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.