Thai Rice Noodles Fast Easy Gluten Free Soup

May 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

This is my lazy meal. I’m tired. I just need to eat. Before I knew I had to eat gluten free, I was already using this fast and easy soup recipe.

Before companies started labeling their food products as Gluten Free, I had to read the ingredients and figure it out for myself. These Thai Noodle soups have always been made with rice and tapioca flour, they have always been gluten free.

Now Thai Kitchen has altered their packaging to make it absolutely clear that this is a gluten free meal, which is really cool of them.

Obviously, water, spices, and noodles might fill you up, but it is not nutritious on its own, so you really ought to add some food to it, which is fast and easy.

Use 1 pack per person.

For a VEGAN meal, just cut whatever vegetables you like to small bite sizes, add to boiling water and spices before you add the noodles. The noodles soften in just one minute. Any longer and they become kind of gross. So don’t cook the noodles until you are satisfied with the texture of your vegetables. Of course put in your hardest vegetables first and soft things like spinach very last, so as to not over cook.

If you are not vegan, you can add chicken, fish, or thin beef slices if you want. Make sure it is boiled all the way through before adding the noodles.

The more food or water you add to this soup, the more you may want to add some salt and pepper.

Just 5 minutes and your meal is ready to eat!

My favorite flavor of Thai Kitchen’s Instant Rice Noodle Soups are this one pictured, the Thai Lemongrass & Chili. They have several other flavors as well.

This is super easy, very tasty, low cost, and depending on what you put in it, can be healthy too!

 

Beers Booze & Beverages Gluten Free Alcohol

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

When a young adult transitions to eating gluten free, one of the first questions is: What alcohol can I drink? Which alcohols are gluten free?

Here is a comprehensive list of gluten free alcohols.

GLTUEN FREE AT THE BAR: Hard apple ciders and wine are gluten free. Shots of tequila and rum are gluten free.

GLUTEN FREE MIXED DRINKS: The Mojito and Caipirinha are gluten free cocktails. A Screwdriver is orange juice and vodka, but those vodkas are not gluten free at the bar, so ask for orange juice and tequila instead. When looking at a cocktail list of specialty drinks, select the drink that has rum or tequila as the alcohol ingredient, all the rest may be made from grains like wheat, barley, rye that have gluten.

Before I knew about eating gluten free, I had already started drinking hard alcohol instead of beer because regular beer wreaked the worst havoc on my stomach, causing great distress, pain, and gas.

GLUTEN FREE ALCOHOL AT THE GROCERY STORE AND LIQUOR MARKETS:

Most stores now carry cider which is made from apples or pears, sometimes other fruits. Cider is a great alternative to beer and all brands taste pretty good. Do beware of its high sugar content.

My favorite casual beverage, refreshing like a soda on a hot day or night, not too sweet, not too strong, are the Fox Barrel pear ciders. They have a few different interesting flavors: blackberry, apricot, ginger and blackcurrant.

The Crispin and Ace apple ciders are much stronger tasting.

If you want gluten free beer, one good simple light tasting beer that I cover in depth is the Budweiser of gluten free beers, Redbridge.

If you like stronger tasting beers, you should try one of each gluten free beer to see what you like. Pictured above is a sample of what gluten free alcohol beverages are carried at WholeFoods, although it is constantly changing, week to week, depending on what customers buy. I have tried other beers, but they are too strong flavored for my delicate taste buds.

Made from grapes, all wine is gluten free, red and white.

**Anything made from wheat, barley, or rye is NOT 100% gluten free. These are most beers and many alcohols.**

In the old days, vodka was made with potatoes, which is ok for Celiac Disease sufferers, but these days, most vodkas are made from grains like wheat, which is bad for gluten intolerant people.

My favorite vodka for price, taste, and being gluten free (made with potatoes) is Monopolowa sold at Trader Joe’s and BevMo. Monopolowa is so far the best gluten free vodka I have found. With it, we make Lemon Drops with fresh picked lemons from my tree, organic sugar, ice, and vodka. For a faster drink, we use fresh squeezed  orange juice, also available at Trader Joe’s. Pretty much any juice tastes great with this vodka, pomegranate, cranberry, or any mixed fruit juice.

Tequila is made from the blue agave plant and is gluten free. What’s also great about Tequila, I find, is that it is good ToKillA belly ache caused by gluten. If I don’t have Pepto Bismal, Tequila also helps to make my stomach feel better when I have ingested gluten, or at least my head thinks so.

With tequila, it seems the more money you spend, the better tasting the tequila. I prefer gold colored tequila, which I think is aged longer, than the clear tequila. Some good tequila brands are Jose Cuervo Tequila for the any man (or woman) on a budget or Patron Tequila is great and has all kinds of amazing flavors if you have some extra bucks to spend. I am constantly trying new and different tequilas; the tastes differ dramatically. I would guess Mexico (from where tequila comes) probably has some special tequilas, so if you are visiting there, you might want to stock up on that.

I find Tequila tastes best either straight, or with orange juice, or tropical juices like pineapple.

Gosh, this just keeps going on and on. And people say it is hard to go gluten free! Hmmff! No it’s not.

Rum is gluten free and is made from sugar. I don’t buy rum so I don’t have any recommendations on brands.

If I am out celebrating something at a restaurant or bar, rum is the ingredient in my favorite two lime juice cocktails: the Brazilian national drink Caipirinha made from cachaca (the Brazilian equivalent to rum) and the Cuban drink Mojito.  The Caipirinha has lime, sugar, and cachaca. The Mojito has lime, soda water, rum, sugar, and fresh crushed mint leaves!

** Although rice is gluten free, Japanese Rice Beers like are Asahi and Kirin are not gluten free because they are made with Barley which has gluten. Sake, Japanese wine is made from Rice, Water, Yeast, and Koji mold; in general, sake (or saki) should be gluten free, but sometimes it is made with Barley. **

With all that, I think you have a good start to understanding how you can enjoy your gluten free alcohol!

As always, drink in moderation and never drive or ride a bike.  ;-)

List of Gluten Free Products at Costco

March 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

Costco is understanding and embracing the gluten free diet. To see such a major food institution support healthier and niche market foods makes me so happy.

To recap, eating gluten free is not for weight loss or social issues, it is to resolve severe abdominal pain and to give clarity to one’s muddled mind caused by an intolerance of gluten (the modern strains of wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes soy and oats found in processed foods).

Here are some of my favorite gluten free foods I like to buy in bulk at Costco.

  • Hormel Corned Beef Hash has few ingredients and is my guiltiest carnivorous gluten free pleasure.
  • Lundberg Short Grain Brown Rice is gluten free, non-GMO, organic and 12 pounds lasts many servings.
  • Sabra Hummus gluten free is a great snack with a quick boost of protein and brain power.
  • Mary’s Gone Crackers are gluten free and organic; tastes good with hummus.
  • Kirkland Turkey Burgers are gluten free.

Other gluten free products we get at Costco are Organic Fair Trade Coffee Beans, Chicken Taquitos, Tuna, Pistachios, Gallo Salame, Turkey Dogs, Organic Tomato Sauce, Sausages, Wine, Tequila, and Toilet Paper (ha)!

Most cheeses are gluten free; I prefer Kerrygold Dubliner and Monterrey Jack which come in big blocks that last a long time.

You can also buy FRESH bulk Costco gluten free simple whole foods without ingredients like Fruits, Vegetables, Milk, Orange Juice, Eggs, Chicken, and Meat.

Always read the label and ingredients on packaged products to make sure it is gluten free. Products that are now labeling themselves as Gluten Free are really helpful and make shopping go a lot quicker.

Save Your Glass Jars!

December 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

One thing I do to live healthier and save a lot of money is I save glass containers. Any item that comes in a glass jar with a lid — after I have consumed the product — I soak the jar, remove the label, wash it thoroughly, and then save it.

Glass has been made for thousands of years by melting sand or quartz and reshaping it.

Although glass holds up nicely as an ancient artifact, it also can easily break down like rocks, and will eventually return to its original state of being.

Plastics have been most popularized in the 1950s, and due to how plastics are made, their durability and pliability, they don’t break down naturally like other substances and products, and therefore are terrible for the environment.

There is purportedly a plastic trash island the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean, and plastic debris among all the sea, especially in the north Pacific and collecting along many beach coasts.

Plastic with additives is toxic and carcinogenic (cancer-causing), so I like to get my food products out of their plastic wrappers as quickly as possible and switched to glass. Also, as plastic particles seep into the food, it ruins the flavor. You can’t heat up food (safely) in plastic, but glass is ideal!

Think about saving, collecting, and reusing nice glass jars and bottles.

From where do my glass jars usually come? (These are all gluten-free products.)

  • Drinks (coffee and juices)
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Dips
  • Salsa
  • Olives
  • Honey
  • Spices

If I don’t know the difference in taste between brand names, and the price and contents seem equal, I choose the food or beverage that has a nicely styled re-usable glass jar.

What gluten-free products do I put in my glass jars?

  • Glutenfree flours made from tapioca, corn, rice, sweet potato, etc.
  • Coffee, Spices, Herbs, Sugars, Cocoa powder…
  • Dried Foods like nuts, fruits, veggie chips.
  • Candy & Chocolate like gramma used to! All the colors look colorfully artistic in a clear glass jar.
  • Dog food looks more appealing, easily transportable, healthier.
  • Left-overs from take-out food, home meals, & unused portions of canned goods: tastes better, saves longer with seal-tight lid.
  • Beverages like water, cocktails, or coffee that I mix and make at home, lasts long, tastes great!
  • Soups, you can make a huge batch and have lots of safely kept meals all week, or freeze for longer, or for the cupboard if you know how to seal jars safely.
  • Gifts, when you put treats or drinks in a glass jar, they look a lot nicer and taste a lot better than plastic; my friends love my homemade lattes and mochas that they can take home with them from my house; it’s a glass I don’t need back.
  • Hair Accessories like rubber bands, barrettes, clips.
  • Lotion & Bath Products
  • Cups & Jugs, glass jars are really fun to use as drinking cups and people can break them if they want, who cares!

YES! I love glass jars.

WANT TO SEE SOME SHOCKING FOOTAGE that might set you straight? Watch this amazing comprehensive explanatory video Sailing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch about Plastic Island, and also LA TIMES beautiful heart-wrenching coverage Altered Oceans, and here is a short video just to give you an idea of what the ocean looks like in places.

Switch back to glass. When possible, choose glass, recycled paper, or other biodegradable packaging options. With your money, you have power. It sends a message and will, on the long haul, help to make the world a healthier place for all.

 

Gluten Free Tater Tots from Heinz Ore Ida

September 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

I ain’t goin’ to lie folks, I eat shit like Tater Tots and love it. Probably not the healthiest thing, but this site is dedicated primarily to gluten-free eating with a secondary effort at being healthy. Organic and green is better, but let’s shake it up a little, right?

Not all tater tots are created equal. Some actually do have white wheat flour in them, so make sure to read the ingredients on the label.

Ore Ida has kindly gone so far as to include us Celiac folks when considering its new labels with its old fashioned tried and true branding. It now says on their bag, “Gluten Free” near the ingredients. No Trans Fats either.

The gluten-free bag of Ore Ida Tater Tots pictured here is a ginormous 8 pound bag of Tater Tots that you can find cheap at Costco in the frozen section. Tater tots are a nice companion for breakfast, lunch, or dinner — basically, it’s just potatoes and some extra stuff. Don’t ask, don’t tell.

You can prepare the tater tots a number of ways. Today, because I am in a hurry, I put a little butter in the frying pan and heated the frozen taters on low. The least healthy way to cook them is in oil in a frying pan. I find the best flavor and healthiest is to bake them.

Don’t write articles and make lunch at the same time: the house is filling up with smoke and I am burning my taters.

Gluten Free Frozen Waffles by Van’s

August 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

Van’s gluten-free waffles with berries are sweet with some butter and pure maple syrup or alone with nothing.

The waffles are so light and fluffy, you would have to eat the whole box to fill satisfied, but for a quick prepared gluten-free snack and just to put something yummy in your mouth and get going, Van’s waffles are great!

Amy’s Mac-n-Cheese for Folks on the Go

June 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

For single adults on the go or parents who don’t have enough time in the day to be cooking healthy meals, Amy’s healthy-minded frozen food products are a great choice.

Today at WholeFoods, I planned on only returning some bottles and getting one bottle of cider, but then I saw one thing… and another thing, so I got a basket. Next thing I knew, my basket was full and an employee suggested some new gluten-free foods in the frozen foods aisle. When it comes to food, I am such a sucker!

Mostly, I make fresh foods now, so I am no longer familiar with all the new frozen food products. Only a few years ago, it was almost impossible to find gluten-free prepared foods. I started making all my own fresh foods out of necessity, not want, and it didn’t occur to me to see what gluten-free frozen food products may have been developed over the years. Honestly, I am still in shock about this big gluten-free movement. I felt very alone in my pain and I marvel at how many other people were privately suffering as well.

Who I met in the frozen foods aisle was a delightful surprise, the founders of Amy’s Kitchen foods, Rachel and Andy.

They had a meeting nearby and stopped in the store to check out a few things. They are actually real people and the story on the box is true. We had a lot of things in common, like living in Petaluma (where I grew up), being gluten-free, and loving Amy’s uncle Bill’s Old Chicago Pizza in Petaluma where my family ate regularly.

Back when I didn’t know I had Celiac Disease, all I knew was that I was physically in a lot of pain, I used to try all sorts of healthy diets, in hopes that something would work to alleviate my pain. Living in Hollywood, I was extremely busy and had a decent salary, so I ate a lot of Amy’s natural and organic frozen food products. My favorites were the vegetable pot pie and mac & cheese. When I found out that it was the gluten making me sick and bonkers, I stopped eating Amy’s products, about six years ago.

Today, I found out from the makers of Amy’s that they too also largely eat gluten-free now, and as a result of that, they have developed a bunch of new gluten-free products.

I knew about Amy’s gluten-free rice crust pizza and bought it frequently. WholeFoods stopped carrying the personal size one, though, and started only carrying the combo dairy-free gluten-free personal pizza for lactose intolerant Celiac Disease sufferers. As I prefer eating real cheese, I started making my own pizzas from scratch at home. If that seems like too much of an endeavor for you, to make your own pizzas, you should try to locate Amy’s gluten free pizzas, which are very tasty.

Rachel, from Amy’s Kitchen, pointed out all their new gluten-free products about which I had no idea. My favorite old mac & cheese that they make, now comes in a rice noodles gluten-free mac & cheese option! So that’s what I had for lunch today and it was sooooo good, just like the old days.

A search on their site comes up with 89 gluten-free prepared foods options! That’s impressive. Other than the one gluten-free pizza, I had no idea. Go check it out. Search gluten-free foods at Amy’s Kitchen: http://www.amys.com/products/product-search

Amy’s Kitchen specializes in lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant, vegan, low cholesterol, soy free, dairy free, tree nut free, and low fat. Much of their ingredients are organic and non-GMO (not genetically modified). They have canned foods and frozen meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert! Plus, they told me about some new products they are developing in the Yum category, so stay tuned for that.

For frozen foods, Amy’s Kitchen has always been my favorite. Now that I know first hand that they are deeply caring health-conscious real people and that they have so many gluten-free food options, they just got back one of their good old customers, me! And yeah, their gluten-free macaroni & cheese rules.

Gluten Free Budweiser Beer?

May 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

Just when I thought I had seen everything, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., the company that makes Budweiser Beer, has come out with a gluten free beer called Redbridge.

I came across the new Redbridge gluten free beer at WholeFoods while I was picking up some cider.

The problem with cider is that the sugar content is so high, I can’t really drink more than one without feeling like throwing up.

Also, men don’t feel super manly drinking cider, they want beer. I picked up the beer because my male house guests have had some complaints about the lack of beer around my gluten free home.

When my man came home, he picked up a bottle of Redbridge and checked it out. After inquiring about the price of it and being satisfied with the answer, he immediately and enthusiastically cracked open the gluten free beer and drank it.

Redbridge beer tastes strikingly similar to Budweiser beer, it’s amazing. I haven’t tasted ‘normal’ beer in about five years or so. Redbridge has a light taste, a little sweeter than Budweiser, otherwise very similar, very manly! The kind of shit you sit on the couch and drink while watching sports. It even looks manly in its brown bottle and Old West style red label.

Anheuser-Busch writes:

“Redbridge is made without wheat or barley, so the approximately 3.2 million consumers who are unable to drink beer made with barley due to Celiac Disease or because they follow a wheat-free or gluten-free diet can once again enjoy a great tasting beer. Redbridge is a rich, full-bodied lager brewed from sorghum for a well-balanced, moderately hopped taste.”

Apparently, in the old days, some people over at Budweiser tried to claim their original beer was gluten-free. Hopefully, this new brand Redbridge is truly gluten-free and made in a factory far away from the other factory or wheat fields.

Anyone who claims normal beer is gluten-free is a crackpot and has not had stomach aches like mine. For me, beer gives me the absolute worst pains of all gluten-full foods and beverages.

A friend of mine makes beer and I have seen the whole process. The process does not get rid of the elements that cause pain to Celiac Disease sufferers, no more than turning wheat into bleached white flour does; all the pain is still there, trust me. The airborne dust elements in the factory that resettle into the food or beverage are enough to cause damage to one with Celiac.

There is a really great discussion about beer and Celiac Disease that is hard for me to explain, but read it at BellaOnline, Ask the Beer Fox: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art34379.asp

GLUTEN FREE REDBRIDGE BEER INGREDIENTS

…and what the heck are they?

Water is H2O.

Fermented Sorghum (Sorghum and Corn Syrup) Sorghum is a popular African grain. Corn syrup is a liquid made from the starch of maize corn.

Hops is a cone-shaped tree flower bud that gives beer its the bitter tangy taste and originally came from the Bavarian area of Europe, specifically, Germany who started using it in the latter half of the first millennium.

Yeast is a fungal micro-organism, asexual and unicellular, that while fermenting turns carbs into alcohol and carbon-dioxide.

How Do I Find Redbridge Gluten Free Beer in My Area?

Go to their website:
http://www.redbridgebeer.com/
Enter in your adult age birthdate to enter the site.

On bottom left, enter your zip code and check the box for either DINE IN or DINE OUT, and it will give you a list of all your local options as to where you can find RedBridge Beer in both grocery stores and dining establishments. It is a very cool feature.

On the Redbridge website, they even have some general information about Celiac Disease (pasted below), bless their souls. Having suffered all my life and not knowing why, I can’t believe what an overwhelming response the food and beverage community is making all the sudden. It warms my achy breaky gut.

Celiac disease is an auto-immune disease, often hereditary, that causes a chronic reaction to gluten in the small intestine which interferes with the absorption of food and then triggers other seemingly unrelated health conditions. Antibodies eventually attach and destroy the small intestine. Currently, the only known cure is to follow a gluten-free diet.What is gluten?
“Gluten” is the general term for a mixture of many protein fragments (called peptide chains or polypeptides) found in common cereal grains. Wheat is the only grain considered to contain true gluten. Other sources of gluten include rye, barley and oats.
Facts about Celiac Disease
Celiac disease affects approximately one in one hundred thirty three Americans – most of whom are misdiagnosed due to atypical symptoms.Celiac disease is twice as common as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and cystic fibrosis combined.Celiac – left untreated – could lead to infertility, osteoporosis, lymphoma, depression & neurological disorders. Celiac disease is more common in individuals with type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease or anemia
Redbridge and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) will partner to increase awareness of the Celiac Disease. Please check back again later for more information about this exciting and important partnership.About the NFCA
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness mission is to raise awareness for celiac disease and funding that will advance research, education and screening, while improving the quality of life of those affected by this autoimmune disease through grant making and direct programming.
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for Celiac Disease. NFCA is proud to be affiliated with the leading researchers in the US who are working toward this goal. The Foundation actively supports collaboration and partnership among scientists and institutions to optimize research potential. In addition, it has created an expert panel and competitive grant-making process to fund cutting-edge research in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

http://www.redbridgebeer.com/

Coronary over the New Gluten Free Bisquick Pancake Mix!

March 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

Normally, I shop at healthier oriented stores, like WholeFoods, but sometimes I go to the big commercial grocers to get things like Breyers homemade style vanilla ice cream and the occasional steak, which these days seems to have no flavor at all. What do they do to those poor cows to make ‘em taste so bland?

As I was walking down the grocery store isle, I almost had a coronary when I saw a new product: Gluten Free Bisquick flour mix! Like many people, I grew up eating (and loving) Bisquick pancakes.

Having to give them up, when I found out what was wrong with me (Celiac Disease), was hard and a terribly sad farewell. No gluten free pancakes have ever since tasted as good as Bisquick’s. And here it is, Bisquick’s very own gluten free pancake mix.

It is the most fantastic development since sliced Wonder Bread in the 1920′s! Well… as far as highly processed foods are concerned. Really, no processed foods are all that great for you, but if you are going to eat pancakes, why not eat the best, Bisquick? Once Wonder Bread gets hip to the whole gluten free thing, realizing that wheat is actually not the healthy alternative to white, rice is, then we will have come full circle.

With a frightening amount of enthusiasm, I put the Gluten Free Bisquick pancake mix in my basket and completely forgot about the ice cream for which I came.

That night, I had the gluten free Bisquick pancakes for dinner. Their consistency and taste were strikingly similar to the original mix, if not better! I was stunned. Going gluten free, I haven’t had “real pancakes” in a long time.

The next night, we made Bisquick gluten free biscuits, and those were incredible too. I haven’t had biscuits in about 8 years. My favorite biscuits were at The Red Lobster restaurant, yet I always had a massive stomach ache after eating ‘em. These Bisquick gluten free biscuits are just as good as Red Lobster’s! Bisquick’s biscuits are delicious and easy to make. Can’t tell you how happy this made me. Hopefully places like Red Lobster will also realize the pain their gluten causes customers and convert to gluten free as well.

On the box are also directions how to make gluten free pizza crust, gluten free waffles, gluten free strawberry shortcake, and gluten free chicken fingers! On Bisquick’s website are many more yummy sounding recipes as well, all easy to make. I am looking forward to trying them all.

Having eaten this stuff two nights in a row, I did not get sick. I am hyper sensitive to gluten, so you can feel confident eating gluten free Bisquick. Yay! It’s a new world. Fast and easy cooking at a familiar old great taste, you must get the new Gluten Free Bisquick mix.

Like all processed and sugary foods, eat it in moderation.

Lemonaise by The Ojai Cook

August 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Products

Lemonaise is a yummy product to stoke lots of basic foods and recipes, like tuna or egg salad.

You can buy Lemonaise through Amazon or at Whole Foods. Other stores are starting to carry it as well.

Lemonaise is gluten-free and uses no preservatives. Ingredients are: canola oil, eggs, water, mustard, salt, spices, lemon, vinegar, garlic, and cayenne pepper.

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