Are there any Gluten Free Options at Sorrentino's 20th Annual Garlic Festival? #yegfood #celiac

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www.sorrentinos.com
Eat. Stink. Drink. thats the theme of this years Garlic Festival at Sorrentino's in Edmonton.  The Garlic Festival runs for the month of April serving up some great food.  In edition, April 16th, 2011 is the The Garlic Stomp event at the Shaw supporting Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, University Hospital Foundation, and the the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

Sorrentino's does serve up gluten free pasta, so I am not surprised that they are offering some gluten free festivities during the Festival.


April 2 Gluten Free Pasta Making for Beginners - 12PM
Learn to make basic pasta and sauces from scratch featuring gluten free flour $75/person

April 3 Gluten Free Pasta Making for Advance - 12PM
Stuffed pasta and fillings $75/person

April 30 Celiac cooking for Foodies. Please join us as we learn healthy, gourmet alternatives to cooking without wheat and gluten $75/person

Check out more details for there famous Garlic Festival at www.sorrentinos.com or click here to visit their Facebook Page.

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

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Gluten Free Friendly at Rodeo Burger in Edmonton

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The Naked Burger
The other day my colleague and I ventured out for lunch. We only had 1 hr, like everyone else, and we weren't in the mood for fast food (aka Wendys). Don't get me wrong I enjoy a good Wendy's Baja (taco) salad just as much as the next gluten free girl, but we both wanted something different. We've tried the limited, but various other places around the area, some with limited success and we weren't quite sure where to go.

We opted to go to Rodeo Burger at 8525 112 St NW Edmonton, AB. As usual, before going I checked online to see if I could actually eat anything there or if I'd be stuck with no options. While I did not find a particular website I did find this instead on Urban Spoon:
On this site you can click on the menu of the restuarant in most places if they've inculded it.

I found that Rodeo Burger could accomodate my gluten free needs with what they call a "naked burger" which consists of a lettuce wedge, chopped tomato, southwest sauce and a beef patty. I called ahead to make sure there were no fillers or additives in the beef patty and was assured that they use only 100% pure angus beef, no fillers, no preservatives, no additives. I was pleased to see that when we arrived in the restaurant those exact words were actually plastered all over the walls. As well, I asked about their french fries. I was fully prepared to not eat them if necessary, but of course I wanted to try them if I could. I was told that their french fries are made with "just potatoes and are 100% made in house and contain no flour, powder, dusting of anything similar." In fact the only thing they add is Sea Salt or Seasoning, but that's based on your request and done in different batches separate from one another.

Since I already knew I was not eating a bun with my burger and would be opting for the "naked burger" I asked what the southwest sauce contains. I was told that it is a ranch dressing based sauce and that when I came in they would seek out the ingredients for me.

We chose to eat there obviously and I was more than satisfied! It was really really good! Firstly I chose to not even bother with southwest sauce partially for fear of gluten, but also because I prefer mustard & ketchup on my burger anyways and didn't feel I needed any other special sauce. My burger was overflowing in the box it came in. To my surprise I was really given a lettuce wedge topped with tomatoes and all the other fixings that I asked for. I was expecting it to be lettuce wrapped like at Red Robin and it was not.

It really didn't matter that it was a knife & fork meal, it was so so tasty. It was loaded with toppings and I felt more than comfortable eating there regarding potential contamination because for one, they do not make anything other than burgers & fries. The oil for fries is only used for fries because they don't fry anything else. The grill is only used for burgers and veggie burgers, but I was told that the veggie burger  is made on a separate grill to ensure that those vegetarians who want it are not getting contaminated vegetarian fare

Admittedly the first time I went to Rodeo Burger, I did not ask about the ingredients in the veggie burger. However I have since been back again and I was told that the veggie burger actually contains "mushrooms, oats, breadcrumbs, parmeasan cheese and other vegetables" therefore the veggie burger is not gluten free.
For me, since I am not a vegetarian, I will say that this may very well be a new favorite place for us to go on occassion, of course if the weather would warm up it would entice us to venture outside once again at lunchtime.

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

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Zaika in South Edmonton Serves up Gluten Free Roti with its Indian Buffet

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Table at Zaika
Zaika Indian Bistro Bar is an Indian restaurant that I have not heard anyone speak bad of.  A few non Celiac family and friends have been to this restaurant several and have loved the food.  Knowing that Indian food is typically gluten free friendly at restaurants, we wanted to try this one out for ourselves.

The restaurant is decked out similar to a martini bar, dark interior, large lounge seating, dimmed lights, lit up artwork etc.  Very snazzy if you ask me!  The buffet area is a big walk around circle for the heated dishes, and a cold bar against the wall for the salads and deserts.  As always, eating at a buffet is a personal choice for someone with Celiac Disease, because it could be a nightmare with cross contamination.  It was somewhat easing that the restaurant staff kept the buffet area very clean, and was constantly wiping down the dishes and serving areas.

Gluten free roti served instead
of naan bread
So as usual there was no gluten free menu, but the waitress was able to do a walk around the buffet area with Amanda to point out what was 'safe' and what was 'not safe'.  There was a good selection of paneer, butter chicken, mango chicken and masla to choose from. Unfortunately the fish pakora, which is typically made of chickpea flour, was made with wheat flour.  However that may change soon, because the waitress brought out gluten free roti made from chickpea flour. She stated that they started preparing it because they have been getting so many requests.  Which just proves that asking the questions shows the demand to the restaurant owners, which encourages the restaurants to meet the gluten free needs!

The food was very tasty, but a bit too spicy for our liking.  It was much spicier than New Asian Village, which we usually go too.  The buffet was also really cheap!  It was $17.

Zaika Indian Bistro Bar
2303 Ellwood Drive, Ellerslie Crossroads
Edmonton, Alberta
780-462-8722
http://www.zaikabistro.com/


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Zaika Indian Bistro Bar on Urbanspoon

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

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Highlevel Diner in Edmonton has a Gluten Free Menu for Celiac's

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www.highleveldiner.com
We know Highlevel Diner is a highlight of Edmonton, one of those hidden gems.  I've only lived here for 3 years, and Amanda just about all her life and she has only been their once.  We have heard from several people that they have a gluten free menu.  So we looked it up on their website, and they have info right on their front page.

Click here for Highlevel Diner's gluten free menu for people with Celiac.  They even have their Ukranian Thursday's listed on their gluten free menu.

For more information visit www.highleveldiner.com.

Let us know what you love from Highlevel Diner, so when we try it out, we know what to order!

Click here to read about our first visit to Highlevel Diner.

Highlevel Diner
10912 88 Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T6G 0Z1
info@highleveldiner.com

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

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What's Gluten Free from the Brand No Name?

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After a gluten free "scare" of being told that something has gluten in it, when we thought it did not, I went on a search to see if I could find a list of gluten free products from No Name.  No Name is the discount brand for Loblaw's and can be found at Superstore locations around Edmonton.

www.loblaw.ca
Unfortunately I could not find much on the web about this discount brand, but because I knew it was a Loblaw's brand, I went to the Loblaw's website and found some customer service information.

During my conversation, I was put to rest after finding the answer to my question "Is your garlic powder gluten free?".  The answer from the operator was: "Yes it is gluten free and is made in a gluten free facility".  I then asked about their onion powder, and they said "Yes, but we are unable to confirm if it is made in a gluten free facility"

I did ask for this information to be listed on the web for easy access, but the best I got was an email back saying:

"Unfortunately at this time I do not have a list I can provide to you,  we do have a lot of information  we could provide based on UPC codes for our products.
If you have a few product s you would like to know, please forward  them to me and I will let you know if they are Gluten free or you can call 1-888-495-5111  and one of our representatives can assist you."
So basically, if you want to know what is gluten free from the No Name brand, just pick up the phone and ask them to look up the product you are looking to purchase.  They will have some sort of answer for you.

Also, it would be great to request for this information to be available online.  The more people that ask, the better chance they will put this information online for everyone to see.

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


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

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Plenty of Gluten Free at Planet Organic in Edmonton

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Well well well, its no surprise that Planet Organic is a specialty shopping store for some great food.  They have a pretty good selection of gluten free products to boot.  What I really like about Planet Organic is that they really have knowledge staff.  Their staff know the products and can answer most of your questions. 

They carry a lot of the typical gluten free brands like Bobs Red Mill and Glutino.  But they also carry some extra hard to find products that are needed for gluten free baking like, agave nector, coconut oil, and xanthum gum.

We have also found some great gluten free products at planet organic like Food Should Taste Good Chips and Lara Bars.

Check out one of their two locations in Edmonton:

7917 104th Street in the south and downtown at 12120 Jasper Avenue

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

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Gluten free additions at Sobeys West Edmonton (Hawkstone)

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While we do not frequently shop for our overall groceries at Sobeys, we do appreciate the opportunity to run out quickly and pick up various stuff we might be missing when cooking dinner. Admittedly this happens on occassion.

Most recently I stepped out to Sobeys while Abisaac was making dinner and I picked up a few things. I am a sucker for those big signs that say "$1 sale" particulary when it comes to vegetables that I would have ordinarily purchased anyways. The point is that, as always, eventhough I did not need anything in particular, I stopped down the Gluten Free aisle in the Sobeys in the west end and was pleased to see the following:
  • The aisle is now well marked "Gluten Free" above the shelves so it's well visible from anywhere and obvious that it's there.
  • The shelves were full. In the past I have been there and the shelves were baren and looking discheveld and sad.
  • They have added a binder, hanging from the shelf, listing each and every single gluten free item sold in the store.
I skimmed over the pages in the binder and was overjoyed to see that not only were items listed, but each flavor of the different items was listed individually. These items were inclusive of all items in the store, not simply those items that are specifically marked "gluten free". For example, Old Dutch potato chips each different flavor that is gluten free was listed on a different line.

A big thank you goes out to Sobeys for these new additions to ease the minds of us gluten free folks while grocery shopping. Most people find grocery shopping to be a chore, throw in the need to read lables and meticulously shop for gluten free safe foods to feed yourself and your family...wow what a challenge it can become.
Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

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Angry about being gluten free? I am

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So I will warn you this post is not at all written in the usual tone of our blog, but it needs to be written. At least for me, it needs to be written.

Sometimes I find myself feeling completely beyond jealous of my friends, colleagues and family when it comes to food. I find myself hating food. I find myself hating that I cannot simply just eat. I find myself hating the fact that others take it for granted that they can just eat with ease.

Instead I find myself counting, calculating, guessing, measuring, testing my blood sugar, taking insulin, asking a billion questions and even after all of that....I am still left wondering...wondering if I was told the truth if what I am eating is actually gluten free or not,  wondering if my body will function as I assume it will based on what I just ate; given my bodys inability to produce its own insulin to cover said meal.

All in all I am angry. I am angry about food. I am angry at food. I am angry that I cannot simply go on a whim out to any given restaurant (fast food, fine dining etc) and just randomly choose something off the menu. I am angry that everyone around me can! I am angry that every single time I go to put anything in my mouth I have to think and rethink so many different factors before actually just being able to enjoy the food. Do I even get to enjoy food? I don't think so, at least not as others do. In the end, there are times when I don't even get to eat the item because it just doesn't jive with my celiac and/or diabetes needs. It sucks!

I am angry that my body isn't able to function properly and it leaves me unable to do anything without meticulous preplanning and this adds unheard of amounths of self induced stress. This is not the case all the time, but in my opinion it shouldn't happen to anyone ever, let alone with every item of food/drink I want to have.

It's food for goodness sakes! Food, it's needed for general daily survival and it comes with so many issues for so so many of us.

And to think, these feeling were all stirred up today because a friend was talking about how she planned to run into McDonalds and pick up (fill in the blank) dinner tonight. I realize that I am healthier because I cannot eat that crap, but I also realize I am more angry because I long for the opportunity to run into anywhere in Edmonton and simply choose (fill in the blank) dinner item at a moments notice.

I long for the carbohydrate calculations to be perfectly & correctly provided for me, I long for the 100% guarantee of gluten free & contamination free food available in restaurants and other public eating areas and I long for the ablity to simply choose anything with ease, just as others can. I fear these longings will never happen, but a girl can hope can't she?

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

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Celiac Nutrition Help at Revive Wellness in Edmonton

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http://www.revivenutrition.com/
Revive Wellness has a team of high-energy registered Dietitians providing customized nutrition and wellness coaching that transforms people's lives.  Sounds great eh?  Of course this service is not free, but they seem to know what they are doing.

I recently found out that they have gluten free diet program for $40 a session.  These sessions happen monthly.

Topics that will be covered:
  • Anatomy and physiology dysfunction
  • Diagnosis
  • Gluten-free grains and seeds
  • Eating a balanced gluten-free diet
  • Labelling
  • Travelling
  • Necessary vitamin/mineral supplements
  • Recipes
Visit the Revive Wellness website for more information or follow them on Twitter


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

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Gluten Free Gifts for All Occasions from Ben and Matts

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http://benandmattsglutenfreegiftbundles.ca/
We find this nice Canadian website for gluten free gift baskets.  Ben and Matts Gluten Free Gift Bundles is based out of Calgary and will serve Edmonton and the rest of Canada.

Look for gluten free valentines day gift baskets, gluten free birthday gift baskets, gluten free anniversary gift baskets or more from these guys.  Don't see what you are looking for?  Just give them an email for that custom gift basket that suits your needs!

To find out about their latest deals and specials, follow them on Twitter and Facebook.  You can also follow their gluten free blog for some great gift ideas.

Facebook: Click here for their facebook page
Twitter: http://twitter.com/bmglutenfreegb
Blog: http://benandmattsglutenfreegiftbundles.ca/chewonthisblog/

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

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Interesting alternative gluten free meats from Greens Eggs and Ham?

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http://www.greenseggsandham.ca/
In February I got an email from a company just outside of Edmonton that I have never heard of.  They are called Greens Eggs and Ham food Artisans.  Funny enough, they don't sell ham, but as I quicly learned from Mary Ellen Grueneberg of Greens Eggs and Ham, ham means to cure and or smoke.  Who would of thought, I thought ham was just a part of a pig! But infact Greens is beef free and, pork free!  On top of that they are lactose free and gluten free.  They sell, sausage, chicken, duck, guinea fowl, turkey, vegetables amongst other things.  The bonus is that they are local, and located around Leduc.

Sausages are made with Duck (the alkaline protein) and turkey, made with 80 % breast meat and 20% leg meat, no skin, no fat, no fillers.

You can find their product at places like CareIt Urban Deli (Crestwood) and the Downtown Marketing during the summer time.  Restaurants like Culina Millcreek, and Madison's at the Union Bank Inn have even used their product at their restaurants.

Click here for a list of where you can find their product.  You can also buy their products online at http://www.greenseggsandham.ca/.

If you have any questions about Greens Eggs and Ham products, please feel free to contact Mary Ellen via email greenseggsham@xplornet.com

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

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