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Now You Can Eat Pretzels, Gluten Free June 3, 2011

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Dishing It.
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Welcome pretzels back into your life my friends.

I was shopping at Albertson’s last week and walked into half aisle stock full of gluten free goodies. I picked up this package of Glutino Pretzel Twists.

I’m not a huge pretzel fan and neither is my significant other. He can eat anything. But I am a big fan of snacking at my desk all day. I didn’t expect much out of this since most gluten free crackers taste like nothing with the consistency of tree bark. In the words of my other “These are the best pretzels I’ve ever tasted.” Light, airy, flavorful, just perfect. Plus points for also being lactose free.

I’m elated to see grocery stores giving us GFers shelf space. This is the first time I’ve seen this product in stores and I usually shop GF friendly spots like Trader Joes, Whole Foods or Henry’s Market. I wouldn’t count on every Albertson’s carrying Glutino so check the manufacturer’s website before making a big trip. Definitely try this. It’s a winner!

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Is it or isn’t it gluten free? Rice May 11, 2011

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Is It or Isn't It?.
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Grains can be the most confusing thing to figure out. I’m often asked by servers if rice is ok because people aren’t highly educated about different types of grains. It’s not the level of detail taught in elementary school. Or in college for that matter.

Rice is a gluten free grain. It is not a wheat product and typically does not carry the risk of cross contamination in factory processing. Especially if you make it at home and rinse it thoroughly prior to cooking.

Rice is in fact a go-to staple and wheat substitute allowing you to keep common items in your diet like rice pasta or noodles, and rice flour bread, cake or dusting for fried foods. Rice flour will need to be mixed with other gluten free grains to mimic the airy texture of cake or bread because it’s dense and heavy.

Be aware that many processed boxed rice products contain wheat in the seasoning mix. Look for ingredients such as modified food starch, wheat flour or gluten. If you’re dairy free look for milk, cream and whey. These are risks both off the shelf and dining out. Stick to plain rice and you’ll be safe.

Dining Out Gluten Free: Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza and more March 3, 2011

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Dining Out.
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Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza
American Cuisine
Gluten Free Menu: yes

Sammy’s offers a generous gluten free menu with many options to customize your own gluten free pizza crust with mozzarella, goat cheese and even a lactose free variation of vegan mozzarella.

The GF crust is thin and crisp which some people prefer anyways. Both times I’ve tried it I enjoyed the close to normal flavor and texture of pizza. I did find it was overly crisp, even burnt in some spots on the edge. Like when you leave a frozen pizza in the toaster oven too long.

I tried the Hawaiin with Canadian bacon and pineapple, red sauce, and the fresh tomato, olive, garlic sauce GF pizzas. I prefer the red because it’s a little more saucier adding moisture to the crisp crust. I can’t name a favorite between the two pies I’m craving them both right now!

The vegan cheese was delicious with a creamy texture. I’d highly recommend substituting it in the chopped chicken salad. Which is on my top best salads ever list. I’ll warn you, double and triple check your cheese and special order. They served the real cheese up mistakenly even after ordering off the GF menu, “the talk” and confirming with the server dropping off my plate. I guess I have higher expectations from restaurants with GF menus. But they were nice about it.

Sammy’s is good for the family, casual dates and dinner before a movie. You will love how easy it is to order and what’s more they offer gluten free beer!
You might even find me there alone some time with a beer and my laptop.

Is it or isn’t it gluten free? Sesame Seeds February 25, 2011

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Is It or Isn't It?.
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I was eating out the other night and in her due diligence the server ran back from the kitchen to confirm “Sesame seeds are OK right?” I quickly replied yes. They usually ask me about rice and occasionally whether corn is gluten free. This one threw me off and made me second guess myself. After all I am always poisoned by some hidden ingredient when I dine out. Do I know all of MY grains?

So I Googled it right at the table. The answer is yes sesame seeds are gluten free. They come from a sesame flower. Common foods also include sesame oils and tahini. Safe and safe!

How to save your salty gravy and make a gluten free modification November 25, 2010

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Dishing It.
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Happy Thanksgiving gluten free friends. It’s a dangerous holiday for eating on our diet especially if you are also lactose intolerant. Ugh! I am making an alternate version of our family turkey gravy recipe with my Oma today and I added salt without tasting. Hello chef 101! She uses bacon on the turkey to keep it moist, then we use the turkey drippings to make gravy. That’s all I’ll share about our secret family recipe but I will tell you the gluten free substitute to flour: corn starch. It comes out beautiful and shiny. My other secret, when you over salt a sauce or soup add raw, peeled potato chunks to it. It completely saves the day by absorbing much of the salt flavor. Control it to taste by adding more potatoes. Remember to take them out well before they cook of mashing.

Remember to taste before you salt friends and do not get yourself sick over dinner. There are subs don’t be shy with the family present 🙂