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

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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.

Choose a Gluten-Free Soy Sauce

Let’s consider one of the most popular flavorings for over 2000 years world-over. Soy Sauce is often compared to selecting a fine wine.  It was originally a way to stretch salt – an expensive commodity. The traditional fermentation process using soybeans may take up to six months or more compared to two weeks by hydrolysis in a bio-reactor. National Geographic has done an informative video on how soy sauce has been made in Japan for over 750 years. After brewing, some sauces can be blended with mushrooms or thickened with starch, sugar or molasses. Sweeter sauces are commonly used for dipping.  Soy Sauce manufacturers often modify recipes to regional tastes. There is a long history of soy sauce manufacturers in Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Hawaii,  ChinaBurma, and the Philippines,

You may use Yamasa, or been in a restaurant with Kikkoman soy sauce on the table with a red or green lid. Red meaning traditional and green meaning sodium reduced soy sauce with ingredients including water, wheat, soybeans, salt and a preservative called sodium benzoate.  If your interest was to brew your own traditional sauce Cooks Illustrated has a detailed process you could follow. The commercial process of fermentation or faster hydrolysis in a bio-reactor is commonly used to make the sauce.

Numerous companies make a gluten-free soy sauce. Japanese tamari soy sauce is traditionally wheat-free and gluten-free like Kikkoman’s Gluten-Free Tamari Soy Sauce traditionally brewed from water, soybeans, salt and sugar.

A good read is Ronald E. Yates book about the history of Shige Maki and the Kikkoman company and how they changed history.

Gluten-Free Pasta

Pasta consumption as a whole has decreased over the past few years but manufacturers are adjusting with over 14 percent of new pasta products launched in 2016 globally being gluten free.  Your families favorite recipes may include spaghetti and meatballs, tuna noodle casserole, baked Ziti, stiffed Manicotti, Lasagna, Pesto Pasta to name a few. If you were Amish or of German heritage the extra-thick noodles for ham or chicken pot pie was common fare. There are over 300 shapes according to Luciana Squadrilli.

Gluten intolerance can be developed at any age. Regardless if you’re following a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean you have to eliminate that dish of pasta. Out of 15 popular brands Brad Leone at Bon Appétit and his team picked the Andean Dream’s rice flour and quinoa spaghetti and Ancient Harvest’s corn and quinoa spaghetti, tied for first place.

Popular brands include Ancient Harvest, Barilla, Bionaturae, Jovial, Schar, Tinkyada, truRoots, Mueller, and Manischewitz. Your favorite gluten free dish may now be Spaghetti, Fettuccine, Ziti, Penne, Rigatoni, Elbows, Linguine, Rotini, Shells, Garden Pagodas, Veggie Curls, Lasagna, Fusilli, Egg Tagliatelle, Farfalle, Casarecce, Cupellini, Red Lentil Sedanini, wide egg noodles.  When cooked, bake it, stuff it, dress it with a good olive oil or your favorite gluten free sauce.

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.

Pizza Gluten-Free

Pizza – Gluten-Free Pizza. The hand-held food that likely includes almost every food group. Cereal grain or rice if you’re gluten-free in the crust, tomatoes in the sauce, cheese, and meat. The only thing missing is fruit. No bread-sticks don’t finish the course. Pizza is the food of choice at least once a week for allot of families and especially nice when watching football or a sports event. Denny Bernstein at the Washington Post says we eat 100 acres of Pizza a day in the United States. For those who love to make gluten-free pizza from scratch. Perhaps you prefer your crust thin and crispy like the ones over at King Arthur’s. In addition to their all-purpose flour blend probably found at your local grocer, you’ll need buttermilk or dry milk powder as well as the other ingredients normally found in your kitchen cabinet. Add your favorite toppings. America’s Test Kitchen shares their discoveries too.

Can anything be simpler than Betty Crocker’s Bisquick™ Gluten Free mix? Not the same kind of crust as the King Arthur’s above but easy and delicious too. Just add your favorite ingredients like a pizza or tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni or sausage and some Italian seasonings.

Not to be undone Bob’s Red Mill has a Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix. Just add eggs, olive oil, and water. They’ve included the yeast in the package. This makes a light airy crust and of course add your preferred toppings. Makes two 12-inch crusts.

Pillsbury adds a bit of sugar and uses egg whites and garlic in their Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix. It makes two 10-inch crusts. The Doughboy does it again.

Maybe it would be easier to just go to the freezer aisle and get a  ready-made pizza make by popular brands like Freschetta. DiGiorno has quite a few fans for their thin crust gluten-free pizza. Gluten-Free Forever did their own taste tests and recommends their Top 10. Of course, we can’t forget Udi’s.

Not recommended for those with Celiac disease because of cross contamination Domino’s Gluten Free Crust would be ok however for those with mild gluten sensitivities. Similarly  Papa Johns has a crust with ingredients reflecting a gluten free pie. Pizza Hut has a Udi’s crust they make Pepperoni or Cheese pizzas with. There are allot of local pizzerias that have added a gluten-free option to their menu like Pizza Girls in Palm Beach Gardens. I’m especially fond of the Italian Hoagie at Today’s Pizza in Mount Joy, PA made with their gluten-free pizza dough. Find Me Gluten Free has a gluten-free app to help find gluten free dining.

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.

Gluten-Free Bread

If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or are following a gluten-free diet it’s a good chance that bread, that delicious, hand held edible food holder important to our daily routines whether we’re adding meat, cheese, peanut butter, Nutella, or a host of other products is in the mix. We use it as a coating, stuffing, and pudding too.

If you have the time, and love to make bread there are a host of recipes to make Gluten-Free bread. One of the first I’ve used is America’s Test Kitchen’s sandwich bread. They also have recipes in How Can It Be Gluten Free vol 2 for whole grain dinner rolls, muffins, crackers, tortillas, muffins and so much more.

Bob’s Red Mill has gained allot of fans with their attention to healthy ingredients. If you’re looking for a recipe that is completely grain free they have a flatbread that looks and feels like pita bread using coconut flour and arrowroot starch.

King Arthur’s Flour is a favorite when it comes to gluten-free pancakes, breads, scones, pizza, candy, muffins, cookies, energy bars, and more. When you can’t find gluten-free ingredients at your local market King Arthur’s professional baking team can have it shipped right to your door.

Perhaps Allrecipies is one of your favorite sources for something delicious and gluten-free. They have almost 200 recipes that also come with reviews, ratings and cooking tips. Amazing food just waiting to show up in your kitchen. Even the latest rage Keto Hamburger buns made with no grains using almond flour and psyllium among other ingredients.

STOP! Who has the time to bake? I hear you and thankfully so have many commercial bakers that would love to fill your local stores bread shelves and freezers.

You don’t have to bake your own bread to be gluten-free. There are plenty of sources for substitute products. They may be more expensive than you’re used to but your time and effort is saved.

Gluten-Free Guides

There has been allot of interest in eating a gluten-free diet whether diagnosed with celiac disease or not. Sometimes it just nice to have some kind of gluten-free guide to help make living gluten-free a good decision or is it a fad that really doesn’t add anything to your life.

Where do you find that kind of reliable information that is thorough and dependable?  Dr. Joseph Murray at the Mayo Clinic has written the Mayo Clinic Going Gluten-Free that focuses on living a gluten-free lifestyle, from the onset of being inquisitive to being diagnosed and managing eating out, if this new discovery is for you or a family member and more. Real life issues that can help manage pitfalls and well-intentioned but misinformed opinions.

If you want to eat out gluten-free Adam Bryan has written an amazing national Restaurant Guide with over 150 restaurant menus with gluten-free options. No matter if you have Celiac disease, a gluten intolerance or allergy, or just maintaining a gluten-free diet. Check out our book page for more information.