Gluten-Free In Los Angeles (Burbank): Bea Bea’s Cafe

beabeas-1Chaz found another restaurant with a dedicated gluten-free waffle iron. Yes, you read that right. I was excited for gluten-free waffles even though the walk was longer than we realized it would be. Bea Bea’s was pretty crowded when we arrived (it was mid-morning) and I found out pretty quick when I verified that the gf waffle iron is dedicated that it was also broken. Bummer. They still took good care of me and I and ordered the Happy Mornings.

This was what I found exceptional at Bea Bea’s, the side offerings. Usually, when you order a breakfast it comes with toast/biscuit/pancake or some type of potatoes. Some places will offer fruit as well. Not only does Bea Bea’s offer those they offer tomato slices and cottage cheese (not together). Sometimes I want colorful vegetables with my breakfast, not fruit, and I don’t want to have to order an omelet to get them.

While breakfast wasn’t quite what I expected (waffles) I was still able to find something I like as much (corned beef).

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Content that he has a comfy lap but he has “his ears on.”

Since I shared many pictures of Obi-Wan and Mara Jade in the previous posts, I thought I’d give this guy his own space because he hasn’t been the center of attention in over ten years. Manny is a spirited chihuahua who mostly has a worried expression on his face when he’s awake. He barks at anything moving or making noise outside (someone has to fight Communism, yo). He kicks it up a notice when it’s someone coming to the door. He is the Sentinel of the pack but he’ll steal the kids’ food without remorse if they leave it within reach.

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He loves to burrow in blankets and sleep in his sunny spot in the living room. He will dance for a treat and follow you around if you have food in your hand. His trembles when he’s excited in any way. He’s always looking for the next open lap to climb on so he can lick your face, beg for belly rubs, and take a little nap.

He’s one of my favorite dogs.

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One of the things we like to do in L.A. is to go to Universal City Walk (Dawn lives two blocks away). We walk around, check out the shops, eat at one of the restaurants, and go to AMC for a movie. This trip we saw Crimson Peak. One of the fun things about this AMC is sometimes there are big displays outside. The display this time around happened to be a little walkthrough for Crimson Peak. It had display cases inside with various props from the movie, including this wall hanging. The walkthrough was set up like one of the hallways from Allerdale Hall, so while it was cool walking through before the movie, it was even cooler after the movie. I liked the movie so much that I created a character who likes gothic horror in my last book.

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And a trip to L.A. wouldn’t be complete without enjoying sunsets from my favorite place in L.A.

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Chocolate Cinnamon Chia Pudding

I want to share something real quick before I get to the recipe. As some of you already know, May 1st kicked of Celiac Awareness Month. I plan to make a conscious effort to pose a question on the Facebook page daily regarding symptoms and experiences. Make sure you stop in there to join the discussions.

Gluten Dude put out this wonderful infographic for those of us who like something visual. I compiled a list of symptoms a while back for an article I did for a friend’s newsletter. I realized the other day that I never shared that list here. They are listed in no particular order.

  • High/low blood pressure
  • High/low body temperature
  • Migraines/frequent headaches
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (or frequent stomach aches, diarrhea, and/or constipation)
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Abdominal pain/distension, bloating, gas/flatulence
  • Neuropathy/ataxia/Alzheimer’s/restless leg syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoarthritis/rheumatoid arthritis
  • Vertigo
  • Heart palpitations/chest pains
  • Mood swings/Diagnosis of a mood disorder
  • Brain fog/inability to concentrate or focus
  • Difficulty remembering things, especially if you used to be able to remember a lot
  • Fatigue/Adrenal Fatigue/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Rapid weight gain/loss
  • Inability to lose weight with exercise
  • Family history of colon cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, lymphatic
  • Other food allergies/sensitivities (lactose intolerance is common)
  • Diabetes/hypoglycemia
  • Gall bladder issues
  • Eczema, rosacea, dermatitis herpetiformis, or other skin issues
  • Anemia/iron deficiency
  • B vitamin deficiency
  • D vitamin deficiency
  • Diagnosis of Sjogren’s, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s, Hyper/Hypothyroidism, or other autoimmune disorders
  • Diagnosis of Schizophrenia
  • Diagnosis of ADHD/ADD
  • Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Family member diagnosed with Celiac or gluten sensitivity
  • Epilepsy/seizures
  • Acid reflux/heartburn
  • Environmental and seasonal allergies
  • Frequent infections/colds/flu
  • Asthma/respiratory problems
  • Other joint/bone/muscle pain not listed
  • Infertility/miscarriages
  • Dysmenorrhea/other pre-/menstrual issues
  • Failure to thrive/developmental delays in childhood
  • Hair loss/thinning/alopecia/balding
  • Dental enamel deficiencies/irregularities
  • Canker sores
  • Bruise easily
  • Nosebleeds
  • Inflammation not listed already
  • Night blindness

If you are new to this blog, newly diagnosed, or still trying to find the right diagnosis you should know that not all people who end up diagnosed with Celiac present with gastrointestinal symptoms. I had thirty-two of the symptoms above. THIRTY-TWO. Looking back once my symptoms started resolving themselves I realized that I had ataxia from childhood but no one ever picked up on it. I was labeled a clutz and my mother, thinking it was funny, would call me Grace whenever I tripped over air. I think being a gymnast and involved in a lot of active/sports play and later, martial arts, helped prevent ataxia from becoming as bad as it could have been. Right before I discovered the gluten connection it got really bad and I realized some of my tripping over air was really my right foot not fully coming up while taking a step and instead the ball of my foot would skid across the ground causing me to trip. I was walking into walls more frequently than before which was a great laugh for everyone because there is nothing like walking a straight line down a hall then BOOM! Oh, hello wall. So nice to see you again.

My earliest memory of tripping over air was at about six years old. I was in 1st grade and we were living in an apartment in Beaverton, Oregon, waiting for our house in Aloha (not the Hawaiian aloha, but American Indian. The h is silent) to be finished. We were close to a K-Mart and my dad walked me over there to get an Icee. We were walking on a dirt path along the road and either on the way there I tripped over air and stumbled. I looked down as I tried to catch myself with the stumble steps and spotted a snake curled up in the grass. I screamed and bolted. I was freaked out walking back because I knew the snake was there. Even if it was only a garter snake, to the six-year-old me a snake was a snake was a snake was a snake and snakes were no good.

I bring up my earliest memory because looking at all my symptoms it is the one I remember before all the tummy aches started in the mornings. I say tummy aches because it started as a kid. Not feeling well in the morning after eating breakfast (usually cold cereal) then trying to convince my mother that although I was ready for school, I was too sick to go. I was forced to go to school feeling ill more often than not. Once I was in college I wasn’t eating cereal for breakfast. It was usually Spam, eggs, and rice for breakfast and it was several years later after graduation when I was working for the YMCA that IBS symptoms started and about five more years before I was actually diagnosed with IBS.

These days my breakfasts are full of protein and vegetables like my Winter Hash. In my egg eating days it would be Black Bean Breakfast Tacos, Gluten-Free French Toast with Blueberries, Bananas, Walnuts, and Pure Maple Syrup DrizzleEggs en Cocotte, or an Omelette with Veggie filling. Sometimes a smoothie was enough for me (Banana Papaya, Chocolate Cherry Almond, Green Chai, Mint Chocolate Chip, Make It A Meal, Peachy Keen Cinnamon Toast Crunch, or my favorite, Super Berry).

Choc Cin Chia Seed PuddingOne of my favorite additions to breakfast is chia seed pudding. I use it like a breakfast side. Or a snack. Or dessert. It’s versatile enough to be any of the three. I like it as a breakfast accompaniment because I can shake it up in a mason jar the night before and it’s ready to go in the morning.

My love for pairing chocolate and cinnamon is no secret. Before I discovered all the new alterations I would have to make to my diet I was making this chia seed pudding.

If you have a mason jar with measurements marked on the side, you will save yourself from washing a measuring cup. I have one that I use just for chia seed pudding because it makes it even easier because I can pour my dairy-free milk right in the jar without measuring it out first. Also, there is no sugar added in this recipe. If you need to add a sweetener, feel free to do so. Chocolate Cinnamon Chia Seed Pudding

Chocolate Cinnamon Chia Pudding – serves 3 to 4

1 1/2 cups dairy-free milk

4 tablespoons chia seed

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Add all ingredients to a mason jar, cover tightly then shake vigorously with both hands for five minutes. This will help keep the chia seeds from clumping together. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Top with fruit of your choice if you choose. It will help add some natural sweetness without adding sugar if you need the sweet.

See how easy it is?

This post is linked to Raw Foods Thursday at Gluten-Free Cat, Whole Foods Fridays at Allergy-Free Alaska, Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert and Dogs, and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free. 

Black Bean Breakfast Tacos

Using up some leftover slaw to top off the tacos.

I was intrigued by Mario Batali making tacos for breakfast on The Chew a few weeks back during his food stamp budget challenge.  I decided this was something I needed to try in order to bring more variety to breakfast.  I tried to find the original recipe for you readers, but The Chew’s recipe search isn’t always the brightest tool on the site.

I was in love from day one.   I seriously kicked myself for not thinking of this before.  The tacos have so much versatility that you can top it with whatever you want once you have the black bean mix on the tortillas.   You can also use lettuce leaves instead of corn tortillas to make this grain-free.  Want to use another type of bean?  Go for it!  Hate mushrooms?  Leave them out!  Want cheese?  Add it!  Can’t have eggs?  Use more beans and mushrooms!

I initially made it the way I’m giving you.  But I played around with it and used things like leftover coleslaw as the vegetable topping.  I have to say, the coleslaw gave it a nice crunch and a bit of an acidic bite that was refreshing for the morning hours.  It was a vinegar based coleslaw that Chaz made for dinner one night, but my Lemony Slaw would work, too.

Without further ado…

Black Bean Breakfast Tacos – makes 3-4 tacos

grapeseed oil or your choice of oil

3-4 corn tortillas (use lettuce leaves for a grain-free option)

1/4 cup cooked black beans (I cooked 1 cup of dried beans ahead of time and had them in the fridge ready to measure out throughout the week)

1 mushroom, diced (or sliced and torn into small bites)

2 tablespoons diced onion

1 egg, scrambled (omit for vegan option)

1/8 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cumin

healthy pinch cayenne pepper

salt, to taste

1/2 avocado, diced

1/2 tomato, diced

fresh cilantro for garnish

(or instead of avocado and tomato, use any combination of veggies you want)

Heat 2 large pans over medium heat.  Add oil to one pan, enough to coat the bottom well.  In the other pan, add the tortillas and toast lightly (or to your preference on each side).  Remove from the pan when done and lay out on a plate.  Add the onions and mushroom once the oil is warm.  Allow the onions and mushrooms to carmelize and then add the beans and the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne.  Stir well.  Add the scrambled egg and then salt.  Keep stirring to get the eggs cooked through.  Once the eggs are done, divide among the tortillas.  If you are not using eggs, just cook the mixture until the beans are warmed through.  Top with your choice of vegetables and serve with a side of fruit.