Stuck on Sticky Rice, a Gluten-free Treat

I spent last weekend in Washington DC, eating a lot of rice.

Of course, eating a lot of rice isn’t all that uncommon for someone who eats gluten-free – it’s versatile, cheap, satisfyingly starchy….

traditional gluten-free sticky rice in a banana leaf

Sometimes all that versatility makes me forget one or another way that I used to enjoy eating rice, though. This weekend I was reminded of an old favorite, and one I plan to bring back into rotation as soon as I can get myself to the grocery store: sticky rice.

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It’s All Gravy: Boston Market Goes Gluten-free

Chalk up one more victory for the, “Does there REALLY have to be gluten in there?” brigade.

Boston Market has a good selection of gluten-free choices, which you already know if you’ve perused the back section of your gluten-free restaurant guide.

In my pre-diagnosis, pre-teen years we often stopped at Boston Market for a snack between school and evening extra-curriculars. I loved the macaroni and cheese, and of course like any kid I was a big fan of white meat chicken topped with gravy.

Now the mac and cheese is obviously not gluten-free, and the chicken’s been fine for celiacs all along. But the gravy? Remember when we talked about all the foods that taste better without gluten, and we called out gravy specifically?

Boston Market finally agreed.

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Gluten's Growing Rap Sheet: Gluten Intolerance Without Celiac Disease

picture of sources of gluten
Gluten strikes again!

Last week we had a great post about a new Swedish study that could (to paraphrase Emily K, could could could) give us new information on preventing celiac disease, which is a huge step that most of us probably wish had happened a long time ago. In the last couple of days, some news has come out that examines the flip side of the gluten-free coin: a recent Australian study strongly suggests that gluten can be the culprit in moderate and even severe gastrointestinal issues even in people who have tested negative for celiac disease.

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La Vida Delicioso: Gluten-free Spain

Sarah’s post on gluten-free Spanish food the other day reminded me of something very important: I haven’t yet talked about how easy it was to eat gluten-free in Spain! And for goodness’ sake, if there’s one thing I love to do, it’s talk about eating.

My experience was limited to two cities – Madrid and Seville – and my Spanish was limited to a few choice phrases and what was printed on my gluten-free dining card. Unsurprisingly, I managed just fine; both cities are popular with students, tourists and ex-pats and there were plenty of English-speakers to help me out when I got confused.

In fact, harder than finding safe foods to eat was getting used to Spanish timing: it takes a while to get accustomed to a 10pm dinner. Happily, there were plenty of places to snack and plenty of tasty things to try as I bided my time until then.

So what’s a girl to eat, when the café con leche just won’t suffice?
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And Now For Something Completely Different: Can "Panera Cares" Cafes Level the Gluten-Free Cost Playing Field?

Panera Bread Community Cafes
Image curtesy of USA TODAY. Panera founder Ron Shaich in a "Panera Cares" cafe location.

One of last week’s blog posts focused on the cost of eating gluten-free and the potential benefit for restaurants to support their gluten-intolerant customers.  Much of the outcry surrounding the gluten-free community revolves around the expense of products.  And let’s face it – paying up to three times as much for a loaf of bread could get anybody in the wrong mood.

What if I told you that in three select locations in America, you could pay no more than any other person eating at the same restaurant?  That’s right: Dearborn, Michigan, Clayton, Missouri, and Portland, Oregon all have special community Panera Breads where the customers can choose how much they pay for their meal.

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