Hail to the Kale — How to Make Kale Chips

Posted on November 17th, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Babies & Kids, Food Ideas, Healthy Living, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 3 Comments - Add Your Own »

Tonight my girls chowed down a plate of kale and fought over the last bite, which I then had to split in half. No, I’m not magic! The kale tasted good. Take it from my 4 year old who looked at it and said “Yuck” and then tasted it and said “Yum!” It feels good to watch your kids eat such a powerhouse veggie, packed with vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin B6, and magnesium! Plus, it’s in season now (winter).

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I was first introduced to the idea of kale chips by Michelle of What’s Cooking With Kids many months ago when she shared with me her simple recipe as we walked through the Marin farmer’s market. Combining her instructions, a few tips from Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, and my own advice, I am sharing how I made the kale chips that my daughters loved so much.

KALE CHIPS

Ingredients:

  • One bunch of organic kale (try to get Lacinato kale, otherwise known as Dinosaur or Tuscan kale — the hearty leaves are dark blue-green) UPDATE: I’ve decided I like regular old green kale better for chips and it is easy to break the leaves off the stem.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt (I prefer fine grain sea salt for these chips)

Directions:

  1. Wash the kale leaves and spin dry in a salad spinner, or dry with a towel or paper towels. CONTINUE READING »

Make any cookie festive!

Posted on October 30th, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Food Ideas, Holidays/Special Events, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

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Okay, if you are like me, you don’t always (never?) have time to make roll out sugar cookies, cut them into shapes and decorate. Though they are fun, they really are time-consuming. And I still haven’t experimented enough to find a reliable gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free roll out sugar cookie recipe.

What I have been doing lately is make whatever cookie is good (in this case it was oatmeal cookies) and pipe decorations onto them. The kids love them! If you don’t own a piping set, you really must get one. It’s so easy and fun to make your treats look fancy!

Don’t miss the 2010 Halloween Candy lists:


Happy Birthday to my girls and Aloha! gluten-free cakes

Posted on August 31st, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Dairy Allergy, Egg Allergy, Food Ideas, Gluten Intolerance, Holidays/Special Events | Read 5 Comments - Add Your Own »

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This year’s double birthday party featured a Hawaiian theme. We went to Hawaii on vacation this summer and my girls fell in love with a hula dancer we saw. (I also encouraged the Hawaii idea so I could re-use the fish decorations I have used the last two years! I am running out of themes featuring the ocean.)

Once again, my mom made the cakes with Pamela’s chocolate cake mixes, and they were gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. I have already frozen the leftovers for any future cake needs that arise — I will keep the frosting as is or scrape it off and refrost as necessary!

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We had 12 little girls and invited the parents to stay for food and Mai Tais made with my husband’s grandfather’s secret Mai Tai recipe from Hawaii. You only needed one!
The gluten-free dinner menu included:

  • Quinoa tabouleh salad with cucumber, tomatoes, green onions, mint, parsley, lemon juice, feta cheese
  • Black bean salad with corn, jicama, red pepper, and cucumber, tossed in a vinaigrette
  • Oven roasted baby gold potatoes
  • Barbecued Aidell’s chicken apple and cajun style andouille sausages
  • Freshly cut pineapple

The party was a success, complete with tiki mask pinata, treasure hunt and a spontaneous dance party at the end. It is hilarious to hear 6 and 4 year olds singing, “All the single ladies!” They are growing up too fast!

Past birthday posts:
Happy Birthday to my girls and wow! gluten-free mermaid cakes! 2009
Happy Birthday to my girls 2008


Gluten-Free Allergen-Free Vacation Tips

Posted on July 28th, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Food Ideas, Saving Money/Sales, Tips, Travel | Read 12 Comments - Add Your Own »

airplane1I just got back from a family vacation and though the summer is already half over, I thought someone out there may still benefit from some travel tips for traveling with gluten intolerance or with food allergies…

When planning a vacation, rather than start with what to pack?, start with what’s my destination? Where you are going will determine how you are getting there and finally, what you need to bring.

THE DESTINATION

kitchen?

Where are you staying? Is it a tent, condo, hotel room, someone’s house? Ideally it would be somewhere with a kitchen. There are hotels that offer kitchens, so if you are really worried about the food that you will be able to eat, you might seek out this type of hotel (Marriott Residence Inns are one example, but there are others, and even some upscale hotels offer kitchens). Timeshares and condos have kitchens, but if this is not an option, there are some small adjustments you can make to turn any hotel room into a pseudo-kitchen.

If staying in a hotel room, the first thing to do is call and see if there is a refrigerator in the room. Most hotel rooms are equipped with a mini-frig or mini-bar. If there is not one in the room, request one. Explain your situation and perhaps they will be able to put one in the room for you. Also, ask if they have a microwave and/or toaster that you can use in the room. We did this on the last trip and were told that they do not have them in the rooms, but the woman on the phone suggested we buy a microwave or toaster when we got there. My mother-in-law had a better idea: she bought a small cheap toaster and packed it in her suitcase. (It was so inexpensive, we didn’t even bother to pack it back home.) That toaster and a small frig made it possible for us to have a bit of breakfast every morning (we saved a lot of money too!) — more on that later.

driving

If you are driving to your destination, you can bring more items in your car, like a microwave, or a thermo-electric cooler. This is a cooler that plugs into an outlet to stay cool (car adapters also available). No wasted space on ice! This makes a good frig in a hotel room, or helps keep your safe food away from everyone else’s at a friend’s weekend house (no worries about someone’s knife in your butter!)

shopping

What kind of grocery stores are at or near your destination? Do a search ahead of time to see if your shopping can be done there, rather than bringing everything with you. If there are special items you need, call the store ahead of time to see if they carry them. Perhaps they can even pack you a bag and hold it for you. If you plan to do your shopping there, plan the time you will go and make it a priority. If you don’t, it will be harder to find time during the vacation.

care package

No grocery stores where you are going? Don’t feel like lugging it all? How about mailing some food to yourself? Think of it as a care package! You will be so happy to find all your safe foods waiting for you! With airlines charging for bags these days, it might even be more economical to do it this way. You just need to plan ahead! If traveling abroad, be careful of customs restrictions.

dining out

If you are going to be dining out, try reading blogs (like this one!) that are located in the area to which you are traveling. Often they will discuss restaurants, bakeries or stores where they have found a safe meal. Online support groups or local support groups can also be good resources. Support organizations in other countries can be helpful also. Gluten Free Passport has a list of global celiac organizations.

If traveling to a foreign country, don’t forget your dining cards translated into another language. Check out Triumph Dining Cards or SelectWisely Food and Travel translation cards. Food Allergy Buddy provides free cards you print yourself and CeliacTravel.com also provides free translation cards and an iPhone application. More applications are available and coming out for smartphones — do a search for your particular smartphone.

GETTING THERE

byof

Once you have determined your destination, how are you getting there? The number one rule for travel is BYOF — Bring Your Own Food. You just can’t go wrong with this option. For every plane trip, I get up early and make sandwiches on gluten-free bread. I pack them in a soft little cooler with an ice pack. I also bring lots of dry snacks like chips, crackers, dried fruit, beef jerky, cereal, bars — these will also last if needed during the vacation or to save for the plane trip home. I bring a small box of rice milk for my little one (airlines allow passengers to bring milk for children — just let the security guards know). I also bring a few lollipops (either Yummy Earth or Dum-Dums for any child-bribing that needs to be done!)

airports

Airports can be a challenge, so think ahead! If you want or need to eat a meal there, you can actually look up which restaurants are located in each airport, and even which terminal. Just do a search on “Airport Name dining.” For example, San Francisco Airport Dining. Knowing the restaurants ahead of time can help find a quick safe meal, or at least let you know that you need to bring something of your own. You can always buy chips, nuts and dried fruit at the news stores (if that works for your allergy).

airplanes

As airlines cut costs, it is unlikely that you are even having a “meal” on an airplane, unless you are in first class or are flying international. If you are having a meal, you can try requesting a gluten-free meal ahead of time, but there will be no guarantees that they will get it right! Some airlines are offering boxes of snack pack items as meals. On the way home from our last trip, we were short on food so my husband bought all three snack boxes, took out the gluten-free items in each and made his own assorted gluten-free snack box. Wasteful, yes. But he didn’t go hungry!

automobiles

Going on a road trip? BYOF of course, and pack it in your cooler. If you need to make pit stops, research roadside restaurants ahead of time. Keep my page of fast food restaurant information and links handy. And don’t forget that you can probably find a grocery store along the way.

WHAT TO PACK

Once you have figured out your destination and how you are getting there, you can decide what is necessary to bring with you.

As I mentioned before, on our vacation we were able to have a simple breakfast every morning with just the toaster we brought and the mini-frig in the hotel room. We either had a piece of toast or a bowl of cereal, and complemented it with fresh fruit or yogurt. Here is what I packed:

  • fresh bread, that I made before we left. I use Pamela’s Bread Mix to make a loaf, I put it in a large plastic bag, and pack it in a children’s shoe box in a suitcase. The shoe box is the perfect size and prevents the bread from getting smashed. (Grab one the next time you are at Target — they always have empty ones lying around.)
  • another loaf of frozen or refrigerated bread, like Udi’s or Food for Life. I left it in the freezer until the morning we left and then stuck it in the suitcase. Because it was frozen, it didn’t get smashed.
  • new jars of Sunbutter and Jelly. I packed these in a padded wine bottle carrier — it worked perfectly!
  • 2 unopened boxes of gluten-free cereal
  • paper plates and bowls, and plastic spoons and knives. I should have packed a real knife for cutting the fresh bread.
  • rice milk (if you can drink regular milk, you can easily find it nearby, or ask room service)
  • coconut yogurt and dairy-free butter, packed in a cooler with ice pack
  • Redbridge gluten-free beer — okay, that wasn’t for breakfast, but very refreshing later in the day! Pack carefully. We have never had problems bringing beer in our suitcase, even to Mexico (but they sure thought we were crazy!)

Even if you want to go out for breakfast and get eggs and bacon some mornings, it’s nice to have the option of something simple. We liked that we didn’t have to go out for breakfast. These things work as a snack later in the day too, especially for kids.

Enjoy the rest of the summer and happy travels!


Make a gluten-free Valentine pizza!

Posted on February 2nd, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Celiac Disease, Dairy Allergy, Food Ideas, Holidays/Special Events, Recipes & Cooking Tips, Wheat Allergy | Read 3 Comments - Add Your Own »

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Valentine’s Day is about love. And who doesn’t LOVE pizza? Better yet, gluten-free pizza?

Decorating cookies is fun, but decorating a heart-shaped pizza is another great activity to do with kids. Bonus: you have dinner made!

To make heart-shaped gluten-free pizzas, I make the pizza dough using the Chewy Pizza Crust recipe on the bag of  Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix. I add some salt to the dough while mixing because it cuts the sweetness a bit which I like better for a pizza crust. This pizza is also dairy-free, soy-free and egg-free!

You can do the following for any pizza dough recipe:

  1. Grease baking sheets or pizza pans or heat a pizza stone.
  2. Divide the dough into as many pizzas as you want. You can make the pizzas as thick or thin as you want, or as big or little.
  3. Pour some olive oil on a little plate and press your palm into it.
  4. Use only your palm to spread the dough. Don’t get your fingers in the dough because they will get sticky! If you get dough stuck on your hands, wipe it off and start again with a clean palm in the olive oil. Kids can try spreading the dough themselves!
  5. Shape the dough into a heart and let rise as directed. After dough rises, reshape the heart if needed.
  6. Partially bake as directed.
  7. Put out different toppings and let the kids decorate their pizza. Sliced olives and salami (not spicy like pepperoni) are a favorite. We make some without cheese since my kids don’t eat dairy. You could go for an all red pizza — sauce, tomatoes, red peppers, pepperoni.
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  9. Bake as directed. The longer you bake, the crunchier it will get. Also, judge the baking time based on how thick or thin you made the dough.
  10. Say “I love you” and/or “I love pizza” as you bite into your delicious  gluten-free Valentine pizza!

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Roasted Cauliflower Soup Recipe with Gluten-Free Croutons

Posted on January 18th, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Food Ideas, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 5 Comments - Add Your Own »

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I love roasted vegetables. Pretty much any vegetable tastes great when roasted in the oven, so when thinking about something to contribute to this month’s Gluten-Free Progressive Dinner Party, I thought I’d try turning some yummy roasted winter veggies into a soup.

Cauliflower is one of the cruciferous vegetables, along with broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale and others, that is known for cancer-fighting properties. Cauliflower is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, and folate, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, manganese and omega-3 fatty acids. (For more nutritional information about cauliflower, including its cancer-reducing ability, visit The World’s Healthiest Foods.)

Cauliflower is a winter vegetable, which means it is as its best during the winter months. Look for a cauliflower that is white with no spots on it and stay away from bags of pre-cut cauliflower! Cauliflower is low in fat and a great soup ingredient in place of the starchy potato.

The bottom line is… it’s good for you! And I think you’ll like the taste too…

Use the soup recipe below as is, or add in any of your own favorite spices (cumin, curry, cayenne) or garnishes (a swirl of creme fraiche, chopped fresh parsley).

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Gluten-Free Croutons

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into chunks (green stem and leaves discarded)
  • 3 carrots, cut into chunks (peeled or not — doesn’t matter!)
  • 1 medium to large red onion, cut into chunks (definitely peel this one!)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, or more if you like a thinner soup (see which chicken broth is gluten-free)
  • 2-3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, or other vinegar, or lemon juice
  • gluten-free croutons, or 3 slices of any gluten-free bread

DIRECTIONS

  1. roastingveggiesThrow chunks of cauliflower, carrots and onion in a roasting pan or on a cookie sheet with sides.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over all of the veggies and sprinkle with a little salt. (I use a salt grinder and do a quick grind over everything. Less is better, because you can always add salt to the soup later.) Mix the veggies around a little to evenly distribute the olive oil and salt.
  3. Cook veggies in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.
  4. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a pot on the stove and add the broth.
  5. Bring pot to a boil, then simmer 15 minutes. Carrots should be soft when pierced with a fork — if not, simmer until they are.
  6. Puree* the vegetables and broth to desired texture. Add more broth if a thinner consistency is desired.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings. Does it need more salt? Add pepper and other spices as you wish, or leave it with just salt. Add in the vinegar or lemon juice to give it a little extra flavor.
  8. Garnish with croutons**, chopped herbs, a swirl of creme fraiche — whatever you like!

*To puree soup:
I prefer to use an immersion hand blender. Frankly, I probably wouldn’t even make soup if I didn’t own one of these! You stick it into the pot, push the button and it magically turns anything into soup. (I also use it to foam milk for cafe au laits in the morning!)
If you don’t have one, let the contents of the pot cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a blender or food processor and puree in batches. Be careful you don’t splatter yourself with hot soup! Transfer the pureed soup back into the pot.

**To make gluten-free croutons:
This is so easy, but sometimes I forget that croutons are a nice addition to a soup or salad. To make croutons, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then,

  1. Cut the slices of gluten-free bread into cubes.
  2. Coat with olive oil.
    You can do this many ways:
  • lay bread cubes on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and toss them around
  • use a pastry brush and brush the oil on while they are in the pan
  • spray the cubes with oil
  • put cubes in a bowl and toss with olive oil
  1. Season with salt and pepper. Other seasoning options are garlic salt, fresh or dried herbs such as basil, rosemary or thyme.
  2. Bake in oven on a baking pan until crunchy, about 10-15 minutes. Toss the croutons with a spatula part way through for even browning.
  3. Or you could totally cheat, like I did in the picture, and just toast the cubes in your toaster oven! As long as they’re crunchy, they qualify as croutons in my opinion!

This recipe is the first stop of the Gluten Free “Light Winter Warmers” Progressive Dinner Party!

gluten-free-progessive-dinner-partyEach day this week you’ll find new gluten free dishes being “served” by other bloggers. This month’s offerings will warm you up during these winter months. On the lighter side, these should work with your New Year’s resolutions! Follow the schedule as you would a map through a neighborhood. Stop by, leave a comment, pass on the information to your friends and have a wonderful time!

Here is the schedule (I will fill in with links to the posts each day so please check back):

Monday January 18th:
Me at Sure Foods Living
“Creamy” Potato Leek Soup from Karen at Cook4Seasons

Tuesday January 19th:
Winter Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Soup w/ Prosciutto topping from Diane at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.

Wednesday January 20th:
Mexican Seafood Soup from Diane at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang
Vegan Un-Chicken Roasted Vegetable Soup from SeaMaiden at Book of Yum

Thursday January 21st:
Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash & Swiss Chard from Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
Wassail (hot spiced punch) from Shirley at gluten free easily

Friday January 22nd:
Moroccan Chickpea and Potato Soup from Ali at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen


Chicken Pozole for a cozy winter meal

Posted on December 2nd, 2009 by Alison | Posted in Food Ideas, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 3 Comments - Add Your Own »

So, I’ve been a little out of touch these past couple of weeks. I even missed Thanksgiving. No turkey, no stuffing, no pie. Don’t feel sorry for me though — my family decided to check out this year and spend the holiday in Mexico! I must say that it was really nice to not have to deal with the whole gluten-free food planning and making. And although traditional Thanksgiving meals were being offered in many Mexican restaurants, we opted for a traditional Mexican meal instead.

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With the evening breezes blowing, we dined on Chicken Pozole, a Mexican stew that dates to pre-Columbian times.

Naturally gluten-free, pozole is a soup usually made with pork or chicken. The key ingredient is hominy, which is dried corn that is then soaked and its hull  removed. You can find canned hominy in grocery stores or specialty markets.

What also makes this soup special are the garnishes included. Here, I was offered cubed queso fresco (Mexican cheese), diced onions and jalapenos, dried oregano and chili peppers, and fresh lime, all served on a crisp corn tortilla which can be broken into pieces and added.

Also served on the plate are chicharrones, or fried pork rinds. You would never catch me eating fried pork rinds out of a bag, but these house-made ones somehow make it into my belly every time!

Mmmm, now that I have returned to winter, this stew sounds even more appealing. Delicioso!

Here are a couple pozole recipes that sound like the one I enjoyed above:


GoPicnic ready-to-eat gluten-free meals

Posted on August 3rd, 2009 by Alison | Posted in Food Ideas, Gluten Intolerance, Products, Travel | Read 6 Comments - Add Your Own »

People often come to this website looking for easy gluten-free to-go lunch ideas. I have given suggestions and more suggestions. And now, I’m going to tell you about a to-go lunch and snack idea that I think is pretty cool. In fact, I read about it on the website Cool Mom Picks. So there you go!

gopicnic1You know those boxes of snacks that are now sometimes offered on planes? GoPicnic ready-to-eat meals are just like those, except they have entirely GLUTEN-FREE ones! Plus, they are much healthier than the usual “lunchables”-type meal. (Actually, I think GoPicnic is being sold on Alaska Airlines, but not gluten-free.) These meals need no refrigeration, so they would be great in the car, on a plane or to take to camp!

There are many gluten-free choices such as Zesty Break, Go Trek, Sports Munch, Explore Munch, Safari Munch (also casein-free), and Anywhere Break. Another cool thing: 5% of sales of gluten-free products goes to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research!


Gluten-Free S’mores… and a giveaway!

Posted on July 14th, 2009 by Alison | Posted in Celiac Disease, Dairy Allergy, Food Ideas, Giveaways, Gluten Intolerance, Products | Read 39 Comments - Add Your Own »

I was never much of a cake-lover, so when I got married I decided to do something different. The wedding location was my family’s vacation spot where I grew up sitting around the bonfire at night, and of course, making S’mores. So that was it — we had S’mores at our wedding! My husband and I even ceremoniously roasted the marshmallows and fed each other the S’mores as if it were cake. Kind of corny (pretty sure husband was thoroughly embarrassed), but memorable (and so was the smoke!)

When I was diagnosed with celiac disease 3 months later, I said goodbye to gluten and to S’mores. I have continued to roast marshmallows over the years (they are gluten-free) and have even tried to make a sandwich using gluten-free cookies, but none really reminded me of the real thing. I even tried making mock graham crackers from scratch, but that is a lot of work and requires planning ahead.

smoreablesSo you can see why I would be excited about a new product called S’moreables Graham Style Crackers, made by Kinnikinnick! And let me tell you, my girls are excited too. S’mores can also be dairy-free if you use dark chocolate. (Although there are no egg or nut ingredients, the box of S’moreables states that they may contain traces of eggs and tree nuts.)

The taste of these cookies is like a graham cracker, the texture crispier. One thing I noticed is that after the box had been opened for a few days, the cookies got softer and became more like a traditional graham cracker. Another thing to note is that the cookies have a line to show you where to break them, but it is totally impossible to actually break them on that line — my recommendation is not to break them and  just make a double S’more instead!

Now for the giveaway. How to enter:

Leave a comment about S’mores — making them, eating them, favorite memory of. Anything! For example, I’ll let you in on my S’mores trick: stick the chocolate into the middle of the melty marshmallow instead of between the cracker and marshmallow. That way the chocolate melts too! Now your turn…

The randomly chosen winner will receive 4 different varieties of cookies from Kinnikinnick! You have until Sunday, July 19th at 5pm PST to comment (only one comment per person please). I will announce the winner on Monday so check back!


Gluten-free 4th of July and other food allergy tips

Posted on June 30th, 2009 by Alison | Posted in Dairy Allergy, Egg Allergy, Food Ideas, Gluten Intolerance, Holidays/Special Events, Products | Read 4 Comments - Add Your Own »

fireworksGetting ready for a gluten-free 4th of July? Need to be allergy-free this Independence Day? Here are the answers to your questions about avoiding gluten, dairy or other allergens this holiday…

Does barbecue sauce contain gluten?

Barbecue sauce may contain gluten, which is why it is so important to check the label or the recipe before eating it. Here are some ingredients to watch out for:

  • Some barbecue sauces contain gluten from barley in the form of beer or malt.
  • Some barbecue sauces contain soy sauce, which contains wheat.
  • Many barbecue sauces contain Worcestershire Sauce, which could contain gluten. Lea and Perrins brand Worcestershire Sauce is gluten-free, while Annie’s Naturals Worcestershire Sauce is not.
  • Some sauces contain mustard, which could contain gluten. Some mustards contain beer or wheat flour, so be sure to check the brand of mustard being used. (Mustard flour is gluten-free.)
  • Most sauces contain ketchup, which should not be a problem because the major brands of ketchup are gluten-free.

Which brands of barbecue sauce are gluten-free (dairy-free, soy-free)?

The number of barbecue sauces on the shelves is overwhelming but here is some information to guide you:

  • Daddy Sam’s is gluten-free and free of all top allergens. It is spicy and delicious!
  • Bone Suckin’ Sauce is gluten-free and free of all top allergens. It’s got a sweetness along with a spiciness that is so good.
  • Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauces are both gluten-free and dairy-free. I haven’t tried them yet, but I have read good things!
  • Annie’s Naturals barbecue sauces are gluten-free and dairy-free. Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce is also soy-free.
  • Any Kraft and Nabisco products will list ingredients that contain gluten (in addition to the required top 8 allergens) on the ingredient statement. These items will be listed using commonly known terms such as Wheat, Barley, Oats or Rye. This includes Bull’s Eye Barbecue Sauce and Kraft brand barbecue sauces.
  • Avoid KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauces unless you can be sure from the ingredient list that they are gluten-free. They must legally list wheat on the label but they do not have a policy about listing other gluten-containing ingredients.

Can I make my own barbecue sauce?

Yes, of course! It’s really pretty easy. Go ahead and search the web for barbecue sauce recipes and you will find a whole bunch. Or, you can try Elana’s recipe for gluten-free dairy-free bbq sauce.

Do hot dogs contain gluten and/or dairy?

Hot dogs and sausages could contain gluten and dairy. See my list of gluten-free and dairy-free hot dogs and sausages!

What do I do about buns?

Some specialty gluten-free bakeries like Mariposa Baking Company, The Sensitive Baker, and The Grainless Baker make buns, but generally gluten-free hot dog buns and hamburger buns aren’t easy to find. Some stores are now carrying Kinnikinnick brand hamburger and hot dog buns, which are gluten-free and dairy-free. But my favorite buns are the ones I make myself… and you can too!

You can use any gluten-free bread mix to make hamburger or hot dog buns. You just need molds to shape them. For hamburger buns, English Muffin rings work really well and are easy to use. If you don’t have them, you can form your own molds out of aluminum foil. I did this using Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix. You can see exactly how to do this and the results in my article: A gluten-free hamburger bun = happiness.

I have made hot dog bun molds out of aluminum foil and they also turn out great. My advice is to make the molds skinny — mine turned out a little too big. I followed the bread directions, filled my molds and let them rise. I sprinkled sesame seeds on before baking and baked until they were done (normally the bread I was using takes 60 minutes, so I think I baked them for 30 or 40, but it depends on the size of the buns). The result was a soft, not crumbly, bread-y bun.

Can I eat potato salad?

Potato salad is usually safe for gluten-free people and even dairy-free people, but if you are allergic to eggs or soy, avoid traditional potato salads as they are made with mayonnaise containing eggs and soybean oil. (Mayonnaise does not usually contain dairy even though it is white and creamy!)

If you need a potato salad recipe, Kalyn of the blog Kalyn’s Kitchen, posted a nice summary of potato salad recipes, including ones that don’t contain mayonnaise!

What about dessert??

Here’s the easiest red, white and blue dessert ever: vanilla ice cream (can use non-dairy), topped with strawberries and blueberries.

If you are looking for something a little more creative, make a delicious Peach Crisp or an Apple Pie. Or how about an Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich?

Need easy treats for the kids (or yourself)? Check out the Allergen-Free Summer Treats Guide.

Wishing you a safe holiday!