Posts

Eating gluten free at Disney World

Eating gluten free at Disney World

Eating gluten free at Disney World

 

Happy New Year! We just got back from a family vacation to Disney World. It was sure nice to get away and do something different and recharge the batteries. Of course, the kids had a blast as well. We really aren’t excited about being back to below zero temps that’s for sure! So, I decided my first post of the year will be about eating gluten free at Disney World. Anytime, we go anywhere out of the ordinary, I do research about places to eat. It’s always a challenge. This trip was no exception.

First, step before leaving was to make sure I had adequate snacks packed in the event we couldn’t find suitable gf options at the airport or at a park. Included in my stash were a few gf low sugar granola bars, protein balls, beef jerky and microwaveable rice packets (and plastic forks!). Pack a few in the purse for the day and the rest in the luggage, if nothing else I have peace of mind. And off we went!

Eating gluten free at Disney World

We arrived at the French Quarter at Port Orleans. And of course, as soon as we got there all of the kids were asking to eat (13 of use in total). It had been a long half day of travel after all, so most of kids sat down with hot pretzels from the bar. The bar did not have any gluten free options so I went to the main restaurant where I found some fries (forget about nutrition!) My son was happy. I was pleasantly surprised to see the other options offered for meals and snacks.

Quick snacks included a variety of fresh fruit and veggie containers. Milk and soymilk, V8 juice, hummus, yogurts, parfaits (not positive that was GF). I knew I would be able to get GF buns all over Disney. And this hotel offered that. When placing your order, tell the cast member that you are GF and they will get the chef. The chef will go through all of your options and prepare your meal separately. And as I learned, that was the routine for every quick service meal.

I would also like to make a note that Port Orleans serves gluten free beignets! Yes, you read that right. I hear they are amazing. Sadly, we did not try them as they are made with applesauce and that is a no no for fructose malabsorption. But, what a treat that would be for gluten free eaters!

Gluten Free at Port Orleans Riverside Mill

Gluten Free at Port Orleans Riverside Mill

Our first dinner was at the Port Orleans Riverside Mill, just a short walk away from our resort. Gluten free choices that I observed:

Burgers

Hotdog

Grilled chicken sandwich

Create your own GF pasta

Other sandwiches, like club, turkey and roast beef

Make your own salad

Desserts: cookie, brownie and ice cream

TQ opted for a make your own pasta dinner and salad. The pasta was mixed with a marinara sauce and he added chicken and parmesan cheese. His salad had fresh greens, and other veggies that he selected. A good healthy and hearty meal to start off our first day of vacation.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The next morning we skipped breakfast to get to the Animal Kingdom Park as it opened at 7am. So, I had purchased a few fruit cups (red grapes and melon) and milk the evening before to go along with our protein bars for a quick start. We spent two days essentially at this park so I will go through all of our eating adventures there. Go to Harambe Fruit Market located in Africa, our favorite snack station. Here they had a large selection of fruit (as the name would suggest) clementines, fresh pineapple spears, grapes, strawberries, carrots, cheese and nut bowls, bananas, apples with caramel, chips (Lay’s) and yogurt. Each day was slightly different. Clearly, enough choices for everyone GF, low FODMAP, vegetarian, dairy free and our group encompassed all (yes, we are a high maintenance family 😊 )!

Next, Yak and Yeti Counter service (next to Yak and Yeti restaurant – which has an entire allergy friendly menu for everyone! Will try that next time, for sure) as we did not have reservations for the restaurant. Nonetheless, the chef came to inform us of the day’s special short rib platter. He recommended it as one of his favorites to eat himself and he is celiac! So, we jumped on that. They were tangy, sweet and mouthwateringly tasty. Another option was a fresh salad with chicken.

yak-and-yeti-restaurant-main-entrance allergy free menu available

yak-and-yeti-restaurant-main-entrance allergy free menu available

Our final meal at Animal Kingdom was also a quick service meal at Restaurantosaurus located in DinoLand. This is your typical burger place. We opted for a grilled chicken BLT sandwich with fries. (they also offer vegetarian burgers) There is a nice bar of fixings to add extra lettuce or tomatoes, pickles ect to your burgers along with sauces. I am not sure which sauces were GF as my son is a purist and opts for no sauce 😊 Worth noting, Flame Tree Bbque located between the Tree of Life and DinoLand, has a menu that covers the top 8 common allergies (gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish) They offer ribs, chicken and pulled pork.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Enjoy a quick service meal in Hollywood Studios at Rosies’ All-American (near Tower of Terror), connected to Fairfax Fare. Rosies, has a menu to cover all of the common 8 allergies. GF selections included chicken strips and burgers which my son opted for as he’s a burger freak. A turkey sandwich is offered for children’s meals. Fairfax Fare had TexMex offerings but I read conflicting reports that the pork and rice bowls were gluten free, plus other FODMAP ingredients could have caused trouble. They have a vegan chili rice bowl for all of my vegan friends worth noting!

The Magic Kingdom

Finally, the Magic Kingdom had suitable choices. We tried Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Café located near the Bear Jamboree and Splash Mountain. This was another restaurant that was well suited for our entire family. The menu covers all top 8 allergens and also features vegetarian. Gluten free meals included a chicken salad, a burger and rice bowls with chicken, beef or vegetarian. I enjoyed the chicken bowl, and you can customize the bowl to your liking at the salsa bar. Here you can get fixin’s like salsa, guacamole, corn salad and veggies to add to your rice bowls or top burgers.

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in Frontierland, food allergy free menu available

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in Frontierland, food allergy free menu available

All in all, there were many options for all of our special diet needs. All of the parks readily offered fresh fruit and veggies as snacks, popcorn, turkey legs and dole whips (famous dessert) which we didn’t partake in – but definitely an option. In my next post, I will detail our meals at several of the dinner shows and Epcot for sit down dinners. Do you have any experiences at Disney that you’d like to share? Any favorite restaurants?

Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto Chicken 3-Ways

Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto chicken 3-ways, maybe 4 or 5 or 6……

Hi everyone! I should have named this post herb pesto 3-ways and more. Pesto is so flavorful and versatile, I’m sure you will find other ways to use the leftovers. Actually, I made and egg white omelette this morning and dabbed on a teaspoon – yum! Interestingly, my uber picky eater eats pesto. I certainly won’t complain because I can get good mileage out of a batch and it’s very healthy! But, I find it curious that she will eat pesto, but not something simple as corn…. sigh. Onward!

We grow a lot of herbs and use those those all season in salads and all of my cooking. I’ve convinced the kids that herbs are essential  for making a dish look good and taste good. In addition, herbs are really healthy! I count them as vegetable in our house.

Even my picky eater will eat this - separate, of course

Even my picky eater will eat this – separate, of course

You mentioned healthy?

As mentioned, I treat herbs as a veggie. They are packed with nutritional value. Basil is a good source of vitamin A, C and K and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Cilantro has much of the same vitamins but also boosts a few more minerals and helps lower bad cholesterol. Fresh oregano is a good source of minerals like potassium, iron and calcium is great for digestive health. Parsley is considered a “super food”. It packs a punch with vitamins A, C and K and minerals iron, magnesium, and potassium like the others but also supports kidney, urinary tract health and fights cancer. Most herbs are good sources of fiber and are low in calories, anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense. Pesto sauce is concentrating all those great properties into a meal.

 What’s in the pesto?

My pesto recipe is really a basic pesto recipe. I do not add garlic as that is not acceptable for TQ’s fructose malabsorption. Honestly, I don’t miss it. But, if you are a garlic fan, then certainly add a clove or two. Sometimes, I use garlic flavored olive oil to get that hint of garlic and it is quite tasty.  Otherwise, the key players are the 3 cup of freshly packed herbs. The herbs I use most are basil (traditional), parsley, cilantro, and oregano. My daughter is especially a big oregano fan. I also use 3-4 green onion tops. I think that rounds out the flavor and since we don’t use garlic it adds a little kick.

This recipe couldn’t be any simpler. I used my blender to pack in the herbs, olive oil, parmesan, juice of half of a lemon and salt and pepper to taste. I used 1/4 cup of pine nuts, but before you add them to the blender toast them in a pan for a few minutes. Place the pine nuts to a dry skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant,  toasty and slightly brown, Turn off the heat once they start browning, so they don’t burn. Add them to the blender. Blend all of the ingredients, start with a pulse of two to incorporate. Once blended, you are left with a lusciously beautiful green sauce that can be use in endless ways.

Luscious, vitamin packed pretty herb pesto

Luscious, vitamin packed pretty herb pesto

Let’s talk versatility…

I used about 3/4 cup of the prepared pesto to a zip bag along with 1 pound of chicken tenders. The chicken marinated in the bag (in the fridge) for several hours.  Make the pesto the night before and prep the chicken, and marinate so it will be ready when you get home in the evening. I cooked a large batch of chicken for leftovers possibilities. Our first evening meal was gluten free pasta tossed with pesto and the marinated chicken.

Pesto chicken tossed with pasta

Pesto chicken tossed with pasta

I made myself a salad topped with the chicken and drizzled a little touch of pesto as my dressing along with a few crumbles of goat cheese which I highly recommend. Our second meal included make your own sandwiches. Toppings included grilled red pepper, green lettuce, goat cheese and little extra pesto for the bread. They can be eaten warm or cold. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal!

Pesto chicken and veggie sandwich

Pesto chicken and veggie sandwich

I had mentioned topping my egg whites with the pesto but I also think this would be a really delicious topped on cubes of baked tofu, or combined to make a pesto tofu salad or wrap. I may try that and report back. It could be spread as a condiment on any sandwich veggie, turkey or grilled cheese. What ideas do you have? What should I do with my next batch?

Pesto chicken pasta artfully designed by my son :)

Pesto chicken pasta artfully designed by my son 🙂

Herb Pesto - low FODMAP style
Serves 16
Luscious, vitamin packed, pretty herb pesto versatile in many ways from a marinade for chicken, pasta sauce or topping for potatoes and veggies.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
92 calories
3 g
2 g
9 g
2 g
1 g
24 g
186 g
0 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
24g
Servings
16
Amount Per Serving
Calories 92
Calories from Fat 78
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 1g
7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 2mg
1%
Sodium 186mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 3g
1%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
21%
Calcium
6%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups Fresh herbs (basil, parsley,cilantro, oregano, chervil)
  2. 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup Pine nuts - toasted
  4. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  5. 3-4 Green onion tops
  6. 2 TB fresh lemon juice (half of a lemon)
  7. 1 tsp Salt (or to taste)
  8. Pepper to taste
  9. Optional garlic clove - but not low FODMAP
Instructions
  1. Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  2. Place herbs, lemon juice, green onions (and garlic, if using) in bowl of food processor or blender.
  3. Pulse a few times and scrape the sides with a spatula to make sure all is blending.
  4. Add parmesan cheese and pine nuts, pulse a few more times.
  5. Add olive oil in slow stream to allow sauce to emulsify.
  6. Enjoy endless ways: Marinate chicken or tofu, toss in pasta, serve on eggs, over potato, mix in veggies, serve on sandwiches, top on fish or seafood.......
Notes
  1. Gluten free
  2. Low FODMAP
  3. Low sugar
beta
calories
92
fat
9g
protein
2g
carbs
3g
more
karinakappelonline.com http://karinakappelonline.com/

Scrumptious and quick to make chicken lettuce wrap

Scrumptious lettuce wraps (GF)

Scrumptious and quick to make chicken lettuce wrap

Scrumptious and quick to make chicken lettuce wrap

Hi everyone! This quick and healthy recipe is a family favorite. Not only that, it really is so versatile for so many, low fat, low carb, naturally gluten free, nutritious and safe for fructose malabsorption – a winner. These are my scrumptious chicken lettuce wraps. Mamas like me won’t even feel guilty over indulging on this dinner! The best part, you can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Let’s get started

I think many of these ingredients are pantry staples. At least, if you are like me, and your family loves this meal, you’ll have these on hand so you can whip up a batch in a pinch. The pantry items are sesame oil, tamari (gluten free soy sauce), rice wine vinegar, a can of water chestnuts and rice vermicelli (optional). Next, chop the other ingredients uniformly and fairly small. That included 4-5 green onion tops, a handful of fresh cilantro (or parsley), 1/2 red pepper (orange or yellow). Freshly grated ginger and a little kimchi (totally optional) rounds out the ingredients.

Prepping the chicken lettuce wrap ingredients

Prepping the chicken lettuce wrap ingredients

Let’s get cooking!

Basically, everything gets thrown into a large saute pan. Begin by heating up a tablespoon of sesame oil until it becomes fragrant. Add the ground chicken, stirring often to break up the pieces and cook until almost all the pink is gone. Next, add the ginger, give it a stir. Add the water chestnuts and red pepper next and allow those the soften a bit. Keep the contents moving and drizzle in the tamari and rice wine vinegar. Toss the cilantro in at the end to keep its nice green color and freshness.

Chicken filling quick to make

Chicken filling quick to make

Serve spoonful on open butter lettuce leaves, fold and enjoy!

Serve spoonful on open butter lettuce leaves, fold and enjoy!

Let’s chat about options

Normally, lettuce wraps would have a hoisin sauce, which is a sticky and sweet/tangy sauce that accompanies many Chinese dishes. Hoisin sauce is not a safe product for our family’s food allergies so it has been avoided in this recipe. I mentioned rice vermicelli. My son loves rice noodles in his wraps so I do soak a handful in boiling water while the chicken is cooking. Personally, I like to add a bit of kimchi to the top of mine for a nice punch of heat and tang. With all of the news lately about adding fermented foods to our diet, this is an easy way to do so!

You said this was healthy?

Nutritionally speaking this is a one pot wonder! I add the red pepper for the added vitamin C, B6 and magnesium.  And the cilantro is rich in vitamin A and antioxidants. The butter lettuce has a good supply of your day’s vitamin K. In addition, this recipe is a good source of lean protein. Healthy all around.

Lettuce wraps with rice vermicelli

Lettuce wraps with rice vermicelli

Healthy, light and delicious lettuce wraps

Healthy, light and delicious lettuce wraps

Addicting chicken lettuce wraps
Serves 4
This quick and healthy recipe is a family favorite. Not only that, it really is so versatile for so many, low fat, low carb, naturally gluten free, nutritious and safe for fructose malabsorption - a winner.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
274 calories
9 g
153 g
13 g
30 g
3 g
247 g
610 g
3 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
247g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 274
Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
20%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 153mg
51%
Sodium 610mg
25%
Total Carbohydrates 9g
3%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 3g
Protein 30g
Vitamin A
43%
Vitamin C
49%
Calcium
4%
Iron
15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 Tb Sesame oil
  2. 1 lb Ground chicken thigh
  3. 1 8 oz can Water chestnuts
  4. 4-5 Green onion tops
  5. 2 Tb Low sodium tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  6. 1 Tb Rice wine vinegar
  7. 1 Tb Fresh ginger, finely grated
  8. 1-2 Tb Fresh cilantro
  9. 1/2 cup Red bell pepper finely minced
  10. 1 head Boston leaf lettuce
  11. Optional ingredients: Kimchi and mung bean noodle (or rice vermicelli), siracha
Instructions
  1. Heat sesame oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Add ground chicken and cook until almost browned, about 3-5 minutes, breaking up chunks of chicken as it cooks.
  3. Stir in finely ground fresh ginger.
  4. Stir in water chestnuts, red pepper and green onions until tender, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add tamari sauce, rice wine vinegar and toss in cilantro at end. Taste and adjust any seasonings.
  6. To serve, spoon the chicken mixture onto the center of a Boston bib lettuce leaf, fold and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Gluten free
  2. Dairy free
  3. Low fat
  4. Low Carb
beta
calories
274
fat
13g
protein
30g
carbs
9g
more
karinakappelonline.com http://karinakappelonline.com/