Monthly Archives: August 2013

Gluten-Free On Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Last week, my absolute favorite restaurant in San Francisco, and maybe even the world, was featured on the Guy Fieri show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!

Pica Pica is a 100% gluten-free restaurant with three locations in the Bay Area. Adriana López Vermut and her father, Leopoldo López Gil, started Pica Pica as a way to express their love for Venezuelan cookery and the desire to share their native food with people here in the Bay Area. Their food is spectacular!

Adriana shared with Fieri and his viewers, how some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes are prepared and cooked. He thought the dishes were outstanding and he was right.

After my first arepa, I fell head over heels in love with this wonderful restaurant. The flavors which jump out at every bite are like nothing I’ve tasted before. One of their most popular dishes, the Arepa Pabellón, is a grilled corn pocket filled with shredded beef, sweet plantains, black beans and quasi fresco. My mouth is watering as I write this!

It’s always exciting to see gluten-free companies and restaurants featured on popular TV shows as it helps to raise awareness of celiac disease and gluten-free eating. Pica Pica is the perfect example of a restaurant which not only caters but cares about the gluten-free community. Everything on their menu and in their kitchen is 100% gluten-free and many of their goodies are also dairy free. It also shows that gluten-free definitely doesn’t have to mean taste-free. Gluten-free can be wonderful!

To find out more about Pica Pica, check out their website or visit one of their Bay Area locations.

Post authored by Laura (Gluten Free Traveller)

Gluten Free Savonerrie

When you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, it’s important that nothing gluten-containing gets near your mouth. Not only do we have to be careful about everything we eat, we also have to watch out for other sources of hidden gluten such as bath and skin care products, makeup and toothpaste!

For this reason, some gluten-free folks like to use hair and beauty products they know are completely gluten-free and won’t make them sick.

The Triumph team recently found out about Gluten-Free Savonnerie, a range of allergen specific, paraben-free and hypoallergenic skin care products. They aim to reach customers with celiac disease, allergies, chemical sensitivities, autism or skin issues.

This line of entirely gluten-free products includes shampoo, conditioner, soaps, lip balm, lotion, shaving foam, deodorant, massage oil and sheer butter. All products are handcrafted in a gluten-free facility and are carefully tested to ensure they are gluten-free. As well as being free of gluten, Gluten-Free Savonnerie products are also fragrance, casein, corn, soy, dye and peanut free!

To find out more about Gluten-Free Savonnerie and their range of products, check out their website below.

Do you use gluten-free beauty and skin care products?

Buckwheat – Rhubarb Scones

finished-sconesOf course you know that it’s entirely possible to live a good life without gluten. Especially when things like these Buckwheat-Rhubarb Scones are involved. Have you noticed that rhubarb is everywhere right now? Our friend Jill makes Strawberry-Rhubarb jam and Thing 1 seems to be in good enough graces with her for us to receive more than our fair share. It’s gluten-free, too.

I found this recipe as a guest post on the Food52 blog. Make it while rhubarb is still around!



This recipe is adapted from Kim Boyce’s wonderful baking book, Good to the Grain – glutenfreegirl

Makes 8 scones


·         115 grams buckwheat flour (preferably raw buckwheat flour — see note below)

·         140 grams gluten-free all-purpose flour mix (see recipe below)

·         1/4 cup dark brown sugar

·         2 teaspoons baking powder

·         ½ teaspoon baking soda

·         1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

·         115 grams (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

·         ½ cup buttermilk

·         1 large egg, at room temperature

·         ½ cup rhubarb jam

·         3 tablespoons sugared pieces of raw rhubarb (optional)


1.      Preparing to bake. Heat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.      Combining the dry ingredients. Sift together the buckwheat flour, gluten-free all-purpose flour mix, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside the bowl.

3.      Working the butter into the dry ingredients. Add the cold butter pieces to the dry ingredients. Use your hands to work the butter into the flour, slowly, until the butter is the size of lima beans. Move as quickly as you can without becoming frantic.

4.      Finishing the dough. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Dribble them into the buttery dough. Stir with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together fairly well. It might still be dry in places and it should not look like a coherent dough ball. However, if you can pinch some of it between your thumb and fingers, and it holds together, you’re ready. (If the dough is still too dry, dribble a tablespoon of buttermilk at a time and stir until the dough feels right.)

5.      Shaping the dough into discs. Sprinkle a little extra gluten-free all-purpose flour mix onto the counter. Carefully, plop the dough onto the floured counter. Move the dough between your hands, folding and twisting it around, until it’s a ball of dough. Cut the ball in half. Pat each ball of dough into a disc about 3/4-inch thick and 7 inches across.

6.      Preparing the scones. Put one disc of dough onto the baking sheet. Spread the rhubarb jam onto the disc of dough carefully, leaving about 1 inch of space on the edges. If you are using the sugared rhubarb pieces, sprinkle them onto the jam now. Put the other disc of dough on top.

7.      Using a sharp knife, cut the scone dough into 8 wedges. Spread them out a bit on the baking sheet.

8.      Baking the scones. Bake the scones for 10 to 12 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet. Bake until the scones are golden-brown on top and the jam and rhubarb have bubbled onto the baking sheet, about another 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.

9.      Allow the scones to sit for 10 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack.

10.  Scones really do taste best the day they are baked.


Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix

·         400 grams millet flour

·         300 grams potato starch

·         300 grams sweet rice flour


1.      Whisk the flours together until they are one color. Put them in a big container and shake them up. Now you have flour.

2.      For the best results, blend the flours in a strong blender to ensure the flours all have the same grind

Sprinkles Cupcakes | Triumph Dining Review

gluten-free-red-velvetAs I mentioned in a previous post, we ate a lot of cupcakes while on vacation in Southern California in August. Crumbs, which makes the most sugar-laden and frosting-heavy cupcakes in my opinion, currently doesn’t have any gluten-free offerings. But we gave it a shot in Calabasas.

Sprinkles Cupcakes in Newport Beach, and with 11 other locations, offers a gluten-free red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting similar to Casey’s. This makes me wonder if there’s something about red velvet that lends itself to gluten-free baking. Maybe it’s just the best seller? The cupcakes were displayed separately from the gluten-laden ones although they were not baked in a gluten-free facility. They are also topped with a red G to denote gluten-free. Click to continue reading »

Casey’s Cupcakes | Triumph Dining Review

Gluten-Free-Red-Velvet2We’ve just returned from a visit with family in Southern California. While there it became very clear that we are incapable of walking past a cupcake shop without going inside.

Casey’s Cupcakes is in the Newport Beach Fashion Island shopping center. We were so happy to see that they had a beautiful and delicious gluten-free red velvet cupcake.

Casey’s is just a happy place. It’s a destination inspired by a classic Parisian café with a glamorous Hollywood twist and incorporates bright splashes of pink with classy black accents and whimsical accessories. Click to continue reading »

Power of Three Seed Blends

homepage_imagePowerblend, by Power of 3 Nutrition, is an all-natural mix of organic seeds designed as a nutritional complement to your favorite, everyday foods! Triumph Dining were excited to find out more about these mixes as all of their products are made in a completely gluten-free facility in Westbrook, Maine!

The variety of seeds provides a rich plant-based source of Omega 3s and is also extremely high in fiber and protein. Each pack of Powerblend contains 2800mg of Omega 3, 9g of protein and 7g of fiber. Click to continue reading »

Ina Garten’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies

chocolate chunk cookiesThe Barefoot Contessa, otherwise known as Ina Garten, is my go to celebrity chef. Everything I’ve made from her seven cookbooks has come out well; several of the recipes are now family staples, the things our children will recall as the comfort food of their childhood.

(The gluten-free ones are her Roasted Chicken, Swordfish Steaks, Roasted Tomato Dip and French Potato Salad.)

Knowing that everything Ina makes is divine, I was so happy to see that she took her Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe and converted it to gluten-free.


Click to continue reading »

Consumer Reaction to FDA’s Definition of Gluten-Free in Food Labeling

News of the FDA defining gluten-free in food labeling has received a lot of media play since it was announced earlier this month.

For those of you who may have missed it, the net net is that the US Food and Drug Administration published a new regulation which defines the term “gluten-free” for voluntary food labeling. This provides a uniform standard to help the roughly 3 million Americans who have celiac disease. The full announcement can be found here.

The FDA requires that, in order to use the term “gluten-free” on its label, a food must meet all of the requirements of the definition, including that the food must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. The rule also requires foods with the claims “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “without gluten” to meet the definition for “gluten-free.”

Consumer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. However, 20PPM is still a real health risk for those with acute gluten allergies. Consumers are also asking how the FDA will regulate those 20PPM. Will every product be consistently checked for gluten? Are products allowed to be made in a non-dedicated gluten-free facility and still earn the gluten-free label?

Here at Triumph Dining we’re excited about the move forward by the FDA. What are your thoughts?

Gluten-Free Pretzels Anyone?

The Triumph Dining product testers have really enjoyed Osem USA’s new gluten-free pretzels, certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.

imagesThe New Jersey-based manufacturer, whose gluten-free foods are marketed under the brand name Gratify, sent us samples of its six pretzel types, which retail for $3.99 – $5.99 in 8 oz. or 14.1 oz. bags.

The varieties are:


  • ·         Sea Salt Thins, which are a good conduit for cheese, spreads and dips
  • ·         Sesame Thins
  • ·         Sea Salt Twists, most like traditional pretzels
  • ·         Sea Salt Sticks
  • ·         Milk Chocolate Covered Twists, which are a good crunchy treat coupled with chocolate, and
  • ·         Yogurt Covered Twists, an alternative to traditional pretzels because they come with the cool, hardened yogurt topping.


In the office our testers liked them all. However, we especially liked the Milk Chocolate Covered Twists and Sea Salt Sticks.

Check your local retailer for locations and get additional information at

GFAF Expo Coming to Meadowlands

ExpoNJ1000pxThe Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free Expo is Coming to Meadowlands!

The fabulous Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free Expo tour is making another stop and this time it’s the Meadowland in Secaucus, NJ.

On September 7th and 8th, the expo will feature over 100 vendors sampling and selling products. All of the vendors are completely gluten-free and many will also be showcasing products free from all the top eight allergens: milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. The event will also include a dedicated area featuring nut-free products and a special area for gluten-free kids to enjoy!

As well as the opportunity to discover new products and companies, there will also be health care practitioners, with a focus on allergies, available to answer your medical questions and concerns. Your ticket to the event also enables you to attend free lectures and connect with gluten and allergen-free restaurants, non-profits, authors and bloggers and more. Below is the line-up for the weekend.  Click to continue reading »