Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Relaxing in Graeagle, gluten-free ~

My family's favorite get-away location has always been the quaint, charming town of Graeagle, CA nestled in the Sierra's. It is one of the very few places throughout our lives that has not changed. The market is still the same with it's original creaky wood floors, the Mill Pond is still filled with mossy water that everyone loves to swim in, and the tiny red and white-trimmed houses and shops that decorate the "downtown" are exactly the same as they were 37 years ago when my parents and grandparents jointly purchased a little green house that we called our summer home for many years.

This past holiday weekend was spent in Graeagle, hiking and lounging, golfing at dusk and BBQing on the most scenic patio deck in all of Plumas county - good times. I also learned this weekend was that there's yet another safe place for a Celiac to dine for either lunch or dinner, at the Coyote Bar and Grill. They serve a mean margarita and corn chips with fresh salsa and guacamole that's all safe and gluten-free...but watch out for the Cowboy Caviar - that's NOT on our menu. They also serve fresh fish and a variety of menu items that can be easily modified for someone avoiding all-things-gluten.

Last weekend after a round of golf, we also ate at the famous Iron Door in Johnsville, CA just a ten minute drive from Graeagle. I've eaten there on many different occasions throughout my whole life, but obviously after my Celiac diagnosis and a change of restaurant ownership, I always feel compelled triple-check what I can and cannot eat. In this instance, I was able to dine on the shrimp scampi with an amazing white wine, butter sauce and mushrooms - they use CORN starch in almost every dish, including the soups!

So if you are in search of a wonderful weekend get-away and a couple of safe dining locations, you are in luck. Your eyes will be able to feast upon gorgeous landscape while your stomach will be sated and safe.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Kale, the super food ~

So my darling, tiny Pilates teacher, Jackie, has been singing the praises of Kale for months now during our twice-per-week classes. I have to admit, before Jackie's raving, I had never eaten Kale nor paid much attention to it as I perused the produce aisle at the grocery store. But after listening to her excitement about this super-food and all of it's nutritional value, health benefits, and how it's so simple to prepare, I decided that it was time to expand my world of vegetables and give Kale a try...but of course, I had to put my own gluten-free spin on the recipe.

I highly recommend buying a big, leafy bunch of Kale this weekend and giving it a try - it's delicious and there are so many ways you can "taste it up" and so many options for combining it with a yummy protein (grilled shrimp for example) and starch (Basmati rice) for a complete meal, or just a snack.

(I buy this garlic salt at the San Francisco Ferry Building farmer's market -it's the best!)

(This is a tasty GF soy sauce, but very salty -doesn't take much)

To create what you see above, use the following recipe:

- 1 Bunch of fresh Kale (organic if you like)

- 1/2 Fresh lemon

- 1 Leek

- 2 Tbsp. of organic Olive Oil

- 2 Tbsp. of sesame seeds

- 2 Tbsp. of gluten-free soy sauce (organic Tamari gluten-free)

- 1 Tsp. of fresh garlic salt (Allstar Organics)

Slice 1/4 of the white end of the leek into thin spirals and saute in large pan with olive oil until they turn a yellow-golden color. After washing the Kale, slice each leaf off the stem (run the knife down either side of the stem) - essential to the flavor of the Kale. If you leave the stem on, its bitterness will ruin the dish - trust me! Then slice up the Kale into large pieces and toss into the saute pan with the leek. Add your gluten-free soy sauce, sprinkle in the sesame seeds and garlic salt to taste. Make sure to thoroughly mix the Kale with all the ingredients for 3 minutes. (Shortening the cooking time ensures that more of the nutrition is not cooked out). After 3 minutes, the Kale should turn a darker green and a bit wilted but still maintains it's shape.

Remove the Kale from the saute pan into the bowl/dish of your choice and squeeze 1/2of a fresh lemon over the dish. The lemon is the key and brings out an incredible flavor.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hasselbeck Book Stirs Controversy ~

I found an interesting article about some new information regarding Elizabeth Hasselback's new book - I do share some of the same thoughts and concerns that Elaine Monarch has expressed, and I watched EH's interview on Larry King and was disturbed by the reference to Celiac as "an allergy". I also think the title of the book is a bit misleading -

Read this open letter from Elaine Monarch, Founder and Executive Director of the Celiac Disease Foundation, regarding Elisabeth Hasselbeck's new book "The G-Free Diet."

What are you thoughts and opinions about this?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Guest Blogger Day ~

My dear friend Alison was so generous to share her time and words as this Friday's guest blogger ~

As the best friend of a Celiac (who’s the owner of this blog) I am forever conscious, or better yet, painfully aware, of the ingredients listed in my favorite foods and snacks; delicious goodies that I know my dear friend could never enjoy as a celiac. With that in mind, I try to empathize with her situation and eat similar foods that I know are also healthy for me, treats that I find or products that she suggests.

While strolling through Whole Foods in Monterey the other day, I stumbled upon a particular little “yummy” that I just had to try out. Blue Diamond Nut Thins, a gluten free cracker made with nuts and rice. The company is also a proud supporter of the Celiac Disease Foundation. Perfect!

I wanted to share my good fortune with Aimee so I called her right away to let her know about my wonderful new snack and to my surprise she knew nothing about these scrumptious little crackers. What terrific news it must be when living on such a restricted diet when you find a tempting new treat to try. And try you must, for these little crackers are so delicious I can’t put them down. Thankfully, one serving consists of sixteen crackers. I’ve tried the cheddar and pecan flavor and find them irresistible and I think you will too!

Snack to your hearts content with the peace of knowing that these gluten-free treats won’t let you or your stomach down.

Visit Alison on her website or at her equestrian training stable in Monterey, CA

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gluten-free Cinco de Mayo~

Ole~ Not only is it Cinco de Mayo...but MAY is Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Have you heard? This is the month that events are taking place across the country and awareness of Celiac Disease is meant to be spread to any and all who will listen!

Please do your part and educate a friend today! If you keep up this pace by the end of May just imagine how many more enlightened humans there will be roaming around with a basic knowledge of CD, and they tell one friend, and they tell one friend and so on and so on...networking!

Also, take a look at all of the upcoming Gluten-free events on the Gluten Intolerance GIG website.

Make it a great May~