Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Going Gluten Free in Mexico

We are just back from a trip to Mexico. We love to go in January, just after the holidays. And it was great, as always. This time I had to figure out how to incorporate a mostly gluten free diet into my week.

I took with me gluten free crackers, instant oatmeal, peanut butter and a loaf of Rudi's gluten free bread. I had no problems with customs. I was told by an ex-patriot that they don't much care except for meat and fruit products so long as they are unopened and in original packaging.

Since we were staying in a condo, cooking for ourselves was easy. There was a new grocery store near where we were staying and I was able to buy yogurt, cheese and bananas. Breakfast was either oatmeal and a banana, or yogurt with peanut butter toast. So lunch every day was a grilled cheese sandwich. I eat them often at home so it was fine by me.

Eating out dinner was easy too because I ate fresh fish and sauteed veggies almost every night. I found a Thai restaurant that served the best Pad Thai - what a treat! One night, I broke down and we ordered pizza. It wasn't that great so I wasn't tempted to eat more than two slices.

The hardest thing was avoiding the bakery items. They have great bakery products in Mexico and my family liberally indulged. It was hard not being able to eat anything. But then again, I avoided the extra calories! Next time, I will likely bring some gluten free cookies so I can have a little treat too.

Traveling is hard when trying to eat gluten free. It is complicated by a language barrier. But I am proud of myself for doing so well!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year, New Restaurants

I can't believe how long it has been since I last blogged on this site. Sorry. Those holidays tend to distract me! While enjoying the frenzy of the season, I did have the opportunity to enjoy some great gluten free food.

First, I dined at Snooze. I didn't ask for a gluten free menu figuring it was futile. I just ordered eggs and hashbrowns. But when I declined the toast because I don't eat gluten, the waitress kindly told me that they have gluten free toast. Yeah! I have since learned that Snooze also has gluten free pancakes and can make most dishes gluten free. I can't wait to go back and try the pineapple upside down pancakes gluten free. I had eaten them years ago made traditionally and they were yummy.

I also had a lovely dinner at Rioja in Larimer Square. I didn't eat the yummy rolls that came to our table several times but instead enjoyed the best beet salad I have ever had and a tasty fish entree. When it came time for dessert I assumed I would have to pass but I was wrong. They have a couple of desserts that are gluten free (or can be made that way). They have sorbet and gelato which are gluten free. But I am not much of an ice cream fan so I passed on those. They also have a "smores" dessert that is gluten free if you leave off the graham cracker. My husband has had this before and I can say that it would be a totally satisfying dessert even without the cracker. I settled on the peanut butter and jelly dessert. I can't explain it but it was in several different components - all gluten free. Thanks Rioja!

The last thing I want to mention is one of my own cooking adventures. I made cheesecake for dessert on Christmas Eve and it turned out great with a gluten free crust. I used the Pilleadelphia cream cheese recipe for the cake part but found a recipe on the Internet for gluten free crust. I used my own mixture of Pamela's baking mix, coconut flour and almond flour (approximately 1 1/2 cups Pamela's and 1/4 cup each coconut and almond flours) to make the crust. My gluten eating friends had no idea it was gluten free. By the way, I have used this flour mixture successfully to make Nestle Tollhouse bars, banana bread and other baked goods.

That's all for now. I will try to check in sooner with my gluten free success stories. Happy New Year!