Saturday, November 10, 2012

Red Tomato Pizza House - Berkeley, CA

Red Tomato Pizza House
Downtown Berkeley, CA

Four available sizes of delicious gluten free pizza, with a vegan option as well. This really is as good as it gets, and I've never had such satisfying pizza since being riddled with both gluten and lactose intolerance. To close the deal, they are generous with toppings, and use all fresh ingredients.

The prices are beyond reasonable, they're one of the few places in Berkeley to accept AMEX, and delivery is FREE!

Friday, November 2, 2012

craving Pillsbury crescent rolls

Has anyone figured out a gluten and lactose free version of Pillsbury crescent rolls?? I would love to make some ham and cheese rolls.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Zico Chocolate Coconut Water

a.k.a. The Best Thing to Hit My Taste Buds Since....

I don't know, since I discovered Red Mango, probably!

I initially tried this chocolate coconut water at a Yelp event, and I practically gave my soul away for refill after refill.

Glamor shot of 33.8 oz tetrapak on a wooden stool again against a black background.

The best day ever was when I saw it again at Trader Joe's for $3.49 for the large 33.8 oz tetrapak (the same size at Safeway was $7.00, and they didn't have chocolate). Amazing!

I can't remember what Yoohoo tastes like, but friends have likened it to that. All I know is, it's the perfect chocolate fix when I need some electrolytes, and not necessarily a protein shake. It does come in at 70 calories per 8 oz serving, so it takes a bit of self-control to regulate how often I indulge.


ps - I researched the smaller travel size options on Amazon, and reviews indicate that Zico in bottles taste different from tetrapaks due to different types of cococuts that are used. Definitely stick to the tetrapaks for the best taste experience.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Banana Bread

Moist, delicious, and gluten free banana bread?!

Yes! Add to that easy to make, without a listful of weird "gluten free" ingredients. I've made this several times now, and it's definitely a solid recipe more than a matter of luck. Perfect every time!

A loaf with 1 slice cut from the end.

Dry Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar

Wet Ingredients: 

2 eggs
1 cup ripe bananas (about 2 medium-large bananas)
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/6 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla

Optional: chocolate chips, walnuts


This makes 1 loaf pan.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, and wet ingredients in another.
3. Gradually add the wet ingredients into the dry bowl until everything is just moistened - 
do NOT overmix!
4. Pour into a coated loaf pan (I usually coat the pan with olive oil).
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45-50 minutes, or until the toothpick check comes out clean.
6. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shucker's Oyster Bar - Lincoln City, OR


Just south of the outlets along the Oregon Coast in Lincoln City.

As could be optimally expected from a divey seafood shack along the Oregon Coast, the food was fresh, portions plentiful, drinks strong, and service stellar. Phenomenal pricing on top of everything, this pit stop is a no brainer for anyone in the area.

The oyster shooters are a steal at a dollar apiece, and enough vodka in each shooter to make me think my whiskey cocktail ($3.50) was the perfect chaser.

Just a reminder, anything distilled basically kills the gluten, so go ahead and drink your heart out!

And if you've got room, the Crab Louie here was huge with globs of crab. Yum.

You know it was good if I dove into the food without even thinking to take a photo.....

Tselogs - San Francisco, CA


Daly City, San Franciso

Styrofoam takeout container with 3 sections: a scoop of rice topped with garlic, ground chicken topped with scallions, and a fried egg.
Chicken Sisigsilog

Mmm...somehow I hit the jackpot here. Parking just a few doors down, beat the lunch rush, and immediate, friendly service. I'm never sure what I want, but waited less than 10 minutes for a to-go order after walking in and ordering.

Like many others have said, the Sisigsilog (chicken with onions and seasonings) is BOMB! For $5.99, it comes with a fried egg and a side of garlic fried rice. To admit I shoveled it in may be a near understatement.

Other sisigs include spam, hot dog, filipino sausage ($4.99), pork, beef, and fish. The lumpiang were good too, however make sure you eat it while it's hot - once it cools, it definitely gets less crispy.

Next time, I'm definitely trying a sago't gulaman drink - i love balls!

The dining area is super clean, and apparently they're open late night now, until 3am on the weekends!
*Gluten alert*
Although lumpiang are wrapped in rice paper before frying, be aware that not all rice paper are created equal.  Some contain wheat, while others are made with pure rice flour.  If you are particularly sensitive, be sure to ask if you can check the packaging.  Also, as with most asian cuisines, always ask whether or not something contains soy or oyster sauce - both are gluten traps!

Slow - Berkeley, CA


Downtown Berkeley, CA

Pulled pork over purple and green lettuce on a paper plate.
Niman Ranch Pulled Pork "sandwich"

This soup/sandwich/salad place is just the epitomy of valuing quality over quantity. The menu is brief, but everything here is fresh, local, organic, and tasty. I tend to like the sandwiches sans bread, which they kindly accommodate for me by plating over a pile of luscious greens. And the sides....they just might shine as bright as the entrees.

The back patio is the true gem - there are little bistro tables nestled among rose bushes, and larger picnic tables if you're there with a larger group. Even the iced teas and lemonades are fresh!

Sip slow and eat slow, it's good for the soul every now and then.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Smokehouse rice crackers

Red box, Blue Diamond brand, Almond Nut Thins. Smokehouse flavor, nut and rice cracker snacks.

Gluten and lactose free crackers that taste like BACON?!

Yes please!

Available at most big box retailers such as Safeway, Giant, and even Wal-Mart.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Recipes from Twitter pics

Hello Readers,

As the school year picks up, I may be blogging less, and I apologize in advance for not writing as much.  For those of you who don't follow me on Twitter, I wanted to let you know that I tend to tweet more than I blog - mostly photos of especially good gluten and lactose free foods/meals I eat throughout the week.
If you ever see anything especially intriguing, please send me a tweet or message and I'll be sure to blog the recipe!

Follow tingeroo @nobreadnobutter

Thanks for your support and readership!

Spiru-tein Protein Powder - Strawberry

Gluten and lactose free protein powder - Take 1

I picked this up at a random, hippie natural foods roadside market in Lincoln City, Oregon. We were on a week-long roadtrip, and I was actually hoping to pick up some almond milk "juice boxes" for the road when I saw this. I wondered skeptically, "could this really be good? if it's terrible, i'm committing to 1.2 lbs of this stuff...." I noticed the vanilla flavor was completely sold out, so I thought what the heck - I'll go for it!


IT'S GOOD! well, let me re-phrase - although the directions claim it instantly mixes, no blender required, you really do need at least a blender bottle to get the lumps out. The first couple times I tried it, I simply stirred the powder in, and the lumps were so nasty it practically triggered a gag reflex. No bueno! Now, I use a blender bottle, and mix it with cold almond milk for a super creamy shake post workout. It's a little thick if you follow the ratio they suggest (1 heaping scoop : 8 oz. milk), so I use about 10 oz. of milk per level scoop. Another reason I prefer almond milk is because it is lower in carbs, which is good for my get-fit plan. 

The nutrition facts on this powder are impressive. Per 1 serving scoop: 99 calories, 0 fat, 11 g carbs, 14 g protein. It's not the highest in protein content compared to other powders I've looked at since, but it is the lowest in calories and carbs. Personally, it's sufficient for me because I balance the shakes with high protein meals in other parts of the day. It's also amazingly packed with vitamins - the same as what you would get popping a multivitamin! As with any protein supplement though, be sure to drink plenty of water to combat dehydration and constipation from the mega dose of protein.

Final verdict?

IT'S GOOD!  oh wait, did I say that already?  Ok, and it's tasty too.  In fact, it's so good, I hesitate to try other competitors' products, because most of the other "all natural" gluten and lactose free powders smell downright terrible, and don't have close to the same nutritional stats this one does. I think I will try the chocolate version of this next.......

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Coconut Lemongrass Mussels

After a looooong week, I decided to take a well-deserved night off and cook myself a satisfying meal. Call it an all-you-can-eat mussels extravaganza at home!


- 1 medium-sized red onion, thick large slices
- 4 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, chopped into smaller lengths a few inches long
- ginger - two thick slices
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 pounds mussels, rinsed and soaked in cold water
- fish sauce
- white pepper
- basil
- pinch of chicken bouillon powder
- Earth balance vegan butter (or Brummel yogurt butter, or goat butter)

1. Use a large wok or pot that is NOT non-stick (the shells will scratch a nonstick pot)
2. Heat the butter over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, lemongrass and ginger.
3. Add coconut milk, and about 1/2 a can of water
4. Season with fish sauce, white pepper, basil, and chicken bouillon and simmer until flavors come together.
5. Gently place mussels in pot, stir to coat in sauce. Cover with lid for a few minutes until mussels begin to open.
6. Immediately remove lid, and begin removing mussels from the bottom layer that are cooked (to prevent overcooking)
7. Continue stirring mussels around until they are all cooked.
8. Serve with broth and slurp it all in!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Vegan Gluten-Free Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

In anticipation of a back-to-school party, I decided to try my first made-from-scratch gluten free cookies (I usually just bake for others and have always been intimidated by the thought of gluten free baking). To top it off, I even made it vegan for a friend of mine who would be attending the party! The only dairy in this gluten free recipe calls for 1 egg, and 1 stick of butter. I used 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce per 1 egg as a substitute, and Earth Balance vegan butter. I also subbed dried cranberries instead of the walnuts.


Amazingly moist and chewy!  A bit on the sweet side, so I may decrease the sugar next time if adding dried fruit, or forgo the fruit and use nuts instead. It helped to squeeze each teaspoonful of dough together before flattening slightly on the cookie sheet. Also, unlike regular cookies, these don't really spread out while baking. This plateful was the result of doubling the recipe to make 2 batches:

This is the recipe I followed from the back of a bag of "Let's Do...Organic" Coconut Flour:

3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp brown rice flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
8 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. 
  2. Blend together butter and sugars until fluffy and well mixed.
  3. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix flours and baking soda.
  5. Add dry mix to wet mix and blend until smooth.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips/nuts/dried fruit.
  7. Drop by teaspoonful onto pre-greased cookie sheets.
  8. Bake 8-12 min, or until brown around edges. 
  9. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for at least 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheet.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Metropolis Baking Company - Sour Rye

Mmmmmm.....delicious, and the combination of artisanal, sour, and rye made this a particularly ting-friendly bread. Yum!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Gluten free Blueberry Turnovers

Another fabulous-looking recipe from Mrs. L, courtesy of

As always, be mindful that gluten free isn't necessarily fat-free! Substitute a vegan butter such as Earth Balance to make this lactose-free as well.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Turnovers


Flaky crust holds a delicious mouthful of blueberries. This fruity dessert delivers 5 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein as it satisfies your sweet tooth. Turnovers are portable and a kid favorite. Double the recipe and keep spares on hand for your child's lunch box or after-school snack.


2¼ cups gluten-free high-protein flour blend
    of choice
½ cup sugar or granulated (dry) sugar substitute*
     of choice
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
½ cup (1 stick) butter or palm oil
5 tablespoon cold water
3 tablespoon vegetable oil, palm oil or butter
1. Measure flour blend, sugar, salt and guar gum into a bowl.
2. Cut butter into dry ingredients with a pastry blender or pinch with fingers until blended.
3. Add cold water and oil. Knead dough by folding it over and over until thoroughly mixed.
4. Wrap in plastic wrap and roll into a 12-inch long log. Refrigerate until ready to roll.


4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (or 3 cups cooked fruit)
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup sugar or granulated (dry) sugar substitute* of choice
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
2 tablespoons cold water
¼ cup coconut flour or gluten-free flour of choice
1. Combine berries, butter and sugar in a saucepan. On medium-low heat, mix gently until a liquid forms at the bottom of the pan. When berries are floating in their own juice, add salt and lemon juice. Mix gently again.
2. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons arrowroot with 2 tablespoons cold water. Pour into blueberry mixture and continue to cook over low heat until juice thickens.
3. Add coconut flour and stir until blended.
4. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Filling will be quite thick.
5. Preheat oven to 425° F.
6. Remove dough from the refrigerator and cut or pinch off into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. (Flour your hands, if necessary.)
7. Cut 8 pieces of parchment paper into 7½-inch squares. Cut 1 additional 7½-inch square to use as top rolling paper.
8. Roll each piece of dough out onto an individual piece of paper using one piece on top. Peel off top paper and place 1 tablespoon blueberry mixture on each piece of flattened dough. (Keep flattened dough on bottom paper.)
9. Slide your hand under one half of each paper and fold dough over, making a half circle of dough with filling inside. Pinch edges to seal and prick a couple times with a fork.
10. Leave filled dough on the paper and transfer each onto a baking sheet, placing evenly on sheet. Trim excess paper if crowded.
11. Place on middle rack in preheated oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until top turns golden brown. Check after 10 minutes. If tops start to brown too much, cover with foil and bake an additional 5 minutes.
Each turnover contains 445 calories, 20g total fat, 12g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 38mg cholesterol, 187mg sodium, 66g total carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 3g protein.
TIP Do not roll out dough thinner than ⅛ inch. If dough is too thin, the crust will burst as it bakes.
*For better results when using sugar substitute, use half sugar and half substitute sugar; cook over a double boiler or pan of water until mixture thickens.
Recipe by Living Without’s test kitchen director Madalene Rhyand.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wicked Spoon - Las Vegas, NV

The Wicked Spoon Buffet 

(inside the Cosmopolitan on The Strip)

The small plate style of many of the food options made the buffet less trough-like, and although we caught the tail end of brunch, everything was still fresh and hot. I avoided the token asian dishes (lo mein, fried rice, kung pao chicken), and focused on the real food - boiled egg with avocado and bacon vinaigrette, sashimi, lamb chops, steamed clams.....i could go on, but basically this was the classiest buffet I'd seen. Like most buffets, plenty of items had lactose and/or gluten, but there were a surprising number of lactose and gluten free options as well. Goat cheese was readily available at the omelet bar, and the eggs were milk-free (always ask!). There were actually so many things I could eat, I didn't miss out on what I couldn't.

The desserts were my favorite - there were actually lactose/gluten free options!  I had a choice of several sorbets, house-made marshmallows served in a dark chocolate cone, and dark chocolate dipped strawberries with nuts or toffee topping. In comparison, my dessert selection at the Wynn buffet was confined to one thing: candied apples.

Great service (we never felt rushed out), and nice spacious table set ups in addition to the non-buffet like food really made this a great dining experience.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blue Cheese and Broccoli

Due to recently finding goat (lactose free) blue cheese at my local supermarket, I've been riding this incredible wave of satiation. My go-to veggie has been a crown of sauteed broccoli with blue cheese crumbles. You don't need to use a lot of blue cheese, and it packs a lot of flavor, which means it requires minimum addition of fat for maximum flavor. No need to add additional salt to the broccoli either, since blue cheese is plenty salty!

Scallion Oil

Chinese Scallion Oil

2 bunches of scallions, finely chopped
fresh garlic, minced
chicken bouillon powder
pinch of sugar

vegetable or corn oil

  1. Wash and dry the scallions before chopping. Place in a large heat-tolerant bowl.
  2. To the bowl, add all the other ingredients except for the oil. Use approximately 1:1 ratio salt and bouillon powder, and only a minimal pinch of sugar. Adjust everything to taste
  3. In a small pot, heat enough oil to cover the scallions in a drizzle. Heat until an onion piece sizzles and floats immediately when dropped in.
  4. Before the oil smokes, carefully pour just enough oil over the onions so the heat of the oil immediately "cooks" the scallions in the bowl. Mix to incorporate. 
After cooling, the scallion oil will keep for at least a week in an uncontaminated container. I love having this topping over steamed chicken, noodles of any type (noodle soup or stir-fried), rice, and fresh shrimp.

Blue cheese stuffed olives

A recent discovery of goat blue cheese at my local supermarket inspired me to stuff my own olives in preparation for an upcoming martini party. This was always one of my favorite martini garnishes back in the lush days when I could eat them, and now I can again!

To make:

I prefer medium to large sized green olives for stuffing; choose firm, fresh ones preferably from an olive bar, not a jar.  The blue cheese crumbles naturally, but if you let it sit at room temp until the chill goes out, it softens up nicely and will conform well for stuffing.  To stuff, just use a butter knife and shove those crumbs in! Make sure to put enough cheese in for a satiating olive pop. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sun in Bloom

Vegan and gluten-free pancakes

And if you're feeling the sass, this eatery near the Atlantic-Pacific Ave station in Brooklyn, NY also serves raw foods. Given the convenient location, 52 and counting business photos on Yelp, and only 2 $$s, this place will be a must-stop on my next trip to nyc. 

In the meantime, please someone go there and eat for me!  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gluten and Lactose Free Protein Powders

So in my current get-fit regimen, I realized I needed some type of recovery formula post workout. I always thought protein powders were for gym rats and serious fitness buffs, but realized that having a protein drink afterwards really helps keep my energy up, and takes the stress out of having to cook something or find food soon after.

Then came the eternal question - are there good, edible gluten and lactose free protein shakes out there??  Without the intolerances, it's hard enough to find a formula that tastes good.  Syntha-6 came highly recommended, but after contacting the company, I learned that none of their formulas are gluten free.

After much searching, I finally found what I was looking for: the ULTIMATE listing of gluten and (some) lactose free powders!  This site is a great resource in general, but I'm especially thankful that the author took the time to put this list together.  There are no reviews for the products, but at least it's a starting point in even knowing what to look up:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Vic's Chaat & Market

This beloved nook in West Berkeley has some great gluten-free offerings, including:
  • Dosa - a crepe-like concoction made from rice and lentil flour, either with filling or plain. It's also a great vehicle for getting yummy condiments into your mouth!
  • Idli - savory steamed rice cakes made of fermented lentils and rice. Also great for dipping. 
  • Pakora - golden fritters fried with a chickpea batter, and usually consisting of vegetables or potato. 
It's still on my list to try, but I've been salivating over the reviews and photos in the meantime:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Annie's gluten free mac & cheese

So I received a case of a dozen boxes of Annie's brand (rice pasta) gluten free mac & cheese from my dear cousin W for my birthday, and thought it was worth trying out, just to see if the lactose would bother. It did, so after a few weeks when my system recovered, I decided to try it again with a Lactaid pill.

same horrifically shocking, it spurned me to submit my first Amazon review:

Addie's Gluten-Free Blog

i just found out that one of my acquaintances also started a gluten free blog - great to have another resource -

Thanks, Addya!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gluten free Soba noodles

FINALLY! A gluten-free soba noodle!  Most soba noodles, while made out of buckwheat (gluten-free), are mixed with wheat. Boo.

Thanks to Michael B. for sharing this amazing product:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gluten Free Domino's Pizza?!

Yup, Domino's is officially savvy with the hottest dietary "trend" and has come out with their own gluten-free crust. It only comes in a small, for $9.99, but it's just as well because a larger size probably wouldn't allow it to cook through enough. There are fewer instances in life that I'm willing to pop a Lactaid pill for these days, but I just had to try this:

Verdict: It's GOOD!  One of the best gluten-free pizza crusts I've ever had. Not gummy, not heavy, and tastes just like a regular Domino's pizza. Don't judge - beggers can't be too choosy!

Gluten and Dairy Free Pops

Feelin' the summer heat and lusting after everyone else's ice-cream cones? Well if you've got the time and ambition, here are 2 make-at-home recipes (thanks for passing them along, Mrs. L!). Keep in mind that losing the gluten and lactose doesn't necessary make it lighter on calories, carbs and fat.... Rats.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Fudge Pops


Celebrate summer with this revamped version of classic fudgsicles. They're easy to make and fun to eat. If you don’t have plastic popsicle molds, use small paper cups and wooden sticks (sold in craft stores and online).
3 cups unsweetened lite coconut milk
½ cup honey* or agavĂ© nectar, extra to taste
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons arrowroot
    starch/powder or cornstarch
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsweetened baker’s chocolate,
    chopped into ½-inch pieces
2 tablespoons coconut butter or nut butter or 1 tablespoon coconut oil
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Combine coconut milk, honey or agave nectar, arrowroot, cocoa powder and salt in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. Continue to cook and whisk as mixture bubbles and thickens, about 6 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. Add chocolate, coconut butter or nut butter and vanilla and stir until completely melted and smooth. Taste and add additional honey or agave nectar, as desired.
3. Pour into 8 popsicle molds or small paper cups. Allow to cool slightly and insert popsicle lids. Or freeze briefly and insert wooden sticks. If using paper cups, cover with foil, poking the stick through the foil.
4. Freeze until solid. To unmold, hold the stick and warm the outside of the cup with warm water until pop loosens. Serve immediately.
Each serving contains 310 calories, 24g total fat, 20g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 51mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 3g protein.
*TIP For lower sugar content, reduce honey to ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons and add 1 teaspoon clear stevia liquid.
For Mocha Fudge Pops, replace 1 cup milk with 1 cup strong brewed coffee.
Recipe by Rachel Albert-Matesz, author of  The Ice Dream Cookbook (Planetary Press). 

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Orange Sherbert Pops


It's easy and delicious to stay cool with this allergy-friendly, sugar-free dessert. Remember sherbert push-ups? Now you can make them at home without artificial colors, flavors and fillers. For easy preparation, pour the creamy orange mixture into popsicle molds and freeze. For a fluffier texture, churn the mixture in an ice cream maker, as instructed.
⅓ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin or ¾ teaspoon
     agar agar powder (not flakes)
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons honey* or agavĂ© nectar,
    more to taste
⅛ teaspoon salt
¾ cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
3 cups unsweetened coconut milk (not lite)
Zest of 1 medium orange, finely grated
1 teaspoon natural orange flavoring or orange extract, optional
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange liqueur, optional
1. Place ⅓ cup juice in a small saucepan. Slowly sprinkle with gelatin or agar agar powder. Let stand for 2 minutes until gelatin softens and dry spots disappear. Warm over medium-low heat without stirring until dissolved. Scrape the mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Add honey or agave and salt. Blend. Add orange juice concentrate and coconut milk. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape sides with a spatula. Add orange zest and orange flavoring, if desired. For a sweeter taste, add additional honey, 1 tablespoon at a time, to taste.
3. Pour mixture into wide-mouth jars. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours before churning or cool more quickly using an ice bath.
4. Scrape the chilled custard into the canister of an ice cream maker. Add optional orange liqueur. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately or spoon into several freezer-safe containers. Cover and freeze for 3 hours or more. Soften solidly frozen dessert by placing it in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes or on the counter for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
Each serving contains 140 calories, 18g total fat, 16g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 49mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 3g protein.
*TIP For lower sugar content, use ¼ cup honey or agave nectar with ¼ to ½ teaspoon pure stevia extract powder or ½ to 1 teaspoon clear stevia liquid.
Recipe adapted with permission from The Ice Dream Cookbook (Planetary Press), by Rachel Albert-Matesz.


My lovely cousin reminded me about the gluten-free fantastic-ness of Chex, and I couldn't believe I forgot about this stuff!

Check out the site for some great gluten free recipes. Just substitute a vegan butter such as Earth Balance to make the ultimate gluten and lactose free Chex snack.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Broccoli and Cheese Frittata with Chicken Patties

I woke up bored and hungry, so decided to make a nice Sunday breakfast:

Frittata: Chopped up some broccoli florets and sauteed it with olive oil in a small pan. Added 2 eggs (previously scrambled in a bowl), and shredded Beemster cheese. Let the mixture cook through on medium heat, then flipped it to cook the other side.

Chicken sausage patties: Mixed some ground chicken with minced onion, garlic, oregano, dash of basil, and 1/2 an egg. Seasoned with truffle salt, and formed into patties before cooking it in olive oil on a pan. I was worried it wouldn't cook through, so added some water to the pan and covered it to steam cook it through. This also helped keep the patties moist (since I didn't use any bread crumbs in the patties, they were at risk of becoming hockey pucks!)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beemster cheese

Another delicious lactose-free cheese!

I've found this at big box supermarkets such as Giant and Safeway, and it's sweet and creamy as advertised (although it's a pretty hard cheese). I wish it came in larger wedges, but it's jam-packed with such a rich, nutty flavor you actually don't need that much for a satisfying serving. It's slightly less expensive than Emmi brand Emmentaler, at about $16.99/lb.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mussels and ham carbonara

I whipped up a quick lunch today for my parents using leftover mussels and ham in the fridge:

I used this corn pasta I found at the asian supermarket, and it was deliciously like thin spaghetti (they had no idea it was gluten free):

Carbonara in 30 minutes:

  1. Boil a large pot of water with a tsp of salt and oil. (Normally, I would NEVER add oil to my pasta water, but for gluten free pasta, you really need to, otherwise it sticks)
  2. While the water is boiling, prep everything else:
    1. slice the ham into thin 1" strips
    2. coarsely chop about 1 clove of garlic per serving
    3. scramble a raw egg in a bowl (1 egg per serving)
    4. optional: shave/shred/grind some reggiano parmeggiano
    5. optional: chop scallions, wash/chop parsley/spinach
  3. Remove pasta from the pot when it is al dente - reserve a few tablespoons of the pasta water. Do NOT rinse the pasta!
  4. In a large pan, saute the garlic and ham. Before the garlic browns, add the mussels with some of the sauce it was cooked in.
  5. Add the pasta with the pasta water to moisten.
  6. Toss to incorporate and warm together, then remove from heat.
  7. Arrange the pasta into a thick, even pile, and carefully pour the raw egg over, avoiding the surface of the pan (otherwise, you'll get scrambled egg!)
  8. Fold the egg in, allowing the heat from the pasta to cook the egg 
  9. Transfer to a plate to serve, and finish with freshly ground pepper and parmeggiano

Monday, July 2, 2012

Yo, Yo Chobani!

I spent so many years paying extravagant prices for lactose-free yogurt, only to find out that any yogurt with live cultures is lactose-free. Greek yogurt is the best, because it's thick, creamy, and tends to have more strains of bacteria, ensuring no remnants of lactose.

I love Chobani! It often goes on sale for $1 each, so naturally I stock up. They added some new flavors I'm pretty excited to try:

Breyer's Ice-Cream

Lactose free ice-cream?!

Whaaaaaaat? Yes, it's true! Breyer's. Real ice-cream. Real flavor. Minus the lactose. And the best thing - it's carried in most big box supermarkets in metropolitan suburbs, so you don't have to make a trip to a specialty store to get it!

It truly tastes like regular vanilla ice-cream. Texture-wise, it's a little softer than regular ice-cream, and seems to be more prone to melting. But that's really it. I promise - lactose fiends can't even tell the difference!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dairy vs. Lactose

As I continue to dance around lactose in my diet, I realize I should probably take a step back and clarify what I mean by being lactose intolerant, yet am able to eat dairy.

Dairy = anything made from animal milk. Examples: egg, milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream
Lactose = a sugar found in milk products.
Lactase = an enzyme in the human body that breaks down the lactose in milk products. When a person lacks this enzyme (such as myself), then the lactose does not get broken down, and the person will have unpleasant side effects as a result, called lactose intolerance.

Certain dairy products can be made lactose free. How?
  • Live cultures, a.k.a probiotics. These are healthy bacteria that, when ingested at the same time as lactose, will eat up the lactose. In the body, these live cultures digest the lactose, thereby eliminating those nasty side effects when lactose remains undigested. This method is what consistently allows me to eat dairy products without having a reaction to lactose! Basically, anything with live cultures renders the food lactose-free. Apply this to frozen yogurt (ex. Red Mango), cream cheese, and sour cream. Please see my post on probiotics for more specific brands.
  • Age. No, not your age, silly! Supposedly, as a cheese ages, the lactose dies off, leaving only traces. I've been told by many cheesemongers that the longer a cheese is aged, the more likely it would be safe for me to eat. However, keep in mind that this really depends on your own sensitivity. I continue to have a reaction to aged cheeses, so this unfortunately doesn't really work for me.
  • Lactase supplement. Since a person who is lactose intolerant lacks lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose), there are certain products that include lactase as an ingredient (Lactaid). You can also buy it in pill form and take with the first bite of food (found in any drugstore next to the peptol bismol). I pretty much avoid artificial forms of lactase, because it makes the food taste weirdly sweet, and I feel like the pills disrupt the natural balance of my digestive system. BUT - in occasional instances when I just need to splurge, I have been known to pop a pill and just indulge!
So there it is, I can have dairy, but not the lactose. All lactose is found in dairy, but not all dairy necessarily has lactose. Part of the joy of writing this blog is finding all the ways to enjoy the dairy without the lactose!

Please let me know if you need any clarification, or have anything to add by clicking on the comment link below!

The Original Pancake House

The Original Pancake House
Falls Church, VA

My sister excitedly told me about the gluten free pancakes here - I've yet to try, but further inspection of the menu shows 6 flavors: Plain, Blueberry, Pecan, Chocolate Chip, Strawberry

The picture my sister sent looks like an impressively large (and fluffy!) portion:

 (she's not lactose or gluten intolerant, but tried these gf pancakes out of curiosity)

Here's a link to the menu if you're curious too!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

White Russians!

What is my most favorite application of almond milk?

A lactose-free white russian cocktail, of course! 

I prefer almond milk to any other variety, including soy and rice, and shudder at the thought of drinking Lactaid (weirdly sweet, yuck!). Almond milk has a nice, creamy texture that works well with the booze+ice, and gotta love that it's only 60 calories a serving with your calcium and vitamin D. 

I like to make these at home:

However, for those occasional afternoons when I like to park myself at a cozy bar and people watch, I've been known to bring my own lactose-free milk of choice and sweetly ask the bartender to keep it behind the bar for my very own white russians (of course I would only do this at a low-key place that's not too busy). Sometimes, I end up befriending other lactose-free patrons and become their white russian supplier! Sharing is caring.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

French Onion Soup

Since I found out Gruyere was naturally lactose-free, I've been giddy about the prospect of French Onion Soup (something I hadn't had in several years).  My first effort omitted the bread/crouton, and I realized it was a necessary element to keep the cheese afloat....without it, the cheese sank, and therefore there was nothing to bubble and brown on top.

Here's the final experiment:

Beef broth, red onions, dry red wine, gruyere, reggiano parmigianno, sourdough bread (with real sourdough starter....see post on sourdough bread)


Monday, June 11, 2012

Food for Life

My sister found another line of GF goods in the freezer section of Whole Foods...I'm usually pretty wary of religious underpinnings, but sharing this anyways as a resource:

Open-faced Salmon Sandwich

Sometimes, nothing beats brunch at home:

- Sourdough bread made from a sourdough starter
- Herbed goat cheese
- Pan-seared salmon

Saturday, June 9, 2012


With all the carb-free diet crazes, it can actually be quite easy to access a sandwich when you're eating out. Most places will happily put the sandwich innards over a bed of greens, or make a neat lettuce wrap. Not the best as an on-the-go solution, but pretty good if you're dining in.

This is a pulled pork "sandwich" with mole and a tomato marmalade over a bed of greens:

Sidenote: Although I will sometimes ask for GF bread just to increase awareness, I often prefer no bread due to the propensity of GF bread to be heavy, dense and crumble with moisture.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

La Note - Berkeley, CA

La Note

Downtown Berkeley

Among the many hits and misses in Berkeley, this place is consistently a hit. Yes, be prepared to spend $15 and up for breakfast/brunch, but you will not regret a single dollar. There's always a wait from 9:30am on the weekends, and when reservations are accepted, still be prepared for a wait of at least 45 minutes. BUT - the food is well worth it!

Although this is a french-style bistro, the many goat cheese and emmentaler options make breakfast plates especially lactose-free friendly, and the coffee is deeeeeeelish. (Remember to ask for any dishes be made with no milk and butter! Olive oil is a fine substitute.)

With all the appetizing options on the menu, eating family style is a stellar way to taste many different dishes if you come with a group and are prepared for a wait. Once you know what you like though, it's a much better experience coming with a smaller group (as in, 2), and the back patio is lovely.

Bon appetite!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sotto Mare - San Francisco, CA

Sotto Mare

North Beach

Eat at your own risk! You will never be satisfied with cioppino elsewhere EVER again after having it here. It's portioned perfectly for 2 to share as a meal, or for 4 to share with another dish. The perfect balance between seafood, sauce, herbs, and consistency rests on a bed of rigatoni, and you won't be able to put your spoon down until the last bit is swiped off with bread!

I also LOVE the welcoming service, and how nicely they are willing to accommodate my gluten and lactose dietary issues. They'll swap my pasta for a risotto specially made without dairy, and it's still so creamy and flavorful I always think it's too good to be true. But true it is! The first time I ate here, I nearly wept because I couldn't finish my plate, and wasn't able to take the leftovers. Every return visit since then, I go prepared with no post-dinner barhopping, just so I never have to abandon the goodness again.

This is a family-run operation that truly values serving good food. Beware the word is out! Go early, or go on a non Fri/Sat night, or else be prepared for a wait.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Omission beer - gluten free!

So a friend of mine with the inside scoop on developments in the beer/cider/wine industry dropped precious nuggets of information about Omission Beer, coming to the Bay Area this Tuesday, June 5th. I did a little more clicking around, and found this great article about the beers and company in the Washington Post:

Unlike other GF beers, the ones from Omission (a lager and pale ale) are made from a de-glutenized form of barley, rather than the usual sticky sweet mess of sorghum and rice. This means it might actually taste like beer! The company also wasn't legally allowed to categorize the beer as gluten free if they wanted to distribute it nationwide, but it should be considered as such. Thanks for the info, WP!

Can't wait to try it! (and hope it's not booty expensive....)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Emmi brand cheese

Selected big box stores will carry this brand of cheese, and it comes in all sorts of varieties. I've seen swiss, gouda, and gruyere. I really don't know how they do it, but it's naturally lactose-free! They are super tasty, and taste as true as they are authentic. Move over, goat gouda, this stuff is the real thing.

Price-wise, it'll usually be on the higher end of what supermarkets carry (about $16/lb), but compared to artisanal cheeses at a specialty cheese shop ($20/lb and up), still quite affordable.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Stogo - NYC, NY

(East Village)

dairy-free, AND gluten free treats?! this is my new happy place!  i found the service to be impeccable, as our group of 4 was offered sample after sample before ordering.  the flavors are as good as could be, and even my 3 dairy-fiend friends concurred they didn't miss the dairy.

the mexican spiced chocolate did garner a bit of a kick towards the end, but was perfect mixed with another flavor.  likewise, the salted pecan caramel packed a sweet punch, but combined with another flavor, perfectly luscious. the plethora of coconut flavors was nice too; the toasted coconut almond joy was quite joyful indeed.

sadly, no cones, but you can create your own ice-cream cookie sandwich. a small cup=1 flavor scoop, medium=2 flavor scoops, and large=3 flavor scoops.

i almost can't wait for cold weather to try the hot chocolate, truffles, and cupcake treats!  until then, i'll be gorging myself on triple scoops...thank goodness the stuff happens to also be lower in fat, sugar, and cholesterol free.

Babycakes - NYC, NY

Babycakes Bakery
(Lower East Side)

another gem in the world of vegan bakery!  although some items get pricey (1 donut, $3.50), you realize the cost is well-deserved because it is so incredibly well made.  the ginger cookies were the best i've ever had, including those from the old days before all my food sensitivities.  i don't really have much of a sweet tooth, but the brownie bites with the chocolate burst in the middle was nearly orgasmic (i had the chocolate chip and agave). same goes for the cupcakes (red velvet, vanilla, chocolate, and chocolate mocha); i had to keep reassuring myself it was dairy-free because the cake was so moist and buttery (without being actually buttery). and the frosting.....usually i scrap all the frosting off cakes and such, but i licked every luscious morsel off my fingers here.

lastly, the blueberry crumb cake and biscuits with raspberries and cream made for a truly delightful breakfast....just beware if you have a serious gluten allergy, the biscuits are made with spelt, a derivative of wheat.

not only did i order every aforementioned item in one go, i also ate everything over the span of 48 hours!  if i could live on baked goods alone, babycakes would do it for me. it might also be the quickest way to my heart, shhhh........

one warning: as with most diary-free items, the melting point tends to be a little lower than regular dairy.  be advised.

* A few years after discovering this bakery, it got a lot of press because Chelsea Clinton ordered her wedding cake from here

Red Bamboo, NYC, NY

Red Bamboo
(West Village)

i had the first strawberry milkshake i've had in years, and it tasted just like how i remembered it....creamy, like real strawberries, and delicious.  except this one was gloriously dairy-free!

and the cheesecake....i deliberately tasted a bit with nothing but just the cake, and nearly had a psychosomatic lactose attack!  add in the whipped cream topping and chocolate chips, and i came close to nirvana.

i will go a long ways out of my way to return for another milkshake, and until i try every available dessert on the all-vegan menu.  At $6 a shake, i think i've found my new anti-depressant!

Phileo Yogurt - Philadelphia, PA

Phileo Yogurt
(South Street)

Great flavors, and live cultures in the yogurt verify the high quality product. It also makes it an amazing lactose-free treat!

This is another pay by the ounce type of place, with a topping bar you can hit up to your heart's content. Amazing prices. I filled a large container (enough for 4) all the way up to the brim, topped it with Cap'n Crunch, and barely crossed the $6 mark.

Very clean and well-kept. Credit cards accepted.

Tea Fever - Berkeley, CA

Tea Fever
(Downtown Berkeley)

There might not be a lot of options on the menu, but the one bonus offered here is what brings me back week after week:  SOY MILK!!

It's been years since I've been able to enjoy a boba milk tea, because most places just don't carry soy milk. At Tea Fever, not only do they have soy milk, but the flavor powders they use are also dairy-free.  woohooooooooo!

The short menu boasts milk teas, slushes, smoothes, organic teas, and fresh waffles. The tapioca balls are always perfectly chewy, although sometimes range from delicately sweet to not sweet enough. There is also jelly if you're not a tapioca ball buster.

Mr. Pickles Sandwich Shop - Daly City, CA

Mr. Pickles Sandwich Shop

Whether there's only a couple people in line or two fistfuls, there's always a wait, but no one gets angry because EVERYONE knows the sandwiches are worth waiting for. Big enough for 2 meals, or just 1 if you've got that kind of extension, these babies are made to order with quality ingredients. There's even gluten-free bread from Mariposa, as well as sourdough, rye, wheat, white and dutch crunch.  The people who work here really take pride in making a good sandwich too - I've actually caught one of the guys leaning back smiling at his handiwork before wrapping it up.

In addition to sandwiches made to order with every ingredient perfectly distributed, they have SOY CHEESE that MELTS! it's pretty awesome, and creamy to boot.

Free tootsipops and blowpops at the register.

*the sourdough here is commercial grade, and not gluten free*

Radish - San Franciso, CA


Haven't tried it yet, but supposedly this place in the Mission serves all sorts of goodies such as breads from Mariposa Bakery, and gluten free pancakes. Please post a comment if you've been there!

wheeeee for GHEE!

As I took in the aromas of garlic butter at my latest seafood feast,

I excitedly remembered how to make butter lactose free! A friend of mine blogged about ghee, or clarified butter, a while back, and provides lovely instructions on how to make it at home here. Although he discusses ghee from an Ayurvedic perspective, ghee is also a traditional ingredient in South Asian cooking.

Ghee is super easy to make at home: basically you simmer butter on medium-low heat until the foam disappears and curds form, and strain out the curds. That's it! I like to simmer it with herbs such as rosemary, and then store in a container in the fridge. Remember the process (unfortunately) doesn't make it fat-free!

Take that, butter.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Crispin Honey Crisp Cider

YUM!  Not bad, and 6.5% alcohol content. About $5 for this 22 oz. bottle.

Thanks again to my cousin for finding this at a random liquor store in Berkeley, CA!


Although I would never consider cider as a drink of choice in the past, it's become another option when I'm out and not feeling the liquor or wine. It's often tastier, lighter and more available than GF beers, too. I much prefer dry ciders, which can also be harder to find, and sometimes as pricey (or pricier) than a nice bottle of wine. Ciders may come in all different varieties: apple, pear, pomegranate, blood orange, etc. Careful though - due to the sugars, these can be high in calorie content, approximately 200 calories per serving.

Another decent beer

This drinks pretty easy, although like most sorghum beers, it's slightly heavy. More palatable than others such as Bard's, though.

Thanks to my cousin for finding this at Berkeley Bowl in Berkeley, CA!

Gluten free bakery in Philly!

Sweet Freedom Bakery - Center City Philadelphia, PA

Full review to follow once I post on Yelp.

Best yogurt I've ever had

Imagine my shock, amazement, and later pleasure, when I happened to find this in the cold box at a Starbucks in the Hyatt hotel near the Denver Convention Center:

This probiotic yogurt is thick, creamy, melts on the tongue, all natural, and hormone-free.  It is a bit pricey, but it's carried in select big box stores, and natural food stores.  Check the site for locations! The only downside is the 6g fat per 4 oz. serving :(

Vietnamese Food

By FAR my go-to gluten/lactose free meal out! The only dairy on the menu is the condensed milk that's used in a Vietnamese coffee.  Besides that, I've never even seen an appetizer, soup, or entree with dairy. The noodle are typically rice noodles ("fun"), with a token egg noodle ("mein") dish. Other entrees are over rice.

Prices are always decent, with apps under $5 and entrees under $10. The only tricky thing is finding places that don't use MSG, and with the precise balance of savory without saltiness.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gluten Free Girl and the Chef

This is a beautiful, comprehensive site! Looking at all the awards and recognition the site's received, it's also one of the premier resources for gluten free living. I love sites that highlight everything we CAN eat, not just what we can't. Life is more or less a celebration of good company and good eats, right?


I discovered papadum at an Indian food stand at a weekly farmer's market in Oakland, CA. This crackery flatbread is made from lentil, rice or potato flour, and sometimes lightly spiced. A savory salty treat, and a great vehicle for chutney, jam or pate!

Served warm and crispy in Indian restaurants, it is sold in markets in a package of circular, hard, flat sheets. It's got a loooong shelf life, and to prepare, simply microwave, or warm it up over low heat on a frying pan or gas burner like a tortilla (no oil needed). It'll puff up and be ready to eat in less than minutes.

I was pleasantly surprised to find this in the general trough at the buffet on a Norwegian Star cruise.


a.k.a., how to make dairy lactose-free!  Basically, probiotics are live cultures (healthy bacteria) that digest the lactose that your body can't. Most yogurts contain probiotics, but always check the label to be sure. Greek yogurt in particular usually has several strains of cultures, making it the best choice for the most sensitive. Also, certain varieties of frozen yogurt contain live cultures and are therefore lactose-free.

I recently discovered a brand of cream cheese and sour cream made with probiotics - delicious! The best part is, it tastes like the real thing - because it is!


Found at: Berkeley Bowl - Berkeley, CA


I love this brand's line of gluten-free anything! Best commercial brand, and it can often be found in any big box supermarket. Pastas and wafers are my favorites.

Passover is one of the best times of year

Sigh...I'm still sad that I missed Passover shopping this year. Living further from super Jewish communities than before, I just didn't have the same selection of gluten-free goods I was used to stocking up on during this Jewish holiday.


Well, only if you're not religious....the customs of this holiday dictate a more or less gluten-free diet, so that means markets catering to Jewish communities will stock up on all sorts of GF goodies, including cakes, cookies, pastas, breads, etc. And they are mostly GOOD!

Udi's Breads

My favorite commercially available bread thus far!

Their stuff actually doesn't weigh like a brick, are tasty, and freeze well. As with all breads, they taste best after a light toast. I like the multi-grain bread, and bagels.

Found at select Trader Joe's in the bread aisle, and the frozen section in natural food stores.

Sourdough Bread

Stumbling on this site was like hitting 7777s at the slots:

L.A. Sourdough

Although the featured vendor is based in L.A., the same principles could be relevant with any diligent, small bakery that's serious about their sourdough. Most commercial, widely distributed varieties are still a no-no, though.

Lobster and Dungenness Crab

(it's also the ultimate lactose and GF food)

My particular favorites:

The freshest and cheapest varieties will always be at a Chinese supermarket, or seafood vendor in Chinatown. The bigger chain supermarkets will usually steam a live lobster or crab for you for free, if you feel squeamish about carrying out the massacre at home.

If you ARE feeling adventurous enough to do it at home, it's easy: Fill a large pot or wok with a few inches of water. Place a rack in the water for the seafood to rest on so it's not in the water. Cover, and steam until done. About 20 min, depending on the size of the beast, more if you're steaming more than one at a time. If you're steaming a lobster, make sure to let the urine out of it prior to cooking. You can do this by pricking a hole in the underside of the end of the tail with the point of your knife, and it will run out when you hold the lobster up.

Anesthesia: Meat tends to taste better when it's not cooked under duress. To avoid the lobster freaking out and making the meat tough, I like to pop it in the freezer for no longer than 30 minutes to lull it into a peaceful and more humane feast.

Chicken Rotini casserole

One of my best friends and former roommate for years used to make this deliciously cheesy, garlicky chicken casserole. I pretty much ate until the point of pain, it was so good, and then spend a day agony. Can't believe it took me this long to figure out a ting-friendly version!

This is made with lactose-free cheeses (swiss emmenthaler, goat cheddar, plain goat), and homemade lactose/gluten-free cream of chicken stock with corn starch as thickener and plain almond milk. All the effort to make the homemade stock was worth it:

sidenote: topped with French's French Fried Onions, so perhaps not entirely GF, although I firmly subscribe to the denial that anything deep fried more or less kills the gluten/lactose!

Soy sauce

For a while, I thought raw fish upset my stomach, and was sad to have to give up sashimi and sushi.  Then I found out soy sauce is pretty much straight gluten. Now I carry a leakproof travel-size vial of gluten free soy sauce when I have the foresight of knowing I'm going out for sushi. I found these brands on the internet and amazon, but in stores it's harder to find. Usually markets serving higher-end clientele will have it, and then it's only the more expensive organic version.

Buffalo Wings

I LOVE buffalo wings!  After years of denial, I've finally realized that a quality buffalo wing sauce is made with butter and hot sauce.  Not so lactose-free after all. I guess that means suffer the consequences less frequently (probably not a bad idea for the waistline, anyways), or make a lactose-free version at home with margarine. Thank goodness I never allowed myself to buy a deep fryer!

Alton Brown has a nice baked version of buffalo wings for a healthier option:
Alton Brown's Buffalo Wings on the Food Network

Candle 79 - NYC, NY

Candle 79
(Upper East Side)

Vegetarian-friendly?  yes!
Gluten-free friendly?  yes!
Taste-bud friendly?  yes!
Comfortable eating environment? yes!
Prompt service?  yes!
Nut-allergy friendly?  NO.

This last item was fatally disappointing.  Well, not actually fatal, but that potential was certainly there. Considering what a heavy emphasis this restaurant has on having a vegetarian menu, separate gluten-free menu, and proclaims a great sensitivity to food allergies, we came away with serious questions regarding cross-contaminations in the kitchen.  As with many vegetarian menus, most of the dishes contained nuts. It was quickly realized that even non-nut dishes must've somehow still carried trace amounts of nuts, because my dining companion felt the familiar anaphylactic shock settling in halfway through his non-nut entree, and also several sips into his non-nut beer.  Very curious indeed.

Other than that, the dishes are beautifully presented, and for $22-26 per entree, leave you satisfactorily full for about an hour. Desserts were a bit pricey at $12 per.

Epipen anyone?

Yankee Stadium - Bronx, NY

Yankee Stadium

i'll be the first to admit it: i'm a hater.  as much as i was prepared to hate the new yankee stadium, i was completely wowed when i entered.  at first i was taken aback by how much the stadium resembled an upscale shopping mall, but then the most glorious food smells immediately assaulted me, and was a continued theme throughout the evening. the concourses were spacious, and bathrooms the best stadium bathrooms i've ever seen.  on street level, there is a members-only restaurant with a buffet that could've rivaled the brunch buffet at the Rainbow Room. the gift shop is also on this level.  other concession stands i noticed included Daisy Mae's bbq, Tommy Bahama bar with liquor and wine, Hard Rock, steak, Carvel, and italian sausage.  But the clincher for me?  The beer stand has an extensive offering of draft and bottled brews, including gluten-free beer!!  i was as happy as a clam when i saw this, and laughed when my philly friend said, "gluten-free beer at a stadium?  only in ny".  and that is precisely why i love nyc.

Busch Stadium - St. Louis, MO

Busch Stadium

Any stadium that serves gluten-free beer and lets you bring your own food/drink inside is a real gem!

The natural beauty of this stadium is brought out by the surrounding backdrop of the city, complete with the Arch which is reflected in the Arch shape mowed into the field.

Catching a game here is truly enjoyable.

El Beit - Brooklyn, NY

El Beit

Gluten-free English muffin + bacon butter = plate-licking a.m. treat

Bacon butter, I thought?  It consisted of caramelized onions, black pepper, and chunks of sauteed bacon.  yum!

Soy options, even for Chai.

A bit pricey, like around $8 for a coffee and a breakfast treat. But then again, sometimes money can buy happiness.

Free WiFi and a back patio.

Scottadito Osteria Toscana - Brooklyn, NY

Scottadito Osteria Toscana

This is my go-to place for Italian in Park Slope.  The fresh, housemade pasta is craveable, and the bottomless mimosa/champagne brunch is unbeatable! The warm olive appetizer yields the hugest, tastiest olives I've ever had stateside, and the fresh pasta with brie and prosciutto that is offered during brunch is forever imprinted in my memory from my gluten and dairy laden past.

I was encouraged to visit this old favorite of mine upon hearing that they now serve gluten-free pasta; it was so delicious I had to ask our server and the chef to verify that it was indeed gluten-free!

The consistently good food is complemented by the reasonably priced wine list, and if you can get here before 7pm, definitely take advantage of the $30 prix fixe special which includes wine! The cozy ambiance makes this restaurant the ideal place for a date or catch up session with a good friend.

Pappardelle's Pasta - Rochester, NY

Pappardelle's Pasta

I discovered these pasta gurus at a weekly farmers' market in Rochester, NY.   I was drawn by the bounty of beautiful and uniquely flavored dry pastas, and thrilled out of my mind when the guys behind the counter showed me their plentiful gluten-free selection. I tried a basil-pesto, and a garlic chive. Although a bit pricey at $7 for 9 ounces, these gourmet pastas truly warranted the price. The aroma of the pastas while cooking made my mouth water, and the texture, once cooked, was spot on. I especially love the inventive shapes the pastas come in. The inherent flavors are so well done, this pasta is best served with a basic butter or ghee sauce and a dash of wine.

The Owl House - Rochester, NY

The Owl House

Oh boy, does this place make my heart flutter.  The vegan aspect suited my lactardness, and the gluten-free aspect make my intestines happy as a clam in water. The combination of the two was almost too much for me to handle!

The food was fresh, thoughtfully prepared, and the Belgium gluten-free beer was probably the best I've tasted. I especially enjoyed the creamy dressing on the caesar salad and the out-of-this-world pulled pork nachos. The high quality dairy-free cheese they used was spectacular. What really made fireworks was the chocolate mouse dessert though - no words can describe the goodness that coddled my tongue at the post-coital stage of the meal.