Friday, February 26, 2010

Gluten-free finds in a mainstream list of healthy foods

I always like lists of food. Healthy food. Quick food. You name it, when I see a list I'm magnetically drawn to look at the whole thing.

In particular, I love to find items that happen to be gluten-free on mainstream lists of good-for-you food. It reinforces my perspective that you can find a decent selection of gluten-free products that are pretty healthy.

So, you know when Prevention magazine put out a new list of 27 packaged foods they love, I was right there to find out how many are gluten free. The magazine says it asked experts to come up with products that are less processed and healthier than most things you get in a package. They also wanted the items to be convenient and budget friendly.

By my tally, 17 of the 27 are gluten free. They include everything from yogurt, to black bean dip, to salsa and guacamole. There's salmon, peanut butter and fruit spread, chicken broth, whole grain brown rice and even a yummy sorbet. That's a pretty wide variety if you ask me.

Those of you who love Larabars will be happy to know they were one of the items chosen. Under "Why we love it," Prevention said, "The blend of raw fruits, nuts and spices make this snack as real as processed gets."

Ironically, almost everything on the list that is not gluten free is made with whole wheat. But we all know there are gluten-free substitutes for whole wheat bread and pasta that are pretty healthy themselves.

All in all, this round up of products made the list lover in me very happy!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Pizza in a Box

A few months ago, our local pizza place started offering a gluten-free pizza. I must have received at least a dozen “did you know” texts or phone calls about the gluten-free pizza, which is very sweet and I appreciated every single one.

They are the individual pizzas and toppings are encouraged. The problem is that I need two of them because my celiac and I can each polish off an individual pizza. Our every Friday night tradition of pizza and salad is getting expensive…it’s getting up to $50 for what used to be our cheap and always popular stand by dinner.

Last Friday, I had made stuffed Portobello mushrooms. I was looking forward to them because they had sweet Italian sausage, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, good marinara sauce and a sprinkling of mozzarella on top. But, kids were coming in and going out and “yuck” was the universal answer to my suggested dinner plan.

I basically just pleaded with my husband to order pizza to feed the heathens and then we could open a bottle of wine and have our own dinner in peace.

My husband started dialing but said he was only ordering a regular pizza because there was a gluten-free pizza crust in the freezer plus all the ingredients in the fridge.

We both saw the reaction of our celiac, crestfallen is a total understatement. “But we don’t have pepperoni,” he said. It was just one of those moments where once again, he was different and couldn’t have something because he has celiac disease.

I looked at my husband and caved, “Just order him a pizza with pepperoni.”

“It’s going to be close to $15 just for his and the one we make here is actually better,” he says.

“But, it doesn’t come in a box and you just wouldn’t understand. As a celiac, you never get a pizza in a box…just order the pizza,” I said.

He did and the kids happily scarfed up their pizza and wandered out hither and thither to all of their activities and my husband and I had a great dinner just the two of us.

Pizza in a box, I think we all know that it makes a difference.

Kendall Egan