Tag Archives: Tips

Simply Recipes

I love the recipes at simplyrecipes.com!!!  They are simple to make, but not simple in taste.  They have their recipes broken down into standard categories such as “main dish” and “chicken”, but they also make it easy to search “budget recipes”, “quick recipes”, and my favorite…”GLUTEN-FREE”!!!  They have great variety to their style and ingredients too, and have become my top site for new recipes to try.  They also have a Mexican section with my favorite authentic dishes, such as “Enchiladas Verdes”.  I will probably work my way through every Mexican dish on the site!  They’re that good!

As a bonus, this blog has been nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 Weblog Awards.  I voted for her.  🙂

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Filed under Product Reviews

Burger King’s New Gluten-Free Safe List

Burger King has just come out with a list of gluten-free choices.  I really appreciate all the companies that make the effort to do this.  It makes it so much easier to navigate eating safely.  Unfortunately, we still have to be vigilant about how they prepare their foods.  Cross contamination is always an issue, and how they handle the food as they prepare it is critical too.

I recently investigated a Burger King before their list came out and was so excited to find that their french fries were gluten-free AND fried in a dedicated fryer.  I almost hugged the manager.  However, if not for her diligence in listening to how careful we needed to be, we would have been sent down the glutenation tunnel.  Yes, the fries are cooked in a dedicated fryer, BUT, when they come out, they are dumped in the warming bin next to the onion rings and scooped into the bags using the same tongs as the onion rings.  The manager assured me that she would get new tongs and scoop them right from the fryer to our bags, so we were safe.  But, only because she told me how their process worked.

It concerns me that Burger King lists these “gluten-free” foods as safe, when it is likely that there will be these kinds of issues.  The lesson for me is to read the lists, but continue to ask questions about food handling.  I think the lists are a step in an easier direction, and one that I really appreciate.  But, the burden remains on the consumer to check it out themselves to ensure safe eating.

Here’s the link to Burger King’s list.

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Filed under Eating Out

Traveling Gluten-Free

Traveling takes a little more forethought and planning when you’re eating gluten-free.  You can’t just stop at any old restaurant along the way or even assume that there will a place to eat in the airport.  There are many places that will work, but just in case, I always keep a good stash of food with us.  In fact, having safe food at hand is so important that I pack food before clothes, because we all know that it’s never good to see Mommy the kids in a full-blown hunger melt down.

It’s helpful to carry along food that can pack and keep well.  For car rides, I pack lots of apples, Nature Valley Almond Crunch bars, several types of trail mix, cheddar rice cakes with Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese Spread (and plastic knives), chocolate rice cakes with a jar of peanut butter, and Honey Rice Chex.

For plane trips, I bring an entire food carry-on with Almond Crunch bars, apples, rice cakes, a package of Hormel Naturals deli meat packed inside a large Ziploc bag with an ice pack in it, and trail mix.  Be careful of anything “liquid”.  This includes peanut butter in a jar, and I know from experience that airport security has no sympathy for under-privileged gluten-free eaters.  They’ll take that peanut butter right out of your bag, no matter how much you beg.  Usually you can find fruit and Lay’s chips in an airport if you need it too.  And, most hamburger places can accomodate you if needed.

I plan enough food to last us the trip, then if we do find a restaurant where we can eat, it’s a bonus.  If not, we’re still set.

If we’re in the car, I’ll even pack food for our stay.  We traveled 5 hours away a few weeks ago to visit friends for 2 days, and I had more food sacks than suitcases.

If we’re flying somewhere, I visit the grocery store once we get there to stock up.  You can buy a cooler there, fill it up, and eat most meals that way.  We’ve even brought an electric skillet and a crock pot with us to cook in hotel rooms, and most rooms have microwaves now.  That means you could eat cereal, microwave eggs, or gluten-free oatmeal for breakfast.  Lunch could be microwave quesadillas or rice cakes with meat and cheese, chips and fruit.  And dinner could be your restaurant meals.  Dinner could also be canned chili with Fritos, quesadillas, Taco Salad with canned beans, or Baked Potatoes.

Even though it seems daunting, planning is the key.  You just have to get used to putting food into your agenda.  And, you have to prepare yourself to be a traveling grocery store, which means you may need an extra suitcase just for food.  In the end though, it’s cheaper than eating out, usually healthier anyway, and much more peaceful knowing you’re prepared.

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Filed under Travel

Snacks

DSC_0840Nuts and seeds are such healthy snacks.  They are full of nutrition and they fill you up.  I stock up on trail mixes, plain nuts, banana chips, corn nuts, raisins, popcorn kernels, yogurt covered raisins, dried peas, and dried fruit from our local Sprouts’ bulk section.  I keep some in containers and some in baggies, so we can just grab them on the go.  It’s much cheaper to buy things this way than to try to find special gluten-free bars, and they taste better too.

Our favorite snack ideas:  popcorn, fruit, peanut butter on a banana, apples dipped in peanut butter, rice cake with cottage cheese on top, chocolate rice cake with strawberry cream cheese and strawberries, smoothies, cheese sticks, yogurt and fruit, popsicles made with yogurt, deli meat rolled up around red pepper slices, veggies dipped in hummus or salsa, baby carrots dipped in bean dip, Chex Mix, or an Almond Bar from Nature Valley.

I’d love to hear your ideas too!

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Filed under Snacks