Tag Archives: gluten free

Gluten Free Brasilia, Brazil

I didn’t really worry about how to eat gluten free on our whole trip to Brazil. The main food we eat is churrasco, which is BBQ meat with beans, rice, veggies, and salad. Plus, Brazilians label all packaged food, even things like cachaçha, as gluten free.
For breakfast at our hotel, there was also usually pão de queijo- cheese bread- which is made out of tapioca flour.There was also always a lot of fresh fruit to enjoy, and lots of Brazilian coffee!With lots of fresh vegetables and options, I was not feeling left out of the food scene, although I did miss enjoying the subzero beer from my previous visit in 2010. They serve beer extremely cold and keep it in a thermos on your table, ensuring that each glass you have is ice cold. Plus as soon as you finish the bottle, another one was on its way. I had to be a little more careful with the caipirinhas. 🙂Some meals were not quite as amazing as others, like this mediocre salad below, but that happens when you’re eating in a mall.We also enjoyed lots of cafezinhos, little coffees.If there was one thing we got enough of on this holiday, it was MEAT. Glorious meat.Another favorite of mine is Brazilian tapioca, which are a kind of pancake made out of tapioca flour, often served with condensed cream and coconut. Although they are less common outside the north of the country, we found them in a mall and made sure to order some!Another part of churrasco’s feijoada – stewed beans and pork served over rice- is farofa, which is toasted cassava, or tapioca, that you can see in the lower left of the photo above. That was also a typical part of my Brazilian diet. 🙂

Not all the people know what gluten is, but eating gluten free in Brazil is still a pretty painless process. The most painful part was eating too much meat and not enough vegetables!

Gluten free Birthday Cake for Kay

We were flying back from Lima on Kay’s birthday and then I was in Hong Kong, but by late November, it was time to make the boy a cake. Or two, considering this was only the “shareable cake” and not his beloved, private cheesecake that I would make later on.

After two years eating gluten free, making cakes is not quite so scary any more. The recipes from The Everything Gluten-Free Baking Cookbook seem to work very well. I decided to make a standard white cake and then spice it up to be a pseudo spiced cake.I added in spices like cardamom and cinnamon, as well as a pinch of cloves.Frostings usually confound me, but this time I made a delicious, delicious, delicciooooous maple cream cheese frosting, recipe below.Prepping the cake for frosting.Considering that we were getting close to Christmas, it made for a really nice, wintery cake.We had a belated dinner for Kay at his father’s house and I brought the cake along as dessert.This one turned out a tad denser than other cakes I have made from this book, but still perfectly acceptable. 🙂It was only a shame that Kay had a stuffed up nose and could barely tastemy yummy creation. Oh well, too bad for Kay!

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 113g butter
  • 8oz/200g cream cheese (1 pack Philadelphia)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp maple extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Homemade gluten free freezer meals

Shortly after Kay moved out, I bought myself a granny bag, as I call it, to help bring groceries home on my own. Kay was my “carrying mule” as I fondly referred to him, and without him around, I really need some help with the heavy items like milk and liquids.I buy food in bulk and plan 4-6 meals to make over the weekend. Usually at least two are slow-cooker meals that require little prep or work and two are stove top meals.Above was fondue mac and cheese with cauliflower and carrots and below was slow cooker beef broccoli.This weekend I also used my Le Creuset pan for a big potato and carrot beef pot roast.And below was one pot chili mac.Most of the recipes are for around 8 portions. Sometimes I just wing them and make a bunch of food. These meals, along with chopped veggies like carrots and celery for the week, go into my new IKEA glass tupperware.Each night I cook, I enjoy a new, fresh hot meal, as well as dishing everything into the containers to cool before going into the fridge.It is really a factory line sometimes. Below was a risotto I made on auto mode on my Kenwood and then threw in cut peppers and spinach for some extra veg, as well as cheese, because, well…risotto. 🙂Once the meals have been in the fridge for a few hours and cooled even more, I transfer them to my big freezer that I bought myself last year.When I am heading to France or coming home from a weekend abroad, it’s SO easy to pull out meals for the week and to bring to work.Colleagues are amazed when I’ve been in Barcelona over the weekend and bring a fully homemade Sunday roast to work for lunch. With the freezer, everything is possible!

Are you a fan of homemade freezer meals or freezer cooking?

Gluten Free Cusco and Lima, Peru

After our long bus ride into Cusco with a crack-of-dawn arrival, we slept for a couple hours and then landed at Don Cafeone for lunch, where I had quinoa and mushroom beef.For dinner the first night, after hiking to see Saksaywaman during the day, we celebrated with more pisco sours at Nuna Raymi. For appetizers, we ordered the crispy homemade chips made from white potato, sweet potato, arracacha and yellow potato, tossed with olive oil, garlic, rocoto (red chili), pisco, parsley, jungle’s hot sauce, spices and tomato.Pretty sure I ordered tenderloin pork with piña colada chutney and garlic mashed potatoes for the main, but it’s been a few months and my memory is getting rusty. It tasted good and I didn’t get sick after, so I was happy!The second day when I was feeling so crappy the night before our trek, we ended up somewhere near the plaza de armas after our tour briefing and I had stuffed peppers and potatoes.After the whole trek was over, we needed to get a quick lunch in Aguas Calientes before taking the train back to Cusco, so I grabbed a deconstructed taco dish. And by grabbed, I mean, we waited quite awhile and almost missed our train because the service was so slow. 😉We did not realize we had purchased special train tickets. Most of our group was heading back later on a train together, but Kay had upgraded us to the “scenic route” that ran along the river on the way back to town. It was a very pretty train ride.Peru Rail also served us a little lunch, which surprised me.I was scared to eat the bread, so I gave it to Kay, but I happily munched on the rest. They served us coffee and tea too, which was welcome after five days without the morning cuppa.The train ride also had a very special service with a terrifying clown who made the creepiest noises, and later on a fashion show was put on by the steward and stewardess. It was definitely different than the Swiss train!Back in Cusco, we met another prospective student from INSEAD at Nuna Raymi for dinner again, since it was good before. The colleague just joined us for drinks, pisco sours, which unfortunately gave all three of us terrible food poisoning the next day.We were flying to Lima for our flight back to Zurich and the food poisoning hit just in time for security check-in. Again unfortunately, the water only worked outside security, so after we got through security, some poor soul had to deal with my repeated trips to the bathroom, and I spent some glorious time half-passed out in front of the bathroom, writhing in pain before we started boarding.

All for nothing too, as the power in the airport failed, so did my stomach, and I ended up losing my breakfast in front of all the passengers for our flight. The only thing classier than puking in a bag while running for the bathroom is having that bag break over the airport floor. Travel at its finest! 😉

Both Kay and I just needed to sleep and recover when we got to Lima. We had a day to explore, but rather spent the whole day and most of the night sleeping the food poisoning off. When we woke the next day with our flight back to Zurich, we had a little hotel breakfast, including broth soup to get our nutrients back up.After shopping and spending way too much, I chanced my stomach on some creamy shrimp risotto, but it was actually so rich that my weakened appetite wasn’t able to handle eating much of it. Tasty though!As were the BBQ chicken wings, which Kay helped me polish off.More from our trip to Peru:

Gluten Free Puno & Lake Titicaca

Neither Kay or I realized when we got to Puno that its elevation would affect us with altitude sickness already. We both had headaches, a bit of nausea, a general sense of feeling unwell, and were really winded walking around. My headache felt like a vague hangover with stuffed up ears, but soon I realized that my stomach was upset probably due to the altitude and not food we had eaten.

For our first dinner, we went to Mojsa Restaurant in the main square and ordered some coca tea to help our headaches.Our waitress was American and I was really happy to know that she knew what gluten was and could recommend several things to me.
I ordered the Sirloin steak with Andean chimichurri, golden huayro and sweet potatoes, and parsley alioli sauce before getting pretty sick and running to the bathroom several times. When I came back, I’d lost my appetite completely (another symptom of altitude sickness) and it was a shame because my food looked really yummy.As I mentioned in our homestay post, we spent the next day in the care of locals who cooked mainly corn and potatoes, all gluten free. The soup below was absolutely delicious and vegetarian, with fresh muña tea herbs for our tea.Also at lunch after the soup, we got a big bowl of various potatoes, some carrots I think, as well as a big piece of salty goat cheese.I was really impressed with the cooking the entire homestay because the kitchen was basically a small hovel off the eating area. It looked more like a barn or trash room because the family always swept everything from the eating area into the small kitchen space so that they could pick things up to burn later on. I was SO curious to see how they really cooked in a space like that. It was very small and cramped, with no vents for the smoke.For dinner we had a kind of carrot and potato mix with rice.The next morning I was concerned when our mama served us what looked like pancakes. Communicating with Kay’s Portuñol to their dialect of Quechua was a little tricky, but we verified that there was no “Harina de Trigo” and that it should just be made out of corn, so I ate my pancakes with coca tea and they were delicious.Next on our homestay tour, we had left Amantaní Island and headed to Taquile Island where we had a big goodbye lunch before heading back to Puno. Here I asked our guide to make sure the food was OK for me. First up was some quinoa soup. We realized on the trip that quinoa, which we eat so often now with my celiac diet, often comes from Peru, and that the local diet uses it heavily, to my benefit.For lunch we had a choice and I picked fresh fish with a side of rice, fries, and some veggies. I also purchases an additional Coke out of the homestay package because I felt icky and headachey and it took my headache right away. After that, I pretty much felt fine and headache-free from the altitude for the rest of the trip. Still extra winded though. 😉Back in Puno, I wanted to go back to Mojsa Restaurant because I didn’t believe that the food had made me sick and I really wanted to try their gluten free brownie for dessert. It really had to be the altitude, which is quite a common reaction from travelers.

Kay and I decided to split a ceviche as our appetizer because we hadn’t had it in Lima yet and it was delicious, it was trout ceviche with sweet potatoes and crunchy corn. If you are heading to Peru, make sure to try this signature Peruvian dish of fish cured in citrus. For my main, I got the grilled trout fillet with a passion fruit and rocoto pepper sauce, served with sautéed vegetables. And a Pisco Sour, because we’d hiked a tough walk on Amantaní Island. 😉For dessert, I got my brownie and shared a tiny bit with Kay, who was quite stuffed himself.On our fourth day in Puno, we thought we’d try something else out and we had the dreaded breakfast search, which is honestly still the worst part of traveling as a celiac. I’d eaten a snack bar or two before we found Cafe Bar de la Casa del Corregidor, which seemed like it was the cafe of a kind of hostel in the area.Muña tea and espresso were ordered, as well as juice because it was breakfast for us.The menu was not extremely gluten-free friendly, but I got some kind of frittata that met my needs.We also decided to split some chicken kebabs. Looking at them is making me hungry again.After we walked up to the Condor in Puno, we stopped at the cafe again for some classic Inca Kola, which is like bubble gum flavored pop.I also ordered a quinoa soup because breakfast didn’t fill me enough.And they were so kind to give us more corn to munch on.For our last meal before our night bus to Cusco, we just went back to Mojsa Restaurant again. I’m still not one for repeats, but it makes life so much easier as a celiac when you know there is a safe restaurant with decent food. I’m making peace with the lack of spontaneity because I don’t have a choice in the matter. What makes life easy, makes life easy.

Because it happened to be our 4th anniversary that night, I decided to go all out and try their kitschy oven baked guinea pig served with sweet potato puree, orange sauce and a small rocoto pepper and tomato salad. Yep, that is a guinea pig and this lady had no shame in eating it. It was GLUTEN FREE!It tasted alright, maybe a bit more gamey than chicken or beef. It was a bit hard to get all the meat off the bone though and I ended up finishing it chicken-wings style.

For dessert, we opted to split the second gluten free dessert, which was a kind of hot, sweet, quinoa porridge with raisins. It was very filling.Up next, we arrive in Cusco the days we’d planned to acclimatize to the altitude we just encountered in Puno. Oops.

More from our trip to Peru: