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Gluten free eating Walt Disney World, part 2



Eating gluten free Disney World

Eating gluten free at Disney World, part 2

Gluten free eating Disney World, part 2

Hi everyone! In this post, I wanted to focus on our gluten free eating at table service meals and dinner shows. Our adventures took us to HoopDeeDoo Revue, Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Tusker House character breakfast and Epcot’s Chefs de France. Note, that I had told the reservation desk and servers about my son being GF prior to arrival. Thankfully, in most cases, there were already suitable replacements on the table for him. Disney does a good job trying to cater to everyone, and for that I’m grateful as it took worry out of the vacation.

Character Breakfast at Tusker House

First, located in the Animal Kingdom, Africa, is the Tusker House character breakfast. Take advantage of this fun brunch buffet, all you can eat, where Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald and Daisy come to visit. We had a birthday that morning so that was a fun surprise for our little birthday boy. There were many choices here for food allergy sufferers (and vegetarians). We ate the scrambled eggs, bacon and ham from the carving station. Additionally, two frittatas were available – potato/leek and ham/cheese which was nice because they weren’t quiches. The potato and leek frittata worked well with TQ’s fructose malabsorption as he can’t eat onions – but leeks are ok. And it was quite tasty!  Most notably, my favorite included baby arugula tomato salad that paired well with smoked salmon. Other tidbits included a sweet potato hash, rice, roasted potatoes, and a chicken curry.

Meeting Mickey at Tusker House

Meeting Mickey at Tusker House

HooDeeDo Revue, a family favorite

Our most entertaining dinner was the HoopDeeDo Revue, located in Fort Wilderness. Perhaps it was nostalgia for my brother, sister and I, or that our kids had a such a good time, or maybe that our father was selected to be the fairy that evening. Anyway, the show was a hoot.

Gluten free eats began with a salad and corn bread. My son could have made a meal just on that! He loved it. In addition, he had an option of grilled chicken or GF tenders but he decided not to eat chicken and stick to bbqued ribs. The ribs were not heavily sauced, and he no trouble later after eating them (speaking only of the fructose malabsorption as bbque sauce is usually out for him) Admittedly, I was a little nervous – didn’t want a sick kid a few hours later. But, all was good! Rounding off the meal included corn, mashed potatoes and baked beans (which he did not eat because of FM)  For dessert, he had just a few strawberries, he was full from the rest of his meal. I believe you can ask for a GF brownie or cookie as well.

Gluten free ribs, veggie, mashed potatoes, corn bread and salad at HoopDeeDoo Review

Gluten free ribs, veggie, mashed potatoes, corn bread and salad at HoopDeeDoo Review

Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show

I just love the Polynesian Hotel, the gardens are gorgeous. It was my grandmother’s favorite, and that makes me smile. But, anyway got a little off track, the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show is located at the Polynesian.  The show features hula dancers and fire throwers (everyone’s favorite).

To begin, there was a large platter of salads, pineapple and soba noodle salad. We were told that everything was gluten free except for the obvious soba salad. My son was brought a warm roll and his own salad to replace the coconut/pineapple rolls the rest were offered. Surprisingly, the entire main course was GF and my son couldn’t have been more excited to have an endless platter of meats and rice. Most noteworthy, his favorite (and mine too) was the pulled pork, shredded, lightly spiced, super tender and juicy. Ribs, roasted chicken and grilled veggies rounded out the meal. For dessert, the server bought him a lovely plate of fruit (pineapple, strawberries and melon) and assorted GF cookies and brownies. It was enough for our table.

Eating gluten free at Disney World

Eating gluten free at Disney World part 2

Epcot’s Chefs de France

Last, but not least, was my son’s most favorite meal while we vacationed. Look for the Eiffel Tower in Epcot and you’ll find Epcot’s Chefs de France. No entertainment here, so the little one’s entertained themselves by coloring. But, it was a nice change and delicious food. Our server was helpful in helping us with selections. He had started a few GF rolls in the warming oven as well. The menu was easy to navigate.

We selected of the Prix-fixe menu. First course, salad of mixed greens, bacon, tomatoes tossed with a light vinaigrette. TQ liked that so much he ate 3 others from his cousins. We both selected the salmon entrée. Additionally, advised to change the white wine sauce to a buerre blanc sauce that was gluten free. The meal was served with roasted veggies and rice. The rice soaked up the extra sauce, which was extra delicious. All of the entree meats are available GF, so there were many options (beef, duck, chicken ect). In some cases,  sauces should be swapped out like we did. And for the little ones, GF chicken tenders are offered.

Finally, crème brulee was the dessert of choice. TQ just LOVES it, and he was looking forward to that indulgence all day. It was nice that there were different GF dessert choices from what we had already experienced. Besides the crème brulee, a variety of sorbets were available and chocolate mousse.

 
Creme brulee at Epcot’s Chefs de France

Creme brulee at Epcot’s Chefs de France -Yummy!

In conclusion, fun trip, good food and great service. We were very pleased with our gluten free eating Disney World dining adventures and look forward to going back to try new things. What about you? Do you have any adventures you’d like to share? Or any favorite Disney GF meals?

 

 

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?

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.
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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
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