Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day the Gluten Free Way

Picked up O'Reilly's Corned Beef at Shop Rite and very happy to see those magic words, "Gluten Free," on the label. Ten years ago those words were rarely seen, especially on seasonal food. I almost danced in the meat aisle.

Up early this morning, that slab of deliciousness is now submerged in the crock pot. The potatoes and cabbage will go in as soon as I get home from work. Dinner should be ready at seven. All that's missing is the green, gluten free, beer.

Every St. Patrick's day I used to worry about the safety of the meal. The magic words rarely appeared on the good stuff. If I wanted to find them, I'd have to go to the health food store. Now, bigger companies are stepping up and realizing the importance of labeling things gluten free ...

Bahahahaha! Just kidding. They do it because they see a market. More and more Celiacs are being diagnosed. That 1 in 100 number is growing and I'm sure this old estimate will soon be updated. Add in the dieters. Those who are going gluten free because they think it will help them lose weight (Ha!) or who are just hoping to calm the chaos in their gut.

I only hope this isn't a flash in the pan and that labeling gluten will become the norm and not a passing fad. When I see the magic words, "Gluten Free," on a label I go to the company's website and thank them. A short note to let them know how that thoughtful gesture impacted my day and my life. Did they do it for marketing? Who cares! They made my life easier and probably healthier.

Happy St. Paddy's Day! May the Corned Beef be gluten free and the meal make you smile. Just make sure the green beer is gluten free, too!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sharing a Gluten Free Kitchen with...(Gulp!) ... Glutenators!

For those who react badly to gluten sharing a kitchen with a glutenator can be scary. I've gotten sick on more than one occasion on just a tiny amount of gluten so I'm super careful of what goes in my mouth. And I share my kitchen with gluten.

How to manage a shared kitchen?

Set boundaries.
      My counter space is "L" shaped with a stove on one side. All gluten belongs to the left of the stove. There's a drawer on that side holds the gluten snacks. There's a toaster and electric can opener on the counter and a gluten bread basket.

     Right side of kitchen is the longer expanse of counter with a gluten-free toaster, gluten-free blender, gluten-free electric can opener and the always gluten-free coffee pot.

     There are two Teflon pots in our kitchen - both glutenated. The stainless steal      pots are gluten free. Glutened plastic spatulas/Gluten-free stainless spatulas. (Remember Teflon and plastic holds gluten.)
     A lower cabinet is the plastic-ware. I consider all plastic-ware glutenous.
     Upper cabinet is the glass -ware. These have plastic tops but I can hand wash        them away from gluten. And glass-ware comes in lunch-box sizes. Yay!

The biggest thing about a shared kitchen is co-operation. No matter how careful we are it doesn't work unless every family member understands cross contamination. Take time to set the rules and make sure everyone understands the gluten boundaries. Give the glutenators a special place to keep their goodies and make another area the gluten free zone. You're tummy and immune system will thank you for it.
Happy cooking!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Supermarkets & Finding Gluten Free

My supermarket is rearranging the store. They used to have a small but adequate gluten free section with just the basics; crackers, breads, cookies, soups, etc. Now with this giant re-do they're mixing the gluten free stuff in with all the gluten food.

If I had one wish I'd like to take their marketing or layout department or whomever is in charge of this decision shopping with me. Let them get really hungry and take them down these mixed aisles and say, "You can't eat that, you can't eat that, you can't eat that, you can't eat that..." on and on until you find the one box of cereal you can eat.

For a supermarket to do this it's almost torture. Like waving all the things I can't eat in front of me and making me climb over it to get to the prize. Blah. This diet isn't a choice for me and many others. It's a necessity for life. It can be hard and I really don't need the extra aggravation of having to hunt all over the store to find something edible. Am I alone in the fact that it's not going to make me buy more. In fact, it makes me drive down the street to the store that has s special aisle with my gluten free food.

I think I'll go find the store's facebook page and explain.... join me? We might find cookies...