Who likes Thai or Chinese food? I know I do, but I've found myself having less of it lately. Yet, another one of the difficulties in the gluten free world is navigating the Asian food market. With soy sauce a main ingredient in a lot of their cooking, it's a gluten nightmare.
I remember the first time I tried to order Chinese take out after being diagnosed. I called up my favorite place and tried to ask if the egg drop soup was made with corn starch or flour. "Corn, yes, yes." Perfect, I thought. I'd done everything right, asked what I thought were the right questions. So I settled back to wait for my food to arrive. However, when opening the bag later, I pulled out my supposed "gluten free" egg drop soup to find actual corn on the bottom of the container. I guess the language barrier had gotten in the way...
Big Bowl has come to save the day! Big Bowl has a knowledgeable staff and a full menu of gluten free options. They even have gluten free beer! The best part is you have such an array of choices you don't feel like you're sacrificing at all. I had a delicious lemon chicken pad thai. Not only was the food tasty, it was a great relief to finally not have to worry about a slip up or misunderstanding. So if you're in the area and craving some Asian food, make sure you check out Big Bowl!
So Thanksgiving gluten free can be a bit depressing. Stuffing had always been my favorite part of the meal :( P.S. If anyone has a great gluten free stuffing recipe to share, I'd love to hear it. One of the major things I found was that the holidays can easily fall under one of the following imperfect categories. You're either now stuck hosting everything because you want to have control over what you can eat, or you have others host, but they may not be knowledgeable about what you can eat and you're left with little on your plate.
I remember one of my first family events after I was diagnosed. It was for my cousin's graduation party. Although my aunt really tried, the meal consisted of cous cous, a gravied chicken dish, chicken parmesan, a noodle salad, a regular salad, bread etc. You can see where I'm going with this. My aunt had known I couldn't have the chicken parm, but she didn't know the gravy had flour in it, or that the cous cous also contained gluten. She felt horrible that I had barely anything to eat.
The major thing I learned from this occasion is that if you're going to be going to another person's house for an event and you don't want to be left standing with an empty plate, you need to step up and educate the host. Even if it makes you feel a little uncomfortable. By doing this you can spare both yourself and the host from an even more uncomfortable situation. Offer to bring a dish yourself, that way you'll know that at least one dish will be prepared in a way you can eat. I usually bring a dessert, because most hosts are more comfortable making adjustments where needed while cooking, but are not comfortable with the more tedious baking adjustments. On my recipe page you'll see two desserts I recently brought for Thanksgiving. So before suffering through the marathon of holiday parties with your stomach growling this December, try being your own advocate and find yourself some good tupper-ware for transporting. Good luck!
For the last five years it has become a tradition for my girlfriends and me to get together at the Melting Pot for its' Ladies or Teacher Appreciation nights. The deals are great, the food is great and it's the perfect leisurely atmosphere for my girlfriends and me to catch up and enjoy each others' company. When I was diagnosed with my gluten intolerance I was afraid this tradition was going to have to end. However, last night I happily discovered that Melting Pot was more than capable of taking care of my gluten free needs. Not only do they have a gluten free menu available, they have trained each staff member to be fully knowledgeable of the ingredients and able to make the adjustments needed for me to feel comfortable eating everything presented. We were given a gluten free bowl for the night where they made my cheese with cornstarch and a gluten free lager. My salad was made without croutons and with gluten free dressing. For the meat course my plate was made with extra shrimp, chicken and regular beef to make up for the lack of teriyaki steak and tortellini pockets. And all the chocolate options except for two were gluten free. Overall, it was a delightful night and I feel fully comfortable recommending the Melting Pot to anyone with a gluten allergy. Check out my giveaway page for a chance to win a Melting Pot gift certificate!