Gluten Free Me…

August 31, 2009 at 10:22 pm 16 comments

and super size me while you’re at it!  Unless you are aware that McD’s fries are NOT technically gluten free according the their own website. 😦  I have been informed however that the celiac foundation tested them and found them to be within the limit to be considered gluten free.

On other business…

Summer is officially over since Sunday marked the last day of the fair!

I can still smell the kettle corn cooking.  I’ve still got chicken poo stuck to my boots.  Thing 1 still has artificial freckles on his face, the kind you get from falling off the sheep in Mutton Bustin’ and yet it is time to get back to reality.  Time to eat meals from my own table and time to blog again lest the blog police shut me down. 

Every year I cling to the last morsels of the fair just like Templeton in Charlotte’s Web.  I love the fair; bad food, creative crafts, huge pumpkins and the rodeo!  “The bulls and the blood, the dust and the mud!”  Gotta love it.

What do you eat when you are on the go?

Thinking back on the fair and the mirage that was summer I wondered if it might be helpful to compile some of the fast food orders I make over and over and over again. 

When you have to eat gluten free you tend to avoid fast food like mothers across the nation avoid having to change dirty diapers on the primitive floor of the fair bathroom where there is no warm water, no soap and likely no towels when you are down to your last wet wipe!  None the less when the occasion arises most every mother will just get the job done.

Here is my “menu” for those times when fast food is inevitable.

What can I eat at McDonald’s?

  • yogurt parfait (NO oatmeal) 
  • salad (NO croutons and NO chicken- not even the grilled one!)
  •  fruit and walnut salad (DON’T eat the candies walnuts the second ingredient is wheat)
  •  100% beef patties (NOT the Angus patty)
  •  McRib Pork Patty.

The salad dressings do not contain gluten ingredients. All but one are soy free. The Italian dressing is the only one that does not contain milk.

I usually order a yogurt parfait and fries but I just read on the McDonald’s website that the number 2 ingredient is a vegetable oil which includes Natural Beef flavor in which one of the ingredients is hydrolyzed wheat.  And all this time I though fries were gluten free!  WAAAAAA!

I rarely order a plain meat patty because the chances that somebody puts a bun on accidentally then yanks it off and sticks the patty in a boat (crumbs and all) is something I don’t like to gamble on.

What can I eat at Wendy’s?

Wendy’s is my favorite.  In my town it is the best fast food bet if I don’t want to get sick, though I have had the occasional cross contamination issues that go along with chancing it “out on the range”!  Truly only 1 in 100. That’s pretty good.

  • grilled chicken patty
  • 100% beef patty
  • potatoes
  • gogurts
  • fries (I think but can’t verify online right now)
  • salads (minus croutons, NOT including the Asian salad-or just leave off the noodles)
  • most of the dressings are without wheat (be aware that soy sauce has wheat so stay away from Asian dressings/marinades)

I usually order one of their wonderful salads.


A chicken patty with my favorite dressing to dip, a sour cream and chive potato and a big swig of good ol’ Dr. Pepper!

What can I eat at Carl’s Jr?

  • The low carb $6 burger-
  • fries

There is still hope for french fry eaters (unless you are allergic to soy).  I had stopped eating Carl’s fries when they changed to the “fresh cut” version because I noticed the breading and assumed it was wheat.  I actually spit a couple out in a panic and threw three boxes of fries away on that assumption.  Browsing their website I found that the “breading” is actually rice flour so it appears that french fries are still in my future! Don’t eat the zuccini or crisscut fries though.

Since they have the low carb option Carl’s will make any of their sandwiches on lettuce!  They even have real  lettuce!  The chicken (even grilled chicken) is not okay the marinade contains soy sauce.

View the complete Carl’s ingredients list here.

I hope this helps. Here are some other fast food chains and restaurants I’ve left off since I don’t have much experience with them,  our little town doesn’t offer a lot of options! 🙂

Please visit Linda’s new and improved “What Can I Eat That’s Gluten Free” and don’t forget to check out the other great recipes this week!

Entry filed under: Hey What's Goin on Here?, How to become a gluten-free goof!, Un-Recipes. Tags: , , , , , .

R.I.P. Frederick Tinkle Torture

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rachel Ann  |  September 1, 2009 at 9:38 am

    You’re a freakishly good writer. I had no idea you blogged.

    • 2. glutenfree4goofs  |  September 1, 2009 at 9:49 am

      Ha ha! Who you callin’ freak cuz? 😉 THANK YOU

  • 3. JoAnn  |  September 1, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Jessie, this is really helpful! Thanks!

    We just got back from a week-long trip to Oregon and it was so hard to try to stay gluten free…my whole family has problems with gluten (me, my hubby, and my 3 and 4 year old kiddos). I ended up renting a house for the week and taking most of my pots, pans and kitchen utensils PLUS my crockpot! Cooking on vacation…..yuck! We only ate out a couple of times.

    I read that some national celiac organization tested McD’s fries and they say that the amount of gluten is extremely low, so low that they qualify as “gluten free”.

    The thing that I try to do at fast food places is to ask if they use a dedicated fryer….if they use the same fryer for fries and for breaded stuff you get cross-contamination. Some Wendy’s are good about this and some are not.

    • 4. glutenfree4goofs  |  September 1, 2009 at 11:23 am

      Very good point JoAnn about the dedicated fry vat. In highschool I worked at McDonald’s and one thing to be aware of is that during very busy times they will occasionally “cheat” and use a different vat to keep up with the french fry demand.

      On the fry note, I have never noticed any effects from eating McD’s fries (and I am usually highly sensitive)! Mind you I don’t get gluten (even in small amts) often at all so maybe my body allows that minute amount on such a rare basis. I think I’ll eat a McD’s fry on occasion but I prefer Wendy’s when I’m out, they are pretty good to me!

      Do you find it difficult feeding the whole family gluten free? There just aren’t bulk options out there and a good deal of the recipes I’ve found online (besides my wonderful group of gf foodie friends) are designed for a single or double portion only. Yikes, I’ve got 6 people eating gluten free (4 of whom HAVE to).

      • 5. JoAnn  |  September 1, 2009 at 11:49 am

        I know what you mean about difficulties with feeding the whole family gluten free! 😦

        Actually, it has become easier as time goes by….at first I didn’t know what to do, until Robin, one of my adult daughters who is also gluten free, told me to first identify “normal” meals that were naturally gluten free (or could be easily made gluten free).

        Meals like steak and potatoes with salad (gf dressing) or enchiladas made with corn tortillas and a homemade gf sauce. Chicken or beef stir fry with lots of veggies served over rice with gf soy sauce or tamari is a winner too.

        I rely on casseroles a lot, like gf mac and cheese with chicken and broccoli (big hit with the kids) and I use the crockpot a few times a week too (chili is a favorite, or garlic chicken over mashed potatoes). I get TONS of fabulous gluten free crockpot recipes from Stephanie O’Dea’s blog:

        All of her recipes are gluten free because her daughter has problems with gluten….she has some truly wonderful recipes!

  • 6. Diane-thewholegang  |  September 2, 2009 at 7:07 am

    Great post. Love the options you listed. With soccer in full blown take up all of my time mode, I sometimes need a fast meal. We usually stop at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. They only make burgers and fries. Separate grills for buns and nothing else in the oil but fresh fries. We actually ate that last night. No one wanted to see if my turkey meatballs turned out. I have to admit I just started adding things to the crockpot to clear out the refrigerator and freezer. I’ll have to add more to the sauce before we eat it. Good thing we stopped.

    Forgot to tell you I love that little Foodie Crossing button you created. Very cool. You’re very high tech. How did you do that and can you share it with me so I can share it with others.

    • 7. glutenfree4goofs  |  September 2, 2009 at 8:56 am

      Thanks Diane! 🙂 Sorry to disappoint you but I’m not high tech. I copy and pasted your picture onto a widget just like I would someone’s button code. On wordpress though, I figured out the easy way to do it is paste it on a new post then change the visual to HTML so I can copy the code (read it in a FAQ- I don’t know HTML). Did that make any sense? I really did think that was what it was there for heehee! Come to think of it, maybe I changed the size a little but that was done just like I do with a picture after it was pasted to a dummy post

      I’ve never heard of Five Guys but we have a local place that sounds similar only they don’t sell fries just burgers. I like a burger on lettuce and the kids like that too or “burger strips” 🙂

      • 8. Diane-thewholegang  |  September 3, 2009 at 6:40 pm

        Five Guys is a rapidly growing franchise. You can see if there are any near you. They keep it simple and do a great job. Thanks for the info on the button. Time for me to get busy.

  • 9. Linda  |  September 2, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Here’s information on McDonald’s fries:
    I do eat their beef patties without any problems. Now a days they are very good about putting it straight from the grill into a box.

    Wendy’s fries are not considered gf because they cook them in the same oil as other items with gluten. You could always check on location though.

    I tend to get stuck in a rut with my options and forget to check out other possibilities. Thanks for all the information.

    • 10. glutenfree4goofs  |  September 2, 2009 at 11:50 am

      Our Wendy’s has a dedicated vat. 🙂 Guess I need to double check when I travel though. Thanks

  • 11. Brian  |  September 4, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Wendy’s is our go-to place when we eat fast food. Sometimes my wife gets a hamburger patty to go and puts it on a gf bun at home. My wife love McDonald’s fries, I’ll have to let her know about the wheat. Thanks

  • 12. gluten free easily (gfe)  |  September 8, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Based on GIG’s statement about McDonald’s fries, I believe they are safe. I’ve eaten them occasionally with no problems ever and I react very quickly. I do eat a burger patty with cheese there (again occasionally) and have gotten sick twice over six years from them. When I have gotten sick, I stayed away for a long, long time. Incidentally, I get sick from the products that are supposed to be gluten free more often than I get sick from these fast food mainstream products. I’ve tried the gf Chex cereals and get sick every time … a gluten reaction for sure. I tried the Betty Crocker gf brownie mix a few weeks ago and was sick within 45 minutes … again, definitely a gluten reaction.


    • 13. glutenfree4goofs  |  September 9, 2009 at 8:30 am

      I remember all the hype a few years back about the McD’s fries but the other day when I was reading their ingredients list (that’s a FUN read-haha) I found that the word wheat is actually used. Now that I’ve read the GIG’s statement and recalled the law suit and such I wonder why they left that in there. Actually I guess they left it so if someone does get sick they can’t say it wasn’t disclosed. 🙂 I have not gotten sick there either so I will continue to have fries from time to time!

      Isn’t it awful in a strange way to be able to KNOW “yep that was a gluten reaction” but try to explain that to someone else and they look at you dumb like “how can you REALLY know?” I had that at PF Changs but discovered I had been served the wrong appetizer. I will eat there again, that happens often enough at friends houses 🙂 Need to write a new post about it.

      Thanks for stopping, I always have to retrieve your comments from my spam folder. I can’t understand why. 😦

  • 14. purplemoose  |  September 13, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    We love the fair too! The big one up here has a nice space for diaper changes, toys for the little ones to play with, and rocking chairs for mamas to feed their babies. It’s quite a great idea!

  • 15. Jess @ Blog Schmog  |  January 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    This article is from 2006 but talks about the wheat and dairy in the cooking oil in McDonald’s fries. Not sure if anything has changed but as the article points out, they aren’t always the first to advertise changes.

    • 16. Jess @ Blog Schmog  |  January 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm

      BTW- I’m 99% sure I just got massively sick from a large fry there. Jan. 2011 I had nothing else different yesterday and got only 3hrs sleep due to gluten.


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Us and Our Thinglets

MATT - Food Creativity Consultant, Joyful Partner in Crime JESSIE - Photographer, Amateur Food Critic, Blog Author CAPTAIN OBVIOUS - formerly Thing 1 Thing 1 SCARFUNKLE - formerly Thing 2 IMG_3466 LOUD KIDDINGTON - formerly THE BUBBA 3 PEE WEE MINI ME BORN March 8, 2011

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