Happy Gluten Free New Year 2011!

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Image: Salvatore Vuono 
First and foremost we wanted to take this time to thank all of our loyal readers and to welcome our new readers to the blog. As you know, this blog was started with the intention of sharing our findings regarding anything gluten free within the city of Edmonton. It has since expanded significantly (with pleasure) to include our experiences with travelling gluten free, shopping gluten free in & outside of Edmonton and much much more.

We have been blessed this year to have not only found out that our household is in need of a gluten free living overhaul (aka: Amanda feels a billion times healthier and can eat without pain again now that she eats entirely gluten free). We have also been made aware of the resources and options available to the gluten free community. We too have been able to add, I might say, to said resources and options in our own way (shameless personal plug).

Throughout the year we have received wonderful feedback from our readers about the topics we have covered and the information we have shared. As well our heartfelt stories of our own experiences during the everlasting transition to the world of living gluten free have received many kind words, and for this we want to say thank you to everyone.

We have been brainstorming some new ideas for 2011. We aren't quite ready to share them just yet, but we hope you will be just as excited about them as we are and join us in the new year to share in our gluten free adventures. As always we appreciate hearing about your experiences, ideas and opinions and look forward to sharing more with you in 2011.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE and see you all in 2011.

Abisaac & Amanda

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Gluten Free Menu Options at The Melting Pot in Edmonton

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Image: www.themeltingpot.com
Contributed by @erinkbolton

Last night my boyfriend and I went the The Melting Pot for a belated birthday dinner, and I was extremely happy with our experience. The menu has a feature of "Big Night Out" (a four-course meal) and then on the next page it has various different fondues that you can order separately. We chose to do the Big Night Out feature, and our sever knew exactly what did and didn't contain gluten. All of the actual fondues are gluten free, just some of the dipping pieces (like bread, Rice Krispies for the desert) were not. They served anything with gluten on a separate plate for my boyfriend to enjoy, but they stressed that he should not dip any of those items in while I was still using the pot to prevent contamination.

For dinner there was a wide range of sauces to dip your items in, and the only one I couldn't have (out of about 9 sauces) was the Teriyaki sauce. For desert they took out the gluten-filled items and gave us more fruit instead. It was delicious!

Overall the whole experience was great. I was very impressed with the server knowledge and the range of options available! I definitely recommend it to anyone in the Edmonton area for a birthday, anniversary, or romantic date night.

Click here for the Edmonton location

The Melting Pot
#117 2920 Calgary Trail NW
Edmonton, AB T6J 2G8
780-465-4DIP (4347)
Fax: 780-669-3753

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Gluten free baking frustrations!

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Image: Simon Howden
Although the holiday season is already upon us, I wanted to share my frustration with everyone in the gluten free community. In my pre-celiac days I was an avid baker. I never really cared for cooking, but I always really enjoyed baking. The humorous part of that is that I have type 1 diabetes (it's been 20 yrs already), which did not always allow me to indulge in the sweets and treats I baked as much as I had wished I could.

"Everything in moderation". That used to be my saying when it came to sampling my own baking. I would truly sample and not indulge, even though believe me it was surely tempting. However now that I am gluten free, my old adage of "everything in moderation" has been forever altered. I don't even know what the new version is exactly, but I know that I cannot and will not eat gluten, even in moderation. I know that even a small amount or a "sample" of something filled with gluten would be more dangerous than pleasant and hence it is not something I would do, even in moderation.  Yeah yeah my one year wedding anniversary was an exception to this rule but your one year wedding anniversary only comes around once, so I did what I did and now that's done with.

Back to business...I still enjoy baking, but I have been increasingly frustrated with failed attempts at gluten free variations of once loved "normal" (aka non-gluten free) baking. Don't get me wrong, the pre-packaged stuff always turns out awesome, but I prefer to make things from scratch when I can. One example, who doesn't love a good sugar cookie, at the holidays or anytime for that matter? Well, when I pulled out the old recipe and simply switched the regular flour for my handy dandy gluten free flour....ick! The consistency was completely off and it was a big mess to say the least. And yes I did follow the instructions on the gluten free flour blend and I added in the requisite amount of xantham gum for cookies.

What did I do wrong? Why did the gluten free cookies look, smell and bake like garbage? Honestly the first recipe I made, once baked the texture was like cake, not cookies and not good cake either. It smelled funny and it just wasn't good. The only one who enjoyed them was the dog (ironically his name is Cookie) and he'll eat almost anything. The second recipe I tried (cream cheese cut out cookies) was sticky and messy and at the time I am writing this post, I haven't even baked them yet...I am fearful that they'll be a disaster just like the others were and I would end up being further frustrated and upset by another failed attempt at baking, something I once considered fun, relaxing and enjoyable.

I know that in searching online for gluten free cookie recipes there are loads. I have found many that sound appealing, but I admit I am almost instantly turned off when I am told to mix a variety of different types of flour. The reason I find this so discouraging is because I do not have those various flour types just sitting around waiting to be mixed. I guess maybe it's time for me to suck it up and just spend the money and buy the different types of flour and make my own mix, well based on recipes I've found online.

Maybe I'm being silly, but I find myself frustrated at times when gluten free variations of once loved foods are just not as good as the real thing. I will not give up, I will persevere and I will find a recipe for gluten free cookies that works and tastes great. I will!

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Gluten Free Blintzes

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Messy but yummy blintzes by
Molly B's
As many of you may already know, Ed's Gluten Free located at 34 Avenue & 93 Street in Edmonton carries a variety of gluten free products that you just cannot find elsewhere. There are a couple of products in particular, that I absolutely love!

The one we tried today, Blintzes by Molly B's, was awesome.  All I can say is mmmmmmmmm so tasty! Ed's gluten free carries a few different flavors of these blintzes, but this time I chose the cheesecake blintzes. How can you go wrong with cheesecake flavor? Really?

The package contains 6 Blintzes and you can see by just looking at them in the package that they "look like the real thing". You may recall from a previous post that I often find myself referring to gluten free products as being just like the real thing. I know it's silly, but I keep on doing it.

These blintzes are to remain frozen until ready to eat. The flavor was perfect, the texture was awesome (memories of my pre gluten free days) and the only difficulty we encountered was around the directions. The directions are quite limited and they simply say do not defrost, heat and serve. Heat at 350 degrees, but there was no guidelines about the time frame. The alternative heating method listed was to use butter heat in frying pan.

We tried the oven method first and after about 15-20 minutes the insides remained cold and hard. We then opted to switch to the frying pan method and we found it much faster and easier. The smell was so tempting who wants to wait forever to eat such yummy food? Not me.

The inside was soft, creamy and just like cheesecake. There were raisins inside as well, just to add that little extra flavor burst.

We will have to give the other flavors a try next time and I think that we'll be sure to let them defrost a few mintues on the counter before going right to the frying pan for heating.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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My wife has Celiac

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It has been over a year and quite the transition since my wife Amanda was diagnosed with Celiac.  This article is certainly not going to be a pat on the back for everything I do to support Amanda, including this gluten free blog.  But really, it's to talk about how I really don't know!  Even though my wife does have Celiac, I still take some things for granted, because I don't have Celiac.


I'm very cautious, more cautious than her sometimes, but when thinking on a whim of where to go grab a gluten free bite, I automatically cross out some places.  Places like Subway Subs or Quizno's are immediately no no's even though when I'm on my own, that's where I would end up.  When there is a hamburger craving, I could list off a few places I would like to go eat, but it comes down to one burger place that accommodates well which is mainly Red Robin (We have had Delux Burger bar only a few times as well). 


I see her get frustrated often because even though we have discovered so much, she still feels so limited.  I am always nervous that trying a new restaurant for gluten free friendly meals won't work out.  That just brings Amanda back to hating her condition.  We win some we lose some.  It's great when we find something new, but even tougher when something doesn't work out and we have to leave and hunt for something quickly. For me its easy and I'm more laid back because I don't have those limitations, but I don't know what it's like to feel dejected from food, and have to look elsewhere.  So my 'laid backness' does cause trouble sometimes, because I'm okay with the situation, not realizing that Amanda is probably feeling pretty low because we had to walk away from a restaurant, or couldn't decide on a place to go etc.



Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Gluten free options in Lloydminster

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Website of Lloydminster & Area Celiac Support Group
Source: http://www.lloydceliacsupportgroup.com/ 
My brother-in-law lived in Lloydminster for a short time working at the local radio station.  This allowed us the opportunity to make the drive up and visit him.  So we were able to scope out whats available in Lloyd to eat and shop.

So its pretty safe to say that Lloyd is small.  However they do have places to shop gluten free, and places to eat gluten free.  Lloyd has the standard shopping centre with a Safeway and they also do have a Wal-Mart Supercentre and a Superstore to purchase gluten free items.  However, for a more extensive gluten free shopping experience we would recommend stepping into the Nutters (3106 50 Avenue) in Lloyd.  Nutters has a great selection of gluten free treats.  Lloydminster also has a M&M Meat shop which has a great list of gluten free meals.

We also were able to enjoy a pizza at Boston Pizza.  If you were looking to stay there for a longer period we would also recommend contacting the Lloydminster and Area Celiac Support Group. The website has a listing of more places to shop and eat along with community events.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Is New York Fries Gravy & Poutine Gluten Free?

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Source: www.newyorkfries.com
During an event for the Edmonton Chapter of the Celiac Association, we spoke with some people about how great New York Fries (NYF) are.  We were told that their gravy is gluten free. Because gluten free gravy is a rarity (and because we now had conflicting information from the Calgary Chapter of the Celiac Association, whose information states that NYF's gravy is not gluten free), we decided to investigate further.
We are also interested to know if NYF's sister restaurant, South St. Burger Co., was a gluten free friendly restaurant as well.

I contacted New York Fries via email at mail@newyorkfries.com with a simple question: "Is the gravy at New York Fries Gluten Free?"  I appreciated their response, which was received about 24 hours later (on Sept 17, 2010) from the Director of Purchasing:
Dear Abisaac,

The NYF gravy does not contain gluten; however, the plant where it is manufactured uses wheat flour and due to the mixing process, our supplier cannot guarantee that there is no airborne contamination. The California Seasoning and the Cajun Seasoning are made in the same plant.  Like the gravy, the Cajun Seasoning does not contain gluten; however, the manufacturer cannot guarantee that this product is gluten free because of the possibility of airborne contamination. The California Seasoning does contain gluten.

We do have other products containing gluten in our stores (e.g. hot dogs, buns, chili, and malt vinegar) and the possibility of cross contamination does exist.

Thanks for your email.

Regards,

Angie Venzon
Director of Purchasing
NEW YORK FRIES and SOUTH ST. BURGER CO.
1220 Yonge St. Suite 400
Toronto, ON M4T 1W1
T: 416-963-5005
Also in a recent Twitter conversation with @NewYorkFries they wrote:
@gfreeYEG The Butter Chicken + Braised Beef poutines have no gluten in them, however, there is gluten present in our stores (buns, etc...)
Click here to see the Tweet from New York Fries

New York fries update January 11, 2011 via email about their cheese sauce:
The NYF Cheese Sauce does not contain gluten but it is manufactured in a plant where gluten is present and the manufacturer cannot guarantee that the product is gluten free.
So we recommend you use caution depending on your level of sensitivity. Let us know of any additional information you hear from New York Fries.

You can enjoy New York Fries at several locations across Edmonton. Their fries are gluten free, however you should be aware of cross contamination risks.

Note: New York Fries locations do not serve onion rings, so there is less chance of cross contamination in the deep-fryers.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

New York Fries (Southgate Centre) on Urbanspoon

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Kinnikinnick's Gluten Free Holiday Cooking Workshop in Edmonton was Fantastic!

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A few weeks ago I got wind that Kinnikinnick was hosting a gluten free cooking workshop.  I jumped on the opportunity to attend as fast as I could, and gobbled up two tix for Amanda and myself because only 12 seats were available.

On December 8th, they hosted the gluten free cooking workshop at their Edmonton downtown store location where they have a studio kitchen to record their Kinnikinnick TV episodes.  This was the first time Kinnikinnick allowed an audience into the building during a recording, and Amanda and I were more than excited to attend!  Who wouldn't be?  for $20/each we were going to be fed some fantastic food, and even found out that we were getting gift baskets as a take away for the evening!

I found it most interesting the ways in which the chef's showed us different creative ways to use some of the Kinnikinnick products. Like the gluten free hotdog buns sliced, drizzled with olive oil and toasted to make gluten free Crostini's for Bruschetta. Or using Kinnikinnick Ginger Snaps as crusts for Cheesecake Bite snacks the size of cupcakes. We just never would have thought to do these things, but now we have already used some of the hot dog buns that were in the gift basket to make bruschetta for family.

The gluten free cooking demonstration did not only have a live audience, but they broadcasted live online. Click here to watch the recording of the demonstration and watch some these great recipes come to life. Unfortunately you had to be there to taste it :-)


On the menu:
  • Bruschetta on Gluten Free Crostini's
  • Cranberry Infused Baked Goat Cheese on Gluten Free Crostini's
  • Stuffed Mushroom Caps with Crab and Cream Cheese
  • Gluten Free Baked Crispy Chicken Satay
  • Gluten Free Fried Camembert Cheese
  • Gluten Free Crab Cakes
  • Gluten Free Sesame Shrimp with Wasabi Sauce
  • Gluten Free Chocolate Graham Truffles
  • Chocolate Dipped KinniTOOS Lollipops
  • Cheesecake Bites on Gluten Free Ginger Snaps
  • Gluten Free Montana Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • Gluten Free Bread Pudding with a Twist
Kinnikinnick was kind enough to supply the gluten free recipe cards for the live audience members.  Click here for a link to the recipes that Jay from Kinnikinnick has posted to their website (as per comment below).

Please email us at info@glutenfreeedmonton.com if this video no longer works.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Dinner with an old friend at Sorrentino's and their Gluten Free Menu Options

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Image: www.sorrentinos.com
As usual when a friend suggests a particular restaurant for dinner my mind instantly goes from "hmm I think I like that place" to "I wonder if there's anything I can eat there" aka am I going to be eating plain salad because they cannot handle gluten free dietary needs?

The other night, an old friend of mine and I were set to go out for dinner. We haven't seen each other in way too long and she had suggested we go to Sorrentino's restaurant west end location. Of course we had been there in my pre-celiac life, she and I, but Abisaac and I never go there or even think to go there. Honestly since being diagnosed celiac for whatever reason this restaurant has never even crossed my mind, which is odd considering we pass it almost daily.

My first thought, after giving myself a rough time for having seemingly forgotten about a tasty restaurant that I pass all the time, was to check out their website and see if I can eat there with ease or if I needed to prepare myself emotionally for disappointment and plain lettuce salad, hold the dressing (boring)!

The menu listed on the website looks tasty, the prices are moderate and therefore this restaurant is likely one for special occasions and not daily dining. I still wasn't quite sure if these yummy looking foods were secretly loaded with my kryptonite (gluten). I called the restaurant around 3:30pm and spoke with one of the chefs. I find that this is the best time to call any restaurant when asking detailed questions about their menu. The staff have likely just arrived, it's not yet busy with customers and they have more time to devote to answering my questions without being pulled back into the kitchen because everything is boiling over (good pun there huh!).

The chef that I spoke to (my apologies, I cannot remember his name) was very helpful and more than willing to go through the entire menu section by section with me. He outlined every single item that was gluten free friendly and there were a lot of them. He even pointed out some that I should "remember to tell the waiter about your dietary restriction because sometimes we dust that item with flour for extra texture and appearance, but it's not necessary". Wow, that was something I never even considered as a possibility. I know that restaurants often dust things with flour for texture and presentation, I just did not realize they would not do it when/if needed. (I know that was a double negative and poor English, but that's how I thought it needed to be said). In other restaurants I had simply been told "no that item is not gluten free" and so I moved on and did not consider it as an option for my dinner.

It is interesting to note just how many restaurants out there are unable to be flexible when making dishes. Whether it is because their kitchen staff are not as skillfully trained or that the restaurant is managed in such a way that does not allow for diversity in any way in the plates presentation and make up (aka: no substitutions). I am no expert, but I know people who work in restaurant kitchens and have absolutely no formal chef training. As well I can only hope and assume they have been adequately trained when it comes to dietary restrictions and cross contamination precautions in the kitchen. I also know some restaurants whereby they are taught that this meal is to be prepared and presented on the plate in this manner and there can be no alterations to its appearance or prep. Neither of these is helpful to me when it comes to ensuring my safety when dining out.

Bottom line: I was overjoyed to see that the majority of the gluten free menu items available at Sorrentino's restaurant west end location were in fact gluten free friendly AND exceptions could be made to some of the non-gluten free items to make them gluten free as well. In the end my dining experience was great, catching up with an old friend was great and the food was amazing -filled with flavor gluten free friendly and satisfying on all counts. I'd say this was a great success all around and I will definitely have to drag Abisaac out to Sorrentino's the next time we are looking for a nice place to eat for a special occasion.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Caffe Sorrentino (West Edmonton Mall) on Urbanspoon

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New Local Public Eatery has Gfree Menu and keeps some OPM favourites

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Source: www.localpubliceatery.com
I wrote a while ago that OPM was closing and reopening as Local Public Eatery in Edmonton, another Joey's Restaurant concept.  Local Public Eatery is already now open and has a menu indicated its gluten free menu options.

The menu has basically turned to a menu with burgers and sandwiches.  So far no word if they will be bringing in gluten free buns or bread for those.  However, it was pointed out in the "LOCAL Features" section the Drunken Chicken and Seven Flavoured Beef off of OPM's Gluten Free Menu was kept for the new Local Public Eatery menu.  Click here to view the menu with gluten free options indicated.  There are very few items, but the items listed are good choices.  Now its time to work on them bringing in gluten free buns and bread for their burgers and sandwiches!  What do you say Local?

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Local Public Eatery on Urbanspoon

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Kinnikinnick, live streaming a gluten free cooking class on Dec 8, 2010

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Kinnikinnick Live Streaming on UStream:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/the-gluten-free-insider#events 
Kinnikinnick is hosting a sold out gluten free cooking class at their Edmonton store on Wednesday Dec 8, 2010 at 6pm.  Due to popular demand Kinninnick will be live streaming the presentation online for those not living in the Edmonton area or those wanting to attend but not able to get a hold of this limited seated event.

Click here to join the live streaming at 6pm on Wednesday Dec 8, and join in the conversation by using the live chat feature to ask questions as well.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Stellas Gluten Free Brand Found in Edmotnon

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We love when readers share their gluten free finds!

Shared by Christina:

I have been shopping dairy free and gluten free for myself and my daughter for more than six years, and I'm loving all of the new products available during the past few months. A new brand, Stellas, has been taking over my freezer.

Stellas make perogies, raviolis and pizza pouches. The kids love them and I secretly admit that they are easy to make and taste amazing. Available at Ben's Meats, Stellas offers a wide variety of filling catering to all sorts of food sensitivies.

Great Eats just thought I would give a shout out for all living on the diet.

What great gluten free products have you found in Edmonton?

This was updated January 2016 to reflect a new store to purchase the products in Edmonton

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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NaBloPoMo complete

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Photo from lolacreative.com
Wooo hoo, we managed to complete and entire month of blogging daily. As you may recall, we chose to participate for the first time in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) this year. To be honest, it was at times a bit challenging. Overall we found it motivating and fun. Just like other fellow bloggers out there, we have lives! I know, go figure (ha) and so we attempted to "get on a roll" and we wrote a few blogs in a row.

We hope you have enjoyed and appreciated our hard work and we want to say thank you to everyone, near and far, who joined us and read our blog posts daily (or not). Our goal is to keep sharing our gluten free experiences with the world and we always welcome ideas, suggestions and of course guest bloggers.

Thank you everyone!
Amanda & Abisaac

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Matahari in Edmonton is Celiac Friendly! Great Gluten Free Selection

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Source: http://www.matahari-asiandining.com/
SEPT 2014 THIS RESTAURANT HAS NOW CLOSED ITS DOORS

Contributed by Stevie:

Nestled in the artsy 124 Street locale, Matahari offers an extensive menu that exquisitely brings together tastes from the sea, wok, and grill. They expertly created Vietnamese dishes including curries and stews.

Seating in the intimate dining room is centered around a bubbling fish pond with private room reservations and pre-booking options available for larger parties.

Although the online menu doesn't label the naturally gluten free items, or those that can be prepared using a gluten free variation, the in-house menu is clearly marked and, subsequently, effortless to order from.

I have personally enjoyed several appetizers and entrees, however, find myself to be a repeat vermicelli bowl offender (served without spring rolls). A bowl of hot and sour soup has also satisfied my appetite on more than one occasion.

Despite comprehensive lunch/dinner menus, dessert options tend to be restricted. Often when overcome by my sweet tooth, I simply choose visit the sorbet shop/bakery conveniently located just around the corner on 102 Ave.

Staff regularly prove to be helpful and courteous and have assisted in ensuring consistent, consequence free dining. Nut allergies can also be accommodated, allowing most diners (regardless of diet complexities) a pleasurable culinary experience.

Matahari can be easily accessed on foot or by car. Parking is available in the rear of the building or on one of the numerous surrounding residential streets. It is well worth navigating downtown traffic to experience this remarkable restaurant, whether it be for a sit down meal or simply to pick up take out.

Share your experience at Matahari or check out other gluten free friendly restaurants.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Matahari‎ on Urbanspoon

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What do you say?

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I have been thinking! Go figure, I know. But, I've been thinking lately a lot about what I/we say when asking someone if the food being served is gluten free.

I'll explain....I find that when I am with at my parents house where I know my mom did the prep and is well aware of what is and is not gluten free, I ask "mom can I eat this?". Yet, when I'm out at a friends house, and while I do trust they have taken extra precautions to ensure they are not serving anything harmful and they have checked labels etc, I  ask "is this gluten free and can I see the package?". I even sometimes will ask about cross contamination, but I admit I do reserve that for meals prepared with gluten filled items. I have some amazing friends who when I am at their house they not only tell me what they're serving and how it was prepared but also what went into it. They even have called me to discuss before making it to ensure they are following the right precautions.

When I am at my in laws home I ask similar questions about preparation and if I can see the package and try to determine the finer details about what exactly went into the foods I am about to enjoy. I try very hard to not make a big deal about it. I try not to offend anyone, especially when I know they have tried really hard to accommodate my dietary needs.

I try to keep my mind positive and my face the same. If there is something I cannot eat, I might be disappointed or even frustrated, but I do my best to keep that to myself. I may not be able to eat what is being served and I know now that I have to accept that this may be upsetting to my host, especially if they have tried to make it safe for me. But I have to be sure to look out for myself and my health first and foremost.

Just as an aside here are some other things I have heard people say:
- Is this regular or ok for me?
- Well, what's it made out of?
- Is it ok for me?
- Do they [in the kitchen] know what gluten free means and how to prepare it?
- Is there wheat, flour, barley, malt, rye or oats in this?

What do you say or do?


When we are in a restaurant I find that I am more comfortable with being a so-called "pain" as I refer to it. I figure, this is their job, their livelihood and therefore they (the cook) should know what is going into their meals. We all know, last thing any restaurant wants is a bad review (gotta love the internet) or a customer getting sick and spreading it around that they were unwilling/unable to assist in safe eating.

Yet, sometimes I just plain "want to be normal" and not have to ask a bunch of questions, not have to worry that I am going to be glutenized (that's what I call it). I want to be able to go to a restaurant and order off the regular menu. I want to be able to not have to carry snacks in my purse for those "just in case" moments. I long for those times when realistically I could eat anything on any menu and my only hold up would be desire or lack of. That sounds just great to me.

These here are some of the many reasons why I loved all of the restaurants we checked out while on our trip to New York. I did my research before we left, I checked out menu's online whenever possible and I had my list planned out. Yes, it takes away from the whole idea of spontaneity, but who wants to get sick or spend the night/day in the bathroom while on vacation? Heck, people get upset when they get the sniffles while on vacation, imagine being stomach sick, ick no thank you! When on vacation I find it is even more important to me to be cautious.

Thankfully for us in Edmonton, there are plenty of restaurants that are aware and helpful when it comes to  gluten free dietary needs. I love that the knowledge about gluten free needs is becoming more main stream and move readily available it really makes gluten free eating a whole lot easier and a bit less daunting when people out there understand and are willing to learn.

Check out our list of gluten free friendly restaurants for some new options for dining out in Edmonton.


Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Gluten Free at Edmonton's Blue Plate Diner

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Source: www.blueplatediner.ca
Important Update - Feb, 2012:


It has been noted by a couple people in the comment stream that they do not have a dedicated fryer so there is high possibility of cross contamination when eating any of the fried foods.  Please be sure to ask your server and speak with the kitchen staff.


Contributed by Stevie:
Blue Plate Diner
10145 104 Street Edmonton, Alberta T5J 0Z9 phone: (780) 429 - 0740
Web: www.blueplatediner.ca/

A quaint diner in the middle of the downtown core, this cozy venue offers an eclectic atmosphere with exposed brick, local artwork and the intimate ambiance down to the unique table top lamps.

The floor space is planned to accommodate many different types of groups: from larger parties that include reservations and pre-ordering food, to solo dining.

 The menu features a variety of dishes, from old fashioned comforts, to Indian and Mediterranean inspired cuisine. Gluten free options are clearly labelled both on the in house and online versions of the menu, making gluten free dining hassle-, and worry-free.

The diverse menu also includes numerous vegetarian and vegan options (also gluten free), all of which is enticing regardless of dietary restrictions. I thoroughly enjoyed the generous helping of Tandoori Chicken during my last visit. I have frequented the Blue Plate several times and have yet to experience any adverse reactions after eating what tends to be a very substantial meal.

Although the gluten free dessert menu is generally limited sorbet, there are plenty of creative dessert ideas housed within the surrounding downtown district. Parking can be quite limited, and I therefore highly recommend enjoying this urban gem on foot. Check out other gluten free friendly restaurant options!


Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Blue Plate Diner on Urbanspoon

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Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program in NYC

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While in New York recently, as mentioned in previous posts, we were super excited to see that some of the restaurants we visited were participants in the Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program.  Each restaurant that was a participant in this program had a standard sticker for their menu and windows to indicate that they are members/participants in this program. We had multiple conversations during our trip and we both agreed that something like this would be awesome if available and instated in Edmonton and other cities.

Based on information found on the gluten free restaurant awareness program website:

The Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP) facilitates a relationship between individuals with celiac disease and other forms of gluten intolerance, and restaurants. The relationship builds a win-win opportunity for restaurants to provide service to people following a gluten-free diet, and to gain increased patronage. Participating restaurants are able to provide gluten-free meals from their regular meals. GFRAP is a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America.

Participating GFRAP restaurants enthusiastically welcome gluten-free diners. On this site you will find links, directions and other valuable information about each participating GFRAP restaurant.

By working together, using consistent guidelines and listing participating restaurants on one website, we are creating a growing network that allows those following a gluten-free diet to socialize and travel with more confidence in dining away from home.

If you look at the bottom of the page you will see the copyright information and notice that this program was "originally a program developed by Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group (NY)". While I do not want to put us (and other bloggers out there) out of commission, I think that it would be great if there were an organized program such as this one available for restaurants to participate in and for those with celiac as well.

Everyone enjoys eating out in restaurants. No one wants to have to eat at home all the time and potentially miss out on the social aspect associated with eating in a restaurant. So....wouldn't it be awesome if there were a program similar to this one to help? 

A program like this could help further raise awareness about gluten free eating, cross contamination and the simple fact that there are many of us out there who, just like everyone else, need to feel safe when eating out in restaurants. Such a program offers a little more piece of mind to both the restaurant as well as the patron because there is more teaching and learning around how to prepare foods that are safe for those of us with celiac.



Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Gluten free - Just as good as the "real" thing!

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We recently returned from an awesome albeit way too quick trip to New York City. I love New York. We both love New York. I won't get into that part right now, but I will tell you that while in New York we had some amazing experiences and ate some fantastic gluten free food!

In this post I am not going to go into detail about all of the different foods we ate or the different places we went to. I will spread those out over a few posts, as it is just too much information for one post. But I will say that the gluten free food options in NYC are abundant, at least in comparison to other places we have been. Instead I want to write today about something very interesting we discussed while in New York.

We noticed that we were not the only ones walking around to different restaurants with our lists in hand, of restaurants that we had read, offer gluten free menus and items. There were loads of people doing just that. We were unsure if it was because we were more aware of it than we had been on previous trips, or if those people had simply found the same information that I had found about these restaurants and they were therefore trying them just like we were. No one will know.

It was most interesting to me to note that we all sorta did the same thing. We walked up to the restaurant, eyed the menu on the front window and then proceeded inside. Once inside we asked the host/hostess the same question "do you have a gluten free menu?" and we all had that same goofy (overly pleased) smile on our faces when we were told "yes, follow me". It's amazing how invigorating something so simple can be to someone who is used to being looked at strangely and told "huh? you want what?".

After sitting down and perusing the menu we all had similar discussions with the server about the gluten free options on the menu or the efforts of the restaurant to avoid cross contamination and thereby ensure our food remains gluten free. We each sat there pleased with our choices and awaited the arrival of our meals. I can only assume, but I'm pretty confident, that just like me they were also each over the moon pleased when their gluten free meal arrived and it looked and smelled just like their fellow diners non-gluten free meal did.

We actually took a picture of our similar looking and equally priced Reuben sandwiches. I realize it may make me sound like a complete dork, but I never realized how exciting a stupid Reuben sandwich could actually be. It was admittedly something that I missed and never actually perfected or enjoyed when we had attempted to make it gluten free at home, but this....was awesome! You cannot even tell the difference between the two.

I found myself commenting in every place we ate "wow, this tastes just like the real thing". Abisaac asked "why do you refer to the non-gluten free item as being the "real thing" and think yours is not real somehow?". Honestly, I do not know why I do that. I can only guess that it is because up until 1 year ago, I was used to things being and tasting a certain way and since being diagnosed celiac, those things (among others) have changed forever for me. And quite honestly there is some pretty nasty tasting and looking gluten free stuff out there. Some of it is hard as a rock, tastes like cardboard and even weighs a ton in comparison to it's fellow "regular" or gluten filled counterpart. So that is why I refer to gluten free foods as "tasting just like the real thing".



Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Gluten Free Brunch and Dinner at Culina Millcreek in Edmonton

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Gluten free breakfast with their own inhouse gluten free bread
Culina Millcreek at 9912 89 Ave. has recently introduced a gluten free menu for brunch and dinner!  The menu is currently not on their website yet, but they emailed me their menu to post.

Culina Millcreek is described as a friendly neighborhood cafe serving creative comfort food, eclectic wines and crafty spirits. One of the highlights of the menu is that they bake their own gluten free bread!

We tried out their brunch and it was great.  As always our circle of friends have a variety of dietary restrictions, gluten, dairy, vegetarian, soy, and the Culina staff was accommodating to each persons dietary needs.

Their in house gluten free bread was great, and they sell it by the loaf. Have a question about their food? Contact Culina on Twitter at @MillcreekCulina and they are pretty helpful. Click the links below to check out their gluten free brunch and gluten free dinner menu:
Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Culina Mill Creek on Urbanspoon

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Gluten Free in Edmonton at the Olive Garden

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Source: www.olivegarden.com
Friends are always looking out for us, and love to send us information on one of their gluten free finds.  They get so excited!  So, i'd like to share this find of a gluten free friendly restaurant.  Would you believe its the Olive Garden?

Click here to check out the Olive Garden gluten free menu

So it doesn't seem like they have very many options, but its certainly something if you are out with a bunch of friends that want to go swing by the Olive Garden for some pasta.  They only have one penne gluten free pasta dish available with a tomato sauce, the rest is from the grill like their steaks and salmons.  Its a start.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Olive Garden (South) on Urbanspoon

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Children & Celiac Disease Part 4: How Celiac Disease May Affect Everyday Activities in the Classroom

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Written by Linda Arnold - Edited by Daniel Saraga

Image: jscreationzs
Frequent restroom usage may for children with Celiac disease, especially early on during instances when the chidren accidentally eat contaminated food. The hand-soap in the washroom should be checked for gluten.

Early Childhood and Elementary

Popular brands of crayons, pastes and paints may need to be checked for gluten.

For those with Dermatitis Herpetiformis (skin disease caused by an autoimmune reaction to gluten) latex gloves and balloons may also cause a reaction. Substitutions may need to be made for art projects such as using gluten free macaroni for stringing and gluten free cereals, rice, beans, and corn cereals for pasting. For cooking and baking, contact the parents for suitable gluten free recipes.

Science

Laboratory experiments containing gluten should be avoided or at least, allowing children with Celiac disaese to participate by being the recorder/observer.

Off-site field trips

It is important chaperones on off-site field trips are informed of the gluten free needs of children with Celiac disease.

Read Children & Celiac Disease Part 1: Educating Teachers and Caregivers
Read Children & Celiac Disease Part 2: Helping Children Manage a Celiac Disease Diagnosis
Read Children & Celiac Disease Part 3: Eating Gluten Free at School

Reference for this article:
The Canadian Celiac Association
The American Celiac Sprue Association
Moms with kids

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Gluten Free Cruising on Celebrity Cruises: Part 2 - The Gluten Free Meals

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In a recent article, I wrote about the gluten free travel experience we had on the Celebrity Solstice.  I purposely didn't talk much about the food because I thought the food served was so great, that it deserved its own blog post.  I felt like I ate 5 meals a day, because I was always snacking on something from a mid-day salad to a gluten free grilled cheese sandwich for a snack.

Breakfast
Gfree French Toast and an omlette
Would you believe it they served up some gluten free French toast for breakfast!  We essentially started our mornings with room service.  Breakfast menu's were placed in your room the night before and all you had to do was fill out what you wanted before you want to bed, and stick it on the door and presto!  Room service is waking you up in the morning with a fresh breakfast.  Because they had gluten free bread on the ship, they whipped up their vanilla french toast gluten free style served with potatos, bacon and sausage.  Also on the menu was a selection of omlettes, yogurt, and other breakfast standards.

Lunch
The buffet area
A buffet can be a risky place for any Celiac because of the high risk of cross contamination.  Amanda did take her chances.  She had the confidence in the staff to guide her to the right choices, but she was cautious around certain areas with spoons getting mixed up etc.  Thankfully there was no effects eating at the lunch buffet that had many great tasting selections.  One of Amanda's favourite areas was the taco's area that had corn tacos with a variety of fillers.  The buffet also had sections like a carving station with meats, a cheese area, a great salad bar, Indian food and a pasta area (you could order gfree pasta, but you would have to give them notice ahead of time).  Unfortunately the poolside BBQ was not gluten free friendly as their fries were coated with flour and hamburgers had filler.
Gluten free grilled cheese and
ham sandwich with potato chips

Snack Time
Watermelon feta salad with
balsamic dressing
Snack time ranged from gluten free grilled cheese sandwich from room service, to salads from the salad bar, or salads from the Aqua Spa Cafe.  There was plenty to go around and we were sure to take advantage of the snacks on our vacation.  There was even if sushi bar setup at 4pm for a mid-day snack.  This really helped as we had the late dinner service at 8:30pm.  (I know i'm just making excuses for eating as much as possible!)

Dinner Time
Gfree focaccia bread with an
appetizer spread
We never checked out the buffet at dinner time, we pretty much stuck to the gorgeous dining hall that had a two story glass wine cellar.  We ate at the Tuscan Grille specialty restaurant for one evening where we got served the most delicious gluten free focaccia bread and steak meal.  And believe it or not Celebrity Cruises sent us the recipe for the gluten focaccia bread as they make it on the ship!  We didn't get any pictures of the meals in the dining room because we sat with other people, and I didn't feel like being the odd ball that took pictures of absolutely everything.  But you can imagine eating some great tasting Cajun rub steaks, lobster gluten free alfredo pasta.  As mentioned in the other article, there wasn't a selection of gluten free pastries for desert, but that doesn't mean there was desert.  There was always ice cream, and creme brule to have.  At the Tuscan Grille we even had some gelato made fresh on the ship.

Also read Gluten Free Cruising on Celebrity Cruises: Part 1 - The Gluten Free Experience

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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How do the pro chef's deal with gluten free cooking?

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Image: Simon Howden
I recently read an article by Gluten Free Chickie that got me thinking about cooking with the pro's.  In her article "Gluten Free on Food Network's Top Chef Masters" she talks about an episode of Top Chef Masters on the Food Network, and how for one of their challenges they not only had to cook a vegetarian meal, but gluten free as well.  She included a YouTube video that shows part of the challenge.  I recommend watching it.

But that article got me thinking, how come Food Network doesn't show a lot of gluten free cooking?  Amanda and I watch a lot of the Food Network, and we definitely do not see much of that.  We are always looking for new recipes and new ways of preparing meals.  It would really help if some of these main stream shows on the big networks did do some gluten free meals every now and then.  I'm sure it would help raise awareness of Celiac Disease and proper preparation of gluten free meals.

With that being said, there are a few web sides that have webisodes of gluten free cooking:
Email us at info@glutenfreeedmonton.com if you know of any more good gluten free cooking sites with video.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Looking for that Gluten Free Teriyaki Sauce? Use VH Soy Sauce with this recipe

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So we all know how hard it is to find a gluten free soy sauce, so imagine how hard it is to find a gluten free Teriyaki sauce you like?

I have this great recipe from a recipe book called "The Chick Magnet Cookbook".  My brother got it from me when I was a bachelor living in Toronto.  I definitely impressed Amanda with a couple recipes out of this book, just ask her :-)

VH Soy Sauce - No wheat
read every label, every time
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soy sauce (find your favourite gluten free soy sauce, we use the VH brand, because as it stands right now, they do not add wheat to their brand.  We water down the VH soy sauce because it is strong)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (we use 1/4 cup)
  • 4 inch piece of fresh ginger peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tables of apple juice (optional)
Directions:
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir soy sauce and sugar together until sugar is disolved
  2. Add ginger, garlic, apple juice (optional) and bring to a boil.  reduce heat and simmer (sauce should be a barely bubbling) for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove large pieces of ginger or garlic from sauce
We like to use this sauce as a 24 hr marinate for a steak.  We have also used it for teriyaki meatballs.


Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Speak up! They Grocery Stores Need to Hear from the Celiac Community

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Thats right, you heard me, speak up!  Believe me it works, the grocery stores want to cater to their community.  They need to hear from you to know they need to stock up with gluten free products, and put up gluten free signs in the aisles for your gluten free shopping in Edmonton grocery stories.

source: www.sobeys.com
We sometimes shop at the Sobey's Hawkstone.  They do have a great gluten free selection at that location.  You can find various gluten free products in the gluten free aisle, the kosher aisle and even gluten free Dr. Praegers in the kosher freezer section.

Amanda likes going to the deli section at the Sobey's Hawkstone because they keep a list of their gluten free meats as indicated by their suppliers.  Amanda always asks to see the list.  It used to just be a sheet, but then they switched to a card to take home.  Except they didn't have the cards labelled, so the past few times we went in, they couldn't find the list.  When they finally figured out that the cards on the counter were not just a general list of products and their suppliers, but a list of the gluten free deli meats and who is supplying them, we recommended that they label the pamphlet holder as gluten free list of meats.  The next time we went in (the next day), it was done.  Easy to find, easy to read, and easy to update spot to list what gluten free meats are available at the deli counter.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Have you ever?

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Have you ever had it happen that you've made an amazing meal the night before, brought the perfect amount of leftovers for lunch to work the next day and then.....dropped it on the floor?

Well, I have. I actually did that just this week. I was really upset about it too. You see I work in a place that while they try, there is only a very limited (and I mean limited) number of gluten free choices available for purchase for lunch. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the few options that do exist. However I do also know that for some of the options (gluten free pizza using Kinnikinick pizza crusts) I have to call in advance to order in the morning for lunchtime pick up. The other options are...meh (in my opinion). I can have the gluten free vegetarian chili ,but I don't like so many beans. I can have the salad, but salad is boring and the more exciting ones have salmon or chicken on them; things that I cannot be certain are gluten free because of seasonings uses and cooking practices. Or there is a salad that looks super tasty but it has barley in it. Seriously! Barley?

So when the once in a blue moon situation does occur that I had an amazing meal planned and ready for lunch, then I drop it on the floor...what do I eat for lunch? Throw in on top of all of this, I had already taken my insulin; determining the amount of insulin based on what I was intending on eating for lunch. Kinda makes it difficult, to say the least.

I ended up "chancing it" and I ordered the rotisserie chicken, potatoes and steamed vegetables and hoped for the best. I was pleased to note that overall nothing happened, but I was darn nervous all afternoon. As well, I was disappointed and admittedly did not feel nearly as satisfied as I should have after eating my lunch. I was really looking forward to that gluten free home made baked ziti that I had made the day before. Wouldn't you? Sheesh!


Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Do you like meatloaf?

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No no no I do not mean Meatloaf the singer, you know the guy who plays Eddie in the cult classic "Rocky Horror Picture Show". While I do love that movie, I am now talking about meatloaf the food, often eaten for dinner. Ha!

I am not usually one to jump up and down with excitement at the idea of meatloaf. I know that it's hearty, it's healthy (usually) and generally viewed as an "easy to make" dinner, however I have often found it to be lacking in the flavor department. One might even say "boring". That being said, I admit I haven't really tried very hard to add flavor to it either. Instead I have simply put meatloaf into that list of things that I do not enjoy eating.

HOWEVER.... this one looks & sounds tasty. I haven't yet tried it and I'm sure you could jazz it up with more flavors and spices etc as well to make it taste even better, but I wanted to share it with you all anyway.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf
Courtesy of Planet Organic November Newsletter

Preheat oven to 350 F, prepare a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I would use Kinnikinick panko style bread crumbs)
1 egg
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (I use Heinz Brand, it's gluten free)
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 package Goat Cheese (100 grams)
1 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp ketchup or tomato paste

Now, although these ingredient are my own additions. I am imagining that they would jazz it up and make it even more flavorful. But remember these are not tried and tested yet. Just my own musings so far.

I would add also:
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp Italian Seasoning

1) Mix all ingredients together (except cheese, butter and ketchup/tomato paste). Do not over mix. Pat meat mixture into rectangle (about 10' square) on a piece of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. To prepare goat cheese, put into a small bowl and mix into a smooth paste with 1 tbsp of butter. Spread the goat cheese mixture across the top of the meat mixture in a neat stripe (approximately 3" from the top).

2) Roll like a giant sushi roll (don't get the foil caught in the roll) Gently place in the loaf pan. Mix butter, ketchup/tomato paste together and spread a thin layer on top of the loaf.

3) Bake at 350F for 45 minutes - 1 hour.
Yields 6 servings.

I am eager to hear if others have tried this recipe and what you think of it. It is on my list of new recipes to try, but as said before, I just haven't had a chance yet to try this one.

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Children & Celiac Disease Part 3: Eating Gluten Free at School

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Written by Linda Arnold - Edited by Daniel Saraga

Image: Dan
Parents will usually send appropriate food choices in lunches. Children might need to be reminded not to share lunches or touch others food which could cross contaminate his or her lunch. It is important that table tops are clear of crumbs or other residue.

In the school cafeteria, the food staff will need to be informed about the child’s Celiac disease to ensure that when possible appropriate food choices are available. Smaller schools may not have the cafeteria but children are frequently treated with snacks, or lunches on special occasions such as birthdays or for seasonal celebrations. It is important that the child with Celiac disease is not excluded from celebrations.

Tip: don't scrape the fillings from sandwiches, the crumbs off things such as fish sticks the skin off chicken such as KFC. These food items are still considered cross contaminated.

Snacks

Parents should be informed of days when additional snacks or food is needed. Contact the parents for an appropriate snack list for the child so there aren't any surprises that may cause unnecessary stress. There are many popular gluten free snack items. During times when snacks are provided by outside sources, having a reserve of safe items on hand allows children with Celiac disease to fully participate in the festivities.

Older students attending drama classes should check ingredients to the make-up. Materials used in some make up products may contain gluten.

Read Children & Celiac Disease Part 1: Educating Teachers and Caregivers
Read Children & Celiac Disease Part 2: Helping Children Manage a Celiac Disease Diagnosis

Reference for this article:

The Canadian Celiac Association
The American Celiac Sprue Association
Moms with kids

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Gluten Free Cruising on Celebrity Cruises: Part 1 - The Gluten Free Experience

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Aqua Spa Cafe
It was about time for a vacation, so Amanda and I decided to go cruising.  We had only been on one cruise together in the past, and it was pre Celiac for Amanda.  So we wanted to share some of our gluten free travel experience.  We were worried because we wondered if there would be a selection of gluten free food for Amanda to enjoy. And if available, would that mean the gluten free friendly meal would just have no seasoning, no sauces and/or no spices. (read: no flavor)

Mid-day snack from the salad bar
brought back to our room to chill
on the balcony
We consulted Meredith Travel of Travel Professionals International about our options.  We learned that cruise lines are all pretty accommodating when it comes to dietary restrictions including a gluten free diet.  After some discussion we reviewed our options and we chose a Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Solstice.

As an outsider (read: a gluten eater), I thought they did a great job at accommodating the gluten free diet.  It was evident from the beginning, as we saw gluten free bread at the Aqua Spa Cafe in the solarium as we were roaming the ship just after boarding.  Also, at dinner in the main dinning room, gluten free bread was provided instead of rolls.  Celebrity also ensured dinners for Amanda were prepared to be gluten free, and not just chicken with no seasoning, but with excellent seasoning and full of flavors.

Me in-front of the Solstice, and
Amanda behind the camera
Since I was so excited to see all these gluten free accommodations for Amanda, I overlooked the fact that some of the steps Celebrity took to accommodate people with Celiac disease could possibly be seen as annoying at times:
  1. Amanda ordered her dinner the night before.  This allowed the kitchen to properly prepare a gluten free meal with all the great tastes of the standard menu item
  2. Ordering anything with gluten free bread from room service required some extra time to ensure that the room services kitchen could have time to retrieve gluten free bread from the main dinning room
  3. There were unfortunately no gluten free pastries or desserts available, unless they were naturally gluten free anyways (read: jello and fruit)
However those few things didn't overshadow the great meals we enjoyed.  The Celebrity Solstice also carried gluten free focaccia bread (made fresh on the ship) and gluten free penne pasta. Both of these items were found in a specialty restaurant on the ship called the Tuscan Grill - Italian Steakhouse. One in which you paid extra for, but it was well beyond worth it. The food in that restaurant was amazing and we both wished that we could have taken the left overs for the next day.

At the lunch buffet, there was staff available to answer questions about ingredients.  There was typically at least one person available at each buffet station that could answer your questions.  If they were not able too, they were always willing to call someone that could answer if the buffet item was gluten free or not. We were absolutely pleased at how accommodating the staff were, and how attentive they were to ensure they got us a correct answer.

Have you gone gluten free cruising before? Let us know about your experience.

Also read Gluten Free Cruising on Celebrity Cruises: Part 2 - The Gluten Free Meals

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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