May is Celiac Awareness Month

By Jacqueline Gomes, MBA, RDN

Did you know that 3 million Americans have Celiac disease, but only about 5% of them are accurately diagnosed? Celiac disease is often very difficult to diagnose, because symptoms are similar to other gastrointestinal disorders. Blood tests are used to screen and diagnose gluten intolerance.

Living with Celiac disease calls for a great deal of attention to what you are consuming, in order to protect the intestines from further damage. Gluten can be found in ingredients, such as wheat, barley, rye, or triticale (a wheat and rye blend); thus, many types of grains should be avoided. It is also important to watch for processed foods, like soy sauce, salad dressings, and condiments. Naturally gluten free grains and starches include quinoa, millet, rice, corn, potato and amaranth!


It may seem like there are a great deal of “diet don’ts” involved in eating gluten-free, but the truth is that it can be quite simple if you use the following tips to guide you along the way.

  • Know your Grains. Rice, corn, potato, quinoa, millet, and amaranth are just several ingredients that are acceptable in a gluten-free diet.
  • Cook Often. Be aware of every ingredient you consume! If you do plan on dining out, review the menu online first and ask questions when necessary.
  • Make Gluten Free Swaps. When baking, it is safe to use ingredients like chickpea or rice flours and tapioca or potato starch instead of baking powder. Use arrowroot to thicken gravy.
  • Use Gluten Free products. Fortunately, there are plenty of gluten free ingredients, like pancake mix, pastas, cookies breads and cereals, available in our stores now! Do not hesitate to take advantage!

It is crucial that those with gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease consume a sufficient amount of grains each day. Carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals are essential to the body’s metabolism and for disease prevention.


Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Prep: 15 minutes

Bake: 20 minutes

Makes: 2 Servings



  • ½ large cauliflower head
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Suggested Toppings:

  • Good quality tomato sauce
  • Shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Sautéed onions and shitake mushrooms



  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a pizza pan or rimless baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until reduced to rice-size crumbles. Transfer to a microwave safe bowl, cook for 8 minutes or until soft. Cool for 5-8 minutes.
  3. Beat egg, add the cauliflower, shredded cheese and spices. Mix well and work into a ball. Place onto the greased parchment paper and press into the pan.
  4. Bake at 450°F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Add desired toppings and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Cut into wedges and serve.

Tip: Add any toppings you enjoy such as peppers, olives, spinach, basil or ham!