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Author Topic: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas  (Read 2963 times)

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Online fireflightsTopic starter

Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« on: January 09, 2016, 11:29:33 AM »
All my life, I'd had a low immune system as I was growing up. My stomach would put me through constant pain, I had so many trouble that if I described it to you, you would likely say it was TMI. So I won't put you through that, all I can say is the doctors didn't know what was wrong with me, would tell me I had IBS or that I just had a sensitive stomach. Why? Because what I truly had, there was no diagnosis for because no one back then looked into it properly. If they had, they would have learned that one thing that was truly my problem. I know many of you don't understand why people are gluten intolerant. Most have a disease that is called Celiacs which hadn't been named until modern days but had been documented under many other names through out the century. But there are many others out there who just have a sensitivity to gluten as well, while they are not Celiac, they have a viable medical condition such as an allergy *which yes you can be allergic to gluten just like everything else out there* or just sensitivity.

This is what I believe I am, though I haven't had the testing yet because frankly I am scared to go back onto gluten for the 12 weeks it needs to do the testing. What I do know is three years ago I was in so much pain, my health was so horrible that I ended up in the emergency room with such severe stomach pain, I could barely stand. They had me remove every food from my system that wasn't easily digestable for two weeks, which means I had to eat only croissants, ground beef cooked with no spices other than salt, processed meats. Now while I was still having some stomach issues, it wasn't nearly severe, so two weeks later I go back to the doctor and this time, they told me to go home and begin to slowly add foods back into my diet. I took one bite off the corner of a piece of whole wheat bread and found myself doubled over, almost crying from the severe pain for hours. This was how I found out I had gluten intolerance. Now why do I think I might be Celiacs? Because at this exact same time, the doctors before taking me off gluten actually tested my blood and my liver enzymes were higher than they should be. They did an ultrasound and found it enlarging. Yet as soon as I went fully off gluten, my liver enzymes within a month or two were back to normal and all signs of the fatty liver they claimed I had have gone away.

I immediately joined a celiac site which when I described my troubles, mirrored just about everyone of theirs, including the liver situation. So now, I treat myself like I am celiac, why? Because even though I haven't had the tests, every time I have gluten introduced to me by careless contamination, I have intense pains that just won't stop and i have to take charchoal pills to help push it out of my system. But let me tell you, going gluten free is not all fun and games. You have to literally read EVERY lable, even ones that claim they are gluten free or are placed in the gluten free section at the store, you can't just take anything for face value. Many things you once loved are out of your diet forever like croissants, puff pastries, processed meats, many condiments and so on.

But to be honest, that doesn't mean you can't live a life that still allows you to have the sweets, the fun of baking with your kids or just great food. In fact, all it keeps you from is a lot of processed stuff that has nothing but the bad for you. Since going gluten free, I'm making a heck of a lot more fresh foods, things I never thought I could make properly without regular flours like pies, cookies, cakes. And while yes, they aren't AS great as the original, as long as you do it right, you can get so very close to the original. Since moving here to Baltimore with my boyfriend, I have made cookies and pancakes, pies and even cakes *well okay he made the cakes but he used my gluten free flour and we have loved them* and every time, it's been fantastic though sometimes a little dry, but that's more of my needing to tweak the recipe a little more to add more moisture. If you really investigate things, try more than one brand to learn which ones are good, you can learn how to make choices that will actually make you feel like you're not missing nearly as much as you once thought you would.

I am going to tell you the brands of foods that I have found I like the most but I encourage you, seriously to check out other brands, don't be afraid to try them out because you might just find one you like better. I also welcome ideas, thoughts, recipes, which I will be sharing my own recipes I devise or find as well. The only way we can learn is from each other and our experiences, sharing out thoughts, feelings and everything. So while I am making this blog on here for me, I also welcome others to talk on it too, to get their own experiences with gluten free living out as well as share ideas for how to continue on.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 11:31:43 AM by fireflights »

Online fireflightsTopic starter

Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2016, 11:49:22 AM »
Okay, so in this one, I am going to list brands of foods as I find them and describe what I like about them so it gives you a resource, but honestly don't just stick with the ones I find because I'm always looking for new brands and ideas and so should you.


Udis - While you have to be careful about this bread maker, because a lot of their loaves tend to have huge holes in them. If you can find a good one, their bread is pretty good and keeps well in the fridge or freezer. I like their one with the flax seed best because the texture is almost like wheat bread and it has good flavor plus added fiber.

Against the grain Baugette - While this is the only form of against the grain's breads I have tried so far, it is fantastic for things like meatball subs and pulled pork sandwiches. The baugette you just toast a little with some butter to soften the inside and bingo, the texture is awesome and the flavor is so great I wish I could find it more often.

Schar - While their white bread is just ....ok I didn't mind their baugette. I don't like their hot dog buns but that's not a big deal as I haven't found a hot dog bun yet that I like on the gluten free diet. They do however make a decent hamburger bun that I don't mind eating at all. It's soft and the texture is close to the wheat brands out there.

Food for life - Brown rice bread, though I personally have not tried this yet, I will look into it so I can give it my own personal review but it was recommended for this by someone who also has a caesin and egg, soy allergy so this will be good for anyone who has the combination.

Krustez - They made a gluten free wild blue berry muffin mix and corn bread with honey mix that my boyfriend and I both like. Great for breakfast for the blue berry muffins or great with chili for the cornbread :D

Bob's Redmill - Apple muffin mix with flaxseed. I have tried and tried to find a way to make these muffins taste better and I just can't, they are not good at all. Even my boyfriends son's wouldn't touch these.

Gillian's kitchen - While I have only tried their garlic bread when it comes to their breads, they are really tasty and the slices are pretty big, I have to cut them in half to actually make sure I have a decent size because they are that big.

Katz - Challah bread, very good! I have made fantastic french toast and bread pudding with this. Very tasty even just lightly toasted and buttered with jam. Highly recommend for anyone who can have it.


Heartland Pasta - This is THE best pasta I have found and never once had a reaction. The texture of the pasta is so close to wheat made pastas that I truly feel like I'm not missing anything. They make it taste like regular pasta too. My boyfriend who isn't gluten free like me likes this pasta just as much as I do. They have penne, fusilli, spaghetti and lasagna pasta.

Barilla - I tried this once on their gluten free and I will say I am not at all impressed. The pasta literally fell apart as I was eating it and I didn't over cook it, I didn't under cook it. I followed their directions to the letter. The taste also wasn't that great, I really don't prefer this pasta to be honest.

Tinkyadia - again recommended by someone and so I'll place it on here. I will give it a try if I can find it in my area, but if she likes it I'm sure it will be good :D


Pamela's Artisan flour blend- So far I have only tried the Pamela's gluten free flour blend which works cup for cup on most if not all regular recipe's calling for flour. I have so far made cookies that were good, a tad dry but I just have to add more moisture to them and I think they will be just perfect next time. My boyfriend made a pound cake using this flour, it's his father's recipe so sorry won't ever be sharing that one, but it came out fantastic, not dry at all and combined with strawberry fluff had been a delicious strawberry shortcake type thing.

Bob's Redmill all purpose flour- though you have to buy xanthan gum to bind this flour unlike the Pamela's it works just as well and even has fiber in it as it's made from Fava Beans. It's taste is pretty good cooked at least :D


Tate's cookies - I have only found these on Amazon though many have told me you can find them in stores too. I like their crystallized ginger cookies, soft, tasty and has yummy chewy ginger pieces in the buttery cookie that give you this pop of ginger flavor that is just fantastic. I have tried their others, but while the chocolate one is okay, nothing matches up to that ginger one. I highly recommend.

Wow cookies- I have tried their snickerdoodle and while that one is okay, it doesn't fully remind me of a snickerdoodle and is not my fave cookie by them. However they also have a lemon drop cookie that I instantly fell in love with. It's not too overpowering on the lemon flavoring, they are soft, chewy and very tasty.

Schar - I haven't tried many of their things, but I just tried their chocolate sandwich cookies and you can highly taste the rice flour in this one, the texture when I bit into it was really not very good. I understand they are meant to be a shortbread but this is just not very good in my opinion. The best part of it was the cream center.

Glutino - Their chocolate wafer cookies remind me a lot of kitkat. While I can't have Kitkat anymore, this gives me the crispy wafer, chocolate around it and between the layers as well, so it's very like it and satisfies that crunch you want.

Pamela's Figgies and Jammies - I have only tried the regular flavor of this but oh my gosh they are SO good. Cured my desire for fig newtons quite well, the cookies are much bigger than your regular fig newton but they are just as tasty if not more so in my opinion. I LOVE them.

Udi's- Their salted Caramel Cashew cookies are so moist and tasty. I really love the chewy cookies they make and though I can't try their maple one, I still recommend giving it a try people cause I'm sure they are just as good.

Pizza crust:

Against the grain - This is the best by far of gluten free pizza crusts. They have a three cheese one that I just absolutely love and they even make some premade pizza's that are to die for. My boyfriend even loves them.

Udi's - While their pizza crusts are some of the cheapest, there's a reason for that. They aren't that great. Honestly I don't like them nearly enough to keep buying them. They are decent if you just want a quick fix but they don't crisp up well and the flavor is not that great. They also make premade pizza's you can get in the store and again, same crust so not that great, but good for a quick fix.

Fruchetta - While this is a premade pizza not just the crust, I am just going to put this here too. Their gluten free pizza is pretty good, not really worth ten bucks in my opinion but it's not bad. The crust comes out crispy and while I wish they put more pepperoni on their pizza, getting a gluten free pepperoni you can add to it isn't a bad idea either.

Bob's Redmill - Their crust isn't bad, reminds me of those home made ones my mom used to do as it came out a lot thicker and more doughy then crispy like the other companies. It was pretty nostalgic to me to be honest.


Glutino - They make a decent soda cracker for soups and chili, they also make an ok bagel chip but I'm not as fond of the bagel chips as I am the crackers. I usually eat them with a roasted tomato and pepper soup or I put it in my chili :D But either way the crackers they make are a decent enough one to add to your diet.

Snack chips:

Utz - While not everything Utz makes is gluten free, they have the biggest by far for potato chips that are gluten free and all the flavors I have tried of them are really good.

Beanitos - Tried the nacho cheese white bean chip of this brand, while they were a tad dry and I wished they had more nacho flavor, I think they are decent enough and would be really good with a gluten free queso dip.

Pop Corners - All their flavors are gluten free and while I don't like the sweet chili one, I love the buttered, kettle, jalapeno cheddar, white cheddar and caramel ones.

Premade cakes and mixes:

Gillian's Kitchen - These you find in the frozen isle and I must say the best part of this cake is the frosting. The cake itself is incredibly dry and just not worth the money.

My Grandpa's Farm - Gluten free carrot cake mix was awesome. Very moist and delicious, my boyfriend made this for me on my birthday and it really came out fantastic. It's sold on Amazon though you might find it in stores too, not sure.

Soups and Soup noodle bowls:

Asian Meals - Malaysian Garlic Sesame Noodle soup bowl: This was pretty good, just make sure you follow the directions and not over cook it, I did by accident and not fond of mushy noodles lol.

Campbell's- They created a gluten free tomato and basil soup that is absolutely to die for. I had it with grilled cheese and even my boyfriend loved it!


La Choy - They have a HUGE selection of gluten free asian sauces, I have tried their Teriyaki sauce as well as their sweet and sour sauce, both gluten free and both have been absolutely fantastic, even my boyfriend loves them.

Essential Everyday - They make a garlic and herb marinade and a lemon pepper marinade that are both gluten free and I've had no problem with it what so ever, use them on a lot of meats and they taste so good.

« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 10:22:32 AM by fireflights »

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Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2016, 12:29:10 PM »
Although I am not gluten-free by any means, I'm glad to see this thread.  Occasionally, I have to look for recipes for people who are.  :-)

One point of note on the Barilla:  I have found that even on their regular pasta, they over-estimate the cooking time enormously.  My go-to method is to cook it for half the time listed on the box, and adjust from there.  I usually don't have to adjust very much.

Online fireflightsTopic starter

Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2016, 02:13:12 PM »
Glad to hear it, I plan to post recipes here soon, I just have to compile them and put them on here for people. :D

Offline Kuroneko

Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2016, 02:40:34 PM »
I have celiac disease and I  would say that given all you related here about your health before and after removing gluten from your diet, anecdotally there's no reason to put yourself through a test to verify you have the condition. You're clearly better off not eating gluten so there's no reason to eat it ever again.

Most of the brands you list here I can't eat because I'm also allergic to soy, casein and eggs (in addition to level one allergies to about 20 other foods). It's very challenging to read labels as many of these things hide under other names, as does gluten. My favorite brand of pasta is Tinkyadia and bread is Food for Life brown rice bread, though I do occasionally make Pamela's bread mix, which is also wonderful.

Online fireflightsTopic starter

Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2016, 02:45:17 PM »
Well then I welcome you to list any you can use to include them for those with gluten and soy/egg issues, or pm me and I'll add them to my list so others can try them to :D

Online fireflightsTopic starter

Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2016, 06:43:48 PM »
This one I will put all recipes into until it won't let me then I will start a new post in here for more recipes so keep an eye on it.

Bolognase sauce

1 pd hamburger
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 cup chopped onion
salt to taste
1 can 12 oz diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano in it
Gluten free pasta cooked to package instructions

In a large skillet, place small amount of oil into it on high heat, add garlic and onion and cook until it is caramelized a bit. Add hamburger, and cook through. Drain fat, add tomatoes and stir, add salt to your taste then simmer for ten minutes. Add cooked pasta and toss, serve hot.

Chicken and four cheese enchiladas

12-16 corn tortillas (I used Mission)
1 pckg 8oz cream softened
1 cup medium salsa
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup each monterey jack cheese, mozzarella and cheddar
1 large can enchilada sauce
1 pd chicken breast cooked and diced into small pieces

in a large bowl, combine cream cheese and salsa. Add in the cumin and shredded cheeses, stir together, add in the chicken. On a long skillet warm corn tortillas for a few seconds on each side. Place some enchilada sauce on the bottom of the cake pan. Spoon two large spoonfuls into the center of the corn tortilla, roll and line the bottom of the pan until full. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and some cheese. Bake for 30-45 mins in oven 350 degrees.

Berry stuffed french toast

Note: I have yet to find a proper bread for this but once I do, I will note it here.

1 cup berries pureed in blender with 1/3 cup of sugar
2 8oz cream cheese
Gluten free bread cut into thick slices, pocketed reserving the remaining bread
2 eggs
1 cup milk
cinnamon and sugar

Mix berries and cream cheese, taste to make sure it's sweet enough and add sugar as needed. pour into bread pockets, sealing with the remaining bread. Mix eggs, milk and cinnamon and sugar into a bowl, mix well and dip bread into mixture. Fry on all sides until cooked, through and golden brown. Serve with syrup.

Basil Chicken and Pasta

1 12 oz package gluten free rotini (I used heartland)
2 tbsp butter
1 pd boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp dried basil
1 cup heavy cream (I actually used whole milk with some corn starch to thicken because i didn't have heavy cream and it worked fine)
1/4 c grated parmesan

In a large pot with boiling salted water cook rotini pasta until al dente. Drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt the butter or margarine. Add the chopped chicken and garlic, saute until lightly brown and juices run clear. Stir in the ground black pepper, dried basil, heavy cream, and grated Parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Toss drained pasta with basil sauce and serve immediately.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 12:59:09 PM by fireflights »

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Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2016, 08:07:05 AM »
I've figured out I'm lactose intolerant (which has brought on horrible symptoms akin to food poisoning) and I tried going gluten-free for a short time because I'm not sure if that might be a food intolerance as well. I found this really hard to do, especially living in a country that doesn't offer many gluten-free carbohydrate-based foods. It's around $4 for a tiny loaf of gluten-free bread here. I noticed the last loaf had blue mould on the bottom of it 3 days before its used by date. I'd had a sore stomach for 2 days after eating it so it may have been the reason. It marked the end of my attempts at gluten-free, at least for now. I'm thinking of getting allergy tested for various foods, but the only thing putting me off is the cost.

My go to foods for a little while there were chicken salads and soups (some aren't gluten free but some bought ones are, or you could make your own), stir fries and things like that. Those are generally healthier meals than what I have a lot of the time.

Online fireflightsTopic starter

Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2016, 08:13:05 AM »
Depending on the breads, they can for sure be expensive but some are more comparable then others. What I would recommend is, try getting the bread mixes, five bucks and you make a loaf that is more comperable to what you're looking for. Gluten free is not cheap sadly because of the whole fad of people thinking it's some new trendy diet thing when for those of us know, it's not about trend but living healthy. I have used the glutino bread mix and it made a very tasty bread with the bread pans and they were the same size as regular sandwich, just a thought for you there Amber. Also, stay away from things made with Almond flour as they are the more costly ones. Yes the gluten free bread loaves aren't as large as the others, but as for prices, for pasta the heartland I've been getting is usually only 2.00 max for the package so if you shop around you can find good deals that help you lower costs. Also a lot of things can be gotten online for cheaper, the heartland my boyfriend and I bought them on Amazon and for 6 packages of each kind, we spent a total of 36 dollars for 12 total packages which was a pretty good deal when it came to gluten free foods and that price includes the shipping costs.

Honestly, as the market for gluten free foods grows, the prices will go down, but until it grows the prices will remain. I don't eat a lot of carbs anyway, but pasta's and such are the best way I have gotten my carbs.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 08:14:48 AM by fireflights »

Online fireflightsTopic starter

Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2016, 11:32:50 AM »
I have updated the list of brands I have tried and the items, as well as added some recipes, I do ask anyone wishing to post more information be my guest I want this to be a resource guide. When I first started out I was scrambling to figure out things and I never realized how hard it can be to find things when you need them to be gluten free. Also I will be putting up a list soon of gluten free body washes and stuff, because I just found out recently that those can even have gluten in them, I don't use makeup so if anyone does and knows gluten free ones, feel free to let me know.

Offline Ryven

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Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2016, 10:39:59 AM »
It's been speculated for those having digestive trouble when eating gluten but do not have celiac's may actually be responding to something other than the gluten itself whether it be pesticides used when growing the wheat to something used during the manufacturing and processing of the wheat or product being made.  There may be safe gluten products for you, but without knowing exactly what it is you're sensitive to, I wouldn't risk a lot of trial and error to find it.

Online fireflightsTopic starter

Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2016, 02:44:11 PM »
With me Ryven, I am more than positive given my history of stomach and autoimmune issues that mine is actually Celiac's I just haven't had the full testing done. But you are right, there are many possibilities out there for those who are not Celiac's that causes their sensitivity to gluten.

Online fireflightsTopic starter

Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2016, 07:43:57 PM »
Updated my list with some new products, will be adding another one soon as we just got a new pasta set and about to try a new flour that might be as good as Pamela's I don't know. Honestly I made a second batch of cookies just today with Pamela's flour and they were beyond fantastic so adding in oats the first time was a bad idea because it dried them out too much. So don't add oats unless you add more moisture, but these new ones without oats were the bomb! Anyways, just letting you know :D

Online fireflightsTopic starter

Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2016, 11:01:05 AM »
I'm going to start listing restaurants with gluten free entree's that I've tried and even let you know which ones are safe and which aren't. Currently most of these will be in MD, some in PA where I used to live and even ones in Illinois I had a pleasure of trying before leaving there.


Pat's Pizza (Baltimore MD) - They have a great gluten free crust that is by far one of the best I have ever tried and they will literally make any of their pizza's gluten free. Just make sure you specify no meatballs because even though I had ordered it without the meatballs they included it.

Brick Oven Pizzeria (Baltimore MD) - This is THE best gluten free pizza I have EVER tried. I tried it on my first visit here and I LOVED it so much I constantly want it.

Season's Pizza (Baltimore MD) - Good pizza, wish it had more of a crisp to the crust but the crust itself is good even if they cook it in it's  own pan to ensure no possible contamination which I like. The flavor is good.

Fiamme (Naperville Illinois) - Awesome pizza, they even have gluten free bread for the appetizer which is absolutely delicious. I loved this place and would go again if i lived there anymore.

Lou malnatis (Naperville Illinois) - They have a deep dish gluten free pizza crust that isn't bad at all, nice and crispy. But their sauce is just literally crushed tomatoes, No flavoring at all. Their sausage was good though. So all in all, not terrible, just wish they would add flavor to that sauce, then they would be incredible.


Egg Harbor Cafe (Naperville Illinois) - They had a decent gluten free menu and I tried their breakfast there with the cinnamon roll, it was pretty good.

Eggsperience (Naperville Illinois) - OMG what more can I say about this place then absolutely FANTASTIC! Okay, so they have this amazing gluten free banana bread breakfast that is to die for, I mean seriously if you live in this area or visit it you HAVE to visit them!
« Last Edit: March 25, 2016, 12:54:53 PM by fireflights »

Online fireflightsTopic starter

Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2016, 02:57:59 PM » matter how I try to make sure I don't get glutinized as I call it, it seems when I don't do the cooking myself I have no choice but to run into issues. I tried so hard going to the Hibachi grill to choose only items that could not possibly contain gluten and even took my own gluten free soy sauce. But sadly I obviously got cross contaminated which I knew was a risk going into this, only thing I forgot to do was take my charcoal pills with me, the walk home which was only a few blocks was the most miserable I have been in a LONG time.

Online Oniya

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Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2016, 03:05:12 PM »
That's one of the Japanese 'table grill and performance' places, right?  They tend to not fully scrub those between 'shows', which is likely where the cross-contamination came from (a little burnt-on soy sauce, maybe the end of a noodle somewhere...).  I remember going to a Mongolian Grill in several cities (similar cooking style) - once with a group of about 50 people, and if they knew someone had a food allergy, they would do a full clean of the grill surface immediately prior to cooking that person's food to keep that from happening. 

Online fireflightsTopic starter

Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2016, 03:09:02 PM »
No, it's got a grill in there but it's a buffet place :( Sadly I had the feeling it could happen but was hoping if I was careful enough, it wouldn't but with places like that....there is no careful enough. I'd even watched the guy clean the grill before he made my food but he didn't change his tools which could likely be where it came from :(... It wasn't my choice to go there, my boyfriends dad took us there to eat. So I can't complain or I'll feel like I'm being ungrateful :P

Online fireflightsTopic starter

Re: Gluten free living - A place to get information and share ideas
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2016, 06:30:21 PM »
OMG so I just heard the best news....Chick Fil-A is releasing a gluten free bun soon! Yes there's a chance of cross contamination but hell, best news ever!