Eating Out With Allergy Free Confidence

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Irony:

I grew up in the city of Portland, Oregon. When I was nineteen and newly married, I moved to the wonderful city of Boise, Idaho. Talk about night and day differences – especially when it comes to alternative eating choices!

In Portland, it would seem, that just around every corner, there is a store, a restaurant or some type of eatery that offers allergy free fare. If you order something vegan to avoid dairy and eggs in Portland, they don’t blink twice at you and stare like you just sprouted a third shoulder.

But they do in Boise.

Because in Boise, we are surrounded by cattle, cattle and, well, more cattle.

So when you say ‘vegan’, they think you are some weirdo fruitcake.

Which you’re not. Well, not in THAT way, anyway.

So it’s been an adventure finding places we can safely dine out and who take us seriously.

And now I will share four of those places of dining pleasure with you.

1. P.F. Chang’s – The BIG TIP I have for dining here is that you call ahead at least by noon the day you will be dining to speak with the Kitchen Manager. While they do offer a gluten free/vegetarian menu, they do marinate their meats in egg and dairy. By calling ahead, you guarantee that they can set your meats aside unmarinated. Also, upon arrival, the Kitchen Manager will meet with you personally to insure that your meal is made to its allergy free specifications. Keep in mind that the fried rice does contain eggs, so you will want to order the rice without the eggs if you are allergic. I highly recommend this restaurant. The food is delicious and even though I have visted them in different states, the service is the same: outstanding.

2. Texas Roadhouse – While this place of dining does not have a gluten free or allergy free menu, they are very accomodating when it comes to prepping for someone with certain needs. For example, I usually order a steak, no seasoning, a salad, sans the ‘bad’ toppings (and I bring my own dressing), and a plain baked or sweet potato (I add s&p and sometimes bring my own Earth Balance spread). I always ask the server to make sure the cook cleans my part of the grill prior to preparing my steak. If the server looks at me like I’m crazy, I simply ask if they don’t understand my needs, to talk to the kitchen manager. I have never had a reaction after dining at the Roadhouse. Great prices and great steaks, too!

3. Brick 29 Bistro – For you local yocals, this is THE place to go eat allergy free! Yes, it is expensive, but the food…oh, the food is sublime! The chef’s wife has multiple food allergies, so he is a pro (literally) at preparing something fabulous without the allergens. I have been known to customize my order by simply ordering braised chicken (which you can slice with a fork, man oh man!), fingerling potatoes (served in olive oil and garlic) and sauteed green beans (delicious!). They also offer steaks, an out of this world tenderloin and ‘safe’ bacon salad (with an emulsified dressing you would swear had dairy in, but it doesn’t), and a variety of other things that the chef is willing to whip up just for you. For the gluten free only crowd, they do offer a flourless chocolate cake and their coffee is out of this world. Just be sure to tell your server of your allergy needs and they will work with you – with pleasure!

4. Subway – Rumor has it that Subway is going to be serving gluten free bread soon. But in the mean time, you can get an awesome salad that is free of allergens! So far, I have had great experiences with the staff knowing to switch out their gloves and keep my ingredients on a separate sheet of waxed paper. I do bring my own dressing, but you can top your salad with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. I usually do a mix of greens, veggies, grilled chicken and bacon. And you can stand there and watch them make it, ensuring nothing goes into your salad that will make you sick. Grab a bag of plain Lay’s potato chips, a cup of plain iced tea (or safe pop if you partake) and you’ve got a great if ‘on the run’ lunch!

I will post more restaurant tips in the future. Because we know that it is so nice to have someone else wait on us every once in a while.

Where is your favorite allergy free place to dine? I would love to know!

Happy Eating Out!

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Sabbatical

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Our family is ‘unplugging’ for a time.

We are praying to refocus, reset, and renew our minds and relationships.

My husband and I had thought about doing this for quite a while. But it wasn’t until we watched the film, Captivated, that our eyes were truly opened to just how much media soaks up our family time.

And on that note, I will see you all in two weeks!

Getting Your Smoothie On

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There is a lie.

A lie that says that in order to enjoy a smoothie, it must contain dairy.

How. Could. They?

You have been deceived long enough. It is time for your eyes to be opened!

Because you can make a smoothie without dairy. Yes. You. Can.

And the ingredients are simple. You will only need:

Non-dairy milk

Frozen or fresh fruit

Optional: Non-dairy yogurt or sorbet

Optional: Ground flax seed

::Measure into your blender::

1/2 cup semi-frozen berries or fresh berries

1-2 cups almond or other milk, amount depending on how thick you like your smoothie. (I like to use Silk unsweetened vanilla)

::If desired:: Add 1 container So Delicious coconut milk (or other) yogurt.

OR add 1/4 cup sorbet, such as Haagen Dazs or Julie’s

For a protein punch, add 2 tsp ground flax seed

Hit the smoothie button and let your blender do its thing.

 

Links for ingredients:

Silk Almond

So Delicious Yogurt

Haagen Dazs Sorbet

Julie’s Sorbet

Happy Summer Smoothies!

Toll House Cookies – Allergy Free Style

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Just because you have allergies to certain foods does not necessarily mean you can never again eat your favorite recipes.

The following recipe is from the original, with changes added by me.

Our family doesn’t even notice the difference.

So yummy and gooey and chocolately and …. well, let’s just get started, shall we?

I apologize that there are no pictures. But I think y’all know how to make cookies. I’ll take some and insert them the next time we prepare them.

Allergy Free Toll House Cookies

2 1/4 cups all purpose gluten free flour mix (see recipe link at top of blog)

*If you live in a very dry climate, you may need to reduce the flour to 2 cups*

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

3/4 cup Earth Balance spread *OR*1 cup softened butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

*OR* substitute the above sugars with 3/4 cup agave

1 tsp vanilla extract (gf)

Egg replacer equivalent of 2 eggs *OR* 2 eggs *OR* 6 Tb plain applesauce

1 cup Enjoy Life miniature chocolate chips or your choice of chips

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large bowl, cream together Earth Balance and sweeteners. Add your egg replacer and vanilla and blend well. Next, add the flour, soda and salt. Blend well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop with a small cookie scoop onto an ungreased cookie sheet or baking stone.

Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until edges are golden. Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. It is best to let these cookies cool for a bit before eating as they can be crumbly when warm. When they cool, they are delightful.

Here are the links to the spread, egg replacer and chocolate chips:

Earth Balance

Ener-G Egg Replacer

Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Happy Getting Your Chocolate Fix!

 

 

 

 

Jaime’s Gluten Free Flour Mix

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Are you longing to make Grandma’s special cookie recipe but can’t have the wheat flour it calls for?

Wanting to coat your chicken for oven frying?

Wishing you could whip up some yummy gravy, like Mom used to make?

Or do you just want a gluten free flour that doesn’t cost and arm and a leg and actually tastes good?

Then click on the link below, and look forward to the possibilities!

Jaime’s Gluten Free Flour Mix

My New Home!

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Welcome, everyone, to the new home of The Freak Food Gourmet!

After many, many, many technical problems over at Blogspot (you would think they would just leave a good thing good…but noooooo), I am making the switch.

I hope my readers are patient with me as I learn my way around this new format!

Thanks for following me!

Happy New Beginnings!