Friday

Celiac Cure In Our Future?

There has been chatter lately of a scientific breakthrough regarding Celiac Disease. Researchers at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne Australia have been working on a vaccine. One that is showing favorable results! The first phase of this clinical trial is now complete. Essentially the vaccines goal is to desensitise the bodies reaction to gluten, thus avoiding toxic rejection.

Photo by dzingeek available under CC (by-nc-nd)

Key Points to remember


  • Phase 1 studies show that the vaccine is safe and well tolerated
  • This vaccine could treat up to 90% of people with Celiac Disease
  • Phase 2 trials to take place within the next 10 months
  • Vaccine name : Nexvax2 


Would YOU take this vaccine?
Feelings seem fairly mixed. I'm not sure if it's just people who are against vaccines in general or if some people really feel that a GF diet is sufficient. I have thought deeply about this. For me personally, maintaining a strict GF diet is not and should not be the end of the road. I WANT A CURE! Following a GF diet is difficult and costly at the best of times. Even with caution, slip ups happen. It is virtually impossible to live a 100% Gluten Free life. I read every label but manufactures change ingredients without notice from time to time. Cross contamination does happen in restaurant's even with GF menus. It sucks but its part of life. 


We deserve a cure. Right? Perhaps we need an advocate for Celiac Disease. Someone with the power to be heard. Someone who will campaign for us and make the issue a household name.

If the vaccine were available to me after successful trials, I would gladly take it. I'm pretty sure I would still maintain a gf lifestyle. But the vaccine would take away my constant fear, my worry over "whats in that" ? I would no longer fear eating at a restaurant or feel left out at a gathering. It would also, hopefully give me the option to eat something containing wheat if I choose to do so.

Tuesday

Crispy Chicken Nuggets From Scratch

Top to bottom: Coated in bread crumbs,
frying in the pan, and ready to eat =)
I made chicken nuggets from scratch recently. This is not normally something I crave but I figured what the heck and gave it a try. In all honesty, I don't normally work with raw meat so I was a bit nervous. I'm pretty happy I put my fear aside as they turned out to be quite moist and yummy! The only thing I would like to play around with is the bread crumbs. Although tasty, they did need more seasoning.


Ingredients you will need

  • 3 Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Cup of GF flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of your favourite Herb Seasoning or Garlic Powder
  • 1 Egg  & 1/4 Cup of Vegetable Oil, whisked together
  • 1/2 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 of Vegetable Oil for pan frying. 


Prep

  • Tenderise chicken if you like. I placed the chicken breasts in between 2 sheets of wax paper and used mallet to pound them.
  • With a sharp knife, cut the chicken breasts into the nugget size of you choosing
  • Now you will need 3 separate  shallow containers ( I used Tupperware ). For container one, combine GF flour, salt, pepper and seasonings. In container 2 whisk together egg and vegetable oil. In container combine GF bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
  • Place the chicken strips in flour mixture and coat evenly.  Next, dip chicken into the egg/vege oil mixture and finally coat the chicken with the bread crumb mixture in container 3.
  • Line a baking sheet with wax paper and place chicken strips on top. Then place in fridge for 30-40 min before frying.
  • Heat vegetable oil on med high heat.  and add chicken strips. Cook each side until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.





    As you will see from the photo, I paired my chicken nuggets with steamed veggies, a warm Queijo and some apple butter dipping sauce.  The left over nuggets that we didn't eat went into the freezer for a future meal. 




    Wednesday

    Canadian Celiac Association National Conference May 13-15, 2011

    Ottawa  is hosting this years Canadian Celiac Association's National Conference. It will be held Friday May 13th - Sunday May 15th. If you happen to be in the area or live near by, why not head over and check it out. I'm sure there will be an abundance of useful information. This is the associations 30th annual conference. There are many different events slated including workshops, the latest research, gf food sampling and expert speakers.

    You do need to register for the event.

    Take a look at the Conference Agenda.


    Although I will not be in attendance, I do wish I lived closer to the conference. It's a great opportunity to meet other Celiac's and learn about the issues that affect us. If you are thinking about attending but the price is holding you back don't lose hope. For a $5.00 entrance fee you can attend the Gluten Free Food Exhibition on Saturday May 14th. There will be a variety of vendors offering new and exciting gluten free food! The food exhibition runs from 1:30-5:00pm.






    Monday

    Casey's Bar and Grill to offer Gluten Free Menu

    Yesterday my friend Jax X of  Gluten-Free Ontario posted that Casey's Bar and Grill   will be offering  a Gluten Free Menu. What a way to kick off the Summer! Right now the locations are limited to 14 select Casey's in Ontario. Hopefully as they gain business, they will expand the GF menu to more locations.



    I have run into difficulties in the past while dining at restaurants that offer a Gluten Free menu. So this time I did my homework and e-mailed Casey's to find out how much care and concern there will be regarding this menu. A day after writing to Casey's I received the e-mail message below. While it is unfortunate that the Oshawa location has decided NOT to offer this menu and "may not ever offer it if they don't feel they can meet the requirements to do so ". I can understand that they may be nervous about implementing a menu that requires such great care. I appreciate that they are not willing to serve GF food they cannot be proud of. Disappointing? Yes. Surprising? Not at all. Its a shame that they are not willing to make some effort here. 

    Please be advised that the locations offering a GF menu cannot guarantee that there will be no cross contamination.They are taking the right step in educating all staff members though.

    http://www.caseysbarandgrill.com/


    Hi Sandra,
    Thank you for your email.  We are very excited that we are able to offer a Gluten Free menu to our guests as we fully appreciate how difficult it must be for someone with Celiac Disease to find meal solutions that meet their needs. 
    The stores that offer the Gluten Free menu do have a dedicated fryer that only handles the Gluten free food items and we have provided education to all our store managers, chefs and staff on what Celiac Disease is and what standards they need to maintain to effectively deliver a Gluten Free menu.  That being said, we cannot guarantee that cross-contamination may not occur but we will take every effort to prevent it. 
    At this point the Gluten Free menu is an optional menu that the stores can carry if they feel they can properly deliver the menu to the standards we have set.  Oshawa has decided not to carry this menu and they may not ever offer it if they don't feel they can meet the requirements to do so.  However, you can visit one of our other locations that does carry the menu which includes:
    -Brampton (Bovaird & Orion Gate locations)
    -Brantford
    -Dundas & Jarvis
    -Toronto Front St.
    -Gloucester
    -Guelph
    -Kapuskasing
    -Kitchener (Sunrise & Victoria locations)
    -Milton
    -Newmarket
    -North Bay
    -Sudbury
    Thank you,
    Karen Gutteridge
    KAREN GUTTERIDGEPRIME RESTAURANTS INC.BRAND MANAGER CASEY'S GRILL• BAR (905) 568-0000EXT. 20210 KINGSBRIDGE GARDEN CIRCLE, SUITE 600, MISSISSAUGA ON, L5R 3K6

    Thursday

    May Is Celiac Awareness Month


     April showers bring May flowers.....and Celiac Disease Awareness. That's right, the month of May is dedicated to raising awareness about Celiac Disease. To help celebrate, Amazon.com is offering up to 30% off on Gluten Free products. You can find the sale right here Amazon Gluten Free Sale.

    This is a perfect time to teach those who are ill informed or just out of the loop, what Celiac Disease is all about. The spotlight is on us this month and I encourage everyone to learn more about CD. Educate those around you and encourage those with symptoms to get tested.

    Host a Gluten Free get together. Invite family,friends, co-workers ect. This is a great opportunity for those of us with Celiac Disease to show others that we can have a good time as well.


    • Offer a variety of your favourite gf food for guests to sample.


    • Have information available about various Celiac support groups and websites.


    • Play fun games to help bring awareness and educate your guests. 


    • Encourage guests to learn about hidden sources of gluten.


    • Cross contamination is another key issue that you can enlighten everyone about.


    There are many things we can do this month to celebrate and raise awareness.  

    If you know someone who has been recently diagnosed, present them with a gift basket full of gf goodies. I find it fun to create my own gift baskets but if you are strapped for time or just unsure what to buy Winners, carries them in store. If you need to ship a basket to a special someone, GlutenSmart has a wide variety of goodies to choose from.

    We can't forget the little ones who suffer from Celiac Disease. A gift basket or a trip to a special Gluten Free restaurant would be a great idea. Also available are wide range of books directed at children with Celiac Disease. Books include :


    Consider Donating  to :
    The University of Chicago  Celiac Disease Research Center
    The University of Maryland Maryland Center for Celiac Disease Research.
    The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness CeliacCentral.Org



    Remember, whatever you do HAVE FUN! Gluten Free is only boring if you let it be that way ;)

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