Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Gluten Free Health & Hiking Retreat with Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN

Check out this wonderful opportunity...

WHEN: Friday evening, September 18 through Sunday afternoon, September 20, 2009

WHERE: Joe Dodge Lodge, a rustic but comfortable lodge along the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire www.outdoors.org/lodging (select Pinkham/Joe Dodge)

WHO’S INVITED: 10-14 people (18 years and older) with celiac disease, gluten intolerance or wheat allergies, their friends, partners and families who want to spend an empowering, self-nurturing, educational and adventurous, gluten free weekend with like-minded people.
There is a minimum of 10 people to run this retreat and a maximum of 14.

• 3 informal workshops on maximizing nutrition on the GF diet, living w/ celiac disease/gluten intolerance, traveling and dining out safely, and more… with Melinda, celiac dietitian and weekend coordinator
• 2 nights at Joe Dodge Lodge (an Appalachian Mountain Club lodge)
• Professionally guided hikes on Saturday and Sunday
• 6 healthy gluten free meals, including a special catered lunch from a health food café, snacks, surprise goodies and recipe sharing
• Optional yoga, reiki healing/energy work, free time to explore nature and North Conway, relaxation time

PRICE: ~ $340/person – Sponsorship from the companies below has reduced the registration price.

PRE-REGISTRATION: Please email me: MelindaRD@deletethewheat.com or call me directly at 617-851-8643 to discuss the weekend in detail and to be placed on a special priority list as the weekend details grow and the price is confirmed.

OUR KIND SPONSORS: Cream Hill Estates LTD (www.Creamhillestates.com), Cabot (www.Cabotcheese.coop), Pure Fit
TM (www.Purefit.com), Bob's Red Mill (www.Bobsredmill.com), Arico Natural Foods Company (www.Aricofoods.com), Majan's BHUJA (www.Bhuja.com), Natural Food Exchange (Stoneham), Whole Foods Market (Framingham store)(www.wholefoodsmarket.com), Aleia's Gluten Free Bakery (www.aleias.com), CheeCha (www.cheecha.ca), Mary's Gone Crackers (www.marysgonecrackers.com), Zeer (www.zeer.com), Kinnikinnick (www.Kinnikinnick.com), Cecilia's Marketplace (www.ceciliasmarketplace.com), Gluten Free Passport (www.glutenfreepassport.com)

Delete the Wheat, LLC does not endorse the above companies.

THE WORKSHOPS: I will offer 3 informal classes during the weekend on living with celiac disease/gluten intolerance

Maximizing Your Health – It’s not just about what we need to avoid – it’s about how to choose healing foods, the super foods, loaded with the nutrients (calcium, vitamin D, iron, antioxidants, fiber, anti-inflammatory agents, etc.) our bodies need. What can we get from food and when do we need supplements? What labs should be checked and what follow-up is necessary? And it’s about learning what to do with the alternative grains, how to buy them, store them, and make them taste good with minimal effort. Join me and the group as we discuss how to optimize our health.

Traveling and Dining Out Safely – How can we avoid cross contamination and keep ourselves healthy while living in the real world? We will discuss the workings of a restaurant kitchen to uncover hidden sources of gluten, questions to ask, substitutions to request, and resources to use for simpler traveling and dining out (American and ethnic fare). Role playing is included (optional).

THE FOOD: We will be enjoying a full weekend (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners) of healthy gluten free food and snacks/desserts (not all of them are healthy). The AMC chefs have handled many gluten free requests in the past. This time we will fill a long table and have special attention. You will also enjoy a catered boxed lunch for our hikes from a nearby health food café that I love. For those of you new to traveling on the diet, this is your chance to practice with me and others, asking questions to become more comfortable in a nurturing environment. You’ll have the option to have dinner on your own on Saturday night in neighboring North Conway (I have lists of “celiac friendly” restaurants) or stay at the lodge for the group dinner which is included in your registration.

THE HIKES/ACTIVITIES: Our hikes will be led by the professional AMC outdoor guides. On Saturday, we’ll be gone for about 5 hours – this includes stopping for lunch and scenery along the way. We won’t be jogging or even trudging, but to enjoy the day you should be a somewhat active person who enjoys the idea of climbing beautiful mountains and brings good hiking shoes (full details later). For those of you who would like a more leisurely experience, there are various hikes and outdoor opportunities offered on a regular basis by the lodge during the day.

FOOD ALLERGIES/INTOLERANCES: If you have any food intolerances (other than gluten), such as lactose intolerance, or a food allergy, please discuss it in advance with Melinda. Although every effort will be made to accommodate other special needs, it may not always be possible to find an equal substitution. It is also your responsibility to insure that any food/beverage or product you consume or use is safe for you.

THE ROOMS: Depending on space available, you can select either a 2-person shared room (2 bunk beds and a shared bathroom down the hall) or a 2-person room (one queen bed and a shared bathroom down the hall). They are quite similar in price. I’m happy to match you with a same sex roommate, if available. There may also be a few single bunk beds available in the lodge – please let me know and I can check availability.
Please email or call me for more information and to be placed on the priority pre-registration list.
MelindaRD@DeletetheWheat.com or 617-851-8643

Monday, June 29, 2009

Recipe from the Coconut Files: Coconut-Berry Muffins

In my quest to find alternative flours that are higher in nutrients than rice flour, I happened upon Coconut Flour. It's higher in fiber and packs a protein punch as well. Because very little is needed in recipes (it soaks up liquids like a champ), it's easy on the wallet.

I was in the mood for muffins, so I checked out some recipes using Coconut Flour. Ultimately, I was inspired by Elana's Pantry and just made a few changes based on my own dietary restrictions, tastes, and what I had in the house. Here's what I came up with:

Coconut-Berry Muffins

Ingredients (makes 6 muffins):
1/3 c Coconut Flour
¼ t salt
1/2 t baking soda
2 T oil
2 T Agave
3 eggs
½ cup fresh or frozen berries (I did strawberries in my 1st batch & blueberries in my 2nd)

  1. Combine coconut flour, salt and baking soda
  2. In a different bowl, whisk the oil, agave and eggs
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, then fold in the berries
  4. Grease a muffin tin with oil
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins evenly (makes 6)
  6. Bake at 350° for 13-16 minutes, or until firm
While they won't bake up as high as other muffins, they have a great texture - no grit what-so-ever. My non-GF husband even like them. Enjoy!

Oh, don't forget to check out this month's GF recipe roundup: Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free. This month, the theme is manly food...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ask the Coach Vol 2: What do you eat for breakfast????

Recently, when I was meeting with a colleague and explaining the elimination diet process in addtion to my already known food restrictions (gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, sugar, yeast, dairy, cherries, somewhat rice), she asked...

Q: What do you eat for breakfast????

A: No doubt - breakfast has been a bit tough to figure out, but I manage quite well. Sometimes I eat "normal" breakfast foods, and sometimes I deviate:

* Homemade sausage! By far my favorite.
* Sunflower Seed Butter or hummus with celery and carrots
* 2 fried eggs with sauteed peppers & onions
* Coconut yogurt topped with Hemp Seed or Millet Puffs
* Now that I can do some fruit on occasion,Corn Flakes with berries & Hempmilk
* My newest addition is muffins made with coconut flour - I will debut the recipe soon!
* Once in a while, I'll do a smoothie with a frozen banana, coconut milk, & berries
* I'm currently experimenting with creating a nutritious pancake - I'll be sure to share my findings.

That's more than a whole week's worth of ideas! Hope it's helpful.

Your Opinion Counts!

Food Sensitivity Resources is conducting a quick on-line opinion poll about your experience with food allergies, intolerance, and/or sensitivities. Click here to have your opinion heard! Thanks for participating!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Recipe: Chicken Fried Steak, Oven Sweet Potato Fries, & Grilled Zucchini

"Go ahead honey, it's gluten free" is a monthly event where gluten free dishes revolving around a theme are submitted by bloggers and other foodies and then the round up of the entries are all published on a blog. The theme for June is "Manly Food." You can see the entire round up on Monday, June 29th at the Simply Gluten Free Blog. My honey was the inspiration for this manly GF dish: Chicken Fried Steak with Oven Sweet Potato Fries & Grilled Zucchini:
Chicken Fried Steak Ingredients (serves 2-3):
Directions: Season each piece on both sides with the salt and pepper. Place the flour into a pie pan. Place the eggs into a separate pie pan. Dredge the meat on both sides in the flour, followed by the egg and then in the flour again. Repeat with all the pieces of meat. Place the meat onto a plate and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking. Place enough of the vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a 12-inch slope-sided skillet and set over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the meat in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook each piece on both sides until golden brown, approximately 4 minutes per side. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the flour left over from the dredging. Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Whisk until the gravy comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Add the milk (or milk substitute) and thyme and whisk until the gravy coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste, with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve the gravy over the steaks.

Oven Sweet Potato Fries Ingredients:
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 t salt
  • 1/4 mayo
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • the juice from 1/2 lemon
Directions: Heat oven to 400. Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch strips. Place in one layer on a baking sheet. Pour oil all over and toss to coat. Roast for 45 min. Salt immediately after they come out of the oven. Serve with mayo, garlic, and lemon juice mixture.

Grilled Zucchini Ingredients:
  • 3 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 in rounds
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
Directions: Put oil in grill pan and heat over med-high. Place rounds in one layer on pan. Grill for 5-7 min on each side (look for those beautiful grill marks). Season with salt & pepper.


Recipe from the Coconut Files: Coconut Yogurt

I'm on quite the coconut kick lately...using the flour to make muffins, using the milk to make ice pops and YOGURT! Thought I would start sharing my creations. But first a caution - recently, coconut has been added to the "tree nut" list. It has been found that some people who cannot tolerate tree nuts due to an allergy or sensitivity might not be able to tolerate coconut. I'm tree nut sensitive - so far, I have not experienced any symptoms, but I'm aware that I cannot eat it every day and must rotate it into my diet so as to decrease the risk of developing symptoms.

Why go through the trouble of making homemade yogurt? 1. It's more economical - when I was buying Stonyfield Farms organic plain yogurt, I would pay about $10 for 8 servings. When I would make cow's milk yogurt, it would cost about $2 for 8 servings. Coconut milk comes in around $6 for 8 servings. 2. It is a greener option - you are recycling less packaging. 3. You can rotate what type of yogurt you are making/eating - soy, coconut, hemp... 4. You can let it sit longer (16 - 24 hours) to cultivate as much helpful bacteria as possible, whereas commercial yogurts only cultivate for about 10 hours.

I was skeptical, but this has become my favorite non-dairy yogurt alternative! It definitely has a wonderful coconut flavor with just a hint of the yogurty-sour taste. I don't add sweetener, and I find the flavor to be great. My husband reluctantly tried it and also liked it. It made a delicious topping for our Arepas last week. On to the yogurt experiment...

Ingredients for eight - 3/4 C servings:
4 cans of coconut milk (full fat, baby!)
2 T tapioca starch or tapioca flour
1 - 2 T yogurt starter (I used soy yogurt)

1. It is best to sterilize anything that will touch the yogurt mixture (sauce pan, thermometer, soup ladle, measuring cup, measuring spoon, yogurt containers) either by putting it in the dishwasher or using boiling water. This will ensure that you are only cultivating the good bacteria that you want!
2. Poor the coconut milk into a sauce pan. Using a whisk, completely dissolve the tapioca starch into the coconut milk, making sure there are no lumps.
3. Heat the mixture over low-medium heat (stirring occasionally) until it reaches 180 degrees - the yogurt thermometer that comes with a yogurt maker already has this nicely marked out. Be sure that the thermometer isn't touching the bottom of the pan.
4. Take off the heat and cool to 110 degrees.
5. Add the yogurt starter and stir well.
6. Pour into containers (I use a soup ladle to pour the mixture into a glass measuring cup and then pour it into the containers) and set the Yogurt Maker* to 16 - 24 hours (the longer you can go, the more beneficial bacteria will develop!).
7. At this point, it will look thick, but not as thick as we would like, so it's important to refrigerate at least 4 hours before eating.
* There is a way to make yogurt without a Yogurt Maker. Click here for some ideas. If you try these, let me know how they go!

Check out how thick this turns out!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Product Review: Abigail's Bakery Millet & Sweet Brown Rice Bread

While wandering around the Blue Moon Market in Exeter, NH, I happened upon a GF bread that I had never seen from Abigail's Bakery in East Weare, NH. It caught my eye because it is organic and it was not in the freezer section. Normally, I don't buy GF bread. There aren't many on the market that are tasty enough to eat plain, and I'm not really a sandwich eater. Sometimes I keep a loaf in the freezer to use in recipes, like meatloaf, where the texture is hidden. Many people ask me to recommend a tasty GF bread - I find that this is such an individualized preference (more so than other products), but here it goes...

I tried the Millet & Sweet Brown Rice variety (the picture above is the picture of this bread from their website). I was struck by the nutritional info: only 20g of carbs and 2g of sugar per 2 slice serving, but you are also getting 5g of fiber!

The first test: I ate a piece right out of the bag! Dangerous, I know - it could have been gross, but it wasn't! The texture was wonderful - not grainy or gritty or too dense. Light and airy. The flavor was also very nice - just a hint of sweetness from the agave nectar. Definitely sandwich potential.

The next test: Toasted w/ just a bit of dairy-free margarine (I'm off dairy yet again to challenge it to see if it is the cause of my continued post nasal drip). Totally YUM! It actually got browned, unlike some other GF breads I've had. It had a light, crispy texture. The flavor was only enhanced by toasting. A winner all around.

Please keep in mind that Abigail's Bakery is not a dedicated GF facility. Their website says, "We are very particular against cross contamination and [the] thorough cleaning of our equipment, but we do not guarantee [no] cross contamination. We also use egg and soy products...[but we] are a nut free facility." They also never use white sugar or sugar substitutes in their breads.

Since no preservatives are used, you'll want to keep this bread in the fridge or freezer (I toasted mine out of the freezer and it was just fine). Breads can be ordered online and can be ordered as a "share" where fresh breads, burger and dog rolls, etc are delivered to you fresh each Monday.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ask the Coach, vol 1: Gluten Free Tea?

Happy Friday! This week, I'll be starting a new series called "Ask the Coach." It will run each Friday. During the week, I get lots of emails, blog posts, website comments, and in-person fabulous questions from various folks...and I thought "hey, if this person is wondering about this, then that must mean many others are, too."

This week's question is an email from K.S., who writes:

Q: Hi Kim, Your email regarding the GF Betty C mixes was forwarded to me by a friend. I have just recently been diagnosed celiac and have not been able to find a good GF tea. I used to love vanilla hazelnut by celestial seasonings. Any suggestion? All the teas that look appealing to me have barley or some other form of gluten in them. Thank you, K.S.

Hi K.S., Thanks for writing. All teas by the The Republic of Tea are GF - from their website: "The The Republic of Tea is the first and only tea company in the United States to be certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), ensuring all of our full-leaf and bagged teas are free of gluten and possible cross-contamination from gluten. The GFCO, a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group® (GIG), is the first program of its kind in the world to supervise the manufacturing and testing protocol of companies that market gluten-free (GF) foods, for the purpose of offering consumers a third-party assurance of safety. This new independent food processing inspection program will verify that food products meet the highest standards for GF ingredients and are produced in a safe environment."

They have many flavors. I'm a decaf girl myself, so my favorites are Vanilla Almond and Ginger Peach. Hope this was helpful!

Keep your great questions coming!