Tuesday, September 8, 2020

An Evening Beyond Celiac Set for October 23

Beyond Celiac, the nation’s leading celiac disease organization known for its tireless work in patient advocacy and as the driving catalyst for a cure, is making another big move to empower and serve its community. On Oct. 23 at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT, the organization is hosting An Evening Beyond Celiac, the largest virtual event of its kind this year, to celebrate the ongoing acceleration of work to find a cure for celiac disease by 2030.

With anticipated participation from community members in every state in the country, the exciting evening will spotlight the Beyond Celiac scientific roadmap and the multidisciplinary, partnership-based approach that will bring results. Mixed into the evening’s agenda are musical performances and ask-the-expert segments.

“A cure for celiac disease is within our reach, so Beyond Celiac is hosting the biggest evening our community has ever seen to celebrate what life will be like once we can finally eat without fear,” said Beyond Celiac CEO Alice Bast. “With the strides we are making in research and the unrivaled focus and innovation of our science team, this night will be an entertainment-filled salute to the power of working together to accelerate a cure.”

Highlights planned for An Evening Beyond Celiac with emcee Diana Rocco, reporter for New York’s ABC7 (formerly of CBS3 in Philadelphia), include:

  • A discussion with Beyond Celiac Chief Scientist & Strategy Officer Salvo Alesci, MD, PhD; Chief Scientific Investment Officer Ken Kilgore, PhD, MBA; and Board Chair Alan Ehrlich, MD, and moderated by Beyond Celiac CEO Alice Bast
  • Ask-the-Expert segments with New York Times best-selling author Mark Hyman, MD and pediatric gastroenterologist Ritu Verma, MD, University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center
  • Exclusive musical performances by Marian Hill, the band behind the hit song “Down”
  • Additional musical performances by Beyond Celiac ambassador and operatic tenor Arturo Chac√≥n-Cruz and Philadelphia duo The Younger Brothers Band
  • A gluten-free cooking demo with comedian Anna Vocino
  • A few surprises and notable guests!

Through Sept. 10, any donation to the organization’s SepTENber campaign includes access to the virtual event. Starting Sept. 11, individual access requires a minimum contribution of $50. Sponsorship packages from $125 – $25,000 are also available and include delivery of gourmet gluten-free meals to enjoy during the celebration, as well as other gifts and recognition of support. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.beyondceliac.org/evening.

Friday, July 24, 2020

News & Notes: July 24, 2020

Licorice fans rejoice! Jelly Belly Candy Company has expanded its growing line of candy offerings to now include another classic candy staple, licorice, with the introduction of Scottie Dogs. Available online and at specialty retailers nationally in August, fans will be delighted by the bite-sized gluten-free Scottie Dog shapes available in two flavors - red licorice and black licorice.

Quinn Snacks recently announced gluten-free, paleo-friendly pretzel chips made from cassava flour. The plant-based chips are baked, topped with rock salt, and contain 2 grams of protein and fiber. They come in Original and Cracked Black Pepper varieties and are available at Whole Foods and Amazon.

Saffron Road has added two new frozen entrees to their Thai cuisine product line: Thai Basil Noodles and Thai Red Curry Chicken. Both meals are made with responsibly-sourced ingredients like chicken raised without antibiotics or grass-fed beef and are free from anything artificial. They are both halal and gluten-free certified.

Caulipower has debuted the first-ever microwaveable and recyclable cup of riced cauliflower in three flavors: Baja Style, Curried and Sesame Citrus, ranging from 100-160 calories for the whole container. The products are available at Amazon and in supermarkets throughout the country.

Several of Conagra's brands are introducing new gluten-free products. Blake's Foods now has a mac & cheese bowl made with white cheddar cheese. Meanwhile, Evol has rolled out keto-friendly pizzas - Cheese and Pepperoni - made with a chicken and parmesan crust, as well as two additional "lifestyle" bowls. The new gluten-free bowls are Unwrapped Chicken Egg Roll and Guajillo Chicken & Cauliflower.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the always updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,700 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Beyond Celiac 5K Series is Now Virtual

Beyond Celiac is taking its entire 2020 Step Beyond Celiac 5K series to the virtual streets with a multi-city tour for individuals and teams across the country to support celiac disease research efforts. Five event dates are planned between August and October. Join them for one or many with one-, three- and five-city tour options.

The Step Beyond Celiac 5K is a family-friendly event and fundraiser for Beyond Celiac. All participants are encouraged to raise funds by running or walking 3.1 miles either in the event cities or right where you are in support of research efforts for treatments and a cure.

Lace-up your running shoes, train, raise money, and run (or walk) a 5K (3.1 miles) to improve the quality of life for children and adults affected by celiac disease.

All participants receive a Step Beyond Celiac 5K shirt if they register before the t-shirt deadline.

The Philadelphia run will be between September 26 and October 3. Please join Team Gluten Free Philly at registration. Registration is $30 per person for one run, $75 for three cities and $120 for all five.

City Tour runs:

Boston –  August 9 – 16
Kansas City – September  13  – 20
Philadelphia – September  26 – October 3
Dallas – October 10 – 18
Denver – October 18 – 25

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Frozen Assets

Talia di Napoli's gluten-free Margherita pizza
Ever since our son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 16 years ago, we've been on a seemingly never-ending quest for the perfect frozen gluten-free pizza. His tastes have changed - from the personal pizzas made by Foods By George that he devoured in his younger years to the hard-to-find gourmet American Flatbread varieties that he discovered more recently. One constant is that the frozen pizzas - and for that matter, most of the ones available in restaurants - do not have a distinctive crust.

Until now, dear readers. Talia di Napoli's gluten-free Neapolitan pizzas are a game changer and have immediately become our son's new favorite. Recently featured in Food & Wine and the New York Times, the company imports both traditional and gluten-free pizzas hand made in Naples, Italy. The gluten-free versions are certified by Coeliac UK (less than 20 ppm) and the company's owner told me that they are produced on sanitized lines on days when traditional pies are not made, and baked in a dedicated wood-fired oven then flash frozen - known as a "sleeping" process. They have a real, airy crust that we haven't seen in any other frozen pizza. In fact, these pies rival the taste and texture of craft coal- and brick-oven pizzas sold at local pizza shops.

The gluten-free Primavera pizza from Talia di Napoli
Why the difference? The 11" gluten-free pizza base is made with buckwheat flour, rice flour and - yes - gluten-free wheat starch. The use of gluten-free wheat starch, which helps makes Talia di Napoli's gluten-free pizza unique, is more prevalent in European gluten-free goods than in the United States; Schar's gluten-free croissants and waffles sold in America are made with the starch. Given the word "wheat" in the name, consumers understandably may be wary of consuming products made with gluten-free wheat starch and, indeed, those with a wheat allergy or intolerance should avoid such foods. However, research has shown no evidence that foods made with gluten-removed wheat starch are harmful to those with Celiac Disease. You can read more about gluten-free wheat starch here, here and here and here. (Of course, consuming gluten-free foods made with this ingredient is an individual choice and I'm not here to twist your arm.)

Talia di Napoli rotates its offerings monthly, but the gluten-free Classic Pack ($95.99) includes four Margherita and three Primavera pies. All orders ship free to U.S. addresses. Yes, these cost more than your typical frozen pizzas but believe me: it's worth it. Promotions vary, but currently using GRAZIE15 will get you 15% off, TALIA10 will get you 10% off and this link will save you $5.

Make room in your freezer and buon appetito!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

What's New For Passover 2020

While COVID-19 might prevent families from gathering in person to commemorate the Jewish holiday of Passover, they can still have seders virtually using Facetime and Zoom.

This year, Passover begins the evening of Wednesday, April 8 and ends the evening of Thursday, April 16. It's a time when many more gluten-free products are available at supermarkets. This grew out of the observance of certain segments of the Jewish population refraining from eating any wheat products during Passover. The packaging of many gluten-free products is expressly labeled as such, while others have a "non-gebrokts" notation. (As always, read the ingredient label before buying and consuming a particular item.)

I've been chronicling new gluten-free Passover items for many years (you can read prior posts here), and this year brings many additions to the Seder table. Locally, many of these products can be found at ShopRite markets, particularly the one on Route 70 in Cherry Hill (Garden State Pavilions) and Wegmans stores.

Kosher food manufacturer Kayco, which recently acquired the Manischewitz brand, will be introducing new gluten-free products under various brand names (you can find all of Kayco's gluten-free products here.) The best-selling gluten-free matzo brand, Yehuda, returns with Original, Everything, Egg, Onion, Unsalted and Fiber Enriched varieties. Yehuda also has gluten-free matzo meal, cake meal and crackers.

This year, there are several new products under the Manischewitz label, including gluten-free Sicilian-style pizza and cold-brew coffee and tea macaroons.

This year, also look for new Gefen-branded gluten-free granola clusters, in maple almond and honey pecan flavors.
Kayco also has gluten-free Passover rolls, made with potato starch.

Also check the frozen-food section of your local market for even more varieties of gluten-free Passover pizzas and pizza bagels, blintzes, knishes and other items.

About a week or two before the start of Passover, supermarkets receive their shipments of fresh gluten-free cakes and cookies from New York bakeries such as Oberlander'sLilly's Bake Shoppe and Schick's. Look for sandwich, black-and-white and rainbow cookies, cake rolls, decorative and layer cakes.

If you want to try "Mexican Coke" (made with sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup), Passover Coca-Cola will be available in the Philadelphia area and other regions. Look for bottles with distinctive yellow caps.

Prices of some Passover foods tend to be higher than their non-holiday counterparts, so I suggest buying one of a particular item to see if you like it before stocking up. Keep an eye on Passover sections after the second night of the holiday, when markets tend to cut prices on whatever products are left.