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Gluten FriendlyI started working with the restaurants in our area about a decade ago when my son and husband were diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I always joked that in our county, there wasn’t much to do but go out to movies and dinner and when you were diagnosed celiac early in this century, not many restaurants thought is was a big deal or knew how to even start providing for this new group of people. That left you with just movies. We loved being able to go out to eat and made it our priority to make it safe for us again!

Now with all the legality and lawsuits, restaurants want to protect themselves and stay clear of the term Gluten-Free as much as they can even though many of their dishes can be considered Gluten-Free.

Many have started using GLUTEN FRIENDLY.

Say What?!

It didn’t bother me the first couple times I heard it, at least you knew they were trying and had some type of training. Then I went through the stages of trying to educate the staff as to why it wasn’t Gluten Friendly food. They each had the same canned corporate answer of not being able to guarantee that the food is gluten free so that is why they call it Gluten Friendly.

Ahhhhh….. If I didn’t care about the restaurants, I would drop it. But I do. I watched them evolve over the years and feel part of it and want to be proud of who they are now.

I sent this letter today to one of my favorite chains.  If it helps you, you may use it when talking with yours. Good luck!


The industry loves that your restaurants are providing Gluten-Free options! The Celiac and Gluten-Free community want to say ‘Thank You’!

Many establishments avoid using the term ‘Gluten-Free’ as they know the risks of cross contact with gluten and don’t want to be held liable if someone gets sick inadvertently. They have started to use other terms to help identify that they can service the Gluten-Free community while still protecting themselves.

Some are using the term, Gluten Friendly. We find that your restaurants are using this term as well. Many of your ingredients are Gluten-Free, your staff knows how to prevent cross contact, but this term is incorrect for what you are trying to portray.

Can you please reconsider the use of this term as it implies something different than having Gluten-Free options. Gluten-Free Friendly would be more appropriate, thus implying that you are doing your best to offer Gluten-Free options but have no guarantee because of cross contact with other gluten items.

Family Friendly – I can bring my kids to it

Dog Friendly – My dogs can tag along

Diabetic Friendly – I can grab it for my diabetic friend

GLUTEN FRIENDLY would imply that it has plenty of gluten for those people who want to inundate their diet with wheat, barley and rye… Exactly opposite of what a Celiac or Gluten-Free person is looking for.

Some say ‘leave them alone, don’t rock the boat.’ Other say, ‘at least they are trying.’ Some try to educate the servers.  Others roll their eyes. Some don’t notice at all.

But continued use of this term, just points out some ignorance on your part. I have always been under the impression that it is our job as a Celiac and Gluten-Free community to help educate those whom are serving us.

Thank you for paying attention the small things that make a HUGE difference for our community.

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Gluten Free Rolls

GF RollsLarge dinners aren’t the same without rolls! Here is our recipe for multigrain, delicious rolls. Enjoy!

DRY Ingredients – Mix together
3/4 cup GF oatmeal flour (I blend mine in blender)
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dough enhancer

WET Ingredients – Blend together
2 eggs
2 additional egg whites
1/2 cup plain gf yogurt (I like greek, but have used vanilla yoplait too, keeps it moist)
1 cup water, room temperature
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons of Honey

*Preheat the oven to 200°F.
*Mix dry ingredients together, blend wet ingredients together. Add dry ingredients to wet, slowly, blending on high speed constantly. I have a sturdy hand mixer, and use a spatula to keep the dough from getting into the mixer. Blend the mixture well so it works the dough and mixes all the ingredients together making it creamy.
*Grease muffin tins.
*Turn off 200°F oven and immediately place the pans in it. Do not open the door once you place the rolls in the oven. Allow the dough to rise in oven for 60 minutes. Dough should rise over rim of pans.
*Increase heat in oven to 350°F (do not open door) and bake for approximately 40 minutes until crust is golden-brown. Cool slightly (1 minute) and removing it from the pan to finish cooling.

*The rolls do not need to be refrigerated or frozen, but if they haven’t been eaten in a couple days, you can freeze them in air tight bags.
*Note that I am at 3,500 – 4,000 feet. You may need to adjust the amount of flour.

© May 2011 Roxanne Weir

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Gluten Free Pecan Chocolate Coconut pieThis is one of my favorite pies for the holidays. Very rich and delicious.

Pie Crust

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup certified gluten free oatmeal flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons sugar

1/2 cup oil

2 tablespoons milk

Mix dry ingredients. Add Wet ingredients and mix. Pat into pie pan.


1⁄2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon chocolate-flavored liqueur (or vanilla extract)
1 cut pecans, chopped
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup coconut
Mix, pour in uncooked pie crust

Cook 30 minutes at 350 degrees

Let cool


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gluten free apple pieI have made the gluten counterpart of this for 30 years. You bake it in a paper sack. Yep. In the oven. Make sure you have ice cream handy.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375 degrees

Gluten Free Pie Bottom Crust – no rolling required
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup certified gluten free oatmeal flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 tablespoons milk
1. Mix dry ingredients together in bowl
2. Add wet ingredients and mix with fork
3. Press dough into pie pan and flute the edge

Apple Pie Filling
4 1/2 Apples Sliced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon (i usually put a little more)
2 teaspoon gf flour blend (use extra from topping)
1/2 cup sugar
1. Mix
2. Put in pie tin with bottom crust

GF Pie Crust Topping
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup certified gluten free oatmeal flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
(take out two teaspoon flour mix for pie filling above)
1/2 cup soften butter
1/2 cup sugar
1, Mix.
2. Drop mixture on top of pie filling in crust until mostly covered.

1. Leave only bottom rack in oven.
2. Preheat oven to 375.
3. Put cookie sheets on rack to catch droppings.
4. Place pie in paper sack and fold over edge.
5. Place paper sack in preheated oven making sure sack does not touch any sides or heating elements in oven. Paper sack keeps topping from burning.
6. Cook for 1 hour and 45 minutes, last 15 minutes cut open paper sack to leave hole so top can get toasted. Remove as soon as crust is browned.
7.  Top with ice cream.

Leave uncovered (at least mostly, or topping will get soggy). Leftovers are best cold. Really good for breakfast.


© Nov 2015 Roxanne Weir

Can blend this to start and use in all crusts and filling:
GF Flour blend
1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 1/4 cup certified gluten free oatmeal flour
1 1/4 cup tapioca flour
4 teaspoon xanthan gum

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I love to make pies and when I make my gluten free versions, I am forced to make the pie crust rather than use a pre-made pie crust. I just don’t like rolling out the bottom crust, so I needed something easy. Here is the one I use and love! The crust is crisp, sweet and perfect for that bottom crust. I bake this first and use this for my chocolate cream pies as well as using it for my pumpkin and walnut pie recipes where I cook it with the rest of the pie.  And, no rolling required!


Gluten Free Pie Crust – no rolling required

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup certified gluten free oatmeal flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons sugar

1/2 cup oil

2 tablespoons milk

1. Mix dry ingredients together in bowl

2. Add wet ingredients and mix with fork

3. Press dough into pie pan and flute the edge

4. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes until golden brown or

use can uncooked when making pumpkin or other pies.

5. Enjoy


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I found this post unpublished! Such a shame. I LOVE Rodizio Grill. My favorite Brazilian steakhouse! Read on……
My husband and I had an incredibly busy month  we were ready for a nice dinner. We decided to give Rodizio Grill a try. We had not been there since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease a few years ago.
We went to dinner last Saturday at 7pm and the first thing I noticed was the wait was so short at the American Fork, Utah location! We were quoted 20 minutes, and we were in our seats under 10 minute. Nice. I hate lines. The restaurant was not huge, but we didn’t feel cramped. There were large groups on either side of us, but the sound didn’t carry so we were able to carry on a meaningful conversation…in between mouthfuls.
We had a waitress, water girl and 3 serving guys take care of us. They all did their jobs wonderfully. It is nice to have that many people taking care of you to make sure you get nice and stuffed! The serving guys were most helpful since we saw them the most and they were able to get the extra things we needed .
Love their gluten free cheese balls
Our favorite appetizer was the little warm cheese bread rolls.We found out they are gluten free. After confirming with three different servers and even the manager, my husband gave one a try. You see, they are GLUTEN FREE and since my husband has Celiac Disease and he can’t eat wheat, barely or rye, he never gets bread when we go out on the town. It was a nice treat for him to get bread while at dinner. That is the first time in 3 years….
Grilled Pineapple is a treat!
LOVE the grilled pineapple too. The edge of it is caramelized through the grilling process which adds a bit of sweetness. The inside is juicy and flavorful.
Get your meat quota for the month! Soooo good!
The meat is perfect. And so many flavors and varieties.  I always forget which is my favorite, but I always figure on the same one on the end. It is the grilled tri-tip I think now. I can’t remember. I will have to go back again to figure it out. :)  I love grilled meats. Lots of flavor, but juicy on the inside. Their meat doesn’t disappoint.
We didn’t have dessert, but of course, they looked great. Our dinner was around $55, and that included the 20+% tip we gave. Now their menu is 90% gluten free if I remember the commercial I saw online. Nice! 
We stuffed ourselves so much we couldn’t eat there every weekend, but for special occasions, it is perfect. Enjoy and Celebrate at Rodizio Grill!
……. that was 3 years ago and we still love it! Now Rodizio Grill’s menu is 95% gluten free and they have even more locations to choose from! Enjoy!


We love to eat out, but most of the time there aren’t gluten free dessert options or there is just one or two. In all fairness, we also are usually full from our meals, so even if they had them, we might not order it. Always nice to have options, though.

Well, we went to dinner, movie and after we stopped by Cravings – Alisha’s Cupcakes in Pleasant Grove, Utah and were in for a treat!

Cravings – Alisha’s Cupcakes in Pleasant Grove UT

Alisha opened her doors in the last year and has already won the coveted Cupcake Wars.

Cupcake Wars Winner!

She won our heart when we went to try her cupcakes. It is a cute, quaint stop with a coffee shop feel where you can go hang out, visit with friends and even browse through several cute unique cupcake trinkets and such.  The bakery display is full of unique, tasty cupcakes which all have gluten in them. But, on the top there are several cake domes which have several different types of gluten free cupcakes. We were able to choose between the pumpkin, chocolate chocolate cupcake and one other one I didn’t remember.

Usually we will share our dessert, but a cupcake is just the right size! They are made in the folded paper, which adds to its elegance if that is what you want to call it.

Chocolate Chocolate Gluten Free Cupcake

The chocolate chocolate cupcake was very rich. We ate in on the spot, having a comfortable place to sit and visit. The frosting was rich and creamy. The whole thing just melted in our mouth. Next time we will grab one to take home, warm up and put with ice cream. 

We loved each having our own. It was the perfect size, gave us more options and was a perfect way to end our night.


I have watched Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill transform their 40+ locations into a gluten free haven for those of us who have Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance. Starting with ‘gluten what’, to offering one meat and chips, to now all meats and even corn tortillas made fresh every day.

Corn tortillas are made fresh first, before wheat flour is pulled out. Most corn tortillas are made small and round, so they will use two for the burritos and often leave them open (making them not really burritos, but still good). Some locations are making large corn tortillas too. Maybe they all do, but when the large runs out, they substitute with small ones. If they run out, the will not have more until the next day. I have never seen them run out in our locations.

When you ask for gluten free options, the server will change their gloves and the same person will follow your meal through.

You will find all options available to you, as they have changed all their formulas to be gluten free. Smart. Smart.

Cross Contact is an issue in any eating establishment that uses both gluten and non-gluten ingredients. The only thing that has gluten at Costa Vida are the flour tortillas. We have found that tortillas do not leave as much traces of gluten as its bread counterpart. So luckily, to start off with, there are less chances of cross contact.

The rice is always put down first on the tortillas and if there was to be cross contact with gluten, that would be the first place I watch for it. Sometimes they will have extra rice in the back. We used to request they get that for us, or we would call as they open asking them to save rice and beans out for us, but we have gotten lazy and luckily, we haven’t gotten sick! It may be restaurant practice to not touch the spoons to the tortilla, but that is a hard one to monitor. But, we haven’t gotten sick and we always get sick if there is any gluten.

The first group of people touch the wheat tortillas and reach into the condiments on the first section so we don’t trust those condiments. BUT, the second set of condiments (the one to top the burritos) are put on with people that don’t normally touch the tortillas so those are much more safe. You can ask for condiments from the back and they have always been willing to get them for us.

Costa Vida Sweet Gluten Free Pork Burrito

Ok, the taste. YUM!!! To have their sweet port again is heaven! love, Love, LOVE that one! But their chicken, steak and beef are yummy too. Just love sweet things. We normally have the sweet pork burrito which sometimes ends up being more like an open faced burrito since they are using small tortillas, but still so very tasty and very filling.

And get this, YOU ARE NOT charged extra simply because it is gluten free. How is that for a nice break. For a community that is so used to being charged extra because either the ingredients or the time was more, it is nice to not see a difference. Let’s face it, we are ok with a little difference, but some places will charge $3-5 extra a plate, even though it is the same food. Seriously?  Daily specials are $5.99 which includes drink. Big burritos are 7 or 8. They have salads and enchiladas and such too. 

Costa Vida is a casual restaurant. You order your food. They make it while you follow it through and let them know what you would like. We always get away from there for 2 full dinners under $20.

Ok, so there you have it. I could put shorter posts, but today I feel like telling it all. Maybe shorter is better. What do you think?

Do you have a Costa Vida by you?



My son and husband were diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2005. We decided that we they would eat 100% gluten free with no cross contact of gluten. It took me a year to ‘figure it out,’ but finally they weren’t hungry all the time and actually had good food to eat. Back then, store bought brands were a joke. We spent too much money on bad tasting gluten free food and we gave up on bread and buying most commercial gluten free products.

After 5 years gluten free, I ran into the founders of New Grains Gluten Free Bakery and fell in love with the products and the owners. I blogged a little for them, did things on facebook and twitter, had my daughter work in their bakery and then jumped on board more full time 10 short months after it all began.  All online campaigns, amazon, special projects and more are my specialty.

So after I searched all over for great tasting products, I aligned myself with the best product with the best team. You will find us soaring to the top and dominating the gluten free market. If you haven’t had a chance yet, order is online and we will ship it right to your doorstep. Let me know what you think.


100% dedicated gluten free bakery

Celiac Sprue Association Certified at below 5ppm (most strict certification)

Largest number of gluten free products available from one source

In 150 stores, over 9 states and shipping across the nation in less than 2 years

Only naturally aged gluten free sourdough known

and the BEST tasting gluten free products on the planet!!

If you would like to be a part of have them in your store, let me know and I will see what I can do.


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I was answering an email on line and got very long winded. But since I basically spilled out so much of our story with Celiac Disease, I thought I would post it. The original question is on the bottom of this post. Here you go….

It sounds like the pain was related to gluten, but I am not doctor.  Sharp pain like that in the intestinal track is very common. Having it radiate to other positions like your back or other side is also common from those I know with Celiac Disease or maybe even a gluten intolerance although that line is getting more grey as time goes on. They feel like gluten intolerance is only a precursor to celiac disease.

I know when going gluten free, we could tell an immediate change. After three days, we felt so much better. After two weeks, it was amazing. It wasn’t’ that we were SO sick, it was that we never felt real good. My husband and son got diagnosed at the same time.

My son was 17 and his acne was awful! We could get it clear, but if he did anything wrong like touch his face or sneeze it seemed (not sneeze, but you know what I mean) it would flair up again. I took him into the doctor for that, and when we were there, we mentioned that he was also choking on his food on occasion. I thought it was only every other month, but he told the doctor that he would choke on his food every week at school. The doctor sent him for a scope, was told that he probably had Celiac Disease but we would wait for the biopsy. As we read the info on Celiacs, I realized that my husband had more typical symptoms than my son. His best friends were Ammonium and Pepcid to help with diarrhea and heart burn. Always really gassy. Looking back, my son was sometimes so fatigued, he couldn’t even get off the couch. He is really active usually, so I just figured he had worn himself out.  They both went for the blood test and it came back positive.

We went 100% gluten free (I am pretty anal about it) and like I said, I remember the bench marks of 3 days and 2 weeks and we knew we would never put them on gluten again.

Now when they get gluten or barley it effects them different.  I think in the last 7 years, they have only had true gluten twice each at different times. It put my husband completely out for 4 days and bad effects for a full 2 or 3 weeks.

If my husband gets a crumb of wheat through cross contact, after 20 minutes he gets sharp pains. He says it is like a small dough ball with needles poking out of it. It hits his small intestine and he can feel it as it makes the first 3 turns. Many times he is in cold sweat and curled up on the floor in a ball. After 20 minutes, the harsh pain is gone and he is fatigued. He may or may not need to go to the bathroom and then goes to bed. So tired. Can’t move. The next day he usually wakes up and is better.

Barley is different. His stomach gets kind of bubbley after eating it. After 20 minutes he has to get to a bathroom right now. No sharp pains there, just uncomfortable.

he has never had cross contact with rye.

His sisters said they didn’t want to go on a gluten free diet because once you do, you are so much more sensitive to wheat and they didn’t want to become more sensitive. So what, you would rather be sick all the time?! Well, they finally repented and are now on their gluten free diet and sticking to it. I don’t know if they are as anal as me about it, but they don’t’ have kids with it yet. I think when your kids get it, you are more cautious.

So, my son never chokes, his face is clear except when he gets cross contact with wheat it will break out two days later, and he goes so much I can barely keep up.

That was 6 or 7 years ago. We figure my son’s celiac disease was triggered when he had a really bad viral infection that lasted about 2 weeks. Missed tons of school, so sick. He had it for about 2 years before he was diagnosed.

My husband, we aren’t sure. At least 8 years from when he lost his job, but as we look back, he wasn’t well for a long time, over a decade.

So once you go gluten free, you cannot do the blood test for Celiac with any accuracy. Even if you do a scope, sometimes the damage is repaired.

Celiac Disease just means you have to eat gluten free the rest of your life. It is genetic. Your kids or grandkids can come up with it at any time in their life if they have that gene after a traumatic experience or a viral infection.

Doctors don’t’ really know what they are doing because there are over 250 symptoms. Well, they know what they are doing, but will miss this many times.

Three months ago, my cousin (not related to my husband’s celiac family) has two daughters she has been trying to find out what is wrong forever.  The 15 year old twin was in the hospital and she was calling me because the doctor wanted to take out her Collin NOW. She asked my opinion and I told her to get out of there and get a second opinion , but after talking some more and after my suggestions of how many things in her family are related to celiac, she put her on a gluten free diet. Within 3 days, her body was back to normal functions, she no longer needed an enima every day to do her business and she was out of pain. After a month of needing one and almost getting her collin out?! Her twin sister has asperger’s. They put her on the diet and her mood swings are much better. So many other symptoms that are different in each one of her siblings but they are all benefiting from the diet. Crazy. Doctors thought she was crazy too. After 8 years of taking her girls in and out of the hospital, she was the one that made the diagnosis and they are all better. Overnight, re-enrolled in public school (they had to be pulled out 3 years ago), socially able to be in a crowd and more.

So there you have it. You aren’t crazy. They were probably related. Doctors don’t know everything. But there are good ones out there. If you mention Celiac, they probably won’t want to spend the $$ to test you. Even if you have insurance. If you already went on the diet, there isnt’ really a need to….except for other members of your family. Your kids, sisters, parents. Because if they have symptoms that are completely different than yours and you can see it being caused by Celiac, they may not believe you and ever go on the diet because it is completely different than yours. And you weren’t really diagnosed with it by a doctor, you just changed yoru diet and they think how in the world could something as ‘simple’ as a diet change really change those things. I have a brother in law that is dying because of a heart problem, a nephew that is so small in stature that is 2 year old brother was bigger than him (he was 5), a neice that is so small and skinny if you blew on her she would fall over, a sister in law that could never have babies because she was infertile. Yep. It is rampant in our family.

So, my biggest friend has been a local support group. I found the Gluten Intolerant Group had a meeting near by. Went. Joined. Got into Leadership. I wanted to eat out, so I started working with Restaurants in the area and their gluten free outlook and options been improved dramatically.  Starting a new Celiac Sprue Association Support group in the area and am not on the Regional Board of Directors. Found a local gluten free bakery that is amazing and became partners (www.newgrains.com) to take us national. Reach other to others like you from my twitter account @roxlive.

Why? Because someone did it for me. Because there are too many people hurting. Because there are too many doctors that don’t know what to do or whatever.

Ok, now I am on my soapbox.  So, the answer is yep! It was probably related. You could find out by going back on gluten, but I wouldn’t. Not that you are feeling better.

Oh, you can do a gene test to see if you have the gene. That way if you do, than you will know that your celiac disease is active and that you should never eat gluten again and you would have proof for your family. Gene test costs about $300 and insurance won’t pay for it. Go figure. Undiagnosed Celiac Disease is the cause and #1 expense in emergency rooms across America…I heard that somewhere or it was something like that.

Ok. Now that you know way too much about me, I hope that it helps. You are not alone. Not crazy. Right on track. Keep up the good work.



Hi Ms. Roxanne,

I hope you are well. Thank you for getting back to me. I am dreadfully sorry that I have taken so long to return your note especially since you were kind enough to offer some advice.

I decided to go gluten free about three months ago. I am in pretty good heath, I just noticed some people that have done the same have lost weight and seem to be pretty healthy, excepting those with serious celiac disease.

Here is my question: Could gluten have caused a pain in my right side?

Now, if you will indulge me, I will elaborate. About 14 years ago I suffered a sharp, stabbing pain just under my right ribcage. It was short but hurt like the dickens. I went to see my doctor and he allowed that since I was 40 the pain was most probably my gall bladder having its way with me. He sent me to be examined with a sonogram. This proved nothing as my faithful gallbladder appeared to be just dandy. He allowed that it might need to be removed just the same. I’d have none of that. But as time crept along I would learn to endure more visits from the pain in my side. Eventually, it became more constant and less sharp and more like the feeling of someone pressing their thumb under my ribs. It may or may not be related but I started getting a pain in the right side of my back as well as if it radiated from the pain in my side.

Over the course of the years, I asked many doctors about the nagging affliction. I had myself a colonoscopy, and two cat scans, all showing a healthy fellow. One doctor friend suggested it might be muscular another an ulcer. Anyway, I got nothing definitive from these learned gents. Then, it was becoming unbearable and the pain was constant. I am a bit of a worrier and I self-diagnosed myself with every disease known to mankind.

Then, I went gluten free. I felt better almost right away and after about three weeks the pain was gone. Now, I occasionally get a glimpse of the pain but it is nothing like before.

Could I have an intolerance to gluten and could it have caused this pain? What do you reckon?

Thank you again for your help. I wish you all the best.

Friend  From Twitter……



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