Blog Tour & Giveaway: “Gluten-Free on a Budget” by Chandice Probst and Tana Besendorfer

By | Jan 16, 2015

I’m always getting questions about eating gluten-free on a budget. If I had to rank it, I’d say it’s in the top 5 questions we frequently receive on the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Facebook page.  We have a great downloadable cheat sheet that I often share, but I now have another resource in my arsenal: Gluten-Free on a Budget by Chandice Probst and Tana Besendorfer.  The authors are hosting a “blog tour” for their book and I’m excited to have Gluten-Free Hot Products as a stop on the tour!

Gluten-Free on a Budget is different than I expected it to be. When I heard the title, I just assumed it was a how-to book. Then, I actually started going through the content. It’s one of those books that practices what it preaches; it combines budget-savvy tactics and ideas with recipes that match Chandice and Tana’s approach to saving money.  It goes beyond the clip coupons, shop-the-sales approach. They factor a lot into the equation, making the tips applicable for real-life scenarios.

Gluten-Free on a Budget: Chandice Probst and Tana Besendorfer

Cookbook authors Chandice Probst and Tana Besendorfer

So what does that mean? A great example stems from a chapter that leads with two quotes from Benjamin Franklin: “Time is money” and “Waste not, want not.” Basically, Chandice and Tana take a multifaceted approach to budget by factoring in spending time, using resources wisely and making use of everything. I was immediately struck by their approach because it allows for everyone to define what they’re willing to spend, not just in a monetary sense.  That’s what I mean by real-life applications.  Sure, the store 10 miles away might have the best sale, but if you have to idle in traffic, take a detour on your route home, and take an extra half hour out of your day, that’s not really saving anything, is it?

Gluten-Free on a Budget: Biscuit Recipe

Just one of the many yummy gluten-free dishes included in the cookbook!

The recipes in the book might save money, but they certainly don’t skimp out on the flavor! It has everything from gluten-free chocolate chip muffins to beef stroganoff and there are plenty of kid-friendly options, too.  I’m particularly a fan of the recipe photos; I always tend to favor cookbooks that have lots of photos to help you know if you’re on the right track. Plus, Chandice and Tana’s tag-team approach to narrating the tips and background stories is both entertaining and informative.

You can grab Gluten-Free on a Budget for the wallet-friendly price of $17.97 on Amazon.  We’re also hosting a giveaway on behalf of Chandice and Tana! Simply fill out this form for your chance to win your very own copy.

 

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Allergy-Free Cook Makes Pies and Desserts by Laurie Sadowski

By | Jan 6, 2015

I had the pleasure of working with cookbook author Laurie Sadowski a few months back.  Along with Sarah Norris of Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free in Walt Disney World, Laurie was planning the Food Allergy & Celiac Convention in (you guessed it!) Walt Disney World.  We hosted a Twitter chat with Sarah and Laurie, who we affectionately referred to as the Disney Gals at the NFCA office, and helped them get the word out about the event. Shameless plug for the Disney Gals – check them out. They plan an amazing event for families affected by food allergies and celiac disease.

Laurie Sadowski's "The Allergy-Free Cook Makes Pies and Desserts"

Laurie Sadowski’s “The Allergy-Free Cook Makes Pies and Desserts”

Ok, back to the topic at hand! Laurie Sadowski’s The Allergy-Free Cook Makes Pies and Desserts.  Laurie contacted me to see if I would be a part of her blog tour for the new cookbook.  Knowing how valuable this cookbook can be, I said “Of course!” Also, I know how much you guys love giveaways. Keep on reading to learn how you can get your hands on a free copy of the cookbook and have a recipe of your choice shared by Laurie herself.

If you’re accommodating multiple food allergies or gluten-related disorders in your home, this book is for you.  None of the recipes call for eggs, gluten, soy, nightshades, wheat or dairy (also making the recipes completely vegan).  If other common allergens are included in a recipe, they’re called out above the recipe so you immediately know which recipes could be right for you and your family.

So how many recipes can be included in a vegan, allergy-free cookbook? 147 pages worth.  Laurie has recipes for pies, cheesecakes, tarts, pudding, ice creams, and cobblers and crisps.  I’m normally intimidated by allergy-free cookbooks since they sometimes include ingredients you can’t easily find on the grocery store shelves. The Allergy-Free Cook Makes Pies and Desserts has many easily-recognizable ingredients, like sea salt, xanthan gum, maple syrup, orange zest, and gluten-free flours (yes, there are way more ingredients than this in the cookbook, but you get the idea).

As part of Laurie’s blog tour, we’re giving away a copy of her cookbook. All you have to do is fill out this form to be entered for your chance to win. We’ll be randomly selecting the winner soon, so stay tuned!

Can’t wait for a copy of the cookbook to try out a recipe? Simply comment on this post with the recipe you’d most like from the cookbook. Laurie will then share the most popular recipe from the cookbook on her site. Pretty cool, right?  Here are some recipes to choose from:

Pies and Cheesecakes, including:

  • Peach pie with buttery double crust
  • Pumpkin pie with pecan streusel
  • Cherry pie with cacao nib pastry
  • Old-fashioned raisin pie
  • Peanut butter blondie pie with cocoa crust
  • Deep dish apple crumb pie
  • Fresh strawberry pie with almond crust
  • Chocolate-hazelnut truffle pie
  • Blueberries and cream pie
  • Coconut cream cheesecake

Tarts of All Sizes, including:

  • Chocolate-caramel-pecan tart
  • Better than butter tarts
  • Lemon-glazed carrot cake tart
  • Shortbread lemon tarts with white chocolate drizzle
  • Sticky molasses shoofly tarts
  • Pistachio cherry ganache tart
  • Blueberry toaster pastries
  • Nectarine and red currant galette
  • Flaky winter persimmon galette

Cobblers, Crisps and Other Fruite-Filled Desserts, including:

  • Double chocolate-raspberry cobbler
  • Strawberry-rhubarb snickerdoodle cobbler
  • Maple-apple-pecan crisp
  • Nova Scotian blueberry grunt
  • Blackberry buckle
  • Pear cardamom pandowdy
  • Ginger plum crumble
  • Stuffed apple dumplings with cider sauce

Puddings, Pudding Cakes, and Layered Desserts, including:

  • Chocolate-pumpkin custards
  • Lemon-blueberry pudding cake
  • Fudgy mocha pudding cake
  • Black Forest trifle
  • Gingersnap-pumpkin icebox cake

Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts, including:

  • Very vanilla ice cream
  • Peanut butter-brownie bite ice cream
  • Hot fudge sundaes in sugar cone bowls
  • Magical caramel-swirled brownie sundaes
  • Frozen Kahlua mud pie
  • Strawberry ice cream sandwiches
  • Mint chocolate swirl ice cream

Comment away, everybody!  Looking forward to seeing which recipe you most want from Laurie!

You can learn more about Laurie, The Allergy-Free Cook Makes Pies and Desserts and her other cookbooks at www.TheAllergyFreeCook.com.

The Good Bean: Bean Chips with Sweet Potato + Quinoa

By | Jan 6, 2015

If you follow this blog, you’re probably seeing a trend in the types of products we’re receiving to try out for reviews. Beans! We’ve gotten so many snack products made from beans and I can’t help but wonder if this is the next trend in gluten-free products (or, perhaps it has been a trend that I am just now noticing!).

The Good Bean Chips with Sweet Potato + Quinoa: Variety Bags

Photo credit: www.thegoodbean.com

No matter what the cause, I’ve been enjoying gluten-free alternatives made from beans. The latest to arrive at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness office are Bean Chips with Sweet Potato + Quinoa from The Good Bean. You might recognize that name from a review I wrote not too long ago for Chickpea Snacks. I liked the chickpea snacks, but I definitely prefer the Bean Chips.

I’m a fan of chips made from quinoa. I think they give snacks a bigger crunch and make for a sturdier chip prime for dipping and scooping. The sweet potato mixed with the sea salt flavor of the chips creates a nice sweet-and-salty flavor. I’m also a fan of the ingredients used to make the Bean Chip blends – chickpeas, navy beans and red lentils.

Just like the Chickpea Snacks, the Bean Chips come in a variety of unique flavors. Of course, there are the classic Sea Salt and Cheesy Nacho flavors, but they also come in BBQ Bacon, Sweet Chili and Jalapeño Cheddar.

You can check out the bean chips at www.thegoodbean.com/chips.

Ian’s Gluten-Free Artisan Cut Italian Style Croutons

By | Jan 5, 2015

I feel like this happens to me all the time: I receive a gluten-free product to try for the blog, something in the nut or cracker family, and I immediately think, “Oh, this could be a good crouton substitute.” But I never get to try actual gluten-free croutons. Until Ian’s Gluten-Free Artisan Cut Italian Style Croutons (say that 10 times fast!) showed up at the office.

As soon as the box arrived, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Patient Education Manager Rachel Rieger and I tore open the bag of croutons, popping a few into our mouths to see how they tasted. Almost in unison, the gluten-free croutons received an audible “Yum!” from the two of us.

Conveniently, it was about noon and I packed a salad for lunch that day. NFCA Director of Communications and New Media Claire Baker typically eats a salad for lunch every day, so we both topped our meals with the croutons that had a perfectly-timed arrival.

Ian’s Gluten-Free Artisan Cut Italian Style Croutons: Salad 1 topped with croutons

My salad topped with Ian’s gluten-free croutons

Ian’s Gluten-Free Artisan Cut Italian Style Croutons: Salad 2 topped with croutons

Claire’s salad topped with Ian’s gluten-free croutons

I think the best review I can give these croutons is the simplest: they tasted like croutons. Slightly salty, a little garlic-y, perfectly peppered croutons. They had just the right crunch and were a good size (they are surprisingly large). I found myself wishing I had a can of tomato soup instead of a salad for lunch; Ian’s gluten-free croutons would top it perfectly!

To learn more about Ian’s Gluten-Free Artisan Cut Italian Style Croutons and other gluten-free products, head to www.iansnaturalfoods.com/allergy-friendly-products. Heads up – Ian’s makes products that are not gluten-free, so just make sure you’re shopping in the gluten-free section of the website or supermarket.

Dr. Lucy’s Seasonal Gluten-Free Cookies

By | Dec 3, 2014

Cutting some corners here and there can make all the difference during the holiday when it comes to being frustrated or being festive. Translation? It’s ok to buy the pre-packaged gluten-free cookies – especially when they’re from Dr. Lucy.

Lucy's Holiday Cookies

Photo Credit: www.drlucys.com

Lucy’s cookies are gluten-free and great for those who have food allergies or intolerances in addition to a gluten-related disorder.  Lucy’s products are made in a dedicated bakery and are free from gluten, milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts.  The cookies are now out in different holiday flavors: Pumpkin Patch, Holiday Sugars and (my favorite) Chocolate Mint.  These are perfect for bringing to your company pot luck or sending to school with your gluten-free kid.

If you’ve been watching the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness’ (NFCA) Gluten-Free Baking Hacks campaign, you’ll know we’re fans of making life easier whenever you can.  You can serve these cookies as-is at your holiday party, or you can take it a step further and jazz them up with your own gluten-free icing and sprinkles.

For more information on all Lucy’s products, head to www.drlucys.com.

 

The Good Bean Chickpea Snacks

By | Dec 3, 2014

I think it’s a rarity to find a crunchy snack with a hint of saltiness that you don’t feel guilty about eating, but that’s exactly how I feel about The Good Bean’s Chickpea Snacks.  They are crunchy, tasty and quite versatile.

The Good Bean Chickpea Snacks

Photo credit: www.thegoodbean.com

We had a few bags of these snacks around at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) office.  They disappeared in a short amount of time as many of the team members enjoyed the roasted chickpeas.  I liked snacking on these right from the bag in the afternoon when you just need that little something to hold you over until dinner.  I was surprised that the Mesquite BBQ flavor was my favorite, since I usually tend to not like barbecue flavored snacks.  I snacked on these by themselves, but also tossed them into my salad to give it that little something extra. This is definitely a great crouton alternative – gluten-free and not loaded with calories.

The Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper varieties are perfect for tomato soup instead of using gluten-free crackers.  I usually add my own pepper to tomato soup, but these Chickpea Snacks have enough flavor on their own. No extra seasoning required!

The folks at The Good Bean say they set out to replace their favorite chocolate cereal with a gluten-free, healthier version – hence their Chocolate Chickpea Snacks made with sweet cocoa and vanilla. I wasn’t sure about chocolate and a chickpea at first, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised when I gave it a whirl.

There really is a Chickpea Snack flavor out there for everyone.  Others include Sweet Cinnamon, Smoky Chili & Lime and Thai Coconut.  For more information on the snacks and ideas for how to use them, head on over to The Good Bean site.

McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning Mix

By | Dec 3, 2014

Rachel Rieger, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Patient Education Manager and I have been trying out McCormick’s gluten-free seasonings mixes. I tried out the turkey gravy mix a few weeks ago and Rachel is getting ready to try the brown gravy mix.  Last night, I went ahead and tried McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning Mix.

McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning Mix

McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning Mix

I should preface my review by letting you know that I love spicy food.  In fact, I gained spicy-food-fame in high school after winning an unofficial hot pepper eating contest with my friends (true story!).  Because of this love of spicy food, I was excited to try out the Chili Seasoning Mix.  It combines two of my favorite things: convenience and spicy flavor.

I decided to play it safe and stick with the suggested recipe on the back of the packet instead of trying out a new creation of my own.  It called for just 4 ingredients: a pound of lean ground turkey, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of beans-of-choice and (of course), McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning Mix.  Since I’m not a big bean fan, I decided to forgo the beans and add in some extra tomatoes, onions and garlic cloves instead.  In about 15-20 minutes, my chili was done and ready to go.

McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning Mix: Taco Bowls

Taco bowls!

I’ve talked before about my love of The Perfect Taco Bowl – a rare “As Seen on TV” product that actually works.  I decided this chili was as good a reason as any to pull out the wraps and make an edible bowl.  I shared my creation with my friend and we both agreed that this meal was as tasty as it was easy to make.  Since my friend is a spicy-food-lover too, we added some cayenne pepper and garlic powder to kick it up a notch.  We didn’t think that the mix was lacking flavor, though; we just wanted that little extra heat.  Whether you’re into burn-your-mouth spicy food or if you like a milder heat, this mix is perfect for you.  You can please the different taste buds in your family by adding (or not adding) extra spices once the chili is dished out.

I also love how versatile this mix is. You can use it to make a quick frying pan chili like I did, try it in a slow cooker, or make your own tacos and pile on the toppings of your choice.

You can check out McCormick’s other gluten-free seasoning mixes here. Enjoy!

Foster Farms Gluten-Free Corn Dogs

By | Dec 3, 2014

By Mary Buhring, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Office Manager

When a box of gluten-free corn dogs from Foster Farms showed up at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), I knew my three sons would be more than willing to give them a try.  A mother’s instinct is never wrong – they loved these corn dogs (especially when the alternative option was meatloaf!).

Foster Farms Gluten-Free Corn Dogs: Box

Foster Farms Gluten-Free Corn Dogs

I can go on and on about how much my boys loved these corn dogs, but I’ll let them tell you for themselves:

Tommy, my youngest: “Mom, can you make these every week?”
Bobby, my middle son (with a mouth still full of food): “Tastes great!”
Billy, my oldest who has celiac disease: “No way that this is gluten-free!”

Foster Farms Gluten-Free Corn Dogs: Bobby

Bobby LOVED these corn dogs!

Foster Farms Gluten-Free Corn Dogs

When the kids are happy, mom is happy, too!

While my taste testers weren’t convinced these are gluten-free, they certainly are.  Foster Farms’ gluten-free products are certified for that added level of comfort.  As a working mom of three busy boys, I have to say that I’m so happy to have tried these gluten-free corn dogs.  They were so easy to make!  Just serve with some fresh veggies, fruit, and homemade sweet potato fries on a plate and it’s a win-win for all!

 

 

“Mayo Clinic Going Gluten-Free: Essential Guide to Managing Celiac Disease and Related Conditions” by Joseph A. Murray, MD

By | Nov 25, 2014

From the internet to news sources, conflicting information about managing celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (‘gluten sensitivity’) is frequently circulated, causing loads of confusion for people trying to follow a medically necessary gluten-free diet. Frustrating, isn’t it?

Luckily, there are experts out there who have earned the trust of the gluten-related disorders community by sharing evidence-based information that is grounded in science and research. One such expert is the renowned Joseph A. Murray, MD of the Mayo Clinic and member of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Scientific/Medical Advisory Council. He just released a book called Mayo Clinic Going Gluten-Free, which covers gluten-related disorders from start to finish.

“Mayo Clinic Going Gluten-Free: Essential Guide to Managing Celiac Disease and Related Conditions” by Joseph A. Murray, MD

We’ve got our own copy here in the NFCA office!

Mayo Clinic Going Gluten-Free has a whopping 276 pages and 18 chapters of reliable information. Don’t be intimidated by the length of this book! Dr. Murray has done a fantastic job of keeping this resource light, yet informative. It is incredibly reader friendly – no medical jargon here! Even without fancy medical terms, this book clearly and intelligently describes celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and the gluten-free diet, but in a way that is easily understood by those of us without a medical background.

There’s a lot to love about Mayo Clinic Going Gluten-Free. My favorite part, though, is the final summary chapter, entitled “Moving Forward.” It covers learning to accept your diagnosis and how to take care of your whole self, not just treat a disease. Dr. Murray completely understands his audience; there’s so much more to living with a gluten-related disorder than just eating a gluten-free diet. His compassion and attention to other aspects of true wellness makes this book different than the others on the market.

Whether you’re newly diagnosed or have been diagnosed for years, you’ll learn something new from this book. And, since it’s written by such a renowned expert, you know you can trust the information you’ll read. Check out the names of the chapters to learn more about what you’ll learn.

  • Introduction: The Gluten Story
  • Chapter 1: Understanding Celiac Disease
  • Chapter 2: Signs that Something’s Wrong
  • Chapter 3: Do You Have Celiac Disease?
  • Chapter 4: Getting the Right Diagnosis
  • Chapter 5: Coming to Terms with Your Condition
  • Chapter 6: Managing Celiac Disease
  • Chapter 7: When Treatment Doesn’t Work
  • Chapter 8: A Spectrum of Disorders
  • Chapter 9: Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
  • Chapter 10: Other Wheat-Related Disorders
  • Chapter 11: Choosing to Go Gluten-Free
  • Chapter 12: Gluten-Free Basics
  • Chapter 13: Reading Food Labels
  • Chapter 14: Restocking Your Kitchen
  • Chapter 15: Cooking without Gluten
  • Chapter 16: Eating Away from Home
  • Chapter 17: Handling the Bumps
  • Chapter 18: Helping Your Child Eat Gluten-Free
  • Summary: Moving Forward

You can check out the book here on Amazon. Happy reading!

Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Slider All Natural Cooking Sauce

By | Nov 5, 2014

Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Slider All Natural Cooking Sauce is my new favorite thing. Seriously, if you’re a barbecue-meat-lover, you have got to try this cooking sauce.

I’m normally not into barbecue sauce. I’m more of a honey mustard kind of girl. Stubb’s, though, takes barbecue sauce to another level. You can use the product either in a skillet or in a slow cooker. I opted for the skillet.

Stubb's Bar-B-Q All Natural Gluten-Free Cooking Sauce: Package

You open the bag by pulling on a draw string!

The recipe on the package called for 1.5 pounds of ground beef, but I decided to use ground chicken I had in the freezer instead of making a special trip to the grocery store. Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Slider All Natural Cooking Sauce comes with three packages: the spice rub, the cooking sauce and the finishing sauce. All you need to do is shake on the spice rub and add the cooking sauce while your meat browns. I was amazed to see that the chicken completely sucked up the cooking sauce, which resulted in a whole lot of flavor in each bite. Stubb’s also provides you with the finishing sauce for an extra burst of flavor and to keep the meat moist.

Stubb's Bar-B-Q All Natural Gluten-Free Cooking Sauce: in the skillet

Right after adding the finishing sauce

All in all, it took about 15 minutes to make. So easy! I loved the brown sugary-sweet taste of the sauce, which was followed by a little kick of spice with a whole lot of flavor. The sauce was even surprisingly low in calories. I can see this being a great way for busy adults to serve up a delicious meal for the family in only a short amount of time. Just add your meat of choice made with Stubb’s cooking sauce and put it on your gluten-free bread/roll of choice.

To learn more about Stubb’s certified gluten-free Bar-B-Q Slider All Natural Cooking Sauce, head here. They have other skillet and slow cooker friendly sauces: Chili Fixings, Hatch Chile, Smokehouse Bourbon (all certified gluten-free).

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