Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gluten Free Vermont - Sarducci's Restaurant


*Update - The Gluten Free menu is now on their website.  Also, their chicken stock is now gluten free, so risotto and most of their soups are safe to eat.  They tell me gluten free pizza is in the works!*

My parents own an Italian restaurant.  Which is a bit ironic given my recent celiac diagnosis.  It's been open for 17 years, which means for most of my life I've been eating free pasta, bread, and fried calamari.

We ate or took food home from Sarducci's a lot growing up.  Every time I come home we go at least once.  So when I learned I was gluten free I thought bye bye Sarducci's.

Not so.  Shortly after I went gluten free my mom told me they put gluten free pasta on the menu.  She acted as though it was no big deal, but I thought it was just about the sweetest thing I had ever heard.

Not only do they have gluten free penne, but she worked with the chef to figure out what could and what couldn't be gluten free on the menu.  It turns out most things can be gluten free by substituting gluten free penne for the pasta and mashed potatoes for risotto (their chicken stock is not gluten free).

I'm home for Memorial Day weekend and took it upon myself to type out a gluten free lunch and dinner menu for them.  There are 4 appetizers, a soup, 6 salads, 13 pastas, 10 entrees, and 5 desserts on their gluten free dinner menu!  It should be on their website soon.

I'm very happy my parents have jumped on the gluten free bandwagon.  Not just for me, but for all the gluten free people in the area and the tourists that need a good place to eat close to the highway.

Sarducci's is located on 3 Main Street in Montpelier, Vermont.  They are open for dinner 7 nights a week and lunch Monday-Saturday.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Gluten Free Diet is not a Weight Loss Diet - and the Article that Finally Made Me Write This Post

Random swimsuit model I found online.

I've been meaning to do a post recently about how mad it makes me when people think of a gluten free diet as a weight loss diet.  True, not eating bread, pasta, cake, cookies, and pizza will probably make you lose weight.  It will also make you healthier.  But let me tell you something, this is not a gluten free diet.  This is a low carb, low junk food diet.

I'm on a gluten free diet and I can eat bread, pasta, cake, cookies, and pizza too.  They are just made with different flours than yours.  If you are on a gluten free diet just to lose weight, I do not personally think that all that soy sauce you are eating is the reason you are fat.  In fact, many people with celiac disease gain weight once they go on a gluten free diet because their stomach starts to heal and they are able to absorb nutrients again.  (I have gained weight on this diet, but I'm pretty sure it's because of all the gluten free baking I'm doing, not the stomach healing part.  As it turns out, eating 7 gluten free cupcakes is not any better for you than eating 7 regular cupcakes.) 

Anyway, I was particularly enraged when I read this article tonight: What We're (Not) Eating.  Apparently people with anorexia are claiming to be gluten free and therefore having a seemingly legitimate excuse not to eat many things.  This makes me so mad.  I would never recommend someone go on a gluten free diet if they didn't have to.  While I'm dealing relatively well with the adjustment to a gluten free lifestyle, the fact that people are pretending to have a gluten intolerance as an excuse not to eat is infuriating.  Please don't use my disease as a cover up for yours.  They are not the same.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

MI-DEL Cookie Giveaway!

Erin of Gluten Free Fun emailed me recently about hosting a giveaway on my blog.  She had received an email from MI-DEL but couldn't eat anymore gluten free cookies at the moment.  I, on the other hand, was happy to participate.

Here's the deal.  May is Celiac Awareness Month and MI-DEL cookies is celebrating by giving away free cookies.  They sent me three free coupons to try whichever of their products I wanted.  I picked three.  I tried three.  Now I write about them.  Then I get to give three away!

MI-DEL has nine varieties of gluten free cookies.  They also have all natural and organic regular cookies.  Check out all their products here.  I chose to try the gluten free arrowroot cookies, gluten free chocolate chip cookies, and the gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies.  Yum.  The following are my thoughts on each one.  You may not know me very well, but I wouldn't say I liked these if I didn't.  Also, I didn't have to pay for these, but they are usually very reasonably priced, which makes me happy.

Before buying any of these cookies, I was most excited about the chocolate chip.  But these arrowroot cookies were such a pleasant surprise.  Like traditional animal crackers, they come in animal shapes and are a perfect snack for kids, or really fun adults like myself.  And, dare I say, they are better than the animal crackers I remember in my childhood.  Sweet, but not too sweet, with a touch of vanilla.  I ate several of these on the way home from the grocery store.  No gluten free kid would feel left out with these around.

Next I tried the much anticipated chocolate chip cookie.  I love chocolate chip cookies, but I realized after I bought these that I like them made from scratch and warm from the oven.  These were good, and quite comparable to Chips Ahoy.  If you miss packaged chocolate chip cookies in your life, these are a good substitute.

These chocolate sandwich cookies are very much like Oreos.   They are delicious.  I can't stop eating them.  I would buy them again.  Enough said.

Which cookies do you want?  (Now is the time when three of you get them free!)  Go to MI-DEL's website and check out their choices:  To win, leave a comment here or email me at to let me know which product you'd like to try.  It doesn't have to be one of their gluten free options.  I'll randomly pick three people in the next few days.  Anyone in the US and Canada can participate.

Also check out MI-DEL on facebook or twitter.  (Oh, and if you want to check me out on twitter I'm @ _anyak_)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Goodbye Creemees

I stole this picture from the internet.  I do not know who's arm this is.

I just came to the very sad realization that I can no longer eat creemees in a cone.  If you don't know what a creemee is, you aren't from Vermont.  If you try to tell me creemees are "soft serve" I refuse to listen, because you are wrong, and I will not agree to disagree.

I am so sad about this realization that I don't know what to say.  Growing up in a town with not much else to do in the summer (or any time of the year), going for this delicious treat embodies so much of my adolescence.

My personal favorite creemee is a baby black raspberry vanilla twist with rainbow sprinkles.  My favorite part is the last bite where the creemee part has melted into the cone part.  Some people will say it's fine, I can still eat the creemee part.  But a creemee in a dish?  I just don't know.

I'm going to go morn this loss now.  And when I pull myself together I'll google gluten free cones to try and see if my life is still salvageable. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

G-Free NYC - A Gluten Free Store!

A fully gluten free store just opened in Manhattan.  This is very exciting for several reasons, the main one being that I don't have to worry about checking any labels to see if something is gluten free.  It is also exciting because they carry a lot of my favorite products, as well as a lot of products I've been wanting to try.  They have a large selection of frozen foods as well as shelf stable.  They also get baked goods delivered from Tu-Lu's every morning.

I've been twice in the last week and I got a bunch of goodies.  Most of them are pictured below.  I had never tried any of them before.  I also got a box of soy sauce packets so I can throw a few in my purse instead of lugging a bottle around with me when I want to go for sushi.  I have already used these and have deemed them a great purchase.  I tried the granola as well and it is really good.  I got another box of it with cranberries and cashews.  Mmm.

This is the soy sauce.  Best purchase yet.

You can't see the prices in the picture very well, but the bread is $5.95, the granola $6.20 for 4 packets, the crackers $4.95, the dumplings $7.50 for 8 dumplings, and the mac and cheese $3.  I'm too lazy to get up and see how much the granola bar is.  Even though the prices seem - and are - high, they are about the same, and in some instances lower, than I've seen at other stores.  (This is pretty depressing.  You pretty much have to be rich to be gluten free.  I'm not.)  Kudos to these folks for not bumping their prices up even higher though, because it is an especially specialty, specialty store.

So, go to this store.  Support them in their gluten free mission.  I know I will.

G-Free NYC
77A West 85th Street
(between Columbus & CPW)
New York, NY 10024

Telephone: 646.781.9770
Monday: Closed
Tuesday – Friday: 11am-7pm
Saturday – Sunday: 10am-6pm

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I'm Not A Big Drinker, But...

I'm not a big drinker, but who doesn't like to have a drink now and then?  Most people with celiac disease morn the loss of beer in their lives.  There have been a few times when I, too, have wished I could have a beer in the last six months: the super bowl, an occasional happy hour, sitting on the beach in Mexico.  But normally I'm ok without it.  I was never a big beer drinker anyway.  I'm a vodka girl myself.  And they can't take that away from me.

My 25th birthday was last week and some friends and I went out dancing last night to celebrate.  The "now and then" of my drinking occurred last night.  After making a dinner of pork chops, wild rice, and broccoli, I started on my signature vodka cranberries (plural, sorry mom).  I've started using seltzer and just a splash of juice as a mixer in my old age.  There were lots of drinks throughout the evening and I didn't have to worry about gluten the entire time.  I could have had just about any hard alcohol and been fine - gluten wise, not sobriety wise.  There was a moment leaving the bar last night when everyone went across the street to eat pizza that I slipped into a quick pity party, until I saw a taco truck a block away.  It might have only been because it was four in the morning and I was drunk, but I had one of the best chicken tacos I've ever had there.

I'm pretty happy alcohol generally isn't something I have to worry about on this lifetime gluten free diet.  I've even started drinking wine a little bit, which is now what I have at happy hour instead of beer (I reserve vodka for times I want to end up dancing).  Previous beer fanatics aren't as lucky.  There are a few gluten free beers, but they aren't offered at most mainstream bars.  They also aren't as good.  I'm glad I made this celiac discovery post high school and college though, or else the avoiding beer part would have been much harder.  But with vodka and wine on my side, I'm going to be alright.