Archive for category General Information

Alexandra’s “Gluten-Free” Pizza Not Safe for Celiacs

A few weeks ago, local pizza chain Alexandra’s joined Twitter (and followed our blog). I got extremely excited about their first tweet:

 

Tweet from Alexandra's Pizza about gluten-free crust

I immediately tweeted at them asking for more information. They put me in touch with their marketing consultant, who has family members with Celiac and who seemed to really understand my concerns about gluten-containing ingredients and cross-contamination. Her first e-mail gave some information, including the fact that the dough is made off-site to reduce the chance of cross-contamination.

But then something weird happened.

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Taste Testing Bread by Rudi’s!

In May, I picked up some Rudi’s tortilla wraps from Jane’s Gluten Free. They were delicious, so I was excited to see their bread in Sobeys grocery stores a few weeks ago. (Jane’s also carries the bread, but due to travel restrictions, I hadn’t picked it up on our last trip.) I tried a loaf of Rudi’s original bread; multigrain and cinnamon raisin flavours were also available.

At $5.99 a loaf, it seems comparable to other gluten-free breads, including my current favourite (Udi’s white bread). However, there is a real difference in size: Udi’s loaves are 340 grams, while Rudi’s are 510 grams. That means that the slices of Rudi’s bread are much bigger. Below, you can see Udi’s on the right and Rudi’s on the left:

 

Rudi's on the left, Udi's on the right

 

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Costco Eliminating Gluten-Free Products from Nova Scotian Shelves

I’ve posted a few times about the great gluten-free options at our Costco stores in Dartmouth and Halifax, including pizzapastas, crackers, deli meats, and pretzels. Last year, we visited Costco stores in Calgary and Edmonton and saw even more gluten-free options. We were excited, thinking that this meant more gluten-free options were coming our way.

Unfortunately, the opposite is true. The Bayers Lake and Dartmouth Costco stores have stopped selling Breton gluten-free crackers, gluten-free pasta, and even some types of quinoa. Who knows what products will get the axe next. It’s hard to believe that last fall people were told that there would be a gluten-free section in the Bayers Lake Costco!

This is even more disappointing considering that posts that I’ve seen recently on Facebook and Twitter indicate this is not part of Costco’s overall strategy. Some Costco stores in the United States now carry supersized loaves of Udi’s bread. The Costco in Quebec carries Glutenberg beer.

If you’re disappointed in Costco’s decision too, please fill out a comment card the next time you’re at the store and put it in their suggestion box. We’ve been told that this box is emptied and read daily and that the store does listen to suggestions. We’ll keep you up to date with any developments!

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Filling Your Gluten-Free Easter Basket

Holidays can be a tricky time for Celiacs and anyone with food allergies or intolerances. Holiday treats are often manufactured in bulk, meaning that your favourite chocolate treat is no longer gluten-free. Or, well-meaning friends and family might fill an Easter basket for you and unwittingly include gluten-containing treats.

Here are some of our favourite gluten-free Easter treats. (Remember, always check the label!)

The Canadian Celiac Association also recently shared this gluten-free candy list from My Gluten Facts. It is a few years out of date but it might give you a good starting point for your Easter shopping.

Here are some items to specifically be aware of:

  • Most Lindt chocolates contain barley.
  • Licorice usually contains wheat flour as its main ingredient.
  • Watch for “May contain wheat” on store brands.

Happy Easter!

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Saving Money on Gluten-Free Shopping

Although prices are starting to come down, there’s no denying that gluten-free food is expensive. We’ve got a few tips for helping you save money on gluten-free groceries.

The basics still apply!

Doing some basic preparation like budgeting, meal planning, flyer shopping, and coupon clipping can help you be prepared when you hit the grocery store. We’ve really focused on smart meal planning over the last year and have seen our grocery bill drop by about 30%.

We love the ShopWise app for flyers and keep an eye on BrandSaver and Save.ca for coupons.

Stock up on sales.

When gluten-free items are on sale, stock up if you have the room.  Buying in bulk can also save you money. As well, Costco has started carrying many gluten-free products, including pasta, crackers, and baking mixes.

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Celiacs are Welcome at Burger Week!

The second annual Halifax Burger Week is upon us! With over 50 restaurants in this year’s lineup, Celiacs have a number of options to choose from.

The first two entries that stand out are from Heartwood and enVie. We haven’t reviewed either restaurant, but both list a gluten-free bun option right in their Burger Week entry!

There are also some amazing places that we’ve reviewed on the list.

  • We’ve confirmed that both locations of Finbar’s can make their lamb burger gluten-free.
  • The chef at Jamieson’s Irish House & Grill has Celiac disease, and we’ve always found them extremely accommodating.
  • Both Relish and Flipburger offer tons of gluten-free options. The French fries at Flipburger are gluten-free, too!
  • Rock Bottom Brewpub has one of the best burgers in town, and I’m sure their Burger Week offering will be amazing too.
  • 2 Doors Down is one of our favourite spots in the city. We’re not sure if their Burger Week sliders will be gluten-free, but their Old School Cheeseburger (off the regular menu) is fantastic!

Another burger that we’d like to try is the one from Darrell’s. We’ve heard amazing things about their gluten-free options, but we haven’t made it there yet.

Let us know what you’re trying for Burger Week!

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No More Missing Out On Breakfast Sandwiches!

For Celiacs, those delicious fast-food breakfast sandwiches are out of the question. You know the ones I’m talking about… those delicious greasy packages of eggs, cheese, and bacon squished inside a delicious bagel or biscuit.

You can, of course, make them at home. It can be a bit time consuming, but there’s a new gadget that makes it easy! It’s made by Hamilton Beach and it’s simply called the Breakfast Sandwich Maker. I purchased one for my father as a Christmas gift, and was pretty skeptical of how it performed. He loved it so much that I bought one for us to try.

There are two things that I liked about this gadget before I even tried it.

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

One, it’s pretty small, so it doesn’t take up a lot of cupboard space. Two, it was only about $25 at Wal-Mart. This means that if you live in a household where other family members like their gluten-filled bread, you can buy two and keep one gluten-free.

Here’s how it works: you put the bottom half of an English muffin, mini bagel, biscuit, etc. in the bottom of the maker. You then add cheese, pre-cooked meats (bacon, sausage, etc.), and vegetables. Next, the second part comes down. Crack a raw egg in there, break the yolk, and put the top half of your bun on it. Now, put the top down and let it cook for five minutes. When it’s done, you simply slide the plate aside (dropping the now-cooked egg into the sandwich) and open the cover. Voila! One perfect breakfast sandwich.

We tried it out with Glutino English muffins (and cooked up some home fries) and here was the result:

Gluten-Free Breakfast Sandwich

It does take some practice to get the top part of the bun in the right way (hence the egg you see spilling over the edges) but the result was very delicious. I can’t wait to try some more breakfast sandwich recipes!

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