Friday, March 21, 2014

What's Your Celiac Kryptonite?

Is there anything that you can't eat after you "got" Celiac Disease, even though it's naturally gluten free?

My icon of failure was an orange..... An ORANGE, yes, one more time, an ORANGE!!!

A juicy, round, dripping down your hand orange ball.

It was my celiac kryptonite!!

That is one of the fruits I've had difficulty eating since my diagnosis of Celiac Disease. It's been more than 8 years without enjoying them.

Periodically, I would try one, and then the pain from eating it would come over me. A sharp stabbing pain in my stomach, then on my side, under my breast bone,  the pain would just wave over me for hours and hours. Sometimes, it helped to grab my stomach, and massage it.  I would think, "why am I torturing myself? I will never eat citrus again." Yet several months later I would get brave and try again, over and over the same intense pain... It was a failure. I was measuring my eating oranges again with getting better, and why?

   I wanted that juicy flesh of a cool orange taste without pain!

Last November, I peeled an orange, desiring the juicy orange flesh, but preparing for the pain to come.... I had my first little twinge of pain, then nothing. I stood perfectly still, it was so quiet in the kitchen, waiting and waiting for the buckling over pain to show up. --- NOTHING... Really? I seemed disappointed there wasn't pain... I was both shocked and puzzled!

Until I realized I finally ate an ORANGE, woo-hoo!!!! I actually ate an orange without buckling over in pain! At last a feeling of I am getting better flushed over me instead of the usual pain and sadness! I did a bit of a happy dance with tears that I really ate an orange without pain for the first time since before 2006!

Today, I had 3 oranges for breakfast, I cut them and put them all on a plate, watching the juice drip on the plate and slowly savored each little slice. Yes, I am over indulging, but the oranges are much better than I ever remember them.

You can't have just one! 

This was a milestone for me, after having cancer twice, and celiac disease, eating an orange was a precious gift!

I cracked the celiac kryptonite!!

If you want to know more about the the many benefits of Oranges, please visit HERE!

                               Signing off with Gluten Free Juicy Love 

                                                     No Gluten Here

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Celiac Disease Bullying... the lessons...The English Project

This is one of the most difficult posts I believe I will ever make, with of course permission from the author. There is no denying or withholding who wrote it as I don't think it would make as big of impact as it should.

It's my youngest daughter that will graduate High School in just a short few days. Her future plans consist of attending Penn State University at University Park and majoring in Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering. Her overall GPA was over 3.8+ and was awarded the Presidential Education Awards Certificate, National Honor Society Member, a Scholar Athlete Award, plus the schools Academic Excellence Award as well. She has had some outstanding teacher letters written about her, and many of those teachers do not know of the impact bullying can be on a student.

I read, and re-read her senior class Advance Placement English Project she turned in last week and was overwhelmed with tears as I lived it right along with her. She makes light of the things that happened to her, many of which she left out, from having food thrown at her, being called "special",  to classmates video taping her in moments of harassment by others. It was "real pain" to live through, yet there is much agony to read what children and young adults go through when they are unaccepted for their disabilities.

My side is short and sweet, she is amazingly brilliant, and beautiful! 

No Gluten Here
Here is her project... It was titled "THAT GIRL"
by: Jayci Drew

Monday, May 6, 2013

Gluten Free PIZZA -- Who needs bread anyway....

 I'm always trying to find new ways to enjoy pizza - it's just a craving that I have had since having to go gluten free. We all know that pizza possibly isn't the healthiest thing for us, but if we could just make it a little bit healthier, why not??

I have been trying to eat even better since having my second cancer surgery back in Feb, and ditching everything processed gluten free is pretty hard to do....
but I was so hungry for pizza....
and to keep it somewhat healthy!
    FIRST you must see the finished product!

Zucchini Pepperoni Pizza

  I KNOW!!!

You're drooling,


It is sooo easy to make and in less than 15 min you can be eatting this!

Just grab yourself some zucchinis the next time you're at the grocery store,
 I used about a 7" size.

Cut the zucchini in half and remove a bit of the inside where the seeds are.

It is easier for the sauce and cheese to stay in place if there is a little well in them.

I added a bit of salt & pepper and baked them at 350* for about 8 minutes, placing about 2 Tbl of water in the non stick pan.

After they are slightly soft - but still firm, I removed them and added my sauce

Then Cheese & Pepperoni

I baked it again for about 4 or 5 minutes at 400*
just enough for the pepperoni to melt into the cheese


Plate it UP


I can honestly say they were delicious, and hit the spot with my pizza & cheese craving!

PLUS more than 1/2 the meal was a GREEN VEGETABLE

You can make the zucchini pizza as an appetizer by cutting them into bite sized pieces,
but big enough to put a topping on them. Just remember to adjust the original baking time
down to perhaps 4 or 5 min or they may get soggy.

I have no idea about the calorie content, but I am very sure it is MUCH less than anyother crust you could use. Removing the pepperoni would make it even much healther... but when you want it....

Additonal toppings to use is up to you, but a button mushroom would be delicious too!

Summer is right around the corner, so this is a great use for all
 those zucchini
you are going to grow or be given!

I will be posting another great gluten free recipe for your zucchini soon, so make
sure you check back.


No Gluten Here

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Add Green for SPRING... make your breakfast special!

  These days I try to keep my family eating together for most of our meals instead of everyone running in different directions. Weekend meals are usually special for us, especially when everyone is home in the morning before we scatter our separate ways. I look forward to our weekend family breakfasts together!

 Eggs are a usually our to go to favorite, but it's EGGS... sometimes they can be boring and I'm always looking for ways to make them exciting!

Sometimes all you need is a bit of Green in Spring to make you smile! Here's what we came up with a couple of weekends ago.... 

Peppers make it easy to put the eggs right into the middle without everything running together, and it looks like you made it special for your family or guests. (Plus they are healthy veggies full of Vitamin C - shhhh don't spread that around!!)  I would totally make this if I ran a bed & breakfast for my guests!

First slice your pepper into about 1/2" rings. Next put the 1/2" thick sliced pepper in the pan by itself for a couple of minutes, cook it very slightly as you still want it firm enough to hold the egg.  I flipped the pepper
over and then cracked the egg and put it right into the pepper ring.

 I added some other things to the egg,  
you can add variety, and whatever you might like, my choice here was a sliced grape tomato and piece of fresh dill.
I covered the pan and steamed the egg a bit so the top of the egg would come out over easy. 
Then plate it up!
Have fun and enjoy your family, friends and food!
All ingredients in this breakfast were glutenfree of course!
No Gluten Here


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Light & Fresh - Grilled Romaine!

Lately we have been grilling and cooking fresh meals, almost nothing goes in the oven throughout the entire summer.

Now just because it's after Labor Day doesn't mean it's time to put the grill away!
My all time favorite item to grill is romaine lettuce, yes you heard me, grilled romaine! Plus you can put toppings on it, or basically eat it plain!

I swear our family could live on grilled romaine alone! Sometimes I wonder what my produce guys think I'm doing with it since I buy so much!

Basic steps...


thoroughly wash & dry your romaine.

Carefully open a head of romaine and then with a sharp knife cut and separate... right down the middle, leaving the core on otherwise the lettuce will fall apart.

Put a bit of grilling type olive oil on the romaine halves.

Season if you like - I use fresh oregano, ground pepper, and sliced garlic.

If you have a bit of time prior to grilling, place in a large Ziploc bag and let it rest in the refrigerator.

Place on the grill, carefully, as you don't want the oil to flare up and burn the romaine - it will burn & crisp.

Flip it over with tongs and grill the other side until it is done.

And you want the lettuce to grill, and almost look wilted...

 I flipped the above just a bit soon,
but flipped it back
so the end looked like this...   

You can add grated cheese, fresh bacon bits, the choice is up to you.

My gluten free teen loves this!!!!!!!!

 First time she stuck her nose up, but she tried it and it is an all time favorite of hers.

She loves to put a little bit of ranch dressing on it and goes to town.

 In fact, I make extra so she can carry it in her lunch the next day.

Some pictures of grilling the entire meal...

Of course grilled lettuce,

grilled baked sweet potatoes,

grilled ribeye...

and saute' oyster mushrooms on the grill!

Grilled romaine with dabs of real mozzarella cheese - that melts in blobs... ahhhh yum!

..... grilled vidalia onions,

grilled pork loin,

and grilled baked potato

Happy Grilling!

no gluten here

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wake up Domino's - GLUTEN FREE is for CELIACS!

Okay, Okay... it's taken this drastic move by Domino's to bring me out of hiding, but I just couldn't let this pass without a post!

On May 7th Domino's pizza announced they were going to have a "gluten free crust pizza"... now read it one more time, slowly, "gluten free CRUST pizza" - Yep, you got it! A very sneaky play on words, the very words that the FDA said gluten-free would be associated to celiacs so they new Celiac foods would be safe.

Here is the reference from the FDA in 2007 I'm referring to ,

** ** "A standardized definition for the term "gluten-free" can serve to protect the public health by providing consumers with celiac disease, and others who must avoid gluten in their diet, the assurance that the foods bearing this labeling meet a clear standard established and enforced by FDA as to the meaning of "gluten-free"."

So according to the FDA, the equation would be very easy for everyone to understand -

                      Glutenfree = Safe Food = Celiacs

So when Domino's states their glutenfree pizza isn't safe for celiacs, it confuses me, and everyone else, because there term gluten free is FOR Celiacs benefit! It is not for someone to play on a word, and use it without regard to which it is intended - FOR CELIACS!

There is no reason Domino's can't call their pizza low dietary gluten pizza, or low gluten pizza - that IS the end result isn't it? Just because the crust is gluten free - doesn't mean the end result pizza is glutenfree, or does anyone believe it will be? I heard some tested at the 20ppm, but what about the rest or ALL? 

What about ordering on the phone, employees are to be quoting the disclaimer that Domino's put out. Several gluten free people have tried this and fake placed an order to check on the procedure - it isn't being followed.

Who believes it was done for the estimated 18 million Americans who are gluten sensitive as stated? If that was true why would the disclaimer include them?

Picture of Domino's disclaimer

Here is my belief why Domino's needs to use the word gluten free - the word gluten free is a symbol known to everyone that it contains little or no gluten at all - therefore much more understanding of the word, more sales using the word glutenfree, more profit. Look quick and keep your eyes wide open - Did you see the huge leap on the "gluten free" bandwagon for a buck at the Celiacs health risk? It has happened right before our eyes! The tweeting by Dominos of the gluten free crust pizza to celebrities was yet more proof of this. Reducing the availability for safe food in a split instant in society for celiacs with their play on the word gluten-free. What company will it rub off onto next to do this? We have it hard enough trying to be included in society and find "safe" places to eat.

So the NEW equation according to Domino's for the word glutenfree transforms to

     Glutenfree= Not safe Food = Not for Celiacs

This is where I feel we are being deceived, it IS a gluten-free crust, even if the term is being used correctly, when does the crust no longer remain the crust and become part of the pizza?? Domino's isn't selling just the crust, it is selling the crust made into a pizza? The minute a drop, crumb, or speck of gluten goes ONTO the crust it is NOT a gluten free crust anymore. The crust is going to be run through the main line that the full partnered gluten pizza is! Yep, again, you are reading the facts. Same line, same pans, same cutters, same toppings, same sauce, same cheese. I can see the full ladle swirl of sauce contaminated over, and over again touching the glutenfree crust to then full gluten crust. Domino's words, "common kitchen".

Now we have to look at the many, many individuals that will be hurt by this, and by hurt I mean suffer greatly with a glutening, all while not knowing ALL of the facts, or understand the maliciousness of Domino's tactics.

What about the celiac teenager that just wants to fit in? All his friends eat Domino's now he/she can too??

What about the regular person who sees only the words glutenfree pizza - associates it with a friend and has him/her over for dinner to finally be able to serve something without hassle and think it's safe because they see the word "gluten free"... thinking the host is helpful - how is  the celiac able explain - I can hear it go something like this.. well I can't eat "THAT gluten free pizza" SO confusing. (there is that gluten free word again that is associated with celiacs and safe food by the FDA - but NOT safe according to Dominos)

What about the newly diagnosed individuals who don't even understand the disease yet, let alone cross contamination, but sees "glutenfree pizza"? It is a well known fact that when diagnosed with Celiac or gluten issues there is a learning curve and it takes awhile to get used to the diet, to understand what they can and can't eat. Then the cross contamination info sets in, no where in the domino world will a new patient understand this concept of a gluten free crust - but not pizza!

There are so many examples and so many people that are going to be confused and perhaps fall ill because of Domino's usage of the word glutenfree. Domino's isn't considering the tragedy here, or isn't everyone thinking about that, or are they thinking - it's just a glutening, they will get over it in a few days. That isn't how it works, many people suffer for weeks on end, and the antibodies are switched on in their bodies and it goes into attack mode. The individual suffers, their family suffers, their work suffers, it isn't easy being a person with Celiac, especially after they are glutened!

I'm truly sickened by Domino's using the words glutenfree and NOT safe for celiacs... it is such a blatant attempt to make sales at approx 3 mil celiacs expense!

But it is what it is - At end result the gluten free crust pizza is NOT made for celiacs.

IT IS NOT GLUTEN FREE CRUST at end product for sale to public, but it is called gluten free crust pizza? None of those words are even politically correct after it goes through their "common kitchen"

The mere mention of the word gluten free I associate with celiacs - how about you? I want my community to have this understanding of the word glutenfree also, just like the FDA intended.

Domino's - does not understand what the word gluten free means to Celiacs. A Celiacs way of life is GLUTEN FREE. It means EVERYTHING to me, it is my life, it is the ability to function in the world on a day to day basis without illness. It is my daughters lives as it is many of my celiac friends lives. It is the difference of being ill and not being ill. It is the difference of the next time someone uses the term glutenfree - is it really glutenfree? Or is it Domino's gluten free??

I strongly feel that Domino's needs to remove the word "gluten free" associated with any part of their pizza unless they can prove each pizza using the gluten free crust meets the required less than 20ppm as a whole ---

Link with facts and figures about Celiac Disease from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center

**Please note a reference to the FDA regulations on gluten-free from 2007 #19

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tomato Quiche - look Ma no crust!

We had a family celebration this past weekend at our house and I was trying to plan a different breakfast surrounding the occasion, something we never had, and one that everyone could eat at the same time, I didn't want to be the person standing over the stove....

My thought was I'll make gluten free quiche.... but then I didn't want to do a crust since I am excluding all flours from my diet, not just gluten free ones for a month. (I challenged myself, another blog to come)

I purchased organic on the vine tomatoes, all about the same size, organic spinach, eggs, and vidalia onions, and some grated Parmesan cheese. 

Core the tomatoes, take out the inners and leave about a half dollar size opening at the top, all without cutting through the bottom of the tomato. Turn upside down and set on chopper board, to let any extra fluid drain out.

   Crack and scramble eggs and set aside, 1 egg per 2 tomatoes will work.

   I sautéed my spinach and chopped onions for a few minutes to soften and blend the flavors together.

   I wanted my spinach mix separated from the eggs, mostly to have different textures and flavors through out the tomato.

   Filling the tomato first with the spinach mix, then spooning in the egg, and topping it with the grated Parmesan cheese.

   Since this was my first time making the tomato quiche I wasn't sure how long to bake them. I wanted to keep the tomato from getting soggy, but to make sure the egg was cooked.

I set the oven temp to 300* for 15 min, then checked, not quite done.... so baking for about another 12 minutes, they came out perfect. Next time I'll bake about 350* for 18-20 min.

Plated Tomato Quiche

Layers of Tomato Quiche

There was a consensual agreement at our housenext time put bacon on top!

We make another plate at our  house called "salad eggs".... That is were you have as many veggies as you do eggs. We usually add spinach, tomatoes, several colors/type of peppers, onions, etc... 

The salad eggs pictured below, has the same ingredients as the tomato quiche above, just all scrambled together, as I wanted to show the difference with the same ingredients that are used in each recipe. It can look so amazingly different just by the way they are prepared. It also tastes differently than the tomato quiche where those flavors can be tasted separately..... but both are very satisfying!

"Salad Eggs"