Deliciousness from Disney’s Boma Restaurant

I have a kitchen!  More or less…. I’m just missing some crown molding and countertops.  I have the old countertops sitting on the new cabinets so I’m not completely topless. 🙂

Living in the RV worked great for our situation, but I’m really happy to have room to move around again…. and a real kitchen.  I missed my kitchen.  I’m so excited to be able to really cook again!  We’ll keep using the RV for work and travel, but I don’t see full time RV/Tiny House Living in my future.

We’ve been super busy getting things organized and settled for the past few weeks.  To celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary Brian and I decided to skip town for a couple of days and celebrate at Disney.

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I love pretty much everything about Walt Disney World, but as a foodie who can’t eat gluten, Disney is food heaven.  Brian makes reservations at as many of the Signature Dining restaurants as he can and we eat, walk, ride a few rides, walk, eat some more…. waddle to the next ride… wait in line… ride…. eat again.   It know it sounds unhealthy…. I’m not recommending this as a diet plan or anything, but its fun for a few days.  (I actually lost a pound instead of gaining the ten I expected!)

One of my absolute favorite places to eat in Disney is at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Boma – Flavors of Africa – “Resembling a lively African marketplace, this restaurant features all-you-care-to-enjoy buffets at breakfast and dinner.”IMG_8090

Now, I know we GF people hear “buffet” and think “certain death,” but Disney is really pretty good.  I’m not going to die if I get into gluten, I’ll just wish I would, but I know there are some people that end up in the ER after being glutened.  I wouldn’t risk a buffet if I was them, but I personally feel pretty safe at the Disney buffets.  The gluten foods usually seem to be fairly separated from the GF items and the staff behind the buffets keep an eye out for spills and potential cross-contamination with spoons.

Even though Brian and I have eaten at Boma several time, I still ask to have the chef walk us through the buffet.  Each time there has been something that caught me by surprise as being GF or NOT being GF.  It’s always better to ask… and the chefs are so nice!

My favorite dish at Boma is the Bobotie.  According to Wikipedia, Bobotie, pronounced ba-boor-tea, is a well-known South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping.  This time I remembered to snap a picture of the tag with the dish so I could remember what to google when I got home.  I found this recipe on Mad About the Mouse.  It seemed pretty close, so I decided to give it a try as soon as I got home.

Okay, hear me out… I know you’re going to take one look at the ingredients and think I’ve lost my marbles… but you’ve just gotta trust me on this one.  It’s delicious.  I know, I know… Sugar?  Raisins and ground turkey?? Together?!  I swear…. it’s delicious.  The curry, cinnamon and coriander combine with the eggs and meat for a delicate sweetness that you can “smell” in the back of your throat.  Much like Thai food, its not so much of a “nose” smell, as a “throat” smell.  That sounds weird, but there’s no better way to explain. You’re just gonna have to trust me on this one.

The following recipe, as I’ve said, is from Mad About the Mouse.  I decided to actually follow the recipe once before I started messing with it.  The Bobotie that I had at Boma last week had red and green peppers in it…. I’m sure because Brian picked them out and left a pile on my plate.  The sign said there were mushrooms and I don’t remember any raisins or almond slivers.  Most of the recipes that I’ve seen call for crumbled up slices of bread, but it is definately GF at Boma, so they’re either using GF bread or not using bread at all.  The bread is crumbled up, so I can’t say for sure one way or another, but I’d think that the eggs and meat might need the bread to help bind everything together.  I used Canyon Bakehouse GF bread.  Next time I’ll try leaving the bread out and see how it goes.  I’ll also omit the raisins and almonds (Brian doesn’t like them either) and add one cup of diced red and green peppers instead.  I think the peppers added a lighter sweetness that I liked better than the raisins.  (The raisins were good, but my tastebuds really wanted the peppers since that’s how it tasted before… you know how it is.)

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Bobotie

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced carrots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 pounds ground beef or lamb (I used ground turkey)
  • 3 slices white bread, crumbled into pieces (I used Canyon Bakehouse GF bread)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 325º.

Heat oil and cook onions, carrots and garlic in a large pan over medium-high heat, cooking until caramelized, around 5 minutes.  Once caramelized, reduce heat to medium and add cinnamon, ground coriander and curry powder.  Stirring well to coat the onions.

Using the rice wine vinegar, and simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze.  Add ground lamb or beef, cook breaking the meat into smaller pieces.  Continue cooking until meat is done, spooning out the excess grease, leaving about 1 tablespoon.  (Since I used the ground turkey there wasn’t enough grease to bother.)

Pour the meat mixture into a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish and let cool slightly.

Add crumbled bread and 1 cup of cream, stirring to mix well.  In a small bowl, combine sugar, raisins and almonds.  Add mixture to the meat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, remaining 1/2 cup of cream, and milk.  Pour the custard mixture over the meat mixture to form the topping. DO NOT MIX.

Bake 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

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Let me know if you try it and what you think!

 

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D-Luxe Burger 

Oh! All the wonderful Gluten Free FOOD in Walt Disney World!!

Thank heavens for all the walking we have to do around the parks or I wouldn’t be able to waddle back to the hotel at night!

During our most recent trip to Disney Springs (what used to be know as Downtown Disney) Brian was hungry (as usual).  I’d read good reviews from the Disney bloggers that I follow so we decided to give D-Luxe Burger a try.

The burger was good. Nothing amazing, but better than a regular quick-service burger. The bun was dry… so so dry. The fries were good though and all the fry dips were Gluten Free.

Our meal was delivered to our table in a paper to-go bag. I assume that’s how they differentiate Allergy meals from regular meals which are served on plastic trays.


Not my most favorite meal in the world of Disney, but it was a good enough burger and we appreciated the differentiation between our meal’s (paper bag) and the non-allergy friendly meals’ (plastic tray) delivery.

The staff was kind and knowledgeable… of course we got the poor gal that was being trained that day… nothing like being a learning experience! Her trainer was with her though and explained how to enter allergy orders and then called the chef upfront who confirmed that we just had the one allergy.

They’ve added a lot of new shops and restaurants to Disney Springs since our last visit (a year and a half?). D-Luxe Burger is located in the new section and is situated next to one of the ‘river’ areas. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed the pretty view with our French fries.

Definitely worth a visit.

Le Cellier Steakhouse

Brian finally managed to get lunch reservation to Le Cellier Steakhouse…. and I was so excited… until I woke up with a raging headache.

The nice thing about living near Disney and having Annual Passes is that it’s not like I’m ‘wasting’ a vacation day if I can’t get going…. but I really, really wanted to try Le Cellier and it’s not the easiest place to get reservations.

I took hot shower, aspirin and chugged a bunch of water….. then I moped around the hotel room and whined for an hour or two. Brian made me eat a banana and drink coffee… which because that cured my headache once, he assumes it should work every time.

I finally felt well enough to venture out… and I figured if the headache did finally kill me maybe the ghosts at the Haunted Mansion would take me in. You know there’s 999 ghost in the Haunted Mansion…. but there’s room for 1000!


Epcot was celebrating their International Flower & Garden Festival… which is GORGEOUS!!! They had a bazillion flowers and topiaries everywhere…. and food vendors. I love the food vendors at the Epcot festivals. The signs are clearly labeled with Gluten Free, vegan and vegetarian options. Most of the booths had at least one GF option. Since I was still whiny about my headache Brian stopped at every booth with a GF offering and made (oh, the torture!) me eat. And drink a bottle of water. I have a bad habit of getting my meals out of wack when I have a headache…. or letting myself get dehydrated…. so Brian just keeps shoving food and water at me until I stop whining.

I ate the scallops too fast to take a picture and Brian wouldn’t let me get another order even though I told him it was for the sake of the blog.

I did manage to restrain myself long enough to take a photo of the Raspberry & Chocolate Creme Macaron though.


We wandered around a enjoyed the topiaries until it was time for our lunch reservation.


Le Cellier Steakhouse is super hard to get a dinner reservation and only slightly easier to get a lunch reservation. It is one of Disney’s Signature Dining Experiences. (If you are on the Disney Dining Plan it will cost you two dining credits.) We’ve been wanting to try it for a while, but just haven’t gotten the chance. By the time we made it to our reservation my headache had mostly faded, but going from the lovely warmth outside to the air conditioned cool indoors made it flare up again. I felt guilty as I poked at my rather expensive chicken.

Poulet RougeAndouille-stuffed Chicken Roulade, Autumn Hash, Acorn Squash Purée, and Ginger-spiced Cranberry Glaze

Brian ordered the Rib-Eye.

Black Angus Rib-EyeCrisp Fingerling Potatoes, Neuske’s Bacon Vinaigrette, Heirloom Carrots, Maple Bordelaise Butter

I didn’t get a photo of the Rib-Eye, but I did manage to steal and eat about half of it…. The chicken was good, but headache-tummy likes steak better. (I don’t understand it either… don’t even try.)

The food was fabulous… even with a headache I recognized that the food was delicious. The restaurant itself was beautiful. Dark and rich looking with gleaming wood and soft lighting. I really wish I’d been feeling better and could have tried more of the menu. My headache just really hated the air conditioning so we didn’t get to stay long. Once back outside I started to feel better. (I’m such a weirdo.)


Le Cellier is defiantly on my list of Must Visit Again places. I’ll try not to have a headache next time!

Breakfast in Disney World 

I love pretty everything about Walt Disney World. Dole Whips, Mouse Ears, Character Encounters, rides….. and the FOOD. Oh, the food. For a Gluten Free girl Disney World is absolute heaven. First of all, they actually have Gluten Free food…. and it’s GOOD. Even better… they have Gluten Free food available everywhere and the don’t treat you like a freak or punish you for asking for it. Disney is magical for anyone with food allergies. To be able to eat delicious, safe food and be treated like a normal human all in the same experience…. it’s just magical! 

Now that we’re Florida residents and Annual Passholders, Brian and I have been trying to work our way through a wider variety of the Disney restaurants. (It’s a real burden guys, but I’m doing it for y’all and the sake of the blog. 😉)


I LOVE breakfast… but not first thing in the morning.. too early. I’m more of a brunch kinda girl. Which works perfect in Disney!

Boma – Flavors of Africa, located at the Animal Kingdom Lodge has quickly become one of my favorite places for breakfast. It’s a buffet, which would normally mean certain death for someone with a gluten allergy (cross contamination central!), but not in Disney.

Disney doesn’t unnecessarily add flour or gluten containing ingredients to things. (I don’t have a dairy or nut allergy, but I’ve seen other people who do at the buffet and there seems to be a great variety for them too.) Did you know that a lot of buffets add pancake batter to the scrambled eggs to make them fluffier?  Yeah… wtf?! Not at Disney! Food just has ingredients that belong.

At Boma we told our waitress that we both had a gluten allergy. The chef came out and walked us around the buffet. He knew each item and the ingredients. The oatmeal is made with certified gf oats and water so it’s safe for GF and milk allergies.

The chef made us a special batch of Allergy Friendly Mickey Waffles and brought us a plate of gf donuts (Katz brand).

Be sure to try the Jamba Juice at Boma! Guava, pineapple and orange juices… yum.


We also had breakfast at the Grand Floridian Cafe. I ordered the Allergy Friendly Mickey Waffles (of course) and Brian tried to order the Allergy Friendly pancakes, but the waitress misheard and brought him waffles too.


As it turns out, the were celebratory waffles…  Just as we were pouring our maple syrup Brian got the phone call that we’d received an offer on the house that we’d just finished rehabbing. Woo hoo! Under contract in 24 hours!


The waffles were delicious. Crisp on the outside and fluffy perfection on the inside.

Not every restaurant gets the Mickey Waffles right. I’ve had them a few times where they are too crisp on the outside and still gummy on the inside. I think the Allergy Friendly batter needs to be cooked a bit longer and at a lower temp to get them just right. Dont feel bad about sending them back if they’re not right. Disney won’t know what’s working and what’s not if we don’t speak up.


On our last morning we had breakfast at Hollywood & Vine in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It was a character dining experience, but I didn’t know any of the characters. It was also a buffet…. but it was nothing like the buffet at Boma.

The buffet was very basic… and not especially tasty in my opinion.

The eggs and potatoes were especially salty.

And the Allergy Friendly Mickey Waffles were gummy on the inside.


The did give us an Allergy Guide…. which was a nice idea… even though it was fairly limited/boring.

Boma is still my favorite Disney breakfast. If you have the opportunity to try only one… visit Boma. The food, flavors, atmosphere and staff are all amazing.

Mouse Waffles 


Last weekend Brian and I popped over to Disney World….. OMG! That still sounds so crazy! We just ‘popped’ over to Disney for the weekend…. ’cause we can do that now, ya know…. since we live in FLORIDA!

Sorry, sorry…. NOT SORRY! I am loving everything about moving to Florida!  (Except getting the stupid house built,  but that’s a whole different story.)

As soon as we had our Florida drivers licenses we got our Disney FL Resident Annual Passes.  I was not a fan of Disney as a kid, but after we went to the Osborne Festival of Lights with my in-laws one year, I was hooked. Disney is SO wasted on the little humans.

Brian and I planned to hit The Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Epcot this time… Hollywood Studios has a bunch of construction happening and Mom kept asking ‘How long are you going to be gone?’  So we figured three days would be plenty to start.

One of our favorite things (on our very long list) to do at Disney is EAT!  Disney has some really good restaurants….especially in Epcot. Now if you’re wrinkling your nose at me right now then you’re probably thinking about the quick-serve places…. like Pizza Planet and such…. while those places aren’t bad…. I’m actually talking abut the REAL restaurants. Chefs Du France and Yack & Yeti… places where you go in and sit and a person comes to your table and asks your order.

Disney is especially amazing if you have a food allergy. At the quick service places you can ask for an Allergy Menu and they’ll ring you up a special ticket and your food is made in one of the Allergy Safe kitchens somewhere… magical?  I’m not sure where exactly, but your food comes on a special tray and is delivered by a special cast member who verifies your allergy again before handing over your food. ‘Gluten, right? Just gluten?  Okay… here’s your food.’

I have never once been concerned about the safety of my food in Disney… and I’ve never gotten sick. It’s amazing the number of allergies they can work around. You can always ask to speak to one of the chefs.

Best of all (okay, second best… first best is not getting sick), no one ever makes you feel like a freak… or a problem, or sneers at you…. ‘Gluten Free?  Sure! No problem…. we have gf cookies too!’

So I was totally excited to go to Disney and EAT my way through the three parks. Calories don’t count in Disney. Last year Brian and I had breakfast at Trattoria al Forno on Disney’s Boardwalk. I ordered the Gluten Free Mickey Waffles that I’d heard all my favorite GF Disney Bloggers rave about.


They were the best waffles that I’ve ever had… gf or otherwise. (That’s a glob of Heaven in the center there… aka Mascarpone with cinnamon and sugar).

So this year I was totally wound about getting more Mouse Waffles… as I like to call them….


First of all, the presentation wasn’t nearly as cute, but I was just going to eat them… and there was no mascarpone… but I asked and they brought me some, so that was fine…


And then I sliced into my much anticipated, dreamed about waffles…. and they were gummy in the center!  Crisp on the outside… gummy in the center.

I sent them back and the manager brought me a bowl of fresh fruit while I waited for a new batch of waffles to be made.

The second batch was gummy too.

I gave up. Brian had already finished his meal and I’d eaten the bowl of fruit while I’d been waiting…. a third try wasn’t going to make anything better. Their recipe had obviously changed.

I asked about a recipe change when I sent my uneaten waffles back, and the waitress said that she didn’t think they’d changed anything. Later she returned with our bill having removed the waffles, and said that she’d overheard the manager and Chef talking. Apparently they had switched to using Bob’s Red Mill Pancake mix for the waffles and pancakes. (Ha!  I was right!)

After our visit last year I’d done some Googling and read that Disney used Cup4Cup Waffle mix for their waffles. I can’t remember where I read that… but I started using Cup4Cup to make my waffles at home and they tasted pretty much like I remembered Disney’s waffles.

The Cup4Cup website has several different waffle recipes, but I use their pancake recipe. At this point I can’t remember why I started using the pancake recipe instead of the waffle recipe… but I like the way they turn out and I think they taste quite a bit like the Disney waffles that I remember.

Cup4Cup Waffles

INGREDIENTS
1 cup Cup4Cup Original Flour or Wholesome Flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup reduced-fat buttermilk, milk, or dairy alternative
1 large egg, room temperature
3 tablespoons melted butter or canola oil
INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat griddle over medium heat.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.

3. Whisk in milk, egg and canola oil until there are no lumps. Batter will be thick.

4. Spoon pancake batter onto preheated griddle. Flip when bubbles appear, cook on opposite side until golden brown.