Happy Halloween from My Gluten Free Miami

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

I know what you are thinking:

“Who made that amazing pumpkin?”

It was my amazing husband. He is so awesome and so supportive. Remember when he wrote Confessions From the Husband of a Celiac? He is just so great. Having celiac disease is not always easy, but when you have a great support system it definitely helps!

Halloween is now just a few days away, and I know what you are thinking, “Can I eat the candy?” Halloween is about more than little kids dressing up in cute costumes (my daughter is going to be a captain from StarTrek, if you don’t already follow me on Instagram you should, there will be pictures! @myglutenfreemiami) it is about seeing how much candy you can eat without getting sick.

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8 Gluten-Free Beers to Celebrate Oktoberfest

8 Gluten-free Beers to Celebrate Oktoberfest

I got a text from my brother the other day. He was sitting at a bar in Wisconsin (land of micro-breweries) when he heard someone ask if they had any gluten-free beers. He immediately thought of me and asked why I hadn’t done a post on gluten-free beer for Oktoberfest. It was a great idea. I immediately called up my dad, the beer connoisseur of the family and invited him over for a gluten-free beer taste test. After a few more phone calls and trip to Total Wine and More we were set for a gluten-free beer tasting. All beer prices are what was paid at Total Wine and More and may vary from store to store. These are all honest opinions and I was in no way compensated for any reviews.

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4 Easy Tips for Dining Out Gluten-Free

4 Easy Tips for Dining Out Gluten-Free

Ever since my daughter was born, going out to eat has been a rarity. If we do go out, we are usually grabbing something while I’m in a rush to get to somewhere else. It happens so frequently that I even wrote a post about 7 places you can eat when you are in a rush. Even though it doesn’t happen often, the rare occasion does exist when my husband and I get a babysitter and get to go out for some alone time. One of the few pluses to having Celiac Disease is that I always get to choose the restaurant.

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7 Places to Eat Gluten-Free in a Hurry

 Check out 7 gluten free friendly fast food places, links to allergy menus are included!Gluten Free Friendly Fast Food Restaurants with Allergen Menus

Upon going gluten-free, eating out can become a nightmare. It can be like playing Russian Roulette. Unless the place is 100% gluten-free, you are never going to be 100% sure that what you are eating does not have traces of gluten. No matter how hard you try to plan ahead, and bring your own lunch, it is going to happen. One day, you are going to be out running errands, and all of a sudden it is lunch time. You need to pick up something, but you really don’t have time to sit down. I’m going to be honest with you. There really are not a whole lot of choices. No one has come up with a gluten-free fast food restaurant….yet. Don’t dismay, there may not be a lot of choices, but I have found a few where you can pick up a gluten free friendly fast food meal without it taking a lot of time.

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8 Really Simple Steps for Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping

8 Really Simple Steps for Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping

Many people have a love/hate relationship with grocery shopping. They love having food in the house, yet the whole process of going to the grocery store can be daunting. Couple that with restrictions on what you can and cannot eat, most would rather visit the dentist for a root canal.

Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping doesn’t have to be hard.

Normally, I am a person who LOVES grocery shopping. Yes, it is weird, but I do. When we visit new cities, one of my favorite things to do is check out the market. It is amazing the differences in food based on the area you are in. But I remember those first few times I went grocery shopping after going gluten-free. I was confused. I felt lost. I cried (I seem to do that quite a bit). No one was there to hold my hand, and honestly the information I had received from the nutritionist at my GI Doctors office didn’t really help much. After the tears subsided, I proceeded to buy anything that said gluten-free. I had not clue what I was buying and spent a fortune in the process. Since those days the process of buying groceries has become much simpler, no longer are there tears, but normal, fun (at least for me) shopping trips. As I think through what has made the experience easier, I have come up with 8 tips to help anyone who is going gluten-free.

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Confessions From the Husband of A Celiac

Confessions from the Husband of a Celiac

My wife and I are big on food. How big you may ask? Well, for our honeymoon we decided to go to New Orleans. We planned our trip based on the places we were going to eat. If you haven’t gone to New Orleans, stop reading now and just go book your trip, and make your restaurant reservations, I will wait…

Here are some links to help.

Gluten-Free New Orleans
New Orleans Gluten-Free Friendly Options

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In Love With Sweet Love, Allergy-Free Bakery

 I absolutely love finding new gluten-free bakeries.

Sweet Love Bakery, located in Hollywood, Florida off Stirling (near the Hard Rock) is fantastic. Not only are they gluten-free, but they are free of many common allergies as well. 100% gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and peanut-free, with many of their products being vegan and grain-free. I know what you must be thinking,

How can it possibly be good if it is free of so many things? Where’s all the good stuff?

Well, let me tell you, their baked goods may be free of a lot of things, but the flavor is not missing.

My husband stumbled upon Sweet Love Bakery while looking for a gluten-free bakery so he could surprise me with birthday cupcakes. While he didn’t make it there the day of my actual birthday, he took me the next to pick up cupcakes to take to our families house for a birthday lunch. When I walked in, the first thing I noticed was the adorable, decorated cupcakes. It is obvious that Sweet Love takes time to make their products look fantastic!

Untitled design

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Huancaina Sauce, A Peruvian Classic, Now Gluten-Free

Papas a la Huancaina

I remember the moment very clearly. Standing in the kitchen with my husband, contemplating what this new gluten-free lifestyle would mean, when he looked at me and said,

This means you can’t have Huancaina Sauce anymore.

I broke into tears. Not pretty, one tear running down your cheek kind off tears. Ugly, heaving, my life is ending tears. Of course, I knew my life was not ending, but learning that I cannot eat the foods I love made it feel as though.

After meeting my husband I developed a love for Peruvian food.

I love it all, but one of my favorites is Papas a la Huancaina, Potatoes in Huancaina Sauce. It is a spicy, creamy, cheesy deliciousness. Rather than wallow in my tears, we set out to develop a gluten-free version that would allow me to continue to enjoy this Peruvian classic. What we came up with is just as good as the real thing, so good in fact, that rather than making two versions of sauce for family gatherings, our family now only makes the gluten-free version. No one can even tell the difference!

The recipe is fairly simple.

The major difference is the type of crackers that are used to thicken the sauce. Below the each ingredient there are some notes, just in case you are not familiar. All of these ingredients are readily available in the South Florida area, but if you are creating this masterpiece and cannot find an ingredient, they are available on Amazon as well. Just click on the link!

Here we go:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 block (3 and 1/2- 4 ounces) Queso Blanco

We like Vendito brand, but any one will work, just be sure it is not “para freir” or “for frying”.

  • 1/3 cup ground Saltine Style Crackers

We use Schar brand, they have amazing, consistent results. One sleeve is the amount you will need. In South Florida you can find them at Whole Foods or Milam’s Market. When all else fails, Amazon is your friend! We make this so often we order them by the case. If you are not gluten-free you can use regular saltine crackers. I would recommend the ones without the salt on top.

  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Onion
  • 1-3 Teaspoons Aji Amarillo Paste

Aji Amarillo Paste can vary greatly in concentration. Start with a small amount, you can always add more to increase the spice level. Currently I am using a jar of Inca Food’s Aji Amarillo Paste and 3 teaspoons was just the right amount for a little bit of heat without it being overwhelming. If I was making this just for my husband I would probably add more. I have used other brands that use a smaller amount for the same amount of heat and our family sometimes makes it as well.

  • 1 Teaspoon Chopped Garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Add the salt last, some cheeses may vary in the amount of saltiness. I always add it, but if you are using a different brand of cheese, you may not need it.

  • 1 Cup Milk

I would not recommend using skim milk in this recipe. Your sauce will be runny. Whole milk would be best, but at least use 2%.

 

Directions

  1. Grind the crackers.
  2. Break apart cheese.
  3. Place all ingredients into a blender (I use a Nutribullet)
  4. Saute the Onion, Garlic and Aji Amarillo in a small pan, just until the onion is a bit soft.
  5. Blend until smooth. This may take a few minutes, you will be tempted to add more milk, but give it a few minutes. The cheese needs time to fully incorporate into the milk.
  6. Taste and adjust your seasonings, add more salt or more Aji Amarillo Paste if needed.

Serve over cold boiled potatoes with sliced hard boiled eggs and olives (or on whatever you wish, I also love it over rice).

Enjoy!

Papas a la Huancaina, Gluten-Free
Papas a la Huancaina, Gluten-Free
Amanda Kanashiro
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    For the Huancaina Sauce
  • 1/2 package Queso Blanco (3.5-4 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup ground Scharr cracker crumbs or other saltine type gluten free cracker
  • 1 Tbs chopped onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1-3 tsp aji amarillo paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
    For Serving
  • 4 baking potatoes, boiled, peeled and sliced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • black olives

  1. Grind the crackers.
  2. Break apart cheese.
  3. Place all ingredients into a blender (I use a Nutribullet).
  4. Saute the Onion, Garlic and Aji Amarillo in a small pan, just until the onion is a bit soft.
  5. Blend until smooth. This may take a few minutes, you will be tempted to add more milk, but give it a few minutes. The cheese needs time to fully incorporate into the milk.
  6. Taste and adjust your seasonings, add more salt or more aji amarillo paste if needed.
  7. Serve over sliced, cold boiled potatoes with sliced hard boiled eggs and olives (or on whatever you wish, I also love it over rice).

Consider adding the salt last. Different cheeses have varying saltiness, so taste before adding. Aji Amarillo paste can vary in intensity. More can be added to achieve desired level of spiciness.

; Yield: 4 Servings
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This post is linked to Gluten Free Fridays! Be sure to check it out for more great gluten-free recipes from bloggers around the globe!

Gluten-free at the Dreaded Dentist

Gluten-Free

 

I’m petrified of the dentist. I haven’t been in years and if I wasn’t already scarred enough, the recent news stories about crazy dentists pulling out people’s teeth without their knowledge have not helped. Almost anything is better than the dentist, or at least so I thought.

Last week I finally sucked it up and went.

I did not want to, but I knew I had a cavity and let the responsible adult inside me make an appointment. I got a sitter and dragged myself there. After a battle to find parking I nearly gave up and left, but I’m glad I didn’t. It was the best dental experience I have ever had. Not only was my hygienist fantastic, the dentist nice and office staff helpful, but my gums were actually in good shape. It was the first time ever. In my past experience, no matter what I did, there were always problems. At first I could not figure out what was different, I was pretty sure not going to the dentist for 5 years or so doesn’t improve your teeth and gums, but then it hit me. I had gone gluten-free.

Could it be possible? Had going gluten-free really contributed to healthier gums and teeth?

I mentioned it to my hygienist and she said it was highly possible and it made sense, but she wasn’t sure. I decided to hit the trusty ole’ internet to see if their had been any studies done on Celiac and dental health. Low and behold there had been. There was even evidence of dentists being the first to see signs of Celiac disease and referring patients to Gastroenterologist. It makes sense. If your body does not absorb nutrients properly than your teeth are not getting the nutrients they need either.

According to the Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign of the National Institutes of Health the first step for many who discover they have Celiac is a trip to the Dentist. Some problems that can be seen involve tooth discoloration and poor enamel formation.

It is amazing how connected the human body is. Celiac disease can manifest itself in different… Click To Tweet

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Back to School in Gluten-Free Style Part 2: Snacks and School Parties

Back to School(1)

Lunches are easy…

When it comes to lunches, it is easy to pack a lunch and know that your child is safe from any sources of cross-contamination of gluten or other food allergy, unfortunately it is much harder within the classroom situation. Often teachers hand out snacks or candies as rewards, as well as the common instance of classroom parties. No parent wants their child to feel left out, but gluten is very common in many snacks and party foods. While most teachers are awesome and more than willing to read ingredients before giving your child a snack, there is still a risk, especially if you child has Celiac disease or an allergy to gluten or wheat.

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