Saturday, December 26, 2009

New treatments for Celiac Disease possibly in the near future!

This is a really interesting article from the LA Times last week, that discusses the furthering of a Celiac Disease treatment options we keep hearing about- the “enzyme pill”, immunotherapy shots, as well as the “hook worm” theory (yuck!). One company is focusing on producing the enzyme drug that if taken could help those of us with CD to eat gluten safely, although it is not thought that it would be on a regular basis, more for if we go out to eat, or on vacation. It does not sound like they are saying we can go back to a “normal” diet on the enzyme pill. The other, trying an immunotherapy (which is doses of shots taken under the skin, rather than ingesting them in the gut- similar to allergy shots one takes to become less allergic to items such as pollen and pet dander) that will teach your body not to react to gluten anymore, which could result in a permanent diet lifestyle change! The article also discussed inoculation -- of hookworm (there was an article awhile back about this- and it sounded gross- I don’t know if I could stand having a hookworm in me), although I hope they are not putting all of their research into this last one- because if so, I think I would rather remain on a gluten-free diet! The other two sound promising and it seems like we are coming further along on research of these items, and on to phase 2 of trials, which is exciting!

http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-celiac21-2009dec21,0,5395819.story

Happy Gluten-Free Holidays!
-Sue

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bertucci’s joins GFRAP! (but beware- they are obviously still learning the GF ropes)


I was excited to try out the new Gluten-Free Menu at Bertucci’s now that they’ve joined the Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP) , but unfortunately this visit was very disappointing. It took over 5 minutes for our server to come over to take our drink order (on a very slow night), and then when I placed my order (GF Balsamic Chx) the chicken came out VERY burnt on the bottom, that I had to cut the bottom part off to eat it. This is not the part that worries me, although it added to my annoyance by the time this next part happened.

My meal came out with asparagus, not green beans as the menu stated. So when I inquired to the waiter, he said that they were out of green beans. So I asked for another GF vegetable instead, which he offered broccoli. When the broccoli came out, I ate a piece, and it tasted and smelled like pasta, so I called the waiter back over, and asked how the broccoli was prepared- if it was steamed or cooked in a water that is also used to cook pasta in. When he told me that it is cooked in pasta water I was extremely upset- because of course that makes the broccoli NO LONGER GLUTEN-FREE! I immediately asked to speak to a manager. When the manager came over, he was hardly apologetic and said "this GF is new to us", not even a "I am sorry that you will become ill from this". I hardly complain at restaurants, and this time was mainly doing so to help EDUCATE the staff about how to properly prepare gluten-free meals- and I do love the fact that Bertucci’s, a chain restaurant, is working with GFRAP and is now offering a GF menu, but felt I had to comment on the lack of response to this from the staff. I have gotten "mistakes" before, but the wait staff/managers ALWAYS are extremely apologetic and try to rectify it immediately, which did not happen at the Westbury Bertucci’s location. (Even when I mentioned that I write a LI blog about GF, as well as am a board member with Suffolk Celiacs!) When leaving the manager said "we'll get it right"- I sure hope so, so that others don't get extremely sick as well. Cross contamination issues with how food is prepared Gluten-Free is JUST as important as the ingredients in each of the items! I do intent do go back to Bertucci's and try it again, but next time will be much more cautious in ordering.

What is worrisome is that even though they are now a member of GFRAP, it appears that they are not fully trained. My main concern was their lack of concern... like when I go to a plcace like Outback, and the rare chance that something goes awry, the manager is there quickly to apologize, make corrections, and offer free dessert. (not that I was looking for a free dessert- ha ha- but he didn't even offer AND left the contaminated broccoli on the table when he walked away!)... then the best part... when the waiter came back, he said "are you still working on those, or do you want me to wrap them?"... DUH!!! did you not just hear what I spoke to you AND your manager about?!



ps- the dessert I did order, the Bomba which is "Vanilla and chocolate gelato wrapped in chocolate with almonds and a red heart of maraschino cherry. Served open with a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate sauce"- was the best part of the meal.

1/27/10 UPDATE: I went back last week, and had a GOOD experience! The manager there said they have learned a lot and are making sure to prepare the foods safely GF! I was very excited to see that they are taking this seriously and are making sure to correct any errors that have been made. The more we dine at Bertuccis, the better they will become at knowing how to prepare GF foods, so make sure to visit them and continue to help "train" them. I am very greatful for another big chain to offer us a place to eat! (My husband is thrilled as well!) ;)

Monday, December 14, 2009

“Great Specialty Products” were tested to show high levels of gluten in their gluten-free items!

I received startling information today that Juno Nutrition tested gluten-free products from a company called “Great Specialty Products” based in North Carolina and found their products to contain “High Levels of Gluten, which indicated 200 ppm or more.” (See below for more information). I have never heard of this company, nor seen any of their products here on Long Island, but figured just in case someone is having this company’s items shipped to them, I would spread the word.

It is pretty scary! This further emphasizes the need for an FDA ruling on what is and is not considered (and what can/cannot be labeled) gluten-free!

Below is the summary of what happened, and then click the link for the full article on the Juno Nutrition website. What tipped Juno off to something going on was that products that were bought as gluten-free were hand-delivered to people (and stores I believe) with NO labels on them, and NO ingredient listing (which is in violation of state law in NC where they were sold). Also read the paragraph on their site about the fact that they re-packaged non-gluten free desserts off as being gluten-free! HOLY MOLY.

"Juno Nutrition Update
Great Specialty Products: Seven Tests Show High Gluten
Six (6) different products from Great Specialty Products, a physical and online seller of Gluten-Free products, show high levels of gluten based on seven (7) different gluten tests. Six were over the counter test kits, one was sent off to a 3rd party lab for independent confirmation. We purchased two products, a white-bread loaf, and a sourdough loaf from Great Specialty Products - a website (greatspecialtyproducts [dot] com), and formerly a physical store, based in North Carolina. Both samples, when evaluated with an EZ Gluten Kit, showed 'High Gluten' (photos and details are in the full post). We were present for two other samples (a dinner roll and another white-bread loaf) when other EZ-Gluten Kits were run and showed 'High Gluten'. Two others shared results which were not run in our presence, which both showed high gluten. For an EZ-Gluten kit, a reading of 'High Gluten' indicates 200 ppm or more.

One of these six samples was sent to a 3rd party lab for independent testing, it too found 'High' levels of gluten. For the 3rd party AOAC approved test, High levels of gluten meant 80 ppm or more. As of this writing, seven (7) different tests show products from Great Specialty Products to be high in gluten as defined by the relevant test."

For a full account of our findings see the full post here. http://www.junonutrition.com/blog/?p=323


Also, under the “ingredient and calorie count” page it says “Sorry... This page is under-construction. Please visit us again soon. Thank you.” And Under their “Terms and conditions” it is blank!

12/20/09- UPDATE: Read this Blog entry about someone who was affected by this horiable act- http://thegfcfcookbook.blogspot.com/2009/12/every-celiacs-nightmare.html
and their poor little boy who ate the contaminated food. :(

Sunday, December 13, 2009

La Bottega now offers Gluten-Free Panini’s in some locations!

La Bottega now offers Gluten Free Panini’s in some of their restaurants. The Garden City South location offers Gluten Free Panini, Soups and weekly changing Pasta. Roslyn offers all the same as Garden City South, plus Gluten Free Pizza! Other locations such as Floral Park, Long Beach and Roosevelt Field Mall all offer Gluten Free Panini only as of right now.


I visited the Garden City South location and the Roosevelt Field location. At the GC South location, I got “Hogans” which was Artichoke, sun-dried tomato, grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella and pesto on a gluten-free roll, toasted- Panini style! It was very good. I also got gluten-free cream of broccoli soup to start which was delicious! I was so excited to be able to get soup and a sandwich again! They also had many other soups on hand that were also gluten-free.


Next door (attached) is Caffe Barocco which had Gluten-Free Gelato for dessert- it was Soooo yummy. I got the tiramisu flavor which was my favorite.


At the Roosevelt Field Mall location (which is located on the second level, in between Macy’s and Nordstrom’s) the only gluten-free selections they had were the Panini’s, which I was a bit disappointed about (I was craving soup!) , but it was VERY nice to be able to shop and then go in for a GF sandwich! I got “UDINE” which was grilled chicken, roasted red onions, fresh mozzarella, tomato, on a gf-bun. It was good, but not as good at “Hogans” was at the GC South location. It wasn’t as “hot” and was a bit cold inside. The service at this location was also not the best- it took a long time for someone to come over to take our order, and then a long time to get our food. Next time I am in the mall, I will call-ahead for take out rather than eating there- but still a great option for those of us on a GF diet!


The Garden City South, Roslyn, Floral Park, Long Beach and Roosevelt Field Mall locations all offer Gluten-Free items. Hopefully all of their locations will soon offer a GF menu (as well as all of the GF items)! There are locations in Merrick, Rockville Centre, Massapequa Park, Oceanside, and others that do NOT have a GF menu at this point.

Visit their website for locations and GF menu
http://www.labottegagourmet.com/

Here are the locations of the two I visited:

Garden City South Location:
La Bottega & Caffe Barocco
147 Nassau Blvd 143 Nassau Blvd
Garden City South, NY 11552 Garden City South, NY 11552
516-486-0935 516-292-0144

Roosevelt Field Mall Location:
2nd Floor
Between Macy’s and Nordstrom
516-248-4529

Friday, December 11, 2009

Re-cap of Dr. Oz discussion of Celiac Disease

OK, so I thought the segment (and I use that word instead of “episode” as did previously) on Celiac Disease on the Dr. Oz Show was good. It was very short, but good. Elizabeth Hassleback did a good job, which I was surprised and happy about. She took the time to explain quickly how she was diagnosed, and how she was misdiagnosed for years prior, which is all to common with Celiac. When they cut to Dr. Green, I did not like how he was just an audience member who was mic’d up… Dr. Green should have been sitting up there with them! Then right before the commercial break Dr. Oz talks about how you can “lose weight” by going on this diet- so not true. A lot of GF products have more butter, sugar, and calories/fat than their gluten-containing counterparts. (that’s how they hold the gf product together and make it taste good!). So going on a GF diet is NOT the way to lose weight, and hopefully will not become the next “fad diet” people buy into.

Oh my gosh, and I almost forgot- showing the insides of a small intestine?! They didn’t even explain what he was showing! I’m assuming the damaged villi (but even I was confused, and I understand what gluten does to my intestines!) from the beginning to the bottom- but couldn’t “see” which was the damaged and which wasn’t.

After they came back from commercial they featured a women just diagnosed (who really just stood there and answered 1 question at the end) while EH walked her through the gluten and non-gluten free products. I did like how EH talked about items that one doesn’t necessarily think of as having gluten (ie. salad dressing, hand lotion, lipstick), and I also liked how she explained that items such as peanut butter/butter/jelly (any “jar” type food) is a cross-contamination nightmare, and to label the gluten-free ones so they remain gluten free! (only the GF person is using labeled jar “a” then this way no gluten-containing crumbs will get in there from the knife!) I thought it was great that she had time to say that, because often times someone who is just diagnosed, wouldn’t even think of that!

All in all it was a nice quick segment on Dr. Oz. But, for all the hype surrounding the casting of the “newly diagnosed” celiac, discussions on numerous blogs, email reminders of the show airing, and the fact that this was an “Oprah descendent” featuring CD on his show, it’s too bad you really could have blinked and missed it.

In case you did…. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/celiac-disease-advantages-gluten-free-diet

There’s no video up yet, but they do feature a bio on celiac disease, and maybe they will put it up soon, so check back!

And here is the preview commercial they aired for it:
http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/thursday-dr-oz

Win a year's worth of Glutino's GF Pretzels!

Glutino Holiday Gluten Free Pretzel Recipe Contest

Submit your original recipe creations and photograph using Glutino’s best selling Gluten-Free Pretzels for your chance to win a year supply of Glutino’s Gluten Free Pretzels!

Contest Rules & Regulations: The Glutino Holiday Gluten Free Pretzel Recipe Contest seeks original recipes prepared with Glutino’s Gluten Free Pretzels. Recipes may not been published previously and must not infringe upon any other person’s rights. The contest begins November 9, 2009 at midnight Eastern Time and ends on December 18, 2009 at 11:59pm.

How to Enter:

Email: Email your recipe and photograph in English to friends@glutino-usa.com . Please include your full name and mailing address. Email entries must be received by 11:59pm Eastern Time on December 18, 2009. By

Participating in the contest entrants acknowledge and agree that his/her recipe and photos may be used by Glutino Food Group and subsidiaries in any format at its sole discretion.

WINNERS:
The Grand Prize Winners will be determined no later than December 31, 2009. The decision is the sole right of Glutino Food Group. The decision by Glutino Food Group will be final and binding on all matters related to the contest.

Contest Prizes: The top 3 recipes based on taste, ease of preparation, creativity, look and style will receive a 1 year supply of Glutino Food Group Pretzels. One year supply is equivalent to 52 units of Glutino 8oz Pretzels. Limit one winner per household.

Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Undeclared Wheat in College Inn chicken broth 14 ½ oz cans

Undeclared Wheat in College Inn chicken broth 14 ½ oz cans.

December 4, 2009 - As a precautionary measure, due to mislabeling, College Inn is initiating a voluntary recall of College Inn® No MSG Chicken Broth sold in individual 14 ½ oz cans. All other sizes and varieties of College Inn® Chicken Broth are correctly labeled and therefore are not affected by this voluntary recall.

College Inn is voluntarily recalling College Inn® No MSG Chicken Broth in individual 14 ½ oz cans due to the presence of wheat (an allergen) which was not declared in the ingredient statement. Also, the label incorrectly states that the product does not contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).

http://www.collegeinn.com/images/home/College%20Inn%20Press%20Release.pdf

Dr. Oz show on Celiac Disease, Thursday 12/10/09

Set your TiVo/DVR’s!

This Thursday, December 10, 2009, Dr. Oz will be featuring a story on Celiac Disease with Dr. Green! The show will air in the Long Island area on Fox (channel 5 for Cablevision), at 3pm. (According to Cablevision... "Talk-show host Elisabeth Hasselbeck discusses bloating with Dr. Oz; a mother of three tells how she lost 80 pounds; ulcers and stress."
Cast:Elisabeth Hasselbeck; Air Date:Thu 12/10 3:00PM; Channel: 5 FOX or 705 FOXD)

The Dr. Oz Show airing Thursday, December 10th 2009 will discuss celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. Dr. Peter Green, Director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, will be featured on the program along with a recently diagnosed Celiac and author of The G-Free Diet, Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

From the Fox 5 website:

Dr. Oz Show Hidden Epidemic: When Bloating Is a Sign of Something Toxic60 mins.Elisabeth Hasselbeck talks about bloating with Dr. Oz. Also: a look at the connection between stress and ulcers; a weight-loss success story.

Also, here is a link to the Dr. Oz show website http://www.doctoroz.com/

Monday, December 7, 2009

General Mills New Gluten-Free Website: Live Gluten Freeley!

I received an exciting email from General Mills last week! They now have a website dedicated to their Gluten-Free line! The website, Live Gluten Freely: http://www.liveglutenfreely.com/ is where you can get a listing of their over 200 Gluten Free Products available! They also have gluten-free recipes!

I made the Snicker Doodle party mix and it is DELICIOUS! http://www.liveglutenfreely.com/recipes/Snickerdoodle-Chex-Mix.aspx

At this site you can also subscribe to GM’s Gluten-Free Newsletter, which is published every-other-month, or by clicking here: http://links.emails.generalmills.com/servlet/SignUpForm?f=223317

This is so exciting that a main-stream company is providing such awareness and availability of Gluten-Free products! Now hopefully other companies will follow suit!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Five Guys Burgers and Fries- Gluten Free!


Five Guys Burgers and Fries is ALL gluten-Free, EXCEPT their buns!!!! Right on their main page it says : "Zero Gluten, except for our buns"

How Awesome is this?!
Five Guys website: http://www.fiveguys.com/index.aspx

The burgers are really good, and the fries, that come in regular or Cajun are good as well- they give you LOTS to a "regular" size is more than enough for 2 to share! They do cook the fries in peanut oil, so unfortunately, those with a peanut allergy would have to stay away. (they also serve old-fashion peanuts in the shell while you wait!) Just remember to ask that they change their gloves prior to making your hamburger because they are handling buns all day- so as to limit the cross-contamination changing gloves is a good idea! They have tons of toppings and a "regular" burger comes with 2 hamburger patties, and they have a "little" burger, which would only be one!

Here are the following locations on Long Island (Hicksville is "coming soon"). There are also a lot around the NYC boroughs, NJ, CT, PA and upstate NY.

Kohl's Shopping Center (next to DSW)
3497 Hempstead Turnpike
Levittown, NY 11756
Tel: 516-796-1237

Bay Village Plaza
35 Merrick Road
Amityville, NY 11701
Tel: 631-691-6800

Long Beach
2-4 W. Park Avenue
Long Beach, NY 11561
Tel: 516-431-1999

Merrick *NOW OPEN!*
2099 Merrick Road
Merrick, NY 11566
516-208-8601

Hicksville
Coming Soon!
265 North Broadway
Hicksville, NY 11801

Hauppauge
601 Veteran's Highway
Hauppauge, NY 11788
Tel: 631-265-0335

Huntington Shopping Plaza
350 Route 110
Huntington Station, NY 11746

Friday, November 20, 2009

USA Today Article on Celiac Disease and GF foods!

Friday in USA Today there was a great pull-out section on Celiac Disease and eating Gluten-Free with great information! I received a PDF copy of this and wanted to share!

USA Today Media Planet on Celiac Disease 11.20.09

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Update on the FDA GF Labeling Law Study

OK, so the FDA released an update on the “gluten-free” Labeling study that is going on- this report is dated November 9, 2009- and the study that I took part in was on November 10th, but that was a focus group (my group was only 8 people) and there was a group before us, of about the same size. I am only aware of 2 such “focus groups” taking place, on in NJ, and the other was in CA. Our focus group showed us pictures of food labels and asked us which we preferred based on what the label said- some examples were the varying ways to list the term “``gluten-free'' (e.g., ``free of gluten,'' ``without gluten,'' ``no gluten''), in addition to other types of statements (e.g., ``made in a gluten-free facility'' or ``not made in a facility that processes gluten-containing foods'') on the food label.

Based on this report, I am not sure which “phase” of the study I was a part of- it definitely was not an “online survey” nor a “paper survey”- and was not 10,000 people. In this report, it did say in the comments area under comment #7-

“Comment 7) One comment asked that the questions be very clear.
(Response) FDA agrees that it is important that the study questions be unambiguous. To achieve this goal, FDA will conduct cognitive interviews prior to administering the main study, in which a trained interviewer goes through the questionnaire with adults with celiac disease and discusses whether the questions are understandable and valid.”


So, I wonder if this was the “cognitive interviews prior to administering the main study” to ascertain if the questions were unambiguous- or actually a “pre-interview” because they did not ask us the questionnaire, just our feedback on the pictures- so more likely this was a pre-interview in which they will use our comments to MAKE the questions, to THEN be interviewed, and THEN be distributed?

Either way, it’s exciting to see some more info and movement on this VERY important study and eventual label law!

My one concern is in the beginning where it says “In the proposed rule (72 FR 2795), FDA proposed a regulation to define the term ``gluten-free'' and to establish uniform conditions for its use in the voluntary labeling of foods”

VOLUNTARY?!?! Why would they do all this and make it “VOLUNTARY” - unless they are saying that people don’t HAVE to label their food gluten-free, but if they DO, it has to mean something (be legit). I guess this makes sense.

Here is the summary of what the study sets out to do:

FDA is planning to conduct an experimental study about gluten-free labeling of food products. The Gluten-Free Labeling of Food Products Experimental Study will collect information from both consumers who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance and those who do not have either condition. The purpose of the study is to gauge perceptions of characteristics related to claims of ``gluten-free'' and allowed variants (e.g., ``free of gluten,'' ``without gluten,'' ``no gluten''), in addition to other types of statements (e.g., ``made in a gluten-free facility'' or ``not made in a facility that processes gluten-containing foods'') on the food label. The study will also assess consumer understanding of ``gluten-free'' claims on foods that are naturally free of gluten, and gauge consumer reaction to a product carrying a
gluten claim concurrently with a statement about the amount of gluten
the product contains.


Here is the FDA Report link.... http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-27512.htm

-Sue

Sunday, November 15, 2009

FDA does research on "Gluten-Free" food labeling!

I recently participated in a study for the FDA on the issue of gluten-free product labeling. It was very interesting and I'm so glad to have been a part of it. They asked questions about pictures of GF labels that they showed us for the "most" confusing and "least" confusing- and which ones we had more confidence in.

Go to this website, and mid-way down the page, see "Gluten-Free" where you will find the FDA's proposed rule to define the food labeling term "gluten-free" and a Q and A about this proposal.

http://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/FoodLabelingGuidanceRegulatoryInformation/Topic-SpecificLabelingInformation/default.htm


They told us to keep checking the website for updates (the last posting was from 2007!! so hopefully there will be some updates now in 2009-2010!) We were also told that in the near future, the FDA plans to publish for public comment a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of the agency's safety assessment on gluten exposure in individuals with ceilac disease. Sometime after the comment period on this safety assessment closes, the FDA will issue a final rule defining the term "gluten-free"!

YIPPEE!!

Boulder Creek IN HICKSVILLE Joins GFRAP!




Boulder Creek in Hicksville (only) has joined the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awarness Program!
http://www.glutenfreerestaurants.org/adv_search.php?name=Boulder+Creek+Steakhouse&submit=Search

From the GFRAP website:
"Everything is better at Boulder! Come in and enjoy steak, chicken or fish. All of our seasonings are gluten-free. Even the french fries are gluten-free-they are cooked in a dedicated fryer!"

Boulder Creek Steakhouse
200 N Broadway
Hicksville
NY, New York 11801
http://www.bouldercreeksteakhouses.net/

I can't wait to try the french fries!!! (Update: They were GREAT!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

LI Restaurant Week '09- Maize Cantina has GF options!

Maize Cantina is participating in this years Long Island Restaurant week.
They will be open from Nov. 1st to the 8th for the event. Reservations are recommended. The price fix for the LI Restaurant week is $24.95. Many of their items are gluten free, (according to their website 90% of the menu is GF!) the waiters know which menu items are, or they check with Chef Michael. (My favorite are the Papusas!)

You can see their menu at: http://www.maizecantina.com


Maize Cantina
1141 E Jericho Turnpike
Commack, NY 11725-3010
(631) 864-2777

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

bare naked bakery in East Meadow has GF items!

*UPDATE: 6/2010- Bare Naked Bakery has now moved to it's own location- in Bellmore- see post http://www.glutenfreeli.com/2010/07/bare-naked-bakery-lis-1st-full-gluten.html all about it! *



From my Newsday Article I have been contacted by many fabulous people!


Among them was Bridget from Bare Naked Bakery, which is located inside Friendly Farms in East Meadow. I stopped by the bakery on Sunday and was pleasantly surprised! The Gluten-free selection on hand that day was a pumpkin pie (which I quickly snagged up!), chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin loafs, banana-peanut butter loaf (which my husband loved!), cinnamon raisin bread, brownies and muffins! I took almost one of everything!! The pumpkin pie was great, as were the pumpkin cookies! The cinnamon raisin bread was really tasty too (It reminded me of when I was able to eat gluten- the Milleridge Inn cinnamon raisin bread! YUM!) and the banana-peanut butter loaf was good as well- nice and moist! The bakery section is open Thursday through Sunday and they get deliveries daily on those days. On Saturday’s they have their GF Chef on hand to give out samples of items such as vegetable quiche and corn chowder! I am looking forward to going back and getting a fresh bagel next week! Their items are baked in a dedicated gluten-free kitchen- and baked with farm fresh ingredients from Friendly Farms! They have Holiday Baskets and special orders available!

bare naked bakery
516-809-7370
Now located in Bellmore, on Merrick Road.






*UPDATE: Bare Naked Bakery has now moved to it's own location- in Bellmore- see post http://www.glutenfreeli.com/2010/07/bare-naked-bakery-lis-1st-full-gluten.html all about it! *


Monday, October 12, 2009

Ruby's BBQ in East Meadow has a Gluten-Free Menu!

Ruby’s Famous BBQ Joint in East Meadow now has a GF Menu!

The pit master at Ruby’s Famous BBQ Joint in East Meadow created a gluten-free menu because a relative of his has Celiac Disease! I visited there two times and each time was not disappointed!! For an appetizer, we ordered potato skins… These potato skins were loaded with Mashed potatoes, cheese, sour cream and we toped it off with BBQ chicken! They were huge and delicious!! After eating 1 and ½ of these (my husband and I split them) we were so stuffed, but I still had a whole meal coming! I tried the BBQ beef Brisket which came with two sides, I picked sweet potato mashed potato, and baked beans. The entire dish was fabulous!! The BBQ sauce is great and it was all very reasonably priced! The second time we went, I got pulled chicken (same sides! I LOVE the sweet potato mashed!) which was great as well!! If you are in the East Meadow area- stop by this lovely new BBQ place!!
Here is a link to their GF menu: http://www.rubysfamousbbqjoint.com/images/rubys_glutenfree_menu-wo.pdf

2367 Hempstead Tpke
East Meadow, NY 11554-2027
(516) 280-6657
http://www.rubysfamousbbqjoint.com/

Monday, September 28, 2009

Gluten Free LI in Newsday Article this Thursday, October 1st!

Last week I was contacted by Erica Marcus, a Newsday reporter regarding my GlutenFreeLI blog and website (http://www.glutenfreeli.com/ ) to do an interview on gluten-free eating and shopping on Long Island!! We went to Mama's in Oakdale for dinner, ate a lot, talked a lot more! It was a really great time! I'm very excited to see how it turns out!

Look for the article this Thursday, October 1st in Newsday - and online at Newsday.com!

http://www.newsday.com/lifestyle/food-and-recipes/eating-gluten-free-on-long-island-1.1484914
.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pizza Bistro now offers Gluten Free Frozen Dinners!

In Addition to offering Gluten Free Heros (I tried the Gluten Free Meatball Parm Hero and it was FABULOUS!!! The flavor was delicious and the bread held up- I was able to pick it up and eat it just like "old times" pre-Celiac!), Pizza Bistro in Massapequa is now offering Frozen Dinners!

Pizza Bistro is introducing a new line of gluten free frozen dinners. Heat and eat.

9/12/09 This Weekend Only: Get one frozen dinner free with your purchase of three or more frozen dinners.

Below is a list of their gluten free frozen dinner menu:

-Chicken Parmigiana
-Veal Parmigiana
-Shrimp Parmigiana
-Baked Lasagna
-Baked Stuffed Shells
-Baked Ravioli
-Eggplant Parmigiana
-Eggplant Rollatini
-Mozzarella Sticks


Pizza Bistro
4952 Merrick Rd
Massapequa Park
(516) 797-4747

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease and Vendor Fair: October 18, 2009

This is a great event, I have gone to for the past 3 years (since it's first year). Colin does a GREAT job in organizing this fundraiser walk and awesome vendor fair! Totally worth the trip! It is a great time of year to visit lovely Rye in Westchester, and on the weekend it only takes about 45 min from Nassau County!

Here's the Info:

The Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease and Vendor Fair

October 18, 2009
9:00 am to 2:00 pm
Rye High School
Rye, NY - in Westchester County

Registration for the Walk includes admittance to the vendor fair. Registrationis required to attend the vendor fair even if you will not be walking. Lunch and snacks will be available for cash purchase, supplied by Soul Dog, a participating restaurant in the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program.

WALK: Starts at 10:00 am 2 mile or 4 mile route through scenic parts of Rye,
NY VENDOR FAIR 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
REGISTRATION: Pre-registration is available online until October 15, at www.colinlesliewalkforceliacdisease.org
$20 (adults) $15 (children 12 and under)
You can also register at the Walk: $25 (adults) $20 (children 12 and under)

***Be sure to register by October 1 to be guaranteed a free t-shirt***

PARKING: Parking is behind 411 Theodore Fremd Ave., in Rye, for no extracharge. Free shuttle buses will be running throughout the day fortransportation between Rye High School and the parking lot. There is no parking at the high school. All proceeds will be donated to the Celiac Disease Center at ColumbiaUniversity. The Colin Leslie Walk for Celiac Disease in Rye, NY is co-sponsoredby the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group. For more information: www.colinlesliewalkforceliacdisease.org We hope you will join us at this special event.

Colin Leslie and Carine Leslie2009 Co-organizers

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Eat at Chipotle for a good Gluten-Free Meal!

OK, so I know this isn’t breaking news, but as I’m in the process of moving, and have time to kill while waiting for the National Grid man to come to the house in my lovely 1-3 time sucking window, I thought I would post about the awesomeness that is Chipotle! http://www.chipotle.com/#/land. My Mom who is also on a GF diet had never been there until yesterday when we went to see the American Idols Live Tour at the Coliseum, and Chipotle was a perfect place to eat dinner prior to the show!

Chipotle is by far my FAVORITE of the “places I can eat” on a quick meal- or any meal for that matter! The majority of the items are Gluten-Free, which is great (no burrito wrap tortilla’s, or soft taco shells), and the staff at all of the locations I have visited on LI and NYC have been VERY accommodating regarding changing their gloves. The one on Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale by the Coliseum is great, as are the ones on Rt 110, (by Rt 109 in the Chilis shopping center, as well as the one further north, by the Walt Whitman mall). The one in Tanger Outlet in Deer Park has also been great- I love going there, doing a bit of shopping, eating dinner at Chipotle and then catching a movie in the huge new theatre there, and then going to RED MANGO (See previous blog entry regarding Red Mango) next door to the movie theatre for certified GF FroYo for dessert!

Chipotle not only has good GF food for us to eat, their company prides themselves in providing us with food that is good for us! They call this "Food With Integrity”- Naturally raised meats and dairy!

From their website:

“ To meet our naturally raised standard, chicken must:
• Never be given antibiotics.
• Have more room to move about than in conventional chicken
operations.
• Be vegetarian fed, never given animal by-products.

Once again, naturally raised pork at Chipotle means:
• No antibiotics, ever.
• Letting pigs exhibit their natural behaviors in open pasture or
deeply-bedded pens.
• Vegetarian feed with no animal by-products.

When you order naturally raised beef at Chipotle, here is what you are getting (and not getting):
• No added growth hormones, ever.
• No antibiotics, ever.
• Vegetarian feed with no animal by-products.

We think some things should be sacred. Like dairy. The cheese and the sour cream at all of our restaurants is free of the synthetic growth hormone rBGH. We're not scientists, but ingesting hormones with our crispy tacos just doesn't seem like a good idea.”

OK- so not to bore you with the details, they can be found here but to highlights a few of the AWESOME factoids! (http://www.chipotle.com/#/flash/fwi_fare?sub=2 )

“•Our foods at Chipotle have no artificial colors or artificial flavorings.

• We use no peanuts, tree nuts or any other kind of nuts in our foods. Only our cheese and sour cream contain any dairy. And there are no eggs in our foods.

• We offer a number of vegetarian and vegan dining choices.

• Over three hundred of our restaurants currently recycle glass, plastic, and/or cardboard.”

So, Chipotle is not only Gluten-Free Friendly, but Allergen Friendly, not using any peanuts, tree nuts or any other kind of nuts, and no eggs! Those avoiding Dairy can also eat easy, by avoiding the sour cream and cheese!

Click here for Chipotle locations in LI/NYC area http://www.chipotle.com/restaurants/map.asp?address=&city=&state=&zip=11590

YUMMMMMMMMM!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Call Betty Crocker to request coupon for Free GF mix!

Betty Crocker is giving out free coupons for one of their new Gluten-Free mixes. You will get a coupon for one free mix. There are 4 mixes, GF Chocolate Chip, GF Yellow Cake (I've tried, and it is good!), GF Devils Food, and GF Brownie. For more info: www.bettycrocker.com/products/gluten-free.

Here is the customer service number to call: 1-800-446-1898, then press option #4 to get to an operator, and mention that you are calling for the coupon for a free gluten free mix! They will mail it to you in 6-8 weeks!

ENJOY!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Red Mango Frozen Yogurt

Red Mango Frozen yogurt is certified GLUTEN FREE!!!
There are currently 2 locations on Long Island- Plainview and Deer Park (in Tanger Outlets), but they are soon to be in Massapequa Park (next door to Pizza Bistro!)

Just be careful of toppings cross-contamination, as not all of their toppings are Gluten-Free!

Red Mango- Plainview
357 S. Oyster Bay Rd.
Plainview, NY 11803
Phone: 516 433 2302
sun-thurs: 10:30am-11pm
fri-sat: 10:30am-midnight

Red Mango- Tanger Outlets (Deer Park)
152 The Arches Circle
Deer Park, NY 11729
Phone: 631 242 8200
mon-thurs: 11am-9pm
fri-sat: 11am-11pm
sun: 11am-10pm

http://www.redmangousa.com/default.html

There are also locations in NYC area as well!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Starbucks GF Valencia Cake

I'm SO upset! as I'm sure most of you heard, Starbucks decided to discontinue their Gluten Free Valencia Orange Cake - ALREADY! (http://news.starbucks.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=217 Well, they didn't listen for too long! I REALLY liked it, and I am not an "orange" fan- but the taste and flavor was VERY good, and it was so awesome to be able to go into a Starbucks and order a coffee along with an individually wrapped GF Cake! This is so annoying.

I am asking all of my readers (yes, all 3 of you) and anyone who happens upon my blog to write in to Starbucks and COMPLAIN and ask that the GF Valencia cake remain in their product line!!! Here is the link to the "my starbucks idea" forum where you can provide feedback (I started a link- you just need to "sign in" to Starbucks)-http://mystarbucksidea.force.com/ideaView?id=087500000005S0qAAE


Update: VOTE and comment on this link as well called "marketing" on the starbucks site (they merged mine with his) http://mystarbucksidea.force.com/ideaView?id=087500000005S1PAAU&mc=0&p=1
PLEASE DO SO!!
-Sue

Friday, July 3, 2009

Pasta Sampling at Pizza Bistro on Sundays!

UPDATED POST: Pizza Bistro will now be serving this special EVERY Sunday!!
http://www.pizzabistrony.com/

This Sunday, July 5th Pizza Bistro in Massapequa will be serving some brand new Gluten Free Pasta dishes that they are considering adding to their menu!

They will have Gluten Free Spinach Ravioli, Gluten Free Cheese Ravioli, Gluten Free Stuffed Shells and Gluten Free Gnocchi! - all can be prepared baked with mozzarella cheese-

On SUNDAY'S they will serve a combination dish serving ALL of these options!!!

They want to know which pasta to add to their already awesome Gluten Free Menu!

Click Here for Google Map of Pizza Bistro
Pizza Bistro
4952 Merrick Rd
Massapequa Park
(516) 797-4747
http://www.pizzabistrony.com/

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

WARNING: Francesca's Bakery- NOT Gluten Free!

One of my blog readers wrote in a month or so ago about a bakery in Massapequa (and another location in Hicksville) Francesca's on Merrick Road in Massapequa letting me know of her story. I asked her if I could post what happened as a warning to others.

I went to Francesca's because someone had recommended it to me as advertising in the newspaper that they offer "Gluten Free"- so when I went, asked the girls behind the counter about which were gluten free and they "kind of" pointed to some cookies, even with the add for "Gluten Free" that was big and in the window! The cookies that the girls were saying contained no gluten were at the bottom of open racks with tons of gluten products above them, so even if I DID trust that they didn't contain gluten, I felt the cross-contamination was too great. I asked if they baked in a dedicated facility (which they do not), and what steps they take to eliminate cross-contamination, which they did not know. I asked if there was anyone else I could speak to about their "gluten-free" products, they said they were the only ones there and didn't know. Needless to say I did not buy a thing, and have not gone back.

When my reader wrote me the following I was shocked and felt we had to warn others:

Re: Francesca's
My husband ordered me a sheet cake and cheese cake a few months ago (gluten free). They were great. I went back and tried to order another cheese cake for Easter and spoke to the owner on the phone while in the bakery. He said that he could not make one with such short notice and said that the ones already made "only had "a little "gluten!!!) I questioned him as to whether or not the one I ordered was really gluten free. He could not tell me what the crust was made from! Needless to say, I left without anything. I decided not to get the gluten free cookies (which are also delicious) either. I was afraid that they too may have "a little" gluten!!) I did not trust whether the pantry was cross contaminated. I did try to explain to the owner that by saying that it had a little gluten is like telling someone with a peanut allergy there is only one peanut in it! He asked me if I had gotten sick and if not, it was not big deal!! My concern is that they will continue to sell these products and people will continue to buy them under false pretense.

Unfortunately people who are not educated in gluten-free do not fully understand the seriousness of it and the precaustions that must be taken to prepare fully gluten-free foods! Even KELLOGS, a huge corportation wrote back in an e-mail regarding their items that contain gluten with a list of items that contain only "a little gluten"... C'mon! this is Kellogs! Ugh. So if big companies don't get it, how can we expect the small ones to care?! We have to do our best in the Celiac Community to keep getting out there and educating as many people as we can as to false advertising!

As a rule, I tend to ask a lot of questions before ordering anything "new" that is claiming to be "Gluten Free", so luckily I didn't buy at Franchescas, but I'm sure a lot of people did because they trust in the signage and labeling of Gluten Free...
-Sue

Jandi's in Oceanside- new Gluten Free food line!

Jandi's in Oceanside will be offering an exciting new gluten free line - including a new gluten free sandwich bread, pita bread, puff pastry and other surprises!

Can't wait to try it! GF Pita bread!! I'll report back when I try it!

:)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gluten-free Valencia Cake now in Starbucks!

Gluten-free Valencia Cake now at Starbucks!

So it’s official, Starbucks has the Gluten-Free Valencia Cakes! The developer of the new Gluten-free Orange Valencia Cake, Chris writes a behind-the-scenes look at how these new GF treats are made. It’s nice to hear that they are making them in a separate facility in a “gluten free zone” as he called it, so that they took the comments from the public seriously about cross-contamination during production as well as display! They are keeping the cakes in their individual wrappers to ensure that the cakes can not be contaminated with other products at the store! Look at the blog entry from Chris the chef detailing the process of making them as well as some pics of the process!

http://blogs.starbucks.com/blogs/customer/archive/2009/04/29/gluten-free-valencia-cake.aspx

I have yet to go try them but I will be stopping by soon and will report back! ENJOY!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

News 12 Gluten Free Story to air Monday, April 20th

I just got the word that the Gluten Free Eating on Long Island Story that I will be in (click link to read about it!) will air this Monday, April 20th on News 12. It will air every hour from 8am until Midnight I believe, around 45min past the hour. It's great that it will air before the Gluten Free Vendor Fair, I believe Mary wanted to mention it, so hopefully it will be! :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

UPDATE on Gluten Free CHEX!

Below is the e-mail response I received from GM regarding the majority of the "Chex" line going fully Gluten Free! (obviously no the "wheat" chex!)

"Dear 'GFLI':
Thank you for contacting General Mills with your inquiry.General Mills is reformulating the following Big G Cereals to gluten free status:
o Corn Chex
o Honey Nut Chex
o Strawberry Chex
o Chocolate Chex,
o Cinnamon Chex

As was the case with Gluten Free Rice Chex, the barley malt ingredient was removed and replaced with another ingredient. Production has begun, so consumers may start seeing the gluten free formulas on store shelves now. All 5 products should be widely available across the US by June 1, 2009.As with all reformulated products, both products may be on store shelves at the same time so consumers are encouraged to read labels/packaging carefully.Consumers should carefully examine the product packaging to ensure that the cereal inside the box is in fact the new, gluten free product. Look for "NOW GLUTEN FREE" or "GLUTEN FREE" on the front/side/back panels.We hope you find this information helpful. Please let us know if we can help you again.

Sincerely,

Consumer Services"

You can now get GlutenFreeLI via e-mail!

You can now enter your e-mail address (in the box on the right) to get all new posts and updates from Gltuen Free LI delivered to your e-mail whenever there is an update!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New 'Gluten Free' Deli Signs at Jandi's in Oceanside!

Below is part of an e-mail I received from Jandi's in Oceanside regarding their new allergy coded signs in their deli dept!

"Jandi's introduces new allergy coded signs in our deli! You may have noticed new signs on the food in our deli. To make it easy for our many allergy sensitive customers to shop, there are 4 color coded carrots at the top left corner of our deli signs to help determine what is best for you. Here is the coding - Green carrot = Vegan, Yellow carrot = Gluten Free, Orange carrot = Soy free, Purple carrot = nut free. We use almost exclusively USDA certified organic ingredients. We use no yeast and no refined sugar. Most of our food is dairy free. We do not fry. We offer a number of live/raw food dishes. All of our food is DELICIOUS! Stop in today and ask for a sample."


Jandi's Natural Market
3000 Long Beach Road
Oceanside, NY 11572
(516) 536-5535 Phone
www.jandis.com

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gluten Free segment to air on News 12 LI with me and Mary Mucci!

Yesterday I spent the day with News 12’s Mary Mucci and her camera man Don visiting 4 Gluten Free establishments on Long Island!

The day began in Bellmore, at Joan’s Gluten Free Great Bakes where we got a first hand look at Joan and her crew preparing Joan’s DELICIOUS Gluten Free Sicilian Pizzas. Joan’s offers frozen bagels, pizza’s, Cookies, English muffins and soon to be released Italian rolls (which were SO AMAZING- I can not wait until they are available for sale!). Next we visited Smoking Sloes in East Northport for a Gluten Free Lunch of BBQ pulled-chicken, GF baked beans, and GF BBQ shrimp on salad we also were treated to GF brownies (made by Azure Chocolate) to-go for dessert. From there we headed south to Oakdale to eat at Mama’s. At Mama’s we dined on fresh baked Gluten Free bread, Garlic Bread, Pizza, and my favorite, Chicken Montanara, which is Chicken, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Broccoli tossed in Garlic and Oil, served over Gluten Free Ziti. For dessert we had Gluten Free Cannoli (my FAVORITE!), Gluten Free Chocolate Cake and Gluten Free Italian Cheese Cake. As if we weren’t stuffed already, our last stop of the day took us back to Nassau County, to Wantagh to visit CaffĂ© Baldo. At Caffe Baldo we ordered a Gluten Free Pizza and were pleased to find out that their regular menu is now one in the same with their Gluten Free menu- that is, anything on the menu can be made Gluten Free! The pizza has a wonderful flavor on it’s thin crust and the size is similar to a traditional pizza pie! There were gluten-free cakes and cookies on display, and I made sure to order my gluten free apple pie for Easter!

Our day began at 10:30 am and we circled the island to finish by 6:15 pm! It was a wonderful day of exploring only some of the GF options available on Long Island and the people behind the GF menus! I truly appreciate them sowing us what they have to offer, and am glad that they provide this valuable service for those of us who can’t eat Gluten- making it easier for us to feel “normal” again.

Watch for the segment in a few weeks on a Monday, during Mary’s weekly report (every hour) on News 12 Long Island. Visit Mary’s Blog at http://blogs.news12.com/longisland/author/mpmucci/

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Long Island Gluten Free Vendor Fair 4/26/09!

Reminder that the Suffolk County Celiacs are holding their 3rd annual Gluten Free Vendor Fair (and Fundraiser) on Sunday, April 26, 2009!

This is the largest Gluten-free consumer event in North America!! Over 50 gluten-free vendors will be selling their products! (most vendors will have samples and some will accept credit cards)

Date: Sunday, April 26, 2009
Time: 11:00am- 4:00pm
Location: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
(IBEW) Local 25
370 Vanderbilt Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, NY
Google Map Directions :
Click Here

Guests include:
• Dr. Peter Green, Director, Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University
• Cynthia Kupper, Registered Dietitian, Director, Gluten Intolerance Group

One day Membership and Entrance fee is $10.00 per person (Cash only)
Children under 12 free; families of 4 or more $30.00 total.
Profits will be donated to: The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia.

Come join us and help the Celiac Community:
Find improved diagnosis and treatments for Celiacs, Educate the medical community on Long Island and possibly find a cure!

Approximately 1% of people in the US have Celiac Disease and 97% have not been properly diagnosed. That means that over 300,000 Long Islanders suffer from Celiac and more than 290,000 of them have not yet been diagnosed.

Here is a list of participating vendors:
Aleia's Gluten Free Foods
Kinnikinnick
Allergy Friendly Foods
Kitchen Table Bakers
Aunt Gussies Cookies & Crackers
Little Bay Baking Co.
Axcan Pharmaceuticals
Mama's Restaurant
Azure Chocolate
Marble Slab Creamery
Bakery on Main
Mari Productions
Bob & Ruth's GF Travel Club
Meadow Foods
Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods
Miller's Gluten Free Bread Co.
Buona Sera Restaurant
Mixes from the Heartland
Caesar's Pasta Products
Mr. Ritts Bakery
Clare Rose Distributors (Red Bridge Beer)
NuGo Nutrition
Domata Living Flour
Nutritional Healing Technologies
Foods by George
Organic Bistro Whole Life Meals
Enjoy Life Natural Brands
Outrageous Foods
Everybody Eats
Pamela's Products
Food Tek
Rose Door Inc.
Full Flavor Foods
Schar USA
Gaga's Inc.
Shabtai Gourmet Bakery
Get Healthy America
Smokin Sloe's Restaurant
Gilbert's Gourmet Goodies
The Best Ever Low Carb Cakes
Gluten Free Naturals
The Diet Shop
Gluten Free Passport
The Gluten Free Choice
Good Day Sunshine
The Grainless Baker
Jake Bakes
The L. Lodico Walk for Celiac Disease
Joan's GF Great Bakes
The Silly Yak Bakery
Katz Gluten Free
Two Fresh Chefs
Kettle Cuisine
Whole Foods

For more information on the Suffolk County Celiac Support Group visit their website: http://www.suffolkcountyceliacs.org/Index.htm

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pizzeria Uno's Gluten Free Pizza now here!

Pizzeria Uno's Gluten Free Pizza has finally arrived and, it's not bad! I ordered a GF pizza "to-go" during lunchtime and the person on the phone told me that they were having a "to-go" flatbread deal called the “Flat Bread Double Deal Take Out” (They are classifying their GF crusts as part of their "flat-breads" which is nice, so that they fall under the same pricing and "deals" as their other flat breads- it is nice to not have to pay more just because it's GF!) - the deal was 1 pizza for $10.99-$11.99 or two for $14.99, so I got two! The options they have are Gluten Free Cheese and Tomato Flatbread ($10.99 single), Gluten Free Pepperoni Flatbread ($11.99 single), and a new Gluten Free Veggie Flatbread ($10.99 single). The first time I went, I got two pepperoni’s, and the second time I called the waitress told me that they were now offering a Veggie version so I got that. It was very nice that she mentioned it- and I enjoyed the veggie toppings! The Cheese and Tomato version has Freshly-shredded mozzarella and Uno’s tomato sauce, the Pepperoni is the same with Pepperoni on top, and the Veggie Version is Mushrooms, onions, peppers, freshly-shredded mozzarella with their Uno tomato sauce, all Baked on a gluten-free crust!

The pizza’s themselves had a very nice flavor, although the crusts did tend to crumble a bit, and the crust at the top would fall off (See pic). You have to eat them with a fork and knife, because if you picked it up it would crumble a bit- but it was still tasty enough that that didn’t matter- and being able to order GF pizza at a main-stream chain restaurant with your friends is definitely a bonus!

They even have a $1 off coupon http://www.unos.com/coupons/glutenfree/ to try the new Gluten Free Pizzas! (coupon valid until May 31, 2009)

Unfortunately, their only Long Island location right now is Lynbrook (the rest closed down), but you can visit their website for other non-LI locations (which include NYC, and other states) - http://www.unos.com/

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gluten free Pizza and Pasta in Massapequa Park!

PIZZA BISTRO, in Massapequa Park located in the south gate shopping center has recently expanded their business to incorporate a COMPLETE gluten free menu, including everything from pizzas, pastas, an assortment of over 35 different completely gluten free dinners and appetizers. According to the owner Luca, their facility is very strict in keeping all flour items away from anything that may cause contamination to their gluten free customers and he says that his success rate has been outstanding.

My sister and I ate there (both celiacs) and we got a GF Pizza, with 1/2 BBQ chicken, and 1/2 Buffalo Chicken Pizza. It was OUTSTANDING. I think it was one of the best Gluten Free Pizza's I have ever had. The crust was thin and crispy, but not too thin and the prefect crispness! One of my blog readers also wote in that the Margaritta pizza was fabluous as well, and I will definately try that next time!

UPDATE: I went back for the Margaritta pizza and it WAS FABULOUS. The best tasting GF pizza- the flavor- was the BEST, and again, I'm still a fan of the crust! (See pic!)



UPDATE: I went back again, for the ZITI GF pizza- which was GREAT!!! It was so nice to be able to get a ziti slice again- I am in love with these pizzas!


1/29/10 UPDATE: Pizza Bistro now has a website where you can also print out their gluten-free menu http://www.pizzabistrony.com/ ...and is a Member of GFRAP http://www.glutenfreerestaurants.org/adv_search.php?name=&city=Massapequa&state=NY&cuisine=&submit=Search

Check them out!

Pizza Bistro
4952 Merrick Road
Massapequa Park, NY
516-797-4747
Luca, Owner
http://www.pizzabistrony.com/






Sunday, January 4, 2009

Gluten-Free Cakes and Desserts in East Meadow!









So I was invited by Brian of Sweet Karma Bakery in East Meadow to come sample some of his Gluten Free desserts, and boy was I amazed at what GF items he has to offer! Brian is very knowledgeable in what it takes to make a gluten-free dessert including checking ALL ingredients used (including baking powder/soda and vanilla extract), and cross-contamination issues). On hand the day I went, I was able to sample 5 delicious individual treats! Among my favorite (although all were SO delicious) were the Tiramisu, Peanut Butter and Cappuccino Commotion ones! (see pics). In the display case, the gluten-free items have either a green label or a green sticker on their label. Only gluten-free desserts are put on the same tray as other gluten-free desserts, and they are at the very top of the case. They are in the same case with other non-gluten free items, but nothing is above them, and they are not “cookie” items that would have crumbs and could possibly fall off onto a gluten-free item. When someone orders an item, there are always plastic trays under the item that is on and each dessert is on its own individual foil cup, which is then grabbed and placed directly into the bakery box.

They have thoroughly thought through cross-contamination issues, and although they do not have a dedicated Gluten-Free facility, the baking of GF products is done on the day they are closed, and every piece of equipment is completely washed, cleaned, and sanitized prior to anything GF being made in/on it.

Sweet Karma also makes Gluten-Free occasion cakes! The GF cakes can be made with 48 hours notice, and they come in either GF Chocolate Cake, Yellow Genoise (Spongecake) or an Almond (or) Hazelnut cake. You also get a choice of fillings which include too many to list (but among my fav’s): Cannoli (w/chocolate chips), Chocolate Moose, Fresh Fruit (in season), Vanilla Custard, and Chocolate Pudding. (YUM). For Icing you can choose: Whipped Cream, Buttercream, or Rolled Fondant (Extra cost). Cakes come in a variety of sizes and include a simple artwork. Multi-level cakes and intricate artwork are also available- including tiered wedding cakes! Visit the store to see some of the amazing designs they have done! The order forms for Gluten-Free cakes are on bright neon green forms and say GLUTEN FREE on it, so that it immediately sticks out as a Gluten-Free order! They also usually have frozen Gluten-Free cupcakes on hand, just go in and ask for 1 or 4 to take with you to a party so that you can eat a cupcake along with everyone else (and bring the others home to the freezer)! ;) They keep extra desserts in the freezer as well, so you can go there, pick them up frozen and bring them home to put in Tupperware or freezer bags and place directly into your freezer until you want to use them, when you take them out to thaw!

They also plan to start making pizza crust in Plain, Sesame, and Parmesan.

I am definitely going to order a GF cake for the next birthday we have coming up (I’m getting Canoli filling!) and I will report back on how that is- I almost can’t wait! Too bad my birthday was in November- I’ll have to see if someone else wants a gluten-free cake for THEIR birthday to humor me! (although I’m told that their cakes are so good it’s almost hard to tell- from the taste of the desserts we sampled, they were so good, I would definitely say I could not tell that they were Gluten-Free!)

Sweet Karma Desserts
550 East Meadow Avenue
East Meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
http://www.sweetkarmadesserts.com//

Gluten Free Play Doh!

The New York Times ran an article on December 24, 2008 "Gluten-Free Child's Play"
about Students at Purdue University who have developed a gluten free alternative to Play-Doh!

Play-Doh, which contains wheat, could be a problem to kids with Celiac, if they put it in their mouth and eat it, or have residual doh on their hands and then eat, creating a possibility of a cross-contamination of their food

New York Times Article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/education/edlife/ideas-Playdoh-t.html?_r=1&emc=tnt&tntemail1=y