Gluten Free in Central Arkansas

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February 2011


Monthly meetings are held in the Fireplace Room at the Arkansas Heart Hospital. Details below.


Table of Contents


·       Donations

·       GF 101

·       Meetings are at the Heart Hospital

·       Sharing Information – *please send me recipes, reviews and more*

·       Calendar – GFCA

·       GIG 2011 Annual Education Conference in Orlando

·       Support Groups Around Arkansas – Jonesboro, Fayetteville, Hot Springs, Fort Smith

·       Children’s Corner by Sherri

·       Dr. Betsy Hendricks Classroom

·       Recipe Corner  - Quinoa, Chicken Andouille Gumbo, Tina’s website

·       Travel – Louisville, KY

·       Restaurants – Izzy’s, Rosalia’s Family Bakery

·       Drug Emporium – GF aisle expanding soon

·       Whole Foods – GF sampling

·       Wal-mart

·       Articles and Abstracts -   Avoid cross contamination; Gluten detecting  dog


Please send donations to our GFCA treasurer, Terri Murdoch. Make checks payable to GFCA.

11 Berwyn Dr

Little Rock, AR 72227
  Phone: 501-312-1689


Gluten Free 101 classes are held on demand. Please contact either Terri Murdoch or me for more information on classes in Little Rock.  LaDonna Brock has moved. She is now available for GF 101 in Hot Springs. She can be contacted by email at or by phone 501-262-4299


Meetings are at the Heart Hospital

Please feel free to bring in home baked or store bought foods you would like to share with the group.


Each month Drug Emporium is kindly donating GF food for us to try. 


This room is located in a building behind the main hospital. When you drive in from the stoplight, you will be facing the hospital. Go to the right. When you come to the stop sign, go left.  This takes you behind the hospital.  The building with the Fireplace Room will be on the right with a sign that says ANNEX. There is convenient parking in front of the building and we can ignore the HR ONLY parking signs as it is after hours.


Arkansas Heart Hospital

1701 South Shackleford Road

Little Rock, AR 72211


Going south on I-430, take exit 5 and turn right onto Shackleford. Hospital is on the right.


Going north on I-430, take exit 5 and turn left onto Shackleford. Hospital is on the right.


For questions contact

Anne Luther                                                                                                                                               



Sharing information

We would love to hear from you. Here are some subjects that would be of interest:

1)    Recipes

2)    Product reviews

3)    Restaurant reviews

4)    Information on GF traveling

5)    Your story

6)     Anything you would like to share with the group


Calendar for GFCA 


Monday, February 21st, 6-8pm – Penny Rudder will be talk about using spices and herbs in cooking.  


Penny Rudder has a B.S. in Foods and Nutrition with a minor in Biochemistry from The Honors College of Kent State University. She graduated magna cum laude as sort of a renegade, not believing that the USDA Food Pyramid was healthy or that those milk moustache commercials were either. She still doesn't and guides people to safe, truly nourishing choices for all the foods they eat, whether coming into the body on the fork or through the skin. She offers classes, recipes and tips on her blog


Saturday, March 12th, 2-4pm – Craig Brown, MD will be speaking. Topic to be announced. Dr. Brown is an ophthalmologist who has been in practice for 30 years. He has had Celiac disease since 1977, and remembers his Father's diagnosis in 1963.


He has an active Ophthalmic Surgery practice, and also has an interest in genetic and nutritional disorders. He works closely with the North West Arkansas Celiac Support Group.


April  – To Be Announced


Monday, May 16th, 6-8pm – Paula Dempsey will be talking about the opening of her gluten free bakery, "Dempsey Bakery" Your Gluten Free and Specialty Baker. Yes, that is right, Little Rock is going to have a bakery without gluten! The bakery will also make special items for special needs beyond gluten free. Other stores will also carry the GF bakery items.   Come and hear all about this bakery. Samples will be served.



2011 Gluten Intolerance Group Annual Education Conference

Save the Date

Where: Orlando, FL


Venue: Gaylord Palms Hotel & convention center


Date: June 30, 2011 through July 2, 2011

Discounted registration through April 1


Details will be posted as they are available

Plan your vacation around this great Conference

Watch the website for more details: 



Support Groups Around Arkansas


Gluten Intolerance in N.E. AR -Jonesboro. Anne Luther will be the speaker at the meeting on July 10 at 10am Mt. Carmel Methodist Church, 4000 Southwest Drive. For information about meetings please contact:

Barbara Feeser 870-935-4515  

Gale Pierce 870-539-2591

Corrie Stricklin  870-268-1080.  Nature's Pantry location is 554 CR 409 (also known as South Culberhouse), Jonesboro, AR.72404.




 NWA Celiac Sprue Association Support Group For more information you may contact Carolyn McKinley at 479-644-9909 or email



 Hot Springs Village There are two contact persons: Nancy Carter   or Jeannie Shapley, 501-321-8171,



 Gluten Free Fort Smith - For more information contact Majetta Green 479-221-4372 or 


Please let me know if you want information about your Arkansas Gluten Free support group added to this newsletter.


Children’s Corner by Sherri 

Years ago, when I was trying to figure out my little girl's health problems, I contacted someone from a celiac group in Memphis.  I know they were trying to be helpful, but when I got off the phone, I was totally overwhelmed.  They must have felt that they would only have one shot to tell me everything I ever needed to know, because I got too much information.  


Periodically over the next few years, I would work up my courage to bring up the topic of celiac disease to our pediatrician.  The doctor would quickly reassure me that my daughter was fine and send us on our merry way. The only problem was that I left with a child who was still sick, a lot.  If only not wanting to believe would have made it go away or if I could have clicked my heels three times while chanting, "My child doesn't have celiac, my child doesn't have celiac" and all the symptoms would have gone away.  But of course that didn't happen.  She continued to have seemingly unrelated symptoms and I continued to have a nagging fear that something wasn't right. 


 As moms, we have to keep asking those hard questions, even if we don't like the answer.  Of course changing your child's diet won't be easy but the older they get the harder it will be.  One mom told me how her son was diagnosed with "toddler's diarrhea".  (I guess that's the equivalent of irritable bowel for adults.)  This time it was the doctor who suggested she put her child on a gluten free diet and miraculously all the symptoms went away.  Now the boy is a teenager, but since he doesn't remember what the offending foods tasted like,  he remains 100% compliant to the diet.  Makes me wish I had called the celiac group back and asked them to give me the information a little more slowly!


Dr. Betsy Hendricks Classroom

More classes about the thyroid have been added.

Be sure to check out this great information.



Recipe Corner

Have you tried Quinoa? Barbara tried it for the first time and is sharing her recipes.

I had cooked some of this quinoa for the first time.  Just stirred some

leftovers in and came up with this.  We liked it.


Inca Red Ancient Harvest Quinoa, prewashed (prewashing removes a bitter taste)


Quinoa with ham

Cook Quinoa as directed on package,


Mix  1 small can whole kernel corn

       1 cup chopped ham

       1/2 cup Ragu, mushroom

       1/2 cup cheese, cubed


Stir in Quinoa, pour in baking dish,

Heat in oven or microwave til cheese melts and all is hot.


Use favorite cheese, use more or less to your taste.  Could use chicken or ham.


If in a hurry you could just add it all into the cooked quinoa pan and heat more.


Quinoa salad

I used plain cooked quinoa cold with chopped apple, pear, cubed cheese and a little Brianna Poppy seed dressing.



Chicken Andouille Gumbo submitted by Terri

This recipe was adapted from



       12 cups water

       3 pounds chicken parts

       2 tablespoons vegetable oil

       1 medium onion

       1/2 cup vegetable oil

       1/2 cup GF all purpose flour (I used Gluten Free Pantry All-Purpose Flour)

       1 pound andouille sausage, sliced ( I used Wellshire Farms Turkey Andouille Sausage from Whole Foods)

       1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes or you could use Italian-style whole peeled tomatoes

       1 family sized package of cut frozen okra

       1 green bell pepper, chopped

       2 stalks celery, chopped

       2 cloves garlic, minced

       1 bay leaf

       2 teaspoons salt

       1 teaspoon dried thyme

       1 teaspoon dried basil

       1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

       1 teaspoon ground black pepper

       1 teaspoon file' powder



1.     Combine water and chicken in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is tender, about 1 hour. Using tongs, transfer chicken to strainer and cool, saving cooking liquid. Remove meat from bones in pieces.

2.     Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent, set aside.

3.     Stir flour and remaining 1/2 cup oil in heavy large Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until deep golden brown, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Add 4 cups reserved chicken cooking broth, okra, andouille sausage, tomatoes with their juices, bell pepper, celery, garlic, bay leaf, salt, thyme, basil, cayenne, and pepper. Cover partially and simmer until thickened, about 1 1/2 hours.


Spoon off any fat from surface of gumbo. Add chicken and file powder to gumbo and simmer gently 15 minutes. (If preparing ahead, cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.) Mound rice in shallow bowls if desired. Ladle gumbo over and serve.    




Tina Turbin has an award winning website with recipes, hints and more.   You can sign up for a newsletter.  Be sure to check out the many recipes in the “recipe” tab.



Sara wrote to me that she and Bette had the most incredible gluten free experience in Louisville, KY on a recent visit.  Here is a review she sent to the restaurant:


As a gluten-free gal I never dreamed that I would ever taste the perfection of veal Parmesan again.  A visit to Martini Italian Bistro in Louisville, KY more than met my expectations of great Italian food.  Having dined from their exceptional GF modified menu on a previous visit I was told by Erin, the server, that most any menu item could be made gluten free with great care to avoid cross contamination!!! small menu here!!! Endless possibilities.  The sous chef, Wayne came to the table and, though he had never prepared my favorite dish as a gluten free item, said he was willing to try.  Twice dipped in an egg batter and rolled in cornstarch, the veal was crisply fried and served with their signature marinara and penne pasta. It was gluten free heaven.  In the eight years I have been gluten free this was the most delicious meal I have had.


This restaurant is in Summit Plaza. Impressive and unforgettable...


The Gluten Free group in Louisville has a great website. If you are ever in that area check out the restaurant and store lists.





Izzy’s –  Sherri, Terri, Mary, LaDonna and I had a fabulous lunch at Izzy's on Hwy 10 in West Little Rock. It is one of my favorite restaurants. Not only do they have a gluten free menu, but they also have a good understanding about cross contamination issues. The menu is extensive with soups, chili, salads, hamburgers and tamales. Although the fries are not on the menu, they are gluten free. They also have GF desserts. The GF ice cream was served on a GF brownie with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. It was delicious.


The first time I went to Izzy's I called to ask if they could accommodate my gluten free diet. The answer, although they did not have a GF menu, was "yes". When I arrived, they gave me a hand written list of GF choices. It was not long after that that they printed out a GF menu.


My favorite lunch there is salad with either chicken or salmon.


You can find them on the web and on Facebook.




Christie went next door to Rosalia’s Family Bakery that is next door to Café Bossa Nova to get some coffee. The same people who own the café also own the Bakery.  They sell their GF cheese bread there and have additional GF desserts.  I didn’t ask any specific questions about cross-contamination.


The cheese bread can be bought from Café Bossa Nova. It comes frozen to be cooked at home.



Drug Emporium


Increased shelf space for GF food is planned for next week. If there is something you want Drug Emporium to carry, please talk with Brian.


GF Products I saw around the store:

·      S’Better Corn Dogs and Chicken Fingers – freezer

·      Contes Cheese Stuffed Shells – freezer

·      Products from Coconut Secret – Flour, Crystals and Nectar – these are with the sweeteners.

·      St Claires mints and Yummy Earth lollipops on the candy aisle

·      Soups from Pacific Natural – yes they have cream soups

·      Some of Dr. McDougalls soups are marked GF

·      Spry chewing gum – has Xylitol and is said to decrease cavities (I am hooked on the peppermint~al)

When you shop for GF items, be sure to look at all the food aisles for GF choices.


Whole Foods

Saturday, February 26th

Gluten Free Tasting


Join us for our Gluten Free Tasting every last Saturday of each month!  Go on a Gluten Free Tour at 1pm starting on the Gluten Free isle.


You can find other events at


Udi’s Bagels are still on the GF shelf but Udi’s loaf bread and some Canyon Bakery items have been placed on the shelf near the bakery with other breads.



A new Wal-Mart opened in the Shackleford Crossing Shopping Mall. They have a small GF section. In checking out what foods were in this GF area, I was surprised to see Bob’s Red Mill soy flour and corn meal.  These products did not have a GF logo on them. Whenever buying Bob’s Red Mill flours, be sure to look for the GF logo or the words “Gluten Free” on the package. Bob’s Red Mill has two facilities. One is GF and the other is not. The soy flour and the corn meal are processed in the non-GF facility and are likely highly cross contaminated with gluten.   I also found a package of breadsticks made with wheat flour in the GF section. Always be sure to read all labels before buying.


I talked with an associate manager who told me that he would have to check with corporate before he could move these items as the stores are told what to put into the GF area. If your local Wal-mart has a GF section, you may want to check for non-GF items and, if any are found, bring it to the attention of management.



Articles and Abstracts


Is your home totally gluten free? If not, you will want to read this article from “Today’s Dietitian”


Home, Safe Home — Help Clients With Celiac Disease Avoid Gluten Contamination in the Kitchen


This article is full of hints for keeping GF foods safe from cross contamination. Shelly Case sums up with:

Knowledge is key to making the home kitchen a safer place, and RDs have a big responsibility in educating their clients on some of these important steps. “It’s one thing to educate the patient about purchasing gluten-free products, which is certainly important, but cross-contamination with even small amounts of gluten can be enough to keep the antibody levels elevated and cause potential complications,” says Case. “The food preparation in the home needs to be done carefully to prevent cross-contamination, as research has shown that even small amounts of gluten can cause symptoms. Cross-contamination is probably one of the biggest issues. And though it happens more often when eating out, I still see a lot of cases that are happening at home. It’s an area where dietitians can really play a role in helping their clients truly be gluten free.”




Some day we may all have gluten detecting dogs like this one.


Elias Mes Yeux Vigilants RN is a breathtaking example of his breed.

The handsome Beauceron — from a 400-year-old breed that became almost extinct serving as messenger dogs in Europe during two world wars — regularly wows judges, though he's only 2 years old.


Indeed, he's an AKC Grand Champion (the first male Beauceron to receive that title), and just last month he received an Award of Excellence at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach (which will be televised Jan. 23 on ABC).


But all that strutting of his stuff in the show ring keeps him busy for just a fraction of a year. The rest of the time, hour after hour, day after day, Elias, as he is known, is a hardworking gluten-detection service dog.


Last year this dog traveled to Slovenia for training in gluten detection.  He will be at the Westminster Dog Show this week.