Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pappadeaux's Update

I have removed my previous post about eating the Acadia Shrimp Platter at Pappadeaux's.  The Shrimp Montage is NOT gluten free even without the sauce.  There is apparently a small amount of Panko in the crab dressing.  This breaks my heart, but better we should all eat safely.  Do not order the Stuffed Shrimp Montage.  If you order the Acadia shrimp Platter, Pappadeaux's will let you substitue.  I had extra grilled shrimp, and it was more than I could eat.  Thank you, Chef Jason, for checking on that!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Paleo Pizza

I am trying to get more fruits and vegetables into my life, and more grains out of my life.  After reading an interesting article on the "Paleo Diet," I googled “paleo snacks.”  (The Paleo Diet includes only foods available before the Agricultural Revolution, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and seafood.)

This recipe did not sound like it was going to be too great, but I was desperate, so I tried it. It is a keeper! The crust is not a crunchy one and really needs to be eaten with a fork, but it is very tasty and can be topped with just about anything. The first time I made it I topped it with raw spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions and some mozzarella and parmesan. The next time I made it I topped it with Chucky Ragu Garden Combination Spaghetti Sauce, some sauteed mushrooms and onions, some homemade ricotta cheese and mozzarella. Both times were wonderful. To make this crust, have the oven at 450 degrees and mix in a food processor: one egg, one cup of shredded mozzarella and one cup of cooked cauliflower, either roasted, boiled or steamed --(I actually used about half a head and did not measure). You can put whatever seasoning you like in it. The first time I used garlic salt and a little Italian Seasoning. The second time, some of my cauliflower was roasted with garlic, so I didn't use any other seasonings. Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet covered in oiled aluminum foil and bake for about 15 minutes. If it doesn't look a little browned around the edges, put it back in for another three to five minutes and check it again. Top it with whatever you like and put it back in the oven till the cheese melts. Feeds two for lunch with a salad on the side. Do not go “yuck” until you have actually tried it! It's really good, honest!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Gluten Free in Chicago

There was a trade show in Chicago, so Steve and I decided to go a few days early and go to some of the museums on the weekend. That gave us three nights out in the city. The first night we went to Lawry's. We had no reservation, because we were looking for the Chicago Chop House. Couldn't find it; maybe we were on the wrong end of the street, I don't know. Lawry's was packed but said they could fit us in if we were willing to sit side by side on a banquette. It was actually a great place to sit because we could see the whole dining room and watch the carvers working from the big rolling carts with the prime rib in them. I'm sorry that I couldn't have some of the beautiful Yorkshire pudding, but it was a very nice traditional dinner – salad, mashed potatoes and prime rib. We each had a small lobster tail on the side. A good dinner.
The next two nights we went to Wildfire, where the Celiac Center of the University of Chicago has had some of their events. They have a healthy sized gluten free menu and I wanted to try everything. The Sea Scallop Skewers was a great appetizer. I had that the first night. (The second night I ordered the Oven Roasted Mussels, also really good.) I really wanted the au gratin potatoes too, so I ordered those as my side with Cedar Planked Salmon. Potatoes were excellent; salmon, okay, but not memorable. My entree the second night was the Pizza. It was fun, but does not come close to that ideal pizza that we all carry around in our heads from pre-gf days. The true winner at Wildfire though was the Flourless Chocolate Cake. I should have ordered that both nights-- “Regrets, I've had a few...”


Friday, March 18, 2011

Gluten Free Houston

A month or so ago, Mom and I were in Houston and I got the chance to pop into Gluten Free Houston, a gluten free bakery on Wirt Road (near Ikea).

Their store hours are a little erratic, but we were there on a Saturday morning, which is the perfect time to visit, since they are open from 8am to 2pm on Saturdays. 

It was surprisingly crowded, which is fantastic.  I love to see crowds at GF places, as we want them to stay in business.  They had a large number of free samples out on the table -- muffins, breads, cookies, and even blueberry pie!
All were delicious. 

We bought a loaf of cinnamon bread, fresh out of the oven, to eat for breakfast, as well as some pre-made portions of spaghetti with meat sauce for our lunch.  We also bought some chocolate chip cookies, which the kids enjoyed a great deal.  Mark really liked the blueberry pie, so he bought one of those.  (Much better served hot, by the way.)

It was all very good and I was so happy to see that their business appears to be doing well.  They are a little hard to find, but totally worth it.  Go check them out if you are in Houston.


Riverwalk Adventure

When we went to the wedding that Sandy blogged about we stayed on the Riverwalk. For dinner the night we arrived we went to Fogo de Chao where almost nothing is glutened, but lunch the next day was a bit tougher. We ate on the Riverwalk at Rio Rio -- and we ate at high noon -- on a Saturday -- during Spring Break. Those are not good omens for the gluen free, and they were not good for us. "We don't serve your kind" was what they told us; but ultimately they agreed to make some fresh corn tortillas and serve some frijoles refritos. That was my daughter's order, but she shared. For insurance, I also ordered some steamed vegetables (which turned out to be underdone for my taste -- my daughter and I ate okay -- we did not get sick. It was frustrating; it was scary -- but with a bit of perseverance, we made it!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gluten Free at a Wedding

Here is a link to an interesting article about the problem of attending a wedding when you are gluten intolerant.

I just returned from the wedding of one of my oldest and dearest friends.  Food was definitely a concern for me and Mom, as the wedding was in a small town, without so much as a McDonalds nearby.  I talked to my friend before hand, and he was willing to talk to the caterer for us.  (God bless you, Jonathan!)  We were exceptionally lucky.  They were serving barbeque, which is frequently gluten free, and the caterer confirmed that there were no gluten ingredients in any of the meats, sauce, or side dishes.  Yippee!  It was simply a matter of skipping the rolls and the cake -- easy as (gluten-free) pie. 

Just for review, here are the items I asked Jonathan to specifically ask about:
wheat, flour, thickeners, roux, chicken broth, beer, and soy sauce.  Those are the key words I always use, since not everyone understands "gluten" or even "wheat."