OAKLAND, Calif., April 18, 2012 – Add Hidden Valley Salad Dressings to the growing list of foods to clearly call out that they are gluten free.
The makers of Hidden Valley Salad Dressings have added a “Gluten Free” logo to bottles and dry packets of its signature Original Ranch® dressing as well as much of its Farmhouse Originals product line. Packages with the new logo should appear on store shelves this summer.
For me, being happily gluten-free means eating many different kinds of foods—from meats to nuts—rather than just trying to replace bread products. This approach has sent me into the world of legumes, and I eat lots of beans. As a result, I’ve become more interested in the nutritional value of beans. More specifically, I began to wonder why beans are considered an “incomplete” protein.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really understood the term: incomplete protein. I know we have to “complete” the protein with other food, but what does that mean, and how are we supposed to do it?
Clearly, it was time to do some research, and here is what I learned. (more…)
When I became a gluten-sensitive newbie a year ago, I couldn’t figure out what I’d eat on a day-by-day basis.
This hadn’t been a problem when I became lactose-intolerant because so many alternatives to cow’s milk products were in the grocery stores. Nor had it been a diet problem because my program (Weight Watchers) was not restrictive in choice, just in portion size.
But gluten-sensitivity (and also a problem with oats, alas) threw me into a complete tizzy. So many of my favorite foods were out the window. What was I going to eat at breakfast? For lunch? What about when I just wanted to grab a snack? (more…)
Hopefully all of us are doing our best at these things… if we do, the weight should come off pretty easily without having to really “diet.” I’d just like to add a few more things that have helped me, and hope they can help you too :-) (more…)
On a recent visit to a museum, my husband and I stopped at its cafeteria for a snack. The choices were cookies and cupcakes, pretzels and potato chips, and assorted drinks. Clearly, the cafeteria didn’t cater to those of us who are gluten-sensitive, lactose-intolerant, and/or weight watchers.
Much against my will, I bought the only snack I could tolerate although it meant throwing my diet out the window: potato chips. And much against my dislike of being labeled a complainer, I decided to speak up. “Would you consider carrying gluten-free products?” I asked. “I can’t eat most of what (more…)
This is a quote that a lot of people are hearing these days. What happens after your doctor says these words? Here is a synopsis of my journey; if any of this sounds familiar, give it some serious thought…there may be a very simple answer.
I first heard these words while I was barely concious, in a bed at Methodist Hospital in Houston. I had become so weak and debilitated by my undiagnosed and untreated celiac disease that my life was in danger. The symptoms over twenty years included gastrointestinal problems, fibromyalgia, irritability, bone pain and more. The good news was that I finally found out what was wrong with me; the better news was finding out that the disease is completely manageable through dietary changes alone.–no medications, no surgeries, none of that stuff. Just don’t eat grains that contain the gluten protein, mainly wheat, barley and rye. That sounded really good to me.
Not so fast. While still in the hospital, I was really still very sick, and not really able to process the information. After a couple of days (in which I was already improving), it dawned on me that (more…)
Gluten is the trouble-making ingredient you’re supposed to avoid when going on a gluten free diet. But how do you avoid something if you aren’t sure what it is or where to find it? I’ll admit, this can be a challenge. It’s just not as obvious I’d like it to be, but once you learn how to spot it you’ll feel more confident about grocery shopping. Also, knowing what gluten is and how it works in food can help you understand how to cook with gluten free ingredients.
What Is This Gluten Stuff?
Gluten is the stretchy glue that helps bread, pizza crust, and other baked goods get nice puffy air pockets. It creates a flexible structure that helps each baked good hang together without necessarily being tough or chewy. When a baker knows how to properly activate the gluten protein, it will start doing its thing. The presence of gluten has influenced baking techniques for decades, even centuries. Sorry, I’m not trying to build up gluten as some kind of magical essence that turns good food into great food. It’s just one of many ingredients with useful properties out there in the world. It happens that wheat is commonly grown and used across the world, and it affects a lot of food in Western cultures.
Fruit Cake seems to be one of those things that you either love, or you hate. Personally I also find them really hard to bake and not have them dry out, so this year was a double challenge to make the perfect gluten free fruit cake without it drying out. Like most recipes it’s a personal taste on what you’d like to add, obviously if you have a nut allergy you can exclude those. If you like your cake frosted with frosting you can also do that too.
The holidays are fast upon us, and not only do we have to plan the Thanksgiving meal, but the Thanksgiving leftovers as well. Usually in my house there are lots of turkey and maybe some potatoes, the stuffing is almost always the first thing to go. But after so long, cold turkey sandwiches and turkey and gravy tend to get a bit bland. I came up with this recipe last year when all I had left after the dust has settled was turkey, enjoy! (more…)
This is a great way to start the day on a sweeter note, without the sugars found in more traditional sweet morning fare—something that works great for those following a gluten-free–and even grain-free–lifestyle. It is packed with fiber, Vitamin A, protein and healthy fat. Use sweet potatoes or winter squash that has been pre-cooked to make preparation fast and easy–there should be plenty on hand, either before or after a Thanksgiving feast! This is a dish that pleases young and old alike.
• 1 cup cooked Sweet Potatoes or Winter Squash, skins removed