Kitchen Nightmares: Cooking Gluten Free & Avoiding Cross Contamination in a College Dorm!

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When I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a year ago, I couldn’t cook.  And, I mean it.  One day when I was trying to bake a cake for my sister, my mom walked into the kitchen to find me waiting for boiling milk to thicken.  I seriously had no idea what I was doing! I’d like to say I’ve come a long way since then.  

Here’s a post from my cooking journal a year ago.  At this point in time I had just been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and lived in a dorm room with one communal kitchen.  My strategy: take over the kitchen for three hours once a week to prepare all my food.  You’ll find an extra bin to wash dishes in, plastic table cloth over the table, and an extra mini fridge in my dorm room.  The writing may not be the best, but the pictures are worth a thousand words!


From a Year Ago…

“I’m a super slow cook, so today I was proud to have cooked my meals for the next three days in around 1.5 hours.  Including the time it takes to bring all my cooking supplies to the community kitchen and pick up, I still finished in under two hours!! I prepared food that my mom helped me with over Winter and Christmas break. 


I began by preparing the vegetables and meat for my pasta salad.  This week I had squash, carrots, and ham.  Next week, I’ll remember to buy something green!!  To cook the vegetables, I used O Olive Oil (lemon flavor), salt, and pepper. (According to the GF Groceries app, O Olive Oil has cross contamination controls).  I simply prepared my ham by placing it in a bit of water.

I cooked both of these in the oven at the same time.  I honestly have no idea what temperature I was cooking at half the time, but it seemed to come out okay.  Here’s a picture from when I was flipping the vegetables!

Once the vegetables were underway, I began cooking my pasta.  I used Schar Fusilli pasta, which only contains corn flour, rice flour, pea protein isolate, and mono- and di-glycerides of edible fats.  This is great since I’m avoiding quinoa and tapioca this week (both of which can be found in gluten free pastas).

 I loved the wooden spoon I used when I was tasting my pasta.  The water drains right out of it!

I definitely overcooked the pasta, but it seems to be holding together alright.  After everything was cooked I placed it in a bowl:

This was an awful idea! I should have let everything cool before I decided to place it in the bowl. I ended up separating everything. I had some Newman’s Light Balsamic Vinegar Dressing.  This is GF, but not with cross contamination controls.

 Chicken and Sweet Potato Fries!

          Apparently I forgot to take pictures.  These came out really well though! There are pictures of the final products in the section below.

          To make the chicken, I placed two chicken breasts in a pan and covered them in O Olive Oil (Garlic).  Then, I added Bayou Dirt by Todd’s Dirt.  This seasoning is MSG & Gluten Free and contains coarse salt, spices including Chilli pepper, paprika, dehydrated onion and garlic.  In the future, I would remember to buy tomatos, jalapanos, etc to put on top.  After cooking, I sliced both breasts in half to make sure they were fully cooked.  Plus, they were really big chicken breasts!

          In the same oven I also made sweet potato fries.  I peeled two yams, and cut them into slices.  I covered them in O Olive Oil (lemon), salt, and pepper.

Wrapping Up! 

I still had one chicken breast left, so I cooked a little bit of chicken on the stove top with O Olive Oil (lemon), salt and LOTS of pepper!

I then placed everything into smaller containers to fit in my refrigerator!

All that remained was clean up.  I wash all my dishes in a separate bin to avoid cross contamination, which can be a total pain.  However, the best part about cooking in the dorms is how easy it is to pick up the trash!

When I finished cleaning up I packed up all my items to head back up to my room.  Since I cooked the pasta salad first, it had cooled off, so I put it right in the fridge.  I left the chicken and sweet potato fries out to cool down before refrigerating them!

Well, That’s All Folks!”


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