Daily Life, Review

Home Again; Location Re-Adjustments

Being back in Seattle has made me truly appreciate the gluten free resources I have available to me in Denver. When I am at school, I am able to literally cross the street from my dorm building and have access to everything from healthy japanese food to mexican food to the best hot cocoa in town. Here in little old Bothell, Washington, I have less options. Don’t get me wrong, Seattle is considered a mecca for gluten free dining. It just takes a little more effort for me to get into the car, drive through traffic into the city, find parking, and pay $15-$20 for a plate of food. Eating gluten free is obviously important to me, but I don’t have that kind of money to spend at restaurants. I have felt a little lost here, feeling like eating gluten free is almost harder here at home, than when I am away at school. I just haven’t been gluten free in Seattle as long as I have been gluten free in Denver. In fact, my roommate knows more about my eating habits than my parents do at this point. Not to mention that more kitchen= more spaces for gluten to creep in.

It has been great to see my friends from home, but there are some downsides to social gatherings that I have come to realize. We, as humans, are social eaters, and going out to eat at a restaurant is the natural go-to grown-up “play date”. My friends have been extremely patient with me and are always conscious to ask me where I am able to eat. Unfortunately, almost all of the gluten free friendly places I can name are super fancy restaurants that us college students cannot afford to eat at, so I end up letting them decide while I just drink a soda and eat the Larabar I brought along with me. I ran into this debacle the other day, when my two friends wanted to go out to dinner. I left the restaurant decision up to them, too lazy to try and find a nearby Celiac friendly restaurant. They chose a chinese restaurant and I thought to myself: “Hey, maybe I could just get some steamed rice and vegetables! I was able to do this at a thai restaurant before!” Boy, was I wrong…

The waitress, who was very Chinese, came over to our table to take our orders. I asked her for some steamed rice, and a side of plain steamed vegetables. She proceeded to tell me that they didn’t offer plain steamed vegetables: the only way I could order veggies was as a main dish with some kind of garlic butter sauce. No matter what I said, she was not going to allow me to order this dish without the sauce. I told her about my gluten “allergy”, after which she proceeded to stare at me like I was speaking, well, Chinese (in her case, English), and she called me a “picky eater”. WTF lady. So, long story short, I ended up with a $1 bowl of steamed rice as my dinner. Gee, thanks a lot for your warm hospitality, Chinese restaurant.

Anywhoozles, I am still in the long process of compiling a list of trusted gluten free dining locations in my area, to which I can bring my friends. On my list so far I have Flying Apron Bakery (with a new location closer to my house!), and Grilla Bites. A measly list, yes, but most importantly, a trusted list.


Restaurant Review: Grilla Bites- Snohomish, WA

Today was Father’s Day and it came time to decide a restaurant destination for tonight’s meal. My dad, being the amazingly understanding man he is, let me give him options as to where we could eat, seeing as my food options are a little bit more limited than his. We came upon the decision of trying out the Snohomish restaurant, Grilla Bites: an organic restaurant that gives a plethora of options for vegans, vegetarians, and of course gluten-free-ers. I was a little skeptical at first, seeing as this seemed like your regular soup, salad, sandwich joint (a difficult genre of restaurant for us gluten free diners to eat at). However, I was greatly relieved when I found out that they offer 3 kinds of gluten free bread, gluten free hamburger buns/hotdog buns, gluten free desserts, and all of their soups are gluten free as well!

I ordered the “All-American” burger (Bison meat, red onion, BBQ sauce, spinach), and just to be safe, I asked the lady at the cash register if the bun is toasted on a dedicated toaster oven. She said that everything gluten free is prepared in a separate area than everything else: separate knives, toasters, cutting boards, everything! Hooray! The burger was great! The bison was cooked evenly and retained plenty of juices, the vegetables were fresh, and the sauces were rich and flavorful. Having felt great after my meal, I went back to the register and got some dessert: a vegan and gluten free brownie! It was super rich and chocolatey and even had a thick layer of fudge on top of the brownie. I told myself that I wouldn’t eat the whole thing, but let’s just say that that sure as hell didn’t happen. ;]

5 stars!


The Perfect Omelette

I have developed an obsession with omelettes. It’s a serious problem, and I may never recover from this whirlwind love affair between me and eggs/vegetables/lotsofcheese. This obsession of mine began in school this past year: seeing as the dining hall offers very little safe options for Celiacs to eat, I found myself only going there for breakfast due to the availability of fresh omelettes that are made to order right there in front of you. Me and my roommate would wake up a whole 30 minutes earlier than necessary just to start our day off right with a hearty omelette, potatoes/hash browns (which, let’s face it, are really just french fries in disguise as a breakfast food), and cranberry juice. Now that I’m back in Seattle, living at home with a full kitchen, I’m making an omelette every morning for myself and frankly, I could eat about 5 omelettes a day but that would make for a ridiculous amount of Costco trips for eggs.

After having observed the techniques of the omelette-making-man at school everyday for about 9 months, I have learned the ways of making a foolproof omelette, and I’m going to share this sacred knowledge with you all.

– 2+ eggs
– some veggies
– cheese of your choice
– olive oil

–>Start by cutting up some vegetables. I chose to use onion, spinach, and tomato for this particular omelette, but I’ve used everything from parsley to avocado to green chilis, so do as you please/use whatever is in the fridge.

–> Next, pour about 1/2 tbsp of olive oil into a small-ish pan and give the oil a whirl around to coat the bottom. I’ve discovered that non-stick spray and butter don’t really work as well as olive oil in terms of keeping the omelette from sticking to the pan, so by all means, use olive oil.
–> Crack 2 eggs in the pan (use 3 if you’re ravenous), and whip them around until it’s all yellow– this is going to make for a fluffier omelette and give it a uniform yellow color (not that that really matters in the scope of things, but I’m weird like that).
–> Turn on the heat to high/medium and drop in your chopped veggies. There is no rhyme or reason to this, but don’t hold back from making a smiley face or heart shape with the vegetables (an idea that I unfortunately, had no thought of when I was making my omelette =[ ).

–> Let this sit a little while over heat. This would be the time to start cutting up any fruit or toast you want with this omelette. Because let’s not fool ourselves: we’ll still be hungry after the omelette.

–> Once the edges of the omelette start to form, like shown about, lift up the edges gently with your spatula and tilt the pan, letting the liquid-y eggs on top drip over the edges, going underneath the omelette.
–> Now is the intimidating part: flipping the omelette. But, if you have properly oiled the pan and done the liquid-over-the-edge part, you’ll make it through just fine. Simply scoot the spatula under the omelette and loosen the omelette from the bottom and sides of the pan being sure that it is completely separated from it. Give the pan a slight forward/up motion at the same time as using the spatula to flip the omelette like you would a pancake. Good luck to you.

–> Add some shredded cheese on one side of the flipped omelette to let in begin it’s melting stage. Wait about 2 minutes until the other side can cook. Fold the non-cheesy side of the omelette over the cheesy side, and slip it onto a plate.

YUM. Go make one for yourself, your dad, your mom, your granny, your dog. They will love you forever and always.