Gluten Free PB S’mores August 29, 2011Posted 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
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, 2011Posted 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.
- Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies using Betty Crocker Mix and a splash of Mexican Vanilla
- I made an ice cream sandwich using Trader Joes Soy Vanilla Ice Cream between two warm cookies. mmmmm
- Gluten/lactose free carrot cupcakes with tofutti cream cheese frosting
GF Carrot Cake Mix (you will need fresh shredded carrots too)
A Gluten Free, Lactose Free Mexico Survival Guide August 4, 2011Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Living It , 1 comment so far
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
- Food is made fresh. This is not a culture of processed foods.
- Tropical fruit is commonplace. Papaya, mango and coconuts are readily available and served in salads, smoothies and side dishes.
- Corn tortillas are easy to come by.
- Many chile sauces, not all, do not contain wheat flour.
- Guacamole…need I say more.
- If all else fails you can live off of chips n’ salsa, and tequila.
- You can legally smuggle your own healthy snacks through customs as long as they are in the unopened, sealed manufacturing packaging. Suggest bringing nuts, bars and any other snacks you live on when there’s nothing else you can eat in site.
What Challenges To Expect
- Language barrier ordering in restaurants.
- Food allergies/intolerance is not the norm, for example you will not find many if any restaurants carrying gluten free menus or allergens lists. And, there is a general lack of understanding as to why you would order food this way.
- Special orders do not go off very well. There’s a certain way the food is made and any modification is ignored or not executed very well. See my pic of my chicken marsala in example.
- Food labels are hard to read. 1. because most are in Spanish, 2. inconsistency in allergens labeling.
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 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:
Mexican brand labels are challenging to read, and do not consistently provide ingredients or allergen lists:
American brands carry allergy info on labels in Spanish, “gluten” which translates to English and Spanish is clearly marked here:
What I Ate
- Raw almonds
- Soy cappuccino
- Chips n salsa, guacamole
- Ceviche (sea bass, lime, tomato, onion, small amount chile sauce) and corn tortilla chips
- Luna bar
- Cosmo, mango vodka, syrah
- 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?!)
- 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
- 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)
- 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
- Home made chorizo with eggs, fruit, retried black beans, salsa fresca, corn tortillas
- Coffee non dairy creamer sugar
- 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)
- Scrambled eggs, chorizo, fruit, black beans, corn tortillas, coffee, melon juice
- 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
- 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.
- 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)