Kids Gluten-Free Guide

By Mona | Thursday 3 November 2011 2:16 pm

Barista Kids Gluten-Free Guide

BY  |  Thursday, Nov 03, 2011

Food allergies are no fun. Parents with kids who need to eat gluten-free know just how much energy it takes to plan a menu and to acclimate their child to the special dietary needs that preclude wheat, barley, rye and triticale. The challenge grows if one child needs to be gluten-free but other children in the family don’t.

Mona Solar, Health Supportive Gluten-Free Chef and Certified Nutritional Consultant, knows about these challenges and is excited about expanding families’ awareness on resources for eating gluten-free.  She offers her advice on where to eat and shop in Baristaville.

Solar’s first tip for parents relates to kitchen set up. “One of the biggest challenge is if the whole family is not eating gluten-free. Cross contamination is a big concern since something as small as a breadcrumb is enough to make someone with Celiac sick. So it is critical to make sure that the kitchen is set up in a way to prevent cross contamination.”

Solar recommends some staples for parents to have around the house,I prefer to stick with whole foods as much as possible and suggest a variety of fruits, nuts and vegetables. There are also some wonderful gluten-free pastas; Tinkyada and Jovial brands are my favorite brown rice pastas and Andean Dream makes a really nice Quinoa Pasta. For some sweet treats, Andean Dream and Mary’s Gone Crackers have a nice variety of cookies with better ingredients.”

Solar points out that one downside of the gluten-free diet is that “many people miss breads on a gluten-free diet.”  But, in fact, Solar recommends a line of gluten-free breads that she loves. “I am a big fan of Breads from Anna, which sells a line of gluten-free Bread mixes.  The company carries 12 varieties of mixes that are also free of dairy, soy, nuts, corn and rice (some are also yeast free).  The breads have a wonderful moist texture and delicious taste.”

For families eating out, the best thing to do is to find restaurants that serve some portion of their menu gluten-free. “I would avoid going to a restaurant that doesn’t offer any gluten-free options. The risk of cross contamination is extremely high, and you would want the chef to have knowledge of how to prepare gluten-free meals safely.” She also tells parents to speak up. Don’t be shy! “It is a good idea to ask to speak to the chef when you are dining at a restaurant with a gluten-free menu. The chef has full knowledge of the ingredients that are being used, can guide you through the menu and is the best person to answer any questions.”

Thankfully, there are many places that do cater to those with food allergies.

Here’s our guide to a Gluten-Free Baristaville:

Local places that prepare gluten-free products:

Miss Nicky’s
her Pretty ‘M’POWerFUL’ Chilly-Millie Cookie taste like brownies.

The Bread Company
113 Walnut Street
Montclair, NJ 07042

Le Baker’s Dozen
206 Bellevue Avenue
Montclair,  NJ, 07043

700 Bloomfield Avenue
Montclair, NJ< 07042
Serves Will’s Firebird Pancakes, which are gluten-free

Go Lightly
4 South Fullerton Avenue
Montclair, NJ, 07042
Serves gluten-free, vegan cookies, cakes and more.

The Able Baker
187 Maplewood Avenue
Maplewood, NJ

The Roman Gourmet
153 Maplewood Avenue
Maplewood, NJ
Offers gluten-free pizza

Strawberry Fields
147 B Maplewood Ave
Maplewood, NJ
Most of the frozen yogurt is gluten free certified.

Maplewood Deli and Grille
149 Maplewood Avenue
Maplewood, NJ
Every day at least two gluten-free items are included on the menu.

La Riviera Trattoria
421-27 Piaget Avenue
Clifton, NJ 07011
La Riviera Trattoria is having a gluten-free Italian Thanksgiving dinner on Monday, November 14 at 6:30 p.m. ($50) According to Solar, “The chef has first-hand knowledge of Celiac disease since his daughter was diagnosed a few years ago. Since her diagnosis, he has introduced gluten-free menu options and knows the importance of cross contamination issues in the kitchen. If you plan on eating there and want to order a gluten-free meal, you need to make a reservation so that the kitchen can prep for the meal. The restaurant also sells gluten-free pasta and cookies imported from Italy.”

Websites with gluten-free recipes:


Solar recommends any cookbooks by authors Carol Fenster, Rebecca Reilly, Bette Hagman, Annalise Roberts

Meet-up Groups:

The Northern NJ Celiac Disease Support Group

Lines of Food that are gluten-free

  • Applegate Farms has a great line of frozen organic turkey and beef burgers as well as cold cuts and frozen breakfast sausages.  These are good to have around the house for a quick meal.
  • Kettle Cuisine has a nice line of gluten-free soups, which can be found in the frozen foods section.
  • Pacific and Imagine brands have a great variety of organic broths that are also gluten-free.
  • Whole Foods, Shop Rite and Stop& Shop are some of the big named supermarkets that carry a good variety of gluten-free products; also, you will find a good selection of gluten-free foods in nutrition/health food stores.

A few more resources from Barista Kids:

  • Enjoy Life Foods: Gluten and allergen-free cookies, cereal bars, granola and chocolate.
  • Cherrybrook Kitchen: Baking mixes that are gluten-free.
  • Yummy Earth: Organic, peanut-free, nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free lollipops and gummy bears.
  • Stuck On You makes great vinyl labels.
  • Jeeto makes cute allergy stickers for lunchboxes, backpacks and more.




By Mona | Tuesday 1 November 2011 9:15 pm


One of the things I love most about Thanksgiving is my mom’s bread stuffing. I look forward to it every year.  She always makes extra because it goes so fast.  It’s simple, yet so satisfying.  I see it as more than a side dish because I could eat the stuffing with gravy as a meal by itself.  I love the blend of beautiful spices.  Adapting the recipe to gluten-free bread is as delicious as the original and I’m thankful that I have this recipe to share with you.



3 tablespoons butter or olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped or diced

1 cup celery, chopped or diced

1 cup Italian parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried sage

8 cups gluten-free bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (lightly toasted on baking sheet for 30 minutes in oven at 200°F) *I use ‘Breads from Anna’ Gluten Free Herb Sandwich Bread Mix

3/4 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium gluten-free brand (Imagine or Pacific Brands)


1.  Preheat oven to 350°F.

2.  Melt butter and olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.

3.  Add onions and celery and cook about 5 minutes.  Place in a large bowl.

4.  Add remaining ingredients to bowl and toss to combine.

5.  Let cool.

6.  Place stuffing into a 9″x13″ baking dish.  Cover and bake for approximately 30 minutes.






By Mona | Tuesday 1 November 2011 9:14 pm


Yield: one 9 1/2 inch pot pie

This is a great way to use those turkey left-overs.  It’s also a wonderful dish to bring as a guest to a Thanksgiving dinner if you aren’t sure whether the entire meal will be gluten free.  This recipe has it all…carrots, celery, potatoes, chicken or turkey and a delicious gravy all enveloped in a lovely gluten-free pie crust.  This is the ultimate in comfort food and is the perfect meal to enjoy on one of those blustery winter days.  Instead of making one large pie, make individual versions of the pie using smaller tart pans or ramekins and freeze for a quick, easy meal.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Slice of pie

1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion

1 garlic clove, minced

Pinch of sea salt

3/4 cup carrots, peeled and diced small

3/4 cup red potatoes, diced small

3/4 celery, peeled and diced small

1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons organic unsalted butter (or non-dairy spread; e.g. Earth Balance)

2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock

1/2 cup low fat organic milk (or non-dairy milk; e.g. hemp milk)

2 cups cooked organic chicken or turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces (or use leftover roasted turkey or chicken)*

Pinch of freshly ground pepper

1 ‘Breads from Anna’ Pie Crust Mix

Prepare pie crust as directed on back of package. Press bottom crust into standard 9 1/2 inch glass pie pan.  Place dough to be rolled out for top of Pot Pie between two pieces of parchment paper.  Roll dough evenly into a circle and place in freezer for 20 minutes.  Dough will be easier to peel away from parchment paper when chilled.  Bake bottom crust for 10-15 minutes at 350°F. 


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  In large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt.  Sauté  until golden.

2. Add the carrot, potato, celery, parsley and thyme and continue to cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender.

3. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.  In the same pan over medium-low heat, add the butter.  Once it has melted, add the arrowroot and whisk quickly to make a paste.

4.  Slowly whisk in the stock and add the milk. Keep whisking until velvety smooth.  Add a pinch of salt.  If the sauce is too thick, add a small amount of stock.

5.  Return the vegetables to the pan and add the chicken and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Mix to combine and set aside.

6.  Add mixture to prepared pie crust.  Add top crust.  Bake until golden brown and bubbling, approximately 50 minutes.

* poach organic chicken

To cook chicken pieces, place in a medium saucepan.  Add lightly salted water to cover and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes.

Note:  Use dark meat instead of light meat because it has three times more iron per serving.