Gluten-Free Chicken Pho

One of the hard things about having celiac is that many restaurants that I used to enjoy are now off-limits. It’s not only that I can no longer eat certain foods, but there is such a high risk of cross-contamination which makes dining out scary sometimes. This means that those really good, hole in the wall-type restaurants are off limits now. One of my favorites were small Vietnamese restaurants to get a steaming hot bowl of pho. After missing that deliciousness for far too long, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own- and it couldn’t have turned out better!

This recipe is so easy and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. I used some great store-bought products for the base but did add my own twist with a homemade hoison sauce. I’ll admit that this wasn’t the original plan. I tried to get hoison sauce at Sprouts and was surprised to find out that regular hoison sauce contains gluten in the form of soy sauce and fermented wheat protein. Another sneaky gluten source! But I wasn’t going to let that deter my craving for pho, so I created my own and I think it’s just as good!

Gluten-Free Hoison Sauce


  • 8 T. Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (Coconut Aminos will also work if you can’t tolerate soy)
  • 4 T. Natural, Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 2 T. Honey
  • 4 t. Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Clove Minced Garlic
  • 2  t. Siracha


Place all ingredients in a small bowl, whisking to combine.

Chicken Pho-GGGF

Chicken Pho


*Pacific Foods makes Chicken and Beef Pho bases as well, but I also prefer using Vegetable broths in my soups, even when I add chicken.

**I love these noodles because the ingredient list is so clean- Only rice flour and water!


1. Cook 2 chicken breasts by any method you like ahead of time, I used the crock pot and it was so easy! When chicken breasts are hot, use two forks to shred.

2. Bring 4-5 quarts of water to a boil and add noodles, cooking for about 3 minutes at a boil.

3. Drain and rinse noodles and set aside.

4. Pout Pho base in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then add your noodles and chicken, let cook for about 5 minutes until flavors have combined.

5. Ladle into bowls and serve with bean sprouts, cilantro, mint, basil, siracha, lime and hoison sauce!

The Vietnamese restaurants I have visited don’t traditionally chop the herbs and only de-stem them. When adding them to your soup, you can tear pieces or enjoy them whole. The great part of this recipe is that everyone can customize it for their own taste by which ingredients they wish to add. It’s the perfect dish for a fun dinner but has only minimal prep so you can enjoy the evening with your family or guests!


Let’s Get Real

Hi lovelies. I come to you today with a rather heavy heart. I usually like to keep things fun and upbeat around here but after reading Clare’s post this morning, I decided it was time for me to be honest. When writing a blog most of us usually share a portion of ourselves- we talk about the fun things, what we’re eating and doing and wearing but we often skip how we’re feeling. I generally am a very happy girl and have so much in my life to be thankful for- great friends, an amazing family and so many other blessings.

But today I’m feeling down. You see, I’ve mentioned being sick on in passing rather frequently. But I haven’t exactly explained the extent. For the past 4 months or so, I’ve been really sick. I’ve had dozens of tests, seen multiple doctors and still haven’t been able to get a diagnosis. Each day, I just hope to feel better. And some days I do feel a little better. And then some days I feel really bad. Like, can’t get out of bed sick. But despite feeling so yucky, I push, push, push. I’m a people pleaser and very driven so despite my health telling me to slow down, I kept trying to push myself. But here’s the thing:

You can push and push until your body MAKES you stop.

And man, is that a hard one to come to terms with. But that’s where I’m at now. I’ve pushed my body so hard because I was determined not to let anyone down and have gotten to a place where I just can’t push anymore. And that makes me feel like I’m failing. I don’t want to be sick and I don’t want to not be able to do all the things that I used to do. I liked my life just how it was, being busy with a million activities. But I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that I just can’t have that right now. I’m realizing that if I want to go on to achieve all the things I want to achieve in life, I’m going to have to stop fighting my body. It’s a battle I continue to lose and I’ll never get to where I want to be until I let me body heal. It’s a work in progress but I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

My Latest Obsession

Hi lovelies! I hope that you are all having a fabulous week so far! I’m so happy that it’s Thursday and the weekend is in sight! I have some fun weekend plans that I’m looking forward to including seeing Jersey Boys with some lovely DGs, a fun brunch on Saturday and lunch and crafting on Sunday! It should be a great weekend and like always, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I feel well! I’ve been meaning to do a foodie finds post lately, but each time I go to write one, I realize that I can’t do my list without including X or Y. But today I’m leaving all that behind because I’m only going to talk to you about one thing. But it’s my very favorite thing. So here’s my confession:

I’m a kale chip addict.

I used to make kale chips years ago before they were popular and they never really turned out right. They ended up burnt, slightly slimy and way too salty. For years, I didn’t touch another kale chip due to my preconceived notions that they would all taste that way. That was until last year, and I noticed kale chips in all my favorite grocery stores and I decided to give them a try. Oh my goodness, I had been missing out. These kale chips are light, crispy and crunchy with the most amazing flavor. And they are seriously addicting. Given that they come in resealable bags, I’m guessing that the companies expect you to eat them on multiple occasions. But not me. That bag is gone in one sitting. I’ve tried a bunch of different kinds, but my favorites are Kale Joy and Kale Krunch.

Don't even try and pry my hand away

Don’t even try and pry my hand away

Both of these products are completely natural, gluten-free and vegan making them a fantastic healthy snack. Plus the coating on both brands contains nuts or seeds, which give them an added protein punch- Kale Joy Original has 6 g of protein per serving! I’m partial to the original flavors of both of them but I’m sure the others are fantastic too. Unfortunately, they aren’t cheap ($6 a bag) but they are worth every penny! At some point I might try my hand at making my own kale chips again, but in the meantime, I’ll be the girl hoarding bags of kale chips at the grocery store.


-Have you tried kale chips?

-What would be your favorite flavor combo?

Hidden Sources

Hi lovelies! Happy Thursday– we are so close to the weekend! Do you have any fun plans on tap? On Saturday I’m taking my Grandma shopping for an outfit for my brother’s wedding which should be really fun! I’m always up for a girls shopping trip and hopefully we can find just what my Grandma is looking for! Health wise I’ve been pretty up and down lately but today I want to share with you something I’ve been realizing- the hidden sources of gluten. We all know the common sources- pasta, bread, etc but sometimes gluten is put in products that you wouldn’t even guess it was there! H0pefully this list will serve as a help to those dealing with gluten-sensitivities or celiac, and as an interesting realization to the rest of you about the ingredients that are often in our food!

  • Tea
Check out the bottom right corner...

Check out the bottom right corner…

A lot of people with gluten sensitivities have issues with coffee or caffeine so we become big tea drinkers. Well, who would think that a simple cup of herbal tea could be causing your unexplained stomach pains?! As you can see above, some teas are made with barley which is not gluten-free. Unfortunately, not all companies label their tea but I always try to only drink tea that is labeled as such. One of my favorites is Zhena’s Gypsy Tea because they have such unique herbal tea flavors like Caramel Chai! Also, David’s Tea is huge right now in SF and I’m happy to report that all of their teas are gluten-free but they can’t guarantee there isn’t cross-contamination. If you are dairy-free like I am, be sure to check before you sip as many of their chocolate and caramel teas contain dairy.

  • Lunch Meat

3-7-2013 9-40-28 AM

As a gluten-free girl on the go, sometimes lunch meat is a great quick option when I’m in need of a little protein. However, it’s important to check that your lunch meat is labeled gluten-free because unfortunately quite a few out there contain some very tricky wording but ultimately are not gluten-free. (The same goes for frozen chicken, almost all I’ve seen contain wheat!) But Boar’s Head is a great option that is found in most delis and they have a variety of different kinds to spice it up from being boring deli meat. My current fave is their Everroast chicken that seriously tastes like chicken soup but in deli meat form… it’s delicious!

  • Over-the-Counter Medicine
3-7-2013 9-50-28 AM

NOT gluten-free!

Let’s face it, when you aren’t feeling well, the last thing you want to do is scour a medicine bottle to see if it contains gluten. Unfortunately, the shocking truth is that so many do! I have been taking Advil Liqui-gels for years for my headaches and migraines as Tylenol has never really worked for me and I can’t always take my migraine medicine (or else I’ll be down for the count for 12 hours.) So imagine my shock when I recently found out that Advil Liqui-Gels and Advil Migraine contain a wheat derivative! As far as I know, the non-gel caps do not contain gluten so I imagine it’s something to do with the gel coating. I’m not sure how much this gluten affects people, but it’s an important one to know!

There are so many more big sources so I think I’ll continue this in a future post series!


-Do you know of any hidden sources of gluten?

-Were you surprised by any of the above?