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Fall Vegetable Curry

Turns out I’m not much of a blogger. But if at first you don’t succeed …. I forget the rest. But here’s a list of some places I have reviewed on Yelp.

No fun stories this time, just what we ate for dinner last night! And I should also note, that I am not a very good food photographer, and all I have is a lousy iPhone.




Here’s what you need and what to do:


Fall Vegetable Curry


1 ½ cups sweet potato diced (small)

1 ½ cups cauliflower florets
½ yellow onion
¼  can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes -undrained
½  cup vegetable broth
½ – 1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
plain greek yogurt

*you can also use madras chili powder instead of the curry powder and red pepper

rice: (cook the rice and add the cashews and a bit of salt if needed after rice is cooked)

¼ – ½ cup cashew pieces
1 cup basmati rice

– Over medium high heat, saute sweet potatoes for 5 minutes

– Decrease heat and add cauliflower, onion, curry powder, and red pepper flakes. Cook for a few minutes (3?), stirring the whole time
– Add broth, salt, chickpeas, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
– Cover, reduce heat to simmer until veggies are soft (15 – 20 minutes). Stir occasionally. Add salt to taste.
– Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with rice, and greek yogurt.

(This recipe was good for dinner for 2 people twice, so if you already have the spices it’s a really inexpensive meal!! )


Adapted from cooking light magazine Oct. 2010


Back to packing for the Texodus part 2!

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A Gluten Free, Fun-filled Road Trip

It’s been nearly a year since I left off, and sadly there were only a few entries to begin with. But do not despair; I am back.

 
The biggest challenge now is deciding where to begin. Should I start with the cross-country road trip with its amazing and the horrible GF dining experiences? Or should I start with trying to navigate GF wedding planning, Thanksgiving, Hannukah, and Passover?
 
I’ll suppose I’ll start at the beginning:
 
The Texodus began in Seattle, WA and eventually reached Austin, TX. Before embarking on this adventure, I had expected that the hardest part about eating gluten free on a road trip would be the small towns that one inevitably encounters on a cross-country trip. I was surprised to find that the cities –of all sizes- were just as challenging! My fiancé, Whole Foods, and Yelp were my best friends and guardians. While I didn’t do a phenomenal job at blogging here, my reliance on yelp inspired me to make an ongoing effort to review as many restaurants as I can in the context of gluten for the sake of the wonderful “search reviews” function on their site. (Btw: if you are reading this Yelp, please add this function to your mobile app)! I look up a restaurant, enter “gluten” in “search reviews” and voila! You find out everything anyone has said using this term. It can be incredibly helpful, unless nothing has been said, or it has only said by a gluten-fadist. This was part of my inspirations. I assume I’m not alone in using Yelp this way and any experiential information is so helpful. We also used Yelp the other way around, of course. Enter “gluten” in “search nearby” and go from there! I still use this almost every time I eat out –anywhere!
 
I won’t rewrite all of those here. If you’re interested in specific reviews see here: My yelp list.
 
1st stop: Portland, OR: my old home did not disappoint. We stopped downtown for the Sonny Bowl Food Cartwhere we had delicious veggie bowls with brown rice, garbanzos, sliced almonds, raisins, pineapple, zucchini, carrots, red peppers, tempeh, and kale. I highly recommend this to vegetarians, vegans, gluten-freeans, and meat-eaters. Next stop Lincoln City.
 
DSC_0092
 
 
Lincoln City, OR: This destination was based on luck. Our friends were renting a house on the beach for a few days, so we stayed the night and grilled some great things. The stars of the show were mozzarella and rice stuffed peppadew peppers, stuffed portabella mushrooms, grilled pineapple, and a spicy cabbage and carrot slaw. I wish I could share these recipes with you … but I was not involved in the cooking. There were a few gluten mix-ups, but luckily everyone was cognizant and honest enough to steer me away from unintentionally glutened items. Even so, I did not go to bed hungry. The next morning brought another great discovery.
 
The delicious, probably-not-so-healthy smoothie: 
Rice or almond milk (vanilla)
Banana
Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
Peanut butter
Ice
 
Blend, drink
 
Next stop Blanco State Park:
Beautiful. This was our first night camping. We cooked a meal that we would eat many more times at many more campsites on the trip.
 
 
 
Camping veggie “stir fry” with rice, one pot, one pan, and one wooden spoon
San-J Teriyaki Sauce(Which we kept with us at all times).
1 zucchini
1 carrot
5 – 10 mushrooms
Red bell pepper
(Any combo of veggies would have worked. These were the basics that were always easy to find.)
Rice
 
Cook rice in camping pot (1:2 rice: water)
Cut veggies and sauté in pan with San-J
That’s all for now friends. Next stop California!

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A few days later, still GF (well …. almost)

Update:
Life has been in a cycle of eating out the past few days. This is due to one or more of the following: theses parts 1 and 2 (me), dissertation (fiancé), families, moving “prep,” work, doctor appointments, dentist appointments, trying not to neglect all friendships, and by being generally overwhelmed with everything. Thankfully, I have gotten several excellent suggestions from excellent friends. The first suggestion we decided to try was Uneedaburger in Fremont, Seattle.


Uneeda Burger:
Or do you?


Even though there was a huge line, the cute counter girl was super patient and helpful with me. She listed nearly all of the ingredients of the veggie burgers and the “special sauce” that they make in-house. I really wanted the grilled onions and she was cool enough to go back to the kitchen herself to instruct the guys not to grill the onions (or anything else) where gluten-ous things had once been.

I was surprised that the veggie burger, bun, and even their sauce were safe! I was, unfortunately, deceived. The veggie burger was supposedly GF because it was made from Emmer. I had no idea what this stuff was, but Uneeda-girl’s confidence and knowledge about ingredients led me to trust her every word. Emmer (Triticum dicoccon) is, apparently, a kind of wheat (also known as faro). I looked into it later still hoping to believe Uneeda-girl. I checked the Forbidden Food List and, to my dismay, Emmer is a big fat no no. I should have stuck to my guns and checked my Is That Gluten Free? App. Live and learn. Next time I’ll be even MORE annoying to the service industry and do a better job of protecting my internal organs. Sorry guys!

Nonetheless, Uneedaburger has gluten free buns. And based on how different they were from the normal buns, I believe that they are truly gluten free. This was my first experience with a gluten-free baked good. The bun was good … but different. It was a bit too dense to use both sides, so it turned into a fork and knife veggie burger minus the bottom bun. I would compare the bun to a scone. It was strange with the burger but overall; it was not nearly as bad as I was expecting a wheat impostor to be.

One thumb up for Uneedaburger for making a big effort, and for being understanding and cooperative. One big thumb down, however, for feeding me forbidden food.


Amy and Ms. Glutenfreeda
We later went to whole foods in search of some ready-made lunches to take to school/work. I had my heart set on some Amy’s meals because I have enjoyed them in the past and noticed that some of the meals were gluten free! To my dismay, even this was not so easy. Although some of their packaging screams gluten free, the fine print on the back says that the product was made in a facility that also processes items that contain –wait for it- wheat!

Amy’s has an entire section of their wepage that discusses gluten-free diets and their gluten policies and practices, but they are not Gluten Free Certified. They seem to spend a great deal of effort to maintain good manufacturing and keeping things gluten free blah blah blah ….

Do you know how much this matters? Should I not use items that have this disclaimer on the back even if they say “gluten free” in huge letters on the packaging? Do I need to be that avoidant of cross contamination? Can this be any more confusing? I’ll just have to “patiently” await the pathology and nutritionist.

So I am clearly confused about Amy. She has been aloof and enigmatic lately and our relationship has suffered. I hope that we can mend our differences some day soon.

Dear Amy: why would you spend so much time, energy, and money to ensure your products meet the FDA guidelines for being “gluten free” (<20 ppm gluten) and not get certified? I believe that you’ll increase your sales if you do. If you’re going to do something, shouldn’t you just do it all the way?

After my fight with Amy, I got upset and almost gave up. Thankfully Mr. Fiancé got me back on the horse and we found Ms. Glutenfreeda herself! I bought a few school lunch burritios to try them out. And I was pleasantly surprised! I loved these at school and I have a feeling that a beautiful friendship has begun. Glutenfreeda’s facility is in Washington state and she is a Women’s Business Enterprise!! You go girl!

Dear Glutenfreeda: You might just be my new BFF. I hope you will travel with me from Washington state to Texas!


Zucchini soup to come …
Once I have some tips and instructions from mom, I plan to make a warm zucchini, yogurt, and dill soup soon. It’s a longtime family recipe that I have always loved. It is great for summer and contains little more than those ingredients! I’ll take note of the amounts and share them with you soon.

Until then …. eat well.

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