• Liisa Lee

Gluten-Free Food Things ... a List.

Updated: Oct 3, 2021

I've been gluten-free for 14 years, after a severe horse-kick that killed me for a couple minutes. (I got better, but that's another story.) One of the lasting effects from it is, I can't eat gluten any more. As a food lover that made Thanksgiving dinner for 28+ at the yearly family reunions, having to go gluten-free was a crazy challenge at first. Now that I've got the hang of it, I love it.

Recently, talking to folks who feel lost, including restaurant owners, cooks, and newly diagnosed GF friends, I decided it's time to give folks a list of ingredients I swear by, and products I use all the time. I'm not sponsored by anyone here, these are just my preferences and things I have success with, cooking and baking, and other foods I think are good products. This is not an exhaustive list, and I'll add to it as I find more products I love.

HERE WE GO: Cup4Cup flour - Created by Thomas Keller, the best flour blend for baking, frying, cooking, I've ever used. This blend does it all and gives you cakey, delicious baking every time. It seems to react with chocolate, so my brownies and chocolate cakes are just a wee bit spongier than normal cake, but still delicious, and avoids the crumbly, sandy results of most gf flour blends. (I stay far away from the Red Mills, Bob's, King Arthur, Pamela's, etc., for this very reason) available at: Amazon, Target, William Sonoma (yes, price varies wildly)

Bionaturae gf pasta - Simply the best dried pasta I've found. This is what they use for the gluten free pasta options at Naples in DownTown Disney. My bolognese was so good I asked twice to make sure it was really gluten-free and the wonderful Italian chef came out to me to assure me, in his wonderful Italian accent, with a smile, that everyone thought it was too good to be true. available at: local grocers

Ener-G breadcrumbs - I love them. Haven't found better ready made bread crumbs yet. available at: Whole foods, Vitacost, The GlutenFree Shoppe, Amazon

Simply Organic Corn Bread Mix - For a mix, this yields pretty great, semi sweet corn bread. I grabbed a box to try for cornbread stuffing for my T-day bird and loved it. available at: Local Grocery stores (Simply Organic is taking over the food world) Simply Organic GH Flour Mix - Meh. In a pinch, if you have to use it, you can get away with it. The trick to keep this from being sandy/grainy for cookies is: let it rest and absorb ingredients. Letting this rest about 20-30 minutes will give you a pretty okay cookie, but it's not the same as Cup4Cup. (my recent insta pic of the google eye cookies were made with this. I was out of C4C) available at: Local grocers

Vitacost Pankcake and Waffle Mix - This is so good. And it makes me so happy to be able to whip up great pancakes when I have a comfort food craving. Vitacost, btw, is also a great site for vitamins and supplements and gluten-free goodies like Dr. Bragg's amino acids, and marinade, Glutino crackers etc. available at: Vitacost.com Bisquik - is GMO. If that doesn't bother you, it makes great biscuits and dumplings. Until they go non-GMO, I'm not going to use them. But I'll hold out hope. And, you can google your own copycat of the blend. Happy baking.

Whole Foods Gluten-Free Corn Bread - I love these ready made flats in the freezer section. This was my easy go-to for toasting to make thanksgiving stuffing, as well. Whole Foods used to have a much bigger house branded gluten free baking section, but now it's much harder to find. (I miss those small cherry pies) Depending on where you live, ask the bakery counter what they still make. Bon chance. available at: Whole Foods markets.

Against The Grain - This is a great GF foods maker. Their bread is wonderful and not filled with cellulose filler, like Schaar can be. (which can effect a lot of GF folks, so check ingredients) Their original rolls and baguette are incredible. Made with mozzarella and tapioca starch, they're dreamy, great chew and pull bread. They're also hard to find so check the website for locations and sellers. available at: www.againstthegraingourmet.com

Schaar - Gorgeous, delicious breads, BUT, they do contain cellulose, so if you're sensitive to that filler, swim at your own risk. It's not gluten, but it can create the same effects for some of us. (which is why I prefer Against The Grain when I can find it)

Glutino - Ahh, Glutino, how do I love thee. Let me count the ways. Pretzels, crackers of all kinds, breads, cookies etc etc. Did I mention pretzels? I missed pretzels so much. Even chocolate covered pretzels. Honey mustard pretzels. Pretzel heaven. I don't love the cookies so much because they're solidly in crumbly, sandy texture land, and I bake better ones, but this doesn't lessen my love for the rest of their products. Dang it, now I want available at: Local grocers Snyder's gluten-freee pretzels

Wonderful and tasty and everything you want in a pretzel that tastes exactly like the real thing. available at: your local grocers

Tates gf Cookies - So delicious. If you love thin, crispy cookies, these are your ticket. Crispy, but not sandy/grainy. All the gluten free flavors are wonderful. Dangerously delicious. available at: Local grocers, Amazon, Vitacost

(and Trade Joe's gf chocolate chip cookies are a copy of, or re-labeled Tates. ta-da)

Jelly Bellys - are gluten-free. If you didn't know. Now you know. ::sunglasses emoji:::

Dr. Braggs Liquid Aminos- This is my go-to for gluten free soy sauce. I like it more than gf soy sauce or Tamari. And it's good for ya. Also: Coconut Liquid Aminos is fantastic for teriyaki marinade. Enjoy. Aloha. available at: local grocers

William Sonoma gf cake mixes - Are pretty dang good. To be honest, last year the pumpkin spice cake mix either has been reformulated or I'm just now tasting a heavier cinnamon, strangeness. Did they swap out lesser quality ingredients? I don't know, but it made me sad. The lemon cake, though, was lovely and if you have to do a mix, these babies are a good choice. available at: williamsonoma.com

Local Spots in and around LA, CA.: Sidecar Donuts - Santa Monica - The best doughnuts I've ever tasted. (Krispy Kreme, I miss you) Their weekly gf flavors are all insanely great. My fave? The Butter & Salt. It's....almost naughty it's so good.

Donut Friend - Los Feliz - They have a gf base donut, and you can add your own topping choices from the toppings bar The. Toppings. Bar.

Yummy Cupcakes - Burbank - The best cupcakes in LA. Great folks, great flavors, and seriously the best crumb of any bakes I've ever had. Yes, better than Sprinkles and SusieCakes. Vegan options too.

Lucifer's, Settebello and Fresh Brothers pizza - Studio City, Pasadena, Hollywood - These are the best pies I've had in town so far. A lot of options I haven't tried yet.

Naples - DisneyLand Resort - Great gf pasta and pizza in DownTown Disney. Cin cin.

Jinky's - Sherman Oaks - Gluten free pancakes and waffles. Good old, down home diner food.

The Waffle - Hollywood - Gorgeous gluten free waffles. WAFFLES. <3

Hugo's - Studio City - I don't love the gf options here, but I'm glad they have them. Gluten free hollandaise for the gf eggs benedict is kind of worth the price, but the muffins are thin and hard. The fried gf cinnamon sticky buns though, are ridiculously good. A huge portion.

Story Tavern - Burbank - Great gf burgers, reubens, mac and cheese, meatloaf, etc.

Burger Lounge - Sherman Oaks - The gf bun is great on some really delicious burgers.

Hank's Deli - Burbank - The best chicken soup I've ever had. Even better than mine. (I know!) They make everything from scratch. I'm hoping for gf bagels soon.

Vromage - Hollywood - Glorious vegan cheese and food shop. The gluten free bread is delicious and the gent who owns and makes everything is a wonderful chap. Worth every penny. Salt & Straw - DownTown Disney , etc - Gorgeous and different ice cream flavors. So so good. Kayla's Cake - Disneyland Resort and Downtown Disney - Macarons! The best most lovely, delicious, wonderful macarons in and around the parks. Do yourself a favor and get a few of these beauties. My favorites are the creme brullee, mocha, and the Galaxy's Edge salted caramel. There are edible unicorns. And glitter.

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