Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Addendum to Celiebo's Sushi Restaurant Gluten Free Dining Rules

Sadly, I've ceased my sushi expeditions after getting glutened 3 times at various restaurants in a few months a couple years ago.
Whenever I see advice about eating sushi out, I dive on it, hoping I might feel confident enough to try it again.  As often as we move, I'm just waiting until we have settled down in one place to really establish a relationship with a special sushi spot.
Celiebo's sushi rules (see link to video below) are good, but I believe they lack some key insights.  Celiebo's only been living gluten free for a year or two, so maybe she hasn't been faced with the following:
Miso Soup- this is a questionable item at sushi shops- I found out the hard way.
Roe (little eggs on top of sushi)- from my online research, not gluten free- I found out "after the fact" :(
Sushi Rice- some of the forums say there is questionable rice vinegar (malted?) in it at some places
Cross-contamination-perhaps this is covered on her dining card (?) or maybe she assumes we will explain it to the server.
 I find that sushi places use bamboo mats to roll the rolls, so they would have to put clean saran wrap on there to avoid cc.  I avoid rolls.
And, aside from using clean utensils, knives, and gloves, the counter is full of residue from the ubiquitous soy sauce and tempura "crunchies" abound in these places.
Gluten free food would need to be prepared on a clean surface. After explaining this to a waiter, who translated it to the Japanese chef as I sat in front of the counter one evening,  I watched in horror as he took a used dishtowel (likely full of crunchies and soy and faux crab residue from previous swipes) out of his apron and wiped off the counter and began making my food.
I gave the food to my friend.  I have had much luck at many types of restaurants with steamed edamame : ) (soybeans, usually served in their pods).
Anyway, if you are lucky enough to have established a relationship with a great sushi place, I offer you a bow!  Someday I will try again....
Celiebo's sushi advice

Celiebo's interview with Elias, the gluten sniffing dog

I stumbled upon Celiebo's website yesterday in my search for info on the gluten-sniffing dog.  Celiebo, a relatively new celiac who sells her own dining out cards, had an informative interview with the dog's owners on a videoblog.  Training, costs, and method of finding gluten were all covered.  She said she wished she could have a dog like him, and I totally agree!  My mind even pictured how cool it would be if restaurants had the dogs sniff out gluten before serving gluten free customers...imagine that!
Here's the link to the video interview:

5-15-10 Celiac Conference Gems&Phlegms(From my blog with over 30,000 hits at

(For the first 4 years and 109 entries of my blog, go to this link Brendygirl's Blog Gluten Free Product and Food Reviews)
In the elevator to our hotel room (the cdf conference in L.A.), a woman commented on the Udi bread she spied sticking out from my bag on the bellman's luggage cart.  This was my marine's first clue that "people like ME" were swarming the hotel.
 My beau and I learned SO much from the speakers (Dr. Peter Green, Dr. Sheila Crowe, Dietician, Shelley Case, and Cook Extraordinaire Frank Baldassare)!
My Marine had a more pressing need to step up his know-how pertaining to Gluten Freedom since.. *drumroll*:
The Marine Corps is sending him to Command & Staff School for a year and so I'm going to rent my CA house out, sell my convertible, put my teaching job (I've been there 13 yrs) on hold, adopt a carefree attitude, a warm scarf, and a metro card...and shack up with him on the East Coast for a year!

Funny enough, the hardest part has been thinking about glutenous tenants contaminating my virgin, high-end fridge and stove!
Back to the conference:
After dining on gluten-free Bisquick Pancakes (perfect texture, yummy, can't wait for them to hit stores this fall),and savory Jones Dairy Farms All Natural Sausage Links(thumbs way up!)we alternated between raiding the chillbump-inducing superfluous vendor sample hallways and watching the presentations.  I preferred last year's lunch with pasta and chocolate souffle, this year was chicken (snore), but the Betty Crocker cupcakes were tasty. It's always such a special occasion to eat out without needing to tame & train a server-just relax and enjoy with lots of "special" people, who are "against the grain", like me!  I was pleased to see lots of nutritionists at a seminar learning about gluten-free!

Now for the GOODS on the GRUB:
GEMS:  Foods/Products I liked and recommend:

Udi Bread (Awesome & loaf can be thawed!)
Rudi's Bread (similar to Udi's)
Glutino Chocolate covered pretzels- 2 die 4!
Asian Chicken Helper (Hamburger Helper)- pretty tasty.  A good replacement for the "normal" kind

Gluten Free Bisquick Pancakes- Yum with a capital Y--it came with 9 other gluten-free recipe cards to use bisquick Update:  I have since tried the chicken n dumplings recipe and chicken fingers, both of which are easy enough (few ingredients) for my bf to cook himself, and are FABULOUS faves now!

Kettle Cuisine Soups- I like them, but I'm too thrifty to purchase them
Soy Delicious (fake ice cream): It's rich and flavorful- cookie dough is a nice gluten-free flavor!
Zojirushi Breadmaker- the bread was good
Simply Gluten Free desserts- oatmeal cookies were delicious and only a tad overchewy
PureFit Nutrition bars- fair as nutr.bars go, but too pricey, I'll stick with Lara (half the price)-although you may recall that Lara bars were an acquired taste for I have fave flavors:  apple pie, pecan pie, peanut butter and jelly, and peanut butter cookie or something like that
Bard's Tale Beer- great
French Meadow Bakery Brownies- Vey Good, texture&taste.  I prefer Rudi's Raisin bread to theirs
Smooze Mango and Coconut Fruit Ice- tasty, but I use cheapie popsicles

Green's Beer- Great
The Pure Pantry Baked Goods- Delicious
Sof-ella cake mix- Good, I get it cheap at FreshNEasy
Boar's Head deli meats and cheeses and condiments are tasty and ALL gluten free
Annie's Bunny Crackers Cocoa & Vanilla- yum, but very sugary tasting, not very savory
Schar breadsticks and Wafer cookies- crunchy and tasty
Boulangerie Brownies and Baked Goods- Excellent- My favorite find at the conference!!!

Phlegms:  Things I did NOT like 
Simply Boulder Culinary Sauces- not creamy enough and too tart
Earth Cafe Desserts- taste like mush
Mary's Gone Crackers- taste like birdseed, CrunchMaster are better
Nature's Agave sweeteners- yuck.  Better to go with real sugar
various pastas- I prefer to stick with Mrs. Leepers and Tinkyada and De Boles

Gluten Free Favorites