Saquella and Prosecco Cafe

I was reminded today that I hadn’t mentioned the amazing hamburgers at the Saquella Café in Boca Raton and Prosecco’s Café in Palm Beach Gardens Forida both owed by the same folks. Their “Scratch Kitchen and Bake Shops” fit right into today’s FRESH and Healthy gluten-free lifestyle. Whether or not you choose to eat gluten free or are a celiac who needs to be purposeful about your eating habits these restaurants can be a great choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They opened initially as a way to get a good cup of Cappuccino using the coffee from Saquella Coffee Roasters in Italy who boast a 19 percent market share in Canada and the United States. Saquella Caffe

The Cafés have a Day menu filled with healthy alternatives including Buffalo burgers, chicken, turkey, and fish focused on grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free sources. They have amazing bakeries and gluten-free bread for any meal. Another customer raved that their Creekstone Farms blended beef hamburger had the best flavor of any they remember. Creekstone Farms provides  natural Black Angus beef that has never been given hormones or antibiotics and are fed a vegetarian diet, raised and grazed in the United States.  Perhaps your preference is Quiche or a Soup and Goat Cheese Salad, or an amazing Salmon Burger. The Dinner menu has some nice entrees including Scottish sourced Salmon, Risotto, Fork-tender Short Ribs, Chicken, and an Asian Stir Fry. Obviously, they serve gluten products so there is always a chance of contamination, but they do their best at preventing any cross contamination if you’re concerned about an allergic reaction.  This is a good choice for any meal and has a pleasant atmosphere as well.

If you’re curious about the history of coffee and it’s place in making history read The Curious Barista’s Guide to Coffee, learn or brush up on your coffee brewing techniques with Coffee Obsession.                                                   – Photos courtesy of Google Maps

Outback Gluten Free Steak

Of all places to go for a meal you would think it would be safe for a celiac or someone eating gluten-free to go to a steakhouse. But surprisingly enough depending on the seasonings and the side dishes it may be more of a challenge than you’d think. And let’s not even talk about the price.

One of my favorite steakhouses has been the Outback Steakhouse, known of course for their steak but also chicken, ribs, salads, and freshnot canned vegetables, along with a gluten free desert called Thunder Down Under.  And yes, their seasonings are gluten free. Their wait staff has been trained to provide gluten free options.

There is an entre for most appetites. One of my favorites is the wedge salad for starters, the Outback Center-Cut Sirloin, cooked medium with light seasoning. Pair it with their homestyle mashed or baked potato and double steamed broccoli. Good flavors! Perhaps you would rather have a porterhouse, fillet mignon, or a New York strip steak. Some in our family would prefer the shrimp, salmon, tilapia, or lobster tails. Whatever your preference Outback’s gluten-free menu is a complete offering not an off-the-cuff thought process. If you’re counting calories, they even give you the calorie count on the menu.

The Outback Steakhouse team has taken time to work with dieticians and has strong ties with the Gluten intolerance Group, a nonprofit that provides information and support for consumers and education and certification for the food service industry. Although the Outback kitchens are not gluten-free there may be some cross contamination which they strive to minimize. They open at 11 AM for Lunch. With a moderately price menu, the ambiance, and lively conversation make the Outback Steakhouse a great option. Join their reward program for additional reasons to return.

If you’re a race fan and not gluten free whenever Ford Fusion #4 driver, Kevin Harvick finishes a race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the Top Ten, on the following Monday mention Bloomin Monday to your server for a free Bloomin Onion appetizer.

Australian themed Outback Steakhouse serves casual-American food at almost a thousand restaurants in twenty-three countries with headquarters in Tampa Florida. They are a gluten-free favorite.

Let’s Eat Donuts

Once you get the urge for a donut it’s always – where is a donut shop or place near me and who makes gluten-free donuts. Dunkin Donuts with over 11,000 independently owned franchises now has a individually wrapped gluten-free brownie but no donuts to date.

There are of course more donut shops that do not have gluten free options than do. Krispy Kreme only produces donuts with wheat – no gluten free options at the moment. Nothing on the visible gluten-free horizon at California Donuts.  In the Amish community Long Johns  is a special treat. Around the holidays in Holland it was a tradition to make fried cakes called Yum Yum’s rolled in sugar like the  Finsbury Foods Group makes in the UK. There is also a Yum Yums Donuts based in California with 71 locations but without a gluten-free option.

You’ll have to look for those local specialty shops. If you’re in Boynton Beach Florida stop by Joey Weiss’s Bakery where they have Dairy Free, Vegan, Paleo as well as gluten free options. You can stop by Funky Town Donuts in Dallas Fort Worth on Wednesdays and Sundays for gluten-free donuts in the Medical District and Sundance Square.

No gluten-free donut shops close by? Then it’s bake your own or buy it from your grocer’s freezer. In the bake your own group would be:

  • King Arthur’s Donut Mix a cake like old fashioned donut. Just add the eggs, mile, oil, and butter. Available online or at your local grocer.
  • Stonewall Kitchen has a cinnamon sugar cake donut mix.
  • Pillsbury uses their Funfetti Gluten Free Cake Mix as the base for their donut recipe. Use their icing to glaze your gluten-free donut as well.

Already baked and ready to eat from your grocer’s freezer would have to include:

  • Katz donuts and donut holes. Katz is a gluten free bakery with many tempting products.
  • Kinnikinnick has soft donuts, pumpkin spice, maple or vanilla glazed cake donuts, cinnamon sugar and chocolate dipped.

There are a lot of recipes for homemade gluten-free donuts from some of your favorite sources, AllrecipesAmerica’s Test Kitchen, Bon Appetit, Dina Sheppards GF Donuts, to name a few. So what’s it going to be? Let’s have a donut.

Is Baking Soda Gluten-Free

Not all baking soda products are created equal. Are you concerned about aluminum, sodium, alternatives, or nutritional content? Let’s look at one of the most basic and needed minerals used in baking and many other uses as well.

Baking Soda used as the leavening agent in your recipe is activated by acid not by water. It is often combined with acidic ingredients like applesauce, cream of tartar, lemon juice, vinegar, molasses, yogurt, brown sugar, buttermilk, honey, or natural cocoa powder. If the carbon dioxide created from the baking soda and  acidic ingredients is not enough often baking powder a blended product, is added to achieve the desired results.

The gluten-free applesauce spice cake at GIG uses applesauce, sour cream, baking soda, molasses and baking powder to achieve its rise. Nicole Hunn has a beautiful gluten-free buttermilk pancake recipe that uses baking soda and butter milk. Shoefly pie is a good illustration of a molasses and baking soda combination. In the 125 Best Gluten-Free Recipes by Donna Washburn ad Heather Butt is a nice yogurt and baking soda recipe for Cranbury and Apple Kuchen. Not just for baking, Dr. Guy Crosby of America’s Test Kitchen promotes a little baking soda to decrease the cooking time of dried beans instead of salt, also reported to decrease the resulting gaseous nature of beans (the musical fruit).

Pure baking soda has one ingredient making it 100-percent sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) Because it does not contain wheat, barley, rye, or oat flour it is also gluten-free. Other names for baking soda are bicarbonate of soda or soda bicarb for short. It is alkaline and measures 9 on the PH scale. There is no aluminum in baking soda like there is in baking powder. For best results it’s important to use the correct amount of baking soda in your recipe. Some recipes use baking soda to soften the whole grains in their bread recipes.

If you’re looking for a baking soda substitute or replacement use 4-teaspoons of baking powder. Baking Powder is a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar, however some baking powders also contain aluminum.

Occasionally the question is raised if natural baking soda is organic, most often the question behind the question is if it’s all natural? Western Colorado, in United States contains what is believed to be the largest natural deposit of sodium bicarbonate mineral in North America with the only successful water mining process known. Mechanical extraction processes are used in Wyoming where a 127 billion-ton reserve deposit of Trona exits. Trona is a sodium carbonate compound that is processed into soda ash, bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda. Solvay also produces sodium bicarb products from the Wyoming deposits.

Some companies that sell baking soda products include:

  • Thrive Baking Soda whose label is shown here has 160 milligrams of sodium, 7% of recommended daily nutrition. It contains no calcium, iron, sugar, protein, or fat.
  • Church & Dwight’s Arm & Hammer has been a trusted brand for over 170-years.
  • Bob’s Red Mill baking soda has an aluminum free label however other manufacturers products are also aluminum free, not to be confused with baking powder.
  • Ener-G has a sodium bicarbonate substitute composed of Calcium Carbonate and Thrive Nutrition Label Baking SodaMagnesium Carbonate containing no sodium if you’re looking for a low sodium or no sodium leavening agent and you also add magnesium, calcium and fat to the nutrition label.
  • Rumford’s Clapper Girl baking soda brand is 100-percent sodium bicarbonate, zero trans fat, Kosher, and gluten free.
  • Frontier Co-op’s baking soda is also 100-percent sodium bicarbonate and available through herb and health food stores.

Fresh is best. To test stir into some white or distilled vinegar. If you see a mild or lackluster reaction its time to replace it. But don’t throw the old baking powder away. Use it instead clean the oven, pots and pans, or even in the bathroom on the toilet, tub, or sink where a mild abrasive cleaner is in order. Mix it with vinegar and water to keep your drains clean and fresh as well. If you’ve used the baking soda as a refrigerator deodorizer it probably won’t work very well in your recipe.

Almost every home has baking soda in numerous products including antacids, toothpaste, laundry detergent, fire extinguishers, and cat litter. Sodium bicarbonate is also known as an antacid used for acid indigestion and heartburn. It’s also prescribed as a remedy to reduce the acidity of blood and urine. Alka-Seltzer is one of the most popular antacids that contains baking soda in addition to other ingredients for heartburn and acid indigestion. Schering-Plough’s Zegerid is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that combines Omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate to treat frequent heartburn.

Pie: Gluten Free

You don’t need a holiday to justify a delicious pie even if you’re a celiac or eating gluten free. So do you bake, buy from the freezer or ship it direct? Perhaps your favorite is pumpkin, lemon sponge, or coconut cream, a fruit pie like apple or cherry. Or maybe even a German fruit pie piled high with fruit and a double crust would be amazing. If you’re going to bake from scratch you’ll need a gluten-free pie shell or pastry.

There are numerous pie pastry recipes out there. You can always get a proven recipe from bakers like King Arthurs, Pillsbury, Land O’Lakes, Martha Stewart, America’s Test Kitchen, Allrecipies, Gluten-Free Pies and others.

Katz Gluten Free makes personal and family sized pies found in your grocer’s freezer. Favorites like Apple, Cherry, Blueberry, and Pumpkin. The Maine Pie Company has Chocolate, ThreeBerry, Pecan, Pumpkin, Wild Blueberry, Sour Cherry, Apple, and Lemon Curd. Online you can find Harry and David’s Apple Pies, Williams Sonoma Cherry and Pecan Pies.

Use a Gluten-Free Yeast

There has been allot of confusion about yeast products and whether they are gluten-free. Common uses for yeast in addition to bread are alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, bio-fuels, and probiotics to name a few. Often when we don’t know how something is made it creates suspicion about its safety when it comes to gluten intolerance issues. Fleischmanns Yeast

Hops used in yeast recipes as well as alcoholic drinks are gluten-free. Potato yeast simply uses potatoes water and sugar, some recipes add flour. Because of difficulty in identifying if the source in Autolyzed yeast is brewers grain many prefer not to used it in gluten-free recipes.

Manufacturers of yeast products that supply your local supermarket have gluten free blends. Some of them include Bob’s Red Mill,  Fleischmann’s Active Dry, Hodgson Mills Active Dry are just a few.  Active Dry or ferment your own are ways to know if you’re adding a gluten-free yeast to your recipe.

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

There has been allot of Harvest Celebrations since the first discovery of Celiac conditions dating back as far as the first century AD. Dr. Stefano Guandalini at the University of Chicago notes that Aretaeus of Cappadocia, a Greek physician living in the first century AD wrote about “The Coeliac Affection.” This would have been the times of Roman Rule, Augustus Caesar, Titus, Jesus of Nazareth and his Disciples and Yosef ben Matityahu or Josephus among others.

According to Rebecca Sodergren at the Pittsburgh Gazette “The most common produce in Jesus’ day included lettuces, cucumbers, garlic and leeks; common fruits were apricots, figs, melons, and, of course, olives, which were important for their oil, as well. Unless a family was wealthy, large cuts of meat tended to be reserved for important meals. Meats of the day included goat, lamb, small fowl such as pigeon, and for those close to the water, fish. There also were a variety of nuts, herbs and spices to choose from, and people did make cheese and yogurt. So, their diet, assuming they weren’t extremely poor, was nutritionally sound and more varied than we might realize.”

Today the traditional American Thanksgiving meal consists of Turkey, Sweet Potato, Cranberries, and Pumpkin pie. Your family may add all kinds variations and side dishes of breads, olives, nuts, and salads. According to Fortune magazine, the famous brands that have supported the holiday include Butterball Turkeys, Libby’s pumpkin, Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce, Kraft Marshmallows, Bruce’s Yam’s, Pepperidge Farm’s Stuffing, Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup, and French’s French Fried Onions.

There are allot of choices for gluten-free recipes, some traditional dishes need no conversion at all. Allrecipies has gluten-free recipes for stuffing’s, pies, sausage gravy, bread, rolls, cakes, and more. Martha Stewart has a complete gluten-free Thanksgiving menu. Cooks Illustrated has re-engineered some traditional recipes. Don’t forget the leftovers. Some of the best meals are after Thanksgiving dinner.

Most importantly take time to be thankful.

Is America’s Diner Gluten-Free

From Danny’s to Denny’s and donuts to an amazing menu that includes clearly identified Gluten-Free options, today after 60 years Denny’s is proving they are still America’s Diner.  Along the way they’ve had tributes to Hank Aaron’s Grand Slam, kids eat free promotions, been the largest corporate sponsor of Save the Children campaigns, No Kid Hungry, numerous diversity awards, and now in over 1,700 locations.

What does that mean for us today? You can go to almost any diner and get hash browns and eggs, perhaps cooked or instant oatmeal gluten-free. Although Denny’s restaurants are not setup as gluten-free they have health-conscious gluten-free meals like Fit Slam made with egg whites scrambled together with fresh spinach and grape tomatoes, plus two turkey bacon strips, a gluten-free English muffin and seasonal fruit. If you’re not fond of turkey bacon, ham and bacon are still on the menu. Omelet’s like Philly Cheesesteak, Ham and Cheese, Loaded Veggie, and the Ultimate Omelet can make breakfast an event not just a meal. Adding a gluten-free English muffin completes the desire for bread.

I wish I could say they mastered the gluten-free pancake or waffle but not yet. They do have five-skillets that are gluten-free, and their Zesty Nacho appetizer is a great starter. Their menu is up to date with Build-Your-Own Burgers, Salads, Steaks, Fish, and Chicken.  The Milk Shakes remind me of Howard Johnson Days. Even a menu catering to the over 55 crowd. Do you like food character episodes? Denny’s has those too. You can order online and even ask Alexa to remember and order your favorite take outs. Rewards? Of course.

Dunkin Donuts Gluten Free Brownie

It is so nice as a Celiac to be able to walk into Dunkin Donuts and get something beside coffee. You’d ratDunkin Donuts Brownieher order a Boston Cream custard filled or cream filled donut or an old fashioned, or perhaps blueberry cake donuts – just something. Well that something has arrived. Their first bakery product – a gluten-free brownie pre-wrapped to prevent cross contamination and moist enough to go with a robust cup of cold or hot brewed coffee.

Thumbs up Dunkin Donuts. Thanks for a two-dollar gluten-free option to go along with your amazing coffee. William Rosenburg started Dunkin Donuts in 1950. They now have almost 12,000 restaurants in 36 countries, perhaps one near you.

 

Is Rice Gluten-Free

Over half of the world’s population eats rice with almost 90 percent being grown by Asian farmers. It is one of the popular gluten-free grains for people with celiac disease. Sticky rice, also called glutinous rice, refers to the rice’s stickiness not it’s gluten content. No matter if we’re talking about brown rice, white rice, or wild rice they are all gluten-free. Although wild rice is not really rice it’s a North American plant that is similar and higher in nutritional value.

Opportunities for gluten to be added or cross contaminated to the rice would occur with harvesting and transportation, added seasonings, other ingredients, and bulk bin containers. Often confused rice pilaf is usually made with orzo which is not gluten free. Neither are Rice A Roni products gluten-free. Several rice companies have stepped up to the plate to produce some gluten-free box mixes like McCormick’s Zatarain’s, Minute Rice,  and Uncle Ben’s responded to an inquiry concerning 9 of their product mixes. There are numerous manufacturers that are producing rice pastas as well. Allrecipies recently picked their Top-10 Winners.IMG_6458[1]

Varieties of rice from different places in the world have trace amounts of arsenic. It’s important to include other sources of carbohydrates like beans, lentils, amaranth, buckwheat, corn, quinoa, potatoes, popcorn, millet, sorghum, teff and gluten-free oats in your diet as well.

If you experience boating or other celiac symptoms after eating you may want to ask your doctor for advice or gluten antibody testing.