Monday, December 26, 2011

Norwegian Christmas: Gluten Free Krumkake

Something I tend to forget is that my great grandfather was Norwegian. I never met the man but I know he was the epitome of a Norgwegian. He came to the states as a teenager with nothing but a giant truck he carried on his back. I’m reminded of his legacy by my lumberjack of a father, the excitement I get for Thor Hushovd during the Tour de France and the few Norwegian recipes my grandmother taught me.

One of my favorites is krumkake, a Norwegian cookie similar to a waffle cone. My family celebrated this past Christmas by figuring out how to make krumkakes gluten free and dairy free; and they turned out just the same! Here's the recipe my dad created on a whim. 

First one - added too much batter!

Gluten Free Krumkake
Makes:  about 30

2 cups sugar
½ butter alternative (I like using coconut butter)
2 eggs
2 cups milk alternative
1 ½ cup gluten free flour mix – see recipe below
We used what we had available in the house but pre-mixed would work as well
½ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom (freshly ground is key)
¼ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup corn starch

Gluten Free flour mix
·         5 cups sweet rice flour
·         5 cups rice flour
·         1 cup brown rice flour
·         1 cup sorghum flour

Mix all ingredients together until well incorporated. Pre-heat your krumkake iron. Pour about one tablespoon of the mixture onto the iron and slowly close; allowing the mixture to spread evenly. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then flip the iron. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the iron gently and quickly roll with a rolling cone. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Stress + Gluten-Free Eating

These past couple months have included the most challenging time in my life along with some of the best. The amount of changes I’ve gone through is safe to say enough to knock anyone on their heels – and the reason why Celiac Eats has been lacking in posts.

Through my life, career and location changes, my eating habits have severely diminished. Shamefully I can count several occasions where I ate French fries as a meal because I was either too busy, too tired to cook or to go to a decent restaurant. Of course my health has started lacking as a result. It’s been a cycle of tiredness, weakness, and achiness from eating poor/processed food. Finally, the other day when a rash appeared on my inner elbow I decided I had enough of eating poorly. I’ve started to get back into the habit of eating well but it’s challenging. I forgot how time consuming it can be to maintain a healthy diet when gluten-free.

Lunch at work is still my biggest challenge – sandwiches aren’t great because the bread needs to be heated and I have been too exhausted to make a big enough meal at dinner to leave leftovers. There aren’t many healthy restaurant options by my office either.

So, how do you maintain a healthy diet during busy times? I must admit I’m in a rut and in need of some help and inspiration!  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gluten Free Overnight Oats

Today I am a guest blogger on Bob's Red Mill's blog! You can check out the blog here or read the post below along with additional photos.

Gluten Free: Overnight Oats

We all know that eating a breakfast is important to our health– from aiding in weight loss to helping kids stay energized through school. Yet most of us skip it. I try to eat a balanced breakfast but still find it hard sometimes to make a nutritious meal in the short amount of time I have in the morning. I also can get bored with the limited gluten and dairy free breakfast options.   

I love overnight oats because they are so simple to prepare and you can change the flavor profile easily with different mix-ins so you’ll never get bored.

If you have kids, turn them into an experiment after dinner. They’ll be so excited to test them in the morning and you’ll be happy to get them a filling breakfast.

Basic Overnight Oats
Adapted from Kath Eats Real Food
Serving size: 1-2

·  1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats
·  1 ¼ -1 ½ cups of coconut milk (use 1 ½ if you like your oats milkier)
·  2 tbsp agave syrup
·  1 tsp salt

Place oats and coconut milk into a container. Stir, cover and place in refrigerator. Let sit overnight.

Next morning, warm the oats in the microwave for 2 ½ to 3 minutes. Add in mix-ins.

PB&J Oats
Follow the basic overnight oats recipe. Mix in peanut butter and berries for a protein and fiber packed breakfast.

Cinnamon Blueberry Oats
Follow the basic overnight oats recipe. Sprinkle cinnamon and a few blueberries on top. For an extra treat crumble a blueberry muffin into the oats.

Additional Mix-ins
Fruit – berries, apples, bananas
Jams or jellies
Trail mix
Nuts and seeds
Maple syrup

PB&J Oats

Cinnamon Blueberry Oats

Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: Bocado – the burger I never had

I hate writing negative reviews. I like to think everyone is accommodating to those with Celiac disease and other dietary restrictions. Yet this wasn’t the case a few weeks ago.

I have heard Bocado was known for their food but not their service. Yet, I still wanted to try their reputable burger. One night after a social media event at 5 Seasons Brewing Company a group of us headed over for dinner. They happened to be closing the kitchen early but sat us anyway with the request to order very quickly. A pretty easy request since nearly all of us knew we wanted the burger.

When my turn came to order, I told the waiter my dietary restrictions, apologized for the last minute request and asked for the burger without the bun or cheese. The server immediately said I wouldn’t like it. I explained that that’s how I had been eating burgers for years and was sure I’d be happy with it. But still he said that it wouldn’t be good and then suggested I ordered something else. After a second explanation and a third no, I reluctantly ordered the roasted chicken*.

I was immediately annoyed about the denied burger. When eating a burger without the bun you quickly learn about the quality of meat and can easily tell a good burger from a bad one. Bocado, who prides themselves on their unique blend of short rib, beef brisket and organic ground beef, should have been happy to showcase the burger in its simplest form.

I emailed the owner and chef later that week to let them know what the waiter had said and provide them the opportunity to weigh in but neither responded. 

I know chefs can be particular about their food and how it’s presented but I find it sad that some of those are unwilling to compromise and use the opportunity to highlight ingredients in a different form. I wish I could tell you I had one of the best burgers in Atlanta but I can’t. I can only say I had an unmemorable chicken dish and poor service.

*I must note the chicken was extremely overcooked and I ended up just eating fries for my dinner. Once I told the server about the chicken (he hadn’t seemed to notice I barely ate it) they did comp the dish from my bill. It was the one smart thing they did all night. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dinner for a Thousand

There we were, one thousand foodies excitedly waiting underneath Atlantic Station, packed into a fenced walkway. More and more people arrived with trays of food, shopping carts filled with chairs went by; even a large silver branch centerpiece appeared. Had you not known it probably looked like a movie set; where all the extras were told to wear black and bring their finest meal. At seven pm on Sunday the first Feast Noir began and quickly we ascended on Atlantic Station, a long thread of people appearing from the escalators below.

It was a wonderful feeling of community. Everyone found a spot, set up their table and sat down for a home-cooked Sunday meal. Not once did I hear an argument or complaint, just strangers sharing their love of food.

In a dinner among a thousand our table of six fit right in, even with all our dietary needs. We were a true testament to community and the versatility of food. Not only was our table gluten free but we had one vegan, one vegetarian/egg free and me who is also dairy free. Yet all six of us worked together to build an amazing menu that you would never guess was full of restrictions. I hadn’t met anyone at my table until that very night but sitting down to eat with them I felt confident in the food. A feeling I don’t often get.

That meal is what I hope to be the first of many with the Atlanta gluten free community. Many thanks to Dr. Sweet’s Cake Emporium, American Gra-Frutti and company, Jennifer Harris and Atlanta Without a Car and company. 

Dr. Sweet's Cakes Blueberry Cake
Feast Noir Gluten Free Table 4 Menu
American Gra-Frutti bread with spreads (GF, DF)
Broccoli and cauliflower salad (GF, DF)
Pork sliders with chow chow (GF, DF)
Potato salad (GF,DF, VN)
Spicy garlic broccoli with pine nuts (GF, DF, VN)
Asian asparagus salad (GF,DF, VN)
Dr. Sweet’s Cakes blueberry cake (GF, DF)
Dr. Sweet’s Cakes brownies (GF)
Dr. Sweet’s Cakes black pepper and wine cake drops (GF)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Recipe: Dairy Free Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cardamom Ice Cream

I don't normally post recipes but after the feedback from the Southern BBQ post I decided to branch out. Here it is - the recipe for dairy free chocolate, chocolate chip cardamom ice cream.

Dairy Free Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cardamom Ice Cream 

Makes 1 quart
  • 4 cups coconut creamer (regular – not flavored)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, halved and seeded
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate syrup (can add more to taste)
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • ½ cup dairy free chocolate chips
Combine the coconut creamer, sugar and vanilla seeds and bean in a medium heavy saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.

Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl until frothy and lemon colored, about 2 minutes. Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks in a slow, steady stream. Gradually add the egg mixture to the hot cream, whisking constantly. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Mix in cardamom. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly against the surface of the mixture to keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.

Remove from refrigerator, add in chocolate syrup and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container, mix in chocolate chips and freeze until ready to serve.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I Want a Cupcake

I'm not much of a sweets person but today I was seriously craving a cupcake. Specifically a Babycakes or Tu-Lu's Bakery cupcake. So much so that if I had the money I would have hopped on a plane and headed straight to NYC.

But for now, I'll stare at these pictures until Sunday when I get to try Dr. Sweet's Cake Emporium's cupcakes. I'm pretty excited - I've heard great things!

Babycakes cupcakes and cookie sandwich
Assortment from Tu-Lu's
What's your favorite place for gluten free and/or dairy free cupcakes?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Chef’s Perspective on Food Allergies – an Interview with Chef Ryan Smith

About a month ago fellow blogger, Sarah- Ann of eat. drink. repeat, and I had the most spectacular weekend. What started as a simple dinner at Empire State South (ESS) turned into attending a memorial day BBQ hosted by Kyle Jacovino, Executive Sous Chef at Empire State South, and included the likes of Bacchanalia, Abattoir, Holeman & Finch and more.

At the BBQ I chatted with Ryan Smith, Executive Chef at Empire State South about food allergies. My dinner at ESS had been one of my best gluten free experiences so I wanted to know how they made it so easy. Smith was gracious enough to take some time to answer my questions.

Smith is a somewhat quiet yet extremely passionate chef. While casually talking about foraging (if you don’t know much about it read here), local foods and retirement plans (he wants to be a beekeeper; I’d be the happiest girl alive with a couple of acres and a few cows) his excitement for the history food while simultaneously making it innovative is palpable.

His opinion on food allergies is welcoming. I know firsthand cooking gluten free and dairy free in one meal can easily scare even well-experienced chefs. However, in just the hour or so that we met he took me to the kitchen to eat boiled peanuts and an experiment of pickled boiled peanuts, offered to cook almost anything and mentioned how he should make homemade cider in the fall when the apples are good.

He has definitely made at least one gluten free super fan. Read the full interview below.

Ryan Smith, Empire State
Between you, Hugh Acheson and Jacovino you all seem to take dietary restrictions in stride, when other chefs aren’t so quick to accommodate.  What is it like for you to serve those with special needs?

I think in general a lot of chefs are stubborn about what they try to do and what their food is. They’re not really understanding because they are not interacting with people. It’s an allergy - there’s no way around it. It’s not people being just picky. To me there’s no other option. So of course we do whatever we can.

You mentioned once it can be a good challenge to modify a dish.

Yeah it can be. It can be a challenge when it’s busy but I think it’s fun too; like “what can I come up with?” That’s something we really love to do.

Everyone at Empire State South seems very educated on food allergies. Do you provide any training or is it the breed of staff?

It’s a bit of both. We’re trying to create a really knowledgeable culture among the staff.

During the pre-meal we all sit down and eat together and talk about food and wine and just go over everything. I try to touch on specifics and discuss something different each day to give them the proper tools.

A lot of them are here because they love it and inquire a lot. When we’re slow they’ll be looking at things like Food Lover’s Companion. It’s good to have people like that.

Are there any special methods (separate work areas, fryers, etc) you use in the kitchen to help prevent cross contamination?

Yeah - we don’t have a deep fryer, we do everything in a small pot. [Generally] we at least have two, sometimes three pots, if we’re frying seafood or vegetables to keep them separate.

As for everyday cross contaminating I’m really anal about how people work so I make sure everyone works really clean.

Nowadays with the knowledge of gluten, it is actually harder for me to order a dish without dairy over gluten. Do you find it harder to eliminate dairy in certain dishes?

Gluten is really easy for us [to avoid]. It can be very easy [for dairy-free] but it depends. When the waiter comes back and says someone is dairy-free and asks what can they have - that doesn’t help me. I want to know what they are interested in. I can do whatever; I just need direction.

So it’s easier for the guest to choose between two or three dishes they’re interested in rather than going through the whole menu?

Yeah it’s much easier that way.

If you had to give up either gluten or dairy for just one day which one would you choose?

That’s tough.... I’d probably give up gluten.

What is your favorite dish currently on the menu?

We’re doing a salad right now that I’m really excited about. Which I think is not usual :)

It’s a bunch of greens that are foraged. One of our farmers is really into foraging and wild foods which I am too. He brings down a lot of lambs quarters and wood sorrel and a bunch of really unique bitter greens so we’re doing that really simply with these really bad ass little melons called charentais. They’re like mini cantaloupe but the best cantaloupe I’ve eaten in my live.

So it’s really simple... but I really want people to be more accepting and excited about wild foods.

*Smith is probably regretting letting me use this photo now. However, I think it is awesome.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Outdoor Eating on the Go

Even though we Atlantians complain about the heat, summer here involves tons of outdoor activities from BBQs, baseball games, concerts at Chastain, outdoor movie screenings to lunging at the pool all day. While all these activities are fun they generally include food and beverages, making it more of a challenge for those of us who are limited in our food selections.

For me, this season has already been packed with outdoor events. So here are my go-to stores and restaurants for easy outdoor dining.

Chastain Park & Amphitheater
Going to a concert at Chastain is a quintessential Buckhead activity for the summer. Even this girl who loves places like The Earl and The Porter gets some joy over decorating a table, eating great food and drinking wine while listening to oldies.

If you don’t have time to cook beforehand Zoe’s Kitchen is the perfect place to pick up food. They offer a large gluten free menu with dishes that hold up well on-the-go. I like grabbing a carton of hummus with fresh veggies, chicken kabobs and some braised white beans. Grab a bottle of wine and you’re all set.

Piedmont Park
Assortment from Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's and MetroFresh in the Midtown Arts center are two places I go when planning a picnic in Piedmont Park.

Trader Joe’s is great for affordable snacks. They have a large selection of sliced meats and hummus. My favorite item is their Onion & Chive Seeded Corn Crackers. When I have time to stop by the house, I’ll pick up a bag of broccoli slaw mix (a mix of sliced broccoli shoots and carrots) and make a simple vinaigrette to top it off. I’ll mix olive oil, white wine vinegar, a dollop of honey, garlic, salt and pepper together for the vinaigrette, crush some almonds and toss it all together for a refreshing, hearty side.

MetroFresh does a great job denoting which dishes are gluten-free, vegan and the items that contain dairy*. They post a new menu each day but there a handful of items that they always serve. I like the Mitchili (turkey chili) and the grilled chicken breast.

*The menu is confusing at first because they mark GF for gluten free but D for containing dairy, not dairy free. Just keep this in mind when ordering. The staff is also very knowledgeable if you want to double check anything.

The Pool
Enjoying gluten free beverages at the pool takes a little more preparation since glass isn’t allowed. If you’re a cider fan, Strongbow is available in cans (22 oz for that matter) which I’ve found at most Greene’s and my local Kroger. If you’re in the mood for wine, there are always the cheap wine juice boxes you can find in grocery and liquor stores. If you want to look stylish, Sofia wine comes in cute little cans – straw included.

I haven’t found a gluten free beer in a can yet. If you have please share!

Other Great Places

Whole Foods
Whole Foods is well-known for their gluten free options. One of the things I like is that they also list the ingredients on their hot, cold and salad bars. If I’m headed to a gathering I’ll run in and make myself a quick plate of veggies and rice.

Star Provisions
If you’re on the Westside Star Provisions is a good place to pick up fresh produce, meats and to-go dishes. Yesterday I stopped by The Local Farmstand where they had beautiful blueberries, figs and tomatoes. Then I headed inside to Provisions To Go and bought two sides for a quick snack. I got the black eyed peas with peppers and cilantro and an Indian chickpea salad that were both packed with flavor. The to-go menu lists the sides by the pound but they can package them in smaller sizes if you need.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Breakfast Revelation - The Shed at Glenwood

I have a confession – on top of being gluten, dairy and soy free I also avoid other foods based on personal choice. The biggest one is fish and shellfish. Every time I eat it I get nauseated so I’ve avoided it for years (I only recently learned nausea is a sign of an allergy but I haven’t been tested yet). The second is eggs. I can’t stand the taste of them; even the smell is awful to me. I really wish I liked eggs. It would make things a lot easier, like breakfast for one. Years ago, I came to terms that eating breakfast or brunch in a restaurant meant I’d be having a side of bacon and potatoes. When it comes to breakfast there just aren’t many options once you get past the gluten, dairy and egg- laden dishes.

A couple months ago though I had a breakfast revelation thanks to The Shed at Glenwood. This East Atlanta restaurant is a diamond in rough with some unexpected dishes. In my first visit I ordered the lentil soup, bacon and roasted potatoes (the potatoes were a special order without butter). Soup for breakfast? I didn’t mind; I could eat soup any day of the year. On my second trip, I ordered the Chilaquiles, shredded chicken over corn tortillas drenched in a spicy tomato sauce. This dish had the perfect amount of spice to cure my post-Saturday evening headache.

The star of brunch though is their $9 bottomless mimosas. They use a good quality champagne, compared to most places, and they’re not stiff to pour you more. Just remember, in Georgia they can’t legally start pouring until noon.

For your gluten eating friends (and those who are normal and like eggs) the soft scrambled eggs, pork belly frittata and sliders are said to be stellar.

While they don’t offer a gluten free menu the staff is well educated on food allergies and the ingredients in each dish. Make sure to inform your waiter of your allergies and they’ll graciously help you pick out a safe dish.

Shed at Glenwood on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Southern BBQ - Gluten Free, Dairy Free Style

Sun tea, rose wine and the fixins'

GF, DF mac n' cheese with jalapeno corn bread crumbs, homemade baked beans and corn

Jalapeno corn muffins

antique sprinkler from my granddad

Homemade dairy free chocolate, chocolate chip and cardamom ice cream with GF, DF peanut butter chocolate chip cookie

Monday, May 23, 2011

Attending a Food Festival When You Have Dietary Restrictions

For the past couple weeks my life has been wrapped up in the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, working out sponsoring and exhibiting details for my company. Simultaneously, I was so excited; I couldn’t wait for the amazing dishes and drinks. But for some reason I never thought of my dietary restrictions. Walking into the festival Friday my heart sank a bit when I read the signs “Fried Chicken, Cheese, Low Country, Bourbon & Whiskey.” I had completely forgotten the South is big on flour and butter. Luckily though I learned southern hospitality is still just as big. After talking to a couple chefs I realized many were happy to make special bites for me.

At the opening party, High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet served up a green tea sorbet with sugared blackberries dipped in bourbon, which they left out the bourbon for me (I don’t risk it with bourbon even if they says it’s from corn since so many of them are mixed blends).
Photo from the wonderful blog - Eat. Drink. Repeat.!

Hugh Acheson from Empire State South featured a Crisp Pork Belly with Corn Rice Grits and Peanut Slaw, omitting the grits since they had dairy in them, and a Boiled Peanut Hummus with Local Vegetables and Buttered Toast; omitting the toast – for obvious reasons.

The King of Pops also had a sweet treat that was perfect for the hot weather. They were handing out Raspberry Lime Patron pops – amazing!

So while you might not be able to eat everything at a food festival don’t be discouraged from going. Ask the chef if they can accommodate you (it’s easier if they’re building the dish components on site). Or if you would prefer to plan ahead – email the restaurants participating and ask what they plan to serve. Also try to go first thing or later in the day when there’s less of a crowd. Of course there’s always the wine to enjoy! 

Monday, February 21, 2011


My roommates and I took advantage of one of the early spring Sundays recently and went to Kyma for their $7 Sundays (which has now been extended to everyday as “$7 on the Patio”). You can order off a large menu of $7 appetizers, $3.50 spreads and $5.50-7 grilled platters.

Kyma offers a vegetarian and vegan menu online which helped me to pre-select items that were dairy-free.  Once we were seated at the restaurant, the chef hand wrote which appetizers were gluten free.

The gluten free options  on the the $7 menu is impressive including all the spreads (no pita bread), romaine salad (no croutons), baby beets, shrimp “souvlaki”, giant beans (also called bean stew), calamari, cheese “saganaki,” tomato salad, eggplant stew, mussels, octopus, scallions, tuna, oysters, soup and all the fish and grilled platters.

After much debate I ordered the Skordalia “potato” spread, giant beans (bean stew), chilled green beans and the pork rib grilled platter.

At first I forgot to ask for veggies to dip in the potato spread but it was so good I ended up eating it all with a fork. The chilled beans, greens beans with dill and pickled onions, were heavenly – perfect for the newly warm day. I made a mental note to add these to my summer repertoire of party dishes. The Giant beans were my least favorite dish (it didn’t help they forgot to serve it at first). Listed on the menu as bean stew, giant beans with tomatoes, onion and dill, I was expecting a hearty, blended dish. However, the beans were served whole, swimming in tomato sauce. The beans were a bit too al dente for my taste but mashing them with a fork into the sauce improved the texture.

My favorite was the Pork Rib Grilled Platter. I would go back just to order a double platter for dinner. The three bone rib is a generous portion for the price, nicely spiced and had the perfect proportion of sear on top. The Greek Fries served with it (DF: order without the cheese) were delicious fried cakes of potato.

Note on the Grilled Platters: The Tzatziki sauce is served directly on the plate so if you’re dairy-free order it on the side or without.

The one downfall was the service which was very slow. However, I still strongly recommend eating here- just don’t try to dine before a show or party.

Kyma on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 24, 2011

Find Gluten Free Restaurants Easier

To make it easier to find gluten free friendly restaurants in Atlanta I have added a new tab to my blog! Check the right hand column for a list of my favorite restaurants.