April 27, 2011

Gluten Free Cooking Expo...one weekend only!

There’s been lots of commotion in gluten free blog world about the Gluten Free Cooking Expo presented by Living Without magazine this upcoming weekend. For three days in the glamorous town of Lisle, IL gluten free foodies from across the nation will gather together for a big, bad gluten free event.

Tickets are still available for this Saturday or Sunday’s cooking classes where you can attend sessions on innovative lunch ideas, baking gluten free cakes, basic gluten free cooking techniques, and several more. Ticket prices are $175 per day and include a gluten free lunch.

Class instructors include

A more affordable route is attending the vendor fair. Why? It’s only $15 to sample over 70 vendor’s products. Think of all of your favorite gluten free products, chances are the companies that make them will be there passing out goodies. Plus this year there will be a vendor fair stage with presenters! But more importantly….

I will be there! As an Udi’s Gluten Free Ambassador I will be working at the Udi’s tables passing out samples and letting you know about all of the wonderful products from Udi’s Gluten Free.

We’ll be sampling all of the favorite Udi’s gluten free products, plus the long awaited buns (!!!!!), cookies (Udi’s makes gluten free cookies? Yep!), and something so incredible I can’t wait to see how our customers react! Some people don’t even know they exist! We’ll make sure you know where to find them and I’m pretty sure they’ll leave your taste buds in a tizzy. You’ll have to stop by to see what all the fuss is about. And please say hello….I love meeting people who read my blog!  

 See you soon!!

April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, friends!

April 11, 2011

My oh my, would you look at that?

I realized I haven't been posting as frequently as I would like and I'm just bursting with news to share with everyone.  I've been super busy with work, doctor appointments, and life in general.  That's why I've been posting daily over on my Gluten Free Betsy Facebook page.  If you haven't "liked" me yet, get on over there and check it out!  I've decided that the 500th "liker" will get a big-bad Gluten Free Betsy goodie bag of a bunch of products and other fun gluten free stuff.  Tell your friends...

Here are some of the highlights of what's been going on in the gluten free world...

For all my Chicago GF peeps!  

Mity Nice is throwing a Gluten Free Wine dinner tomorrow!  Mity Nice has revamped not only the restaurant's interior, but also the menu.  They will be hosting a 4-course gluten free wine dinner with Master Sommelier Alpana Singh, you know, from Check Please!  “Gluten-free rock star” Executive Chef Larry Donahue presents a menu of your favorite modern comfort gluten-free dishes paired with select wines. Reservations for this special event are required and can be made by calling 312-335-4745 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            312-335-4745      end_of_the_skype_highlighting; the price is $55, all inclusive. For more information, please call 312.335.4745 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            312.335.4745      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit www.leye.com/restaurants/directory/mity-nice. 

University of Chicago Celiac Center Spring Benefit

It's almost time for the University of Chicago's Celiac Center's Spring Benefit. On Friday, May 6 at the Swissôtel, over 30 chefs and bakeries will be sampling their gluten free dishes to attendees.   I went last year and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  In addition to the of the wonderful gourmet food, there are silent and live auctions.  I definitely recommend purchasing tickets to support the UC Celiac Center.

Gluten Free Deals Comes to Chicago, Austin, and NYC

Have you been enjoying the Gluten Free Deals that have been happening for online companies lately?  We had Glenny's, GoPicnic, Liz Lovely, and this week is Better Batter. Now Gluten Free Deals are available for Austin, New York City, and Chicago!  Now you will be able to dine in these deal coupons in stores and restaurants around town.  Sign up for Chicago/Austin/NYC deals and start saving!

My so called vegan life.

Oh, Hippocrates, you were so on to something.  This past year I've been illin'.  Just an overall not feeling well.  Tired, achy, unable to concentrate, exhausted, you name it, I've felt it.  After several rounds of doctors' visits and lots of exciting tests later, I've been given the diagnoses of Fibromyalgia and Adrenal Fatigue.  Great. 

After a little research I read that a vegan diet can help improve, if not reverse, the symptoms of fibromyalgia.  I just want to feel well I again, so I've decided to give it a go.  I figured I'd test it out for a while and if I feel better, then I will try my hardest to stick with it.  So I gave up animal products for Lent.

Giving up meat is not a big deal for me. I often choose vegetarian options at restaurants or at home.  I've slowly been eliminating dairy too.  I've long ago switched to almond milk instead of cow's milk.  The eggs on the other hand...that's tough.  Especially in baking, which I love to do.

This experience reminds me of when I first started a gluten free diet.  I took baby steps into the world of gluten free foods.  I ate rice for every meal for months.  I still remember making it day after day, white rice (!!!  See how much I didn't know back then?) with lots of butter and salt.  Everyday, I feel a sense of worry, what am I going to eat?  Salads get boring, I don't have enough time to make a good vegan meal, what can I grab really quick?, where can I eat out?  Those are the struggles I am facing, but I'm slowly overcoming them.

Making choices is becoming a little bit easier and I've experimented with things like egg replacer, coconut oil, and dairy free cheese.  The results?  Pretty tasty.  Here are some of my favorite vegan products I've been using so far:
 One of the first vegan recipes I made was a chickpea salad.  Similar to tuna, chicken, or egg salad, it's a great stand in for sandwiches, wraps, or just plain.  It goes a little something like this...

Chickpea Salad à la Betsy

1 can of Chickpeas, rinsed
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 roasted red peppers
½ green pepper
1 finely chopped scallion (green onion)
a drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, grind up the carrots, green pepper and onion.  Once well combined add the chickpeas and roasted red pepper and continue to grind until you get a chunky, soft mixture.  Drizzle a little olive oil and mix with a spoon.  Add salt and pepper if needed and serve however you like. 

My favorite way to eat this is, as mentioned above, with a Food for Life brown rice tortilla.  Warmed up in a skillet with a little Daiya mozzarella cheese, like a quesadilla.  Fill the tortilla with chickpea salad, top with fresh spinach and enjoy!

Yummy Chickpea Salad and Spinach Wrap!