Gluten Free Guide St. Louis
Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles Now Labeled Gluten Free

According to an article in Gluten Free Living’s first issue of the year, both Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles are gluten free. While the products have both been assumed gluten-free for years, Post is now officially labeling the cereals as such. The company verified that the cereals are made on dedicated gluten-free production lines and all ingredients have gluten-free certification from suppliers. Post went as far as having all of the ingredients and the final product tested by an outside laboratory to ensure there was no cross-contamination.

It’s great to see more mainstream companies and product lines really embrace the gluten free community. Labeling and proper production techniques makes it much easier for us shop wisely and know immediately if a product is safe or not. 

Thank you Post!

        

Lunch at Vin de Set

I recently had an opportunity to eat an amazing lunch at Vin de Set, an upscale bistro serving southern French food. Wendy and Paul Hamilton, same owners of Eleven Eleven Mississippi, opened the restaurant in 2007. While the venue is beautiful, the food is even more impressive.

Looking at the lunch menu, there were plenty of options that were naturally gluten free - seafood, salad, quinoa, meat entrees served with fresh vegetables and more. When the waitress took our order, I explained to her that I must eat gluten-free. She understood immediately what I meant (always a relief) and said she would verify with the chef that my chosen dish was gluten-free. 

The restaurant normally offers an incredible looking bread service, sliced bread with three types of spreads, while customers wait for their orders to be served. Our waitress took my gluten-free request into consideration and asked me if the table would still like bread service. I told her yes please, since my fellow diners were not gluten free. I really appreciated that extra step in customer service. I always find it a bit disturbing when I explain to a server that I can’t have gluten or bread and then a minute later they serve me a bread basket.

I ordered the pan seared chicken with goat cheese mashed potatoes in a white wine sauce. The meal was absolutely delectable! Everything in the restaurant is made with such care and the menu items are based on the season. The chef and the staff are well aware of gluten-free dining needs and are more than willing to help make a satisfying and healthy meal for guests. I highly recommend it for gluten-free diners.

    

(Photos courtesy of Vin de Set website)

Johnsonville Goes Gluten Free

I had heard through the GF grapevine that all but two Johnsonville products are gluten free. As we all know, I never take anyone’s word for it when it comes to gluten in a processed product. So, I contacted them myself.

The rumors are true. All Johnsonville products (expect the two beer infused brats) are gluten free. While I’m not a big processed meat fan, it’s great to know that we have more options, especially when it comes to items to grill in the summer. Personally, I’m excited about the breakfast sausage so I can finally make great, gluten free biscuits and gravy!

I’ve included the letter from Johnsonville below so you can read it.

In reference to your question, the majority of our products are made with gluten free ingredients. In fact, we only make two retail products that contain gluten as a result of the real beer used in our Beer ‘n Bratwurst and Cooked Beer Brats. All other Johnsonville products are made with gluten free ingredients.

Out of excitement, I bought a couple of their products when I was at the store. Cheddar Bratwurst and Breakfast Sausage……yum!

         

King Arthur Baking Products at Schnucks

I just noticed earlier this week that Schnucks is carrying a new line of gluten-free baking mixes from King Arthur Flours. I’ve seen then at the stores on Loughborough and Hampton so far, but I’m guessing it’ll be in most Schnucks if they aren’t already.

According to their website, King Arthur offers a variety of GF mixes, including cookies, cakes, brownies, pizza dough, pancake mix and more. At Schnucks, I’ve only seen the cookie and muffin mixes. They average around $4 per box.

I haven’t tried them yet (have a ton of GF baking mixes already in the pantry), but I’m looking forward to trying them soon. I’ll let you know what I think.

Book Suggestions for Those New to the Gluten Free Diet

When I was first diagnosed with gluten intolerance, nobody around me (other than the doctor) had heard of Celiac or gluten before. I spent hours online that first day researching gluten intolerance — what it meant, what health risks there were, what foods were safe, what gluten free meant, etc. It was overwhelming. It also gave me hope though —to know that something as simple as changing my diet would make all of the pain and suffering go away. Finding out what exactly that “gluten free diet” meant was a challenge.

I found a couple of great books that became my bibles over the first couple of months and I still reference them from time to time now. They explain exactly what gluten is, what foods in can be found in, how to find great doctors, health effects gluten could have on your body and even recipes. They are reasonably priced and definitely worth the investment. After I read them, I passed them along to family members and friends so they could understand what I was going through.

I’ve included links to each of them below so you can read more and purchase if you are interested. Do you have a great Gluten-Free resource book that I should know about? Email me and I’ll check it out.

The Gluten-Free Bible: The Thoroughly Indispensable Guide to Negotiating Life without Wheat

Dangerous Grains: Why Gluten Cereal Grains May Be Hazardous To Your Health

Tell Me What to Eat If I Have Celiac Disease: Nutrition You Can Live With

Domino’s Introduces Gluten Free Pizza in New Zealand

In May of this year, Domino’s Pizza introduced a gluten-free crust at their New Zealand restaurants. After customers requested a gluten free option for a year, the company finally listened. With a GF base, the company now offers 16 pizza options that are gluten free.

"After months of development and testing we have found a gluten free base which tastes great. The Thin’n’Crispy style base means gluten free customers can now enjoy take away pizza and with more than 13 regular menu pizzas made with gluten free ingredients plus the option to design their own, they have the freedom and control of enjoying pizza without the worry," Domino’s General Manager Ryan Bohm said.

It will be interesting to see how the company deals with cross contamination possibilities and other food allergy issues that often plague Celiacs. If the new pizza options are a success, I hope they make their way across to the States soon! We need to start an awareness campaign here like customers did in New Zealand! We are lucky in St. Louis to have places such as Pi that offer gluten-free crusts, but $15 for a small pizza, no matter how good, gets pricey after awhile.

Contact Domino’s here and ask them to bring their Gluten Free crust option stateside.