Gluten Free Food Favorites

Most of you know I try to keep my posts on this blog focused on gluten free dining and travel, not sharing recipes. There are so many other great bloggers who do that so well! However, every now and then, I like to share favorite family recipes from our own kitchen -- or ones passed down from other family members. It's especially nice when a treasured family recipe enjoyed over the years can easily be adapted to be gluten free. Such is the case with the recipe I'm sharing today. My mother-in-law's Marinated Butterflied Leg of Lamb recipe was something I first enjoyed when visiting my future in-laws about 20 years ago, when my now-husband and I first started dating. It was a dish my mother-in-law would often make when entertaining guests, and it works especially well in warmer months, when you can cook it on the outdoor grill (although it's so good, it's worth donning a warm jacket and manning the grill in the winter!). The recipe is extremely easy, and the only modification I've made from the original recipe is to replace the soy sauce with gluten free tamari (I use San-J's low sodium gluten free tamari). There... Read more →


Every so often, our family makes a new version of a "homemade" gluten free pizza. We've tried many brands, and to be honest, we don't have a favorite...they actually all turn out pretty well. But to be honest, many times we go with our favorite ready-made frozen gluten free pizza (or frozen shell, which we top with our own sauce and toppings). We love Against the Grain pizzas (and plain shells) and have also enjoyed Udi's frozen pizzas when cooked on the grill. But traveling in Italy this summer inspired us and had us looking forward to trying a new mix for gluten free crust...a mix from one of our favorite restaurants in Florence. "How is this relevant to me?" you ask. How would you get your hands on this mix without going to Italy? Well, as of a couple weeks ago, it's available on Amazon.com! (A 3-pack is priced well at $12.84.) We purchased two boxes of the mix (which also comes with fresh-packed tomato sauce in a tin can and a packet of oregano) after dining at the restaurant...before we knew it would be available in the States via Amazon.com soon enough. So we had the pleasure of... Read more →


I realize Betty Crocker's Gluten-Free Devil's Food Cake Mix has been around for years now, but I still felt it worthy of a Blog post. This continues to be my go-to base for any chocolate cake, cupcakes, or whoopie pies. I'd like to tell you I've found something better, after trying many gluten-free chocolate cake mixes over the years, including some "from scratch" recipes. But I'd be lying. I guess it's hard to compete with Betty Crocker's test kitchens! (Read on for my latest yummy adaptation using the mix...) Although I'm not by any means suggesting this is a "healthy" mix -- or that it incorporates any nutrient-dense flours like amaranth, teff, quinoa, etc. -- I do like the fact that it has fewer ingredients than most store-bought mixes. The ingredients are as follows: sugar, rice flour, potato starch, cocoa processed with alkali, tapioca starch, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, mono calcium phosphate), salt, and guar gum. Again, this isn't anything special, but I like the fact that, unlike most store-bought "regular" cake mixes, there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. And they've clearly nailed the proper blend of ingredients in the right ratios. From the comments on... Read more →


My older son (not Celiac) loves making chocolate chip cookies. He has tried many different recipes but gravitates back to the traditional Nestle Toll-House recipe, using one of many of our favorite gluten free flour blends as a cup-for-cup substitute for regular flour (so our younger Celiac son can eat them, too!). There are so many wonderful gluten free flour blends these days that it's hard to pick a favorite. Ones we like and use cup-for-cup in both savory as well as baking recipes include Pamela's Gluten Free All-Purpose Artisan blend, Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour, King Arthur Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour, Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, Carol's Amazing All Purpose Gluten Free Flour, Tom Sawyer Gluten Free Flour, and Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour (I've only purchased their Original Blend but am looking forward to trying their new "Wholesome Flour Blend"which incorporates healthy ingredients like ground flaxseeds and rice bran for fiber and healthy fats). Many of these flours are also non-GMO, which as you may know, is increasingly important to me. Last week, my son had the urge to make chocolate chip cookies, and he was planning to follow the Nestle Toll House... Read more →


Wow...I didn't realize it had been a month since I penned my last Blog post. November flew by, and with the Holidays already in full swing, I know things won't slow down anytime soon! Picking up on those particular themes of the Holidays -- and being starved for time -- I wanted to share a few easy seasonal favorites, both new and old. These are tried-and-true things you can serve up without spending hours in the kitchen. Over Thanksgiving, I used two gluten free products I'd tried before....Wegmans own gluten free Honey Cornbread Mix and Aleia's Savory Stuffing Mix. I love these two products -- for both their ease of preparation and for their delicious taste. This time, I cooked the cornbread a bit too long (set the timer, wanted to cook it for just an additional 30 seconds, and then forgot about it in the oven for several more minutes!). Fortunately, it was still decent, just a bit dry and crumbly. But providing you set your timer properly and follow the package directions, it turns out great (as it has for me in the past)...nice and moist. You'd never know it was gluten free. If you're looking for a... Read more →


Whenever our family dines at our local Chinese restaurant, we take along a bottle of San-J's gluten free, low-sodium Tamari Sauce. The chef is happy to use it and knows to make our order in a clean wok using the tamari as a substitution for traditional soy sauce. The taste is indistinguishable. (The cool thing is that San-J also sells individual-sized travel packets of their gluten free tamari, which is perfect when you don't want to -- or can't -- haul your own bottle of tamari around. A while back, San-J also came out with a full line of gluten free cooking sauces that make creating an Asian-inspired meal at home a breeze. I've used their Orange Sauce and Thai Peanut Sauce before, both as a dressing/marinade for chicken -- with great results. Last night, I decided to use their Mongolian Sauce to make Mongolian Beef, which I figured would be a hit with my family. The "recipe," if you even want to call it that, is right on the back of the bottle of San-J Mongolian Sauce. All told, I used 7 ingredients to make dinner: Asian stir-fry oil, corn starch, beef pre-cut for stir fry, the Mongolian sauce,... Read more →


One of the most frustrating things about our son's Celiac diagnosis over 10 years ago was the trial-and-error "tasting" period that followed…(rest assured, all photos pictured below are some of our perennial favorite products, like this deliciously seasoned coating perfect for when you're craving chicken and onion rings!). Even though there weren't nearly as many gluten free products on store shelves as there are now, separating the good from the awful took some time (not to mention a lot of money wasted on products that crumbled and tasted like cardboard!). And it wasn't always intuitive…sometimes it was the companies whose names we didn't recognize (usually dedicated GF companies) whose products were the best. Over the past 10 years, I think it's safe to say we've tried most of the widely distributed (and many less widely distributed) products on the shelves. Thank goodness, overall quality of gluten free products has improved! It's been an adventure…and we've learned a lot. That's why I posted our family's favorite gluten free products listing within the Resources section of GlutenFreeTravelSite. Whether you or a family member is new to the gluten free diet -- or if you're a long-time Celiac but just skeptical about trying... Read more →


Earlier this summer, our older (non-Celiac) son who doesn't like pizza anyway was off to a camp with friends. It provided a great opportunity for me to have some in-the-kitchen bonding time with our younger son (who has Celiac) making pizza (which he loves!). We've tried all sorts of store-bought gluten free pizzas over the 10 years since our son was first diagnosed with Celiac, and we've also bought "naked" crusts to customize them ourselves. I've even tried various gluten free mixes and flours to make our own "from scratch" pizza when time allows. So I was particularly curious to try Cup 4 Cup's new gluten free Pizza Crust Mix. Surprisingly, this was my first Cup 4 Cup purchase. I know many of you swear by their all-purpose flour. I've been meaning to try it -- despite its high price tag -- but have been really happy with the other GF flour blends I use (King Arthur's all purpose GF flour and GF all purpose baking mix, Bob's Red Mill new gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour, Pamela's GF All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend, Tom Sawyer gluten free flour, and gfJules Gluten Free Flour). But when I saw this new Pizza Crust... Read more →


Just in time for Celiac Awareness Month, many of our favorite "gluten-free friendly" restaurant chains have added even more gluten free items to their already impressive Gluten Free Menus. There's bound to be a location of one of these chains near you…and keep the others on your radar when you travel. Our family finds that's part of the fun of traveling…getting to try some of the best GF-friendly restaurants that don't happen to have a location near us. Burtons Grill -- A chain with locations along the East Coast, Burtons is one of our personal favorites. We dined at their Charlottesville, VA location over our kids' Spring Break when we visited Monticello and Montpelier. Favorite items ordered included the Spicy Fried Calamari, Beet Salad, Mediterranean Chicken Risotto, and gluten free Fish & Chips (really…how often do you find gluten free calamari and fish and chips?!) Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano -- This chain, with locations in 10 states, is another favorite we look forward to visiting when we travel. They have many gluten free pastas on the menu, in addition to gluten free pizza (including two new ones). I'm looking forward to trying the Wild Mushroom Truffle pizza at some point. Another... Read more →


What type of gluten free traveler are you? Are you the type that likes to dine out when on vacation -- or do you prefer to get a place with a kitchen and do your own cooking? I know people have strong opinions on this…and certainly, there are those of you who prefer to stay safe by handling most of your own food preparation when on vacation. I, on the other hand, enjoy the thrill of finding new gluten-free friendly spots each time we travel. While it does take a bit of time to do the research to find the best and safest restaurants (I always start by reading reviews on sites like our own GlutenFreeTravelSite), I cook all the time at home and like to leave the cooking to someone else while on vacation. With that said, there are certainly times when we've traveled somewhere where there just wasn't anyplace safe for gluten free folks to eat…and also times we've traveled to a place where any restaurant was hard to find. That was the case this past weekend when our family took a ski trip to Timberline in Davis, West Virginia. Our sons' Boy Scout Troop had planned a... Read more →


Last week, I blogged with much excitement about Wegmans' launch of ready-to-eat gluten free bakery items. Back in early December, they launched two types of gluten-free cookies, gluten-free frosted brownies, and gluten-free cupcakes -- now available at all their locations. They are all made using Wegmans' gluten free boxed mixes, which have been available in their stores for a while now. At the time of the post, I had not personally tried the new ready-to-eat items, but that evening, I happened to be near a Wegmans, so I went in and bought one of everything. Over the next few nights, my husband, two sons, and I taste-tested each of the new items. Here's what we thought: Gluten-Free Cupcakes -- These come four to a pack, with two vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing and two chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing. Unlike the photo Wegmans had sent me, the gluten-free cupcakes in the store near us did not contain colorful "confetti" style sprinkles on top. That was actually GREAT with me, as I prefer not to give my kids things with artificial color or flavor, if I can help it. Perhaps they decided not to include these on the cupcakes after all...it... Read more →


I like hummus and buy it every so often at the grocery store. Typically I'll buy either a plain hummus or one with fresh garlic added. But I've noticed many innovative varieties of hummus hitting store shelves lately. It's the perfect snack if you're following a gluten free diet (as all the varieties I've seen are gluten free) and a great item to incorporate into your diet if you're looking for more protein and fiber. Recently I was sent a package of four varieties of hummus from a company I wasn't familiar with: Eat Well Embrace Life. Created just three years ago -- in 2011 -- the company has "Americanized the hummus category" by creating hummus from "other beans" (i.e. white beans, edamame, black beans, and lentils). They make many varieties of this "Other Bean Hummus" -- as well as a line of "Better For You Hummus." The ones I tried were divine. From the "Other Bean" category, I enjoyed Tuscan White Bean Hummus with roasted pine nuts and herb topping, Spicy Yellow Lentil Hummus with sunflower seeds and apricot topping (this one definitely has a kick to it!), and Spicy Red Lentil Chipotle Hummus with poblano pepper and corn... Read more →