My Picks for Best Pizza on the Westside of the Portland Metro Area

alexandra-gorn-52jG7-FN22Y-unsplashPizza has to be it’s own food group right?  I mean you’ve got all the things you need carbs, dairy and veggies.  Maybe that’s why I love pizza so much, even with having Celiac Disease.   I try hard to find great gluten free pizza, but also have to take the advice of my friends when it comes to their favorite pizza places.  So here are a few of mine, and their favorite places in Hillsboro and Beaverton.

Hillsboro – 

McMenamins Cornelius Pass Road House – Their gluten free crust is pretty amazing and I have a thing for their cheese and margarita pizzas.  When you have a handful of restaurants that you routinely eat at and only a couple of things on the menu that you can actually eat, you know that it’s good when I could eat it several times a week and not get tired of it.  When they shut down at the beginning of the stay-at-home order here in Oregon I almost cried.  That’s how much I love their pizza, and you bet I was in their parking lot pretty much within a day or two of them opening up for take out.  That cheese pizza was worth the wait.

Pizzaro – This sweet little wood fired pizza restaurant is located in downtown Hillsboro and before I found out I had Celiac it was one of my favorite places to go and get pizza from.  I know my husband sure does miss getting to eat their pizza.  They do now have gluten free crust, however as with most places they cannot guarantee that it won’t come into contact with gluten so we just haven’t tried them again yet.  Yes I know, I do tend to risk it every now and then even though I shouldn’t.  I’m blessed that my Celiac isn’t horrible.

Jersey Girls – This place is a local favorite for Glencoe High School students as it’s located right across the street, and just so happens to be owned by a parent of a Glencoe alumni who was on the Color Guard.  Jersey Girls started out as a tiny little pizza joint and has grown into a nice little restaurant.  They do have gluten free crust, and it was quiet tasty when I had it during a Nitty Strong Fundraiser last year.

Beaverton – 

Maiale Rosa Wood Fired Pizza – Several of my friends say that this is a great place to enjoy pizza, salad or a panini.  They use old world techniques with a modern twist such as offering goat cheese.  They also do catering which is always nice to know for the next big event you may have (when we can have those again).  In addition they have a few desserts one of which is a cannoli and if you’ve ever had a cannoli you know they are AMAZING!

Bellagios Pizza – With several locations throughout the metro area my friends once again recommend Bellagios for not only pizza but sandwiches as well.  They offer gluten free crust which means they just got added to my need to try list, and they offer dough to go.  That makes it super easy to have a make your own pizza night at home.

I know I may not have mentioned your favorite pizza place because there are so many great ones in the metro area.  However, I hope that one of your faves made my list, and if not maybe you have found a new place to try.

SLOW COOKER GARLIC BUTTER CHICKEN AND VEGGIES

My copy of April Graphics (1) copy 2So, since I struggle with cooking slow cooker recipes are my friend, and this is on of my families favorites.  We hope you will enjoy it too.

 

Ingredients:

1-1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken tenders or chicken breasts

1 lb. baby carrots

1.5 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, cut into wedges

1/2 cup butter melted – we use vegan butter because one of my kiddos has an issue with dairy

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. dried parsley

Slow Cooker Size:

4 quart or larger

Instructions:

1.  Add the chicken down in the middle of the slow cooker.  Add the potatoes on one side and the carrots on the other.

2.  In a small bowl mix together the butter, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and parsley.

3.  Pour the butter mixture over the chicken and veggies.

4. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or we sometimes will put it on LOW for 8 hours.

We really hope you love this recipe as much as we do.

I love brunch!!!!!

My Copy of February GraphicsI love getting to go to brunch.  I think it might be because when my late husband was alive we always used to go out to brunch after church so I have some good memories.  Unfortunately after my daughter and I were diagnosed with Celiac Disease brunch went by the wayside.  That is until we found Biscuits Cafe – Bethany.

Biscuits is the perfect brunch location because they are open Monday – Friday and Saturdays from 6:30 AM – 2:30 PM and Sundays from 7 AM – 2:30 PM.  They have a fantastic menu for those who do not have to eat gluten free, and for those of us that do they offer gluten free english muffins and toast, as well as gluten free french toast and gluten free waffles. This means I can get my brunch on and not feel like I’m stuck to just one or two menu items.  If breakfast isn’t your thing they do offer lunch options as well and I love that you can sub gluten free bread with their sandwiches.  Always a nice option because typically I get stuck with a gluten free hamburger bun as my bread option when I order a sandwich somewhere.

I will say that if you go on the weekends get there early because they get busy, and if you have a large crowd be prepared to wait.  We recently went for my father-in-laws birthday and wound up with quite the wait because we got there at 10 AM on a Saturday.  Biscuits was full on into the weekend breakfast crowd by then.

So, if you’re looking for a new place to eat give Biscuits a try.  Also, if you have Celiac Disease I encourage you to do your own research before heading in to make sure that you feel comfortable with eating there.  While I have not gotten sick I do know that others may be more sensitive and cross-contamination is always a risk for us when we eat at restaurants that are not 100% gluten free.

 

 

Gluten Free Chinese Food??? Yes it’s possible thanks to Happy Panda.

restaurant-1762493_1920Five years ago I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and dining out as I knew it ceased to exist.  Especially when it came to Chinese food.  You see shortly after my diagnosis we went to our local hole in the wall Chinese restaurant and it was a disaster.  I was still coming to terms with all of the foods I could no longer eat.  We went to the restaurant and tried explaining to the lovely woman who was our waitress that I could not eat soy sauce, yes friends it’s got gluten in it.  As we were trying to navigate the menu and get her to understand she looked me straight in the eyes and said no soy sauce no flavor.  I almost started bawling right then and there because I was well aware of the fact that soy sauce was in all of the foods I loved.  I wound up eating the most boring Chinese dinner of all times – steamed veggies with no flavor.

After this adventure I thought my days of  going out for Chinese food were over.  That proved not to be the case thanks to PF Changs, however it’s just not quite the same experience as hitting up your local hole in the wall Chinese restaurant.  Therefore when my daughter came home from her boyfriend at the time’s house raving about Happy Panda in Aloha, OR and that they had amazing gluten free Chinese food I was excited.

We ventured out and let me just say they did not disappoint.  One of the things I missed most was sweet and sour chicken, and Happy Panda makes a great sweet and sour chicken with shrimp that is gluten free.  I also love their cashew nut chicken done gluten free too.   Plus you can order online and go pick it up so my days of Chinese food take out are no longer a thing of the past.  You can check out their online menu here:  Happy Panda .

If you have Celiac and are super sensitive you may want to ask a few more questions than I have to make sure that there’s no cross contamination.  No one in my family has gotten sick from eating there, however I know that each individual is different so please do your research and ask questions.  If after asking the questions you feel it’s a safe option for you I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.