Good Gluten Free French Toast and Other Special Diet Deliciousness

French Toast

Once upon a time ago I discovered that gluten sensitivity was causing many uncomfortable symptoms that initially made me believe that I had stomach cancer. Dramatic. I know; but it was that bad. I wrote all about that gluten intolerance drama for Ebony so read that saga when you get the chance but not before you hear me out here.

Many people, when they hear the phrase “gluten free,” self included, get disappointed as all the things they won’t be able to eat anymore starts flashing before their eyes. I have had some slip ups since making that discovery earlier this year because sometimes many times gluten free food tastes gluten free, which isn’t good. You get bread and pastries that crumbles to the touch, rendering them useless, there may be too much sodium used, too much butter, etc–all of which are obviously frustrating.

What I’ve discovered in my gluten free life is that everything you eat in that vein is trial and error. Some things will be really good substitutes, and others not so much. For a long time, I thought I’d have to give up bread because I hadn’t found a brand that I liked until a representative from Glutino contacted me about trying their products with no strings attached. That was one brand I hadn’t tried at the time so I decided to go for it.

I was sent pretzels, pancake mix, various types of crackers, cookies various types of bread and pancake mix. My favorites from that lot were the bread, the cookies and the crackers (cheddar and original premium rounds) but the bread was the real star of the show! I sampled their seeded bread, cinnamon raisin bread, white bread and multigrain bread. I liked each type but the seeded bread was my favorite. It’s enhanced with poppy, flax and sunflower seeds for more fiber and nutritional goodness, and it makes for a killer French toast, see the photo above.


I already make good French (not to brag but facts are facts lol) but going back to that crumbly bread problem that seems to plague gluten free products, it started to seem like something I’d have to give up cooking because, you know, you have to dip it in that milky/egg mix, but the Glutino bread that I sampled withstood the pressure and I rejoiced. Again, it also tastes really good. There’s something about eating a slice of bread that just makes you feel whole.

Like I said, the seeded bread is my favorite but it’s really just a matter of preference so I encourage you to try the brand.

Here’s a random sandwich made with the white bread, also yummy.



And then there were pancakes…

I had discovered another brand of gluten free pancakes that I actually enjoy even more than the standard pancakes that I used to eat, so I thought that I had found the end all be all with them and was skeptical about trying Glutino’s mix but I did it and again, I am pleased. They make it really simple. Everything you need is in the container so you just add water, shake and cook.


The verdict is that they turned out to be yummy and fluffy goodness. You can adjust the amount of liquid you add to suit your needs depending on your desired level of thickness. I like my pancakes somewhere in between thick and thin so that the edges come out crispy.

Glutino Pancake Mix

In related news, I got fancy with a couple of the pancakes by  adding a scoop of powdered chocolate protein for an extra boost.


The downside to the pancake mix is that it doesn’t yield as much as the standard. It was fine for my husband and I and actually lasted us Saturday and Sunday, the only days of the week that we eat pancakes (once the mix is open you need to finish it within a couple of days). If you have a big family this might not be the most economical option but it’s definitely delicious. My husband, who doesn’t have to be gluten free, and won’t eat that way unless he has to, even enjoyed these products, especially the cookies, which he devoured most of while I was away on a business trip, but I digress.

Since trying and enjoying most of these samples, I have purchased items from the brand on my own including the brownie mix and breakfast bars, both of which I liked. The point is, this is a brand you may want to consider trying in your gluten free adventures.


Disclaimer: I was not compensated or even urged to write this post for Glutino.



Black Bean Fudge Brownies For Protein-Packed Goodness


The idea of using black beans in brownies might sound weird for some but don’t knock it til’ you try it. Actually, black beans (and red beans too) can also be delicious in smoothies but back to the topic at hand, brownies. I was watching Dr. Oz one day and stumbled upon this recipe for black bean fudge brownies.

I piqued my interest so I decided to try my own version of it and this is what I came up with:


Mine were more fudge than brownie but yummy either way. My photo probably doesn’t do it justice but this recipe (or variations of it) is a keeper.  I used less ingredients then what was included in the recipe (ingredients pictured at the top of this post), eyeballed my measurements and didn’t cook it for as long as the recipe says.

I’m a super chocolate and sugar fiend so I often have to monitor my urges to binge on ridiculously terrible versions of the former two, so this bean fudge brownie stuff is an excellent, guilt-free way to indulge. It’s also gluten free (obviously). It takes almost no effort to make. The only thing I would do differently is use fresh beans. I hate canned food but I was in a rush, so I had to go for the quicker option that day.

This is what was left over in my blender:


And you better believe I scooped every bit of it out and licked it off my fingers.

Have or will you tried black bean brownies?

Collard Greens the Remix: Eat Them Raw

Raw Collard Greens

When most of us imagine collard greens, we think about the chopped up, super cooked (sometimes over-cooked) version with the smoked turkey neck bones (or bacon and/or hamhocks in some cases), mixed in for extra flavor. That version is tasty (especially with how my mom gets down), but there other ways we can eat our collards.

Collard green leaves are really thick and tough, so cooking them is ideal but you can eat them raw too. Enter my collard greens salad experiment:

Collard Greens Salad

Not only were those greens nice and chewable, but they tasted fresh crisp and delicious, the way a salad is supposed to. I rinsed my greens thoroughly and patted them dry first. I find that they hold on to flavor more when they are dry. I mixed rice wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, a smidget of salt and some pepper in a bowl. Then, I placed the leaves along with chopped up sun dried tomatoes in a bowl, shook it up and let it sit for about 15 minutes (in the refrigerator) so that the greens could soften up. I eyeballed each of the ingredients, so I’d say just add to taste or maybe do a tablespoon of each liquid. Don’t over do the salt (when I say a smidget, I really mean a tiny bit), especially if you’re going to add sun dried tomatoes.  You can also add pepper flakes for a little extra kick if you’d like.

In related news, collard green leaves are also good for wrapping sandwiches and tacos instead of bread and tortillas, but I’ll get back to you on that. In the meantime, try this salad and let me know what you think.

Nunn Electrolyte Tablets For You Who Hate Water


If you don’t know anything else about how to nourish your body, chances are, you at least know that water is important. However, there are a lot of people who surprisingly don’t like it. I love it! I’ve struggled with terrible eating habits my entire life but drinking a lot of water was the one good habit that I formed, despite that.

But back to you people who don’t drink it…

A relative of mine had a health scare due to a preexisting condition. ICU doctors discovered that he was also dehydrated while they were trying to bring his body back to a stable condition. That was definitely a contributing factor to why he ended up in the hospital. I was worried and found myself explaining his condition to a confidant. When I mentioned the dehydration thing, she said she hated water.


She said it didn’t taste like anything, something I hear a lot.


I still don’t get it but if you absolutely positively need some kind of flavoring for your water without sugar, try electrolyte tablets. My favorite is Nunn, pictured above in berry, orange, lemon-lime, and citrus. My favorite flavor depends on the day but berry and citrus seem to impart the most flavor. I already drink enough water, like I said, so I don’t use these often but they are a nice addition to that good ol’ H20. They come in packs of various sizes and half a tablet goes a long way. I get mine on Amazon.

Water has numerous benefits for your body. Mmkay? Start here.

I am Officially Gluten Intolerant


I have always been athletic but with a bad diet. I have a sugar addiction and love fried, doughy delicious but bad for your body items. I also yo-yo eat. Basically, I have always looked fit but felt like crap. At one point I became a raw food vegan, a journey that lasted for three months. I felt great and got to a point where I no longer needed any of the four medications I was prescribed for asthma and allergic rhinitis, but I was too lazy to be consistent with that level of discipline, not realizing that dietary mental toughness was inevitably kismet.

Fast forward to the gluten diagnosis…

Now I’m forced to be disciplined. That is, unless I want to deal with indigestion, hives, rashes, depression, extremely dry skin and a host of other symptoms that had me convinced that I had stomach cancer. I wrote about ti for Ebony. Here’s a snippet:

Hives, random skin eruptions, fatigue, indigestion, anemia, painful cystic acne, and extreme stomach pain. These are just a few of the inexplicably increasing symptoms I had grown accustomed to over the years. My skin was extremely dry and itchy, to the point where lotion and oils were useless. I suffered from depression and had extreme nausea and occasional vomiting after eating. I was in so much pain toward the end of last year that I stopped eating for days, convinced that I had stomach cancer. Even when I did eat, salad was the only thing I could consume without experiencing severe discomfort. Finally, I went to a gastroenterologist.

The first gastroenterologist I saw wasn’t convinced that it was cancer. I was sent to an allergist about my skin and given a prescription for steroidal pills for my alleged eczema since I had a history of allergies, sent to a therapist, told to take prescription iron supplements, given probiotics and tested for celiac. My dry skin didn’t respond to the steroidal pills, and the probiotics helped with a lot of my stomach pain so I was able to eat more but still noticed that I’d vomit or experience extreme nausea shortly after eating things like pizza, sandwiches and even crackers or toast, and my indigestion wouldn’t quit, even with prescription antacids.

Read the full story over at Ebony.



Recipe: Mixed Berry Banana Spinach Breakfast Smoothie

My apologies for the shady lighting.

I’ve been trying to have at least one smoothie a day ever since doctors told me to get my iron up. I’ve struggled with anemia my entire life but I know that drinking your greens can help your body their nutrients absorb faster than eating them. I incorporate this tactic by having a breakfast smoothie at least five days a week (Note: you can eat this whenever, I just prefer the morning). My go to blend is this usually either mixed berries or just strawberries, banana, spinach (and sometimes kale), honey and almond milk (and sometimes yogurt).

It’s simple.

1 cup (or a handful) of berries.

1 ripe banana.

1 cup (or a handful) of spinach (or desired dark leafy greens).

1/2 cup yogurt (I love Fage)

1 tablespoon of honey (I sometimes use dates).

Blend and enjoy.

You can also add water to taste depending on how liquidy you want your drink.

In the case that you want to use almond milk instead of the yogurt, go for about 1 cup but again, that depends on how thick or thin you want your drink.

Chipotle Tofu Sofritas Coming to New York, New England

Chipotle Sofrito

Be still my beating heart.

Chipotle’s tofu sofrita’s are expanding to New York and New England, yes! According to the Huffington Post, who reached out to the company, the vegan option is coming to new territories starting March 3. It’s already available in over a dozen states and nearly 40 percent of Chipotle restaurants already have the Sofritas burrito.

It looks like this:

Chipotle Vegan Burrito

There aren’t many moments when I’m not craving Chipotle (I do control myself, though). I always go for the gluten free (I’m in a battle with gluten that I’ll discuss later) vegetarian option, which leaves me with the veggie bowl and the same ingredients in rotation, so it will be nice to have a different veggie option.

To put things into better perspective, you know how Kel feels about orange soda, right?

Kel Orange Soda

Shout out to the 90s kids for understanding that one but that’s how I feel about Chipotle.

Better late to the party then never!

And now we wait to see which NYC branches get them first.

Rocsi Diaz Goes Pro Vegetarian in Peta Holiday Campaign

Former 106 and Park host Rocsi Diaz teamed up with Peta to promote the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. In the ad she rocks a bikini made out of Brussels sprouts with a small piece of a wreath added for extra holiday flavor. Check her out:

Rocsi Diaz for Peta

She also did an interview for the campaign explaining how and why she went vegetarian.

“I physically felt cleaner and lighter,” she mentioned as one of her personal perks. “Later on, literally I saw somebody eating a chicken wing, and it grossed me out. … My body was, like, ‘No more. I don’t want it anymore.’”

Watch the full interview:

I’ve been a yo yo vegetarian all my life since age 2 (a saga where I battle yo yo eating in general that I will one day share). I even dabbled with raw food veganism (this was an amazing phase, another story I will one day share). I believe more in the theory that people have diverse and individual dietary needs based on blood type. My experience, since before I began researching various diets and stumbled across blood type eating, has shown me that I’m much better as a vegetarian (I’m blood type A and according to that fact veggies should be my gospel). However, even rampant meat eaters should probably cut their meat consumption tremendously and give the veggies a chance, even if vegetarian for a day. When done correctly, the vegetarian lifestyle has tremendous benefits.