Wednesday, February 29, 2012

FREE Workshop in NYC on Thursday March 1 from 6 - 8 PM

Mealtime Success!
A 12 week journey from picky to adventurous eating
FREE Workshop on Thursday March 1 from 6-8 pm
at Emerge and See Education Center
164 W. 25th Street, Suite 7R, New York, NY 10001

Are mealtimes a battleground?
Do you wish your child made healthier food choices?
Have you had to resort to supplements just to meet your child's basic nutritional needs?

Join Susan Roberts in New York City on Saturdays, from March 24 to June 16, 2012 as she leads you and your children on a FUN exploration of food.
Children will enjoy 90 minutes of fun playing and exploring new foods while their parents learn techniques they can use immediately to lead their children to healthier foods and more pleasurable mealtimes.

All classes will take place at Emerge and See. Susan will lead the parent group. Emerge and See staff will lead the children's groups in Chelsea where the course will take place.

Contact Susan for more information--or click here to buy her book "My Kid Eats Everything: A Journey from Picky to Adventurous Eating."

"Vegetables by college is our goal" Susan says--which puts it all in perspective. But it won't happen unless you begin.

Gluten Free Food at Windham Mountain Ski Resort

I was a little overwhelmed trying to figure out food for our first ski trip, but it turns out Jim Todara, the chef who manages the Wheelhouse Lodge at Windham Mountain Ski Resort created a menu that caters to celiacs! Disney is the only other resort that is making these kind of accommodations for gluten free travelers. They have a few restaurants have joined the Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP.)

Two restaurants are on the mountain...
  • The Wheelhouse Mountain Lodge. A mid mountain eatery with a smokehouse flair! The new menu items include many BBQ staples like: smoked brisket, pulled chicken and pulled pork. The items will be available inside or out on the large deck featuring two new grills. Location: Top of D-Lift
  • Legends Bar and Grill. A table-service restaurant with soups, salads and entrees during lunchtime hours. On the bar side, enjoy a wide variety of beverages, a bar menu, sports on the TV’s and afternoon entertainment. Location: Base Lodge 3rd Floor
One is in town...
  • Rock'n Mexican. Creative mexican inspired fare at the Winwood Inn on Main Street.

I look forward to finding out more when our family takes our first ski trip. Here is a little testimonial from the press release announcing Windham Mountain is the Premier Snow Resort to offer Gluten Free Menus...

"CALLING ALL SKIIERS!!! if you have wanted to go skiing but don't want to bring your own food to the mountain, you MUST go to Windham Mountain. They have recently been added to the GFRAP but we have been skiing (and eating GF) at Windham for 5 years. The manager at the Wheelhouse lodge, Jim, has celiacs as well as his daughter so he is extremely knowledgeable. Over the December break, my son had bacon, egg and cheese on a (Joans) bagel in the morning and a philly cheesesteak on a (Joans) roll as well as fries for lunch. Jim always tells us what Jared can/can't have and even lists the gf items of the day on the bulletin board. An added bonus...the food is delicious! Ask for Jim at the Wheelhouse Lodge and have a great time!"

Windham Mountain Ski Resort
33 Clarence D. Lane Road
Windham, NY 12496

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NYC LECTURE Wed 2/29/12 with Geri Brewster: Biomed on a Budget

Weds. Feb. 29th - New York City Event
Geri Brewster, RD, MPH, CDN - Biomed On a Budget
Rebecca School, 40 E.30th St., 5th Fl. (btw Park & Madison Aves.) New York City
Event details


Geri Brewster is the nutritionist who really turned it around for my kids. After three years of allergy testing and special diets they still were really sensitive to foods. My son was still "allergic to everything" until we used a special protocol to heal his gut recommended by Geri. I can't wait to hear this presentation tomorrow night by someone who has helped us so much.

My husband always jokes that I should write a book on "Gluten Free on an Unlimited Budget" so I am super excited to see Geri Brewster's lecture BIOMED ON A BUDGET on Wednesday night at the Rebecca School courtesy of the NAA NY Metro Chapter.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thoughts on Corn in Winter

There was nothing local or seasonal or organic about this corn. I saw the green husks at Citerella and decided it would brighten up our dinner. Although Citerella has great grass fed , organic meat they don't carry any organic produce. I once asked why and they told me "people don't want to find bugs in their food."

Even though corn is one of those things best to buy organic because non organic corn is genetically modified, I picked two ears up anyway for a treat thinking it would bring a little summer into our February existence. The interesting thing is that while corn is such an odd thing to see on my dinner table in the middle of winter, we sometimes have gluten free corn pasta. And often the gluten free corn pasta is not organic because there is not an organic gluten free option.

The corn wasn't magical like it is in the summer. I can't even remember who ate it or not. I don't think I would eat fresh corn every day in the winter. But it is whole food and probably healthier, in some ways, than corn pasta. I also think when you try to eat seasonally how strange and somehow sinful it feels to eat something out of season. When actually, the most out of season option is not the corn in the husk in the winter--but the processed food that has no season at all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Weekly Meal Plan

A few months ago, I decided to create a weekly meal plan to see if it made dinnertime easier. I love to cook but deciding what to have for dinner took so much effort and then, often, the kids didn't eat what I had prepared. Sometimes, I ended up preparing a different dinner for everyone. I decided to try to look at the meals that BOTH my kids actually ate and liked. It is a little bit of a moving target because, of course, kid's get sick of a dish and decide they just don't want to eat it anymore. Also, (a disclaimer) my basic weekly meal plan is a little boring. Serving a sauce on the side, like my Easy Green Dip or guacamole, makes it more interesting though.

I am not winning any culinary awards for my dinners, but it certainly makes things easier. On Monday, I generally have the fixings for pizza in the fridge so I don't need to shop. On Tuesday I shop for the fish, meat and chicken and all the vegetables. I serve the fish on Tuesday--the day I shop. The beef is served on Wednesday and is only sitting in my fridge for a day. On Wednesday I also dredge the flattened chicken in potato or corn starch which tenderizes for cooking on Thursday. Below is my sample schedule...

Monday-Pizza Night with olives
Tuesday-Pan Fried Flounder breaded with cereal crumbs
Wednesday-Grass Fed Beef (hamburgers or steak or chili or tacos)
Thursday-Chicken Paillard
Fun Friday!-leftovers or whatever you want
Saturday and Sunday-easy food like pasta or chicken nuggets (if we go out without the kids) or we go out to a restaurant or we cook something like Pad Thai

When my friend with six kids cooks for her family, I noticed that a lot of the time she breads and pan fries what she serves. I think I realized that my kids would even eat fish if it was prepared in this kid friendly way. And, served with a wedge of lemon or an interesting sauce, suddenly I went from preparing four different dinners to preparing one that we all enjoyed together.

While preparing the same thing week in week out can be a little monotonous--the big pay off is that when you make the same thing you get very good at preparing it--and kids know what to expect. With each of these meals which I have streamlined, I can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes if I need to. And by removing the question of "what to have for dinner" I enjoy the process of cooking and dinner with my family more.

Also, if you get bored of anything you can serve a different preparation. For instance, last week I made two types of fish--salmon and breaded flounder. It wasn't that much more work (as the salmon had a bread crumbs on top. But, having two options made Fish Tuesday a little more exciting. And serving the familiar pan fried flounder option for anyone who didn't want the salmon it took the pressure off everyone eating the salmon.

How do you decide what to make for dinner?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gluten Free Dairy Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

I received an email tonight that they were having red velvet cupcakes tomorrow for Valentine's Day in my son's 1st grade class. My son has actually never had red velvet cupcakes so I offered to make some for the four gluten free students in the class. The frosting is not a traditional cream cheese frosting. I bought tofutti cream cheese but then decided it was too last minute to make a dairy free cream cheese frosting and too risky to use an ingredient that is so processed without checking with the parents. So, I went with a classic dairy free "buttercream" frosting. I will post the recipe for the red velvet cupcakes later in the week--after I get the reviews from my kids.

Below is a picture of the Valentines my 6 year old made for his classmates. I was pretty impressed that he sat down and addressed and signed 30 of them in one sitting without too much prompting. Kids are so surprising but candy is definitely a big motivator. He included blowpops and Haribo gummy bears with his hand stamped valentines.


Gluten Free PIzza Crust Recipe

Monday is pizza night. You can see pictures of our finished pizza's at Dinner 6: Pepperoni Pizza but tonight I wanted to try out homemade pizza crust.

This recipe for pizza crust is actually pretty easy. The original recipe is from Silvana Nardone's AMAZING cookbook Cooking for Isaiah. If you are cooking for someone who is on a gluten free diet you need to buy her cookbook.

I had to adapt the recipe because I didn't have her flour blend. This is what I came up with. Normally I don't reprint recipes but I wanted to remember what I had done and since it wasn't the same as the recipe in her book I needed a record. Below is my version--although the original is better if you have her flour blend on hand.

I love using Authentic Foods flour because they finely mill their brown rice flour. It has the texture and taste of white rice flour but is more nutritious. If you want a storebought version, we like Udi's gluten free pizza crusts--but these homemade pizza crusts are healthier than Udi's because they don't have the preservatives and they are made with a more nutritious flour blend.

  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend (1&1/3 cup Authentic Foods brown rice flour + 1/3 potato starch flour+ 1/3 cup tapioca flour)
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 & 2/3 teaspoons salt
  • 1&1/3 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup warm water (under 110degrees is best for the yeast)

  • Mix dry ingredients together.
  • Add wet ingredients and stir or beat until combined. I used my standing Kitchen Aid mixer just to speed things up but you can also use a glass bowl and a wooden spoon.
  • Divide the dough into 2 half pound pieces
  • Place on a floured piece of parchment.
  • With floured fingers press into 8 inch round circle on parchment paper.
  • Use an 8 inch round plate or cardboard cake circle to cut out an 8 inch pizza crust if you want a perfect circle.
  • Cover loosely with plastic and a dish towel.
  • Let rise for 30 minutes.
  • Bake in 450 degree oven for 8 minutes
  • Remove crust from oven and top with toppings.
  • Bake for 10 more minutes until cheese is bubbly and melted.
  • cut with large chefs knife or pizza cutter into 6 slices
We like to use Rao's marinara sauce, daiya cheese (which is dairy free,) boar's head pepperoni and fresh basil.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pure Yoga Event - March 18, 2012 NYC

Join Amie Valpone from The Healthy Apple at Pure Yoga Event in NYC for yoga and gluten free fun! Please RSVP to:

Pure West
204 W. 77th St. @ Amsterdam Ave. NYC

Sunday, March 18th
3:30 pm
Price: $10

Learn about Vinyasa Yoga. Characterized by flowing poses and sequences that are linked to the breath. This class is diverse and sequencing will vary with instructor philosophy and in general is a vigorous, more athletic approach to yoga.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dinner 8: Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a popular dinner at our house. My kids love the thai rice noodles with peanuts and fresh lime juice. This make ahead sauce recipe makes it an easy stir fry dish--that is better than most restaurants. You need to adjust the seasoning at the end to make sure it has a balance of sweet, sour and spicy.

Here is a link to the recipe...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

What I DIDN'T Make For Dinner 1: BURGER GARAGE

On Friday nights we LOVE getting take out from Burger Garage in Long Island City, Queens. Here is a picture of the gluten free burger and fries with B.G. chipotle sauce on the side that I ordered. Burger Garage also serves gluten free hot dogs with buns as well as a gluten free/dairy free chocolate covered rice crispy treat. Call in advance to check if they have the rice crispy treats because they often run out.

Eating at Burger Garage is quite a treat because Manhattan is so crowded. The 50's style diner is quite a spacious place to go with kids. In the picture below you can see my kids running around a little while we waited for our order. Running around while you wait for your food just doesn't happen in Manhattan!!!

Astoria is right over the bridge so this "off the beaten track" burger place is actually just 10 minutes outside of the city right over the 59th Street bridge. And for now, it's kind of undiscovered!

Related post:
GF Done Right at the Burger Garage in Long Island City, Queens

Recipe for Crispy Oven Baked Potatoes

Q: Lara said... OK. I made your Hamburgers with Crispy Potatoes and Vegetables last night. My kids loved it all. But the potatoes were seriously stuck to pan. We don't use nonstick and I did oil the pan first. How did you get yours so perfect? btw? Love the idea to put veggies out always. Thank you!

A: from ourGFfamily...It took me a while to figure out how to get oven fried potatoes to not stick to the pan. I finally did some research and found out the best way to get potatoes to be soft and fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside is to boil them in water until they are slightly soft before you bake them and preheat the baking sheet before you put the potatoes on the pan. Here are the directions....

Crispy Sliced Potatoes

  • Slice potatoes into 1/4 inch to 1/3 inch slices with the skin on.
  • Place the sliced potatoes in a pan and fill with cold water. Cover them with an inch of water above the level of the potatoes. Bring to a boil and boil for about 10 minutes until when you stick a fork in the potatoes they are a little soft but not mushy. (It takes about 15 minutes total from cold water to this point.)
  • Drain in a colander to remove steam and dry a little--just until all steam is gone.
  • Toss the potatoes with 2-4 Tablespoons of oil and salt. The salt actually roughens the edges up of the potatoes so the sliced edges get crispy.
  • PREHEAT pan in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes to get it hot. Preheating the pan will help the potatoes to not stick.
  • When the pan is hot, place the potatoes in a single layer on the pan.
  • Cook for 20 minutes per side. Flip when the bottom is golden brown.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Top THREE Gluten Free Hamburger Buns

Q: Sonn57 said...My 3 year old son has Celiac Disease. Your pictures don't show any buns. I really haven't found any decent gluten free buns. Have you found any or do you always go without the bun?

A: Below is a list of the top free hamburger buns. Gluten free hamburger buns are something my kids aren't really interested in. They didn't eat hamburger buns or sandwiches BEFORE we even found out that we couldn't eat gluten and often they prefer naturally gluten free food (a plain hamburger patty) to gluten free products (like a bun.) When I buy buns, they just take up precious space in our freezer. But, we all LOVE the Grainless Baker Three Bakers hamburger and hotdog buns which are served at The Burger Garage--our favorite place to go for burger and fries. Three Baker hamburger buns are also served at Five Napkin Burger.

If you are in NYC, G-Free NYC carries the Canyon Bakehouse Hamburger buns and the Grainless Baker hotdog buns. Or you can order them online through The Gluten-Free Mall.

1. Grainless Baker Three Bakers Gluten-Free Hamburger Buns
2. Canyon Bakehouse Hamburger Buns
3. Udi's Hamburger Buns

If you find yourself without a bun and need a quick and easy substitute I have also used toast cut out in a circle which you can see on my post Gluten Free Hamburger "Buns". Toast is nothing like a bun (of course) but it is a good option if you have a ton of toppings. Here are a list of our favorite gluten free hamburger buns...

Related posts:
gfree nyc has opened!!!
Dinner 7: Hamburgers with Crispy Potatoes and Vegetables
Homemade Gluten Free "McDonald's" Burger and Fries