Posts tagged ‘phillies’

Healthy Times Ahead

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experiences as she follows the Phillies year-round.]

Healthy Times Ahead

A Phightin’ to Be Gluten-Free Blog

There are many reasons to love February, but Phillies Spring Training definitely tops the list.  While the excitement of team changes, athlete updates and ticket sales resonate for fans, the Phillies pitchers, catchers and position players are preparing for Clearwater, Florida in one week.  If healthy teammates translate into prospective wins, it is imperative the lineup stay off the injured list this season.  Be-Lee-ve it, healthy times are ahead for Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and the rest of the Phightin’ Phils.

For those of us Phightin’ to be gluten-free, the food we eat determines how healthy our season will be.  When it came to our wedding menu, my husband and I made no exception.

Nadina and Michael wedding photo

Jennifer Childress Photography

Criteria:  Kosher, gluten-free and lactose-free menu that incorporates our favorite foods and fresh ingredients.

Vision:  Beautiful presentation, delicious flavor and variety that is reflective of us and our enjoyment of healthy, delectable dishes.

Experience: Romantic, festive, memorable and a gourmet gluten-free culinary experience for our friends and family.

Our lineup for the big day included Jannette Axlerod of Food Designs and her chefs.  They had prior experience safely cooking gluten-free for affairs and were a great addition to our Fraimow-Bronstein all-star team.  Practices were rigorous with menu tastings, ingredient changes and creative food pairings.

Tuna rumaki with wasabi on pineapple and lox on gluten-free rice cracker.

Tuna rumaki with wasabi on pineapple and lox on gluten-free rice cracker. (We paired the tuna with a gluten-free rice cracker for our wedding day.)

Outcome:   Grand slam!  With the support of our strong, loving management team, we pulled-off a perfect win.  Our playbook now includes new dishes that we can replicate for healthy, fun times ahead.  Read below for a taste of our wedding bliss and ideas for your next party.

A sampling of Butlered Hors D’oeuvres:

  • Tuna rumaki with wasabi on a gluten-free cracker
  • Lox on a gluten-free cracker
  • Cherry tomatoes stuffed with quinoa
  • Sushi rolls

A sampling of Stations:

  • Portabella bar
  • Carving station, including oven roasted turkey and prime rib

 First Course:

  • Spring vegetable soup with rice noodles

Intermezzo:

  • Alternating strawberry kiwi and lemon sorbet

Entrees:

  • Herb crusted baby lamp chops
  • Grilled sea bass with mango salsa
  • Vegetarian Napoleon

Accompaniments:

  • Baby carrots and green asparagus
  • Roasted russet potatoes
Herb crusted baby lamp chops, accompanied with baby carrots, green asparagus and roasted russet potatoes

Herb crusted baby lamp chops, accompanied with baby carrots, green asparagus and roasted russet potatoes – Jennifer Childress Photography

Grilled sea bass with mango salsa, accompanied by baby carrots, green asparagus and roasted russet potatoes

Grilled sea bass with mango salsa, accompanied by baby carrots, green asparagus and roasted russet potatoes – Jennifer Childress Photography

About Nadina:

Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011.  In January 2013, Nadina was conclusively diagnosed with celiac disease by one of the nation’s leading gastroenterologists.  Prior to her diagnosis, Nadina was living gluten-free for over three years due to what was originally thought to be non-celiac gluten sensitivity.  Nadina enjoys having fun in the kitchen and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy with her husband.  She is a Communications and Marketing professional living and working in Philadelphia.  Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.  She will be happy to answer messages sent to her attention at info@celiaccentral.org.

February 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm 1 comment

Take Me Out to the Gluten-Free Ballgame: Celiac Awareness Night with the Philadelphia Phillies

Citizens Bank Park (home of my beloved Philadelphia Phillies) is my happy place; there is nothing better than hanging out at the ballpark, rooting for my team and trying to catch hot dogs from the Phillie Phanatic’s surprisingly powerful hot dog launcher.  So you can imagine my excitement when I joined the NFCA team and was told to grab a ticket for Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies game.  Raising celiac awareness and watching the Phils? Count me in!

Fun Fact! The Phillie Phanatic was voted #1 mascot in the country by Forbes Magazine in 2008 and 2011. 

On the day of the game, Cheryl, Suzanne, Nancy and I made our way to the ballpark to set up our display tables.  We were fully equipped with brochures, flyers, and giveaways and ready to talk to people about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.  We set up near the gluten-free concession stand and were joined by two enthusiastic NFCA volunteers, Cecilia Bonaduce and Rebecca Urbano.  Despite gusty winds and the strong possibility of rain, we managed to stay dry and keep our flyers on the table…well, mostly.  It was an unseasonably cold night (everyone was wearing jackets in July!), but over 600 NFCA supporters still came out to celebrate Celiac Awareness Night.

Fun Fact!  A portion of ticket sales for the game benefitted NFCA and will be used to help continue our programs and services. 

Take Me Out To The Gluten-Free Ballgame- NFCA Staff and Volunteers

Rebecca, Suzanne, Nancy, and Cecilia getting ready before the gates opened.

While the tables were getting set up and the gluten-free hot dogs were cooking on the grill, Cheryl had the chance to take a tour of Citizens Bank Park with Michael Savett of Gluten Free Philly and his family.  With “Celiac Awareness Night” lighting up the scoreboards and NFCA Board Member Joe Jacovini gearing up to throw out the first pitch, Cheryl and the Savetts hung out on the field and watched the Phillies’ batting practice.  Michael’s son even got to meet the Phillies’ center fielder, Shane Victorino!

Fun Fact! While on the tour, Cheryl learned that the baseballs that line the walls of the Hall of Fame Club are screwed in the wrong way so they say “Rawlings,” not “Major League Baseball.”

Take Me Out to the Gluten-Free Ballgame- Shane Victorino and Drew Savett

Drew got to meet Shane Victorino!

Take Me Out to the Gluten-Free Ballgame- The Savett Family

The Savett Family on the field before the game

After Joe tossed a great first pitch to the Phillie Phanatic, the park played a public service announcement on the jumbo-tron featuring pro-golfer Sarah Jane Smith talking about celiac disease.  The PSA wasn’t the only gluten-free action on the jumbo-tron; check out these kids who hoped to get their fifteen minutes of fame on the big screen.

Fun Fact! Weighing in a 84,420 pounds and7,372 square feet , the jumbo-tron is so big you can see it from the highway!

Take Me Out to the Gluten-Free Ballgame- Proud to be Gluten-Free Kids

Love this sign!

Not surprisingly, the gluten-free concession stand was a major hot spot throughout the game.  Unfortunately, some fan favorite foods were missing this year, so we are working with Aramark and Citizen’s Bank Park to improve gluten-free options for next year’s Celiac Awareness Night and throughout the season.

Take Me Out to the Gluten-Free Ballgame- Gluten-Free Concession Stand

The line starting to form at the Gluten-Free Concession Stand

Although so many exciting things were going on at the ballpark, my favorite part was getting to meet the people who came out to show their support for NFCA.  Every day, I get the opportunity to talk to the celiac community through social media, but this was the first time I had the chance to physically meet the people on the other side of the computer.

I was particularly struck by a woman who came up to the table just as we were about to leave.  She started talking to me and Suzanne and told us her story of diagnosis.  It turns out she had only been diagnosed with celiac about a week before the game.  She was still unsure of what the gluten-free diet entailed and was barely eating for fear of becoming sick.  We talked to her for a little while and loaded her up with brochures, information and other free resources.  She was so grateful for the information.  Meeting her was such a strong reminder of why NFCA is here, doing what we’re doing.  To know that we were able to help her on the path to learning the gluten-free diet was an amazing feeling.  Ironically, she bought tickets to the game before she was diagnosed, not knowing that it was Celiac Awareness Night.  I guess sometimes, you’re just in the right place at the right time.

-          Alicia

July 27, 2012 at 8:57 am Leave a comment

Spring into Action

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experiences as she follows the Phillies year-round.]

Spring into Action

A Phightin’ to Be Gluten-Free Blog

Bright House Field in Clearwater, FL, is the Phillies home away from home for Spring Training games.  On Wednesday, February 29, the Phillies won 6-1 to the Florida State Seminoles in their First Exhibition game.  Next, the Phillies had a busy weekend with fellow Grapefruit Leaguer, the New York Yankees.

The Phillies lost 8-5 and 7-4 to the Yankees; however, our Phightin’ Phils are just getting warmed up. Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, Jonathan Papelbon, Hunter Pence and John Mayberry sprung into action on the field this past weekend.

For the Phillies, these practice games keep the players fit on the field and channel team chemistry into wins.  Be-Lee-ve it – Cliff Lee did just that yesterday with a 7-0 win against the Toronto Blue Jays.

On the home front, my family team has sprung into action planning my 2012 wedding, so when the Phillies official season begins, we can sit back and enjoy the games. We have discovered there are a growing number of local caterers who are well-versed in gluten-free food preparation and catering. Stay tuned for more!

Below is a new restaurant dish and new product review on the following baseball-inspired scale:

Single- Fair
Double- Good
Triple- Very good
Home Run- Must try
Grand Slam- Sublime

Metropolitan Bakery- Gluten-free and dairy-free granola- Home Run

Metropolitan Bakery Gluten-Free Granola

Metropolitan Bakery's Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Granola
Photo courtesy: Kyle Born

Overview: Gluten-free and dairy-free granola from Metropolitan Bakery. The 12 oz. package can be purchased online or in Philly Metropolitan Bakery retail stores.

Safe Dining: Metropolitan Bakery uses certified gluten-free oats from GF Harvest, a family owned company in Wyoming committed to growing safe, uncontaminated oats.

Note: For those who are newly diagnosed with celiac disease, oats may be omitted from the diet until the condition is under control. Please consult with your doctor before adding oats back into your diet. Even when adding them back into the diet, the oats should be “pure, uncontaminated” or “certified gluten-free” oats. Read more in this Q&A.

Taste:  The MVP is the gluten-free oats, which come all the way to Philly from GF Harvest in Wyoming. The supporting players are honey, canola oil, maple syrup, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, dried cranberries, pecans, almonds, dried cherries, dried blueberries, unsweetened coconut, dried strawberries, cinnamon, pure vanilla and ground cloves.

One spoonful of the gluten-free and dairy-free oats is an explosion of seasonal flavors to enjoy all baseball season long. I also found the gluten-free oats quite easy to digest. The Fall flare from the honey and maple syrup coats the nuts and dried berries for a softer crunch.

Result:  Metropolitan Bakery’s gluten-free and dairy-free granola is a great source of energy and flavor to spring into action. (Tip: Be creative and incorporate into non-breakfast foods, such as salads and sorbet! ).   

www.metropolitanbakery.com/bakery/granola/gluten_free_dairy_free_granola

Veal Escallops with Black Bean Sauce at Yang Ming- Double

Veal Escallops at Yang Ming

Veal Escallops with Gluten-Free Black Bean Sauce at Yang Ming

Overview: A generous portion of veal escallops with sautéed leeks, shallots and herbs completed an enjoyable meal.

The Scene: With my sister home for Spring Break, our family team ate at Yang Ming in Bryn Mawr, PA, a Philadelphia suburb on the stretch known as the Main Line. On any given Saturday night, the restaurant is packed with suburbanites and city residents who trek into the heart of Bryn Mawr for fresh Chinese cuisine.

Safe Dining: At Yang Ming, the manager and chefs in the kitchen are educated in gluten-free friendly dining.

Presentation: An abundance of veal escallops with leeks and shallots was woven throughout the dish.  Also, the dish is accompanied by two side dishes of brown rice and gluten-free version of black bean sauce. The picture above conveys rice mixed into the dish for a stir fry effect and a drop of black bean sauce for dipping. (Note: Remember to inquire about safely prepared gluten-free versions of sauces on the menu in addition to gluten-free meal options.  Additionally, I always order the sauces on the side, just in case they are not as tasty as the dish itself!).

Taste:  The veal escallops were tender and meshed well with the soft textures of the brown rice and vegetables. While each bite was tender, the platter could have used an element of playfulness or even color to the dish with a new ingredient or gluten-free sauce mixture.

Result:  The veal escallops with the gluten-free black bean sauce is a good meal and safe option if you are craving gluten-free Chinese cuisine. My sister ordered and thoroughly enjoyed the Sizzling Triple Delight, which she rated a Home Run . This dish is served on a hot platter and includes an assortment of seafood, chicken and beef with sautéed vegetables. Note: Order with gluten-free version of sauce.

www.yangmingrestaurant.com

Now it’s your turn to spring into action!

- Nadina

*Join NFCA on Friday, July 20, 2012 for Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies. Tickets are now available.

About Nadina:
Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011, and will be happy to answer messages sent to her attention at info@celiaccentral.org. Nadina learned that she has non-celiac gluten sensitivity in February 2011, and is grateful for having been diagnosed promptly and correctly by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist. She enjoys running, shopping for gluten-free sweets and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Nadina is a Marketing and Communications professional living and working in Philadelphia. Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.

March 7, 2012 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

Dream Team

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experiences as she follows the Phillies year-round.]

Dream Team

A Phightin’ to Be Gluten-Free Blog

Off-season for the Phillies players means strictly business for the team’s management.  The spotlight is on Ruben Amaro Jr. and his colleagues, as they invest in talent and, consequently, the team’s future.  If the destination for a 2012 Phillies Dream Team is the World Series, then the journey begins now.

November is an exciting time of the year for my dream team, as we celebrate special milestones. Birthdays, anniversaries, an engagement and Thanksgiving festivities call for delicious gluten-free sweets. One memorable dessert is chocolate-covered pumpkin donuts from Sweet Freedom Bakery located in Philadelphia, just minutes from Citizens Bank Park.

Below is a new restaurant dish review on the following baseball-inspired scale:

Single- Fair
Double- Good
Triple- Very good
Home Run- Must try
Grand Slam- Sublime

Grilled Lamb Chops with Seasonal Fruit Chutney at Steve and Cookie’s- Grand Slam

Grilled Lamb Chops with Seasonal Fruit Chutney

Grilled Lamb Chops with Seasonal Fruit Chutney at Steve and Cookie's

Overview: A sublime foodpairing of grilled lamb chops and seasonal fruit chutney completed the perfect meal.

The Scene: It was a special occasion at Steve and Cookie’s in Margate, NJ.  As the Phillies management continued negotiations, we enjoyed an off-season dinner at the shore.  The desirable, relaxed ambience included candles in the fireplace and live piano music.

Safe Dining:  At Steve and Cookie’s, the chefs in the kitchen are educated in gluten-free and allergy friendly dining. The Weekly Specials Menu on Monday and Wednesday evening feature a 3 course gluten-free meal. Also, Steve and Cookie’s website includes gluten-free recipes from an October Celiac Awareness dinner the restaurant hosted.

Presentation:  The three juicy, grilled lamb chops were plated in a stackable formation.  The shine and char conveyed freshness from the grill. In addition, seasonal fruit chutney and green garnish accompanied the lamb chops. The cranberry, raisin and apple chutney resembled comfort food and offered a holiday-style element to the dish (Note: Seasonal fruit chutney was the chef’s gluten-free alternative to the pomegranate demi-glace on the appetizer menu.  Also, I ordered with an additional potato side to replace the risotto and mushroom cake on the menu.)

Taste:  The lamb chops were crisp and succulent – cooked to precision! The cranberries, raisins and apples in the chutney added a delicious playfulness and texture to the dish. Ginger, lemon, cider and cinnamon accompanied each tender bite.

Result:  The Dream Team combination of grilled lamb chops and seasonal fruit chutney are “out of the ballpark” delicious. (Tip:  I ordered two memorable gluten-free appetizers from the dinner menu in place of an entrée.  Be creative when dining out and inquire about tasty, gluten-free recommendations from the chefs).   

www.steveandcookies.com

Everyone have a happy, healthy gluten-free Thanksgiving!  Stay tuned for new restaurant and product reviews to enjoy during the baseball off-season.  Be-Lee-ve it—spring training is just a few months away!

- Nadina

About Nadina:
Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011, and will be happy to answer messages sent to the info@celiaccentral.org email account. Nadina learned that she has gluten sensitivity in February 2011, and is grateful for having been diagnosed promptly and correctly by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist. She enjoys running, shopping for gluten-free sweets and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Nadina is a Marketing and Communications professional living and working in Philadelphia. Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.

November 23, 2011 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

Eagles Fly and Phillies Phight

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our newest volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experience throughout the 2011 Phillies season.]

Eagles Fly and Phillies Phight

A Phightin’ to Be Gluten-Free Blog

Congratulations to the Phillies for clinching the National League East Division with an outstanding regular season record, including Cliff Lee’s nine straight victory starts.  The post clinched games for the Phillies have been quite challenging. With injuries, changes in the line-up and lack of offensive support, the Phillies have lost eight games in a row.

For Philadelphia sports fans, we Be-LEE-ve Eagles will never stop flying and Phillies will never stop Phighting.  With effervescent talent, heart and resilience, the Phightin’ Phillies will start fresh and land on top in the playoffs.  If Lee has taught us Phillies fans anything, it’s about throwing curveballs right back at the curveballs life throws at us.

Below is a new restaurant dish review on the following baseball-inspired scale:

Single- Fair
Double- Good
Triple- Very good
Home Run- Must try
Grand Slam- Sublime

Grilled Mediterranean Herb Sea Bass with roasted potatoes at Melograno- Grand Slam

Overview: A sublime dish of perfectly cooked fish in traditional Mediterranean flavors.

The Scene: Saturday date night at Melograno. As the Phillies were losing their eighth game in a row, we were enjoying the lively and cozy BYOB on 20th and Samson Street in Philadelphia.

Safe Dining: Melograno has completed gluten-free training through NFCA’s Gluten Free Resource Education and Awareness Training (GREAT) Kitchen program. [See more GREAT Kitchens.]

Presentation: Simple, but refined, with roughly two ¼ pound fillets served skin side up with roasted potatoes.  The plated sea bass showcased technique with a clean, crisp skin with flavors from the grill and a glistening top fillet of Mediterranean herbs and oil. The lightly golden brown color of the grilled skin with specks of dark green herbs nicely complemented the golden yellow of the roasted potatoes.

Taste:  Cooked to perfection, a Grand Slam balance from both the initial crisp of the fish and potato to the soft, savory eruption of Mediterranean seasoning and oil.  The thin layers of the fillet peeled away from each other and slid off the skin with the soft touch of a fork.  For an extra burst of flavor, try grilled sea bass with the skin.

Result: Reminiscent of comfort food with a Melograno twist.  The grilled sea bass is the All-Star on the plate; however, the roasted potatoes are “out of the ballpark” delicious.

www.melogranorestaurant.com

Gluten-Free Sea Bass at Melograno

A Grand Slam: Grilled Mediterranean Herb Sea Bass with roasted potatoes at Melograno

Tune in tonight and cheer for Cliff Lee and the Phillies at 7:10 p.m. as they play the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.

- Nadina

About Nadina:
Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011, and will be happy to answer messages sent to the info@celiaccentral.org email account. Nadina learned that she has gluten sensitivity in February 2011, and is grateful for having been diagnosed promptly and correctly by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist. She enjoys running, shopping for gluten-free sweets and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Nadina is a Marketing and Communications professional living and working in Philadelphia. Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.

September 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm Leave a comment

Commanding Greatness and Scoring Excellence

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our newest volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experience throughout the 2011 Phillies season.]

Commanding Greatness and Scoring Excellence

A Phightin’ to Be Gluten-Free Blog

Cliff Lee led the Phillies to victory with five straight starts. Even Mets fans cannot deny our past Cy Young winner’s Un-Be-LEE-vable talent.  We cheer for Lee’s every move on the mound—and the bases, as he relentlessly commands greatness with his pitches and scores excellence with his runs.  Read below for details and other recent Lee highlights:

August 17:  Phillies 9-2 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks
Pitching Highlight: Lee’s un-Be-LEE-vable command of the ball leads him to pitch 7 strong innings with 2 runs, 3 hits and 7 strikeouts.

Run Highlight: Great run support from Hunter Pence, Ryan Howard, John Mayberry Jr., Shane Victorino, and Jimmy Rollins. Lee hit an almost safe grounder to second and Coach Charlie Manuel even challenged the call.

August 22: Phillies 10-0 win against the New York Mets
Pitching Highlight: In it to win it, Lee pitched 7 impressive innings with 3 hits and 7 strikeouts.

Run Highlight: With the Phillies in strong scoring position, Lee contributed to the scoreboard with a single to right, and Victorino’s triple sent him to home plate.

Cliff Lee’s amazing August run can inspire all of us to command greatness and score excellence on our mound.

This week, as the rain set in and the Hurricane Irene moved up the northeast, I was enjoying the gluten-free life with a stocked up kitchen!

First, to prepare for the storm, I made a trip to Whole Foods for non-perishable snacks including Lundberg Brown Organic Rice Cakes (gluten-free and vegan),  Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks (free of the 8 common allergens and a new addition to Whole Foods shelves), and 365 Organic Unsweetened Applesauce (to enjoy with ground cinnamon from my spice cabinet).

My next trip was to Trader Joes for a box of 50 raspberry dried fruit bars, water, Double Rainbow Chocolate Sorbet, Dark Chocolate Nibs, Frozen Organic Jasmine Rice, canned tuna, egg whites and an assortment of vegetables.  Saving the best for last, I connected with my family team for fish and meat.

gluten-free food supplies

My home run: scoring fun, enjoyable gluten-free foods before Hurricane Irene

For all of us Phightin’ to be gluten-free, dining anywhere, at any time, with or without power, requires Lee’s command.  When Lee is in command, the pitch he throws is the pitch he intended to throw.  With “in a pinch” snacks, a full kitchen and supportive teammates–it’s time to score!

Tune in tonight and cheer for Cliff Lee and the Phillies at 7:10 p.m. as they play the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.

- Nadina

See additional gluten-free disaster preparedness tips.

About Nadina:
Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011, and will be happy to answer messages sent to the info@celiaccentral.org email account. Nadina learned that she has gluten sensitivity in February 2011, and is grateful for having been diagnosed promptly and correctly by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist. She enjoys running, shopping for gluten-free sweets and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Nadina is a Marketing and Communications professional living and working in Philadelphia. Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.

August 31, 2011 at 1:25 pm Leave a comment

There is No Place Like Home (Plate)

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our newest volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experience throughout the 2011 Phillies season.]

There is No Place Like Home (Plate)

A Phightin’ to Be Gluten-Free Blog

Cliff Lee homers to right field, runs through home plate and enters the dugout with a look of sheer excitement, also shared by his teammates.  There is no place like home (plate).  Just as Lee successfully commands his pitches, he’s also proven to successfully command his swing and make exceptional contact with the ball this season. Read below for details and other recent Lee highlights.
 
August 4: Phillies 3-0 win against the San Francisco Giants
Pitching Highlight: Lee’s un-Be-LEE-vable command of the ball leads him to a seven-hitter shutout with 8 strikeouts and 0 walks. Also Lee’s fifth shutout of the season.

Run Highlight:  Great run support with Hunter Pence and John Mayberry’s back-to-back home runs in the second inning.

August 9: Phillies 2-1 win against the LA Dodgers
Pitching Highlight: In it to win it, Lee pitched eight scoreless innings with 4 hits and 10 strikeouts.

Run Highlight: With the Phillies ahead by just one run at the top of the seventh, Lee increased the lead with a home run to right field.

This week, my sister begins her own journey.  There is no place like home (plate) resonates, as we get ready to move my sister into her freshman dorm at college. Similar to Lee’s teammates in the dugout, our family team is Phightin’ strong and cheerin’ loud, hoping she experiences Lee’s sheer excitement as she encounters her own successful endeavors.

Family Team at the Beach

Family Team at the beach!

Feeling inspired by home, I put on my chef’s hat and share one of my recipes cooked in the comfort of my kitchen.  Below is my recipe for an oven cooked Whole Branzino stuffed with Mediterranean herbs and flavors.

Oven Cooked Mediterranean Branzino

Ingredients:

  • Whole branzino (request fish de-boned for stuffing)
  • Lemon
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Olive Oil
  • Pepper
  • Garlic cloves

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Score whole branzino, 3 times on each side.
  3. Stuff inside of fish with 3 lemon slices, thyme, rosemary and 3 peeled garlic cloves.
  4. Massage olive oil and pepper into fish skin.
  5. Wrap aluminum foil loosely around fish. Place in oven.
  6. Reduce oven to 350 degrees and cook for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove stuffing from inside fish and serve.

Recommendation: Branzino pairs nicely with brown rice or white jasmine rice.

Oven Cooked Mediterranean Branzino

My Home Run: Oven Cooked Mediterranean Branzino

Tune in tonight and cheer for Cliff Lee and the Phillies at 7:05 p.m. as they play the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park.  It’s time to Be-LEE-ve!

- Nadina

For more gluten-free recipes, see NFCA’s Gluten-Free Recipe of the Week.

About Nadina:
Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011, and will be happy to answer messages sent to the info@celiaccentral.org email account. Nadina learned that she has gluten sensitivity in February 2011, and is grateful for having been diagnosed promptly and correctly by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist. She enjoys running, shopping for gluten-free sweets and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Nadina is a Marketing and Communications professional living and working in Philadelphia. Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.

August 17, 2011 at 10:43 am Leave a comment

Resilience: In Lee’s Game and the Game of Life

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our newest volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experience throughout the 2011 Phillies season.]

Resilience: In Lee’s Game and the Game of Life

A Phightin’ to Be Gluten-Free Blog

One word comes to mind as I watched Cliff Lee perform on the mound against the Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates: Resilience.  Just as Lee’s passion and determination to throw outstanding pitches are clearly apparent, so too is his ability to recover after setbacks.  Exactly when did Lee exhibit resilience from inning to inning and, most recently, game to game?

July 19: Phillies 4-2 win against the Chicago Cubs

Setback:  Lee started off with a few pitches that allowed the first Chicago Cub in batting rotation, Reed Johnson, to double.  Unfortunately, Lee’s next pitch mimicked the last few and he gave up the only two Chicago Cubs runs of the evening—Starlin Castro’s home run that caused Johnson to also score.

Resilience:  Lee did not let one setback inning ruin his game.  He recovered strongly by Phightin’ for no more Cubs to score—which landed him a total of 8 hits, 0 walks and 6 strike outs.

July 25: Phillies 4-5 loss against the San Diego Padres

Setback:  Lee’s game never really started, with a failed pick-off of Padres Jason Bartlett at first base that allowed Padres Chris Denorfia to steal home.  During a short and un-sweet four pitched innings, Lee allowed 10 hits and 5 runs.

July 30: Phillies 7-4 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates

Resilience:  Just a few days after his game setback, Lee definitely appeared ready to score a win for the Phightin’ Phils with one great pitch after the next.  Lee achieved competitive double digit strike outs, with 11 at the final count.  Additional accomplishments for Lee included 4 runs on 8 hits, 2 walks and in first place for number of hits by a Phillies pitcher with 2 more under his belt.

I have learned from Lee that the secret in baseball and the game of life is never getting stuck on the mound for too long and never losing sight of the destination.  For Lee, his focus is on the World Series; for me, I want to be healthy, happy, and gluten-free.

On my journey, I am physically exhibiting resilience, as I recover from a sports injury.  This week, I have a positive outlook with new support from Kinesio tape (increased popularity after the use by athletes in the 2008 Beijing Olympics) that was recommended by my physical therapist.

This month, I share more dish and product reviews, on the following baseball-inspired scale:

Single- Fair
Double- Good
Triple- Very good
Home Run- Must try
Grand Slam- Sublime

Ciao Bella Dark Chocolate Sorbet- Triple

A very good gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free dessert purchased from Whole Foods.  It appears semi-sweet in coloring, taste and finish.  Nice balance of light consistency and refreshing flavors on palate.

The result:  In contrast to the “decadently rich” and “dark chocolate” labeled pint, sorbet lacks the luster of real 70% dark chocolate. [Note: Due to recent Ciao Bella ingredient changes (as confirmed by a phone call with Ciao Bella staff), the product tastes differently than branding on pint.  Original Ciao Bella Dark Chocolate Sorbet would have received Grand Slam rating, as it was both dark and decadently rich.]    

www.ciaobellagelato.com/#/products

Mixed green salad with grilled chicken and vegetables at The Bards- Triple

A very good dish marked by juicy grilled chicken and an assortment of greens.  The lettuce was fresh with seasonal vegetables and added nice crunch to balance the softness from grilled chicken.  The grilled chicken that I added to the salad was portioned in four wide, pounded flat chicken strips.  All four pieces of chicken were cooked equally well with enjoyable flavoring from grill.  [Note:  Prior to dining, I inquired about the kitchen preparing a grilled chicken dish, which is not included on The Bards after 3 p.m Sunday gluten- free menu.  The Bard’s chef was extremely accommodating and prepared my desired dish.]

Gluten-Free Food at The Bards

A gluten-free friendly sign outside The Bards

The result:  Affordable and delicious grilled chicken dish at a pub in a prime location, on the edge of Rittenhouse Square at 2013 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.  The good news: gluten-free pizza served daily, and at 3 p.m. every Sunday, The Bards prepares a gluten-free kitchen and serves strictly from a new gluten-free menu.

The scene:  A double date at The Bards on Sunday night.  To my excitement, the chef was able to accommodate my grilled chicken dish request, even though it was not among the other delicious pub-esque gluten-free options on the menu.  In recent news, The Bards hosted a gluten-free event with support from NFCA’s good friend Michael Savett (of Gluten-Free Philly) and the local community.

www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bards/110268725696386

Gluten Free Sign at Citizens Bank Park

Spotted at July 27 Phillies game: Gluten-free sign at Citizens Bank Park

Tune in tonight and cheer for Cliff Lee and the Phillies at 10:15 p.m. ET, as they resiliently play the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. It’s time to Be-LEE-ve!

- Nadina

About Nadina:
Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011, and will be happy to answer messages sent to the info@celiaccentral.org email account. Nadina learned that she has gluten sensitivity in February 2011, and is grateful for having been diagnosed promptly and correctly by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist. She enjoys running, shopping for gluten-free sweets and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Nadina is a Marketing and Communications professional living and working in Philadelphia. Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.

August 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

Phightin’ All-Star

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our newest volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experience throughout the 2011 Phillies season.]

Phightin’ All-Star

A Phightin’ to Be Gluten-Free Blog

Cliff Lee is an All-Star. In an entertaining All-Star Game last Tuesday evening, the National League won 5-1 against the American League and obtained home field advantage in the World Series.  Good news for the Phillies!

Lee followed Halladay on the mound, impressively the sixth time in All-Star Game history that teammates were the first two pitchers in the rotation.  Cliff Lee gave up a homer in the fourth.  All-Stars have errors too, and Lee is no exception.  As an All-Star, Lee Phights for his team, Phights for himself, and even set a personal record in July.

July 3:  Phillies 4-7 loss against the Toronto Blue Jays

Error: Lee gave up a season high of seven runs—three were homers in the 8th inning.  Another Phillies All-Star, Shane Victorino, had a baserunning error during the same inning when his cleat got stuck in the turf.

Highlight: Lee’s overall game performance included 0 walks and 9 strike outs.  Victorino doubled and scored on Ben Francisco’s single in the second inning.

July 9: Phillies 1-4 loss against the Atlanta Braves   

Error: Lack of offensive support

Highlight: Lee hit his first professional career home run and allowed one run in over 8 innings.

I strive to be a Phightin’ Gluten-Free All-Star each time I advocate for healthy, tasty and safe dining options. I Be-LEE-ve the recipe for a Gluten-Free All-Star is to combine the right ingredients of confidence, clear articulation, command and heart when in a dining establishment.

July’s dining experiences and product reviews are quite un-Be-LEE-vable.  Take my lead and try something new with a few tips.

  1. Ask for food allergies and/or intolerances to be listed next to your name and reservation at the time you call.
  2. Call the day of your reservation and speak to a chef or manager about food allergies and/or intolerances, accommodations and dining options.
  3. Clearly articulate dietary restrictions and always inquire about dish ingredients.  I never regret asking too many of the right questions.
  4. Thank the waiter and send compliments to the chef in the kitchen for creating a comfortable dining experience and (hopefully) delicious meal.

As a reminder, my dish and product reviews are on the following baseball-inspired scale:

Single- Fair
Double- Good
Triple- Very good
Home Run- Must try
Grand Slam- Sublime

Grilled Wild King Salmon topped with arugula in lemon vinaigrette at Steve and Cookie’s- Home Run  

A must try dish for vacationers and diners at the Margate shore in New Jersey. The fish was fresh and rich in the pigment that distinguishes the premiere wild-caught salmon from farm raised.  Cooked with precision, the layers of salmon peeled away with the soft touch of a fork.  Each layer was just as moist as the next with locked in juices and Omega 3 oils.  In addition, the grilled char added flare and nice texture to the overall dish and was accompanied by fresh arugula. The lemon vinaigrette both on the plate and mixed in with the greens on top of the salmon was too creamy and heavy in flavor for a naturally rich and oily fish.  Note: This was the chef’s gluten-free alternative for the Fish of the Day.  

The result:  The Wild King Salmon is the All-Star on the plate.  The paired lemon dressing did not support the dish; instead, it overpowered the natural juices and zest.

The scene:  A July 4th weekend dinner outing at the Margate shore.  Home to Lucy the Elephant, the Atlantic City Surfs and the boardwalk— I love to return every summer.  After spending my day at the beach reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and watching Lee pitch, I had worked up an appetite.  I was ready for a delicious meal at Steve and Cookie’s, a restaurant that evokes fond childhood memories of dining at with my grandparents and family.

www.steveandcookies.com

Steve & Cookie's Gluten-Free Wild King Salmon

A Home Run: Wild King Salmon at Steve & Cookie's

Mista verde salad with balsamic vinaigrette and grilled chicken at Seraphina- Single

A fair dish marked by average grilled chicken and an assortment of greens.  The leafy salad and balsamic vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar, herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper) was fresh and quite enjoyable, especially for a summer lunch.  The grilled chicken that I added to the salad was small in portion, cut in very fine strips and resembled a pre-packaged chicken cutlet from a grocery store.  However, my lunch guest recommended the gluten-free pasta on the menu.

The result:  Disappointing grilled chicken at a restaurant in a prime location, Rittenhouse Square.  The good news—gluten-free pasta options are available.

The scene:  A lunch meeting with a highly respected blogger in the gluten-free community, Michael of Gluten-Free Philly. Of course, we discussed all things gluten-free.  According to a local food blog, Cliff Lee walked into Seraphina (but did not stay to dine) on the same afternoon we were there!

www.serafinarestaurant.com/serafina/philadelphia.html

Flamous Falafel Chips (Original)- Grand Slam

A sublime allergy friendly chip free of wheat, dairy, lactose, trans fats, cholesterol, MSG, hydrogenated oil, GMO, preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial flavors, available for purchase at Whole Foods and ACME.   A simple bite into the crisp falafel chips elicits savory Mediterranean flavors and spices.

The result:  Tastes exactly like a falafel with a chip twist.  A great alternative to the typical party or game day corn tortilla chips.  Spice up a meal and eat plain or pair with dip of your choice.

www.flamousbrands.com

A special shout out to NFCA’s successful Celiac Awareness Night, with a Phillies 3-2 victory against the Atlanta Braves.  An almost 2-hour rain delay didn’t keep my family and other Phillies fans away from Citizens Bank Park.  The game highlight was a gluten-free Raul Ibanez’s solo homer with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning.  Very timely!

Tune in tonight and cheer for Cliff Lee and the Phillies at 8 p.m., as they play the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.  It’s time to Be-LEE-ve!

- Nadina

About Nadina:
Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011, and will be happy to answer messages sent to the info@celiaccentral.org email account. Nadina learned that she has gluten sensitivity in February 2011, and is grateful for having been diagnosed promptly and correctly by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist. She enjoys running, shopping for gluten-free sweets and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Nadina is a Marketing and Communications professional living and working in Philadelphia. Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.

July 19, 2011 at 11:16 am Leave a comment

Staying in Command

[As you know, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness staff members are big Phillies fans. So when one of our newest volunteers, Nadina Fraimow, told us she shared the same passion for sports, wellness and all things Phillies, we had to get her on board. Nadina will be sharing her gluten-free experience throughout the 2011 Phillies season.]

Staying in Command

A Phightin’ to Be Gluten-Free Blog

Lee’s game is no longer about the comeback.  He’s back and looking un-Be-LEE-vable! Last night, Philadelphians gave Cliff Lee a standing ovation as he flawlessly led the Phillies to a 5-0 victory against the Boston Red Sox and historically pitched his third consecutive complete game shutout.

This time, Lee brings with him three powerful C’s—curveballs, confidence and command. Pitching three consecutive shutouts is no easy feat, and Lee falls into the ranks of baseball Hall of Famers, including Grover Cleveland Alexander and Robin Roberts.

It has been an un-Be-LEE-vable month for Lee, as he also led the Phillies to a 4-0 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals last Wednesday night in his second consecutive game shutout.  Lee was completely in command on the pitcher’s mound, when he allowed simply 6 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk and 3 strike outs.

For me, it’s no longer about being the comeback gal. I recently had two consecutive successful follow-up GI appointments. I too rely on my curveballs, confidence and command on my journey to a happy, healthy gluten-free life.

When Lee is in command, the pitch he throws is the pitch he intended to throw.  Staying in command is a challenge worth Phightin’ for both Phillies fans and everyone who has food allergies or intolerances.

As Lee has so beautifully exemplified over his past three games, staying in command takes true grit and supportive teammates.  Last night was no exception, for he had great offensive support from Dominic Brown and Shane Victorino as they scored two-run home runs.  Let’s not forget Lee’s own RBI sacrifice fly that sent Dominic Brown home in the fifth inning.

Completely in command, I continue my restaurant, dish and product reviews, which are on the following baseball-inspired scale:

Single- Fair
Double- Good
Triple- Very good
Home Run- Must try
Grand Slam- Sublime

Double Rainbow Chocolate Sorbet- Double

A good gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free summer dessert purchased from Trader Joe’s.  It resembles the light consistency of water ice, but has richer dark chocolate flavor.  The finish leaves a slight, but noticeable aftertaste.

The result:  A dark chocolate calorie-friendly treat with great potential, if there was no aftertaste.

Recommendation: Pairs nicely with an assortment of fresh seasonal fruits. Serve this for a BBQ dessert or a beach day snack.

Note:  For Trader Joe’s “No Gluten Ingredients” list, visit www.traderjoes.com/pdf/lists/list-no-gluten.pdf

Soyatoo! Rice Whip- Home Run

A must-try vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and cholesterol-free condiment purchased from Whole Foods.  It’s soft and fluffy, with just enough firmness to hold a swirl.  Both the lightness and hint of sweetness nicely absorb the textures and flavors from other foods.  However, preparation time is needed to get the optimal results. As noted on the container, store upside down in fridge and sit out for 10-15 minutes prior to eating.

The result:  Looks exactly like dairy whipped cream, and tastes even better.  Follow instructions on container prior to use – it is worth the wait.

Recommendation: Delicious finish on top of baked goods, sorbet sundaes, and pairs nicely with fresh seasonal fruits.  Can prepare on July 4th with fresh berries for a sweet and patriotic treat!
www.soyatoo.de/us/our-products/

Santa Cruz Chocolate Flavored Syrup- Triple

A very good organic and gluten-free labeled chocolate syrup purchased from Whole Foods.  The sweet and dark chocolate flavor can stand on its own or be a supportive ingredient in a sundae.  The container is microwavable for a warm alternative to the classic chocolate syrup.

The result: Definitely for dark chocolate lovers, but can be drizzled over desserts for all to enjoy. Thick texture makes it difficult for chocolate syrup to ooze out of container.

Recommendation: Place upside down for a few minutes prior to use. Though microwavable option is nice, it tastes best at refrigerator temperature.  An extra oomph of chocolate sweetness that can be added to any July 4th  holiday treat. http://www.scojuice.com/products/dessert_toppings/chocolate_syrup

Sautéed flounder in olive oil with roasted baby potatoes and baby peas at Oyster House- Grand Slam

A sublime dish, and one that I look forward to replicating in my kitchen.  The perfect portion of fresh fish was executed with just the right amount of olive oil and seasoning. My favorite fish dishes are cooked with a slightly crisped top and moist inside and this sautéed flounder was no exception.  The flounder was surrounded by soft and well-seasoned roasted baby potatoes with baby peas.  Note: This was the chef’s gluten-free alternative to sautéed flounder on menu.  

The result:  A balance of beautifully cooked fish, paired with pleasantly cooked vegetables.  The different levels of soft textures on the plate complement each other from the juiciness of the fish, the softness of the potatoes and the mushiness from the peas.

Gluten-free fish dinner at Oyster House

A Grand Slam! Sautéed Flounder at Oyster House

The scene: A double date at the Oyster House on Saturday night.  As the Phillies were losing against the Oakland Athletics, we were enjoying a meal that one of the diners in our party said tasted fresh from the ocean.  In fact, the Oyster House changes its menus daily based on the freshest fish.  Since there is no gluten-free menu, I made sure to clearly articulate my food sensitivities and inquire about dish ingredients.  Our table started with an assortment of fresh oysters and then each ordered our own entrée.  To my excitement, the chefs were able to adjust a few ingredients and maintain the integrity of the sautéed flounder on the menu.
oysterhousephilly.com

Fresh roasted turkey on top of romaine lettuce at Main Line Pizza- Double

A good dish, and one that I have replicated in my kitchen.  The fresh roasted turkey is plainly seasoned, extremely fresh and properly prepared. Each hand sliced piece of turkey was cool, moist and paired nicely with the soft crunch from the romaine lettuce.  Note: This was a quick on-the-go alternative to the Romaine Turkey Wrap on the gluten-free menu.  

The result: A healthy, easy lunch cooked to just the right tenderness.  Simple flavors, simply cooked well.  At Main Line Pizza, you can eat this as a lettuce wrap or on gluten-free bread.

The scene: A quick lunch with my sister and mom before a GI follow-up appointment last week.  My sister is on a search to find the perfect gluten-free pizza, and we were happy to try Main Line Pizza with her.  As the car pulled up to a spot off Lancaster Avenue, I first noticed an inviting sign that specified serving gluten-free pizzas and pasta.  To my surprise, the owner explained his gluten-free training and his certificate from NFCA’s GREAT Kitchens program. My sister and mom loved their fresh gluten-free pizza with mushrooms, broccoli and fresh roasted pepper toppings.  They even took an order of gluten-free spicy chicken wings to go, which they also thoroughly enjoyed.
www.mainlinepizza.com

June was a memorable month, as Lee made history and I made progress on my journey with support from my family team.  We are back, we are in command, and we are Free to Be Gluten-Free!

- Nadina

*Learn more about gluten-free training through GREAT Kitchens.
*Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies is sold out! Thank you all for supporting the cause. We’ll see you there!

About Nadina:
Nadina Fraimow began volunteering with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in April 2011, and will be happy to answer messages sent to the info@celiaccentral.org email account. Nadina learned that she has gluten sensitivity in February 2011, and is grateful for having been diagnosed promptly and correctly by a knowledgeable gastroenterologist. She enjoys running, shopping for gluten-free sweets and creating recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Nadina is a Marketing and Communications professional living and working in Philadelphia. Nadina is also a proud Penn State alumna and an avid fan of the Phillies.

June 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm Leave a comment

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