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Mar 18, 2013 07:03 AM

The one thing I really miss since going GF is ______.

Hamburger buns. I haven't found a single one that really tastes good.

I don't mind GF lasagna or macaroni, I can make great grilled sandwiches with most any GF bread, but buns, for both burgers and franks, just ruin the whole experience. I just eat them bare.

What do you really, really miss?

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  1. It's a toss-up between New York bagels/bialys & NY pizza.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I can understand that, about the bagels. We've got a local bakery in Tampa that makes pretty good bagels. Not even close to the chewy crust of a NY bagel, but they're very nice toasted with a shmear of cream cheese.

      NY Pizza was never my thing, but for a really good crisp crust, we like Against The Grain skins. They make them with tapioca starch and cheese, which kind of makes sense when you think about stretchy dough. Anyway, hubs says they're the best crust he's ever had, and he's a wheat-eater. Pretty high praise.

    2. Crusty, chewy bread. So many extraordinary bread bakers around here. Sometimes I just want a delicious sandwich, and the GF bread just doesn't cut it (though at least it has moved beyond sawdust flavor).

      2 Replies
      1. re: maxie

        +1 same here. All i want is a nice, crunchy multigrain loaf....or to be able to eat certain locally-made cranberry pecan rolls.

        Oh, and to indulge in fresh, crusty bread from the bread basket at restaurants.

        1. re: pickledtink

          It's only been 2 years and I can hardly recall the feel and taste of a nice hot crusty loaf. That's just sad. :(

      2. I have spent a number of years eating a diet low in starches and grain, but only recently had to switch to gluten free. I thought it would be easier than it has been, given my low-starch/grain tendencies, but I find I get frustrated with the number of sauces/pastes/condiments that I never gave a thought to before and now have to eliminate. I am still sorting out my strategies for gluten free equivalents of things in the Asian sauce/paste/condiment world, and almost shed a tear over my favorite adobo sauce being on the no-go roster. I'm doing my best to adjust, but sometimes I get a little pissy about it, really.

        My one real starch indulgence has always been bread, and I miss very much my favorite crusty baguette. I also desperately miss my beloved banh mi sandwiches (along with the Maggi I liked on the banh mi). I haven't yet explored the world of gluten free breads, but various commentary I have read during my research leads me to believe many might not suit me. Also, I'm not made of money, and the GF breads seem a little pricey to me. I'm open to possibilities, though.

        On a truly junk-food note, I miss pizza rolls. Yep, those things. I have found recipes for making your own, but *oof* it's more effort than I want to put into something that you pop into the toaster oven at 2 in the morning after a night of overindulging in adult beverages. Plus, I always liked mine dipped in a dab of hoisin sauce, yet another no-go. I'm a bit disappointed in myself being moony-eyed over pizza rolls, but there it is. I might have to try one of the GF recipes once just to see.

        More than any specific thing, I miss not having to think so hard and research each and every product that I buy and eat. I'm adapting, but I am still feeling a wee pouty about the whole deal from time to time. Cue violins and a self-mocking grin!

        Reading this Board has helped.

        19 Replies
        1. re: cayjohan

          Aww, Cay, I'm sorry we have to welcome you to the GF club. But don't despair, it's getting easier all the time to find GF alternatives to those condiments you love.

          Wok Mei hoisin is GF, and they make GF oyster sauce & plum sauce as well. Premier Japan, Ka Mei and Y&Y also make GF hoisin. Lee Kum Kee makes GF oyster sauce - look for the green label (the red label contains wheat).

          San-J makes GF Thai peanut sauce, Szechuan sauce, Teriyaki, and Asian BBQ sauce.

          I'm sure you know about San-J GF tamari, and Eden Foods & Premier Japan also have GF tamari. Kikkoman now makes a GF soy sauce, and there's a company called Kari-Out that makes packets of GF low-sodium soy sauce - the brand is Panda.

          If you want a GF *and* soy-free option, try Coconut Secret coconut aminos.

          Red Boat fish sauce is GF, so is Thai Kitchen.

          Thai Kitchen also makes GF satay sauce & chili sauce, as as well as several curry sauces & pastes.

          Japanese choice wasabi paste is GF, as is Eden Foods wasabi powder.

          Adobo sauce doesn't need gluten - I hate when companies add unnecessary ingredients. La Costeña is GF.

          So, you've got a few options ;)

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet


            You are such generous contributor. I'm a Celiac and because I was diagnosed long after some crappy irreversible damage was done I'm really careful. It's only been a year and I'm doing pretty well, but would kill for a yeasty crusty roll to go around a meatball sandwich. Or an al dente egg noodle for my chicken soup...a won ton, a tender pastry crust, a dumpling a...PIZZA with a chewy crust!

            But, you're right. So much awareness makes it much, much easier than in years past. And I'm grateful that, steak potatoes, rice and wine are hunky dory.

            1. re: ItalianNana

              That's so kind of you to say! There are so many generous people here on CH, I'm happy to do my part.

              And yes, thank you for reminding us that at least we don't have to go without wine ;)

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Isn't it true on the wine?!

                I do like to cook with beer - like carbonnade a la flamande - and need to start scoping out some gluten free beers. I never have developed an affection for drinking beer because it made me feel like crap (and now I know why,; duh!), but I still liked cooking with it.

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Thanks so much ghg! Your list helps me immensely, as I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed; my web search history seems to be a solid phalanx of "is _____gluten free?" these days and the sheer volume of contradictory information out there left me a bit dismayed. Your posts and others' on special diets and such have been very helpful to me through the years, as I regularly cook for quite a number of Type 1 diabetics, as well as some on chemo and renal diets, and have appreciated the excellent directions I have been sent, research-wise, through those posts. It's guaranteed your above list of recommendations is going with me as I rebuild my pantry!

              On the adobo sauce? I hear you on the extra ingredients. I know I can make it, but jiminy, it's nice to have a seasoning paste around that doesn't add a lot of work that I'd just rather not take on at any given moment. And thanks for the heads-up on wasabi; yet another one that hadn't even occurred to me.

              Honestly, this whole GF reality had me worried that I was going to become a stuck-in-a-rut boring cook when I realized how much of my non-grain/non-starch pantry involved gluten. I am realizing how nice it is to have so many gluten-free options that I never considered before. I know there's a lot of talk about GF being "stylish" these days, but if I'm going to be stylish, I'm buying a great pair of boots, dammit; otherwise I just want to eat and I am happy to see now that demand is creating a market. I guess I'm not such an old dog yet!

              And...after years of cooking certain things, it's not so bad taking a little detour. The benefits FAR outweigh the inconveniences.

              1. re: cayjohan

                < if I'm going to be stylish, I'm buying a great pair of boots, dammit; otherwise I just want to eat>


                1. re: cayjohan


                  What great posts!! You have the perfect attitude for a Celiac. I get now and then too. My family has been great and that sure helps, but this old lady had a tough time contemplating Thanksgiving for the first time without traditional cornbread stuffing and pumpkin pie!

                  1. re: ItalianNana

                    ItalianNana, it was last Thanksgiving that set me over the edge, gluten-wise. One of my first thoughts was about how in Hades I was going to get my hide-bound Thanksgiving-traditionalist extended family to deal with a gluten-free meal (I had been in a bit of long-term denial *sigh* over my gluten issues for precisely this reason; I am the holiday and otherwise host in my family and I didn't want to rock the boat when it came to expectations.) Oddly enough, I now feel pretty comfortable about what next Thanksgiving's table will offer, with not too much to challenge the hidebound folks' expectations. Pumpkin pie? Pumpkin creme brûlée! Flour thickened gravy? Gravy thickened with more giblets cooked and whirred in with a stick blender, along with some of the veg I stick in the bird's cavity (this is delicious; have tried with some roast chickens and it made me, a gravy-snob of the first water, very happy). Stuffing? That's where I'll give Udi's a try; our stuffing is so laden with sage and onion and celery, that I doubt any relative lack of taste on the bread's part will even be detectable. Having figured out Thanksgiving, I felt a lot more "can-do" about the GF nine-yards. I'm curious about the reaction to the next T-Day meal.My immediate family has been great, too, and it sure makes things easier. Still trying to figure out how to hack the scalloped corn (*swoon*) into GF-ness, though.

                    1. re: cayjohan

                      You can still make a killer pumpkin pie *with* a crust, using nuts, GF flour, or crushed store bought GF gingersnaps or graham crackers.

                      If you decide you still want to thicken your gravy a bit more after the giblets & veg, use masa harina or superfine rice flour. Both work beautifully.

                      What needs to be de-glutened in your scalloped corn recipe? I'm sure we can figure it out. If it's saltines, you can either substitute Glutino or Schar "Table Crackers" or start practicing with this recipe now ;)

                      We're obviously going to need a dedicated "GF Thanksgiving" thread when it draws closer.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        My de-glutening of scalloped corn does indeed have everything to do with saltines! And a little (maybe more than a little; I'm that way) to do with a couple of folks at my T-Day table that think that the scalloped corn is the end-all-be-all of Thanksgiving and I so love the people at my table that I, really, want to please them. Thanks for that link; it gets me thinking in new creative directions. My T-Day is looking better and better, despite my initial sad-sack response to holidays v. GF.

                        And seriously, GF holiday threads would be something I would love to see. I read this Board all the time (and am sometimes disheartened at the relative lack of posts given the larger interest, but it's still early days), and I think it could use some more participation. I'm in.

                        I've got some fine ground white masa harina, but have not used it yet for anything (wishful thinking, time, ignorance, what-not, yadda-yadda...). Am exploring (well, just *thinking about", now, but hopeful about) its use in various veg pancakes, as that's something we really love, especially with spinach and zucchini season coming up.

                    2. re: ItalianNana

                      My family craves green bean casserole on T'Day, and I've tried 2 times, but still can't find a recipe that really captures the canned soup version. I've got a new recipe for cream soups I'm going to try for this year. Stay tuned.

                      1. re: DuffyH

                        Will definitely stay tuned, as I have cook-for elders that really love a lot of hotdishes (yep, I am a Minnesotan) with the "cream-of" soups at the dinner table. And we eat together. I would love to enjoy, say, a classic Minnesota tater-tot hot dish with my family without worrying about the gluten.

                        Now, Tater-tot affection is an entirely different issue, no?

                        1. re: cayjohan

                          Tater Tots, still gluten free! :)

                2. re: cayjohan

                  Most GF breads aren't, in all honesty, worth exploring. However, most of them make pretty decent toast. I'm not sure what's up with that, but it's true.

                  No hoisin sauce? If you're wedded to particular brands, I understand. I buy the Dynasty brand. I've not tried it on it's own, but always as an ingredient in other sauces. And San-J Tamari for my soy sauce, which I like fine. In a pinch, I'll use La Choy in marinades, but not on it's own.

                  I understand about Pizza Rolls. They're yummy. I'm a big fan of Taquitos, and that means to get the frozen ones, I have to drive an hour to the commissary at MacDill AFB to find GF ones. It's the only local store that carries Delimex, which have always been GF.

                  I have made them at home, but it's a time-consuming process, although very easy. Same with mozzarella sticks. Easy enough to make, but takes some time. When I want junk food, I want it NOW! Besides, some foods are just better when someone else makes them. :)

                  FWIW, here's a video for GF pizza rolls. I may try this tomorrow.

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      DuffyH, that's a pizza roll take I never thought of; I was busy feeling meh about all the alternative flours I'd have to buy, and all the rolling and stuffing and whatnot in GF pizza roll recipes that I figured that lovely little "right NOW!" bit of junk was lost to me forever (or until I felt really ambitious!). Thank you!

                      My no-thought-really-given-to-it choice of hoisin sauce has always been Lee Kum Kee; glad to hear from you and goodhealthgourmet that I don't have to start making that myself, too.

                      1. re: cayjohan

                        cayjohan, I made that pizza roll thingy tonight, and ick. I couldn't finish it. To be fair, I use Ole tortillas (the video showed Mission yellow corn tortillas), I used homemade sauce vice the Ragu, and I minced the pepperoni and mixed it together with the cheese and sauce. But it tasted nothing like a pizza roll.

                        I'm thinking wonton wrappers will be needed, and stick versus sliced pepperoni. Found a recipe for them today, but we're getting a little close to the dreaded 'baking' line here. I promise, if Betty doesn't offer it in a box, I don't bake it. But if I can master the wrappers, I can then recreate the wonderful southwest egg rolls from BJ's Brewhouse. That would be worth it, but I keep thinking there's got to be an easier way. Maybe a trip to Nutrition S'Mart or WF will reveal pre-made wrappers.

                        But I did make some brownies from scratch once, using a recipe for...wait for it...Black Bean chocolate cake. I call them brownies because the cake is more brownie-like than cake-ish. Not even flourless chocolate cake dense, just brownie-ish. But tasty! Seriously, no one would ever know they were made from beans. I sprang it on my bean-hating nephew one night, smiled while he hoovered up half the pan, then showed him the empty bean can. Surprise! :0)


                    2. re: cayjohan

                      Baguette for me, too. And chocolate croissants. I eat very well and rarely desperately miss anything, but those two top the list.

                    3. I miss naan! But then, I've had to avoid most Indian as there is often ghee in unexpected places and I am DF as well. Along those same lines, I miss fresh, hot pita for dipping in hummus or stuffed with falafel. Oh, and the fluffy lavash my local Greek place uses for their sandwiches.

                      I should say that although I miss these things, my GI tract surely does not.

                      1. Just thought of another item. I know I'll have to give up my Chow decoder ring, but sometimes I really want Chef Boyardee Mini Raviolis. I know, I know! They're crapola. But sometimes I just want them! Don't judge. :)

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: DuffyH

                          Aha! Know this: Trader Joe's Three Cheese pasta sauce tastes very much like a grown-up Chef Boyardee product. And GF. Might do in a pinch for a "fix"!

                          1. re: cayjohan

                            Well, now you're just screwing with my head. Sadly, no TJ in Tampa. That's one of the first stores I looked for when we moved her. But I bet if I worked at it, I could reverse engineer it. I found out that by adding a bit of tomato paste to my bean soup, I get Campbell's Bean with Bacon. So I could maybe start with a jarred (shudder) pasta sauce and work from there.

                            All this pasta talk has made me want to try to make ravioli. Never done it before, but it doesn't look too hard. Not like baking, which I simply do NOT do. Except cornbread, because I found a recipe that works with any GF AP flour blend.

                            1. re: DuffyH

                              Bummer about no TJ's, Duffy! I'm absolutely planning on reverse-engineering some of TJ's products for the taste and texture as I re-educate my cooking self! I've been a regular, if occasional, TJ's shopper for certain things, but after I found this list of their GF products: , I think Trader Joe's is going to be my new best friend as I cipher out the various ingredients in the GF stuff and adapt them for homemade. I'm a label-reading junkie, and I figure the "recipe" is there if I try hard enough (she says with great optimism...).

                              On the ravioli? I have a pasta-loving spouse, and I have made a lot of ravioli to be nice. No, it's not that hard, just putzy...but one gets the hang if it fairly quickly. Once I feel ready to graduate to some alternate flours (and embrace another round of putziness), I might have another go at it, as filled pasta makes Mr. Cay very, very happy.

                              1. re: cayjohan

                                A lot of people recommend Gluten Free Pantry's French Bread flour mix, or Better Batter. No matter how you make it, it seems the key is to let it rest for a good 30 minutes or more. It's supposed to behave better for having rested.

                                I'd love to read about your results when you do make pasta, because floury things scare me spitless. I'll toss some AP GF flour into a hot pan for a roux, no problem, combine it with some cornmeal for cornbread, no biggie, but to actually make doughy stuff? {shudder}

                                1. re: cayjohan

                                  <...filled pasta makes Mr. Cay very, very happy.>

                                  cay, I found Conte's frozen cheese ravioli last week. Made them tonight and gluten-eating Dude loved them! He said, and I quote "They're not gummy, they don't stick to my teeth!" Yes, he was one happy pasta lover, as was I. The flavor is so very, very close to wheat pasta. I'd happily spring them on unsuspecting gluten eaters with no apologies. :)

                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                    Thank you for the recommendation, Duffy! For as much as I've had to deal with rolling various doughs, I just don't particularly like it, and feel some trepidation about using alternative flours now that I had *finally* gotten a good handle on wheat pastas! Looks like I need to be haunting the frozen food aisles a little more closely to see if I can spot the Conte's. My husband has been a champ in supporting our gluten free kitchen reality, but I know he would love a plate of ravioli!

                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                      Ooo! Good to know on the Conte's pastas! Occasionally I do still want pasta.....While I'm really liking the GF version's I've found, I do want stuffed pastas on occasion....