Saturday, March 28, 2015

Good News With The Bad - Kellogg's Gluten Free Rice Krispies






Bad News 

Kellogg's has decided to stop selling their Gluten Free Brown Rice Krispies in the United States. This is BIG news. A lot of people are upset and rightfully so about it. I still can't even wrap my head around this.

Most people assumed that if production ceases in the United States, then it will here in Canada as well. 

I contacted Kellogg's to inquire about the status of this product in Canada. 


Good News

I'm happy to report that Kellogg's Gluten Free Brown Rice Krispies will NOT be discontinued here. 

On another note, I have read some grumblings in regards to where the cereal will be manufactured as the London, Ontario plant is no longer in operations. I sent a follow up email to Kellogg's, inquiring about this. I also questioned why they would stop selling the Gluten Free Brown Rice Krispies in the United States. Once I have a response, I will post an update here.



You can read Kellogg's statement in regards to the status of Gluten Free Brown Rice Krispies in Canada below.






 
Dear Sandra,


Thank you for reaching out to us regarding Gluten Free Rice Krispies. We appreciate you letting us know how much you enjoy these!

We are happy to say that our Gluten Free Rice Krispies are indeed available in Canada at most major retailers and have not been discontinued. 

We suggest that you speak to your local Store Manager about its availability. Our Sales department 
will then be able to work with the retailers in your area in an effort to make this product 
available to you. 

Thanks again for reaching out to us, Sandra. We wish you the best!



Sincerely,

Marie-Claude L.
Consumer Specialist
Consumer Affairs



* See Below for an updated response from Kellogg's *




 
 



Dear Mrs. Lajoie,

Thank you for reaching out to us regarding our Rice Krispies Brown Rice.

Most of our products are manufactured in Canada and the U.S. We do not manufacture product in China.Kellogg Canada has an excellent food safety record and we have confidence in the safety of our products. 

I wish I could give you better news about Gluten Free Rice Krispies, I am sorry to say it has been discontinued. Unfortunately, due to manufacturing constraints, we had to make the difficult decision to stop making it. Although it will be hard to replace this cereal, we hope our Amercan fans might want to try our Special K Gluten Free cereal. We will share your thoughts with the team.

Thank you once again for taking the time to email us. 



Sincerely,

Yolande P.
Consumer Specialist
Consumer Affairs


Friday, March 20, 2015

Riverside Mill Food Court - Port Orleans Riverside



I need to make mention of a less than magical experience that I had at the Riverside Mill food court in Disney's Port Orleans Riverside hotel. This situation was out of the ordinary as Disney is usually an all-star when it comes to special dietary needs.

For breakfast, I ordered what is basically a gluten free version of the bounty platter. Minus the biscuit, of course. At this particular location, gluten free breakfast items are prepared in a separate kitchen which is next to the main one and behind closed doors. I waited near the food station for the chef to arrive with my meal as I was not given a pager. 






Unfortunately, on his way through the main kitchen, someone bumped into him. This resulted in half my food landing on the floor. As did my container of maple syrup.  

I figured no worries,  accidents happen. Surely he's going to go grab me some more gluten free stuff from the back. And he will for sure grab me a new maple syrup container. 

WRONG


I watched him pick up the syrup container from the floor and put it back on the plate. Gross! Unsanitary and a plethora of other things. 

To further my horror, the Chef then replenished the half empty plate with food from the main serving line. 



As you can see from my photo's, this is an extremely high-risk area. Gluten is everywhere. This serving station is not set up to prevent cross contamination. Disney Chefs prepare gluten free meals in a separate area for this very reason. 

When the chef called me over, I was beside myself. He knew I was Celiac as I had advised him of this when he took my order. I explained politely, that the food would not be safe as he used items from an area riddled with gluten. He did not seem to grasp this at first and tried to hand me the plate, twice. After a few moments, he gave up on that and said he could get me a fresh plate from the back instead.




Well, at this point my trust had diminished. Entirely. I declined his offer and said that I would just eat at Magic Kingdom. Not a great way to start the morning.


I Felt Like A Jerk


I understand that the chef probably just didn't want me to have to wait longer for my meal. It was 7:00 am and not busy at all, so I doubt he was in over his head. That being said, this is a trained chef who is well aware of special dietary procedures.


When I finally arrived at the table, where my husband and son were finishing off their breakfast, I was near tears. It took some time to regain my composure and explain why I had no food with me. 

Who wants to risk getting glutened? Especially so when on a very pricey vacation. Let's face it, Disney is not cheap. For my family, this is a once every few years (sometimes longer) type of vacation.

Had I not seen the ball drop in regards to the handling of my gluten free meal, I would most likely have become ill due to cross contamination. A few days worth of park tickets and Table Service reservations would have no doubt been out the window for me.

As we headed to the park via Disney bus, I broke down and cried. It was a  stressful experience. I felt like a jerk. I was super hungry and really quite shocked at what had happened. It was overwhelming, to say the least. 







Later that evening, we arrived back at our hotel, which is home to the Riverside Mill Food Court. I spoke with the kitchen manager about the morning's fiasco. The kitchen manager said he would address the seriousness of the incident with said chef. I felt confident with how the kitchen manager addressed my concerns. 

This situation has taught me that constant vigilance and a sharp eye are important both at home and on vacation.


Don't worry though. I have some amazing gluten free Walt Disney experiences to share in future posts.



This dining experience took place in January 2015







Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Review: Simply... Gluten-Free Quick Meals



The title Simply... Gluten-Free Quick Meals says it all. It avoids the over complicated route that that many gluten-free cookbooks take. You will find that it is filled with simple gluten-free meals, which are easy enough for even a novice to conquer.

Something that caught my eye right away was the practical way in wich the book is organized. Most of the recipes are sorted into meals. This is a major time saver as you don't have to flip through pages and pages to find recipes which pair together. 



* I was provided with a complimentary copy of Simply...Gluten-Free Quick Meals for review purposes.


  • Each menu contains a quick cook strategy to ensure you get the entire meal on the table together.
  • Weekday dinners that can be prepared in 30 minutes
  • Single dish recipes which take 15 minutes or less to prepare
  • Holiday meals
  • Basic recipes for gluten-free flour blends, biscuit, pancake mixes and spice mixtures
  • Tips for stocking your gluten-free pantry



All-American Meat Loaf  Dinner


I have tried several recipes from the cookbook so far. The family favourite has been The All-American Meat Loaf Dinner. The mini meat loaves were really easy to make. I did omit the Worcestershire sauce as it's not something we normally have in our pantry. I was super impressed with how moist the meat loaves were! The recipe suggests using a muffin pan which has been sprayed with gluten-free non-stick cooking spray. I'm going to pass on that next time around and just bake the mini meat loaves on a sheet pan. Even with the cooking spray, I found the muffin pan was difficult to get the meat loaves out of in one piece.

One of my favourite things about any cookbook is the pictures. A must in my opinion. They help you envision how the final product should turn out. This is especially helpful when tackling an unfamiliar recipe. Simply Gluten-Free Quick Meals has 16 pages of pictures. While the photos are beautiful, I did find them to be a bit of an afterthought. They are lumped together in the middle of the book which was a little frustrating at times. I would prefer to see the photos at the beginning of each recipe or menu.

Overall, this cookbook was a hit in my house. We love that it is full of hearty meals that don't require a lot of fuss to make. It's also full of familiar family favorites with a nice twist. We are a busy family. Work, school and assorted family activities often leave us in a time crunch. I appreciated how quick these down to earth meals could be put on the table. 



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Easy Jell-o Pudding Pie

I spotted this pie crust at my local Real Canadian Superstore and had to try it!





I picked up chocolate Jell-O pudding mix to go with the chocolate pie crust. I added the mix and the required amount of milk to a pot and stirred until boiling. At this point, I let it cool down for 5 minutes, stirring only twice. I then filled the pie shell with the mix and let cool further and later placed it in the fridge.




The photo below is the finished product with some whipped cream on top. I've never made anything like this before. Overall, I am quite happy with the results. It reminds me of the pudding pies I had at restaurants (pre celiac) as a kid. The pie crust is sweet, crunchy and down right delicious! Definitely making this againg.









Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Thoughts On a Cure For Celiac Disease


Several clinical trials underway to find a cure or at least a potential treatment for Celiac Disease. The future is full of hope and I'm excited for that.

There are those out there who see this hard work as a waste of time. They see the Gluten Free diet as enough. Perhaps for those with an intolerance or allergy, it's indeed enough. 

As a Celiac, the gluten free diet can be problematic at times. Avoiding gluten is not an easy task. Many countries are far behind in ingredient labelling practices. Another issue is potential  food recalls - errors happen and gluten can accidentally be left off the label or land itself in what should be a safe product. It is often hard to get quick and accurate information on whether or not prescribed medications are gluten free. On top of that, many people suffer from ongoing symptoms despite following a gluten free diet. This is called Non-Responsive celiac disease.


I believe that you can honour the needs of your body with a strict gluten-free diet, while accepting the need for preventative measures. Let's face it, a strict gluten-free life (notice I didn't say diet?) is not always 100% achievable. 

I'm not holding out hope for a cure that erases celiac disease from my life completely. It's part of me and I've come to terms with that. What I would like to see is a companion treatment to the gluten free diet. A safety net to catch me and prevent serious damage when I have been glutened.

For me, the desire is two-fold. I really don't enjoy the sickness and pain involved with even the smallest exposure to gluten. I also despise the anxiety of what if's that follow recovery from a glutening. You guys know what Im talking about here.

While I understand that a treatment for celiac may not be everyone's cup of coffee, it would be nice to have the option. Keep in mind that it's a personal decision and everyone's situation varies. There is no need to belittle anyone for wanting a potential treatment. Just like there should be support and understanding for those who wish to battle on with the gluten-free diet as a sole source of treatment.



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