Gluten Free | Fun in the Snow

Gluten Free | Fun in the Snow

gluten free snow fun

Gluten-free survival in the snow

I find traveling and vacationing gluten-free quite a challenge. If you can figure it out, it’s well worth the effort as I have found that getting sick on vacation (especially on the road or mid-air), is yet to be my favorite experience. 🙂 I found this out the hard way. Healthy eating does require some pre-planning and preparation but I think everyone in our family benefits from it. I think it knits a closer family bond as we eat home-prepared meals together and we all feel better afterwards. Gluten has a very specific effect on my family’s brain function. It’s no fun being on the road with crabby, depressed people (especially with anyone also experiencing gastric distress after eating bad food). YIKES.

Below I have shared some travel food tips specific to snow fun. I hope they enrich your gluten-free snow experience.

IMG_0869Pancakes are our special family breakfast treat. King Arthur Flour gluten-free pancake mix is the first pancake mix that my older kids (I call them my “GE’s”…gluten eaters…they need to be off gluten but that’s another blog post) would eat without complaining. The taste, texture and appearance of these pancakes are, I think, exactly like regular gluten pancakes. Another tip I share with my autism clients, try adding Enjoy Life gluten, dairy, soy and nut-free mini chocolate chips to the GF pancakes and waffles. Very often, it will make up for the lack of gluten. You can also try blueberries.

snowmanpancakeAs you can see above, I’m keeping with the snow theme by making snowman shaped pancakes.

breakfastSince I don’t do pancakes, even a GF version, I opt for an easy certified GF oatmeal in a cup like you see above. You just had hot water. I topped it with the fruit and seed mix below by Enjoy Life Foods. You can buy small packets for travel. It’s a yummy and filling winter breakfast.



Another quick breakfast option is gluten-free muffins. You can either make them at home and take them along or you can buy a pre-made muffin like you see below by Canyon Bakehouse. These muffins are moist and hearty with seeds and dried cranberries.


Canyon Bakehouse gluten free muffin

The inside of the Cranberry Canyon Crunch GF muffin

For lunch on the slopes, we opt for sandwiches. Here I made simple turkey sandwiches using Applegate turkey and Udi’s gluten-free bread. I buy the large size Udi’s bread at Costco. The size is more suitable for my adult children.

sandwichAnother sandwich option we enjoyed the second day of snowboarding is a Panini. For this sandwich, I used a marinated chicken breast. I mix the marinade at home and then put the chicken with the marinade in a plastic gallon bag. The chicken can marinade for up to 2-3 days. Once you are on location, you can grill the chicken and have it for dinner and then use leftovers for the Panini sandwiches. Just be sure to marinade enough chicken breasts for the entire family for two meals.

paniniFor the focaccia bread, I bought this mix and made it myself. The brand is At the Table Together. It was super simple to make and was very good.

IMG_0866If you want to make focaccia bread even more simple, buy Canyon Bakehouse’s rosemary and thyme focaccia bread as seen below. It’s prepared and ready to use.


For dinner, I made chicken stew at home and brought it along in large mason jars that I could pack in ice in my cooler (see below).

chix stew

soupYou could also do this with beef stew, chicken noodle soup or chili. The recipe for the chicken stew is featured on my camping gluten-free post.

meatballsAnother quick and easy meal option is Second Helping’s Mama’s Meatballs. They are frozen and ready to cook. I cook them in marinara sauce (see below) and then prepare GF noodles for a yummy, easy GF dinner. You could also serve this over brown rice. These meatballs are available at Draeger’s Market, Miglet’s Bakery (Danville, CA) and New Leaf Community Markets. Another option is to make your own and freeze them. I have featured my family recipe below.

meatball package

gluten free marniara sauces

A few easy marinara options for your spaghetti dinner.

Of course, my family will not let me forget about dessert. This cookie dough by Immaculate Kitchen is both gluten and dairy-free. Just put the dough pieces on a baking sheet and bake.




IMG_0767Sam is super happy above enjoying a nice warm GF chocolate chip cookie while on vacation. Mom is happy because it was super easy to make.

brownieI have found that Pamela’s Products Chocolate Brownie Mix is also easy for trips. It is individually packaged and you simply mix and cook in the microwave. It’s ready in minutes.

snow 12 026

And, let’s not forget hot chocolate. My family is dairy-free as well so I have an extra challenge here. I have featured a low-sugar hot chocolate recipe below but if you want it super simple, there are some nice dairy-free hot chocolate mixes on the market. The one below is by Silly Cow Farms. Just be sure to read the ingredient lists carefully.

hot choc




027I mix the hot chocolate at the cabin and then take a Thermos container with me to the ski lodge to keep it hot.

Another hot chocolate option is NibMor. It is gluten, dairy and processed sugar-free. It is sweetened with palm sugar.


Nibmor2I used the new cashew milk by So Delicious for this hot chocolate. It was nice and creamy similar to coconut milk. An added bonus, it is free of carrageenan. I have a coupon for one free So Delicious product for one lucky winner. Leave a comment on this post and I will enter you into the drawing. I will draw for the winner on March 1, 2014. Good luck!



cashwemilk3Check out the creaminess of this cashew milk. This is divine in non-dairy hot chocolate recipes.

 The things we love about snow fun…

IMG_0750Our favorite cabin in the Sierra’s. It’s warm and cozy with a beautiful view…


blueskyThe beautiful blue skies of the Sierra’s…


SamSMLearning how to snowboard for the first time…


startTaking a break from snowboarding…


snowtubingSnow tubing at Leland Snowplay… Look at the view!


tubingSnow tubing at lightening speeds…


001Tubing nirvana…


sleddingA good friend to do old fashion sledding with….


momsamSledding with mom…



A snow fall that leaves piles higher than Sam’s head…


snowmanA snow man taller than Sam…


snowballfightA good snowball fight…


skating1Ice skating and this cool bar provided for beginners…


iciclesIcicles… I grew up in Michigan where icicles are a common sight during the winter months. I never see icicles in my hometown of Pleasanton, California. The good thing is we can drive to the snow when desired.


snowThe quiet stillness after a good snow fall…

What mom (me) specifically appreciates about our snow trips…

helmetProtecting that precious brain (that I worked so hard to heal) with a snow helmet…


skatingBeing together with my children (all ages included)…

Kim Rice

Cloudy with a chance of Gluten-Free Meatballs
  • I love fixing meatballs as an easy lunch or snack option. Kids of all ages love them and you can easily store them in the freezer. Whether plain or served with spaghetti, my kids eat them up. I had to change my original recipe which included real onion, garlic and grated carrots to powdered spices due to my son’s texture issues. He’s much happier with this recipe
  • Meatballs
  • 1 pound of organic 100% grass fed ground beef
  • ½ cup gluten free (GF) bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon of GF onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of GF garlic powder
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Black or white ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of Parma brand vegan parmesan (contains walnuts and nutritional yeast – can be omitted)
  • ¼ teaspoon of kelp granules (this can be found in the Asian section of the grocery store)
  • 1 small egg or ½ serving of egg replacer (3/4 teaspoon egg replacer powder with 1 tablespoon warm water)
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Make this a day ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld. A jarred version of organic marinara sauce can be used instead.
  • 2 – 32oz cans of organic, fire roasted, crushed tomatoes (blend these if your child prefers no lumps or chunks)
  • 4-6 garlic gloves, crushed (jar version is okay – 1 teaspoon equals one clove)
  • 4 teaspoon dry basil
  • 2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of organic sugar or agave to tame the acidity. You can also add some pureed carrot for a sugar free version.
  • 1-2 tablespoon of oil with high smoking point (avocado, rice bran, tea seed)
  1. Meatballs
  2. Knead the meat with all the above ingredients and make it into one inch balls. Lightly oil your hands if needed.
  3. Place the meat balls on a cookie sheet with an edge (line with unbleached parchment paper for easy clean up) and then bake at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Begin checking at 10 minutes but cook the meatballs until they are 170 degrees. Depending on the size of the meatballs, cooking time will vary. Be careful to not overcook otherwise they will be too dry.
  5. Marinara Sauce
  6. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat; add garlic and spices stirring constantly for about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and sugar, agave or carrot puree. Bring to aggressive simmer
  7. Reduce heat to low and allow sauce to thicken (about 20-30 minutes).
  8. The flavor of this sauce intensifies over 24 hours.
  9. Serve meatballs and sauce over prepared gluten-free noodles.
Low Sugar, Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate
  • Makes 4 cups of delicious dairy-free hot chocolate
  • 4 cups almond, hemp or coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • ¾ tablespoon of Xylitol (or to taste)
  • 8 tablespoons of unsweetened high quality cocoa powder (I prefer Cacao di Pernigotti - available at Williams-Sonoma)
  • 2 tablespoons GF certified vanilla extract
  1. In a medium saucepan, mix all ingredients thoroughly with a whisk.
  2. Warm on medium heat until bubbly around the edges. Be careful to not overheat and scald the milk.
  3. Enjoy!

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