Thursday, May 13, 2010

Livin' it Up at IKEA: Gluten Free Meal Options

My family is of Scandinavian heritage. My grandfather's family came from Norway and my Grandmother's family came from Sweden. My mom's side of the family is also Norwegian, and my husband's family is Danish. So I like to consider myself a Scandinavian-American. (Get a load of me. I'm from the suburbs, really.) Somewhere, one day, years ago, I thought I read an article that said that celiac patients are more likely to be of Scandinavian descent, but now I'm having a hard time finding that article to back up my story. This doesn't mean if you're not Scandinavian you can't be a celiac, it just means...well, I'm not sure what I'm getting at. I just know I wasn't surprised when they said Scandinavians could have celiacs and I ended up having it. Anyway, we are lucky enough to have an IKEA store, a company based in Sweden, about 10 minutes away from my house and I love it there. It's like a little trip to Sweden every time you walk through the doors.

My kids absolutely LOVE IKEA. And can you blame them? IKEA has really made it fun for kids to shop in that store. I think their favorite thing may be the macaroni and cheese in the cafeteria, so inevitably, every time we go to IKEA we end up eating a meal there. My usual fare is the shrimp and egg salad sandwich, which is served open faced on a piece of rye bread. I usually slide the salad right off of the lettuce barrier and just eat the shrimp and eggs, have a soda, and call it a snack. I'm usually never full when we eat there. It's more of a kid thing. Anyway, yesterday I went to IKEA with my two youngest children looking for some furniture and it wasn't very busy in the cafeteria, so I decided I would be brave and ask about some dishes to see if they're gluten free. Now, for those of you who have been my readers for a while, you may be asking yourself why a sassy girl like me needed to get upt he courage to ask about ingredients at a restaurant. Isn't that what I'm always preaching about? Communicate with your server! Ask to see the ingredient list! I'll admit, in some situations, like a crowded, busy cafeteria where you serve yourself, I'm still a little shy. But yesterday was the perfect storm, and I asked the girl about the Stuffed Salmon Fillet with Potato Broccoli Medallions. She told me what was in them and then showed me that they have a flip book with all the ingredients perched on top of the counter so you can step aside and peruse at your leisure. And the beauty was, I could eat the whole meal! Totally gluten free! I call that a score. And, yes, it was cafeteria food, but I was full. And the flavor was actually great. Let's hear it for the Swedes! So next time you're out shopping and you need a little something, never fear, you can have salmon and cooked vegetables ordered straight off the menu just like the rest of the world.

Happy eating!

4 comments:

  1. 當身處逆境時,要能忍一時之氣,吃一時之苦,並及早確立自己的目標,總有一天,你會嘗到那甘美的果實。........................................

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  2. Just found you while looking for info on Ikea food. Should have looked before we went! I'm just starting down the gluten-free road and feeling completely overwhelmed. I haven't been diagnosed, but decided to try based on a friend's experiences. Looking forward to checking out the rest of your posts.

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  3. Thank you for the post. Each IKEA is different and their menu changes often, so it's helpful to know that they have a book with ingredients listed.

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  4. I also heard that their Almondy Daim, a chocolate almond cake, is GF!

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