Gluten-Free Fried Feast

Summer is waning, the “snap” of the season has begun in earnest.  I open up the windows in the morning for warm air and shut them at night to keep out the chill. Sweatshirts and Ugg’s are reappearing from the back of the closet and football season is in full swing…the good, the bad and the ugly this season!

Today I am reminiscing about the gluten-free fried clams I had this past August in Cape Cod.  It had been 19 years since I tasted fried clams and I couldn’t believe my good fortune of finding Marathon Seafood since we vacation in Dennis!  All of their batter was gluten-free and so was their clam chowder.

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It had been so long that I could not recall if I preferred the clam strips or whole clam bellies, so I ordered the fried clam bellies.  And I ordered onion rings.  My son ordered the fish and chips.

I should have taken an “after” picture because we ate every single bite of both baskets. For 15 years we watched others eat their fried goodies at this one particular restaurant that my wheat-eating family members loved. The celiacs resented eating at this place since our menu choices were limited to two options, one of them being ice cream.  This was the year I had planned to skip it and my son piped up that he was done with bunless burgers and ice cream for dinner too.

So finding Marathon Seafood was perfect.  Going forward, if this place thrives and continues to be GF,  I will have a special night out with my son for a platter of onion rings and whatever battered sea food sounds good in the moment.

Kendall Egan

Socially Awkward Celiac

Due to my line of work, two of my google alerts are set for “celiac” and “gluten-free.”  I was reading through them yesterday and was cracking up over one of the alerts, “How to be Gluten-Free Without Being Socially Awkward.” 

I clicked through the to skim the content when my eyes glazed over “Let’s start with the dinner party.”  Holy Crap…brain synapses started firing because, indeed, I had a dinner party on this coming Saturday with someone new to my orbit and the hostess had no clue that I am a celiac!  What if the entire dinner was pasta based and I sat there and pushed it around my plate?  How socially awkward would that be and how BAD would the hostess feel that she served pasta after she found out my GF status?

I immediately sent the following email:

Hi –

So I was just reading through my google alerts and was laughing out loud at this one article, “How to avoid being gluten-free and socially awkward,” and then I remembered I had a dinner party this Saturday!!

Prepare or order whatever you had planned, but I am a celiac and gluten intolerant.  I forgot to fill you in on that weeks ago but I just work my way around gluten at parties but don’t want to alarm the hostess if I choose not to eat a dish.

Can I bring desserts? Or anything else?

So sorry for late notice…just slipped my mind completely. Protein, rice, potatoes, salads….all great…I am not picky just gluten-free!

The hostess replied:

That’s so interesting since just last week Ariana declared that she will no longer eat gluten. I think it must be a trendy thing at school? She has no allergies at all. So I have been overloaded with information on gluten lately!!!  At the moment, we have a lot of gluten-free food in the house oddly, since no one has a gluten issue!

We were thinking about a chicken dish with potatoes and salad, but John and the boys are away in Arizona this week enjoying warm weather. John is the cook so I’m leaving it to him when they return on Friday. Happy to accommodate since gluten-free has been top of mind lately!

Please bring a dessert, by all means gluten-free! Thanks.

My first thought was …PHEW…at least she has heard all about gluten-free food and then my second thought was, why the heck is Ariana doing this to her mother?  She is one of my daughter’s friends so I am going to have to ask why this perfectly healthy young woman is going GF.   There are a couple of celiacs among that friend group and even my daughter says that Glutino pretzels are far better than any gluten containing pretzels, but all any of them really need to do is cut out heavily processed garbage and add more fruits and vegetables!

But, back to the dinner party, I am safe from being socially awkward!  Plus, I have two gluten-free desserts planned.  The first is white chocolate dipped strawberries because they are a crowd pleaser.  The second is this chocolate, peanut, pretzel bark recipe that I found in a magazine.  Glutino pretzels will be perfect and the hostess’ daughter will be pleased.

Kendall Egan

A GF Football Question for Drew Brees

What does the team chef and nutritionist prepare for you during the season to keep you from starving?

My son is a 14 year old celiac in two-a-day preseason football right now and I can not believe the copious amounts of food he is shoveling into his mouth.  He is absolutely FAMISHED, but not quite all of his choices are “optimal” for good nutrition.

Here is what he had consumed so far today:

A bowl (more like a trough) of Chex cereal with milk for breakfast before session one.

A G2, grape flavor, during a break.

Then home for the following for lunch:

Almond milk, banana and peanut butter smoothie….approximately 16 oz., an apple, an Udi’s Lemon Muffin (inhaled in two bites), a ham and cheese sandwich on Udi’s white bread, a Glutino Strawberry toaster pastry, an Enjoy Life S’mores bar and a bunch of Enjoy Life Snickerdoodle cookies.

There is a lot of nutritious stuff in the mix but a lot of sugar in there too.  I just get out of the way when he comes in the door with that “I’m-so-hungry-I-could-eat-the-furniture” look in his eye.  But, I would LOVE some guidance on some better gluten-free carbohydrates or snacks to fill him up before going back out for session two.

Anyone have some good ideas?

Kendall Egan

Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping

I ran to the grocery store yesterday for enough provisions to get me through the weekend, just enough for two dinners, a couple of lunches and Monday morning breakfast.  With four big kids, my usual trips to the grocery store are counted a workout since the cart is so heavy.

It dawned on me at the checkout counter how easy grocery shopping had become.  Back in the day, I had to order gluten-free food in bulk and store it. Or I went to the one grocery store that carried gluten-free food and my freezer would be stuffed to the gills with gluten-free food and not much else.

Now, I can go to one store and pick up my week’s provisions for both the gluten-free and the regular diets in one fell swoop.  Into the cart go Udi’s hot dog buns, right next to the potato flour hot dog buns that my daughter likes.  Four loaves of bread tossed in, two contain wheat and two do not.  And, since I saw the new Pillsbury Gluten-Free Dough at this store, I threw it into the cart along with regular pizza dough…we will grill up some pizza later on this week!

My freezer actually has room for frozen berries and ice cream now, something that we never used to have on hand. Not that we really need ice cream in the freezer all the time, but it is nice to have a frozen dessert in the summertime.

As awareness for special diets continue, I hope the “free-from” shelves at the grocery store continue to be stocked with gluten-free alternatives.  It makes life on a gluten-free diet so much easier.

Kendall Egan