Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Heartland a good gluten-free spaghetti option

Long ago, I recommended a gluten-free spaghetti brand called Heartland as the best brand around. It's one of the few spaghetti brands I tried that cooked and tasted like regular spaghetti. And unlike other gluten-free brands, it's reasonably priced. You can buy it at Jacksonville area Walmart stores, in the pasta aisle.
Heartland Pasta put out a press release today encouraging people to try its products. It's offering a 55-cent coupon if you "like" Heartland on Facebook.
If you haven't tried it, here's a good opportunity. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Celiac Support Group of Jacksonville meets this Saturday

The monthly meeting of the Celiac Support Group of Jacksonville will be held this Saturday, Feb. 18, at 11 a.m. at Sunrise Assisted Living of Jacksonville at 4870 Belfort Rd. It's just south of JTB, past the Borland-Groover Clinic (where many of us have gone to get tested for celiac).

The support group meets on the third Saturday of every month at Sunrise. For those of you who haven't been there previously, it's a very informal gathering that lasts for about an hour. We discuss the trials and tribulations of the gluten-free diet and share any tips that can help others. We sometimes have guest speakers and also sometimes have free gluten-free goodies to take home.

Please join us.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Check out my column

In case you missed it, my new monthly gluten-free column debuted today in the Times-Union:

And in an interesting twist in the print edition, after my column on page 1 of the Taste section, there's a story extolling the virtues of barley on page 3! Oh well.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A gluten-free Super Bowl

That was a great Super Bowl, and not just because the Giants won. It was also great because I was able to enjoy it with wings and beer.
Last year, as a newly diagnosed celiac, I had no where to go because there were very few places that served gluten-free beer and I couldn't find any place that served gluten-free chicken wings.
But I was able to spend this year's Super Bowl at Time Out Sports Grill, which has Redbridge beer and also has a few gluten-free offerings on the menu, including chicken wings and french fries.
I do take some credit for Time Out's gluten-free menu because I was the first one who first brought it up with them about a year ago. But I give all the credit to manager Claudia Starus who took an interest in gluten-free possibilities and ran with it. She put a separate gluten-free fryer in the kitchen to handle wings and french fries. And she also added a few other items, like flatbreads with a gluten-free crust.
I don't know of any other sports bar in Jacksonville serving gluten-free wings. But with the growth in gluten-free menu items in restaurants over the past year, hopefully we'll have even more choices next year...when the Giants repeat!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

An awkward situation with gluten

I hear a lot about the problems celiacs encounter at events where food is served. I've somehow managed to avoid them in the 13 months since I went gluten free. But I found myself in a situation this week that I didn't know how to handle.
I was attending a business luncheon at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Jacksonville branch. I went to one of these last year where they served a buffet featuring lasagna, which I couldn't eat. But I just helped myself to a large portion of the salad. So I went to this luncheon anticipating I'd do the same thing.
But when I went up to the serving line, I found it had a large salad bowl with croutons already mixed in. Grrrrrrr. Maybe it's more common that I thought, but that's the first time I've ever seen that. I wasn't sure what to do or who I could complain to. I mean, when I order a salad in a restaurant I make sure to say "no croutons." And if the salad then comes with croutons (which hasn't happened to me), I would send it back.
But what do you do in a buffet line? I really wasn't about to make a fuss in the middle of this luncheon. So I picked at the big salad bowl to try to get around the croutons. But I'm sure I must have gotten gluten contamination.
Anyway, just wondering, what should I have done?