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

Is Your Communion Bread Gluten Free

The celebration of Passover and the instructions of Jesus to commemorate his death using bread without yeast has been a dilemma for Celiac’s or those needing a low or gluten free communion bread to participate in the observance.

It’s not been a yeast or leavening issue as much needing a wheat free or gluten free communion bread. Over the years there have been various views of what’s acceptable; some believing that water could not be used to some believing that the bread that Jesus used at the Last Supper was a yeasted wheat bread. Today we are fortunate to have low and gluten free communion breads, low and gluten free communion wafers, and gluten free communion crackers, unheard of in previous generations.

  • Cavanagh Alter Breads make a Low Gluten communion wafer that consists of pure wheat flour and water. No additives and less than 20 parts per million of gluten. They also make a gluten free communion wafer with less than 6 ppm of gluten, however the gluten free wafer is not approved by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  • Ener-G Foods makes a gluten free communion wafer using water, sweet rice and potato flour, potato starch, palm fruit oil, modified cellulose, and sunflower lecithin.
  • Yehuda makes a Matzo-Style Gluten Free Square that contains tapioca starch, water, potato starch and flakes, palm oil, maltodextrin, honey, egg yolks, vinegar, and salt. They do have a note on their package that says this is not to be used as a replacement for traditional Passover Matzo.
  • Other manufacturers that provide a plain gluten free cracker that could be used for communion for some communities include Nabisco Good Thins, Kame Mini-Rice Crackers, or Glutino gluten free table crackers.
  • If you’re looking for a gluten free bread (containing yeast or leaven) to cube or use there are numerous companies to choose from.
  • Perhaps you’d rather make your own gluten free communion wafers. gfJules has a recipe you may like to try.

Whatever your beliefs, participation in Communion and the Passover traditions with low gluten and gluten free bread or wafers is achievable and those of us who are Celiac’s or gluten free are especially appreciative to be included in the community.

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 Baking with Zein

Recently with Schaer’s news about being the runner up for a European Inventor’s Award the protein zein found in corn gluten has created some gluten-free interest. Back in 2007 Sanford Weiss and  Andrew Wolf applied for a patient for an edible drinking straw coated with a zein solution. Over the years zein has been used as a vegetable protein coating on bakery products, candy, even nuts and fruits as well as a pharmaceutical coating. Some of the interest in this protein comes from landfill concerns, and can be used in plastic bottle caps and glue. With economies of scale due to processing corn for ethanol zein can be a cost-effective alternative for numerous applications.

The amount of water in your recipe has been critical when baking gluten-free products.  The gluten in wheat flour is able to hold the gas during the fermentation process, a feature that can be duplicated by adding the zein protein according to Karen Schmidt at Kansas State University. This may be interesting especially if you’re running a commercial bakery and looking for another solution.

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.

Sous Vide Cooking at Starbucks

You’ve stopped at Starbucks to get you favorite brew and a gluten-free breakfast sandwich to go. Sorry no gluten-free breakfast sandwiches, they’ve been pulled from the menu. Perhaps instead you try one of their new gluten-free sous vide egg bites. Most people know what a breakfast sandwich is supposed to look and taste like but a sous vide egg bite? Flavors include chicken chorizo, chipotle salsa, and cotija cheese. And what is sous vide?

Sous Vide (so͞o ˈvēd) cooking is simply a tube with a temperature-controlled heating element inserted into a pan or container where the water is heated to the temperature you want the meat or protein to be done at. The meat is in a vacuum sealed bag or baggie with the air removed. Depending on the size of the protein determines the cooking time. It takes longer to cook but … it never overcooks. Bon Appetit’s Test Kitchen Manager Brad Leone does a nice job showing the process using a 1100-watt Joule Sous Vide.  CISNO’s Sous Vide basic 1000-watt model doesn’t need the Bluetooth features and is able to deliver a lower cost product getting rave reviews. Avalon Bay has an 800-watt model.

Several years ago, I went to double checking myself with an instant read thermometer. Some people like their meat rare, some like it medium, some like it well done. Before the thermometer it was always well done never having mastered the press it with your finger and visual indicators. If you’re doing lamb chops and they are not all the same thickness a thermometer can at least get you close to the doneness you’re looking for.  Using the sous vide cooking method could be a life saver. If you’re a celiac or cooking gluten-free you’re probably cooking from scratch so getting your food done right can be a challenge in some families. Perhaps flavorful sous vide cooking is in your future.

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.


Fenicci’s GF Pasta

You can’t go to Hershey Pennsylvania without a stop at Fenicci’s Restaurant especially if you’re Italian and gluten-free. MucFinicci'sh of Hershey’s history since 1935 is embedded in the traditions of this favorite eatery. You can make a reservation using Open Table. It’s more than likely that you’ll go away pleasantly surprised and satisfied. They say it best when they say “Substitute Any Regular Pasta Listed [ ] Gluten Free Pasta.”  Fenicci’s is home of the DeAngelis Sauces and Upside-Down Pizza.

Hershey Pantry

Whether you’re coming into Hershey Pennsylvania from out of town to go to Hershey Hershey PantryPark, Chocolate World, the Rose Garden or Sweet Lights in the Christmas Holidays you’ll want to be sure to stop by the Hershey Pantry for breakfast. Gluten Free … you bet they understand Gluten Free foods.

On a recent visit we bought the Hershey Pantry Cookbook loaded with interesting recipes. I had make “impossible pie” (quiche) earlier in the week and saw that the Country Quiche recipe has a grated potato crust. They have several salads that are amazing. I think my favorite is the Grilled Honey Lime Chicken Salad with apples and raisins, some cashews and cheddar cheese served on a bed of lettuce.

Before you leave the area stop by Hershey Pantry’s bakery called Deserts Etc. just down the street. Pretty amazing and worth going out of your way on your way to a game or event at the Giant Center or the theater. There’s plenty to do and amazing food too in Hershey.