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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.

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    Wendy Cohan
    Before I went gluten-free, cous-cous salad was one of my all-time favorites, and I made it often. Cous-Cous is not a grain itself, but a tiny grain-like semolina pasta common in the Middle-Eastern/North African countries, and of course it contains gluten. Now I have re-created three salad recipes using a naturally gluten-free grain called Quinoa (pronounced “keenwa”). This unique grain, or seed, which was a staple food of the Incas in South America due to its stellar nutritional profile, comes in two varieties – plain, and the earthier “Inca Red”.
    These lively whole-grain salads are easy to prepare for guests, potlucks, and picnics. They keep well, and can be ready in minutes. I usually make the Middle-Eastern version, but sometimes a meal like grilled lamb-chops or herb-roasted chicken works better with the Mediterranean version. The Mediterranean version is also great to make in the summer when fresh herbs and local tomatoes are in season. When fresh corn is in season, I love to make the version with corn and beans, highlighted by red onion and a zip of lime.
    You simply toss all ingredients together with the quinoa, then with the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning. Chill salad in refrigerator briefly. Salad can be “refreshed” the next day by adding a small amount of fresh lemon juice or vinegar, and lightly tossing. Enjoy the taste of a wholesome nutritious grain that is safe for anyone with gluten sensitivity, yet easily available in your natural foods market.
    Quinoa is very adaptable, and you may find yourself coming up with new versions. I’ve tasted quinoa salads with edemame, and bay shrimp, or nori, ginger and dark sesame oil. I can even imagine a quinoa salad with winter squash, walnuts, chopped parsley and sweet onions, and diced apples, using apple cider vinegar and walnut oil. You’ll come up with the best results by making use of locally grown fruits and vegetables in season. Now I can’t wait for those summer tomatoes and corn from my garden!
    Cook ¾ cup prepared quinoa in 1 ½ cup water, ½ tsp. salt, and 1 TBSP. olive oil until thin ring around seed is visible and grain is tender but not mushy. Drain off any excess water thoroughly. Gently fluff with fork and allow to cool briefly while assembling remaining ingredients. Combine quinoa with the remaining ingredients in whichever recipe you choose.
    Middle-Eastern Style:
    ½ cup each:
    Thinly sliced quartered carrots
    Dried (Zante) currants
    Sliced green onions/scallions
    Finely chopped parsley
    Sliced almonds, lightly toasted
    Dressing:
    2 TBSP. Apple Cider Vinegar
    1 TBSP. freshly squeezed lemon juice or orange juice
    ¼ cup canola or walnut oil, or light, mild tasting olive oil
    1 clove garlic, finely minced or use a garlic press
    1 TBSP. honey
    1/8 teaspoon curry powder + 1/8 teaspoon cloves
    ¼ tsp sea salt
    Mediterranean Style:
    1/2 cup each:
    Thinly sliced diced seeded cucumbers
    Chopped kalamata olives
    Sliced green onions/scallions or red onion
    Diced tomatoes, or halved cherry tomatoes
    Crumbled sheep-feta cheese (optional)
    Pine nuts, toasted (optional garnish)
    Dressing:
    2 TBSP. Red Wine Vinegar
    1 TBSP. freshly squeezed lemon juice
    ¼ cup olive oil
    2 teaspoons honey
    1 teaspoon g.f. Dijon mustard
    1 clove garlic, finely minced, or use a garlic press
    ¼ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, or pinch each ½ teaspoon garam masala, or dried marjoram & oregano
    ¼ teaspoon sea salt
    Dash freshly ground black pepper
    South of the Border Style:
    ¾ cup canned or fresh cooked small red beans or black beans
    ¾ cup frozen sweet white corn kernels, or an equivalent amount of freshly grilled sweet corn kernels cut off the cob
    ¼ cup finely diced red onion
    ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro (or substitute fresh basil in season)
    ½ cup diced fresh tomato (optional)
    Dressing:
    ¼ cup each freshly squeezed lime juice
    1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    ¼ teaspoon cumin
    ½ teaspoon sea salt
    ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes (to taste, optional)
    Finely chopped parsley, mint & parsley, or parsley & basil


    Jefferson Adams
    Fresh, homemade cranberry sauce is too simple to ever go with the stuff in the can. The few extra steps beyond cranking the can opener go a long way. Ginger and raisins add depth to this crowd-pleaser, enough to drizzle over all your Thanksgiving favorites.
    Ingredients:
    1 pound fresh cranberries
    2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
    1 cup golden raisins
    1 cup sugar
    ½ orange, juiced
    ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
    2 cinnamon sticks
    1 pinch nutmeg
    Directions:
    In a large saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Add cranberries, bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer. Add raisins, ginger, orange juice, cider vinegar, cinnamon sticks and nutmeg. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until cranberries are softened and sauce is thick. Let cool, remove cinnamon sticks and serve.


    Jefferson Adams
    Once again St. Patrick's Day is upon us, and that means it's time for everyone to get their Irish on. In addition to coloring your favorite gluten-free beer to a rich Irish green, eating tasty Irish dishes is a great way to celebrate.>
    This year, we've got a recipe for the easiest, tastiest Irish-style lamb stew ever. We have another recipe for Fried Irish Cabbage with Bacon, which makes a great side dish for the stew. And we've also got a recipe for sinful, decadent frosted gluten-free brownies made with Irish Cream liqueur.
    First, the stew. If you are looking for a departure from the standard corned beef and cabbage, this recipe for lamb stew will do the trick. This stew is tender, savory and delicious, and will set those Irish eyes to smiling every time.
    Irish-style Lamb Stew
    Ingredients:
    2 cups gluten-free beef stock ½ cup dry white wine 1 pound cubed lamb meat 4-6 brown mushrooms, quartered 1 large onion, halved and sliced 1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and sliced 1 carrot, peeled and sliced 1 large stalk celery, sliced 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat parsley salt and pepper to taste Directions:
    Place layers of lamb meat, onion, potatoes, carrot, mushroom and celery in an oven-safe pot or casserole dish. As you build each layer, season with parsley, salt and pepper. Pour in the beef stock and the wine and cover tightly.
    Bake for 1½ to 2 hours in an oven preheated to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
    Bake until vegetables and meat are nice and tender. Divide into bowls and garnish with additional parsley. Serve.
    Corned Beef (Gluten-Free)
    For those who do plan to make corned beef, you should know that most commercial corned beef is gluten free. Some brands that are specifically labeled 'gluten free,' or which the manufacturers' websites claim to be gluten-free, include:
    Brookfield Farms Colorado Premium - all corned beef products Cook's Freirich - all corned beef Giant Eagle Grobbel's Gourmet corned beef briskets Hormel Libby's Canned Meats (Corned Beef and Corned Beef Hash) Market Day: Corned Beef Brisket Mosey's corned beef Nathan's corned beef Safeway, Butchers cut bulk-wrapped corned beef brisket, corn beef brisket, vac-packed cooked corn beef Thuman’s cooked corn beef brisket, first cut corned beef (cooked and raw), top round corned beef (cooked), cap and capless corned beef Wegmans corned beef brisket. There are other brands not listed that are also gluten free. Be sure to check the ingredients on the package, including any extra seasonings. Some labels may list natural flavorings, which rarely contain gluten.
    Still, if you're not sure, try to check the manufacturer's website, or maybe check with your butcher to find a brand you can be sure is gluten-free.
    Gluten-Free Corned Beef Recipe
    Ingredients:
    6 pounds corned brisket of beef 6 peppercorns, or gluten-free packaged pickling spices 3 carrots, peeled and quartered 3 onions, peeled and quartered 1 medium-sized green cabbage, quartered or cut in wedges Melted butter (about 4 tablespoons) Directions:
    Place the corned beef in water to cover with the peppercorns or mixed pickling spices (in supermarkets, these often come packaged with the corned beef). Cover the pot or kettle, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 hours or until tender, skimming occasionally. During the last hour, add the carrots and onions and cover again. During the last 15 minutes, add the cabbage. Transfer meat and vegetables to a platter and brush the vegetables with the melted butter.
    Serve with boiled parsley potatoes, cooked separately. (The stock can be saved to add to a pot roast or stew instead of other liquid.)
    Serves 6, with meat left over for additional meals.
    Also, after a bit of tinkering, we've modified the recipe for our version of traditional Irish Soda bread.
    Irish Soda Bread
    Soda bread is one of those Irish staples that have a cherished place in the hearts on many, many people, both within and beyond Irish borders. This gluten-free version will get you about as close to authentic versions as you can get without including gluten. Please note that this version skips caraway seeds, because I hate them. However, if you are so inclined, you can add a tablespoon with the last dry ingredients before baking. Lastly, feel free to check out our earlier versions of Irish soda bread here, and in our last St. Patrick's Day article.
    Great Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread
    Ingredients:
    Vegetable shortening for pan White Rice Flour for pan 3½ cups white rice flour ½ cup sweet rice flour ¼ cup cornstarch ¼ cup potato starch (not potato flour) 5 teaspoons baking powder (Gluten Free) 1½ teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon xanthan gum ½ teaspoon nutmeg 1½ cups raisins or currants (soaked) 1 cup (2 sticks) butter softened 2 large eggs 1 cup granulated sugar 2 cups buttermilk Directions:
    Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
    Grease a 9 inch springform pan, and dust with rice flour.
    In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients
    In a large bowl, use a handheld mixer on high speed (or a standing mixer on medium-high speed to mix the butter, eggs, and sugar until light and fluffy--about 1 minute.
    Stir in half of the dry ingredients. Use low speed on either type mixer for this step.
    Stir in buttermilk until thoroughly combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and caraway seeds (if desired) and raisins.
    Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake about 1½ hours or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
    Place pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes. Remove Bread from pan and allow to cool completely on rack. Makes 1 loaf.

    Jefferson Adams
    07/01/2014 - Fair warning: This is one of those quintessentially American dishes that includes bacon, cheese and sour cream. Oh, and mayonnaise. Let's not forget the mayonnaise.
    Because of this, it is pretty much guaranteed to be a big, fat hit at your next potluck or barbecue.
    Ingredients:
    10 small white potatoes, peeled with skins on 6 slices cooked, crisp bacon, diced 4 green onions 1½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded 12 ounces sour cream ¾ cup mayonnaise 2-3 tablespoons gluten-free brown mustard (I use Annie’s) 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 2 teaspoons salt Ground pepper to taste Directions:
    Wash and peel white potatoes. Leave skins on red potatoes
    Cube and boil potatoes with salt. Drain well.
    Crumble bacon and slice onions (including tops).
    Combine sour cream, pepper, mustard and mayonnaise, vinegar, and mix into potatoes.
    Add bacon, onions and cheese, keeping some aside for topping, and toss into potatoes.
    Pour into baking dish.
    Top with reserved cheese, onions, and bacon.
    Bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes, until cheese melts and bubbles.
    Serve hot, or refrigerate and serve cold. Tastes great either way.

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/17/2018 - What can fat soluble vitamin levels in newly diagnosed children tell us about celiac disease? A team of researchers recently assessed fat soluble vitamin levels in children diagnosed with newly celiac disease to determine whether vitamin levels needed to be assessed routinely in these patients during diagnosis.
    The researchers evaluated the symptoms of celiac patients in a newly diagnosed pediatric group and evaluated their fat soluble vitamin levels and intestinal biopsies, and then compared their vitamin levels with those of a healthy control group.
    The research team included Yavuz Tokgöz, Semiha Terlemez and Aslıhan Karul. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, the Department of Pediatrics, and the Department of Biochemistry at Adnan Menderes University Medical Faculty in Aydın, Turkey.
    The team evaluated 27 female, 25 male celiac patients, and an evenly divided group of 50 healthy control subjects. Patients averaged 9 years, and weighed 16.2 kg. The most common symptom in celiac patients was growth retardation, which was seen in 61.5%, with  abdominal pain next at 51.9%, and diarrhea, seen in 11.5%. Histological examination showed nearly half of the patients at grade Marsh 3B. 
    Vitamin A and vitamin D levels for celiac patients were significantly lower than the control group. Vitamin A and vitamin D deficiencies were significantly more common compared to healthy subjects. Nearly all of the celiac patients showed vitamin D insufficiency, while nearly 62% showed vitamin D deficiency. Nearly 33% of celiac patients showed vitamin A deficiency. 
    The team saw no deficiencies in vitamin E or vitamin K1 among celiac patients. In the healthy control group, vitamin D deficiency was seen in 2 (4%) patients, vitamin D insufficiency was determined in 9 (18%) patients. The team found normal levels of all other vitamins in the healthy group.
    Children with newly diagnosed celiac disease showed significantly reduced levels of vitamin D and A. The team recommends screening of vitamin A and D levels during diagnosis of these patients.
    Source:
    BMC Pediatrics

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/16/2018 - Did weak public oversight leave Arizonans ripe for Theranos’ faulty blood tests scam? Scandal-plagued blood-testing company Theranos deceived Arizona officials and patients by selling unproven, unreliable products that produced faulty medical results, according to a new book by Wall Street Journal reporter, whose in-depth, comprehensive investigation of the company uncovered deceit, abuse, and potential fraud.
    Moreover, Arizona government officials facilitated the deception by providing weak regulatory oversight that essentially left patients as guinea pigs, said the book’s author, investigative reporter John Carreyrou. 
    In the newly released "Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup," Carreyrou documents how Theranos and its upstart founder, Elizabeth Holmes, used overblown marketing claims and questionable sales tactics to push faulty products that resulted in consistently faulty blood tests results. Flawed results included tests for celiac disease and numerous other serious, and potentially life-threatening, conditions.
    According to Carreyrou, Theranos’ lies and deceit made Arizonans into guinea pigs in what amounted to a "big, unauthorized medical experiment.” Even though founder Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos duped numerous people, including seemingly savvy investors, Carreyrou points out that there were public facts available to elected officials back then, like a complete lack of clinical data on the company's testing and no approvals from the Food and Drug Administration for any of its tests.
    SEC recently charged the now disgraced Holmes with what it called a 'years-long fraud.’ The company’s value has plummeted, and it is now nearly worthless, and facing dozens, and possibly hundreds of lawsuits from angry investors. Meantime, Theranos will pay Arizona consumers $4.65 million under a consumer-fraud settlement Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich negotiated with the embattled blood-testing company.
    Both investors and Arizona officials, “could have picked up on those things or asked more questions or kicked the tires more," Carreyrou said. Unlike other states, such as New York, Arizona lacks robust laboratory oversight that would likely have prevented Theranos from operating in those places, he added.
    Stay tuned for more new on how the Theranos fraud story plays out.
    Read more at azcentral.com.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/14/2018 - If you’re looking for a simple, nutritious and exciting alternative to standard spaghetti and tomato sauce, look no further than this delicious version that blends ripe plum tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil, and firm sliced ricotta to deliver a tasty, memorable dish.
    Ingredients:
    12 ounces gluten-free spaghetti 5 or 6 ripe plum tomatoes ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, crushed ¾ teaspoons crushed red pepper ¼ cup chopped fresh basil 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Kosher salt and black pepper ⅓ cup pecorino Romano cheese, grated ½ cup firm ricotta, shaved with peeler Directions:
    Finely chop all but one of the tomatoes; transfer to large bowl with olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt.
    Cook spaghetti until al dente or desired firmness, and drain, reserving ¼ cup cooking water. 
    Meanwhile, chop remaining tomato, and place in food processor along with garlic, red pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt; puree until smooth. 
    Gently stir mixture into the bowl of chopped tomatoes.
    Add cooked spaghetti, basil and parsley to a large bowl.
    Toss in tomato mixture, adding some reserved pasta water, if needed. 
    Spoon pasta into bowls and top with Romano cheese, as desired.

    Jean Duane
    Celiac.com 07/13/2018 - I went to a friend’s home for dinner.  A few days before, she called and asked me what I could eat.  I asked her what she was planning to make, and she said she was grilling meats with side dishes.  I said, “Great.  Please just grill a piece of chicken for me with salt and pepper, and I’ll be happy to bring a side.” She said, “No need to bring a side.  I’ve got this.” When I arrived, she greeted me and said, “I spent all day cooking tonight’s dinner so you can eat it. Hey would you just check this salad dressing to see if it is OK for you?” I looked at the ingredients and it contained gluten and dairy, both of which I cannot eat.  Then I glanced around the kitchen and saw evidence of wheat cross-contamination, including buns being toasted on the grill, and gluten-containing barbeque sauce spilling on the grill where my “clean” chicken was cooking. She had other guests to tend to, and I couldn’t offer instruction or read the ingredients of everything she used in the meal. 
    At social gatherings, I’ve been challenged too by those who ask if I am really “allergic,” or just eating gluten free as a “fad.” I’ve been told many times by hosts and hostesses that, “a little won’t hurt you,” or “everything in moderation,” or “if it is made with loving hands, it is good for you to eat.”  Of course, all of this is bunk for those with food allergies or celiac disease.  A little bit may kill us, and whether made with loving hands or not, it will certainly make us sick. 
    Those of us with food allergies and/or celiac disease walk a tightrope with friends and relatives. The old rules of etiquette just don’t work anymore.  We don’t want to insult anybody, we don’t want to be isolated, and we also don’t want to risk our health by eating foods that may contain ingredients we cannot tolerate.  So what do we do? 
    Etiquette books advise us to eat what is put in front of us when we are guests in someone’s home. They caution us at all costs not to insult our hostess. Rather, we are instructed to compliment the hostess on her good cooking, flavor combinations, and food choices.  But when foods are prepared in a cross-contaminated environment with ingredients we are allergic to, we cannot follow the old social constructs that do not serve us.  We need to work together to rewrite the rules, so that we can be included in social gatherings without fear of cross-contamination, and without offending anyone.
    Let’s figure out how to surmount these social situations together.  
    Each edition of this column will present a scenario, and together, we’ll determine appropriate, polite, and most importantly, safe ways to navigate this tricky gluten-free/food allergies lifestyle in a graceful way.  If someone disagrees with our new behavior patterns, we can refer them to this column and say, “Here are the new rules for those of us with food allergies or celiac disease.”  When we are guests in someone’s home, we can give them links to this column so they understand the plight we are faced with, bite after bite. Perhaps this will help those of us living with us to understand, be more compassionate, and accepting of our adaptations to keep ourselves safe. 
    This column will present a scenario such as the one above, and ask that you comment on how you would navigate it. Let’s talk about it. Let’s share ideas.  Using the example above, here’s the scenario for this issue:
    What would you do?
    Your kind-hearted friend invites you to dinner and insists on cooking for you.  You arrive and the first thing she says is, “I’ve spent all day making this for you. Oh, I bought this salad dressing for you, but you might want to read the ingredients first.”  You do, and it contains malt vinegar.  You look around the kitchen and notice evidence of cross-contamination in the rest of the meal.  What do you do? 
    Please comment below and feel free to share the tricky scenarios that you’ve encountered too.  Let’s discuss how to surmount these social situations.  What would you do?

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/12/2018 - Previous research has shown that the oral administration of Bifidobacterium infantis Natren Life Start super strain (NLS-SS) reduces of gastro-intestinal symptoms in untreated celiac disease patients. The reduction of symptoms was not connected with changes in intestinal permeability or serum levels of cytokines, chemokines, or growth factors. Therefore, researchers suspected that the reduction of symptoms might be related to the modulation of innate immunity.
    To test that hypothesis, a team of researchers set out to assess the potential mechanisms of a probiotic B.infantis Natren Life Start super strain on the mucosal expression of innate immune markers in adult patients with active untreated celiac disease compared with those treated with B. infantis 6 weeks and after 1 year of gluten-free diet.
    The research team included Maria I. Pinto-Sanchez, MD, Edgardo C. Smecuol, MD, Maria P. Temprano,RD, Emilia Sugai, BSBC, Andrea Gonzalez, RD, PhD, Maria L. Moreno,MD, Xianxi Huang, MD, PhD, Premysl Bercik, MD, Ana Cabanne, MD, Horacio Vazquez, MD, Sonia Niveloni, MD, Roberto Mazure, MD, Eduardo Mauriño, MD, Elena F. Verdú, MD, PhD, and Julio C. Bai, MD. They are affiliated with the Medicine Department, Farcombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; the Small Intestinal Section, Department of Medicine and the Department of Alimentation at Dr. C. Bonorino Udaondo, Gastroenterology Hospital and Research Institute at the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    The team determined the numbers of macrophages and Paneth cells, along with the expression of a-defensin-5 expression via immunohistochemistry in duodenal biopsies.
    Their results showed that a gluten-free diet lowers duodenal macrophage counts in celiac disease patients more effectively than B. infantis, while B. infantis lowers Paneth cell counts and reduces expression of a-defensin-5.
    This study documents the differential innate immune effects of treatment with B. infantis compared with 1 year of gluten-free diet. The team calls for further study to better understand the synergistic effects of gluten-free diet and B. infantis supplementation in celiac disease.
    Source:
    J Clin Gastroenterol