Posts Tagged ‘eggs’

Eating Safely: Gluten, Celiac, and Allergy Watchwords

Those of us who deal with food allergies or who have been diagnosed with celiac know to watch out for the big-time offenders like wheat, dairy, gluten, or whatever else we may be allergic or sensitive to. But not all ingredient listings or menus use such straight-forward terms, and we need to outsmart the tricky terminology.

To help us, the good people at Enjoy Life (who make my absolute favorite chocolate chips and chunks) have put out an extremely helpful chart of common allergens and the terms associated with them. I got one of these at the gluten-free picnic I went to this summer, and I’ve taken pictures to share it with you (below the full chart are closeups so you can read it more easily). Hope this helps!

enjoy life chart 1enjoy life chart 2enjoy life chart 3enjoy life chart 4

Hidden Glutens in Wines – Does Gluten Free Wine Exist?

If wine triggers your celiac or gluten allergy symptoms and you miss having wine with a fine meal, take heart – there’s hope. Wine is one of those areas we don’t tend to question when we think “gluten free”…that is, until you have a reaction. So I did some research into it, and here’s what I found out.

Generally speaking, gluten isn’t deliberately added to wines unless it’s one of those wheat-based wines, BUT (isn’t there always a “but”?) there are a few ways that gluten can sneak into wine and trigger your celiac or gluten reactions. Those things include:

~ cross-contamination during productionwheat wine
~ gluten in added colors
~ gluten in added flavors
~ the “fining”, or clarifying process

Believe it or not, the clarifying process can include the use of these allergens:

~ hydrolyzed wheat gluten isolate
~ pea protein isolate
~ milk protein (casein)
~ eggs
~ shellfish/fish glue
~ gelatin

Your best bet to avoid this pitfall is to look for biodynamic wines, which also offer the added bonus of being organic. Instead of using the above allergens in the fining process, many biodynamic wineries instead use bentonite clay. Of course, you should still double-check the winery’s website to make sure it’s free of the allergens you react to because gluten and other allergens can leach into the wine from barrels that are sealed with wheat paste. So even though their fining process may not include allergens, they may not be able to guarantee allergen-free wines because of cross-contamination from the barrels. Look for wineries that use stainless steel barrels instead.

But keep in mind – while all biodynamic wines are organic, not all biodynamic wines are gluten free.

demeter-med-logo

The process of making biodynamic wines (too complex to explain here, but you can read about it at Food and Wine) typically results in gluten-free and vegan wines that are produced on farms that use crop rotation, homeopathic sprays, and composting as a way to “heal the earth” and keep soil healthy for future crops. Biodynamic wines should have the Demeter certification mark you see to the right.

So the upshot is that while US regulations do not require wine labels to include allergen information like some other more allergy-conscious countries do, there are safer options for those of us who are more careful about what we put in our bodies.

Frey Organic Winery is one of the few (so far) wineries that produces biodynamic, gluten free wines. Check out their website for great information on biodynamic farming, the wine production process, and their selection of GF wines.

African Chicken in Spicy Red Sauce – Dinner and Breakfast!

Last weekend I made an awesome Ethiopian recipe that I found on EthiopianRecipes.net. Here it is, quoted from that website:

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African Chicken in Spicy Red Sauce

Ingredients
Chicken
2 lbs boneless chicken breast
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (2 medium)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
4 lemon wedge

Berbere (use 2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons ground red pepper
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions
Berbere:.
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Yields 1/4 cup. Serving size is 1 teaspoons.

Chicken:.
Place chicken in a shallow dish; drizzle with juice, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes (do not brown), stirring frequently.

Add 2 tsp Berbere, remaining 1/4 tsp salt, butter, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom, cook 1 minute.

Add wine, broth, and tomato paste; stir until well blended.

Add chicken mixture; bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes or until chicken is tender, turning chicken occasionally.

Stir in cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges.

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Personally, I didn’t use cilantro, cardamom, or the lemon wedge garnish. I used canola oil instead of olive oil and fresh grated ginger instead of ground ginger for the Berbere. I also cut the amount of red pepper in half for the Berbere to make the dish more mild. It still had some spice, but leftover it was pretty darned spicy! I served it over Kasmati rice (Indian style Basmati – or so the label says :)) with salad on the side, and it turned out really great!

Then, there was so much sauce leftover (I made only 3 chicken breasts) that I used it for breakfast. I put a slice of Udi’s white sandwich bread on the bottom of the plate, put a couple of over easy eggs on top of the bread, and poured the warmed up sauce over the whole thing. DELICIOUS!!!!!

Flavor Factor: