Gluten Free Update #2

Blueberry Balsamic ChickenSorry, everyone, I had intended to give updates about my month of living gluten free more often, but last week was hectic, especially with having to interview Chef Holli Ugalde, write the interview, make sure FOX was cool with it, etc.

That’s  not to say I haven’t been off the gluten free diet.  I just haven’t had the time to blog about it.  Well, here goes.

Gluten Free Update #2

Let’s see, I have Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to blog about.  On Friday, I had my first experience in dining out gluten free.  I went to 75th Street Brewery for lunch and had 7 hour roasted pork with green onion risotto and asparagus.  The pork had a date sauce on it that was amazing and used no flour (I checked.)

For dinner that night, I made a blueberry balsamic chicken (recipe follows) because I had some blueberry wine I needed to drink up.  I served it with rice noodles and peas.  The peas were good.  The rice noodles were not a perfect side.

On Saturday, we had bun-less burgers.  They consisted of a slice of tomato with 18-year balsamic from The Tasteful Olive (FTC disclosure: I got a discount on that balsamic so I could make recipes from it), a 1/4 pound patty, a slice of mozzarella cheese, some homemade sriracha mayo, and carmelized onions.  They were so good we had them for lunch on Sunday.

For dinner Saturday night, I had a chicken breast, mashed potatoes (no gravy), and creamed corn.

On Sunday, we made burgers again, and then my wife made gluten-free pizza for me.  It was good.  Texturally, it was a little different, but not too bad all things considered.  Recipe will follow, but I want to try to experiment first.

Today, for lunch I made Mexican rice casserole.  Basically, I made Mexican rice, then added sauted chicken and some frozen vegetable medly.  I didn’t want to add frozen vegetable medly, but I am trying to eat more veggies.

What I Have Learned So Far

I’m hungry more often.  I keep thinking that has something to do with the fact that the grains and fiber expand, making the eater feel full.  Since I’m not eating them, I’m not getting the benefit. I don’t know, I may totally be making that up.  Still, I know I am getting more protein and vegetables, I’ve just been hungry.

All in all, though, I don’t really miss gluten.  I kind of don’t like the fact I can’t have cookies and bread with Oregon Growers preserves, but I’m not at the craving stage.  See, because I can have corn and rice, I can eat my two favorite dishes: chips and salsa and sushi.  So really, life is good.

Note, that comment about not missing gluten should in no way diminish the plight of those who are suffering Celiac disease or any of the other illnesses which gluten irritates.  I’m just finding that as I plan meals, gluten free doesn’t feel like a vise (and so far, it’ not nearly as restrictive as being vegan.)

Of course, so far I’m only doing gluten free.  I am still eating dairy and drinking caffeine, unlike some of my friends who have been forced to give that up, too.  That may come later in the month.  We’ll see.

Anyway, here’s that recipe for gluten free blueberry balsamic chicken.

Blueberry Balsamic Chicken Recipe

This is a quick cooking chicken dish because the chicken is butterflied and flattened.

You will need:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons blueberry or sweet red/dessert wine
  • 3 tablespoons blueberry balsamic or regular balsamic

With a sharp knife, butterfly the chicken breasts by cutting them in half along their width and then opening them up.  Wrap them in cellophane or tin foil and beat the heck out of them with a meat mallet or skillet.  (I prefer mallets.)  Remove from the cellophane and sprinkle both sides of the chicken with a light coating of salt and pepper.

Get your skillet going over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Once it’s hot, add the onions and a pinch of salt.  Saute until the onions start to turn clear.  Remove and set aside.

Add the other two tablespoons of olive oil and the chicken.  Cook for about 4 minutes per side or until done all the way through.

Add the wine and let it reduce to about 1/4 its original volume.  Then add the balsamic.  Once it starts to boil (should be no more than 30 seconds), add the onions and continue cooking until the balsmic is thick and the onions are warm.

Serve and enjoy!


  1. I salute your determination! It really takes practice (or it did for me). It’s definitely easier now than it used to be.

    One thing I noticed: You asked if there was flour in the date sauce on the pork, but did you ask about soy sauce? That one sneaks into a lot of sauces with no warning! It can also be an issue with sushi — I bring my own tamari sauce (you can order a big box of single-serve packets online for easy carrying or get a bottle from Whole Foods) and make sure none of the rolls I order have soy sauce in them.

    If you do get a pizza craving, the Glutino Duo Cheese frozen pizza is the best one I’ve found.

    • I am ashamed to admit it. I knew that soy sauce had wheat and didn’t even think to look. Plus, I’ve eaten it at least once at home. Rats, rats, rats.

      Good news is that I have tamari at home. I’ll looking into carrying my own packets, but now I have to start thinking about what sauces I can have on my sushi rolls.

      Thanks…good stuff to think about.

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