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Gluten Free PB S’mores August 29, 2011

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Dishing It , add a comment

I was ecstatic to find a box of gluten free (dairy free) graham crackers on the store shelf. Not only because I haven’t had it in years, but I had a craving for s’mores after visiting the Hershey S’mores room at BlogHer. This magical room had every possible way to cook s’mores available from a BBQ, to a firepit to little burners that would never get you out of your Laz E Boy. I was a good girl and skipped out on having any but it was a treat to watch everyone else enjoy it. S’mores seem to bring about the communal nature in us. Shared cooking, lounging and conversation.

These pics of the Hershey’s S’mores room from Danelle on Home Ever After sum up the experience.

I enjoy s’mores but don’t always have access or energy to deal with a campfire so I have an alternative delicious snack I came up with. It takes 1 minute to make, it’s office friendly, kid friendly and filling. Did you know dark chocolate has health benefits? In moderation of course. This is a creative way to get your healthy 1 piece of dark chocolate in per day.


PB Smores Recipe  

gluten free peanut butter s'mores

Peanut Butter Smores

Considerations: gluten free, dairy free, 50% organic


Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa dark chocolate (contains cocoa butter and NO dairy)

S’moreables Graham Style Crackers by Kinnikinnick

Organic Creamy Peanut Butter from Trader Joe’s


How-to: Take a square of graham cracker, spread on 1 TBS of peanut butter, and top with a square of Lindt chocolate. Done. Yum.



If you do decide to fire up some traditional s’mores you’re in luck, marshmallows are generally gluten and dairy free. A go-to brand is Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows. 



It’s Dessert Time – Go For It August 10, 2011

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Dishing It , add a comment

Food restrictions like gluten, lactose and soy result in skipping dessert A LOT. Having the double wammy of being both lactose and gluten intolerant, I rarely get dessert in a restaurant or at an event. Nor can I walk into a bakery like Extraordinary Desserts and grab a cupcake off the shelf. It sucks! So when I do dessert I do it big. No counting calories. No guilt. Just go for it!

Last Saturday I pulled out my gluten/lactose free inventory out of the cupboard and begged my daughter to bake for me. She loves me after all and this is what we snacked on all afternoon.


ice cream sandwich gluten free

Gluten and Lactose Free Ice Cream Sandwich

gluten free chocolate chip cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

gluten free carrot cupcake with dairy free frosting

Gluten Free Carrot Cupcake w Lactose Free Cream Cheese Frosting



GF Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Tofutti Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

GF Carrot Cake Mix (you will need fresh shredded carrots too)

Izalia Bakes



A Gluten Free, Lactose Free Mexico Survival Guide August 4, 2011

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Living It , 2comments


I took a vacation to Loreto Mexico recently. As you can see from this snapshot from my hotel balcony it was beautiful! I tried sticking to my gluten free and lactose free diet throughout the entire trip. I was somewhat successful and learned a lot. Here are the basic things you’ll need to survive your diet restrictions in Mexico.

What You’ll Love

What Challenges To Expect

Must-Know Spanish Translations

gluten = el gluten

wheat = trigo

lactose = la lactosa

milk = la leche

cheese = queso

cream = crema

allergy = alergia

salsa = sauce, not the type of salsa we refer to in the states. If you order a meal with salsa you will likely get a chile gravy containing stuff you can’t have like cream, wheat flour of even wheat germ oil  (aceite de germen de trigo). For fresh salsa to go with your chips ask for “salsa fresca”.

Look for these items on the back of labels and when ordering a meal in a restaurant specify:

Tengo una alergia al gluten. <insert food order> sin <insert item such as el gluten, y trigo>

Reading Labels

Reading labels can be challenging, especially when they are in Spanish. Using your key terms above you can hopefully select items off the shelf that do not typically contain unwanted ingredients. However, do not neglect to read labels on familiar products. Ingredients are often modified for other countries and as always, you just can never be sure until you check the label. I was so happy to find something I could snack on from the single little market in our hotel. Halfway through my honey Rice Chex mix I discovered it contained milk. Not a fun night. Here’s how to find gluten or lactose on labels in Spanish.

You’ll find many American products on the shelf written in English:

Honey Chex Mix

Mexican brand labels are challenging to read, and do not consistently provide ingredients or allergen lists:

Food labels in spanish

American brands carry allergy info on labels in Spanish, “gluten” which translates to English and Spanish is clearly marked here:

how to find gluten on spanish labels


What I Ate

Day 1

  • Raw almonds
  • Soy cappuccino
  • Banana
  • Chips n salsa, guacamole
  • Ceviche (sea bass, lime, tomato, onion, small amount chile sauce) and corn tortilla chips
  • Luna bar
  • Cosmo, mango vodka, syrah
gluten free ceviche


Day 2

  • Chicken mole enchiladas no cheese, refried beans. Ingredients of sauce unknown. Fresh grapefruit juice.
  • Amaranth and honey bar
  • Fruit plate and a Piña colada
  • A tiny little taste of fresh wood fired pizza crust (Look at that chef, flown in from Mexico City. How could I resist?!)
gluten free fruit

Tropical Fruit

loreto mexico pina colada

El Heaven

Dinner Buffet:
  • Rice, steamed vegetables, sea bass, sweet potatoes
  • A taste of lobster with butter (just a taste, I can’t resist lobster)
  • Mai thai, whiskey, a sip of wine
  • Luna bar
Sweet potatoes gluten free

Buffet Night Sweep Pototatoes

Day 3

  • Amaranth honey bar (I discovered these in a grain and spice store, they are made in Mexico City and saved me on the trip. Delish.)
  • Sip coffee no cream, iced tea
  • Taste beef empenada


  • Salad, guacamole, taste tuna sandwich, tiny taste goat cheese, tortilla chips, iced tea, rum pineapple, rum punch
  • Potato chips, honey Chex Mix (milk, ate one wheat chip)
Salsa loreto mexico gluten free

Chile Salsa

  • Chips n salsa
  • Pineapple, shrimp salad fruit dressing. See pic it was a beautiful dish.
  • Chicken and mushrooms grilled, tomato sauce. Red sauce ( they use wheat germ oil in it, this “Italian sauce” doubles as their red chile sauce I later discovered)–this was the biggest fail of the trip. The modified dish I received had no sauce, a dried up piece of chicken and crispy mushrooms. See pic.
  • Green tea
gluten free shrimp salad

Shrimp Mango Salad Served In A Coconut

Botched chicken marsala

Chicken Marsala Fail

Day 4
  • Home made chorizo with eggs, fruit, retried black beans, salsa fresca, corn tortillas
  • Coffee non dairy creamer sugar
chorizo and eggs gluten free

Chorizo and Eggs for champions


  • Shrimp ceviche, guacamole n chips
  • Tom Collins gin, soda lemon


  • Salad oil vinegar
  • Almost ate a tri-tip (I reached my limit with the hassles of ordering at the restaurant and left without eating dinner that night. I know, not the most mature move but I’d had enough)
Day 5
  • Scrambled eggs, chorizo, fruit, black beans, corn tortillas, coffee, melon juice
Lunch and dinner town of Loreto food tour
  • Coke, fanta lime soda, piña colada
  • Grilled Fish taco on a corn tortilla with lime and salsa, lobster grilled with lime, a taste of crab broth soup, shrimp cocktail in tomato sauce with tomato and onion, a lot of chips n salsa (chipotle, green chile, fresca, picked onions and green pepper)
  • A bite of amaranth bar
Shrimp cocktail gluten free

Shrimp Cocktail

Lobster gluten free

Lobster out of the Sea of Cortez

Day 5
  • Divorced eggs: two fried eggs with green chile sauce and red sauce (trigo oil), two bites of hashbrown potatoes (butter), one flour tortilla, black refried beans (wiped the queso off), coffee  –I didn’t order this way on purpose, they messed up my order again and it was room service so I had to live with it.
Lunch in LAX
  • There weren’t many  choices so I cheated and ate a grilled chicken sandwich and fries (both full of gluten) at McDonald’s (I paid for it for days)
Amaranth and honey bar gluten fee

Amaranth and Honey Bars were a life saver