Sunday, February 7, 2016

Simple Gluten-free Cheesecake

Hello everyone! I have a really simple cheesecake recipe for you all today! Instead of using a graham cracker base, I experimented with a nut-based crust. I honestly can't believe the crusts consists only of three ingredients, it's so delicious! You can make this cheesecake to impress all your friends at a classy dinner party, or make it for yourself as a snack for your Netflix marathon (either way, you should definitely make it).

Ingredients
The Crust
1 1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup pitted Medjool Dates
Pinch of salt

Filling
2 packs of cream cheese
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup sugar
4 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Blend the walnuts into a powder. I didn't blend it all the way, because I wanted my crust to be a little nutty (but not too crazy!). Get it? Ha, I love food puns.
3. Cut the Medjool dates into small pieces and add it to the blender along with a pinch of salt.
4. Line the bottom of a round springform pan with parchment paper.
5. Pat down the walnut/date mixture to form the crust.
6. In a large bowl, add the packs of cream cheese and begin to beat them with an electric mixer.
7. Gradually add all the other ingredients of the filling, scraping the sides every time you add something.
8. Add your mixture to the springform pan and set it into the oven for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When the sides begin to brown, you know it's done!

Chill it overnight in the fridge, and voila! You have a simple cheesecake!

Enjoy!
-Sema

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Gluten-free Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

When was the last time you had a mozzarella cheese stick? Well now you can make one! It's a perfect appetizer, study snack, or any-day snack that doesn't require too many ingredients. I am very excited to present you guys with my latest recipe for gluten-free mozzarella cheese sticks!

Ingredients
The Spices
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
 
The Cheeses
1 teaspoon shredded Parmesan cheese
4 1/2 mozzarella string cheese sticks (I used the low-fat kind).

Other
1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (I toasted three slices of the Trader Joe's gluten-free bread and blended it)
1 egg

Procedure
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine your gluten-free bread crumbs, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, dried basil leaves, and Parmesan cheese
3. Cut your cheese sticks in half.
4. Beat your egg and put it into a separate bowl.
5. Coat your cheese stick in the egg and then coat it with the bread crumbs.
6. Lay the coated cheese sticks on a baking pan that's covered with parchment paper.
7. Repeat the last two steps if the cheese sticks aren't completely covered.
8. In a wok pan, add about 1/2 an inch of canola/vegetable oil. Heat the oil up until it's hot.
9. Turn down the heat and add the cheese stick. I fried them one at a time so that I didn't accidentally burn them. Fry each cheese stick on each side for about 10-15 seconds, or until the coating becomes a golden brown.
10. I put the cheese sticks in the oven for a few minutes to melt the inside a little bit more.

Voila! You have delicious mozzarella cheese sticks. You can add some pasta sauce to dip them in--it's a perfect combination.
Enjoy!
-Sema
 


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Gluten-free Fruit Roll-ups and Mango Walnut Candies

 Hello everyone! The trees are covered with a sprinkle of snow, and I spent today baking candy while drinking peppermint hot chocolate! I'd say that's a pretty good winter day. Today I have two desserts that stem from the same recipe (only one has walnuts!). You can choose to make one, both, or neither ;).

Ingredients
2 mangoes
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 cup of sugar
A handful of walnuts

Procedure
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
2. Peel and slice the mangoes into little bits and add them to a blender.
3. Puree the mangoes, and once they reach a smooth consistency, add the lemon juice and sugar.
4. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
5. Add the mixture to a pot and set it on low heat for about 25-30 minutes, occasionally stirring until the mixture becomes thick.
6. Line the baking pan with parchment paper, and spread your mixture over it. Make sure that you spread it evenly.
7. Set it in the oven for 1 1/2 hour to 2 hours.
8. Take it out and let it cool enough to the touch.

Now this is where you have to options:
1. Cut it into strips and roll it into wax paper.
2. Cut it into larger strips, and add walnuts to strips, rolling them in. Cut them into smaller pieces.

Voila! You have two candy ideas that are equally delicious!
Enjoy!
-Sema

Sunday, January 10, 2016

DIY Gluten-free Pasta Sauce


Hello everyone! It has gotten very cold here in St. Louis, the type of cold that seems to bite at you when you go out. That is why I spent the day inside cooking, because nothing feels better than preparing a warm meal in a warm kitchen. Today I have a pasta sauce recipe for you, proving that you don't always need to buy the ready-made kind (even though the ready-made kind makes life so much easier). :)

Ingredients
1/2 cup diced onions
3 cups of canned tomatoes (use a food processor or blender to crush the tomatoes until they are completely blended)
2 cloves of chopped garlic
A handful of parsley leaves
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon corn starch

Procedure
1. Add the olive oil, diced onions, and garlic to a large pot.
2. Sautee your onions and garlic until the onions become soft.
3. Add the canned tomatoes, and bring it to a boil.
4. Chop your parsley (you can add how much or how little you please), and add it to the mixture.
5. Add the corn starch, and be sure to mix it in well.

Let it sit on a low heat while your spaghetti/pasta cooks, occasionally stirring.

Voila! You made your own pasta sauce!
Enjoy!
-Sema

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Gluten-free Cauliflower Pizza

 
Today I have a pizza recipe for you all, but this is no ordinary pizza crust--it's made of cauliflower! This is honestly the first time I've worked with cauliflower, and it was quite good (I turned around for a second, and someone had already eaten half of my pizza which is a great sign). This recipe is great when you don't have any flour around, but are still in the mood for pizza :).

Ingredients
1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/2 a stalk of cauliflower
Pizza sauce
1/3 cup of parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Your choice of toppings
1 clove of minced garlic
1 egg

Procedure
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cut the cauliflower into small pieces, and blend it into cauliflower flour.
3. Steam the cauliflower until it gets soft, and then drain it.
4. Rinse your parsley, and cut it into small pieces. Make sure you drain any excess water.
5. Combine your egg, parsley, salt, pepper and cauliflower together, and mix it well.
6. On a baking pan, add parchment paper. I made mini pizzas and traced perfect circles with a cup on my pizza dough.
7.  Bake the crust in the oven for about 5-10 minutes, or until it sets.
8. Add your pizza sauce and toppings, and bake it until the cheese melts.

Voila! You have a healthier version of a pizza!
Enjoy!
-Sema

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Quinoa Salad

Hello everyone! It rained non-stop for the past few days in my neck of the woods, flooding highways and streets! While I enjoy a good rainy day complete with a book and a cup of tea, I'm ready for some sun. The recipe I have for you all today is a quinoa salad, which will brighten up anyone's day :). If you have guests and need to prepare an easy lunch/dinner, this recipe is perfect for you. Now I know the ingredient list is long, so you can substitute/eliminate ingredients as you need (although they all work together quite well).

Ingredients
4 cups of quinoa
8 cups of water
2 cucumbers
1 lb of radishes
1 head of lettuce
3 branches of green onions
3 branches of Italian parsley
2 cups of diced red peppers
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1 cup of olive oil
1 cup of sweet red pepper paste or 4 diced tomatoes

Procedure
1. Add the quinoa to the water in a pot, and cook it until it gets fluffy.
2. Chop ALL of your ingredients.
3. Mix all your vegetables with the quinoa, and then add the olive oil, lemon juice, and red pepper paste/tomatoes.

Voila! You have a delicious light lunch/dinner!
Enjoy!
-Sema 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Coconut Macaroons and College News!

Hello everyone! Finals week is finally over, so I can take a breather! I also have some amazing news to share with you all. I was recently accepted into Washington University in St. Louis! It has always been my dream college, and I am VERY excited for the next four years. To celebrate, I decided to make coconut macaroons. This is honestly one of my favorite desserts, and this simple recipe is perfect for the holiday season. The macaroons were so good that they disappeared in no time courtesy of my family!

Ingredients
1 14 oz package of sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 pinch of salt
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional for dipping at the end)

Procedure
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Separate your egg yolks from your egg whites.
3. Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until they are firm. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites while they're mixing.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut flakes, condensed milk, and vanilla extract.
5. Fold the egg whites into your mixture, and make sure everything is mixed together.
6. Line a flat baking pan with parchment paper.
7. Roll the mixture into balls and make sure they are placed at least one inch apart on your baking pan.
8. Bake it for 20-25 minutes or until the top begins to turn a golden brown.


Now for the optional part: melt your chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring it until it gets smooth. You can dip your coconut macaroons in it, or dip clementine pieces into it!
Voila! You have a delicious dessert perfect for the holiday season!
Enjoy!
-Sema

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

DIY Gluten-free Study Snacks

It's that time of year again! Finals are almost upon us, and what goes best with studying? Study snacks! Sometimes when we are studying, we forget to feed ourselves, so I have compiled a list of easy snacks to make when you're stressed out :).

1. Candied Walnuts
For those days when you want a healthy, crunchy snack.

2. Strawberries and Cream
Sometimes the simplest snacks are delicious.

3. Fruit Smoothie
 Stay healthy while you're unhealthily stressing out :).

4. No Cook Gluten-free Oatmeal
 While this is more of a breakfast item, you can still use it to snack on :).

5. Gluten-free Apple Crisp
Feel fancier as you eat this delicious yet easy comfort food.

6. Gluten-free Banana Nut Muffins
 Spruce up regular boring muffins with bananas and walnuts to help you power through the week.

7. Chex Muddy Buddies


8. Nugo Bars
If you're not in the mood to cook/bake, you can dine on this delicious bar.


Happy studying!
-Sema

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Three-Ingredient Cheese Dip


Do you want an easy appetizer to that will wow all your guests (you can also make this for those Netflix nights too, no shame)? Well I have the perfect recipe for you! This appetizer only requires three ingredients and won't take you long to prepare.

Ingredients
8 oz of fresh chopped mozzarella cheese
1 and a half chopped tomatoes
A few chopped basil leaves

Procedure
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Mix all your ingredients in the oven and bake if for about 10-15 minutes.
3. Broil it for a few minutes until the cheese turns brown.

Voila! You have an easy, naturally gluten-free appetizer!
Enjoy!
-Sema

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Easy Gluten-free Squash Soup for the Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and you'll soon be thanking me for this recipe! It doesn't require very many ingredients, and it'll be the perfect compliment to your turkey dinner. You can also use it as a main course in an everyday dinner (whenever you need a quick-fix dinner that tastes delicious).

Ingredients
 2 cups milk
1 can light coconut milk
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 cups squash

Procedure
1. In a pot, cover the squash completely with water.
2. Boil the squash until it's tender.
3. Add the coconut milk, curry powder, and milk.
4. Mix the ingredients together with a hand blender.
5. Heat it on the stove until it's boiling. Once it has boiled, turn it off.

Add a spoon of sour cream and a little bit cilantro, and voila, you have a delicious squash soup!

Enjoy!
-Sema

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Power of Social Media



We are living in the age of social media, where cat videos and vacation pictures are abundant. Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr allow me to share my gluten-free experience with you all, which you can access with just a click of the button. It allows you to have a gluten-free friend on the internet, someone who really understands the diet and is here to help you (yes, I'm talking about myself).

Facebook: www.facebook.com/eatwithoutgluten
Twitter: @semadibooglu
Instagram: @eatwithoutgluten
Pinterest: @semadibooglu
Youtube: www.youtube.com/eatwithoutgluten

Author and blogger C.J. Williams featured me in an interview in the Gluten-free & More magazine. Check it out here: http://www.glutenfreeandmore.com/blog/Celiac-Teen-Open-to-Whole-Gluten-Free-World-4506-1.html

Have a wonderful week!
-Sema 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Switch Witch

Allergy UK

Mwahahaha! This Saturday is the spookiest day of the year: Halloween! Some of that candy your child receives might not be gluten-free, so what do you do? Well, the Switch Witch must come that night and magically whisk away the unsafe candy and replace it with safe candy. Check out Allergy UK on facebook, as they were the ones who posted this great idea!

"We heard a great Halloween idea today!

Introduce the 'Switch Witch' to your little one's Halloween excitement. Let them know that if they leave their collected treats out when they go to sleep, the Switch Witch will fly in on her broomstick and swap all the things they shouldn't have for an even better (and safe) pile of goodies!

The Switch Witch will bring you peace of mind whilst making their Halloween memories even more magical. The Switch Witch could even leave a toy in place of the sweeties!

Good luck Switch Witch, it will be a busier night for her than the Tooth Fairy!"
-Allergy UK

Happy trick-or-treating!
-Sema

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Easy Gluten-free Apple Pie

 
Today I wanted apple pie, but wasn't in the mood of going to the store to buy a mix/a ready-made crust. I did, however, have some tortillas laying around, so I decided to make use of what I had (Because I was in my pajamas and didn't feel like changing to go to the store. We all have those days, right?). The good thing with this recipe is that it won't leave a huge mess in your kitchen, and you can actually multitask while making it. That's why I set up the recipe so that while the apples were cooking, you could work on the tortilla :). I also made an apple pie in an apple (see recipe at the end).

Wrapped Apple Pie

Ingredients
For the outside (enough for two tortillas)
2 and a half teaspoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice (or you can just use cinnamon)
2 and a half tablespoons of unsalted butter
Gluten-free tortillas (I used Aldi's Live G Free brand)

For the inside
2 medium sized apples-cored and chopped
Honey
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 and a half cups water

Procedure
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. (For the inside) Add the chopped apples to a pan, and cover them with about 1 and a half cups water. It shouldn't cover them all the way.
3. (For the inside) Set the heat to medium, and cover the pan with a lid.
4. (For the outside) While that sits for 5-10 minutes, melt the butter in the microwave.
5. (For the outside) Add the pumpkin spice and the sugar to the melted butter.
6. (For the outside) Put your tortilla on a round pan, and using a brush, brush on the melted butter mixture to both sides of the tortilla.
7. (For the inside) Once your apples have softened for 5-10 minutes, add the cinnamon and drizzle honey on top.
8. (For the outside) Mix it together, and let it sit for another 5 minutes.
9. (For both) Now add the apple mixture to the tortilla and fold the tortilla.
10. Set it into the oven and wait for the tortilla to get a bit brown (but not burnt).


When it's done, take it out and add a little bit of the butter mixture to the exterior of the tortilla. You can add whipped cream (which I actually whipped with some pumpkin spice), and voila! you have apple pie! You can mash the leftover apples to make applesauce!

Apple Pie in an Apple

Now for this, all you need to do is carve out an apple, and add in the apple mixture from the recipe above. Cut a tortilla into really small strips, and brush on the butter mixture. Weave them on top of the apple and set them into the oven for about 5 minutes (the oven should be at 350 degrees Fahrenheit)!


Enjoy!
-Sema

Be sure to tag your apple pie with  #eatwithoutgluten so that I can see your creation!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Gluten-free Lemon Sugar Cookies

The other day I decided to make cookies from scratch. What I love about baking and cooking is that you can really be creative with what you're doing-you don't always have to bake by the rules. (Although there are certain rules that pertain to safety, so don't leave them in the oven too long or you might start a fire). The cookies turned out to be delicious, and before I knew it, they were all gone (my family pretty much ate them all)! The lemon in the cookies gave them a fresh taste without being too overpowering; it was a perfect combination.

Ingredients
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup of softened butter
2 cups of gluten-free all purpose flour (I used Andrea's Super Fine Grind Flour Blend)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lemon

Procedure
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
2.Combine the the butter and white sugar and mix it until you reach a smooth consistency.
3. Add all the other ingredients except for the lemon.
4. Mix it until you reach a cookie-dough type of consistency.
5. Squeeze in the juice of a lemon, mixing it in as you go.
6. Take a cheese grater and create about a teaspoon of lemon zest by rubbing the peel of the lemon on the cheese grater.
7. Mix it all in and you've got yourself lemon-y cookie dough!

Now you can can let your creativity flow! I actually changed up each batch of cookies I made, making small cookies, big cookies, and even cookies with jam in the middle. That's the wonderful thing about baking your own cookies, you can do whatever you want with them.

Set your cookies in the oven to bake for about 10-15 minutes, and voila! you have delicious cookies that have the refreshing taste of lemon in them.

Enjoy!
-Sema

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Draw My Life: My Gluten-free Experience

Wow, it's been about a year since I made this video about my gluten-free story! If you haven't seen it already, it tells the story of why I went gluten-free and how I transitioned to the gluten-free diet! If you have seen it, well here it is again :).

Happy Tuesday! (It's almost Friday, am I right?)
-Sema

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Lemon Sauteed Green Beans (Naturally Gluten-free)

 
Today's recipe is a side dish! It's made with basic ingredients that blend together perfectly to create an exciting twist on green beans. In the midst of college applications and school work, it's nice to know that it doesn't take too much effort to make a delicious meal.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons of olive oil
5 cloves of chopped garlic
5 cups of green beans
Chopped parsley
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)
1 lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 medium sized chopped tomatoes

Procedure
1. Add the green beans to a pot and cover them with water.
2. Boil for about 10-15 minutes with the lid on or until they become tender (but be careful to not overcook them).
3. Drain the beans.
4. In a wok pan, add the two tablespoons of olive oil.
5. Add the garlic and let it sit for about 30 seconds on medium heat before you add the green beans.
6. Stir the green beans into the garlic.
7. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice of the halves into your mixture.
8. Add the sesame seeds, parsley, salt, pepper, and tomatoes.
9. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes or until done, occasionally stirring.

Voila! You have the perfect side dish to complement any main dish. Your house will smell like lemony goodness, and you'll be able to dress up your otherwise boring green beans!

If you decide to make this dish, be sure to post a picture of it with the hashtag #eatwithoutgluten on Instagram or Facebook, so that I can see your fabulous creation!

Enjoy!
-Sema

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Gluten and Allergy Free Wellness Even Kansas City

 
I had a wonderful time meeting those of you who came out to the St. Louis GFAF Wellness Event in April! I am looking forward to Sunday, September 27, when I will be speaking about living on the gluten-free diet as a teenager! If you are in the area, be sure to come hear me speak at 11:00 am. Mary Shucklebier, the executive director of the Celiac Support Association, Anthony Colatrella, the Chief Medical Officer of the Celiac Support Association Medical Advisory Team, and Francisco Leon, Celimmune’s CEO and Chief Medical Officer, will also be speaking at the event! Click here to read my recap from the #GFAFEvent from April.
Click here for more information about the event in Kansas City. Click on the Kansas City tab :).
Click here to go to the event's Facebook page.

I hope to see some of you there!
-Sema

Monday, August 31, 2015

Easy Gluten-free Spaghetti

This week is the third week of school, and you know what that means: tests! It's that time of the year when we have learned enough to take our first tests. Unfortunately it seems like I have a test in practically all my classes, so I know what I'll be up to this week! Sometimes you don't have time to make everything from scratch, so the recipe I'm going to share with you all today is for those times when you are running around and need a quick-fix dinner.
Ingredients
1 jar of gluten-free ready-made pasta sauce (I used the Trader Joe's Roasted Garlic one).
A quarter of an onion
4 mushrooms
Olive oil
1 pack of gluten-free spaghetti (I used the one from the Aldi)
Ground beef
Parsley (for garnish)

Procedure
The Sauce
1. Fill 3/4 of a pot with water, and bring it to a boil. 
2. Chop the quarter of an onion and the mushrooms.
3. In a pot, sautee the mushrooms and onions.
4. In a separate pan, brown the ground beef (you can use as much or little as you like). I actually don't use any oil; I let the ground beef cook in its own fat. (It's healthier and less work).
5. Once the ground beef is done, add it to the pot, and stir in the jar of gluten-free pasta sauce.
7. Turn down the heat and cover the pot, occasionally stirring it so it doesn't burn.

The Spaghetti
1. Fill 3/4 of a pot with water, and bring it to a boil.
2. Add the pack of gluten-free spaghetti, and stir it in once the bottom half of the spaghetti gets soft (this way the water will cover all of the spaghetti).
3. Add salt to the water and occasionally check on it to ensure it doesn't get too soft.
4. After you've drained the water, rinse the spaghetti in cold water and add olive oil. Sometimes I'll even add dried parsley leaves or dried basil!

Voila! You've got a meal that didn't take too long and looks like you went to a restaurant. Decorate the table with fancy china and no one will notice ;). Also, be sure to garnish with parsley!
Enjoy!
-Sema

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Gluten-free Chocolate Nemesis Cake

I can't believe that I've been in school for two weeks now! It feels like I was just in Norway, laying by the ocean side with a book in my hands, sipping the coffee I got from a quaint European cafe. Since the beginning of school, I have been swamped with homework and the college application process. It's so surreal that I'll be applying for college in a few months!
A wonderful Norwegian Sous Chef by the name of Thomas Hansen sent me a recipe for the delicious Chocolate Nemesis cake that just happened to be naturally gluten-free! It's a wonderful and easy "comfort food" for those busy and stressful times (I can attest to that)! The awesome thing about this recipe is that it doesn't require too many ingredients, and its chocolate-y goodness will be the perfect addition to your evening tea or study session.

Ingredients
2 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
5 eggs

Procedure
1. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), and grease your baking pan (I used a 9 inch round pan). I also added a little sorghum flour to the pan to ensure that the mixture wouldn't stick to the edges, but you can use whatever gluten-free flour you have laying around.
2. Melt the two sticks of butter in the microwave (I did it in two forty second intervals, but it will vary depending on your microwave).
3. Melt the chocolate in a water bath and add the butter and sugar.
4. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the mixture.
5. Mix it well!
6. Pour your mixture into the baking pan and set it in the oven for about an hour to an hour and a half or until it sets.
7. Here comes the hardest part-don't eat it when it comes right out of the oven. If you allow it to cool, you can cut it into nice slices. Or I guess you could eat it immediately-whatever makes you happiest! (It's so good that you might not be able to wait)! ;)

Voila! You have a deliciously easy dessert! You can garnish it with powdered sugar and berries, or just eat it out of the pan-but please don't do so in front of your guests :).

If you decide to make this dessert, be sure to post a picture of it with the hashtag #eatwithoutgluten on Instagram or Facebook, so that I can see your fabulous creation!

Enjoy!
-Sema


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Easy Grilled Fish

While I was in Norway, I got to try all different kinds of fish in all different kinds of recipes. I ate fish soup, boiled fish, fried fish, and grilled fish. (You could say I ate a lot of fish this summer.) Today I was in the mood for grilled salmon, and it was absolutely delicious! It took five minutes to prep, and once it was cooking, I could forget about it until it was done.

Ingredients
Frozen salmon filets
Sour cream
Dill or Savory
Unsalted butter

Procedure
1. Take a square of aluminum foil and lay it out on the counter.
 2. Take a spoonful of sour cream and spread it out on the aluminum foil (enough to cover the bottom of the fish).
3. Lay the dill or savory (whichever herb you are in the mood for, I used savory) along with two thin slices of unsalted butter on top of the sour cream.
 4. Put the salmon filet over your choice of herbs and butter.
5. Cover the top of the filet with more sour cream.
6. Fold the aluminum foil like a burrito-so that it covers the salmon.
7. Set it on the grill for about 20-30 minutes or until it's done.

Voila! You have a delicious dinner that didn't take too long to prep! While it's on the grill, you can cook some rice and make a side-salad. I also paired the fish with thousand island dressing, and garnished it with parsley.


Enjoy!
-Sema

Sunday, August 9, 2015

How to Establish a Gluten-free Lunch Program

Wow, I can't believe school is starting next week for me! I just got back from Norway a few days ago, and am still feeling the wrath of jet lag! I had a wonderful time in Norway, meeting new people and eating lots of fish, but now it's time to buckle down and get ready for school to start. Lunch is a crucial part of the school day-a time to socialize and eat. Sometimes I wake up a little later than I've planned and end up running out the door without a lunch. That's why it's great that there is one station in my school's cafeteria that offers a naturally gluten-free alternative-nachos/tacos! We all have those busy days, and starving should not be an option.

If you haven't had an opportunity to check out one of my previous blog posts on this topic, I have included the information below!

You have three options for school lunch:
1. Bring from home
2. Starve
3. Eat lunch prepared by the school.
I bet you are looking at option three and raising an eyebrow in confusion. But, federal law requires public school to substitute meals for students with life-threatening food allergies and celiac disease.
Many of the meal options at your school might already be naturally gluten-free. Sometimes all that's needed to be done is use GF breads and exchange the cookie with a fruit cocktail. Food handling procedures, however, will have to be in place in order to ensure there are no cross-contamination issues.
Some examples of possible gluten-free lunches offerings can be:  
1. Beefy GF Tacos, Mexican Rice, Buttered Corn and Fruit Cocktail + choice of milk
2. Stuffed baked Potato, Mexican Salad, Carrot & Celery Sticks and Pudding + choice of milk.
3. Hamburger with GF bun/without , Potato Smiles, Corn and Chilled Pineapple choice of milk
4. Hamburger, Mashed Potatoes, Peas and Applesauce/Apple/Orange + choice of milk
5. GF pizza, Garden Salad w/light ranch, orange wedges, chocolate pudding + choice of milk.
6. GF pasta, salad, corn, pears + choice of milk.
7. GF blueberry muffins, corn, warm sliced apples choice of + choice of milk.
6. Salad, Mexican Rice, Carrot and Celery, Fruit Cocktail + choice of milk.
You can enjoy all these meals at school thanks to food labels and food handling procedures! So stop starving; this might be the right option for you!
NCFA provides great information on how to request a gluten free school lunch in your school district. check out the information: 
Training and education of foods service personal is extremely important! 
Here is a link to a great training option that your school district might want to consider pursuing:
So, what are you waiting for?  There are so many options out there for you!!
-Sema


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Quality Hotel and Resort Kristiansand

This summer has been going by so quickly, and I can't believe it's almost time for me to come home! I worked as a children's activity leader at the Quality Hotel and Resort in Kristiansand-one of the best experiences in my life. My co-workers ended up becoming my family, so it was so hard to say goodbye to them yesterday. If you are ever in Kristiansand, I urge you to stay there, since they are very good with gluten-free food in the restaurant (all of their sauces are gluten-free!), and it's in a wonderful location-close to Norway's largest shopping center and the Kristiansand Zoo. Over the summer it becomes a children's hotel-so our job was to make every child feel special with awesome activities like treasure hunts, face painting, talent shows, and kids' discos every night! I have become quite good at painting tigers, cats, pirates-you name it, I can paint it. All in all, I have had the best summer ever, and will cherish the friendships I have made forever :).
Check out a commercial I'm in here.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Heights and Hamburgers

Yesterday I hiked up to Preikestolen with a good family friend-in the pouring rain and fog. It felt like a great achievement, especially since we were soaked to the bone and extremely tired in the end. Thank goodness we had snacks like nuts and chocolate with us to keep our energy levels up, and at the end of the trip we ate a delicious lamb stew at a nearby hotel :). I ended up sleeping on the car ride home (something I'm usually not capable of doing) as well as through the night!
 
 

Other than adding alliteration to my blog post title, the next part of my blog post has absolutely nothing to do with hiking :). I'm sure most people over the world can recognize the symbol of the fast food chain I am about to review-McDonalds! What I love about McDonalds in Norway is that it has gluten-free buns! Although everyone around me thought I was insane for being extremely happy when I got my meal (although my mood was a bit dampened by the fact that it cost me like $10), I didn't care because I got to eat a hamburger at McDonalds just like everyone else. I ordered the McFeast with a drink and a side salad, and proceeded to eat my hamburger in one of the colorful booths, giddy with excitement (yes, I get excited about food). Although I was a bit disappointed at the fact that my hamburger didn't look exactly like the picture did, it was still fun to order a normal hamburger at such a generic fast food chain. I think that McDonalds in the U.S. needs to start serving gluten-free hamburgers!

:)
-Sema

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Two Year Anniversary as a Gluten-free Blogger!

Wow, can you believe I have been blogging for two years now? I've gotten so many heart-warming messages and emails in regards to my blog, and it's really kept me writing each week :). I started my blog to create a positive outlook on the gluten-free lifestyle, because I truly believe that gluten-free does not have to mean taste-free. I want you all to know that I am your gluten-free friend, and you can count on me for recipes and tips to help you navigate through the gluten-free lifestyle!

Today I got to go out with some of my new friends here in Norway-a sort of celebration luncheon. We ate at the Egon restaurant (you can literally find this restaurant in every city), because it has so many options-including gluten-free ones. They have a super detailed allergy menu that covers not only gluten, but many other allergens. If you are currently in Norway, I urge you to check the restaurant out.

Thank you to all my supporters and readers-you keep me writing. :)
-Sema

Monday, June 29, 2015

Chai Latte Anyone?

Today I wandered around Kristiansand, checking out the stores and enjoying the ocean view. I had absolutely no agenda (except that I had to buy common necessities like toothpaste and floss), so I took the time to "see the sights." I have always enjoyed a good chai latte, so when I came across the Taj Chai and Coffee house, I decided to explore their gluten-free options. It was a typical quaint European cafe, furnished with eclectic furniture and decor-something straight out of a TV show or book. The best part was that they had gluten-free apple muffins, among several pastries (suksesskake included), so I immediately ordered a muffin and a chai latte. I sat outside with my drink and pastry, reading from my e-reader, and kind of felt like a hipster.
 

What I love about Norway is that most cafes and bakeries carry gluten-free options, so I can enjoy the experience of picking out freshly baked pastries instead of getting them from the freezer section :).

After I finished my chai latte, I headed down by the water and spent a good two hours reading and basking in the sun. Notice my practical tennis shoes-I've been doing so much walking here, so comfort trumps fashion ;).
:)
-Sema