Monday, December 30, 2013

Save the dates for more Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Events in 2014!

Its never to early to start planning on attending these fun and education events for next year. There is guaranteed to be one near you!

**For updates, follow them on twitter @GFAFWellness


Admission to the events includes:
  • Product sampling and sales from more than 50 companies
  • Free lectures from well known members of the gluten-free community about gluten and allergy free living 
  • Free cooking demonstrations that invite you to explore the world of gluten-free cooking one delicious bite at a time
  • A free gift bag to tote around samples and purchases


SAVE THE DATE 2014

Austin, TX - February 2

Charlotte NC - March 29

Nashville TN - April 26


Little Rock, AR - June 21

Raleigh/Durham NC - August 9 

Virginia Beach, VA - September 13

Hartford CT - October 4

Jacksonville, FL - November 1



Monday, December 9, 2013

A healthier brown sugar - it is possible!

Life without gluten is hard enough but so many times we add a lot of sugar to our gluten-free foods to make up for the taste. However, having too much sugar in your diet can cause a lot of inflammation in your body. Refined sugar is a highly inflammatory food and can really upset the balance your system tries to maintain. Inflammation in your food does not just affect your gut. If you've read some of my other posts - it affects other organs like your heart.
However, I have a sweet tooth and its demands must be met. So here is a little trick I want to share with you if you have a recipe that calls for brown sugar and you want to cut the calories and inflammatory factor WAY back.

Molasses + powdered Stevia + a little mixing = brown sugar!!

It's about a 1 tablespoon to 1 cup addition. If you have 1 cup of stevia then add 1 tablespoon of molasses. A little more than a tablespoon won't hurt but I started with a tablespoon and kept mixing until I got the brown sugar consistency that I liked. Sometimes powdered stevia can be very dry depending on the brand you are using. So, half a cup of stevia + 1/2 tablespoon of molasses will give you a half a cup of brown sugar and so on. 

I've used it in my sweet potato casserole, pecan pie and my berry crisp and not even my picky little sister could detect it! Try it and let me know what you think!

**Side note: This must be used fairly quickly. It doesn't do well if left out or made ahead of time. I always use it in the recipe I am making right away.  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November Product of the Month

When I found out that Pillsbury was coming out with their own #glutenfree line I was a little skeptical yet, I was also secretly really excited at the same time. It could mean some excellent new products for those of use with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerances. Pillsbury products were a favorite of mine when i ate gluten and even though I don't usually like to use too many processed products in my diet, its that time of year when pies, pastries, and all sorts of yummy warm food reigns. So, I felt it was my duty to at least buy and try the products once and let the community know what I thought.
I was excited to find their dough at the small Publix near my mom's house. If they were there, it means they are getting around. That store doesn't normally have the largest selection and before I post about something in the store I like to make sure others can find it. They had the cookie dough as well but that is for another post. At the Publix, these were nearly $5 but I did manage to find them at the Commissary on base in Charleston for less than $3. Also, a lot of people on my Facebook page told me that you could find them at some dollar stores on the eat coast (which is AWESOME!).

I used the pastry dough for my pecan pie and it turned out fabulous. My husband and father could barely tell the difference between a store bought Pillsbury pie pastry and this one. I will have to tell you though that the pastry dough is not soy-free. The first ingredient is Soybean oil and soy is one of the foods I react the quickest too. It gives me really bad stomach cramps (and other issues I won't detail) so I only worked with it with my hands and trusted my fussy (non-gluten free) dad and supportive husband to let me know their thoughts. They approved. So, for a quick gluten-free pastry dough during this busy season, try picking some up and feel free to let me know what your thoughts and experiences are! Happy Baking!

Friday, November 1, 2013

November Recipe of the Month

During the fall season, my husband loves pecan pie and sweet potato pie. While I have managed to conquer sweet potato pie, Pecan pie has always been a struggle for me. I have never been able to perfect the recipe. It usually burns on the top or ends up runny in the middle. Or I burn the crust or it tastes bad. I've made half a dozen and still never made the ideal pecan pie. Even when I started using the pre-made pillsbury pie dough that just rolls out I still had the first two issues I mentioned. My neighbor Margot always seems to have the best baked goods and I usually end up inviting her over to our parties and requesting her pecan pie because my husband loves it so much. She knows it too so don't think you can blackmail me with telling her!
However, since we moved recently, I was determined to not fail at this domestic challenge anymore. When I bought the new gluten-free Pillsbury pastry dough and looked at their website for a recipe to play with the new product, I stumbled across their pecan pie recipe. I decided to take a deep breath and accept the challenge. So while this recipe isn't my own and doesn't have any of my typical flair, it does work like a charm. Every. single. time!

Pillsbury Gluten-free Pecan Pie

Ingredients:

Crust
  • 1/2 container Pillsbury® Gluten Free refrigerated pie and pastry dough

Filling
  • 2/3 cup sugar (I have used Stevia successfully)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted (I use Earth Balance Soy-free)
  • cup corn syrup (I used light Karo)
  • eggs
  • cup pecan halves or broken pecans (sometimes I add an extra 1/3 of a cup because I like pecans)

Directions:

1) Heat oven to 375°F. Knead dough until softened and no longer crumbly. Flatten into a round; place between 2 sheets of cooking parchment or waxed paper. Roll into a round 1 1/2 inches larger than top of 9-inch pie plate.

2) Carefully peel off top sheet of paper. Replace paper to cover loosely; carefully turn dough over, and remove second sheet of paper. Use paper to carefully turn dough over into ungreased pie plate; remove paper. Press dough firmly against bottom and up side of plate. Flatten edge with fork or crimp for decorative edge.

3) In medium bowl, beat sugar, melted butter, corn syrup and eggs with whisk or hand beater until well blended. Stir in pecans. Pour into crust-lined pie plate. **Their recipe says to cover the edges of the crust with strips of foil but I cover the entire top with foil.

4) Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set, removing foil for last 15 minutes of bake time (I use a pie shell edge cover for this part as well because I fear burnt edges). 

5) Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until chilled. (Do NOT skip the refrigeration step!)

Serve with whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.

Monday, October 7, 2013

October Recipe of the Month

October ushers in my husband's favorite time of year. He loves loves autumn and all that comes along with it. He likes the colors of the leaves changing, he likes the temperature trending lower, and one of his two favorite holidays happens this month. Since we have been married, I think his next favorite part of fall is the food that accompanies it. As soon as the pumpkins and other gourds start appearing at the grocery store, he starts bringing them home and asking me to make certain foods.

One that he never seems to be able to get enough is Sweet Potato Casserole. My mom makes it every year for our Thanksgiving feast but once my husband got a taste of it, it became a regular dish in the fall. (The way she makes it is actually more like a pie but since we don't use a crust we call it a casserole.)

I've managed to clean it up a bit and make it a little healthier but for those of you who are purists (like my husband), I'll give you both options for it.

MOM'S SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE


Ingredients:
  •   2 eggs
  •   1 cup granulated sugar (can substitute with Stevia)
  •   1/4 cup butter, softened (I use Earth Balance)
  •   1 teaspoon vanilla
  •   1 teaspoon cinnamon
  •   ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  •   3 cups cooked mashed 
  • sweet potatoes
    Topping:
  •   1/2 cup brown sugar (brown sugar from stevia recipe here)
  •   1/3 cup gluten-free flour of choice (for a healthier kick, I use a 50/50 mix of blanched almond flour and ground flax)
  •   2 tablespoons butter, at room temp (Earth Balance again)
  •   3/4 cup chopped pecans (sometimes I add more)




  Topping:
1) Bake sweet potatoes in oven at 400 degrees F for about an hour (depending on the thickness). I usually line a pan with foil, poke holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork and then set them for an hour. When the sweet potatoes start to ooze from the holes then I know they are done. 
2) Allow sweet potatoes to cool to touch before peeling. You can turn the oven off during this time. 
**This step can be done ahead and the sweet potatoes can be refrigerated for later use. 

3) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 2 quart casserole dish or two 8x8 square pans. 
4) In a large bowl, beat eggs, granulated sugar, 3/4 cup butter, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and the mashed sweet potatoes with an electric mixer 
5) Spoon mix into dish(es) for baking and spread out evenly 
6) Combine brown sugar, flour, 2 tablespoons softened butter, and pecans, mixing until crumbly 
7) Sprinkle topping ovesweet potatoes
8) Bake at 350° for 45 minutes

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Another Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event Coming Soon!

I am honored to have the opportunity to attend this conference and speak with some other amazing gluten-free community members. You won't want to miss it! Click here for full details!



November 2, 2013 
10 am - 3 pm 
3848 West Lakeshore Drive 
Baton Rouge, LA 70808 

REGISTRATION AVAILABLE ONLINE 

$10 per adult
Children under 13 are FREE to enter
Students of LSU may show student ID for 50% off admission

FREE PARKING

Monday, September 2, 2013

September Recipe of the Month

What's a berry crisp?

I first came upon the concept of a berry crisp while eating dinner in Atlanta with some pretty notable gluten-free chicks. Andrea, of Rocking Gluten-free, was in town visiting and decided to get a group together. Jennifer Harris, our local Atlantan gluten-free food blogger, was there as well as another familiar face in the Atlanta gfree community, Andrea Harrison (@arbharrisonjr). It's always a good time when a bunch of us get together and I was honored to be invited to the table.
Atlanta has a plethora of gluten-free friendly places and since I lived there for over a decade I thought I knew most of the places around me. However, I had never been to Double Zero Napoletana. It would not have been the first place I picked to eat because I tend to be a picky eater (I'm working on it) and usually stick to what I know. However, I am glad that I have some friends who are so much cooler than I am and have more refined tastes because I would've missed out on my greatest dessert recreation so far! So here it is -

The Sensational Berry Crisp!

Ingredients:


  • 2 12 oz packages of frozen mixed berries (I like blackberries and strawberries but will occasionally throw in raspberries and blueberries. If you get strawberries, sliced works better than whole). Do not thaw berries - keep frozen.
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I use stevia but organic or regular sugar works well too)
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour (I have used Gluten Free Pantry or King Arthur All Purpose with equal success)
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (I prefer fresh but it won't hurt if you use bottled)

Topping:



  • 3/4 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free and they work perfectly)
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar (if you want to use a stevia version for lower sugar content check out my brown sugar stevia recipe here)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour (I have used Gluten Free Pantry or King Arthur All Purpose with equal success)
  • 7 tablespoons of chilled butter ( I use Earth Balance Soy-free version)

Directions:


1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine berries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour and lemon juice in a large bowl - toss well to blend.
2) Transfer the berry mixture to a 9-inch glass dish (can be a pie dish or a square Pyrex)
3) Combine the topping ingredients - 3/4 cup flour, oats, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Toss to blend evenly
4) Add the butter and dice into small pieces as you add it (make sure it is still chilled) because you are going to rub it into the topping with your fingertips or you can use a fork to mash it together into small clumps. Trust me, it works a lot better with chilled butter than room temp.
5) Once the topping is well-combined, sprinkle/spread over the berry mixture. Don't worry if it isn't coated entirely even because it will spread when baking.
6) Bake the crisp until the berries bubble on the sides of the glass and the topping is golden brown. This will take about one hour. Let it stand about 15-20 minutes at room temp before serving.

If you have any left, it refrigerates well for a few days (it never lasted longer than that in my house) and then you can heat it up later. Just place in a bowl - It will be slightly runny if warmed up in the microwave. but still tasty!

**Side note: I have tried this recipe in 5-6 individual rectangular ramekins (3" long) and it works better if you have 2- 16 oz bags of frozen berries and you make a little extra topping (about 1 1/2 the amount.) Baking time is about 30 minutes or until you see bubbling on the side of the ramekin.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

August Recipe of the Month

Every now and then, you have a craving for something different. I had been craving Thai food lately and since my husband refuses to let me order from my local Thai place every night (something about costing too much money), I decided that maybe I should branch out and create a interesting cultural Thai dish in my own home. Except, I am a bit of a wuss, so I went to my favorite recipe website, Simply Recipes, and looked up some of their recipes for inspiration (particularly this one). I figured if it turned out that I didn't like the taste than at least it was someone else's fault and not my own, right? Well, I ended up with a dish that packs a lot of flavor and fed my hubby and I for several nights. It fulfilled my cravings and I felt a little more accomplished in the cooking department. (mental pat on the back for sure)
A great little bonus with this dish is that it is packed with antioxidants from all the seasonings and spices. So eat up and enjoy!

Basil Chicken in a Coconut Curry Sauce


INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 large red onion, chopped 
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeƱo peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or grapeseed oil (I used olive)
  • 1 14-oz can coconut milk (canned is better than carton)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped (I used about 1 tablespoon of dried basil and it tasted fine to me)
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger (can be omitted - I have a love/hate relationship with ginger)
  • Cooked brown rice (I'm really lazy and used the instant bags)

METHOD

1 In a small bowl, mix together the salt, ground coriander, cumin, ground cloves, cinnamon, ground cardamom, black pepper, chili powder, and turmeric. Set aside.
2 Cut chicken into small (about 1-inch) pieces. Put into a bowl and sprinkle the spice mix over all the pieces. Coat well and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
I placed the spices on the whole piece of chicken and cut it after because it was easier for me but you can do it either way
3 In a large skillet heat 1 Tbsp oil on medium high heat. Add the onions and jalapeƱos and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Remove the onions, peppers and garlic from the pan and put into a medium sized bowl. Set aside. Use the same pan for the next step.
4 Add 1 Tbsp oil to the skillet and heat on medium high heat. Add one half of the chicken pieces, spreading them out on the pan so they are not crowded. Brown for a few minutes on each side. When the chicken pieces are cooked through, and no pink remains, remove from pan, add to the bowl with the onions. Cook the second batch of chicken pieces the same way. Remove from pan, add to bowl with onions.
5 Add the coconut milk, minus a couple tablespoons, to the skillet. In a small bowl, mix the remaining coconut with the corn starch to dissolve the corn starch. Add the corn starch mixture back to the skillet with the coconut milk. Cook on medium heat and stir till thick and bubbly. Mix in the Worcestershire sauce. 

6 Add chicken mixture, basil, and ginger. Cook 2 minutes more to cook through.

Serve over rice.

ENJOY!

Yield: Serves 4

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Raleigh Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Expo

I'll be attending and speaking here and I am so excited! Click here for more details. 

Mark your calendars!


August 17, 2013

10 AM - 4 PM

301 West Morgan Street 
Durham, NC 27701



ADMISSION
$10 per adult
Children under 13 are FREE to enter
College Students get $3 off admission at the door only w/ Student ID

Parking FREE on streets of Durham during weekends

REGISTRATION IS AVAILABLE 
AT THE DOOR

Admission includes FREE LIVE music by 
at 3 pm Presentation Stage 1
Kelly Bourgeois has a severe wheat allergy and is an inspiration to
Gluten free kids everywhere!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

July recipe of the month

Having been eating really clean and super healthy for over 4 months now, I needed a little splurge after my week at my national pageant. However, my stomach has been really sensitive to a lot of things lately and I recently went through an episode of Eosinophilic Esophagitis. I think it was triggered by eating refined sugar after weeks of not having any but that is still just speculation. So, I wanted a treat but I looked for a recipe that had the fewest ingredients possible and would still be tasty and sweet!
I have been a fan of Elana Amsterdam and her recipes since I was first diagnosed. Since I started following her, she has published two recipe books that are fantastic! She has always loved to cook but when she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease she wanted to find a way to make tasty meals for her family that they all could enjoy instead of having to cook two different meals. If you don't follow her blog, you really should consider it. She is an inspiration and while I have never met her in person, I am told she is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. I picked up her first book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour cookbook, and flipped through the pages to find a simple recipe that I could enjoy and my tummy wouldn't reject. I stumbled upon a cookie recipe and was delighted with its simplicity! To my husband's delight - there was an icing recipe that was just a simple so I decided to make some cookies for myself and sweet southern whoopie pies for him!

CHEWY CHOCOLATE COOKIES

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium size bowl, combine the dry ingredients (almond flour, salt, baking soda, arrowroot powder, and cocoa powder. In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (grapeseed oil, agave nectar, and vanilla extract). Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
Now, the recipe calls for 1/4 cup scoops of dough onto the baking sheet. However, they come out way too big so I would recommend using a 1 tablespoon scoop instead and place them 2 inches apart from one another. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the tops of the cookies look dry and start to crack. Be very careful not to overcook them. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes and spread with frosting just before serving. If the frosting stays on too long it may make the cookies soggy.

MARSHMALLOW ICING
*Note: this icing recipe is not identical to Elana's but very similar

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the agave nectar to a boil, stirring frequently. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 4-8 minutes, watching constantly and stirring occasionally, until the agave nectar darkens slightly from its original amber color.
In a medium bowl, add the two egg whites and the pinch of salt. Using a handheld mixer, whip the egg whites until they are no longer clear (about halfway through mixing) and add the cream of tartar. This helps to stabilize the mixture so it doesn't liquefy again. Beat the egg white into stiff peaks. This means, when you remove the beaters, peaks form and do not fall back over into the mixture. Be careful not to over beat the eggs or you could destabilize them. I had to make this recipe twice to get it right so, don't worry if it doesn't work out the first time. :)
Drizzle the agave nectar slowly into the egg whites, whisking continuously at a low speed until blended. Use to frost cookies. I put the bowl of icing in the fridge for about 30 minutes while the cookies were cooling to help it set and it spread a lot easier. The icing can be stored in a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Best part? My taste buds and tummy agreed on this recipe! ;)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

June recipe of the month

Did I ever tell you that it wasn't until I was almost 20 that I had my first salad? Easing into to eating them was the key, I suppose, and by easing into eating them I mean making sure they had enough dressing on them. Besides Italian dressing, Caesar dressing was my favorite. It has taken me multiple attempts but, I finally perfected my Caesar dressing. I feel it has the right amount of tang yet enough creaminess to make it smooth and satisfying. The key is making sure you have a high quality olive oil. A cheap one will ruin it so look for a brand in a dark green glass bottle.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 ounces of Parmesan cheese (I use aged Manchego because I am allergic to dairy)
  • 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon mayo (Spectrum makes a good canola Mayo)
  • ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (can be omitted for those with blood pressure issues)
In a food processor or blender, whisk the olive oil and garlic together. Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour to let the garlic permeate the oil.
Add anchovies and eggs to the oil-garlic mixture and blend until creamy. Add the lemon juice and pepper (and salt if you chose) then blend and add cheese (Parmesan or Manchego, etc.). You may want to taste it to see how you like it so far. Then add the mayo and mustard and blend once more.
Spoon over romaine lettuce with croutons and chicken and top with more cheese if you choose!

Enjoy!

p.s.- want to know a fast way to make croutons? Toast gluten-free piece of toast and shred it into bite sized pieces!

Friday, June 7, 2013

G-Free Foodie Launches Box club!


PRESS RELEASE
June 6, 2013
For Immediate Release
Press Contact: KC Pomering
G-Free Foodie logoG-Free Foodie Box Club Launches for Gluten Free Consumers
 Monthly Shipments Will Contain Artisan Food Products Safe For Those Living Gluten Free. Gluten Free +  Dairy Free Box Also Available 
Madera, CA - 6/6/2013 - G-Free Foodie, an online resource for those living deliciously Gluten Free, has launched it's G-Free Foodie Box Club this week. Members will receive monthly shipments of artisan and gourmet food products that are entirely Gluten Free. The program also has an option for those on a Gluten and Dairy Free diet, with more options available soon. The G-Free Foodie Boxes will also contain recipes, serving suggestions and a gift. The cost for membership is $29 per month.  

FoodieBox4395
"We're Foodies first, and we happen to be Gluten Free," said KC Pomering, Founder of G-Free Foodie. "We choose products for our G-Free Foodie Box Club because we think they are remarkable, different, and delicious. This is a monthly treat for people who love great food, whether they are Gluten Free or not. The products we're shipping are incredibly tasty." Pomering said the first shipment will arrive at member's doors in Mid-July. Those who join the club in time to receive the first shipment will be considered Charter Members, and will receive a special gift from the G-Free Foodie crew. The last day to join as a Charter Member is July 5th.

Products selected for the G-Free Foodie Box Club will come from small, artisan producers and national brands. "There will definitely be some Gluten Free pastas or mixes, but they'll be the best ones we've ever tried, and they'll be packed next to bacon jam, blended heirloom tomatoes or sea salt caramels," Pomering stated. "They only products going in our shipments will be ones we absolutely love," she continued. Each shipment is curated by the G-Free Foodie team, with input from some of the 20+ contributors that write for the G-Free Foodie website.  Future shipments may feature selections made by noteworthy Gluten Free chefs or foodies. For more Information or to Join the G-Free Foodie Box Club, visit www.gfreefoodie.com

 

###
The Founder of G-Free FoodieKC Pomering, found herself at a turning point after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  A self-proclaimed "Foodie" from a Central California farming family, KC developed G-Free Foodie as a resource for flavorful Gluten Free living.
The G-Free Foodie website (www.gfreefoodie.com) includes a national database of Gluten Free restaurants, plus recipes, blogs,  and reviews of Gluten Free foods by over 20 contributors. The site is home to G-Free Foodie Guides, with topics ranging from fast food and replacing eggs in recipes to making tax deductions for the Gluten Free diet. G-Free Foodie also provides free conversions of conventional recipes to Gluten Free, allowing G-Free Foodies to enjoy favorite meals or continue family traditions safely.Visit our blogFind us on PinterestFollow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTubeFind us on Facebook

Thursday, June 6, 2013

FREE NFCA Webinar- Celiac Disease: Immunology 101 and the Drug Development Process

Announcing NFCA's Webinar, "Celiac Disease: Immunology 101 and the Drug Development Process" on Tuesday, June 11 at 8:30 p.m. EDT/5:30
p.m. PDT.

Reserve your webinar seat at: http://bit.ly/19WxSA5

This webinar is free of charge and the only requirement is a working
Internet connection!

With their only treatment found in the grocery aisle and not behind
the pharmacist's counter, celiac disease patients have relied upon
delicious gluten-free recipes and cooking tips to navigate their
medically necessary diet. As research continues to prove the need for
a non-dietary therapy and scientists move closer to developing a
pharmaceutical treatment, it is important for patients to learn more
about the field of immunology, a critical piece to the celiac disease
puzzle but one that is often left out of the patient education, as
well as understand the basics about the drug development and approval
process.

Join NFCA as Francisco Leon, MD, PhD, Vice President of Immunology
Translational Medicine at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson
and Johnson; and Ken Kilgore, MS, PhD, Director of ImmunoPharmacology
in the Immunology Therapeutic Area at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies
of Johnson and Johnson explain the basics of immunology and outline
the drug development and approval process.

RDs and DTRs who participate in this live 60-minute webinar will be
eligible to receive continuing education credit. See
www.celiaccentral.org/webinars/#CE for more details.

Can’t attend? A recording of each webinar will be posted along with
the webinar slides within 72 hours after the live event ends. Download
recorded webinars and slides at
www.celiaccentral.org/webinars/archive.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June Product of the Month

Summer is a time when things start to get hot and what better (and tastier way) way to cool down than ice cream? I've already told you about my favorite ice cream, So Delicious Almond Milk Vanilla, which is not only gluten-free but dairy and soy free as well. However, does anybody else miss having ice cream in an actual ice cream cone? Me too.
I recently discovered Goldbaum's Gluten-free Ice Cream Cones and I was elated. Goldbaum's is a company out of New York and you can find more info on them here.


The taste kind of reminds me of the cheapy cones you get at Jason's Deli or McDonald's but that makes me like them even more. It reminds me of my childhood. :) They melt in your mouth and are crunchy with a good amount of air fluff like an ice cream cone should. If you get a chance to try them let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May Product of the Month

Virtuous Living Spice Blends


While I attended the Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event this past weekend (read recap here), I had the opportunity to meet several amazing people and they introduced some great products. My favorite find was the spice blends created by Nichole Thomas. Nicole wanted her family to be able to enjoy a meal together despite some dietary restrictions. Nichole has Celiac Disease, her daughter has gluten intolerance, and her husband requires a lactose-free diet. She felt that they should all be able to sit down as a family to the same great meal and experience it's taste together. Like anyone modern mom, Nichole has a busy household and found that developing a few spice blends helped her meal prep go quicker but didn't skimp on the flavor. The results? Her family loved them! In fact, they enjoyed them so immensely that they encouraged her to share them with others and her company, Virtuous Living was born. With the belief that food has the power to heal the body but quiet often, the way our food is processed, causes illness, Nichole created a "line of all-purpose spices that are 100% organic, gluten-free, kosher, wheat-free, halal, and non-GMO." Nichole knows that eating with restrictions can be stressful but, with the addition of her spices, she is hoping it is still a fulfilling and freeing experience.


My favorite part about the company though has to be its spiritual overtones. My faith is a big part of my Celiac Disease story and why I am so ardent about raising awareness. Virtuous Living also believes in clean, simple, and wholesome meals. They want to filter out the fake and fill your belly and sooth your soul with the amazing flavors. The spices are aptly named Faith, Hope and Love. Take a close look at the ingredients too - Faith is made from cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean, kindness, and warm thoughts. Hope is made with rosemary onion, cayenne, smiles and laughter. Love is made with Himalayan pink salt, black pepper, garlic, hugs, and kisses. Whether you are a spiritual person or not though, its just plain cute! I also love the fact that they do not contain loads of salt to obtain their flavor - perfect for a heart healthy diet. I want them in my cupboard for their sheer cleverness of the ingredients! For more information on Virtuous Living and their products visit their website

Monday, May 6, 2013

Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event Atlanta recap

As many of you know, Atlanta holds a special place in my heart. It is where I went to graduate and undergraduate school and where my immediate family lives. Over the years, I have called multiple places home but Atlanta and the state of Georgia just give me a sense of peace like no other place. So, when I was invited to speak at the Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event, I was elated. Not only would I get to hang out with my family but I would get to visit a much warmer climate! (Currently residing in Alaska, I am sure you can appreciate where I am coming from.)

I was excited to be able to present my favorite topic, Living a Heart Health Diet with Celiac Disease as well as hang out with some old friends and meet some new ones! If you want to get a little snapshot of my lecture, you can check out this article I published in the Tender Foodie blog.

My first stop upon entering the Expo was GlutenFree Cutie! The are a 100% gluten, soy, dye, peanut, egg, and tree nut free bakery! They also have a large selection of dairy-free items. James and his wife Natalie opened the bakery after they found their daughter, Savanna, had a lot of food allergies. The first time I heard of them, I drove straight to the bakery and bought everything that had left. (I'm not kidding). It was later in the afternoon and I resorted to my old ways when I was first diagnosed of buying everything gluten, dairy, and soy free in sight fearing someone else might get it and I may starve. It was a party at my house when I got home. My family and I have been hooked ever since. 
For this event, James and Natalie brought their Campfire Cupcakes (one of my favs) and some of their Cinnamon Streusel bread. They sold out of the loaves of Cinnamon Streusel about an hour after the doors opened (if that tells you anything about how good it is). Their daughter Savanna and I have become good buddies. In fact, we are sister queens. I gave her a crown on one of my visits and I have it on good authority she wears it everywhere (like a proper queen should).


I also met the awesome cookbook author and blogger, Pam Jordan. You would never believe it but Pam has three kids. She lives in North Carolina and stopped by to sell her super cool t-shirts and promote her book. She was kind enough to let me have a shirt and I went home and washed it so I could wear it right away. These shirts are not available online yet so I feel pretty exclusive. Her book, Gluten-free Family Approved Recipes, is available online though and I highly recommend it. Check out her recap of the event here

I also met someone who has lived down the street from my parents FOREVER and I had never met in person. What are the odds that there was a gluten-free blogger living near me and I had no clue until I moved to Alaska and we found each other on twitter. Christy of TrulyMadlyFreely blog was there helping out at the Udi's table. It was so great to finally meet her in person. 

Of course, there are always the stable gluten-free companies there like Udi's and Glutino's. As much as I see them at the expos, I still love to visit them and it always seems like there is a new product available. 

This time, it was the gluten-free toaster pastries. My sisters went gaga over them. In fact, they still are and I had to go on a quest to Whole Foods, Target, and Publix today looking for more. Have you seen them? They are excellent at room temp or toasted. My little sister even likes to put a little icing on them and says that makes them perfect. 

Want to know the other items that made my sisters go a little delirious? Earth Balances new popcorn - especially the vegan aged white cheddar flavor. My sisters avoid dairy just like I do so the fact that they can get a cheesy flavor in one of their favorite snacks, thrilled them. I have to say I liked the taste too. However, I am not the one who ran to Whole Foods and purchased three bags and ate one for dinner (cough**Candice** cough) but, I can testify that they are indeed delicious. 

There has never been a gluten-free function where I didn't attempt to steal all the Plentils from Enjoy Life and this one was no exception. I normally stand at the booth and tell people they taste horrible so there are more samples left over for me but I was a little short on time at this event so I had to resort to sending my sisters over occasionally to swipe some when no one was looking. ;) The light sea salt ones are my favorite but the dill & sour cream are a close second. With 40% less fat than the average potato chip and free of the top 8 allergens, Plentils are definitely a staple in our house for the occasional snack. 

I am sad to say that I did not get too many more pictures. I was either busy talking or eating. (Its the truth). I did find a new product that I liked from a company called Virtuous Living. To read more on my review of them, click here. I did find a lot of new twitter friends though and people I think are worth following. Here is a list of them below:

Anne Steib - @Gfreemusings

Christy - @TrulyMadlyFreely

Leah McGrath - @InglesDietitian

Jules Shepard - @JulesGlutenfree 


Pam Jordan - @ImACeliac

GlutenFree Cutie - @GlutenFreeCutie

Jennifer Harris - @jenniferGFinGA

Nikki Everett - @GFirresistibly

Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event - @GFAFWellness

Taylor Miller - @GlutenAway

For more info on the Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event, visit their website! I'll be at their next event in Raleigh! Hope to see you there!