Tag Archives: celiac disease

Boston gluten free eats

I was recently in Boston for the weekend, and I was able to find some great gluten free food, especially in the semi-crunchy Cambridge area. In no particular order, my favorite places were:

1. Tavern in the Square

I went here to watch the Michigan football game, since it’s the local alumni bar. They also happen to serve Bard’s and have a gluten free menu (winning!) I got a huge plate of nachos, and it was the perfect way to watch a Michigan victory!

2. Stone Hearth Pizza

This place is right up my alley: local ingredients, unique gluten free beer, and great gluten free pizza. Their menu is marked with what items are gluten free. The beer I tried is called Celia, brewed by The Alchemist Brewery. Not my favorite, as it’s a sorghum beer, and therefore tastes a bit like grass. But it wasn’t horrible.

The pizza was stellar though – chewy with that stone-fired taste. Although the crust was a bit burnt, I kind of liked it better that way. Mine was topped with a butternut squash sauce, fontina, and sage.

4. Veggie Planet

This place served me the best lunch I’ve had in quite awhile. You can take any of their entrees and put it on top of brown rice or coconut rice, giving us celiacs tons of options. I had the weekly special, which was butternut squash, beets, feta cheese, basil, and a fennel apple puree (the real star). It came out piping hot and I scarfed it down.

5. Violette Bakery 

While walking around Harvard’s campus, I happened upon Violette Bakery at a farmer’s market. They had so many sweet and savory options, but I just had to have a gluten free danish with homemade blueberry preserves. I haven’t eaten anything like this in six years: heaven.

How good does this look?

6. Uno Due Go

Move over Panera, there is finally a fast/fresh lunch place that is celiac-safe! Gluten free sandwiches, pizza, and soups are all on the menu. The staff was very knowledgable and took my sandwich to a separate area to make it. I can’t say that it was the best sandwich I’ve ever had (the roll was a bit dry), but it was nice to have so many options.

I also got a Congo Bar, which was superbly buttery and riddled with chewy, chocolatey, coconutty yummies.

And thus concludes the story of how I ate my way through Boston. So much fun to try out new places! Any other recommendations of places to check out in Beantown? 

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French Meadow Bakery breakfast pizza two ways

This week I had the opportunity to try out the gluten free pizza crust from French Meadow Bakery as a part of a recipe campaign run by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. French Meadow has a variety of gluten free products available on their website, and their products come shipped to you packed in dry ice and totally frozen (even after a FedEx delay mine was solid as a rock!).

The recipe that I was testing out was for “Breakfast Pizza”. Besides my patented hangover pizza, this isn’t something that I would normally make, so it was great to try something new!

Since the gluten free pizza crusts come in a package of two, I made one with more traditional toppings, and another one with a healthier spin.

Classic breakfast pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 French Meadow Bakery Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
  • 1/2 medium potato, shredded and squeezed in a towel to remove moisture (or use 1/2 cup of frozen hashbrowns)
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Topping of your choice (most would love bacon, I added spinach to half)

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Bake crust for 5 minutes on the bottom rack, set aside.
  • Cook hashbrowns over medium heat in buttered pan for about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  • Layer crust with hashbrowns, egg, cheese and toppings.
  • Bake for another 10 minutes on the middle or top rack, until cheese has melted.

Sweet potato and pesto breakfast pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 French Meadow Bakery Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
  • 1/2 medium sweet potato, mashed
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg whites (or 3 egg whites), scrambled
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 T. pesto
  • red onions, thinly sliced

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Bake crust for 5 minutes on the bottom rack, set aside.
  • Scramble eggs, mixing in pesto at the end.
  • Layer crust with mashed sweet potato, egg, cheese and onions.
  • Bake for another 10 minutes on the middle or top rack, until cheese has melted.

I had a slice of the sweet potato one for breakfast this morning at the office and the crust held up great in the fridge over night. The crust is about 1/4 inch thick and a bready and chewy consistency. It kind of reminds me of the crusts that were included in the pizza lunchables that I loved as a kid. Because they’re made with rice flour they have a bit of sweetness to them. It also took me 20 minutes from start to finish to make both of these pizzas, so you can’t beat the convenience of having the crust pre-made!

As a part of the recipe campaign, French Meadow is giving away  two gluten-free prize packs! You can enter to win by submitting the form on the NFCA website. They will announce the first winner on Friday, October 26, and the second on Friday, November 2.

Enter the giveaway here.

You can also find more recipes using French Meadow pizza crusts on celiaccentral.org. I’m so excited to see what the other bloggers tried out!

DC Gluten Free News Round Up

1. Bier Baron now carrying Omission beer

After a glorious Michigan victory over Michigan State this weekend, I headed to Bier Baron in Dupont for a gluten free beer. Watching your friends drink beer all day at a bar while you have mixed drinks can sure make a girl thirsty!

I was psyched to see that Bier Baron now has Omission pale ale on their menu. However, they were out when I went 😦

But, our awesome waiter was kind enough to bring me all three of the other gluten free beers they have, on the house! After passing them around the table, my friends confirmed that the New Planet Off Grid is kind of funky. I’ve never been a fan of New Grist, but when you have them side-by-side, it actually tastes quite like the St. Peter’s (both are sorghum based and light beers, so it makes sense).

2. Vace Italian Deli in Cleveland Park has a crap ton of gluten free pasta

Even though I live about a five minute walk from Vace Italian Deli, I only went in once before since I only ever saw people buying pizza there. A reader tipped me off (thanks, Fede!) that they have a bunch of authentic Italian pastas that are gluten free!

They have corn riccioli, rice gigli, and one pasta made with squid ink (plus the naturally gluten free risotto). Pair one of these with a homemade sauce (they carry them fresh and frozen), and you’ve got yourself a meal! One more win for my neighborhood!

3. The Maryland crab soup at Clyde’s is gluten free

I went to the last game in the NLDS series (heartbreaker), and was freezing cold and standing up for about six hours. So when I got to Clyde’s in Chinatown and found out that their Maryland crab soup is gluten free, I was overjoyed. Two bowls later and I was feeling slightly better about the Nats losing, and much warmer.

Just a few things happening around this great city in the gluten free realm!

The worst things you can say to someone who’s gluten free

People who don’t know a lot (or anything) about Celiac disease can often say some hurtful, ignorant, or just plain annoying things when the topic comes up. So here are my top four things you should never say to someone who needs to eat gluten free, and four that you should say (or that I appreciate when they’re said to me).

Never say:

4. “How much weight have you lost?” or “Well no wonder you’re so skinny!”

3. “Come on, just one bite won’t hurt! This is so good!”

2. “Well have you gotten tested? How do you know you have it?”

1. “I could never do that. I love bread too much! (giggle)”

Okay to say:

4. “Wow, that sucks. But I’m glad you’re feeling better now!”

3. “You know, I just saw a new restaurant with a gluten free menu!”

2. “That’s good to know, thanks for telling me about it. I’ll make sure to have some gluten free snacks on hand next time you come over!”

1. “I don’t know much about Celiac disease. Can you tell me more?”

Any other things that people have said to you that were either helpful or hurtful (or made you just want to punch them in the nose)?

Gluten free good things

A few gluten free finds and things that made me happy lately.

1. This sign at Vic’s Bagel Bar in NYC. Their gluten free bagels are seriously drool-worthy, and they are serious about preventing cross contamination for those of us with Celiac disease. Props to them!

2. These cocoa pebbles treats are gluten free! They’re awful for you, but who doesn’t love a little Fred Flinstone-endorsed sugar high?

3. I was quoted in a CNBC article on the food allergy business based off of my blog post about the cost of eating gluten free where I estimated that I spend over a grand more on food than the average single woman my age. So exciting!

As always, sometimes it’s hard to find the bright spots in the world of Celiac disease, but you can always find a way 🙂

How to tell your co-workers you have Celiac Disease

Having to eat gluten free in the workplace can be tricky. I’ve been fortunate to have some very supportive coworkers over the years who have brought in gluten free snacks to meetings and made sure that I’ve had something I can eat at events. Recently I transitioned to a new team, however, and I was trying to think of a tactful way to let my new team members know that I have to follow a gluten free diet.

So I used National Celiac Awareness day as an “in” to broach the topic. I think that you could do this at other times too though (like as a nice gesture on a casual Friday, for example).

I sent out this email to my team:

Hi folks!

Some of you may know that I have Celiac Disease and have to eat a gluten free diet, but you probably didn’t know that today is National Celiac Awareness Day! For the occasion I got some apples from the farmer’s market, which are on the 2nd floor front desk (and are naturally gluten free, of course).

And in the spirit of spreading awareness, check out this checklist of symptoms to see if you or someone you know may have it (1 out of 133 people do, actually)! http://www.celiaccentral.org/disease-symptoms-checklist/

Best,

Anna

I had a few people tell me how much they appreciated the email (and the snack) – and one person even told me a story about her sister, who she thinks may have Celiacs as well.

Any other ideas for how you can tell your coworkers? 

What it’s like to have Celiac Disease

Having Celiac Disease is like:

1. Having The Incredible Hulk sleeping in your stomach and when you eat gluten he wakes up and gets very angry.

2. Feeling chill, youthful and athletic and then all of a sudden you feel like a confused old lady.

3. Drinking a full bottle of Nyquil and then being forced to get through the work day.