The Nima Sensor & Restaurants: Nima Visits Portland!
With the Nima Sensor, I can travel anywhere and feel like I can eat safe!
Comments (1)Posted by Chrystal Carver
My Nima Sensor, the world’s first pocket-sized portable gluten detection device, goes everywhere with me. Why? Because it’s a portable gluten tester and I never know when I’ll need to grab a quick meal.
My family likes to travel to other countries. We also like to eat out once a week. Both can be scary when you’re celiac or otherwise sensitive to gluten. I’ve eaten at “dedicated gluten-free” establishments only to find out they outsourced some of their ingredients - and ended up sick. It’s always better to be safe, than sick, in my opinion.
My husband and I recently had lunch at Cultured Caveman, a dedicated gluten-free, Paleo restaurant in Portland, Oregon. I’ve always been curious about ingredient sourcing and preparations at Paleo restaurants. Sure, they’re gluten-free and grain-free – they cater to people following a Paleo lifestyle. But do they care about cross contamination?
When we arrived, I asked for the manager. He wasn’t available, but I did get a chance to talk to Kevin, an employee who has worked at Cultured Caveman for three years. I asked him several questions, including:
- Do you make everything in house?
- What types of ingredients do you source from outside vendors?
- Is there anything you bring in that’s been processed in a facility that also processes glutinous products?
When you visit new restaurants, I encourage you to ask these same questions and any other question that might help you understand how your food will be prepared.
Kevin was super knowledgeable and happily answered all my questions. He also went as far as assuring me that he was 100% confident that everything on the menu was gluten-free and safe. Cultured Caveman carefully sources their ingredients and makes everything in house. They don’t bring in outside food that’s been processed in a facility with other glutinous ingredients. As much as I wanted to trust them, I also wanted to put my Nima Sensor to work.
We ordered the Grass Fed All Meat Chili Stew with a side of Bacon Wrapped Dates, and the Chicken Broccoli Ranch Wrap. The wrap came with a side of dairy-free Cream of Mushroom Soup. The tortilla used for the wrap was made fresh, in house that morning, and the chicken was coated and pan-fried. I figured my chili would be safe, but I always get nervous when a restaurant says they make their tortillas “in house”, or use the word “fried”. Sometimes gluten-free flours are processed in a facility that also processes wheat. If a restaurant isn’t careful when working with vendors, they could end up with a contaminated batch of gluten-free flour. This is a prime example of why I like to have a Nima Sensor with me when we eat out. Instead of worrying about it, I’m able to test the food to ensure it’s safe, and enjoy myself.
Our order arrived quick and hot. I tested the fried chicken in the wrap first by placing a small, pea-sized piece into the capsule, and popped it into the Nima Sensor. The Nima Sensor took almost two minutes but in the end flashed me a smile. I then tested the tortilla that they had made from scratch that morning. It also came back with a smile. The last thing I tested was the stew, because even spice mixes in something like a stew can contain glutinous ingredients. Of course, it came back fine.
The Nima Sensor is small, portable, and simple to use. I loved knowing that our lunch at Cultured Caveman was safe. Without the reassurance of a Nima Sensor, I would continue to worry every time I eat out or travel. If you don’t have a Nima Sensor, consider getting the Nima Starter Kit, which includes the Nima Sensor, test capsules, a recharging cable, and a carrying pouch. This is the package you need to get if you travel, like I do. It’s also perfect if you don’t travel, but want to take it with you to restaurants – everything fits in the pouch! If you dine out often like I do, make sure you download the Nima Sensor app,and upload all of your results. It can help fellow celiacs decide where to eat based on Nima results!
Chrystal Carver, author of Sweet & Simple Gluten-Free Baking; Irresistible Classics in 10 Ingredients or Less! is the recipe developer and writer behind glutenfreepalate.com. She comes from a family with a history of cooking and baking, and has been an avid baker since she was little. Chrystal started developing gluten-free recipes in 2009 when her daughters both tested positive for Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance (NCGI). Chrystal believes that baking gluten free should not require extravagant ingredients or complicated steps. With her background in problem solving and design for usability, she started converting everyday gluten-containing classics to easy family friendly gluten-free recipes. You can connect with Chrystal on Facebook, Twitter, and at http://www.glutenfreepalate.com.