Luxury Living: a Gluten & Lactose-Free Cookbook Review

Luxury Living: a Gluten & Lactose-  Free Cookbook Review
By Lindsey Goebel

For those sCookbook3earching for that balance of healthy, easy meals that are actually enjoyable (that’s all of us, right?), we have a new solution for you. Check out “Living Luxe Gluten Free,” a new recipe book by Michelle Lee. Lee draws on her Manhattan Beach, California roots to produce new, innovative recipes, which are free of gluten and lactose, but still full of flavor. Additionally, the author provides easy to read labels noting when recipes are paleo, low sodium, vegan and/or vegetarian. Each recipe outlines the level of effort, the approximate required “active prep” time, as well as the suggested wine pairing (perhaps the most important part).

The straight forward direction in this cookbook allowed us to try out a couple new recipes for a recent cocktail party, including the spinach artichoke dip (pictured). Rarely do we make a new dish when entertaining, but this recipe looked so easy and as expected, delivered as a crowd-pleaser.

Some of the sweet and savory dishes were also a hit among friends and family. Try out the French toast and oatmeal cookies (both pictured) for days where you have a sweet tooth.

We also expCookbook2erimented with some healthier options for regular “during the week” meals, including the chicken tortilla soup (pictured) and the lemon and garlic spiced chicken. While the soup seemed spicy enough to clear your sinuses, we are convinced the over-spicing was user error.

Lee began developing these recipes years ago when her husband developed a sensitivity to gluten and lactose. Many of the flavors created from these recipes were inspired by the couple’s travels to Cookbook3 (2)Europe and Asia, such as the Espinacas con Garbanzos and the Iberian Salmon Pasta. Others are plain old good American tastes to be enjoyed casually at a tailgate or with the kids.

There are more than 110 recipes for you and your family to try out. The cookbook was released last month and can be purchased for $30 on To learn more, go to

Disclaimer: A copy of the book was provided free of charge to the DCMCO for the purposes of this review.

Gluten-Free Girl Scout Cookie – Review

There has been a lot of buzz in the gluten-free community this year about the launch of the new Gluten-Free Girl Scout Cookies. The DCMCO volunteer leadership team has not personally have not had a chance yet to try the new cookies but thankfully we have DCMCO member whose daughter is a Girl Scout and she graciously offered to write a review about the new products!

Thanks again Ilene for taking the time to share your thoughts about the new flavors!

GS cookie photo

When I first saw the turquoise colored box embellished with the label “gluten-free,” I was delighted. The box contains Toffee-Tastic cookies. For my Girl Scout Bronze Award last year, I developed a project to lobby the Girl Scouts to permanently offer a gluten-free cookie option.Thus, I was glad to see gluten-free cookies being sold commercially by Girl Scouts. When the box was opened up, it revealed one sleeve of fourteen cookies. At five dollars, this was an expensive novelty. That is a dollar more than the regular cookies, which usually come with many more cookies. The cookie was similar to shortbread, but with a dry, crumbly texture. The toffee is slightly better, with a sweet, honey-like taste that somewhat made up for the tasteless base. I was greatly intrigued when the Little Brownie Bakers (the official baker of the Girl Scout cookies) came up with a gluten-free cookie, but the outcome is lacking. The Little Brownie Bakers, if they wish to continue offering a gluten-free girl scout cookie option, should treat their Toffee-Tastic as an opportunity to improve on in the future. For now, gluten-free cookie lovers, please satisfy your passion elsewhere.

Ilene Kruger, 6th Grader
H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program
Arlington VA


What we are loving this January

It’s a new year with new gluten-free fare! And if you’ve resolved to try more gluten-free foods and establishments this year, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a new bakery, new snack, and new gluten-free tool to get your 2015 started on the right track!

Rise Bakery: Nestled in the heart of the Adams Morgan neighborhood, this brand new bakery is Washington, DC’s first and only entirely gluten-free bakery. We must warn you, walking into this store can be troublesome for the indecisive gluten-free eater. We don’t think we’ve ever seen so many gluten-free items to choose from. Whether you want to sink your teeth into a classic pastry like a raspberry danish, treat yourself to a giant nutella brownie, or enjoy a gourmet lunch of soup and sandwich made from freshly-baked artisan bread, Rise Bakery is the place to be. And even if you’re vegan, still have plenty of choices to make. Enjoy these treats in-person or order a selection from online—either way, this bakery is a must try!

Luna Bars: the New Year brought a new development for Luna Bar—every bar is now gluten-free! Until recently, the only safe options for Celiac folk were the six “Luna Protein” bars. But now, Luna has made the decision to switch all of its bars over to gluten-free oats, making them safe for Celiac consumption. And if you loved Luna before going gluten-free, get ready for nostalgia. Once again, you can indulge in age-old classics like Blueberry Bliss and Lemon Zest, or you can try out some new varieties like Chocolate Cupcake. So when you’re headed off to work or play, you have plenty more snacks to add to your pack!

thGluten Free Travel Site “Dedicated Facilities” Button: Speaking of New Year makeovers, the Gluten Free Travel Site got one, too! For the most sensitive among us, dining out can be a fearful activity—does the kitchen staff really know which ingredients are gluten-free? And how about using separate utensils? Or segregated frying oils? Finally those cross-contamination concerns are put to rest. The Gluten Free Travel Site has added a new feature to its extensive restaurant resource—an icon indicating which eateries are dedicated gluten-free establishments. So if you chose “worry less” as one of your 2015 resolutions, you may now check that task off the list!

 What are YOU loving this month? E-mail us at [email protected] or share with us on Facebook or Twitter.

What we are loving this November

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and it’s time to think about making a delicious gluten free feast.  Whether you need to fuel yourself for a day of cooking or want to pick something up to make the meal preparation a little easier, we’ve got you covered with a few suggestions.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Charmed barCharmed Bar are free of gluten, grains, dairy, soy and refined sugars and come in Almond Butter Cran-Dipity, Peanut Butter Cherry-Licious, and Cashew Butter Apple-Rageous.  A great snack to have in your bag or quick breakfast on a busy day. You can find them at local whole foods markets and / or you can order line  Don’t forget DCMCO Members get 10% off there on-line orders – Log onto the membership of the DCMCO website to retrieve the code.

Happy Tart: Still nindexeed to pick up a pie for Thanksgiving?  Happy Tart makes amazing pies in 8 different flavors as well as delicious tarts and other goodies.  All of their creations are made from scratch, in a gluten free kitchen, using eggs, butter, cream, premium chocolate, fruit, and unique blends of 100% gluten free flours. All Thanksgiving orders must be placed in advance and be received by Sunday November 23! Visit there website to learn more.

Trader Joe’s Setraderasonal Goodies: Making holiday gluten free cooking a little easier, Trader Joe’s has some great products for Thanksgiving.  The Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancake Mix and Gluten Free Stuffing Mix ( are two that may find their way into your cart.

What are YOU loving this month? E-mail us at [email protected] or share with us on Facebook or Twitter.

What we are Loving this October

With Halloween just a few days away, our taste buds are all set for some delicious treats—but without any of the glutinous tricks. If you’re looking for something to safely satisfy your sweet cravings, you’re in luck! We just found these three great options in the DC metro area. So go ahead and treat yourself this October!

Navitas Naturals – If you’re looking for a treat that will satisfy your cravings and your health, Navitas Naturals is the way to go! This superfood company specializes in providing health-conscious customers with organic products that are rich in antioxidants, protein, essential fats, minerals, vitamins and other key nutrients. Their products include everything from dried berries and smoothie blends to caramel coconut chips and turmeric almonds—all completely gluten-free. What we’re currently loving are the Navitas Naturals Power Snacks, a line of nutrient-dense organic snacks that are offered in re-sealable packages, which are perfect for road trips, sports events, or any type of on-the-go enjoyment. Choose from a number of good-for-you varieties including Blueberry Hemp, Cacao Goji, Citrus Chia, Coffee Cacao, and Lemon Goldenberry. Find them on the Navitas Naturals website, via Amazon, or in a store near you.



Bamboo Crunchy Rice Rollers: When we’re feeling the midday munchies, we’re grabbing these Bamboo Crunchy Rice Rollers! Made of only rice and natural sweeteners, these sweet, crunchy treats easily satisfy your snacking needs. But at only 45 calories a roll, there’s no guilt involved! Find these tasty bites at your local Costco or online at Amazon.


 red badanaThe RedBandana Bakery is our most recent discovery, and we cannot keep quiet about it! The bakery is operated out of a home in Bethesda, MD, where baker Jaimie Mertz provides a tantalizing array of treats including savory caramelized onion goat cheese tarts, triple chocolate cheesecakes, and s’mores brownies. Our particular favorite is her seasonal pumpkin cheesecake cookies—they even have the non-gluten-free folk obsessed! Simply put, we cannot wait to try more of her products. You can place an order for any of these goodies online and pick up at her Bethesda home or in a centrally-determined location. Needless to say, the trip will be well worth it!







What are YOU loving this month? E-mail us at [email protected] or share with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Gluten-Free Jet Set’s Gluten Free Around the World project

We’ve all been there: on a trip away from home, with no idea where to find something safe to eat. For all of us struggling to eat gluten-free while traveling, get ready for the next trip to be a little easier. Anna Sonnenberg, who spoke on the DCMCO panel on traveling gluten-free last March, has just introduced a worldwide gluten-free travel guide. Over the next year, she’ll travel extensively to research and write a comprehensive guide to surviving gluten-free in major destinations around the world.

While this guide is for the over 40 million people who eat gluten-free for a variety of reasons, Anna is writing it from the perspective of a celiac. She knows firsthand how difficult, time consuming, and unhealthy travel can be for gluten-free eaters. And she’s determined to change that.

An avid traveler, writer, and food lover, Anna has flown around the world and back, all while eating gluten-free. She has extensive experience with every step of the process, from research to planning to communicating dietary needs with restaurant and hospitality staff in a variety of countries. Since the travel process itself can be the most challenging for gluten-free travelers, Anna will focus a section of the guide on airline special meals, safe train station options, and healthy ways to navigate a hotel offerings.

Anna and her Gluten-Free Jet Set team are crowdfunding this travel guide via IndieGoGo through October 5th. Visit and click through to read more about the project’s goals, how much it will benefit you, your family, and your friends, and how you can help fund it (while pre-ordering a guide and claiming other perks for yourself)!

The DCMCO wishes Anna the best of luck with her project – we can’t wait to read the final product!

What We’re Loving This September

As you pack away your summertime apparel (goodbye, linen pants and white shoes!) and start to pull out your sweaters; here our top three gluten-free finds in the DC metro area this month.

oilfree_prodshot_grandeTessemae’s Dressings – To say that we have been mildly obsessed with this brand of salad dressing what is typically found in the refrigerated area in the produce section would be putting it lightly. In additional to tasting great we love the fact that all Tessemae’s dressings only have five to seven ingredients in each bottle – all pronounceable, all healthy, and all gluten free! The dressings, which come in eight flavors including the original Lemon Garlic, Cracked Pepper, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Lemonette, Zesty Ranch, Soy Ginger, Grapefruit Poppyseed, Oil Free Italian, and Hot Sauce/Wing Sauce) there’s a Tessemae’s dressing to suit every taste.  You can find their products locally at any Whole Foods Markets, Safeways or you can order online.

 union2Union Market: This year-round food market located in the heart of Washington DC which features over 40 local vendors which many of offer Gluten Free items. The market is comprised of the finest food artisans ranging from up-and-coming entrepreneurs to well-known restaurateurs all creating a unique culinary experience. Some the vendors include Rappahannock Oysters Co., All Things Olive, Righteous Cheese, Red Apron and more. The space is clean and there is plenty of seating (though it does get quite crowded on Fridays, so be aware!)  It has an industrial feel to it, but it is also very modern and eco-friendly, with its large airy windows. Make sure to show up hungry there’s lots of little places to try, and such a great variety!

smart flourSmart Flour Foods: We recently discovered this line of gluten free frozen pizza at Whole Foods in Arlington, and we were blown away! Unlike most frozen gluten-free pizzas, Smart Flour Foods uses unique flour blend of ancient grains (sorghum, amaranth and teff) which creates a perfectly crunchy yet chewy crust. We only have tried the Garden Margherita Pizza (but are looking forward to the Classic Cheese Pizza, Uncured Pepperoni Pizza, and make your own pizza crust as well! According to their website the company offers a variety of gluten-free foods such as desserts, flour bends, hamburger buns not just pizza. We hope to see more their products available at local food retailers in the Washington DC Area.

What are YOU loving this month? E-mail us at [email protected] or share with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Guest Post: Minted Kale Pasta Recipe

Minted Kale Pasta Recipe

by Guest Blogger Mary Jean Harford from Make Dinner Matter 

Iunnamed-3t is almost impossible to believe that summer is over. I felt like I had the summer that stretched on and on, with dozens of miniature summers nestled inside. I had long hot beach days, days full of research and writing, cool rainy nights with my beloved Kindle, and countless slices of arugula salad pizza. As it winds down, and opens up to my last journey to Florida, I can sometimes get a brief taste of Virginia fall again. One day, very very soon, I won’t miss a beat in the seasons, no sunny college semesters to break up time. So I do my best to embrace the place I’m in, and make my meals reflect what each place offers. This pasta brings a few of the season’s heartiest vegetables together with a creamy, tangy sauce, brightened with finish of fresh mint; a fall palate with just the right memories of summer fare.

This is a meal where each step flows into itself. If you use the incredibly helpful mise-en-place technique; washing, chopping, measuring, each ingredient and placing it aside before beginning, you’ll find yourself in a rhythm with dinner is ready in no time (and only two pots to clean).

I love using goat’s milk products, because despite a cow lactose allergy all goats’ products are available to me and they offer so much versatility in the kitchen. You would be surprised at how typical this is. I’m meeting more and more people with life-long lactose intolerance who discover goats’ products are perfectly safe. Are you one of those folks? What are your favorite ways to embrace this change and cook differently?

Note: I literally cannot tell you how many times I’ve burned garlic, Shauna Ahern (Gluten Free Girl and The Chef) had a very persuasive bit about the real sin of this error in her book, and I have to, albeit a little hypocritically, agree. Garlic gets burned because someone isn’t giving the pan the attention it deserves. So just do your best to slow down and enjoy the sizzle of the oil and heat of the stove.


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time:  40 minutes
Serves: 2


  • 2 – 3 cups gluten free pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic (about 1 clove)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced shallot (about ¼ large shallot)
  • 1 cup halved green beans
  • 1 bunch de-stemmed and roughly chopped kale
  • 1/3 cup chevre goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint


  1. Bring one large pot of salted water to a boil, cook pasta until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet on low, once warmed toast the garlic and shallot until slightly golden and fragrant.
  3. Add in the green beans and coat, cooking on low for about 3 minutes (until you see some golden brown searing).
  4. Add in the kale and coat, drizzling with the remaining olive oil and a bit more if necessary.
  5. Sautee the vegetables until the kale begins to wilt.
  6. By now the pasta should be done, turn the stove off, strain and put back in the large pot on the still warm burner.
  7. Add in the goat cheese and lemon juice, stirring until the warm pot and pasta melt the cheese and all is coated well (if your pasta was done earlier, depends on the brand, turn the burner on low. You’ll need some heat to melt down the cheese).
  8. Add in the vegetables, stirring gently until everything is combined. Sprinkle the mint on top.
  9. Serve with a hearty dash of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper!
Mary Jean Harford is allergen fueled food-lover passionate about wellness, for herself and those around her. Make Dinner Matter website is centered on the concept that food can be nutritious and significant under absolutely any circumstances.  It is an approachable community resource offering allergen friendly recipes and conversations that make us all a little more connected.  You can follow Make Dinner Matter  on Facebook, Twitter,  and Instagram. 

What We Are Loving in August

Once again summer has flown by and pretty soon some of us will be heading back to school. As we enjoy the last few weeks of summer, here our top three gluten-free finds in the DC metro area this month.

index3NoBull Burger: This gourmet veggie-burger is unlike any veggie-burger you have had before. This no soy, quarter-pound veggie-burger is a whole-food in itself that leaves you satisfied and sustained for hours. Loaded with hearty organic ingredients packed into an organic & natural veggie burger, NoBull Burger is filled with high protein, whole grain fiber, and nutrients. Made in Charlottesville, VA, the burgers are available at select area shops, like the Organic Butcher (Mclean), and The Fresh Market Ashburn (Ashburn).


From the FarmerFrom the Farmer: This is an easy way to access fresh, delicious produce from regional farms. From the Farmer hand-select fruits and vegetables from local growers, then deliver baskets of fresh produce directly to your front door. They offer three different basket sizes to ensure you get the perfect amount of produce every week. Unlike a traditional CSA(Community Supported Agriculture Program), From the Farmer operates all year long. Plus, there’s no cost to join, no obligation to receive a delivery, and every basket is customizable. * DCMCO Members get an exclusive discount on their first 4 orders with From the Farmer – Log on to DCMCO Member’s side of the website for more information. 

Sandwich Petals: We just discoindex4vered these gluten-free tortillas at Wegmans, and were delighted by the light texture and sweet taste. The tortillas contain no gluten, dairy, nuts, eggs, wheat, shellfish, or soy. And, they pair well with both light and heavy ingredients. One of the most remarkable things about this product is that it is shelf-stable for a month: no freezing or refrigeration required. So far we have only tried the original (Agave Grain), but are looking forward to the Spinach Garlic Pesto and Chimayo Red Chile as well!

What are YOU loving this month? E-mail us at [email protected] or share with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Cookbook Review – Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap – By Nicole Hunn

By Alyson Pignone

Simple, budget friendly gluten-free meals…sign me up! Nicole incorporates her own relationship to just about every recipe and finishes with the dollar amount in saEnglish Muffinvings.   There is something for everyone as she includes a wide variety of vegan and yeast free options. Breakfast brings Cinnamon Buns, Protein Bars, Quiche and Doughnuts, yes doughnuts! Like many cookbooks, the Bread chapter includes the staple muffin, sandwich bread and pizza dough recipes, but Nicole kicks it up a notch and offers ‘Saltine-Style Crackers’, English Muffins, Pita Bread, Puff Pastry and Flour Tortillas.

I was most excited to get to the dinner recipes which includes lots of wallet-friendly vegetarian meals like Veggie Burgers (.92 each) and Baked Falafel (.72 per serving). But, fear not, my carnivore friends, Nicole has also included Beef Taquitos, Chicken Pot Pie and Sausage Meatballs. And don’t forget dessert. There are Cheesecake Cookies, Chocolate Eclairs and ‘Ho-Ho Style Cake’! But the big finale is Chapter 8 ‘Make-Your-Own Mixes’, where is where we see a significant savings. Make your own Vanilla Cake mix costs as little as $2.33! She has Paleo-Oreos-with-7-minute-fillingeverything in this chapter, Pancake and Waffle Mix, Brownie Mix, Sugar Cookie Mix, Muffin Mix, even Scone Mix! Stayed tuned for the next newsletter where I will report back on my attempt to make some of Nicole’s recipes, I’m looking forward to the ‘Twinkie Style Cupcakes’!