Friday, January 29, 2016

Meatloaf Ala Gluten Free

Gluten Free Meatloaf - 

  • 1.5 lbs Ground Beef
  • 6 oz Gluten Free Stuffing Mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 3TBS of Worcester
  • Onion chopped
  • Tsp Garlic
  • 4 slices sharp Cheddar cheese

  1. You will want to mix Ground Beef, Stuffing, Eggs, water and Worcester sauce and chopped onion together in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the BBQ Sauce, Ketchup and Garlic. 
  3. split the mixture into two halves. 
  4. Work the 1st half into the bottom of your pan and poor on half the BBQ sauce mixture on this layer.
  5. Add the 4 slices of the cheddar cheese on the bbq sauce mixture.
  6.  Work the 2nd half of the meat mixture on the previous layer in the pan.
  7. Add remaining BBQ Sauce mixture to the top and place in the oven.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour
I improvised and used a round [pan instead of a loaf pan, but it all tastes the same in the long run!
Served with home made mashed potatoes, Viola! a great meal for a cold night in!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Stuffed Peppers

Gluten Free Stuffed Pepper 

Honestly I'm not sure I ever had stuffed peppers growing up. So I found it interesting i started to crave these one day. 1st off the Green peppers are the cheapest of the large bell peppers to buy. But the other colors looked so yummy I had to try them out. But you can use any color pepper you want. 

  • 1 cup of Rice (Cooked and cooled)
  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of corn
  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsps garlic salt
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 cup your favorite shredded cheese 

  1.  You will want to boil the peppers for about 15 minutes to make them softer.
  2. While boiling the peppers, brown your meat, and dispose of the grease. You want the meat cooked before you bake the peppers.
  3. Once you've drained the grease, add Garlic Salt, Basil, corn and mushrooms to the pan and cook a little longer. 
  4. Heat up the sauce and half the diced tomatoes.
  5. Once the meat has cooked another 10 minutes mix in the rice and the balance of the diced tomatoes. 
  6. You can now "Stuff" the filling inside the peppers. Make sure to really fill in the bottom of the peppers. 
  7. Cover the top of the pan with foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. 
  8. After 15 minutes remove the foil, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes.

Once the peppers are done the sauce will be warmed up, you can now serve the pepper and top with as much or as little tomato sauce as you please. Really the hardest part of this recipe is the time involved to cook each part before you actually make any stuffed peppers.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Eggsperience Cafe ~ Park Ridge

New Year, New adventures to try new places to eat. That’s my resolution, try new places, and find new awesome options. Also getting back to more home cooked meals, especially new and different options… Then trying to get them typed up and posted. Let’s see how well that goes. Life seems to take over somewhere in the middle of this every time.

Starting off on the right foot on new adventures we went for breakfast at Eggsperience CafĂ© in Park Ridge. I’d looked them up previously for a different location and didn’t see anything on gluten free items. It seems they are specific to each location on what they can or cannot do. Looking at the menu in Park Ridge they had quite the Gluten Free selection including waffles, pancakes, toast, Scramblers, and Omelets. I was in the mood for a scrambler, and a smoothie for breakfast. It was cool because I could get Udi’s Toast on the side!

We got our smoothies and waited for breakfast, when we got there we got seated right away, but it was starting to fill up quickly. The one thing I noticed is they need to dust better, the ledge between booths next to me was rather dusty. Our food arrived. Presentation was awesome, it looked really good. My boyfriend said his food was OK. I thought the same of mine. I felt like my scrambler was lacking some taste. There was a lot of food, and it looked really good, I just was slightly.

They had a lot of options, and the food all looked good. I would go back for the sake of finding a place everybody can find something they like, even if it isn't the most flavorful. Maybe we caught them on a bad day... But I'll go back. I give them 3 dragonflies for variety and quick service, but overall flavor was lacking. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Indianapolis Road Trip

Indianapolis ROAD TRIP! – Every year we travel from Chicago to Indianapolis for a Good Old Fashion NASCAR weekend with friends. The nice thing is I’m not the only person with food restrictions in our group, and my brother and Sister-In-Law go with so they are very well versed in eating out with me, so I always have allies on my side. We usually stop in Merriville to get candy from the Albanese Candy Factory and stop to eat, this time we ate before we got that far, so we didn’t actually eat again until we got to Indianapolis. 1st place we went was Scotty’s Bar and Grill – It was based on a travel recommendation from a fellow Celiac dinner. When I looked up their menu I was in Heaven. There were quite a few options that sounded so good. I had to go big or go home, with my old time favorite appetizer, Nachos. I love nachos when eating out, I could eat them all day long. That paired with an Omission beer (Yes I’m one of those who don’t react to Omission, but a crumb on my plate will kill me for days) just made the 7 hours of horrible traffic and traveling seem worth it all. The waitress figured right away that I had Celiac because “those are the only people who order Omission. She even checked on my food when it was brought out to make sure I had the Tri Colored nacho chips so they weren’t fried in a shared fryer. I highly recommend getting the nachos if you go there! 

We always go to the Waffle House right by our hotel for breakfast. This can seem scary, it was for me the first time. But we learned the manager’s brother has a food allergy. When giving them my order of Scrambled eggs, hash browns (chunked and covered) and a side of bacon I make sure to tell them “No Toast, I’m allergic” – This isn’t the place to get into a long discussion on food intolerance and what happens. They always tell me they will Red Flag my meal and I’ve never had an issue with a meal there. The fact that I can watch them make my food at the bar does make me feel better. 

Lunches are generally snacks and food I pack for the day since the race track doesn’t have GF offerings and I’m not willing to chance it there.
Dinner on the Saturday is always at BJ’s Brewhouse. Our goal on this trip was to leave room for a Pizookie! I always salivate over their broccoli cheddar soup, but it use to only be available on Monday’s. Now it’s a regular item on their menu. I had to get a cup of soup, even though it was 95 degrees out. I got the balsamic chicken sans the fried onion straws. I’ve had this here before and liked it before. This time it was SO SALTY, I just couldn’t eat it. I tried, but was very disappointed in the meal this time. I definitely had room for the Pizookie. I could probably have just done soup and the Pizookie, which I may do next time.

Dinner the next night was at Cheeseburger in Paradise, it was close to the hotel, and all the locations around Chicago have closed, so it was a nice treat. They have a dedicated fryer for their French fries, which sounded so good! I’ll admit I couldn’t finish my burger but the food was tasty, and the server was very friendly and announced my burger as Gluten Free when it arrived. 

Monday we had a late lunch, early dinner and stopped at Puccini’s Smiling Teeth in Carmel, just North of Indianapolis. We discovered this place last year, and were eager to go back. Their pizza both gluten free and regular are quite unique and so tasty. Gluten Free pizza’s come out having been cooked in their own pan with a clean spatula, which is designated for that pizza alone. They even have several appetizers and pasta choices that can be made gluten free. We look forward to coming hear each year now. 

On our drive home, since we got a later start than we wanted, and we made a few stops along the way we stopped in Merriville at Chik-Fil-A and got a quick dinner, Grilled nuggets, waffle fries and a side of Chik-Fil-A Sauce hit the spot, oh and a splurge for a peach shake!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Benihana's GF Options Available

Finding a fun and entertaining place to go out to dinner with a group can be a challenge. Especially when you start looking at ethnic cuisine. A couple years ago my brothers girlfriend wanted to go to Benihana’s for her birthday. She called asked a million questions, and found out they have GF soy sauce and could prepare a safe meal…. OK… Now the question is how…. Well that time the server came over and told me they’d make mine in the back in a dedicated Wok and my food would arrive when everyone else was served theirs. 

Benihana’s is a great place for a party or celebration because you do get the cooking show while you wait, and the staff is a blast. Luckily around Chicagoland we have several locations, I’ve been to the Wheeling, Schaumburg and Oakbrook Locations. All with no issues. Our last visit was extra special. When we got there I advised the host I had a “gluten allergy” and he nodded with agreement, not saying there would be an issue. When we were seated I let Jackson our server know I have a “Gluten allergy, and it makes me really sick….” Before I could finish he said “OH I know, my sister has Celiac Disease!” AWESOME!!! 

He assured me my meal would be safe, and advised me that their salad dressing has Soy Sauce in it so he’d bring out vinegar and oil for dressing. Also that their Garlic sauce not the Ginger Sauce was safe too. When it was time to take our orders he asked if everyone was OK with having their meals made with Gluten Free Soy Sauce and regular butter instead of garlic butter. Everyone in our group said they were OK with that. Which meant he could make my meal right in front of us too!! 

We watched the chef Re-Clean the grill for us and showed us the Soy Sauce was safe. Though I did ask like 3 times. Our server also brought out Egg Drop Soup for me in place of the regular soup, since the soup has gluten in it. The whole meal was amazing I didn’t get sick and the staff was very understanding. 

I give them 4 Dragonflies Not only did they deliver an amazing meal, but I got to see the whole thing come together and knew it was as safe as my cooking at home.