December 11, 2013

Natural Foodie: Order merrily from Portland-area chefs for special diet needs

Several local businesses make it easier to find meals and treats to suit varied food requirements.

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Vegan cupcakes by Clothespin Baking Co.

Contributed photo

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The staff at Pepperclub makes stuffed delicata squash for the Modern Vegan meal delivery service.

Contributed photo

Related headlines

Help UMaine test a wheat alternative

A campaign is underway to raise funds to help the University of Maine Cooperative Extension continue field trials of spelt, a nutritious grain often used as a wheat alternative. The campaign, hosted on the crowdfunding site RocketHub, runs until Dec. 17 and aims to raise $12,500. The campaign is being promoted by Spelt Right Bakery, which was founded in Maine and recently moved to New York.

Last year the University of Maine conducted an early stage trial using four varieties of winter spelt and organic growing techniques. The resulting grain was milled at the Somerset Grist Mill in Skowhegan. Spelt Right tested the flour in its bakery and reported favorable results. Spelt Right uses spelt flour because some people who are sensitive to wheat flour can eat spelt flour without problems, even though spelt contains gluten.

Some suspect that because today’s commodity wheat varieties have been bred to work with industrial harvesters and produce very white bread, they contain significantly more gluten than traditional wheat varieties. According to this theory, the increased gluten may be triggering allergic reactions in a growing number of people. In contrast, the ancient grain spelt has been largely ignored by industrial agriculture and therefore it has not been manipulated in the same way.

Those who help fund the Maine campaign will receive discounts on Spelt Right products, a book titled “Behavior, Learning & Health, the Dietary Connection” and T-shirts. For more information about the campaign or to support it, visit

Ordering deadline: Dec. 20

How to order: Email

More info: bombdiggity


Clothespin Baking Co.

Menu: Offering vegan buche de noel cakes and iced pumpkin cookies. This custom bakery takes orders for any vegan or gluten-free baked good you’d like to enjoy this holiday.

Ordering deadline: Dec. 18

How to order: Call 749-1219 or email

More info: clothespin

Local Sprouts Cooperative Cafe, 649 Congress St., Portland

Menu: The holiday menu features gluten-free chocolate almond torte, vegan Maine apple caramel upside down cake, vegan pumpkin pecan crumb coffee cake and vegan cookie platters.

Ordering deadline: Dec. 17

How to order: Call 899-3529 or visit the restaurant.

More info: localsprouts


Lois’ Natural Marketplace, 152 U.S. Route 1, Scarborough

Menu: Includes gluten-free cranberry coffee cake, vegan carrot cranberry salad and vegan pies, including pumpkin, apple, strawberry rhubarb, raspberry rhubarb, blueberry and mixed berry. Call or visit the deli for the full holiday menu.

Ordering deadline: Dec. 18 for pies and Dec. 21 for everything else.

How to order: Call 885-0602 or visit the store.

More info:

Modern Vegan Delivery Service, Pepperclub, 78 Middle St., Portland

Menu: Holiday meal kit includes an entree with three sides and one dessert. All the food is vegan, gluten-free and made without added oil. Visit the website for the full menu.

Ordering deadline: Dec. 20 at 5 p.m.; delivery takes place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 24.

How to order:

More info: 409-7778

Whole Foods Market, 2 Somerset St., Portland

Menu: Numerous vegan items including sweet potato kale chowder, butternut squash puree, wild mushroom gravy, cranberry-orange relish and a full vegan dinner.

Ordering deadline: Dec. 22

How to order: Visit, call 774-7711 or visit the store

More info: wholefoods


Wildflours Gluten-Free Bakery, 54 Cumberland St., #1, Brunswick

Menu: Gluten-free pies, stuffing mix, dinner rolls, flourless torte, cakes and other baked goods. Some items are dairy-free and/or vegan as well.

Ordering deadline: Dec 16

How to order: Call 725-7973

More info: Find the bakery on Facebook


Avery Yale Kamila is a freelancer who lives in Portland, where she writes about health food and takes advantage of all the vegan and gluten-free prepared foods made by local chefs. She can be reached at:

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila

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