Monthly Archives: October 2010

Your Local Library: Gluten-free Treasure Trove?

Is your local library gluten-free?

No, I’m not talking about the potential risks of gnawing on the encyclopedias. And, if you’re one of those lucky people whose local library has a café inside – I’m not talking about the muffins on offer, either.

If you bought five pounds of buckwheat flour on a whim, or you’re new to the gluten-free lifestyle, or just tired of searching for recipes online, a trip to the library might be in order. Whether you go to your library weekly, or never, when’s the last time you searched a new section? And have you ever done a search for gluten-free books?

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Macabre on the Menu: GF Halloween Recipes

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

The pumpkins are carved, the house looks like a horror movie set, and it’s time to set the table.

But this Halloween, your hungry Celiac party guests don’t need to settle for apple bobbing (in a reserved bucket to prevent cross-contamination). You know I’ll be dipping gluten-free pretzels in chocolate, but there are plenty of other great GF dishes for your spooky soirée.

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Noodles? Or Vegetables? The Mystery and Magnificence of Naturally Gluten-Free Spaghetti Squash

spaghettisquashI didn’t know about the little gem of a vegetable that is spaghetti squash until a few years ago when a friend made it for me. I was probably way more excited than a normal person should be to see “noodles” being magically pulled out of a vegetable with a fork. I introduced it to my family and it’s now a favorite among them as well. Spaghetti squash is a winter squash and is usually best in late autumn, but I’ve found nice spaghetti squashes in the middle of summer (and in fact, I just made it last week). Granted, it’s not exactly like eating spaghetti because of the crunchier texture, but it’s definitely an easy gluten-free alternative to pasta.

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The Real Deal with Blue Cheese

Photo courtesy of Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images.

Photo courtesy of Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images.

When embarking on a gluten-free lifestyle, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by lists of forbidden foods. These include pastas, pastries… the usual suspects derived from wheat, rye, barley, and oats. For years, many have also included blue cheese on the do-not-eat list. (In fact, even our American dining cards warn about gluten in blue cheese.)

But does blue cheese contain gluten?

First, what makes blue cheese blue? Did it wander into a Crayola factory? Does it have some sort of affective disorder (I’d be sad, too, if I were banned by Celiacs)?

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Jolly Good: Gluten-free TV and Recipes, British-style

Full disclosure: I have no idea what the gluten-free bread from Genius tastes like.

A still from the Genius ads

A still from the Genius ads

It’s manufactured by a British company, and not available outside the UK. The bread must be pretty tasty though, because sales are brisk – brisk enough to earn Genius a gluten-free news flash and a fancy title:

First Gluten-free Product to be Advertised on (British) Television

Even if you aren’t traveling to England any time soon, you might enjoy watching the gluten-free ads. Not only are the ads undeniably British, but they feature an Albert Einstein impersonator and sandwiches – what’s not to love?

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Cruel and Unusual: Gluten-free Jail Time?

And now for something completely different.

I’ll let the first paragraph of the Seattle PI’s article on this bit of gluten-free news do the talking for me:

A convicted killer is facing felony charges after telling King County Jail staff he planned to go on a murderous rampage in part because his dietary concerns – he claimed to need wheat-free food – weren’t being addressed.

Obviously, this man did not choose a solution-oriented approach to his problem. But he raises an interesting question: what happens if someone needs to be gluten-free in jail?

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Cold Coming On? Use Your (Gluten-Free) Noodle

Break out the tissues, cold season is here. If you’ve caught the sniffles, take it from Dr. Mom; nothing soothes a cold like chicken soup! It’s good for the soul and for kicking a cold.

Need a 2nd  opinion?

Citing recent medical research, the Mayo Clinic touts chicken soup’s anti-inflammatory and congestion relieving properties.  It may not cure you (at this point, there is no cure for the common cold), but it will make you feel better.

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News: Gluten-free Grocery Shopping Gets Easier at SuperValu

Exciting news!

If you live in the US, there’s a good chance that you shop at a grocery store run by SuperValu.

This, in and of itself, is not so exciting, I know. But…

Over the next three months, SuperValu stores will roll out a program designed to make gluten-free grocery shopping much easier. According to the press release, the gluten-free shopping program includes:

  • Signage and merchandizing solutions (in some stores)
  • Gluten-free shopping lists available in-store
  • On-site personnel to answer gluten-free questions
  • Additional info on the web

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Chocolate & GF Pretzels: A Winning Combination

Some foods are just meant for each other.

Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Chips and salsa…

But chocolate and pretzels are one of my all-time favorite combinations. Hand-dipped pretzels have been my go-to party dish since college. With holidays and potlucks just around the corner, there are few things easier to make (or more delicious) than this crunchy snack.

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The Scoop on Endive: Gluten-free and Fantastic

Endive season is beginning. If you have never eaten this strange little vegetable, I highly recommend a trip to the nearest grocery store or farmers’ market.

whole endive

Vegetables are naturally gluten-free, and of course endive is no exception. It’s in the chicory family, related to other bitter vegetables like raddichio and frisée and escarole. It’s also full of fiber and vitamins (A and K, to be specific).

Why should you care? Why does endive deserve a special place in the hearts and pantries of the gluten-free community?

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