BEYOND RICE CAKES
Celiac Disease Resources: NFCA A Wealth of Information
By Vanessa Maltin
NFCA Director of Outreach & Programming
Are you a newly diagnosed celiac patient? Have you been diagnosed with celiac for what feels like a million years and are still looking for help? To help all patients with celiac disease and of course their family and friends, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has worked tirelessly to develop a repertoire of resources that can help everyone! So come one and come all to www.beyondceliac.org. Whether you are a child going to school, a parent trying to plan a gluten-free birthday party, a young adult, college student, adult, seasoned chef, doctor or dietitian, there is information waiting for you!
Symptoms Checklist. Do you think you may have celiac disease? Are you trying to get a family member or friend tested? If so, the NFCA symptoms checklist is the perfect place to start. Simply click on the various symptoms and receive a printer-friendly form to take to a doctor. The form provides you with the latest information on celiac testing, including the blood test and small intestine biopsy. Give this form to your doctor to be sure he orders the correct tests! Not only is the symptoms checklist a tool for you or your loved ones to get diagnosed, but also the responses collected are helping the NFCA correlate symptoms to diagnosis. This data will help all of us better understand the disease and how it affects our bodies. www.DoIHaveCeliac.org
Celiac Survival Guide. Are you already diagnosed with celiac disease and look for help with managing your daily gluten-free diet? The NFCA Celiac Disease Survival Guide is a comprehensive guide for living a happy and healthy gluten-free lifestyle. The guide provides suggestions for food choices during the early healing process and also explores the fast-expanding marketplace. There is even information about pizza and beer, birthday party planning and the best tasting products on the market! Medical tips are also provided, as well as a step-by-step guide for ensuring ongoing health. www.beyondceliac.org/What_is_Celiac_/Celiac_Survival_Guide/416/
Gluten in Medications. Do you know all of the ingredients in all of the medicines that you take? Probably not! Current United States regulations do NOT require manufacturers to label the inactive ingredients in drugs. These inactive substances are called excipients and can be any one of a number of starches including wheat, corn, potato or tapioca. To learn all about the inactive ingredients in medications, download this short and simple flyer that the NFCA developed with the help of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. You can download an extra copy to give to your local pharmacist as well. www.beyondceliac.org/What_is_Celiac_/Gluten_in_Medication/434/
School Lunches. Are you the parent of a child with celiac? If so, this resource is for you! With the help of the United States Department of Agriculture, the NFCA developed guidelines to help children and parents navigate their school’s meal program. The guidelines explain federal laws and provide step-by-step instructions for getting a child special gluten-free meals at school. www.beyondceliac.org/What_is_Celiac_/School_Lunches/464/
Related Diseases. Celiac disease is directly related to several other diseases and conditions. The NFCA has worked with leading researchers and organizations to provide the latest information on how celiac disease and the gluten-free diet is related to these conditions. Diseases include: Dermatitis Herpetiformis, Type 1 Diabetes, Thyroid Disease, Infertility, Osteoporosis, Depression, Sjogren’s Disease, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Intestinal Cancer, Peripheral Neuropathy, Down Syndrome, Turner Syndrome, William Syndrome, Liver disease and migraine headaches. www.beyondceliac.org/What_is_Celiac_/Related_Diseases/98/
Gluten-Free Cooking Sprees. Mark your calendars and sharpen your knives! If you love food, be sure to check the NFCA website for a Gluten-Free Cooking Spree near you! Watch top doctors, chefs and dietitians compete to cook the best gluten-free food! And, the best part is that you get to eat it too! Cities for 2008 include San Francisco, St. Louis, Washington, DC, Buffalo, Boston and West Palm Beach. www.beyondceliac.org/Events/Gluten_Free_Cooking_Sprees/331/
Cooking Videos. Watch NFCA’s Gluten-Free Cooking Show Alternative Appetites 24/7 on the website. I’ll teach you to cook delicious food that no one will ever guess is gluten-free! All of the recipes are super easy and even a college boy could master these techniques! Current episodes feature pizza, risotto and of course the Brazilian Cheesebread Company. www.beyondceliac.org/Other/Alternative_Appetites_1/466/
These are just some of the amazing resources available at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Be sure to visit www.beyondceliac.org to see even more fabulous documents and articles that can help you live the fullest and most delicious gluten-free life!
Coconuts: A Gem for Gluten Free Cooking
By Edgar Steele
NFCA Chef Spokesman
“Put a lime in the Coke you nut!” That is one of my personal favorite uses for the fruit that the Coke folks so brilliantly twisted to sound fun. Coconut is a fruit from the coconut palm, which grows predominantly in tropical areas of the world. Its versatility yields it to several forms and progressive uses, including milk, dried flakes and water; all from which thousands of traditional recipes and rituals are based. And among the thousands of uses and high level of economic importance this fruit and its parent tree carries, the best part is… it’s delicious!
Surprisingly and contrary to popular belief, almost every part of the coconut-bearing palm tree is edible, with the remaining parts proving useful for a variety of applications.
Aside from the culinary uses most of us think of when the coconut comes to mind, there are several other interesting ways it is used in society. A single palm tree can grow up to 75 coconuts per year, which heightens the economic stability of the tropical areas it grows in. A temperature of 70 degrees F is necessary for proper growth of the fruits, while 81 degrees F is ideal for premium quality coconuts. The dark brown outer husk or “coir” is used in many crafts such as brushes, ropes, mats and furniture stuffing. The leaves of the palm tree can be used in basket weaving. The roots of the tree have sterilizing qualities and are used as mouthwash. The hollowed trunks of palm trees may even be fashioned as a canoe for one or two!
In the culinary world, coconuts have it all, from the delightfully fatty coconut cream and milk products to the electrolyte studded nutritious water of the fruit. Though comparatively low in fat, the amounts contained are 90 percent saturated. This may sound a little scary, but scientists and nutritionists aside are feverishly researching data proving this saturated fat to be much healthier than that of butter or lard. Coconut milk comes from the fleshy meat of mature coconut, and has high oil content and some sugars.
To prepare fresh coconut milk, simply press fine grated flesh through a cloth or fine straining system. To obtain thinner and consequently less flavorful milk, the leftover grated coconut meat may be soaked in water and then passed through cloth again. Often times, a mixture of the first and second passing is what we buy canned in the market. Many times cans of coconut milk will be allowed to rest for such a time in storage on the shelves that the fat and the water of the mix will separate, and when opened some will believe this to be a bad sign. Its not! In fact, this is actually a good sign for us purists, as to obtain a indefinitely homogenized cream, unnatural stabilizers must be added… and sometimes are.
To have a nicely textured creamy product, the can may be gently shaken before opening. There are some applications however, when a richer and more custard — like consistency is desired, and in this case you want that can that has been sitting for a while… and you will carry it home very carefully to be sure to avoid remixing the fat and water. To speed this separation and hardening process of the fat, an unopened can should be placed in the refrigerator an hour before opening. If you wish to experiment with making your own milk, you may purchase grated coconut either canned or frozen in many Asian markets. Simply mix this pulp with water or even milk for a richer product, and allow it to soak warm. Then pass this through a cloth. Place the strained liquid in the refrigerator for a few hours and the thick cream will rise and solidify atop the coconut milk.
Coconut water is the fat-free liquid found in the center of young green coconuts. The best tasting water will come from green ones with some aged spots. Coconut water is popular in a slew of tropical drinks and cocktails, and may be found canned or bottled. The water has a high potassium and mineral content and helps to energize the body. The meat found in a young coconut is much softer and has less body than what is found in mature coconuts, and is referred to as coconut jelly. This is a natural gelatin, and may be used as a thickener in some food preparations.
I feel good after writing this, and can’t wait to dive into some good coco in the kitchen! The following recipe is a simple and delicious gluten-free recipe that utilize coconut milk to the fullest! Happy cooking!
Red Coconut Curry with Chicken & Eggplant
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large chicken breasts
1 Tbsp red curry paste (Thai Kitchens brand is gluten-free)
1 (8oz) can coconut milk
2 cups water
1 cube chicken stock (Swanson’s is gluten-free)
2 cups eggplant
8 fresh basil leaves, torn in pieces
Salt, to taste
In a large saucepan, sauté olive oil, garlic and onion.
Add in diced chicken breasts and cook for about 5 minutes.
Stir in coconut milk and curry paste and allow to boil for 5 minutes.
Add water, chicken stock, and basil.
Bring back to a boil and cook until basil is tender (3-5 minutes).
Lower heat and simmer until eggplant is tender (about 10 minutes).
GLUTEN-FREE COOKING SPREE
San Francisco Gluten-Free Cooking Spree a Scrumptious Success
By Vanessa Maltin
NFCA Director of Programming & Communications
On Saturday February 2, top San Francisco-area chefs, doctors and dietitians took over the West Bay Conference and cooked up some of the most delicious gluten-free meals of all time! Five teams raced against the clock to prepare decadent meals that highlighted the event’s secret ingredient: gluten-free pasta.
Team 1 included Chef Clare O’Brien (Culinary Institute of America), Pauline Mysliwiec (Chief of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente), Thelma Rodin (Santa Clara Medical Center), and Ashley Warner (San Francisco State University) Ashley Warner (San Francisco State University). This team presented UnGlu’d Mac’N’Cheese , which proved to be a favorite amongst kids in the room!
Team 2 was led by Pasta Pomodoro Chef Adriano Paganini and included Douglas Corley (Kaiser San Francisco), Rugmini Shah (California Department of Health), and Kaley Todd (UCSF). This team went against the norm by preparing a Risotto Salsicia . YUMMY!
Team 3’s chef came to San Francisco all the way from Utah to participate in the event! Chef Paul Ruegner (Charlotte’s Bakery), Mel Heyman (Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology, UCSF), Morgan Camp (Integrative Medical Center), and Vikki Petersen (Health NOW Medical Center) joined together to cook Chicken Schnitzel Schloss Solitude , which was the tasty tongue twister of the night!
Team 4 rocked the salmon, cooking up a Poached Salmon with Pappardelle & Meyer Lemon Crème Fraiche . The dish had fried brussel sprout leaves, which were surprisingly delicious! Teammates included Alex March (Brick and Solstice), Antonio Qiros (Director of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Sutter Health), Anne Louise Santoro (Kaiser Permanente), and Yulia Rudman (San Francisco State University).
Team 5 prepared a delightful Prosciutto Wrapped Salmon with Herbed Polenta, Kasha, Dried Fig & Balsamic . This team included Glenn Hewitt (Compass Group, Microsoft), Jeffrey Aron (Dir. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, CA Pacific Medical Center), Nancy Wei (Revolution Food Inc.), and Mickael Cardon (San Francisco State University).
CNN Newsroom Anchor and NFCA Spokeswoman Heidi Collins hosted the event with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Heidi’s personal struggle with managing celiac disease coupled with her love of delicious gluten-free food has helped move the Gluten-Free Cooking Spree forward nationwide!
The judges for the evening were Jacqueline Mallorca (Author, The Wheat-Free Cookbook), Elaine Taylor (Taylor Family Foundation), Gail Pyle (Stanford University Celiac Sprue Research Foundation) and two adorable kids with celiac, Riley Collins and Nathanial Corley.
Who were the big winners for the night?? For the first time in Cooking Spree history, there was a TIE! The judges couldn’t decide between teams 4 and 5 (both made salmon), so the NFCA decided to let the teams share the honor of winning the San Francisco Gluten-Free Cooking Spree!
And, the tie actually worked out OK since Dr. Jeffrey Aron and Dr. Antonio Quiros are partners in gastroenterology at California Pacific Medical Center. The two will share the prize money from the cooking spree and will use it to partner with the NFCA to advance patient support programs at their new Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
About the Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases:
The Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases at California Pacific Medical Center is dedicated to focus on the fundamental interaction of the environment—as exemplified by the diverse microclimate and the ethnic composition of Northern California, and the innate and adaptive immune systems of the individual. This interaction occurs at the mucosal surface of the gastrointestinal tract and is at the heart of autoimmune diseases, of which celiac disease is the best-defined model. Investigating the interactions that also occur in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis will help us to develop novel and effective therapies for these diseases.
Dr. Aron says the Gluten-Free Cooking Spree was an “exciting and enjoyable evening, to continue to spread the awareness of celiac disease, and to help the work of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. We are anxious to continue our association as partners in these endeavors.”
A huge thank you to all of the NFCA sponsors who make having these events possible and to all of the vendors who graciously donated food for the event! We couldn’t have done it without you! An extra special thank you to Bob’s Red Mill, Bio-Rad, Quest Diagnostics and Pamela’s Products for going above and beyond to make the event a huge success.
And, a HUGE ROUND OF APPLAUSE for the San Francisco Celiac Community for making this one of the largest attended cooking sprees yet! And of course, thank you to the Cougars for providing fabulous entertainment!
Testimonials From the Winning Teams: Anne Louise Santoro is a Registered Dietitian with the American Dietetic Association. She holds a degree in Literature from Harvard University and a degree in Nutrition from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Ms. Santoro brings to her nutrition practice over 15 years of experience in the food service industry. She has been a Food Service Manager, Cafe Manager, Pastry Chef, and Vegetarian Cook. She has an on-going private practice as The Food Coach…Your Personal Food Trainer where she provides a variety of nutrition services tailored to meet client’s specific needs.
Anne says, “I had a lot of fun participating in the cooking spree! All the teams seemed to be having a blast cooking their meals with such dedication. I have to say I’ve never tasted so many delicious gluten-free foods, especially the desserts! I learned so much more about celiac disease by participating in this event. I knew there were classic symptoms, but I had no idea about the extent to which one can suffer from Celiac disease, how it can affect ones life in so many ways. Before the spree I wouldn’t have even thought about cross-contamination, but now I see how celiac disease extends beyond the food itself to how it is prepared and under what circumstances.”
Nancy Wei is a Registered Dietitian with experience in weight management, diabetes, nutrition during pregnancy and childhood obesity. Nancy’s nutrition background ranges from improving health status through individual nutrition consultations to implementing large-scale research studies and public health programs. As current Operations Manager at Revolution Foods, Inc, a company specializing in providing fresh, home-style school lunches, Nancy is passionate about improving access to healthy food and the way children eat. Nancy completed her graduate training in Public Health Nutrition at University of California at Berkeley.
Nancy says, “The Gluten-Free Cooking Spree was a fun and rewarding experience. The moment Chef Glenn handed me the vegetable peeler and the bag of organic carrots, I knew he was going to work us hard! It was wonderful to talk to the guests about the delicious gluten-free food we had prepared and see their satisfied smiles of approval after their first bite of the winning dish. The best way to raise awareness and increase support for the celiac community is to bring together delicious food, medical knowledge, and nutritional expertise, which was exactly what this event did. I learned that you can be really creative with safe grains without compromising taste.”
EDUCATION & AWARENESS
Dietitians: A GREAT opportunity for Gluten-Free Education
By Nancy Baker
NFCA Director of Education
Living a gluten-free life can be complicated. Celiac disease is just one of the many health issues that dictates that a person should be on a gluten-free diet. Often, the newly diagnosed are given a rudimentary brochure of gluten-free products, which if prepared correctly can guide patients towards health. However, far too often, this basic list alone does not provide newly diagnosed patients with the tools necessary to prepare healthy and delicious gluten-free food.
The only treatment for celiac disease is a lifelong gluten-free diet. Without proper guidance, it is nearly impossible to manage the diet on a daily basis. This is where your dietitian comes in! Dietitians and nutritionists are able to provide newly diagnosed celiac patients with a wealth of information for managing special diets. Whether it is celiac disease, low-sugar or dairy-free diets, dietitians or nutritionists can offer advice for living a health lifestyle at work, home and on vacation!
So, how do dietitians learn the ins-and-outs of celiac disease to provide the most up-to-date information to their celiac patients? The NFCA has great news for dietitians! The GREAT program (Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training) is available to all practicing dietitians, dietetic technicians and nutritionists and is a simple yet comprehensive way to become certified in gluten-free techniques.
GREAT is a collection of nutrition educational programs. GREAT Dietitians does not focus on the clinical manifestations of the disease, rather on the details of implementing the medical nutritional therapy of the gluten-free diet. It is designed to lead dietitians from a list of foods or ingredients to a skill set that ensures that a gluten-free product goes through a gluten-free process to be tasty and prevent cross-contamination.
GREAT is an ongoing pre-approved continuing education unit provider (found on the CDR website under the name Globally Gluten Free, LLC: www.cdrnet.org) for the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association. It has been aligned to meet both the ADA’s Mission and Vision.
With more advanced screening and testing for celiac disease and gluten intolerance, more Americans will be finding themselves relying on a gluten-free diet. This is the future — more people living on a gluten free diet, each seeking education and resources.
Dietitians are one of the most valuable sources of food and nutrition services. With more people living a gluten-free life, it is essential that dietitians have practical information for the preparation of gluten-free foods. The detailed manual was originally prepared for food service providers and adjusted for the use of dietitians in both clinical and institutional settings. This is practical information for the implementation of a gluten-free diet, which addresses the top concerns of awareness, supplies, and cross contamination, which will each lead to allowing someone with celiac disease to eat well, thrive, and become healthy again.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to embrace one of the most joyful delights of a celiac’s life… chocolate . If, like me, you are the parent of a child who cannot eat gluten, you are familiar with the challenges that pop up at different holidays and occasions in your child’s life. Just sending your child to school, you will encounter pizza parties, cupcakes that are sent for birthday celebrations, soft pretzel sales, and more. Valentine’s Day, however, is one of the easier holidays for your child to participate in at school.
How Do I Love Brownies? Let Me Count the Ways…
When my daughter comes home from school with a sign-up sheet for an upcoming classroom party, I always volunteer to send in brownies. Let’s be honest here; with kids, it’s all about slipping in a gluten-free treat under the radar. Kids not only want to eat what their friends are eating, they want to fit in. Your child may happily eat gluten-free pizza or bread at home, but if you are sending in a food that is going to be shared by her peers, you had better make sure it passes for “real” food. Because the first whiff another kid gets of a food being different, you can bet it is going to be pointed out. Loudly.
I’ll give you a little side story that relates. My friend James once told me how his parents used to bake their own bread when he was growing up (regular bread—this was not a celiac story). Every day at school, James unpacked his lunch and ate his sandwich made on homemade bread. The adult me who heard this was impressed at the effort his parents made and thought, “Wow, they were really ahead of their time.” James hated it. He envied the other kids their uniformly shaped, squishy Wonder Bread, and felt like the class dork with his misshapen, home-baked brown bread. Kids want to fit in.
Unlike gluten-free pizza or bread, GF brownies easily pass for “regular” brownies. There are several of terrific; easy-to-make mixes out there including ones from Gluten-Free Pantry, Miss Roben’s, Bob’s Red Mill, Pamela’s and more. Throw in some mini chocolate chips or butterscotch before baking and no kid out there will be able to tell the difference.
Another easy treat to contribute on Valentine’s Day is a bag of store-bought candy. Mainstream candy. Plain M&Ms, Hershey bars with or without almonds, Almond Joy and Mounds bars, Dove chocolates in milk or dark chocolate, Three Musketeers bars, and more. We avoid sending in anything with peanuts, in case of another child’s allergy (see how being a celiac parent enlightens your thinking?).
What about candy hearts, boxes of mystery truffles and other ubiquitous Valentine’s Day staples, you ask? Unless you know who manufactures those items and you are able to find out from the company that the food in question is gluten-free, assume it is not. Or, as I like to say: when in doubt, throw it out. Even if the ingredients are safe, candy can be processed on conveyor belts that are dusted with flour. Don’t feel too badly about ruling out candy like this, however. There is an opportunity to broaden your child’s horizons with a whole world of chocolates that are, in my opinion, light years better than the candy we grew up with.
Chocolate Grows Up
If you have turned on the news or picked up a magazine in the last five years, you have heard the news: chocolate is healthy. Specifically, dark chocolate that is made with a high percentage of cocoa is considered to have health benefits. Dark chocolate contains heart-healthy flavenoids that can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and antioxidants that fight free radicals. Chocolate, of course, is high in calories and should not be eaten in large quantities, but fortunately, good, dark chocolate is so rich in flavor, a small square is surprisingly satisfying. Take a trip to a higher-end supermarket or specialty food store and try something new. You will find chocolates that are made from organic, whole ingredients, by fair-trade companies, which are—9 times out