It’s been two months since I stopped eating gluten. The change has been fairly dramatic and I’m all around healthier, happier and less likely to be doubled over in pain after a meal.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that the constant pressure in my gut is finally gone. Being free of the chronic fatigue is also a nice perk. But this means that I will forever be parted from the one great love of my life: bread!

Pizza and sandwiches have been somewhat central to my existence although the quantity in which I eat them has been relatively small since I was told not to eat wheat 10 years ago. Now, we are to say goodbye, forever. *sigh*

In addition, grocery shopping has become a nightmare. I needed chicken stock so I could attempt to do something with quinoa that didn’t make it taste gravel, but there was only one brand in the entire store that I could purchase. How is that possible? It’s boiled chicken bones and salt for crying out loud! Turns out that the cheaper brands are chock full of MSG and the organic brands often have barley in them.

Last week’s grocery trip took me to two separate markets, a major chain and a so-called “natural” food chain. I came home rather disappointed and I shelled out nearly a third more than I normally would on groceries. Not only do I have to give up what I love, I get to pay extra for it. Goody.

I am still unwilling to give up beer. Until a gluten free beer is made that tastes like a Stella Artois, I’ll be enjoying my weekends and dealing with the stomach ache.

*Note: If you have celiac’s, don’t drink beer, that’s just silly.


I for Ick

My mother came over for dinner this week and brought her dog. I decided a nice salad would go well with the unseasonably hot weather so we went to the store for ingredients and I came across these:

Gillian’s Foods gluten free croutons. I haven’t actually had croutons in a really long time so I grabbed an over-priced bag (over $5. really.) and headed back home to create my culinary masterpiece.

The croutons looked small and rather anemic. An odd smell was wafting from the bag, but I’ve grown used to gluten free food looking different at times. These were certainly not the same croutons that were on the picture.

My mother took one bite and said “I think these are rancid.”

There was no expiration date on the bag, but these croutons were definitely disgusting. I held one out for the dog since I could barely manage to ingest one crouton. She sniffed it, curled her lip unpleasantly and walked away.

So there you have it, these croutons were turned down by a poo-sniffing, crotch-licking, bug-eating dog.

Pizza Pizza

My obsession with pizza is only eclipsed by my love of beer. I have tried several gluten free pizzas, but have only found a few that don’t taste like cheese melted onto a shingle. While pursing the salad bar at the local Whole Foods I came across this:

I was skeptical because 1) It’s Gluten free, and 2) it’s free of everything else that tastes awesome like dairy and soy. But, since I’ve been fiending like a crack addict for days, I decided to try it out.

Udi’s gluten free pizza crusts are about the size of a large personal pizza, so probably a serving to a serving and a half depending on how glutinous you’re feeling. The crust didn’t crumble or crack in half when I put it on the pizza stone. I followed the directions on the package, which called for 7-10 minutes on 375. Unfortunately, the cheese needed longer to melt so I had to bake it for about 15 minutes.  The crust held up pretty well without turning into a carbon brick.

This was the result:

The crust was crispy and slightly hard to cut, but had a decent flavor and didn’t crumble or break. All in all, pretty good!

To make the pizza above:

1 Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Half a zucchini, sliced

1 shallot

1/2 clove garlic

1 tsp. olive oil

prepared gluten free pizza sauce

1/4 cup feta cheese

mozzarella (the amount is up to you)


red pepper flakes (to taste)

Caramelize the shallot and garlic in olive oil.  While it’s cooking, spread pizza sauce over the pizza crust. Add the shallot and garlic over the top. Layer mozzarella, parmesan and zucchini. Top with sprinkles of feta and red pepper flakes. Bake until cheese begins to brown (10-15 minutes) checking progress starting at 7 minutes. Pretend you can eat like everyone else and enjoy.

When I announced that finally, after 10 years of avoidance, I was going gluten free, a friend said: “Gluten free is the new black.”

And that’s exactly why I finally decided to do it!

In college, there were days I didn’t get out of bed because of the stomach pain. But gluten sensitivity wasn’t well known and the options were limited. It was simply too difficult. Plus, pizza is pretty much the most perfect food ever made so why would I give that up? (Don’t get me started on my overwhelming love of beer.)

I gave up pasta, bagels, cereal and a lot of other densely wheat products and I survived. But I was also gradually getting more sensitive and consequently developed more stomach pain. The problem was, there was practically nothing for me to actually eat. Going gluten free was pretty impossible.

It wasn’t until an overload on bread, pizza and cake one day that I realized that eating gluten just wasn’t worth it.  (and I was also introduced to the red velvet gluten free cupcakes at Sprinkles and I realized life could go on.) I’m on a mission now to find ways to cut it out of my diet and create gluten free cuisine that doesn’t taste like sawdust.

Luckily, because gluten sensitivity is on the rise there are better products out there and more restaurants are making it easy to order. And as of yet, I haven’t completely cut out beer. Apparently, life doesn’t have to suck when you’re mostly gluten free.