Friday, November 12, 2010

Gluten-Free Decadence

After talking about gluten-free diets and celiac disease this week, I want to be sure no one is left with the impression that you need to feel completely deprived if you must be gluten-free (GF). Can you ever eat at a restaurant? Is every GF food expensive?
No worries, there are plenty of delicious and reasonably priced choices out there!

Primarily, I want to again encourage you to take advantage of EVERY SINGLE fruit and vegetable, all of which are completely and totally gluten-free! Have a banana smothered in ice cream and topped with whip cream for dessert- yummy! Gluten-free chocolates are a bit more challenging to find, but absolutely out there.

Dining out? Last night, I had a business dinner at a lovely French restaurant...where most dishes appeared to be topped with a white sauce (that usually has flour in it.) Yes, I had to pass up the fragrant loaves of French bread, but I simply enjoyed my glass of wine and ordered a salad by asking for lettuce, tomato and a vinagrette-no croutons- (which was delicious!) and trout grilled and topped only with butter and lemon. The waiter and chef didn't flinch a bit when I asked for these off-menu choices, and I think I was possibly the only one who left the table not stuffed to the gills! I also could have chosen the steak, and had a baked potato instead of the french-fried version. Admittedly, I passed up dessert, but could have asked for strawberries and whipped topping- but I was pleasantly full.

Craving pasta? This was challenging, but I found a spiral pasta that is a quinoa blend that I can truly say I PREFER to regular pasta. Pizza is still leaves a bit to be desired, but I have even found a delivery pizza service that has very passable GF dough for only $5 extra- well worth it for me, though I order regular dough for my family.

I have blogged earlier about some wonderful baking GF products and cookbooks, and without a doubt, you can find all sorts of GF bagels, donuts, cakes, cookies.

BOTTOM LINE: Never fear, you can consume deliciously decadent GF foods and drinks with a little thought and willingness to venture off the printed menu- ASK THE WAITER/CHEF!

PS. The chef in this picture, Michael Marchitelli, is ironically an ITALIAN chef in Crested Butte, CO- Eat at his Gourmet Noodle for some AMAZING food! I'm not promising GF pasta, but I can attest from my pre-GF days that every item on the menu is delicious, and there are definitely GF options!

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