Diary of a Celiac

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lamb Asparagus Stir-fry from "The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking"

"The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking" by Hayley Mason and Bill Staley is quickly becoming one of my favorite cookbooks!
I began Whole 30 yesterday 7/28/2014 and will be reviewing many recipes over the next few weeks.  I will also be on the Norwegian Dawn for the last 6 days of Whole 30, so we will see how I handle that.
On to the review, last night for dinner I made Lamb Asparagus Stir-fry which is on page 110 in the above mentioned cookbook.  I made it with beef as I did not have lamb on hand.
It was a huge hit, even with my husband who does not really care for vegetables.  The recipe serves 4 and the portions are large!

I had some of the leftovers for lunch this afternoon.  Isn't is beautiful!  It was also very delicious!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Caribbean Princess

Caribbean Princess

June 21, 2014 thru June 28, 2014
Traveling with Celiac disease can be a little overwhelming.  I began this blog as a way to make it a little easier for people to understand how to best protect their health while traveling.  We frequently travel on cruise ships.  This is something we began doing long before I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. 
The cruise terminal is about 5 hours from my home, so we left the day before the cruise and we stopped in Port Saint Lucie, FL for the night.  My husband and I sometimes struggle with how to make dining out safe for me.  We argued a little about where to go to eat, and my concern about the restaurant not knowing about gluten.  We ended up eating at Lonestar Steak House in Port Saint Lucie.  They did a great job!  They understood gluten and I had an enjoyable meal.
We began our cruise on the Caribbean Princess on the 21st of June.  I am always a little nervous when we begin a trip.  I personally have nightmares about accidentally eating something that has gluten in it.  Trusting someone else to protect my health is very difficult for me.  Once we got on the cruise ship we went and talked to the dining room head waiter.  We discussed how they would handle my dietary requirements.  It makes me feel more comfortable to know that the staff understands how important not eating gluten is.  I also make sure that when we are making our cruise reservations I make a note about my dietary requirements, this makes it a little easier on the first day.  The first day I tend to select items that are normally gluten free.  I talk to the wait staff and make sure I am comfortable with how they are going to be handling my food.    At dinner time we ate in the Palm Dining Room.  I had roasted pork with vegetables.  After dinner they presented me with the menu for the following evening.  This seems to be standard practice with the cruise lines.  I have to say, our head waiter may possibly be the most attentive head waiter we have ever had on a cruise!    He gave me the menu for the following night and came back twice to talk to me about what my options were and also taking my order for the following night.  I forgot my camera in our stateroom, otherwise there would be a picture of my meal!
June 22nd we were at Princess Cay.  In my opinion, breakfast is one of the easiest meals to eat gluten free.  We went up to the buffet for breakfast.  Be sure to speak to a chef at the buffet.  He advised me which items are gluten free naturally.  It is important to be willing to advocate for yourself if you go to the buffet, as they may not understand that you can NOT have gluten.  Many people are on a gluten free diet and are not celiac.  This sometimes can create an impression that people asking about gluten free foods are not concerned about cross contamination.  I had to ask them to prepare my food from food that has not been out for other guests and explained that I could not have anything with gluten due to health problems.  That is the easiest way to make them understand.  Breakfast was great and the staff handled everything perfectly. 
We had booked a surf fishing excursion at Princess Cay.  The excursion was only a few hours long and we went very early.  I would definitely recommend this excursion!  We had a lot of fun.  Because the excursion was short, we did not have any concerns with how I was going to eat.  I had not asked anyone about what food options would be available on Princess Cay so we just went back to the cruise ship for lunch.    We went back to the buffet and again spoke to the chef who prepared my food separately from the food on the buffet line.
For Dinner we again went to the Palm Dining Room. 

These are pictures of my food!
My husband had the regular Fettuccini Alfredo the day before and like it so I figured I would try it gluten free.  I loved everything except the Fettuccini Alfredo.  I would not recommend it.  This was me making a selection that was not tasty.  It was gluten free. 
June 23rd was a day at sea.  We had breakfast at the buffet which I handled the same. . . .ask to see the chef.  We skipped lunch.  There is way to much food on a cruise ship!
 Let me say, this was an amazing dinner!  Onion Soup, Beef Tenderloin, Pavlov!  Perfect!
June 24th we arrived in St Thomas.  What a beautiful island!  We had booked a snorkeling excursion at Trunk Bay Beach St Johns.  We both liked the excursion but I would recommend bringing some gluten free snacks on this excursion.  It was about 4 and a half long and the food available was fried food.  I always bring snacks so I had a Larabar!  Upon returning to the ship we decided that we would try the grill or the pizza place to see what options were available.  I watched the food preparation at the grill and did not see that there was a real option of eating there.  I went over to the pizza place and discussed gluten free pizza with the person who was preparing the pizza.  He was willing to talk to me and explain how they prevent cross contamination when they are preparing a gluten free pizza, so I decided to have them make me a Hawaiian pizza.  He cleaned his work space, changed his gloves, he used what appeared to be parchment paper to provide an additional barrier.  I was very happy with the care he took to prepare my pizza!  We made it all the way to the plate and then his helper cut my gluten free pizza with the same pizza cutter that he was actively using to cut all the other pizza.  This was my first time on this cruise that I was disappointed with the care to maintain my food being gluten free.  I need to take the time to go talk to the person in charge of training so that this will not happen to others.  I am very careful and watch to make sure my items stay gluten free.  So if you want pizza, be sure to pay extra attention!

These are my dinner pictures!  The eggplant was an appetizer, but I absolutely love eggplant so I ordered it as a main course.  It was delicious!!!  This was one of the most amazing meals!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cobb Salad Recipe from "The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking"

Recipe Review for Cobb Salad 

from "The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking"

by Hayley Mason and Bill Staley

I made this recipe today.  I know. . . it is a salad.  
But I am not very creative with my food without a recipe to follow!
I loved it!  The recipe for salad dressing was perfect!  
The only thing was that it stated that it would serve 2 . . . . I could only eat about 1/2 of my portion.  
This is fine with me, now I have lunch for tomorrow!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Recipe Review - Lemon Brownies

Hello everyone!
I made these Lemon Brownies this morning for my Sunday School Class!  They were absolutely amazing!
Recipe for Lemon Brownies
The recipe was written by Adriana Harlan and her blog is Living Healthy with Chocolate!
I did modify them slightly.
Ingredients were as follows with my modifications in {}
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder {1 Tbsp Tapioca Flour}
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons raw honey
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted {1/4 Cup plus 2 Tsp Melted Butter}
  • ⅓ cup coconut milk, full fat {1/4 Cup Almond Milk}
  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter {3 Tbsp Coconut Butter}
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I did not make this icing recipe but i did add a lemon icing with a raspberry on the top of each piece!
Delicious!!!  They were very moist!  Not crumbly!  Loved them!
Be sure to go to Adrianas' blog for the original recipe and directions!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Gluten Free on the Norwegian Dawn

WOW!  That about sums it up!  I just returned from a 7 day cruise on the Norwegian Dawn.  I generally have to educate people about the seriousness of gluten in my food.  Not this time!  It was amazing!
The first night usually is the most difficult since you would not have had the opportunity to pre-order your dinner.

The first night we dined at Teppanyaki, the Japanese Hibachi Restaurant.  I was concerned about this restaurant because the food is prepared on the grill in front of you and everyone's food is prepared at the same time.  As soon as we boarded the room we went to Teppanyaki and advised them of my being gluten free.  I placed my order for dinner at that time.    We had made our reservations at this restaurant for 5:30 so that the grill would be clean and less chances of there being any cross contamination.  The chef came out and confirmed my selection and explained how he would prefer my food first to eliminate any cross contamination.  I did not have to tell him!  It was wonderful!  Twirling knives, food tossed in the air . . . great show, great food and no gluten!  I would liked to have had was some coconut aminos' or gluten free soy sauce, but it was tasty and safe.  I am not sure how they would avoid possibility of cross contamination after the first meal preparation.  If you decide to dine at Teppanyaki I would recommend dining at 5:30.  After dinner we went to Cagney's to pre-order my dinner for the following night.

The second night we dined at Cagney's, this is NCL's steakhouse.  Consider yourself warned. . . . do not eat lunch!  The portions are extremely large!  When I arrived I provided the head waiter with my cabin # and advised him that I had pre-ordered my dinner.  He came back a few minutes later and confirmed what I had ordered and that my meal was gluten free.  The food again was amazing and gluten free!  Just remember after dinner to go to the restaurant that you will be eating at the following day to order you meals ahead.

The third night we dined at Bamboo which is Pan Asian Cuisine.   When my husband was making our dinner reservations I told him that I did not want to eat at Bamboo.  I had serious reservations about anything being gluten free.  Asian food tends to be limited when you are gluten free, at least locally where I live.  I had gone to Bamboo after dinner at Cagney's and had pre-ordered and was surprised at the meals they stated they could prepare for me.  So with obvious skepticism I went to dinner.  Again the head waiter took my cabin # and came back and confirmed the meal I had chosen and that it was gluten free.  This is the one restaurant that I expressed concerns to the waiter.  My food arrived as did the concern that I was going to be sick later or the food was going to be bland.  Well, neither of those happened!  The food was amazing!  We were going to have to go back there on another night!  It had been a very very long time that I had dined out on Asian Cuisine that the food was delicious!  I highly recommend Bamboo if you are gluten free and miss Chinese food!

The fourth night we dined at La Cucina which is Italian.  Again I had pre-ordered my meal the night before and my waiter had confirmed my selection.  The options are a little more limited at this restaurant.  They have gluten free pasta and they do a great job preparing it.  Many restaurants where I live overcook it and it is all mushy.  The pasta at La Cucina was done perfectly.    When you initially are seated at La Cucina they will bring over a basket of bread and some dipping sauces.  Be sure to ask from gluten free bread and an extra plate of dipping sauces.  The waiter thought it odd that I wanted my own dipping sauces so I explained cross contamination to him.  I tend to take the opportunities to educate other people about the importance of not having any gluten if you have Celiac disease.  I had spaghetti and meatballs and it was very good.  My husband loves Chicken Parmigiana and I do not make it at home so this was a great opportunity for him to have a meal that he loves!  I should have asked if they could make Chicken Parmigiana gluten free but did not think of it.  Maybe the next cruise . . . . .

We dined every night at the specialty restaurants, this is a package that we purchased when we made our reservations.  It was $119 per person for the entire week.  We were able to pick the restaurants ahead of time and have private dining the entire week.  I feel the wait staff is better than at main dining.  We had no waits to be seated and the food the entire week was very good!

The other thing we did that made our trip more enjoyable was to stay in a suite.  We were in cabin # 12510.  When you stay in a suite (not a mini suite) you have Concierge and Butler service.  Our Butler (Jennifer Calixto) was advised that I was gluten free and each night we had gluten free snacks, chocolate or canapes brought to our room!  She did an amazing job, we hope to have her as our Butler the next time we sail on the Dawn!  But the biggest benefit is that you can dine at Cagney's for Breakfast and Lunch.  This made being gluten free so much easier!  I had the same wait staff each morning which made it much easier.  Again, be sure to pre-order all your meals the day before.

I hope this review helps you in your decision about sailing on the Norwegian Dawn!  Feel free to ask question and I will do my best to assist!