Asian Box – Fresh Gluten-Free Asian Food

Posted on August 10th, 2014 by Alison | Posted in Restaurants/Stores, SF Bay Area | ADD A COMMENT »

Asian Box logoAsian Box is a new fast-casual restaurant offering made-to-order Asian street food inspired boxes made with high-quality, all-natural ingredients. It first opened in Palo Alto, CA, and now has locations in Mountain View, San Francisco, Burbank and Los Angeles. I had the chance to try the restaurant a few days ago, at their San Francisco location in the bottom of Macy’s in Union Square. I loved it! And everything on the menu is gluten-free. EVERYTHING!

The concept is like Chipotle in that you get to pick what you want in your meal, step-by-step. Asian Box starts with the choice of Brown Rice, Jasmine Rice, Asian Salad or Chilled Rice Noodles (my favorite!) Then you choose a meat (chicken, pork or beef), or tofu, or shrimp. Each protein has its own special marinade or spice blend. Every box includes vegetables and then you pick your toppings, which include fresh bean sprouts, pickled vegetables, fresh jalapeno, scallion oil, crispy shallots, chopped peanuts, fresh herbs, fresh lime squeeze, and caramel egg (extra charge). I highly recommend just saying “All” and you won’t be disappointed. Lastly, you choose your sauce — Tamarind Vinaigrette, Sriracha, Fish Sauce, Peanut Sauce, and a few more signature sauces. You can even choose more than one sauce.

I had the chilled rice noodles, beef (garlic and soy glazed), all toppings, and then I asked for two sauces on the side, the Tamarind Vinaigrette and the Peanut Sauce. Both were delicious. Everything was really light and fresh. The pictures I took are not great, but give you an idea of the meal you get. The first is my meal as described above. The second is my friend’s — tofu with sriracha sauce. For a complete look at their menu, visit their website.
Asian Box BeefAsian Box

At “The Box”, they make all that they can from scratch in their restaurants. They buy from local farmers whenever possible, they never cook anything that was raised with hormones, antibiotics or pesticides, and all of their packaging is compostable (with compost bins present in their restaurants).

Besides all these great things about the restaurant, and the tasty food, the best part is not having to wonder or ask about whether the ingredients are gluten-free! This is a rarity when it comes to Asian food, as wheat and soy sauce (which contains wheat) is used so commonly.

I encourage you to try Asian Box for a casual meal if you are in the vicinity of any of their locations in northern and southern California (there will be more opening soon, I’m sure). I wish they had a location closer to my house so I could eat here often!


Flour Chylde Bakery goes gluten-free

Posted on June 26th, 2014 by Alison | Posted in Bakeries, SF Bay Area | Read 3 Comments - Add Your Own »

Flour Chylde Bakery in Novato, California has gone completely gluten-free. They are not a new bakery — in fact, they have been baking gluten-free tortes for 12 years, but the bakery itself was not exclusively gluten-free. ‘Til now!

Flour Chylde Bakery

I visited the cafe yesterday, brought my computer to do some work, and ordered a sandwich. I felt like a completely normal person! I had the Turkey & Brie sandwich, which has dried cranberries, Italian vinaigrette and Dijon mustard. It was delicious, although I would have preferred more filling in the sandwich. With a side salad it was $7, which I found very reasonable. They have a full sandwich menu, including breakfast sandwiches, veggie sandwiches and a BLT. Or you can take one of their bread selections home with you.

Flour Chylde Sandwich

The bakery case holds all kinds of gluten-free goodies: tortes, scones, fritters, turnovers, cookies and muffins. I couldn’t resist getting one of my favorite tortes, Rapture. It is a combination of their Linzer Torte (also delicious) and the Chocolate Torte (so rich!)

Flour Chylde Goodies

Flour Chylde Rapture

Full-size cakes and tortes are also available. The take-away menu lists double-layer frosted cakes — Rustic Vanilla, Chocolate Devil’s Food, Red Velvet and Pumpkin. There is a large selection of tortes, both small and full-size.

If you can’t get to their cafe, you can find them at one of the many Bay Area farmers’ markets – to see which ones they participate in, please see their Farmers’ Market listing.


Baking a Difference Gluten-Free Baking Class July 12, 2014

Posted on June 21st, 2014 by Alison | Posted in GIG of Marin, SF Bay Area | Read 2 Comments - Add Your Own »

Baking a Difference Gluten-Free Baking Master Class
a fundraiser for GIG of Marin

Saturday, July 12
11 am to 4 pm
at a gorgeous private kitchen in Tiburon, CA
Purchase tickets ($200 donation)
Space is limited!

Baked Goods by Jeffrey Larsen

The Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin is delighted to offer you the chance to delve deep into the secrets of successful gluten-free baking with master baker and recipe developer, Jeffrey Larsen.

Take the mystery out of gluten-free baking and learn how to make satisfying bread and pizza at home while connecting with a sought-after teacher and a small group of others who share your interest in all things gluten-free.

Only 11 tickets will be sold for this exclusive chance to learn hands-on how to make bread and pizza, the gluten-free items that frustrate people most.

Jeffery will lead you step-by-step through the recipes he’s spent years perfecting; recipes that create bread and pizza you will be proud to serve to anyone (without using xanthan or guar gums, additives you’ll find in most store-bought GF items but which can cause allergic reactions for many people).

Bread by Jeffrey LarsenHighlights will include:

  • Comprehensive review of gluten-free baking – flour varieties, baking techniques and tips, setting up a gluten-free kitchen
  • Demonstration and hands-on instructions on how to make
    • whole grain bread plus dinner rolls, hamburger buns and hot dog buns
    • rye bread created in a bread maker
    • everyday bread – an easy weeknight bread made with baking soda (no yeast)
    • pizza and focaccia – deep dish and thin crust
    • crackers and breadsticks
    • scones and biscuits
  • Tastings and special instructions on converting your favorite recipes

After your in-depth hands-on class, you will leave with 11 recipes for the items you’ve made and tasted (recipes for breads, pizza, biscuits, scones and crackers–not available any where else) and a folder full of baking techniques, resources, tools and simple ideas for recipe conversion that Jeffrey has perfected over years of experimentation.

Bring your apron and a notebook and get ready to gain a new understanding of gluten-free baking that you can put to work in your own kitchen! Your whole family will enjoy these recipes and no one will miss the gluten-filled stuff.

Jeffrey LarsenJeffrey Larsen is a food stylist, recipe developer, pastry chef and cooking instructor, specializing in allergen free cooking and baking. He served as a stylist on nine books for Williams-Sonoma and on almost every issue of Sunset Magazine for the last 10 years. His allergen-free journey started when he began developing recipes for his dairy- and gluten-intolerant mother 11 years ago. Jeffrey gave himself a head start when he discovered that he is also gluten and dairy intolerant. In addition to teaching, Jeffrey now consults with individuals and businesses on developing menus and products and creating allergen free kitchens. Recent styling projects include: a gluten-free baking book, Flourless, by Nicole Spiridakis, to be released August 12th and a gluten-free baking book for Williams-Sonoma, Gluten Free Baking, by Kristine Kidd to be released January, 2015.

Please join us for this unique opportunity to develop your gluten-free baking skills with master baker Jeffrey Larsen!
Note: Jeffrey is generously donating his time and talent to GIG of Marin, so that we can continue to provide education and resources to those who need our support.


Mariposa Baking Co. in San Francisco – Gluten-Free Goodness

Posted on March 10th, 2014 by Alison | Posted in Bakeries, Dining Out, SF Bay Area, Travel | ADD A COMMENT »

I can’t believe it’s been 6 years since I first wrote about Mariposa Baking Company At that time (2008), they were located only in Oakland, CA, and the next year made the move to a kiosk in the historic Ferry Building of San Francisco. Now they reside in a permanent spot in the Ferry Building, and with more room they can offer toasted bagels, sandwiches, and other gluten-free breakfast and lunch items in addition to an array of gluten-free baked goods.

On a beautiful day in February, I boarded the ferry in Larkspur, CA with my two daughters. We loved every minute of the ferry ride, with awesome views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island and San Francisco. We arrived at The Ferry Building, which is known for its amazing food, offering Mexican, Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian and Americana, in addition to its gourmet meats, cheeses, oysters and other fresh foods.

We passed up these options, however, as some were gluten-ful, and I just didn’t feel like asking so many questions (my daughter has multiple food allergies). That day was about spending time with my girls and not having to worry about a thing, so we headed straight for Mariposa Baking Company, where we could get great food and feel relaxed.

Mariposa Baking Company San Francisco

Mariposa Gluten-Free San Francisco

I ordered “the gobbler” sandwich: organic turkey with swiss, organic spinach, tomato and red onion, cranberry sauce, and mayo on toasted Faux “Rye” bread – 2 slices of bread from a round loaf of light bread with caraway seeds added. It came with a side salad and delicious croutons! I loved it! Other menu items were “cheddar hammy sammy,” “mediterranean panini,” “tuna melt,” and “empanada plate.” All are marked whether they are also vegan, dairy-free or nut-free. You can create your own sandwich if you prefer. One of my daughters ordered a toasted cheese sandwich and the other had a plain turkey sandwich, both on their Sandwich Bread, which is egg, dairy and nut-free.

Mariposa Gluten-Free Sandwich San Francisco

After lunch we walked to the new Exploratorium and then of course we had to return to Mariposa get treats and some items to take back home. We tried a few sweets and then purchased some loaves of bread — the Faux Rye was $7 per loaf and the Sandwich Bread was $6 per loaf, great prices for gluten-free bakery bread!

Mariposa Gluten-Free Bread

Whether you are visiting the Bay Area, or a native, I highly recommend my itinerary above, with a stop at Mariposa!


Camp Celiac in Northern California 2014

Posted on January 30th, 2014 by Alison | Posted in Camp, SF Bay Area | ADD A COMMENT »

Treat your child to a week of gluten freedom at a special summer camp, Camp Celiac!
NOTE: Registration starts February 1st! The camp days have been reduced – see information below from their website.

CAMP CELIAC

In northern California at Camp Celiac, “campers, counselors, and junior counselors eat delicious gluten-free food and enjoy traditional camp activities such as a ropes course, rock climbing, zip-lining, boating, swimming, archery, arts and crafts, skit night, and outdoor sports. Three meals a day without having to ask if any of the foods are gluten free is life changing for many campers and staff!” Ages 9-15.

2014 Camp Dates: Due to high demand for space at Camp Arroyo, we have to reduce the length of Camp Celiac at Camp Arroyo in 2014. We will still have two sessions for campers ages 9 to 15:
Session One: Monday, July 21, 2014 through Thursday, July 24, 2014
Session Two: Thursday July 24 through Sunday, July 27, 2014.

Counselors and Jr. counselors (ages 16 and 17) will stay for both sessions: Monday, July 21, 2014 through Sunday, July 27, 2014. Thus, we will have fewer available counselor and Jr. counselor spaces. On-line registration will open on February 1, 2014.

Camp Celiac recognizes The Taylor Family Foundation for again hosting our camp at Camp Arroyo. The Taylor Family Foundation’s mission is to preserve the wellness and enhance the quality of life for children in Northern California with life-threatening and chronic illnesses, disabilities, and youth at risk through unique therapeutic experiences and support. For more information, please visit www.ttff.org.

Please consider a donation to The Taylor Family Foundation and to Camp Celiac! Donations to Camp Celiac cover many items specifically for Camp Celiac, such as crafts, medical supplies, DJ’s, additional activities, our camp program’s general and medical insurance, etc. Donations to The Taylor Family Foundation cover the substantial food, maintenance, and activity costs for all of the camps at Camp Arroyo (www.ttff.org).

To register:

Registration Priority: The by-laws of The Taylor Family Foundation require that we give priority to campers from Northern California.

Campers from Northern California: All campers from Northern California who register between Feb 1st and Feb 14th will be given equal priority if all four registration steps (see below) are completed by February 14 (and received if paying by mail); i.e. there is no advantage to registering on February 1st rather than February 14th. After February 14th, available space will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis after all four registration steps are completed (and received if paying by mail). At all times, space availability will depend, in part, on the camper’s age and gender since cabins are segregated by sex and age. Please see “Camp Watch” for status regarding available space vs. wait list only.

Campers from Outside Northern California: Please complete the registration instructions below. Priority will be based upon date of completed registration and sex/age availability. No spaces will be offered to campers from outside Northern California until mid March, and then only if space is available.

If you register by FEB 14, we will advise you of your camper’s registration status by MAR 5.

Campers can indicate which of one of two sessions they prefer to attend. To ensure maximum availability for new campers, campers may sign up for ONE session only.

For more information about how to sign up for this camp, visit the registration page at CeliacCamp.com.


Gluten-Free Sourdough Bread in San Francisco

Posted on January 28th, 2014 by Alison | Posted in Bakeries, SF Bay Area | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

Growing up near San Francisco, I loved sourdough bread. In fact, it was the only bread I liked, and the only bread-y thing I would eat. I pulled the fillings out of sandwiches made on other breads, but if you gave me a turkey sandwich on sliced sourdough (Colombo and Parisian were the brands at that time), I was a happy girl!

Fast forward to 2002, when I was diagnosed with celiac disease and learned all about everything gluten-free. One thing I learned was that sourdough naturally has the lowest gluten content of breads, because the fermentation process makes it easier to digest — no wonder I liked it!

BreadSRSLY Gluten-Free SourdoughWhen you are on a strict gluten-free diet, however, even “lower gluten” foods like sourdough bread are completely off-limits, but last Sunday, I got to taste sourdough bread for the first time in 11 years. I had been hearing about a woman in San Francisco who started making and selling gluten-free sourdough bread, and that it was really good. Well, yes, it is! That woman is Sadie, and her company is Bread SRSLY (“seriously”). My daughter who had never had sourdough in her life (and has multiple food allergies and is in need of good bacteria!) loves the bread and has a toasted slice with her breakfast in the morning, which I feel good about because gluten-free sourdough may be beneficial in the healing of the gut due to the growth of good bacteria (lactobacilli is one) during fermentation of the sourdough.

BreadSRSLY Gluten-Free SourdoughNot only does Bread SRSLY offer a “Classic Sourdough,” there are other unique flavors like Kale (which I absolutely loved) and Apricot Fennel. In addition to being gluten-free, the bread is free of dairy, egg, nut, soy, chickpea, potato, and tapioca. Yay! Ingredients (non-GMO): Organic White Rice Flour, Organic Millet Flour, Sorghum Flour, Arrowroot, Sourdough Starter (Water, Sorghum Flour), Xanthan Gum, Salt.

So, where you can find this San Francisco treat? Bread SRSLY is offered locally in the San Francisco Bay Area through local markets, Good Eggs and Amazon Fresh, and nationally by ordering online.


Gluten & Allergen-Free Expo coming to SF Bay Area

Posted on January 9th, 2014 by Alison | Posted in SF Bay Area | ADD A COMMENT »

GFAF ExpoThe Gluten & Allergen-Free Expo, which originated in Chicago, makes its first stop of the year in the San Francisco Bay Area on January 25 & 26th. The Expo is in San Mateo from 9 am to 3 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. You can buy a ticket for either or for both days. Kids are only $5!

According to the event’s website:

The Expo is the premier gluten and allergen free event in the US. Whether you are looking for specialty products that taste great or trying to learn how to cook and bake to meet your dietary needs, the Expo is the place to be!

What do you get with your Expo Ticket?

  • Entry into the 150+ booth vendor fair
  • Valuable coupons at the vendor booths
  • Samples from the vendors
  • Discounted products available for purchase
  • Informative classes related to the gluten and allergen-free lifestyle
  • Free reusable bag to carry your goodies
  • Meet your favorite vendors, authors and bloggers

Here are some important links if you are planning on attending the Expo:

When and Where

Buy tickets

Classes

See which vendors will be there

Have fun if you go!


Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin Sept 2013 Meeting

Posted on August 1st, 2013 by Alison | Posted in GIG of Marin, SF Bay Area | ADD A COMMENT »

gigofmarin1

Is Today’s Food Damaging Our Kids’ Mental and Physical Health?

Marin pediatrician Michelle Perro, MD is sounding the alarm: serious conditions are on the rise among the Marin County children she sees in her practice–from neurological and autoimmune disease to asthma and digestive issues, including celiac disease and gluten sensitivity–and she believes the food we feed our children is causing many of these disorders.

“For the first time in modern history our children will not be as healthy as their parents,” says Dr. Perro. “As pediatricians, we are seeing an epidemic of digestive, immunologic, and neurologic abnormalities that is changing the face of families, schools and society.”

Many of the children Dr. Perro sees are suffering with behavioral disorders that affect their ability to function at school and at home. In addition, Dr. Perro is seeing babies who won’t stop crying and are not thriving on any kind of nutrition and children who have unusual skin disorders, early puberty and other endocrine issues ranging from obesity to failure to grow. Dr. Perro cites a growing body of research that shows that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) which permeate our food supply are wreaking havoc on our children’s health, largely via intestinal damage which is linked to the high rise of other disorders.

Dr. Perro is a Yale-trained, board-certified pediatrician, who integrates Western medicine with homeopathy and functional medicine. She practices at The Institute for Health and Healing in Greenbrae and San Francisco.  Since 2002, Dr. Perro has been recognized annually as one of “America’s Top Pediatricians” by the Consumer’s Research Council of America.  She is a board member of a local non-profit organization committed to reducing childhood exposure to household and environmental toxins.

Mark your calendars, and tell your friends about Dr. Perro’s talk at GIG of Marin’s next meeting on Tuesday, September 17.

Purchasing tickets in advance will be necessary for this special event.  Reserve your space to learn more about this urgent issue by buying tickets here. The fees collected are used to cover the costs of renting the meeting room, printing the handouts, etc.

Whether you have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or are learning more about gluten free living for yourself, family or friends, we welcome you to the GIG of Marin. New members, friends, and loved ones are always welcome.

The Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin will meet:

  • Tuesday, September 17
  • 7:00 to 9:00pm
  • Community Room at Corte Madera Town Center (upstairs at PF Chang’s end) 770 Tamalpais Dr. Suite 201, Corte Madera, CA, 94925

We look forward to seeing you!


Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin June 2013 Meeting

Posted on May 1st, 2013 by Alison | Posted in GIG of Marin, SF Bay Area, Travel | ADD A COMMENT »

gigofmarin1

TRAVELING GLUTEN FREE

Just in time for summer traveling, GIG of Marin’s next meeting on Tuesday, June 11th will feature Laura Emmerson, creator of the blog Gluten Free Traveller.

Originally from Scotland, Laura now lives in San Francisco.  Bit by the travel bug early in life, she refused to let her celiac diagnosis in 2009 curtail her love of exploring the world.  Laura will be joining us in June after having spent the month of May in New Zealand.

Says Laura (who, being from the UK, favours British spellings): “Staying safely gluten free can be difficult enough when you’re at home in your crumb free kitchen never mind when you’re travelling somewhere new. Each country has their own unique gluten free labelling laws, different gluten free products and varying levels of awareness of coeliac disease and gluten free dieting. Travelling is arguably the most arduous area of gluten free life for coeliacs hence my decision to start my website. I’m writing it for you. I want you to spend your time making wonderful travel memories, not searching in vain for something safe to eat!”

Also featured at the meeting will be free samples related to travel so you can take them on your next trip!

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Gluten-free backlash?

Posted on April 1st, 2013 by Alison | Posted in Emotions, Restaurants/Stores, SF Bay Area | Read 9 Comments - Add Your Own »

The other night I went out with a group of people to a new restaurant called Salito’s in Sausalito, California. I hadn’t looked at the menu ahead of time, but rarely do I have a problem eating out gluten-free these days (unless it is a Chinese restaurant). Restaurant awareness has grown tremendously since I was diagnosed with celiac disease 10 years ago, and especially in the last few years. If you haven’t heard of gluten-free by now, you are living under a rock. But after this dining experience, I wondered for the first time if there could actually be a backlash happening in some places.

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