December 26, 2012

Gluten Free Spicy Potatoes and Cauliflower

Besides holiday meals, I still plan on keeping things vegetarian and gluten free for the foreseeable future.  I was once a vegetarian... back in the day.  My vegetarian diet lasted for 5 of my adolescent years; until I went away to college, had to rely on a meal plan, and would've starved for lack of vegetarian options.  Now, at 36, I'm getting back into it.  Back then it was all about living a kill-free, chill lifestyle, and now it's more about staying healthy (not that a kill-free diet isn't still a nice rationale for being vegetarian).

This cauliflower and potato dish recipe is enough to feed 4 as a main meal, or 8 as an appetizer.  There's a bit more prep than I like, but the finished product is just too good to cut corners and miss out.  Enjoy!

  • 1 lb potatoes
  • 10 tblsp. peanut or coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 fresh green chilli (the hot ones), seeded and finely chopped (WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER)
  • 1 large cauliflower, broken into small florets 
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin (or cumin seeds)
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced or cut into shreds
  • 4 tblsp. fresh coriander (or parsley), finely chopped
  • salt

Cooking Directions
  1. Cook the potatoes in their skins in boiling salted water for about 20 minutes, or until just tender (which means you can put a fork in them easily, but the potato won't fall off the fork). Drain and let cool. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Heat 6 tblsp. of the oil in a frying pan or wok. When hot, add the ground cumin, coriander, tumeric, cayenne pepper and chilli. Let the spices sizzle for a few seconds.
  3. Add the cauliflower bits and about 8 tblsp. water. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, for 6-8 minutes.  
  4. Add the potatoes and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and remove from heat.
  5. Heat the remaining 4 tblsp. of oil in a small frying pan. When hot, add the cumin and garlic and cook until lightly browned.  Pour the mixture over the vegetables. 
  6. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander or parsley and serve immediately.

Gluten Free Peruvian Quinoa Stew

I've cooked up a few nice dishes using quinoa in the past.  Once for a cold and fruity salad, and another as an accompaniment for baked fish.  This vegetarian gluten free meal calls for a bit of prep and chopping, but in the end it's all worth it:) 

It's the day after x-mas and New Years 2013 is right around the corner.  Make sure to add this to your New Year's Resolution healthy eating meal list; it's a keeper!

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tblsp. oil (vegetable or coconut)
  • 2 cups onions (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 celery stalk (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (cut diagonally into 1/4 inch slices)
  • 1 bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 cup zucchini (cubed)
  • 2 cups undrained canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water or GF vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. fresh or 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • pinch of cayenne (or more if it's what you like)
  • salt
  • fresh cilantro (optional)
  • grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Cooking Directions
  1. Using a fine strainer, rinse your quinoa well.  Place it in a pot with the water (1 cup) and cook, covered, on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until soft. Set aside.
  2. Take out a covered pot. As the quinoa is cooking, saute the onions and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add the celery and carrots to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, and water or GF stock. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, coriander, cayenne, and oregano, and simmer, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes (until the vegetables are tender).
  5. Stir the cooked quinoa into the stew and add salt to taste. Top with cilantro and grated cheese if you like.
  6. Serve up and enjoy!

December 11, 2012

Gluten Free Red Fried Rice

It's the end of the academic semester, I have about a week and a half left of grading papers and tests, going to meetings, and organizing the mess in my office that has accumulated over the past 4 months.  And then my winter break begins!  I'm seriously looking forward to having some free time to fill.  I plan to get on the mountains to hike and snowboard as much as the weather allows, finish up a few lingering home projects, and spend some time visiting friends I've neglected during the school semester.  I also plan on learning how to create some memorable vegetarian meals and a few new desserts to add to my culinary repertoire; something I've already begun.

This healthy vegetarian dish is very easy to prepare and cook.  It's quite tasty and can be eaten for any meal of the day.  Although I made this a main meal, this is a great side dish as well.  Feel free to add some diced hot pepper and experiment with the amounts of salt and pepper you add.  Although the directions call on you to add the salt and pepper at the end of the process, you may want to season throughout. Enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 tblsp coconut oil
  • 1 large red onion (chopped)
  • 2 red peppers (seeded & chopped)
  • 1 lb cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 4 eggs (beaten)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Cooking Directions
  • Either combine 3 cups of water and the rice in a rice cooker and press the "on" button, or... wash the rice under cold water. Drain. Bring a large pan of water to a boil, add rice and cook for 10-12 minutes.
  • While your rice is cooking, heat the coconut oil in a wok (or deep pan/pot) until very hot (medium/high heat). Add the chopped onions and red pepper and stir fry for 3-4 minutes.  
  • Add the halved cherry or grape tomatoes and continue to stir fry for another 3 minutes.
  • Pour the beaten eggs in all at once and let cook on top for 30 seconds before you stir it all together. 
  • Drain the cooked rice (if not using a rice cooker) and add to the wok.  Toss the rice over the heat with the vegetable/egg mixture for another 3 minutes.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper and serve at once.

November 17, 2012

Gluten Free Brunch at REX 1516 Philadelphia!

The food and service at REX is seriously good! The first time Mindy and I experienced REX was after we cashed in our "Romantic Night Out" change jar and decided to try out a restaurant we'd never been to before.  I had read about REX 1516 on another gluten free food blog.  It's located right across the street from Bob and Barbara's, a great little dive bar that has free live jazz and soul every Friday and Saturday night.  You can catch a meal at Rex, and then enjoy a night getting liquored up on their $5 PBR & Jim Beam shot special, while jamming out with some local music legends.  However, our first night there, we simply enjoyed the great service, amazing food, and chill atmosphere.  I was more than happy with the range of options on their gluten free dinner menu.

Rex has a bit of a southern twang in appearance, with a wrap-around bar in the back, completed by a large TV screen with non-stop classics in black and white.  Brunch at REX starts at 11am.  They had plenty of creative drink specials, and a great GF brunch menu.  I had a hard time deciding between the Huevos Rancheros and the Shrimp and Grits.  I went with the Shrimp and Grits and was very happy I did!  The Shrimp and Grits came with Fried Egg, Roasted Tomatoes, Crispy Pork Belly and Blackened Shrimp.  It was ridiculously good; every bite a little taste of heaven:)

If you have to eat gluten free, and you're anywhere Philadelphia, go to REX 1516 - trust me, you'll be glad you did.

1516 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146

REX 1516 Philadelphia
Bob & Barbara's Facebook Page

October 15, 2012

Gluten Free Chicken Fiorentina

Nothing exemplifies comfort food more than an aromatic herbed chicken dish like the one I'm about to share with you.  This recipe takes a little more than an hour from start to finish, but is worth every second of your time.  When you rub the salt and pepper into the chicken skin and flesh, make sure to cover every bit of chicken. Don't be lazy during this step, for your attention to detail in spicing it up will pay happy dividends when the fork finally meets your mouth:) 

Feel free to boil up your own potatoes and mash them up as you see fit.  I, on the other hand, went the easy route by using Idahoan Four Cheese Instant Mashed Potatoes.  They state "gluten free" and are super easy and fast to make, and actually taste pretty good.  Also, cook using the same white wine that you'll enjoy drinking with your meal. In other words, pick a tasty white wine that's made for drinking, not cooking. 

You're going to love the way this dish fills your house with the warming scent of rosemary and chicken. Enjoy!

  • 1-2 pounds of Chicken; enough chicken pieces to individually cover the bottom of the big pot you'll be cooking with
  • 4-5 thick sliced spring (green) onions
  • 1 cup white wine
  • enough olive oil to cover the bottom of your cooking pot
  • 1 tblsp. fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 cup gluten free vegetable, chicken or beef broth
  • salt and pepper

Cooking Directions
  1. Cut off any loose, hanging fat from chicken.  Rub chicken pieces with salt and pepper.  Really get the salt and pepper all over the skin, flesh, and into every crevice. 
  2. Heat the olive oil in your cooking pot (medium-high heat). Once hot, add the chicken and arrange so that each piece has one side completely cooking in the oil.  Saute the chicken until golden brown and turn over.
  3. Add the chopped spring onions and rosemary, and saute for another 4 minutes.
  4. Pour in your white wine, let it cook and reduce for 3 or so minutes.  Add the broth, reduce the flame to medium-low, cover and gently cook for about 35 minutes.
  5. Add the grated lemon rind, cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Serve it up hot with some mashed potatoes and get down to business!

September 29, 2012

Omission Gluten Free Beer Review

This summer was great for gluten free beer options.  It seemed like my list of options literally doubled, and that's a very good thing.  Maybe not such a great thing for the size of my beer belly, but coming from a time, not so long ago, that my only choice was Redbridge (which I'll happily drink if there are no other options), having a lot of options regarding gluten free beer has been great for my soul:)

Omission Beer is another company doing what I wish all beer companies would do; they remove the gluten from a classic barley based beer and make it available to everyone, including those of us who are gluten intolerant.  I'm happy trying all kinds of beers, whether they're made from sorghum, millet, buckwheat, millet, fermented fruits, etc. but I've missed the taste of a traditionally brewed pale ale, lager and stout.  Could it be possible?  Could my days of enjoying a dark pint of gluten-removed Guinness be in my future?  Oh, I hope so. I truly do.

Both Omission's Lager and Pale ale were great.  They were tasty, refreshing, and although they tasted like beers full of delicious gluten, had none.  Keep em coming beer companies! I'm loving it!!

Here's Omission Beer's Website:

July 24, 2012

Gluten Free Spicy Shredded Chicken and Plantains

This is one of those typical weeknight creations I can easily throw together to enjoy a meal with my partner, or solo. It's not fancy, not expensive, and not a lot of work.  The only real work is shredding up the chicken (which is kind of cathartic to be honest) and cutting up some veggies.  The hot sauce you use is totally up to you.  There are tons of hot sauces out there to choose from. Some state that they are gluten free, some do not.  But in general, hot sauces are naturally gluten free products.  When in doubt, read the ingredients and if you're super sensitive to gluten, contact the company and ask them about cross-contamination issues.

This was the first time I've ever cooked plantains.  I was first introduced to the versatile plantain via a Mofongo dish in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Since then I've wanted to cook with them, so I looked up some youtube videos of people cooking all sorts of plantains, and I figured I'd start with the absolute easiest way to do it. 

Feel free to change up the meat, or even fry up some tofu strips if you like.  The amount of hot-ness really depends on what you're into.  Add more, make things saucier, but also more deadly for tomorrow.  Choose wisely.

1 pound chicken
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onions
4 or 5 chopped garlic cloves
oil (olive, vegetable, whatever...)
2 or 3 yellow plantains
Salt & Pepper
cooked rice (optional)

Cooking Directions
  1. Bring a pot (big enough to fit your plantains) of salty water to a boil
  2. Bring a smaller pot (big enough to fit your chicken breasts) of salty, water to a boil. Add a small pat of butter
  3. If cooking rice, throw 1 cup rice and 2 cups water in a rice cooker and turn on.  If you don't have a rice cooker, just do the same in a small covered pot. You'll want to bring the water to boil, add the rice and a little salt, cover, and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes
  4. Cut off the ends of the plantains and throw them in the boiling water
  5. Throw the chicken breasts in the boiling water
  6. Set the timer for 20 minutes
  7. Chop up a 1/2 to 1 cup of mushrooms and onions
  8. Chop up 4 or 5 large garlic cloves
  9. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil up (Medium/High) in a small pan and then throw in the onions, mushrooms and garlic.  Stir frequently while cooking until the onions are translucent, then cover, turn off and set aside
  10. Around 15 minutes, your chicken should be cooked thoroughly.  Turn off heat and remove chicken with tongs and place on a cutting board.  Using two forks, shred up the chicken.  If the chicken cools down enough you can rip the chicken to shreds with your fingers (my preference)
  11. Throw the shredded chicken in a bowl and add your hot sauce.  Keep going until you either 1) feel that it's hot enough! or 2) it's the creamy texture you need for optimum eating pleasure
  12. Add the spicy shredded chicken to the pan of cooked onions, garlic and mushrooms and mix well over low heat
  13. Remove the plantains when the timer goes off. Split down the middle and peal.  Serve sliced, buttered and dusted with salt.
  14. Throw everything together on a plate (rice or no rice), grab a drink and get ready to enjoy yourself:)

July 3, 2012

Nutella Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

This recipe is a modification of my aunt Vicki's no-bake PB Oatmeal cookies. Here's the link to that: PB No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies.  Instead of peanut butter, I decided to use Nutella, added a bit of instant coffee crystals, topped them with white chocolate chips, and viola! Awesomeness!

Here's a link to the Nutella Q&A webpage that states Nutella is GF:  NUTELLA Q & A

Now, I've got to be honest.  Unless you keep these in the fridge overnight, these cookies will not become even close to being solid.  However, they're still ridiculously good, kinda like truffles, and chocolatey fingers and smiles never hurt anyone.  This recipe is still a work in progress, so if you want to ensure that you'll have solid cookies, add half peanut butter and half Nutella, or add 1/2 cup ground almonds to the mix.  And you could always throw them in the freezer for a chocolatey cold summer treat:)

However you make these is irrelevant to how much you're going to love them!


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 3 tblsp cocoa 
  • 3 cups certified GF oatmeal 
  • 1/2 cup Nutella (or 1/4 cup Nutella / 1/4 cup peanut butter)
  • white chocolate chips for adornment 

  1. Put all the ingredients, except for the Nutella and Oatmeal in a saucepan.
  2. Heat over Medium-Low heat, stirring frequently until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Add the Nutella (or Nutella/peanut butter combo) and stir around until mixed.
  4. Remove from heat and add the oatmeal, mix well and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Using a one-inch ice cream scooper (or spoon), drop cookies onto a non-stick cookie sheet or on wax paper.
  6. Place cookies in refrigerator (or freezer) until cooled.
  7. Devour and enjoy!

June 28, 2012

Fox Tail Gluten Free Beer... in a can!

The Foodery at the corner of Poplar and 2nd street in Philadelphia has done it again; offering up another choice in a steadily growing list of beer options for us, the Celiac sufferers of the world.  Heading to The Foodery on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, after leaving sweat and blood on the concrete and asphalt of Philly's skate-parks and street obstacles, has become a bit of a pilgrimage for my brother and I.  Sitting down in front of a gluten free sandwich and a couple gluten free beers is always a fitting capstone to our weekend, stunt-wood urban assault bro-time ritual.

When I noticed the neon green cans at the tail end of the gluten free beer shelf, at first, I didn't assume they were gluten free.  I mean, I've never seen a gluten free beer in a can before.  But when I read the words "Gluten Free" on the can, I immediately grabbed a few, swiped an empty pint glass and got down to business!  Fox Tail Gluten Free Ale is made by the Joseph James Brewing Company, and is, as I expected, the world's first gluten free beer in a can.  I could taste the sorghum, but it didn't have that syrupy aftertaste you get with Redbridge, it was very crisp and light; a bit tart, but perfect on a hot summer day.  As I'm writing this a fantasy bubble has formed above my head, full of images of ice filled coolers packed with frosty cans of Fox Tail GF beer, beaches and boogie boards and doing stupid things.

Here's the Link: Joseph James Brewing Company Fox Tail GF Ale

June 22, 2012

When first dealing with a gluten free diet, keep things simple and delicious!

When first switching to a gluten free diet, it can be tough to see your new world through "cup half full" lenses.  Most people initially obsess over all the things they will now miss out on, especially things like beer, pizza and baked goods.  So they try to replace all they lost by baking a lot of GF breads and pastries, searching in vain for local distributors of gluten free beer, and researching all the local restaurants with GF menus.  All of which are great things to do to make one's new dietary reality more tolerable, but what people often overlook is the ease of making and eating great food that is naturally gluten free.

Having a range of quick and easy-to-make meals is a must for everyone suffering from gluten sensitivity issues.  I've accumulated quite a few over the years, but this is one of my frequent flyers.  There are so many ways to use 100% corn tortilla, and this is absolutely my favorite! I can whip this meal up in 5 minutes flat!  Try it you'll love it:)

  • Corn Tortillas
  • Eggs
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Spray-Oil (canola or olive)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dried Basil
  • Cheese (your choice)
  • Hot sauce (most brands are naturally gluten free)
  1. Have one large and one small frying pan over medium high heat.  
  2. Spray the small frying pan with olive oil or any other spray-on oil (making sure that it's GF).
  3. Dice up some tomato and dust with dried basil
  4. Once hot, crack two or three eggs onto the small frying pan.  Add some salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  5. Spray each side of your corn tortillas and throw onto large frying pan.  Once the tortilla begins to look a bit bubbly, turn over and throw some cheese on them. Turn the heat down to low.
  6. Once the eggs are cooked (whole or scrambled, it doesn't matter), remove the tortilla from the pan and place on a large plate.  
  7. Add some tomato, hot sauce, and then your eggs.
  8. Eat and love it!

June 12, 2012

Green's GF Beer at UNO Chicago Grill!

As if being able to order a delicious gluten free pizza from UNO Chicago Grill wasn't enough, now you get to enjoy your pizza with a tall bottle of Green's Gluten Free Beer!  Mindy and I recently visited UNO to enjoy some pizza after a long day-hike at Ridley State Park outside of Philadelphia PA.  After ordering a pepperoni and cheese gluten free pizza, I asked what their GF beer option was; to which they replied: Redbridge and Green's.  I couldn't believe I was given options, and happily ordered the Green's Dubbel Dark Ale.  Pizza and dark beer... I was in heaven:)

I also found a link to all of UNO's GF options.
Check it out here:

The on-line menu only lists Redbridge for GF beer, so I suspect that different locations offer different GF beer options.  Regardless, this is just another promising sign that living GF will continue to get easier!

Here's the location that had Green's Dubbel Dark Ale:

UNO Chicago Grill
3910 West Chester Pike
Newtown Square, PA 19073
Fax: 610-353-8661

April 22, 2012

Lamb or Pork Pilaf with Apricots and Raisins

When I first thought of putting this dish together, I wondered how well the flavor of the apricots, raisins and pork would complement (or not) each other.  I went with the pork instead of the lamb, not because I preferred using pork, but because Acme was completely out of lamb:(  This dish came out delicious, so no loss at all, but next time I'm definitely going for the lamb.

I decided to use dried apricot halves.  You might want to cut up the dried apricot into small bits, but if you're cool with big bite-fulls of sweet and plump apricot throughout your Pilaf (like I am), don't change anything.  Although golden raisins would be ideal, dark raisins work just as nicely.  This dish is a unique amalgamation of flavors, but they're all yummy!  Prepare to surprise your palate with something very different:)


Prep Time = 20 minutes
Cooking Time = 50 minutes
Servings = 4+

  • 2 tblsp butter or margarine
  • 1 cup long or short-grain brown rice
  • 1 large yellow onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 tblsp fresh ginger (minced) 
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups gluten free beef or vegetable stock
  • 3 tblsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 pound pork loin or boneless leg of lamb, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 small zucchini (diced)
  • 4 oz small mushrooms (halved)
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots (chopped or whole)
  • 1/2 cup dark or golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley 
  1.  Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over moderate heat. Add the rice, onion, 1 tblsp of the ginger, and the garlic.  Saute until the rice is pale gold... about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover it, and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Meanwhile... heat 1 tblsp of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Sprinkle the pork or lamb with salt and pepper, and then add to the skillet... brown the meat on all sides (about 10 minutes).
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.
  5. Add the remaining oil to the skillet, reduce the heat to moderate and heat for 1 minute. Add the zucchini and the remaining ginger and saute until the zucchini is softened (about 3 minutes).  Add the mushrooms and saute until tender (3 to 4 minutes more). Set aside.
  6. Add the apricots and raisins to the rice, cover and continue cooking until all the liquid is absorbed (about 10 minutes more).
  7. Return the meat to the skillet, add the rice mixture, toss well to mix, and heat just to serving temperature (uncovered), over medium heat.  
  8. Stir in the minced parsley.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

April 6, 2012

Gluten Free at Shoo Mama's near West Chester PA

It seems as if our options just keep piling up!  I don't care if it's the result of trendiness or people looking for a new diet fad, or the fact that more and more people are being diagnosed with Celiac Disease; the proliferation of gluten free products and restaurants offering GF options is simply awesome!

It's never been easier to live gluten free than it is right now.  These days, when people hear about my dietary restrictions they often say things like, "That must be so hard for you" or "I can't imagine being so limited" or "How do you even find something to eat?"  To which I reply, "Nope, it's not hard, I'm not that limited, and it's actually very easy to find good food to eat" :)

Case in point, Shoo Mama's Farm Fresh Cafe in West Chester PA.  I'm a professor at West Chester University, so having Shoo Mama's as a near-by lunch destination is sweet!  Shoo Mama's specializes in farm fresh, local, organic foods.  They also offer a variety of gluten free options including soups, salads, and Panini sandwiches.  If you're in the area, I highly recommend you stop by and get a bite to eat.  Their GF options are local, organic and delicious! Pictured is a gluten free panini sandwich with sweet potato chips fried in a separate GF designated fryer:)

Here's their website:

Shoo Mama's Far Fresh Cafe
66 E. Street Rd.
West Chester, PA 19382
(484) 315-8431

March 15, 2012

Gluten Free Soup Options at Fabio & Danny's Station Cafe: Media PA

As I'm writing this entry, I'm sitting at a wooden table within the Wayne, PA train station.  Within this rennovated station operates a little coffee shop offering baked goods, fresh sandwiches and soups.  Fabio & Danny's always has a few gluten free soup options to choose from.  Today's options are Clam Chowder and Lentil Soup.  I chose the Chowder and couldn't be happier!  It's thick and creamy, and is loaded with potato chuncks and sand-free clams. Yum! 

Although there isn't too many GF options on their menu, the staff at Fabio & Danny's are always willing to modify their food options for their GF clients.  For instance, they can easily omit the bun on their Angus Cheese Burgers, and if you bring in your own GF bread, they'd be happy to use it to make their signature sandwiches.

Fabio & Danny's also transforms into a BYOB every Friday night, when live music is offered for free. If you're ever in Wayne, stop by for an expresso and a bowl of gluten free soup. You'll be happy you did:)

Fabio & Danny's Station Cafe
135 North Wayne Avenue
Wayne, PA 19087

February 15, 2012

Gluten Free Beer Review: New Planet

 The last few years have been good to us gluten free beer drinkers.  I'll be perfectly honest, I miss the ability to drink a freshly poured Guinness stout at the local pub. I miss it each and every time I sip on any gluten free beer anywhere I am.  It sucks that my options for beer drinking pleasure are severely limited.  But it would suck even more if I couldn't drink beer at all.  Thankfully, there are a growing number of breweries that are cooking up some fine GF brewski.

Take New Planet Gluten Free Beers for example.  I stopped by Pinocchio's Beer Garden in Media PA. I heard that they had a pretty good GF beer selection.  And they did.  They even have a separate cooler just for gluten free beers and ciders!  I immediately noticed two new GF beer brands; New Planet and Dogfish Head (which I'll get to later).  New Planet had three options: Raspberry Ale, Off Grid Pale Ale, and Tread Lightly Ale.  I picked them all up.  Let me start with the Raspberry Ale...

The Raspberry Ale was interesting. Made with sorghum and corn, it was like a Redbridge without the syrupy sweetness, with the additional tarty tang of a raspberry aftertaste.  It wasn't bad, but I don't think I'll be stocking my fridge with it.

On to Off Grid Pale Ale...

New Planet's Off Grid Pale Ale is made with sorghum and brown rice.  It has a complex taste yet went down smoothly.  A bit darker than the Tread Lightly Ale, I found this beer to full bodied and satisfying.

The Tread Lightly Ale was my favorite of the three; very light and refreshing. Like the Raspberry Ale, it was made from sorghum and corn.  I really enjoyed this beer! I can see myself loading up a cooler of this brew; kicking back in the summertime, relaxing next to water skipping stones...  Yeah, that'll be nice.

January 14, 2012

Philadelphia's Gluten Free Bread Paradise - Tote Gluten Free Bakery & Store

I was recently playing tour guide with my visiting mom.  We were enjoying the brisk weather as we wandered in and out of the small delicatessens, butchers, spice dealers and cafes that line 9th street in  Philadelphia's Italian Market. As we were nearly about half-way through our walking loop I noticed a sign at a place called "Tote" (pronounced "totay") that stated "Gluten Free Bread." I walked in and noticed a table loaded with samples of baked goodies.  I asked the proprietor if I could see his gluten free breads, to which he replied, "everything here is gluten free!"  Talk about music to my ears!  I  immediately turned around and headed straight back to the sample table to sample absolutely everything... all really good!

Before leaving I asked a lot of questions and left giddy with a freshly baked loaf of Quinoa bread, a crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside baguette, and a beautifully bronzed role.  On the way back to our car I found myself in bready bliss as I tore bite-sized chunks of buttery, rosemary kissed GF baguette goodness! Yum:)

Seriously, you have to check this place out.  The breads are so good!  And there's a lot more than just bread to choose from. The owner/baker has Celiac Disease himself, so he makes sure everything he does is strictly GF-certified.  I found it completely worth the cheddar at about $8 a loaf, and $3.50 a baguette. Store bought GF bread, which costs nearly the same, doesn't hold a candle to the quality you get at Tote!  The place has only been around less than a month so far, so support it in order to make sure it's here to stay.

Here's the Website:

1024 South 9th Street
Open Tuesday - Sunday
10am - 6pm


Just So You Know...

The information presented in this blog is intended to educate and entertainment. However, I'm not a medical expert.  I also do not know absolutely everything about Celiac Disease.  What I do know has been learned through trial and error, research, and what has been taught to me by friends who also share my food-related affliction.  Please take the time to do your own research about Celiac Disease and gluten-related issues.  I have a list of links to useful resources along the left-side of this blog. Also, feel free to cross-check my statements. If you find contrary information, please let me know. Thanks so much for visiting Trav's Gone Gluten Free!