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The other night, D and I had a date. We planned to have dinner and attend a movie. Yay! I’d not done that in a long time, yet the nagging question for me was about what to eat while on this wheat free diet?

We did not have many restaurant options and, for the sake of convenience, ended up at Qdoba. They are a bit like Chipotle in that they offer southwestern food made fast at inexpensive prices.

I’d not been able to do my advance research on the menu as I normally do, so I knew I’d have to wing it. I was about to get a burrito and had plans to ditch the wrapper when I saw they offer their burritos “naked.” That means you can get a burrito in a bowl without the wrapper. Grilled squash, red pepper, onions and salsa were arranged on a bed of lime-infused rice with cilantro. The lime-infused rice was my favorite part. The only part I would have changed was to offer brown rice instead of white.

Anyway, it was delicious. Qdoba will be on my list of allowable restaurants. I’m not a fast food kind of person, yet occasionally there are not other options. It’s nice to know I (and you!) can find something to eat there.

I’m not ready to blast the news to everyone that I’m on a wheat free diet. I’ve had a number of health challenges in the past 5-10 years and had to experiment with giving up a number of foods. For that reason, I want to lay low on the subject of giving up wheat until my body is more settled and recovered from the years of “wheat abuse”.

My friends came to town and wanted to eat at a particular Chinese restaurant for dim sum. I used to love the food there, yet I’d feel sick to my stomach after I ate it. My husband and I attributed that to the grease; he’d feel a bit sick, too.

Now that I know I can’t eat wheat, I’m certain that was a major part of the problem for me. Every single dim sum item contains wheat (and major grease). Even the one green vegetable they bring out at the very end is marinated in wheat-filled soy sauce and covered with a sheen of mysterious fat.

What to do? I wanted to see my friends, and I wanted to avoid eating that food. Sitting at a big table with all of the dim sum carts rolling by would be dull for me. It would also be tempting to eat the food anyway and annoying to answer all the questions about why I was not eating.

Instead of subjecting myself to that, I suggested we meet up for coffee next door beforehand. It was a great idea. My friends wanted to visit that coffee shop before their dim sum experience anyway, and I got to spend time with them outside before they had to get in line for the Chinese restaurant.

Sometimes a little creativity in a potentially sticky or uncomfortable situation can pay off. I’m happy I didn’t have to sit there watching people eat food I can’t eat, and I’m happy I got to see my friends.

When you are starting out on a wheat free diet, it can be hard to know what you can or can’t eat.

Here are some foods that can replace wheat ingredients:

1. Rice
2. Amaranth
3. Quinoa (said keen-wah)
4. Buckwheat grain (despite its name, it’s wheat free)
5. Potato flour
6. Fava bean flour
7. Garnanzo bean flour
8. Red Mill carries several products you can use to make breads, pancakes, etc.

I’m a big fan of quinoa. The grain is smaller than rice, and it can easily replace cous cous and works well in tabouli.

In fact, use any regular tabouli recipe, substitute quinoa for the wheat bulgar, and you won’t know the difference!

Wheat-Free Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Get these wheat-free, dairy-free and gluten-free dark chocolate chunk cookies and enjoy gigantic chocolate chips in a delicious cookie. It's SO nice to have a wheat free cookie actually taste wonderful.