Wednesday, May 23, 2012

FAAN Alerts

One of the co-organizers of the Northern NJ Celiac Disease Support Group  introduced me to the allergen alert system run by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). I now receive an alert whenever they become aware of a mislabeled or recalled food/pharmaceutical product with regards to the eight major allergens: milk, egg, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts.

The emails are infrequent (which is comforting in a way) and to date haven’t included any product I was even aware of (as the alerts cover the entire country). All the same, I like the idea of knowing that if there is a reported issue with a product I use, I’ll get an email alerting me to it and hopefully saving me hours of pain and suffering.

You can learn more and sign up here: Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) Alerts by Email.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Black Bean Quinoa Salad Recipe (naturally gluten free/dairy free/tomato free/vegan)

This is my go to salad for taking to picnics and cookouts. It is important that you make this salad in advance to allow the flavors to meld together. The day before or first thing morning of are best.

I have some additional tips as well. Unrinsed quinoa can be bitter and this is why some brands recommend rinsing before cooking. Frankly, it is well worth any price difference to purchase pre-rinsed quinoa. Keeping the red onion in the refrigerator until you need it will make it more mellow and easier on the eyes when you dice it. Finally, you can use any color bell pepper in this salad but yellow and orange have a much milder flavor than green or red and will make for a mellower salad.
GF/DF/Vegan Black Bean Quinoa Salad


1 medium red onion, diced
1 cup quinoa
2 cans (15oz) of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
1 bunch of scallions sliced (1/4 inch pieces)


½ cup of olive oil
¼ cup lime juice (~1 large lime)
1 ½ tsp cumin
1 ½ tsp coriander
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
½ - 1 cup fresh cilantro, unpacked (~1 bunch, stems removed)

How to prepare a Black Bean Quinoa Salad:

Dice the red onion, rinse thoroughly, add to a bowl, cover with water and store in refrigerator until needed.

Prepare the quinoa according to package directions. When done (including any recommended post cooking time sitting in the covered pot) transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. Occasionally fluff again to assist the cooling.

While quinoa is cooling, drain and rinse beans, dice the bell pepper, chop the scallions.

Drain the red onion and rinse with cold water again.

Mix the diced red onion, diced bell pepper, rinsed beans, chopped scallions into the quinoa.

For the dressing, combine all ingredients in blender or magic bullet cup. Blend until cilantro is chopped and dressing is emulsified. (You could easily mix by hand but then you’ll need to chop the cilantro - this saves that step.)

Stir in the dressing, cover and refrigerate up to one day until needed.

Allow to come to room temperature and taste one last time for seasoning before serving.


Other recipes you may enjoy:

Tomato Free Salsa

Click here for more Vegan Recipes

Click here for a full list of Recipes (gluten free / dairy free / allergens listed)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Website Review: Gluten Free Philly

This is my first website review. I do follow a number of blogs but most of them are national in scope (although I did somehow end up following Gluten Free Maui)! There are even a couple that are international (and marry my love of travel and all things GF)!

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA
Gluten Free Philly covers all things gluten free in the Philadelphia metro area and that includes quite a bit of south Jersey. In addition to regular news updates, they have restaurant reviews (including quite a few in NJ) and they maintain a giant list of area restaurants. This list contains a wide range of ability from those that are just gluten aware all the way to those with full blown gluten free menus. (The site is GF but not DF so you’ll need to make sure if you need DF as well.)

The author, Michael, is also a board member of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and is on top of all of the latest national gluten free news and product launches. He does a weekly News and Notes article that is very informative and contains the latest updates to his restaurant list.

If you live (or regularly eat) in south Jersey/the Philly area, I highly recommend this site!

Some Philly area restaurant reviews you may enjoy:

Gluten Free at PB&U

Gluten Free at Pei Wei

Friday, May 11, 2012

Updated Gluten Free French Fries List

I’ve updated my list of Restaurants (Independent, Chain and Fast Food) that offer gluten free French fries. I started by consolidating the last update article into the original article here: Gluten Free French Fries so you no longer need to read both articles. I then added these six locations:

Grilled Chicken on Gluten Free Bun
with a side of Gluten Free French Fries
Applebee’s – No, the fries here aren’t safe even though they are on their gluten free list. The fries themselves are gluten free but are fried in a shared fryer (double check with your local Applebee’s).

Energy Kitchen – gluten free crinkle cut fries are baked not fried so no concerns about shared fryers here. Review of Energy Kitchen.

In-N-Out Burger – they don’t have any NJ locations but they have a loyal gluten free following in the states where they are. The only fried item on their menu is their fries.

Joe’s American Grill – I just ate here and found out that they will pan fry potatoes to avoid cc issues. (At least they offered this at my local Joe’s be sure to double check with yours.)

Pop Shop – I read recently that this Collingswood, NJ restaurant has installed a fryer to make gluten free chicken fingers and gluten free fries.

Shake Shack – they aren’t in NJ yet either but have a number of NYC locations. Their fries are gluten free and fried in a dedicated fryer, however, they warn that their oil recycling may introduce cross contamination.

That’s it for now, are there any restaurants that I’m missing? If so shoot me a quick email using the Contact Me form on the left.

Looking for somewhere to eat?

Gluten Free NJ Restaurant List (includes those serving GF fries)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

More Gluten Free Stores in NJ

It’s time for another update to my list of stores in NJ that carry gluten free products. I’ve got six new locations this time and I’ve included the brands that they carry (only those that are gluten free and dairy free). The full list is here: Gluten Free NJ Stores

Autumn Harvest Health Foods (1624 East 2nd Street, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076) – an average sized health food store that is a little above average on price for a standalone store. They don’t have a website. Brands included: Amy’s, Ancient Harvest, Bionaturae, Bob’s Red Mill, De Boles, Ener-G, Enviro-kidz, Food Should Taste Good, French Meadow, GF Pantry, Gillian’s, Glutino, Kinnikinnick, Lucy’s, Nature’s Path, Orgran, Pamela’s, Rudi’s, Schär, Tinkyada, and Udi’s.

Dean’s Natural Food Market (1119 Highway 35 Ocean, NJ 07712 and 490 Broad Street Shrewsbury, NJ 07702) – an amazing variety of gluten free / dairy free products! Prices were reasonable for a store this size. They also had gluten free bread in their deli area for made-to-order sandwiches. Brands included: 1-2-3 Gluten Free, Amy’s, Ancient Harvest, Andean Dream, Arrowhead Mills, Bell and Evans, Bob’s Red Mill, Conte, De Boles, Ener-G, Enviro-kidz, Feel Good Foods (including egg rolls!), GF Pantry, Gilbert’s Goodies, Gillian’s, Glenny, Glutino, Go Picnic, Heaven Mills, Ian’s, Joan’s, Katz’s, Kettle Cuisine, Kind, Kinnikinnick, Liz Lovely, Lucy’s, Lundburg brown rice pasta, Maple Grove Farms, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Namaste, Organic Bistro, Pamela’s, Rudi’s, Schär, Three Bakers (old Grainless Baker), Tinkyada, Udi’s, Van’s, and Yehuda Gluten Free Masa.

Dearborn (2170 Rt35S, Holmdel, NJ07733) Brands include: Bell and Evans, Bob’s Red Mill, Crunchmaster, Glutino, Ian’s, Kind, Lucy’s, Schär, and Udi’s. They only have a very limited selection of each brand. The real reason I mention them is for those who can have dairy – they have homemade gnocchi and ravioli (both contain dairy).

Harmony Natural Foods [no website] (1521 Rt35N, Middletown, NJ 07748). By far the widest selection of any store on this list! They have an entire gluten free isle, two gluten free refrigerated cases and 3-4 gluten free freezer cases. Amazing! Brands include: 1-2-3 Gluten Free, Ancient Harvest, Authentic Foods, Bakery on Main, Biaglut, Bob’s Red Mill, Celiac Specialties, Cherrybrook Kitchen, Craving Place, De Boles, Dutch Country, Ener-G, Enjoy Life (big cookies), Enviro-Kidz, Feel Good Foods, Foods by George, French Meadow, GF Naturals, GF Pantry, Gillian’s, Glenny, GlutenFreeda, Glutino, Go Raw, Goldbaums, Heaven Mills, Ians, Joan’s, Jovial, Katz’s, Kind, Kinnikinnick, Le Veneziane, Lucy’s, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Mrs Leepers, Naked Nuggets, Namaste, Nature’s Path, Orgran, Pamela’s, Par Dela, Rudi's, Schär, Shabtai, Sweet Sin, Tia's, Tinkyada, Tree of Life, Udi’s, and Van’s.

Healthway Natural Foods (35 Riveredge Road, Tenafly, NJ 07670) – brands include: Beanitos, Bearitos, Crunchmaster, Enjoy Life, Food for Life, Foods Alive, Foods by George, Garden of Eatin’, Glenny’s, GlutenFreeda, Glutino, Go Raw, Julian Bakery, Kinnikinnick, Orgran, Road’s End, Schär, Two Moms in the Raw, and Udi’s. I haven’t been yet.

Market Basket (813 Franklin Lake Road, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417). This private grocery is a touch pricey. Brands include: 1-2-3 Gluten Free, Amy’s, Bob’s Red Mill, Enjoy Life (large cookies), Glutino, Ian’s, Jovial, King Arthur’s, Kinnikinnick, Lucy’s, Misura (gf pasta from Italy), Shabtai, Tinkyada, Udi’s, and Van’s.

If you know a market I should checkout (or you are a store owner and would like to be listed on the main list) please use the contact me form on the left margin to send me a message.

If you’re looking for a bakery that can handle gluten free check my NJ Gluten Free Bakery List

If you’re looking for some gluten free dining, then try my NJ Gluten Free Restaurant List

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ray’s Café (Rye Brook, NY) is Closed


appears the owners of Ray’s Café in Rye Brook, NY have decided to retire and close their restaurant. They were one of the oldest restaurants with a gluten free menu and certainly one of the first Chinese restaurants to offer the same. There is now an Elevation Burger in its place (so there is still a gluten free option, but not gluten free Chinese food sadly).

Try these other gluten free options in the area:

Gluten Free at Elevation Burger (National Fast Food Chain)

Gluten Free at 97lake (West Harrison, NY)

Gluten Free at Bellizzi’s (Larchmont, NY and Mt Kisco, NY)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Suffolk County Gluten Free Vendor Fair: Event Review


Simply wow, there aren't many other words to describe the (almost) annual gluten free vendor fair put on by the Gluten Intolerance Group of Long Island. This year they gathered together over 50 vendors for two days of sampling and tasting in Hauppauge, NY. Each attendee received a reusable shopping bag with a couple of samples, an entire box of Glutino's Apple and Cinnamon Rings and a bunch of coupons. I began writing this shortly after I got home and already I can't wait for next year's! [Note, I didn’t finish until today.]

As always, I skipped over any vendors who weren't also offering dairy free but there weren't too many of those. There were some old standbys: Bakery on Main, Bob & Ruth's, Bob's Red Mill, Delight Gluten Free Magazine, Schär, El's Kitchen, Garden Lites, Kettle Cuisine, Namaste, NJY Camps, Really Great Food Company, Rudi's, ThinkThin, and Whole Foods. These are companies that I reviewed as part of the Colin Leslie Walk or since then.

BOLD Organics Gluten Free / Dairy Free / Vegan Pizza
The real stand outs and new releases are below (in alphabetical order):

BOLD Organics – this is brand new line of gluten free and dairy free pizzas. I tried the regular (titled Vegan Cheese Pizza but all four have vegan cheese) and it was quite good. They also offer meat lovers (sadly containing pork based pepperoni), veggie lovers, and deluxe (meat and veggie combined). They were baking four pies at a time for sample yet there was still a line the entire day!

Canyon Bakehouse – they were unable to attend but sent along lots of samples of their breads (I can never seem to find their mountain white), Focaccia, Hamburger buns, and their new Cranberry Crunch Muffins.

Gilbert's Gourmet Goodies New Packaging
for their Gluten Free Cookies
Gilbert’s Goodies – I had a nice chat with the owner about how happy I am that they are offered at the Prudential Center’s Gluten Free Cart. They have a new packaging (see photo) and are looking to expand into other sports and convention venues.

Greek Village Restaurant and Catering (44 Veterans Highway, Commack, NY 11725) - this local greek restaurant is offering a sizable gluten free menu including gluten free pitas from GFL Foods for an additional charge. I was tempted to stop here afterwards for a late late lunch but was still too full from sampling. If I were anywhere near central Long Island, I’d definitely be heading there!

Joan's GF Great Bakes – ah, Joan's is back! For those who don't know, Joan's had a fire at their facility last year and were off line for a number of months. They are back in full force and were sampling gluten free (and dairy free) corn toaster cakes, english muffins, multigrain english muffins, and double chocolate muffins. All of Joan's products are sold ready to bake so one can bake them fresh at home. Not all of Joan's products are dairy free however so it was a real treat that everything they sampled today was!

Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Bread
Kinnikinnick – I spent quite a bit of time chatting with the people from this Canada based Gluten Free (and allergen aware) company. I am already well acquainted with their cookies and donuts (see my review of their gluten free donuts). I had heard that they had just launched a new gluten free soft bread and was a bit skeptical. Let’s face it; everyone claims theirs is the bread that’s so good you don’t need to toast it. Well, Kinnikinnick is the first company to be correct in that assertion! I’m working my way through a loaf of their soft white bread right now and will be reviewing it shortly! They’re making their hamburger and hot dog buns out of this same formula. 

Mostly Myrtle's owner and daughter
and their gluten free / dairy free creations!
Mostly Myrtle’s – they were at the last meeting of the Northern NJ Celiac Support Group and I didn’t pay enough attention to them since they were “only in NY”. Oh, bad move. They’ve got a wide variety of unique gluten free products and are steadily expanding. They’re best known for their biskooky’s but also make some amazingly muffins and brownies as well. I think I’ll stop here and write them a full review later. Just a quick note: not all of their products are gluten free but those that are, are dairy free as well!

Nantucket Pasta Goddess - has a line of fresh gluten free pastas that were quite good.

Naturally Free Food (9 Singer Lane, Smithtown, NY 11787) - a local [Long Island] dedicated gluten free store/bakeshop. They can do dairy free baked goods as well but didn't have any with them.

Pamela's - Pamela's didn't have anything new at this show but was again giving away samples of individual brownie mixes, mini cookies and whenever bars (so good!). I did hear a rumor that they'll be launching five new baking mixes in the fall!

Immaculate Baking Co's New
Gluten Free Fudge Brownie Cookies
Strictly Gluten Free (396A Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY 11731– I didn’t stop at their booth but I did stop into their store on the way home. It is a fully gluten free store with a wide variety. They even offer a couple of samples upfront. It was here that I found Immaculate Baking Co’s new Gluten Free Fudge Brownie Cookies!

SweetieBeans - a brand new line of gluten free mixes, not out in stores yet.

Way Better Snacks – this new chip manufacturer has six different sprouted grain gluten free chips that were great. They should be available at your local Fairway and Whole Foods and hopefully will keep expanding beyond.

Wild By Nature Markets (East Setauket, Huntington, Hampton Bays, and Oceanside, NY) – this small grocery chain had a surprising variety of gluten free and dairy free products. I also stopped here on the way home and bought myself Kinnikinnick’s new hamburger buns, Amy’s Sandwich Rounds, and Solterra’s GF/DF pizza. They had plenty of other products to choose from but these were the ones I knew I couldn’t get at home.

Wild Flours Bake Shop (11 New Street, Huntington, NY 11743) – another local dedicated gluten free bakery that is mostly dairy free. They do have regular cheese for some items but also offer dairy free cheese for the same.

XO Baking Co – they offer a line of gluten free mixes that could be prepared gluten free. I was able to try two of them made with almond milk and they were quite good. They’ll be in Whole Foods in September.

So that’s it. On the way home I did stop off at Ray’s Café in Rye Brook, NY for dinner only to find they had closed and it is now an Elevation Burger. I decided to continue on and try Stir Crazy instead. I’ll post that review later this month.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Restaurant Review: PB & U (Moorestown, NJ and one location in PA)

I had read about PB&U a couple of months ago on another gluten free blog (I'm not sure but most likely Gluten Free Philly). PB&U is a quick serve peanut butter sandwich shop (I don’t say peanut butter and jelly as grape and strawberry jelly are only two of their 20 or so toppings!) PB&U uses Udi’s gluten free sandwich bread for their gluten free customers [note – not all of their toppings are gluten free].

Gluten Free Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich at PB&U
I finally got a chance to stop into one recently on my way home from the Celiac Awareness Tour: Philadelphia. The dine in area has tables in the shape of peanuts, like other quick serve restaurants all of the prep is done right in front of you so you can watch and their peanut butter is fresh ground in the store and comes in three varieties (creamy, chunky, in between).

For gluten free diners they use a dedicated gluten free toaster, make the sandwich on top of a fresh paper to-go wraps, use a plastic knife instead of the regular spatula and cut the sandwich with another plastic knife. The only red flag I saw was that they used the same bucket of peanut butter for GF as well. Since they fresh ground their peanuts I don’t think it should be an issue to ask them to use different peanut butter if you are that sensitive.

Overall, I enjoyed the sandwich and hope they continue their expansion. It was certainly a nice diversion and I would certainly consider returning the next time I am in an area that has one.

PBandU (Wayne) on Urbanspoon

Other restaurant reviews you may want to check out:

Pei Wei Asian Diner (Moorestown and Cherry Hill, NJ)

Five Guys Burgers and Fries (multiple NJ locations)

And of course, the full list of NJ Gluten Free Restaurants as well as the list of Gluten Free Quick Serve / Fast Food.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy Celiac Awareness Month 2012!

Happy Celiac Awareness Month everyone! 

I'm looking forward to lots of great events this month: Celiac Awareness Night with the NY Mets on Friday, the Suffolk County GF Vendor Fair this weekend, , a gluten free tasting at a local store and two different gluten free / celiac support group meetings (the second is on my birthday!)  All these and more are on my Gluten Free NJ Event List.

May also brings the GIG's (Gluten Intolerance Group) Chef-to-Plate Campaign!  Every year the GIG asks restaurants to volunteer in helping to spread awareness of Celiac Disease by posting gluten free information in their restaurant.  This year's Gluten Free New Jersey Restaurants are:

Aliperti's Ristorante (1189 Raritan Road, Clark, NJ 07066)

Antionetta's Waterfront Restaurant (523 Cedar Run Dock Road, Westcreek, NJ 08092)

Bashful Banana Bakery & Cafe (17 Bayaire Road, Ocean City/Marmora, NJ 08223)

Casona of Collingswood (563 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108)

Cheeseburger in Paradise
     (625 US Hwy 1 South, Iselin, NJ 08830)
     (344 US Hwy 46, Wayne, NJ 07470)
     (700 Plaza Dr, Ste 7101, Secaucus, NJ 07094-3604)

Fresh City (94 Old Short Hills Road, Livingston, NJ 07039)

Gaetano's Restaurant (10 Wallace Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701)

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant (124 East Kings Highway, Maple Shade, NJ 8052)

Mamas Cafe Baci (260 Mountain Avenue, Hackettstown, NJ 07840)

Organic4Life (401 Bloomfield Ave, Caldwell, NJ 07006) Review: Gluten Free Dining at Organic4Life

Romano's Macaroni Grill
     (138 Route 10, Suite 2, E. Hanover, NJ 07936)
     (1521 Route 1, Edison, NJ 08837)
     (51 International Dr S, Flanders, NJ 07836)
     (900 State Route 17 N., Suite 2, Ramsey, NJ 07446)
     (1958 Rt. 23 North, Wayne, NJ 07470)
     (3569 Route One, West Windsor, NJ 08540)

The Melting Pot
     (2112 Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401)
     (100 Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, NJ 07030)
     (Galleria, 2 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ 07701)
     (190 W. Main Street, Somerville, NJ 08876)
     (250 Center Avenue, Westwood, NJ 07675)
     (831 Route 10, Whippany, NJ 07981)

Via Roma (2360 Lakewood Road, Toms River, NJ 08755)

The full list including any last minute updates as well as the non-NJ restaurants is here: 2012 GIG Chef-to-Plate Campaign by State.  I hope to get to a couple of these and quite a few more off of my list of Restaurants in NJ with Gluten Free Menus.

So how will you be celebrating this month?