Note from Alice
NFCA Founder & President
Last month, it was my pleasure and honor to present at the 13th International Coeliac Disease Symposium in Amsterdam. This bi-annual symposium is the foremost conference for the review and discussion of contemporary issues and scientific developments in the field of celiac disease. It was the trip of a lifetime, and I would like to take this opportunity to share some highlights of this thrilling experience with you.
What was the Symposium like?
The Symposium was set up in a format where the attendees broke into two groups. The first group attended a forum where celiac disease researchers presented their latest results. The second group was made up of patient organizations and healthcare providers.
I felt so very fortunate that we have some of the top minds in the world taking a vested interest in researching celiac disease. I felt like a kid in the candy store -- gluten-free, of course. I had the opportunity to learn more about my favorite subject, celiac disease, for three solid days. It was fascinating!
How was the presentation?
I must admit that I was a bit nervous presenting a poster summary of our accepted abstract,”
A Gluten Free Cooking Spree: An innovative approach to promoting awareness and diagnosis of celiac disease.
I arrived to the conference center at 7am where Dr. Ted Malahias, NFCA Scientific/Medical Advisory Board member, and I were among the first attendees to register. My heart was pounding with anticipation. How was I going to be received? The symposium invites some of the most prestigious leaders in the celiac community to their research results, and there I was set to discuss how NFCA’s Gluten-Free Cooking Spree events educate members of the healthcare and hospitality industries in celiac disease and the gluten-free lifestyle!
I was so pleased that many of these world renowned physicians loved our innovative model for creating awareness. I was even more delighted that medical professionals from around the globe wanted to know how they could host a Gluten Free Cooking Spree in their communities.
How were the museums, flowers and ……food?
We flew from Philadelphia to Amsterdam on a red eye on Saturday night, skipped sleeping and, prior to the start of the Symposium, went to the Rijksmuseum, Holland’s National Museum. Despite being under construction, you still can view the work of many Dutch Masters. The museum is the size of a large city block! If it were fully opened to the public, it would take days to see all the exhibits.
Next, we visited The Van Gogh Museum, which houses the best collection of Van Gogh works in the entire world. I really was fascinated by his self-portraits.
Finally, I made a trip to the Anne Frank House. It brought tears of sadness to my eyes, as I’m sure you can imagine.
After the Symposium concluded, I was able to fit in some more sightseeing, which included a trip to see the tulips! Oh my goodness… Holland is home to the most beautiful tulips in the world. The entire countryside was ablaze in fields of tulips. I must have taken 50 photos of the flowers. At one point in time, I had pollen all over my nose. Quite funny! The aromas of the flowers were delightful. If you have an opportunity to visit Holland, I highly suggest seeing the Keukenhof Gardens. April is a spectacular time to travel.
Lastly, the food!!! My overall experience was mixed. When I was treated to dinner at two upscale restaurants in Amsterdam, the staff truly understood gluten free, were more than accommodating, and the meals were delicious. But, when I traveled beyond the city limits and looked for very ‘basic food’, I still had problems finding gluten free options.
In short, the symposium was a fantastic learning expereince, one that gave me hope for the future of celiac disease. My personal expereince confirmed that, although we have made great strides, we continue to have a long way to go internationally to gain a perfect world for those with celiac disease. More than ever, we need your help!
By: Linda Simon, Registered Dietitian
Simple, healthy, gluten free cooking.
Mom nourished you. Now pay back the favor this Mother’s Day with an easy, yet still special dinner. Today’s menu features several dishes my Mom especially loves.
It starts with a salad that seemed so unusual and so elegant the first time Mom served it, long ago. Spinach, Orange, and Onion Salad. Fruit and greens? Wow. Now that is not unusual at all, but still delicious.
Spinach, Orange, and Onion Salad (Serves 4)
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 orange, sectioned and membranes removed OR 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
¼ sweet onion, thinly sliced
½ cup thawed orange juice concentrate (calcium fortified works well)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk orange juice concentrate, olive oil and mustard until well blended. Add salt and pepper as desired.
My mom nearly drools at the mention of pork, nearly any kind of pork. Such a simple entree, Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin is roasted and served in only 30 minutes.
Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin (Serves 4)
Adapted from Cooking Light Spiced Pork with Bourbon Reduction Sauce.
1 tsp chile powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp salt, optional
1 1/4 lbs pork tenderloin
Preheat oven to 400.
Slide a sharp knife under the sliver skin, or the white membrane, of the tenderloin and discard. For easy clean up, line a sheet pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper. Mix spices together on the foil, arrange in a long line. Roll pork in the spices. For very tender and moist meat, roast for 20-25 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Some folks like well-done pork. If that is you, cook a bit longer to 160 degrees. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice pork against the grain and serve.
Just as Mom drools at the mere mention of pork, she positively swoons over potatoes. No dinner is complete without mashed potatoes at Mom’s house. Smashed Potatoes elevate the usual comfort food with more texture, rich flavor and more color.
Smashed Potatoes (Serves 4-6)
Creamy and chunky, with bits of red skins.
Adapted from Cooking Illustrated Nov/Dec 2004
2 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled
4 tablespoons butter
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Halve the potatoes if they are large. Boil until very soft, 30 or more minutes. Drain and reserve cooking water. Add butter and cream cheese to the pan, cover, and allow to melt. With a wooden spoon, mash potatoes, butter, and cream cheese. Add some reserved water to thin to desired consistency.
Spring Peas are an easy side, full of bright green color and healthy fiber. Maybe you and your Mom can get them at a farmers market. Frozen tiny peas are a good second choice. Cook quickly in a little water and add a bit of butter and dill if you like.
My mom is known for a few recipes, Lemon Bars is one. She has been making these for probably 50 years. The original recipe adapted beautifully to gluten-free ingredients. Hopefully, it will become a go to recipe at you house too. Mom notes, use only real butter, no substitutes.
Lemon Squares (Yield 12 squares)
Traditional, full fat, and very sweet. Just the way Mom likes them.
1 cup all purpose gluten-free baking flour mix (Bob’s Red Mill works well)
¼ cup powdered sugar plus a few tablespoons for garnishing
½ cup chilled butter
1 dash salt
1 cup sugar
½ tsp baking powder
2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Oil the sides of the pan.
In a small bowl, mix flour and powdered sugar. Cut in butter. You can pinch the butter and flour between your fingers, or use a tool called a pastry cutter. Either way, mix the butter and flour together until it is crumbly and resembles cornmeal. Pat the crumbles into a crust on the bottom only of the pan, not up the sides. Bake 20 minutes at 350.
Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients together. Pour over crust and bake an additional 20-25 minutes. Cool completely and dust with powdered sugar. Cut into squares.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom!
Linda Simon, Registered Dietitian
PS Thanks to everyone who voted in the love it or hate it rhubarb poll.
Responses are running love it over hate it, 5 to 1.
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Gluten-Free Picnics and BBQs!
By: Christina Gentile, NFCA Volunteer Staff Writer
Spring is here and it is once again time for picnics and BBQs! Do not let a gluten-free diet keep you from enjoying great tasting food and the opportunity to spend time in the beautiful weather with family and friends! A picnic or a BBQ is a perfect opportunity to catch up with loved ones while sharing your gluten-free dishes!
When planning for a picnic or BBQ, always make sure that you avoid cross-contamination. Since it’s possible that not everyone on your guest list will be eating gluten-free, chances are gluten-containing items will be desired, which may become troublesome when preparing gluten-free dishes. I advise that gluten-free food should be prepared or cooked first before gluten containing dishes so that there is no cross-contamination of ingredients. Always use separate mixing bowls, utensils, and kitchen instruments when preparing and cooking food. In addition, when serving the food, always let guests know which items are gluten-free and which contain gluten so that they too may avoid contaminating the food.
There are many recipe ideas and dishes to choose from for an excellent picnic or BBQ. Hotdogs, burgers, BBQ chicken, corn bread, potato salad, bean salad, mozzarella salad, grilled vegetables, and corn-on-the-cob…the list can go on and on! Most ingredients needed to make these items can be easily found at your grocery store or specialty health food store. For hotdogs and burgers, try Oscar Meyer Beef Franks or Jennie-O Turkey Store Frozen Turkey Burgers served on Kinnikinnick, Energ-G-Food, Foods by George, or the Grainless Baker gluten-free buns. The buns can be found at specialty health foods stores or online at glutenfreemall.com. Or, if you want to test your baking skills, you can bake your own gluten-free buns using the recipe provided.
Below you will find several recipes to help make your picnic or BBQ a success as well as a delicious feast! You will find recipes to make home-made buns, corn bread, Southwest bean and corn salad, bean salad, and a minted blueberry fruit salad.
¾ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup potato starch
½ cup tapioca starch
2-teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
Mix above ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the following:
1/3 cup oil
½ cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. Put 2 very large spoonfuls of batter in each tin. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Take out of muffin rings and let cool completely.
Gluten-Free Cornbread (adapted from Whole Foods Recipe)
1 Tbsp butter
1-cup corn meal
½ cup sorghum flour
½ cup brown rice flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place butter in a 9-inch square-baking pan or in a small cast iron skillet. Put the pan in the preheating oven until butter is melted. Remove from oven and tilt the pan back and forth to coat. Set aside.
Mix corn meal, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, salt, brown sugar, and baking soda together. Add egg, milk, and melted butter. Combine with a few strokes but do not over-beat. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Southwest Bean and Corn Salad
2 15-ounce cans black beans, well drained
1 ½ cups corn
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 avocado, diced
3 tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3-cup lime juice
1/3-cup olive oil
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
In a large mixing bowl, combine the beans, corn, bell pepper, avocado, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro and gently toss. Whisk together the remaining ingredients, then pour over the bean mixture and gently stir to combine. Chill for at least an hour to allow flavors to combine.
6 large Yukon Gold potatoes, boiled, peeled and sliced
2 medium yellow onions, halved and sliced thinly
¼ cup white vinegar
½ cup canola or olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2-teaspoon black pepper
Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir vigorously. Refrigerate overnight.
Minted Blueberry-Fruit Salad
3 c fresh or frozen blueberries
2 large peaches, pitted and sliced
1 medium cantaloupe, cut into bite sized pieces
2 heads Romaine or Boston lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
Creamy Mint Dressing
½ cup fresh mints leaves
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup limejuice
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp grated lime peel
1 tsp salt
Make dressing first: combine all ingredients in a blender and mix well. In a medium bowl place blueberries, peach and cantaloupe, mix in dressing, let marinate for 30 minutes.
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Breakfast in Bed: A Mother's Day Classic with a Gluten-Free Twist
By: Abby Schwartz, NFCA Volunteer Staff Writer
In my household, though my daughter is the one with celiac, my husband and I often eat gluten-free as well. Shared meals are a family tradition we try to hold onto as she grows older and more independent. There is another tradition in many homes—Mother’s Day breakfast in bed—that will be carried out very soon. While visions of sticky food on my clean sheets create more Mother’s Day angst than pleasure for this neurotic mom, I would certainly love to awaken after a long slumber to find that my child (with a little help from Dad) has made breakfast for me.
Here are some ideas to inspire your own little chef to spoil you on your special day.
Breakfast is one of the easiest meals to make gluten-free. Fresh fruit topped with deliciously creamy Greek yogurt (“Fage” is one of our favorite brands) can be a light breakfast by itself or a tasty first course. Egg dishes are naturally gluten-free and a great introduction to cooking for a child. With supervision at the stove, you can teach your child to scramble eggs or make a creative omelet, adding toppings like chopped mushrooms or onions, shredded cheese, spinach, ham, tomatoes…the possibilities are endless.
Bacon is a treat in our house. When I was growing up, cooking bacon was an ordeal that involved a lot of splattering grease, followed by a major cleanup of the stove, backsplash and surrounding counter tops. Today, many bacon brands sell precooked varieties that can be heated quickly (and cleanly) in the microwave. I recently learned a great way to make bacon from my favorite bed & breakfast: lay slices of uncooked turkey bacon on a foil-covered baking sheet, not letting the pieces overlap. Sprinkle each slice with a light dusting of brown sugar, followed by a generous sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper. Bake in the oven according to the package directions (we use Oscar Mayer), or until bacon is crisp and sizzling. The sweet/salty/spicy flavor combination is irresistible.
Another tasty breakfast food is French toast. Gluten-free bread varies in quality of texture and taste, however it lends itself nicely to french toast. I make mine with a twist: a filling of cream cheese that makes this dish decadent.
Cream Cheese French toast
(recipe is per person)
2 slices of gluten-free bread, frozen
Gluten-free cream cheese, softened (or use the whipped variety). Our fave: Philadelphia brand
1 egg, lightly beaten
Splash of milk
Maple syrup (do yourself a favor and buy real maple syrup. It is delicious and worlds better than any artificial, corn-syrup-based “pancake syrup”)
Gently spread both slices of bread with cream cheese (since they are frozen, this is possible. Defrosted you are likely to end up with a pile of crumbs). Place both slices together to form a cream cheese sandwich. Break egg into a shallow bowl and lightly beat. Add a splash of milk to the egg. Place cream cheese sandwich into egg mixture, letting it soak for a few minutes. Flip it over so other side soaks up the egg too. While the bread is soaking, heat a pan with some butter.
Add soaked sandwich to hot pan, making sure not to cook it too fast (you want the egg to cook through all layers before the surface gets too brown). When the bottom is nice and crisp, gently flip it over to cook the other side. Serve French toast topped with real maple syrup. Optional toppings: fresh blueberries or raspberries, sliced bananas, chopped walnuts or pecans, mini chocolate chips or powdered sugar.
In the mood for pancakes? Bob’s Red Mill makes a gluten-free pancake mix that tastes just like traditional pancakes. This is a great meal for a child to help with, since it involves fun tasks like breaking eggs, pouring milk, measuring oil and whisking batter. My daughter loves these with mini chocolate chips sprinkled into the batter. Your child can also add any of the toppings suggested above for the French toast.
For an older child, a crustless breakfast quiche is the perfect recipe for a yummy, gluten-free breakfast for mom. Most recipes for crustless quiche call for Bisquick as an ingredient, which is off limits to those of us on a gluten-free diet. The following recipe comes from Gourmet magazine (recipe by Lillian Chou). All notations on gluten are mine.
Yield: makes 4 servings
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes (plus cooling)
1-1/2 tablespoons fine dry plain bread crumbs. Note: you can use your favorite GF bread crumbs or try making my favorite by grinding up GF saltine-style crackers in a food processor.
1 cup frozen chopped onions
1 cup diced cooked ham (1/4 pound). Note: many brands of precooked deli ham are naturally GF, including Boar’s Head, Dietz and Watson and Hatfield.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 (8-ounce) package shredded Swiss cheese (2 cups). Note: most brands of packaged shredded cheese are GF; they use potato starch to keep it from sticking. To be sure, check the ingredients before using. Safe brands include Kraft and Sargento.
4 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
½ teaspoon pepper
Equipment: a 10-inch quiche dish or glass pie plate
Preheat oven to 425ºF with rack in middle.
Butter quiche dish, then sprinkle all over with (GF) bread crumbs.
Cook onions with ham in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 5 minutes. Spread in dish, then evenly sprinkle cheese on top.
Whisk together eggs, cream, milk and ½ teaspoon pepper and pour over cheese. Bake until top is golden and custard is set in center, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting into wedges.
Finally, the best recipe your kids can make for mom on Mother’s Day: 1 part love, 1 part appreciation and a promise to clean the kitchen after breakfast.
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Appetite for Awareness:
Washington D.C. Gluten-Free Cooking Spree 2009 kicks off Celiac Disease Awareness Month
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness marked the start of Celiac Awareness Month with food and fun at the 2009 Washington, D.C Gluten-Free Cooking Spree. Over 300 guests attended the May 1st celebration at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda and watched local chefs, health professionals, and media representatives compete for the evenings ‘Best Gluten-Free Dish” honors.
Winning the ‘Best Gluten-Free Dish’ title was Zengo’s Chef Graham Bartlett for his Scallops Al mojo de Ajo recipe. Chef Bartlett’s team included Bonnie Benwick, assistant food editor for the Washington Post, and John’s Hopkins University School of Nursing Program Coordinator Richelle Bolyard.
The winning recipe was judged by Susan K. Flinn, principal of Susan K. Flinn Consulting, Dr. Vicki Peterson, co-author of The Gluten Effect and Clinic Director for HealthNOW Medical Center in California, and Tracey Seaman, Test Kitchen Director for Everyday with Rachel Ray Magazine and co-author of Real Foods for Healthy Kids.
In addition to sampling, attendees enjoyed a robust gluten-free buffet, dessert table, and bar thanks to many generous sponsors and donations.
Presentations from event honoree Dr. Bob Anderson, international
ly recognized leader in celiac disease research, Dr. Vicki Peterson, and Dr. Linda Arterburn of Alba Therapeutics Corporation were featured throughout the night.
NFCA would like to thank all our guests, sponsors, participants, vendors and volunteers for making this celiac awareness month celebration a success. NFCA also sends a special thanks to the Hyatt Regency Bethesda for hosting the 2009 Washington, D.C Gluten-Free Cooking Spree.
Below is the 2009 Washington, D.C Gluten-Free Cooking Spree
winning recipe by Chef Graham Bartlett of Zengo! You can also see Chef Graham’s recipe on the Washington Post Blog
of his 2009 Gluten-Free Cooking Spree teammate, assistant food section editor, Bonnie Benwick.
2009 Washington, D.C. Gluten-Free Cooking Spree ‘Best Gluten-Free Dish’
Scallops Al mojo de Ajo
By Chef Graham Bartlett, Zengo
MAKE AHEAD: The aioli and the plain sushi rice can be made several days in advance and refrigerated.
1 cup canola oil
6 medium whole peeled cloves
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce, preferably Sriracha
1 tablespoon yuzu juice (sour citrus juice; available at Asian markets)
Freshly ground white pepper
1 cup uncooked sushi rice, such as Tamanishiki brand
1 1/4 cups cool water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (a gluten-free brand)
2 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pound (10- to 20-count) dry-pack sea scallops, patted dry
Kernels from 1 or 2 ears roasted corn (1/4 to 1/2 cup)
1 or 2 scallions, white and light-green parts, coarsely chopped (2 tablespoons), plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons white or black sesame seeds, plus more for garnish.
Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a sauté pan over low heat. Add the garlic cloves and cook for 20 minutes, until they have caramelized and flavored the oil.
Reserve the cloves for another use, if desired; transfer the oil to a container and let cool.
Meanwhile, make the aioli: Place the egg yolk in a medium bowl; slowly whisk in remaining oil to form an emulsion. Add the chili paste and yuzu juice; stir to mix well, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Wash the rice in cool water, until its starch is gone and the water is clear. Place the rice and water in a rice cooker and cook according to package or the rice cooker manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a medium bowl to cool completely.
Combine the rice vinegar, sake and sugar in a liquid measuring cup, then add to the rice and mix well. Add the corn, scallions and sesame seeds; toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Divide among individual plates, making a small mound in the center of each one.
When ready to serve, heat a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic-flavored oil.
Lightly season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper. When the oil is almost smoking, add about half of the scallops, making sure not to crowd the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom. Turn them over and cook for about 1 minute, until just cooked through.
Place some scallops on top of each portion of rice. Drizzle with some of the aioli and garlic-flavored oil from the pan, if desired. Garnish with some of the scallions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Per serving: Calories: 420; Protein: 24 g; Carbs: 45 g; Fat: 16 g;
Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 90 mg; Sodium: 370 mg; Fiber: 1 g;
All Things GREAT: Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training
NFCA and GREAT Program Attend Food Service Industry Event in Chicago.
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) staff and gluten-free food industry experts will deliver a highly anticipated educational session on May 17th, 2009 at the National Restaurant Association 2009 Hotel-Motel Show entitled "Gluten Free on the Menu: Expanding Your Customer Base.” The 10 am presentation will provide education and insight on the rapidly growing U.S. gluten-free market for thousands of food industry professionals and organizations attending the NRA Show 2009.
NFCA representatives and industry partners will utilize this opportunity to raise awareness and education about the special gluten-free dietary needs of those with celiac disease and gluten intolerances, and generate interest and participation in the NFCA’s Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training (GREAT) Program.
"Gluten Free on the Menu: Expanding Your Customer Base,” will report on the exponentially growing gluten-free market, and provide solutions and resources to assist food service professionals and organizations in accessing the population of gluten-free consumers. NFCA representatives and presenters will stress that this steadily growing market presence is not a fad but rather one of permanent loyal consumers, including the millions Americans who suffer from celiac disease and gluten intolerances, as well as those with wheat and other food allergies.
“Gluten Free on the Menu: Expanding Your Customer Base” will be one of 65 educational sessions to be held at the NRA Show 2009, held May 16th-19th at McCormick Place in Chicago. The annual event attracts attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and showcases more products, services, innovative ideas and other growth opportunities than any other industry event. For more information visit the Show web site, www.restaurant.org/show
Philadelphia Inquirer Showcases NFCA’s GREAT Program and Encourages Training for Restaurants.
The Philadelphia Gluten-Free Neighborhood and the NFCA’s role in educating the area’s restaurant community about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet appeared on the front page of the Thursday, April 23rd Philadelphia Inquirer Food Section.
The two-page feature touts the tremendous efforts of NFCA volunteers and staff in creating the first ever ‘gluten-free neighborhood’ in Philadelphia, educating the restaurant community and making the city a safe and delicious place for celiacs to dine out.
Chef Marcie Turney of Lolita and Bindi Restaurants, as well as Pasquale Masters, owner of the Voorhees, NJ Pasta Pomodoro, reveal that their ability to accommodate those with celiac disease has given them incredible personal satisfaction, and they appreciate their gluten-free customer's enthusiastic support and loyalty
"I knew people were celiacs. I didn't know what it meant. I didn't know people died from it," Turney said. "When you put a face on the disease, it becomes a little more real."
Both chefs participated in NFCA’s 2008 Appetite for Awareness event, where they received training in gluten-free protocols through NFCA’s GREAT program.
They encourage those in the industry to learn about the special dietary needs of those with celiac disease by enrolling in GREAT.
"I want people with the disease to be able to dine like everyone else," Pasta Pomodoro chef Pasquale Masters said after the event. "They are discriminated against from the servers to the kitchen and they are paying customers. Restaurants need to cater to them.
All restaurants and chefs who participate in NFCA’s Appetite for Awareness and Gluten-Free Cooking Spree Events are enrolled in the GREAT program and receive training at no cost.
The entire 'Free to Eat Out’ article can be seen in section F of the Philadelphia Inquirer for Thursday, April 23rd edition. You can also view more on this acrticle at CeliacCentral.org
Great in the News is Truly GREAT NEWS!
In addition to the spectacular feature in Philadelphia Inquirer, the GREAT program and GREAT trained restaurants have been making news all over the country!
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NFCA Advocacy Corner
By: Geoffrey M. Roche, NFCA Advocacy Chairman
May 2009 NFCA Advocacy Corner
Within the past few weeks, I have had the wonderful opportunity to speak to various individuals who have celiac disease and are interested in helping with advocacy. It was great to speak to such passionate members of the celiac community and I look forward to working closely with them as we proceed in our advocacy efforts.
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) thanks New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey for her continuing efforts to raise awareness of celiac disease. Representative Lowey has re-introduced legislation recognizing 'May' as National Celiac Awareness Month.
We encourage you to take action today!
Contact your member of Congress and encourage them to support Congresswoman Nita Lowey of New York's "National Celiac Awareness" legislation, H. Con. Res. 110. This bill will help educate our nation's leaders so they can gain a better understanding of the impact this disease has on so many.
Representative Lowey, with wide suppoort from the celiac community, was a leader in gaining legislation that resulted in the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALPCA) that became law in August 2004. This law requires that food statements must list in plain language, what, if any, of the eight main food allergens (milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat) are contained in a product. In addition, allergens are to be listed if they are secondary ingredients in the spices, natural or artificial flavorings, additives, and colorings in a product. This law went into effect in January 2006.
If you are interested in helping with advocacy work, please contact me, Geoffrey Roche, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The NFCA’s Gluten-free Lifestyle Webinar Series is sponsored by Blue Diamond Growers Nut-thin Crackers.
We are still hard at work planning the next Webinar session! Please continue to check our website at www.CeliacCentral.org
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Chex Will Debut 5 More Gluten-Free Cereals This Summer
This summer, Chex will offer five more gluten-free cereals! Gluten-free Rice Chex became available in 2008, but now gluten-free Corn Chex, Honey Nut Chex, Chocolate Chex, Cinnamon Chex and Strawberry Chex are beginning to appear on grocery store shelves. By early summer they will be widely available across the country, offering the same great taste as before!
As this integration slowly occurs, it is very important for consumers to find “Gluten-Free” on the Chex cereal package. Gluten-Free boxes may be mixed in with older, gluten-containing boxes until they are fully replaced. The label “Gluten-Free” will appear near the ingredient declaration on package side panels and may also appear on the front panel, so be sure to find it before you purchase. Also, be sure to remember that Wheat Chex and Multi-Bran Chex have not been made gluten-free.
Consumer insight and requests provoked the reformulation of Rice Chex back in 2008. The response was so incredibly positive that the company was excited to get to work on bringing even more gluten-free varieties to store shelves. Along with removing the gluten from their products, the company is also very aware of the dangers of cross contamination and takes steps to prevent it. Each gluten-free formula they create is tested against the FDA’s proposed regulations.
Chex Marketing Manager, Adrienne Daniels, said “For the first time, people looking for a tasty, gluten-free cereal can shop the main cereal aisle at their market without paying a premium. Now, Chex brings even more gluten-free varieties to the breakfast table. And, to round out the offering, we’re introducing a wide range of gluten-free recipes at www.Chex.com/glutenfree.” Be sure to check it out!
Can’t wait till the summer so I can stock my cabinets with boxes of delicious, affordable gluten-free cereal. Thanks, Chex!
For more information, visit: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Say-Good-Morning-to-Five-More-bw-15104116.html?.v=1
Allergaroo Ready-Made Meals
If you have ever had a moment when you wished there was an allergy friendly meal you could just throw in the microwave for the kid’s lunch or dinner, you are in luck! Allergaroo has come out with a line of microwave ready meals in a microwave safe pouch. These products are free from the eight most common food allergens: wheat/gluten, milk, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish and shellfish. They come in Chili Mac (Elbow Rice Pasta with Mild Chili Sauce, Pinto Beans and Ground Chicken), Spyglass Noodles (Penne Rice Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Ground Chicken) and Spaghetti (rice spaghetti with tomato sauce). This company was started by a mother who was tired of searching for convenient, alternative foods for her children. Their website has a store locator feature that will help you locate these products in a store near you. However, you can also order online, at:
This weekend I was doing my weekly grocery shopping and was in the mood to change up my breakfast routine a bit. I was thrilled to find Van’s Gluten-Free Waffles right at my local Giant! If you have never tried these waffles, you need to buy a box immediately! They are so delicious that I would never know they were gluten-free. They toast up nice and crispy and have that warm vanilla aroma, which is perfect if you are in the mood for a sweater breakfast. They are great for the kids on weekend mornings or for a special treat before school during the week. They are great covered with fresh fruit, a dollop of whipped cream or just plain butter and maple syrup. Along with several different flavors of gluten-free waffles, Van’s also offers gluten-free pancakes and cinnamon French toast sticks. Van’s is a great company and is committed to ensuring they produce safe and delicious foods by testing every single batch of their gluten-free products. These products are pretty widely available in stores like Giant and Whole Foods. However, if you have any trouble, their website has a store locator to help you find Van’s nearby!
Jo-sef Gluten-Free Cinnamon Graham Crackers
The weather is starting to warm up! This means that camping trips, picnics and evening bonfires are just around the corner. What do all of these activities traditionally have in common? S’mores! For a while now, my s’mores have consisted of a marshmallow between two pieces of Hershey’s chocolate. But this year, I am prepared with Jo-sef’s Gluten-Free Cinnamon Graham Crackers! These graham crackers are delicious and a terrific substitute for wheat-based versions. They can also be used to make a fantastic pie crust. They’re great with a cup of tea and delicious crumbled up into yogurt or ice cream. I have seen these back-ordered several times, so you know they are good! To order, visit:
Schar’s Gluten-Free Italian Breadsticks
Crunchy Italian breadsticks used to be one of my favorite pre-dinner snacks when I was younger. I hadn’t had them in years before I found Schar’s Gluten-Free Italian Breadsticks. Made with extra virgin olive oil, they are crunchy and crumby and have the aroma of a traditional breadstick. Along with being gluten-free, they are also egg free, lactose free, and soy free. They make a great anytime snack as well as an acceptable substitute for crusty Italian bread when served with a big saucy meal. One package comes with three individually sealed bags of the breadsticks so they retain their freshness longer. On the Schar website, there is a recipe for Grossini sticks; a fancy snack perfect for cocktail parties and dinner guests, ready in just ten minutes. Be sure to check it out! You can conveniently purchase Schar products from their online store at: http://schar.elsstore.com/
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Celiac in the News
Starbucks Begins Selling Gluten-Free Pastry
Finally! Beginning May 5th, 2009, you can grab a delicious gluten-free pastry to go with your coffee at Starbucks! In response to requests from customers, individually wrapped, gluten-free Valencia Orange Cakes will now be available. The cakes are made from seven, 100% gluten-free ingredients and are on sale for just $2.25 each. A representative for Starbucks said that the company received many requests from customers for gluten-free foods on its mystarbucksidea.com webpage. It is so wonderful that they made an effort to learn more about their gluten-free consumers and integrate a product that is safe for us to eat. So go out and show your thanks by trying their delicious new gluten-free Valencia Orange Cakes!
NFCA is pleased and proud that we introduced Starbucks Valencia Orange Cakes on May 1st at the Washington DC Gluten-Free Cooking Spree. Guests at the Cooking Spree got a sneak preview sampling of this delicious treat at our elegant dessert table prior to the cake's nationwide launch.
Join the Growing Gluten-Free Community on Twitter
If you are looking for a great way to connect with the online gluten-free community, you should join Twitter. "Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?" The service is fun, free and easy to use. Once you sign up for an account at www.twitter.com, you will be able to connect with gluten-free bloggers, authors, individuals following a gluten-free diet, support groups, dietitians, chefs, and foundations, to name a few. It is a great way to get involved. For example, on April 3rd, there was a gluten-free twitter party! To learn more about the gluten-free community, visit:
Vitamin B Supplements May Benefit Celiac Patients
Recent research suggests that people suffering from celiac disease could benefit from boosting their dietary intake of vitamin B. Celiac disease can lead to vitamin deficiencies, which can cause higher levels of an amino acid called homocysteine. Homocysteine has been linked to cardiovascular disease. In a study done by Dr. Muhammed Hadithi and his Dutch research team, the effects of daily supplements of vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 on homocysteine levels on 51 adults with celiac, were analyzed. The results were then compared with the same analysis done on 50 healthy individuals. “Their investigation found that vitamin B6 and folate were significantly and independently associated with homocysteine levels in the celiac patients taking such supplements. Based on this study, patients with celiac disease may consider enriching their diet with nutritional supplements that may prevent hyperhomocysteinemia.”
Gluten Intolerance Tied to Schizophrenia
A research team based at Inverness, Scotland’s UHI have confirmed a connection between gluten and schizophrenia. Their findings suggest that approximately 30% of people suffering from schizophrenia cannot effectively break down gluten. When these individuals ingest gluten, they suffer intestinal damage comparable to those with untreated celiac. According to one of the researchers, Dr. Jun Wei, such patients may also benefit from a gluten-free diet. Based on this study, it appears that gluten proteins play a role in activating schizophrenia in people who carry genes for the disorder and in aggravating the symptoms of those who already suffer from it.
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