Friday, August 29, 2008

What to Eat Gluten-Free at The Black-Eyed Pea

The Black-Eyed Pea is a home-cookin' kind of establishment with restaurants in Colorado and Texas. They also have a full bar. The usual admonitions about beer apply. Locations here.

They have several options for us celiacs. If you like your GF food hearty, try the Black-Eyed Pea.

Soups & Salad
Classic Caesar Salad without the dressing
Signature House Salad with Grilled Chicken not fried and Red Wine Vinegar & Oil dressing

Vegetable Garden
Black-eyed Peas
Sweet Kernel Corn
Tender Green Beans
Steamed Broccoli

Home Style Favorites
Slow-Roasted Half Chicken
Roasted Turkey Breast Dinner without cornbread dressing and turkey gravy

From the Grill
Top Sirloin Steak without onion rings
Charbroiled Chopped Steak without seasoned rice and gravy
Grilled Chicken breasts without seasoned rice
Ranch Style Pork Chops

Colorado Combos
Grilled Chicken Breast
Grilled Atlantic salmon without seasoned rice

Grilled Atlantic salmon without seasoned rice
Grilled Cajun Catfish without seasoned rice
Baked Cod without seasoned rice

While they don't list it on the GF info, I'll bet a basic baked potato is also a safe choice.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Celiac Maniac's Very Easy Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

This was one of the first recipes that my grandmother sent me when I found out that I couldn't eat flour anymore. It's so easy, and it uses no funny flours or specialized ingredients. Plus, the cookies taste really good!

These cookies are also casein-free (CF), corn-free, potato-free, etc., and even grain-free, but not low-carb nor low-fat. They contain peanuts, mais oui.

  • 1 Cup peanut butter (I use Creamy Jif)
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon GF vanilla (Many pure vanillas are GF. Many artificial ones are not.)

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Spray a measuring cup with GF cooking spray (most are GF, except for the "baking" ones that have flour in them.) Measure the peanut butter in this cup.

Microwave the peanut butter on the "defrost" setting until it is warm but not hot.

Stir in the egg, then the sugar and vanilla. A whisk works well.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls (about 1 Tablespoon-size) onto a cookie sheet. Press a criss-cross pattern on top with a wet fork. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffed and beginning to brown at the edges.

Immediately and carefully remove the cookies from the baking sheet and cool on paper towels. The cookies will be soft and delicate while hot, but they firm into crisp cookies as they cool.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

GF Cookbook Review: You Won't Believe It's Gluten-Free by Robin Ryberg

I am hesitant to give a low review to anyone's GF cookbook, if for no other reason than there just aren't enough GF cookbooks out there and any cookbook is a good addition to the GF lexicon.

However, I recently perused a copy of You Won't Believe It's Gluten-Free by Robin Ryberg. There are some problems with it.

There are no major errors or dangerous problems with Ryberg's cookbook. Several years ago, one "GF" cookbook that I bought included recipes with spelt, an ancestral wheat, which is absolutely verboten to us celiacs. Ryberg's book is safe, as far as I read. I admit that I didn't extensively delve into the book, but she seems knowledgeable.

However, there are some problems.

First, in many recipes, the author/chef uses one or two, maximum, of our funny flours. It's like she's knocked us back to those terrible old pre-Hagman monoflour days of crumbly breads and hard-baked paste. This is the largest shortcoming of the book. Most of the recipes look like they'll be bland and crumbly.

Next, the cover states that it has 500 recipes in it. Well, sort of. For many recipes, probably most, the author remakes the recipe four times with four different flours, and most recipes utilize just one flour.

For example, a biscuit recipe might have a "rice-based" biscuit, made from just rice flour, a "corn-based" biscuit, made from just cornstarch, a "potato-based" biscuit, made with just potato starch, and one biscuit recipe from one other starch.

That's four recipes down, only 496 to go!

Last, most of the recipes are quite nutrition-free. Granted, I'm a bit of a health nut. Before my diagnosis, I ate 15 grain bread. Once, I found 18-grain bread and was in multi-grain Heaven. The bread that I make is whole-grain and has lots of fiber and protein.

Most of Ryberg's recipes make Wonder Bread look like a loofah sponge. They are based on starches like cornstarch or potato starch instead of whole grains or legume flours. If I ate the stuff in this book, I would never poop again.

I'm sure that Ryberg worked hard in writing this book, and I'm sure that she was meticulous in testing the recipes. This is not a personal attack on her. Indeed, if you are allergic to several grains or other funny flours, this might be a good book for you, due to its alternate versions of each recipe.

Unfortunately, if you're planning to buy a new GF cookbook, skip this one.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Celiac Maniac's Mighty Fine GF Muffins

I added a picture to my GF muffin recipe. Be kind. I'm just beginning to learn food photography.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

What to Eat Gluten-Free at Outback Steakhouse

TK Kenyon, the Celiac Maniac, is pleased to tell you that the ubiquitous Outback Steakhouse has a gluten-free menu, and they're good about training their waitstaff and chefs about cross-contamination. I've always had attentive, reliable service, there.

When you go in, ask for the neatly printed gluten-free menu. The only caveat is that you may want to ask for a regular menu, too, as the GF menu does not have prices on it.

Many of Outback's menu items are GF or can be slightly modified to be GF. (I hate it when "GF menus" are basically a list of meats and a baked potato and an admonition to avoid any sauces, seasonings, or anything that might make it taste good.)

Good news: many of the salad dressings are GF, as are the Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and the BBQ sauce.

Bad news: The Bloomin' Onion cannot be made GF.

Outback even offers three desserts, though the "Cinnamon Apple Sundae" turns out to be vanilla ice cream with pecans and caramel sauce, after you remove the gluten-containing items. The "Chocolate Thunder from Down Under" is GF through and through. Just order it and slide into an Aussie chocolate coma.

Menu Main Page: (Click GF PDF on the left side.)

PDF of GF Menu:

Find an Outback near you:

Don't forget that they have curb-side take-away and online ordering:


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Finding Gluten-Free Restaurants, Grocery Stores, etc., While Traveling

Though the Gluten Intolerance Group has a very nice website, the Gluten-Free Registry at has a much more extensive listing of restaurants, plus it's searchable by city and state, as well as by zip code.

Gluten-Free Registry also lists grocery stores with GF sections, caterers, and bakeries. Woo-hoo!

They also have a mini-site for mobile phone reference:

You can even download GPS info directly onto your GPS system:

Now that's a FANTASTIC resource.