Monday, October 29, 2012

Gluten Free World

Check this out - Gluten Free World!  It's like Pintrest except it's entirely gluten-free!  How amazing is that?!  GF World provides a format for quickly and easily sharing information on gluten free products, books, cookbooks, resources etc.  Be careful - once you get started it's dangerously addictive:o)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Celiac Momma Boutique


Carmelized Parsnips with Fancy Potatoes

1/2 vidalia onion
3 large parsnips
1/2 lb fancy potatoes
2 TBSP crushed garlic cloves
2 TBSP minced ginger 
2 TBSP olive oil

Peel, slice & saute the onion in the olive oil over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes or until the onion is slightly caramelized.
While the onion is sauteing, peel & slice the parsnips into rounds.  Add to the onions and continue to saute for another 20 minutes.
Wash, dice and boil the fancy potatoes for 20 minutes until just tender.
Reduce heat to low and add the garlic and ginger to the parsnip mixture.  Saute over low heat for 5 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and add to parsnip mixture.
Saute for another 10 minutes.
Season with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.
Because this recipe has a lengthy cooking time, I typically prepare it late afternoon as the kids are doing their homework.  The kitchen fills with a sweet aroma and I can supervise the cooking and the homework at the same time.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash

1 large butternut squash
2 TBSP Light Agave Nectar
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil(EVOO)
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
sea salt & cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Peel, remove seeds and cut squash into bit sized pieces.
Place squash in a large bowl & mix with all ingredients.
Transfer to a casserole dish.

Bake for 40 minutes stirring every 10 minutes to cook evenly & caramelize all sides.
Serve warm.

Enjoy all the naturally gluten-free health benefits of butternut squash!  Butternut squash is a rich source of dietary fiber, and is high in vitamin A.  Better yet, these squash contain iron, zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorous and potassium, which is important for bone health which is critical for Celiacs.

So, roast, bake, sautee or puree a nice warm, healthy, naturally gluten-free butternut squash this season.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Favorite GF Product: lucy's Maple Bliss cookies

Dr. Lucy's line of Gluten Free cookies are also vegan and peanut, tree nut, milk and egg free so they're perfect for people with multiple food allergies!  
Lucy's are available in Maple Bliss, Gingersnap, Cinnamon Thin, Sugar, Chocolate Chip and Chocolate flavors.  The decision whether or not to eat oats is a personal one for many with Celiac.  If you do choose to eat oats, Dr. Lucy Cookies are also available in gluten-free oat varieties.

The Maple Bliss cookies are light, delicate, slightly crispy with just a hint of maple sweetness.  Look for Lucy's at Whole Foods Market, Stop & Shop and even some Costco's.  Lucy's are also available at some on-line retailers in single size serving packs which are great for lunch boxes, picnics or your next road trip.

Friday, October 19, 2012

GF Halloween Treat: JellyBelly Jelly Beans

Check out these Jelly Belly fun packs - perfect for your Halloween candy dish.  Since they're gluten free, fat free and peanut free - what's not to love?
I'm keeping an extra stash so my little guy can trade in any "toxic" candy he gets, for something he CAN eat!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Celiac School Frustrations

I'm having an emotional day and feeling a bit beat-up as I advocate for my little guy to be included in school activities.  For a better perspective on my feelings and frustrations, please read my blog post C.D. versus the Nut Free Classroom, and School Birthday Parties.
Since my son and husband were diagnosed with Celiac Disease about a year ago, I've embraced the gluten-free lifestyle whole-heartedly.  And I've worked hard to educate our small local elementary school about his needs and restrictions.  Last school year(his 1st as a diagnosed Celiac) was particularly challenging.  Out of necessity I became an advocate for my little guy, which in turn led to my desire to create this blog.  Unfortunately, his elementary school(K-5, 400 students) was neither understanding nor accommodating of his dietary needs and restrictions.
Last night around 8 pm I received a mass email from our school notifying families that the following day during lunch(our school has no cafeteria) students would be served pasta with pesto in their classrooms.  The email went on to explain that this was the culmination of a farm-to-table project as the children had grown basil in the school greenhouse.  The email also stated that gluten-free pasta would be served for those with dietary restrictions and named the small local cafe that would be preparing the meal.  Keep in mind, that out of necessity, I secured a 504 Plan for my little guy at the end of the previous school year, and he is the only g-free kid in his school.  So, I understood that the statement was there for our family.  Hooray! Right?  Not so fast.  I know the local cafe preparing the meal very well and am often a patron.  I also know that their kitchen space is very tight, they have about 5 employees, and the thought of them being able to prepare 500 cups of pasta without the gluten-free pasta being cross contaminated somewhere along the way...clean pot?  fresh water?  dedicated colander?  sterilized utensils?  my son receiving the correct dish?... Waaay to risky.  Waaay too many opportunities for cross contamination.  But, it was 8pm and both the cafe and school were closed.   Luckily, I didn't have to be at work until the following afternoon.
So, I called the cafe early in the morning to ask about their procedures, and to see if I could stop in and pick up some pesto to make my little guy his own dish.  They indicated that they were not asked to make gluten-free pasta, did not have gluten free pasta, and had used all of the pesto!  Exasperating!  So, I called the school, but of course had to leave a message for the assistant principal.  I received a call back from the science teacher who had put the event together.  A truly lovely teacher, whom I respect and I respect her efforts to bring the farm-to-table movement to her students.  It turns out, she had cooked gf pasta for my little guy at home and was bringing it in for him!! Ugh.  Such confusion and concern that could have been avoided with better communication.  In the end, I cooked and brought in his pasta, the science teacher stirred in the pesto she had saved for him, and I got to stay and have lunch with my little guy at school.
Feeling slightly emotionally drained, but tomorrow is a new beginning.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Product Review: Dr. Praeger's kids littles broccoli

I purchased this product because my little guy loves broccoli, the shapes are fun and kid friendly, and right on the front of the box the package indicates: 
NO SALT                     0 TRANS FAT
LOW Sodium                LOW FAT
                       GLUTEN FREE
Dr. Praeger's products are also manufactured in the USA and I love to support American companies whenever possible. 
I thought the littles broccoli would be a nice, warm, healthy after-school snack.  However, when I got home and turned the package over for cooking instructions, I noticed 2 things.  In large bold letters it says Gluten Free.  Right under that declaration in small print it states:  Made in a facility that uses wheat, soy, eggs, fish and milk.  Sigh:(  
Needless to say, I didn't allow my Celiac son to eat these.  His big sisters and I loved them though!  The littles broccoli were delicious and satisfying!  So, if you're gluten sensitive or intolerant, these are probably fine for you to enjoy, but if you have Celiac Disease I can't recommend them.  Sadly, I won't be purchasing them again unless Dr. Praeger's changes their production practices. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

GF Halloween Treat

I found these Wonderful Pistachios at Stop & Shop.  What a great naturally gluten-free Halloween treat!  I bought a couple of bags to hand out as treats, to send in to school in my little guy's lunch box, and for him to trade in his "toxic" candy after trick-or-treating!

Gluten-Free Roasted Fancy Potatoes


approximately 1 1/2 lbs. fancy potatoes
2-3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
2 TBSP crushed garlic
Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Fresh basil

Rinse and halve or quarter all potatoes.
Rinse again to remove excess starch and any remaining soil.
Transfer to a medium sized pot, fill with cold water and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Boil 15 minutes - until just tender.
While the potatoes are boiling, chop a handful of fresh basil, line a roasting pan with foil lined parchment paper and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Drain the potatoes.
Cover the potatoes with the EVOO, crushed garlic, fresh chopped basil sea salt and cracked black pepper and stir gently to coat.

Transfer the potatoes to the roasting pan.  I love this roasting pan because it has a removable rack and handles.  
Roast for 25 minutes stirring occasionally.

Serve warm and enjoy.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Gluten-Free "Pocket Guide"

Loving this gluten-free "pocket guide" in the summer 2012 issue of Delight gluten free magazine!  I carefully removed it from the magazine and it's hanging on our pantry door!  Although I consider myself to be a bit of an "expert" regarding gluten foods/additives, it's always nice to have a handy reference guide.  The Gluten-Free Bible is another fantastic addition for your gluten-free kitchen.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

CSA Long Island Expo

Recently, I attended the Gluten-Free Expo sponsored by the Celiac Sprue Association and held on Long Island.  It's the first Gluten-Free Expo I've attended and I'm thrilled that I made the time to get there!  The hotel where the Expo was held, was beautiful, upscale, surrounded by gorgeous trees and landscaping, and connected to a golf course and tennis courts.  If you are thinking of attending next year, you wont be disappointed.
Displays from six vendors including Namaste Foods, Van's Natural Foods and Wild Flours Bake Shop offered brochures and product coupons.
Twenty-four exhibitors included Aleia's Gluten Free Foods, Garden Lites, JD's Best Gluten Free Pizza,  Sorghum Checkoff Program, Crunchmaster and Udi's Gluten Free.
The rep's from Aleia's were incredibly friendly, helpful, clearly passionate about their brand, offered lots of free taste tests and several free samples!  I already love their Italian Bread Crumbs and can't wait to try the Panko Style Bread Crumbs and Savory Stuffing Mix they sent me home with.
I met Julie at the Garden Lites booth, a company that offers all natural vegetable based products.  Their celiac-friendly products are not only gluten-free, but are manufactured on dedicated lines and routinely tested at levels below 10 parts per million.  I tasted their absolutely delicious Zucchini Chocolate muffins.  Garden Lites are frozen, and packaged individually so look for them in the natural/organic freezer section.  Garden Lite products are available nationwide through many large retailers! Visit their store locator to find a location near you!  If they aren't available at your local market, print out a product request form and ask your store manage to carry them - you'll be glad you did!
Barbara Kliment, the Executive Director of the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board and her husband were on hand to educate the community about Sorghum.  I have to admit, I was truly fascinated as I had never seen a sorghum plant.  Barbara was lovely to speak with, is clearly passionate about sorghum, explained the benefits of using sorghum for gluten-free baking, and provided me with a free Sorghum cookbook.  I can't wait to try baking with sorghum flour and to serve the grain as a side dish.  A sorghum product they had on hand as a sample is Mini Pops.  Mini Pops are air popped sorghum grain, grown in the USA, NON GMO, GLUTEN-FREE, CERTIFIED ORGANIC, and manufactured in a NUT-FREE facility!  What's not to love!  Additionally sorghum farming requires 50% less agricultural water consumption than corn.  Mini Pops resemble miniature popcorn and are available in a variety of flavors.  Sure to be one of my new favorite GF products!

Crunchmaster also had a representative providing taste tests of a variety of gluten-free crackers including Roasted Vegetable, Artisan Four Cheese, Original and Rosemary and Olive Oil and sent me home with samples to share with my family.  I also received product request forms from them, as currently, I can only purchase one variety at one local store.  I'm hoping to get a variety of these products on the shelves at my regular supermarkets as well!
Overall it was a terrific experience and I can't wait to attend again next year!

Special Diets for Special Kids

Although Special Diets for Special Kids by Lisa Lewis, PHd, was not written specifically for kids with CD, it provides a tremendous amount of information pertaining to the gut, absorption and metabolization of food.  Special Diets is specifically aimed at understanding dietary intervention for children with autism. The brain-gut connection is explored in great detail and the author cites several medical studies in support of her theory for the removal of gluten and casein from the diets of children with autism to help improve behavior.
If your child has autism, Special Diets is a wonderful resource offering a deep analysis of the benefits of a gluten free/casein free diet.  An entire chapter discusses vitamin and mineral deficiencies that are often lacking in children with autism.  Since the gf/cf diet can be somewhat limiting, supplements are often necessary.  However, make sure those supplements are gf and cf.
Special Diets provides over 200 kid friendly gf and cf recipes ranging from muffins and smoothies to holiday and ethnic fare.  
We are looking forward to making the Kiddie Colada and the Panda Puff Chocolate Crisps.  We'll let you know how they turn out!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Product Review: Kids One Gluten-Free Probiotic

Unfortunately, our family does not like this "kid friendly" chewable multi-vitamin with pro-biotics.  I wish I could say we like them, because I like the values this company promotes.  Rainbow Light has a program called Vitamin Angels and to date, they have donated over 25,000,000 vitamins globally.  Rainbow Light offers 75 Gluten-Free products and they are also guaranteed to be free of yeast, milk, eggs, soy, nuts, and fish/shellfish.  My kids and I find the Chewable Multivitamin/Mineral to be chalky, gritty and bitter tasting.  My toughest critic actually spit it out and refuses to try another one - sigh.  I did try a second, and it was just as bad as the first:(  And at roughly $13 a bottle, I feel somewhat bitter about throwing them in the trash:(  If you'd like to support the company or try this product - click on the link below.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Carmelized Brussel Sprouts and Prosciutto

Brussel Sprouts and Prosciutto

approx 1 lb. brussel sprouts
4 TBSP sun dried tomatoes julienne cut
1 medium red onion
approx. 2-3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/2 lb. prosciutto
2 TBSP fresh chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
fresh basil leaves
wedge of Parmesan
Prepared rice or quinoa

Pour EVOO into a medium sized saucepan - just to cover the bottom of the pan.
Dice the red onion & saute over low heat 20-25 minutes until the onions begin to carmalize.
While onion is sauteing - rinse the sprouts, trim off the ends, cut in half & steam for 3 minutes to tenderize.
Trim prosciutto into large bite sized pieces.
Add prosciutto to red onion & brown.
Add garlic and saute 1 minute.
Add sun dried tomatoes & brussel sprouts.
Add the veggie broth & heat through.
Season with fresh cracked pepper.
Serve over rice or quinoa topped with fresh basil and shaved Parmesan.