Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chili Addiction

I have discovered my new favorite place to eat out, I just wish it were closer, or maybe not because then I would eat there everyday. Chili Addiction in Los Angeles, CA is a very gluten free friendly place with amazing food. The atmosphere is also very friendly and welcoming the owner and head chef, Johnny took time to talk to us about the menu and gave suggestions for items to try. He told us that both himself and the other owner are gluten free and he only creates and serves gluten free dishes (with the exception of some vegan dishes he created before going gluten free) because he has Celiac Disease and cannot eat gluten so if he were to make dishes with gluten he cannot taste them and would not know if they were any good. People who eat gluten should not be afraid they do serve buns with gluten for their burgers, hot dogs and sausages, they also serve pasta with gluten for their chili mac and chili mac and cheese. Celiacs do not be afraid they do serve gluten free pasta and gluten free buns and everything with gluten is kept separate for everything that is gluten free so there is not cross contamination. Their name may be chili addiction, but they owner informed us they they are really known for their burgers, and homemade hot dogs and sausages. They also serve homemade ice cream and all their desserts are gluten free (but you wouldn't know it they are amazing). This was my second visit to Chili addiction and I have to say everything I have had so far has been amazing from the chili nachos to the "Weho Fries" (Fries with cheese, bacon and bacon aioli) and the hot dog with bacon and caramelized onions. So good!!!! But wait there's more for you celiacs or gluten free people craving gluten free Italian they offer the "UTR" Under the Radar Menu. Johnny's background is Italian cooking, he has created a whole Italian menu, however if you would like something from that menu you need to call and order it at least 24 hours a head of time. They also offer have a freezer where they offer some of the Italian entrees, sauces and ice creams to take home. I highly recommend Chili Addiction to anyone gluten free or not who enjoys amazing made from scratch food. The only thing bad about the place is that it is not closer to me.

Chili Addiction
408 N. La Cienega Blvd.
los Angeles, CA 90048

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gluten Free Parmesan Pasta

Before I went gluten free one of my favorite things was the Parmesan pasta at Louise's Trottoria. I like to think I created a bit of a healthier version of it and it's gluten free.

about 1 serving gluten free fettuccine
1 table spoon Brummel and Brown Spread
Parmesan cheese (I try to use low fat)

Cook pasta in salted water. When pasta is aldente drain pasta and reserve some of the pasta water. Put pasta, spread, and about 1-2 table spoons pasta water back in pot over low heat. Add Parmesan cheese and stir till combined. Add a little pasta water as needed till mixture reaches creamy consistency.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sharing the wealth of information

Yesterday I attended Celiac Disease Foundation Conference. It was very informative with lots of free samples. Lots and lots of free samples. I still have yet to go through all the samples, but I have to say that I had previously tried most of the samples on my own and nothing really stood out except the beef chili from Chili Addiction on La Cienega Blvd in Los Angeles. They were the only restaurant there and I thought their chili was excellent. It is very hard to find places with gluten free options that know how to handle Gluten free food, I can't wait to go check out their restaurant. I found some new resources for information that will hopefully help me on my journey.
High lights:
  • My favorite quote had to be "The actress playing the part of your server for the night." The Dr. was speaking about ordering out at a restaurant and I think he hit the nail on the head not only because as we joke out here in CA that most waiters and waitresses are actors waiting for their acting career to start, but to me it also stressed the point that most wait staff is inexperienced and uneducated about Celiac Disease and food allergies.
  • http://www.glutenfreediet.ca/ Is a great website and recourse from Shelley Case a dietitian. I have been looking for new ways to get more protein into my diet as well as ways to just eat healthier overall. This website has some really great educational resources.
  • I met a young lady and her family who really impressed me. She wrote a blog of a college class about being Celiac and dealing with social situations. I have not been able to find the blog yet, but what she said and how her family supported her really impressed me. I  met the young lady's father while she was giving a presentation and he talked about going to restaurants educating the staff and showing his red bracelet to raise awareness. He reminded me of my own father and my own family and how they have been so supportive of me. I can't wait to read her blog. I was inspired by this young lady to keep up with my own blog a little more. www.ccglutenfreed.com
  • I found a new website, which is not up and running yet, but it sounds like it will be very resourceful with information on celiac disease and living with the gluten free diet. The dietitian who created the site said that there will be different levels of information for those just starting the diet to those who have been following the diet for a while. I am very excited to see this website as well. www.celiacnow.org In the mean time you can check out her other site http://www.deletethewheat.com/
  • I learned that Blue Cheese is gluten free (not that I eat it anyway). It was interesting to hear that Blue Cheese is made from Bread mold, it was thought that it might contain gluten, however Shelley Case said that in Canada they test lots of different blue cheese made from bread mold and found that none contained gluten, so if you like Blue Cheese, you are safe to eat it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Businesses know your consumer and Consumers be aware and educated!

Going Gluten free appears to be the latest trend. More and more people are going gluten free and more and more businesses are creating products. Unfortunately the businesses creating and selling products are not as aware of their consumers as they should. They do not seem to be aware of cross contamination and how it may affect those with Celiac Disease, one of their potential consumers. It seems as if they just see "gluten free" and  think, "oh this could sell." Earlier today I was at a sandwich shop, where I normally go to get a salad, however I had heard they were selling gluten free bread so I was excited. Being the educated consumer I asked all the questions, "Is they bread toasted in the same toaster as the regular bread?" and found out the answer was yes, making the gluten free bread no longer gluten free to those of us with Celiac disease and severe allergies. Sadly I had to say no to the sandwich and settle for a salad.

 If a business such as a sandwich shop in this case or even a pizza shop is going to sell a gluten free product they need to be aware of cross contamination. Yes no one can never really say with 100% certainty that a product is gluten free unless it is a gluten free facility, but simple precautions can be taken by a knowledgeable business that can reduce the chances for cross contamination. If a business is not willing to take those precautions they should not be selling a product as gluten free. As an example I was very wary of Subway when I heard they were product testing gluten free bread, however I read an article from Triumph Dining about the product testing stating that the owner of subway was very aware of the issues of cross contamination and was re-educating the staff in every subway running the product testing on how to make sandwiches and how to make the gluten free sandwiches so that the chances of cross contamination were greatly reduced. After reading the article I felt confident enough in their knowledge and set up of the business that I would try a gluten free sandwich at Subway if I ever got the chance.

As for gluten free consumers, we need to always be aware of the product we are purchasing whether it be looking at the package and reading the ingredients closely or asking questions of the servers if you are ordering from a restaurant. Always be aware gluten free may not always mean gluten free.