Gluten-Free Cruising

As a gluten-freer, I can honestly say that I sometimes really dread vacations. And I am a pretty positive person, but the work involved is overwhelming. So you could probably understand my dread when my in-laws told me that we were going on an eight-day cruise to Alaska…”Oh my goodness…you have got to be kidding me!” I exclaimed.

Well, that was a year ago this week, so I thought I would write about it. As wonderful as the cruise was, I am enjoying writing about it SO much better! There are many logistics involved in taking a cruise. First of all, there are no Whole Foods Markets you can pop into to pick up some snacks or emergency meals if you get hungry, or desperate. Furthermore, there are no Whole Foods Markets the ship can even stop at on the way if THEY need something, so planning ahead is key!

Furthermore, since I was traveling internationally, I had to plan for the four of us to eat anything that I brought or throw it away (which is very hard when the food is so expensive) because I could NOT take it back through customs. In addition, they would not allow me to provide them with food to cook just for us so we really had to rely on what they offered and be flexible with the rest. So I needed to get some information.

I first got in touch with a customer service representative from the cruise ship. You are spending a lot of money with their company and they are very, very happy to accommodate your needs. Secondly, I found out if they offered gluten-free options and where on the ship those would be available. This was very important because as it turned out, the only people who even knew what gluten-free meant were the servers in the dining room. This basically meant that we were “on our own” until dinnertime.

The customer service representative was then able to speak with the head chef who was able to tell her the products and the brands of gluten-free items available. There was bread and pasta on this particular ship. I then purchased these brands before we went on our trip so my family could get used to them. They were a bigger hit for some than for others…a common theme in my house. Anyway, the trip was a huge success. I think it really helped knowing what to expect and what we would need, because once you get on that ship, your gluten-free plans are out the window!

I tell people all the time that they sometimes eat gluten-free without even knowing it! Here is a simple meal that you can make with a salad or some nice fresh asparagus that is completely gluten-free without even much effort. I have recently been indulging in a lot of quinoa because ¼ cup has 7 grams of protein!

Salmon with Quinoa

4- 6 oz fillets of Wild Alaskan Salmon
1 cup quinoa
1 cup 100% Maple Syrup
½ cup Dijon Mustard
¼ cup Balsamic vinegar

Mix maple syrup, mustard and vinegar in a small bowl.
Pour 1 ½ cups onto salmon fillets to marinate 4-6 hours.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in 2 qt. sauce pan.
Add 1 cup quinoa, bring back to a boil.
Cover and cook over medium heat for 12 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes.
Add ¼ cup remaining sauce to quinoa for flavor.

About Lisa Velick

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