Note from Alice
NFCA Founder & President
Every day, I am asked questions that are on everyone’s mind, questions about celiac disease, life after diagnosis, and managing the gluten-free diet. The three questions most frequently asked are…
- How do I stay so slim on a gluten-free diet?
- What are your thoughts on genetic testing?
- Is an endoscopy really necessary to diagnose celiac disease?
In this newsletter, I will start with the first question!
I love physical fitness. I love healthy foods. I want to live a long life, a long HEALTHY life. And, I would like the same for all of you. Why? I lost my Mom to pancreatic cancer when I was 19 years old. This spring, when my 22-year old daughter graduated from college, I was thrilled to have an experience that my Mom never had.
So, I would like to rephrase the question from ‘how do I stay so slim’ to ‘what do I do to stay healthy’ and offer some simple suggestions.
First, after you have been diagnosed, make sure that your physician checks your overall health. After years of misdiagnosis, your body probably is not functioning at its peak. Start with a nutritional assessment and, possibly, a bone density test, along with a good family history to look at associated symptoms and related illnesses. It is important to determine if you are getting proper calcium, vitamin D, protein, Iron, Folate, Fiber, Thiamin, Riboflavin and Niacin or have nutritional deficiencies.
After diagnosis, my bone density was fine but I had other nutritional deficiencies. I eat a very balanced diet full of nutritious, delicious gluten-free food. Shopping the perimeter of the supermarket, I find fruits and vegetables in season, foods that are naturally nutritious, gluten-free and fresh. I love blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Avocado is one of my favorite foods and very healthy. Coconut Milk is not only yummy but a source of vitamins and electrolytes. I check labels for gluten-free products that are low in sugar and high in fiber and nutrition. Personally, I love to cook with red and green curry and fresh herbs.
Next, take time to exercise daily. Even 5 minutes is better than nothing. If you dislike physical activity, focus on one very small change in your daily routine which will contribute to a ‘healthier you.’ Take the stairs instead of the escalator.
Remember, our immune systems have been compromised; we need to eat healthy and not just gluten-free. Food is our medicine! Take a few minutes to stretch your mind and your body and you will be on the road to a healthier way of life!
By: Linda Simon, Registered Dietitian
Simple, healthy, gluten-free cooking.
An Apple a Day
A fresh crop of apples appears in the fall. What fun to go apple picking, or simply visit a local orchard with the kids.
You might be able to try several varieties you were unaware of before. Ida Red, Jonagold, Macoun, Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, Fuji… They may be sweet or tart, crunchy or soft, juicy or not, red, yellow or green, big or small. It is fun to breathe the crisp air and come home with a half dozen new favorites.
What do you do with your treasures?
Eat them raw, out of hand. Make salad, baked apples, applesauce, or apple oatmeal crisp. See recipes below.
3 apples, cored and diced
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Mix it up. This is one of my Mom’s favorite salads. She serves it on a lettuce leaf. Eat it quickly; this is best the day it is made.
Make one or many. Simply multiply ingredients by the number of apples you are baking.
Ingredients per serving:
1 baking apple (not Red Delicious)
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon of nuts
1 teaspoon of butter, margarine, or oil
a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
1 tablespoon of water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Core the apple, trying not to go all the way through to the bottom. But no worries if you do. Peel the skin off the top third of the apple to make it pretty.
Put the apple in an oven safe dish. Fill the cavity with sugar, nuts, butter, and spices. Some of sugar can fall on the shoulders of the apple. It will caramelize and be very alluring. Add the water to the baking dish.
The apples can touch if making more than one. Choose a pan that the apples snuggle into. The juices will get syrupy as the apples bake. If there are just a few lonely apples in a big pan, the syrup may burn.
Bake for about 45 minutes. Take deep fragrant breaths, and serve warm.
Some of you will be thinking, boring. Not so. Homemade applesauce ranks right up there in the comfort food category. Homemade applesauce is a fall ritual at our house.
I use my pressure cooker and it cooks in only 3 minutes. Of course, you can cook applesauce on the stovetop. You would peel, core, and dice the apples, then cook them until they are soft, 20 to 30 minutes. You need to stir frequently to prevent scorching.
But this is how I make them in the pressure cooker. I cook with the peels on. Many people think it is tedious to remove the peels after the sauce is cooked. I think it adds some flavor, and some color.
Applesauce freezes very well too. Warm applesauce is just as welcome in January as it is in September.
Pressure Cooker Applesauce
3 pounds of apples
¾ cup of water
1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
1-3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, optional
Quarter apples and remove the seeds. Make sure you remove the hard part that is around the seeds. This will not soften with cooking and will be an unpleasant texture in your applesauce.
Put apples and water into pressure cooker. Lock the lid, bring to pressure, and cook for 3 minutes.
Quickly drop the pressure by running cold water over the cooker, in the sink of course. Open the cooker and pour apples into a large bowl to cool.
Using a tongs and a spoon, hold onto apple peels and scrape any apple pulp of the peel. Discard the peels.
Taste the applesauce and add optional ingredients if you wish. I always add cinnamon and a bit of butter. Often the apples need no sugar at all.
Apple Oatmeal Crisp
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup certified gluten free oats
½ cup sorghum flour
½ cup nuts
¼ cup oil
6 cups peeled, seeded, and sliced apples
Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
In a small bowl, thoroughly mix sugar, oatmeal, sorghum flour, nuts and oil.
Put apple slices in the bottom of an 8x8 or 9x9 inch oven safe glass or ceramic pan. Top with the oatmeal mixture.
Bake for about 45 to 60 minutes.
Quinoa flakes work well in place of gluten-free oatmeal. Really, any whole grain flour works well. I have used amaranth, millet, and quinoa. Buckwheat, Montina, and teff work just fine, but they are dark colored, and usually not a look folks are expecting in a fruit crisp topping. Sorghum and teff are my favorites.
For more information on gluten-free oats see, http://blog.kitchentherapy.us/2009/06/o-is-for-oat-two-carrot-oatmeal-muffins/
For more information on antioxidants in sugar see, http://blog.kitchentherapy.us/2009/08/antioxidants-in-sweeteners/
A medium sized apple has 5 grams of fiber in 80 calories and many antioxidants.
Apples are also likely to have pesticide residues, especially on the skin. Fiber and antioxidants are concentrated in the skin and just below it. You can peel the apple to remove some of the pesticides, but you also remove some of the nutrition.
The Environmental Working Group publishes a list of the fruits and veggies with the highest levels of pesticides. They call it the Dirty Dozen. Apples are #2. The Environmental Working Group also publishes the Clean Fifteen, a list of produce that is least likely to have pesticide residues. So I choose to buy organic apples and commercial varieties of other produce. The organic selection of apples is limited, but the quality is good. And the cost is only a bit more than commercial apples.
Linda Simon, Registered Dietitian
Back to top
Don't "Fall" Back Into the Routine... Quick, Creative, and Appetizing Ideas for Weekday Meals
By: Christina Gentile, NFCA Volunteer Staff Writer
For most families, back to school may mean back to busy schedules and routines, extracurricular activities, sports, and studying! The idea of fitting in a home-cooked meal during this demanding time may seem impossible and unrealistic. But luckily, delicious home-cooked meals can be made and enjoyed by your family, and they do not involve much prep time nor cook time.
The key to tackling the burden of cooking gluten-free meals during this busy time is to strategize, shop ahead for ingredients, and use convenience foods when possible (and short on time!). By strategizing, you can plan ahead for the week and figure out how much free time is available to prepare and cook a meal. During this time, you can plan what recipes you want to use and create simple menus. Once you figure out what you want to serve during the week, make a grocery list of items that you will need so that when the day arrives to cook a certain dish, all ingredients are at your hands! And don’t hesitate to use convenience items (make sure they are gluten-free in advance)—these will help save time and reduce cost instead of making items from scratch.
Gluten-free vinaigrettes, sauces, and mixes are also great to have when short on time. Frozen fruit and vegetables and canned goods are excellent in the kitchen because they have a long shelf life and will help save you from washing and chopping. In addition, most grocery stores sell fresh packaged vegetables such as onion, celery, carrots, and garlic that are already cut and prepared, but this comes with a bit higher cost. In addition, items such as corn tortillas, gluten-free bread, rice, beans, cheese, and precooked lean meats are great to have on hand because they are versatile and can be used in many recipes.
If you have time on the weekends, I recommend preparing some meals or items in advance so that you can maximize your time during the week. During the school year, I would help my mother cook some foods that she would store in the refrigerator that my family could eat during the week. These would include foods such as brown rice, stews, chili, homemade pasta sauce, and sautéed vegetables. During the week, she would then match one of the pre-made dishes with something she was cooking that day. For example, we would have brown rice and veggies with herbed chicken that she made that day, or she would cook fresh noodles and make turkey meatballs to serve with her homemade pasta sauce. I would definitely recommend this strategy if you have the extra time on the weekends! It could even become a family activity by recruiting each member to wash, cut, chop, etc.!
Those are some ideas on how to save time…so now the question is what to cook! Menus that involve chicken can take about 25 minutes to bake depending on ounce weight and thickness, whereas beef meals may take longer depending on cooking technique. If cooking with chicken, leftovers may always be used in the next night’s meal. For example, leftover baked chicken may be used as an ingredient to make chicken quesadillas or chicken tacos. There are also dinner mixes that can be used as part of your meals that you can serve with freshly cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes, rice, or cooked black beans. The brand, Mrs. Leeper’s, manufactures several pasta and meat dishes that can be easily made and en-joyed by your family. Varieties include Cheeseburger Mac, Beef Lasagna, Creamy Tuna, and Mac and Cheese. Serve this main dish with mixed vegetables (or use frozen veggies) and mashed potatoes (try instant such as Idahoan – make sure you are buying one of their gluten-free products).
Another idea is to incorporate Thai recipes that can be easily made using gluten-free products from Thai Kitchen. These noodles are versatile and there are many sauces that Thai Kitchen sells that can be incorporated into the dishes. Check out the many gluten-free products they offer at: http://www.thaikitchen.com/allergyinfo.html. If you are very short on time, a gluten-free pizza can be easily made by purchasing a pre-made crust, and topping with pizza sauce, cheese, and veggies.
To help get you started, I created several menu ideas that you can test out with your week’s busy schedule. With about a half hour of cooking time and very short preparation time, you will see how simple and quick gluten-free meals can be to make, without all the stress and burden! And, if you and your family are craving dessert after your meal, try baking fruit such as berries and sliced apples topped with cinnamon and brown sugar for a healthy treat. For a “once-in-a-while” indulgence, have a top your own sundae bar with reduced fat vanilla ice cream, chocolate, candies, etc.!
Monday’s Menu: Baked Chicken and Pesto with Herbed Spaghetti Noodles and Garlic Bread
Baked Pesto Chicken:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ c basil pesto
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover baking pan with foil. Place chicken in a bowl and add the pesto. Toss until chicken is covered. Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and place slices of tomato on top of chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes.
As chicken is baking, cook gluten-free noodles as directed on package (usually about 10 mi-nutes). Drain noodles and stir in 1 TBSP Smart Balance or Promise Butter and mix with favorite herbs (Oregano, Basil, Thyme and Rosemary). Garlic Bread: Spread gluten-free bread with a healthy butter alternative (Promise, Smart Balance) and sprinkle with garlic powder. Bake in oven for about 5-7 minutes.
Tuesday’s Menu: Vegetable Lasagna
4 medium zucchini
1 package mushrooms
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
10oz frozen chopped spinach
28oz pasta sauce
24oz mozzarella cheese
8oz feta cheese
Olive Oil Gluten-Free lasagna noodles (Try noodles by Tinkyada, DeBoles, or Pastariso)
Boil lasagna noodles according to package. In a food processor, chop zucchini, mushrooms, onion and garlic until minced. In a frying pan, add about 1 tbsp olive oil and veggies…sauté until tender. Add de-frosted spinach and pasta sauce. Coat a baking pan (8 x 8, 9 x 11) with oil and layer noodles on the bot-tom and cover with vegetable mixture on top (and so on); add mozzarella cheese on each layer. Top with feta cheese. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, beef or pork, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup assorted vegetables, such as bell peppers strips, sliced carrots and snow peas
2 cups cold cooked Thai Kitchen® Jasmine Rice
2 tablespoons Thai Kitchen® Spicy Thai Chili Sauce
1 tablespoon Thai Kitchen® Premium Fish Sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir about 30 seconds or until garlic is lightly browned. Add meat and vegetables; cook and stir 3 minutes or until meat is cooked through. Stir in Jasmine Rice, Thai Chili Sauce and Fish Sauce; cook and stir 3 minutes or until rice is heated through. Push rice mixture to side of skillet. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to middle of skillet. Add egg; scramble until set. Stir into rice mixture.
Thursday’s Menu: Broccoli and Mushroom Omelet with Side Salad
8 egg whites (for convenience, try Egg Beaters)
3 tablespoons nonfat milk
Pinch of salt, black pepper, and nutmeg
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 cup frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1-3.5 oz pkg. crumbled reduced-fat feta
2-3 cups salad greens
Favorite gluten free dressing, gluten-free croutons, gluten-free salad add-ons (shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, onion)
Whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk, and seasonings. Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms to pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in broccoli; cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove veggies from pan and place in bowl. Place skillet back over medium heat; coat gene-rously with nonstick cooking spray. When pan is hot, pour in 2/3 cup of the egg mixture. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the veggies and a ¼ of the feta down one side of the egg mixture. Cook for 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold right side of egg over mushroom and cheese. Cook 3 minutes. Carefully slide onto plate; keep warm. Repeat procedure for remaining omelets. Serve with salad: Mix salad greens with dressing and favorite add-ons.
Friday’s Menu: Turkey Tacos (serve with salad, baked potato, mixed veggies)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium-size onion, chopped
1-1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
Hard Shell Corn Tacos
1 can (11 oz) Mexicorn, drained
Shredded lettuce and cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro and onion for add-ons
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and stir in the ground turkey; stir occasionally; cook for 8 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink. Stir in garlic salt, cinnamon, cumin, pepper, and tomato sauce. Cover pan and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, heat taco shells at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Add corn to turkey mixture and heat cook for about 2 minutes. To serve tacos, spoon about 1/3 cup of filling into each warmed taco shell. Garnish with taco add-ons. Serve with side salad, baked potato, or mixed veggies.
Back to top
Gluten-Free Lunch for Public School Kids
By: Elizabeth Gensler
My daughter Maya is almost finished with kindergarten. I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed! It seems like just yesterday we were receiving school materials and summer homework packets. At the time, I carried no concern over how Maya would do academically - she’s always had a hunger for learning. However, it was her hunger for food (or lack thereof) that kept me up at night. Pre-school had been a safe outlet for my gluten-sensitive girl. She was surrounded by others with food allergies, and one of her three teachers (in a classroom of just 12 kids) made sure to microwave her gluten-free food.
As I read through the school materials, I was horrified to learn that there was no microwave available in public school. How was my under-three-percent-on-the-growth-chart child going to survive? Maya is also highly sensitive to eggs so that ruled out the deliciously soft gluten-free bread from Sweet Sin. With school fast approaching, it became my goal to make gluten-free lunches in kindergarten yummy for Maya and nutritious for her growing body.
My inspiration for writing this happened when I met an eleven-year-old girl with celiac who has been gluten-free for five years. Assuming that she would have some lunch time wisdom to share, I asked her what she brings in her school lunch. I was saddened to hear that she brings apples and cheese each day. When I told her that I send mac and cheese, pizza and grilled cheese, her eyes lit up! She asked her parents if she could do the same. For other parents out there with the same dilemma, here are some of my success stories:
When it comes to hot lunches, discovering Foogo® thermoses was the beginning of the end of my lun-chtime nightmare. Target carries this brand and you can also buy them online. When my husband and I wake up each morning one of us heats the tea kettle then fills the thermos with boiling water; within a half hour, the thermos is primed. As the morning progresses, I make one of the following: Pizza by George, Amy’s Rice Mac and Cheese, Ian’s French Bread Pizza1, my own grilled cheese2 or gluten-free pasta3. I try to time it so that just before she leaves for school, I transfer the piping hot food into the piping hot thermos. That way I know the food will still be plenty warm at lunch time. (Tip: Spill out the water and wipe any remaining liquid up with a paper towel before adding the hot food.) The thermos keeps food warm for up to four hours. I always pack fruit with the lunch and sometimes a gluten-free dessert. Maya has a small belly and is a slow eater so if I pack too much she doesn’t eat much of anything.
On the days that a hot meal isn’t packed, Maya gets one of the following for the main part of lunch: tuna fish and a rice cake and cream cheese (packed separately and she puts the tuna on the rice cake at lunch) or a rice cake with cream cheese and jelly and a yogurt. The cold meals can be packed quickly and even partially the night before.
Preparing the hot lunches does take more time out of the morning, but soon it becomes routine. And the payoff for me is seeing a thriving child who is finally eating and not feeling too different from her peers.
- Ian’s makes a wonderful GF French bread pizza, but it is made with soy cheese. I cook the pizza for 8 minutes and scrape off the soy cheese then add mozzarella and continue cooking.
- When I make GF grilled cheese, I lightly toast the GF bread first. Then I use the toasted bread to make the grilled cheese in the traditional manner. When done, I cut the sandwich in 4 triangles, I wrap them individually in tin foil before placing in the thermos.
- My favorite gluten-free pasta brands are: Bionaturae and Tinkyada. I cook them a minute less than called for in the directions. Maya likes the fusilli with butter and salt; she eats the regular spaghetti with spaghetti sauce.
Back to top
Tid Bits with Tina
Danny the Dragon and Author Tina Turbin Share "Yummy Gluten-Free Tid Bits"
I am a published children’s author, writer, researcher and one who needs to be on a gluten-free diet. I travel extensively and my job spans many exciting opportunities.
One of my favorite jobs is sharing Tid Bits on just anything and everything to help our gluten-free community. I have a topic to cover which applies to many homes, the topic of vegetables versus children, or does it have to be?
How does one go about getting vegetables down little ones tummies, so their bodies can absorb all those incredibly beneficial minerals as well as benefit from their fiber? I’ve got some good tips to share. You may even become the popular family on the block after this one.
Vegetables, those beautifully colorful display items at our grocery store can become the disliked item on the dinner plate or the resented item stuck in the kids’ lunch box. Advertising does not help us by promoting the benefit of carrots, zucchini, garlic, onions etc. Most vegetables do not come packaged in boxes with little colorful critters all over the front and games to excite you on the back cover. So what do we do?
Tid Bit number one is let them be involved in the grocery store. Allow your child to help pick out the various vegetables and fresh spices at the grocery store. Make this a game to teach them little by little how to choose the vegetables or even all the items for a particular dish or two. This is the time to introduce many unusual looking vegetables and discuss where they come from and “Let’s take one home and try it!”
Tid Bit number 2 is let them be involved in the kitchen by helping you prepare meals and cook. A child is never too young to learn and, in fact, the earlier you approach this subject the more fortified they will become with knowledge and will be asking for celery sticks and almond butter “dip” instead of a bag of deep fried chips or cookies.
Tid Bit number 3 is let them be involved in setting the table. The idea of setting a beautiful, ornate, messy or fun table is all in the eyes of the beholder. A child will love the finale’ that he or she created. You will see eyes beaming with pride.
Now just imagine this: You had this amazing day of learning some facts about a carrots and broccoli with your mom or dad at the store: where they came from, how they grew, how they help a body grow, what is fresh and not fresh, rotten etc. Then you come home to the excitement of helping wash the car-rots and broccoli as you know why they need to be washed first. You help prepare the recipe in the kitchen. You help set the table or even set the table yourself. Everyone sits at the table with plates full of this recipe you helped make, some chicken and a gluten-free roll. I can nearly guarantee you will LOVE to eat the meal you helped your family prepare and will want to do it all over again.
I can also safely state that many kids love butter and sweet flavors. The more they have been introduced to more packaged and prepared snacks and meals the harder this can be to change. If this is the case you will need to introduce eating vegetables little by little, keeping in the above three points as ways to get your child more informed about his or her own health and gluten-free condition. You can even play a game of try a new vegetable every day, every other day or week. Of course trying includes learning about it and you can use spices, a variety of sauces, etc. to help the palate at first.
Some of you may have the more finicky child that requires hiding or disguising the vegetables in the meal and sneaking it past the lips in any way possible. For all of you, no matter what type of child you have, I have a few kid friendly ideas which include vegetables many kids seem to really enjoy and even ask for more!
Add finely shredded zucchini to your GF lasagna meat sauce.
Puree in a blender: zucchini and spinach with fresh tomato sauce and a little basil and garlic and salt. Use this to top a GF pizza dough and then add whatever else on the top of your “disguised” sauce.
Add zucchini or carrot to muffins with agave syrup and cinnamon.
Add spinach or kale to a raspberry fruit smoothie.
After school platter of very small slices of celery, carrots, mushrooms and apples with a home made spinach dip you whipped up in your blender or use a nut butter of your choice.
The possibilities are endless. I hope this helps. I have a vegetable frittata which you and your child can easily make at: http://www.glutenfreehelp.info/c/recipes/party-ideas/
More about Tina and the "Danny the Dragon" children's book series:
Tina Turbin was a prolific writer and speaker throughout her school years. At age 16, she wrote her first children’s book and that interest has never waned.
“Danny the Dragon 'Meets Jimmy" is the first in Tina’s series of children's books. Tina Turbin is currently working on the treatments for future books, as well as the sought-after Danny’s cookbook! This cookbook will teach children to prepare nutritious meals simply and educationally through Danny’s guidance, at a level a young child can understand and with just a lot of fun!
Tina Turbin became extremely interested and involved in the subjects of gluten-free, gluten sensitivity and celiac disease a number of years ago after having been diagnosed as gluten-sensitive. Since then, she has engaged in diligent research and writing about these topics, contributing articles to such publications and websites as Awareness Magazine, MixingBowl.com and the Baby Boomers Knowledge Center, and Celiac.com. She also has her own gluten-free resource website, www.GlutenFreeHelp.info.
Tina resides in Dunedin, Florida, and also researches and writes on the topics of: children, families, mothers and women in society; and enjoys her abilities as an Artist, Decorator and Author.
All Things GREAT: Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training
Making Back to School a GREAT Time of Year for Gluten-Free Students!
NFCA’s Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training (GREAT) program is helping to provide school students with celiac disease with safe gluten-free dining options.
Several colleges and universities recently underwent GREAT training in an effort to improve the quality and availability of safe and healthy foods for students with celiac disease, who require a 100 percent gluten-free diet.
Earlier this month, Lincoln Southeast Community College became the first school in the history of the program to complete GREAT training!
GREAT Guide Beckee Moreland administered the training of eight members of the hospitality staff.
“Having the Lincoln Southeast Community College Food Service and Hospitality staff complete the GREAT program shows their commitment to students as well as the celiac community. These young people work in various local food service positions where we need people to provide safe gluten-free meals and dining experiences,” said Moreland.
Slippery Rock University, Kutztown University, California University of Pennsylvania, Tiffin University, and Hiram College also received GREAT training in preparation for the 2009-2010 school year!
Training for these institutions was implemented under the leadership of Michelle Apple RD, LD and AVI Food Systems. Michelle shared the following about her GREAT Program experience and its application in colleges and universities:
“The GREAT program was an extremely educational and resourceful program. The materials for the program made my job easy as a trainer to implement at our Universities. With the increase of students with celiac disease we saw a need for a food intolerance station. At this station we will now serve gluten-free selections for students.”
As everyone with celiac disease knows, sticking to a gluten-free diet is hard enough when you have your own kitchen in a house or apartment. For a gluten-free college student in a dormitory, the challenges can be overwhelming. This is particularly true for freshmen, who are not accustomed to living away from home or providing food for themselves, may not have access to stores that sell gluten-free food, and usually live in freshmen dormitories with few if any cooking facilities.
"I cannot say enough good things about all resources available for the staff and management from the GREAT program. The resources helped to educate staff and provide tools to use for students with celiac disease. As a corporate dietitian, I do not have the time to create programs. Therefore, GREAT made it easy to train the staff and implement procedures.”
GREAT foodservice training is available for academic institutions of every level and size nationwide!
For a frequently updated listing of ALL GREAT trained locations, visit the GREAT program page on the NFCA website.
Back to top
The NFCA’s 2009 Gluten-Free Lifestyle Webinar Series Continues
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 atwww.CeliacCentral.org
Back to top
Appetite for Awareness
NFCA’s signature event, Appetite for Awareness, is a dream come true for the 1500 attendees who experience the rare treat of both safe and delicious food at every turn. Guests can sample delicacies from more than 25 of Philadelphia’s top chefs, plus those of dozens of vendors – all of which are not only gluten-free, but are lusciously mouth-watering as well. The event features an “Iron-Chef” like competition, where eight teams of prestigious chefs, top docs and representatives of the media strive to create the best gluten-free dish.
Held at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia on September 30, the evening features a pre-event VIP Reception that will provide you with an opportunity to congratulate our honorees, John Binswanger and his Family and enjoy personal face-time with our chefs who include Jose Garces, Marci Turney and Mark Vetri.
VIP tickets can be purchased online. Sponsorship opportunities are also available for both individuals and businesses. To ensure your spot as a sponsor in all of our upcoming promotional opportunities, please contact Jennifer North at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit http://www.celiaccentral.org/Events/Upcoming-Events/Appetite-for-Awareness-Philadelphia-2009/290/
San Francisco Cooking Spree
San Francisco: Host City for NFCA Gluten-Free Cooking Spree
Join the excitement on October 30, 2009 as the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) brings San Francisco Area premier chefs, top doctors and members of the media together to celebrate the gluten-free lifestyle. The stunning Administration Building (Building 1) on historic Treasure Island will be the venue for the 2009 San Francisco Gluten-Free Cooking Spree. Located in San Francisco Bay, Treasure Island is an historic landmark created in 1936 for the Golden Gate International Exposition. Event guests will enjoy a surprising and dramatic view of the city and the surrounding San Francisco area.
Date: Friday, October 30, 2009
Time: 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Place: Treasure Island Building 1 (Administration Building)
San Francisco, CA
(In the'middle' of San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge)
Dr. Chaitan Khosla
Celiac Sprue Research Foundation
Dr. Gary Gray
Tickets: Order online!
Send a check made payable to NFCA:
ATT: Nancy Ginter
P.O. Box 544
Ambler, PA 19022
Call Nancy Ginter on 215-325-1306, ext.101
Ten top chefs will partner with renowned area doctors and media representatives to create delicious gluten-free food for all to sample as these teams compete for the Best Gluten-Free Dish of the evening. Guests also will enjoy a buffet of hearty hors d'oeuvres, desserts, beer and wine---all gluten-free. Come hungry!
Enjoy the Marketplace where vendors will share samples of their products, give product coupons and sell their wares. All attendees will take home a fabulous goodie bag filled with treats from a variety of gluten-free vendors.
Guests will have an opportunity to 'Ask the Doctor/Dietitian' about celiac and the gluten-free diet. And, you can take a chance on a silent auction and win terrific prizes!
For information, please go to www.CeliacCentral.org or call 215-325-1306, ext. 101.
Back to top
Every week, NFCA receives calls, cards and letters asking about ways to make a connection within the celiac community. Some want to sell their businesses, some want to hire a baker, and others just want to know who to contact about that special something. With that in mind, we are launching Celiac Connections, a section of the CeliacCentral newsletter that offers a venue for this exchange.
If you would like to have an entry in this portion of future newsletters, please contact the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness at email@example.com.
Like to Shop and Want to Support NFCA?
Do your shopping at igive.com and support NFCA! By designating the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness as your charity, we earn a percentage of your purchase. Participating retailers include Staples, Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, Home Depot, Travelocity and JC Penney. You even can track your fundraising goal on igive’s Facebook application!
Back to top
Schär Gluten-Free White Bread Buns
This past weekend, my boyfriend and I decided to take a trip out to Wegmans, a grocery store where we used to shop when we were in college. There is one about 40 minutes from where I live, so the fact that we drove all that way to grocery shop should give you an idea of how amazing this store is. I was more than delighted to find a whole aisle of gluten-free goodies and I stocked up. Among my purchases was a bag of Schär gluten-free white bread rolls. The next day, I sliced a roll, toasted it up and made myself a deli-style sandwich. The roll was so delicious my eyes welled up. I gave my boyfriend a bite and he agreed that they taste just like regular white bread rolls. They were soft and chewy and my mind started racing with thoughts about what else I could eat on these rolls – hamburgers, egg and cheese sandwiches, you name it! A day later, I had eaten them all! You can find Schär products in stores like Wegmans and Whole Foods, or you can order online from their website. http://www.schaer.com/en/gluten-free-products/panini/
Glenn Food Soy Crisps
I love to snack throughout the day, so I’m constantly on the lookout for healthy gluten-free snacks. Glenn Food’s soy crisps are just the kind of product I keep my eye out for. One day my mom came home from the health food store and extended an already opened bag to me. Trusting that she wouldn’t offer me anything that wasn’t gluten-free, I reached in without question and pulled out what I thought was a mini rice cake. It was only when their deliciousness intrigued me enough to examine that bag that I realized they are actually made of soy flour. They have been a favorite of mine ever since. These soy crisps are loaded with protein, contain little fat and come in a variety of flavors such as BBQ, Lightly Salted, Garlic and Onion, Sea Salt and Olive Oil, Garlic and Feta. I find these products in many main-stream grocery stores, but you can also order them online. http://www.glutenfree.com/Glenn-Foods-Soy-Crisps-BBQ/Item951106
DeBoles No Boil Lasagna Noodles
Growing up in an Italian family, lasagna was a staple. It was often served as our special holiday dinner as well as a frequent weeknight meal. Needless to say, I love it. Not just because it’s delicious, but because it’s what I like to call a long distance dinner. It lasts for a couple of nights and makes for a quick prep dinner when it just needs to be reheated. Recently, I discovered DeBoles no boil lasagna noodles. I think this is fantastic because you don’t have to spend time boiling the noodles and then praying they don’t all stick together in one unusable clump! With the no boil, you simply layer your ingredients and noodles and pop it in the oven. In about an hour, they cook up perfectly! You can usually find these noodles in Whole Foods and other health food stores, but if you can’t find them near you, you can order them online at DeBoles’ website. http://www.deboles.com/products/product.php?prod_id=793&cat_name=gluten_free
La Tortilla Factory - Ivory Teff Wraps
Most of the time, I bring a homemade lunch to work with me. It saves money and I can guarantee that I have a lunch on hand that’s safe for me to eat. However, like many people, I suffer from frequent “lunch boredom.” I find myself falling into the routine of bringing a salad or a turkey sandwich on gluten-free bread almost every day. Once in a while I’ll bring a corn tortilla and use it as a wrap, but sometimes it just doesn’t do it for me. I was really excited to find La Tortilla Factory’s Ivory Teff Wraps. I love the texture because to me, it feels a lot like a traditional wheat wrap. The flavor is really nice as well and I find it much more appropriate for a lunch wrap then a corn tortilla. Teff is also very high in protein, which makes these a healthy addition to a meal. Just heat it up for about 15 seconds in the microwave and you have a wrap that can be rolled beautifully without cracking. You also don’t have to rush (trying to avoid the point where they turn back into stone) because these will stay pliable after heating. La Tortilla does make products that aren’t gluten-free so double check that you are purchasing the right product. Their website has a store locator feature to help you find these wraps near you. You can also order them online. http://www.latortillafactory.com/jadworks/ltf/jwsuite.nsf/webpages/keg/$file/keg.htm http://www.glutenfree.com/La-Tortilla-Factory-Ivory-Teff-Wraps/Item952019
Back to top
Celiac in the News
The Expense of Eating with Celiac Disease
This is a great article that was recently published in the New York Times health section. It discusses the cost of eating with celiac disease and paints a very detailed picture of just how much a grocery bill can increase after being diagnosed. According to a study conducted by the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, gluten-free versions of products like bread, pizza and crackers are nearly three times as expensive as regular products. As many of us know too well, the cost of gluten-free food is not covered by health insurance plans, as it is in Britain or Italy. However, there is information in this article about itemizing your tax return, which could potentially allow you to write off some items associated with celiac disease. To learn more, read the article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/15/health/15patient.html?hpw
Gluten-Free on Your iPhone
We have all heard of the iPhone, and the boundless applications that are being developed for it. However, it wasn’t until recently that I learned about an application that can do wonders for those with celiac disease. The application is called iCanEatOnTheGo and it can be used by celiacs to quickly and easily identify what meals are safe to eat at 15 US fast food restaurant chains. Users can select one or a combination of 9 different allergens. They can then browse through over 1500 color-coded menu items and their associated allergens, instantly obtaining information about what is safe for them to eat. Learn more about this amazingly helpful iPhone application here: http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/08-28-2009/0005084464&EDATE=
Labeling of Gluten-Free Beer
A recent article in USA Today reveals that the FDA has issued its “Guidance for Industry” for non-barley, or gluten-free, beers. This means that these beverages can now officially be labeled as gluten-free after they have been tested by the FDA. Now, there is a standard for beer that’s labeled gluten-free, which is good news for celiacs. “Brewers of gluten-free beers have until January 1, 2012, to begin adding nutrition labels to their products, including a declaration of major food allergens, which includes wheat.” To learn more, visit: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-08-17-beer-gluten_N.htm
New Gluten-Free Concession Stand Opens at Turner Field
ARAMARK, alongside the Atlanta Braves, have announced that a dedicated gluten-free concession stand will be opening at Turner Field on September 4th. The stand will be opened in response to requests from the fans. It will offer items such as all-beef franks, sirloin beef burgers, chicken sandwiches, chips, popcorn, brownies, cookies, soda, water and gluten-free Redbridge beer. Ron Ranieri, the General Manager at Turner Field said “The gluten-free stand is part of the Braves and ARAMARK's overall commitment to offer menu options that allow all fans, regardless of dietary restrictions, to enjoy the ultimate ballpark experience." This news comes shortly after ARAMARK opened a gluten-free concession stand at Coors Field in Colorado. Hopefully this trend will continue! http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20090902&content_id=6749258&vkey=pr_atl&fext=.jsp&c_id=atl
Back to top