Gluten-Free Dining at Bonefish

My mom and I just got back from Tampa, Fla. We went down to celebrate my grandpa’s 79th birthday. While we were there, I made it my mission to check out at least one gluten-friendly restaurant that I haven’t eaten at yet. My grandpa suggested Bonefish Grill. Apparently him and his girlfriend eat there once or twice a week, so I was excited to give it a try.

When we got to the restaurant my grandpa, who has never met a stranger in his life, had the waiter send out the kitchen manager to make sure they would take good care of me. He told them all about my blog, and they were happy to make sure I had a good experience. The kitchen manager asked me if I was gluten intolerant or had celiac disease, so I knew I was in good hands. They had an entire menu dedicated to gluten-free options (pictured below), and it gave me a lot of options to pick from.

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I ordered Lilly’s Chicken, and it was AMAZING. It had the perfect combination of flavors – grilled chicken covered in goat cheese, spinach, artichoke hearts and lemon basil sauce. Delicious.

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I will be visiting a Bonefish Grill again in my near future. I can’t believe I have spent so much of my life missing out on that tasty meal. I need to make up for lost time.

We spent the rest of our trip shopping and laying by the pool. Wouldn’t have had it any other way.

On our way out of town, we went to our favorite Greek restaurant in Tarpon Springs, Hellas. Tarpon Springs is a town rich in Greek heritage, so the food tastes pretty authentic. I used to order gyros and flaming cheese before becoming gluten-free, but this time I ordered the Greek salad and Greek style potatoes. It was still yummy. Greek food is probably one of my favorite types, along with Italian and Mexican!

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IMG_2007A good time was had by all in Florida, and I can’t wait to go back. I’m always looking for new dining options when I’m in the area, so if you know of any great restaurants that I should try near Tampa, let me know!

Pumpkin Crunch {gluten-free}

I am beyond blessed to work in an environment where my coworkers are not only accepting of my gluten-free lifestyle, but also accommodating. A couple of weeks ago my coworker brought in a gluten-free pumpkin crunch dessert that was incredible. Before she made the dessert, she even double-checked with me that all the ingredients would be safe.

When I got to taste it the next day, I immediately asked for the recipe. None of my coworkers even knew it was gluten-free until they noticed that I was eating too!

This week, I made the recipe for myself and was not disappointed. It is quite possibly one of the easiest and most delicious pumpkin desserts ever.

But before I give you the recipe, I want to share this video with you. I think you will agree that it is pretty funny.

Don’t worry about not being able to eat Royals, because this dessert will satisfy your cravings – no problem.

Ingredients

  • 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker’s gluten-free mix)
  • 1 cup melted butter

Steps

1.  Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

2.  Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs and cinnamon.

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3.  Pour mixture into greased 9×13 inch pan.

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4.  Sprinkle the cake mix on top of the pumpkin mixture. Pour the melted butter over the top.

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5.  Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

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6.  Let cool and serve.

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Gluten-Free Awareness Tour & Labeling Information

Eating gluten-free is not always easy. There is so much information out there about what you should eat, what you shouldn’t eat, where you should get your food, where you shouldn’t get your food, etc.

The new FDA gluten-free labeling rule has caused a lot of confusion in the gluten-free community. Lucky for you (and me), the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness has been working hard to clear up the conflicting information. They recently released a fact sheet from the NFCA Webinar “Understanding the FDA’s Gluten-Free Labeling Rule.” To view the fact sheet, click here. In my opinion, this is something that all gluten-free eaters should familiarize themselves with.

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Also, in spirit of spreading information about gluten-free living, I wanted to remind everyone that the Gluten-Free Awareness Tour will be in Chicago Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 26-27.

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At the event, you will meet top medical experts, watch live cooking demonstrations on the Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery Stage and enjoy gluten-free food samples from dozens of local and national companies. For more information and a schedule of tour dates and locations, visit celiacawarenesstour.com.

Alfredo Spaghetti Squash {Gluten-Free}

Last weekend, I went to my first (and last) farmers market of the summer season with a few of my friends. Sad, I know, considering it is already fall. I really enjoyed it, and there were lots of great fresh food options for us gluten-free folks. I even got to daydreaming about opening my own booth and selling gluten-free treats next summer. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Anyway, we came across a stand that was selling squash, and I immediately thought of this recipe that I found on Pinterest by Family Fresh Meals. You’ve probably seen it too. It looks really good. So… I bought the squash.

Honestly, I was expecting it to taste pretty bad. I have only heard negative reviews from friends and family members, so my hopes were not very high.

I was surprised at how much I liked the spaghetti squash. Don’t get me wrong, it was not as good as regular alfredo pasta, but I would make it again. And if you want to try spaghetti squash, this is probably the recipe you should try.

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 spaghetti squash
  • 1 jar alfredo sauce (I used Classico, because it says “gluten-free” right on the jar)
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steps

1.  Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

2.  Place the washed squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Cut 2-3 vents in the squash by poking it with a sharp knife. I was surprised at how hard this part was. Squash has tough skin.

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3.  Bake the squash for 60-65 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

4.  Cut squash in half, length-wise, and scoop out the seeds.

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5.  With a fork, shred the inside of the squash. This is the step where you form the ‘noodles.’ Season with salt and pepper.

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6.  Mix half a jar of alfredo sauce in with each half of the squash’s noodles. Top with shredded cheese.

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7.  Place squash under broiler for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melty.

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8.  Serve and enjoy.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Okay. I admit it. I have a sweet tooth. I love all things chocolate. Who doesn’t? Naturally, I stumbled upon this recipe from Pillsbury for Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes, and you know I was excited to try it.

This recipe was a little out of the box for me, because it looked so fancy. I like easy recipes. However, it was simple. Because Pillsbury has gluten-free cookie dough, it saves a big step during the process. It is a recipe that anyone is capable of making, which is why I am sharing it on my blog.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Pillsbury Gluten Free refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough (from 14.3 oz. container)
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or canola oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Cream cheese frosting
  • Chocolate chips

Steps

1.  Preheat oven at 350 °F. Line muffin pan with paper liners and spray with cooking spray. Set to the side.

2.  Bake 12 three-fourth inch balls of cookie dough for 6 minutes. Let cool.

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3.  While the small cookies are baking, roll the remaining cookie dough into 12 one inch balls. Set aside.

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4.  Mix flour blend, cocoa, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, sugar, oil and water in electric mixer for several minutes until blended.

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5.  Spoon cake batter into the muffin tins (about half full). Place one cookie dough ball into each muffin tin, on top of batter. Cover the balls with another spoonful of batter. *Make sure the tins are about three-fourths full. My tins were almost all the way full and the cupcakes ended up a little too big.

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6.  Bake 30 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean). Cool about 30 minutes.

7.  Frost, sprinkle with chocolate chips and top with mini-cookie.

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