If there were a restaurant that served the kind of gluten-free fried chicken that graces a family's dinner table, I would surely be in some kind of alternate universe. Until that restaurant surfaces, I've figured out a way of my own to enjoy GF fried chicken.

What you'll need:
  • 1 pack of chicken wings/wingettes
  • Goya sazon
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika
  • cayenne pepper
  • 3-4 eggs
  • gluten-free flour
  • vegetable oil
What to do:
  1. Rinse the chicken, season it with the sazon.
  2. Add about half a bottle of vegetable oil into a deep pot. We're deep frying these suckers so you need to have enough vegetable oil so that you don't need to add more later, and so that the wings can be covered fully and float in oil.
  3. In one bowl, combine flour, paprika, and cayenne. In the other bowl, crack and beat the eggs. Just eyeball the ingredients here, but the problem with GF flour is that it doesn't have much flavor without the additional spices.
  4. Dip each wing into the egg, then into the flour mixture, then back into the egg, and then back into the flour mixture before you drop it into the oil.
  5. Leave enough room in the pot so that you can flip the wings around. Don't take the wings out until they are golden, brown, and crispy. It should take anywhere from 6-10 minutes for every three wings.
Serve with veggies cooked in olive oil and lemon juice...the result:

Use any leftovers for a chicken salad sandwich or a southwestern salad with crunchy tortilla strips and corn.
Good Lord, I love me some VP. Nestled in an alley between the COOP and Border Cafe in Harvard Square, Veggie Planet serves meat-free pizzas, salads, and entrees on rice. The pizzas aren't gluten-free, but your problems are easily solved by asking for whatever you want on rice instead.

If you visit VP before 5PM, you can get a double header (two entree choices on one base). I always get Mexican Bean and Caesar Salad on Coconut Rice.

The Mexican Bean is made of "smoky black bean puree, monterey jack cheese, and cherry tomato salsa," while the Caesar has "tomatoes, broccoli, olives, Parmesan, Caesar dressing, and tofu croutons." There are also big crunchy chunks of cheese in the coconut rice, which are undeniably my favorite part of the meal. The combination of both entrees on a hot bed of coconut rice just melts my stomach...I've been hooked since my first visit.

VP is usually pretty busy, especially around lunch, so it's always helpful to call ahead and place your order. It's also a small place, and after 5PM there are concerts and you can only eat in the dining room if you have tickets to the show. Other than these slight drawbacks, the staff is friendly and the restaurant uses local and organic ingredients, and also donates a percentage of its profits back to the community.

Price: $7.25 for a double header (they only take cash!)
Location: 47 Palmer Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 - (617) 661-1513
Website: http://www.veggieplanet.net/
I couldn't wait to get to Mozzarelli's this past weekend after tweeting back and forth with the joint all last week.

I LOVE the light but crunchy pizza crust (fav GF pizza crust ever), and their mozzarella is so cheesily divine. The mushrooms on my pizza were perfectly cooked. I normally like spinach, but it was a bit on the harsh side. Once I took it off, however, it left a nice hint of taste on the pizza that made me happy to keep eating.

Chef Elai said that I could take a piece of cake with me, so I chose the marble cheesecake! It was a bit on the rich side, but if you have a sweet tooth you can totally handle it. I plan on eating it over the course of a few days..trying to mitigate the fact that I've eaten pizza and Mexican food for the past three days straight.

Price: ~$12 for one GF slice, one non-GF slice, one can diet coke, one can pepsi
Location: 38 E 23rd St, NYC
Website: http://www.mozzarellis.com/
Well, I was on the road to home this weekend and visited a few of my favorite GF places while I was there.

I obviously stopped by Risotteria...each time I go I make someone else get the risotto so I can have the pizza. I'm sure everyone has noticed, but it's my personal goal to taste every gluten-free pizza that I can find.

My recent favorite at Risotteria has been the Sicilian style mozzarella, portobello, and truffle oil pizza.

The crust is sponge-like and thick, and the truffle oil brings an earthy, yet mild, taste to the pizza.

My mom had the "Saturday" risotto with shrimp, garlic, mozzarella, and hot peppers.

The risotto had the perfect consistency. It was peppery, and the shrimp were bountiful and extremely fresh. The jalapenos were overpowering at times, even for people who love spicy food, so we took them out after a few bites.

Overall, I love the risotto here much more than I love the pizza. The pizza IS really good, but perhaps I've been on pizza overload recently, as I found myself not as in love as I had been in the past.

Oh, I also had a Bard's beer, which I hadn't had in the past. I still prefer Redbridge.

Price: $44.00 for risotto, pizza (+$2 for Sicilian crust), and beer
Location: 270 Bleecker Street bt 6th and 7th, NYC
Website: http://www.risotteria.com
When I was growing up as a non-Celiac, I was personally more of a Stouffer's Mac & Cheese girl. But as I grew up, I started to appreciate the Kraft Blue Box as a way to regain the calories I lost from running during high school.

So when I was diagnosed and first tried Annie's version of blue box mac and cheese, I quickly realized that I would never be eating mac and cheese out of any form of box for the rest of my life. Yeah, I actually think it's THAT bad.

Only within the past year did I come up with, what I believe to be, the most brilliant idea EVER...

I use Annie's Homegrown teal box mac and cheese for it's noodles, and Kraft's blue box mac and cheese for it's sauce mix! THE SAUCE MIX IS GLUTEN-FREE! Just be sure to follow the cooking instructions for the sauce mix from the Kraft box and not the Amy's box.
If you are a Celiac or have any sort of gluten-intolerance or allergy..DO NOT EAT HERE...EVER!

The manager will tell you that they will be super careful and use different cutting boards/etc so that you won't get sick, the servers will tell you certain meals will be okay for you, but really, I'm not sure if anyone understands the concept of gluten-intolerance at this restaurant. In fact, no one who works there knows if there is flour or wheat in any of the salad dressings.

I have gotten sick every single time that I have tried to eat here. Do not get nachos. Do not get rice. Do not get tacos with white corn tortillas.
Do not get enchiladas (although the black bean enchilada is totally out of this universe amazing). Seriously, you will poop your entire gastrointestinal tract out of your body for over two days. Have I warned you enough?

However, DO get Cactus Bowls (ginormous margarita bowls that will make you blackout drunk), and DO get the corn tortilla chips, salsa, and guacamole. The guacamole is probably the best I've ever had, and the salsa is thick and spicy.

Location: 939 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02115
Website: http://bestmargaritas.com
In a hurry to make dinner? Al Fresco brand all natural chicken sausages are gluten/nitrate/nitrite/preservative/MSG free, quick to heat, and easy to pair with almost any side dish.

Gulden's spicy brown mustard pairs perfectly with Al Fresco's Spicy Jalapeno chicken sausages, which I love to eat with Hungry Jack original mashed potatoes or Green Giant's Simply Steam Nibblets Corn in Butter Sauce.

The Al Fresco website also provides a great list of recipes for each product you click on, in case you're interested in making a bigger and better meal with your favorite sausage flavor.

alories: 130 per link (in the Spicy Jalapeno sausage)
Price: ~$3.99-$4.99
Website: http://www.alfrescoallnatural.com/
You're hungry and don't live in a big city where you can get fancy GF items easily...you're on a budget and can't afford all of those pricey GF items...you're sick of reading ingredients and you just want to walk around the supermarket without tears in your eyes...

WELL, here's a top ten that will help you eat like a non-Celiac, keep some money in your pocket, and save you time at the grocery store (oh, and I actually walked around my local supermarket to find the easiest and most universal products possible) :
  1. Blueberries with honey or strawberries with sugar - a great snack during the day or for dessert
  2. Taco night - soft white corn tortillas (ex: Mission Tortillas), or hard corn taco shells (ex: Old El Paso), ground beef/veggies, lettuce, salsa, cheddar, and sour cream...you can use your dinner leftovers for lunch the next day
  3. Snacks in cups - I always buy Snack Pack or Jell-O pudding, Mott's Apple Sauce, or Yoplait yogurt to carry around in my bag
  4. Chex cereal - For breakfast or for a snack, Chex cereal has made almost all of their products GF (excluding wheat and multibran Chex)
  5. Think cans - Bumblebee tunafish, Bush's Baked Beans (except Bush's Best Chili Beans), Del Monte canned fruits...I love to buy and heat canned refried beans and combine them with fat free sour cream, reduced fat cheddar, and cooked veggies to put on top of tortilla chips for nachos
  6. MACAROONS - I've found that most macaroons are gluten-free and sooooo good
  7. Eggs and potatoes - omeletes, fritattas, sunny side up, fried with cheese, egg salad...baked, twice baked, mashed, diced in a salad, or sliced and fried for french fries..take advantage of the versatility of potatoes and eggs!!
  8. Rice - plain old white, basmati, or jasmine rices can be great sides or entree bases..especially for stir fry's and Hispanic or Asian foods..plus, think LEFTOVERS
  9. Smart Ones - the following are GF, and we all know that Smart Ones are relatively universal in supermarkets: Broccoli & Cheddar Potatoes, Lemon Herb Chicken Piccata, Fiesta Chicken, Santa Fe Rice & Beans, Creamy Tuscan Chicken, Grilled Chicken in Garlic Herb Sauce, Home-Style Chicken, Chicken Santa Fe
  10. Polly-O String Cheese - I may not be in elementary school anymore, but I don't care...Polly-O is totally my jam
Et cetera to consider if you can find it in your supermarket: Lundberg Rice Cakes, Lundberg Risotto (not all are GF), Smart Food popcorn, Utz brand chips/popcorn/cheese doodles (mostly everything), PICKLES, hummus, microwaveable popcorn, raisins, FritoLay products (mostly everything...incl Pork Rinds), Marzetti's Ranch Veggie Dip (eat it w/ celery or baby grape tomatoes), Green Giant Simply Steam (garden vegetable medley, corn in butter sauce, cauliflower in butter sauce), POPSICLES!
Zing! Pizza and Roti is a small, sustainable, mostly local and organic Porter Square joint with about five tables, ten-to-twelve chairs, four stools, and a really cool/laidback vibe. The staff was awesome and super friendly. A girl named Anna helped me decide between the Jon Doe regular cheese and Sundance Kid. Even though I totally understand why the GF pizza isn't sold by the slice, I still get upset when my already complicated and expensive GF life encounters another hurdle. (FYI: I've never found any restaurant that sells GF pizza by the slice, so I'm not just complaining about Zing)

From reading the website, I knew that it was going to take more time than a regular pizza to make, but when I was told it would be about thirty-five minutes...well, I was glad that I didn't have anything to do, that I didn't wait until I was starving to drive over, and that I brought a book with me. Thirty-one minutes later (yeah, I timed it), my ginormous pizza box emerged and my grumbling stomach was totally psyched for what my background research told me would be an outerbody GF experience.

I ordered a half Sundance Kid (turkey sausage, organic tomato sauce, caramelized onions, sundried tomatoes, and mozz and parm cheeses) and half Blue October (roasted butternut squash puree, fresh baby spinach, caramelized onions, with mozz and blue cheese crumbles) pie on GF crust.

he GF crust was phenomenal: soft dough, crunchy crust, no white rice aftertaste, and definitely didn't taste GF overall. I definitely think that the sausage should be spicy instead of sweet, since the caramelized onions already provide enough sweetness. I also think that there could be more parmesan cheese in the cheese mixture. The sauce is more bitter than sweet, but it counteracted the sweetness of the caramelized onions nicely. I loved the sundried tomatoes and thought they added a great touch to the pizza.

The Blue October has rave reviews all over the internet, but I have to say that I wasn't blown away...at all. Zing uses a supremely mild blue cheese that doesn't add anything to the pizza. The butternut squash puree is lovely, but a more powerful blue cheese would have made it even better. The spinach doesn't add anything to the pizza flavor, and the mozzarella simply just holds everything together. I'm really disappointed because I thought that the contrast of sweet squash with assertive blue cheese and rich caramelized onions would be a bold combination of flavors, but instead, the flavors fell flat and the squash puree on it's own wasn't enough to keep me entertained.

I'm p
robably going to get a lot of people disagreeing with me on this review, but that's the way my GF cookie crumbles. Overall, I think the Sundance Kid was much better than the Blue October, and with a few ingredient changes I think both pizzas would be as good as all of the reviews they've gotten. It's not that I disliked Zing, it's just that I prefer bold rather than mild flavors, my expectations were beyond this universe, and my experience didn't match my expectations.

I do think that everyone should go check Zing out for themselves, and I know that I'll be returning to try a half Jon Doe cheese pizza/half pepperoni pizza.

Price: $18.11 with tax
Location: 1925 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA
Website: http://zingpizza.blogspot.com/
I have a feeling that a lot of GF eaters are suspicious of deli meat, and even I only used to purchase packaged deli meats, but I think you'll be surprised that service deli meats from your local grocer are usually okay to eat.

The key is to know your deli, know your brands, and don't be afraid to ask your service person to change his or her gloves or to wipe down the slicer because of your allergy.

Some of the brands that have announced their gluten-free deli products include Sara Lee/Hillshire Farms, Boar's Head, Dietz & Watson, and Applegate Farms. I found this article that might help anyone who has more questions: Deli-Meat GF List

Anyway, here's my favorite sandwich...I eat some sort of variation of it at least three ti
mes per week (including within the last hour).

My favorite sandwich:
  • Glutino Fiber Bread, toasted (or Kinnikinnick plain bagel toasted, or half of a Glutino plain bagel toasted)
  • Sara Lee provolone cheese
  • Boar's Head Virginia ham
  • Sara Lee smoked turkey
  • Gulden's spicy brown mustard
  • A small schmear of Hellman's mayo
Price: Varies
Calories: 380-400
I hate when this happens: I had a terrible experience with Amy's tonight. I remember having the Tortilla Casserole and Black Beans bowl last summer, and I thought that I loved it at the time. Tonight's experience makes me wonder if they changed the recipe, because it was totally disgusting and I couldn't eat it.

I even had one of my non-GF friends who eats Amy's frequently try the meal to let me know if I was just being picky. She thought she tasted blue corn, and I thought I tasted salsa, neither of which were listed in the ingredient label.

Amy's...if you're out there...what the hell is going on with this meal? I actually had to drive home to get a different GF meal from the freezer tonight because I couldn't force myself to consume this disaster at my friend's house. I'm sad...I hate giving Amy's bad reviews because I think I've loved almost every GF meal I've ever eaten from them. Someone clue me in: did they change the recipe?

Price: ~$6.99-$8, Shaw's and Whole Foods
Calories: 390
I think this might be a really random product review, but I had Caesar's Stuffed Shells with Cheese in Marinara Sauce for dinner tonight. I'm not actually sure how many stores carry it, especially since Caesar's doesn't have a website, but I have to say that I didn't hate it.

The ricotta filling inside the shells was spiced well, and the texture of the shells was what I would expect from most frozen "pasta" dishes, whether gluten-free or not. Overall, I would say that I was satisfied, but not blown away.

I don't know if I'd buy it again, mostly because I think I need more than three shells to satisfy me as a dinner entree, but I'd definitely be willing to try their other gluten-free products, which include manicotti and lasagna.

Price: $3.99-$4.99 (don't have my receipt on me right now) at Whole Foods on Prospect Street in Cambridge...word is that they sell Caesar products in DC too
Calories: 370
I actually hated granola before I was diagnosed as a Celiac, but I was basically buying anything that was GF approved during my first few gluten-free months. The fatefulness of my disease combined with a trip to Whole Foods spawned my love affair with Bakery on Main.

It's pretty pricey, so I try to buy it monthly or bi-monthly and I only eat it according to the serving size on the nutrition facts. I actually have to hide it from myself sometimes because it's sooooooo good. It's also a great study snack and you can pair it with yogurt for breakfast.

My two favorite "flavors" are the Nutty Cranberry Maple Granola and the Apple Raisin Walnut.

Oh, and non gluten-free people love this granola too, and can't even tell that it's GF! My mom called me from Down to Earth in New City, NY today to tell me she was buying herself the Apple Raisin Walnut and sending me some too!

I'm also currently sitting in a library with a non GF friend right now and she is totally dominating the bag :)

Price: ~$5.99-$7 at Whole Foods, Mrs. Green's grocers, and Down to Earth
Calories: 260 for 3/4 cup
Website: You can purchase it online too! http://www.bakeryonmain.com/pages/gluten-free-granola.php
Glutino crackers are glorious little prophets of the gluten-free world. The consistency is that of a classic Ritz cracker (my personal favorite), the taste is slightly buttery, and the texture is supremely smooth.

There's a bit of a white rice flour aftertaste if you eat them on their own, but you won't really notice it unless you're looking for it. Plus, I'm a toppings kind of a girl, which is why Glutino crackers have been named the snack of the day.

There are endless topping options with this gem of a snack, but my personal favorites include:

  • Tuna salad
  • Country Crock butter
  • Philadelphia whipped chive cream cheese
  • Trader Joe's edamame hummus
  • Extra sharp cheddar cheese
Price: $4.79 at Whole Foods, please note that these are only at the Whole Foods on Prospect Street in Cambridge...I couldn't find them at the Symphony Whole Foods last week
Calories: 140 for 8 crackers
I picked up an individually wrapped Smart Treat "Chips of Everything" cookie at Whole Foods yesterday. Yeah...that was clearly a HUGE mistake. Seriously, here's a picture of the cookie upon impact with my unhappy mouth...

I don't even know how to begin to describe this cookie. How about a parable...

I fell off my bike while riding on the beach at Kiawah Island a few weeks ago, and I ate a pile of sand when my face hit the ground. I would have to say that the texture and taste of actual sand is superior to that of this cookie.

The cookie tastes like old brown sugar that hardened after being left in the pantry for a few years. It's difficult to actually determine w
hat's inside the cookie..I see what looks like a macadamia nut and raisins, but can only taste what I think might be coconut and some sort of syrup.

So, here's to hoping that none of you will spend money on the Chips of Everything cookie by Smart Treat, because the sand at Kiawah Island in South Carolina is free and definitely tastier.

Price: $2.89 at Whole Foods
Calories: 330
When I was in Charleston about a month ago, one of my sorority sisters introduced me to Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka served with lemonade. From Charleston, I headed to DC and over-indulged in this absolutely sublime concoction at almost every bar and restaurant I encountered for several days.

But once I got back to Boston, I couldn't find a bar or restaurant around that served my dear Firefly. Sure there was Sweet Carolina Sweet Tea Vodka...but it wasn't the same, and I wouldn't let myself convert out of convenience.

I meant to call the Massachusetts distributor over the past few days, as @FireflyVodka instructed me to do so on Twitter, but I kept forgetting. Fortunately, while walking down Harvard Ave today, I decided to stop into Blanchard's just in case they happened to have it...AND THEY DID!

So here it is...THE drink of summer...
1/2 cup Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka
1/2 cup lemonade
Slice of lemon for garnish
1 straw
What's for dinner? Salmon seasoned in basil and cooked in garlic, butter, and lemon juice, served with Lundberg gluten-free broccoli cheddar risotto.

What you'll need:
  • 1 piece of salmon, 4-6 oz
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1-2 teaspoons of crushed or minced garlic, depending on your taste preference
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons of crushed flake basil
  • 1 box Lundberg Cheddar Broccoli Risotto
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
What to do:
Cooking the salmon
  1. Rinse the salmon in water, season it with salt and pepper (I seasoned mine, and actually, I season all fish and meat with Goya's Adobo), sprinkle ~1 tsp lemon juice over the salmon, rub 1/2 tsp of basil into the fish
  2. Place the butter in a skillet on medium heat, when the butter has started to melt enough to spread over the skillet...add the garlic
  3. Once all of the butter has melted, sprinkle the skillet with 1/2 tsp of basil
  4. Place the salmon (skin up) in the skillet, pour 2 tsp of lemon juice over the salmon, and sprinkle 1/2 tsp basil over the skin side of the salmon
  5. Cook (skin up) side for 10 minutes, when flipping to the other side add another tsp lemon juice to the pan (the flipped fish should have a nice brown crust on it at this point)

  6. 6. 2 or 3 mins after the flip, pour another tsp of lemon juice over the top of the fish, and sprinkle another 1/2 tsp of basil over the fish, let the salmon cook for the remaining 7-8 minutes

Cooking the risotto
  1. Sauté rice with ½ tbsp olive oil in a 2-qt heavy saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add 2 cups of water and ½ cup milk, and contents of seasoning pouch, stirring well to blend seasonings.
  3. Heat to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Do not cover. Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve piping hot.

The end..

: $5.29 6oz salmon at Whole Foods, $2.00 Lundberg Broccoli Cheddar Risotto at Shaw's
Total Price: ~$8
Calories: ~300/350 for salmon with butter, lemon juice, and garlic, each 1/2 cup of risotto is 146
Total cals: 446-500 for salmon with 1/2 cup risotto
I decided to start my day off with some frozen GF waffles, and I must say that I am severely disappointed. I'm not sure who the hell is rating these suckers on the Nature's Path website...but don't be deceived by the 5 heart rating of "awesome."

First of all, they have this strange smell that I can't quite put my nose on, but can only describe as faintly floral. Secondly, the taste is reminiscent of an uncooked yet burnt drop cookie with too much sugar.

The only slightly redeeming quality about this waffle is that the texture is very similar to a "real" Eggo waffle. Other than the texture, I would rate these waffles inedible. I threw both of mine into the trash after several bites, and had I not been writing a review on them, I would've thrown them out after the first bite. Syrup couldn't even rescue these waffles.

Time to go brush my teeth, because post-waffle consumption tastes like something died inside of my mouth.

Price: $3.79 at Shaw's
Calories: 270 for 2 waffles
Sweet Jesus, my stomach and taste buds are in heaven right now!

Stone Hearth Pizza Co. is a small, gourmet, friendly pizza shop delivering local, sustainable, and organic ingredients directly to your belly from it's Porter Square location. The Neapolitan style thin crust pizzas are beyond what your little gluten-free heart could have possibly imagined.

I started off with the Meatball Poppers. Three tiny, earthy meatballs stuffed with mozzarella, onions, and a combination of spices. The sauce was spicy and tasted extremely fresh...I felt like I was licking the inside of tomatoes (which I loved!).

My only complaint was that the mozzarella didn't have much taste to it, although it did provide a nice little surprise when cutting into the meatball. The meat fell apart when you dug into it, leaving you with a nice image of the melted mozzarella and spices inside.

I ordered a half Classic, half Margherita pizza with gluten-free crust. Be aware that you can only order the gluten-free pizzas in the regular size, which made me exceed my budget beyond what I wanted to spend.

The Classic pizza is beyond cheesy...the mix of mozzarella and provolone cheeses is phenomenal. This is the closest I have ever come to tasting something even remotely similar to one of my favorite thin-crust pizza places at home in NY.

You can't even tell that the crust is gluten-free until you get to the absolute end of the crust when there isn't any sauce or cheese left, and even then, the taste is barely noticeable unless you have a fine-tuned gluten-free palate.

The Margherita pizza was also delicious, but I had the same complaint as I did with the meatballs...the mozzarella's flavor was too delicate for my liking. The basil wasn't overpowering, which I always fear with Margherita pizzas, and the sauce was outstandingly fresh.

I came home with leftovers, and I'm seriously struggling to restrain myself from eating the rest of the box right now. Time to hit the gym!

Price breakdown: Meatball poppers - $5, Diet coke - $2, Pizza - $9.50, Total - $20 with tip and tax
Location: Stone Hearth Pizza Co., 1782 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140
A fellow Bostonian Celiac created this map of gluten-free dining options in the Boston area..check it out!

Celiac Friendly Eatery Map for Boston
I've only been a Celiac for three years, and I can definitely say that I still remember what "real" bread tastes like. Bread and butter was one of my favorite snacks as a kid, so I'm particularly harsh when judging gluten-free sandwich bread.

There are three criteria that I use when determining what makes a gluten-free bread worth purchasing: taste when not toasted, taste when toasted, and overall texture.

Most gluten-free bread tastes strange if it isn't toasted, so if I can manage to eat an untoast
ed slice without gagging or spitting..well, then I think that's a pretty good sign. If it tastes strange even after being toasted, then we have a serious problem. In terms of overall texture, a lot of GF breads can taste gritty or rough, and I haven't really encountered a brand that is fluffy like "real" bread..I'm sure the fact that the bread is always frozen or refridgerated doesn't exactly help the texture.

All of that being said, I've recently been eating Kinnikinnick White Sandwich Bread. It isn't terrible untoasted with condiments. Two weeks ago I actually had it untoasted as a raspberry peanut butter sandwich, and I didn't hate it!

It's definitely tasty when toasted, and it isn't as gritty a
s most gluten-free breads that I've tasted.

I think Kinnikinnick White Sandwich Bread is the best choice if you're looking for a bread that'll make great
morning toast with simple butter or strawberry jam. It has a taste that I can only describe as pure when I think about eating white bread.

Finally, it's only 70 calories per slice, which is the least amount of calories that I have ever seen in a GF bread, AND is less calories than a lot of regular sliced white bread!

Price: $5.99 at Whole Foods (Symphony and Prospect Street locations)
Untoasted: * * *
Toasted: * * * *
Overall texture: * * * *

(all ratings are out of five possible stars)

Whether you're heading to a cookout, or hosting one yourself, you NEED to make these low-cal chili cheese dogs. These dogs are half to three-fourths the calories of regular chili cheese dogs, and they're so good that you don't even need to go searching for a GF hot dog bun.

Grill or broil the hot dogs, heat the chili on the stove, throw some hot chili and cheese on the dogs, and let the cheese melt.

What you need
  • Hebrew National 97% reduced fat hot dogs ($1.99 at Shaw's)
  • 1 can Hormel Vegetarian Chili with Beans ($1.79)
  • Shaw's Shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese ($3.29)
You can peel and cut up some potatoes and fry them in a tablespoon of oil to go along with the chili cheese dogs.

Calories: 1 hot dog, 1/4 cup cheddar, 1/4 cup chili = ~167 cals
Total price: ~$7 for 1 7 pack of hot dogs, 1 can of chili, and 1 bag of cheese

Top 10 gluten-free dishes in Boston: The numbering is based in order of what I crave most frequently, and now that I've written this...I'm craving everything. Damnit.
  1. Double Header, half Mexican Bean and half Caesar Salad on coconut rice - smoky black bean puree, monterey jack cheese, and cherry tomato salsa make up the Mexican Bean, while Caesar salad with tofu croutons sits aside, both on a bed of coconut rice ($7.25, order before 5 PM for double header, Veggie Planet)
  2. Truffled Gorgonzola french fries - french fries with gorgonzola cheese topped with truffle oil ($5, Deep Ellum)
  3. Spicy Seafood Maki - crab stick, shrimp, octopus, tobikko, cucumber, spicy mayo, and scallion ($7.50, Fugakyu)
  4. South of the Border fiesta nachos, without chili - hot nachos topped with jalapenos, scallions, tomatoes, black olives, jack and cheddar cheeses, shredded lettuce, guacamole, and sour cream, with salsa on the side ($8.99, Sunset Cantina)
  5. Shirred Eggs - baked shirred eggs with Irish bacon, cream, cheddar, and scallions, and a side of home fries. ($12.95, Sonsie)
  6. Grilled Tenderloin Salad, without fried shallots - sliced tenderloin of beef, roasted potatoes, marinated mushrooms, grilled red onions, served on field greens tossed with gorgonzola cheese and roasted red pepper tomato caper vinaigrette ($17.95, Stephanie's on Newbury)
  7. Sauteed cod - sauteed cod with apple, butternut squash, smoked bacon, sage and cider butter sauce ($26, winter menu, Rendezvous)
  8. Le Péché au Chocolat - A rich creamy white and semi-sweet chocolate truffle cake with raspberry sauce ($8, The Elephant Walk)
  9. Keema Matar - an ancient recipe of ground lamb cooked with peas and herbs ($11.95, India Samraat)
  10. Cheeseburger and fries, without the bun - at the 636 Beacon Street location, they are super nice and careful if you tell them that you have a gluten allergy (between $4.29-$8.29, Uburger)
Okay, I have a sick obsession with Green Giant Simply Steam products. They're cheap, low in calories, quick to heat, and delicious.

Even if you don't like vegetables, I can almost guarantee that you will like the Garden Vegetable Medley. It has a light, vaguely peppery sauce that gives it a kick...just make sure to carefully shake the bag after it comes out of the microwave.

If you're trying to keep your calorie count down, accompany a Simply Steam meal with a thin sliced chicken breast coated in lemon juice and minced garlic. Easy, cheap, low-cal, and tasty!

Price: Usually 3 for $6 at Shaw's with your Shaw's savings card
Calories: LOW, the entire Garden Vegetable Medley bag is 100 cals! Most of the other bags are similar in calorie range.
Why gluten-free? Why Boston?

Well, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in October 2006 during my sophomore year at Boston University.
At the time, I had an on-campus apartment with a kitchen, but I also had a meal plan and frequented the dining halls often. I didn't know what to eat, how to cook, where to shop, or what the rules were on how to maintain a gluten-free diet.

I was extremely strict with my diet, eating became a hassle, and I lost about twenty-five pounds and dropped down to 93 pounds. Since then, I've learned how to survive on a gluten-free diet on an extremely limited budget, when there aren't any stores around with gluten-free options, and when I've wanted to drop some excess weight.

So I've finally started this blog in order to share what I've learned thus far, and what I'm continuing to learn about living gluten-free in Boston.