Category Archives: Shopping Advice

Gluten Free Meal Ideas

Cooking simple, naturally gluten free meals when transitioning to a gluten free life can be a great way to get started. Discover numerous meal ideas for natural gluten free products that can be purchased at most grocery stores.

Drinks - juice, milk, coffee, tea,
Main Course
scrambled eggs, omelets, ham, bacon, sausage, gluten free oatmeal, Gluten Free Chex Cereal, hardboiled egg
Side Dish
- banana, grape fruit, yogurt

Most grocery stores now carry gluten free Bisquick. Use this gluten free mix for easy, great tasting pancakes, biscuits and waffles. Check out tasty gluten free Bisquick recipes.

Drinks -
lemonade, carbonated drinks, iced tea
Main Course
salad, fried rice, white rice with vegetables, lettuce wraps, Amy’s Gluten Free Frozen Meals
Side Dish
fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, celery with peanut butter, cheese, veggies with hummus, hardboiled egg, cottage cheese, sliced apple with almond butter
Kraft’s JELL-O, nuts, raisins, dried fruit, trail mix, chips

Be careful of dressings – Most vinaigrettes are gluten free, but be sure to check closely. All of Kraft’s dressing will clearly state if wheat, barley, rye or oats are included.

milk, wine
Main Course -
hamburger, pork chops, steak, grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken kabobs, slow-cooked roast beef, ham, turkey, fish, tacos w/ corn tortillas or shells
Side Dish –
rice, baked potatoes, beans, quinoa, asparagus, green beans, corn, corn tortilla chips and salsa, rice noodles
Dessert –
fresh fruit, popcorn, popsicles, Kraft’s pudding

Be careful of marinades and seasonings – Many marinades and seasonings include gluten, and if you’re not comfortable reading ingredients yet then purchase Kraft’s products. All Kraft’s products will clearly state if wheat, barley, rye or oats are included.

Double recipes – If you don’t have time to cook, then simply double your recipes when you have the opportunity to cook. Store the leftovers in individual, easy-to-grab sealed containers for lunch. This will help you save time, money and prevent an empty stomach or reduce your risk of being glutened.

Be prepared – I keep dried fruit, nuts, and gluten free instant oatmeal packets at my desk for a convenient snack or meal. Thankfully, I have the opportunity to cook dinner most nights, so my family and I usually have plenty of leftovers in the fridge and freezer to eat during the week.

BACKUPS – Keep a back up gluten free frozen meal at work – just in case you happen to forget your lunch. Always keep a gluten free granola bar in your purse or car, just in case all else fails.

Getting Started
Learn more great tips and advice for transitioning to a gluten free life.

Gluten Free Main Meals Recipes
Check out tasty gluten free meal recipes your whole family will enjoy.

Gluten Free Taco Seasoning

When cooking gluten free, there are many products and brands to watch out for. Two brands that provide gluten friendly information are Ortega and Old El Paso. These brands will clearly disclose gluten in the ingredients list, and will not be hidden in other ingredients.

Ortega and Old El Paso (General Mills) products are gluten free as long as you don’t see the following ingredients listed:
wheat, barley, rye, oats

Ortega and Old El Paso adhere to very strict labeling policies. These companies require their labels to clearly state if any gluten or casein-containing ingredients are included. These rules apply to North America, so when traveling out of the country be cautious of wheat ingredients in these products.

Ingredients are subject to change, so be sure to check labels each purchase to ensure products are still gluten free.

General Mills Products List
All General Mills products clearly disclose gluten in the ingredients list. Check out other General Mills products.

Gluten Free Mexican Lasagna
Mix up your typical taco dinner with this tasty southwestern style lasagna.

Are Doritos Gluten Free?

Yes, some varieties of Doritos are gluten free. Check below to see if your favorite flavors are:

Gluten Free Doritos – Flavored Tortilla Chips
1st Degree Burn Blazin’ Jalapeno
2nd Degree Burn Fiery Buffalo
3rd Degree Burn Scorchin’ Habanero
Blazin’ Buffalo & Ranch
Cool Ranch

Late Night All Nighter Cheeseburger
Pizza Supreme
Reduced Fat Nacho Cheese
Salsa Verde
Spicy Nacho
Toasted Corn
Baked Nacho Cheese

Doritos with Gluten – Flavored Tortilla Chips
Nacho Cheese
Nacho Cheese 100 Calorie Mini Bites
Spicy Sweet Chili

According to Doritos’ website, the only Doritos that contain gluten are the original Nacho Cheese Doritos and the Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos. All the other Doritos appear to be gluten free. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Taco Pizza
This delicious taco and pizza combination is a Midwest favorite.

Gluten Free Taco Seasoning
Check out which taco seasoning brands are gluten free and safe to eat.

Are Snickers Gluten Free?

Technically yes… According to Snickers website, the company has strict policies on clearly stating the eight most common allergenic foods: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, soybeans and wheat.

A May contain <allergen>” statement is required to be clearly labeled in the ingredients section on every package for the eight common allergenic foods.

However, barley and rye are not included on the top 8 allergen list. This means barley and rye are not clearly labeled on the ingredients list, and at Mars snacks are at risk for gluten cross-contamination.

Milky Ways have barley, and if Snickers are made on the same equipment as them, the chance for cross-contamination is high enough not to risk for someone with Celiac.

It is important to listen to your body, and decide for yourself what you want to do. Maybe next time instead of grabbing a Snickers, grab a safer gluten free snack instead.

Is Coca Cola Gluten Free?
Is the caramel coloring in coca cola and other dark sodas safe to drink?

Mars Allergy Information
Check out more on Mars Snackfood US Policy on allergen labeling

If You Are Gluten Free, Avoid Snickers
See what others are saying about gluten and snickers’ ingredients.

Are Dove Chocolates Gluten Free?

Yes, Dove’s individual candy bars are gluten free!

Thank goodness. I enjoy fixing my chocolate cravings with Dove’s individual wrapped dark chocolate pieces. Indulging on these small pieces of dark chocolate can help curve your chocolate cravings, and may even help lower your blood pressure.

Even the special shaped Dove’s chocolates such as the heart-shaped chocolates during the holidays are gluten free. But as always, continue to check the ingredients label. Products are subject to change without notice. The best way to protect yourself is to always read the ingredients labels using the gluten free food cheat sheet.

Also remember when you’re nibbling on your dark chocolate to eat in moderation. Reduce the extra dark chocolate calories by eating less of other things or taking a walk outside around the block.

Are Snickers Gluten Free
Check out why Snickers may be making you sick.

Mars Allergy Information
Check out more on Mars Snackfood US Policy on allergen labeling

Make Your Own Mixes

Save time and money by preparing your mixes ahead of time, and storing them in the refrigerator until your ready to use them.

Simply measure all gluten free dry ingredients, EXCEPT YEAST & XANTHAN GUM, into a sealed plastic bag or container. Be sure to label the bag or container as to the type of mix and date.

When ready to use, set the mix out on the counter for 30 min or until the mix is at room temperature. In large bowl, mix liquid ingredients as recipe directs. Then add dry mixture and butter or margarine. Add xanthan gum and yeast on top, if included in recipe.  Prepare pan and bake mixture as recipe directs.

Gluten Free Baking Tips
Check out useful gluten free baking tips for making gluten free recipes and converting old family recipes.

Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Check out tasty gluten free dessert recipes the whole family will enjoy.

Is Vinegar Safe for Celiacs?

Yes, vinegar is safe for Celiacs and anyone else living a gluten free lifestyle. Even if vinegar is made with wheat, it’s going to be gluten free because of the distillation process.  According to the American Dietetic Association, the Vinegar Institution, the Food and Drug Administration, doctors and dieticians; there is no gluten in distilled vinegar.

This ongoing concern about using vinegar has been around for some time.  Here are some common facts about vinegar:

  • Vinegar is typically made with apples, grapes, corn beets and rice sugars
  • All labels are required to say on the label if they were made with wheat
  • Gluten peptides cannot make it through the distillation process

In the end, the best decision maker is you. Although the ongoing concern for vinegar will continue, vinegar doesn’t contain gluten. So if you are living a gluten free lifestyle don’t jump the gun to rule this ingredient out.  However, be aware of malt vinegars and flavored vinegars if the labels are not information enough. But as always, if you tried using vinegar and it made you sick, then don’t use it.

Check out the gluten free food cheat sheet for determining safe gluten free ingredients.

Beware of… Jimmy John’s Cheese?
Check out why Jimmy John’s lettuce wraps may be making you sick.

Is Coca Cola Gluten Free?
Is the caramel coloring in coca cola and other dark sodas safe to drink?

Is Coca Cola Gluten Free?

According to Coca-Cola’s website, none of their brands contain gluten, milk, egg or soy. The Coca-Cola Company made the following statement on their website:

“Yes. None of the Coca-Cola or Schweppes brands contains gluten, milk, egg or soy. People with gluten intolerance or celiac disease should talk to their healthcare provider about including soft drinks as part of their diet.”

Coca Cola is only able to confirm the amount of gluten in all their products is very low. Some of the ingredients used such as caramel coloring are manufactured from plants that gluten-sensitive people may react to. Although none of their products appear to be made with gluten, some of their products contain the derivatives of them.

Caramel coloring is what gives Coca Cola and other dark colas their coloring. This coloring is used in other products such as soy sauce, seasonings and juices. In order for companies to meet Codex’s current definition of gluten free, products must contain less than 200ppm (parts per million) gluten. This means manufacturers may be labeling products as gluten free, when in fact they do contain some gluten.

The new Codex’s definition of gluten free is required to change in 2012 from less than 200ppm of gluten to less than 20ppm of gluten. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have a regulatory definition of gluten-free at this time. However, the FDA is proposing to also require products with less than 20ppm of gluten in a product to be considered gluten free.

Yes, Coca Cola is technically gluten free. However, like any other product, only you are the best decision maker in deciding if you are intolerant to Coca Cola.

Beware of… Jimmy John’s Cheese?
Check out why Jimmy John’s lettuce wraps may be making you sick.

Subway Adding Gluten Free Items
One of the largest fast food chains is adding 2 new gluten free items two their menu!

Gluten Free Flour Tips

Many gluten-free flours are available in stores and online from a variety of grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. However, purchasing gluten free flours can be an expensive and daunting task; especially if your new to a gluten free lifestyle.

Here are some tips I have found helpful:

Purchase gluten free flours, such as rice flour, at Asian Food Markets in larger cities for lower costs. Most larger cities and college towns tend to have Asian Food Markets. I’ve found gluten free flour blends for less than $1 per lb at these markets! My local grocer, Hy-Vee, sells gluten free flour for $15 per five-pound bag. Purchasing flours at Asian Food Markets keeps more money in your pocket, and allows more flexibility to try different recipes.

Experiment with different flour blends in recipes until you find one that works best. Also, try making your own gluten free flour blends. If you don’t have easy access to an Asian Food Market, then check out various health food stores and web sites online that sell gluten-free flour blends. However, be aware these flours can be considerably more expensive.

Store high fiber flours and high protein whole grains in the fridge for longer keeping. High protein gluten-free whole grains include: brown rice, flax seed, wild rice, buckwheat, millet, cornmeal, quinoa, popcorn, corn flour, millet and amaranth.  These flours also help add moisture to baked products.

Always read the labels! Manufacturers may change ingredients in a product from one purchase to the next. Be sure to always read labels on every brand!

Add Xanthan Gum in small amounts to gluten free flour mixes to increase the flour’s stickiness.

Adding Xanthan Gum to Recipes
Learn about Xanthan gum and quick tips for adding it to gluten free recipes.

Make Your Own Mixes
Learn ways to save time and money by making your own gluten free mixes.