Hello Readers. My apologies for vanishing into thin air. Life has been anything but calm or relaxing over the past few months. Between selling our house, moving into my parents (for the time being), 2 vacations, sadly a death in the family, the holidays, usual life stuff, and finding out we are going to be parents (in June), I have hardly had a moment to take a breath, let alone to blog…and today’s post isn’t exactly inspiring.
Over the holiday, I had a request for some gluten free tips. While I was putting together my list, I figured I should share with the blog-world. I also am going to try to get back into the blogging habbit, although the next few days or weeks will still be rather busy and exhausting. Stay tuned for more.
Here are my tips, tricks, and what I’ve found to be worth my gluten-free-eating while…
Noodles: Trader Joes – the only thing I’ve gotten here is noodles. They are by far cheaper than anywhere else I’ve found. I would recommend the Brown Rice noodles (the corn ones are ok, but do actually taste like corn).
Bread: there is bread usually by the rest of the gluten free stuff (whether it’s in the organic or baking sections – at least that’s been my experience at Cub), however I was not a fan of the kind I bought and have heard that it’s generally very dry. I buy frozen bread (usually with the organic freezer items). I really like Udi’s. If you just take it out of the freezer and toast it or make grilled sandwiches (like grilled cheese), it’s pretty good. I don’t eat it as bread, but that’s me.
Tortillas: corn tortillas are ok substitutes for soft flour tortillas, they are best when warmed up (although still prone to tearing).
Rice Cakes make a decent stand-in for bread for PB & J sandwiches (if you don’t mind the crunch).
Flour: I use a pre-blended gluten free flour called Better Batter (which I buy online). So far it seems to be a fair substitute for regular flour. Generally speaking, gluten free flours or flour blends tend to need more moisture added to the recipe to achieve the same results as regular flour.
Bisquick makes a gluten free version, which is awesome. Makes excellent pancakes and waffles. I’ve also made biscuits that were pretty good.
None of the Campbell’s soups seem to be gluten free – so, if you want to make a casserole or anything with soup, you’ll need to find a gluten free substitute.
All sauces, salad dressings, broths/stocks, etc need to be checked. Some of them add in flour or some other gluten source (generally as a thickener). I have found the Swenson’s chicken broth to be fine.
Also be weary of any mixed-meats, like sausage or meatballs. These also can contain gluten.
Soy sauce – almost all of them contain wheat (same with Teriyaki sauce). La Choy soy sauce, and others that are specially marked do not contain gluten.
Generally speaking the only for certain safe foods are veggies, fruits, and meats without any sauces or processing (even lunch meat can contain gluten). I read labels on everything else. Of course, each person is different, and some can tolerate different amounts of gluten.
Most cheeses are fine, too, however flavored cheeses could have gluten, and sometimes Blue Cheese contains gluten.
Dining out is always a challenge. I generally ask the waiter (not the host) for a gluten free menu. Some places are more helpful/knowledgeable than others. Sadly, there is no for-sure safe food at a restaurant. There’s always the possibility of cross-contamination with gluten in the kitchen, or just un-knowledgable people handling the food. I have found urbanspoon.com does offer an option to filter restaurants by gluten free friendly. I also love Chipotle, as everything there is gluten free EXCEPT the tortillas. Noodles & co does have a few gluten free options, my favorite being the pad thai.
Pizza Luce and a few other places offer gluten free pizza, too.
Snacks: most chips are ok, cheetos, popcorn, tortilla chips, that kind of stuff (for sure not ok: gardettos or pub mix, pretzels (the Glutino ones are pretty good GF pretzels).
Crackers: Sam’s Club & Costco carry a great multi grain gluten free cracker.
Cereal: Chex cereal comes in several flavors that are GF – the cinnamon ones are great (chocolate ones are not so great). Note: rice krispies come in a gluten free version, but are not naturally gluten free (malt).
There are a lot of different ways that gluten can be listed, but the big ones that I tend to watch out for are (not all-inclusive):
Wheat, Rye, Barley, flour (unless it says a type of flour that is ok, like corn flour), malt (in all forms, but maltodextrin is ok), and oats (such as oatmeal – oats are ok, but are generally processed on machines that process wheat, so depending on sensitivity, they may not be ok).
You can even find Gluten Free meals on Pinterest.