Despite many requests, I do not attempt to provide information about gluten free living in Canada. The two nations are strikingly similar in so many ways, but just different enough that a one-man operation like mine can’t keep up with both countries.
Trunk-or-treat is a Halloween event that helps children (gluten free and otherwise) to avoid the hassles and possible dangers involved in traditional trick-or-treat. The idea is that caring adults get together in a parking lot (often at a church or school) and invite costumed children to visit that parking lot to receive treats. Parents know what they need to know to keep their children safe. Wheat-eating children and their parents may be very impressed when they collect a basket full of delicious gluten free treats.
Cottage cheese is probably gluten free. The he Daisy Brands website declares that its cottage cheese is ‘safe’. Organic Valley asserts basically the same thing, but does point out one possible problem. This more general article asserts that cottage cheese is “for the most part safe”. One point in favor of cottage cheese is that cheese slicers — a possible source of cross contamination — are not involved in manufacturing or consuming cottage cheese.
Many factors effect our choice of restaurants.
Restaurants with gluten free menus are relatively easy to find these days. The ‘trick’ is to find not only menus that inspire our confidence, but management and food service personnel that make us feel safe and comfortable and convinced that we will enjoy great food in a gluten free environment.
Dealing with our gluten free lifestyle takes time and careful thought. For some of us, the current government shutdown is providing time for reflection. Others need to work very hard to find that time. Here are some books that have helped me focus my mind on my gluten free situation. I’ve reviewed these books before. I’ll make a few comments and then link you to the articles that I have already written about them.
Pizza Fusion serves people living gluten free in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and New Jersey. I never saw the term ‘celiac disease’ when checking out this website. They did talk about gluten intolerance, stating that a gluten free crust was available, mentioned the one pizza topping that was off-limits for us.
Chili’s Grill and Bar serves gluten free meals in all parts of the country. Click here for locations. The gluten free menu is updated monthly as are all the special menus. Note that the gluten free menu is at the bottom of a very long page. Much scrolling-down will be required.
Spaghetti is not normally gluten free, but The Old Spaghetti Factory does a great job serving the gluten free community. (I can personally vouch for this.) To find a convenient location, click here and insert your ZIP code. If you’re just curious about how the system works, try it using my ZIP code: 2774.
Sugar is naturally gluten free, and The Sugar Association assures us that “all sugar products in the marketplace differ only in crystal size or molasses content. Molasses adds both color and flavor …”
Gluten free Girl Scout Cookies will be available in some parts of the country during this year’s annual sales event. ABC bakers, one of the companies providing the cookies announces that these chocolate chip cookies will test out at less than five parts-per-million gluten.
The major producers of mustard and ketchup, French’s and Heinz, state in the FAQ sections of their website that these products are gluten free. It is possible to find mustard and ketchup contaminated by soy sauce or vinegar, but everything should be OK if you stick with these two brands.
A gluten free Halloween can be a real challenge, especially when it involves people who live gluten free. But the challenge can be met. The gluten free zombies can be defeated. There are four challenges here:
identifying gluten free candy and other goodies.
Tahini, a paste made from crushed sesame seeds (think peanut butter) is naturally gluten free. Arrowhead Mills produces a version certified to contain fewer than 5 parts-per-million gluten.
Tahini can be used in many different ways. Try these recipe for ‘cauliflower with tahini sauce‘ (this recipe is also dairy free), ‘tahini and sesame cookies‘ (recipe provided by Whole Foods), or ‘quinoa salad with tahini dressing‘.
Safeway supports its customers who live gluten free by using shelf tags (which Safeway calls ‘attribute tags‘) to identify appropriate foods. Gluten free foods have a red label. Safeway followers the manufacturers’ recommendation when tagging food gluten free.
Safeway asks you to insert a ZIP code to find an convenient location. If you are experimenting, you may wish to use my ZIP code (97224) to see how the system works.
Martin’s Supermarkets serve people who live gluten free in Indiana and Michigan.
Omission Beer is brewed from barley and then processed to test out well-below the 20 parts-per-million. Does that mean that it ‘safe’ and therefore deserves the label ‘gluten free’? For now, at least, the FDA’s answer is ‘No’. Apparently, the government trusts the testing process to detect the presence of gluten. However, the FDA does not trust the testing process to tell us whether gluten has been removed or rendered harmless.
Celiac disease and gluten intolerance do not have a lighter side. We all know that, but we also know that our only options are to laugh or cry. I choose to laugh and to share some laugh-inducing items I have found on the internet.
These people poked loving fun at people who live gluten free and also at the people who make our lives unbearable if we allow them to do so. These cleverly-captioned photos and cartoons appeared on Pinterest.
Fred Meyer provides many options for the gluten free shopper. You’ll need to enter a ZIP code to locate a specific store. If you are ‘just browsing’ use my ZIP code, 97224, to activate the system. If you are looking for bargains, click here to read their weekly ads or click here to look at the their coupons.
The Abuelos restaurant chain presents itself as “the taste of Mexico” , and has a ‘gluten sensitive menu. (Is that the same as a ‘gluten free menu’?) They serve the gluten free communities in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Whole Foods offers a wide variety of gluten free products, gluten free food lists customized for use in specific stores or groups of stores, and a resource called ‘The Gluten Free Bakehouse‘ which provides ‘safe’ products for all the stores in this nationwide chain.
Oktoberfest is the ultimate celebration of German food and beer. I lived in Germany for 22 years and I am reasonably sure that Oktoberfest’ s food and drink was at least partial responsible for aggravating my then-undiagnosed celiac disease. This year as every year, I will be attempting to reproduce the menu (but not the stomach distress) of the real-thing.
“Are grits gluten free?“ is the most popular question received by this web site. Grits are gluten free, but there are made from corn, thus making them off-limits to many of us. The good news is that grits can also be made with amaranth, buckwheat, millet, soy, teff, or quinoa. Here are some links that may be of value to you.
Finding a gluten free meal served in an inviting and well-run restaurant is an event that seldom occurs by lucky chance. The most important step, of course, is physically check out the restaurant, but there are at least two things that can be done before you take that final step.
Bravo Cachina Italiana was named by Consumer Reports as one of the top eight chain restaurants in 2012. This list includes both restaurants with gluten free menus and those who are more conventional.
For specific locations, enter an appropriate ZIP code in the box on the first page.
The gluten free menu is attractively photographed and describe. There are no comments on what has been done to insure our ‘safety’. That makes me cross this prize-winning restaurant off my list of possibilities. If you wish to look at the men, click on ‘menus’ on the first page then scroll down and click on the words ‘gluten free’
Hannaford Supermarkets serve the gluten free community in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. Click here to find a specific location. If you are just browsing and are thus unable to enter a specific ZIP code, try 12553. that will give you a general idea of the situation. When I checked while researching this article, there were 600 items on the gluten free grocery list. Fortunately, it is a searchable list. For information about bargains, click in the upper right corner of this page.
Gluten free food is not healthier or inferior to traditional wheat-based food. Problems occur when (1) we feed wheat-based foods to people who react badly to those foods and (2) we assume that gluten free foods will automatically boost our energy level or trim our waist-lines.
We accept this principle in most cases. We know that peanuts are “healthy food”. We also know that some people are fatally allergic to them.
If you need other examples, read these articles on MSG, pink slime, or potato chips. All these products are gluten free. That is probably the only positive thing that can be said about them. Does that make them healthy?
Here are the links you need to shop for gluten free food at the Meijer stores.
LOCATIONS: Stores may be found in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio
PRODUCTS: When I checked this link, I found 622 items displayed. Fortunately, there is a search engine. Some items are found in the store, some must be ordered on-line, and some are available in both situations.
BARGAINS: The right column on the home page is titled “Top Ways to Save” and links you to six different possibilities.
Here are the links you need to find out about the Raley’s ‘family of stores’:
LOCATIONS: primarily in California with a few stores in Nevada. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on “Store Locator”.
PRODUCTS: this six-page list includes all store brands and many other gluten free items.
BARGAINS: click on “Two Ways to See What is on Sale”. Since there is literally thousands of items, you’ll be happy to that there is a search engine.
Bucca di Beppo is a chain of home-style restaurant where foods are served in large dishes (designed for two or four people) are passed around the table family style. Obviously, things are a lot simpler if everyone agrees to order gluten free food. This restaurant chain is active all over America. Click here for specific locations.