Have Your Shopped Your Farmers’ Market Today?

I’ve been shopping Phoenix area Farmers’ Markets more and more recently and have found a growing number of vendors are offering gluten free options as awareness for Celiac Disease grows. Just today I was at the Ahwatukkee Farmers’ Market and stumbled upon a few new gluten free treasures.

Creme Brulee

Torched Goodness Creme Brulee

I’ve always been a huge fan of creme brulee, a kick back of the time I spent studying in Paris, and Torched Goodness serves up several different flavors of the naturally gfree treat. The chef at this  mobile food truck is a Cordon Bleu grad and torches up each and every order fresh when you buy it. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook to track him if you’re looking for a sweet treat.

Next stop was for flax seed crackers at Raging Raw Organics. They’re naturally gluten free, organic, raw, and loaded with fiber. Best of all, they’re hand made right here in Arizona! My favorite is the Garlic Parmesan crackers…they pass out samples at the market so you can find your favorite.

Next new find was The Health Foodie, who primarily sells local made honey, but also has a variety of home made gluten free baked goodies to enjoy. I wasn’t lucky enough to sample any today, but I look forward to coming back soon to try some soon.

What's Your Grind Coffee Roasters

What's Your Grind Coffee Roasters

Whenever you stop by any of these Farmers’ Markets, be sure to stop by and say hi to my friends over at What’s Your Grind Coffee Roasters. They serve up a mean cup of Joe and I’m a huge fan of their cold brew coffee.

Thanks for shopping local! For more info on a Phoenix area Farmers’ Market near you check out the Arizona Grown website.

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Low Fat Gluten Free Muffin Recipe

I found a low-fat muffin recipe online that I modified to be gluten free and wanted to share. Fill your kitchen with the aroma of these sweet banana muffins! Enjoy them plain or add in some raisins or a sparing amount of mini chocolate chips for an indulgent treat!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 22 minutes

Total Time: 37 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free flour
  • 1/4 cup finely ground mesquite flour (if available – if not add addtl all-purpose flour)
  • 3/4 cup sugar or Splenda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup canola oil – You may sub a small portion of the oil with applesauce to lower the fat
  • 2/3 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 small ripe bananas, mashed

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a non-stick mini-muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper cups.

In a large bowl, stir flour, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon  together. Make a well in the center.

In a medium bowl, combine canola oil (and applesauce if used), milk, egg, vanilla. Add wet ingredient to dry mixture, followed by mashed bananas. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Fill mini muffins cups two-thirds full. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Optional extras to fold into the batter: 1/2 cup raisins, 1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips.

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My name is Jessica and I am a Carbaholic

Baked Goods

Hooray for Carbs!

In addition to having Celiac disease for most of my adult life, I also suffer from a very serious condition called “carbius addictus” – also known in lay terms as carb addiction. I have never been one of those skinny girls that couldn’t keep an ounce of fat on them…I’ve always been “average” weight or on the higher end of average. As I discover more and more delicious gluten free foods over the years (and my post-30 metabolism kicks in) my weight has started to slowly creep up over the last few months. Everywhere I turn there is a new gluten free pizza restaurant or new gluten free recipe that I have to try, and it dawned on me a few weeks ago that 90% of my diet consisted of carbs, which is why I could no longer button my pants. 🙂

I know, I know, there are a million foods out there that are naturally gluten free, but I got lazy when it came to my gluten free staples. I was stuck in my “go to” gluten free foods, that I realized weren’t exactly the healthiest.  A bowl of cereal for breakfast, homemade quesadilla or gfree PBJ for lunch, gluten free nut bar for snacks, and gluten free pasta with meat sauce for dinner. There were one or two variations on this menu and my food life had frankly become stale and it was my hips that were suffering.

My other affliction was the “but it’s gluten free” disease. I felt so deprived when I would see others noshin’ down bagels or donuts, etc…that when I finally got my grubby little hands on something gluten free, I didn’t just eat one piece – I ate the whole pan/box/bag/bowl….you get the picture. Why? Because it was gluten free and safe for me to eat!

So, I finally sucked it up a few weeks ago and started Weight Watchers again. I used the program a number of years ago ago in my pre-Celiac days (and a few times post-diagnosis) and found it very successful, so I figured I’d go back again and give it a shot and just modify the items I was eating and expand my food comfort zone. And that’s where I saw just how many calories my carb-laden gluten free goodies had! In the last few weeks I’ve lost almost 5 pounds by just cutting back on the safe prepackaged “gluten free” foods and getting out of my menu rut. I’ve been doing low carb by accident really, and started venturing into lower calorie foods like cottage cheese, steak and veggie kabobs, tuna salads, baked chicken, eggs on toast, and eating apples for snacks instead of a prepackaged snack bar that falls under the gluten free label. Yep, you guessed it, foods that are all naturally gluten free (and coincidentally low-carb) for the most part.

Overall, I’m thrilled to be trying new foods that I seemingly forgot about over the years, but man, I could kill for a gluten free cupcake (or 3!) right now! If you’re interested in trying out Weight Watchers to get rid of a few of those post-diagnosis pounds, I would suggest it, but it’s important to note that they do not support or endorse a gluten free diet. I started a Yahoo group called Gluten Free Weight Watchers in 2005 and there are 700 members in the group that share meal ideas and give support where Weight Watchers won’t.  If you need a little extra help you can also find info on the discussion threads at WeightWatchers.com.

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My First Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich in 8 years!

Gluten Free Philly Cheesesteak

Gluten Free Creations Philly Cheesesteak

There are a lot of foods that I’ve been able to live without since going gluten free because I’ve been able to find a passable substitute for them. Things like pizza, beer, french toast, muffins, etc…but I haven’t had much luck in the sandwich department honestly. They’ve all either been on super dense gluten free bread, lacking in flavor, or just totally underwhelming. I finally took my lazy self over to the Gluten Free Creations Cafe the other day and, and boy, do I need to tell you about their Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich!

I haven’t had one in nearly nine years, so this was a real treat for me. The gluten free french-style bread that it was on has fantastic texture and taste. The steak was tender and perfectly seasoned and had just enough sauce and cheese on it to make the bread oh-so-ooey-gooey and melt in your mouth. My co-worker Gary, who is not gluten free, came with me and gave it a thumbs up too, and he knows Good Greasy Eats when he sees them.

While the sammy was a little on the pricey side, it did come with a side of chips and I got to sample one of the most adorable little gluten free cupcake I’ve ever seen so it was well worth the cash. And, I didn’t have to ask a million questions about “what was on it, how is cooked, can you change your gloves, can you prepare it in a different area”, etc…that kind of piece of mind and sense of normalcy is worth a few extra bucks in my book!

Check out Gluten Free Creations Good Food Cafe at 7607 E. McDowell, Scottsdale, AZ. Be sure to let them know that Gluten Free AZ sent you!

Ph: 480.990.2253

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Are you the Bob’s Redmill Giveaway Winner?

Congrats to Shari T. from Mesa! I drew her name as the winner of the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 4 pack and she’ll be getting the pancake mix, almond flour, biscuit mix, and a cake mix from the kind folks over at Bob’s Red Mill.

If you haven’t seen their new gluten free section of their website yet, you should check out their recipes at the bottom of each product page. I just made the gluten free apple blueberry pancake recipe, though I modified them a bit since I didn’t have all the ingredients. Here is my version of the recipe…enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Ingredients

Directions
Saute apple slices in non-stick skillet; sprinkle with cinnamon.Mix together GF flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix in applesauce, oil and cider until well blended. Pour into heated skillet. Lay on top cooked apple slices. Cook until bubbles form on surface then turn. Heat until golden brown.

Makes 10 pancakes.

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Do-It-Yourself Gluten Free Pizzeria

My little gluten free chef

My little gluten free chef

Gluten-Free pizza has become increasingly popular throughout restaurants across Arizona over the last few years and I’ve been rediscovering pizza one pizzeria at a time. It’s great to go out to dinner with friends for a slice, but sometimes it can be just as much fun (and much less expensive!) to make pizza at home.

This weekend we decided to make a family affair out of it and my 3 year old “gluten free chef in training” loved helping!Gluten Free Pepperoni Pizza

We started with Bob’s Red Mill Gfree Pizza Crust Mix, mixed all the ingredients up, and then let the dough rise for about an hour, which is an eternity for a 3 year old by the way. Next, we conjured up our own pizza sauce using whatever ingredients we had lying around the house: tomato sauce, tomato paste, olive oil, garlic, and italian herbs. We rolled it out into 2 good size pizza’s and topped it with some mozzarella cheese, gluten free Hormel pepperoni, and some black olives.

We decided to go Hawaiian style on the second pizza – topping it with some leftover ham and canned pineapple.About a half hour hour later, the pizza’s came out piping hot and I didn’t even have to tip the waiter!

Gluten Free Hawaiian Pizza

Gluten Free Hawaiian Pizza

We all gathered ’round in the family room to watch Flushed Away for the 20th time and enjoyed our gourmet gluten free pizza…for about half the price.

Don’t forget! The Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free contest is just about to end, but there’s still time to enter! Head on over to this blog post to get the scoop on how to win! Good luck!


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Delicious Gluten Free French Toast Recipe

My wonderful, super-fantastic hubby woke me up with homemade gluten free French Toast this morning and it couldn’t have been more delicious! While he won’t give me his secret recipe, even though I begged, I can tell you that there are two ingredients in his recipe that made this gluten Free French Toast even better than the pre-gluten days; Udi’s Gluten Free White Bread and a little bit of lemon juice.

Gluten Free French Toast

Gluten Free French Toast a la Gavin!

I’ve only recently discovered Udi’s Gluten Free products, and I’m now a huge fan of their gluten free bread. The texture is fantastic – light, fluffy, and subtle taste, and for those of you that have other food allergies on top of the gluten, they’re dairy and soy free to boot. The fact that I don’t have to toast it just to eat it makes it a lot faster to prepare as well.

As best I can tell without giving his secret recipe away, my hubby made his french toast (or Eggy Bread as he calls it) with these ingredients, all gluten free of course.

  • Udi’s Gluten Free White Bread
  • 4 Eggs
  • Splash of Vanilla
  • Splash of milk
  • Splash of lemon juice (he says it give it a zesty kick!)
  • a pinch of brown sugar
  • Powdered sugar for topping

He mixes it all together, tosses in the bread, allows it to soak in and cooks it up on the stove top until it’s golden brown. Dust it with a little powdered sugar and drizzle with syrup, and voila, you’ve got yourself some of the tastiest gluten free French Toast in Arizona!

If you really want a knock-your-socks-off finish to your breakfast, why not pair it with a cup of coffee from my friends over at What’s Your Grind Coffee Roasters. They locally roast all their coffees in Arizona and offer a selection of Fair Trade Certified coffees.

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget, there’s still time to enter my Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Food Giveaway! One lucky reader will get a four pack of Bob’s products from the nice folks over at Bob’s Red Mill.

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The Summer Camp Experience Gluten Free Style

Camp Sky-Y Prescott AZI was fortunate enough to attend summer camp every year from the time I was 8 until I was 16. Camp Sky-Y, a YMCA run overnight camp in Prescott, Arizona, has a special place in my heart and I can honestly say has had an impact of who I am today. I learned to be independent, creative, and play well with others, but I also got to experience the absolute joy that the outdoors can bring. With kids today being so addicted to video games and TV, I’ve made it a point to teach my 3 year old daughter to appreciate nature. Last weekend we took her fishing and she’s already a seasoned camper. In fact, she learned to pee in the woods without getting it on her feet. That made me so proud!

I began to wonder though, with her being on gluten free diet, if she would have the same opportunity to experience summer camp the way I did. While I’m sure the camp could provide gluten free items if I ask, I wanted to make sure whatever camp I send her to in the future fully understands cross contamination and safe preparation methods.

While surfing I somehow stumbled upon an article from About.com that lists summer camps for those with gluten intolerance. To my surprise, there are a number of summer camps out there catering to those with food allergies and Celiac. When my daughter is old enough to ship off to overnight camp I know there will be options for her. Maybe we’ll even try out a gluten free family camp sometime.

Don’t forget to enter to win free products in the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Giveaway!

Below is a list of camps that cater to gluten free summer camp experiences.

Location: Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, Georgia
Dates: May 30 to June 4, 2010
Camp Wee-Kan-Eat-It Family Weekend is for any family (adults and children) with a family member with celiac disease.
Details: Camp is held at Camp Twin Lakes, a state-of-the-art, fully accessible facility located on 500 acres. In 2008, camp cost about $350 per family. Scholarships are likely to be available. Other allergies can be accommodated.

Location: Camp Will-A-Way at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, Georgia
Dates: May 30 to June 4, 2010; Family Camp: Sept. 10 to 12, 2010
Details: Georgia R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids) is sponsoring Camp Weekaneatit at for kids and teenagers with celiac disease, at Camp Will-A-Way. The fully-accessible camp at Will-A-Way features 16 camper cabins, which each sleep 14. The camp is complete with a dining hall, medical lodge, swimming pool and numerous exciting activity areas.Campers at Will-A-Way enjoy activities such as arts & crafts, swimming, ropes course, archery, sports, boating, fishing, nature, and more!
Camp Sponsor: Camp Westminster

Location: Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake in Roscommon, Michigan
Dates: Children ages 7 to 14, June 20 to 26, 2010; Families, July 4 to 8, 2010
Details: This week promises all the fun of Camp Westminster, with food accurately and sensitively prepared by experienced cooks, for a traditional week of camp for children and youth with sensitivities to foods containing gluten and casein. New this year: a gluten-free menu will be available, with pre-registration, during any week of camp in 2010. If you have food related camp questions, please contact Deanna at dkseng99(at)voyager.net or Pam Jann at pamelajann(at)hotmail.com.

Location: Camp Waluhili on scenic Fort Gibson Lake, 45 minutes from Tulsa
Dates: June 20 to 26, 2010
Details:Camp Waluhili lets gluten-free campers (and their siblings) have a traditional co-ed summer camp experience where kids can enjoy all the camp activities without concern for the gluten content of the food provided. Camp’s 219 acres of rolling hills, lush forest and ample shoreline offer a wide variety of areas for creative programs and activities. Features include swimming pool, low-element challenge course, rappelling cliff, miles of hiking trails, shooting and archery ranges, and much more. Resident camp programs are open to boys and girls entering grades 3 to 12.

Location 1: Camp Kanata, Wake Forest, North Carolina
Dates: June 27 to July 3, 2010

Location 2: Camp Sealth, Vashon Island, Washington
Dates: July 9 to 24 (6 days); July 26 to 29 (4 days); or July 19 to 29 (11 days), 2010

Details: GIG Kids Camps are mainstream, integrated camps, where kids must be aware of what foods are safe and not safe, ask questions and talk to others about their eating restrictions. Camp counselors are trained by GIG Staff. Gluten-free substitutions are available for meals and all activities. GIG dietitians are on site.
Camp Sponsor: Dallas R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids)

Location: Camp Gilmont in Gilmer, Texas
Dates: July 11 to 16, 2010
For children ages 7 to 15
Details: The Great Gluten Escape at Camp Gilmont gives campers the opportunity to participate in all camp activities without concern for the gluten content of the food provided. The camp prides itself on letting kids escape from the daily peer pressure of the “I can’t have that” syndrome. This camp also welcomes siblings between the ages of 7 to 15 who do not have celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, or gluten intolerance (although all food will be gluten free).
Camp Sponsor: Celiac Disease Foundation

Location: Camp Arroyo, Livermore, California
Dates: July 25 to 30, 2010
For campers ages 9 to 17.
Details: Camp Arroyo, an old-fashioned summer camp for kids, offers a gluten-free week at no charge except for a $25 registration fee per camper. The camp encourages adults to volunteer as camp counselors, promising an amazing gluten-free camp experience for them, too.
Camp Sponsor: Celiac Sprue Association

Location: Camp Aldersgate, North Scituate, Rhode Island
Dates: August 8 to 13, 2010
For children and youth with celiac disease ages 7 to 16.
Details: Celebrating its 11th anniversary in 2010, Camp Celiac is one of the largest gluten-free camps in the United States, with children coming from across the United States and abroad. The camp is closed to all other groups during the gluten-free sessions, to allow for a gluten-free dining hall and atmosphere. Camp Celiac provides a full-time, registered nurse licensed in the state of Rhode Island to handle all medical needs including medications. Scholarships are available.
Camp Sponsor: Michigan Capital Celiacs/DH

Location: Camp Manitou-Lin on the shores of Ol’ Lake Barlow in Middleville, Michigan
Dates: 2010 Dates TBA
For children ages 7 to 14
Details: Camp fee is $450 for the week (a $75 deposit is required to hold a spot). Camp Manitou-Lin, on 160 acres, is a branch of the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids. Seventeen heated and carpeted cabins with bathrooms and showers will house campers, 10 to a cabin. For information, write to eclansingmi@yahoo.com or glutenfreemichigankidscamp@yahoo.com.

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There’s nothing better than free stuff, except free gluten free stuff!

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Giveaway!

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free

A few weeks back I mentioned that a giveaway was in the works and the nice folks over at Bob’s Red Mill are generously giving away a 4 pack of gluten free products for followers of my blog!

Interested in getting your hands on a custom 4 pack of gfree mixes or flours? It’s easy to enter!

Here’s all you have to do:

1) Simply subscribe to my blog in the subscription box on the right hand side of the page. This ensures that you stay up to date with my latest news and recipes. Don’t worry, I won’t ever spam you!

2) Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post telling me what your 4 favorite Bob’s Red Mill products are and you’re entered to win the grab bag! They must be gluten free items and you can take a look at what they have on their website.

See how easy it is to get entered to win? On July 31, 2010 I’ll round up everyone’s name who entered and draw the lucky winner out of a hat. Bob’s Red Mill will send you your gluten free products shortly thereafter and we’ll all live happily ever after! Isn’t that great?

Please share this contest with all the fabulous gluten free folks in your life. Thanks to the team over at Bob’s for their support!

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Father’s Day Lunch at Barro’s Gluten Free Pizzeria

Barro's Gluten Free Pizza Logo

Barro's Pizza

Everyone I know in the Celiac world in Phoenix has been raving about Barro’s gluten free pizza so I decided to give it a try. My whole immediate family is gluten free; mom, dad, daughter and I, so taking my dad there for an early father’s day lunch worked out perfectly.

We visited the one in Ahwatukee on Chandler Blvd, which I think may have been one of the first they opened in Phoenix. A friend of mine worked there in high school when it was just a tiny take out place, and on her first day of work she set accidentally pushed the button that silently alerts the police in case of a robbery. They showed up with guns drawn and I don’t think I’ve let her live that down in the 15 or so years I’ve known her. I was surprised to see that they have expanded into a full restaurant with a bar – I guess it’s been a while since I was last there.

We ordered 2 gluten free pizza’s – one white pizza at my mom’s request and the second a cheese and salami as dad’s choice. With a couple of drinks it came out to about $25…comparable to other places that sell gluten free pizza, but they only offer small gluten free pizza crusts so you get a bit less for the price.

Overall I’d say their gluten free pizza is good, but not great. I think I preferred the white pizza since there was just something about the tomato sauce that I wasn’t a huge fan of. I think I was so impressed by Spinato’s amazing pizza sauce that this just couldn’t compare.

Barro’s is very clean, comfy and perfect for dining with kids. Not my favorite gluten free pizza joint in the valley, but certainly worth trying again sometime.

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