Gluten Free in Central Arkansas, branch of GIG

September 2010

Monthly meetings will now be held in the Fireplace Room at the Arkansas Heart Hospital. Details below.



Table of Contents


·       Donations

·       GF 101

·       Meetings are at the Heart Hospital

·       Volunteers needed for the meetings

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

·       Calendar – GFCA

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

·       Notes from the August GFCA meeting

·       Gluten Alerts – Lipton Onion Soup Mix, Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix, Lisinopril, Health Valley Soups

·       Children’s Corner by Sherri

·       Students with CD

·       Recipe Corner – S’More Pie, Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad, Pepperoni Omelet tip

·       Restaurants - Red Mango, Bravo!, Ya Ya’s

·       Drug Emporium new products

·       Whole Foods new products

·       Wal-Mart new product

·       Taste Tests – BRM Cornbread Mix

·       Articles and Abstracts - Five Things Everyone Should Know about Celiac Disease and Quality of Life




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.


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 stop light, 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



Volunteers needed

1)    Come early and greet and meet people. Everyone needs to sign in.

2)     Come early and help set up

3)     Stay after the meeting to help clean up

4)     Drug Emporium wants to donate mixes. I need people who will bake these for the group.

Please contact Anne if you are able to help. 681-5544 or - Thanks!

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, September 20, 6-8pm Samuel B. Welch, MD, PHD, FACS, FAAOA, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at UAMS will be speaking. Topic: "Delayed Food Reactions: Diagnosis and Management"


*Saturday*, October 16th, 10am to noon   GLUTEN FREE GOOD HEALTH with Dr. Claudia Pillow


Current research indicates that reducing or eliminating gluten can help reduce inflammation in the body, helping to strengthen the immune system, prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and arthritis, and manage weight. The market and demand for gluten-free foods has exploded, whether by necessity (celiac disease) or by choice (weight loss). With increased awareness and new product introduction comes a lot of confusion. Explore innovative ways to replace gluten in the food you eat and get expert baking and cooking advice for healthy eating. Dr. Pillow will give a basic overview of gluten intolerance, and then offer gluten-free food choices and menu ideas to simplify the process.


In 2007, Claudia Pillow received her Ph.D. in Health Studies from Texas Women's University but, she has been studying and working with food for her entire life. Dr. Pillow is a classically trained chef and graduate of the New York Restaurant School, and worked as a chef and caterer for many years in the New York metropolitan area. A MBA and Bachelor of Science from Rutgers University offered her the opportunity to jump to the corporate side of the food industry, where she marketed cheese and natural beverages. In 2009, The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook: The Delicious Way to Strengthen Your Immune System and Neutralize Inflammation (Agate Surrey), the diet cookbook she co-wrote with her sister, Annalise Roberts (author of Gluten-Free Baking Classics), was released. The sisters developed The Food Philosopher® brand and website to educate and empower individuals to manage health and food-related decisions. Currently, Claudia lectures about gluten intolerance and teaches cooking and baking classes nationally. A former Board Member of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America, Dr. Pillow is the fundraising chair and director for the North Texas chapter where she is organizing the first gluten-free “taste of” fundraising event, A Gluten-Free Makeover: A Healthier You!, co-sponsored by the Gaylord Texan, September 19,  2010.

For more information, please go to:


Monday, November 8, 6-8pm – Holiday celebration potluck Join us as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday early with a potluck of delicious gluten free food. Meat will be provided by GFCA, and everyone can bring a dish to share. Please include the recipe and ingredients used in your shared dish. If you are not comfortable with bringing a gluten free dish to share, please come and enjoy the party, anyway! Family members and friends are welcome. Please RSVP


December, December 6, 6-8pm – Holiday celebration potluck No matter what December Holiday you celebrate, the one common thread for all of us is the need to be gluten free. Please join us as we celebrate the Holiday Season early with a potluck of delicious gluten free food. Again, meat will be provided by GFCA, and everyone can bring a dish to share. Please include the recipe and ingredients used in your shared dish. If you are not comfortable with bringing a gluten free dish to share, please come and enjoy the party, anyway! Family and friends are welcome. Please RSVP



Support Outside of Little Rock


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.



Notes from the GFCA August meeting

This was out first meeting in the Annex building of the Heart Hospital. Dr. Betsy Hendricks spoke about yeast and probiotics. There was great interest in the Gluten Free Skin Care products Penny Rudder brought to the meeting. Penny has a lovely blog and she has posted many recipes.


The room and chairs were very comfortable. Drug Emporium provided samples of foods. Nana’s and Mary’s Gone Crackers sent the group samples of their cookies. Both of these company’s cookies are found at Drug Emporium.



Gluten Alerts

Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix and Knorr’s Vegetable Soup Mix now contain barley.


August 9, 2010: Watson Pharmaceuticals states that its brand of Lisinoprol is no longer gluten free but contains ingredients derived from wheat.


Some Health Valley soups have no gluten ingredients listed but they are not among the GF products listed by Hain Celestial at this time. I called HC today and was told that all their GF products that have gone through testing will be listed at and will have a red triangle that says “Gluten Free” on the package. I was told they are still testing the soups and other products. This website also has tips for living GF by Danna Korn and some recipes.


Children’s Corner by Sherri

Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a Kool-Aid Mom.  Back then, we didn't have other drink options besides water, so Kool-Aid was a treat!  Now it excites me that the little Kool-Aid packets are labeled gluten free, so I can make it with Stevia and feel like it's a pretty good choice for my daughter.  (I realize it isn't perfect, but I am making steps in the right direction.)


In addition to avoiding gluten, now we are hearing how terrible high fructose corn syrup is for children's brains.  I have found two drinks that seem like better options.  Dr. Pepper has some canned drinks made with real sugar, although they are hard to find.  There is also a new Crystal Light lemonade mix called Pure Fitness that is made with stevia and perfect to send to school with a bottle of water.


It's easy to get overwhelmed when I think of feeding my daughter gluten free let alone eliminating other ingredients from her diet. Then I remind myself that helping her avoid major health issues down the road is one of the best gifts I could possibly give her.


Students with Celiac Disease

The American Celiac Disease Alliance has information to help children at school.

“For most children, school is a place of learning and socializing. It is important for them to feel safe and welcome in this environment. Parents face a number of adjustments when the kids go off to school. Having a student with celiac disease presents another set of challenges. Not having control over the food or food products that the child may be exposed to can be uncomfortable. While your child may be ‘out of sight’ you can still survey the landscape and remove, or limit, the opportunities for cross-contamination.


In this section, guidelines are provided to assist parents and family members in navigating the school setting. Unlike the gluten-free diet which must be followed, ‘one size’ does not fit all when it comes to working with teachers, principals, or food service staff. Only you can decide the best approach based on the needs of your child and your family.”


Back To School 08/30/2010 - If it hasn't started yet, school's just around the corner for millions of gluten-free kids. That means a gluten-free plan for breakfast every morning, and for gluten-free lunches, and in-school and after-school snacks.

Dana Korn, author of Kids with Celiac Disease, makes some excellent suggestions for getting an early handle on any gluten-free challenges or resources that may await your child at school.
Her suggestions include:

To read the rest of this helpful post, go to There you will also find links to great ideas for school lunch and snacks.



Custom Choice Cereal

Tired of your same old cereal? This may be the solution. This store will let you choose up to 11 ingredients; they mix and then ship it to your door.



Recipe Corner


Thanks to Elizabeth Barbone who has allowed me to share this recipe with you.  You may want to check out her websites for other fabulous recipes.

She also has a cookbook "Easy Gluten-Free Baking" It is rated as 5 stars on Amazon.


S’More Pie


For the Crust

1 1/3 cups gluten-free graham cracker crumbs

4 Tablespoons butter, melted

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar



For the Filling and Topping

1 3.4 ounce box chocolate pudding* (prepared according to directions for pie filling) OR 2 cups homemade chocolate pudding, chilled

1 1/2 cups (approximately) mini-marshmallows

*Or 1 3.9 box of instant pudding. If you like a generous amount of chocolate filling, make two boxes of pudding. However, you will have leftover pudding that doesn’t fit into the pie shell.


·      Preheat the oven to 350F

·      In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar.

·      Stir until all the crumbs are damp and hold together

·      Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch pie pan.

·      Using the back of a spoon, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and up the sides

·      Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, place on wire rack and allow to cool.

·      Spoon the chilled pudding into the baked piecrust.

·      Cover the top with mini-marshmallows

·      Preheat your broiler and toast the marshmallows under the broiler.

·      Serve and enjoy. Store any leftover pie in the refrigerator.



Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

In a large bowl, toss to combine:

In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the following ingredients until well-combined:

Add the dressing to the chicken mixture, and stir to thoroughly combine.  Sprinkle with additional dill as garnish, if desired.

Serve with crackers, rolls, or sliced bread.


This recipe is from  Karen Joy’s Blog “Only Sometimes Clever”  where you can see all 42 recipes and enjoy her blog.



Pepperoni Omelet Hints


I enjoy omelets. I can keep them interesting by changing what I put into them. One of my favorites is pepperoni. I usually use Hormel – it is labeled “gluten free”. My hint is how to get rid of some of the grease in the pepperoni. I lay out the slices in a single layer on a paper towel on a plate and put them into the microwave. Heat them gently but don’t overcook. Then you can take a second paper towel and blot up much of the fat. Now the pepperoni is ready to put into the omelet along with anything else you like. I like spinach, pepper jack cheese and onion with the pepperoni and then I top with salsa.





More restaurants are adding gluten free menus. Here are the ones I heard about just this past month. Thanks Julianne for telling me about Red Mango.


Red Mango

5621 Kavanaugh Blvd.

Little Rock, AR 72207

Phone: 501 663 2500


Red Mango uses ingredients certified gluten free through the Gluten Free Certification Organization  


Bravo! Cucina Italiana
17815 Chenal Parkway
Little Rock, AR 72223-5823
(501) 821-2485


I had a lovely salad topped with chicken for lunch at Bravo!


Ya Ya's Euro Bistro
17711 Chenal Parkway
Little Rock, AR 72223-5808
(501) 821-1144


I have enjoyed Ya Ya’s many times and never disappointed in the quality of the food.  They now have a GF menu. Today I had the salmon salad. One of the items on the salad is crispy potatoes. They are not GF so be sure to tell your server you do not want them on your salad. I would have liked the GF menu to say, “Avoid the crispy potatoes”. The waitperson seemed very knowledgeable about what was GF and what was not.


For a complete listing of the restaurants in AR with GF menus, please go to the GFCA website and click on the Restaurant link.



Drug Emporium

New GF products I found at Drug Emporium

Ice Box Bakery has frozen slice/bake/eat chocolate chip cookie. Be careful – Not all cookie rolls from this company are GF.


WOW cookies are in the freezer section.  These cookies are certified GF by The Gluten Free Certification Organization.


O’Dough’s bread’s in the freezer. If you try this bread, I would love a review to share in the next newsletter.


Shabtai products can be found in the freezer and on the GF shelf. Sherri said she liked Ring Ting Cupcakes – similar to Ding Dongs. There are also small birthday cakes.


Pamela’s individual cheesecake. This is found in the freezer near the ice creams.  I saw only the individual cheesecakes, but Pamela’s makes a large one too.


Buffalo Guys products can be found in the freezer. I have tried the hotdogs and they have just the right amount of spice without nitrites or MSG. 


Whole Foods

New GF products at Whole Foods

Fabe’s GF Cakes – There are two flavors: Chocolate and Carrot. These can be found in the freezer. They are certified GF by GFCO but do not have the new label with the GF logo yet.


Moondance Heavenly Desserts makes Mini GF Cheesecakes and Fudge Brownies. I am not sure exactly which ones the Little Rock Whole Foods carries. If you want to try this product, Moondance is sending our group some samples for our next meeting.



Heartland has a blend of corn and rice pasta. It has been sighted in the Fayetteville Walmart. I don’t know if it is available at all Walmarts. As they make non-GF pasta, I wrote and asked what precautions they are taking to ensure the GF pasta is truly GF. Here is what they said.

American Italian Pasta Company thoroughly cleans all production equipment prior to production of a gluten free product, and tests to validate the clean prior to start up.  The gluten level of the product is also verified to ensure that it does not exceed 20 ppm.  We follow the proposed rule in the Federal Register (72 FR 7295) that tests for gluten at the 20 ppm level.

We have an extremely detailed protocol in place to prevent cross contamination. Before we produce any product a thorough cleaning of all equipment and surfaces occurs. Several swab tests are done of primary surfaces to ensure the cleaning was done properly. During production testing for glutens is conducted every four hours. Finally all product is automatically placed on hold and does not ship until samples are pulled and analyzed from each production run. Then and only then will product be free to ship to customers.

Our goal at American Italian Pasta Company is to produce the highest quality, best tasting product that is affordable for our customers.


Taste Tests

Anne B sent “Just a quick note to tell you about a recent gluten-free baking experience from my trial and error kitchen!


I prepared Bob's Red Mill Cornbread Mix according to package directions, using 2% milk, real eggs, and vegetable oil. Trying to follow the directions exactly, I let the ingredients come to room temperature first.  The resulting batter was thicker than traditional cornbread mixture.  As I did not have the specified 9" X 9" dark finish baking pan, I spooned the mix into eighteen muffin cups.  The batter had sharp peaks and I was unsure if I should smooth them out, so I didn't.  I did let the batter "rest" a few minutes in the cups before baking, as with muffins.  This resulted in some very interesting looking baked goods with spikes!  But they tasted good, with a slightly sweet flavor and pleasant grainy texture.  Great with fresh veggies!


The mix is labeled wheat free, gluten free, dairy free and casein free. I bought it at Kroger, although I've seen Bob's gluten free products at Whole Foods and Drug Emporium, also. 


Articles and Abstracts

Five Things Everyone Should Know about Celiac Disease and Quality of Life



For many people, being diagnosed with celiac disease (CD) brings a feeling of relief and the end to a long, frustrating road of unknowns. However, along with the relief, the diagnosis can also bring more questions including, "What kind of life am I going to have now?"


The answer to that question is "It depends." The official recommendation of the American Gastroenterological Association Institute (2006) regarding the treatment of CD is strict compliance to a gluten-free diet (GFD).  While being diagnosed with CD may be out of your hands, the quality of life you experience after diagnosis may be within your control largely based on your adherence to a GFD.


Based on research, following are five things you should know about CD and quality of life.


The five points covered are:

1)    You will probably feel better after implementing a least for awhile.

2)    To keep feeling better, you need to stay on a GFD for the long-term and be strictly compliant.

3)    Your perception of how compliant you are may be skewed.

4)    Some people may have an easier time adhering to a GFD, others may be at risk for non-adherence.   

5)    To keep feeling better and increase the likelihood of compliance over the long-term, it is important to seek support, education, and follow-up.


The complete article can be found on the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness website here