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.