Category Archives: Product Reviews

A Great Addition to Long IsIand: Strictly Gluten-free

Long Island now has a new Gluten-free addition! Strictly Gluten-free, a store dedicated to serving those with celiac and gluten-sensitivity.

The weekend I came home from school my mom and I took a ride to Northport, to check out this new addition. Not only was it the grand opening weekend of Strictly Gluten-free, but ” Glow-Gluten Free was at the store. Glow Cookies have been one of my favorites since the beginning, and I thought it would be awesome to meet the people behind these delicious creations.

Unfortunately,I just missed Jill, but on a positive note my mom tried Glow Cookies for the 1st time, and loved them!

I was really impressed by the product selection that Strictly Gluten-Free had. Everything from bread to snacks. Even gluten-free cosmetics and supplements were sold there. Strictly GF carried many of my favorite gluten-free products including Le Veneziane Pasta, Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bread and of course Glow cookies! In addition to these products they carried many products that were new to me, including Sharkies – Organic Fruit Snacks, and Kur Organic Superfoods.

I love that Long Island has many Gluten-free stores and love shopping at different stores, because it allows me to be exposed to many different gluten-free products (preventing food bordom). I look forward to going back to Strictly Gluten-free and am excited to try other new products that they have to offer!

Strictly Gluten-Free is located on Larkfield Road in East Northport. For more information on Long Island’s newest addition, visit their website, or find them on Facebook and Twitter!

Pacific Foods: What’s Pho Dinner?

Before I write this post, let me state that it is long over due! As many of you know in June I attended Food Fete, and during this wonderful event I met representatives from Pacific Foods.

At the event they were promoting their newest soup starter creation Pho (inspired by Vietnamese Pho)! After the event I was sent a package from Pacific Foods, which contained their vegetable and chicken Pho starters. I was excited to try this new product, since I love Pacific foods’ broths.

 

Before I left school, I realized that I had never made the Pho! I didn’t know what to expect, since I had never had Pho, but was excited to try it. After trying the Pho, I have decided that it wasn’t for me, but I am glad I tried it!

Though I didn’t have the pallet for Pho, I love so many of the other products that Pacific foods has to offer. Their chicken broth is always on hand in our house!  We are actually using it tonight, when we make our chicken and vegetable soup for our cookie party.

I love that Pacific foods clearly marks their gluten-free products, and has made a great chart which indicates what allergens are in their products (I love when companies make it that easy!)

Thank you again Pacific Foods for allowing me to try your Pho and for creating delicious gluten-free broths. To learn more about Pacific foods, visit their website and be sure to find them on Facebook and Twitter!

Pizza with Bob Red Mill

For the longest time I have had Bob Red Mill’s GF pizza crust in my cabinet. My parents got it at last year’s  Suffolk County Celiacs vender fair ( FYI: The 2012 vender fair will be held on May 5 & 6th!).

Tonight seemed like the perfect night for pizza! I decided I needed break from all my work, and broke out my Kitchen Aid mixer.  The mix was so easy to make and makes a TON of dough. Not only was I able to make a large pizza, but I had left over dough as well.

I opted to make a traditional pizza, (with one modification – DF cheese), using Rao’s marinara sauce and Daiya mozzarella cheese. The crust itself was great, and reminded me of the homemade pizza I use to make! The best part, is I have a ton of left overs. In the freezer they went. With finals coming up the more pre-made meals I make the better!

To learn more about Bob Red Mill’s gluten-free products, visit their website or find them on Facebook and Twitter!

I LOVE Peanut Butter!

If there is one thing I couldn’t live without it would have to be PB&J sandwiches. No kidding when I first went GF, I was so sad I would one longer be able to enjoy my favorite sandwich. (That changed very quickly once I found Udi’s Gluten-free Bread!)

The thing I love about peanut butter is there are so many ways you can enjoy it. Add to that most peanut butters are g-free, and it’s a win, win situation! When I shop for peanut butter, I opt for natural. It’s so much better then the process stuff!! (Trust me once you switch, you will notice a HUGE difference). Below are a few more ways I like to enjoy peanut butter:

Peanut butter on apples/ pears
“Ants on a Log” – Celery with PB and raisins Peanut Butter on crackers/Joan’s multi-grain English muffins
Peanut butter with Snyder’s GF  Pretzel sticks/ Lentil Chips

My peanut butter of choice = “Smooth Operator” from The Peanut Butter Co. I don’t know what it is about this peanut butter, but it honestly makes the best PB& J sandwiches. However, there is one tiny issue, I can only find it at my local Whole Foods at home, and I ran out this past weekend! Up at school, Wegman’s carries some of the Peanut butter Co.’s peanut butter, so I decided to step away from the norm and try their Cinnamon Raisin Swirl PB. I love making PB & J on Cinnamon Raisin bread so I couldn’t see how I wouldn’t like it. The first time I tried this peanut butter I put it on a Udi’s Cinnamon

RaisinBagel. While the texture is a bit more grittier then your traditional peanut butter, the combination was delicious

In addition to “Smooth Operator” and “Cinnamon Raisin Swirl” the Peanut Butter Co., makes a variety of unique flavored peanut butters including, “Dark Chocolate Dreams”, “Mighty Maple”, and “White Chocolate Wonderful”. In addition to selling jars of PB, I just found out the Peanut Butter Co. also sells individual packages of PB, which would be great when traveling. To learn more about the Peanut Butter Co. visit their website, and be sure to find them on Twitter

Have you tried the Peanut Butter Co’s peanut butter? If so, what is your favorite variety? What is your favorite way to enjoy peanut butter?

New GF Bread Options Just Keep Hitting the Market!

I can’t remember where I first heard about Genius Bread (most likely on Twitter!), but I can remember heading directly to their website. Their products looked great, so I emailed the company to learn more. In a reply email I learned that their bread was going to hit US shelves soon (UK brand)!

To my surprise last Tuesday I received a press release that Genius bread by Glutino was now available for purchase, and was also asked if I would like to try their new product. I was more then happy to try their product, and contacted them right away! That was Tuesday. By THURSDAY the bread was delivered to my school mailbox. I was so excited (not to mention I also had just ran out of bread!)

I was really impressed with this new bread. Not only have I enjoyed a few sandwiches on the bread, but I also made french toast with it. Funny thing was, as I was eating the bread I realized that this was probably on of  the first times that I have had “white bread.”(I refused to eat wonder bread in my pre gluten-free days) and now whenever I by GF bread I tend to favor the multigrain breads.

I thought the bread was really good. I placed the bread in the micowave to soften (I put it in the freezer when I got it) and then enjoyed my sandwich. The bread had a good taste, was soft and held together well. The next day I toasted the bread and had PB & J. After I had this sandwich I concluded that I would prefer to lightly toast this bread before I enjoy it. Then on Sunday I made a delicious french toast breakfast using the bread!

Thanks again Glutino for reaching out to me. I am looking forward to making many sandwiches on this bread throughout the week! To learn more about this new product head to their website. Also be sure to find them on Facebook and Twitter!Here is more information about Genius by Glutino Breads:

GLUTINO® INTRODUCES GENIUS® BY GLUTINO® BREAD: Leading Gluten-Free Brand Partners with U.K.-based Genius Gluten-Free to Bring Popular Bread to U.S. and Canadian Markets

LAWRENCE, Mass. – Glutino®, a trusted pioneer and leader in convenient gluten-free living, introduces Genius® by Glutino® bread to its extensive line of gluten-free products. Glutino has partnered with U.K.-based Genius Gluten-Free to bring their popular gluten-free bread to the United States and Canada.

Genius by Glutino offers a wholesome and delicious gluten-free bread option for those living a gluten-free lifestyle. Soft and light in texture, Genius by Glutino features full-sized bread slices that are perfect for making sandwiches and is available in two great tasting varieties, White and Multigrain Sandwich Bread.

“I developed Genius Bread so people living gluten-free could have a better tasting gluten-free bread solution,” said Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, professionally trained chef, founder of Genius Gluten-Free, and mother of a celiac child. “We are thrilled to partner with Glutino, a leader and innovator in gluten-free living, to share our great-tasting bread with the U.S. and Canadian markets.”

“We are excited to add Genius by Glutino to our long-standing gluten-free portfolio and to offer a gluten-free bread that is a cut above the rest,” said Laura Kuykendall, director of marketing and R&D for Glutino. “People living a gluten-free lifestyle look to Glutino for what is new and innovative in the world of gluten-free products, and adding Genius by Glutino to our wide range of products strengthens our position in the gluten-free space.”

Genius by Glutino, as with all Glutino products, does not contain artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Both varieties of Genius by Glutino will be available on www.glutenfree.com and in freezer aisles nationwide at a suggested retail price of $5.49.

About the Glutino Food Group

Since 1983, the Glutino Food Group has been a trusted pioneer and leader in the gluten-free category.  Based in Laval, Québec, the company offers a wide variety of great-tasting, gluten-free foods consumers can trust.  Products are available nationwide at local supermarkets, natural and organic retailers and on www.glutenfree.com.  For more information on The Glutino Food Group, visit www.Glutino.com.The Glutino Food Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Smart Balance, Inc.

Traveling Gluten-Free: 101

For so many people summer time means vacations.  While much of America travels in the summer, trips are taken year round. With the Summer weeks coming to an end I thought it would be fun to share some of my own tips (which can be used year round) when traveling on a gluten-free diet!

While I don’t have a ton of experience traveling GF these tips are what has worked for me in the past.

1. Pack Extra: When spending a weekend away from home I often think that I am crazy because majority of my luggage is food. However, I have learned that it is better to take extra then to run into a situation where there is nothing to eat.

2. Find a Local Grocery Store: Whether it’s a weekend away, or a trip by plane, I always look up where a local Whole Foods is. I have learned the hard way that GF bread does not travel well in a suitcase. Knowing that there is a local supermarket near by, makes me feel better. I can get Bread for the week as well as my fresh fruit! Plus, it may allow me to try new g-free products that I can’t get at home!

3. Scout Out G-free Friendly Restaurants: I like to let my fingers do the walking on this one. Search the internet, and go on GIG’s restaurant awareness programs page. Also check out travel sites such as Gluten-Free Travel Site.

4. Always have a safe snack: When I am in a new environment, I never know what to expect. I always like to have a safe snack on hand, just in case I run into a situation where I can’t find something to eat.

5. Vacations are a time to relax: Do what makes you happy, take some time for yourself and allow yourself to sleep that extra hour that you have been needing. What are your GF travel tips? Do you have any places that you have traveled that were G-free friendly?

Dairy Free Love: SO Delicious

This Summer has been one of the best summer’s I have had in a long time. Probably one of my favorite experiences was attending Food Fete. One of the companies that I was so excited to meet was SO Delicious! I have enjoyed their coconut milk yogurt on a daily basis, and was excited to hear about the new products they were bringing to the market.

The representatives at SO Delicious were extremely nice and were so excited to tell me about their GF chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, when they found out I was both gluten and dairy free.  While this is exciting, I unlike many people don’t eat cookie dough ice cream. However, what I do miss is cookie’s and cream, so when I spoke with them I was trying to convince them to develop a GF version.

At Food Fete they were sampling their new seasonal milks (Nog and Chocolate Mint)  that will be available this holiday season. I tried the Nog flavor. Ironically, I had never had Egg Nog before, and it was my first time trying coconut milk. It was a totally new experience for me, and I thought the product was good.

Two weeks ago, I was contacted by one of SO delicious representatives asking me if I would like to sample their new Greek Style yogurt that they will be launching in the fall. I jumped on this offer as soon as I got the email. I was very excited to try their Greek style yogurt since Greek yogurt seems like the latest food trend. My mom has just gotten hooked on Greek yogurt. She warned me while she loves it now, it did take her a  little while to get use to the change in texture.

I was sent three flavors of the So Delicious’ Greek Style yogurt (vanilla, raspberry, and blueberry). While I have nothing to compare it to, I thought these yogurts were great. They had the same great taste as their original coconut milk yogurt, however their consistency was thicker. It is too hard to pick a favorite, and I enjoyed adding fresh fruit to the yogurt. I did think that this yogurt was a bit more filling then their original yogurt, but this could very well be due to the fact that they are rich in fiber.

So Delicious’ new Greek style yogurts will be available this fall and will come in 6 flavors ( Blueberry, Chocolate, Plain, Raspberry, Strawberry and Vanilla), $1.99. Each yogurt is rich in fiber and contains 10g of fiber. Like their other Coconut Milk products  their Greek Style yogurt is Certified Gluten Free, in addition to being Soy, and Dairy free, vegan, kosher and cholesterol free.

I started eating Coconut milk after going DF, but had no idea of the health benefits. Here is a quick fact: Coconut Milk  is rich in Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA) which are plant based fats that the body processes differently then other fats. The liver breaks them down and converts them into energy as opposed to storing them as fat in the adipose tissue. MCFA’s are slow burning fats that provide energy to the body.

Thanks SO Delicious for allowing me to have a “sneak peek” of one of your products. If you haven’t checked out any of SO Delicious Coconut milk products I would highly recommend it!! Visit their website or find them on Facebook and Twitter!

Easiest (Yet Still Yummy) GF Dinner!

Usually when I want chicken fingers I make them myself. However, when I first went gluten-free I did not even know that GF bread crumbs existed.

One of the first things my mom purchased was Bell & Evans GF chicken fingers. She knew Bell & Evans was a good chicken company, so this was an easy and “safe” option for me, as we were still trying to navigate through the new gluten-free world.

Though I now prefer to make homemade chicken fingers, whenever Bell & Evans GF chicken fingers are on sale we pick them up, and put them in the freezer. They are great to have on hand. Whether you are looking for a quick dinner, or are looking to bring something other than a sandwich to a party, these chicken fingers are a great option.

Take for example Tuesday night. My family was having pizza and I wanted to eat earlier, since I still had to complete my night time workout.  I popped a few chicken fingers in the oven, and cut up some fruit with carrots. There you have it, probably the easiest (but still yummy) dinner was created!

It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere, and I Got the Perfect Snack for You!

So my grandpa has this philosophy. If he wants a drink (and it’s not quite 5 o’clock) he says “well, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!”  My family has gladly adopted this philosophy.

The other day my family and I were relaxing by the pool, and the time came around where we were all hungry and wanted some drinks! My mom grabbed the beverages and I ran up stairs. I had the perfect afternoon snack for my family that I discovered at Food Fete. Deep River Snack Chips!<

As the company states, it is “a great snack with serious flavor!” Deep River offers snacks that are all natural, gluten free, and kosher. This snack also has no trans-fats or cholesterol.

At Food Fete I had the opportunity to sample one of Deep River Snack Chips flavors, and then brought home two additional flavors to sample. Here is my break down of our sampling:

<Nacho Kick: I tried these chips at Food Fete. If you loved Doritos in your pre-gluten free days, these are the chips for you. However, the difference is this chip is made with real ingredients. It is a great whole grain chip with a bold nacho cheese taste! Note: Deep River also carries three additional whole grain chips, which are all made using whole grain corn, brown rice flour, and quinoa.

Mesquite BBQ: I had my dad try these since he enjoys BBQ chips. His first reaction, “These are gluten-free? They are really good!” With that reaction my mom had to give them a try. (Note: She does not usually like BBQ chips) Her reaction: These are delicious! Needless to say they really enjoyed them.

Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips – Lightly salted (40%reduced fat): The whole family sampled these chips. We all thought they were very good. To me they were not too salty, and tasted like a traditional kettle cooked chip. However they contain less fat, and are only made with three ingredients!!

The next time you are looking for a perfect snack to go along with your mid-day cocktails, Deep River Snacks has some wonderful options! You are bound to find the perfect flavor for you. Not only does this company create “better for you snacks” which are made in a nut-free facility, but what is unique about their company is that each flavor promotes a charity.

To find out more about Deep River Snacks visit their website, or find them on Facebook and Twitter!

Embrace G-Free’s First Giveaway: Angie’s Kettle Corn!

When I attended Food Fete, one of the first vendors I headed over to was Angie’s Kettle Corn. I knew their product was certified gluten-free, and was eager to me them.

During the event I spoke with Angie (one of the founders) of the company. At Food Fete they were sampling their three wonderful varieties of popcorn and were also showing off their new Halloween snack packs that will be available exclusively at Target this Fall. This would be a great treat to hand out to your trick-or-treaters! Whether the child is GF or not they will all love Angie’s Classic Kettle corn.

On Friday I received a package from Angie’s which contained, not one but two bags of each variety. Since I had previously enjoyed the Classic Kettle Corn, I was eager to try the other varieties. I love sampling GF foods with others, so I graciously shared the samples with my family.  Below is my review from our tastings!

First up Angie’s Classic Kettle Corn: I had this variety once before, however it was the first for my family. After Food Fete, I picked up a bag of Angie’s Classic Kettle Corn, so that we could enjoy it with our appetizers on 4th of July. Needless to say it was probably one of the first items gone! The Clifford family gave it two thumbs up.

Next up Angie’s Carmel Corn: I was never one that liked Carmel popcorn. Whenever I was little and got a popcorn tin for Christmas I wouldn’t touch the Carmel flavored popcorn, it was too sweet. However, I loved Angie’s Carmel Corn!! It was the perfect blend. The Carmel seemed as though it was lightly added so it wasn’t overpowering (the company says the popcorn is “kissed with Carmel!”). It is a great snack if you are looking for something “sweet, and savory”!

Last but not least Angie’s Lite Kettle Corn: This has the same great taste as the Classic Kettle Corn, however it contains less calories and fat. This was my personal favorite. I liked how it was light and airy and had a hint of sweetness.  This is also a great option for the “calorie conscious eater.”

Not only is this kettle corn gluten and allergy free, it is kosher certified. What is special about Angie’s Kettle Corn is it is handcrafted in small batches and made with all-natural ingredients, has no trans fats, cholesterol, artificial flavoring or preservatives. Angie’s Kettle Corn can be found in a variety of locations including Club Foods, Supervalu-owned grocery stores, Costco, SuperTarget, and Whole Foods, in addition to being online.

In my package Angie’s also included a recipe for one of their gluten free snack mixes, that I am excited to try out!

6 cups of Angie’s Kettle Corn – Classic, Carmel or Lite
4 cups of Nature’s Path Whole O’s cereal
4 cups of Rice or Corn Chex
2 cups of salted peanuts
1 cup or packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup light Karo Syrup
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Line a large pan with parchment paper. Combine popcorn, cereal, and peanuts and place in a roasting pan. In a large saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup and butter. Bring to a rolling boil for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and quickly stir in vanilla and baking soda, until mixture is light and foamy. Immediately pour over popcorn mixture. Mix well. Bake uncovered at 250* for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely. Store in an air tight container.

Here is the fun part… Angie’s agreed to do a giveaway! One of you lucky readers will win a sample pack which will include, 2 bags of Classic Corn, 2 bags of Carmel Corn and 2 bags of Angie’s Lite kettle corn.

Thanks again Angie’s for the wonderful samples.