Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Poll! Who are the readers of this blog?

I've added a new poll to the site (it is in the top left corner) to get some small idea of who is reading this blog (all 10 of you!) :-) Please note, since a voter can select multiple reasons, the total number of votes will exceed the total "Votes so far" at the bottom. For example, if I had voted and selected "I am a Celiac!", "I am lactose intolerant/allergic to dairy", and "I am allergic to eggs" then it would show as 1 vote so far with three different votes on the results page.

Select all that apply and if you choose "Other", add a comment below with the category I am missing!

Edited - corrected how votes are counted.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Uno Chicago Grill is awesome!

I stopped for dinner at an Uno Chicago Grill last night after a basketball game (for those interested, Seton Hall lost in overtime.) I had recently visited Uno's website ( after having read on some other blogs that they are rapidly rolling out Gluten Free Pizza nation wide. (see article here.)

Unfortunately, they aren't rolling out Dairy Free Pizza nationwide so I had to skip it! They do however, have a touch screen computer kiosk in their lobby that links to their online nutrition information. This online resource not only lists the eight major allergens (the same ones required on groceries) but each entry also contains a link to a full listing of every ingredient in a menu item. That's right, no need to rely on asking what is in a certain sauce or side dish, you can easily look it up!

Before arriving at the restaurant I already knew that their Brown Rice w/ Craisins and Mango was GF and DF. I ordered a bunless burger with red onions and guacamole after using the kiosk to find that their guacamole is dairy free as well. Most restaurants put butter in their rice and have no idea what is in their guacamole so it was nice to order just a tad bit easier.

Yes it would have been nice to have had French Fries, but the rice was a really good substitution. I think this is my new favorite chain restaurant!

Has anyone else had a positive experience with Uno's?

Vote for the best Themed Food Blog

One of the other GF blogs I read is "Karina's Kitchen, Recipes from a Gluten Free Goddess". I've tried a couple of her recipes and the most recent - African Sweet Potato Soup w/ Black-eyed Peas and Beans was amazing! Anyhow, the reason for this post is I found out that her blog has been nominated for the 2008 Best Food Blog awards at Well Fed Network in the 'theme' category. The voting is only open until tomorrow night and currently her blog (the only GF blog in the category) is in a tight race for first place.

If you have a minute, check out her blog here and if you like what you see you can vote for her blog here:

Karina's African Sweet Potato Soup with Black-eyed Peas and Beans

A couple of nights ago I made an amazing African Sweet Potato Soup from a recipe I found over at Karina's Kitchen. You can find the recipe here. I'm not a big fan of anything too spicy (ok, truth be told, my stomach can't handle anything spicy) so I subbed out the chili pepper for an odd looking mild green pepper the supermarket had. I also skipped over the hot red pepper flakes. What I ended up with was an intensely flavorful just a touch sweet soup!

I had it for dinner Monday night and for lunch yesterday and again today. I'm glad to report I've got two containers of it frozen in my freezer for future lunches, although I doubt they'll last very long. I do think the next time I make it I may use a bit less broth and make it more of a stew than a soup.

Thank you to Karina for this recipe and I strongly encourage anyone reading to check out her recipe and try it yourself!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I ordered a pizza for dinner last night!

I stopped by Pizza Fusion last night in Ridgewood, NJ and ordered a Gluten Free and Dairy Free pie. For those who are not familiar with Pizza Fusion they are a relatively new chain of franchised pizzerias based out of Florida but rapidly expanding across the US. They serve gourmet pizza using mostly organic ingredients and are heavy into recycling and energy efficiency. They offer a gluten free crust (which is becoming common here in NJ) but the really big news is that they offer a Vegan Mozzarella as well! For the first time in ~15 years I can order pizza in a Pizzeria!

All of the gourmet, organic and GF/DF ingredients (as well as renewable energy, hybrid delivery vehicles, etc) come at a cost however. Their food is a bit expensive and you pay significantly more ($8) for a GF crust and a bit more for Vegan cheese ($2). It should also be noted that it is an oval pie, not a round pie so it is smaller than the "large" size you would get at a regular NJ pizzeria. Also, it is not a traditional New York style pizza but rather what I believe to be a Neapolitan (islands of cheese in the tomato sauce, not a covering a cheese) style pizza - or at least the one with soy mozzarella was.

Overall it wasn't bad but unfortunately not worth the price. The crust contains bean flour which has a distinct flavor. I hear rumors that some people don't mind this flavor but, I for one am not a big fan. Coupled with the lack of cheese it just wasn't what I was hoping for. I am certainly glad there is an option to go out for pizza, especially somewhere with a trained staff and clearly marked ingredients but again, at the price and size it just wasn't worth it to take out or dine alone. Perhaps for a special occasion or to dine in with friends . . .

I did have half the pizza left over (shown in the photo on the right). I plan on reheating the remaining slices under the broiler later this week after first covering the bare spots of tomato sauce with some shredded Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella that I have in the freezer for just such an emergency!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Product review - Kinnikinnick Donuts!

I attended a training class in NYC the second week in December. The computer school that hosted the class provided a large breakfast spread for their students. When I say large, I mean ridiculously large! There were muffins, and scones, and bagels, and toast, and cereal, and danishes, and most distressing of all - glazed donuts! I had planned ahead (not actually expecting there to be food and having to leave home insanely early) and had brought along a breakfast bar (thanks Enviro-kids!) Add to that a banana (they had large, multi-tiered basket of fruit as well) and I had a pretty decent breakfast . . . . but I just couldn't stop thinking about those donuts!

To my knowledge there is only one company that sells a GF/DF donut - Kinnikinnick. I purchase most of my GF products at a large Whole Foods near my home. I do also on occasion stop in some smaller health food stores especially if I'm traveling outside my immediate area or even just driving somewhere I know there is a store. I finally found a store selling Kinnikinnick Vanilla Glazed Donuts!

If you've never had these, I highly recommend them. If the last time you purchased them they came in a plastic bag, I highly recommend you try them again. The first time I had a Kinnikinnick Donut they were sold frozen together in a plastic bag. The donuts weren't a uniform size or shape and were about as dense as clay. I used to eat half a donut at a time as they were too heavy to finish an entire donut in one sitting.

Since then however they've made some vast improvements. The donuts now come in a box of six. Inside the box they are arranged in a tray that keeps them from freezing together. Each donut is now a uniformed size and shape (not jumbo sized like at Dunkin Donuts but a good size overall). They are also a nice texture and consistency and are as light as a GF product really can be.

So, anyhow, it was nice to finally get a glazed donut even if it was a month later! Of course, in writing this post, I spent some time poking around the Kinnikinnick website and now I'm yearning for some of their other flavors - Cinnamon Sugar, Maple Glazed, Chocolate Glazed and Chocolate Coated!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Starbucks going Gluten Free?

It looks like Starbucks in considering offering Gluten Free menu items. They are currently soliciting opinions on their blog as well as test marketing a limited number of items in a limited number of stores. You can read all about it (as well as add your opinion) here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Where have I been?

Ok, so it has been about a month since my last post. I've started working on a number of new posts but figured I'd start with an explanation of where I've been. I had an adverse reaction to Transderm Scope patches I used to treat seasickness on my cruise at the beginning of December. The immediate affect was blurry vision which went away after about 36 hours. Ever since then however I've been getting eye strain/pain in my left eye and I have been trying to avoid too much time in front of the computer (tough when that is what you do for a living!) I do wish I could say it was getting better but at least it isn't getting worse. I'm going to try returning to the eye doctor as well as an Ear/Nose/Throat specialist next week.

Every three years for work I need to renew a computer certification exam. I thought I had until the end of January but I double checked and found out I had about 2 weeks less than I thought. I crammed like crazy (including spending New Year's Eve with a text book) and passed the exam on January 4.

Yes, I passed just in time to contract the flu from hell on Tuesday, January 6th! I was in bed all day Wednesday and Thursday and am just now finally getting over this never ending cough!

Anyhow, that's why I haven't been blogging, but now the exam is passed, the flu is fading and the eye is stable (at least not getting worse) so I'm going to start again. I've got a couple of great successes to post about, including Grandma cookies, Manicotti, Wienerschnitzle with Spaetzle, and Mom's Turkey Cutlets with Fettuccine Alfredo! I also found a couple of cool recipes (DF Fudge, GF/DF coconut bars, and an African Bean Stew) on some of the other GF blogs I read and hope to try some of these this weekend.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and wish you all the best for 2009!

Visitors (Counted on Gluten Free/Dairy Free Waffles!)

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