Gluten Free/Whole 30 Menu for Week of 26 June 2017

I’m late posting my weekly menu – sorry.  On the bright side I am on day 8 of my Whole 30 so YAY ME! I thought it was going to be almost impossible to give up my daily fix of coke/diet coke but truly it hasn’t been that hard, and while I’d like to say to say that I have been drinking tons of water, the truth is I have been drinking 100% juice mixed with water and plain iced tea (on top of the occasional glass of ice water).  So this is what I’m cooking this week:

Chicken Puttanesco with GF Pasta (not for me) and broccoli

  • I already made this and the sauce-part was delicious but my chicken didn’t turn out very tasty. Then again, I’m not a huge chicken fan so…

Marinated Flank Steak with Oven-Roasted Potatoes

  • I already made this too and it was so darn good. I have to be honest though – there is no way in hell I am cooking with dates – I think they’re nasty, so I left them out. It was my first time using coconut aminos and I thought it was alright (I saw mixed reviews online).

Roasted Chicken with Sausage and Potatoes

  • I haven’t made this yet and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to because I’m having a heck of a time finding Whole 30 compliant sausage (which is the only reason I even want to make this!).  As if finding gluten-free sausage isn’t hard enough….

Avocado BLT Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps

  • Having these tonight and I can’t wait to try them! Will probably break down and make GF grilled cheese for the kids though because they will freak out if I put this on their plates.

Paleo BBQ Chicken Casserole (served on Buns for Hubbs and N)

  • As crazy as it sounds I am leaving out the spaghetti squash because we don’t like it and E and I will eat it over salad. Hubbs and N will probably eat it on tradition (gluten filled….gasp) buns. That is IF I can ever find Whole 30 compliant BBQ sauce.

Skillet Beef Fajitas with Salad

Hope you all have a great week.

Happy cooking!

-j.

 

 

Gluten Free Menu for Week of 19 June 2017 – with a long intro

Holy cow, it has been forever since I’ve updated my blog! In the month-plus since my last post we have moved, Hubbs has returned to real active duty, E has started piano and golf lessons, N has started Junior Golf, and I am STILL working on my real estate class. For somebody who doesn’t work anymore, I sure feel like I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to each day. I also have decided I am tired of all my stomach issues and am going to try the Whole 30 to see if I can figure out what the heck my body does like to eat – and as an added bonus, I’m hoping to lose some weight.  N has been having serious stomach pains also, that his new on-base doctor (yes, we are back to receiving our health care on base) thinks is just “constipation.” To which I said, “yeah, that’s what we were told for about 4 years with E, who has Celiac Disease.” The doctor said, “really, because Celiac usually presents with diarrhea.” “No shit,” I wanted to deadpan (ha, what a pun) but didn’t. Maybe this Whole 30 thing will help N too.

So, here is my gluten-free and Whole 30 menu for this week:

Monday – Grilled Steak with mushrooms sautéed in Ghee served with Salad

  • I’m going to season my steak with Whole 30 approved spices, and cook the mushrooms with either the light olive oil or Ghee (fancy butter apparently). I’ll use the olive oil and some balsamic vinegar as dressing. Yum

Tues – Grilled Chicken with Oven Roasted Potatoes and Bacon and Brussels Spout Hash

  • I plan to just cut up some potatoes, drizzle light olive oil over them and season with salt and pepper, then cook them at 425 until they look done.

Wed – Cute Little Breakfast Muffins

  • I’m omitting the peppers because I don’t like them in my eggs and adding tomatoes because…YUMMY!

Thurs – Grilled Chicken with Salad and Oven Roasted Cauliflower Rice

  • I have no idea how this “rice” is going to turn out, so I’m already dreading cooking it. But, if I am to become a better cook I need to get out there and try new things…

Friday – Crockpot Sweet Pork over Lettuce with Avocado

  • I’ll admit, I’m nervous about this one because truthfully I don’t really like pork. But because I have to go out of my comfort zone on this Whole 30 thing and keep things still gluten-free, I thought we’d try this.

Sat – Grilled Salmon with Avocado served with Southern Green Beans

  • I am SO excited to make these green beans. I LOVE green beans! I will probably end up adding some white vinegar to them though, which is allowed on Whole 30.

Hope you don’t mind the Whole 30 additions!

Have a great week and happy cooking

-j.

Gluten Free Dinner Ideas for Week of 8 May

We are moving in less than 2 weeks and as you can imagine, things are hectic around my house! The majority of our household goods are currently being dropped off in our new house over a thousand miles away, and we are “roughing it” here in OKC. With that said, my menu planning has been fluid, but I still wanted to share what I shopped for and plan to make some time this week:

Parmesan Chicken Tenderloins with Salad

  • This is somebody’s Weight Watchers recipe and since I’m planning on starting Weight Watchers (again…ugh) soon I thought I would try this out. I’m making it right now and really it’s similar to several other Yummly recipes I use, so I’m sure we will all like it. I substituted ground-up GF bread for the regular bread crumbs, of course and I don’t have any GF Italian Seasoning so I just used Garlic Powder, Pepper and Parsley. Smells delicious. If it turns out good I’ll post some pics.

Tuna Salad over Salad

  • Another WW recipe I wanted to try. My kids will NOT eat tuna so I plan to make them GF grilled cheese on the day I make this.

Stuffed Baked Potatoes with Little Smokies in GF BBQ Sauce

  • I HAVE to try these, they look delicious! Although I’d be happy with just the potatoes, I’m going to make some Smokies in BBQ Sauce to appease the rest of my family. My daughter will not touch anything she deems “spicy” so this is the GF BBQ we use:
  • Image result for sweet baby rays

Ranch Meatballs with Rice and corn

  • My kids love meatballs and these sound a little different so I thought we’d try them this week.

Spinach Artichoke Chicken Casserole with Salad

  • OMG I love this recipe! I am going to double the artichokes though (and hope nobody notices) because I LOVE artichokes. I also bought provolone AND Swiss cheese because last time my kids thought that it was missing something, and I’m curious to see if they still think so if I switch the cheeses.

 

Have a Great Week!

-J.

Menu for Week of 10 April 2017

Here is my gluten-free menu for this week:

Mon – Parmesan Meatloaf with Salad

  • For this recipe I only use ground beef (I personally don’t care for ground turkey) and because I haven’t been able to find actual gluten-free breadcrumbs at the commissary, I tear apart some gluten-free bread to use as breadcrumbs. I also use Prego for the pasta sauce.

Tues – Chicken Skewers with Risotto Parmesan and Peas

  • I really like risotto so I’m excited to try this recipe. The last one I tried, lemon risotto, was a bit too flavorful for my family so I’m hoping this will be more to their taste.

Wed – Breakfast

  • Eggs, Sausage and Hash Browns – always a hit in our house

Thurs – Grilled Adobo Porkchops with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy and Corn

  • I cheat and use this gravy that I have found at Walmart and our Commissary:

GF Brown Gravy.jpeg

Fri – Gluten Free Chicken and Dumplings

  • This recipe is DELICIOUS!  My kids, who don’t even like real chicken and dumplings (and neither do I for that matter), LOVE this. I use Gluten-Free Bisquick that I add just a touch of xantham gum to (maybe half a teaspoon) when I make the batter to drop into the soup.
  • I also use 1-2 large cans of canned chicken and a frozen bag of mixed vegetables. So good….

Sat – Grilled Hotdogs with Baked Beans

  • I believe most of the Bush’s Baked Beans are gluten-free (we always check before purchasing and the cans say it) so we stick with Bush’s.
  • We purchase Oscar Mayer Selects Turkey Dogs. They are cheaper than regular hot dogs , taste good, and say “gluten-free.” This is what they look like:

Turkey Dogs.JPG

Sun – Creamy Tuscan Chicken with Gluten Free Pasta and Salad

  • This is what I make when we are missing Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill!  I love this recipe!!! I haven’t made it in a little while so I thought I would make it again since I have some heavy cream leftover from last week that I need to get rid of.
  • I don’t use the sun-dried tomatoes. Instead, I cut up fresh tomatoes and sprinkle them and fresh Parmesan on top right before serving.

Hope you all have a great week and Happy Cooking!

-J.

 

 

Menu Ideas for Week of 3 April 2017

Oh my, it’s been quite a week.  I meant to put my menu out Sunday afternoon, really I did, but between bouts of vertigo and the stomach flu, I just haven’t been doing much except resting and trying to keep my house “show ready.”  So rather than giving a day-by-day account of what I’m making, here’s a list of what’s on the agenda this week:

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Marsala served over Mashed Potatoes with a Side Salad.

  • I made this last night and I’ll be honest, it didn’t turn out nearly as amazing as I envisioned. It could be partly because my current sickness has made me unable to eat chicken, but even the sauce seemed to be lacking something. However, I didn’t have Marsala wine so I substituted red cooking wine instead – perhaps that is what did it? Also, I doubled the creamy part of the recipe and maybe it was just too much heavy cream? My family ate it and thought it was OK, and I’ll definitely make it again someday but next time I will follow the recipe as written.

Artichoke Crusted Tilapia Fillets with a Side Salad.

  • I love artichoke hearts – my family….not so much. Unless they are chopped up in spinach artichoke dip at Applebees, and they did tolerate them when I made this delicious Spinach Artichoke Chicken Casserole. But I’m hoping that this recipe will change that so I can integrate them into our menu more.

The Very Best Homemade Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese.

  • You read that right, folks! This is seriously the best tomato soup EVER, and I am kind of like a tomato soup connoisseur.  A tomato soup ninja. I know my tomato soup.  For this recipe you can either make the pesto or use store-bought. I use this one, which is delicious, affordable and easy to find in the spaghetti sauce aisle:

Classico Pesto GF.jpg

  • I use my immersion blender for this recipe. Funny this is, I’ve had this hand-held blender contraption since Hubbs and I got married (I am fairly confident he brought it into the marriage) and had no idea what the heck it was for. Maybe once every year or two I would make chocolate milk and put the immersion blender in there to make it frothy and shake-like. Other than that, it seemed like a waste of space and I have been tempted to get rid of it many, many times. Good thing I held on to it, because it finally came in handy!  For those of you who might also be culinary-challenged, this is what I am talking about:

Rival Immersion Blender.jpg

Grilled Salmon with Quinoa and Steamed Corn.

  • Dill sounded good Sunday morning (when I made my menu) so I am going to try this new salmon recipe. Plus, we are moving in about a month and we have a whole tank of propane we have to get rid of, so you’ll see more grilling recipes from me in the future.
  • I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before but for years we have used this Pampered Chef steamer to cook our frozen vegetables in the microwave. We’d be lost without it and I actually need to get a new one soon:

Steamer.jpg

Pizza

  • We get Freschetta Gluten Free cheese pizza.

GF Pizza

 

Happy cooking, and next week I’ll try to get my menu out by Monday mid-morning at the latest!

-J

A Dysfunctional Vacation: Graceland, The Dixie Stampede, High Blood Sugar, Snow, and…Marky Mark???

Sometimes I find myself so frustrated with my new life (stay-at-home mom with a Type 1 diabetic child and a celiac child) that I want to cry. Realizing that many, many people have challenges more difficult than what I face, I still can’t help but miss the days BDC (before diabetes and celiac).  This is probably never more true than while on vacation. We are moving soon and decided that before we head back west, we should take a trip to see two places I have wanted to see since back when I was a youngster in the Air Force: Graceland (I was in tech school right outside of Memphis) and Branson, Missouri (my first assignment was Whiteman AFB, MO). So my hubbs, bless his heart, planned a trip to take me.

So off we go – me, hubbs, my two ducklings, and our dog.

  • Side note: traveling with a dog sucks. Daisy is a 7 pound malti-poo who hates the car and whines until the 2nd day of the trip, when she finally realizes she is not going to the vet. To add insult to injury, the pet fees at hotels can be ridiculous. Really, Hilton and Marriott should think about charging based on the size of the dog because my 7 pound dog sleeps and likes to hang out in her kennel. The $100 fee in Branson was crazy. But that is a whole different rant for another day.

 

Daisy.jpg

Our first stop was Memphis, where we went to “The Pyramid,” the giant Bass Pro Shop that inspired me to get a crossbow to take fishing.  Then we hit up what E and I really wanted to see…GRACELAND!  It was awesome and we loved it. Even 13-year-old crabby N appreciated it. E and I have been singing Suspicious Minds ever since. Unfortunately the restaurant inside the Graceland complex did not cater to the gluten-free crowd and we were starving, so we did race through part of it. But I would definitely go back. We love Elvis!

 

Lisa Marie

It was in Memphis that two things happened: I think E got glutened and N started to have some high blood sugar issues. Thinking back, I’ve noticed that E got really restless and irritable in the past, on the nights we believe that she got glutened. That’s what happened in Memphis. She was hot (nobody else was), her tummy hurt, and she couldn’t fall asleep. She was restless and went from her bed in the hotel to mine, messed with pillows, went to the bathroom, etc. for hours. Finally it dawned on me that she probably had gluten while we were traveling that day and I was able to pat her back and help her get to sleep.

N’s issue, on the other hand, was not so easy to remedy. We recently started him on the pump and are still kind of new to the ways of the pump so we weren’t sure what to do. We examined the pump and it seemed to be working but it didn’t seem like anything was in the tube running to his infusion site. So we changed out his infusion site (thank God we brought extras) and off we went to Branson. We were extra vigilant about carb counting and still his blood sugar was running high (like 230-300). By the next day in Branson I called his endocrinologist’s office and talked to them about raising his basal rate and checking for ketones (negative), which we did and then things seemed to smooth out after another day or two. He’s still in honeymoon and we thought he was coming out of it but nope – we are still playing that game.

In Branson the one thing I really wanted to do was go to the Dixie Stampede, which we did and it was AWESOME. We all loved it. And kudos to them for having a gluten-free dinner available, including a cookie for dessert so E didn’t feel left out. While at the Dixie Stampede the photographer mentioned to us that he heard Mark Wahlberg was in town.  E and I listen to a lot of 90’s on 9 (XM radio) so she is well versed in 90’s music and knew darn well who Mark Wahlberg was. She couldn’t stop looking for “Marky Mark” after that and was planning on what she was going to say to him, and wishing she brought her Thunder hat (I know…makes no sense but it’s her favorite hat) for him to sign, etc. Unfortunately Marky Mark did not show up at our Dixie Stampede. But we did stalk him on Twitter for a few days and saw a picture of him golfing in Branson (where it was snowing and freezing).

Mark Wahlberg

 

Here’s how some of us may remember Marky Mark:

Marky Mark

Overall a great vacation, even if we did decide to come home a couple days early because it was warmer in Oklahoma. We ate at this amazing Taco place in Arkansas called Tacos 4 Life which completely catered to E’s gluten-free needs. I’ll have to review it, but in the meantime, if you are in Arkansas, I’d highly recommend it.

-J

Gluten Free Menu for Week of 20 March

Hello!  I am back from Spring Break, which means back to cooking, cleaning and trying to get this house SOLD!  Because we were gone for about a week, our fridge was looking very empty when we got home, and we went over-budget again at the grocery store. We expected this though. Instead of the $125 we shoot for, we spent about $180. However, it is Spring in Oklahoma (almost 90 degrees today…yes!), which means it is time to fire up the grill, so we bought a lot of produce. Not to mention, I have this new fascination with fresh deli meats and cheeses, which typically don’t come cheap (side note: it’s important to keep in mind that some of the meats/cheeses at the deli are not GF – which we found out a few weeks ago AFTER we purchased a specific brand of hard salami and I called the company. Boars’s Head is all GF so now I stick to that brand exclusively).

So, here’s what I’m making this week:

Monday – Baked Beans, Sausage and Spinach Skillet – I swear I just made this but my husband requested it again. The recipe calls for kale but I am using spinach instead. Super easy and the family loves it.

Tuesday –  Grilled Salmon, Baked Potatoes, and Salad – I’ve never tried this salmon recipe before but it looks tasty.

Wednesday – Cheeseburger Casserole with Steamed Broccoli – My family DEVOURED this the last time I made it. I cut the recipe in half (only use 1 pound of hamburger and 1 bag of crispy crown tater tots, etc.) and there are no leftovers. If I wanted any leftovers I would make as instructed or even add more hamburger/tots.

Thursday – Tilapia in Foil, Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Veggies (Squash, Zucc, Carrots) – The Recipe Poster gives several suggestions of what to add to the tilapia and I think I am going to do butter, lemon juice and lemon/pepper seasoning for my family and then cherry tomatoes and pesto in mine.

Friday – Crockpot Cream Cheese and Ranch Chicken over Rice with Steamed Corn. – OMG, last time I made this it was AMAZING but it still seemed to be missing something. It was the rice – it needs rice to go under it. I’ll admit, I didn’t use as much butter as the recipe calls for (probably about half) but it was still so darn good.

Saturday – Blackened Shrimp Salad with Garlic Toast – Simple.

Sunday – Simple Chicken Enchiladas with Salad – I LOVE these enchiladas. The recipe calls for them to be made in the microwave, but I bake mine. I also use canned mild enchilada sauce, rather than make my own. They are kind of plain, as far as enchilada recipes go (I make much more complicated ones every few weeks), but we all love them for some reason.

Have a great week and Happy Cooking!!!

Gluten-Free Dining Out Ideas

Today I would normally be making and posting my gluten-free menu for the upcoming week. However, this week is Spring Break for us so we will be doing a lot of dining out – which is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because it gives me a break from the kitchen, but dining out with a Celiac and figuring out the carb count for our diabetic can be difficult. With that in mind, I thought I would share some of favorite spots. It is important to note up front though, that sometimes (but for obvious reasons we don’t know how often) my daughter (the Celiac in our family) is asymptomatic when exposed to gluten.

BJ’s Restaurant and Brew House – BJ’s is my FAVORITE place to eat out if we have my daughter with us. Overall they have a little bit of everything on their menu and their GF menu is great too. My daughter and I usually get a GF cheese pizza to share and then bowls of tomato basil soup (no croutons).

Red Robin – We have eaten here several times because my daughter loves being able to get a “normal” cheeseburger and fries meal, thanks to the GF bun and fries being fried separately. Good for Celiacs, bad for my IBS 😦

Outback Steakhouse – I’ll be honest, I am usually not a fan of Outback. I have had a few back experiences there and I find the blooming onion to be disgusting. However, my daughter, who typically doesn’t like meat much, thinks their GF ribs are the cat’s meow. Plus, they usually do them as a kid’s meal to save us some coin.

Jason’s Deli –  This is more for me because Jason’s Deli is overall my very favorite place to eat. Ours here is across town and we hadn’t been since Celiac struck our family, so we were pleasantly surprised at the GF choices when we went last week. We both had a sandwich on the GF bread (which was good if a little crumbly) and the tomato-basil soup is GF – which makes the drive for crumbly bread worth it!

Schlotzsky’s –  I haven’t been here to eat GF but my daughter went here with another GF friend and loved their GF bun. She highly recommends it.

Chick Fil A – Waffle fries cooked separately…thanks, Chick Fil A!

Wendy’s – Last year during Spring Break is when we found out that E has Celiac, starting our lifestyle change. We quickly learned that fast food options are few and very far in between. We don’t eat a lot of fast food, but when in a pinch, we get baked potatoes from Wendy’s.

Here are some places we avoid at all costs due to bad experiences or very limited selection (resulting in 10-year-old’s temper flaring while hungry):

  • McDonald’s (hardly anything on the menu) – although we will shoot through the drive thru for drinks (I swear there is something added to their Coke to make it more addictive)
  • Santa Fe Steakhouse (although to be fair, we just had one really bad experience)
  • Burger King (got glutened and was in very bad pain)
  • Mexican Restaurants (this is tough because we love Mexican food, but unless it is one of our local places that we trust, we don’t typically eat it on the road)
  • Chinese Restaurants – never tried it. I would imagine it would be a cross contamination nightmare in the kitchen. But I’ve heard good things about Pei Wei
  • Any Buffet – We haven’t been to a buffet as a family since my son’s diabetes diagnosis. Counting carbs must be a pain the butt. And with Celiac, too much risk of cross-contamination

Hope this list helps someone and feel free to comment and share!

-J

 

Gluten-Free Menu for Week of 6 March

Happy Monday!  I realized that I haven’t shared a weekly menu in a while and if you are anything like me, you appreciate the ideas. We grocery shopped on Sunday (Hubbs and I go grocery shopping every week for “Sunday-Funday” – it’s our weekly date) and spent about $176 for this week’s food. This $176 wasn’t for just what is on my menu;  it also includes breakfast foods, tons of produce, stuff for lunches, etc., and considering we have depleted a lot of what is in our fridge and pantry (one of our goals – use what we have), the $176 isn’t bad. It is over-budget though, so now that we are stocked back up, I hope to be back on track next week. Here is what I’m making this week:

Monday: Salmon with Lentils (Salmon with Lentils) and Broccoli

  • I’ll confess, I actually made this last night (Sunday) because I had some salmon I needed to cook.  My family really like the salmon with the lemon herb sauce. The lentils…not so much. This was our first time trying lentils and I just don’t think we are ready to eat them by themselves yet. I think we’d like them better in a soup, so I froze the leftover lentils and am planning to make lentils and ham-hocks with them the road.

Tuesday: Tomatillo Chicken over Rice (Slow Cooked Salsa Verde Chicken) with Salad

  • I do not use cilantro and I actually use Herdez Tomatillo Verde Cooking Sauce for this. You can  also add a can of green chiles if so desired (my family doesn’t like hot and spicy so I leave them out). SO DELICIOUS.

Wednesday: GF Spaghetti with Garlic Bread and Corn

  • A simple kid-friendly meal. I use two packs of Mueller’s GF Spaghetti (because there isn’t much in each one), ground beef and a jar of Prego. I make garlic bread using Schar’s white bread, butter and garlic powder (which I place under low broil for a few minutes). Probably not the healthiest meal but it is easy-peasy and it makes my kids feel happy and normal.

Thursday: Shrimp Quesadillas, Refried Beans and Grilled Vegetables

  • I’m going to season some shrimp with Adobo and lemon-pepper and then grill it for a few minutes. Then I’ll put it and some cheese inside 2 corn tortillas and put it in a skillet. Cook on each side for a minute or so until the cheese is melted and then VOILA….an easy shrimp quesadilla! I plan to toss some squash, zucchini, asparagus and mushrooms in olive oil, season with lemon-pepper and throw them on the grill for a little bit too.

Friday: Spinach Artichoke Chicken Casserole (Spinach Artichoke Chicken Casserole) with Rice and Salad

  • I have never made this before but it looks amazing. I hope it’s good!

Saturday: Baked Bean, Sausage and Spinach Skillet (Baked Bean Sausage Kale Skillet) with Salad

  • My family prefers spinach so I’m going to substitute spinach for the kale. Hubbs and my son devour this!

Sunday: Italian BBQ Chicken (Italian BBQ Chicken) with Mashed Potatoes and Oven Roasted Carrots (Oven Roasted Carrots)

  • I have never tried either of these recipes so I’m hoping for the best. I do plan to substitute olive oil for the butter in the carrots recipe and I hope that doesn’t mess with the flavor.

 

Have a great week!

-J

 

A Reprieve From Real Life? Nope.

Prior to diabetes and celiac, we would frequently eat out – probably too frequently. This was a habit we picked up since moving to Oklahoma. In fact, since moving to Oklahoma, I have gained roughly 15 pounds. I’m sure some of those pounds are due to the convenience of delicious, yet unhealthily prepared, restaurant food.

After my son’s diabetes diagnosis we cut down on eating out. Not necessarily to be healthier, but because counting carbs to determine his insulin dosage is such a pain in the butt. Seriously. The aggravation of a restaurant not publishing their nutrition information cannot be fully understood until you have a diabetic in the family. But like many other dedicated dining-out families, we figured out a way to guesstimate carb counting and pushed through; thus continuing on our unhealthy journey.

Enter my daughter’s celiac diagnosis. Although Type 1 diabetes and celiac often go hand-in-hand, celiac disease and its required gluten-free lifestyle are a completely different ballgame than diabetes and carb-counting.  If diabetes were baseball, celiac would be ballet. If diabetes was an apple, celiac would be a Snickers. You get the point. Anyway, because finding restaurants that consistently offer reliable, REAL gluten-free entrees (like for real gluten-free; not just a menu that says “gluten-free”) is so difficult, we rarely eat out. So when we do eat out I savor every moment – because it is a real treat for me, as the family chef, to get to go out to eat and not have to cook and then clean the kitchen.

Begin rant…

My daughter’s favorite restaurant since her celiac diagnosis is Santa Fe Steakhouse. The first time we went there post-diagnosis we met with the manager (who is a fellow Celiac), she went over their GF menu with us, and ensured everything was prepared separately for E and it was a great experience. We’ve been back several times and never had any issues…until this past weekend.

The restaurant was super busy, which looking back, should have been a red flag for us. That tells me that the line cooks probably won’t have time to worry about keeping E’s food separate. But E had her heart set on Santa Fe, so we waited about 15 minutes to be seated and then I asked for their GF Menu (which they didn’t have printed). So after waiting about 20 minutes for the GF Menu, I went and asked for it at the front again (our server was running around – not great service) . The GF Menu never did come so we ordered what we knew to be gluten-free (which is risky and never a good idea), a plain hot dog and baked potato, which we explained cannot have a bun and cannot touch a bun.

So then we wait. And we wait some more. Probably 20 minutes or so later our server brings our food out and goes to set E’s plate in front of her and says, “I don’t know why they put a bun on this when I told them not to.” Now, why would he even bring the plate out like that? So my husband, who doesn’t like confrontation (bless his heart) says, “Um, she can’t have anything on that plate because it’s all been contaminated by the bun. So it will all have to go back.” So off our server goes with E’s plate. Her salad shows up with a side of ranch that I can neither confirm nor deny is gluten-free because I still haven’t received the @^% Gluten-Free Menu that I asked for 3 times already so I ask the server (again) for the menu so I can verify the dressing is GF. FINALLY some manager brings out the menu but drops it on the table and dashes away real quick (not giving me a chance to voice my concerns darnit) and I verify that the ranch dressing is in fact, NOT GLUTEN FREE.

Here’s a pic of E before we figured out that the ranch has gluten (pre-meltdown)…

E Pic.jpg

By now E is in tears, starving and just wants to leave. I’m tearing up because I’m mad. Hubbs is irritated but because he doesn’t like confrontation, he acts like everything is fine. Brother N has scarfed all his food down so he’s happy as a clam. Finally (hallelujah) E’s plate arrives and she and I get to eat. I’ve mostly lost my appetite so my shrimp goes to waste and my potatoes are cold (serves me right I guess).

I realize that having food allergies or a special request can be trying for a restaurant kitchen, and I truly appreciate when they accommodate my daughter’s needs. I recognize that working in food service can be a thankless job so I am sure to always be kind to my server and have even left notes for waiters/waitresses who I’ve felt have gone above and beyond what they had to.  But what really irked me was that after all was said and done, crappy service, messed up my daughter’s food, and the issues with the menu – when the waiter dropped of the ticket it was full price. I can think of several restaurants where I’ve had fewer issues but they’ve still comp’d something in order to make up for whatever it was that went wrong. They could have at least given E a free drink. Really, she is the one who sat there and ate peanuts forever….

So very long story short, just when I thought I’d get a reprieve from real life and enjoy pretending that we are “normal” again (our normal anyway) – NOPE. Thanks, Santa Fe. Your fan-base just decreased by 4.

End Rant.