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What to look for on gluten-free food labels

With the increasing popularity of gluten-free diets, it can be overwhelming to navigate the world of gluten-free foods. While many foods are naturally gluten-free, others may contain hidden sources of gluten. To ensure that you are making informed choices, it is important to know what to look for on gluten-free food labels.

Massachusetts Gluten Free Logo

Here are some key things to look for on gluten-free food labels:

  • Certification: Look for a certification symbol from a recognized gluten-free certifying organization, such as the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). These symbols indicate that the food has been independently verified to meet strict gluten-free standards.
  • Ingredients: Check the ingredient list for any potential sources of gluten, such as wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten can also be hidden in ingredients like malt, modified food starch, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein. Be sure to read the entire ingredient list, as gluten can be listed under different names.
  • "Gluten-free" label: Look for products that are labeled "gluten-free." This indicates that the product contains less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, which is the threshold set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for gluten-free labeling.
  • Cross-contamination: Check the label for any warnings about potential cross-contamination with gluten-containing ingredients. Some products may be processed in facilities that also process wheat, barley, or rye, which can lead to cross-contamination.
  • Nutritional value: Just because a product is gluten-free doesn't necessarily mean it is healthy. Be sure to check the nutritional value of the food, including the amount of sugar, fat, and calories. Look for gluten-free products that are also nutrient-dense, such as those made with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

It's important to note that gluten-free labeling standards can vary by country, so be sure to check the regulations in your area. In the United States, for example, the FDA regulates gluten-free labeling, while in Canada, gluten-free labeling is voluntary.

In conclusion, navigating the world of gluten-free foods can be challenging, but knowing what to look for on food labels can help you make informed choices. Look for certification symbols, check the ingredient list for potential sources of gluten, and be sure to check for any warnings about cross-contamination. Finally, remember that gluten-free doesn't necessarily mean healthy, so be sure to check the nutritional value of the food as well.


Quinoa Cooking

Quinoa Cooking

Quinoa is a gluten-free whole grain that is a great source of protein, fiber, and nutrients. It is a popular choice for people with celiac disease or other gluten intolerances, as it is a safe and healthy alternative to gluten-containing grains.

Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. This makes it a valuable addition to the diet for people who do not eat meat or other animal products. Quinoa is also a good source of fiber, which can help to improve digestion and gut health. Additionally, quinoa is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.

There are many ways to enjoy quinoa. It can be cooked and served as a side dish, used in salads, or added to soups and stews. Quinoa can also be used to make flour, which can be used in baking or to make gluten-free breads and tortillas.

If you are looking for a healthy and gluten-free grain, quinoa is a great option. It is a versatile and delicious grain that can be enjoyed in many different ways.

Here are some tips for cooking quinoa:

  • Rinse the quinoa before cooking to remove any bitter saponins.
  • Cook the quinoa in a 1:2 ratio of water to quinoa.
  • Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked through.
  • Fluff the quinoa with a fork before serving.

Here are some ideas for using quinoa:

  • Serve quinoa as a side dish with grilled chicken or fish.
  • Add quinoa to salads for a boost of protein and fiber.
  • Make a quinoa breakfast bowl by topping cooked quinoa with fruit, nuts, seeds, and yogurt.
  • Use quinoa to make gluten-free bread, tortillas, and crackers.
  • Add quinoa to soups and stews for a heartier meal.
  • With its many health benefits and versatility, quinoa is a great addition to any gluten-free diet.


If you are on a gluten-free diet, you may find that you are missing out on some of your favorite foods. But don't worry, there are many delicious and healthy gluten-free options available, including kumquat. In this blog post, we will explore the use of kumquat in cooking gluten-free meals.

Gluten Free Kumquat

Health Benefits of Kumquat

Kumquats are small, oval citrus fruits that are packed with health benefits. They are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. These nutrients can help boost your immune system, improve digestion, and reduce inflammation in the body. Kumquats are also low in calories and can be a great addition to a healthy diet.

Using Kumquat in Gluten-Free Meals

Kumquats can be used in a variety of ways to add flavor and nutrition to gluten-free meals. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Kumquat and Avocado Salad

This salad is a perfect way to use kumquats to add a burst of citrus flavor to your meals. To make the salad, slice kumquats and mix them with diced avocado, arugula, and a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

2. Kumquat Marinade for Chicken

This marinade is a perfect way to use kumquats to add flavor to your chicken dishes. To make the marinade, blend kumquats, garlic, ginger, honey, soy sauce, and olive oil in a food processor. Marinate chicken in the mixture for at least an hour before grilling or baking.

3. Kumquat and Almond Flour Cake

This cake is a perfect way to use kumquats to add sweetness to your gluten-free desserts. To make the cake, mix almond flour, kumquat zest, eggs, honey, and baking powder. Top with sliced kumquats and bake until golden brown.


Kumquats are versatile fruit that can be used in a variety of gluten-free meals. They are packed with health benefits and can add flavor and nutrition to your dishes.

By using kumquats in your cooking, you can create delicious and healthy gluten-free meals that will satisfy your cravings and keep you feeling great. So why not give Kumquats a try and see what delicious dishes you can create?


Eggs in Cooking

Egg Cooking

For those who suffer from gluten intolerance, finding a substitute for flour can be challenging. However, one ingredient that can be used in a variety of ways is eggs. Eggs are a versatile and essential ingredient in gluten-free cooking and can be used in many different dishes to provide flavor, texture, and structure. In this blog post, we will explore three ways eggs can be used in gluten-free cooking.

Adding Texture to Baked Goods

When it comes to gluten-free baking, one of the biggest challenges is achieving the right texture. Without gluten, baked goods can become dense and heavy. However, eggs can help to provide the necessary lift and lightness. In fact, many gluten-free recipes call for extra eggs to help with this. For example, adding an extra egg to a gluten-free cake recipe can help to give it a lighter texture.

Binding Ingredients Together

Another challenge in gluten-free cooking is getting ingredients to stick together. Without gluten, it can be difficult to achieve the right consistency in dishes like meatloaf or meatballs. Once again, eggs can come to the rescue. Eggs can act as a binder, helping to hold ingredients together. In addition, eggs can also be used as a coating to help breadcrumbs or other coatings adhere to foods like chicken or fish.

Creating Creamy Sauces

A final way that eggs can be used in gluten-free cooking is by creating creamy sauces. Many traditional sauces rely on flour as a thickener, but this is not an option for those who are gluten-free. However, eggs can be used to create a similar effect. For example, hollandaise sauce is made by whisking egg yolks with melted butter and lemon juice. The eggs help to thicken the sauce and give it a creamy texture.


Eggs are a versatile and essential ingredient in gluten-free cooking. Whether you're trying to achieve the right texture in baked goods, bind ingredients together in savory dishes, or create creamy sauces, eggs can help. By adding eggs to your gluten-free cooking arsenal, you can expand your range of dishes and enjoy a wider variety of flavors and textures.


Mass Mutual Center

The Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts is a popular venue for a variety of events, including concerts, sporting events, and conferences. For individuals who are gluten intolerant, finding suitable food options at the concession stand can be challenging. Unfortunately, the Mass Mutual Center has limited gluten-free options available at their concessions stand.

Massmutual Center concessions
Concession stand at the Mass Mutual Center

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and can cause adverse reactions in individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. It is essential for individuals with gluten intolerance to avoid foods that contain gluten to maintain their health.

When visiting the concessions stand at the Mass Mutual Center, individuals with gluten intolerance will find that their options are limited. The majority of the food options contain gluten, including hot dogs, hamburgers, and pretzels. The only gluten-free option available is a hot dog without a bun, which is not an adequate or satisfying meal option.

It turns out that hamburgers without buns are not gluten-free options since they toast the buns on the same grill they cook the buns on. Note: They do have gluten-free rolls but the cook warned of cross-contamination.

My daughter's only food option - other than salad was a hot dog without a bun. The hot dog was an option since it's boiled and has no contact with any rolls before serving.

Note: Outside food is not allowed at the Mass Mutual Center - which leads to minimal selection for kids with celiac.

Mass Mutual Menu
The concessions menu board. Not a lot of good Gluten-Free options.


It is disappointing that the Mass Mutual Center does not offer a wider variety of gluten-free options for its patrons. Providing gluten-free options at concessions stands is becoming more common, and it would be beneficial for the Mass Mutual Center to follow suit. Offering gluten-free alternatives would not only help individuals with gluten intolerance, but it would also attract a wider range of customers who are looking for healthier food options.

In conclusion, the limited gluten-free options at the concessions stand at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts is a challenge for individuals with gluten intolerance. The only gluten-free option available is popcorn, which is not an adequate or satisfying meal option. It is important for the Mass Mutual Center to consider adding more gluten-free options to their concessions stand to accommodate individuals with gluten intolerance and to provide healthier food options for all of their customers.


Plan B Restaurant

Plan B Burger Bar is a popular restaurant chain with locations throughout the Northeast, including Springfield, Massachusetts. The restaurant specializes in delicious burgers, but they also offer a range of gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions. Here are some of the gluten-free options available at the Plan B Burger Bar in Springfield:

Starters: The restaurant offers a range of gluten-free appetizers, including the Buffalo Cauliflower, which is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional wings.

Salads: Plan B Burger Bar has a range of salads that are gluten-free, including the Grilled Chicken Caesar and the Chopped Salad with chicken, avocado, and bacon.

Burgers: The restaurant offers a variety of gluten-free burger options, including the Classic Burger with a gluten-free bun and the Veggie Burger made with black beans, beets, and quinoa.

Sides: The restaurant also offers gluten-free side dishes, including Sweet Potato Fries, Tater Tots, and Brussels Sprouts.

Plan B Springfield 2023
Gluten-Free Burger at Plan B

Three Things We Learned

Last week we visited the restaurant in Springfield, Massachusetts for a Saint Patrick's Day dinner. Here are some things we learned on our visit:

Gluten-free options were plentiful on the menu. It's surprising that my daughter didn't want to try the gluten-free chicken wings appetizer even though she had a lot to pick from. In fact, in the appetizer section, there are 9 items and only 2 of them are not gluten-free. Even the kid's menu has gluten-free items - which is certainly unheard of in most restaurants that we have visited.

Note: The menu states that the item can be prepared gluten-free, which means you need to ask for the gluten-free version - don't assume that it will be made gluten-free.

She ordered a "build your own burger" and asked for a gluten-free roll for $1.99 extra. Iceberg lettuce bunless options, which cost nothing extra, are also available, but no twelve-year-old will want to eat that. A bunless option may be healthier, but it also lacks the texture and flavor that a bun can provide. Also, the cost of the gluten-free option was relatively small compared to the overall cost of the meal, so it was a reasonable request.

As Plan B does not sell beers from foreign countries, Guinness was not available on Saint Patrick's Day. However, Founders Breakfast Stout Nitro was available and was a pretty good substitute. Founders Breakfast Stout Nitro is an American-style oatmeal stout with a creamy, nitro finish. It is a much-loved beer among craft beer lovers and a great alternative to Guinness. It was a hit at Plan B on Saint Patrick's Day.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, Plan B Burger Bar in Springfield, Massachusetts, is a great option for those looking for delicious gluten-free food. From burgers to salads, sides, and desserts, the restaurant has a range of options that are safe and delicious for those with dietary restrictions. So next time you're in the area, be sure to check out Plan B Burger Bar for a delicious and satisfying meal!


Pamela's Gluten-Free Waffles

If you are looking for a gluten-free breakfast option, waffles made with Pamela's Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix are a great choice. This mix is specially formulated to give you the perfect texture and taste for your waffles. Here is a simple recipe to make delicious gluten-free waffles using Pamela's mix.

Pamela Gluten Free

This is how I make my daughter's waffles - just about every morning.


  • 1 1/2 cups Pamela's Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat your waffle maker.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the Pamela's Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix and eggs.
  3. Add the water, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract to the bowl and whisk until the batter is smooth.
  4. Pour the batter onto the preheated waffle maker and cook until the waffles are golden brown and crispy.
  5. Serve the waffles with your favorite toppings such as fresh fruit, whipped cream, or syrup.

Making gluten-free waffles with Pamela's Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix is easy and delicious. Enjoy a gluten-free breakfast with this simple recipe.


Gluten Free Restaurant Prompts

As a parent of a celiac, it is important to be vigilant about the food that they eat to avoid consuming any gluten. When eating out, sometimes we forget to ask the right question. So I thought I put together a helpful document. These are mostly reminder prompts something that you would look at before going out as a reminder of what to ask.

Gluten Free Promps

Here is a reminder prompt of things you may want to ask a waiter or server when dining out:

  • Do you have a separate gluten-free menu? If not, can you please point out the gluten-free options on the regular menu?
  • Does the kitchen have a dedicated gluten-free preparation area and cookware to prevent cross-contamination?
  • Are there any gluten-containing ingredients in the dish I'm interested in?
  • Are any gluten-containing ingredients used in the preparation or cooking of this dish?
  • Are any gluten-containing ingredients used in the sauces, dressings, or marinades used in this dish?
  • Can you ask the chef or kitchen staff to confirm that the dish is gluten-free?
  • Can you ask the chef or kitchen staff to make any necessary substitutions or modifications to make the dish gluten-free?
  • Can you confirm that no bread or other gluten-containing foods will be served with my meal?
  • Is there a risk of cross-contamination with gluten-containing foods during preparation or serving?
  • Can you recommend any gluten-free options for appetizers, entrees, and desserts?

By asking these questions, you can ensure that the food you order is safe for your gluten-free diet and avoid any unwanted exposure to gluten.

Download the PDF

For your convenience, I have created a PDF document that contains the Restaurant Gluten Free reminder prompts. Download the document and keep it handy!


Little Caesars Fundraising Pizza Kit

Are you looking for a delicious and convenient way to enjoy pizza night with your family? Look no further than the Little Caesars Fundraising Gluten Free Pepperoni Combo Kit! This kit allows you to make two 10-inch pizzas (one cheese and one pepperoni) with a gluten-free crust, sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. Not only is it an easy way to whip up some tasty pies in minutes but it also supports a great cause ' proceeds from the sale of this kit go towards supporting local charities.

The best part about this product is how simple it prepares a gluten-free pizza at home. All ingredients are pre-measured so there's no guesswork involved when putting together your meal; just pop everything into your oven or air fryer for quick results that taste great! Plus, each order comes with instructions on how best to prepare these pizzas for optimal flavor and texture every time.

At just $24.99 per combo pack, not only do you get quality ingredients but also peace of mind knowing that by buying this product online from Little Caesars Fundraising website helps support charitable causes in our communities as well as providing delicious food options for those who need them most'all while enjoying amazing tasting gluten-free pizza at home without any hassle whatsoever! So what are you waiting for? Get yours today before they sell out!

Little Caesars Fundraising Pizza Kit

Four Things We Learned

Little Caesar's prints cooking instructions on orange paper. The regular pizza instructions are printed on paper that is white. The orange paper helps differentiate the gluten-free crust from the regular crust. This color-coding system helps ensure that employees are following the correct instructions and that the gluten-free crust is being prepared properly. It also helps customers identify which instructions to follow if they have gluten-free dietary restrictions.

The pizza crust is well-sealed in a plastic bag. There are no issues with putting the gluten-free crust next to the regular crust.

I was told by my twelve-year-old daughter that the gluten-free pizza was the most delicious she had ever had. She had so much fun making her own pizza and told me that the crust was also delicious. This is likely due to the fact that the gluten-free crust is made with alternative flour, such as rice flour, which can be more flavorful than traditional wheat flour. Additionally, the fact that she was able to make her own pizza likely played a role in why she thought it was so delicious.

GLUTEN FREE CRUST: Rice Flour, Water, Rice Starch, Cane Sugar, Canola Oil, Contains Less Than 2% of the Following Potato Starch, Yeast, Salt, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda), Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Xanthan Gum.


Sichuan Gourmet

Recently we tried to go to Uncle Chungs, as that's our go-to place for Chinese, but they were closed. We did a quick search and decided to try Sichuan Gourmet across the street as they offer gluten-free Chinese.

Sichuan Gluten Free
Gluten Free Sweet and Sour Chicken at Sichuan Gourmet in Framingham, Massachusetts

Four Things We Learned

They said that they could make any dish gluten-free. We asked for Sweet and Sour Chicken and boneless spare ribs as that is what my daughter usually orders. The waitress told us that the kitchen could make the dish using corn-based flour and it would be gluten-free.

When the dish came out, it looked very good. In fact, it looked too good to be gluten-free. The adults at the table took a bit and confirmed - as best as we could - that it was made with corn-based flour. The dish did look different than other fried foods that we ordered - General Tso's Chicken and Sesame Chicken. My daughter decided to try it out.

I thought the Sweet and Sour Chicken was good, but my daughter didn't like it. She didn't have the same comfort feeling that she has when she orders from Uncle Chungs. She had a few bits but ate most of the boneless ribs and vegetable fried rice.

She did complain about her stomach later that night - usually a sign that she had gluten. It didn't hurt that bad, which leads me to believe that there was potential cross-contamination. I am thinking that they probably don't have a dedicated gluten-free fryer for their Sweet and Sour Chicken.

Sichuan Gluten Free2
Other Dishes on the table.

Not Going Back

Despite the fact that I enjoyed my General Tso's Chicken, we are unlikely to return because we believe that it was not a safe place for my daughter to eat. The next time we are in this situation, we are likely to go to P.F. Chang's at the Natick Mall. We have eaten their plenty of times and never run into any issues.



This series of posts will cover some tips and tricks that I have learned about my twelve-year-old daughter's gluten-free lifestyle in the Boston area. Gluten-free eating can be challenging in any big city, but especially in Boston due to the high number of restaurants and availability of options. I've been learning what I can to make sure my daughter can still enjoy eating out, and I want to share what I've learned so that other families in the same situation can benefit.

Checkout all the Gluten Free blog posts.


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