News Notes and Things to Know…..1/2018

Mariann writes:

Happy New Year All!!

I hope your holidays were filled with all the things that you love about celebrating with friends and family!

Here’s some things that are happening in the world of CD and gluten-free just to keep us all on our toes as we venture into 2018!!

In the following article you will find the final paragraph reads…..

“Avoiding whole grains because you’ve heard gluten is bad is like avoiding whole fruits because you’ve heard fructose is bad,” Dr. Katz said in an interview. A diet without gluten is most often associated with the inclusion of what he calls “ultra-processed, gluten-free junk foods” and the exclusion of highly nutritious whole grains. “Avoiding it systematically produces net harm both to diet and to health.”

I will refrain from expressing my commentary to this piece and let you judge for yourself but it is worth a read because others will read it and you might like to discuss it further!

FSR magazine which reports on all things related to the restaurant and food service business just had this article at their website and on f/b.  Share it with any restauranteurs that you communicate with!


Meal Options expanding to cover the needs of the gluten-free diner !!



And then locally at ………


And a reminder and an update!!  Last year readers voted on the top 5 restaurants serving g-f diners.

This year we are proud to share that #1, Cafe Avalaun,
now Certified 100 % Gluten Free Food Service by GIG!


Finally, an explanation for why this disease is slogging in the research world…..

Traveling the G-F Road 12/17

Mariann writes.

Friends of mine in Boulder recently messaged me about a new dedicated brewery!   This is so exciting – I needed to share it with you right away –
haven’t gotten there yet but I will get there to check it out in person, soon, I promise.

801 Brickyard Circle
Golden, CO  80403

p.s. –  If you get there before me – Share comments:)

News Notes and Things to Know….. 12/2017

Mariann writes:

Holiday Greetings All!!  We hope you are having a wonderful season of preparing for your Holiday Celebrations!   Should you be in need of some gluten-free goodies here are some ideas to move you in the right direction!

At Cafe Avalaun they are hard at work creating yummy treats for our gluten-free needs – and they are a certified and fully dedicated kitchen!!

BUT, by the time this post makes it to your emailbox they will be at the final day of preorders so get moving – you don’t have much time – in fact, the time to make the call is…….TODAY!!

OR,  call Brian and very politely, very nicely, request your goodies reservation!

On a serious note!!  Someone called me to suggest I read the following article.  I am sharing this with all of us because it is a serious issue that we need to be very conscious of AND make sure that we are not this behaving like this person described in this letter to Dear Amy!

Dear Amy: I have a friendship of more than 40 years with a delightful woman. We see each other about once a month, often at dinner in a restaurant with mutual friends. About six months ago, “Sandra” announced to us that she had just discovered that she is allergic/intolerant to gluten. This has become a focus of her life and often dominates the conversation. Since that time, every trip to a restaurant includes a very (VERY) long discussion with our waitperson and/or chef regarding each item on the menu and whether it fits into her gluten-free diet. Then the bread basket comes, and Sandra dives in because “it’s just too good to pass up.” Several of us, outside of Sandra’s presence, have commented that not only is the gluten conversation tiresome, but also embarrassing when held in a busy restaurant. Additionally, most people are aware that those who are truly gluten intolerant become very ill when they eat bread, and avoid doing so at all cost. We’d love to talk this out with Sandra, but are afraid she’ll become defensive and angry, although this is not her usual reaction to thoughtful criticism. Any advice? — Like Oprah, I Love Bread

from Mariann:    To be clear!  I am not saying that we should not advocate for ourselves when dining out.  This diet can be so limiting.  This diet can cause us to feel so left out.  This diet can be such a inconvenience.  This diet can be so unfair!  But, this diet is not the problem of our fellow diners and we should not make it theirs.  That is unfair of us.

So, here are some tips to make it more palatable (pun intended) for our own well being and for the well being of our fellow diners and for the well being of the serving and preparing staff!

  1.  Try to not corner the staff during a busy time to talk about the entire menu.  Rather, call ahead or check out the menu, on-line, and prepare yourself with a couple of items you would like.  Ask specifically about the options you have interest in eating.
  2. Do not ask to see the Chef during peak service hours – I’m sorry – that is just rude.  The folks in the kitchen are working hard on a very tight schedule so running out to the floor to talk with you throws everything out of whack! Again, call ahead and speak with the manager or the kitchen staff.  To consider, in order for a kitchen person to make their way to the dining area, it may be necessary for them to change out of their garments just to make that walk to your table.  And then, to change back in order to get back on the line.
  3. Do Not.  Do Not.  Do Not.  Under any circumstances, Do Not, eat the bread just because it looks too good to pass up.  Additionally, do not drink traditional beer just because.  And finally, do not order desserts that are not safe.
  4. Finally, unless you have checked in advance do not bring your own food with you.  There are laws that prevent consumption of outside food and beverages and many owners take that seriously.  Again, call in advance.

A thought…….I have asked, in advance, in some venues if I could bring a fresh – unopened box of chocolates to share at the table at the end of dinner with coffee or after dinner drinks.  Often the restaurant has been fine with that and my companions have happily shared in the tastings.  That being said, make the event one to enjoy with your family, friends, or colleagues!  Because after all Life (can be) Truly Like a Box of Chocolates:)

If baking is one of your ‘front and center’ activities for the season and you are looking at a fun activity to share with family and friends or you want to bring along something to share at an event take a look at the recipes in this post from GFF, gluten-free forever magazine!


Finally, we are now fully connected to Gluten Intolerance Group!

GIG is a non-profit support and advocacy group for all things gluten-free!  Check out their page!  You’ll find listings for restaurants – useful for travel times – recipes, activities, coupons, certification standards and news.

If you are so inclined you can make a donation at their page to assist in the efforts of behalf of the community!

And, here is the link to sign up for the Gluten Intolerance Group monthly e-news:)


Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pies to go…

Kathy’s Creations (Alliance, OH) is now taking gluten-free pumpkin pie orders. I purchased one of her fruit pies recently and it tasted precisely like the wheat flour crusts I remembered savoring many years ago (flaky & delicious!) This gem of a bakery is a little drive from CLE/AKR – but worth the trip! Being able to purchase any item in the entire bakery (which is exclusively gluten-free) was certainly a treat. In addition to enjoying the variety, texture, and taste of the items purchased, prices were extremely reasonable.

Kathy’s carries a wide variety of gluten-free items, including pies, assorted muffin flavors, pizza crusts, various breads & cookies, biscotti, cakes, & cupcakes. I am told her pumpkin pies are delectable but that one must order EARLY. Order your GF pumpkin pie(s) today! (330) 821-8183

Kathy’s Creations
2010 Crestview Ave, Alliance, OH 44601
(330) 821-8183

News Notes and Things to Know…..11/17

Mariann writes:

If you are like me you have started already thinking about your pie baking for the holidays?  And, If you are like me you are trying a new recipe every year still searching for the crust outcome that you remember from you pre gluten-free days!  I’ve had some really good crust recipes over the past ten years of being gluten-free but what I like about this recipe from its first read is its simplicity.  This will be the recipe I reach for when making our Pumpkin  and Lemon Curd Pies this Holiday Season!

Tricia Thompson at Gluten Free Watchdog has a tutorial on calculating the amount of gluten consumed based on the parts per million measure you will find after items have been lab tested.

Keeping in mind please!  There is no definitive number that has been determined to be a tolerable level for gluten exposure.

Video: Converting ppm of Gluten to mg of Gluten

November News from Cafe Avalaun….
Cafe Avalaun

Including New Hours!  Pizza Take and Bakes, Events, Catering, Holiday Ordering and Fresh Meals!
November G-F Review……

Breakfast Foods!


  Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG)

Restaurant Dining: Seven Tips for Staying Gluten-Free

More Discussion About…..


Check it out!!  Free Italy vacation getaway via Jovial Pasta!

Like all of the members of our Celiac Family kids have special needs and considerations for dealing with Celiac Disease!  See GIG’s report on what is going on in the world of CD and Youth!

AND THEN,  Let us know if you find an active group in NEO!!

Ever wonder what our local Generation GF​ support groups actually *do*? Check out what some of our awesome groups are doing across the country

Posted by Gluten Intolerance Group on Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Professional Celiac

Starting a new job is quite terrifying. Imagine starting a new job and then just a few short months into your new position you end up terribly ill! All the thoughts were running through my mind, “I am going to get fired.” “My new boss will regret hiring me” “Someone is going to say something about me spending a vast majority of my day in the women’s restroom”.

And this went on for 6 entire weeks. I was barely into my 30s and wanting to kick my career into high gear.

I had been sick before and sick constantly as a child. “The sick one” was my nickname. As an adult, I had learned pretty good coping mechanisms and grinned my way through many a meeting when I actually felt like I wanted to crawl in a hole and die. It is a gift….

Not this time, there would be no grinning my way through.

I walked into the Cleveland Clinic family practice and heard these words “You either have colon cancer, Crohn’s disease, celiac, or a combination of all three”. That is how sick and unable to function I was and yet I never actually called off sick at work. Not something I am terribly proud of. Self-care wasn’t part of my vocabulary in those days.

Within 48 hours my blood test revealed that I had Celiac Disease….and my antibodies were 200 times higher than they should be. They tested for the other items on the list and thankfully it was “just” celiac. This was 7 years ago.

Changing my lifestyle was not that difficult at home. I loved to cook and finding recipes that would keep me healthy was my new mission. What was the most difficult by far was the social aspect. I was raised in a very large family. You ate what was in front of you, or you didn’t eat. I was never a picky eater and loved trying new foods. Drawing attention to myself over food was just not something I was comfortable with. If a restaurant brought me a wrong entrée, I might eat it before pointing out they made a mistake.

Being a Celiac in the professional world is very difficult. Business lunches, dinners with clients, morning brunches are quite commonplace. Not to mention the fact that I was an International Business Manager at the time and expected to travel 2-4 times a year around the globe.

Here is my shortlist of helpful tips if you find yourself with extreme dietary needs in the workplace.

  • People will ask about your condition thinking they are being polite and you want to talk about yourself, you don’t owe them an answer
  • It is OK to pack food in your purse like you survived the Great Depression! I had to learn that pulling food out like Mary Poppins pulled out that lamp was way better than the alternative of being dizzy or sick by midafternoon of a trade show.
  • Locally – tap into all the resources that Cleveland has to offer. NorthEast Ohio Celiac Network and Café Avalaun have been great resources.
  • Internationally – I personally found it easier to be in China, Dubai, Switzerland, Germany and France than sometimes I do in the US. There is a lot of awareness and sensitivity to Celiac
  • Use this to your advantage that shows you are a classy professional in control of all areas, including the menu! Quietly speak with the waitress about your dietary needs. Be proactive and call ahead to restaurants that you know you will be meeting clients at.

Food is important in the professional setting but it doesn’t have to be an embarrassing differentiation.

GF Summer Travel

I had a delightful trip to the south of France this summer. Everything was fantastic: the people, the sights, the weather. But especially the gluten free food.

The pre-trip planning included frustration with traveling on multiple airlines on one ticket. Because of the codeshare arrangement neither Air Canada nor Brussels Airlines would assign seats or note my need for gluten free meals for travel to France. Travel back was all on Air Canada and was no problem. Poking around on the Brussels Airlines website I found a special meal request form and I received an email a couple of days later which confirmed the special diet.

The travel went off without a hitch. Flights were all on-time and GF food was served.

Between Toronto and Brussels I was served dinner which was plastic wrapped and sealed. Bean salad, Indian chickpea curry with quinoa, bread and a brownie.

It even included a note which listed the dinner menu and what I would expect for breakfast and advised that no other served food would be guaranteed gluten free.

There was another service before landing with a muffin, granola and applesauce. It, too, was sealed.

On the flight back home, from Lyon to Montreal, I was also served a meal, sealed, with fish and rice, carrot salad, cut fruit and crackers. The second service was a packaged frittata, clearly labeled gluten free.

The food was quite good and I felt comfortable that it was gluten free and had not been contaminated while being served.  But much better food was to come!

The Viking Buri, one of the Viking River Cruise ships that navigate the Rhone river, was my home for the week.  The Lyon & Provence itinerary sailed from Avignon to Lyon, stopping in small towns and larger cities along the way.

There was plentiful and delicious gluten free food on the ship.  I enjoyed croissants every morning at breakfast.  The fruit was some of the best I’ve ever tasted.

Most of the menu items could be made gluten free and I had fun with sandwiches, many days, for lunch.

There was always a tasty dessert like this flourless chocolate cake.

Even crepes Suzette!

While sightseeing I stopped in a few grocery stores, from small healthfood shops to supermarkets. All had some gluten free food and many had large selections.

I highly recommend this trip. I’ve sailed with Viking River Cruises before and would again. And southern France exceeded my expectations for beauty and charm.

Where did you travel on your summer vacation?

Gluten-Free Amish Dinner this Saturday

There will be a gluten-free dinner this Saturday, Sept. 2 at 5:30 p.m. in Burton, Ohio. The meal will be prepared by an Amish woman who occasionally offers gluten-free meals. She typically books out far in advance due to high demand. She has 8-10 openings at this time. She does cook/bake both gluten-containing and gluten-free food.

Saturday’s menu: fried chicken, roast of beef, mashed potatoes, several other vegetables and sides, homemade bread (not GF) & 5 or 6 kinds of pies.


Please call Marylou at 440-376-5788 with questions or to make your reservation.

News Notes and Things to Know…….7/17

Some interesting pieces of information from the gluten-free community….

If you’ve been following the controversy of gluten-free designation/FDA rules/foods in violation you can follow along on the latest in the discussion from Tricia Thompson founder of Gluten-Free Watchdog:


Here’s the link for the latest issue of GIG magazine including timely articles, coupons, recipes and more…….


Celiac Disease and the Gluten Free Diet Resources
Celiac Disease and the Gluten Free Diet Resources

This past month I’ve encountered a couple of news articles, both print and digital, where the information contained in them regarding the gluten-free diet was just plain wrong.  Where references were made to product and to diagnosis and to treatment that were old, out of date and still circulating.  But, just when you think folks are starting to ‘get it’ – smack – something else appears to reveal how far away the general population is  at ‘getting it’.

When dining out g-f there are so many; so,so,so,so many things to keep in mind.  Here’s an article that will highlight for you why you need to always be your own advocate; ask and ask again.  You never know just what that kitchen is doing……….


Will gluten-free make it to the list of Food Trends for 2018-19?  You might be following the shifts in the dining scene by going to restaurants and seeing the changes in the menu offerings.  Or you may be seeing the shift in the grocery store shelving.  You may also be seeing more advertising about g-f food items in magazines.  The big trend for restaurants in 2017-18 is ‘faux foods’ – things that look like foods you know but made with ingredients you might not realize could mimic those items – think tofurkey – with pizzazz!  Vegan food is on the rise, everywhere, and it took a long time to get there.  So, while restauranteurs may not yet be ready to accept that g-f needs their attention, the financial sector has noted the growth of the g-f products. post by Hannah Drown

Looking over this list and having just traveled across the country using Find Me Gluten Free I would have to say that my experience was successful.  If you’ve used any of these please share your favorite!


Dining Out G-F in NEO ……7/17

From Chef Brian:

……”We asked what recipes you were most interested in and Fried Chicken was one that we thought was appropriate since #1.
July 6th is National Fried Chicken Day.”……

Here’s the Fried Chicken Recipe.

Here’s the brine recipe for a Dairy Free version. I use this brine for all birds.

Dining Out G-F – On the Road

Mariann writes:

What an experience this past month offered me!  I navigated a road trip from Seattle (where I did not stop to eat) to Cleveland making stops in Ellensburg WA, Missoula MT, Livingston MT, Billings MT, Medora ND, Fargo ND, St. Paul MN, and Madison WI!  Along the way we ‘googled’ local restaurants, perused menus and made our picks based on my ability to dine with ease.

Here’s the result:

Our first stop – Fiesta En Jalisco in Ellensburg, WA (mexican) where we dined on excellent Carne Asada and Chile Relleno (egg only dip) with perfectly made guacamole and margaritas.  I was super hungry since I had flown directly from Cleveland to Washington with only cashews and coffee to snack on.  While there was a bit of a language barrier I chose the simplest meal in order to make sure that I was not going to be glutened. The menu was pretty straightforward so I felt pretty confident that all was well, not having any reaction was a welcome outcome!  Off to Spokane……

We arrived in Spokane too late to find anything open for dining.  The following morning (after a quite horrible hotel experience) we were anxious to make our way out of town and get on the road.  We headed to Rockwood Bakery and Coffee shop on the road towards the expressway.  It was quite nice.  While they had no gluten-free baked goods available at the time of our visit they did have fresh fruit in the form of bananas, blueberries, figs and dried cranberries, Chobani yogurts, a lovely cup of decaf 

(decaf was hard to find on this trip, many shops did not carry decaf at all).  For my travel partner – fresh made steel cut oatmeal with blueberries and other great coffee options!

Next stop Missoula!  What a city – vibrant and active with lots of pedestrian traffic on Saturday morning at the Farm market.  We opted to have a lunch at Five on Black, a Brazilian bowls kinda menu!  Structured much like Chipotle – choose rice or greens to start your bowl, top with your desired protein or two kinds of stew (feijoada or a vegan option), more toppings raw greens or cooked, sweet potatoes, beans then top with a sauce!  Voila!  Everything made in house.  Everything gluten-free (except the beer???)  They even offered Brazilian Cheese Breads to accompany the bowl.  The food was excellent!  The staff was knowledgeable and super friendly!  Satiated for the next leg of our trip – off we go………

On the road to Billings, Montana we got hungry – really hungry.  The legs of our drive were timed at about 3 hours of driving and then breaking for rest stops.  On this leg of the drive we just wanted to eat.  Since we couldn’t wait to get to Billings we stopped in a sleepy little town called Livingston.  Our searches for dining kept leading us to the chain Rib & Chop Houses– of which there are about 5 in various cities in the Northwest U.S. – since there is one in Livingston we thought ‘let’s check it out”.  So glad we did!  They have a dedicated g-f menu which was super helpful since there are some sides that are not acceptable.  I went with the Grilled Ribeye accompanied by a Caesar Salad which was quite sufficient enough as a meal and my companion had the BBQ ribs and fries (sadly, not g-f).  The restaurant menu states that they have a Life Coach/G-F consultant for their menu but they also offer Omission beer as their g-f option so that was disappointing.  All in all the meal was super good, the food fresh and tasty and the server was knowledgeable and shared my points about the beer with the bar manager so hopefully they’ll remedy this one.  Now that I’m home I’ll follow up with my own email to both the restaurant and the consultant.

When we arrived in Billings we saw next to our hotel a cafe billed as New Asian, TAO.  My companion felt that the perfect end to this day of travel would be a glass of Sake so we trekked on over to cap off the night.  But of course the food smelled so good and the dishes coming out of the kitchen looked so delectable that Sake was never going to sufficient.  Let’s eat! The menu had many items that could be modified for g-f but amazingly not the Pad Thai!  We had Drunken Noodles and Pineapple Fried Rice both with pork.  Both meals were made to accommodate my g-f request and both were extraordinarily good (if you know me you know I am not fond of Thai food) and perfect end of night snacks.  We took the remainder of the dishes back to the hotel, it was the perfect amount for breakfast before hitting the road to Medora, ND.

On the way to Medora we stopped for coffees and snacks at a Starbuck’s – finally able to have a Decaf Americano I opted to have a ‘Dream Bar’ (the krispy cereal/marshmallow treat). Our only other stop was at a local ice cream store.   It was a sweet treats morning!

When we arrived in Bismarck, ND our ‘google’ search led us again to a couple of steak and mexican places but we wanted something different so we chose The Walrus Restaurant

The place for beer – that is – unless you’re gluten-free:(

We shared a great Spinach Salad with bacon, chopped eggs, toasted pecans and a warm bacon dressing.  I chose the Grilled Local Walleye, it was a truly beautiful dish. Mark chose Jamaican Jerk wings (which he had been talking about all day) accompanied by a platter of fresh celery, carrots, and broccoli for dipping he declared this dish to be one of the best!  Mark had a local brewery beer but for me no beer here either – again – offering only Omission.

In the morning we hightailed it to the breakfast bar to enjoy fresh fruit, mixed nuts, yogurt and coffee.  Back on the road – destination – Minneapolis.  Which we skipped because traffic was a real nuisance. Instead we continued on the road to St. Paul, MN.  Upon arriving in St. Paul our search led us to an absolutely delightful area of St. Paul.  With a walking park tucked amongst the mix used buildings of retail, residential and offices – dedicated bike lanes along the curbs – outdoor sidewalk cafe dining for the many restaurants along the path.  We chose Barrio – yup – Mexican again. 

This Barrio is no relation to the CLE Barrio chain but restaurant was cute and inviting on this beautiful day, a great menu with lots of g-f options, but sadly no beer.  We had made to order guacamole, Tacos Carnitas and Steak, and Shredded Pork Tamales. No g-f beer offering but amazing Margaritas!  Reinvigorated for the drive on to Madison WI we hit the road again.

Our arrival in Madison brought us into the city along the lake just before sunset.  The park was filled with people walking, riding, trekking and hanging out.  It was quite a nice night to arrive.  Being tired we decided to check into the hotel, clean up and head to the dining room to see what we might find.  There was nothing really available that called to us so we instead opted to head to the next door Pub and check it out.  We ended up having popcorn for the final night of our road trip.  It was the perfect finish.  I did have to drink soda water with lime again but having popcorn made up for the loss of the beer.










Ask the Dietitian: Should there ever be an ‘s’ on the end of the word celiac?

Question: I often hear people (even health care professionals) say someone has celiac’s disease or just celiac’s. Which is correct, celiac disease or celiac’s disease? -Jen R.

Answer: Brilliant question, Jen! There is no ‘s’ on the end of the word celiac. The correct term is celiac disease. (Side note: The adjective celiac means relating to the abdomen.)

While we’re at it, many folks don’t like being referred to as “celiacs.” They are simply adults and kids who happen to have an autoimmune disorder called celiac disease. They don’t wish to be labeled as “celiacs” or be defined by their disease. In comparison, we don’t call people lupuses, anemics, MSers, cancers, osteoporotics, allergics, or rheaumatoids! Referring to people as “celiacs” and even to oneself as “a celiac” is a common practice within the CD community – and is certainly never meant to offend. However, I’ve heard from many whom it is does bother since their autoimmune disorder is only a part of them, not their preferred label or description. One little boy in my office explained that when people call him “a celiac,” it makes him feel like an alien.  🙁

Take home message: We should refrain from adding an ‘s’ to the word celiac. In both cases, as described above, it is either incorrect (no disorder by that name exists) or, at minimum, offensive to some (including the bright, articulate young man described above). The last thing we should ever want to do is cause any amount of pain to a young child with a genetic disorder because of the label we’ve assigned to him/her.

Trisha B. Lyons, RDN, LD

Dining Out G-F in NEO

May 2017

Club Isabella
Little Italy/University Circle/Uptown

Mariann writes:

While Club Isabella does not have a gluten-free menu my recent dining experience was quite pleasant.

I was offered three dishes from the menu that have no gluten component and for which the kitchen would modify the sides to accommodate my needs.  These included the Grilled Bone-in Ribeye, Braised Short-ribs, and Seared Scallops.  I chose the Braised Short-ribs and subbed out sweet potato puree and a side of roasted brussels sprouts.  

Everyone enjoyed their selections and mine was very good.  Chef/Owner, Fabio Mota, graciously visited out table after our meals were eaten and plates cleared to thank us for coming!   Sadly, my taste buds missed out on dessert, there is no g-f dessert option but since none of the diners chose dessert we all finished with an after dinner drink and coffee!

The dining room at Club Isabella is quite lovely and the restaurant was quiet on the evening we dined.  Club Isabella is a very nice option for an evening of Fine Dining which makes it a great location for dinner before Cleveland Orchestra events or to complement a trip to any of the University Circle museums including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Botanical Gardens, and the Cleveland Historical Society!


Thai Spice

Every few meetings of the NEOCN are scheduled as ‘Dinner With…..’ meetings.
Our most recent ‘Dinner With’ was Tuesday, May 2nd at Thai Spice.

Thai Spice has an extensive g-f menu (link above) and the 12 diners who gathered to share dinner together this month enjoyed a wide variety of selections including Curries, Pho, Summer Rolls, Pad Thai – chicken, shrimp and tofu, Tofu Triangles, and Lemon Grass, Coconut, and Glass noodle soups!

Our next ‘Dinner With…’ meeting is scheduled for November – the location is to be determined.  Past ‘Dinner With…’ events have brought us to The Oak Barrel in Independence, Melt in Rocky River, Melting Pot in Lyndhurst, Paladar in Woodmere, PF Chang’s in Beachwood, and Bomba Tacos in Rocky River.

News Notes and Things to Know!

May 2017,   Check out the news at


If you are not already familiar with Gluten Free Watchdog check out the webpage of founder Trisha Thompson, MS RD  here:

The GFW webpage has lots of public information for the Celiac and gluten-free community to stay informed.  But, GFW, also has a subscribers option that has Trisha Thompson’s ongoing research published.  The subscription cost will be going up soon so if you are interested in joining you can save on the monthly charge by registering now!  

GIG Gluten Intolerance Group – April 2017

Celebrate Gluten Free eMagazine

on facebook at –  gluten intolerance group

Each month the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) publishes a newsletter with tips and news for LIVING! gluten-free.  Included in each issue are coupons, recipes, nutrition information, news pieces and lifestyle tips.

The April edition lives up to GIG’s goals.  Among the numerous articles in the April issue you’ll find information on the Mediterranean Diet, and about eating Mexican, how to make healthy and safe choices at your favorite stadium/ballpark/arena, and how to modify your home kitchen to keep your space safe from cross contamination!




Ask the Dietitian: Do hops in beer contain gluten?

Question: This question is in regards to ngb Gluten Free Lager. Where does the hops come from, or maybe better stated, what it hops, exactly? I always thought it was from barley, which is, of course, not gluten free.

Answer: Thank you for your excellent question, Aston. You are certainly not the first person to think hops provide gluten to beer – it is a common misconception! In fact, hops are indeed gluten-free and not derived in any way from wheat, barley, or rye. Hops are actually flowers from a hop plant and they provide flavor and aroma to beer. (Similarly, many think it is caraway seeds in rye bread which are gluten-containing. Caraway seeds are also gluten-free and can be added to gluten-free bread to resemble what we think of as rye.) Enjoy your hops! 🙂

Trisha B. Lyons, RDN, LD

Thai Spice Restaurant Meeting Tuesday May 2

Join us for another of our restaurant meetings to enjoy gluten free food and discuss the gluten free lifestyle.  The May meeting will be held at Thai Spice in Westlake.  The address is 25099 Center Ridge Rd.  Phone number is, 440-835-9228.  They have a large selection of gluten free on their menu and can also make gluten free dishes upon request.  We will meet at 6:30 p.m.  You can browse the menu here

RSVP so we will know how many will be attending.

Happenings! Cafe Avalaun

Check out the updated webpage for Cafe Avalaun to learn about all ‘the happenings’ on the upcoming schedule!

Check out the Cafe along with the Friday Specialty Dinner schedules,

Check out the New List of Classes being offered – including cooking with kids options,

Check out the Fresh Meals Club – personal favorites of this writer’s family -Chicken Wings, Salisbury Steak, Roast Chicken, Cioppino, Sticky Ribs, Pork Chops, Duck Breast, Pork Tenderloin and Chicken Meatballs……  there’s so much to love:)

Progressive Field – CLE Indians Ballpark 2017

Accessed from the  Ballpark app

Scroll to Food & Beverage
Choose Special Dietary Needs
options include Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Kosher, Peanut-Free, Food Allergy Information
Choose Gluten Free – here’s the screen shot

NOTE:  previous post listed Section 156 but the correct Section is 153!

Enjoy your game fare and GO TRIBE!!


Dining Out G-F in NEO

April, 2017

Jilly’s Music Room   

NEOCN first published the link to Jilly’s Music Room back in Sept. 2014 when Jill contacted us to register as a presenter at our April 2015 Vendor Fair. I’m embarrassed to say that it took me almost two years before I ventured out to JMR to check out the menu and dine on-site.  JMR is 100% gluten-free!

What a wonderful surprise awaited us on a lovely Saturday afternoon!  We started with fried mushrooms and fried artichokes and then……

we followed up with a sampling of sliders,

Grilled brie, applewood smoked bacon, and fig jam.
Fried bologna with yellow mustard and pickle.
Tuna slider with field greens and vinaigrette.
Flank steak, roasted red pepper, cheese, and fig jam.

Ice cold Bard’s beer and this Saturday afternoon was a complete success.

JMR sits in an area of Akron that will be experiencing some real construction headaches in the coming months.  Like many areas of NEO.  Let this not deter you,  please!! —- RATHER —- make it a point to persevere and head there anyway.  You will be treated to amazing delectables and be providing a community service to a local shop that will need guests to make the effort for them.  Businesses struggle under our road construction projects so it is in our interest to go the extra mile or more!   You’ll be glad you made the trek.

In the past month the name of Astoria Market and Cafe came up in at least 3 different conversations.  How could I not be intrigued.  We headed out to Astoria on a Thursday evening after work and before heading back downtown to the theater.  Our arrival coincided with a private event going on at the cafe so we were considering turning around and heading back downtown but happily we continued to our destination.  The market portion includes Mediterranean specialty cheese and meat deli, coolers of beer, wines, and other beverages, freezers of frozen specialties and shelves of interesting dry goods. The cafe portion is spacious and comfortable with a staff that is attentive and welcoming.  It turns out that they have a separate party room so the cafe had lots of room for walk-in guests.  By the time we were served our meals all the tables in the cafe were filled.

The cafe menu is Tapas style but the big plates are generous and filling so there is something for everyone.

We shared a bowl of olives and started our meal with Avgolemono Chicken Soup with Rice – a classic Greek soup of chicken broth, egg yolks and lemon juice.
Following the soup we shared Stuffed Grape Leaves – some of the best I have ever eaten!
I did not choose an entrée this night because I was full from the hearty soup and grape leaves.
But my husband, who does not require a g-f diet, chose an entrée of Ricotta Ravioli and Meatballs.  He declared the dish ‘amazing’.

Dine. Sip. Shop. Chill.  This is the motto of Astoria and they are doing a great job of making it happen.  Check it out.   

If you’ve been following my posts you know that I go to The Fairmount in Cleveland Hts. a lot!  There are many good reasons for going – the location, the food, the beer (Bard’s), the phenomenal staff!! the great atmosphere, the outdoor patio, the camaraderie and energy!  All I really want to share here, this month, is the picture of my recent burger.  Because this burger was plated with such care it was presented as a piece of art!  And, every dish that is presented at The Fairmount will leave you feeling that your meal was made special for you!

NEWS NOTES and things to KNOW!

Progressive Field 2017  

As of the date of this newsletter we do not have the complete list of stands at Progressive Field but we do have at least one stand visited on opening week!  In section 156 – out on the main concourse, next to the fan services office, a dedicated gluten-free stand where you can get hot dogs on buns, burgers on buns, Redbridge beer, some packaged snacks but, as of this week, no pretzels in sight.

   Here’s the GREAT crew who was manning the stand this week!

They were gracious and helpful even while they were challenged with frozen buns they were trying desperately to get thawed out for a long line of guests.  I’d like to see the stand offer bags of chips and I also heard guests asking for popcorn.  The need to travel all over the stadium in search of things to eat becomes ever more challenging if you have wait a long time for the line and the buns to thaw.

If you go to the game and stop in at the stand follow up with a message to the vendor and fan services. Let them know about your experience so that they can address issues AND/OR post your comments here and we’ll follow up.

As always, civility and polite requests are most welcome:)

Have Fun, Enjoy your Eats, and GO TRIBE!!

…….AND check out the discussion from on making your best choices for adult beverages!


IN THE NEWS:  Is a virus sparking our genetic predisposition to CD?

    Help!!  I’ve been glutened:(



Cleveland’s First G-F Craft Beer.


Recently we had a guest to our site reach out asking for information on dining out recommendations for another city.  Because we have not been keeping a log of all our travels we can only offer as suggestions the tools we have used in the past while traveling.

Here are some sites you can look to for assistance on your travels! the name of the city you are interested in searching. the name of the city you are interested in searching.

Comments about Dining Out G-F in NEO

Last month (March 2017) in my ‘Dining Out…’ post I shared the pleasure of my experience with having a g-f pancake breakfast at The Original Pancake House.  After the newsletter hit the email circuit I received an email criticism for writing that post.  I’m not sharing the original post titled ‘Concerned in Cleveland’ because the author of the post chose to use both an anonymous name and contact information leaving me no ability to respond directly. Still, it occurs to me that the ‘concern’ of one individual may reflect the concerns of others who did not write so I want to make sure I share with those following the posts at this site.

One of the points made in the email message was with regards to possible cross contamination due to the prevalence of airborne traditional flour from the mixing of the traditional batter.  While this is always a possibility – in any traditional restaurant – that is a point we must each be aware of when making our choices.  There is no reason to assume that a pancake house has any more airborne particles than any other traditional restaurant kitchen. Airborne flour in a bakery or pizza kitchen would be a concern for me due to the potential of this to happen with the rolling and flouring of the products being produced.  For me, I have not witnessed any activity at the pancake house that gives me reason to believe that ‘flour is all over the place’.  In any kitchen, cross contamination can happen with use of pans, utensils, plates, ovens, toasters, hands, crumbs, etc.  Again, as I have previously posted – Always be your own advocate.  If something from the kitchen doesn’t seem o.k. – question it!  Share your needs with your server, if the server does not seem interested or knowledgeable talk with the manager.  Understand that any kitchen that is not g-f dedicated will have higher need for your diligence.

If you have not already seen our Tips to Dining Out page – check it out here

The dining out post also brought us comments from guests with suggestions for additional restaurants to try and suggestions for already posted restaurants to be modified and updated.  This is a project we will be working on moving forward. AND, we have received information about a new gluten-free beer soon to be introduced from one of our very own local brew houses – Sibling Revelry!  More on that in the coming months:)

So, stay posted for information every month to keep yourself connected.  And consider coming to a meeting or to one of “Dinner With…..” member planned events.






More to Say on G-F Beer…….

It’s March!  The month of St. Patrick’s celebrations! And, what is St. Patrick’s day without the opportunity to share beers with friends? And, lots of strangers too!  But, if you have CD you may be finding that all of the places you like to gather don’t have any offerings for you to enjoy.
It’s a bummer.  Plain and Simple and Irritating.  
While I was cruising information sites today in search of news on G-F beers I came across this post (link below) from GLUTENDUDE.COM that somehow I missed previously.  So, I thought I’d share it up here.

At the same time I’m asking the community of friends to our website to share where they are finding their favorite G-F beers in their neighborhood bars and restaurants so that we can create a guide list/map to assist us all in our search!

I’ll start us off with what I know….        

The Fairmount in Cleveland Hts., Cedar Hill area, offers Bard’s
Harvest Kitchen in Solon offers Bard’s and also has Glutenberg listed on their menu.
Jilly’s Music Room in Akron offers Bard’s
Skye Bistro in Mentor offers Redbridge
Lopez on Lee in Cleveland Hts. offers Green’s

Additionally, I’d like to shout out to all our readers to open a discussion with their thoughts about how we can promote more establishments to offer legitimate G-F beers to their guests.  Petitions, phone calls, personal requests when dining, letters, emails, notes left at your table???  Any others!


Cafe Avalaun – News, Notes, and Events

Looking for a Lenten Fish Fry ? You have two more opportunities to indulge in the Friday Fish Dinners –  March 17th and March 31st.

Usborne Books Story Time – Thursday, March 23

The cooking classes at Cafe Avalaun have become one of the popular offerings on the events calendar.  They sell out fast so make sure you get your reservation in if you are interested in what’s coming up…..

Anti Inflammatory – Sunday, April 9th and April 30th
Thai Favorites – Sunday, April 23th

Every week you’ll receive:
2 portions of 3 paleo style dinners based on your 3 choices. 
Typically each meal consist of a 6 ounce of locally sourced Free range/grass-fed protein and about 2 cups (approx 10 oz) of 2 sides per meal.
Some meals are more like a one pot wonder with a side salad. 

Philomena Bake Shop at Phoenix Coffee – Coventry

When your next trip to Coventry Village in Cleveland Hts. guides you to have breakfast/lunch/dinner at Tommy’s, browse books at Mac’s Backs, grab a laugh at Big Fun, check out music at Record Revolution, consignment share or get a haircut/tattoo/piercing make sure to leave yourself time for a stop at Phoenix Coffee!  The pastry case now carries baked goods from Philomena Bake Shop.

Today’s options included 3 varieties of cookies – Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Sugar, and Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk as well as 2 muffin options – Sweet Potato Fudge and Apple Streusel.



Minus – G Baked Goods at Starfish and Coffee – Painesville

Starfish and Coffee in Painesville, OH

coffee / tea
crystals / incense
jewelry / accessories
chill / engage

Cute little coffee shop with FLAIR!!

Offering pour over coffees, teas and packaged baked goods from Minus-G

More……Making Choices for Beer on a G-F Diet

Mariann writes:  This repost contains additional comments to update the information on G-F VS. G-reduced beers….

And THIS is Why You Should NEVER Drink Gluten-Removed Beer!


“Gluten-Removed” Beer May Be Unsafe for People with Celiac Disease

{Watch the Webinar} Gluten-Free vs. Gluten-Removed Beer: A Study

Recently the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) ran a study comparing the reactions of individuals, based on Celiac Antibody results, following the consumption of gluten-reduced beers vs. gluten-free beers.

What led to this research being done is the concern that current testing methods being used by manufacturers of gluten-reduced beers are not sufficient for measuring the existence of proteins following the various processes that are being used in the manufacture of these gluten-reduced beers.

The testing results indicated the there are some reactions to gluten-reduced beers.  These reactions are as varied as the individuals included in the study. What is not certain is what triggers the reactions and so further testing will be needed to confirm the findings.

At this point the final analysis of the study was to issue a statement that gluten-removed beers may be unsafe for people with CD.

You can read the statement from GIG at the above link.

Dining Out G-F in NEO

March, 2017.

The nice weather of February was a welcome respite from our typical windy deep freeze with piles of snow and icy streets. This early ‘spring teaser’ allowed for ease of travel and increased dining out opportunities! Never one to shy away from gathering around a table with friends and family I can report that I made the best of the invites!  From breakfast to dinner and late night snacks there was much to appreciate.

I had the opportunity to dine at both locations of Original Pancake House this past month.  It is such a treat to be able to order pancakes with a bacon and eggs breakfast!  At one of the breakfasts I tried the Bacon Pancakes instead of having the bacon and eggs. They were super but I’ll confess that I missed my eggs.  For some reason I’ve missed the pancake options on the menu in earlier visits but I noted this past time that there are options for blueberry, strawberry, bacon, chocolate chip….. I asked if they would do the g-f pancakes as ‘Pigs in the Blanket’ option and was assured that they could do that as well. I didn’t have them on this visit but……… next time:)  Oh yeah, and don’t neglect to get yourself a frequent dining punch card.  I only just found out about this feature and am now one punch towards a free pancake breakfast:)

This months dining out included two visits to Skye Bistro in Mentor – MENTOR’S BEST KEPT SECRET

As is often the case for those of us needing a g-f diet the option of where to dine will often fall to us.  I was thrilled to choose Skye Bistro for its large selection of gluten-free options that accommodate a g-f diet.  The regular menu options offered in g-f preparation were varied in all categories, apps/salads/entrees/sides/and desserts! They even offer Redbridge – a Budweiser brew that is a fully g-f beer! The dining room is comfortable, the staff is skilled and attentive. On my first visit this month a family celebration brought us to dinner. I was thrilled to have the options of Crispy Calamari and Shrimp Tempura from the appetizer menu – by adding one of the entree style salads I rounded out my dinner options.  On my second visit to Skye our server was Steve, who is friendly and knowledgeable and who has been a part of the Skye staff for it’s many transformations.  I chose to start with Beet Salad with maple dijon dressing on the side. The salad was perfect! It is a large salad, as it is an entree salad, but it fit perfectly with my entree choice.  The evening of our visit the special options for the evening included Fish and Chips which were offered in a g-f option. The fish was excellent, the kettle chips crisp and perfectly salted.   My meal was accompanied by an ice cold Redbridge beer.  My fellow diner enjoyed the Seared Scallop entree with a side green beans and almonds.  We finished our meal by sharing a chocolate dessert that was just lovely!

I’ve written about Harvest Kitchen in previous posts at our site but I really cannot stress enough how much I appreciate the menu, the preparation and the service of Harvest Kitchen staff!  Truly, it is the best kept secret in Solon.  This month my husband and I celebrated our 37th Anniversary and we chose Harvest as our destination to celebrate.  I am so very grateful for the opportunity to enjoy the bountiful offerings at Harvest and include in my selections a cold Bard’s beer.  On this particular evening the kitchen was offering a range of special menu items – three of which were gluten-free including Poutine and Duck Confit.  So, what can I say, if you ever dine with me you know that I adore Poutine (which is nearly impossible to access in a g-f version in Cleveland) and I always order Duck Confit when it is available to me.  This was a dilemma easily solved – I ordered both!  My husband, who is ever so gracious when it comes to dining within the confines of my g-f diet, shared the Poutine with me as an appetizer! Solution realized – I was able to fully enjoy the Duck Confit served with brussels sprouts and an amazingly flavorful rice preparation.  Tim chose the Hangar Steak (very rare and perfectly prepared and also a g-f menu option) served with a side of asparagus.  While we were definitely full enough we decided to indulge in dessert and shared the g-f waffle with salted caramel gelato.  The entire meal was extraordinary!  Just to note: the third option for the specials selections for the evening was a Pan Seared Trout accompanied with rapini.

As I’ve mentioned before, but which is never out of date to mention, always be your own advocate in every dining out setting.  Make your needs clear and ask about anything you are not sure of!  

Let’s Cook! Lemon Curd Cake

Note from the Chef:

I’ve made this cake twice now, both times with excellent flavor.
The first time I made the cake a day ahead, cooled it and refrigerated it overnight, so when I served the cake the curd was beautifully set and the cake nice and spongelike.  
The second time I made the cake I was cleaning up the kitchen and just by habit I inverted the cake to the serving dish.  I figured it would finish cooling as it sat, plus I wanted a slice – NOW!
Ooooops!  The curd layer on top was still hot and not sufficiently set –
whoa! that was a mess.  It was still delicious – but very messy!  
So, if you want to serve this cake in slices, allow the cake its cooling time and you will be happy you did!

Lemon Curd Cake
g-f adaptation by Chef Mariann

3 large eggs, separated
1 cup whole milk
2 organic lemons
zested to yield 2 tsp.
juiced to yield 6 Tbl.
2 Tbl. butter, unsalted and melted
1/4 tsp salt
6 T g-f flour blend
1 cup sugar
Fresh berries and confectioner’s sugar to top

You will need:
6 – 6oz ramekins OR1 – 8 inch fluted cake pan – lightly buttered.
9×13 baking pan and water.

Preheat oven to 350.

Set the baking rack to the middle of the oven.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar.

Add the flour/sugar mixture to the egg mixture.

Whisk until smooth.

In the bowl of electric mixer, beat the egg whites to form soft peaks.

Spoon 1/4 of the soft egg whites to the batter and whisk to smooth.

Using a rubber spatula, add the remainder of the egg whites to the batter, folding in gently to combine.

The batter will be light and foamy and liquidy.

Gently transfer the batter to the prepared baking dishes which will be filled to the top.  

Place the baking dish into the 9×13 pan on the oven shelf and add water to the 9×13 pan.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes – cake top will be puffy and lightly golden.

When done baking remove the baking dishes to a rack to cool.

Some sinking of the cake will occur during cooling but allow the cake to cool in the pan(s).

Ramekins can be served warm, as is, from the cups topped with berries, confectioner’s sugar or whipped cream.  If baked in the fluted pan, after cooling completely, invert the pan to a serving plate and serve with choice of toppings.

This recipe has been adapted to be gluten-free by Chef Mariann.  – original recipe by Chef Jenn Segall from Once Upon a Chef.

Let’s Cook! Making Stocks

recipe by Chef Mariann

For a basic stock, you will need:

a large pot or dutch oven with a lid

water  – 12 cups/3 quarts
celery – a full head
onion  – one large or two medium
carrots – 6/8 
     other vegetable options – garlic, fennel, parsnips,                                                       leeks, shallots
fresh thyme and parsley – 6/8 stalks of each
bay leaves (2)
peppercorns (6)

To the soup pot, on low heat, add the water.

Rinse and trim all vegetables to remove any sandy parts or damaged parts…… 

Remove the bottom of the head of celery  and discard.
Trim the stalks of any damaged parts – rough chop the stalks, include the leaves and add to the pot.

Trim the tops from the carrots, discard or save for other uses – scrub them clean, rough chop the carrots, add to the pot.

Remove the skin from the onion, rough chop, add to the pot.

Add the herbs to the pot.

Cover the pot and allow the stock to simmer about an hour to an hour and a half.  Vegetables will be tender and limp when done.

When done: remove the solids from the pot.  *Strain the hot stock into separate containers to allow it to cool before storing in the fridge or freezer.  I freeze in quart size containers.  If you like you can freeze in cup size or even ice cube trays for smaller recipe uses.

*NOTE:  You should be storing the stock in the fridge within two hours of taking it off the heat.  I ladle it into separate 6 cup glass baking dishes to allow it to cool faster.  

When I want a protein based stock I will add to the pot, along with the vegetables, the remains of a couple of roasted chickens, or a ham bone, or beef soup bones that I get from the butcher and roast to use in the stock.   I save the chicken bones after roasting whole chickens and reserving the meat for other dishes.  The bones are bagged and frozen for use when I am ready to make a stock.  This recipe could use two reserved chickens or a single ham bone from a 12 lb. ham or 5-6 beef soup bones.

Increase the simmering time to 2-3 hours or more for the protein based stocks – the longer you can simmer them – some chefs simmer them for 24 plus hours – the better for flavor and nutrient values.  


Let’s Cook! Polenta Soup

Polenta Soup – 4 servings
adaptation by Chef Mariann

6 cups of your favorite stock
I used ham stock (stock recipe posted at site)
1/2 cup ground cornmeal
1 can chickpeas
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1 head of escarole well rinsed and chopped to bite size pieces
(you can sub other favorite greens like kale or spinach)
salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot or dutch oven, over medium heat, bring the stock to a simmer.

Sprinkle the cornmeal into the hot stock whisking to combine so that the cornmeal does not clump.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the chickpeas to the pot and gently whisk the cheese into the pot.

Add the greens to the pot (or place the greens in your serving bowl and serve hot soup over the raw greens to allow them to lightly wilt)

Simmer an additional 10 minutes to heat everything through.

Serve with your favorite g-f crackers or bread.

This recipe has been adapted from Edible Cleveland Magazine
original recipe and food styling by Melissa McClelland
Winter 2016

New Event: Cooking Classes at Cafe Avalaun!

Chef Brian writes:

Classes at Cafe Avalaun has been a dream of mine for some time. We envision all types of educational opportunities to develop. Why I want to do this is simple; build community through sharing information and ideas for the good of all. Our first class on Feb 26th is all about Anti-inflammatory dietary guidelines. A primer for this powerful lifestyle change that is easier than you think! This dietary focus was the turning point for Chef Brian and his wife Jennifer when we embarked on our journey towards better health. The other class we have on the calendar is a lecture/demo on transitioning to a Paleo style diet on 3/12. 

OH! BTW, we have a really fun kids story time in partnership with Usborne books. Registration is free and managed by Usborne. Here is the eventbrite

And here is the FB event

Dining Out G-F in NEO

I cook at home every day so it’s pretty amazing how much dining out I did over the past eight weeks.  Happily most of my experiences have resulted in great meals.  There were some little glitches along the way – mostly due to my personal dining quirks but on the whole I, and the rest of my party, was pleased.

Pura Vida – Euclid Ave. Downtown CLE 

Pura Vida is a frequent ‘go to’ place when our family is in town as it provides a nice selection of options covering all dietary issues.  Our group typically includes traditional diners, gluten-free diners, vegetarian, and/or vegan – sometimes these overlap.  We like the creative menu at Pura Vida, the range of options, their care of preparation, the bar and wine menu and the dessert options.  Sadly they no longer offer a g-f beer option.  For this dining experience I enjoyed the Butternut Squash Bisque, the Simple Salad and the Braised Beef Short Rib.  Our table shared Brussels Sprouts and Fingerling Potatoes both g-f options.  To finish I had the house made marshmallow gelato !

Harvest Kitchen – Solon    

There are a multitude g-f options to choose from on the ‘Winter’ Harvest Kitchen Menu. Options change with season so there is always something new and appealing being offered.  This winter I have enjoyed sharing with my table mates the Artisinal Cheese Platter (bring your own crackers), Oysters, Kale Salad, and the Hot Peppers.  My entree selections have included the Burger (minus the bun), Hangar Steak and the Grilled Rain Crow Ranch Pork Chop.  With these dishes the diner chooses two sides among the many offerings including roasted carrots or asparagus, brussels sprouts, cheddar grits, and spaghetti squash.  On one of the nights we dined the special was sauteed rapini, a favorite!

It is important to note that the kitchen preparation is traditional – not fully g-f so please be your own advocate and discuss your needs with your server.  My experience has been positive in their attention to detail.

Barroco Grill – Lakewood

This was our first time dining at Barroco.  One of our house guests found Barroco after an on-line search for Arepas.  After a call to the restaurant confirmed that gluten-free options are available we headed over to do a test run on the menu.  We were not disappointed.  Our choices included guacamole, a vegetarian version of the cheese dip, Arepas Mexicana, Arepas Burger, Vegetable filled Arepa, savory plantains and sweet plantains, yucca fries, and really great margaritas.  If I remember correctly they do not offer a true gluten-free beer on the menu.  The restaurant is pretty tiny but the back patio is enclosed and heated and we were comfortable.  The guitarist playing background music added to the festive atmosphere without being overwhelming to conversation.

Anatolia Cafe – Cleveland Hts.

Before this past December my last visit to Anatolia was about 2011.  At the time I was struggling to eat in restaurants because of my g-f requirement and while I was able to cobble together a meal at Anatolia it was not very g-f friendly or knowledgeable.  All that has changed in the past 6 years.  Anatolia was recommended to me recently by someone who was dining there, saw a the notations on the menu of g-f options and thought about my needs.  To start our party of four shared hummus, bean salad, stuffed grape leaves and olives with feta cheese.  Entrees included Lamb Adana, Stuffed Eggplant, Okra and Lamb, Stuffed Cabbage, Vegetarian Stew and Falafel.  Rice was served on the side to accompany my g-f tastings.  The consensus around the table was that each dish was wonderful.   Our server was knowledgeable and attentive.  While everyone enjoyed their cocktails I had to be satisfied with my club soda and lime since there is no g-f beer option on the menu.  The next time I dine there however I will ask them to allow me to cross the street and bring some beer from The Wine Spot.  If that is not an option, we’ll get our dinners to go and eat them at The Wine Spot so I can have my Bard’s with dinner.

The Fairmount – Cleveland Hts.

The cold Bard’s (g-f) beer offered at The Fairmount is just one of the many reasons to dine there if you have g-f dietary needs where one of those needs includes beer!  The staff is welcoming, helpful, and super friendly.  The food is amazing!  Some of my favorite menu items to start include the cast iron brussels sprouts, cheese and meat platters (bring your crackers or order an accompanying g-f flat bread), numerous options for salads (add a protein).  For entrees I like the flatiron steak (no frites – no dedicated fryer), grilled lamb lollipops, The Fairmount’s amazing burger (no bun – lettuce wrap available), tacos in corn tortilla (or lettuce wrap), and g-f flatbread options round out the menu!

Once again, as is really always the case, make yourself known to the staffer serving you so that they can address your personal needs! ADVOCATE for you:)  

Lopez on Lee – Cleveland Hts.

Ahhhhh,  Mexican!!  What can I say —- I love mexican food maybe best of all options and Lopez offers some truly amazing delectables.  You can get a frosty cold bottle of Green’s beer or a margarita to accompany your guacamole, chips, and escabeche!  Try the escabeche – ‘pickly’ vegetables – just the right amount of crispness and tartness!  Start with shrimp and grits or charred caesar salad (other salads too) and continue on with g-f options among the tacos, fajitas, or Big Plates.

Flying Fig – Ohio City, Cleveland west side

I was so excited to dine at Flying Fig.  We were meeting up with an amazing group of people we had not seen for awhile and everyone except me had been to dine there previously and loved it!  I made the reservation, inquired about g-f options and was assured that the kitchen at FF could accommodate.  It was suggested I let my server know what I was interested in having so that he could assist my choices.  Unfortunately, the server was not well informed about this before hand nor was he very knowledgeable in the needs.  As it turned out the accommodations included my being able to order a burger without a bun, a steak or the grilled salmon.   This was unexpected and disappointing but I figured it was coming from the kitchen of FF and would be one of the best of each of those options that I’d ever eat.  Well, not so much.  I chose the burger (no bun).  My burger was served on the plate with wimpy lettuce, cheese and bacon. Since I could not have fries I ordered a couple of sides that are indicated on the menu as g-f.  What was most disappointing to me was the lack of presentation to the dish.  Given the care and lovely presentations given to all the dishes presented to our table I assumed that they would at the very least attend to the dish they were serving me too. I was wrong.

Paladar – Woodmere

Paladar has been providing for the needs of g-f diners practically since opening – if not from the very beginning.  For as long as I have been choosing Paladar as an option it has never failed to provide tasty options. Service at Paladar has also always been remarkable and the atmosphere of the dining room is bustling.  There is not a beer option (not for lack of my promoting it) but I enjoy their margaritas and caipirinhas – or just club soda with lime.  Paladar has a separate menu for their g-f offerings with starters, sides, soups, salads, tacos, and entrees. You can dine at Paladar for Brunch, Lunch, Dinner and Happy Hour.

Because Paladar does not have a dedicated fryer the chips for the guacamole are off limits – but the veggie plate is a great option to accommodate.  

Tommy’s on Coventry

At Tommy’s the fare is hearty and healthy with just a bit of indulgence thrown in for good measure – try the unbelievably amazing fries and milkshakes.  Tommy’s offers breakfast items (til 11:00 daily, later on Sat. and Sun.)  There is a g-f bread option available for wonderful grilled cheese sandwiches and BLT’s.  The burgers are phenomenal as are the falafel.  And, did I mention the fries and the milkshakes?

At Tommy’s the kitchen takes great care in the preparation of the g-f options but it is a shared kitchen – advocate, advocate, advocate – let them know you needs. Their disclaimer does not state ‘gluten-free’ rather it reads that care is taken but that they consider their menu items to be ‘gluten sensitive’.  

Cafe Avalaun – Warrensville Hts.  

The Fresh Meals Program at Cafe Avalaun rounds out my weekly meal planning.  With Fresh Meals you order ahead for meals that are prepared and packaged with instructions on heating and serving at home.  Your order will provide you with 2 portions of three options. Orders are due by Fridays at 5:00 and ready for pickup after noon on Tuesdays. Chef Brian Doyle is now offering a monthly menu where you pick 3 of about 10 entree options.  This past week we picked up Cioppino (italian seafood stew), Roasted Chicken with roasted garlic cauliflower mashers, and Pork Chops with chili whipped sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. At Cafe Avalaun there are also Friday ‘pop-up’ dinners that are offered with a theme that varies from the typical everyday menu.  Some of the Friday options that have been offered include Burger Night, Italian Night, Chinese Night, Southern Fried Night, Pizza Night and more!!

Cafe Avalaun has a fully gluten-free kitchen – no gluten ever – where they also accommodate vegan, dairy-free, nut-free, and soy free diners.


Vote For Your Favorite Gluten Free Menu

The “Best of” team is on the hunt for the best gluten-free menu in the Greater Cleveland area and needs your help to crown the winner.

The first round of voting will take place between now and Nov. 14 at 5 p.m.

Five restaurants will move on to the second and final round which will run from Nov. 15 at 10 a.m. through Nov. 21 at 10 a.m.

Here’s a link to the ballot:

Pamela’s Products

Post by Mariann:

Last week I decided to clean out my pantry – getting excited about and contemplating the upcoming baking season it was time for an inventory.  There wasn’t much in there to contemplate except for a couple of packages of things I never used last holiday season – things like corn syrup, raisins and some holiday sprinkles.

What I did have was a bag of Pamela’s Pancake and Baking Mix left from my daughter’s last visit home in June, a variety of chocolate chips – white, dark and milk, dark brown sugar and some flaked coconut left from a recent catering gig.  I also knew that I had some walnuts in the freezer from said same gig so it seemed pretty clear I should mix up some chocolate chip cookies!  Having never used the Pamela’s Baking Mix for such an endeavor and not feeling in the mood to experiment I jumped on-line to the Pamela’s site (above) to see what the options might be for pulling off a batch of cookies.  The recipe was listed under the Baking and Pancake Mix option and the cookies that came from this recipe were one of the best chocolate chip cookies we have ever made.  Full disclosure on our cookie preferences – we are crispy cookie family and these were crispy good!

I love that there are a vast number of recipes at the webpage allowing for searches by product, meals, ingredients, dietary needs, Holiday etc.  As well there are tips for baking, how-to’s, and informative videos!!   A treasure trove of options.

In the past I have used and been a fan of the All-Purpose Artisan Flour Blend and I have found it to be a great product.  My children, who enjoy pancakes and waffles love the Baking and Pancake Mix for the obvious use but also for making scones, muffins, dumplings, and biscuits.  A favorite in our house is our ‘Tailgate Biscuit’ that includes browned and crumbled Italian sausage and Fontina cheese.

There are lots of products on the market.  Many claim a one-for- one use.  I have never found one that I can use in such a fashion so unless you are interested in running test kitchen on your ingredients (which we do lots of in our kitchen but I’m a Chef so test kitchen is my daily hobby) this site is a great place to get the basic recipe and then you can modify to suit your family’s tastes. With the costs of g-f ingredients what they are this is a super helpful way to avoid waste and failed options.


Study of Allergen Advisory Statements

Gluten Free Watchdog, with the coauthorship of our own Dietitian Advisor Trisha Lyons RD. LD., has recently published the study “Allergen Advisory Statements for Wheat: NOT a Useful Predictor of Gluten Content”.

Gluten Free Watchdog statement.

You can read the full text of the article.

In the US, allergen advisory statements (“Made in a facility that also processes wheat” and similar) are voluntary and are not currently defined by any federal regulation.

What this study found is that products that have warning statements such as “May contain wheat” or “Made in a facility with wheat” might be without gluten and just fine to eat. On the other hand, the lack of a statement did not mean that a product was free of gluten.

Cafe Avalaun Friday Night Specials

Warrensville Heights

4640 Richmond Road
Suite 200
Warrensville Heights, Ohio 44128
(216) 245-6666
If you have not had the opportunity to make it to Cafe Avalaun for the Friday Night Special Dinners you are missing the best fully g-f fare and allergen friendly fare in NEOhio!!  The spring fish fries were amazing.  Burger nights a blast. Southern Fried, oh so tasty and tantalizing,  just the right amount of spice. Everyday there are lots of great options at the Cafe for your breakfast, lunch and dinner options but the Friday Night Specials really offer the chance to sample up some really tasty treats!!

Italian Night
Friday, Dec. 16th
Preorder for pickup OR call now to make your reservations!–events/italian-night-121316
Mark your calendar and then get your reservation in!

Target Halloween Allergen Guide 2016

Found a display in the Halloween candy area of Target with a tear off sheet titled: 2016 Halloween Allergen Guide. Click the link to see the guide at the Target website.

The Guide states: “The allergens listed for the 2016 candy items below have been confirmed by our manufacturers, and listed in their ingredient statement.”

The items are separated into 3 categories: those free of listed allergens (milk, soy, egg, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, gluten), those which contain milk and/or soy (but no gluten), and those free of gluten (with no designation of other allergens).

Shopping for (and enjoying) Halloween candy will definitely be easier this year.

Thanks, Target!!!!!!!!

Ask the Dietitian: Eating Gluten-Free While in Hospital

Question: I have to stay at [a local hospital overnight and they are not very helpful with gluten free options. I was told I have to pick food off the regular menu. I can’t believe a hospital does not have gf food. Suggestions? Thanks.

Answer: Thank you for writing with this excellent question. Patients who require a gluten-free diet should certainly be able to eat safely & nutritiously while in the hospital, of all places! Here are some suggestions:

1) Contact an inpatient clinical dietitian or food service supervisor at the hospital to discuss your medical dietary needs (Is it safe to assume you have celiac disease?) Please explain that your diet is not a choice but rather the sole treatment for your autoimmune disease.
2) While the hospital may not offer specialized GF items such as bread or pasta, they do serve numerous foods which happen to be naturally gluten-free. If they have not done so already, they should identify those foods and provide a detailed list from which you and future patients can select.
3) If your inpatient stay will last longer than a few days (during which time you should expect to receive variety and balanced, nutritious meals), the dietary department may wish to consider providing frozen GF entrees for increased variety as a simple, short-term solution.
4) Please ask how the hospital handles allergies (e.g. allergy wrist band?) While you technically do not have an allergy, this type of flag will raise awareness when hospital staff is providing food and medication.
5) Speaking of meds, please notify the nursing staff and pharmacy of your gluten restriction.
6) If something does not “look” or seem right, please inquire. Humans make mistakes. If a staff member quickly dismisses your concern, ask to speak with a supervisor or chef.
7) Lastly, you may be able or even encouraged to bring in your own food. While you may choose this option, it should certainly not be a necessity.

All hospitals should be able to meet the medical dietary needs of their patients. Best wishes to you.

Trisha B. Lyons, RDN

Las Vegas mini trip

My husband and I recently attended a niece’s wedding in Las Vegas – just a ‘mini trip’ of about 3 days. Who knew Las Vegas had so very much to offer.
My gluten- free diet needs were easily and deliciously accommodated in 3 venues:
‘The Buffet’ restaurant Excalibur Hotel/Casino, where the maître d’ summoned the chef who walked the buffet (including 3 gluten-free cake varieties) with us. The chef mentioned that he will be adding gluten-free labeling to the buffet soon. This became our go-to place for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Buddy V Ristorante located in The Venetian Hotel/Casino provided a helpful maître d’ and a wonderful Italian meal with gluten-free pasta.
Mandalay Bay Hotel/Casino’s House of Blues restaurant actually had an extensive gluten-free menu. Another delicious, safe meal there.
So, if these 3 venues are indicative of eating gluten-free in Las Vegas, no worries!
In addition to eating well and socializing, in those few short days we managed to visit Red Rock Canyon, the Grand Canyon (western edge) and the Hoover Dam – all of which were spectacular sites.
If you find yourself visiting Las Vegas, my advice to you is to eat well and enjoy as much of the area as you can – it is well worth the trip (mini or otherwise).

Survey of GF College Students

NECO (New England Celiac Organization) is doing a survey of GF college students and recent grads to find out what schools are doing well and where there is room for improvement.

The survey will be open for the month of April. They are giving away three iPad Minis to randomly selected respondents who complete the survey.

Consider passing this link along to the GF college student in your life.

The Celiac Project Podcast: 2 Guys Talking Gluten Free

Are you a podcast lover? Here’s one to try. And if you don’t listen to podcasts you don’t know what you’re missing!

The 1st episode of “The Celiac Project Podcast: 2 Guys Talking Gluten Free” is now available for free on iTunes.

I was able to subscribe in my phone’s podcast app by adding their podcast feed url.

This first episode introduces director of “The Celiac Project” Michael Frolichstein discussing celiac disease and navigating a gluten free lifestyle with fellow comrade and celiac, Cam Weiner.

I liked the easy, back and forth exchange. They are clearly knowledgeable about celiac disease and living gluten free and want to share their insights. I also like the fact that these guys are different ages and at different stages from diagnosis. Plus, they are guys. As they point out, so often celiac disease and the gluten free lifestyle have a female-centric focus. Is there a gender difference? Look forward to finding out.

Free GIG Membership

The GIG (Gluten Intolerance Group) has announced that membership is now free.

You can read more and sign up here.

From their website:


Welcome to GIG!

Since 1974, the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG) has been fulfilling the needs of the gluten-free community. From providing local support through one of our many Branch locations, to gathering educational information for those who are newly diagnosed and seeking answers; GIG is the trusted resource for thousands worldwide living gluten-free. In addition to our community outreach, GIG also provides access to safe food options you can trust through our pioneering certification programs; the Gluten Free Certification Program (GFCO), with over 29,000 products certified worldwide, and the Gluten Free Food Service (GFFS) Certification Program, with over 2,900 restaurants and food service locations certified in the U.S.

We invite you to join GIG now for free, and become part of an organization dedicated to serving and empowering the gluten-free community. GIG has eliminated our annual membership dues to extend our outreach and resources to everyone in our gluten-free community and beyond.

What does being a member of GIG mean to you? As a thank you for your decision to become a National member, we want to offer you not only the same resources and information that you expect from our organization, but also new premiums that benefit you directly. You can expect benefits to include, but not be limited to, the following:

A welcome letter with $65 to $100 of incentives for gluten-free products and services as our thank you for becoming a GIG member

Reliable news and information regarding gluten-free related research, experiences, products and services

Promotional opportunities with other gluten-free media sources

Coupon offers for gluten-free products from some of our favorite vendors

Priority consideration for GF camp scholarships

Access to our new e-publication

Becoming a member strengthens GIG by confirming your support of GIG’s education, social and food safety programs

Much, much more!

To sign up and become a GIG member, please go to and use only your e-mail address to start receiving your premium incentives. Your first round of coupons and benefits will be included in the welcome letter e-mailed directly to you. You may also sign up to become a member in the footer of our home page at

Again, welcome to the GIG family! We look forward to bringing you the latest and greatest of our gluten-free world in the weeks, months and years to come.

Chris Rich

VP of Development

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness Changes Its Name

As of January 11, 2016, The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) will now be called Beyond Celiac.  Along with CDF and CSA,  the NFCA has been one of the leading national voices for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Why the change in name? Alice Bast, founder, feels that without advocacy and action, awareness alone is not enough. We have to go beyond. We must aim for a cure and she has set her goal high for results by 2025.

Why is Alice Bast such a determined advocate for the celiac community? Because she doesn’t want others to suffer as she did. For 8 years
she endured countless miscarriages. When her youngest daughter was born weighing only 2 pounds, she made it her mission to get answers.
23 doctors later she finally got a diagnosis. Her conclusion? Awareness in the medical community as well as in the public was sorely needed. No one should go through what she did. And she knows her dramatic story is not the only celiac story.

Since its inception, NFCA has become the “go to” website for support programs especially for children, parents, teens and college students. It’s Great Kitchens program educates restaurants, dining halls, and restaurant personnel. These programs are still in place with a push for research and a cure to take center stage. Learn more about going “beyond celiac”. Go to for a ton of information and how we all can go “beyond celiac”.

Traveling Gluten Free in Italy

italy gf symbol       david


An opportunity to travel in Italy for two weeks was an exciting prospect. Now, to travel gluten free in Italy was a daunting prospect. I would be going with a group from my church. Breakfasts and dinners would be pre-planned and only lunches would be on my own. I worried about navigating through hotel restaurants and eateries that would run the gamut from no knowledge of gluten free to a full understanding of celiac disease and cross contamination. So, I plunged into full preparation mode. I prepared with bars and protein snacks in my checked luggage, printed sheets of restaurant instructions in Italian, peppered and pestered the tour company staff with questions and demands, and loaded “find gluten free” apps on my tablet. I prayed that I wouldn’t get sick and flew off to Rome.

“Senza Glutine,” was the Italian for “gluten free” and it would be my “go to” term when I was dealing with food. It was a term I learned first thing after checking into my Rome hotel. The hotel desk clerk and the restaurant manager spoke good English and were surprisingly knowledgeable about gluten free. They assured me that breakfast in the hotel the next morning would have gluten free choices for me.
I was buoyed with confidence and ready to forge ahead. Then I met the tour guide who would be with us for the entire time. She was Spanish, lived in Spain, and was paid to take our tour through Italy (??????) I discussed gluten free with her and discovered that she had no clue and had not even heard of celiac disease. My confidence plummeted as I realized that she probably would think that cross contamination was a process used for hybridizing plants. There was only one thing to do! Educate her as quickly as possible, which I did over my first cappuccino. Ana was a quick study  with her newly gained knowledge.  She told me in accented English that she would gladly run interference for me with all the restaurants and hotels we were to stay in. As an eternal skeptic, I knew that I would be the one explaining and trying to communicate at every stop to get something good to eat that would not make me sick.

No worries!! Italy is a more advanced country than the U.S. in terms of understanding celiac disease. Everybody knows about it! You must be tested for the disease before the age of 6 and the government initially supplies you with vouchers for gluten free food. They consider it a serious medical condition and not a fad. As I traveled, I discovered that all the hotels, restaurants, and even street vendors know what celiac is. You just have to say the magic words, “senza glutine” and faces light up with knowledge about what gluten free is and how it should be prepared. Now, this is not to say that they all provide gluten free. Many restaurants do not and will tell you straight up that they can give you something gluten free, but, it will not be free of cross contamination, or, they cannot accommodate you at all. On the other hand there will be another venue next door or a block away that will provide you with gluten free and they knew how to prepare without cross contamination. They even have specific wait staff that deals with gluten free and will help you with ordering and communication to the chef. I had pizzas, pastas, lasagna, tiramisu, etc. all specially made just for me.

Ana proved to be invaluable in preparing restaurants and hotels (who knew?). In her flawless Italian, she doggedly called ahead several times to each place we went to and upon arrival sought out the manager, chef, owner etc. to make sure that they had gluten free ready for me. All the hotels and restaurants we went to dealt with tour groups and had a protocol in place for gluten free. I only had 2 “standard” meals consisting of a baked, dried out chicken breast, no dressing salad, limp overcooked vegetables, and an orange for dessert. However, I had many meals of sautéd, sauced, meat and vegetables as well as pastas, risottos, cheeses, sausages, and desserts. With accompanying wine (this is Italy after all) at every lunch and dinner!! This was my idea of traveling gluten free!!!

Restaurants made their own gluten free bread products, but it is a different story at hotels especially for their breakfasts. They still provided many bread and cake products, but they were purchased and pre-wrapped. Italians enjoy croissants and cappuccinos for breakfast as their usual. Hotels provide large non-Italian breakfasts for travelers especially from the U.S. who expect meat, eggs, pancakes, etc. I had no problem at any of the 5 hotels we stayed at as they always served me too many packages of gluten free items like cereals, breads, crackers, cakes, and cookies. Most sausages and eggs were made gluten free. For lunches which were on our own, I ate at cafes in the larger square areas of cities. I always found one that could accommodate me. And, there was always someone there that spoke English. They all had a special waiter completely familiar with what they offered gluten free who served me.

In every large city, small town, any shopping area throughout Italy there is a local farmacia. It is a cross between a drug store, health store, and medical supply. You can get prescriptions filled, leg braces, herbs, supplements, and GLUTEN FREE FOOD. Ana took me to the nearest farmacia to our hotel in Rome soon after I educated her on gluten free. She said that if any place would have gluten free, it would be the farmacia. I soon discovered farmacias everywhere we went. They all had some gluten free food. The larger farmacias had freezers full of prepared pastas, meals, breads and desserts. I also checked out some small “mom and pop” grocers on my walks in Rome. Most had some gluten free packaged food and they could tell you what cheeses, sausages, and prepared meat products in their refrigerated cases were made gluten free. Schar is the predominant product however, there are many Italian made pastas and bread products. The national symbol for gluten free is a red wheat stalk within a red circle slash. All gluten free products in Italy must be labeled with the symbol and say, “senza glutine”.

Gelato (Italian ice cream) is a treat not to be missed in Italy. Many of the flavors are gluten free. I even had gelato in a gluten free waffle cone. Stay away from street vendors and go into the free standing stores. Many have the gluten free gelato in a separate freezer case, individually wrapped cones, use special scoopers, and change their gloves to serve you. Gluten free bakeries are rare except in the larger cities. My favorite was found in Florence, a city-wide chain called Starbene. They had both sweet and savory from savory pizza, calzones, and ciabatta bread as well as sweets such as croissants, cream puffs, and tiramisu. I bought several apricot and chocolate croissants to enjoy for breakfast the next few mornings. As others in my party were shocked to see me enjoying croissants with them at breakfast, I quickly let them know that they were from the gluten free bakery.

Among my great experiences in Italy, I stopped into a local grocer in Lanciano and inquired as to their gluten free offerings. At the sound of my, “senza glutine?” two customers at the counter began speaking to me in Italian. They were very excited and animated. I tried to tell them that I could only speak English, but they were undeterred. They followed me out into the street chattering away, gesturing, and pointing everywhere. I caught the word “farmacia” and knew they were directing me to the nearest one. Intuitively, I knew they were also telling me about family members who had celiac and were relating their medical histories/symptoms. Upon encountering us in the street, my husband remarked, “I see you are making gluten free friends in Italy!”

Another memorable experience happened while my husband and I were lunching on the square in Sienna. When my gluten free pasta was delivered to me by a different waiter than the one who took the order, I asked him if it was indeed gluten free. He answered in accented English, “I’m not really sure. I’ll just watch you eat it and wait for your reaction!” After seeing the stunned speechless expressions on the faces of me and my husband, he quickly reassured us that he was joking and the dish was indeed gluten free as he was the waiter who took care of all the gluten free customers. So much for Italian humor! The pasta was gluten free and delicious.

Besides a multiplicity of souvenirs in my suitcase, I brought back all the bars and protein snacks that I didn’t have a chance to eat because of the fabulous availability of gluten free Italy has to offer.

100% Gluten Free Daboros in Mayfield Hts.

Mayfield Hts.

Yes! Another 100% Gluten Free Restaurant has opened, or rather, re-opened, having relocated from Chardon.

DABOROS (The “bo” is for bowls, the “ro” is for rolls) lets you choose rice or noodle bowls—- hot or cold, raw or steamed, protein or all green—- rice wrap rolls, custom soups, fresh juices and smoothies. Always fresh daily, their goal is to serve healthy fast food to enhance life and satisfy the soul. Food IS fast, but there are also 12 seats available for sit-in dining.

It’s an entirely Gluten Free establishment with no wheat products on the premises, serving organic when available, non-GMO, local from farms, and preservative free. Offering Gerber shredded chicken breast, wild caught salmon, fresh avocados and free range eggs, they also have fresh in-house-made dressings with oil free options.

You may have seen their “grab and go” items at many Cleveland Clinic locations as well as the Indigo Hotel in Beachwood. Soon they will be updating their menu to include breakfast items (they may have already started) at their Mayfield location!

New Address: 1241 SOM Center Rd (RT 91), Mayfield Heights, OH 44124
New Phone: 440.862.4664
New Hours: Open M-F 9 am to 7:30 PM. Saturday 9 -3:30.
Old Website will soon be updated:
Make sure you use their new phone listed above, as the old Chardon phone is still listed on the Internet.

Isn’t it great to have 100% Gluten Free dining? Let us know if you go! Make a point to stop by on off days or on your way somewhere new! Let this GF business know we want gluten free food! And hey… let them know you read about it through the Northeast Ohio Celiac Network!

GF Lex – GF, Sister: The Importance of Testing First-Degree Relatives for Celiac Disease

(Edited by GF Lex on 03/13/2016 to amend broken links)

Perhaps I approached my celiac disease diagnosis with a unique perspective.

My symptoms were certainly not unique. As a young woman, I felt weak and generally “sick” most of the time, I was often disoriented, and I was retaining massive amounts of fluid. I suffered from severe indigestion, irregular bowel habits, and worst of all, bloating: my stomach was so distended that I agonized over the sensation of it stretching. Most intensely, I experienced a stabbing, cramping pain in my gut that worsened when I ate, and never went away. It reminded me of the way an ulcer would feel, and though I was incredibly hungry, nothing I consumed could ever sate or soothe me.

I was certain my number had finally come up. At age 21, I felt in my heart that these symptoms meant that I had cancer, and that I was going to die.

Why did I jump to this conclusion? Well, for one reason, I am incredibly paranoid. Another reason, however, was my unique perspective. Continue reading “GF Lex – GF, Sister: The Importance of Testing First-Degree Relatives for Celiac Disease”

GF Luncheon at Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus Nov. 24-25

Each year hospitality students at Tri-C offer the community open luncheons to showcase their culinary skills. On the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 24th & 25th), the menu will be gluten free! The cost is $9 (cash only) and reservations are required. You can make a reservation any time between 11:15 and 12:30pm. Directions? Off Harvard past Richmond turn left and then left again into the parking lot. Go left until you reach a corner building with wall to wall windows. There should be signs to the Café 4250 entrance.

They will be featuring: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Sweet and Savory Maple Cranberry Pork Chop with Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Rainbow Carrots and Pumpkin Mousse for dessert.

Treat yourself to an elegant luncheon with cloth tablecloths and servers who offer you their full attention as they learn their craft.
Café 4250
Student Run Restaurant/Cafe
Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus
4250 Richmond Road
Highland Hills, Ohio 44122
For reservations call 216-987-2496
or Email:

Don’t miss out! See you there!

Gluten Free Holiday Tips: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas

Halloween Candy
•Two gluten free candy lists at 2015 or CDF Candy List.
• Warning: Some candy bars that are  normally GF are not gluten free if they are in holiday shapes or are  miniaturized. (i.e. York Peppermint Patty, Butterfinger)

Thanksgiving & Christmas
• Butterball & Honeysuckle Turkey (and more brands) are GF.
(Butterball even has a GF gravy packet)
• Beware of how the turkey is cooked. If possible, ask the  host to keep stuffing and gravy  separated  from the turkey  so you can enjoy the  main entrée. If the turkey is made in a cooking bag, it is possible that  flour is used to coat the bag so the turkey doesn’t stick to it. Ask your host if  cornstarch can be used instead.
• Honey Baked Ham and Honey Baked  Roasted or Smoked Turkey are GF.
• Pumpkin (Libby’s canned is GF) or apple pie are easily made GF. For crust, consider using Bob’s Red Mill Pie Crust Mix. It  makes 2 crusts and is available at Marc’s.

Gluten free social situations:
BYOM (Bring Your Own Meal)
-Consider bringing something in a covered serving dish, that is easily reheated in microwave and is without much fuss.
-Make it “substantial” (with protein and veggies),
Serve yourself first (prevents cross contamination)
-Make sure it’s something special, so you do not feel deprived … and others do not feel sorry for you.

Continue reading “Gluten Free Holiday Tips: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas”

Ask The Dietitian: Recipe For Successful Dining

thCBEIROFUQuestion: I have had celiac disease for 2 years and I’m comfortable cooking at home. When I eat out, however, sometimes I run into servers who don’t seem to take my dietary restriction seriously. How do I get them to understand that I have to be gluten-free and I’m not just on some fad diet that I read about in a magazine? -James W.

Answer: Your question is an excellent one. You are not alone! It has long been my opinion that restaurant eating is the most challenging aspect of being gluten-free. As a first step, please take a look at the detailed list of suggestions on our website. In addition to what you will read there, here are some other tips you may find helpful:

1. Having basic knowledge of how food is prepared provides a tremendous advantage and will help you to know which questions to ask depending on what you are planning to order.

2. It is important that your servers understand that you cannot have any items containing flour, wheat, or gluten. This may help them understand the scope of your restriction. Many people try to handle menu decisions on their own without involving the server, which increases their chances of receiving an unsafe meal.

3. Use of the word “allergy” vs. celiac disease: There seems to be a bit of a backlash against people with “gluten allergy” as evidenced by comments made on late-night talk shows and sitcoms, as well as memes shared on social networking. To clarify, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, not an allergy. However, many with CD use the term “allergy” with the goal of emphasizing the seriousness of their special diet. According to servers interviewed, some customers claim to have a “gluten allergy” and then proceed to order food with gluten. Understandably, this is confusing to wait staff! Since so many people use the phrase “gluten allergy” these days (including people who are trying a new fad diet, those who heard it was healthy, and those with true intolerance, wheat allergy, or celiac disease) this two-word phrase has become confusing and significantly less meaningful over the past several years. Perhaps you can say, “I have celiac disease so I need to be strictly gluten-free.”

4. To dine out safely, it is vital to understand the ins and outs of the diet. Know which ingredients you can and cannot have. When we solely rely on the wait and cook staff, who may have little or no knowledge of which ingredients contain gluten, it is risky. While they may be aware that bread and pasta contain gluten, they may not be trained to scrutinize ingredient lists for words such as malt, rye, oats, barley, or even wheat. If you would like to receive counseling to discuss the specifics of a GF diet, consider scheduling an appointment with a dietitian who thoroughly understands your disease and its sole treatment.

For more dining tips, check out
Dining Tips from NFCA
Celiac Disease Foundation Dining Out

Thank you for your question and I wish you happy and safe dining!

Trisha B. Lyons, RDN

Jennifer’s Way (Commercial) Bakery

55-70 60th Street
Maspeth, NY 11378

Over the last few years, I have heard a good deal about Jennifer Esposito’s advocacy endeavors, and the establishment of Jennifer’s Way Bakery in New York. After reading up on it, I have become very impressed with Ms. Esposito’s dedication to not only gluten-free baking, but “clean,” healthy baking, baking of the sort I do for myself, and long to do for those I love and whose health I cherish.

Jennifer's Way Box

Jennifer’s Way Bakery is free of many food allergens aside from gluten, along with the nasty preservatives and processed sugars and fats that wreak havoc on our bodies. Her offerings are gluten-, dairy-. egg-. refined sugar-, GMO-, soy-, nut-, and trans-fat-free, as well as free of preservatives. These are baked goods you can feel good about eating. And without all of these ingredients, the products really do taste amazing.

I am unable to visit the retail bakery in New York, but discovered recently that several of Ms. Esposito’s products can be mail-ordered from her new commercial bakery via the Jennifer’s Way Website. On the eastern US (we count as being in that area), your goods will arrive within 2 business days to ensure freshness, and this shipping option is automatically applied. For areas further west, there are other shipping choices that ensure the products will arrive within two days, as well. There are occasionally deals on different goodies and on shipping, so check in to see what is being offered. To start out, celiac disease advocate Gluten Dude offers a coupon on his site, if you’d like to give something at Jennifer’s Way a try.

I happened upon the site during a bagel promotion, and… pretty much bought every type of bagel there.

They. Were. Amazing.

Jennifer's Way Brooklyn Bagel

Huge, tempting, chewy on the outside, tender on the inside, these Brooklyn Bagels are certainly the best gluten-free bagels I’ve had. I loved all the varieties, but my favorites included the “everything” bagel (I never had the opportunity to try a “normal” everything bagel before my diagnosis, so this was a real treat), and the cinnamon cranberry bagel.

At first, I was wary of trying mail-order bakery goods, but I am so glad I took a chance on Jennifer’s Way. My products arrived fresh and well-packaged, and in a timely manner. I stored many of them in the freezer, where they kept well.

I highly recommend these healthy, delicious goods!

Yellow Box and Honey Nut Cheerios Recall

General Mills Inc. is recalling 1.8 million boxes of gluten-free yellow box Cheerios and Honey Nut cereal because they may contain wheat and therefore are not gluten free. This is a Class I recall because an allergen is involved and involves only one batch of all Cheerios manufactured. Consumers with wheat allergies, celiac disease or gluten intolerance should not consume products bearing the affected code dates and should contact General Mills for a replacement or full refund.

According to the GM press release, the bad lots were produced at the facility in Lodi, California during a four-day period for Yellow Box and thirteen-day period for Honey Nut. Cause for the recall was human error. If you have boxes of Cheerios in your pantry, the recall includes boxes with certain “Better if Used By” code dates and the plant codes LD which indicate it was made in Lodi, CA. Questions? Call 1-800-775-8370. (I called. My box was 18JUL2016 CR141107C. The CR stands for Cedar Rapids, therefore my box was not a recall box). The recalled codes made in Lodi are:

Honey Nut Cheerios
12JUL2016LD; 13JUL2016LD; 14JUL2016LD; 15JUL2016LD; 16JUL2016LD; 17JUL2016LD; 18JUL2016LD; 20JUL2016LD; 21JUL2016LD; 22JUL2016LD; 23JUL2016LD; 24JUL2016LD; 25JUL2016LD

Yellow box Cheerios
14JUL2016LD; 15JUL2016LD; 16JUL2016LD; 17JUL2016LD

GF Lex – Lost in the Fog: Brain Fog in Celiac Disease

For me, the fog did not roll in as I stood at the prow of a great ship, peering toward the midnight shore. It was pierced by no guiding beacon drawing me forth. Nor did I walk into it as it cloaked a serene meadow. The sun did not cut it, and left no glistening jewels of dew upon vast expanses of rolling green.

No, for me, the fog arrived surreptitiously. It edged its way into my consciousness with the subtlety of a thief. It rolled in over my vocabulary, my memories, and my associations. It cloaked my orientation, my recognition, and my alertness. And by the time I noticed how hazy I felt, I was already lost within it.

After a diagnosis of celiac disease, the fog became a part of my life that would clear only to condense once more, clouding over so much I had taken for granted, and would never visualize with complete clarity again.

Continue reading “GF Lex – Lost in the Fog: Brain Fog in Celiac Disease”

Two New Gluten Free Businesses Will Open Soon in Northeast Ohio

Brian Doyle Cafe Avalaun
Brian Doyle Cafe Avalaun

Café Avalaun
It’s official. Brian Doyle will be opening Café Avalaun, the first all gluten free restaurant in the Cleveland area sometime this September. If you are interested in a position, HIRING is Still Going On. It’s located on 4640 Richmond Road and hours will be Monday- Friday from 7am-3pm at first, until Brian gets the business rolling. Menu items will be gluten-free baked items, salads, soups, and crepes— both sweet and savory—and the café will seat about 20 people.
Brian is not new to gluten free. He is the chef and owner of Sow Food Catering which offers gluten free options and uses locally grown food. He’s also the chef for Beachland Ballroom. It is fair to say he is part of the farm to table movement. Also known as CSA–Community Sustainable Agriculture– it started around the West Side Market and urban gardens and has spread like wildfire, inspiring up-and- coming restaurateurs.
Look out Cleveland. Gluten Free dining is coming! Stay tuned!

alex's italian catering
The Marzullos-Alex’s Italian Catering

Alex’s Italian Catering
Alex’s Italian Catering is the brain child of Jim and Theresa Marzullo from Aurora, Ohio and the food is 100% gluten free.
They are open for business and will cater birthday parties, luncheons, weddings, graduation parties and more, offering a variety of classic Italian dishes including chicken and veal parmesan, pizza, lasagna, chicken and veal marsala and shrimp, broccoli, and chicken alfredo. Contact them at 330-995-3805 or Email here for full menu and price quotes. And hurry! The chocolate torte special will only last for a few more days!


Greater Cleveland/NE Ohio Gluten Free College Group Starting Up

Are you a gluten free college student? Karis wrote to us that she’s starting a college GF group. Please read the following and pass it on to anyone you may know who is in college,  on the gluten free diet, and who may need some support! The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has some great info too.

Hello Northeast Ohio Celiac Network! My name is Karis L. and I am student at John Carroll University. I would like to start a college group for those of us following the gluten-free diet. It would not be anything serious just going out to eat or baking gluten-free food together. I know college can be a difficult time for many, and even more challenging for those of us trying to follow a gluten-free diet, but we can help each other. If you are interested please email me through the contact page HERE or EMAIL HERE
Karis L.

The Gluten Free Watchdog Takes a Position on Oats: A review of “GF Cheerios: Take Two”

Move over Ralph Nader, there’s an independent voice in the gluten free community.
Tricia Thompson MS RD runs the Gluten Free Watchdog website. She routinely pulls gluten free food off shelves and tests it for gluten.
She has her work cut out for her. The new gluten free labeling law of 2014, although a first step toward identifying safe GF products, is a soft law. It doesn’t require manufacturers to test, doesn’t require a particular type of test or outside tests, and doesn’t regulate the frequency of testing. If labeled GF, the final product simply cannot contain 20 parts per million (ppm) or more of gluten.
Before the new law, only oats certified GF by an outside agency were allowed on the strict gluten free diet. Now General Mills will be mechanically cleaning regular oats and as long as they can prove them to be under 20ppm, they can be labeled GF.
chex clusters
That means GM will be launching SEVEN “new” GF cereals this fall—FIVE flavors of Cheerios, CHEX CLUSTERS FRUIT AND OATS, and even LUCKY CHARMS (which will be labeled GF under the nutrition panel).
image from general mills
Tricia Thompson recommends sticking with certified GF oat cereals. Should we follow her recommendation? Continue reading “The Gluten Free Watchdog Takes a Position on Oats: A review of “GF Cheerios: Take Two””

GF Lex – A Walk Through the Flours: A Personal Exploration of Mixes and Mixing

When a celiac disease diagnosis leads someone to consume gluten-free versions of baked goods, one of the first things that person may notice is that they taste “different.”

If that person then begins cooking with gluten-free flours, he or she may realize that these gluten-free confections taste this way because non-wheat flours behave in wildly variable and seemingly unpredictable ways. Proteins and starches must be combined in distinct ratios. Mixing times and resting frequencies are, themselves, mixed-up and arresting. Some flours will produce a cake with crumbly edges and a completely collapsed, gelatinous middle. Some will fashion flat, stone-like biscuits. Some create breads that appear edible until you attempt to slice them, at which point they crumble away into pebbly piles of wasted ingredients, ironically reminding you of sand through an hourglass, and the precious time you have wasted attempting this tremendous baking failure.

The science of flour mixing can be intimidating, and gluten-free baking is a skill that tends to alienate those attempting to learn it. Flours can be expensive, making failures costly (not only monetarily, but also in effort and hard-won self-esteem). Learning to cook (and especially bake) gluten-free by either mixing your own flours or using a purchased mix, however, can lead you to discover not only what kind of food you are able to make gluten-free, but what kind of food you want to make, gluten-free. Each gluten-free baker’s journey is a personal one, often fraught with failures, always laden with lessons, and occasionally rewarded with the successes that will lead to the path one wants one’s cooking, one’s food, and one’s health to follow. Continue reading “GF Lex – A Walk Through the Flours: A Personal Exploration of Mixes and Mixing”

The Celiac Project and How Kickstarter Helped.

The Celiac Project is a dynamic, first-of-its-kind hour long documentary about life before and after the diagnosis of celiac disease. The inspiration for this film came after the director and Evanston native, Michael Frolichstein, struggled with a series of “mystery aliments” before finally being diagnosed with celiac disease at age 40. Michael was shocked to learn that this auto-immune disease, which affects 1% of the US population, is 83% undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. His journey to meet others who had suffered, as well as get answers from experts, led him to Kickstarter, a public internet funding site, where he raised $35,000 last summer to produce and take his documentary on the road. He’s already piqued the interest of Boulder Brands (owners of Udi’s and Glutino) who hosted his premier in Colorado this spring and who want to sponsor snacks at future screenings. Then, a couple of weeks ago, his hometown library in Evanston Illinois hosted a screening with the filmmaker and a medical panel for a lively Q&A.

The documentary ultimately explores what we can do individually and as a society to advance the conversation and raise awareness about the disease. See a trailer of the film below or learn more at:
Read: Evanston newspaper article here

GF Lex – My Summer Crush on Jam Gluten-Free Bakeshop

Jam Gluten-Free Bakeshop, 3714 Columbus Avenue, Suite B, Sandusky, Ohio

The first breeze of summer sparks something unique in each of us.

The primal awakening, however, the closing of our eyes, the deep inhalation as the nearly-forgotten wind caresses us once more, remains universal. Summer tends to incite a hunger in us, it inspires a search for something deeply desired.

When that breeze hit me this year, I realized almost immediately that I needed something. And though I was not sure what at the time, I knew that it was something satisfying, something stunning. Something tempting, something tantalizing. Something my heart understood before my head could even discern its motives. I realized only after the road began unfurling behind my little red sedan like a great gray river that I knew, that day, where my impromptu one-tank trip was taking me. A place I wanted it to take me more than anywhere else in the world.

Not to the beach, glowing with sun and seduction, not to the bar and grill, pulsing with song and spirits, not to any other hub of symbolic summer romance. The sweetness I craved I knew would be fulfilled in only one place. At Jam Gluten-Free Bakeshop.


At the NEOCN Vendor’s Fair in April, I had experienced the pleasures of this establishment for the first time, though its reputation had preceded it. I had spent weeks admiring (Well, alright. Ogling.) the tantalizing photographs on Jam’s Facebook page, images of such a shifting array of exemplary baked goods that by the time I actually had the pleasure of meeting the proprietors of this lovely shop, the first (and only) words out of my mouth were a heartily sighed, “Oh, Jam…”

Let me introduce you to my summer crush. Continue reading “GF Lex – My Summer Crush on Jam Gluten-Free Bakeshop”

GF Lex: Eat Your Words – An Introduction to Gluten-Free Blogs, and Four Exceptional Examples

In the celiac universe, the profusion of gluten-free products is constantly expanding. We now have access to almost every conceivable type of prepackaged food in several forms, from several brands. And several of them are actually palatable (and affordable).

For those of us who choose to venture into the world of gluten-free cooking and baking, however, a slew of daunting obstacles still looms before us. Initially you may feel as if you’ve landed on another planet in which the laws of physics no longer apply to your space-age flours, and in which you no longer recognize your seemingly NASA-copyrighted ingredients (xanthan gum, anyone?). Alternately, you may believe you’ve plunged down the rabbit hole, and that the brown cube served on a tea tray before you that looks like a brick, feels like a brick, and frankly, smells like a brick, cannot possibly be food, despite the “eat me, I’m gluten-free bread” tag riveted firmly to its side. What is a gluten-free baker to do to bring one’s cooking back through the wormhole and onto this temporal plane?


The world of gluten-free blogging has expanded equivalently, and the Alice-like disorientation people with celiac disease can experience here can become quite curious indeed. Continue reading “GF Lex: Eat Your Words – An Introduction to Gluten-Free Blogs, and Four Exceptional Examples”

Gluten Free Summer Tips

Traveling in the USA?
Would you like to know where 100% gluten free restaurants and bakeries are by state?
Go to 100% GF Restaurants/Bakeries Here.

Taking in an Indian’s game at Progressive Field?
Head for the concession stand behind section 163.
Here is the link.

Need to find gluten free ice cream brands?
Go to GF Ice Cream Brands Here.

Looking for GF Hot Dog Brands?
Go to GF Hot Dogs Here.

What gluten free summer tips can you share?
Happy summer!

Host Family Needed for Exchange Student with Celiac Disease

We received a request from an organization looking to place an exchange student with celiac disease in a US home. If you can help, please contact them using the information below. We have no additional information on this so please contact them directly with questions.

World Heritage International Student Exchange Program is currently placing our high school international exchange students who are scheduled to arrive in August/September with host families across the U.S. In this group of extraordinary students is a young lady from Spain named Maria. Maria has celiac disease. She is used to cooking her own gluten-free food, but of course it would be much easier for Maria if she could live with a family who follows the same type of diet. We would love to place Maria with a wonderful family who understands her dietary needs and can fully support her during her exchange program.
Anyone who is interested in learning more about our program and how they can host Maria for the 2015-16 school year can contact me at 855-967-5399 or email me at You can also check us out at Thank you for your help!
Kristi Habila
World Heritage Coordinator
Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Kentucky

World Heritage’s top priority is keeping our students safe. The listing below, with cartoon images, is intended to give you an impression of our students, while providing for their security. Full student profiles, with photos, are available to prospective host families during the application process. Please go to for additional information on selecting the student who will become a member of your family. Thank you for your commitment to student safety while you help make a dream come true!

Maria (15)
Female, SPAIN
Languages: Spanish, English, French
Siblings: None
Mother: Housewife
Father: Railway worker
Religion: Christian
Interests: skiing, basketball, swimming, running, baseball, sailing, music, celiac
Letter to my Host Family:
An active extrovert who is always smiling…that’s how I describe myself. I’m 15 years old and live in the northwest of Spain with my parents and grandparents. I enjoy doing things with my parents. My dad and I sometimes run together and then go to the pool to relax. Or my mom and I will watch a film. I have a poodle named Otto who I love to spend time with. I love sports and try to participate in sports whenever I can. I also spend a lot of time with my friends. We do things like playing games, going to the mall, going to the cinema or going to the park. I love to cook but since I can’t eat gluten I make everything gluten-free. I always make brownies for my friends and family! I said I like sports. In the winter my family goes skiing. In the summer I sail and go fishing with my grandma. I also enjoy basketball, baseball and swimming. Music is also something I enjoy. I took piano lessons for 6 years and only stopped beca! use I no longer had time for it with my studies. I don’t have any brothers or sisters but I enjoy children and often babysit for my neighbors. After high school I would like to study medicine and become either a surgeon or a pediatrician. I know my year in the USA will be difficult at first, but I am very excited about going. The opportunity will make me independent, expose me to more cultures and allow me to meet many different friends. I will try hard to adapt and fit in. Thank you for your hospitality and I hope you are going to be happy with me!

Celiac Survey on Risk of Depression in Social Engagement

Rosanna N., a Doctoral student from Capella University is conducting a dissertation research study to determine the role of social engagement as a risk factor for depression in gluten-free diet compliant individuals with celiac disease. Participants should be over the age of 18, have Internet access, and have had a biopsy confirmed diagnosis of celiac disease. Participation will include completion of four different online questionnaires via SurveyMonkey and would take around 30 minutes of your time. If this is something that you or someone you know are interested in, follow this link to learn more.
Celiac Survey Here

GF Rice Krispies Discontinued

Gluten Free blogs and websites are buzzing about GF Rice Krispies being discontinued. “The Savvy Celiac” confirmed with Kellogg’s that the cereal was being phased out because of manufacturing constraints. It wasn’t long ago that Kellogg’s GF Special K was introduced and has been selling well. The problem is you can’t make those kid lovin’ GF Rice Krispy Treats with Special K!! If you love them, you may want to buy them before they are gone.
See “The Savvy Celiac” story here.


International Celiac Symposium: Prague, June 21-24, 2015

Four members of our steering committee will be representing our group in Prague, capitol of the Czech Republic, at the International Celiac Symposium. We wish Diane, MaryLou, Judy, and Anne safe traveling and hope they will share what they learned when they return! Much Good Luck!

Since the late 1960’s, researchers, physicians, and medical professionals worldwide have hosted an International Celiac Symposium, and have met to exchange their research. The interested countries were primarily the United Kingdom, Scandinavian countries, and Italy. The USA hosted its first celiac symposium 30 years later in 2000. We have been “late to the game” but have caught up as hosts with the last symposium held in Chicago in 2013.

Who will be speaking from the USA?
Dr. Fasano (Boston), Dr. Guandalini and 3 colleagues (Chicago), Dr. Murray (Mayo Clinic), & Dr. Ben Lebwohl (NY) will speak, representing American celiac research.

Why have a symposium?
“Coeliac disease, even more than 60 years after the invention of jejunal biopsy and decades after the discovery of the sensitive serologic tests, remains very often undiagnosed, underestimated and poorly understood. The issue is becoming even more obscure by a rapid change in clinical presentation. The typical picture of steatorrhea has often been replaced by hidden and confusing extra-intestinal manifestations. Questions will be raised and challenged by an exquisite spectrum of world renowned experts and young investigators. The meeting will uniquely reflect joint interests and needs of scientists, clinicians, patients, and nutritionists. It will also attract drug producers, health care providers and organizers because screening and diet promotion are important tools of the disease management. We believe that Prague as usual will provide a friendly and functional background to the congress with a unique and inspiring atmosphere.” –per ICDS organizers 2015

Cheerios Goes Gluten Free

cheerios gf

Back in 2010, General Mills changed one ingredient in their Chex cereal line. Switching from malt to molasses, GM launched Rice Chex as gluten free (GF). Its success prompted the release of six more flavors.

Beginning in July of 2015, five Cheerios products will have the same great taste but will be going gluten free: Original, Honey Nut, Apple Cinnamon, Frosted, and Multi-Grain Cheerios. While Chex is made from rice and corn, Cheerios is made from oats, which is a controversial grain in the gluten free community.

Oats are controversial because they are contaminated by wheat when they are processed or transported.

Those who have celiac disease (CD) and gluten sensitivity (GS) are advised to consume only certified gluten free oats. Even then, a percentage of those with CD and GS still react against any oats. (Even certified GF oats should be carefully introduced, especially into the diet of someone newly diagnosed).

Chex instant hot oatmeal, made from gluten free WHOLE oats, was launched in 2014. There is only a limited supply of GF oats. To launch Cheerios which require a large quantity to be made into OAT FLOUR, General Mills decided to mechanically filter regular oats to eliminate cross contamination, rendering them gluten free.

General Mills is aware of the gluten free FDA labeling guidelines and are testing to ensure the standard of less than 20ppm is met. They have a great reputation as a responsible company.

While the gluten free/celiac community applauds General Mills for producing another mainstream GF cereal which costs less than some GF cereals and is more widely available, some early questions have arisen:

1. Why not a third party certification?
2. It is understood that the mechanical filtering is a competitive secret, specially developed by GM at great cost. If they can’t reveal it, why can’t they release more on the type of testing done, as well as the quantity of testing done?
3. Why can’t they use gluten free oats, developing a demand?

Of all the 5 GF Cheerios, Multi-Grain will go through the biggest reformulation. Its wheat and barley ingredients will be replaced with sorghum and millet.

What do you think about the new GF Cheerios?
Please comment!

Class Action Lawsuit Against PF Chang’s Restaurant and CDF’s Response

A class action lawsuit against PF Chang’s alleges that extra charges on the restaurant’s gluten-free menu violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. The lawsuit claims that celiac disease is a disability, and it is unlawful for a restaurant to force customers to pay higher prices for gluten-free dishes. The lawsuit was filed in California and is estimated in the millions of dollars.

The Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) has issued a statement that doesn’t seem to support the lawsuit. Marilyn Geller, CEO of CDF, has this to say:

“The Celiac Disease Foundation recognizes that restaurants bear a financial burden for the employee training and other accommodations that are required to serve meals that are safe for those with celiac disease.”

Let us know what you think. Will this class action lawsuit hurt or help the gluten free community? Do you mind paying a bit more to eat out safely?

Pizza Hut Offers GF Pizza

multiple locations

Pizza Hut, working with Udi’s and GIG (the Gluten Intolerance Group) is now offering a gluten free pizza in about a third of all stores. The one size, 10 inch pizza, (6 slices) is $9.99 for cheese and $10.99 for pepperoni. Check for Locations here.
The Udi’s® Certified Gluten-Free crust is stored in a separate container, on a separate shelf in their fridge. The cheese, marinara sauce and pepperoni are stored in a gluten-free designated kit, and every gluten-free pizza is freshly baked on designated parchment paper in their ovens. Other toppings can be added, but there is no guarantee about these being gluten free.

In addition to these storage techniques, team members who make your gluten-free pizza wear gloves and even use a designated gluten-free pizza cutter to cut your pizza to perfection.

Disclaimer? Yes, (as many restaurants do), Pizza Hut has this to say:

“While Pizza Hut® is proud to offer pizzas with gluten-free ingredients, Pizza Hut kitchens are not gluten-free environments. Due to the handcrafted nature of our menu items, variations in vendor-supplied ingredients, and the use of shared cooking and preparation areas, we cannot assure you that our restaurant environment or any menu item will be completely free of gluten.”

Have you tried the new Pizza Hut GF Pizza?

Cooks’ Books Discussion Group 2015 Schedule

Cooks’ Books Club Events

Are you interested in all things gluten-free in the kitchen?
Perhaps your baking and cooking skills are being challenged by the gluten-free ingredients, processes, methods etc!
Join Eileen Simon and Mariann Offtermatt the hosts of our monthly gluten-free cookbook gathering.
We’ll share our personal cookbook experiences and learn tips and tricks from each other.
We’ll also serve up a tasting from the featured book too!

Plan on attending any of the free scheduled events and share the love of cooking with other g-f home chefs! Doors open at 6:30. Meeting commences at 7:00.
Check with your local library to borrow the books if you do not already own them.


Garfield Hts. Library
5409 Turney Rd.
Garfield Hts., 44125


Monday – Feb. 23, 2015 CANCELLED
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Meeting Room A
Discussion Feature – Let’s focus on Magazines! We’ll have copies on hand of the current issues
of GlutenFree Living, Delight, GIG, Simply Gluten-free. Bring any others that you have success using.

Monday – Mar. 16, 2015
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Meeting Room A
Discussion Feature – Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry by Elana Amsterdam

Monday – Apr. 20, 2015
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Meeting Room A
Discussion Feature – Blogs and More Blogs
Let’s talk about the Blog World – Who’s your favorite blogger? What have you made from their site? What sites have you tried and not had success with?

Monday – May 18, 2015
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Meeting Room A
Discussion Feature – Blackbird Bakery by Karen Morgan


Holiday Cookies-Gluten Free

Cookie Tips for the holidays and beyond!

Some members have reported having good luck with these flours using their own traditional recipes: Pillsbury GF all Purpose Flour, Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour (new-both seen at Marc’s), King Arthur Flour (has no gums added, so consider adding), & 123 GlutenFree Enriched Flour.

Bob’s Red Mill has a new GF pie crust mix out too! 123 GlutenFree has Pan Bars (serve with cream cheese frosting!) and Poundcake (mix makes 2!) that may even delight your gluten crowd. Check 123GlutenFree’s website for availability. Or use your favorite GF brands!

When making cookies, remember GF dough handles better when refrigerated and may spread less. Gums may help by adding structure.

Sprinkles and Colored Sugar for Cookies:

•Do-It-Yourself: McCormick food coloring is GF, (using non grain alcohol). Mix with white sugar for custom color.
•Cake Mate Decorations made by Betty Crocker under parent company Signature Brands has this to say: The company was phoned recently. They state that the decorations are made without gluten but if some are made on shared equipment, it will say so on the package. To inquire about which products are gluten free, please contact Consumer Relations by email at or Monday – Friday 9am to 6pm at 1.877.726.8793.

Hanukkah Gluten Free

There are many traditional foods for Hanukkah (or Chanukkah) that can be made gluten-free and still taste like you remember. Latkes are an easy adaption. Take any latke recipe and substitute gluten-free bread crumbs for regular breadcrumbs. I recommend Kinnikinnick Panko Breadcrumbs for all breadcrumb substitutions.  Your latkes will taste great but, the heavy smell from cooking them will still fill your house.  I found the Kinnikinnick Panko crumbs at Earth Fare and Mustard Seed.

Streit’s Gluten Free Matzo Ball Soup mix is excellent and tastes exactly the same as the regular mix. I found it at Giant Eagle.  I always use a gluten-free chicken broth  or homemade broth and really haven’t use the broth that comes in the mix.  Everyone has had the matzoh ball that was like a hockey puck and to avoid that, follow the directions on the package carefully. I like to make small matzoh balls and lightly form them. I think not packing them tightly is the key.

I like the brisket recipes that call for beer, onions and  Heinz chili sauce. If you make sure the chili  sauce and beer and any other ingredients are gluten-free you should be fine. Make sure the beer is really gluten-free! The secret to great brisket is to add lots and lots of onions, more than the recipe calls for,  and to cook it the day before. Chill it over night and slice it while cold then before serving warm it in the oven in its own sauce.  If you are going to someone’s home for brisket you might make them a care package of the gluten-free ingredients then you can safely eat it or offer to make it and bring it to them.

One last note last Passover there were GF Passover products for sale that are made in Israel that had no directions on them. I also tried their website with no luck.  With that said the Gluten-Free  Matzo I bought was good.

Holiday Cooking and Baking

We’ve posted some new products hopefully to help you with Holiday cooking and baking.
List of GF Turkeys:
New Cup for Cup GF Flour! Pillsbury GF Flour & Bob’s Red Mill. Available at Marc’s and other grocery stores:
Instant Turkey Gravy:
Our recipe page includes a sweet potato soufflé and a cornbread stuffing:

Happy Turkey Day!

Recall of Bell and Evans GF Breaded Chicken Nuggets and Breasts

RECALL! Staphylococcal Contamination.
Gluten Free Bell and Evans Breaded Chicken Nuggets and Breasts.
Dispose of or return to store.

USDA Seal on front of package (at bottom) has “P-516” inside image. Company suggests the sell-by-date is August, 9, 2015. Questions? Call Murray’s Customer Service: (717) 273-9361.

To return: Receipt may not be needed if you explain this is a recall involving food safety. Store may issue a gift card instead of cash reimbursement. Original cost is approximately $7.59. Recall involves 12-oz. boxes of Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets and 10.5-oz. boxes of Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast.

NEOCN November Notes

Some thoughts on this time of year, Thanksgiving and all that entails –

‘Gratitude. More aware of what you have than what you don’t. Recognizing the treasure in the simple – a child’s hug, fertile soil, a golden sunset. Relishing in the comfort of the common – a warm bed, a hot meal, a clean shirt.’ -Max Lucado

Some gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner suggestions . . .

For a moist and flavorful stuffing: ‘Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing’

Another way to serve sweet potatoes: ‘Sweet Potato Souffle’

Green Bean Casserole: follow the usual recipe, but use gluten-free Cream of Mushroom soup (such as Progresso’s) and (gluten-free) Fried Onions from an Asian Market, such as Park To Shop, 1580 East 30th St., Cleveland.

Serve gluten-free breads or rolls.

Use cornstarch to make your gravy.

There are many gluten-free pie crust options you can use for your pies.

(Or save yourself some time by purchasing from one of our many gluten-free bakers/bakeries: ‘Grocery and Bakery List’ )

We are grateful for “what we have” (including delicious gluten-free food).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Giant Eagle GF Tasting on Oct. 11th in Solon & Green

Giant Eagle will be having a Gluten Free Tasting Fair from 11am-3pm at two of its Market District Stores in Solon & Green. The fairs will feature gluten-free products from Glutino, More than Gourmet, Udi’s, Bakery on Main, Clif Bar and more. You will be able to speak with a Giant Eagle Registered Dietitian at the Solon store.

The Market District Stores may have a larger selection of GF products than other Giant Eagle locations. A new store will be opening in Strongsville on Oct. 9th and is planning a gluten free cooking class on Nov.5th. Details soon. A Cuyahoga Falls Market District is slated to open in 2015.

Market District Solon 34310 Aurora Road Solon OH 44139 (440) 248-4400
Market District Green 1700 Corporate Woods Parkway Uniontown OH 44685 (330) 896-4456

The Gluten Free Labeling Law in Effect August 5th, 2014

The Gluten Free Labeling Act has gone into effect as of Aug. 5th, 2014. Food labeled gluten free must not contain more than 20 parts per million of gluten or suffer a penalty. Labeling is voluntary, so those on the gluten free diet still need to read labels on undesignated packaging. There is hope that the gluten free designation will apply to restaurants that offer a gluten free menu, but the FDA has not commented on enforcing standards. Groups like the American Celiac Disease Alliance are following up with the FDA.

The final rule applies to all FDA-regulated foods, but EXCLUDES foods whose labeling is regulated by the US Department of Agriculture and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, such as most meats, poultry, certain egg products and most alcoholic beverages. The USDA and TTB however voluntarily may follow the FDA GF standards on many products. On alcohol made from prohibited grains, then rendered gluten free with enzymes, the TTB states:

“Consistent with the new FDA regulations, TTB will continue to consider “gluten-free” label claims for alcohol beverages that are made from gluten-containing grains to be misleading to consumers who are seeking to avoid the consumption of gluten for health reasons. However, products made from gluten-containing grains may be labeled with a statement that the product was “Processed,” “Treated,” or “Crafted” to remove gluten, if that claim is made together with a qualifying statement that warns the consumer that the gluten content of the product cannot be determined and that the product may contain gluten.”

Neighborhood Butcher Shops are Great for Gluten Free

The neighborhood butcher shop is coming back, and that’s good news for the Greater Cleveland GF Community. Smaller shops mean you can ask where meat comes from, what exactly is in the meat, and in some cases, if the animals have been raised humanely.
Saucisson (prepared at the Cleveland Culinary Launch Kitchen) sells their sausages and pork at Farmers Markets.
The Butcher & the Brewer (find them on Facebook) is a butcher shop, brewery and restaurant, now open on E. 4th St.
The Sausage Shoppe in Old Brooklyn knows gluten free. Look for the Meat & Curing Co. to open soon near the West Side Market, headed by Adam Lambert formerly of Bar Cento.

GF Food and Airport Security

Can you take gluten free food on an airplane in your carry on bag?
Jane Anderson from did a great job summarizing GF airplane travel:
The TSA should allow any form of solid food, although it will have to go through x-ray. Gluten-free items such as cookies, brownies, pretzels, chips, crackers and dry cereal, chicken, roast beef, ham, as well as fruit & GF bread should be allowed through security.

If it is liquid or gel-like (i.e. a dip, a spread, a dressing or even gel packs) it is more of a problem. These things aren’t banned, but only 3 oz. of each is allowed and must fit in 1 quart sized zip lock bag along with your toothpaste, shampoo, etc. Read more from

Store Brands are Going Gluten Free

…And Some Mainstream Companies are Adding GF versions!

1) Walmart has a line of gluten free products from their Great Value line.
2) The Fresh Market chain also has their own line of GF products. In Shaker Hts., there is one at 20233 Van Aken Blvd.
3) Meijer has its own GF pasta
4) Giant Eagle has its own GF version of Corn Chex
5) Aldi’s has increased their gluten free offerings and are actively advertising them.
6) Freschetta brand now has 2 certified GF pizzas: Four Cheese Medley, and Pepperoni, both are thin crust and were spotted at Kroger’s for $9.99.
7) Breton Crackers now has 2 GF flavors: Original with Flax and Herb and Garlic, certified GF.

If you spot any other stores doing the same, please reply and let our members know. Tell us which ones you like and which ones to skip. We’d love to hear from you!

Chex Oatmeal

From Joan:

Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal is available at Marc’s – 2/$5.

Chex Oatmeal


Diane adds:

The packaging is labeled “gluten free” but the ingredient listing just says “whole grain oats”.

So, I was unsure whether pure gluten free oats were used in this product.

A statement on the company’s facebook page is reassuring:

The oats used for the oats & oatmeal products are sourced from a vertically integrated gluten free oat source. We also validate our cleaning and changeover methods at the plants for any system/line that will run a gluten free product. Ongoing verification gluten testing is performed at the finished product level. As such, any General Mills product that contains a “gluten free” claim meets the safety and regulatory definition of less than 20 ppm. While there are many “gluten free” certification bodies, General Mills’ standards meet and/or exceed the qualifications defined by these organizations. Therefore, you can be confident that our “gluten free” products are safe and meet global certification and regulatory standards.

Have you tried it? Have you seen it in other stores?

NOTE by Diane 9/30/15:
Gluten Free Chex Oatmeal has been discontinued.

Is Omission Beer Gluten Free?

Laurie wrote in the 6/1/14 NEOCN newsletter:

Omission beer is a barley based beer. It cannot be labeled as gluten free by the TTB or FDA because its source is a prohibited grain (barley). Enzymes are added to break down the gluten after brewing. The test used by Omission to see if there is any residual gluten is the Competitive Elisa Test which is a controversial test.  So when Omission says the beer is under 20 parts per million, the results are in doubt because the test is in doubt by experts. Tricia Thompson MS RD, “The Gluten Free Dietitian” states: Experts who I trust immensely agree that they can NOT say for certain at this point in time whether Omission beer is safe for people with celiac disease to drink based on the data that  has been released by Omission.” Please read:

Dr. Fasano seemed to agree with Tricia Thomson when he stated that  “the purpose of the R5 ELISA is to test for cross contamination with naturally occurring gluten, not gluten that is artificially manipulated or degraded by an enzyme.” (Credit: Celiac Community Foundation of Northern California)

I know many might have an emotional reaction to hear this news. What further complicates this is that stores like Heinen’s or Giant Eagle may have a display of Omission beer in their gluten free aisles. Please question Heinen’s or Giant Eagle on this choice; and before you purchase, please look into this issue so you choose the gluten free beer that is safe for you.

Welcome! A New Name and a New Website!

Welcome to our new website… and “pardon our dust”, as we tinker to better serve the celiac/gluten free community. Formerly a Chapter of the Celiac Disease Foundation, we are now the Northeast Ohio Celiac Network (NEOCN), recommitting our energies to local needs. More visible on your mobile and tablet devices, this website is also now interactive! Please talk to us through your comments at the end of any post! Let us know (and let your fellow members know) about your local gluten free experiences! Together we can make Northeast Ohio gluten free friendly.


May 9th, 2014 Zumbathon was a wonderful success! Pictures above are the Zumbathon teachers that volunteered their time to raise funds for both the Celiac Disease Foundation and the NEO Celiac Network! Pictured are also Judy and Marylou passing out gluten free goodies and having a great time!