Wheat, Wheat, Where Aren’t Thou?

ImageWheat, wheat everywhere I look, I find wheat in my food shopping expeditions. It is not that much fun to keep on ranting but I can’t seem to escape this one ingredient! Wheat was in my Heinz 57 sauce, now given away. And worse yet, it is in my Turkey Hill, light recipe, Skinny Minty ice cream. It is in all cookie dough ice creams. As I said before, wheat is in Campbell’s tomato soup, and pretty much all their soups as well as many Progresso soups! I did find a Progresso cream of mushroom soup that is GF which is such a great find for cooking and just eating as soup. I wonder why Campbell’s can’t thicken soups with corn starch or rice flour?

It was in my bottle of soy sauce, so I had to throw it outand get some new GF soy sauce by San-J. And yes, it is in my white vinegar. Upon some research the celiac.com site says distilled vinegar is safe for those who want to be GF. Still…in the comments underneath I found a number of people who have celiac who say distilled or white vinegar makes them ill. So I think I will keep my white vinegar for cleaning only purposes. Other vinegars are all safe except one; malt vinegar which I already gave away. I am hoping to still eat most pickles. Of course, they have some sort of vinegar in all of them so I will see what eating dill spears does for my tummy.

Wheat is ubiquitous. Meaning it seems to creep into most processed foods. As I walk through the grocery store whole aisles seem off limits. I have to look very hard for cold or hot cereals that I can eat. Chex cereal brand come to mind as a great choice, just stay away from the bran or whole grain versions. Corn flakes has wheat in it unless you get an organic brand; just a tad pricy and rather hard to crunch on. Still it made a dandy fried chicken coating. Oatmeal should be safe but unfortunately so many mills that process oats also process wheat which can contaminate it…. Breaded foods in the freezer aisle must be passed up too!

I can’t much go down the snack/pretzel aisle nor the cracker and cookie aisle. They are all too, too depressing. No more fig newtons, pretzels or a host of snack bars. The list goes on and on. Premade frozen foods are all off limits as are canned premade stuff or mixes. All seem to have forms of wheat in them which rule them out for me. Of course, the bread and bakery areas are a total loss as are bread crumbs, hot dogs and all pastas. Rice mixed with pasta in the little box is a no no and I can’t even make matzo ball soup. You don’t have to be Jewish to love that and I am sad over the loss of something so comforting.

No more couscous or any of my favorite pasta shapes and no more homemade pastas when I eat out. Worse yet, no ravioli, pot stickers or perogies. Disaster!Still, people tell me there are far more GF pasta choices than there were ten years ago. So far I like brown rice pastas far more than white rice pasta. I want to try the corn blend spaghetti next.

Wheat is in my vodka. Time to give it away. And in some liquors – there is a yummy Irish cream one that I tried last weekend and then found out I can’t enjoy ever again…. It was in my Josh Early chocolates and in the Victoria’s chocolates I got this Saturday as an early Easter gift! Both of which I deem major bummers.

I have to think about what I eat so much more these days. I can’t just grab a frozen meal for lunch and head off to work. I have to plan ahead for what I have in terms of meals particularly breads. I have found myself baking GF bread at ten pm as there was nothing in my house for lunch the next day. I now love that I can keep a few slices of GF bread in my freezer so I am always prepared for a quick meal. Can’t buy Hot Pockets, not until they make a GF version! All my favorite frozen meals are all off limits too for now. I am hoping more big companies jump on the gluten free bandwagon and make versions I can eat. One can hope anyway….

Peace and think of me when you are chowing down on some cheese and potato perogies…..boo hoo hoo!

Originally published March 25, 2013.


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