Here in Atlanta, we have such an amazing and diverse community. When my husband called me to say he was asked to transfer to Atlanta, and what did I think, food was truly one of my first thoughts. Coming from Orlando, FL, we lived in a tourist community. Now, one would think, that would make it easier for a Celiac to find gluten-free options, etc. But the fact is, most “chains” don’t necessarily cook fresh to order. Much of their sauces, marinades, dressings, etc., come in pre-prepared/frozen. This means MSG, sulfites, and gluten/wheat, are likely ingredients. Many people, also do not understand that just because they have gluten-free, doesn’t mean they know they have to wash their hands, use different utensils, clean cutting boards, etc. I have a family member, and a friend who both went to culinary school. They know I have Celiac Disease and said they wanted to cook for me. I was timid, at first, but I conceded. Then, they brought home a Teriyaki Pork Loin with the actual package reading…
Containing Up to Thirty Percent of a Flavoring Solution++ Ingredients: Pork, Pork Broth, Teriyaki Seasoning (Sugar, Dehydrated Soy Sauce [Wheat, Soybeans, Salt], Maltodextrin, Salt, Garlic Powder, Spice), Contains 2% or less of Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Soybean Oil, Cultured Dextrose, Dried Vinegar, Seasoning (Yeast Extract, Citrus Extract), Flavoring. Soy ingredients present, Wheat ingredients present, Gluten present
Needless to say, my husband went with them shopping this past year, when they came to visit. The moral of this story is, just because they know what they’re doing in the kitchen, doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing when it comes to our health. (Luckily, this was over a year ago, and they’ve since educated themselves greatly on the subject.)
Now, back to the food here in Atlanta…I was so excited when we got here, to find that it was real…gluten-free menu options were nearly everywhere! To top it off, there are many different local producers of gluten-free bagels, English muffins, breads, pita bread, and my new addiction…FLATBREADS!!! One day my husband and I were running errands, and he had to drop off something for his job at the convention center downtown. That usually means a gluten-free lunch date, so I was all in! We did a search (thanks to Find Me Gluten Free,) and found Flats. This is my new favorite place to eat whenever we go downtown! They make the best flatbreads. You can design your own, and pick what sauce, toppings, etc. They have breakfast, lunch, smoothies, salads…literally fresh, tasty, and amazing in every bite! The gluten-free flatbread holds its form, actually gets crispy, and is so tasty, you wouldn’t expect that it’s gluten-free. Now I know, that’s what we all say, but my non-Celiac husband said it too! If you’re local to Atlanta, or just visiting, check out Flats Atlanta. So, since we can’t go downtown every day, or even every week, I had to do something for my new addiction. I found O’Dough’s. (Bonus: If you live in Canada, they offer a $15 Sample Box to give them a try, AND give you $15 in coupons, so it’s like you’re getting all that gluten-free goodness FOR FREE!!) I’ve only managed to find these flatbreads at Kroger supermarkets, but if you live somewhere that does not have a Kroger, and happen to find who carries them, please comment below with the location? These flatbreads are so delicious! I put them in the oven (direct from freezer) without any toppings on them, sprayed with cooking spray and garlic powder on both sides, for 5 minutes, and flip for another 5 minutes. Then they’re perfect and ready for toppings!
Flatbreads work for any meal. They can be cut into finger-food size for a party dish, topped with eggs and bacon for breakfast, chocolate sauce and sautéed pears with cinnamon and brown sugar for a dessert, appetizers, dinner, lunch…so many choices!!! Below you will find a few of my favorite flatbreads, but get crazy with it! The options are limitless…If you find one you love, please add your recipe in the comments section? I would love to give it a try! Flatbread night is my husband’s favorite night of the week (and yes, we pretty much have flatbreads once a week in our house.) His favorite flatbread would have to be…
Mexican Bean and Beef Flatbread
1/2 can Water
2 cloves Garlic (minced)
1/2 cup Cilantro (pre-chopped)
1/4 cup Parsley (pre-chopped)
1 tbsp. Seasoning Blend
3 tbsp. Sofrito
1/4 c diced Yellow Onion
- Pour in can of beans into medium saucepan on Medium heat. Add 1/2 can of water.
- Add Minced Garlic, Diced Onion, Chopped Fresh Cilantro, Chopped Fresh Parsley, 3 tbsp. Sofrito (see recipe,) and 1 tbsp Seasoning Blend.
- Bring to a boil. Lower to Simmer and cook for 20 mins.
- Taste. Most of the time, as beans cook, you lose the seasoning you’ve added up until this point (so you may need to add more.)
- Once desired taste is reached, blend to a paste consistency (like refried beans.)
- Place roughly chopped Parsley, Garlic, seasoning, and olive oil into food processor or blender. blend until liquid consistency is reached.
- Marinate Ground Beef in Sofrito (see recipe,) chopped onion, and seasoning blend in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Remove from refrigerator and let sit on counter for 10-15 mins. Brown beef. My secret is let it sit in juices before you stir for at least 5-6 mins. Then chop/stir.
- Drain grease.
- Taste. Season more if necessary.
1/4 cup 100% OJ
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar (the GF brand I use is Nakano “All Natural” No Sodium No Sugar)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 tbsp organic Lime Juice (it is sulfite-free. If no sulfite-intolerance, any lime juice concentrate.)
4 lg cloves Garlic
2 cup Cilantro (chopped)
1 cup Parsley (chopped)
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper (or 1/4 tsp White Pepper)
- Measure all liquid ingredients into your blender/food processor.
- Add all dry ingredients, and roughly chopped herbs.
- Blend well until liquid consistency is reached, then add marinade to protein. (All proteins should sit in marinade at least 2 hours in refrigerator before cooking.)
- Take Mojo Pork out of refrigerator and put on stovetop on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, lower heat to simmer.
- Mince Garlic, Chop Parsley and Cilantro, and whip into sour cream.
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp lime juice
2 oz rice vinegar
1 oz olive oil
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 can southwest style (or fiesta) corn
2 Roma tomatoes
- Chop Parsley, mince Garlic, Drain Corn, and put all together in bowl. Add liquid with seasonings. Mix well.
- Combine Cream Cheese, Chopped Parsley, and Minced Garlic. Whip together.
- Chop Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Herbs. Slice Tomatoes.
Grilled Capicola and Muenster Cheese Flatbread topped with a Kale, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad drizzled with an Italian (Rice) Vinaigrette
Whichever Flatbread you choose, bake your flatbread in the oven at the directions it states (or find your own best…if using O’Dough’s, I suggest spraying with cooking spray and garlic powder both sides, place in oven at temp it states for 5 minutes, then flip for another 5 minutes.) Then sauce/spread, toppings, and any drizzle or dressing you decide. Welcome to my world of flatbreads!! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Don’t forget to get creative, and share your ideas. And as always, enjoy the tasty life, with the gluten-free wife!