gluten free deliciously europe

Gluten Free Deliciously is going to Europe!!!

Yes, this summer my family and I are going on a European cruise!! We’ll be sailing with Carnival Cruise Lines in July, on the Carnival Vista. I’ve sailed with Carnival before since being gluten free, so I know that the dining staff on the ship is very knowledgable and helpful when it comes to finding GF food, and there’s always so many options at dinner. The ship leaves from Barcelona, Spain, and goes to Italy (Sicily, Capri & Pompeii, Rome, and Florence & Pisa), France (Marseille), and back to Spain (Palma de Mallorca). I cannot wait! I’m so excited, especially for the food experience. That’s the most important experience anywhere right?? I’m interested to see how they do gluten free over there. I was a little sad that I will be surrounded by gluten-filled pizza and pasta and bread in Italy, but I’m sure their gluten free options are still better than what we’ve got here! It’s gonna be awesome.

I will be excited to share my experiences on and off the ship with you!! 🙂

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Before I get into the review, I thought I’d let you know what’s going on in my life right now. So I’m a senior in high school, and it’s about that time to be hearing back from colleges! I am happy to say that I’ve been accepted to all the schools I applied to! So exciting!! I got into Rowan University, University of the Sciences, Pace University, The College of New Jersey, Stockton University, and most recently, University of Delaware. So many choices. I will let you know my final decision when the time comes!

Well anyway, in honor of getting into UDel, I will be writing about Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, a wonderful place that we stopped in for dinner when I was visiting the campus!

So after our campus tour, we had to figure out where we were going to eat. The place we were planning to go that we’d visited before (Klondike Kate’s) was closed, so we had to change our plans. That’s when we found Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant! This was a pretty great discovery. They have a fairly large gluten free menu, which features salads, appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, entrees, and desserts.


We decided to go for two appetizers—the Hummus and the Baked Chicken Wings. The hummus was so good; we were expecting to just get a bowl of hummus with some veggie sticks, but there was so much other stuff too! Now that I’m reading the menu again I realize all the additions are actually listed in the description, so obviously we didn’t read the menu very well! Anyway, it came with carrot and celery sticks, diced cucumbers, olives, tomato-pepper relish, and feta. I loved it! The hummus was so flavorful, and it was fun to mix it up and pair it with the different things. As for the chicken wings, I think I’ve said in a past review that if I go to a restaurant and they have GF chicken wings, it’s almost guaranteed that I will be ordering them. These wings were really good, and the buffalo sauce tasted great! If I had a comment, I think they could’ve been a little crispier, but when you’re baking them it’s hard to really get the outside good and crunchy.

Iron Hill Brewery gluten free appetizers

As for the meal, I got the Santa Fe Turkey Burger. This had on it guacamole, tomato, bacon,  pepper jack cheese, and ancho-honey mayonnaise. And it was on a gluten free bun! It was sooo yummy. I loved the flavor combination. Very Santa Fe-ish. I wish it had more of the ancho-honey mayonnaise though! It was delicious and I wanted more! The only real problem I had was with the bun—it tasted good and the texture was soft, but it was really crumbly and kind of fell apart in my hands. Otherwise, it was awesome!

Iron Hill Brewery gluten free burger

We skipped dessert since the only options were Creme Brûlée (which I’m not a fan of) and Ice Cream. Instead, we went down the street and got some gelato from Caffé Gelato, which was amazing. Who doesn’t love gelato?

I digress…back to the point. I really enjoyed Iron Hill. From beginning to end, it was wonderful. I would absolutely go back and try more of the items on that nice long gluten free menu! It’s actually a small chain with 12 locations in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—visit their website to see if there’s a location near you!

It’s good to know that if I end up at UDel, I’ll have a great restaurant to go to. 🙂

Trader Joe’s

First, I have to thank my beautiful niece for asking me to guest author a column on her blog! My name is Catherine and I started my gluten free journey about a year before Anna was diagnosed with celiac. I don’t have celiac disease, just an intolerance to gluten, but the difference without gluten is remarkable. My stomach used to hurt all the time, I felt bloated, tired, and unhealthy. I feel my best when I am doing a more primal diet without any grains but, as a working mom of two kids, pasta and pizza are often the quickest things to make for dinner.

Which brings me to my post today. I knew my first post would have to be about one of my favorite places for pretty much everything yummy. Trader Joe’s! This place has amazing gluten free finds and the prices are just as amazing!! Gluten free is often pricey so not only can you do almost your entire weekly shopping in one spot, but your wallet will thank you for it. I can’t tell you how many times I would get ‘sticker shock’ at the health food store when buying gluten free. Finding Trader Joe’s has been a huge relief to me and my bank account.

Continue reading

Recipe: Egg & Avocado Rice Bowl!

egg avocado rice bowl

I was desperately in need of a new easy lunch option. Not that I ever get tired of pasta (pretty much my everyday choice), but I needed something a little different. That’s when this recipe came in, and I kind of fell in love with it. I have Pinterest to thank for bringing me and this bowl together, and I adjusted it just a little bit. It’s so ridiculously delicious, and it has kind of a brunch-y vibe because of the nice fried egg on top. The flavors just go so well together, and oh my goodness I just love it so so much!

What you’ll need:
*Note that I only made enough for just me, so if you’re making this for more than one person increase amounts.

  • 1 cup Minute Brown Rice and 1 cup water for cooking (or you can use leftover rice, whatever rice you’ve got will work)
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (only if making rice)
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • about 1/2 an avocado, sliced
  • a little handful of carrots, chopped small
  • a little handful of zucchini, chopped small
  • about 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • hot sauce (optional)

How to make it:

  1. (if necessary) Add your bouillon cube to 1 cup of water and cook your rice until all the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Sauté your carrots and zucchini in about 1 tbsp olive oil, until soft.
  3. Add red wine vinegar, carrots, zucchini, and green onions to your rice, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Put a little more olive oil in the pan you cooked the veggies in, and crack your egg into it. Make sure you season with salt and pepper, and cook it to your liking (it’s best if the yolk is still nice and runny).
  5. Put your rice into a bowl, top with the egg, avocado, and hot sauce, and bask in the glory of this unbelievably tasty dish!

Not only is this delicious, it’s just so dang pretty! I mean look at it.

egg avocado rice bowl

Mmmm…and when you break the yolk…

egg avocado rice bowl

Wow. It’s just so nice to look at. It’s amazing. I’m pretty obsessed with this recipe right now, if you couldn’t tell. After the egg is on top and the yolk is broken, I like to cut it up into little pieces so I can mix it all together and get a little bit of the egg in each bite. The hot sauce is a nice added touch; it gives it just the bit of kick that this needs. The avocado makes it a little creamy and a little more heavenly. I could go on and on about this. But instead, I’ll let you all give it a try yourselves.

Do you have a favorite lunch recipe? Leave it in the comments!

Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company is the perfect place to go when you don’t feel like making dinner and just want something that’s quick. It’s described as a “fast casual restaurant,” so it’s like a fast food restaurant but with higher quality food. And you can definitely tell that they use quality ingredients. The food is so good! I’ve told you guys how much I love pasta, so this is totally the place for me. You do pay a little extra for the gluten free fusilli ($1.50), but it’s worth it! The staff is very aware and knowledgable of gluten allergies. Not every time, but a couple of times I’ve been there the cashiers yell to the people making the food that something was ordered by someone with a gluten allergy, and they wipe down their station. Either way, whether yelling or not, the chefs are told they are making food for someone with an allergy. It’s pretty awesome, and I’ve never gotten sick after eating here. It’s also a chain; they currently have 410 locations in 31 states. It isn’t super common that big chain restaurants have gluten free options, so that’s pretty cool.

A decent amount of the noodle dishes can be made with gluten free fusilli or rice noodles. You can see a full list here on the Noodles & Company website, under the gluten free tab. However, something to be aware of is that I was told that the Wisconsin Mac & Cheese could NOT be made gluten free, but it’s possible that this has been changed. Just be sure to ask before you order it so you don’t have any problems. I also don’t think the meatballs are gluten free either, so again, ask to be sure.

I’ve tried a couple different dishes. My favorite is the Penne Rosa with GF fusilli. The spicy tomato cream sauce is just fantastic! It also has tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms in it. I get it without mushrooms just out of personal preference. You get the option of parmesan or feta on top, and as much as I love feta, the parmesan just seems right on this. The flavors are just so yummy! The only thing I would change is the size of the tomatoes and spinach. I like things cut up really small so I get a little bit of everything in each bite. The ones in this dish are pretty large. But otherwise, it’s wonderful!

noodles and company penne rosa

Another favorite of mine is the Pad Thai. This is made with rice noodles, so it’s naturally gluten free. Now, as I’ve previously established in my Chaang Thai review, Chaang Thai has the greatest pad thai ever, so I’m picky about my pad thai. But for a fast food kind of place that doesn’t specialize in Thai food, it’s pretty good. The flavor of the sauce is nice, and I like all the things in the dish. Scrambled egg, red cabbage, peanuts, bean sprouts, cilantro, carrots, yum! My only issue with this is, again, the size of the carrots. They need to be skinnier, because they’re not very integrated into the dish. But on their website, it says that they have a new recipe with a “more traditional sauce” and “features green onions instead of carrots.” So I guess I’ll have to visit again soon to see if I like this new recipe better!

noodles and company pad tai

The only other thing I’ve tried from Noodles & Company is the Pesto Cavatappi with GF fusilli. To be honest, I tried it so long ago I don’t completely remember it. It features basil pesto, garlic, mushrooms, tomato, wine, cream, parmesan, and Italian parsley. And of course, I got it without mushrooms. I do remember that I did like it. I also remember thinking the pesto sauce needed some more cream to make it a little better—it was a tiny bit dry.

According to the menu, they also offer salads that can be made gluten free, as well as tomato bisque. I’ve never tried any of these, but honestly, am I gonna go to Noodles & Company and not get noodles?? Who goes to a noodle restaurant and gets a salad and soup???

One of my favorite things about this place is that I can order online and just go skip the line and pick it up! It’s so simple. Also, it’s attached to one of my favorite malls, so if I’m hungry after a long day of shopping I can just head here (the food court doesn’t exactly have the best options for someone with celiac). In general, Noodles & Company is a delicious and easy gluten free option!

**Update 3/6/16– I went to Noodles & Company last weekend and asked about the Wisconsin Mac & Cheese. It can be made gluten free now!! So of course I had to order it with the GF Fusilli. It was so good, and soo cheesy! I think I have a new favorite. I definitely recommend it! I ate it so fast I forgot to even take a picture for you guys. I’m so happy they changed it so it’s gluten free now. The Mac & Cheese is the one thing from here that everyone always said was amazing—and now I can 100% confirm that it is.

Simple Mills Banana Muffin Mix

It’s been a while since I wrote a new product review, so here you go!

I don’t know about you, but I am a sucker for a good muffin at breakfast time. Especially a fresh, warm, just out of the oven muffin. Simple Mills Banana Muffins totally hit the spot. These muffins are not only super yummy, but also healthy! They only have the best, most simple (get it, Simple Mills??) ingredients in them. The ingredients are almonds, organic coconut sugar, arrowroot powder, organic coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt. So not only are they gluten free, but everything in them is just naturally gluten free. This is also true for all Simple Mills products—they are all naturally gluten free, and all almond based. They’re even made in a dedicated gluten free facility!

Simple Mills Banana Muffin Mix

I wanted to add a little something extra to them, so I added about 1/3 cup of chopped pecans. It was nice to get little bits of crunch in the muffin. As for the muffin itself, it was so delicious! As I said in my King Arthur Flour GF Muffin Mix review, it’s not very easy to find muffins that aren’t dense and dry. But these were a different kind of awesome from the King Arthur Flour muffins. While those were fluffy and chocolatey, these were perfectly moist and nutty and banana-y.

simple mills banana muffins before and after

Simple Mills also has plenty of other products! As far as muffins go, they also have chocolate and pumpkin muffins (I have the chocolate mix in my pantry ready to be baked and devoured). They also have mixes for chocolate chip cookies, bread, pancakes/waffles, pizza crust, and vanilla cake. You can visit the Simple Mills website to look at these mixes in more detail, as well as the ingredients they use and where you can find products near you. I will definitely be trying more of their products in the future, but for now I will just enjoy my banana muffins.

simple mills banana muffins


Recipe: Superbowl Buffalo Chicken Dip!

It’s Superbowl Sunday! For some people, they may be getting excited for the big game. For me, I’m getting excited for all the food I’m going to eat tonight. In fact, the only games I care about today are the Kitten Bowl and the Puppy Bowl (because who wouldn’t love watching cute little fluffy animals run around a tiny football field?) Unfortunately this year, I will not be making this dip because I’m trying to eat healthy (a good-in-the-long-run but sad-right-now decision). But that doesn’t mean you all can’t enjoy this delicious dip! Here you can see our Superbowl setup from last year, featuring the buffalo dip right in the front, as well as nachos, shrimp cocktail, a veggie platter and more:

Superbowl food table
And yes, this was just for me, my mom, and my dad. We’re hungry people.

This idea actually came from a recipe for buffalo chicken jalapeño poppers, but instead of stuffing jalapeños with the mixture, I just put it in a  bowl and made it a dip. So here’s how you make it!

What you’ll need:

  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of bleu cheese dressing (I don’t like bleu cheese so I use ranch dressing)
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce)
  • 12.5 oz can of chicken, flaked
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella

How to make it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°
  2. Put all ingredients in a bowl (reserve 1/2 cup of Mozzarella for topping) and combine well. Make sure you break up all the cream cheese, otherwise you’ll have big chunks of it in the dip and, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that.
  3. Transfer to a baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until brown (if you’re in a hurry or you’re just impatient like me you can just bake it for a couple minutes and then broil it the rest of the way until it’s brown and bubbly).
  4. Serve with tortilla chips or veggie sticks and enjoy!

To me, this dip is the star of the game. It’s the MVP. Who wants to watch a football game when you can have your face in Buffalo Chicken Dip all night?? My dad also loves this dip, so for the past two years I’ve made it for his fantasy football draft. I’m told that it’s a hit with his buddies. I’m not sure why something football related has to happen for me to make this, but I’m really gonna have to start making it year round. So I hope you enjoy watching the Superbowl today, or if you’re like me, I hope you enjoy the food, commercials, and halftime show.

Recipe: Peanut Noodles!

peanut noodles

This recipe combines two of my favorite things: noodles and peanut butter. I got the recipe from Food Network, and it’s so creamy and flavorful and just plain delicious! I love to sauté some vegetables and combine them with my favorite brown rice noodles and this amazing peanut sauce. And the sauce is literally one of the easiest things to make! All you have to do is throw some stuff in the blender and turn it on. This is one of my go-to recipes, and it’s definitely one to keep in your recipe lineup.

What you’ll need:

  • 12 oz brown rice spaghetti (my favorite is Tinkyada)
  • handful of matchstick carrots
  • handful of broccoli slaw (which has broccoli, red cabbage, and carrots, so you could always just chop up some broccoli and cabbage)
  • a few slices of zucchini, cut into strips
  • about a tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1-2 chopped green onions
  • crushed peanuts, for topping
  • (you can add any meat you want; most of the time I just use veggies, unless I have some leftover grilled chicken or something like that that’s easy to toss in)

(For the sauce)

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I like Jif)
  • 8 oz coconut milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime juice concentrate
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package
  2. While your pasta is cooking, sauté your carrots, broccoli slaw, and zucchini in a wok or pan in a little bit of canola oil
  3. Just before you add your pasta, put your green onions and garlic in the wok and cook for another minute or so. Then add in your pasta to the veggies
  4. For the sauce, put all your ingredients in the blender and blend it all up until it’s nice and creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust ingredients as desired
  5. Add as much sauce as you’d like to the pasta and veggie combo, and mix it all together
  6. Plate it up and top with the crushed peanuts

And there you go! You have delicious Peanut Noodles that will make your taste buds as happy as can be. This is such an easy recipe. I barely have to do any work, because most of the vegetables I use are the ones that come in bags and are already pre-cut. Literally the only things I have to cut up are the zucchini and green onions, and that takes no time at all. I even have a jar of minced garlic, so I don’t have to chop that up either. And of course you can add whatever vegetables you have in your house! I am obsessed with the flavor of this sauce, and the crunch of the peanuts on top just makes it even better. I could eat this all day every day.

The best thing about the peanut sauce in particular is you don’t just have to use it on pasta. I’ve used it in the past as a dip for an avocado summer roll (courtesy of Wegman’s). You could also use it to dip veggies in. Or as a sauce for chicken, fish, or shrimp. You could even try it as a salad dressing. I almost always have leftover sauce, so you will definitely have the opportunity to experiment with its different uses. Any way you eat it, it will be a creamy, delicious delight.

peanut noodles