Saturday, January 31, 2009

Restaurant Review: Qdoba

Qdoba Mexican Grill is a fast food restaurant located at 2222 Walnut Street in Cary and in Beaver Creek Commons in Apex. In addition to a very complete listing of common allergen information (including Wheat and Other Glutens), they provide a comprehensive list of ingredients (even indicating that maltodextrin is from corn) .

From their website:

At Qdoba, we care about giving you the information you need to make informed decisions about eating. Food intolerances make these decisions even more important. Ingredients like wheat, soy, milk, eggs, nuts and fish are found in certain food items served at Qdoba.

We have found that the employees (and especially the manager) at the Apex Qdoba truly live up to their statement on their website. When we order, we inform them that our daughter cannot have gluten. The employees will change gloves and accommodate our special needs. We typically get a cheese quesadilla made with a Soft White Corn Tortilla and Black Beans. They have a wide selection of salads, meats, and salsas.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

GFRB Health Network Welcomes Personalized Nutrition

Allow me to welcome Personalized Nutrition to the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog (GFRB) Health Network.

Personalized Nutrition, Inc. is located in Apex, NC and offers individual, couple and family counseling for weight management, food allergies, intolerances, wellness, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cholesterol, eating disorders and sports nutrition. Their clients range from premature infants to toddlers to retired adults. Your treatment plan is personalized and created together with your registered licensed dietitian. Their staff has and is currently counseling numerous Celiac Disease patients and/or folks living the Gluten Free lifestyle.

Click here for their packages and rates.

Click here for their staff. Shelly Wegman will most likely be your contact when dealing with Celiac Disease.

For more information, please contact Personalized Nutrition using the following information.
Personalized Nutrition
307 South Salem Street, Suite #302, Apex, NC 27502
Web site
Email Owner Cathie Ostrowski
Email Shelly Wegman
Phone: 919.367.0677

Monday, January 26, 2009

Useful Resources: Bread machine and bread mix

We have found that our Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker creates delicious sandwich breads. We have been through three other bread makers and none of them really worked well with gluten free recipes. The Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker has a gluten free setting with specialized kneading, rising, and baking time to accommodate the gluten free batter.

After many experiments with recipes, our own attempts at recipes, and boxed bread machine mixes, we think that Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value Gluten Free Sandwich Bread Mix makes the best bread. It holds together well and has a pleasing texture and taste. It smells great—and so does our house when it is cooking!

Typically, my husband will make a loaf of bread, slice it, and freeze it. The bread makes great sandwiches, toast, and French toast.

We got our Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker at Bed, Bath, and Beyond at Crossroads. You can also go to the Cuisinart website.

From the recipe booklet included with the Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker:
“Gluten-free – One in approximately 100 people has an allergy or sensitivity to gluten. Since gluten is found in most flours used in traditional bread baking, the ingredients to create gluten-free breads are unique. While they are “yeast breads,” the doughs are generally wetter and more like a batter. It is also important not to over-mix or over-knead gluten-free doughs. There is only one rise, and due to the high moisture content, baking time is increased. Our exclusive gluten-free setting makes it easy to get the right results. Mix-ins must be added at the very beginning of the cycle with other basic ingredients.”

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Grocery Store Review: The Fresh Market, Cary

The Fresh Market in Cary (3655 SW Cary Parkway) is a "fine neighborhood specialty grocery store" and, to be honest, I just love the atmosphere. However, on my shopping trip yesterday, I asked three employees about a gluten free list (like Trader Joe’s list). One out of the three had no idea what I was talking about until I showed him the Gluten Free label on the vegetable broth that I was buying. The other two employees said they did not have a gluten free list and the gluten free items were not organized into a specific section.

Although Fresh Market does have a beautiful selection of produce, meats, cheeses, chocolates, and wines (all gluten free, of course), it is not ideal for a regular shopping trip for gluten free products because their selection is extremely limited. In addition, the gluten free items they do have are mixed in with the rest without any tags on the shelves to indicate GF foods.

However, if you are looking for something “different” or “unusual” and you don’t mind spending time reading labels (I guess we are all used to that!) you can find some interesting gluten free items like red pepper eggplant spread, or hot pepper peach preserves, or risotto garlic primavera.

The following warning from the Bakery appears on The Fresh Market website: "Gluten is a protein found in wheat rye, oats and barley. Obviously, many of our whole grain offerings and bakery items do contain gluten. Because we prepare a large amount of scratch bakery products with flour, we are unable to guarantee that our products are 100% gluten-free. We encourage you to visit our grocery department for a selection of gluten-free products."

Also on the Fresh Market website, you can find some gluten free items by doing a (very complicated) search:

-Enter gluten free in the search box at the top right.
-Select Advanced Search
-Enter gluten free
-Select Exact Words
-Select By Category: ONLINE MARKET

Click here for The Fresh Market Cary website.

Also, two Raleigh locations: 400 Woodburn Road and 6325 Falls of Neuse Road

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cary/Apex first post

"That must be AWFUL! I can't imagine not eating ANY wheat!" 

This is the response I get from friends, family, and strangers when I explain why my daughter cannot eat something.  Occasionally I clarify that it is not just wheat, but actually gluten… at other times I just nod my head.  

However, the truth is that helping my daughter live gluten free is not awful. 
Frustrating? Yes: Did we run out of the "safe" snacks that we keep in the car?
Stressful? Sometimes: Did the waiter really understand that she can NOT eat anything with gluten? 
Complicated? Frequently: I thought they would have some fruit or "safe" ice cream for dessert here.

Even though my daughter's dietary needs can be an obstacle, we never want to limit her life because she has to limit what she can eat.  We love to eat out, enjoy different foods, experiment with recipes, and benefit from all that the Cary and Apex area has to offer families—we just have to do a little research beforehand. 

In this part of the blog, you'll find GF information specific to Cary and Apex.  My goal is to help expand on Zach's incredible collection of GF resourses. 

New Guest Cary Blogger - Sarah Egan Warren

Allow me to introduce Sarah Egan Warren who will become a guest blogger for Gluten Free Cary.

See my post over at Gluten Free Raleigh about Sarah.

More to come from Sarah and her Cary/Apex experiences very soon!

Stay tuned.