Sunday, May 26, 2013

Eating Gluten-Free on United Airlines

Eating on Flights

Traveling used to be fun. Traveling used to be exciting. I'm talking about the process of actually traveling. Not the destination. The traveling to the destination.

I have turned the corner. Traveling is not fun anymore. It's not exciting.

Well, not exciting in the way it should be.

Now, the excitement consists of figuring out how and where and when I am going to be able to find safe gluten-free food while traveling.

Don't even get me started on security and the TSA.

On a not-so-recent-now trip from west coast to east coast, I had three flights in one day. Certainly not my first choice, but it was what I was able to get.

The first leg was from one end of California to the other. Small regional jet. Pseudo beverage service, no food.

Well, I guess it makes that flight gluten-free. Ahem.

My second flight was the big one. From one end of the country to the other. I had hoped that I would be able to find some gluten-free food before boarding this long flight.

My first flight landed at LAX, and while we taxied--seemingly from one side of LA county to the other--I used my phone to find my next departure gate.

Located in a separate terminal from that of my arrival. And with only a short amount of time to get there.

I pulled up a map of the terminals. I was going to have to hurry to get from my arrival gate to my departure gate. And look for gluten-free food along the way that I could grab and go. And hurry. And not get stuck waiting in line. And move quickly.

Good luck to me.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gluten-Free Beer Can Chicken

Grilling Chicken Whole

Have you noticed that it is grilling time? Wait. Is it ever not grilling time?

Definitely grilling time.

There are plenty of things you can grill on the grill, and chicken should be one of them.

But chicken is tricky. Too hot and you burn the skin. Or the outside is just right, but the middle is still raw.

Grill chicken too cool and it ends up juiceless and tough. 

So how do you get it just right?

Here is one way. 

One whole chicken. One half can of gluten-free beer. Some Beer Can Chicken Rub. One and half hours of indirect grilling time.


All you need is the right ingredients, both food and method, and you will have magical gluten-free grilled chicken on your plates!

Beer Can Rub - Naturally Gluten-Free

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Book of Lost Fragrances

Book Review

The Book of Lost Fragrances by M. J. Rose.

I saw this book come up as a more recent release. 

It's about time I read something new. For a change.

Well, fairly new. This book came out only last year. That's very new compared to most of the other things I've been reading lately.

And then I cracked the front cover. 

Mysticism. Reincarnation. Egyptian myths. Tibetan struggles. 

This was certainly beginning to look like something outside of my normal reading genres.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. It's just that I got a certain impression from the front cover, which reads, "a novel of suspense".

Suspense and mysticism? In the same book? I guess it is possible, but that is not a connection I would have anticipated before opening the cover.

Yes, I may be a skeptic, but I'm also sufficiently curious. It was time to find out how all these ideas could come together under one cover.

The Book of Lost Fragrances

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Eating Gluten-Free at Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

Gluten-Free Bar-B-Que?

Is it possible? Does gluten-free bar-b-que exist?

I've always wondered. I've always been wary.

Sauces. You never know what people put in their sauces. You never, ever, ever know what restaurants put in their sauces.

And bar-b-que sauce is no exception.

When my cousin invited me out for dinner at a bar-b-que restaurant, I was skeptical. Hesitant. Cautious.

But just a moment's worth of research on the internet put my fears to rest.

This bar-b-que looked safe. They even have a full-fledged, gluten-free menu! With gluten-free appetizers! With gluten-free salads! With gluten-free BBQ! With gluten-free sides! With gluten-free sandwiches and burgers!

There was no way I was going to turn down this invitation. Bar-q-que! For the gluten intolerant! Finally!

Never mind that we were in LA, and the traffic was typical, lousy, LA traffic and I had to drive forty-five minutes, each way, in it in order to get my gluten-free bar-b-que. Yeah, never mind. It was worth all that traffic-laden freeway time!
Lucille's Smokehouse BBQ on Urbanspoon

Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

Monday, May 6, 2013

Urban Crave in Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)

Airport Eating - Gluten-Free

Airports are notoriously difficult places to find gluten-free food.

Between the fast food, fried food, bar food, and prepackaged food, you have no idea where that food has been, what else was in the fryer oil, what has been mixed with it, or what other ingredients are included.

Better to avoid it all.

But you can't.

You can't because domestic flights rarely (if ever?) offer special, gluten-free meals nowadays. You can't because you can't pack all of your own safe foods, with an ice pack, through security. You can't because no one can (or should) live off of gluten-free snack bars when they travel.

You need options. You need to know where you can find safe, gluten-free food while traveling.

I am always on the lookout for safe places to eat. I guess it helps that I often find myself stuck in airports and airplanes for ten, twelve, even fourteen hours in a single day. That is certainly enough time to get hungry.

Really hungry.

Really hungry for real food.

If you find yourself anywhere near Gate C33 in the Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), you now have another option for finding gluten-free food.

Urban Crave on Urbanspoon

Urban Crave

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Allegro Hickory Smoke Marinade and Homemade Grilled Vegetable Marinade

Allegro Hickory Smoke Marinade

Grilling is one of my favorite ways to cook. It imparts flavor to your meat that cannot be replicated by anything in a bottle.

And if you have a bottle of this marinade on hand, you have the opportunity to make that grilled meat great!

Several years ago I picked up a bottle of this marinade at my local store. I loved it immediately!

Of course, it being gluten-free might have had something to do with that!

See, most marinades have soy sauce in them, and most soy sauce has gluten. Most, but not all.

I went back for several months for a new bottle of Allegro each time I ran out. I didn't want to be without this in my kitchen.

And then suddenly, one of those trips to the store left me disappointed. Allegro wasn't there anymore. No spot on the shelf. No price label on the shelf. No sign of it anywhere. Nothing.

And the next trip to the store was just as disappointing. And the next. And the next. I think you get the picture. The store had stopped carrying Allegro.

Ultimate disappointment set in. Deeply. For years.

Fast forward to near present day. Last month, a new local grocery store opened near me. Allegro is something I went looking for.

And behold! There it was. Bliss once again!

This is, hands down, my favorite meat marinade ever. And it just so happens to be gluten-free!

We snagged some not-too-expensive slabs of beef and started marinating!

You don't want to put this on any very expensive cut of meat. You probably don't want to marinate an expensive piece of meat in the first place. No filet mignon here.

We chose some slabs that were quite thin, since we were short on time. Time is your bestest friend ever when it comes to marinating. The more time, the better.

On this particular afternoon, time was limited, so thin was better for us. We marinated our slabs for about a half hour.

No worries, though. The result was outstanding!

Our daughter boldly announced that this is her absolute favorite way of having beef. Marinated in Allegro and grilled.

What a fabulous combination!

But wait! There's more....

Grilled Vegetable Marinade