The Disney chefs love to tinker in the kitchen, and especially enjoy creating new tastes for guests with allergies.
One of our favorite new tastes is the gluten-free naan bread at Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge—you won’t find it on the menu, but when guests with gluten allergies ask to speak to the chef, it’s one of the options for Indian-style bread service (for those fabulous chutneys and sauces), open-faced naan sandwiches at lunch and the kid’s meal cheese pizza.
“Chef Jonathan Dove has a great passion for creating items to accommodate special diet needs, as his wife has a gluten allergy,” says Chef David Njorge. Creating a gluten-free naan became a priority, and Chef Jonathan worked with Chef Amanda Lauder to come up with their delicious version of the classic Indian flatbread.
“As culinary cast members, we leave our legacy daily in the way we interact with our guests and our fellow cast members, go above and beyond, and sprinkle pixie dust,” says Chef David.
A couple more new gluten-free menu items we’ve recently discovered: the angel food cake with seasonal fruit compote at Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (which is always on the menu, not a special order), and the hot beignets at Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. At Sassagoula they fry the beignets separately, so it’s a rare opportunity for guests with celiac disease or gluten allergies to have those hot, fresh little squares of fried dough.
And if you’re too far away for a hot order from Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, here’s the recipe so you can try at home.
Makes 20 beignets
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (100°F)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple juice
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons powdered gluten-free egg replacer
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon canola oil
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 pound gluten-free pizza crust mix
- Confectioners’ sugar for finishing
For the beignets
- Combine warm water and yeast in a small bowl; set aside 5 minutes.
- Combine apple juice, applesauce, sugar, egg replacer, salt, oil, and cinnamon in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until well combined.
- Add pizza crust mix, 1/4 cup at a time, until soft dough forms (you will not use all of mix). Turn dough out onto a work surface dusted with remaining pizza crust mix. Knead until dough is no longer sticky but still soft.
- Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness, and cut into 2×3-inch pieces. Set aside at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Pour enough oil into a deep-sided pot until it reaches 2 inches up sides; heat oil over medium heat to 350°F.
- Lightly press beignets to flatten slightly.
- Add a few beignets to oil; fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once.
- Remove from hot oil with a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
- Dust with a generous amount of confectioners’ sugar before serving.
This past weekend, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort hosted the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s annual “Tour de Turtles” event which allows sea turtle fans to follow the marathon migration of 12 sea turtles from their nesting beaches to their foraging grounds.
This year, Olaf’s summer dream in the Academy Award winning Disney Animation Studios film “Frozen” inspired us to feature him in our event and name the turtles after his friends Anna and Elsa. The morning began as each loggerhead sea turtle was outfitted with a satellite transmitter. Now that the females have finished nesting for the season, it is time for them to head to their foraging grounds so that they can begin feasting on those tasty crustaceans. The transmitters allow us to track the path to Anna and Elsa’s favorite foraging grounds.
As the “turtle safe” adhesive dried, guests had the opportunity to participate in various activities as they learned more about sea turtles and earned stamps for completed activities in their nature journal. Guests watched as Disney’s Animal Programs cast members conducted a nest inventory and counted the number of eggs in a recently hatched sea turtle nest; discovered ways they can help hatchlings including knocking down sand castles after they leave the beach, and realized how difficult it could be for a sea turtle to free itself if tangled in plastic debris.
Each sea turtle involved in “Tour de Turtles” acts as an ambassador to raise awareness about a specific threat to sea turtles. Sea turtle ‘Anna’ (sponsored by Disney’s Animal Programs and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort) is swimming to raise awareness about light pollution. Many don’t realize that bright beachfront lighting from buildings and flashlights from people walking on the beach can deter nesting turtles, draw hatchlings inland and prevent them from safely reaching the ocean. It’s important to close your curtains to prevent light from shining on the beach or using sea turtle-friendly fixtures that shield the light from the beach and never use a flashlight during sea turtle nesting season at night! Sea turtle ‘Elsa’ (sponsored by the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund) is focused on the troubling amount of plastic debris in oceans around the world. The debris breaks into small pieces that are eaten by sea turtles and other marine wildlife, which causes the animals severe digestive troubles. Over the years, the consumption of this plastic debris has caused the deaths of over 100 million marine animals and floating marine debris can also lead to turtles becoming entangled in plastic, fishing line, nets and more. You can help by picking up litter, purchasing reusable grocery bags, recycling, and not releasing balloons.
Youth from the local Boys & Girls Club learned all about how scientists develop tracking devices to monitor sea turtle migration pattern in the ocean and had a front row seat to watch Anna and Elsa’s return to the ocean. Everyone wished Anna and Elsa well on their ocean journey and we look forward
to their return when they are ready to lay more eggs in two years. Check out the gallery below for more photos from the event!
You can cheer on Anna, Elsa and other turtles that are part of Tour de Turtles by logging on to http://www.tourdeturtles.org/. You can track the migration paths of 4 species of sea turtles and learn more about sea turtle conservation.
For more from the “Wildlife Wednesday” series, check out the posts below:
A national search is under way for the cutest video celebrating the Disney Side of pets – and I know Disney Parks Blog readers are up for the challenge. The popular Animal Planet America’s Cutest TV show is producing a special Disney Side edition for a Howl-O-Ween Pet-acular that’ll air later this year and they want to hear from you.
Whether you dress your dog as a jungle cruise skipper or build a hamster-sized Splash Mountain, your pet could become bigger than the Astro Orbiter by appearing in Animal Planet’s Howl-O-Ween Pet-acular.
It’s easy to share your pet’s Disney Side video. Just visit the Animal Planet entry page and add your clip. Here are a few tips:
- Hold your camera or phone horizontally instead of vertically.
- Film in the highest resolution possible and please don’t compress.
- No music, radio or TV in the background.
- Please include the pets face in the clip.
After you’ve shared your video, watch America’s Cutest: The Disney Side Edition in October to find out if your pet’s Disney Side is one of America’s cutest. Also, let us know about your pet’s Disney Side in the comments.
Greetings from Circle D Ranch at the Disneyland Resort. Let’s meet two more of the lucky horses that live here.
Yes, it’s a little warm to crank up the oven, but in honor of National Lasagna Day, we’re proposing that you do just that and make a generous pan of this lasagna Bolognese from the chefs at the new Trattoria al forno opening this fall at Disney’s BoardWalk. The leftovers are delish.
Last month, I told you about the new clown duo that recently joined the cast of “La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil.” I hinted that something “behind-the-scenes and amazing” was coming. Today, I have more to share and I’m certain that the experience of “L’Experience” will not disappoint!
I’m a pretty big peanut butter and pretzel fan. So what happens when you combine those two ingredients with an apple at the Disneyland Resort? We wanted to find out, so we challenged our Disneyland Resort Candy Makers to come up with the perfect recipe and here’s what they have to share with us.
“Frozen” fun has gone nautical! If you sailed with us recently, you may have seen these two royal sisters for the first time in forever together on a Disney ship. Princess Anna and Queen Elsa kicked off their Royal Tour of our ships and are surprising Disney cruisers with special appearances on select seven-night or […]
We thought Disney Parks Blog readers would enjoy a little something special for the 15th anniversary of the popular Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith. So today, we asked Disney artist Jeff Maurer to create a special new mobile/desktop wallpaper especially for the occasion.
Today we’re celebrating the anniversary of one of my favorite attractions – Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. The attraction originally opened its doors at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 29, 1999.