Gluten Free Tip for Meeting Planners and Travelers

I don't know how long this option will last, but WestJet is certainly onto something.

WestJet carries a gluten free snack box for travelers!

And it is only 8 bucks!

And comes with lots of goodies!


So where is the tip in this for travelers?  Fly WestJet!

I was going to a meeting, and I bought one for off the plane to see what it looked like when you opened it.  My intent was to bring it home for Amanda.  However my colleague that is Celiac was delighted I walked into the meeting with a gluten free snack box, since the hotel really didn't supply much in the way of a gluten free snack, except for a seran wrap of cut up fruits and or veggies.  Look at how happy Jan was when I handed it to her!
 

And the tip for Meeting Planners and Caterers?

This is so easy to put together and have on hand.  Look how happy my colleague was when I gave her the snack box.  Do you know how happy you can make your customers with Celiac Disease if they walked into a catered meeting, and was handed a gluten free snack box like this?  They will be walking away so happy telling everyone to book your venue, catering company or planner!

For smaller shops,  lots of the items here have a long shelf life.  Lots of great gluten free snack size items can easily be found at Costco.  A snack size veggie chip, a snack size Made Good Bar, etc.

Tips Caterers Serving Gluten Free Foods

I took a week long course recently that was held in the conference rooms MacEwan University.  It was a wonder space in their new Allard Hall building.  Bright colours, open space, you can see the students walking around with their creative juices, singing their scales, practicing their instruments and reading their poetry.

But really, this is about the catering there.  Not about what they served, but how they served it.  I am not going to comment on the food, selection, because they only served snacks for this course.  We were on our own for meals.

But what caught my attention is what every caterer should do.  Not just for gluten free, but for all allergens, like MacEwan University did.

See below:


This is the simplest way to remove confusion about what is being served.

  1. Colour code alergens with a legend
  2. Have the obvious disclaimer about cross contamination
  3. Place cards in front of each item being served with properly allergy markers.
Simple, easy to follow, and easy to understand.

The other tip to go with this is:
  • Keep allergens as separate as possible
  • Wrap items with nut or with gluten separately when possible
  • Ensure enough serving utensils are available to avoid people using one to pick up several items from different trays
Tip for someone attending an event that is going to be catered:
  1. Call ahead and speak to the catering manager.
  2. Allow them proper time to prepare you a meal that is going to meet your needs
  3. Ask what they will serve, ask about any procedures they have to reduce cross contamination 
  4. At the event, speak with staff or even better speak to the catering manager and confirm your conversation

Coop working with Cloud 9 for gluten cookie mix

This was a pretty good find at a Coop store in Edmonton.


Coop's brand Gold now has a gluten free cookie mix available that is certified gluten free and kosher.  Reading over the package I noticed that Coop is actually working with a Canadian Bakery Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery based in British Columbia to produce this mix.

What a great idea to support local business in Canada.

We have never tried the Cloud 9 flour, but we have purchased their gluten free granola bar mix from Costco in the past and have really enjoyed it in the past.  Unfortunately we haven't seen it on shelves for a long time.

With that being said we were excited to try this.  Amanda made a batch of the cookies on the weekend and was very impressed.


When we posted about this on feedback some others let us know that they find the Cloud 9 gf flour mix gritty.  We didn't find these cookies to be gritty.  In fact we found that very soft and chewy.  Which is what made Amanda love them so much.

Hope everyone can enjoy these delicious Coop Gold gluten free cookies made by Cloud 9.

What's with all the gluten free books?

We recently started cleaning up our house a in preparation for some renovations.  This meant packing up some book shelves, when we came along this stack of books.


This brought back some memories from when Amanda received her Celiac Diagnosis in August of 2009 weeks before our wedding.

Hasselbecks G Free Diet, now a controversial book to an extent, was the first book Amanda purchased about being Celiac.  She read all about someone else's journey, and was really able to relate which helped with her coping.

The gluten free every day book was the first cook book we purchased.  Not knowing much about Celiac Disease and the gluten free diet, we just wanted some place to start.

The Celiac Disease for Dummies Book was our welcoming gift for becoming a member of the Canadian Celiac Association Edmonton Chapter.

The gluten free grocery guide was a recommendation from a friend after doing lots of research for us.

And now?  These books really collect dust.  Not that we are pro's or anything, but Amanda has learned to live with Celiac.  We have learned to cook and adapt meals from any cook book.  Nearly nine years later and we as a family are doing great.

Curious about some of these books?  Check them out on Amazon by using any of the links below.

What makes this night different from all other nights?

Every year around this time I go through the aisles of Andy’s IGA searching for gluten free food items for Passover. This year I admit that I left it kind of late but thankfully was still pretty successful in my search for new gluten free items for Passover.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Jewish holiday of Passover also called Pesach:
“celebrates the freedom of the Jews from slavery in ancient Egypt. Thousands of years ago the early Jews, called Israelites, moved to Egypt, where they became slaves of the Egyptians. It is believed that Moses was chosen to go to the pharaoh, or king of Egypt, to demand that he free the Israelites from slavery. The pharaoh said no, so God sent down 10 plagues (or punishments) to force the king to change his mind. The word Passover comes from the 10th plague, in which the firstborn sons of the Egyptians were killed. The Israelites were spared from the plague because Moses had told them to mark their door posts so that the angel of death would pass over them. The son of Egypt’s pharaoh died from the plague. In his grief the pharaoh ordered Moses and the Jews to leave Egypt and they were rushed out so quickly that the bread they carried on their backs did not have time to rise. This is the reason we eat Matzah (unleavened bread).”
--Kids Britannica
For those of us who are also Celiac and must eat gluten free it might seem easy (no bread), but just like anything else in any religion there are always many “rules” to follow in practice. I won’t get into that part because that is likely beyond the interest of most people, but I will get right to the point of my Passover food finds for 2018.

In Edmonton there is understandably less variety than in a larger Jewish community like Toronto of course. We have family & friends living in Toronto and as such we are fortunate enough to get unique and different items that are just not always readily available in Edmonton.

If you are looking for gluten free foods that are kosher for Passover, I recommend that you check out Andy’s IGA in Edmonton (located at 9106-142 Street) which is known for carrying the largest Passover selection within the city of Edmonton. Here are pictures of some of the items that I found:

Gluten free cake mix

gluten free crackers

gluten free egg noodles

gluten free couscous

gluten free matzo balls!

Gluten free cookies

gluten free cake meal

gluten free macaroons

gluten free pretzel snacks
--Amanda