Monday, August 25, 2014

Are gluten-free menus going away?

There is finally a gluten-free labeling law in the U.S. (it went info effect earlier this month) which is cause for celebration.  The FDA was supposed to have the law worked out by August 2008...oh well, we are talking about the government, after all.

If  you notice some items no longer sport gluten-free on the label even though nothing has changed regarding the ingredients, don't be alarmed.  Companies that want to claim their products are gluten-free have to be able to prove that fact.  Therefore, some companies that previously listed gluten-free on their labels might drop it only because they never tested their products as there was not a reason for it.

If the only thing a company produces is canned pineapple, there is not a reason to test the pineapple to see if it's gluten-free.  It is - period.  So even though we finally have a labeling law, label reading is still going to be part of our shopping trips.  At least if you see the GF symbol or the words gluten free now, you'll know the item is definitely gluten-free.

The worst part of the new law is a tiny stipulation which mentions restaurants have to meet the same requirements as food companies that produce packaged foods with labels.  Yes, that is basically what the law says...it sounds ridiculous, right?  There is obviously no way this is doable in a non gluten-free restaurant setting so guess what?  Larger chains are already pulling their gluten-free menus and renaming them things like gluten-friendly menu, low gluten menu and avoiding gluten menu - yikes!!!  I'm glad I'm not new to the gluten-free dining scene.  If I was, I might be scared to death to eat out.

When you see packaged food items from Europe that contain gluten, they say just that - 'contains gluten'.  How easy is that?!         

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Earthfare comes to the ATL!

The news that Sprouts Market is opening a Johns Creek location next month is uber exciting, but there is more great news about the area to report! Earthfare (which is one of fave places to shop!) is opening a location in at the Collection at Forsythe in Cumming, GA.  There is no info about this on the Earthfare website, but they have job openings listed for another Atlanta area store listed.  The company signed a lease for two spaces in the area a while back - I guess one of them is the Cumming store.  We noticed a sign about the addition to the shopping center while walking around the shops there.  The below info is from the Earthfare website (FAQ page).


Will you build a store near me? I heard a rumor…
A: We’re always looking for directions to expand, but we’re like ninjas. You won’t know we’re there until we want you to know. Watch the listings on the Our Stores page for locations opening soon.

My apologies that I can't share when the store will open as I can't stand having to give companies my email address just to ask a simple question - especially when I know I'm risking not getting a straight answer for the trouble.  Earthfare carries a few things I've not found at any location here so we usually stop by the Chattanooga and Greenville stores when visiting family in those areas.  It's SO exciting to have another great shopping option for fabulous food in the ATL!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gluten-free salmon cake recipe

When I was growing up, salmon croquettes were a special weeknight dinner. I'm not sure what was in them, except salmon and breadcrumbs, but they were pretty tasty!  Once I was eating gluten-free, I used crushed gluten-free crackers in place of bread crumbs to make salmon cakes.  The main difference between those and croquettes is typically how much oil is used to cook them.  

Last week, I created an interesting version of salmon cakes with no carb filler what-so-ever.  I'm not going to win any cooking or recipe contests, but this experiment turned out surprisingly well, if I do say so myself ;)  

Gluten-free salmon cakes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can salmon
  • 1/4 small white onion, finely chopped 
  • 1/4 c. mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 tbp. Dijon mustard (or brown mustard)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c. rough chopped coconut chips (unsweetened)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • black pepper, to taste
  • several dashes of coconut aminos
  • fresh lemon juice, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS: 

  1. Saute onions and mushrooms in coconut oil until tender 
  2. Mash up salmon in mixing bowl with sturdy spoon (I remove the larger bones, but it's not necessary) 
  3. Add all ingredients, including cooked veggies, and mix well with hands (I wear food safe gloves for this part)
  4. Form 6-7 medium size patties and place on wax paper-lined baking pan
  5. Place pan in freezer for at least one hour so cakes can get firm
  6. Saute salmon cakes in coconut oil over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side (flip carefully as cakes are delicate)
  7. Serve with fresh lemon wedges (or sauce of your choice)  
There is no coconut taste to these salmon cakes.  The oil doesn't flavor them in the pan and the chips take on the flavor of whatever they're mixed up with. My husband could not figure out what filler I used which totally tickled me. He offered up several guesses, but coconut wasn't one of them.  
   

Enjoy!