Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Website! Gluten Freedom

I hope you'll check out my new website, Gluten Freedom. It's got recipes, restaurant and product reviews, as well as gluten-free advice. Thanks for all of your support!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Whole Foods Gluten Free Pie Crust: Two Ways

This weekend I created two meals using Whole Foods' Gluten Free Bakehouse pie crusts. I had not yet used this product and it did not disappoint. We’ll be eating the leftovers tonight!

Both of these recipes are two of my favorite meals from my pre-celiac days and they are naturally gluten free, except for the pie crust. The Whole Foods crust worked perfectly with both meals and my non-celiac friends couldn’t tell the difference.

Tomato Pie: This pie is perfect for Atlanta right now, since you can get gorgeous tomatoes at your local farmers’ market. You should not make this pie unless you have great tomatoes…grocery store tomatoes will make for a mediocre pie. This meal is a family favorite from growing up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. As you’ll see, this is an incredibly simple, yet delicious recipe.


- Cook GF pie crust at 350 for 15 minutes and let cool
- Peel four large tomatoes and cut into thick slices (have extra tomatoes in case you need more)
- Put first layer in cooled pie crust (use small pieces of tomatoes to fill in gaps), and sprinkle with chives, basil, salt and pepper
- Repeat for second layer
- Mix one cup of Hellman’s mayo and one cup of shredded cheddar cheese and spread over top of tomatoes
- Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes (the mayo/cheese layer of the pie will start to brown)

Quiche: A great meal for Sunday brunch entertaining, I made the quiche in the morning and then reheated it for about ten minutes once our guests arrived. I served it with a simple mixed green salad and strawberries. Nothing too complicated, but looked pretty on the plate.


- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cook 4 oz. of Hormel bacon , cut into ½ inch pieces. Remove from heat and drain grease.
- Glaze pie crust with egg yolk.
- Stir together 4 lightly beaten eggs, 1 cup 2% milk, and 1 cup cheese. Add ½ t. salt and ¼ t. pepper.
- Add bacon to mixture and pour into pie crust.
- Cook for 35 minutes, or until the top starts to brown.

Notes about the crust: The crust tasted great and very much like pie crust, but it did seem a little salty to me. I have not yet used this crust to make a sweet pie so I’m not sure what it will taste like with something sweet baked in it. Also, the edge of the crust did not ‘brown’ as much as I would like (even when basting it with egg yolk) so I might adjust the temperature a little bit in the future. Two pie crusts come in a package and the sell for around $5.99. I think this is a very reasonable price. The crusts keep in your freezer indefinitely, but you want the crust to get to room temperature before you start baking. The crust also reheats well when eating leftovers.

Thank you Whole Foods for making a pie crust to help us GF eaters make yummy, quick and savory meals!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Washington Post Article About Celiac

Celiac Disease is getting more and more publicity, which is great because I believe it will help get more people diagnosed. Today's Washington Post featured an article about Celiac.

Check it out! 'No Wheat, No Rye, No Barley: No Problem!

Things I Love: Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats

I love oats and Bob’s Red Mill now produces oats that are certified gluten free. (Make sure you purchase the GF oats…it’s clearly labeled on the bag.)

What I use them for:
- Making homemade granola (recipe still to come…mines not as good as my mother-in-laws)
- Making Monster Cookies
- To add to a topping for a fruit cobbler

- A hearty breakfast in the winter

Why I love it: While oats have been controversial in the past in regard to their gluten content, Bob’s are certified and good to go. Oats were one of the foods I missed the most when first diagnosed and now I don’t have to miss out on them anymore. When following a recipe using oats, you don’t have to change it at all. They cook the same as any other oats.

- More expensive than non-certified gluten free oats, but unfortunately that’s not unusual in the GF world.
- Sometimes can be difficult to find in stores. Good news! Kroger on Howell Mill Road carries them as does the Buckhead Whole Foods.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gluten Free Meals From non-GF Bloggers

More and more people are making gluten free meals! Check out this blogger and the gluten free summer dinner party she created. (Just skip the bread!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No More Bodo's: Gluten Free Trips to Charlottesville, VA

David and I’ve gotten to partake in some great trips together this summer and shared many delicious meals. Once David finished the Bar in July, we decided to meet up for a few days in Charlottesville, Virginia. Both graduates of UVA, David and I love Charlottesville. For those of you that have been to Charlottesville, unfortunately many of the places we loved so much in college are based around bread…Bel Air sandwiches, Bodos’ bagels, and Take it Away bread ends with house dressing are just a few of the places I can no longer go…well, I still go there and just watch David eat our old favorites!

Needless to say, we’ve had to explore new options when we go to Charlottesville now. While it was tricky at first, we’ve found some yummy, gluten free alternatives and rediscovered old places with our new gluten free perspective. Sadly, I don’t think Bodo’s will ever be gluten free!

So I arrived in Charlottesville, eager to meet up with David who is coming from Roanoke where he took the Bar. For dinner that night, we decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants from our college days, Duner's Restaurant. Located on Route 250, five miles west of Charlottesville, Duner’s is small and does not take reservations, but it is totally worth the potential wait.

I was amazed at what a large menu they had and the wait staff was extremely friendly and encouraged me to decide what I wanted to order. I made my selections and the waitress told me that the chef would definitely be able to produce gluten free versions of my choices. Not only did she ensure that my meal would be gluten free, but she also said they could make David’s gluten free as well. For those gluten free eaters out there you know what a treat it is to be able to eat off of someone else’s plate at a restaurant!

The meal was absolutely delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed everything I ordered as well as David’s! We shared grilled sea scallops for our appetizer that were prepared with a summer squash salsa on top. For my main course I chose rack of lamb with sun dried tomato pesto. The menu listed the rack of lamb as ‘parmesan crusted’ so the chef just left off the crust and sprinkled some parmesan on top. It was perfectly prepared and the sun dried tomato pesto went perfectly with the lamb. David ordered the grilled ribeye steak and it too was perfectly flavored. The chef put the sauce for the ribeye (which was not gluten free) on the side for him so I could try it. I personally think I out ordered David but both meals were unique, flavor and delicious! The wait staff was very knowledgeable about gluten and definitely willing to accommodate their gluten free customer.

The next morning David and I ventured out for our morning coffee. Since being diagnosed with celiac disease, I’ve discovered a Charlottesville bakery called Baker's Palate that makes gluten free muffins. My personal favorite are their pumpkin muffins, but they also make banana muffins. Located close to the Downtown Mall, we stopped in to stock up. They keep their gluten free muffins in the freezer, so they’re not freshly baked each day but they’re still delicious. I would suggest heating them up before you dive in. The owner pointed out to me that she makes the gluten free pumpkin muffins with raisins. Note: if you are ever at Baker’s Palate and they serve you a pumpkin muffin without raisins, it’s NOT gluten free. Just a heads up!

Baker’s Palate also sells their gluten free muffins at Java Java coffee shop on the Downtown Mall (421 E. Main St.), but sometimes they’re sold out and they never have more than a few. In the past I’ve gotten a bunch of muffins at Baker’s Palate and stuck them in the freezer. They freeze really well; just reheat them in the oven.

As any good vacation goes, by the time you finish coffee and breakfast, you’re thinking about your next meal. Lunch is tough in Charlottesville with no more Bel Air or Take it Away, but we’ve discovered (thanks to Gluten Free Bird), The Flat Creperie on the Downtown Mall. At The Flat you can order buckwheat crepes that are gluten free. They serve both sweet and savory crepes at this crepe stand.

While delicious and filling, The Flat is not a fine dining experience. It’s often very busy and the only potential seating can be found on benches outside. Being that there are cramped quarters in the kitchen, I do worry about contamination but they wipe down the crepe makers before they make a buckwheat crepe and all of their ingredients you can get inside the crepes are gluten free. I’m very sensitive to gluten, but in the three times I’ve eaten at the Flat, I’ve never gotten sick. My personal favorite is a buckwheat crepe with chicken, spinach, cheddar and tomatoes. Yummy! Once I get my crepe I like to take my food and sit on the Downtown Mall. The Flat tends to be quite hot a crowded in their front yard eating area.

Now I’ve saved the best news for last about our trip to Charlottesville. Arch's, the popular frozen yogurt spot, is gluten free!! Hooray! I indulged in this dessert twice while on our three day stay. Sadly, you must stay away from all of the toppings (major cross contamination with all of the serving utensils and open area where the mix ins are located) so you can’t get an Archer. I brought my own M&Ms and homemade granola to add to my peanut butter and chocolate swirl frozen treat.

Another fun afternoon treat in Charlottesville are the many vineyards nearby. Our personal favorite is King Family Vineyards, located off of 250 in Crozet. The grounds are beautiful and the UVA polo team plays on the fields on the property. There is plenty of seating outside and they don’t mind at all if you bring your own food. The vineyard also sells cheeses on the premises but you’ll want to bring your own gluten free crackers.

So even though I’ll no longer have a Zazu’s wrap or a Bel Air picnic at Beaver Creek, David and I have found many gluten free alternatives in Charlottesville as we stayed well fed during our Charlottesville visit.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gluten Free in DC Heads South

This summer has been a time of change and transition for David and me. In May David completed law school and in June I finished up teaching for the summer. While David buckled down to study for the Bar, I prepared for our move to Atlanta. Yes, that’s right. We’re heading south! We’re moving to Georgia for a year and then the plan is that we’ll be back in DC in September 2010.

I moved our stuff to Atlanta in mid-July while David took the Virginia Bar. I flew back up to DC after the Bar and we’ve had some great mini-trips with lots of delicious food between then and now. I’ll be blogging about some of these feasts throughout Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia soon.

My plan for the next 12 months is to continue updating on Gluten Free in DC as both of our families and many friends are still in the Washington area so we’ll be making trips back to the District and the Commonwealth of Virginia throughout the year.

While in Atlanta I’ll also be blogging at a new address:

Please check out the new blog and pass it along to friends that in the Atlanta area.
Thanks for continuing to follow Gluten Free in DC!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pete's APizza in DC Offers GF crust

On Sunday night, David and I had dinner with our friends, Chris and Molly at their DC home. Molly and Chris are always eager to try new gluten free options and they had discovered that Pete's New Haven Style Apizza (located near the Columbia Heights metro) offers a gluten free crust.

When we called to ask about the preparation of the crust and pizza, they were very knowledgeable about contamination, telling us that the pizza crust is cooked halfway in a separate oven and then when a GF crust is ordered, they put it in the oven with the other pizzas, but on a special baking stone for just GF orders. (It always makes me feel better and more confident in the food when the manager clearly understands the need to be cautious in preparing the food, not just the ingredients.)

The pizza was delivered to Molly and Chris' house and we thoroughly enjoyed the crispy crust. Pete's gluten free crust is a thinner, crispier crust with a great crunch. The only problem is there are so many topping options to choose. The only toppings that contain gluten are the fried eggplant and meatballs, but the rest are gluten free friendly. David and I shared the Nighthawk pizza which is topped with basil pesto, grilled chicken, wild mushrooms, caramelized onions and mozzarella. Delicious! I look forward to trying the New Haven Green (artichoke hearts, oven dried tomatoes, sauteed spinach and olives) next time!

Pete's New Haven APizza

1400 Irving Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
202-332-PETE (7383)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cooking with Summer Squash

One of my favorite summer foods is squash. You can find squash easily and in great quantities during Washington, D.C. summers. Last summer I shared a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) with my sister-in-law, Alden, and we were blessed with all of the squash and zucchini we could imagine.

If you love fresh vegetables and fruit, a CSA is a great idea for the summer. You get a delivery each week from the same farm of whatever vegetables are growing on that farm at that moment. It forced me to cook and experiment with unfamiliar produce such as bok choy but I also learned to make my own pesto (due to the unlimited basil we received for a few weeks) and gluten free zucchini bread. I would recommend sharing a CSA with a good friend because then you don't feel as if you're wasting food when you're out of town on vacation and it's a fun excuse to cook together!

When joining a CSA or going to a local farmer's market, you're guaranteed to encounter plenty of squash. There are many ways to cook squash but today I wanted to share two delicious squash dishes that are family favorites. Both of these dishes are great for entertaining because they don't require much hands on attention once the cooking process begins.

Simple Roasted Summer Squash: This dish is very simple, easy and flavorful and you can make it in small or large quantities (sometimes a CSA will only give you one piece of squash which can be difficult to find a recipe and use for just one).

Summer squash, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
Onion, sliced
Olive oil
parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Slice squash into 1/2 inch round pieces. (If it's a larger squash/zucchini, I then cut the rounds in half.)
3. Slice up an onion.
4. Place onion and squash on cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper on top. Mix up onions and squash in olive oil. Lay onions and squash flat on cookie sheet.
5. Cook for 15 minutes then using a spatula, flip onions and squash and cook for another 15 minutes.
6. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and bake for another 2 minutes.
(Note: I like the squash to be nice a browned before taking them out of the oven, but they also taste good when not browned.)

Dot's Squash Casserole: This recipe is my grandmother, Dot's, old recipe. My mom made it last week and I'm going to make it today using squash from my in-law's garden in Linden, VA that is overflowing with summer vegetables right now!

3 pounds summer squash, chunked
3 medium onions, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup water
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
(the original recipe also calls for crumbled crackers on top but we just skip that step now to make it GF! I think it tastes better without it anyways)

1. Cook squash & onions with water, sugar, salt and pepper until mashable (about 45 minutes).
2. Beat two eggs lightly.
3. Add milk to eggs and mix well with squash. Add butter and mix.
4. Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes.
This recipe freezes well also!

Enjoy the abundance of squash during the last month of summer! Feel free to add your own squash recipes.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cherry Blossom Cakes

This cake maker was featured yesterday in Daily Candy and in May's Gluten Free Examiner. The cakes look yummy and they got rave reviews from non-gluten free eaters as well! I haven't yet tried one of these cakes but hope to soon. I'm always thrilled to see more gluten free options in the DC area.

(Photo from DC Gluten Free Examiner, May 2009)

Cherry Blossom Cakes