Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Gluten Free Recipe: Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Glaze

Well hello. You probably thought I wasn't coming back.
It's been a whirlwind few months, and so when my computer stopped playing nice with all Google products and I couldn't find a solution, blogging and I took a separation. Thanks to the boy, we've figured out how I can blog again and get back to the blogspot site to give you some new inspiration.

How have you been?

So many cool things have happened lately.
One of my BFFs had her baby, and now the baby can practically parallel park her parents' car downtown. I went to visit them this week and the baby is so precious!
In December, I traveled to Poland for work and had a great time. I'm working on a post about eating gluten free while traveling through Poland. Let's just say Poland is a little trickier than Italy and Sweden. I found that out for sure.

We planted some beautiful raspberry bushes in our front yard, where all the good sun is. We have several varieties of berries, and we've gotten a small harvest for our first year. We're looking forward to some really good harvests in the future, and afternoons with berry-stained fingers. Maybe some coconut-milk berry ice cream. Definitely some raspberry jam, too.

We also planted some great native plants throughout the yard and hopefully they can survive my scatterbrained watering schedule and brown thumbs.

Living in downtown Salt Lake is great: we've hit some awesome concerts recently, some festivals and farmers' markets, and still shop at the Co-op for the best meat ever.

Zucchini season is starting to happen, and I wanted to kick that off with some great cake I think you might like. It's modified from a recipe I found for Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting from Real Mom Kitchen. Obviously, the cream cheese wasn't going to happen here. I actually found this recipe on Pinterest, and I'm not much of a pinner. It was time to walk the talk though, and try a recipe I found on there so it wasn't just, well, hours clicking on pretty pictures.

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Glaze
Recipe adapted from here

1 egg
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/8 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cups shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp baking soda

Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
zest from one lemon
1-2 tsp lemon juice, or enough to create a thick glaze

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey, and vanilla.  Fold in the carrot, zucchini, and walnuts.

In another bowl combine add the two flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, ginger, and baking soda. Stir together. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Stir just until combined. Spread batter into an ungreased 8 inch round baking pan.

Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Once the cake is cooled, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, measure powdered sugar and add lemon zest. Add lemon juice and stir until glaze forms. .

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gourmandise: Gluten Free Restaurant Review

Do bakeries give you the shivers? They do for me!

However, one of the best regular bakeries in Salt Lake has a gluten free menu and a delicious gluten free, dairy free pastry too.

I went with a few friends for lunch and it was a great time! Most of the gluten free options on the lunch menu are salads, and I had the delicious chicken curry salad. I wished there was a little more variety in the menu, but the half salad with its tasty dressing was great.

Did I mention the gluten free almond horn pastries? They are a staple at the bakery, and are made of baked meringue and dipped in chocolate and sliced almonds. So chewy and delicious.

It's a little difficult to be sure you are getting a gluten free meal there, so talk with the server and pay close attention. If you're brave, the almond horn pastries are out of this world.

250 S 300 E 
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Monday, November 18, 2013

Good Grains Gluten Free Baking Co: Heber Utah Gluten Free Restaurant Review

On a recent trip through Heber, Utah, we were driving back from an unsuccessful trip to the local thrift store. Pulling up to a red light, I saw a banner on the side of a building and swung into the parking lot. We were pleased to discover Laura, the owner of Good Grains Gluten Free Baking Company, inside the building, baking away.

We ate muffins and chatted with Laura about her business and eating gluten free. I had the pumpkin chocolate chip, and the husband had the lemon poppyseed (he loves poppyseed muffins!) She has a coffee shop and bakery, complete with fresh muffins, and also serves lunch items like sandwiches and quiche. She mentioned she also sells to some local grocery stores and restaurants too!

Stop by if you're in town!

Good Grains Gluten Free Baking Co
51 west 100 south
Heber City, Utah 84032

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Pie Pizzeria: Gluten Free Restaurant Review

If you haven't been to the Underground location of The Pie, you are missing an authentic piece of Salt Lake City dining. In a basement just west of the University of Utah campus, you can walk down a flight of metal stairs into another dimension. Dimly lit, you can see decades of scribbles on the brick walls. I'd been several times before going gluten free, but then I found out you can eat gluten free pizza at the Pie.

I ordered the BBQ Chicken Cilantro (indicating on their online menu with a "no wheat" symbol). At the restaurant, they have printed gluten free menus for you to see. And, they carry Daiya cheese so I could have a truly gluten free (and dairy free) pizza experience! The best part is they actually know how to melt the Daiya cheese correctly, which makes it taste quite good!

Even better, your pie is announced at the pickup window and comes in a box, completely sealed with a gluten free sticker. Nice touch. :)

If you are longing for The Pie, and you want a pretty good crispy gluten free crust, The Pie is the place to go. I admit to getting a little sick the first time I went, but the second time it worked out swimmingly.

The Pie Pizzeria
1320 E. 200 S., Salt Lake City, Utah (dine-in only)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Grillabites: Gluten Free Restaurant Review

Gallivan Plaza isn't just for the Food Truck Thursday lunches - there's also Grillabites. Grillabites is a California chain of organic, fresh food with a new location downtown to treat us with. Their storefront is surprisingly big, and the food was great!

They have a selection of gluten free sandwiches and hamburgers on their menu, as well as a few specialty items, like the gluten free tacos and gluten free vegan fajitas. C and I both stuck to the sandwich-y type lunch fare though. She had a delicious turkey sandwich, which comes with veggie sticks and fresh hummus. The hummus was pretty smoking good - I recommend it. C also got a special mango lemonade, one of their unique fresh drinks.

I had a bison burger (no cheese for me!) on a toasty Udi's bun, with the fresh veggies and hummus on the side. The southern light through the big windows was perfect, and I was able to walk from my office to the restaurant, which was just right.

Next time you are in the neighborhood and want some fresh downtown fare, Grillabites is a decent place to eat. I was able to safely eat gluten free there, my only beef (ha!) was that it was a little more expensive than most lunch food in downtown Salt Lake. I left with a $17 check or something. At least I got more food for that price, and a better quality burger, than at my excursion to Johnny Rockets.

49 Gallivan Ave
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Monday, August 26, 2013

Better Burger Food Truck: Gluten Free Restaurant Review

Have you tried the Better Burger food truck that's making its way around Salt Lake City? We've been there twice in the last few weeks, and it's incredible to have a filling gluten free option from a food truck!

These guys know their stuff! Their gluten free burgers can be served on delicious and tender grilled buns from Love Muffins Bakery, a local company that I love, and essentially the rest of the menu is gluten free. They have several options for burgers with different toppings, and use grass fed beef from Moab that tastes delicious. They are committed to local products, which I like to support with my mouth and my dollars. Local gluten free buns, local beef, local fruit in their milkshakes, and tender sweet potato fries!

The sweet potato fries are both naturally gluten free and are the only thing they fry in their fryer (making them gluten free). You can see here that we both need our own to make sure everyone gets enough beta carotene.

The beef burgers are tender and delicious. My favorite is the bacon burger with bacon chunks. Lots of bits of crispy bacon on top. Can you see the fabulous bun that's even toasted on the edges? Big fans of that.

I'm grateful for a local food truck preparing and serving gluten free foods around our town. You can never have enough options, and Better Burger is tasty, fresh, local, delicious, and filling. We really enjoyed it!

Better Burger Food Truck
[weekly schedule]

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

City Cakes & Cafe: Gluten Free Bakery Review

City Cakes just moved from their old location at 300 East and 900 South in Salt Lake City, to a new, larger location just a few blocks over. Tucked in between car dealerships and architectural specialty stores, it's got a large parking lot and a great cafe spot both inside and out.

I had to confess to the employee inside that it was the first time I'd been there, even though I'd driven by the previous location hundreds of times. Well, I finally made it, seeking to ease some elements of a rough day. What better motivation to try a gluten free bakery?

They carry an interesting assortment of gluten free (and regular too, just to be clear) desserts and baked goods. All of the items in the bakery are vegan, meaning dairy free and egg free. From the gluten free desserts to those made with wheat, there's hardly a drop of dairy in the place. I did clarify that they use soy products in place of dairy (hello frosting), but I was grateful to find a dairy free alternative at a gluten free bakery. Donuts, cookies of many kinds, muffins, cupcakes, tarts, loaves of gluten free bread, and take-home containers of gluten free cookie dough.

I didn't stick around to eat inside, but it was quiet and friendly, with big comfy chairs to sit in while you read and drink a beverage. I ended up with a giant, happy, flower-shaped sugar cookie, that I found to be quite good. The cookie was tender and had a good flavor, and was just the slightest bit dry. The frosting was awesome, including the big yellow dollop in the middle of the flower (somehow my brain expected that to be extra special, and it was!) I also got a peanut butter bar, which came highly recommended by the employee. The bottom crust was almost graham cracker, with some large chunks of chocolate, a nice sweetened layer of creamy peanut butter, and a firm topping of milk chocolate. Totally decadent.

Glad I stopped by to try City Cakes. I'll be back!


City Cakes & Cafe
1000 S Main St  Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Check out our updated restaurants and stores pages.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Tender Barbecue Beef Brisket: Gluten, Dairy and Tomato Free

Beef brisket, if you've never worked with it before, comes in huge sides that weigh 6-12 pounds. They're all wrapped up by the deli counter and in the beef section of the store. They're flat and wide, and you may have trouble finding it on the shelf the first time. But! Don't give up - once you buy your first brisket, you'll loving having some on hand for a lazy Sunday afternoon dinner on the patio, or a warming meal on a cold evening.

It requires 5 (yes, five) hours of braising in the oven, but those five hours pack the smoky goodness into the meat and help it turn tender for you. In order to get the meat as tender as possible, it's essential that it's cut across the grain when you are slicing it. Cutting across the grain meats that when you see the lines running through the meat (look carefully), you will slice 90 degrees from the lines in the meat. You're slicing straight across those lines, bisecting them and releasing each of the cells in the meat to accept the yummy sauce.

I hope the heat of summer is roasting you with happiness :).

Tender Barbecue Beef Brisket
Recipe adapted from here

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1 fresh beef brisket (4 to 5 pounds)
2 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup Korean plum sauce (from the Asian market)
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke, optional
1 teaspoon chili powder

Combine the ginger and paprika; rub over brisket. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 2 hours.

Let stand for 20 minutes. Thinly slice meat across the grain. Place in a foil-lined 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. In a bowl, combine the water, mustard, plum sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, Liquid Smoke if desired and chili powder; pour over meat. Cover tightly with foil; bake 3 hours longer or until tender. Shred meat with two forks and serve.

Last Year: Chocolate Waffle Cookies
Two Years Ago: Banana Chocolate Chip Bars
Three Years Ago: Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken
Four Years Ago: Gluten Free Orange Bars

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Food Truck Thursdays: Rubadue's Saucey Skillet

Every Thursday at the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake City, a group of food trucks gather to serve lunch. We hit a food truck event or two on our trip to San Francisco, but there's something so charming and urban about a food truck near my work, not just near my vacation destination. (Also, still regretting the fact that we didn't wait in line for the bacon-themed truck there at Fisherman's Wharf. What could be more perfect than the proverbial truck full of bacon?)


I also figured I could find some decent gluten free options at the food truck event, and I was right. This week I chose to eat at Rubadue's Saucey Skillet, the only food truck I found with a clearly marked gluten free item on their menu. The Cilantro Pesto Chicken Salad is marked as gluten free, and I was glad to find a cool option in our city on a Thursday. Yippee!

The salad had fresh mixed greens, chopped tomatoes, some cilantro-garlic-cashews and parmesan pesto grilled chicken. The chipotle barbecue ranch dressing was served on the side, and was a great, cool compliment to the bright salad. Nice! We were out of town this last week, and my coworkers hit up the food truck again while I was gone. And believe me, we'll be going back this coming Thursday to see what new treasures we can find there.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Eating Gluten Free in San Francisco!: Vacation Adventures

We recently returned from an epic trip to San Francisco. It was a blast to plan the trip (isn't so much of the fun in the planning?), choosing interesting gluten free restaurants and quirky boutique hotels, navigating parking and museums, and always carrying our jackets for that cold wind off the water.

The other epic part was us both getting bronchitis near the beginning of the trip and sticking with it. We didn't spend any days curled up in tiny balls in our hotel room - we just spent one morning at the doctor's office instead of hitting the Legion of Honor museum. Because we were so sick, I don't have great documentation of all the places we ate, but I'll give you some of the highlights. I do love seeing what's available for the gluten free folks in other cities, including Los Angeles and Phoenix in the past. The plan for our next big adventure is to stay well. No amount of cough drops, soft Kleenexes, medicated cough syrup, or out of network insurance coverage makes up for feeling hazy when you're supposed to be having the time of your life.

One thing Utah could take note of on the gluten free front: we had no issues with cross-contamination in San Francisco restaurants. Proper food preparation techniques, even in restaurants where the kitchen was smaller than my bathroom at home, were standard. Thank you, San Francisco, for good food service practices and honest menus. (I'm not saying cross-contamination doesn't exist there, but it was certainly easier to navigate than it is here at home).
Our second morning in San Francisco we hit the amazing Ferry Building Farmer's Market. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday local farmers fill the sidewalk in front of the Ferry Building on Pier 1. The Ferry Building itself is filled with various permanent food vendors and restaurants. It was a food lover's paradise. Outdoors, we got some wildflower honey and fresh fruit. There were a few gluten free vendors outside, including a gluten free granola (that unfortunately contained oats). But yay!

Inside the Ferry Building, we found our breakfasts for the rest of the trip: Mariposa Baking Company. The employees were helpful and all the foods were clearly marked with other allergens they contained (making it easy for us dairy free folks). We tried bear claws, apricot tarts, fruit danishes, cinnamon rolls, and a lemon coconut bar. The husband was a huge fan, and we were glad to have a Mariposa hamburger bun at Radish and Mariposa focaccia on a sandwich at the Tivoli Caffe in Berkeley.

Also inside the Ferry Building, the husband got a snack from Boccalone: Tasty Salted Pig Parts. I'm not the connoisseur of assorted salted meat that he is - not limited to sausage and pepperoni, but I thought it was tender, flavorful, and interesting. The guys at Boccalone even told us you can go back down to Mariposa and get sandwiches made with Boccalone meats! Nice.

Instead of a sandwich, we decided on burgers made at the Prather Ranch Beef stand inside the Ferry Building. That was our first encounter with employees who didn't seem quite like they knew how to prepare a gluten free meal, but again, we were lucky to have no cross-contamination. It was a fresh burger, piled with carmelized onions and maple smoked bacon, and we grabbed some Mariposa sandwich buns to make these burgers portable. That really hit the spot.

One evening we took in the Asian fusion at E & O Asian Kitchen. The tapas style menu connected beautifully with the dark and sultry lounge with phenomenal lighting. We tried the pea tendrils and black garlic, a dark and bitter dish that I loved. The spicy Sichuan cellophane noodles and the prawn salad rounded out our tasting. Personally, I was crazy over the prawn salad, packed with spicy peppers, Asian fruits like lychee and ruby grapefruit, cool cucumbers, and spicy onions. It was a great compliment to the cellophane noodles that were just a bit too hot to handle, so the fruits cooled everything well. A delicious and gluten free dinner.

Another favorite was a burger joint called The Counter in San Mateo. Each diner gets a form to fill out and mark off the toppings you want. The gluten free option is clearly shown, and we had huge juicy burgers with an assortment of toppings, nestled on a gluten free bun. We also got to share sweet potato fries and regular fries. Overall, we were stuffed when we left, and it was satisfying and felt like home.


One of the evenings deep into our feverish bronchitis sweats, we had dinner at Betelnut. Neither of us were feeling top notch, but the food and atmosphere here made it bearable when we really wished we were tucked in our own beds. Tapas style, we ordered a variety of menu items to share, and were not disappointed with their perfectly gluten free offerings. Niman Ranch beef skewers with coriander and jalapeno vinegar, a fantastic salad, and their signature whole gulf prawns with bacon and chili jam. Excellent.

Our last dinner was the most pleasant surprise. We dined at Lin Jia Asian Kitchen in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland, and it was delightful. Just what we were hoping to find while in California. They had gluten free items marked on their menu, even though the items were somewhat limited. The husband ordered A Yi Pork, and I got a noodle dish. They were both so tender and flavorful, the staff was super friendly, the food was gluten free, and our tired bodies were satisfied.

We loved that San Francisco had such a variety of gluten free food available. The pastries from Mariposa, and so many tapas style places with great and exotic ingredients. It was interesting to cruise the lists of gluten free restaurants and realize most of the selection was Modern Asian and pizza. We don't do a lot of pizza these days, so we didn't try any while in San Francisco, but there seems to be a lot there.


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