When Gluten Free Takes You on the Road

I am always amazed that I even get up enough energy and stamina to plan a trip anywhere outside of our own home. For anyone who has started a gluten free life style for a family of five, they will appreciate the fact that it is not always easy. Not only that, our trips are always ‘saturated’ with bribes! ‘If you are a good eater on the trip…If you do not complain ONCE on the trip….If you eat at a restaurant and smile on our trip….I will….take you to Dairy Queen for a week, the movie of your choice, and my favorite bribe from our trip to the New England States is…ANYTHING you want from Starbucks!’ Oh my goodness, and not only that, but I have turned into one of those cheerleaders that I vowed I would never become because I did not make the team in High School! “Come on, this will be fun, oohh, that looks soooooooooo good, oh, I bet you will LOVE it after the first 7 bites!” Hey, I never said going gluten free was easy. I just promised that I would MAKE it easier for YOU!
When planning for a trip, I found an amazing website called http://www.glutenfreeregistry.com. It is an awesome sight when you are looking for places to eat that are gluten free. You simply click on the state you are visiting. Then you can look in that state, or narrow your choices by picking a city you are visiting. For each location listed, you can click directly on the website of the restaurant or bakery. They also have ‘star ratings’ next to some of the choices. The site also mentions how to find out more about the gluten free options that are available. For example, are they just advertising their vegetables and meats as gluten free options, or are they offering you gluten free pastas and breads to SUBSTITUTE for a gluten-filled version. In addition, next to the restaurant you can click on a map to help you find it. This was really helpful to me when I planned our trip out East because there were some cities that did NOT have a gluten free restaurant, but I would find another city that did have a gluten free restaurant that I mapped as not far from the city we were going to be in. I was really impressed with the site and it helped me navigate around 5 states that I had never been to before. My only recommendation is to call ahead. A few times, unfortunately, we found the restaurant was no longer in business. Or, not all locations may accommodate gluten free needs. We found this out the hard way on a trip to California, when we went to the Islands Restaurant. The Islands in Colorado has gluten free (not fried) fish tacos on corn tortillas. The Islands in California does not offer the non-fried option OR the corn tortillas. As always, I wish you much luck in your travels and I hope in the next several months, because it is ‘vacation season’ to provide you with great tips for an easy gluten free vacation.
These are one of our new favorite snacks. They are high in protein and low in fat and naturally gluten free. Experiment with different spices to satisfy your cravings. And they make a great snack to carry on a car trip or an airplane ride when they are offering you those darn pretzels!
Parmesan Chickpeas
1 16 oz can garbanzo beans
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp pepper
1 T olive oil
Empty one can of garbanzo beans on paper towel to dry. Let stand 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In small bowl combined garbanzo beans, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and oil.
Pour onto a baking dish lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 50 minutes.
Let cool 30 minutes. Store at room temperature in a sealed container.

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