Italian Bread…and how I miss Al Vento

Out last night with friends, one of them asked if any of us knew of Al Vento.  (I’m a little nervous to go there now – I imagine it’s impossible to control all the flour flying around, saturating the air.)  To my friends, I waxed rhapsodic about their southern Italian (free) bread.  The texture is nothing short of amazing – squishy, dense, and not many holes.  Surely that could be replicated gluten-free, right?    Then The WHOLE Gang’s blog post today convinced me it might, with David Rocco‘s La Cecina Chickpea Bread recipe!

Now, I’m way too lazy to be making bread myself (I ought to buy stock in Udi’s), but maybe I can convince my mom to give it a try…

Fair Food!

This will be my fourth year attending the Minnesota Great Get-Together, but my first year GF.  You see, the fair was stuff of legend back in my home state…many marveled at the deep-fried Snickers bar.  I only needed to consume it once.  This weekend, I have a bff coming up for the fair, so I’ll get to live vicariously through her.

However, thanks to The Savvy Celiac, the Northand Celiacs, and Rebecca’s Gluten Free Blog, I have plenty of suggestions!  (I’m also a huge dork, so I’ve been photoshopping a map – I’ll share if I finish in time to be of any help.)

Also, Star-Tribune restaurant critic and food blogger Rick Nelson has an article about the Peaches & Creme at the Salty Tart – it sounds as if it is nothing less than amazing, and it is definitely on my list!

I’m looking forward to eating fries again.  This is what is so confusing to my friends & family once they’ve figured out that potatoes are usually gluten free!  Ah, the joys of cross-contamination.

Pancakes without heating up the griddle

My bf and I used to have a Sunday-morning ritual: breakfast at a greasy spoon.  When we were first dating, we’d do cheap breakfast at a diner two blocks away.  If we were feeling fancy, we’d head to Key’s.  If celebrating a milestone, we’d head to Meritage.  Regardless of location, my breakfast selection was carb-focused: pancakes or french toast.  Even if I was an omlette kind of girl, the cross-contamination risks in all but Meritage aren’t worth it.

But…I found out somewhere that Seward Cafe has gluten-free pancakes!  The experience, however, fell a bit short.  My two cakes pretty much fell apart as I spread the meager amount of butter on the top one.  By the crumbling, there was no way I would be able to pick up the top to butter the bottom.  It was sad enough that I’ll consider making them myself – of which this lazy celiac is not fond.

New(ish) GF Restaurant: Rice Paper

When moving to their new location in Edina, they’ll be adding a gluten-free menu.  Granted, Vietnamese is not that difficult to get wrong, but a dedicated menu tells me they understand the issue.  Rice Paper will also have an afternoon tea – if that has gluten-free options…well, it’s a good thing it won’t be right in my neighborhood!

Rice Paper
952 288.2888

Hours (starting in September):
Monday-Saturday, lunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; tea, 2-4 p.m.; dinner, 4-9 p.m.
Sunday dinner, 4-8 p.m.

My story

I’ve been educating myself on HAES for quite some time, but still knew that my body was not craving healthy foods.  Then celiac came into the picture.  A-ha!  This is why I’m constantly hungry…my intestine isn’t actually absorbing anything!

In my last year of college (ugh…over a decade ago), I thought I had an ulcer – kept cutting out different foods from my diet until I was down to reduced-sodium saltines.  And those were still running straight through me.  Hindsight being what it is, this should have been a flashing strobe light to test for celiac disease (I’m pretty sure the off-brand crackers were full of gluten).  Instead I had a hydrogen breath test, endoscopy and colonoscopy.  All of which came up with nothing, so yay, I was diagnosed with IBS.

It probably would have went on forever, until I moved to Minnesota and the new doctor told me “a diagnosis of IBS makes me a little uncomfortable.  Do you think you’re sensitive to wheat?”  Without knowing anything about going gluten-free, I stopped eating bread for a couple of weeks without any difference.  And that was that.

After getting the swine flu in the fall of 2009, my, ahem, side-effects of gluten intolerance were worse.  Like, misjudging-a-fart worse.  So I started reading (and reading and reading and reading) and got some tests, and this fun new adventure begins.

The whole problem is this: I’m lazy.  And I hate cooking.  It seems that cooking is critical to going gluten-free.  Thus this blog.  If I’m going to be eating a lot of gluten-free convenience foods, I’m going to need to keep track of which ones don’t taste like sawdust sprinkled with splenda.

%d bloggers like this: