Friday, November 28, 2014

Barilla: Gluten-Free Pasta

My daughter recently suggested we try Barilla's Gluten-Free Pasta that she found in a store in Los Angeles. I could not find it in Orange County until a new store, called Wholesome Choice, opened in Laguna Niguel. I purchased the GF spaghetti and the GF elbow pasta. Barilla's also has GF Penne and GF Rotini pasta.

I am very happy to say, it is now my "go to" gluten-free pasta. It has a pleasant taste that mimics gluten pasta. It's texture is firm. It holds up to reheating much better than the standard rice pasta also. And that's not all:
Barilla Gluten-Free Pasta: Certified GF, No GMO, Dedicated Facility

Barilla Gluten-Free Pasta is Certified Gluten-Free, Produced in a Dedicated Gluten-Free Facility, and No GMO ingredients.
Ingredients: Corn Flour, Rice Flour, Mono and Diglycerides.

This is well worth a try!

Go to for information and recipes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Milk with "Whipped Cream"

The weather in Southern California has cooled down and the feeling of fall is in the air. Nature appears to be very happy for the weather shift, The birds are singing, the trees and plants seem greener and there is a delicate breeze in the air.

I woke up craving hot cocoa, so I searched through my recipe book to find my dairy-free and gluten-free hot cocoa recipe. I wish I can give credit to the person I got this recipe from, but truthfully I have had it so long, that I do not know. A general thank you to the magazine, chef or friend who introduced this recipe to me.

This drink makes a great holiday treat. Waking up Christmas morning to a cup of cocoa, presents and loved ones. What could be better?
Wonderful Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Hot Chocolate

Dairy-Free Chocolate Milk: 
Single Serving Ingredients:
1 cup of milk alternative. (I use Almond milk)
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 3/4 tablespoons of cocoa ( I use Traders Joes)
So Delicious Coco Whip (optional) 

4 Cup Size Serving Ingredients:
4 cups of milk alternative. (I use Almond milk)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of cocoa ( I use Traders Joes)
So Delicious Coco Whip (optional)

1. Heat a small sauce pan, on medium heat.
2. Place sugar and cocoa in the pan and warm for 45 seconds. Stir with a spatula continually.
3. Slowly pour in milk and stir,
4. Do not let it boil.
5, Take of heat and pour in mug.
6. Place a large dollop of So Delicious on top and enjoy.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gluten-Free Mexican Chicken Stew by eZG

Gluten-Free Mexican Chicken Stew by eZG

Richard and I are not fans of the dark meat of a chicken. The question is, what do I do with the dark meat after I have made a roasted chicken. 
I sometimes make pot pie, enchiladas, tacos, and stews.

This is by far my favorite dark meat creation.

I already had homemade chicken bone broth defrosting in the refrigerator and all the spices I needed including cilantro & lime, so I throw this together.  Wow -it was great. I can't wait to make it again.

1 1/2 to 2 cups of chopped cooked chicken
14 oz of gluten-free chicken broth
3 large carrots - chopped
1 medium onion - peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves- peeled and minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup butternut squash - peeled and cubed ( I used already cooked squash)
1 large or 2 small zucchini - chopped
1/2  tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp of gluten-free hot sauce ( I used Cholulu)
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 pound of gluten-free pasta

1. Heat a large pot and add olive oil. Add onions and saute until translucent. 
2. Add chicken broth, chicken, carrots, zucchini, butternut squash, hot sauce, salt & pepper.
3. Cook on medium/low heat for 45 minutes. 
4. Bring to a boil and add pasta. Pasta may take a few minutes longer then the box instructions suggest.
5. Serve and add cilantro and lime to taste.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Scrumptious Gluten-Free Coffee Cake by eZG

I was given a sample package of Authentic Foods: Multi Blend: Gluten-Free Flour at a convention. I put it in the pantry on my gluten-free baking shelf. Yes, I have a 3 foot shelf dedicated to all the GF flours, mixes and products that I use to bake. Over time the package got pushed to the back and forgotten.

This past Sunday, I discovered it wedged against some organic brown sugar. My daughter was home for a visit, so I decided it would be a good time to try something new. I used the recipe from the back of the package, Sour Cream Coffee Cake. I did my thing by replacing the sour cream with goat yogurt and the shortening with Earth Balance, etc. All I have to say is WOW! 

I think this may be the best gluten-free baked good I have ever made. 

Cake Ingredients:
1/2 cup of Earth Balance or shortening
3/4 cup Organic Sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 cups of Multi Blend Gluten-Free Flour
1/2 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups of sour cream OR yogurt (plain, goat or coconut)
Topping Ingredients:
6 tablespoons of Earth Balance or butter
1 cup organic brown sugar
2 tsps of cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter or oil the spring pan or 10 inch tube pan. Place parchment paper on the bottom.  
3. In a large bowl, beat Earth Balance or butter and sugar until pale in color and light in texture.
4. Add vanilla, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Soft flour, guar gum, baking powder, baking soda, in a medium bowl.
6. Add mix to creamed mixture alternating with yogurt or sour cream. Blend after each addition.
7. Spread 1/2 the batter in the prepared pan. 
8. Using a pastry blender or fork, combine the topping ingredients ( brown sugar, Earth Balance or butter, cinnamon, and nuts (optional), in a medium bowl.
9. Sprinkle 1/2 the topping mixture on top of the batter in the pan. Next, add the rest of the batter on top of the topping. Now add the rest of the topping so that it makes a delicious crust.
10. Bake 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
11. Allow the cake to cool 15 minutes before inverting and putting on a cooling rack. I used a spring pan so I wait 15 minutes then released the outer ring to the pan so it could cool completely.

Check out the Authentic Foods website for more delicious recipes. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

Living Without: Gluten Free & More
This recipe is so amazing that I decided to post it for you. It is from the amazing Living Without: Gluten-Free & More magazine. If you have not subscribed to this magazine yet, I highly recommend it. 
Gluten-Free & Dairy- Free Pumpkin Pie

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie by Living Without: Gluten Free & More
2 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
1 (9-inch) Pie Crust, unbaked

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in pumpkin, sugars, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves and vanilla extract. Gradually whisk in coconut milk until well blended.
3. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn oven temperature down to 350°F and continue to bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
4. Allow pie to cool for at least 2 hours before serving.

Photo by:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Living Gluten-Free During the Holiday's

Gluten-Free Living 101: A Step by Step Guide
The Holiday's are fast approaching! This is the time that those of us living an alternative food life start to stress about how to eat safely while spending time with those we love.

Gluten-Free Living 101: A Step by Step Guide is a great handbook for these kinds of situations. As an author we sometimes lose perceptive about our works. Yesterday I was reminded just how needed my gluten-free handbook can be.

I was at a Celiac meeting where I met a person very new to the gluten-free world. She has been living a life of pain and discomfort for years. She has undergone 7 years of medical testing with no positive results. Recently someone suggested she try eating gluten-free. As with so many people, she does not have a full grasp on what eating gluten-free is, so she only eliminated the obvious wheat. Though her symptoms have been reduced, she still suffers. As we spoke, I showed her my books.

"This is exactly what I need," she said. Her eyes lit up as we reviewed the pages in Gluten-Free Living 101 :

Pages 16 & 17 has a complete list of flours containing gluten and gluten-free flours.
Pages 18 & 19 "Gluten Hiding in Surprising Places"
Chapter 6: " Eating Out'
Chapter 8: "Recipes"

Gluten-Free Living 101: A Step by Step Guide
I wrote this book so that a person could read it quickly and start living gluten-free as soon as they are ready. This book can also be read by need: choose the chapter you need to help you maneuver the holiday's and have a successful and happy holiday season.

My series of books also make great holiday gifts.
Gluten-Free Living 101: A Step by Step Guide
Is Gluten Hiding in Your Shampoo? It Was Hiding in Mine.
Is Gluten Hiding in Your Kids Things? 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Think Twice Before Ignoring Your Gluten Issues

How many of you out there have been diagnosed with Celiac disease and are asymptomatic? Are you eating gluten-free? How many of you suspect you may have Celiac disease but have not been diagnosed yet?

I know several people who have Celiac disease and are asymptomatic. This may sound like a good thing but it can lead to serious health issues. Being vigilant with a gluten-free diet when a person does not notice that they are reacting when eating gluten can be difficult. 

I have a friend who was diagnosed with Celiac disease 10 years ago. She is asymptomatic so she did not bother to purchase an additional set of pots and pans etc., to prevent cross contamination. She shares her kitchen with gluten eating people and was not as careful as she could have been about cross contamination. 7 years later she had another endoscopy and colonoscopy done because her iron count was very low. Though she was fairly strict with her gluten-free diet there was noticeable villi damage in her small intestine. The doctor also contribute a few of the other medical issues she had been noticing to her being exposed to cross contamination of gluten.

In the New York Times Magazine section of Sunday, August 17, 2014 paper, there is a powerful article about a man who was suffering from a myriad of symptoms such as extreme weight loss, hair loss on his legs, weakness of the arms and legs, etc. He had been diagnosed with Celiac disease years before but he was asymptomatic and therefore did not follow a gluten-free diet. 

After months of doctors and testing, this man finally was sent to a neurologist because he was falling down and the weakness in his limbs was getting worse. The neurologist ordered 2 additional tests. One to eliminate a type of cancer and the other to check for low copper counts.    

The mans copper counts came back very low. According to this article, 'Without copper, the body can't make blood, nerves or muscle." Now they knew what was causing the symptoms BUT what caused the low copper counts.

You got it, Celiac disease!

Celiac Disease: Villi Damage: Photo by

" Celiac disease (CD) is also known as Celiac Sprue or Gluten-Sensitive Enteropathy. It is an autoimmune disease which is genetic and therefore an inherited disease. It affects people
of all ages and it is believed that approximately 1 in 133 people have Celiac disease, yet
most are undiagnosed. When gluten is eaten, the small intestine becomes damaged.
The villi are pushed down by the gluten, creating an environment that is unable to
absorb nutrients.
There are over 300 registered symptoms for Celiac. The most common
symptoms are diarrhea, bloating, anemia, chronic fatigue, weakness, bone pain, weight
loss and muscle cramps. It was once thought that Celiac’s only affected the small intestine,
but it is now known that it can cause medical issues." (Gluten-Free Living 101by Marian Z Geringer)

The damage that Celiac disease can cause to the small intestine, can prevent the absorption  of nutrients such as iron, vitamin B 12 and copper. 

This man was put in the hospital for treatment and then told to be on a gluten-free diet. "within two months, he regained his weight and part of his strength. The doctors told him it would take three months for every month he was sick to get back to his normal strength."(NY Times).

Please think twice about the food decisions you make. Every bite counts.

Photo by:

Friday, November 7, 2014

Possible Causes of Intestinal Permeability

Intestinal Permeability or Leaky Gut - what is it and what causes it?
The Dr.Com addresses this issue on Facebook by answering, "Q: Is it true that sensitivities and allergies are due to proteins getting into the blood stream due to leaky gut syndrome, and a leaky gut is caused by mycotoxins?"
Partial response: 
"Yes and no ... The two most common initiators of intestinal permeability are gluten and lipopolysaccharides (LPS)...  Whatever the trigger that’s producing the inflammation leading to intestinal permeability, the primary objective is to reduce the trigger. If it’s mycotoxin, then clean the gut and remove mycotoxin-laden food. If it’s gluten, then remove the gluten. In other words, stop throwing gasoline on the fire!"  For the complete response please go to. The Dr. Com

For information about how to start living gluten-free, please check out my book, Gluten-Free Living: A Step by Step Guide. 

The post got me wondering about what mycotoxins are. I set out do do some research. I found some answers on Clinical Medical Reviews. The answer is complicated.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) had a clearer definition:
Mycotoxins: Image by EFSA
"Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by different types of fungus, belonging mainly to the Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium genera. Under favourable environmental conditions, when temperature and moisture are conducive, these fungi proliferate and may produce mycotoxins. They commonly enter the food chain through contaminated food and feed crops, mainly cereals.
The presence of mycotoxins in food and feed may affect human and animal health as they may cause many different adverse health effects such as induction of cancer and mutagenicity, as well as estrogenic, gastrointestinal and kidney disorders. Some mycotoxins are also immunosuppressive reducing resistance to infectious disease."

If you are diagnosed with mycotoxins then what foods should you avoid? According to EFSA,
"Aflatoxins are mycotoxins produced by two species of Aspergillus, a fungus which is especially found in areas with hot and humid climates. Since aflatoxins are known to be genotoxic and carcinogenic, exposure through food should be kept as low as possible.
Aflatoxins can occur in foods, such as groundnuts, treenuts, maize, rice, figs and other dried foods, spices and crude vegetable oils, and cocoa beans, as a result of fungal contamination before and after harvest." is a blog/website dedicated to the subject of mycotoxins and the effect on the body. 

To be continued as I learn more about this subject.
Please remember I am not a doctor, scientist, or medical practitioner. These are my thoughts and ideas. Please ask you medical care provider if you have questions about your health.

http: www.mycotoxins.infoh

Monday, November 3, 2014

Breakfast in Oregon

Breakfast in Oregon: Gluten-Free Cranberry Muffins
We are in Silverton, Oregon visiting my sister-in-law and her husband. They used to own the Trumpeter Inn Bed & Breakfast on Friday Harbor, WA. When they purchased the Inn, they inherited the Trumpeter Inn Bed & Breakfast recipe book

I tell you this because my sister-in law went out and purchased Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Biscuit and Bake Mix and converted the Cranberry Muffin recipe to gluten-free, so that Richard and I could have a lovely gluten-free breakfast. 

The muffins were great. I was pleasantly surprised that they held up very well stored on the counter top over night, especially since it is rainy here. The texture has remained fluffy and didn't turn rubbery as many GF baked goods do.

Gluten-Free Cranberry Muffins
2 eggs
1/2 cup of milk or milk alternative
1/4 cup oil
1 tbsp grated orange zest
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup GF flour mix ( She used Bob's Red Mill GF Biscuit & Baking Mix)
2 tsps baking powder
1 cup cranberries ( 1cup of raisins and cranberry combination)                                            

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

1. Beat eggs. Stir in milk, oil, and orange zest.
2. Mix in dry ingredients and fold in cranberries.
3. Pout batter into muffin tins - (I prefer them lined with parchment paper muffin cups.)
4. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
5. Makes 12 muffins

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lyfe Restaurant Opens in Irvine, CA

Lyfe Restaurant in Culver City is one of my favorite 'go to"  spots in L.A. Lyfe's philosophy is: EAT GOOD - FEEL GOOD- DO GOOD. That is what you sense when you walk into the restaurant.  When you walk in the front door you are greeted with 3 menus: Everything, Vegan/Vegetarian, and Gluten-Free. 
Lyfe Restaurant Opens In Irvine, CA

When ordering you can request a full ingredient list. Every item on the menu is in the ingredient book and you can be sure that what you order is what you are eating.

Lyfe's Story on their webpage starts with: "Great food can do amazing things." The menu and attitude embodies these words. Every dish is under 600 calories. Nothing is artificial, meaning all the food is naturally grown.The food is delicious and fun. They grow their herbs on a vertical wall hanging in the restaurant. Weather permitting many of the vegetables are grown outside the restaurant.

The food is delicious and affordable. This restaurant is well worth trying.

Irvine Spectrum
407 Spectrum Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
(494) 727-1252