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Dining Out Gluten Free: Enoteca Style August 27, 2010

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Dining Out , add a comment

Enoteca Style, San Diego’s Little Italy
Italian inspired wine bar
Gluten free menu: no
Gluten friendly staff: yes

I’m hesitant to share my secret spot in Little Italy because once you find a cozy corner and taste the amazing salads you’ll be hooked too. With a small menu consisting of paninis, salads, cheese plates and dessert this is my favorite haunt for a light dinner. Or shall I say something to go with wine for dinner. And, they always have great wine recommendations.

Why I really keep coming back? The flourless chocolate lava cake. It’s gluten free and combines a hot and cold combo of warm cake and ice cream. It’s addicting. Enoteca Style is the one only place in Little Italy offering a substantial gluten free dessert. Mmm mmm mmmmmm

view the menu

Dining Out Gluten Free: Saffron in Mission Hills is Amazing August 20, 2010

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Dining Out , 1 comment so far

Saffron Restaurant, San Diego
Gluten Friendly Staff: yes
Gluten Free Menu: no need, it is naturally

Awesome Points: 100

I discovered this piece of heaven while exploring new restaurants in an area of San Diego on the edge of downtown called Mission Hills. I can’t believe I didn’t find it sooner it was life changing. Full on foodgasm.

Saffron’s menu is full of fresh ingredients primarily fruits and vegetables in exotic combinations that will not overwhelm you but bring traditional Thai to your table with elegant simplicity. Almost all of the items on the menu are gluten free and dairy free. The only thing to watch out for is soy sauce but if you ask nicely they have a GF bottle hiding behind the counter for you.

The restaurant was concepted by Su-Mei Yu who is a famous author most notably publishing a cookbook called The Elements of Life which arned a Julia Child award and TV spots including Martha Stewart. I figured if this woman can teach Martha to cook Thai food she can teach me. So, I immediately ordered the book and put it on my menu for my upcoming dinner party. (Amazon one-click shopping any time anywhere is dangerous and good, you can also purchase it at the restaurant) To my delight this is not just a cook book, it shares a balanced lifestyle that is expressed through weather, beauty, nutrition categorized by earth, wind, water, and fire. Guess what my dinner party menu theme is? You got it.

>>Visit Saffron Restaurant

>>Get the Book

>>My Yelp Review

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gluten free thai

gluten free julia childs

Dining Out Gluten Free: Pacifica Del Mar August 13, 2010

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Pacifica, Del Mar CA
Seafood, American Coastal yum
Gluten Friendly Staff: yes
Gluten Free Menu: no

Fine dining in a casual atmosphere with ocean views. Reserve your table at sunset and see what San Diego is all about. And, by the way they are listed in OpenTable.

The servers are informative about the menu ingredients with a friendly attitude toward special requests. The menu is easily modified to accomodate gluten or dairy free needs. (I think there’s a real live chef back there in the kitchen) Here are items I’d suggest:

-Sugar crusted salmon without the wonton wrap – it’s tender, sweet and heavenly

– Ginger martini – not too sweet and goes great with the salmon

– Butter lettuce salad with herb dressing – smooth and buttery to balance the sweetness

– Shrimp cocktail – they are ginormous and yummy

Avoid the soup. Check their website for early dinner specials (about $21 before 6pm) and half price wine bottle happy hour during the week. Stop to enjoy the beautiful salt water aquarium on your way to you table.

>>visit the site: http://www.pacificadelmar.com/

These Red Velvet Cupcakes are gluten free torture August 12, 2010

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At Burger Lounge so hard to resist.

The Simple and Free Detox Elimination Diet August 9, 2010

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Living It , 1 comment so far

Once per year I detox just to keep my body clean. The detox diet I use is simple, does not cost money nor involve fancy pills or elixirs. I just don’t believe in that stuff it’s snake juice. I follow the basic list of foods to avoid and include in my diet which I found on about.com. When I began exploring food allergies with my doctor the first thing she recommended was the elimination diet which involves a detox diet to rid your system of all allergens, followed by methodically adding suspect foods to your diet to isolate the cause of your digestion woes. The diet she prescribed was the same as the one I had been using all along for detox. It basically involves no animal products, processed foods. The elimination diet layers in also removing foods that are common allergens (soy, dairy, peanuts, wheat). I am sharing my diet here with you, but with a request to please consult your physician before starting any diet to make sure it is safe for you.

Stage 1 Detoxing (7-11 days)

For 7-11 days follow this list of foods to avoid and include in your diet.


The basics for your pantry: rice, beans, olive oil, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, lemon

It does not provide recipes so here are my tips on menu planning:

Stage 2 Elimination Testing (6+ days)

After detoxing for 11days then add the allergin foods into your diet. Start with your least suspect foods and test them over 48 hour periods one at a time. Eat the allergen food 1 day, then give your body 1 day to process it (don’t eat the allergen food the 2nd day just watch and wait to see how you feel). Here is an 6 day example plan.

Testing Wheat

Day 1

-wheat: toast w/dairy free margarine and honey in the morning

-wheat pasta with olive oil dinner

Day 2 do not eat wheat, stick to the detox food list

Testing Soy

Day 3

-test soy milk morning

-tofu dinner

Day 4 do not eat soy (or wheat), stick to the detox food list

Testing Dairy

Day 5

-milk in the ingredient

-cheese dinner

Day 6 do not eat dairy, stick to the detox food list

You can do it! Let me know how it goes and if you have other tips or detox recipes to share.

Is it or isn’t it gluten free? Vodka August 1, 2010

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Is It or Isn't It? , add a comment

pretty cocktails gluten freeAs I sipped my Ketel soda last evening I wondered is this gluten free? I’ve brushed over information on alcoholic beverages but have yet to determine what is and isn’t beyond beer which I’ve avoided for over a year. I don’t miss the calories much. I do miss it on a hot day and have easily replaced it with a crisp white wine, gin and tonic or mimosa. I found that many vodka including Ketel One is made from 100% wheat. However studies have found the distilling process removes gluten from the final product. I did not get sick from my Kettle soda because and can come to one of two conclusions; I’m not sensisitive to the point of irritation or it’s true. Not expecting to rely on myself to be the white lab rat to scientifically prove it either way, I’d really love it if you’d weigh  on this one. Here’s the argument for either side which addresses the larger question of distilled beverages includes vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and whiskey. And I know we will all agree this is a VERY important debate, life changing. laughing…here you go.

It Is

Sourced from a well referenced article on celiac-disease.com

All vodkas are gluten-free unless gluten containing flavors have been added to them. Vodkas made from corn, soy, potatoes and even wheat are gluten-free.  According to every celiac specialist in the world and Shelley Case, the foremost authority on the gluten-free diet in North America, the gluten protein is not present in grain alcohols once they have been distilled, period.

>>Read More on Vodka is Gluten Free

It Isn’t

The debate from the deep, dark, depths of the gluten free forums, it’s a scary place I know don’t worry I won’t let anything happen to you. Then to useful info from About.com. Go in to take a look and come back to join our discussion here.

I am one of the ones who reacts strongly to any grain alcohol, (I black out after 1 drink and get very sick from grain alcohol). I drink Luksusowa Polish Potato Vodka and have NO problems. I can have 2 or 3 in an evening with no ill effects at all, not even a mild hangover. There are other potato vodkas around but this brand is the least costly.

>>Read more at celiac.com

You are quite right, and as many most likely know I am one of the people who do react.
I would suggest having one or two drinks three or four days in a row when not consuming anything else that is risky, and watching for a reaction. For those of us who do react to gluten grains they often have an overintoxicating effect and can give some really douzy of a hangover with very little injested so do take it easy though till you know.

>>More at celiacdisease.com

The European Food Safety Authority considers distilled alcohol “unlikely to cause a severe reaction” in those with grain allergies and the Canadian Celiac Association allows distilled alcoholic beverages for celiacs even if they’re made with wheat, rye, or barley, since the distillation process should remove the reaction-causing proteins. However, the Celiac Sprue Foundation recommends no hard liquor from grains containing gluten, at least during the early phases of a gluten-free diet.

>>Read more at about.com

A Bright Spot

Here’s my favorite find, a website completely dedicated to gluten free alcohol providing recipe substitutions to our favorite cocktails. The Web never disappoints.  >>Visit glutenfreedrinks.com

Final Thoughts

When considering whether or not something is gluten free it’s easy to draw the line at it containing a wheat ingredient, period. Trace amounts can irritate some people depending on their sensitivity. The only way to be 100% safe is to 100% abstain. The complexity of the distillation process mixed with claims to sensitivity throws me for a loop. I want to say based on scientific fact that the process does remove gluten. Yet scientific fact has a history of changing its facts. Remember when milk was good for you? Oh right it still is.