Friday, May 29, 2009

Greenlife THE G-free Asheville Grocery?

For reasons of price and availability, I have become accustomed to shopping at not one, but two major groceries here in San Francisco: Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

At Whole Foods I can find Waylon's beef-free, gluten-free raw dog food, some local produce and Kinnikinnick gluten-free breads. But at Trader Joe's I can buy Two Buck Chuck Chardonnay which is vegan--and therefore casein free--and obviously just $2 and awesome chicken apple sausages packs for $4.

So while it does require two trips, I've got my San Fran shopping down, but where will I shop once we're in Asheville? Well, for those of you who are local, you already know much more than I do, and suggestions are quite welcome. But for those who are just visiting, let me tell you, I can't seem to hear enough praise for Greenlife Grocery. So much so that I've even developed a twinkle in my eye when I hear a house we are considering is near Greenlife!

I've not yet been to this much-praised grocery, but here is what I hear:
-They are even more progressive than Whole Foods.
-Local foods like produce and meats abound.
-They offer classes and events.
-And they are a valuable asset to the community.

Okay, I'm sold. On June 12th, the day we arrive after a cross-country journey, while Taylor is fast asleep recovering from the drive and I should be too, I'm guessing instead that Greenlife is where I'll be. Seriously, I may just be a little bit grocery-store-obsessed.

Friday, May 22, 2009

San-J Wheat-Free Soy in Lower Sodium and Portable Packets

Will eating a gluten-free sushi meal be getting just a bit easier?

I recently contacted San-J to ask if their famous Organic Wheat-Free Tamari is available in those pocket sized packets that I often see in sushi boxes like those at Whole Foods and Draeger's Markets. Marketing Manager Jennifer Stoltz replied with some exciting news for sushi:

We do make a portion pack size of this product. At this time, it is only available at the San-J online store, which can be accessed by visiting and go to the Where To Buy page.

I know that we are also considering selling portion packs at the retail level, but this project is still in development and it would be several months, at least before they were introduced.

I thought I would let you know that we've also recently reformulated our Asian Cooking Sauces and Salad Dressings and they have now been certified gluten free (look for the certified gluten free logo on the labels for the new versions).

Though the packets were on back-order last I checked, this is all very good news. Plus it was great to visit their site and learn that a low-sodium version of their Organic Wheat-Free Tamari is available online.

Food Allergies Support Group for Children - Asheville Earth Fare

Check out the following information about COCOA (Caring fOr Children with fOod Allergies) and their upcoming meeting at the Asheville Earth Fare on June 1st, 2009. You can also go to the Earth Fare Events page here.

6:45 PM
Would you like to have COCOA at Earth Fare? Caring fOr Children with fOod Allergies has organized a support group that meets in the community room of Earth Fare, 1856 Hendersonvilee Road to share information. You are invited to a group for parents of food allergic children in Asheville and surrounding areas! If you are interested in: 1) Finding other people who understand, 2) Raising community awareness, and 3) Sharing coping techniques swapping “safe” recipes. Then send an email to Kristie at for more information.

Asheville Earth Fare Information
Web site
Hours and Contact Info: Monday- Saturday 8am-10pm Sunday 8am-9pm
Phone: (828) 210-0100

Store Address:
1856 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Vegan, Gluten-Free Inspired Cookies

With just two weekends left before our cross-country move (yay!), I attended one final west coast gluten-free event this weekend. And while telling you about the beautiful, gourmet Draeger's Market in Blackhawk is not going to do you much good. I did discover some incredible new gluten-free, casein-free, vegan cookies that you can order online from just about anywhere!

And actually, I liked these cookies so much, I just may start passing them around to local Asheville shops to see if anyone will sell my favorite gluten-free cookies.

I am incredibly impressed by The Inspired Cookie founder/baker Sarah Gill. She is a graduate of Natural School of Cookery in Boulder Colorado, and even before her attendance there, she wrote a book called The Beginners Vegan Guide. So naturally, Sarah knows her stuff. Which is how she can create cookies with no eggs, no butter, no dairy and no xantham gum that taste amazing, and when packaged, can last up to three months.

Sarah's cookies are large, cakey and everything a cookie should be, with, of course, just a little bit more than meets the eye. A true baking genius, Sarah has created 12 flavors, all of which will give your taste buds a very pleasant surprise.

The Inspired Cookie flavors include:
  • GRACE- Almond Lemon Poppyseed
  • BLISS- Raspberry Chocolate Chunk
  • EXCITEMENT- Coconut Key Lime Cayenne
  • REJUVENATION- Chai Ginger Chunk
  • RADIANCE- Orange Chocolate Chunk
  • TRANQUILITY- Lemon Lavender
  • JUBILIANCE- Double Cherry Chocolate Chunk
  • COMFORT- Snickerdoodle
  • CLARITY- Peppermint Chocolate Chunk
  • ENLIGHTENMENT- Mocha Chocolate Chunk
  • JOY- Cranberry Pecan Orange Zest
  • WARMTH- Mayan Hot Chocolate
  • MERRY MINT- Candy Cane Chocolate Chunk
I just can't wait to have a dinner party and put out a platter of these exotic and delectable, gluten-free treats--the surprise and reactions will just be fabulous!

You can purchase Sarah's Inspired Cookies at

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gluten Free Bourbon and Coke

While perusing one of our favorite, new Southern bimonthlies, Garden & Gun Magazine, my boyfriend and I took notice of a rec. for a 20 year old, specialty bourbon called Old Rip Van Winkle.

The next article that caught our eye touched on the ever-growing popularity of "Mexican Coke," i.e. Coca-Cola imported from Mexico. The reason for the popularity being that unlike the high fructose corn syrupy cokes that are bottled in the states, Mexican bottlers still use cane sugar. Making this a favorite among many a Coke fan, especially chefs who claim that the imported variety cooks down nicely, while the local version, simply does not.

Taylor rounded up some Old Rip Van Winkle Bourbon, I tracked down the imported Coca-Colas. Then I did my gluten-free homework and verified that regular Coke is indeed gluten-free, and so is Old Rip Van Winkle according to chemist Truman Cox:

To summarize, our process should denature and remove any allergens from our products. We do not knowingly add anything but pure Kentucky water after aging. Our testing has shown no detectable levels of proteins in our products. We have had many requests by celiac patients and have never heard of an adverse reaction to our products. As I am sure you know, please check with a doctor before consuming any alcohol products and please drink responsibly.

That night, I enjoyed my first bourbon and Mexican in condensation-laden Mignon Faget glasses. We may not be back in the south yet, but it sure felt like it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gluten Free Baby Donuts

As we pack up, anticipating our return to the south, memories of my childhood are awakened. Memories of Sunday mornings in New Orleans. Memories of baby donuts.

Mimi's Deli was near our house, and though they did not have the widest selection of groceries, they did have the best quality beef around and a very special treat in their freezer section: packages of small, cinnamon and sugar sprinkled donuts, which after a brief warm up in the toaster oven were divine!

I have not eaten a donut in years, but now that I can't (because of gluten), I do sometimes walk past the fresh boxes of donuts and dream.

So I was utterly shocked when in the freezer section (next to the g/f waffles) of my local Whole Foods Market, there was not one, but two different flavors of gluten-free, casein-free donuts!

Of course, I had to opt. for the cinnamon and sugar "baby donuts" by Kinnikinnick, maker of my favorite gluten-free bread.

-a little bit too sugary, but then I don't eat much sugar anymore, with some wiped off, they're perfect!
-they took a bit longer to heat in the microwave than the package indicated, though I wonder if they'd be even better made in a toaster oven?
-I LOVE that they're not at all greasy and have just 4.5g of fat per donuts.
-Overall, great tasting, great texture, not guiltless, but not too unhealthy either.

A perfect Sunday morning treat from time to time!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Can't Wait to Try: Well-Bred Cafe

Thanks to Zach for the warm welcome, and for setting up these great local resource sites! I am actually still counting down the days until we leave San Francisco on June 4th for our cross country move to Asheville, and it seems like every day I hear some great new compliment for our favorite city.

In the meantime, it's great what a little networking can do! While looking for a short-term rental to stay in while we look for a long-term home, I found myself in touch with Judy Glicken who in addition to the Asheville Swiss Chalets owns Well-Bred Bakery & Cafe in Weaverville.

Now all I can do in the meantime is tell you how cute this bistro bakery looks and how wonderful it sounds. But as soon as we arrive, I will be stopping in for one of these amazing gluten-free delights!

Here is a list of Well-Bred's gluten-free menu items:
Espresso Roulade
Swedish Creams
Crème Brulee
English Toffee
Double Chocolate Macaroons

Saturday, May 2, 2009

New Guest Asheville Blogger - Kristen Campbell

Allow me to introduce Kristen Campbell who will become a guest blogger for Gluten Free Asheville.

See my post over at Gluten Free Raleigh about Kristen.

More to come from Kristen and her Asheville experiences very soon!

Stay tuned.