Celiac Disease & Gluten-Free Diet Resources

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Apr 15 2014

California Pizza Kitchen – Beyond the Pizza

When I dine at California Pizza Kitchen, I normally order pizza. Yes, they have plenty of non-pizza gluten-free offerings, but since I feel that I can get those things anywhere, I splurge on the pizza. I met a friend and her children for lunch yesterday and finally had something other than pizza for the first time. I quickly fell in love and wonder what took me so long!

Menu items that are gluten-free are clearly marked with a “GF”, making it easy to order. There were so many salads to choose from, I almost had to write them all down on separate pieces of paper, toss them in a hat and pick the one I was going to order. I ended up settling on the Moroccan Chicken Salad and my friend chose the Caramelized Peach Salad with Grilled Chicken.

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Moroccan Chicken Salad – Roasted butternut squash, dates, avocado, toasted almonds, beets, red pepper, chopped egg & cranberries – tossed in a Champagne vinaigrette.

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Caramelized Peach Salad – Field greens, spinach, warm caramelized peaches, cranberries, red onions, toasted pecans & Gorgonzola – tossed in a white balsamic vinaigrette.

The online menu is put together differently, but it is still easy to tell which foods are gluten-free.  California Pizza Kitchen has locations across the US. 

Have you tried any of the other gluten-free menu offerings at California Pizza Kitchen?

Apr 14 2014

The Real Story: Jules Shepard

I have known Jules Shepard for years. She has been a great friend who took lemons and made them into lemonade, all while doing wonderful things for the gluten-free community, including bringing the gluten-free community together and building an 11-story cake to get the FDA’s attention. Those changes go into effect August 2014.

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Jules founded Nearly Normal Cooking, LLC in 2006, but as steam picked up and it took off, she could no longer keep up with the growth. She took on business partners in late 2008 to help run the day-to-day business.  These partners did not invest cash, but exchanged work for half of the company that Jules founded.

When it became evident last year that Jules and these partners didn’t have the same visions for the company, the relationship deteriorated, Jules knew it was time for her to move on.

Jules tried to resign, but the partners didn’t respond and unfortunately things have taken a turn for the worse. Jules is doing what she has to do to protect herself and her interests. She started a new website and is trying to rebuild her business from the ground up. If you know anything about starting a business, you know this is no easy task. Jules is in the process of negotiating contracts for production and shipping, securing certifications and producing new logos and labels. Would you like to help Jules rebuild? Check out the many ways you can help out.

Apr 12 2014

Kashi Simply Maize and Indigo Morning Now Gluten-Free

I was a huge fan of Kashi cereals before starting the gluten-free diet, so seeing that they now have two varieties of gluten-free cereal makes me a happy camper. The Simply Maize and Indigo Morning cereals are varieties that are gluten-free.

567 PackShot

568 PackShot


Simply Maize: Organic Whole Grain Corn, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Salt, Organic Molasses.

Indigo Morning: Organic Whole Grain Corn, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Freeze-Dried Blackberries, Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries, Salt, Organic Molasses, Natural Flavor, Organic Vanilla Extract.

I don’t recall seeing these cereals in our local grocery store, but I wasn’t really looking in that area, either. I plan to keep my eyes open to see if I can grab both varieties and sample them. Check the store locator to find the store nearest you.

Have you spotted or tried these new gluten-free Kashi cereals?

Apr 11 2014

National Pecan Month + Recipes

April is National Pecan Month. Pecans are a naturally gluten-free, heart-healthy food that are not just for pecan pie. More about pecans:

·Naturally-occurring antioxidants in pecans may help contribute to heart health and disease prevention, according to a 2011 study at Loma Linda University.

·Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals: including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, several B vitamins and zinc.

·Pecans can be a heart-healthy benefit to any dish when enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. They contain an abundance of “good” mono and polyunsaturated fats, which play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease.  These unsaturated fats help lower total blood cholesterol when eaten in moderation.  Pecans contain no cholesterol and no trans-fat.

I love to eat pecans on a mixed greens salad with a sprinkle of goat cheese and a raspberry vinaigrette. Check out the following recipes for some more ideas on how to enjoy pecans.

Herbed Pecan Snack Mix

5 c. cereal (any combination of gluten-free cereal…rice or corn Chex)

1½ c. gluten-free pretzels

1 cup pecan halves or pieces

1/3 c. butter or regular margarine (melted)

1 T dried parsley flakes

1 t. dried thyme (crushed)

½ t. celery salt

½ t. onion powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine cereals, pretzels (or chow mein noodles) and pecans in a 13x9x2” baking pan. In a bowl, stir melted butter (or margarine) and remaining ingredients together. Pour over cereal mixture, tossing gently until well coated. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice. Spread in a large shallow pan or on foil to cool before serving.

Tossed Salad with Pecan Basil Vinaigrette Dressing

½ c. fresh basil (chopped)

¼ c. fresh lemon juice

¼ c. olive oil

¼ c. vegetable oil

1/3 c. pecans (chopped)

Salt and pepper to taste

Sliced tomatoes and/or salad greens

In a bowl, combine basil and lemon juice. Whisk in oils and season with salt and pepper to taste. At the last minute, fold in pecans. Serve drizzled over sliced tomatoes and/or salad greens.
Courtesy: Georgia Pecan Commission

Apr 10 2014

P.F. Chang’s Ranked #2 on “Most Allergy-Friendly” List

P.F. Chang’s has always been one of my favorite places to eat, even before I began following the gluten-free diet. The wide variety of menu options, the ambiance, the quality of the food. When I started following the gluten-free diet and found out that I could still eat at P.F. Chang’s, I was overjoyed. There are two in the Columbus area, and while they aren’t right up the street, they are close enough.

When I first started the gluten-free diet, there were only a handful of gluten-free menu options on the P.F. Chang’s gluten-free menu. Believe it or not, this was still more than most places offered in 2006. Those were the days of ordering everything plain and bland…the days of a plain steak or burger, no bun, no seasoning, plain baked potato, real butter only. Now there are ten different entrees to choose from in addition to appetizers, noodles, sides and desserts.


About a month ago I shared the 2014 list of most allergy-friendly restaurants from AllergyEats and P.F. Chang’s is proudly ranked at #2. If you are looking for something new to try at P.F. Chang’s, check out the new dessert from the seasonal menu that is also on the gluten-free menu…Gluten-Free Ginger Panna Cotta.

P.F. Chang’s has locations across the US and internationally. They offer reservations, carry-out and catering.

What is your favorite P.F. Chang’s dish?