Tag Archives: comical

Wheatless-ish Barley

Last night I was happily enjoying my crockpot chicken over lettuce, while my boyfriend was eating it over rice. I asked for a bite, because he had it over my favorite brown rice from Trader Joe’s, the one with lots of texture called “Brown Rice Medley”.  And of course once I had dodged the cheese he had added, I got a nice ricey, chickeny nummy bite!  I loved it. Then he asked “what are the little round kinda crunchy things.” I  wasn’t sure so I grabbed the package and much to my surprise it was barley.

Trader Joe’s ‘ Brown Rice Medley”

Ah barley, the much debated “can you eat it if you’re gluten free” question.  I have read many sites and what I’ve decided to believe is that, if you are a Celiac, it’s not a good idea. If you have gluten allergies (meaning you can have trace amounts without issue) then it’s usually all good. I’m allergic and have never had issues with barley.

The reason I have found that it does cause issues for Celiacs, is the same reason some doctors advise Celiacs not to travel to countries like Tibet (an allergy to a country because they grow so much wheat! I had never heard this before.)  The reason to avoid barley if you are sensitive to cross contamination is because barley and wheat are grown in the same fields and often processed in the same plants.  So the barley would most likely have trace amounts that could cause big upsets in a Celiacs system.

So that is my research for the day. I eat barley with no issue, but it’s one to be careful of and consider if you have a Celiac, or a super sensitive system to wheat.

Chicken in the Crock!

It’s a bit chilly and gray here this fine Seattle morning. If I weren’t looking directly at a calendar for work already I would have guessed it may be March or April, but no, it’s not. It’s June… the snowing in the passes kind of June.

I sure hope the weather gets better this summer, but to lighten up my mood I thought since it’ll be a busy work afternoon I’d get something going on the Crockpot. I dug around and combined some recipes from Gina and Skinnytaste, Allrecipes and the Food Network to come up with this nice Gluten and Diary free hopefully yummy dish.  Yes yes, it is a bit risky putting this up but the recipes I combined all had good comments so I’m confident. I’ll post a picture later today… It smells wonderful!

I added some salsa and put it over chopped lettuce. SO GOOD!

Spicy Crockpot Chicken

Main Ingredients:

  • 1- 15 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
  • 1.5 C black, navy, pinto or kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 C corn (frozen or canned- drained)
  • 1 can chicken broth (Fat Free)
  • 1/2 tsp Tapateo (or hot sauce of your choice)
  • 1/2 tsp Chipolte Chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1.5 LBS chicken breast
  • Seasoning salt to taste (I love Lowreys but any will do)


  • Cheese (for the dairy eaters or dairy free cheese of your choice)
  • Green onions chopped
  • Chopped Cilantro

Serve Over:

  • Chopped Iceburg lettuce
  • Rice (brown or white)
  • Pasta (Gluteny or GF?)

Mix all the ingredients except the chicken, Tapateo and the salt in the crockpot.  Season the chicken with the Seasoning Salt and Tapateo and place it in the crockpot.  Set on low for about 8-10 hours or High for 5-6.  If you like shredded chicken, pull it out and shred it about 1/2 hour before the end of your crockpot cooking or you can serve a full chicken breast over the lettuce, rice or pasta no problem.  Then top it with your favorite or all of the Cilantro, green onions and cheese. Viola – dinner is served!

Have a great day! :)

Tic Tac Controversy

I was happily chomping on a box of orange tic tacs at work today when one of my colleagues stops by and says “hey, those have gluten in them ya know!” I looked up shocked. ” They can’t can they?” I asked. He just nodded and walked away. Ah pooey, Mr. Grimgluten reaper!  But now I can’t get the idea out of my head, so I’m looking it up and it seems they have CORN gluten not WHEAT gluten.

Image from pennypinchinmom.com

I guess it’s to be a day of learning because I didn’t realize gluten wasn’t specific to Wheat products exclusively… but now I wonder when my Doc said “no gluten” if she knew this an meant no on corn or wheat. After reading a bit,  it seems that Corn Gluten is a misused term so she probably didn’t mean avoid it.. So weird.

Here is how I found out about the claim they are gluten free: http://www.tictacusa.com/sections/faq/index.swf

Corn Gluten is assumed okay for Celiac’s and other GF Folks http://www.celiac.com/articles/186/1/Corn-Gluten—Is-it-Safe-for-a-People-with-Celiac-Disease-Who-are-on-a-Gluten-Free-Diet/Page1.html

Korean Food for the Win!

What a treat for an afternoon. Just imagine sitting back in a fun modern setting as your bowl filled with rice, Korean marinated short ribs and other treats is set in front of you…all topped with an egg yolk.

Gorgeous Image thanks to Jackie at http://www.jackiewrites.com

I had met a good friend for lunch and she suggested a restaurant that has been in Fremont for about a year named Revel. When she mentioned it was Korean I knew I was in business. I am able to have a little bit of gluten like the amount in soy, so I often lean toward Asian food when I’m in doubt. But this, this amazing wonder was such a huge treat. I hadn’t had anything quite like it, with a raw egg yolk ready to stir in and make the dish creamier (they easily remove this if it makes you nervous) Boy was it good. (and I guessed about 10 points eating only 1/2 Cup of the rice.. not bad!)

If you are in Seattle give this a whirl… Revel for the win!

Biased Bison?

Who doesn’t love a night filled with friends, birthdays, good food and a good game of spades? I know I love it! Our friends came over the other night and since we cooked last time, they brought food fit for a king, they were making bison spaghetti (of the quinoa variety) YUM!

Bison Spaghetti - Image from http://thechiclife.typepad.com

Now you might flinch if you haven’t had this tasty meat. I’m a big squeamish about different meats much of the time but this one was fantastic. It’s a nice lean red meat that blended into the sauce with such great flavor! Then to top it off some dairy free cheese. It was super yummers! Give it a try, I think you’ll love it!

My friend that brought this over did it to fit into my dietary restrictions and told me it was lower in fat. If you have any to share please share it! I want to learn more. I have started researching and found great info but it’s mostly from a pro-Bison site.

Donut Make a Bad Decision!

Have you ever had that tough morning where nothing goes your way? It’s a slew of little things so you feel like you have no real right to be upset but you are super ticked off? Yeah this morning was that morning for me. The dog wouldn’t come in, in fact she ran all over the yard to avoid me, which made me leave for work late. Then the dry cleaners couldn’t find the slacks my boyfriend needs for a wedding we’re going to tonight, The ATM had issues with the check I was trying to deposit, Traffic was worse than usual, etc… You know that day. Not a good start.

Then I got to work about a half hour late and what happens? Of course, it’s Friday, the day filled with those horribly tempting boxes of donuts and other baked goods. They’re like a Trojan horse for me… they look all sweet and innocent than BANG they wreak havoc on my belly!

I saw them sitting there, my jelly filled love right in the center of the box and I thought “Well heck, why not? It’s not like my day can get much more annoying.” I reached for it and stopped.  I realized that it would make my already rough start for a day even rougher.  So guess what I did… I walked away and grabbed a bag of sweet dried apple chips. Sweet, tasty and friendly to the belly. I’d say this was a win of a donut battle, at least for me! I’ll bet someone else here eats those belly achin’, 8 Weight Watcher points right up!

DISCLAIMER: No Jelly Donuts died by my hand to create this post.

Wine not Whine :)

Wine tasting, one of my very favorite things to do! I was lucky enough to host a wine tasting at my home for Silver Bell Winery, a new winery in the great Northwest!

Diane and Alan from Silver Bell came to our home, set up a nice display and gave us history on the grapes and good sized pours of each of their six wines! My only job, to make sure that there was food for all the wine tasters. Now as you probably know the traditional foods for wine tasting are completely unapproved by my gut, so I had to make some alterations.  I had the cheese and crackers of course, plus my guests brought some other yummy salads (Thanks for my friend Heather the Salad Queen, it was tasty and safe for me!) and cheese puffs. But to fit into my diet I also had the below items:

Rice Crackers
Tofu cream cheese with a Pepper Jam over the top
Chicken Taquitos wrapped in corn tortillas
Veggie Platter with a home made vinaigrette

All in all it was good. I did have a few slices of cheese because it was just too overwhelming to have all those cheesy options…but I only had a few sinces I had other treats I could eat! Great wine and Great food…. Success! Plus I did some of my Christmas Shopping from my own home!

Silver Bell Winery!

Gaining the Good with the Bad

I have been happy about getting my body into better shape, about being more comfortable asking for what I need while eating out and creating healthier foods that work for my body. These are all wins for me…and I felt good about this weekend I figured out how to make some great twice baked potatoes within my foods, adding soy cream cheese and soy sour cream to fluff them up. It worked really well. Then I topped my guests twice baked potatoes with cheese but left mine as it was. It was so tasty! The recipe is at the end of this post.

Twice Baked Potatoes (only dairy is cheese on this one! Go cheese free!)

Then last night, I was at my mothers, and I had rice pasta with her famous home made spaghetti sauce!  What a great gluten free meal…but the sad part… I weighed in today :(

Yep, you got it. I gained .25lbs this past week. I know that isn’t much, but clearly I need to get a better handle on it. Either that or I can believe that the pasta made me heavy and next week I’ll have lost 2 lbs, one for each of these weeks. I hope there is weight loss next week.  Right now I’m feeling a bit deflated.

Twice Baked Potatoes (Gluten and Dairy free)

3 baking potatoes (Baked already)
1/2 C Tofutti cream cheese (softened to room temp)
1/2 C Tofutti Sour Cream (at room temp)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil (I used garlic olive oil)
4 chopped green onions
1 tsp Seasoning Salt
1 tsp Garlic Salt
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (to taste)
4 slices of cooked bacon chopped
2 C Grated Cheddar Cheese (for guests)

Preheat the oven to 350. Cut baked potatoes in half and scoop out the insides. Add all the following ingredients except the cheese. Mix them well with a mixer or by hand. Do this until the potato is smooth. Once smooth scoop the potato mixture into the potato skins. Then top with cheese for any dairy eaters. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until warmed all the way through, and cheese is melted on any dairy eaters potato.

Let cool and Enjoy!

Hide and Seek Gluten Game

Taco Salad! Yum! I wanted some last night, and I wanted it bad… so off I went to the store I went. Since I’m also cooking for gluten/dairy loving man I not only grabbed the safe items for me: seasoning packet, lettuce, tomato, kidney beans, ground chicken and my favorite chipolte salsa, but I also got him the sour cream, french dressing, tortilla chips and grated cheese. With my goodies in hand, I rushed home to start cooking the spicy treat.

Something that is important to me when I eat healthier is to use good spices to add tasty flavors to the newly fat reduced foods. When I finished all the chopping and browning the meat I sprinkled it with the packet of powder and added the water, then I looked at the back of the taco seasoning packet to see how long it needed to be simmer… and there it was glaring in my face, the ingredients in this delightful little packet of seasonings contains not one but both my allergens! NO WAY!

Gluten fiasco!

I’d love to say I decided to fix this somehow, making myself some new chicken seasoned with only salt, chili powder and cumin instead of the packet of love, but in fact I did not. I was tired after work and cooking that I enjoyed every bite and didn’t feel too ill when I was done.

That being said, today I got up and started digging through my cabinet and looking online for the hidden gluten and dairy in products that would be a surprise…here is what I found!

Spicy Dangers:

  • Soy Sauce: Tamari is the answer, but still read it. Some Tamari has gluten in it
  • Taco Seasoning: Some add Lactose AND gluten!
  • Gravy Packets: Yeah I know, Duh… but I just didn’t think about the thickening. Yikes!
  • Bulk Spices: They sometimes fill them with flour!
  • Salad Dressing: this one is a double danger for me! They add gluten to thicken, but also many restaurants add diary to add a richer flavor to dressings like Balsamic Vinaigrette… not nice guys! Only oil and vinegar is truly safe when out and about. Lame!

Other Surprises:

  • Sausages/Lunch Meats: often contain gluten to hold the dog together…
  • Baked Beans: Tomato sauce may contain gluten
  • Grated Cheeses: Now I know I shouldn’t have these, but if you are only gluten free, they sometimes coat the cheese with flour to keep it from sticking together. Tricky Tricky!
  • Vitamins: seriously I need to read everything!

*For more surprises visit the site where I found many of these tips: The Gluten Free Chef

So I guess the moral of last nights meal is, I am not safe from that darned Milkbread monster unless I check all the fine print. Boy is this complicated!

Side Note: I saw that Qwest field now has all kinds of gluten free treats at the games! this is fantastic news!

Peanuts, Beans and Friends, oh my!

Last night was one of my favorite things… GIRLS NIGHT! This isn’t a typical girls night, but then again, what is a typical girls night? For me, this once a month treat consists of five amazing ladies (a group we call JULE), food, wine, inspiration and a cool project! Last night we learned how to put together a natural disaster kit while we drank wine and laughed! It’s a pretty darned good deal!

Even though these five girls are among my closet friends going to someone’s home is always a little stressful for me because I don’t want to offend them if I can’t eat the meal. And now that I added the low calories situation into the gluten and dairy free mix it’s extra hard. But lucky for me, Jayme our host, made an amazing meal that fit ALL my needs! She started with an appetizer that was chips and fresh home made guacamole followed by an fantastic African Peanut Sweet Potato Stew (About 10 points if you are a WW)! YUM!

Here is a recipe for this yummy delight.

African Peanut Stew

African Peanut Stew - Via Goodhousekeeping.com

So I call last night a great success! A great evening with the girls while learning safety tips and adhering to my diet! Take that you Milkbread Monster… Not only am I after you, the JULE girls are too! Booh Yah!