Home Baked Gluten Free Buns using Simple Mills Artisan Bread Mix

I’m a huge fan of Simple Mills line of mixes and products.  Pancake Mix, Muffins/Cupcakes Mix,  their almond cracker, cookies and now, their Artisan Break mix.  The mixes are generally just a handful of simple ingredients that I would characterize and higher quality, better choice ingredients.

In this post, I adapt Simple Mills excellent gluten free bread mix for use as buns.

I used Norpro’s Puffy Muffin Top Pan to make the buns.  I liked the size (4″ wide by 1/2″) deep and the 6 wells ended up working perfectly for one complete box of mix.

A look at Simple Mills Artisan Bread Box

Ingredients and Nutrition Facts.  Six ingredients that you can read and pronounce.

This mix can be made in at least three different ways – Flatbread, Dinner Rolls and Loaf.  I had tried the dinner rolls for a holiday meal and was very impressed.  That encouraged me to give buns a try.

The buns/muffin tops – I used the dinner roll recipe for this batch

Prior to try the dinner roll variation, I tried the flat bread variation.  The flat bread recipe is on the right.  Far too dense to be considered a bun, in my opinion.  The flat bread attempt turned out well but really a lot more like a biscuit than a bun.

I sliced the buns while they were still warm

Toasting two buns on my Little Griddle (on my electric stovetop).  I love my Little Griddle!

The finish toasted buns!

A gluten free sloppy joe!

These turned out really, really well.  I have never found a store bought, ready made gluten free bun that I like.  They fall apart, they’re mealy, they don’t taste good and they’re expensive.   I’ve had good GF buns in restaurants, but nothing that I could use at home.  Really glad to have a fresh baked option with quality ingredients.  Thank you to Simple Mills for making awesome products!

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Me Being a Celiac: Too Much Raw Food

I have Celiac Disease [About Me].

It’s taken me nearly a year and a half to figure this out, but, I have come to the conclusion that eating too many raw vegetables is a real issue for me.

I first read of this issue in one of the first books I read on Celiac Disease – Jennifer’s Way.  Jennifer Esposito remarked that this was a problem for her.

Although I continued to feel quite crummy.  I didn’t think that too many raw foods were a real issue to me (I’m also not saying they were the cause of all my problems a year and a half ago).  I figured if I had a problem with too many raw vegetables and fruits, I would have some sort of GI reaction, which I did not.

Advice ignored.

Fast forward a year and half-ish.  Even though I’ve adhered to a strict gluten free diet, I still continued to periodically feel crummy, without knowing why.

On the plane ride on a recent trip (heading to Florida and eventually on a cruise [See: Gluten Free on Royal Caribbean]) I finished reading Eat Dirt by Dr Josh Axe.  Again, I read mention of issues with too much raw food.  Again, I reasoned, this is not an issue I have.

Turning point.  In Florida we ate a completely gluten free, vegan, raw restaurant.  Within an hour or so I felt horrible and continued to fill ill through the next morning.

At this time, I also recalled that I started to feel ill after drinking my typical lunchtime smoothie AFTER I started adding Spirulina to the smoothie in heaping portions.

In all of these cases, I did not have specific GI symptoms, generally I just feel yucky, tired and blah.  It’s almost as if my GI tract has too much work and tells the rest of my body – slow down, this is going to be bad.

Since, I have tried to limit raw vegetables and fruits and have noticed a marked difference.  I feel better.  I still eat raw foods, I just try to do so in moderation.  I still make a smoothie, I just don’t put as much fruit in and I only use a pinch of spirulina.  For me, this was some advice I was ignoring, that seems to have made a big difference.

I feel like I also have a similar reaction of I ingest too many probiotic-type things.  As of this posting, I’m currently taking one Raw Probiotics Ultimate Care per day and that seems to be working well.  I can also drinking a Kombucha or two without issue.

I’m also not saying raw foods were/are the cause of all my issues.  I’m confused as to why I still seem to have this issue, but it seems I do.  Hopefully over time it will become less and less of an issue.

Disclaimer: This is in no way a recommendation to you.  This is not medical advice.  The following is for informational purposes only.  Before making a changes to your diet, talk to your doctor or healthcare professional to see what choices are right for you.


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Traveling Gluten Free – Gear, Tips and Tricks!

Pictured: Sun Bum Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion – via Amazon

I love to travel.  A diagnosis of Celiac Disease [About Me] has slowed me down, but it certainly has not stopped me.  Related: [Trip Reports] with more on the way.

This post is a roundup of some of the gear, gadgets and tips for making the most out of your trip.  Got a travel tip? Let us know!

Continue reading “Traveling Gluten Free – Gear, Tips and Tricks!”

Canyon Gluten Free Bakehouse – Coupons and Promo Codes

About Canyon Gluten Free Bakehouse: “When co-founder Christi Skow was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2007, the Canyon Bakehouse mission to make high-quality, great-tasting gluten-free breads began. Frustrated by gluten-free breads that lacked in taste and nutritional value, Christi, her husband, Josh, and their friend and Master Baker, Ed Miknevicius, set out to bake breads that were free from gluten and other allergens, but held the taste, texture and feeling of “real” bread.”

Check out Canyon Bakehouse Special Offers Page for current coupons and discounts

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Tip: Finding Coupons for Gluten Free Items on Amazon

Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola, Original, 12 Ounce

Pictured: Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola by purely elizabeth. via Amazon Prime Pantry (about Prime Pantry)

Amazon’s coupon search page, let’s you easily find their coupons.  This search searches for the term “gluten free” using that tool.  Note that you still need to confirm gluten free status of each individual item as that search isn’t a guarantee the item will be GF.

Search for gluten free coupons on Amazon

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Always check ingredients to confirm gluten free status.  If in doubt, contact the manufacturer with questions.

Tip: Finding Gluten Free Sale Items at Target


Pictured: King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix

I’ve been a big fan of Target lately for gluten free deals.  That probably stems from the fact that I recently obtained a Target REDcard.  See: REDcard benefits.  I opted for the debit card version but a credit card version is also available.  Both versions offer… 5% off in store and online along with free shipping on pretty much everything on target.com with no minimum order.

This all means I was able to send my daugher a care package of GH Cretors Chicago Mix (certified GF) for just $3.13 (with my 5% discount) shipped to her dorm.  Whammo.

Target seems to offer very similar pricing online as they do in store and many of the sales are reflected in both spots.  If you don’t have a REDcard, shipping is free with most $35 orders.

This search – searches for gluten free in the grocery category.  It further limits results to items available to ship and items that are on sale.

This search – has the same criteria as the previous search, but also includes items that are pick up eligible.  Reserve the items you want, Target gathers them for you and you saunter in leisurely to pick them up.

This search – includes all sale items with the term gluten free including those that are available only in store.

If you run into something particularly good… Let me know.  I’d love to put up your tip and let everyone know.  Submit a Tip

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Resource Post: Manufacturer and Store Gluten Free Lists


Here are the gluten free manufacturer resources we’re aware of.

This list is a work in progress.  Got one to add to the list?  Submit a Tip and let us know!

Always check ingredients to confirm gluten free status.  If in doubt, contact the manufacturer with questions.

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A Celiac Walks Into a Chipotle…


When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease I was happy that I apparently had at least some options at Chipotle Mexican Grill.  After all, the only gluten containing food item on the menu are the flour tortillas.  Bowls and corn hard shell tacos are both viable gluten free options.  Yay, tasty food!

As I learned about Celiac disease, food preparation and my own symptoms I started re-thinking how I order at Chipotle.

The most well trained Chipotle employees will immediately wash their hands and change their gloves when you identify yourself as a Celiac Disease sufferer.  If they are well trained they will also follow you down the line to complete your order.  That minimizes cross contamination risks and means not every single person needs to wash hands and change gloves.

The question that I asked myself is… what good does it do if they wash their hands and change their gloves?  The only thing that really helps with is when they touch the bowl when they first pick it up or move it.  They’re still using the spoons and the same tubs of ingredients.

The next thing that I’ve heard is… ask them to change spoons.  Okay, another step forward.  There could be something stuck to the spoon that gets on the person’s hand or drops into your food.  We’re still left with possible prior cross contamination of food that’s on the line.

I’ve sat and watched the line and how they handle spoons and what not.  Spoons touch the flour tortillas and go back into the ingredients.  They also choke up on the spoons when they’re holding them so their hands are close to the serving end.  The bins are deep enough that the area they just touched goes deep into the bin.

The cheese and lettuce are served by hand.  The same hands handle flour tortillas.  It doesn’t matter if the person making your bowl just washed their hands and changed their gloves, the people who just handled lettuce and cheese for previous orders did not.

Let’s face it… even though there’s only a single gluten containing ingredient… gluten is getting into everything on the serving line.

I’m not saying this is a general food safety or sanitation issue.  It is not.  It’s a gluten cross contamination issue.

Can you still eat at Chipotle?  The answer for me, a Celiac [About Me], is yes.  Here’s how…

  1. I identify myself as someone with Celiac Disease at the beginning of the ordering line.  I do that purposefully, even though they may not know what that means (they may be more familiar with gluten allergy or gluten intolerance).  I wait for their reaction.  Using the word disease let’s them know this is a serious situation and it gives them a chance to absorb that even if they don’t understand what it is.  If need be I follow up with an explanation.
  2. The most well trained employees will immediately wash their hands and change their gloves.  If they do not do this, kindly ask them to, or… you may want to ask to talk with a manager at this point.  They may alert other workers to the fact that a gluten allergy is being prepared.  I know allergy isn’t technically correct, but practically speaking that doesn’t really matter.
  3. I inform the person making my bowl that I am extremely sensitive to gluten and I would like my bowl made from previously unused tubs of ingredients using clean utensils.  The best of the best will do this without being asked, but don’t assume that will happen.  Fresh bins of salsas, beans and other toppings are refrigerated under the line or kept warm in the back.  The only thing they may not have are fresh tubs of meat selections.  They do have reserved and covered tubs on the hot table, but it’s possible that they could be running behind and not have an fresh tub available.  You could either step out of line and wait for fresh meat to be ready or go vegetarian for the day.

In my opinion washing hands and changing gloves aren’t enough to make a safe meal.  Changing spoons is also mostly frivolous.  There is too much gluten flying around and cross contaminating food.

I’ve found Chipotle staff to be generally helpful, respectful and caring.  I do eat there even though I am very sensitive but ask them to wash their hands, change gloves and only serve me fresh ingredients from previously unused containers, using clean utensils.  They have always been willing to do this for me.

If you have an issue with explaining your situation or you feel uncomfortable about the way your food is being prepared, I’d suggest that you ask a manager to prepare your meal.

Going during slower times can help.  If you feel uncomfortable explaining all of this on the spot or want to make sure they know you’re coming just give the restaurant a call beforehand.

Also use Find Me Gluten Free to give a fair review of Chipotle and other restaurants so the rest of the gluten free community can learn from your experience.

As always be kind, thankful and reward good service by tipping and by sharing praises.

Visit Chipotle’s Website


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Restaurant Fail… If they can’t make it Celiac Safe, they shouldn’t plate it


I’m fresh from returning for an overall great trip to Seattle.  Look for a sizable trip report soon.  Also: Trip Reports tag.  I did want to tell you a quick story about a bad experience that I had in hopes that you’ll learn from my misfortune.

The primary reason we went to the Seattle area was a family function.  We flew from the Midwest to Seattle.  The family function had an associated luncheon with it.  Great… that’s always fun for a Celiac [About Me].

I called the restaurant a few days in advance and spoke with the Chef.  He was polite and respectful.  I asked him if he knew what Celiac Disease was and he said… not really, could I tell him about it.  I explained it in general and let him know that I’m very sensitive to even small amounts of gluten.

After chatting, he told me he didn’t feel comfortable providing food to me.  Surprising, since this was an actual Chef at what appeared to be a well-rated and moderately expensive restaurant.  Nevertheless, I would have rather heard this vs sweet nothings combined with sickness from gluten.  He suggested that I bring my own food in and they would plate it.  Good solution.  I asked him if I should just ask for a plate and he said that he would prefer that I give them the food for plating.  Ok.

The morning of the event I drove 25 miles in the wrong direction to get a gluten free breakfast at a highly rated Seattle based dedicated gluten free restaurant.  It was delicious.  The restaurant also prepared and packed up a lunch for me.  Yay!  I have no doubts that the lunch I received was gluten free and Celiac safe.

Upon arriving at the luncheon, I spoke with staff to let them know I was there and went over plating my food.  They immediately knew who I was and what my situation was.  They expected to see me and seemed to have it under control.  The last thing I said before giving them my food was… that whoever touched my food needed to wash their hands and change their gloves prior to doing so.

Upon receiving the food (a panini and a cup of soup), I knew that the food had been warmed up.  My assumption was that this had been done in a microwave (wrong).  Within a couple hours, I became certain that I had been poisoned by gluten.  I would say it was a small amount of cross contamination.

I emailed the manager about this.  He was apologetic and confused at what happened.  He said that “kitchen staff had washed their hands multiple times” preparing my food.  Wait.. preparing my food?  I was already told that the restaurant didn’t have the capacity to safely prepare my food.  Their task was to… put it on a plate.  Yet, they felt the need to “play chef” and contaminate my food.  Note that he (rightly) never disputed the gluten free status of the food I brought.

This leads me to a new rule that I’ve made up for myself… If they can’t make it then they shouldn’t plate it.  If a restaurant staff isn’t trained to understand basic food safety, including cross contamination, then they can pretty easily botch anything up.  If you’re in a similar situation to me, I’d say skip the eating altogether. If for whatever reason you feel that they must plate your food then I would suggest that you talk directly with a Chef or cook and walk through every single step that the food will take.

Lesson Learned.

I had a good discussion with the management and asked them to commit to discussing this issue among their team.  They agreed.

AlsoGluten Free Dining Out Cards (English and Spanish Edition) – Review

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Gluten Free Things I Actually Like

81xMQIn2JjL._SY606_Pictured: Justin’s Nut Butter Mini Peanut Butter Cups Dark Chocolate

As far as eating at home, I am able to eat many of the same things that I enjoyed prior to being diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  Many without modification.  A few with slight modifications.  For example, the chili that we make has always been gluten free, we just never knew it.

Beyond that, I have tried (and am trying) off the shelf gluten free items.  Some of those items look like the thing that they are supposed to be… but do not taste like it.

All that to say… there are some gluten free food items that are very good and that I enjoy.  This post is dedicated to listing those.  I’ll add to it as I come across more items.

That’s all for now, stay tuned for updates

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Always check ingredients to confirm gluten free status.  If in doubt, contact the manufacturer with questions.