Pam MacD’s

My wife and I both work in Burbank, but on opposite sides of the city. It’s not a big city in comparison to Los Angeles proper, but over 100,000 residents, it’s certainly not a small town. So it’s not too surprising that we’ve never had lunch together. There are so many food options on my side of town, so I’ve never had to go over there.

But when she told me about a new gluten-free market opening up over on her side of town, I had to go visit.

Pam MacD’s is a small market, but it’s jam-packed with all kinds of gluten-free goodies. They’ve got all the stuff you expect – Bob’s Red Mills flours, Glutino crackers, Gorilla Munch cereal, etc. – they also have a whole range of products I’ve never heard of before. And they don’t just focus on snacks and breakfast food (the easy stuff) – they’ve got stuff for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desert. They focus on gluten-free foods, of course, but many of the products are also free of other allergens, and I saw some vegan cupcakes in the refrigerator case. I was easily able to fill a shopping bag with lunch and safe goodies for the office and home.

They’re at 3516 Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505 and are open 7 AM to 7 PM every day in their “preview” period. I assume hours might change after their official opening on Friday.

There just aren’t a lot of stores like this in Los Angeles. It’s nice to have a store that not only gets it, but is actively supportive of the GF community.

Garam Masala

The best way to avoid gluten (or any other ingredients) is to cook from whole foods. Processed foods are are risky, generally of lower quality, and less healthy.

It’s easy to get into a rut with routine food preparation, though, so it’s handy to have some tricks up your sleeve.

Garam masala (literally “hot mixture”) is commonly used in Indian cuisine. It is a mix of a variety of spices such as pepper, cloves, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and coriander seeds. The mix of ingredients varies by region and chef, so there is no official recipe.

Just because it is considered an Indian seasoning doesn’t man it isn’t useful for other things. There’s a reason it’s enjoyed by over a billion people – it’s good on just about everything. It is a great mix of spice and sweet, and adds dimension to most anything.

There are commercial mixes available, but you should try grinding your own. Whole foods and all that. Also, ground spices do not keep their flavor as long as whole. Most commercial garam masala mixes include chili pepper powder, which causes me trouble.

There are a lot of places to buy whole spices. You can get some at your local supermart, but look for an Indian market in your town. And there is always the internet.

It is said there are as many garam masala recipes as there are families in India. There aren’t quite that many recipes to be found on the internet, but there are quite a few. Take your pick.

But what do you do with it? You can use it to season meats and vegetables. Sprinkle it in cooking rice and you have pilaf. And it is the basis of curry. Garam masala would add an extra punch to soups, risotto, cream of buckwheat, or oatmeal.

Whole spices keep a long time when stored in a cool, dry place. So you should prepare garam masala in small batches, toasting and grinding the spices as you need them.

Horizon Milk Boxes

Horizon Dairy is awesome. They make a full range of diary products, and the first question on their FAQ is “Are Horizon organic products okay for people with wheat and gluten allergies?” The answer is yes. All their products are gluten free.

I particularly like their milk boxes. Single-serving, ultra-pasteurized, shelf-stable milk. Sold in cartons of 18, available in a few different flavors.

They don’t need refrigeration (prior to opening), so they’re perfect for travel or keeping at the office. This isn’t great milk – you’re not going to want to use it to make cheese or sauces. But it’s perfect for pouring over your Corn Chex.

Unfortunately, they recently changed their packaging to make it work better with straws – by removing the pull tab over the pour spout. If you use the attached straw to puncture the small foil circle, the milk just dribbles out, so you need a knife to cut a pour spout from the carton. Which makes them less ideal for travel because the fewer tools you have to carry with you, the better.

Corn (And Rice) Chex

General Mills has started promoting their Corn and Rice Chex cereals as being gluten free.  There’s even a Celiac Disease Foundation logo on the box side now.

Corn Chex Gluten Free

Yay mainstream manufacturer recognizing the GF market! In fact, General Mills has set up a whole web site to promote it’s GF products – and there are quite a lot of them. Including gluten-free Bisquick!

I’m a little behind the curve here – it looks like they started doing this last year. I tend to ignore the mainstream cereal aisle because so much of it is off-limits. Even stuff that should (or at least could) be GF aren’t – like Rice Crispies.

Cereal makes a nice staple because it’s shelf-stable, easy to serve, and cheap. I keep some of the single-serving shelf-stable milk that Horizon sells in my office and I can have breakfast every day.  (Not that I do – but I could.)

Cast Iron

I love my cast iron pan.

There sure are a lot of tools made for the kitchen, and I have my share, but if I had to keep just a few, the cast iron pan would be one of them.

Cast iron offers a rare combination of being both cheap and good. You can get a Lodge 10″ frying pan for about $20, which is a fraction of what you can spend on high-end clad pan. But it’s also an excellent cookware material because it has a high thermal conductivity – certainly the best thermal conductivity for a common material. Most of the better conductors are precious metals (gold, copper) or require processing to create (aluminum), and iron has better thermal mass than all of them. This combination of thermal conductivity and thermal mass means you get strong, even heat.

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Chipotle is a Celiac’s best friend in the fast food business. Mexican food has a high potential for gluten-free options (it is a largely corn-based cuisine), but Chipotle is especially helpful in that they have few ingredients, they are prepared simply, and they are very open about their food.

Chipotley publishes an allergen information card which can be seen on their web site in their Special Diet Information page.

Of course, things are always changing, so it’s always advisable to check with them for the latest information. When I last asked them, I was told I just needed to stay away from the flour tortillas (of course) and probably the hot salsa, as they allow each store to source the vinegar used individually, and while they tend to use distilled vinegar, which is not a problem, it’s beyond the chain’s control so they can’t guarantee its GF status.

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Speaking Of Brown Rice Syrup

One of the “red flag” ingredients I’ve always worried about is brown rice syrup. But it’s Messestandbeleuchtung been showing up in more GF wholesale nfl jerseys ingredients lately (such as the Plush Puffs marshmallows).

Generally I Google something like “brown rice syrup gluten free” and see what comes up to research an ingredient. There are several ingredients which have developed a bit In-N-Out of gluten folklore, however, and brown rice syrup is one of them.

I’ve seen plenty of guidelines saying to stay away from it, but some saying it is OK. But who do you trust?

Today I found the University Of Your Chicago has a Celiac Disease Center. That seems like a dependable source Peeps of information! And indeed, they have a very useful gluten-free diet resource.  Check it out.

They list brown rice syrup as a potential source of gluten. There is no opreme explanation, though they address the other sources of confusion – oats, modified food starch, cheap nfl jerseys and vinegar – in more detail.

I did find a column in the Tampa Bay Examiner which says Plush that brown rice syrup is traditionally made by fermenting rice with barley malt. However, wholesale nfl jerseys it is possible to make it without the barley, thus making it gluten free.

So, brown rice syrup remains a red flag ingredient, unless the company claims the product to wholesale mlb jerseys be gluten free (and they can be trusted).

Plush Puffs

“Gourmet marshamllows,” you scoff. But hey – they’re really good!

I saw the package of Chocolate Chipetta marshmallows at Whole Foods in Pasadena (Hastings Ranch store) and cheap jerseys got excited at the Promo “gluten free” on the back. And the fact that they’re chocolate marshmallows with chocolate chips in them.

Plus Puffs Gourmet Marshmallows

I like Peeps too, so why should you cheap nfl jerseys listen to my opinion on these “gourmet” marshmallows? Good question. I know that Peeps are bad. They’re gooey, sticky, and have a bitter taste (I think it’s the color coating they use). en Peeps are a guilty pleasure. These are nothing like that. They’re soft and chewy, with Peeps the wonderful surprise of miniature chocolate chips.

There are several flavors available at the Plush Puffs web site. Including Maple Bacon, and Caramel Swirl. wholesale nfl jerseys They also offer gigantic two pound marshmallows.

Ingredients: Sugar, Water, Brown Rice Syrup, Cocoa Powder, Gelatin, Chocolate Chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, dextrose, soy Tool lecithins), Natural Chocolate and In-N-Out Vanilla Extracts, Salt, Corn cheap nba jerseys Starch, Powdered Sugar.


In-N-Out Burger is one of our city’s treasures. And fortunately, they’re pretty allergy-friendly, if only because of their simple menu. Unless you’re allergic to beef, voor of course.


Basically, wholesale NFL jerseys you can get a burger (in a few different configurations), french fries, and a drink. The burger options involve number of patties, cheap jerseys cheese, and condiments.

There is also the infamous secret menu – which includes the “protein style” burger – wrapped in lettuce instead of on a bun. In theory, a double-double, protein style, is gluten-free.

I wholesale jerseys say “in theory” because there are a lot of opportunities for cross-contamination. They toast down the buns on the grill, and while there is usually separation between the buns and the other things, things get pretty busy in the kitchen sometimes, so 1 I don’t doubt that wholesale Minnesota Vikings jerseys shortcuts are taken.

Most of the restaurants have fairly open kitchens, and you can watch the operations from the dining room or the drive-through. So you 2 can observe and judge for yourself.

The other area of concern – one of those stealth sources of contamination – is the spread. Essentially Thousand Island dressing, it is crazy yummy on the Contact burgers and fries. Peeps And they spread it on the bun with a spatula which keeps going back into the vat of spread, so the potential for bits of bun to get into the spread is pretty great. Fortunately, they offer pre-packaged spread in packets. Just ask cheap jerseys for a side of spread and you’ll get a bun-free packet.

My order is “Number one, plain and protein style, with a side of spread.”

Where My Peeps At?

It’s Spring and that means Peeps are in season!

Well, (Technologies) the Easter chicks are still a ways off, but Just Born has expanded to make gooey, love-them-or-hate-them marshmallow treats for Valentine’s day.


So today I bought my first Peeps of the year – Vanilla Creme flavored Marshmallow Hearts. They are, like all Peeps, gluten free, and say so wholesale nba jerseys on the package. Oddly, they smell like cupcakes (though they taste nothing like it).


You can contact Just Born, who makes Peeps dünya! at 888.645.3453 M-F 9AM-5PM EST or visit their web site (warning – Web annoying automatic music).