to thank me for the comment card.

Well, that wasn't the surprising part, this is . . . she told me to keep the UPC codes from products that I buy in other stores and give them to her. She said that they realize that many gluten-free customers have to shop at more than one store to get what they need. She said they are trying to make it easier on us by having more of those products in their store, and offer them at lower prices than other stores. I don't know about you, but I really appreciate that kind of support. Makes my life easier to do my shopping at one store and if I can pay less too? That's even better. Thanks King Soopers!

Note: Not all King Soopers stores carry the same items. The best gluten-free store I have found in my area is the Florida and Kipling store. But if you'd like more selection in your local store -- ask, they seem very responsive!

Thanks Whole Foods

I can't believe it has almost been a month since I last posted. But in that time I have been having fun with my parents who visited and a trip to Las Vegas. Las Vegas was surprisingly easy to eat gluten-free. Of course the one day we ate at the buffet helped because there are lots of options on a buffet. Pei Wei (off-strip in Henderson) was an easy choice too. Starbucks in the hotel offered its oatmeal for breakfast. I only ate wheat once and that was when we went to our favorite Italian place called Chicago Joe's. It is meals like that one that make me really appreciate the fact that I am only wheat intolerant, not a celiac.

I also have been enjoying Rudi's new gluten-free breads, especially the cinnamon raisin. And now I hear that Udi's is coming out with a cinnamon raisin bagel. Yum! But the advent of all of the really decent (in fact good) gluten-free products makes me wonder why more restaurants aren't offering them? I heard a rumor that Einstein Bagel's is going to offer Udi's gluten-free bagels. And thankfully the Belmar Whole Foods is now offering Udi's gluten-free bread for their deli sandwiches (see a previous post about that one).

But seriously, how hard is it to keep a loaf of gluten-free bread in a freezer? Or have some rice pasta available to cook up instead of regular pasta? All it requires is a separate pot of boiling water. It might cost the restaurant a little more than traditional products but suck it up. We will likely be dining with "normal" eaters and if you treat us well we will be back again and again.

And that brings me to my last little nugget of information. While Abrusci's in Applewood has a great gluten-free menu here is a bit of a warning. On a recent visit for lunch I found out that they are no longer offering gluten-free eggplant parmesan at lunch, only dinner. The eggplant sandwich was one of my favorite lunches. Also, the day I was there, they had run out of their yummy gluten-free bread. We ended up leaving as the two things I like to order when I go there weren't available. It was disappointing. Maybe call first before you make the trip.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Incredible Edible Gluten Free Food Fair

Thanks to the Denver Metro Chapter of CSA/USA ( for yesterday's gluten-free food fair at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. I was shocked by the number of attendees but it only proves what a great demand there is for gluten-free food.

As I have mentioned here before, I am not a celiac and therefore I can enjoy wheat on occasion. In fact, I generally eat something wheat (pizza, fried fish, etc.) about once a week. I am grateful that I am still able to do that. But needing gluten-free options on a day-to-day basis is just as important to me as anyone else. So thank you to all the vendors out there that are supporting those of us not on some fad gluten-free diet to try to lose weight, but have health needs that require gluten-free eating.

Specifically, I would like to thank a few of my favorite companies (Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods are "givens"):

King Soopers -- It seems like an odd choice to name my local grocery store but King Soopers has been great (at least my normal store at Florida and Kipling - I realize they all carry a vastly different food selections). They have a gluten-free frozen section as well as a small frozen section in the bakery. The cracker aisle also has a few gluten-free cracker and cookie options. It makes weekly shopping much easier for me.

Udi's -- I love your bread, pizza crusts, muffins and more. What's even better is that I can get them at all of my favorite stores (Vitamin Cottage, King Soopers and Whole Foods.)

Glutino -- Most of their gluten-free products are very good (but I have had a few very BAD ones!) The variety of products available is terrific. I only wish your distribution was a little better as the only place that has most of your products is Whole Foods.

Rudi's -- This one is new to me because their gluten-free bread is new to me. I just got a free loaf at yesterday's gluten-free fair. But since then I have had buttered toast with my eggs and a grilled cheese sandwich - yum! And because your loaves are slightly larger than Udi's, my sandwich felt more significant. I will be interested to see how your products are priced.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Whole Foods Deli Dilemma

I used to love the sandwiches at Whole Foods. Specifically the "Green Mountain" sandwich at the Whole Foods in Belmar. It consists of portobello mushrooms, pesto, cheese, greens and oven roasted tomatoes on one of they yummy bakery breads - delish! After going gluten-free I had to essentially give up the sandwich. Then one day, silly me, thought to ask if they offered gluten-free bread. It really wasn't a silly request. The Belmar store has a huge gluten-free section and offers several kinds of gluten-free bread. But I was told that they don't offer it in the sandwich deli. Something about cross-contamination and not being a certified gluten-free kitchen. I thought that was pretty weak -- they could warn customers that they can't guarantee gluten-free because of possible cross contamination, buyer beware.

A while later I thought I would ask again. This time I was told that they didn't carry gluten-free bread because they didn't have enough requests for it and the bread would go bad before it was all used and they couldn't afford to take that financial hit. Hmm, when selling a small container of cut fruit for $7.50 a container, I would think they could afford to toss a $5 load of bread once a week. Anyway, I was told that I could buy my own bread in the store and they would use that to make my sandwich.

Since then, my hubby was in the Cherry Creek store and he overheard a woman ordering a gluten-free sandwich -- no hassle. Then we were in the Golden store on Friday and I asked if they had gluten-free bread. The attendant told me, "Yes! We offer Udi's." I told him of my Belmar experiences and he said, "I am going to give you your sandwich for free tonight." Wow! What a difference in attitude between the stores.

Belmar - get on board here. If Golden can give me a sandwich for free, you certainly can afford to throw away a loaf of gluten-free bread once in a while. By the way, if you posted in the deli that you had gluten-free bread available, you would probably get a lot more customers requesting it!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

No Cobbler for Me!

Sweet Tomatoes is a great place for a vegetarian to eat. They have a huge salad bar and usually at least one or two soups that are vegetarian. Side note: They also make soups that could easily be vegetarian with non-vegetarian ingredients. Why do they do that? Anyway, I have always enjoyed going there to eat because I feel "normal".

But since going gluten-free it is harder for me to eat at Sweet Tomatoes. Yes, I can still fully enjoy the salad bar. But sometimes the vegetarian soups have pasta in them (e.g. the minestrone). And I really, really miss being able to eat the baked goods. A cornbread muffin was always on my plate because my hubby doesn't like cornbread so I never made it at home. For dessert, it was always a brownie (maybe two!) or the hot cobbler dessert of the month. No more. It is so hard to sit there eating watery chocolate pudding (what's with that texture anyway?) while my friends and family nosh on pizza, muffins, pasta and cobbler.

I know, I know, I am being a whiner. I am not starving in this world and Sweet Tomatoes still offers me a lot of options (I have recently discovered the baked potatoes). I just miss the baked goods. I dream of them offering a gluten-free option but know that is an illusion in my mind. If Starbuck's couldn't succeed with a gluten-free pastry, I doubt Sweet Tomatoes could either. I understand. Even if I don't like it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chelsea Clinton - Be My Friend!

Do you think Chelsea Clinton would be my Facebook friend? I don't even use Facebook for friends but I'd be willing to make an exception for her. Why? Because I heard she just had a vegan, gluten-free wedding! I wish I could have been a guest, not because I like weddings - I in fact hate them - but because I wanted to be able to eat the food!

Do you know how hard it is to find good vegetarian (let alone vegan) food that is also gluten-free? Even if you can find it, it is usually really expensive? Why is that? Isn't meat more expensive than vegetables and grains?

Anyway, I hope that they release the menu for the wedding reception so I can at least dream about it. And Chelsea, if you are out there, Tweet me, Facebook me, e-mail, anything! I want to hear about what you eat and how you survive being vegan and gluten-free (aside from my preferred diet of potato chips, watermelon and chocolate!)

Monday, August 2, 2010


I am so grateful to be living in a major metropolitan area with a lot of really good food resources. Being a vegetarian that can't eat soy or gluten, has its challenges. I have had to reconcile myself to eating fish so I guess I am not technically a vegetarian but since I haven't eaten chicken, turkey, pork or beef in over 20-years, I think I will hang onto the claim.

But wow, does Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage and King Soopers make my life easier. Gluten-free bread, waffles, muffins, donuts, crackers, cookies and more are now readily available. What would I have done if I had had to go gluten-free 10 years ago instead of one-year ago?

I stopped eating wheat regularly a year ago September 3. I eliminated it completely for about 6 months and then "tested" myself. Fortunately for me, I am not celiac and do not have reactions if I eat wheat once a week or so. But day-to-day living would seemingly be impossible if it weren't for the retailers in my area that offer such a wide variety of gluten-free, vegetarian and soy-free options. Thank you!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Udi's Re-visited

Yum, yum, yum, it is Udi's for lunch today! I haven't been there since that first time I wrote about it months ago. I am looking forward to my second Udi's experience. While there I am also going to check out the gluten-free bread options and prices. I am hoping they are cheaper than the grocery store. I am also researching it for my sister.

Poor thing, she pays over $6 a loaf for Udi's bread in Wisconsin at this awful little food co-op that treats their customers poorly. Fortunately for them they are the only store like it for at least an hour so they have a captive market. I fear that a lot of America lives with similar circumstances -- no decent local resources for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free foods. Sigh.

I also heard a rumor that a little coffee shop in my neighborhood offers their sandwiches on gluten-free wraps. I haven't found a gluten-free wrap that is worth eating so I am curious. I hopefully will be checking that out soon. I will let you know.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gluten Free Products

Okay, after struggles and depression over trying to eat gluten (wheat) free, I have been given a few gifts from the Universe. Two of these gifts have come from Udi's. If you haven't tried them already, buy some Udi's gluten free bagels. Now, I won't kid you - if you are a die-hard bagel lover from New York these won't be the same. But if you just want something crispy and chewy to spread cream cheese on, you will find these very satisfying. And, they are the same size as normal bagels, not some weirdly shrunken version like most of our breads.

I also had a Udi's (I am assuming but I didn't ask) pizza crust on a pizza from The Oven in Belmar. The reason I am assuming it is Udi's is because I have eaten Udi's at home before and it seemed the same. But what a treat to be able to eat pizza at my favorite pizza place! I can't be sure, but serious celiacs may have issues here as I am assuming that the gluten-free pizza is cooked on the same wood-fired oven surface as the regular pizzas.

And maybe my favorite find . . . CRACKERS that taste like crackers. Not gummy like rice crackers. These crackers come in several flavors and I found them at Whole Foods. They are called Skinny Crisps. They are made with almond flour and chickpea flour. YUMMY!

It pleases me greatly that the gluten-free options are ever-increasing. In fact, I read today that General Mills is coming out with a gluten-free Bisquick mix in July as well as gluten-free Hamburger Helper mixes. Gluten-free is going mainstream!

Monday, June 7, 2010

I am failing at this

I called it "Jenny's Weekend of Gluten Fun." We were in San Francisco and I was tired of the whole gluten-free thing. We had already eaten in a lovely little neighborhood Italian restaurant where I had to forgo the pasta and order the fish. Don't get me wrong, the sole with its lemon caper sauce was delish! But I also suspect, despite my repeated requests, that the fish was dredged in flour. I had also eaten at a diner when I first arrived, starving and craving french fries. I ordered a veggie sandwich, with no bread. It was a sad little combination of a few mushrooms, some spinach and a ton of onions. The fries were soggy.

So you can probably understand why, when we got to Carmel and were trying to find lunch that we could take into Point Lobos State Park, that I caved. We bought a loaf of bread, a hunk of cheese and some sliced apples. Sitting in our car, eating our picnic and looking at the heavenly views before us, I swore it was the best meal I had ever eaten.

That weekend I also ate pancakes (they really weren't good enough to eat and I am ashamed that I didn't stop eating them after one bite, they weren't "gluten-worthy.") And I had one of the best pizzas I had ever eaten. Again, was it because I was gluten starved? Or was it because the crust was thin and crispy, the mushrooms cooked to perfection and the top covered in fresh shaved Parmesan cheese? Or that it was accompanied by a bottle of wine and the promise of gelato for dessert?

When we got home from our trip I ate gluten free for a few days but broke down again when I ate an onion ring when out with friends. And then the next day I ate gluten again, and the day after. By the third day, my stomachache was back and regretted it all.

I was at my doctor's office this week and she asked me how the gluten-free thing was going. I told her that not only did I have less money because gluten-free living is much more expensive but I was also an unhappy person. Gluten-free living isn't easy. Especially for a vegetarian that eats some fish. Sigh. All she could do was agree with me.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hard time on the gluten-free path

The whole gluten-free thing is becoming a big drag for me. I spent $5 on 5 small tortillas this week. My tiny quesadilla cost me $2 in tortillas alone. Why are these products so expensive?

To add insult to injury, we had friends over last weekend. I made a gluten-free dessert that was actually quite good. But when one of them heard that it was gluten-free, he refused to even try it. Apparently he had another friend on a G-F diet and had once tried an AWFUL G-F cookie. He now won't even try anything if he knows it is G-F. He was insulting and hurt my feelings by making such a big deal about it. He could have just said he wasn't hungry for something sweet.

Then I made gluten-free scones with a recipe from Gluten Free Girl and The Chef ( As most G-F items, they were dense and had a slightly weird taste. They also were crumbly and not moist. Bless her heart, she really gives it a go with these recipes. They just have so many ingredients and can never be like the real thing. Her blog is great though and there are a lot of recipes there worth trying. I think I am still grieving wheat and nothing else is going to stand up. I put the scones in the freezer with the hope that one day my craving will make them seem better than they are.

To make matters worse this week, friends invited us out to dinner. We went to Black-eyed Pea for dinner. I ordered the baked cod thinking I'd be safe. The dinner was torture for me though. They ordered the most delicious looking fried mushrooms I had ever seen. And anyone that has ever gone to Black-eyed Pea knows how good the bread and cornbread is! I could only look at it as everyone else ate. When my meal came, I am fairly confident that my fish had been dredged in flour. I should have asked, but I didn't want to make a big deal of my eating needs in front of my friends. The only person more sick of it is me. I ate this fish grateful that I am not celiac and can eat flour once in a while and be okay.

Then yesterday we went out again to a family style restaurant. I ordered grilled trout. I had to skip the yummy looking grilled Texas toast but was treating myself by ordering fries with my fish. I had had two baked potatoes in two days and wanted something different. I asked if the fries were coated -- and the waitress said no. When they arrived, they were coated. She apologized and said she misunderstood, and then brought me a baked potato. Sigh. I may be stopping someplace just for fries today -- I now have a hankering for them.

I am sure I will get through this pity party but I think I have over-stayed my welcome.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blue Sky Breakfast

Not only were the skies vividly blue today, my breakfast came from Blue Sky Cafe in Denver West. I met a girlfriend there in part because I know it is gluten-free friendly. I ordered my usual veggie omelet with gluten-free English muffin and strawberry jam. It was so nice to be able to have a "normal" breakfast meal and not have to skip the bread.

I didn't have them today, but I understand that the restaurant also offers blue corn pancakes which can be made gluten-free. What a treat to be able to eat pancakes at a restaurant! I have had these pancakes before and they are delish!

My only complaint is that my food came out cold. The restaurant wasn't busy so I am not sure of the reason for the delay. Maybe that is why there was a delay -- I think sometimes servers slack off when the pressure of a full-house doesn't keep them on their toes. Regardless, I am grateful for a meal that will likely keep me feeling full for the remainder of the day.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Big Gluten-Free Disappointment at WaterCourse

A friend and I decided to take in the Denver Art Museum's "Embrace" exhibit yesterday. The exhibit is ending this weekend so it was our last chance. Being relatively new at the gluten-free thing, I decided to go to WaterCourse on 17th before heading to the museum. It has been a vegetarian standard for years and so I mistakenly assumed it would also be a gluten-free haven. Wrong!

My understanding is that they make their own pastries (including yummy vegetarian desserts like coconut cream pie) so imagine my shock when I was told that WaterCourse does not offer any gluten-free bread! My only option was corn tortillas - gross! That is not a suitable bread substitute for sandwiches. WaterCourse also doesn't offer any gluten-free pancake options.

What is even more puzzling is that Watercourse DOES have a couple of gluten-free desserts including a chocolate cake and a cookie, along with a muffin (banana perhaps?) How could a restaurant of this type NOT offer gluten-free bread? I am confused.

Sadly, I won't be back to WaterCourse anytime in the near future. My eating options (unless I want breakfast) are severely limited. I would be better off at Blue Moon in Denver West (which offers gluten-free English muffins and pancakes) or Udi's in Arvada. Even Le Central would have been a better choice for me as they have a really yummy gluten-free bread! Sigh.

P.S. I ended up with a very bland portobello mushroom with tasteless refried beans and brown rice. BORING! Fortunately I enjoyed the Denver Art Museum so the day was saved!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Great Gluten-Free Meals!

This past Sunday we ventured out to Udi's Cafe in Old Town Arvada to check it out. I was interested because they offer gluten-free bread and pizza. My husband was interested because they have a Cuban sandwich - one of his favorites.

I am happy to report it was a great experience! I ordered the grilled cheese with caramelized onion and avocado instead of bacon, on gluten-free bread. the sandwich was huge and yummy. As another nice surprise was the option to get a spring green salad with the sandwich instead of chips (you have several side dish choices) and the orange balsamic dressing was the best. Oh yeah, my husband also really enjoyed his Cuban sandwich.

On the way out of the cafe, I stopped and bought fresh pizza crusts. I hadn't tried Udi's crusts yet even though King Soopers sells them frozen. That night we had pizza for dinner. I am not kidding when I say it was the best gluten-free pizza that I have ever had. And I may be correct when I say it was the best homemade pizza of any kind that I have ever made. It was delish! What a treat. I am so happy the world of gluten-free is opening up for me.

Next, I will be making gluten-free lemon cupcakes for Easter. Betty Crocker sent me a recipe to use with their new yellow cake mixes. Don't lemon cupcakes sound yummy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Slippery Slope of Gluten-Free

I feel like I am on that slippery slope of falling back into gluten-filled days. I am fortunate in that I am only gluten-intolerant so occasional gluten/wheat doesn't bother me. But that also means that sometimes when I get a taste of it, I want more.

For me, it started last weekend at a wedding rehearsal dinner. The Italian dinner was lovingly made by an Italian. And I couldn't resist. Initially I tried. I made my husband drive me around this small town in Northern Wisconsin we were visiting to find me something to eat for my dinner. I was then going to just have salad at the actual dinner. The only thing we could find that was gluten-free and vegetarian and fast was a fried potato and cheese concoction from Taco John's. I said that I would eat the pasta. And boy did I! It was so good -- garlic bread and all.

I actually did quite well the rest of the weekend, finding a grilled shrimp entree for lunch one day and a grilled vegetable sandwich (but I didn't eat the bun) on another. At the wedding, I ate mashed potatoes and canned corn -- my only options. I even skipped the wedding cake as my hubby told me it really wasn't worth it.

But now that I am home, I want to eat gluten. I am so sick of gluten-free breads. I can't stand that funky taste they all seem to have. And the little things, like Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup. I want it. I have several recipes that use it but because it has wheat, I shouldn't have it. I crave crackers. I found some from Out of the Bread Box that are okay -- but they aren't that same crispy, flaky cracker I so enjoy.

I made a boxed rice mix that had wheat in it the other day. And last night I ate homemade pizza that had wheat in the crust. I didn't realize until the pizzas were already made and in the oven that they were made with corn AND wheat. This discovery was made when I was looking at the cooking instructions. I made a dumb mistake and didn't read the label at Vitamin Cottage. The frozen crusts were in the gluten-free area so I just assumed they were gluten-free because the label said they were corn meal crusts.

Luckily for me, my husband is stopping at Le Central today to get me my favorite gluten-free bread. Maybe that will make it easier to get back on track this weekend! That and some Mexican food. Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yard House

Another surprise today . . . Yard House (in Colorado Mills Mall) has a gluten-free menu. Granted most of it is regular menu items with suggestions on how to make it gluten-free, but it is helpful none-the-less.

Something to note: Many items listed as containing gluten may be suitable for those of us that are not celiac but rather have gluten/wheat intolerances. For instance, I can handle soy sauce (especially considering it is aged) so several items on the menu I could eat even though it was not on the gluten-free menu including their spicy Thai dressing which I love.

They also say you can't have their potato chips or french fries but after further inquiry it is not that the chips contain gluten, but rather that they are fried in a fryer with other gluten containing items. So, once again, this would be fine for me. Not so much for celiacs. I would assume the same applies to the tortilla chips but I did not ask specifically about those.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Opening Comment

I am doing this implusively . . . I needed to keep track of gluten-free dining options in Denver and was trying to think of the best way to do that. I then realized that if I was struggling to find gluten-free (and vegetarian) dining options, a lot of other people probably were as well.

So here I am registering with, trying to figure out how to layout a blog, and starting to compile my list.

If you have resources to share, please let me know by e-mailing me at!