Category Archives: emergency plan

Noodly-Noodles For Real




gfnoodlesWhen I switched to gluten free noodles, there were lots of trial and error meals with noodles that were all substandard. I bought rice noodles all over town, any store that had anything that was safe to cook, we tried. More often than not, we wondered why we thought we needed noodles back in our diets. We finally settled on the Tinkyada brand for anything “noodle”, and they are okay. They cook up well and hold their shapes and do whatever job a noodle needs to do… and frankly I am happy to have the option. It’s beginning to look a lot like mac and cheese season, and we need noodles!! But, they are still different enough that the gluten eaters in the house (that I still have to cook for) won’t touch the rice noodles. Well, they will eat them, they just aren’t real happy about the experience. Whatever.

Enter the Barilla brand gluten free pasta box into the noodle challenge.

Done. These are great noodles. They cook and look and taste just like “real” pasta. AND!!! The resident gluten eater said that if I hadn’t told him they were GF, that he wouldn’t have been able to tell.

Done. We have a new pasta brand!!! In. The. House. yay




What to do with BBEEAANNSZ

I was recently given some dried beans by an elderly neighbor. She only reheats her prepackaged food these days, and thought I might want a freakishly large package of dried mixed beans for something, …”since you cook”.

I have been in the habit of buying canned beans, but there is no way that I *CAN’T* process my own beans… I just don’t, or more precisely, haven’t lately.

Oh fine. So I cooked the beans. Stop the presses! Alert the media! Cooking your own beans is cheaper, to be sure. And not difficult by any stretch of the imagination. And they are certainly gluten free… so I cooked them.

So…how do you cook beans from scratch? – Answer? Slowly. Yes, it takes hours. And yes, buying them already cooked in a can that I only have to open and dump into a recipe is easier. I hate to admit it, but these tasted better.

  • 4 Cups of dried beans in 16 cups of water (I used filtered water) in a large enameled cast iron dutch oven. Heavy duty.
  • Let them boil for 2 minutes and then take off the heat- cover and let sit one hour.
  • Refill the water and simmer the beans for 2 hours, or until tender. Don’t over think this part. They are done when they are done.  This 4 cups of dried beans resulted in 12 Cups of cooked and ready to use beans for my recipes. Awesome. Thifty. Delicious.

After they had cooled off, I packaged them in 2 cup containers with a little bit of the cooking water. Some in the fridge to use right away in a delicious recipe, and some in the freezer to use later.

So far, we have had “COWBOY BEANS” and chili. mmmm …winter food.



  • 1/2 lb of Jimmy Dean sausage, crumbled and cooked
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped and cooked with the sausage


  • 4 Cups of pre-cooked beans (drained)
  • 1 can of Bush’s baked beans (Do not drain)

Mix togther and pour over the top:

  • 1/4 Cup warm water
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • 2 T thai chili sauce
  • 2 T ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder

Bake at 300 for 1 hour covered, then another 45 minutes to an hour uncovered.

Serve as a main dish, a side dish, or as a nacho topping with corn chips. These were also good as part of enchiladas. And going by the lack of any leftovers… everyone liked it.  Useful dish to be sure.



Joe Medina

The Medina Ballroom is host to a legendary flea market every Sunday. We enjoy ALL of the various things about this event, (did I mention that it’s held EVERY Sunday?!) …including the meat raffle (yes, they raffle off meat), all of the vendors of antiques, various veggies that are available, fishing equipment and left overs from garage sales. It’s always different, and always the same. 

The Hamel Lions Club sponsors it and provides some concessions at the food trailer.

(some info HERE) 

The one thing that we LOVE about the food trailer is the $2 sloppy joes. Extremely satisfying on a cold and windy slightly rainy Sunday morning. But, alas, they not only serve it on a wheat bun, but the meat mix has wheat sauce. Can’t have that. Soooooooo, had to recreate that one.

We did. It’s delicious.

-Udi’s has the gluten-free hamburger bun thing down. Get some at Lund’s – they hide them in the freezer section.

Then make the meat mix to glop on top of your toasted hamburger bun. Really. It’s fantastic. I am not saying to make this at home and put it in your pocket on the way to the Ballroom, ya know, so that you can munch on it while you cruise around pricing beanie babies, or whatever, but let’s just say that I know it’s that delicious. In fact, I am munching on one right now as I type this. So yummy.

Medina Meat Mix (Gluten Free version of perfection)

Brown these together:

  • 1 lb. of lean hamburger (I used Laura’s super lean)
  • 1 onion- chopped

Mix these things together and add to the browned meat.

  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp potato starch
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder (although you can skip this and mince up real garlic with the onion, too)

While the meat and onions are doing their thing, I just mix all the rest of it in a bowl and then pour it over the meat. Continue to stir it for about three minutes or so and spoon the mixture over toasted buns.



Go have a picnic

..or something. sheesh.

The “GoPicnic” people have a great product. We love several of the gluten free options. Annnnnnd if you take their current survey on FB, they give you a coupon for 40% off. yep. Here’s my opinion! and thanks for the $$ back. : )

I would have bought these this week anyway, but by using the coupon and because one of the ones I ordered was on sale as well….. I saved $35. whoa. even with the shipping this was a great deal.

I love it when that happens.


On the road, again


Travelling while gluten free?  It can be done. The prep work is worth the travel without incident. The horror stories of travel without the gluten free prep work are dreadful. You probably don’t want to know about the “incidents”. Not really. Trust me. Take your own snacks.

We could fly, and be there faster, but driving is easier because we can pack more of our own snacks. Must. have. snacks.

In the snack bag for this trip, so far:

  • Glutino’s Pretzel Twists
  • TraderJoes carmel corn
  • gummy bears
  • Chocolate Chex
  • EnviroKids Crispy Chocolate Rice bars
  • cocoa mix and mini marshmallows
  • Trail mix, GORP (good old raisins and peanuts)
  • fruit snacks

We will have a cooler with our lunch sandwiches and some fruit, we also have a case of bottled water, a roll of papertowels. Throw in some last minute gear and we are good to go!

Snack on!






Before I knew anything *at all* about Celiac, I liked GORP as a fast and tasty snack. Easy to mix up, fun to find in my lunch. Easy to keep a small container of it in my purse, easy to take on camping trips. Kinda all purpose snackable. And one serving of it actually has a big dose of protein. Some sugar too… so don’t go crazy, but I was surprised at the protien amount.

It is amazing to me how I had somehow negotiated my way to a general menu that really was pretty well free of gluten before I had to go gluten free. It was just a few things that I had to either give up (beer) or find new substitutes (pretzels).

My advice to new celiacs, besides “don’t cheat”, is to figure out what you are ALREADY eating that is gluten free, then find new stuff to fill in the other areas of the menu. It is soooooo much easier now to find acceptable food in regular grocery stores than it was even a few years ago. Online ordering rocks when you can’t find it anywhere near you.

Stick to the meat and veggies and you really can’t go wrong. Until you need a snack. This is where the gorp comes in. *GORP=Good-Old-Raisins-and Peanuts*-mmmmm                   Stock up.


This is the ratio that I use, the bag of M&M’s in the picture is larger… please note.

  • 1 – 19 oz bag of plain M & M’s “large”
  • 1 – 16 oz can of salted Planter’s peanuts
  • 1 – 15 oz box of golden raisins

Mix. Pack. Snack.

Oh my.


CELIAC- things I find useful

Here is a list of things that *help* .   Having them say “Go gluten free, and good luck with that” at the doctor’s office was not helpful. At all. Ever. Still not very helpful over there at doctor central, so I wrote this out for them to give to their newly diagnosed persons.

This list IS helpful. Pass it on.


  • –Gluten Intolerance Group– – they have a lot of handouts that you can reprint

  • –
  • –Unendingly helpful book: Recognizing Celiac Disease, Cleo Libonati


  • -Very helpful book: Celiac Disease, Peter Greene, MD
Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University
Harkness Pavilion
180 Fort Washington Avenue
New York New York 10032

–Best magazine:

-Best cookbook: You Won’t Believe It’s Gluten Free– Roben Ryberg

–More cookbooks, anything by Bette Hageman

–Helpful: Gluten Free, For Dummies. (sadly, it’s pretty helpful) – they put out a free newsletter that lists mainstream products that are gluten free….. very helpful. has 4,000 products in their online store listed as gluten free

Betty Crocker released 4 new mixes in the baking section, 2 cakes, 1 cookie mix and a brownie mix., all gluten free. And delicious.

–Chex cereals have gone gluten free as of June 2009: Rice Chex and Chocolate Chex as well as Honey-Nut, Strawberry, and Cinnamon Chex are now *safe*


Emergency Food Plan

This is my personal soapbox. Feel free to ignore me, but ….Do you have an emergency food plan?  And is it GF?

Tornado season is starting here, but you may have other natural disasters in your neck of the woods that should make you think. Earthquake boxes are popular on the West Coast.  Hurricane evacuation box for the East Coast? Ice Storm box? Some parts of Kentucky are STILL without power after 3 weeks.  

…. and what do you have stocked away for that kind of mess?  What can you put aside to keep you gluten-free, and actually FED for five days, or longer without having to resort to eating wheat. (bleah)

Help doesn’t always arrive, and when “help” comes, will it be gluten free? Probably not. They will think they are “helping you” with a nice piece of wheat toast. No thanks.  I am going to double the size of my box this year. Maybe triple it. I am adding beans and rice though, that weren’t in it before, that will help.

I am approaching this plan with “camping” in mind. Think long term camping, with no backup grocery store to run to. Think of things that are easy to fix. Take no preparation or at a minimum some boiled water, in one pan. (**Note to self: put matches in the box.**) I can always start a fire and get out the tent if I need to .. well… if it’s still here after the tornado rips through the neighborhood, anyway.

The planning sheet is starting point. Yours will completely vary from mine, because you don’t have other restrictions beyond gluten-free. I have to consider about 40 other things on the “no – no” list, like eggs, and soy and whatever. You can add canned soup, and whatever if you want to. I don’t eat it on a regular basis, so why would it be in my care kit? GF soup cubes, sure.

If you have small kids, pack a change of clothes, a toy and pacifer if you need a backup.  I would so much rather have two than none. Consolidate your kit in a carry bag in the hall closet, or box, or boxes, that are small enough that you can throw them in the car and leave in about 3 minutes. GO! Where’s your flashlight?

Emergency Food Box Plan = food for four+ days. ……… Planning Page


Dried Blueberries   –  Canned Pears   –  Golden raisins   –  Berry jam


Baked beans  –  Green beans  –  White beans   –  Kidney beans

Pasta sauce:


Starkist Albacore tuna  –  Chicken-water only


Rice milk   – Juice boxes –  Bottled water  –  Coconut milk  – Coffee/tea   –  Lemonade powder


Chocolate bar   –  Gummi Bears – hard candy   –  GF soup cubes

Cream of rice cereal  – Rice crackers   –  Sunflower seeds  –  Shredded coconut  – 

Freeze dried foods  – Dried rice   –  beans  –  lentils  –  noodles  – 

medicine  –  vitamins

Other things to think about:

Flashlight + batteries  –  Radio + batteries

Can opener  –  Bottle opener

 Duct tape   – plastic tarp

 Gas stove + fuel 

Cooking pot  – Stirring spoons  – Table cover  – Paper plates

Paper bowls  – Paper towels  – Toilet paper  – Garbage bags  – 

Knives  – Forks  – Spoons

Salt/pepper  – Spices  – Dried cilantro  – Cooking Oil if needed


Emergencies are just that. Emergencies. Be prepared.