Changing the Conversation with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

NFCAWe have all heard it a million times now…the gluten-free diet is considered a “fad diet” and little of the conversations and media reports actually include the real reason behind a gluten-free diet…CELIAC DISEASE. Not only does this frustrate those with celiac disease when we try to bring the conversation but it also leaves a negative impact on those that are actually living with the disease and and the severity of it. This is not a dietary choice, there is no cheating, this is necessity, it is our ONLY treatment, and it needs to be taken seriously.

During the month of June the NFCA is helping to change the conversation to what it should be about…celiac disease! Check out their first video HERE (or click the image below). Keep checking back from more information and videos throughout the month of June. Please share and be part of the change!

nfca_cc1.pngDon’t forget to check out National Foundation For Celiac Awareness on these social media sites:

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest     YouTube

Celiac Awareness Month Round-up {Awareness, NFCA PSA, and New Product Spotlight}

Celiac Awareness Month Round-up

I apologize now for an extremely long post but I wanted to make sure I covered all my bases for this round-up including spreading awareness to current and future dietitians, PSA from National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, and new gluten-free products.

Raising Awareness

For the last several years I have celebrated Celiac Awareness Month and raising awareness of Celiac Disease by hosting giveaways on this site. This year however, I wanted to do something different. While giveaways are awesome, fun, and it gets people involved I wanted to focus more on the awareness aspect of this month and help educate those around me. As many of you know I am currently pursuing my dream of becoming a Registered Dietitian and am honored to be completing my internship at NewYork-Presbyterian. In case you didn’t know, NYP is one of top six hospitals in the country and number one in New York. NYP is connected to two incredible medical colleges; Columbia University and Cornell University. Columbia is also home of one of the best Celiac Research Centers in this country, Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. While my awareness event has no direct connection to the center, it is amazing to be in connection with them through the hospital.

I debated on offering giveaways for quite a while leading up to this month and finally decided that I think it would be more beneficial to spread awareness and knowledge to those around me…current and future dietitians. When I was diagnosed, I didn’t have a dietitian available to me and my doctor wasn’t the most knowledgeable in the area of celiac – she saw my results, said what I had, and said no more pasta or bread. That was all. Everything I learned, I learned on my own by way of Google, books, and some amazing bloggers out there. They were the ones that kick started my desire to start Creative Cooking Gluten Free and then to pursue the filed of Dietetics. I wanted to help people understand they can have these items, just more creatively. I also have the desire to help not only those with celiac but with other gastrointestinal disorders, food allergies, etc. I love the challenge of creating meal plans and recipes for those with multiple food allergies. My degrees in Culinary Arts and Culinary Nutrition go hand in hand with my studies in Dietetics…you can’t have one with out the other (at least that is my philosophy). I wanted to share with those pursing this field and also have a desire and passion for helping people gluten-free resources including educational materials and samples for them to try and be able to give a 100% honest feed back to a patient when they ask “do you have any suggestions on products?” “what is the best gluten-free…on the market”. We need to know these things because despite what some say, celiac disease is real, not a fad, and not going away.

Each month in our internship we have a Class Day, where all 32 of the interns come together and we have various sessions on topics in dietetics. May being celiac awareness month was the perfect month for me to share with this captive audience. I reached out to about 50 gluten-free companies, explaining what I wanted to do and who my targeted audience was, and asked if they would be willing to send some samples to be included in the “swag bags” that would be given to the current and future dietitians. Several responded that they had received too many requests, which is no surprise being that it was celiac awareness month, however the responses I received were overwhelmingly generous! I received samples, full sized products, educational materials, coupons, and more. This celiac community and their desire to help educate and raise awareness continually blow me away.

I recruited some help from a few of the other interns to help me put the “swag bags” together – we made a total of fifty to share with the current interns, our directors, and current dietitians at the hospital. The response was overwhelmingly positive and many great conversations were started because of this.

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(Celiac Awareness Month Swag Bags – ready to be handed out to current and future RD’s)

IMG_5777(NYP’s 90th & 91st Class of Dietetic Interns)

Thank you to all who helped make this event possible – I couldn’t have done this with out you and your extreme generosity.

Check out these mail deliveries I received! I seriously couldn’t even sleep in my room after the last shipment arrived.

It is always a pleasure to work with all of you on my blog over these last several years and I love that I have had the privilege to meet many of you at the last two Gluten Free and Allergy Free Expos in Secaucus, NJ. Looking forward to working with all of you again, and hopefully seeing you soon. Without you, none of this is possible!

Seriously, Celiac Disease – PSA from National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

Celiac Disease is serious…seriously it is! It is an Autoimmune Disease, not just a diet. It is not a fad diet created by Hollywood to make you lose weight. The gluten-free diet is the ONLY treatment for those with Celiac Disease. There is not cure. There is no magic pill to take. This is real life.

Do you have celiac disease and trying to figure out how to talk to your family members about being tested? Head on over to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness’ site for important information, tips, and talking points and watch their PSA called Seriously, Celiac Disease HERE.

talk. tell. test.

New Gluten Free Product Spotlight

Here are some new gluten-free items worth checking out:

New from I Heart Keenwah: Quinoa Puffs (featured below, Aged Cheddar and Sweet Chili) – delicious little bits of goodness and loaded with 5 grams of protein per serving.

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Snyder’s of Berlin: Variety of Gluten-Free Chips – great for all the summer BBQ’s that are coming up.

Walkers – Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies. I remember this brand of shortbread cookies from when I was little. Learning a few months ago that they had come out with a gluten-free line of them, I was rather excited as it brought back some childhood memories of a hot cup of tea and shortbread cookies with my grandmother. The gluten-free line comes in three flavors: Chocolate Chip, Ginger & Lemon (sounds amazing to me!), and Pure Butter (below).

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Luna & Clif Bars – in case you missed it ALL Luna bars are now Gluten-Free!! Check out the new offerings from both companies below…the dark chocolate almond from Clif is so delicious and perfectly fits in my lab coat pocket!

Celiac Awareness Month

May is National Celiac Awareness Month and sadly it is coming to a close in just a few days. There have been so many great people raising awareness this month including, but definitely not limited to, Erica of Celiac and the Beast, Brandy Wendler (Mrs. Northwest) of A Spoonful of Wellness, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, Rebecca of Pretty Little Celiac, Mr. Dude of Gluten Dude, and EA of The Spicy RD. Again these are just a few of the wonderful bloggers and organizations out there that have shared delicious recipes, informative posts, and have been advocates for Celiac Disease not just during the month of May but all year-long.

There is so much that I wanted to accomplish on CCGF this month but sadly, life got in the way. I finished up another trimester of school and now only have one year left! I was awarded The Feinstein “Enriching America Award” for the community service that I completed while doing my internship and AmeriCorps, from The Feinstein Community Service Department at JWU. Our club, Sans Gluten was awarded Best New Club of the Year – there were 11 new clubs this year, and we have over 60 members with bi-weekly production meetings that consist of recipe research and development. I also completed my AmeriCoprs Scholarship For Service and in addition to that was awarded the Founders Award from JWU (with a lovely 5,000.00 scholarship!!!), and was inducted into the Alpha Beta Kappa National Honor Society. Plus, B graduated from law school!! So on top of final exams, the award ceremonies, and family in town for his graduation this month just got away from me. With that said, I do have some wonderful products and cookbooks that I will be reviewing and posting about soon – I promise!

Every year I stress out so much on how I am going to pay for school for the following year but thankfully I don’t have to do that this year. I was awarded over $20,000.00 in scholarships and grants for next year alone! This is possible by some very generous people and my hard work and dedication. Some of my favorite quotes that have gotten me through all the stress, long hours, and sacrifices (not seeing family much) are:

“Your dream is not big enough if it doesn’t scare you.” (Matthias Schmelz)

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. “(E. Roosevelt)

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” (Harriet van Horne)

“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” (Buddha)

With all of that going on, I still wanted to raise awareness this month especially as an Udi’s Campus Ambassador. In order to do so I had to incorporate it into my school schedule so for my term projects for Anatomy & Physiology and Technical Writing, I presented about…you guessed it…Celiac Disease! Both projects included a written paper and a PowerPoint presentation. In one PowerPoint I included an amazing infographic on celiac disease symptoms that Gluten Dude posted – everyone in the class thought it was great (well done Gluten Dude!). For the A&P project we had to research a disorder, discuss which systems of the body it affected, signs, symptoms, treatments, etc. and then do a 5 minute PowerPoint presentation to the class. My Technical Writing project was a bit more intense. My project was on Celiac Disease vs. Wheat Allergy. The final project was a total of 37 pages and included 2 appendices one of which was a sample menu to be used in our culinary labs on campus that lists the top eight major allergens plus gluten and also included resources for substitutions.  In addition to the 37 written pages I also had to present a 15 minute PowerPoint Presentation to the class. I also handed out samples of Udi’s Gluten Free Granola and Red Apple Lipstick to my classmates.

I will also be volunteering at Hasbro Children’s Hospital with one of my professors in the Allergy and GI clinic. My professor asked for me to send her my research report on Celiac Disease vs. Wheat allergy and we will be going over it and refining it over the summer while we are working together.

Also, back in April I was asked along with the former President of our Sans Gluten Club and one of our Chef Advisers to film some gluten-free segments for the cooking show that JWU does called Cooking With Class (Check your local listings). I was BEYOND nervous to do this and on top of it my seasonal allergies kicked in and I had almost no voice but I did it anyway. You can view it online (please ignore the credit information – it is incorrect and they were supposed to be fixing this. This is my original recipe that I shared). Below are the links to all five our of segments for Celiac Week which aired the first week of May. Chef Lavornia does not have Celiac Disease however his wife and children do and has been creating delicious gluten-free recipes for years. We hope to do more videos for next year’s awareness month and will be hosting cooking demos for local families who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

Island Coconut Shrimp by Chef Michelle: http://www.turnto10.com/story/22171946/island-coconut-shrimp

Sweet and Spicy Chicken by Chef Jenny: http://www.turnto10.com/story/22171995/sweet-and-spicy-chicken

Raspberry Crumble Bars by Chef Lavornia: http://www.turnto10.com/story/22172217/raspberry-crumble-bars

Lemon Pound Cake by Chef Lavornia: http://www.turnto10.com/story/22172258/lemon-pound-cake

Dinner Rolls by Chef Lavornia: http://www.turnto10.com/story/22172063/gluten-free-dinner-rolls

You can also view my video below (Thanks to B for putting my site on there):

Cooking with Class from Jenny Manseau on Vimeo.

What have you done this month? Please feel free to share your stories below!

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Gluten-Free Frito-Lay Recipes

Don’t you just love when a favorite item or brand of yours is actually gluten free, and provides the information on their website! I know I do. I get abnormally excited over something that most would consider small, but to me its all about the small things in life. I’ve always been a fan of Frito-Lay’s products however, I never realized how many of them are gluten-free! Check out their recently updated list here. I think you will be presently surprised. This was brought to my attention by the National Foundation For Celiac Awareness (NFCA) when they asked if I would like to be a recipe tester for some of the new products.

I was assigned the Frito Waffles with Mascarpone and Warm Strawberry Compote. I had the option of changing up the recipe if I so desired to, however I rather liked it just as it was. The waffles were more on the savory side, but topped with the Mascarpone and Strawberry Compote made them a sweet-savory treat. I made these for my neighbor and myself whose respective other halves are away for the summer and she was recently told from her doctor that she needs to avoid gluten and wheat. They not only would be great for dinner but they made a mighty delicious dinner:)

In addition to my recipe and post check out the NFCA’s page for additional recipes and bloggers:  http://www.celiaccentral.org/frito-lay/recipes/

Keep reading to learn how you can win your own Frito-Lay products!!

Frito Waffles with Mascarpone and Warm Strawberry Compote

175 grams (about 1 1/4 cups millet flour)
50 grams (3/4 cup) crushed Fritos® Original corn chips
1 tablespoon golden flaxmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup honey
3 large egg whites

Strawberry Compote
1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mascarpone cheese

Combine flour, corn chips, flaxmeal, baking powder, milk, egg yolks, vanilla, butter and honey
in a blender container. Blend until smooth. Beat egg whites in a medium bowl until they form
soft peaks. Fold flour mixture into beaten egg whites until incorporated, being careful not to
deflate egg whites.

Pour about 1/2 cup of batter onto greased, heated griddle and cook until waffle is done,
according to manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat with remaining batter.

Combine strawberries, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium
heat until juicy and thickened, stirring often.

Serve waffles with mascarpone cheese and warm strawberries.

Yield: about 9 waffles.

Notes:

To make these a little sweeter – maybe add a tablespoon of sugar

This recipe was pretty easy and quick to make. Again this is great for breakfast or dinner. Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? I know I do!

I ended up eight large waffles

My waffle maker is old (very old) so they came out a bit darker than I had hoped.

The strawberries and Mascarpone are fantastic on this – don’t add anything to the cheese, just add a dollop on top of the waffles and then top with the strawberry compote.

Head on over here to enter for your chance to win a prize package from Frito-Lay!

 

 

Butternut Squash Soup & Croutons

I have been wanting to make some butternut squash soup for a while now, but sadly I don’t own a food processor, blender or immersion blender so I put it off. I started thinking about the soup again this past week and was determined to make it, so I thought if I cooked the squash enough I could just mash it, but then it wouldn’t have that smooth creamy texture so I finally went next door and asked my neighbor if she had a blender or food processor I could borrow.  Of course she had one, and why had I not thought of asking her sooner?  Who knows, I’m a bit slow lately.  Being sick for a month has really thrown me for a loop.  I am finally feeling better and getting back into cooking more.  Poor Bryan has been dealing with my half-ass attempts of meals lately, which consisted of mostly “mushy” foods because I couldn’t chew anything.  Even though this soup could be considered another “mushy” meal I refuse to look at it that way because I have been craving it for so long.  To add a little bit of texture to the soup I topped it with some crispy bacon pieces and homemade gluten-free croutons (see recipe below).

Like always, I did some searching online for butternut squash soup recipes just to see what others put in theirs.  I found that many of the recipes were similar to the one that I had floating around in my head so I figured I would just wing it and see how it tasted (maybe not always the best idea). Bryan hasn’t really eaten butternut squash much and has never had butternut squash soup, so to make it more appealing to him I wanted to add a bit of spice to it.  The first time I ever had this soup was in China of all places.  It was amazing.   If you don’t like that much spice you can always start by cutting those ingredients in half at first, taste it and then add accordingly.

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)

4 celery stalks – diced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 medium-large butternut squash (about 3 – 3.5 pounds) – See prep options below

1 large sweet potato (or two small/medium) Peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

3 cups of chicken broth (gluten-free low sodium/organic)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

salt and pepper to taste

1/4-1/2 cup half and half

There are two ways that you can prepare the squash:

1- Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and place flesh side down on a foil lined baking sheet (oiled/sprayed well).  In a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 40-50 minutes.  Once roasted and cooled slightly scoop out flesh and add to soup

2- Peel the squash, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and then chop into one inch cubes.  Cook squash in the soup with out roasting.

The first one is probably a bit easier because the skin of the squash is very touch and can be a pain to peel.  I have a really good peeler so I didn’t have any problems with it.  So it is completely up to you on which method you prefer to use, and you will get great results either way.  The recipe below is for option number two, however if you choose to roast your squash then scoop it out add it after you sauté the celery, garlic add the broth.  You can then go right into pureeing the soup.

Directions:

Peel and cut your squash and sweet potato and set aside.  Over medium heat in a large sauce pan (or stock pot) add olive oil and celery, cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened.  Add garlic and cook for an additional two minutes.  Next, add squash, sweet potato, half of the spices and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil for 20 minutes.  Lower heat to simmer.

In small batches ladle the soup into a blender (or food processor) and puree until smooth and there are no chunks.  Add the pureed soup back into the pan and repeat until all the soup has been pureed and it is smooth.  Add remaining spices and half and half.  Do Not bring back to a boil, just simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.  Serve warm with your choice of toppings (bacon, croutons, sour cream, spiced pumpkin seeds etc.)

We served ours with crumbled maple bacon bits and some gluten-free multigrain croutons. Croutons are so simple to make, I dont’ know why people buy them. You can make them how ever you wish, plain, garlic, seasoned etc. You should really try to experiment with them at some point.  Great in both soups and salads or to just munch on.

Gluten-Free Croutons

6 pieces of gluten-free bread (I used Rudi’s Multi Grain Bread)

1 clove of garlic minced

3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon melted butter

salt

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl combine garlic, oil, butter and salt – set aside.  Cut bread into small chunks and place them on a foil lined baking sheet.  Drizzle the oil, butter and garlic mixture over the bread chunks.  Toss the bread to make sure it is evenly coated.  Bake at 300 for 15-20 minutes, turning once.  Croutons should be a light/medium golden brown.

You can all any seasoning you wish to your croutons and increase the measurements according to the amount of bread you are using.  Other seasoning options include: dried basil, dried oregano, celery seed, pepper, parsley, grated parmesan cheese or whatever you wish.

These can be stored in an air tight container for up to four weeks or frozen for up to six months.

Help Rudi’s “Spread The Bread” “For every dollar coupon downloaded, Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery will give a dollar to The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to help in their efforts to better educate physicians in the diagnosis of celiac disease. There are an estimated 3 million people in the United States suffering from celiac disease, yet only 160,000 are diagnosed.” Get your coupon HERE!

Business Cards – A Great Resource

Yes I am that weird annoying person who takes photos of my food…all the time! At first Bryan would shake his head about me but he has gotten used to it. Not only do I bring my little point and shoot camera with me to the restaurants, I also bring one of my favorite little note books…the moleskines! So whenever we are traveling we are constantly on the search for new places to try, especially cupcakes places.  In the past month or so we’ve been to quite a few places and several of the waiters have seen me writing in my notebooks and hearing Bryan and I talk about the different dishes we’ve ordered etc.  They asked what I plan to do with these notes, and I simply explain that I have my own Gluten-Free blog that not only has recipes on there but when I try new places I write about them.  That last part seems to get their attention real good!  Once they hear that they ask if I have a business card…which I didn’t but now I do!

Bryan helped design these for me and I think it is a great resource for all gluten-free, allergy-free bloggers to have! Now I carry them with me and hand them to the waiter if they ask or leave it with our signed check.  We also looked up facts about Celiac Disease on The National Foundation For Celiac Awareness’ website to include on the reverse side of the card along with their website.  So here they are:

Front Side

Reverse Side