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Gluten-free Travel in Maui

Maui Beach

We just took a trip to Maui, my sons and my first to Hawaii, and I was of course nervous about what we were all going to eat. The good news is that it wasn’t actually that difficult, but the bad news, I have to say, was it was food-boring. On the first night we got in late and ordered room service because it actually pointed out their gluten-free foods on the menu (Westin Ocean Villas at Ka’anapali). Their gluten-free buns were dark and awesome, though I was much more enthusiastic than my boys who prefer whiter breads. They must use teff or some other flour that isn’t in heavy rotation in the gluten-free bread circles because they were darker than I’d ever seen any gluten-free baked good, and hearty like a dark whole wheat. The next day we went to a typical grocery store and bought gluten-free pasta, corn tortillas, refried beans and a few other things plus fruit and veggies. We ended up eating those things just about every single meal of every single day of the week, hence the food-boredom. We went out to two other meals, one, a Mexican restaurant so more tortillas and beans, and then another to an open-air sports pub kind of place where the boys and I got…tacos. Thank goodness for corn tortillas but it will be a long time before I care to make anything with them again. My youngest son found a bread he adores though, so he actually ate toast, plain toast nothing on it, for part of many meals. Ener.g tapioca bread was a big hit with him and about as white as you can possibly make any bread. tapioca loaf

I had brought with me pumpkin seed butter by Omega Nutrition and my other son spread that on all his toast and Udi’s bagels which I had brought with us. pumpkinSeedButter-12oz-MediumThat pumpkin seed butter is really good~ it tastes closer to peanut butter than sunflower seed butter does, and less salty. If you have a nut-free child, or are nut-free yourself, I definitely recommend trying it if you haven’t already.

I suppose people don’t go to Maui in November for the food, but it made it a little easier to go from 80+ degree weather to 30 degree weather when we were so bored with our meal times. It is nice to be home with our warm kitchen, even if the weather outside is back to the typical Fall drizzle and there are no oceans nearby. It was good to see that so many gluten-free things could be found in a regular grocery store though~ I suppose traveling anywhere in the U.S. would be fairly easy at this point, as long as you had your own toaster and stove-top to use.

Thanksgiving is next week already and all the recipes I’ve seen going around all look so tempting! I think I’m going to stick with a few side dishes I know though while my husband deals with the turkey. So far this is the plan:

Marinated goat cheese appetizer (Café Flora cookbook) with crostini and rice crackers

Gluten-free, vegan corn bread muffins

Rolls from Wildflour

Roasted Winter Vegetables from Whole Living

Husband will make (or buy!) Turkey and Mashed Potatoes and probably cranberry sauce which no one ever actually eats at our house

Some kind of pie with (non-dairy) ice cream

(Please ignore my ‘creative’ capitalization.)

What’s on your menu?

dairy free · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gf foods · gluten free · gluten free foods · gluten free lifestyle · gluten intolerant

The Devil is in the…Dairy

I knew it would be, but still, the results were harsher than I expected. My youngest is so intolerant to dairy that he can’t even have goat cheese, yogurt, milk which I had recently been relying on. Plus, they are both intolerant of almonds, so there goes the almond milk I use in all my baking, waffle making, etc and it also makes protein bar buying surprisingly difficult. My older one also needs to be off peanuts, eggs, and some other things that don’t really matter for at least six months while their bodies heal from all the damage of ingesting gluten (and dairy) for years. Ah yes, the gluten~ I forgot to even mention that one, but that was a given also. The naturopath thinks my husband is probably also gluten intolerant b/c the kids’ intolerances are so severe. He’s finding out. Fun times at our house. Despite all my prepping for this, I am finding meal times exhausting during this transition period. I know it will get easier, my logical brain was fully prepared for a period of adjustment, some whining and frustration, and some uneaten foods that took a long time to prepare, but my emotional brain can’t seem to keep my own level of frustration in check. When I look at the clock and realize it’s close to a meal time I feel my cortisol levels rise and my mind starts speeding through options~ what can everyone eat so I have to make the least amount of separate meals that gives everyone balanced options and fairly happy and normal and not stressed out while meanwhile I’m stressing out before I even step foot into the kitchen…sigh. I know it will get easier, I really do~ I’m all set to start meal planning with input from every member of the family and to spend some extra time making food such as soups and casseroles that will last for a few days and will be good fall back food, but I don’t feel like I can do that until I have all the bits of information assembled, namely my husband’s and my own intolerances fully understood. We’ll get there, I know. Of course I can say that calmly because it is 1:52PM and I don’t have to make dinner for another 3+ hours…

On a different note, I read a very nice article today that spells out gluten intolerance quite well. For those who have to explain themselves all the time, or are just curious about it, this is a great (short) article to help make that explanation very clear and concise:http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9739/how-gluten-wreaks-havoc-on-your-gut.html.

dairy free · Food allergies · food sensitivities · gf foods · gluten free · gluten free food · gluten free foods · gluten intolerance

More Gluten-free/dairy-free Discoveries

Besides the garlic bread that I’ve been making with the Trader Joe’s flatbread, I’ve also been making pizzas which my sons have declared better than delivered pizza, so that says it all. For the cheese I’ve been combining two goat cheeses together, one is that hard goat gouda from Trader Joe’s and the other is a mozzarella style that I found at Whole Foods. I combine the two b/c while the mozzarella one does indeed taste like regular mozzarella, it almost tastes too much, like mozz on steroids. The gouda has a much milder flavor and tames the other quite a bit to make a very yummy, kid friendly, cheese pizza. Here’s the empty package:  Mozzarella Goat Cheese

Today I used Namaste Foods’ pizza crust for the first time and the kids really love that too. I use that same brand for waffles in the mornings (almost every morning for my youngest) and it is wonderfully clean of ingredients that people commonly cannot tolerate. Here’s the package: Namaste Foods' pizza crust

I needed to spread the crust a bit thinner, but this is how it came out:

Gluten free Goat cheese pizza

The boys loved it and commented on the pizza crust specifically. I won’t rely on pizza and garlic bread for too long, but for now, during this transition period, it’s so nice to have easy to prepare foods that the kids enjoy. My youngest son has been open to trying more new foods too, just like the naturopath predicted! She said when kids stop eating foods they don’t tolerate well, their taste buds change. So far my son is eating rice again, like he used to when he was younger but stopped some time around 4 years old. He also has been eating granola which he used to turn his nose up at. Not that these additions are kale and quinoa, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. (Actually two steps!) I’ll take it.

celiac disease · dairy free · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gf bread · gluten free · gluten free bread · Gluten free eating · gluten free food · gluten free foods · gluten free lifestyle · gluten intolerant

Substitutes for Common Food Intolerances

I know that food intolerances can be cured and granted, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. We haven’t gotten our test results back yet but I’m already trying to get dairy out of our diets, and I’m leery of eggs and soy because they are common problem-makers too. This is not easy for a primarily vegetarian family, but if we can do it, anyone can, and honestly it hasn’t been all that difficult yet. My youngest who used to live on Annie’s boxes of shells and cheese now has a new love~ garlic bread sticks. I make the Trader Joe’s gluten-free, dairy free flat bread pizza crusts into garlic bread sticks by preheating the oven to 425, mix 1T of olive oil (per sheet of crust), with one clove of garlic and a dash of Mediterranean salt. I pour that on the flat bread and rub it until it is all evenly distributed. It says to cook for 6-10 minutes and I am finding 9 minutes works best for our oven. Once I take out the bread I cut it into 3 long strips, like bread sticks he recognizes from restaurants. He loves them, and I love the olive oil and garlic getting into his body. This is what it looks like and it is in the refrigerated section.

Gluten Free Pizza Crust
Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Also from Trader Joe’s we’ve been getting goat cheeses of all kinds. I found this goat cream cheese which is perfect on Udi’s bagels. Goat Cream Cheese

If you are watching fat/calories the above goat cheese is more in line with Neuchâtel cheese than cream cheese. Other cheeses I’ve talked about before, also from Trader Joe’s are these goat cheeses: Trader Joe's Goat CheesesThe triangle is a hard cheese which is good for shredding and snacking, the others are a soft, spreadable cheese that go well with sweeter foods. I am looking forward to making gluten-free crepes with those cute little medallions and fresh strawberries.

Another substitution I’ve made lately is cooking up Lundberg’s Tuscan Risotto instead of their parmesan one that we used to eat all the time (with broccoli and sometimes smoked salmon on the side.) I was very afraid my oldest would revolt against this change because he adores parmesan risotto, but he actually loved the dairy free Tuscan kind. He said it tasted just the same~ works for me!

Lundberg Tuscan Risotto
Lundberg Tuscan Risotto

These are just quick fixes so far, but it helps to make the task seem less daunting to have easy to prepare meals on hand that the kids really like. Once they are used to their intolerances, we will work on adding in more variety. Watch, they won’t even be dairy intolerant! That’d be fantastic, but less dairy in their lives can’t be a bad thing. My son’s sinuses confirm that. It’s nice we are entering summer too for all the fruits that are available. They add color and variety to every meal in a happy way.

 

 

celiac disease · dairy free · Food allergies · food sensitivities · gf foods · gluten free · gluten free food · gluten free foods · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerant

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Care Free too?

While we are still awaiting the actual results from the naturopath on exactly how intolerant we all are, I’ve already been cutting way down on dairy for the kids and myself and I’m happy to report that a. it’s been easy and b. I see good results. My oldest is less clogged in his sinuses, my youngest’s cheeks are looking smoother (he has that pinkish-slightly bumpy stuff on his cheeks that adults get on the back of their arms. No doctor has ever been able to say why, just that it’s something a lot of people have. The naturopath though says it’s a food intolerance and we’ll fix it~ yay for getting to the root of the issue!) and I’m less bloated without dairy in my life. For my oldest, I have switched to almond milk, the vanilla kind (Blue Diamond unsweetened vanilla) that is in the refrigerated section and he likes it just as well as regular milk. For cheese, I’ve switched to goat cheese for quesadillas and cinnamon toast. The goat cheeses were recommended by my friend who is already dealing with a house of four with food intolerances. She gave me two to try from Trader Joe’s, both carrying the Trader Joe’s name: one is a hard cheese called Goat’s milk Gouda cheese. It comes in a fairly big triangular cut and is surprisingly inexpensive. This is what I’ve been shredding for quesadillas lately and my oldest loves it, plus I’ve been slicing it for crackers and it is delightful. The other cheese is a spreadable goat cheese medallion, which comes in small individually wrapped circles. Both cheeses are mild, but the spreadable one is somewhat more like butter than cheese when spread on toast, which is how I ate is yesterday with my salad at lunch. My friend recommended I top the cheese on toast with some cinnamon sugar, so I tried that for my boys and it was a huge hit with my oldest. I’m still working on my youngest on trying new things, but I’m sure it won’t be long before his palate is less picky. For yogurt I’ve been eating Redwood Hill’s goat yogurt or So Delicious’ coconut yogurt. I like the goat kind better because it has a healthier protein to sugar ratio and the taste is more like regular yogurt that I’m used to. The coconut yogurt is good, but less protein and sweeter. I have a feeling that might be what my kids like better though and it would be good to have as many diverse foods as possible in their diet so I’ll have them try it. I asked a couple of employees at Whole Foods what they saw people buying the most of, and they said the almond yogurt, but it has different texture that you have to get used to. I tried it and did not like it at all. The texture is indeed very odd~ not smooth and creamy at all, but to each his/her own. So, that’s how the dairy experiments are going right now.

Here’s a chocolate chip cookie recipe I modified from the Flying Apron cookbook. It’s gluten-free and vegan and so incredibly delicious you’ll never notice the difference. By the way, neither of my kids really like the taste of coconut, but the amount of oil I used in this recipe leaves such a mild coconut taste it’s hard to even figure out what that extra little something is unless you know. And the boys adore these cookies. With that said, use whatever ingredients you have. I don’t believe in that whole “baking must be precise” myth. Experiment!

Gluten Free, Vegan, Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1.25 cups + 1T gf oat flour
  • 1 cup garbanzo bean/fava bean flour (it’s a Bob’s Red Mill blend)
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 3/4 sea salt
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips (I like the smaller ones found in bulk sections)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all dry ingredients up to and including the cinnamon in a bowl and mix with a spoon. Blend the sugar and oils together in a (bigger) bowl with a mixer. Slowly add the almond milk and dry ingredients to the sugar and oil bowl, alternating the ingredients until well blended. Then add the chocolate chips and mix until well-distributed. Scoop dough onto lined cooked sheets and bake for 17-20 minutes. Enjoy!