Friday, July 31, 2009

Shopping for Gluten Free Food...

Q: Please let me know if you have any great resources (ie: stores, websites, etc.) where you purchase the gfcf products.

A: I shop at several stores for gluten free foods. I go to Whole Foods on 14th Street or Whole Foods on 59th Street for some things. They have almonds, cold cuts from Applegate Farms, Applegate Farms organic grass fed hot dogs, organic chicken, agave sweetened coconut ice cream, agave, Westsoy rice milk, GLOW Gluten Free chocolate chip cookies and organic fruits and vegetables. Trader Joe's on 14th Street is also a great place to find organic fruits and vegetables, organic meats, eggs and staples. Local health food stores in my area have a surprising good selection of other hard to find items. East Side Health Food Store has Energ-e potato starch that I use to make pizza and crackers as well as organic greens, coconut milk, and Tinkyada pasta. Food Liberation Health Market carries olive oil potato chips, Schar Gluten Free Breadsticks, Joan's gluten free bagels, Tinkyada pasta, Kinnickkinnick gluten free donuts, tapioca rice bread and Westsoy rice milk.

I have gotten used to going to a few different stores for different things and I have gotten to know the owner of Food Liberation, John, who carries some of the best gluten free items. At first, it seemed overwhelming to have to go to several different stores, but now that I know where I can find everything and I have a routine, it is much more manageable. At the end of the summer Betty Crocker is launching a gluten free line of baking mixes that you will be able to buy in regular grocery stores, which will make things easier for people who don't have the luxury of having health food stores nearby.

Some items are only available online:
Eco Planet organic gluten free maple and brown sugar hot cereal
Authentic Foods Classical Blend Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

FUN THINGS: A Cherry Pitter

I love to travel, but I realize I am a little quirky about what I can't leave home without. On my road trip to Vermont this summer I took: frozen pureed ginger, 5 boxes of GLOW GLUTEN FREE chocolate chip cookies, 3 bags of Joan's gluten free bagels, my Vita-Mix, my new RAW cookbook, three super soft pillows, two bags of organic cherries and... an Oxo Cherry Pitter . The cherry pitter would have been a great house gift, if I had been organized enough to buy a new one. (Note to self: be more organized and buy a cherry pitter for next visit.)

The kids had fun pitting and eating their cherries with the "cherry gun" and everyone looked very artsy covered with red cherry juice. Cherry season runs from early June to the end of August so you can enjoy cherries all summer long.

Gluten Free Pantry - Chocolate Truffle Brownie Mix

My friend Amy made these gooey and delicious Gluten Free Pantry Chocolate Truffle Brownies for my birthday when I was visiting with my two kids. I hate using over the top adjectives to describe food, so I won't even try to describe the heavenly brownies she whipped up in five minutes from this mix. For as long as I have known Amy, she has always had brownies and cakes around for family and friends who drop by--in fact she has two other frosted cakes waiting to be eaten in addition to the Gluten Free Pantry Truffle Brownies. When I made brownies last week, I thought of her because, in my mind, I associate cake and brownie mixes with her busy, welcoming family. It was super sweet of her to go to the effort to get a gluten free version of the brownies. And, I have to say, it was especially nice to have someone cook for me for a change.

I stop by her house in the summer every year and she always makes her famous Cuban Chicken--an easy but impressive one pan meal. For breakfast tomorrow, her kids requested that I make crepes, which they remember from our last visit. These fun summer traditions we have created bring some order to the chaos of getting our two families together. We enjoy the preparation and each other so much more because we don't have to think about what we are going to make. And, I have a feeling, Gluten Free Pantry Chocolate Truffle Brownies will be added to our list of easy things we enjoy together every summer.

Monday, July 27, 2009

JK Wedding Entrance Dance

Completely unrelated to health but hilarious video that was sent to me

No Chill Sugar Cookies (Gluten Free/Casein Free)

This recipe is from my friend Jill who made these gluten free cookies for my daughter's class this year. The original recipe calls for 5 cups of flour. She substituted gluten free flour and xanthum gum so that they were gluten free cookies.

2 c. sugar
1.5 c. organic palm shortening
1 T. vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
5 c. gluten free flour
1 T. xanthum gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 T. baking soda

Cream sugar and shortening together until smooth. Add vanilla, eggs and vinegar. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Bake at 375º for 8-10 minutes.

Jennifer's Summer Gazpacho: A Signature Dish

I don't actually have Jennifer's Summer Gazpacho Recipe yet. It's a long story, and hopefully I will get my hands on it in the near future. But I wanted to blog about it anyway because it is a delicious seasonal recipe that my friend makes all summer long when she is at the beach--it is her signature summer recipe.

Having a recipe that you prepare seasonally can make entertaining easier for you. In addition, a seasonal recipe makes it more special for your family and guests. Even if your kids don't eat gazpacho or the seasonal dish you prepare, watching you cook it, eat it and share it with others year after year creates a ritual that they will remember. It also teaches them about seasonal foods. Plus, when you make a recipe over and over again it gets easier to prepare as it is woven into the fabric of the season.

Michael Tuohy has an article called Is it Tomato Season Yet on Frontburner: all about food that explains how supermarket tomatoes are "grown in hot houses, picked hard as a rock green, gassed to turn the color red, packaged and shipped." Fresh, local heirloom tomatoes that are found at farmer's markets and farmstands are at their peak in August and nothing like the supermarket tomatoes. Sliced thickly with salt and pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and oil and a chiffonade of basil, heirloom tomatoes have always been a signature dish at our summer table.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gluten Free Flatbread

I wasn't going to post his recipe for gluten free flatbread. It was a total experiment when I was trying to use up some almond pulp that I had left over from making almond milk, but my son tried it and said "WHERE did you get THIS recipe?" so I thought I would share it. We made egg salad sandwiches with the flatbread.

1 cup almond pulp from 1 recipe of almond milk*
1 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp salt
1 T. agave
1 egg white
2 T. organic palm shortening or olive oil
1/2 tsp. xanthum gum

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together ingredients and spread out batter onto parchment paper. It should be 1/4 inch thick and fill up 3/4 of the baking sheet. Run the thin edge of a spatula through the batter to divide the batter into 12 sections. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400º.

*or 1 cup almond meal with 1/2 cup

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Petition to Bring Back the The Orange Valencia Cake at Starbucks

Starbucks has discontinued the gluten free Orange Valencia Cake via Twitter and Triumph Dining has put together a petition and is trying to get 5,000 signatures to ask them to bring back the gluten-free cake. The ingredient list of the Orange Valencia cake is impressively short for a gluten free baked product, making it more like a homemade treat than a chemistry concoction. In addition,the fat in the cake is from almonds and eggs, which are both natural sources of healthy fats. I signed the petition this morning. Here is the link to the Triumph Dining Petition To Bring Back the Gluten-Free Cake.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Agave Lemonade: A Juice Alternative

This summer, I started making agave lemonade to make hot summer days a little more fun and to have something for my son to drink when friends were having juice boxes. This is a picture of A. and E. enjoying their lemonade. They would run out of the pool to take a sip and then run back in to swim. It was quite cute to watch them excitedly go back and forth.

My kids had never drunk much juice until I found a delicious organic honeydew juice at the GO GREEN EXPO in NYC in the spring. I thought it was wonderful and gave some to my son here and there. That is when I realized that juice, honeydew, in particular, can feed yeast unless it is freshly squeezed. I have found that my kids and other kids who are sensitive to sugar and and juice do fine with this lemonade.

Agave Lemonade Recipe:

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice*
1/2 cup-3/4 cup agave (depending on how sweet you like it)
6 cups water

*If you don't have a juicer, you can cut the lemons in half and stick a fork in the middle of the flat half and twist to extract the juice from the lemon.

Cut lemons in half. Squeeze juice. Mix all ingredients together

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oatmeal Jammers: A Gluten Free RAW Homemade Bar

Kelly, a friend who is a personal trainer, gave me this great RAW recipe for Oatmeal Jammers. It is super easy to make with only three ingredients: oatmeal, bananas and peanut butter. You can use another type of nut or seed butter like almond butter, cashew butter or sunbutter if you prefer to avoid peanuts. Also, you can mix in raisins or coconut or cocoa for variety.

1 banana
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
1 cup of gluten free oats

Mash the banana and peanut butter together. Add the oatmeal and stir together until it forms a dough. Put on a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a 2 inch by 2 inch by 7 inch bar. It should be a small roll (kind of like those cookies that you slice and bake.) Put the roll in the freezer for 3 house. Slice rounds off when you need a snack or a quick meal.

Gluten Free Birthday Gift Ideas: A Flower Cake

I was celebrating a milestone birthday today and my husband, who is traveling overseas, sent me this cake with a card...THIS IS A "FLOWER" CAKE, NOT A "FLOUR" CAKE. It even comes with candles!

You can order the "Flower Cake", not the "Flour" Cake from

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle RECIPES

I was out with Jennifer, a nutrition mom friend of mine, who was telling me about the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and I just downloaded it to my kindle. It seems a little antithetical to read it on such a modern device, since it is about local, old fashioned living. But, I just couldn't resist reading it tonight. Plus, I am a little too awake to go to sleep after the 1770 House chocolate cake with peanut butter gelato that happened to be gluten free. I also wanted to share this link to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Recipes that I found while trying to order the book.

Buying Organic Produce in East Hampton, NY

East End Organic Community (ECCO) Farm is my favorite farm stand these days for buying organic produce in East Hampton, NY. It stands in the fields on picturesque Long Lane. Although not all the produce at ECCO Farm is organic, John, the owner seems to have the most organic produce I have found in the area. Today I wanted cherries to make a cherry crisp I had seen on gluten free mommy blog and they were out, so I asked John, who was carrying a box of bananas, if he had any . He ran back to the truck to get the cherries and excitedly announced, "They aren't local but they are organic and they are as fresh as you can get." Juicy Naam is another favorite for people who are looking for organic fruits and vegetables. They also have fresh juices and prepared foods. On Fridays, the farmers market at Nick and Toni's Restaurant sells local produce and food.

Ecco Farm Stand
55 Long Lane
East Hampton, NY 11937

The Juicy Naam
27 Race Lane
East Hampton, NY 11937

Farmer's Market (Fridays 9am-1 pm)
Nick & Toni's Restaurant
(in the parking lot)
136 North Main Street
East Hampton, NY

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quote: Margaret Mead on Change

"It is easier to change a man's religion than to change his diet."
-Margaret Mead

Monday, July 13, 2009

Yeast & Allergy Free Food List

This is a list of what to eat and what not eat when trying to eliminate yeast and several major allergens. I received a similar list from Dr. Morton Teich, an environmental allergist years ago. It was a simple way to move my kids to a healthier way of eating. Dr. Teich's old school yeast free list is something I go back to and recommend regularly so I created my own list that is gluten free and includes eggs. There are other ways to eliminate yeast, but I find this WHAT NOT TO EAT...WHAT TO EAT list the simplest way to begin making changes. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is a more intense yeast free protocol that is also worth trying.

Symptoms of yeast overgrowth are gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, hyperactivity, inattention, yeast infections, and irritability.

Yeast & Allergy Free Food List

Related posts:
Yeast Overgrowth
Biofilm and Yeast

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gluten Free Product: Bumble Bars

Another nutrition mom recently introduced me to these organic, gluten free and vegan Bumble Bars when we were trading information about gluten free foods. I tried the original Bumble Bar at her house and I liked them so much I had a chocolate crisp Bumble Bar for BREAKFAST the next day when I stumbled upon them at Provisions health food store after dropping my kids off camp. It's not really "what to feed your kids" for breakfast (although it might be healthier than typical breakfast fare) but it was certainly a yummy treat for me on a busy morning.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Top 10 Things That Have Helped My Kids

Here is a list of the things that have helped my son get better...I am posting them in the order we did them. Getting better didn't happen overnight. Many of these things have worked synergistically to heal our gluten free family. Some of these were suggested by doctors--others were recommended by parents and some I stumbled across doing research, implemented and noticed huge benefits. Most recently, it's been the biofilm protocol and the thyroid medication that have made the biggest difference for my kids. And in case you think that I like everything I have tried, I have to tell you that there is an even longer list of "things that didn't help my kids." And a few cabinets of supplements that we never used/didn't make a difference/I couldn't get my kids to take. Which doesn't mean the things that didn't help my kid, might not help your kid. The one thing that I have learned is that everyone is different. And not everything I have done is on this list. There are a ton of little things I found helpful: using coconut oil, cooking with garlic, epson salt baths for sensory integration disorder. But these are the big things that really shifted things.

1) Gluten free/Casein free diet (and soy free diet)
2) Getting rid of chemicals in our house
3) SAY and PLAY speech therapy at 20 months
4) GI FLORA probiotics from Dr. Teich<--UPDATE on 1/1/2010 THESE HAVE DAIRY IN THEM. They really helped my son but he needed the Enzymes below because these had dairy in them. If you are on a GFCF diet consider a GFCF probiotic like Ther-Biotic Complete and consider starting slow with just a sprinkle and gradually increasing.
5) sublingual B12 with folic acid <--my son started talking when he took this supplement
6) 1/2 a tablet of Kirkman's B6/magnesium
7) ALCAT food intolerance testing through Dr. Pescatore
8) No-Phenol and Tri-Enza Enzymes by Houston Neutraceuticals
9) Thyroid testing through Dr. Raphael Kellman and Armour thyroid
10) Biofilm Protocol to get rid of yeast through Geri Brewster

***These are in the order we did them.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Potatoes, Green Beans, Olives and Hard Boiled Eggs--Composed Salad for Kids

I fed this composed salad of roasted potato rounds, green beans, olives and hard boiled eggs to two three year olds today and they ate it. The adults were eating a Barefoot Contessa provencal salad and I decided I would simplify it and separate the ingredients to make it more kid friendly. It was a little bit of luck. The younger one had just come in announcing she wanted a peanut butter sandwich and I said I had this and some LEMONADE! I emphasized "EAT THIS and I will bring you some lemonade." I find the less I say about food , the better. Anyway, it worked so I thought I would share it with you. Even if the kids only eat the potatoes, it is good to try to introduce them to new foods because you never know when they are going to eat them.

Slice the potatoes in 1/4 inch rounds, toss them in oil and put them on a hot sheet tray in a 375º oven for 20 minutes on each side. Then sprinkle with salt.

Cut ends off green beans. Drop in boiling water for 3-5 minutes until green and just cooked. Plunge in cold ice water bach. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and salt.

Put eggs in a small pot and fill with cold water one inch above eggs. Bring to a boil. Turn town heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Gluten Free Graham Crackers & Smores Recipe

I made these graham crackers for the kids to make S'mores. The secret to the graham crackers is rolling out the dough and letting it harden in the fridge before cutting them into rectangles and piercing them with a fork. It is the third year I have made graham crackers so I have perfected making them. At first, the idea of making graham crackers seemed overwhelming, but now it is a fun summer tradition that seems easier than buying them. Happy Fourth of July!

1 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening
1 cup agave (or 1 cup sugar)
2 eggs or
2 cups + 2 T. gluten free flour mix
1& 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1.5 cups of finely ground cashews

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat shortening and agave with an electric mixture. Add eggs and vanilla until mixed well. Add flour mix, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Then add 1.5 cups of finely ground cashews. Mix until well blended.

Divide into 3. Place parchment paper on counter. Place 1/3 dough onto parchment. Cover with plastic wrap and roll out dough until 1/8 inch thick. Place flattened dough in fridge to cool dough. When dough has hardened, take out and cut into rectangles 1.5 inches by 3 inches.
Pierce with a fork. Cook 15 minutes in oven.

For Smores: Enjoy with Kraft marshmallows and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips.

Drop 1 inch cookies onto cooking try 1 inch apart. Bake in center of oven for 8-10 minutes watching closely to make sure they are light brown.

Friday, July 3, 2009

REVIEW: Vegetables' Destiny at Goat on a Boat

Vegetables' Destiny is a puppet show for kids at Goat on a Boat in Sag Harbor--but adults will also enjoy this off Broadway quality show as well. "It's better than Avenue Q" my sister said after watching the performance.

My favorite song was "DIRT." D-I-R-T. It doesn't hurt!" (Although the poop song about manure was a close second.) The show is full of crunchy and witty songs about the cycle of life and the finale is a plate of veggies the kids get to eat. One writer/performer said "Even if your kids don't eat vegetable--they will now." And she's right. After watching the veggies grow proudly from seed to seedling to plant to vegetable everyone was happy to help them fulfill their destiny.

See the whole summer line up at Goat on a Boat for more entertaining, creative and thoughtful events. Vegetables' Destiny will also be playing at this summer's Mid Atlantic Puppet Festival in Washington, DC. Goat on a Boat also runs a playgroup and camp.

* At the show, the popcorn is made from organic corn, safflower oil and sea salt!

Route 114 and East Union Street
Sag Harbor, NY

Eco-Planet Organics 7 Grain Whole Grain Hot Cereal

My son and I played a game while eating this Eco-Planet Organics 7 Whole Grain Hot Cereal. Whoever took a bite and said "yummy" first won. It was his idea--probably sparked by the fact that the cereal is so delicious.

We tried the maple and brown sugar flavor which is creamy and sweet, but also full of whole grains. Oats, Amaranth, Sorghum, Quinoa, Millet and Buckwheat and Chia. The oats are certified gluten free and according to Dr. Peter Greene of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia, buckwheat is okay on a gluten free and should be called "buckCORN" and not buckwheat as the protein is more similar to corn than wheat. Normally, I am not a huge fan of healthy looking labels, but I wonder if I felt so good after eating this cereal because of the 500 g. of Omega 3s...

You can order a case of 6 boxes online now through Eco-Planet Organics or find them at Wegman's. They should be at Whole Foods in several weeks. I will keep you posted.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


My eight year old said "This is a HUGE score" after reading "This is a GLUTEN FREE FOOD." on all the UTZ chips that were hanging in a line at the store today. Besides being psyched she could have them all, she was especially impressed that they "went to the effort of labeling them GLUTEN FREE." I usually don't buy junk food with tons of chemicals, but she was so happy saying "This is the ONLY junk food I can have" that I bought her the bright orange cheese curls to celebrate. I split the package with her because it was two servings. If your kids can't have dairy or they are sensitive to MSG, you might want to steer clear of the cheese curls. And a lot of UTZ chips are made with cottonseed oil-- which is NOT my favorite. But, in a pinch, UTZ chips are a GLUTEN FREE FOOD and I do appreciate the labeling and how happy my daughter was that there was some actual junk food she could have.

•••Although we were both fine with the cheese curls, there is a huge anti UTZ backlash. Apparently, there have been reports of people getting sick from UTZ chips that have been labelled gluten free on celiac. com.