Eating Gluten Free for a Week - Gluten Free Challenge: Maureen

I am the newest member of the Bakery on Main sales team and during my first week on the job, I was assigned a week to go gluten free. I don’t eat a lot of wheat as a rule, so I am thinking it should not be too difficult to follow. All of the Bakery on Main employees have accepted the challenge to eat gluten free for a week to gain a better understanding of what our customers experience on a daily basis. My first two days of the challenge fell on the last two days of my vacation so, before I left home, I was planning meals and packed gf staples in my suitcase. Although I know gf options are available in natural food stores and supermarkets across the country, I wanted to make sure I had my favorite pasta and a few other brands I was familiar with, and have used.

The group of willing participants.

I spent my vacation at a high school friend’s house, where a group of us gather every year to celebrate the 4th of July. I know they are good friends (see photo above) because they were all willing to join me in the gf challenge on Sunday. We grilled chicken, made a shrimp/pasta dish, quinoa salad, and cornbread. Shrimp/Pasta Dish Jumbo Shrimp – sauté in garlic & olive oil – set aside Jovial Penne pasta – cook as directed on package Asparagus – wash & trim ends – drop in with pasta the last couple of mins of cooking – (until bright green) Diced, fresh tomatoes, basil, and kalamata olives Shredded parmesan cheese Olive oil Truffle salt Pour drained pasta and asparagus into a large serving bowl. Spoon the shrimp/garlic over the pasta, then sprinkle the diced tomatoes, basil, and olives over the pasta. Sprinkle with olive oil to moisten and add a pinch of truffle salt, then add the shredded cheese to top it all off. Enjoy! Quinoa Salad Inca Red Quinoa Corn (we used left over fresh corn – cut off the cob) Diced zucchini, cucumber, fresh tomatoes, and kalamata olives Chopped fresh herbs: basil, thyme, mint, and garlic 9another option is cilantro and lime juice) Cook quinoa to package directions. While still a little warm, combine all ingredients and mix with a vinegrette. Cornbread Your favorite GF Cornbread Mix Use buttermilk , add in chopped fresh or jarred jalapenos ( or chopped green chilies), and 2 cups cheddar (or your favorite) cheese. Bake to package directions. I like to use my cast iron skillet. Monday was a travel day, and I have to say it was not as easy as I thought it was going to be to find gf options at the airport. There are always eggs for breakfast, fresh fruit smoothies, fresh fruit, green salads, fish, and limited snack bar selections – I wanted to keep it healthy. Tues and Wed were spent on the road for business travel, and again I had to search out the gf options in airports and restaurants. Salads with some form of seafood seemed to be the easiest options. Whole Foods in Roseville, CA has a sandwich bar (photo below) with gf bread options, it was really good to eat BREAD! They also had a very yummy quinoa/mango salad that hit the spot. Now I am home and it will be easier for me to make healthy gf meals. I love granola in the morning (Bakery on Main Extreme Fruit & Nut) with yogurt , in milk, or just as is! I found a restaurant in my town that is Gluten-Free and Vegan friendly – Pangea is known for their wraps and Panini so I was able to enjoy my favorite wrap. I also tried a gf pizza from Fiagro’s - a local pizza chain restaurant here in town, I was disappointed. I have had much better gf pizza using a pizza crust mix and baking at home. Maureen - Western Sales Manager Bakery On Main