New PF Chang's Gluten Free Menu

I love Chinese food and being able to eat it anywhere is one of the things I miss the most, especially the buffets!  PF Chang’s has become a favorite of mine because of their gluten free menu and because the quality of food is very good. I have only had good experiences there, and they have not broken my trust that they take all of the precautions and are 100% gluten free.

“P.F. Chang’s upholds a rigorous gluten free cooking process to ensure the dietary safety of guests with celiac disease. The restaurant’s staff takes all the necessary measures of precaution during the preparation and serving of gluten free dishes.”

I am very excited to learn that PF Chang’s has expanded their gluten free menuPRESS RELEASE

“The newly expanded Gluten Free Menu features the following items:

Starter:
GF Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps – $7.95

Soup:
GF Egg Drop Soup Cup – $2.95/Bowl – $5.95

Noodles:
GF Singapore Street Noodles – $9.95

Rice:
GF P.F. Chang’s Fried Rice – $7.95/Combo – $9.95

Vegetarian:
GF Buddha’s Feast – $7.50

Sides:
GF Spinach Stir-Fried with Garlic
GF Garlic Snap Peas
GF Shanghai Cucumbers
Small: $2.95/Large: $4.95

Dessert:
GF Flourless Chocolate Dome – $5.95

Lunch Bowls:
GF Buddha’s Feast – $7.25
GF Shrimp with Lobster Sauce – $8.95
GF Moo Goo Gai Pan – $8.95
GF Beef with Broccoli – $8.95
GF Pepper Steak – $8.95

Entrées:
GF Shrimp with Lobster Sauce – $12.95
GF Moo Goo Gai Pan -$13.25
GF Ginger Chicken With Broccoli – $12.75
GF Philip’s Better Lemon Chicken – $12.95
GF Chang’s Spicy Chicken – $12.95
GF Chang’s Lemon Scallops – $14.95
GF Salmon Steamed With Ginger – $17.95
GF Cantonese Shrimp or Scallops – $14.95
GF Mongolian Beef – $14.95
GF Beef with Broccoli – $11.95
GF Beef a La Sichuan – $13.95
GF Pepper Steak – $13.25
GF Hong Kong Beef with Snow Peas – $10.25
GF Dali Chicken – $12.95″

I already have my next visit planned:   Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps & Chang’s Spicy Chicken with Chan’s Fried Rice

Who is this “Chang” guy anyway?  I need to meet him!


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Gluten Free Diet Foods: What I’ve Been Eating

Do diets always consist of boring and bland food?  NO!

There is no way I could stick with a diet if I couldn’t still eat foods that taste good and eat a variety of foods.  Especially in the beginning, I have stuck to 45% protein, 35% carbs, and 20% fats in each meal.  My daily total of calories started at 2300 and has slowly dropped to around 1800-1900 calories per day.

I do eat a lot of boring and bland foods, because they are quick and easy to make, but I usually have one “good” meal each day which takes a little more time and preparation.  Below, is a photo gallery of some of the “good” meals I have made.  Each one sticks pretty close to the nutritional breakdown of 45/35/20.  Some of these meals I portion out and save some for later.

I try and use any kind of sauce or dressing in moderation… something that is new to me.  Wild Thymes and San J have a wide variety of sauces that help keep my meals interesting.

I don’t have any photos of my breakfasts, because those are usually the boring ones.  I usually have 2 whole eggs, 4 egg whites, a red potato(or brown rice), and some vegetables(onions and green peppers).

You will even see some fried chicken!  Believe it or not, with the chicken, corn meal, eggs, and olive oil, the nutritional facts are pretty much perfect.  I may be a little over on the oil sometime, but I am usually lacking in my fats each day.

No, I didn’t drink the Redbridge beer… that was only put there for the effect.

Diets don’t always consist of boring foods!

Gluten Free Weight Loss: Week 2

Week 2 turned out better than I expected. After losing 7lbs. the first week, I expected to only lose a couple pounds this week. Instead, I was shocked when I saw the scale at 208- a 5lb. loss. The week started out with having a bunch of friends in town and going out to eat a few times.

This week was better than the last in terms of routine, since I was more accustomed to the diet and getting an exercise routine established. I still didn’t make it out to run as often as I should have, but I am making progress.
I still stuck to my basic foods of chicken, tuna, eggs, rice, and vegetables.

During the first week, I had a hard time getting to 2300 calories, and I was basically eating 1900-2000 calories per day. Therefore, this week, my goal was to eat 2000 calories over 5 meals.

Schar Gluten Free Pizza Crusts

My mom had some of these Schar Gluten Free Pizza Crusts around for my dad and sister, so she gave me one to try.  There are two in each box.  You don’t have to keep them in the freezer, just in your pantry.  I made a BBQ chicken pizza with San-J’s Asian BBQ sauce, which is gluten free!

I was pretty skeptical at first and assumed they would be really dry and brittle.  They were NOT!  They were actually very good.  I could see going to a normal pizza place and enjoying this pizza as if they had made it on site.  I would buy this product again!

Chipotle is Gluten Free

I have some personal good news and bad news for you: I am no longer addicted to gluten, although I am now addicted to Chipotle.

I want to avoid gluten. What can I eat at your restaurant?
Most people wanting to avoid gluten can eat anything we serve except for our wheat burrito tortillas, our soft wheat taco tortillas, and possibly our hot red tomatillo salsa (there is a small amount of distilled vinegar in it which some gluten-oriented websites still say might be problematic, although most don’t).
Everything else is fine to eat for most people wanting to avoid gluten, including our crispy corn tacos, our corn chips, and our burrito bowls (no tortilla). However, you should know that it’s possible our corn may have a small amount of gluten from potentially co-mingling with gluten-containing grains in the field.
If you are highly sensitive and would like us to change our gloves, we would be happy to do that at your request. Additionally, because our folks work with wheat tortillas all day long, there may be the possibility of cross-contact in our restaurants. We encourage you to carefully consider your dining choices.
”  taken from Chipotle’s website

Find a Chipotle in your area!

Do you love Chipotle as much as I do?

Gluten Free Is Not Hard

Someone made the point today that there is a lot of whining going on about gluten free being so hard and not being able to eat anything.  Come on people, it isn’t that hard!  It is only as hard as you make it.  Sorry, but you can’t eat a ten course meal with everyone else and not tell the dining staff about it, but you can find simple ways to avoid gluten.

I continually preach: Keep it simple! Especially, for those of you who are just starting out.  If you can stick to basic foods, whether you are at home, or out to eat, then it isn’t so bad.

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Image from pattymemorial.org

Think about your usual grocery store layout.  Shop the outside walls of the grocery store. That is a little trick I learned that applies to eating healthy and unprocessed foods.  This also applies for us gluten free folks- just skip the baked goods, obviously.  Pick up some vegetables, fruits, nuts, meat, cheese, milk, and eggs.  Keep it simple.  You know these items are naturally gluten free!  If you want to get crazy, wander to in the inner isles of the store for some condiments or rice… or maybe your store’s gluten free section is also in the middle.  Build your meals around these basics, then start adding in other things you know are gluten free.

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GlutenFreeWhen cooking at home, for me, everything revolves around those simple foods. For example: I was suddenly starving this afternoon, so I quickly defrosted, cut, and cooked some chicken.  Then put tomato sauce on some corn tortillas.  Melted some cheese on them.  Since I was really hungry, I scrambled a couple eggs.  I put them all together, and in 10min. I had a great lunch!  I was so tempted to go to Chipotle and spend $8, but I liked this more and it maybe cost $1.50.  See, it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

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GlutenFree (1)GlutenFree (4)A while back, I received some great sauces and dressing from San-J and Wild Thymes.

They both make some great gluten free products.  These have been a life saver when it comes to making it feel like I am eating a new meal every day.

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Does eating the same foods get boring?  NO. Remember Bubba from Forest Gump… “shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried…” (I love that movie)

I have found some easy ways to cook just the same few foods many different ways to keep it interesting.  Add soy sauce and make a stir-fry.  Add hot sauce for buffalo chicken.  Add BBQ sauce.  Add some rice, corn tortillas, and hot salsa to make Mexican.  My favorite: use corn meal to bread your chicken!  I could go on forever… “…pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich…”

Gluten Free Fried Foods

One thing I miss the most is fried foods.  You know- all those breaded and fried appetizers at restaurants… chicken tenders, cheese sticks, jalapenos, mushrooms, the list goes on and on.  We aren’t even supposed to eat the french fries since they are fried in the same oil as rest of these amazing foods. I have heard of a few restaurants that will clean out a fryer and replace the oil just for someone with celiac(this is rare), AND I know of one place in St. Louis with a dedicated gluten free fryer: Corner Pub & Grill!

I have figured out a way to get my fix at home.  I can now make breaded buffalo chicken tenders and other fried goodies!

I’m not a chef, or close to be calling myself a “good cook,” but I can find my way around the kitchen and figure some things out on my own.  When I mention on Twitter (@switch2gf) that I made some fried food, I always get questions on how I did it.  It is pretty simple!

What you need:

  • Chicken (Can be substituted for anything else you want.  I also fry shrimp frequently.)
  • Corn Meal  (Some people use corn starch, but I like the texture of corn meal better.)
  • Olive Oil
  • Egg
GFchixtend 7
My Ingredients

Optional:

  • Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic salt
  • Cheese
  • Hot sauce

Preparation Steps:

  1. Cut chicken into slices- size of your choice.
  2. Beat egg into a bowl.
  3. Mix corn meal and other seasonings into separate bowl.
  4. Heat oil in pan.
GFchixtend 5
Ready to go!

Cooking Steps:

  1. Dip chicken in egg.
  2. Cover egg covered chicken in corn meal and other seasonings.
  3. Place into pan with oil.
  4. Rotate and cook until golden.
  5. Add cheese- if you want to make it a little more unhealthy, but GOOD.
  6. You could stop here, but I like to add some hot sauce.
GFchixtend 3
Almost ready!

GFchixtend 2
With cheese!

GFchixtend 1
Ready to Serve!

BAM!  You’re done.  From the time I start getting read to the time I am completely cleaned up and eating is under 20min.  What a great, easy, and quick meal!

Please share your feedback, variations and photos.  I will add your recipes and photos to this article.

Homemade Chipolte

With my current addiction to Chipolte starting to hurt my bank account, I decided that I could make my own burrito bowls at home.  I just looked at what they use and decided it was pretty simple.  I didn’t use exact amounts for anything…. I just winged it! Continue reading “Homemade Chipolte”