Gluten Free blog postings

Gluten Free Postings

Earliest: June 2, 2015Latest: December 12, 2017Total: 108

November 22, 2016

McCormick Gluten Free Options

Brown Gravy

McCormick is well known for their recipe mixes collection. If your lucky, you may find a store that carries all 25+ different varieties.

Gluten Free Options

McCormick also makes eight different mixes as Gluten Free:

  • Gluten-Free Beef Stew Seasoning Mix
  • Gluten-Free Brown Gravy Mix
  • Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning Mix
  • Gluten-Free Fajita Seasoning Mix
  • Gluten-Free Meat Loaf Seasoning Mix
  • Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning Mix
  • Gluten-Free Thick & Zesty Spaghetti Sauce Mix
  • Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy Mix

We have tried many of these in soups and in crock pot recipes. They are all very good, we have had to add a little corn starch to thicken up the gravy in some recipes.

According toe McCormick's website, you can find these in various stores including Target/Walmart and Amazon.com.

Framingham Stop and Shop

The Stop and Shop on Temple Road in Framingham, Massachusetts has discontinued selling McCormick's Brown Gravy Gluten Free recipe mix packets.

I was worried that McCormick has stopped making the gluten free Brown Gravy, but there's nothing on their website or from various gluten-free food blogs.

I am guessing that this particular Stop and Shop is not selling enough of the gravy to justify the premium shelf space. I would highly recommend that they should move it over to the gluten free section.

They did put a strange shelf sign:

McCormick Shelf Tag

Apparently I shouldn't use my Stop and Shop card, otherwise, it wouldn't be discontinued.

November 15, 2016

Food Allergy Awareness Act

restaurant-poster

On January 2009, Massachusetts Governor Patrick signed into law the Food Allergy Awareness Act. The Act requires that certain food establishments comply with regulations developed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The purpose of the Act was to educate the food service community on some food allergies that consumers may have.

The act went into law on October 1, 2010. All food establishments that cook, prepare, or serve food intended for immediate consumption either on or off the premises must be fully compliant.

Food Allergy Awareness Poster

Every food establishment in Massachusetts is required by law to display a food allergy awareness poster in the staff area. In addition, they are required to include a notice on menus that reads ?Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy.? ( Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 140, Section 6B )

Download the Massachusetts approved Food Allergy Poster (2009)

Video Training for Certification

The law also requires that a person in charge has food allergy training for certified food protection managers. The training is done via video in collaboration with FAAN Ambassador Who Cares Ming Tsai. The four-part video is available on YouTube.

Food Allergy Friendly Restaurants

The law requires that the Massachusetts department of Public Health designated a program for restaurants to be classified as ''Food Allergy Friendly'' and maintain a listing of restaurants receiving that designation on its website. I checked their site and wasn?t able to find any ?Food Allergy Friendly? list.

The law does not require that the food establishment has allergy friendly food, just that they are aware of the issues that people have with food allergies.

Penalty

Failure to have the Food Allergy poster posted, menu notice or proof of training would be a critical health item on the health inspection report requiring corrective action within 10 days.

Consumer Awareness

If you or anyone in your party has any food allergy, it?s a good idea to view the poster and watch the video. This will help you have an understanding of what information is available at the food establishment. (or at least what people should know.)

November 1, 2016

Dulce D Leche

Dulce D Leche Framingham

Recently we went to Dulce D Leche Gelato Cafe in support of a fundraiser by the Saint Bridget School. The cafe was giving the school a percentage of sales for those that brought in a promotional brochure.

About Dulce D Leche Gelato Cafe

Framingham newest premium cafe is the place to go to get a nice cup of coffee and some delicious gelato ice cream.

Dulce D Leche Gelato Cafe open for business on June 5, 2016 at 5 Edgell Road in Framingham. The location is commonly known as One Framingham Centre.

They are a full-service coffee shop with hot chocolate, pastries, and Argentinian Gelato Italian-style ice cream.

Argentianian Gelato ice cream is a bit different than standard ice cream you get at a roadside farm stand. It's creamier and smooth. If you like soft serve ice cream, you'll enjoy Argentinian Gelato ice cream.

Dulce D Leche has a lot of unique flavors to pick from. If you're unsure of how something would taste, they are happy to give you a small spoon sample.

I liked the Dulce de Leche flavor with chocolate chip. It's a good flavor to start with.

Seating area was quiet and clean. There is free wifi available, for those that want to browse the Internet while enjoying their coffee.

Gluten Free Offering

When we informed the staff of my daughter's need to eat gluten free they were accommodating. The server pointed out each ice cream that did contain gluten. Lucky for us, there were lots of ice cream for my daughter to select from.

She was happy to have the milk chocolate. I think that she wanted to try the brownie chocolate, but she knew that it contained gluten.

I noticed that they had a scoop in each flavor. So there was no chance that flavors could mix up.

Take home or Eat in?

We took a couple of pints home with us. The good thing is that they make the pint for you. These aren't prepacked containers - you can watch them pack it up for you. (They do stuff it all the way to the top!)

The ice cream is better soft than hard. So if you're going to have it in your freezer, keep it out for a bit before scooping so that it can soften.

Worth Going?

Its worth going and treating yourself to an afternoon ice cream treat.

An International House of Pancakes is being built in the parking lot near Dulce D Leche. I would suspect that the Framingham Centre will be a busy place with the addition to the iHop.

October 25, 2016

Halloween Candy

Halloween Candy

Halloween can be tricky time for kids with Celiacs. Thankfully many of the popular candies are Gluten free and Celiac friendly. Here?s the list of the 30 most popular candies in the United States

Pay attention to the candy that are handed out at halloweeen, and ask ask for a different candy if they should get one that is not on the list. Example, keep in mind that M&Ms are gluten free and look for that in the bucket as candy is being distributed.

100 Grand Bar Not Safe
3 Musketeers Safe
AirHeads Safe
Almond Joy Safe
Butterfinger Safe (Only the Bars!)
Candy corn Not 100% Safe (Brach's Candy Corn is processed in a facility that also processes wheat)
Hershey's Kisses Safe (Not the Hugs variety)
Jolly Ranchers Safe
Kit Kat Bar Not Safe
Laffy Taffy Safe
Lifesavers Safe
M&M's Safe (Except for pretzel M&Ms)
Milky Way Safe (Not Orginal)
Nerds Safe
Nestlé Crunch Bar Not Safe
Pixy Stix Safe
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Safe
Reese's Pieces Safe
Skittles Safe
Snickers Safe
Sour Patch Kids Safe
Starburst Safe
Swedish Fish Safe
Sweet Tarts Safe
Toblerone Safe
Tootsie Rolls Safe
Twix Not Safe
Twizzlers Not Safe
Oreos Not Safe
Whoppers Not Safe

LiveStrong has a very good list of all the candy that is Glueten Free.

October 18, 2016

Wahlburgers

Walburger Boston

Last week we were near Fenway Park and decided to checkout Wahlburgers. According to the "Find Me Gluten Free" App, the resturant has a 93% approval rating for being a Celiac friendly. We thought we give it a try.

Wahlburgers is a different type of restaurant, it's basically a step above a Smash Burger. You have the option to order via counter or walk around and eat in. When we ordered our drinks it came in take-out paper cups. My first thought was, "Well that's one way to avoid doing the dishes."

Placing the Order

When the host came over and asked for our order, we let them know that our daughter needed to eat gluten free. He was very knowledgeable on what was available on the menu that was gluten free. We asked if they had gluten free mac & cheese, off hand he didn't know, but he checked with the kitchen and confirmed that they didn't have a gluten free pasta. We decided to order a grill cheese sandwich for my daughter and a couple of burgers: "The Melt" and "The Our Burger." We order one with french fries and the other with Sweet Potato Tots.

We were told that they have a dedicated fryer for french fries and tots, so there were no cross contamination issues.

Really Good Burgers

Grill Cheese Sandwich GF

We didn't have to wait too long for our order to arrive, which was good because we were starving. The burgers looked good, as well as the grilled cheese looked yummy. We tasted our burgers and they were delicious, much better than Smash Burger. They were loaded with flavor.

I didn't care for the french fries too much, I think the shoe string french fries at Smash Burger is better, plus you get a lot more to enjoy. The Sweet Potato Tots were very yummy and didn't last long at our table. Lots of flavors and delicious.

Desert

There was very limited gluten free options for dessert, but the server suggested the "Grilled Banana Fluffanutta" as that could be made gluten free. The desert contains peanut butter, fresh bananas, fluff & Nutella served between grilled bread.

The server completely forgot that we ordered it when he dropped off the check at our table. He apologized and said that he would get it with no charge.

The desert was 'ok' wasn't anything all that special. I was thinking that it would be a cold desert, not a hot one. Probably not something that I would order again.

We'll Be Back

The restaurant noise was a bit loud as the current hits were being played over some of the TV audios. Certainly not the place to go and have a chat.

We enjoyed our meal at Wahlburgers, and we'll certainly be back. The restaurant is far from Framingham and we had to pay $10 to park at the Landmark Center Garage across the street. So we won't be going as often as other restaurants that we go to.

We are glad that we found a new gluten-free place for our daughter.

One more thing

What's the deal with the drink prices? why is a "fountain soda, Coke" cheaper than Gingerale? Both were served in a Wahlburgers take-out cup.

Drink Prices

October 11, 2016

Jennifer Lee's Allergen Free Gourmet Bakery

Are there Gluen Free Options at the Boston Public Market?

Jennifer Lee Bakery

Yes, you can find Gluten Free foods at the Boston Public Market - check out Jennifer Lee's Allergen Free Gourmet Bakery. The bakery sells gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, and dairy-free breads, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and donuts.

From a Press Announcement earlier this year:

Jennifer Lee's Gourmet Bakery produces all of their products in their commercial kitchen in Malden, Massachusetts, and sources ingredients such as jams, maple syrup, apple cider syrup, fruits, vegetables, and alcohol from local farms such as Carr's Ciderhouse in Hadley, Silverbrook Farm in Dartmouth (another Boston Public Market vendor), Brooksby Farm in Peabody, and Russell?s Orchards in Ipswich.

Yummy Chocolate Cookie!

On Monday, We stopped at the Bakery after wandering around the Market looking for Gluten Free options. The display case was a bit empty - which might be because we were there early on a Monday morning.

My daughter saw some extra chocolate cookies and she wanted one. We purchased one, and the cashier asked if we needed a bag. I said that we didn't and she handed the cookie to my daughter with a small wax paper.

We sat down on a bench nearby and she enjoyed her Taza hot chocolate with her chocolate cookie as her mid-morning Boston treat. She took her time eat and looking around the market. (Seems like a perfect combination.)

I asked her how the cookie was and she said very yummy. When I inquired if she liked these over the cookies we made at home, this past weekend, she told me she liked the chocolate cookie better.

She wasn't able to finish her cookie, so I went back and asked for a bag and she gave me one. I let them know that my daughter enjoyed the cookie and they were delighted that she liked it.

We'll certainly return back to Jennifer Lee's Gourmet Bakery at the Boston Market. They have a lot of bakery options to choose from. (The cinnamon rolls looked very good!)

The bakery is located on the back side of the Boston Public Market, near the restrooms. There is a tractor nearby where kids can sit and pretend to drive.

Jennifer Lee's Gourmet Bakery does have a website, http://www.jenniferleesgourmetbakery.com, but it appears to be down at the moment. (Hopefully it?s because they are busy cooking more of their delicious foods.

October 4, 2016

Five Napkin Boston

Five Napkin Burger Boston

Five Napkin is located on 105 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA. You can access the restaurant from the Prudential Mall using the entrance next to Barnes and Noble booksellers. They are open everyday from 11:30 am to 11 pm, on weekends they are open a half hour early to serve brunch.

The past couple of years we have been visiting Five Napkin because the food and service are good and they have good options for Gluten Free. They use to have a separate gluten free menu, but like most restaurants, they can let you know if an entree can be made gluten free.

Knowledgeable Staff

When it comes to allergies, we have found their staff to be very knowledgeable about food safety. In fact, at one of our visits we encountered a waiter who had celiac and welcomes us to the restaurant. He told us that the kitchen goes out of their way to make sure that any allergy meal is prepared carefully. They have a dedicated fryer, so regular french fried and sweet potatoes are celiac friendly.

He gave us confident that it was a good restaurant to visit. My daughter was very happy to meet someone that had the same condition as her.

Great Kids Food

Usually my daughter order a cheeseburger on their gluten free bun, they have no problems using the bun on a kid-size burger. This past weekend, my daughter decided to be different and ordered a hot dog, they didn't have a gluten-free hot dog roll, but did offer to put it on a hamburger roll. My daughter was fine to have it bun-free.

The chocolate milk is a bit different than most places because they use dark chocolate. Seems to be a favorite with kids and my daughter drank all of her milk before the meal arrived.

Awesome Food - Less Crowded

The nice thing about 5-Napkin is that it's rarely crowded. So while the nearby Cheese-Cake factory has a 30-minute wait, we can basically walk over to 5-Napkin and get an excellent meal. They have a lot more than Hamburgers and Hot Dogs - they are just some of the popular meals.

They also have a nice selection of gluten free beers on their menu. They put all the drinks in a gluten free category so you know which drinks are safe. It's actually interesting to see the different types of beers that are available. (Thankfully my daughter is too young to drink!)

It's a great place to do a takeout! Which is perfect for when your watching one of the Saturday night summers flicks in the center lawn.

September 27, 2016

Stop and Shop Shelf Tag

Have you seen something new on some shelf tags at Stop and Shop? They added an icon on the price tag to some gluten free products.

Here is a sample shelf tag that shows the item is gluten free:

Stop Shop Tag

Now it's very easy to identify which products are Gluten Free. In fact, because of the shelf tag we found a couple of soup items that we didn't know were gluten free. We needed them for a pot roast recipe and didn't realize that a couple of the Progresso items were

Gluten Free Shelf label

While it's great that Stop and Shop are doing this, those with gluten sensitivity should use a smartphone app like "ShopWell" to verify that the product is safe.

Healthy Option

They also have an icon for products that are a healthy option, products that are low fat or low salt will display the tag.

Awesome Awareness

I don't know when Stop and Shop started doing this. I did notice that many gluten-free products didn't get a shelf tag icon. Perhaps they are phasing in this feature as products change prices.

September 20, 2016

The Cottage - Wellesley, Massachusetts

The Cottage

This past weekend we stopped by The Cottage in Wellesley to have brunch with my parents.

About the Cottage

The Cottage describes itself as "A cozy, casual, California-inspired restaurant serving lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch."

When you're inside you do feel like your at a Cape Cod cottage. The interior is bright white with lots of scenic beach photos hanging from the walls.

The restaurant is located in the Linden Square shopping center. There is plenty of parking in the parking lot.

Gluten free Brunch Options

We have found this to be a very celiac friendly restaurant. There are a lot of good choices to select from on the menu.

The one nice thing about the Cottage is you don't need to ask for a gluten free menu. Simply flip over the menu and the entire back side their gluten free options.

For Sunday Brunch you can select from a large assortment of Omelets, Salads, Classic Burger and much more. They have good gluten free rolls! It's really nice to see a large selection of gluten free options.

When we ordered we let the server know of the Gluten Allergy. They made a note of it and were very knowledgeable about cross contamination. My daughter ordered the cheese omelet, as she is very simple and likes eggs and cheese. The server suggested fruit instead of the hash browns because of potential cross contamination during cooking.

Cottage Thumbs Up

The manager brought the gluten-free order to the table - a clear sign that the restaurant paid attention to the order. We asked for additional ketchup and they brought it right over.

When I asked my daughter how her brunch was, she gave it a thumbs up. She ate a lot more than she traditionally does!

A Bit Pricy

This is certain a good restaurant to go on special occasions since it is a bit pricey. A typical brunch meal cost $15.

The food was very good, and the service was excellent. The restaurant was nice and quiet as we could easily hear every at our table. Everyone had a great time and enjoyed their brunch, what more could you ask for!

The next time we are looking for a place to go for a nice meal, we'll certainly keep The Cottage in mind. Can't wait to try some of their dinner options. I am thinking between the Ancho Rubbed Short Rib, Lamb Burger, and Lobster sandwich. Perhaps we'll have to go a few more times.

Reservations are recommended for Sunday Brunch as it does get busy. Call (781) 239-1100 for reservations.

September 13, 2016

Teal Pumpkin Project

Teal Pumpkin Example

This Halloween, if your children have any food allergies, look for houses that have a teal pumpkin by the front door. It will be a clear indicator that there are allergy safe treats available.

The Teal Pumpkin Project, now in its fourth year, was created to spread the awareness of children's food allergies. Especially how difficult Halloween can be.

We know first hand on what it's like to tell your child that they can't eat certain candies because they contain an ingredient that they may be allergic to. While trick or treating might be fun, but at the end of the night, it's all about the candy.

About the Teal Pumpkin Project

The project started in 2011 by the families of the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee.

The Teal Pumpkin Project website has all sorts of ideas on alternative things to hand out as well as signs that can be hung in the window - should you not want to make a teal pumpkin.

About Our Pumpkin

We got a foam pumpkin at Michaels craft stores. You can buy a Teal pumpkin for $6.79. (On Sale!) You can store the pumpkin in the attic, with all your Halloween supplies and bring it out next year. The good news is that the squirrels won't both the teal pumpkin, unlike our real pumpkins. So this will last and last.

The top three food allergies are milk, egg, and peanut. Other allergies include seafood, tree nuts, wheat, and soy.

A Walk Down Memory Lane...

I remember when I was young I used to go trick or treating near Kirkland Drive in Stow, Massachusetts. There was this one house where they would only give out toothbrushes instead of candy. I recall that they did this because the father was a dentist. It was funny because all the kids knew what he gave out, and we joked about it. Yet, year after year we would still stop by the house for trick or treat. Perhaps we did this just to see if he would still give out toothbrushes.

I assumed that he got the toothbrush from his stock at the office, so they probably didn't really spend any money on Halloween. Was it a marketing trick? Not sure how many parents switched dentists because of the toothbrush promotion. I knew we didn't.

Alternative Candy Ideas

If you're looking for an alternative candy item, please don't select a toothbrush. Consider going to the dollar store and getting some kids birthday giveaway items.

Somethings to hand out:

  • Glow Sticks
  • Mini Yo-Yos
  • Paper Wrist bands
  • $1 Dairy Queen Coupon
  • Silly Pens or Pencils
  • Silly Erasers
  • Mini Bubbles

You can find other creative things to hand out on Pinterest.