The following review is from NFCA volunteer Laura Hanley of G-Free Laura.
I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. The product I’m about to tell you about is one of the hottest gluten-free products available. Why, you ask? Because it’s the product that keeps on giving and giving and costs only a portion of what all others do! It’s Stack’d, the gluten-free eCookbook written by the mastermind behind the kitch+table brand, Jessica Kahn.
Stack’d is a gluten-free eCookbook that is full of delicious protein pancake recipes. From blueberry to Mimosa, you have the means to make every pancake your little g-free heart desires. You can get a taste of the pancake heaven just by visiting the Stack’d Instagram page. It’s full of mouth-watering pancakes that you 1) wouldn’t believe are gluten-free, and 2) wouldn’t believe are actually “good” for you.
The pancake ingredient lists include whey protein, which makes the pancake a “protein pancake.” Not sure you like whey protein? No worries, you don’t have to add it in your pancake (I didn’t)!
The gluten-free pancake recipes involve a heck of a lot less dishes than your ordinary recipe, too. Instead of mixing bowls and utensils, you simply measure out the ingredients and put them into a Magic Bullet-style blender. A 15-second pulse of the blender results in your protein pancake batter. How simple is that?!
Once your gluten-free pancake batter is all mixed up, you pour it onto your pre-heated pan or skillet and you’re in business.
One of the best things about the pancakes in this gluten-free eCookbook is that since the recipes are simple and the pancakes are not the kinds that contain half of your caloric intake, you can actually eat them during the week. I’m not one to get involved in a time-consuming breakfast recipe before I head to work, so it’s nice to know if I want pancakes mid-week, I actually have time to make them and I won’t feel guilty since these are healthy! That’s a winning combination for this g-free girl!
Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese from Amy’s Kitchen has been one of my family’s favorite frozen dishes for as long as I can remember. The creamy cheese sauce paired with Amy’s tasty macaroni style rice noodles work perfectly together to create a dish good enough to please even the pickiest mac and cheese eater. So I was pleased to discover that one of Amy’s newest gluten-free products puts a slightly more adult spin on this family favorite.
Amy’s New Broccoli & Cheddar Bake features a bowl full of spiral shaped rice pasta, crisp organic broccoli florets, and the same creamy cheddar sauce that makes their mac and cheese so delicious. As if that was not enough of an improvement, gluten-free toasted bread crumbs are sprinkled on the top to add extra flavor and crunch. As a fan Amy’s standard gluten-free mac and cheese, I had a pretty strong feeling I would enjoy this version even more. I will spare you the suspense and let you know that Amy’s Kitchen did not let me down. You can read on to find out why.
The instruction on the box included both microwave and oven instruction. Though I had no reason to doubt that it would turn out fine in the microwave, I decided to try out the oven directions for a more genuine broccoli and cheddar bake effect. When the product was ready to be removed from the oven, I noticed that anything not completely submerged in the sauce looked lightly toasted. It looked great, but the way a product taste is far more important than appearances.
It only took one bite to realize I had discovered a new favorite frozen mac and cheese. The spiral pasta was tender, and as usual, the pasta paired perfectly with the abundant amount of rich and creamy cheese sauce. As for the toasted gluten-free bread crumbs and the crispy bits of exposed broccoli and rice pasta, they provided a taste and texture that complimented the soft and creamy contents of the bowl.
Even though I enjoyed every bite of Amy’s New Broccoli & Cheddar Bake, I do have one complaint. I would have preferred a bit more broccoli. Not only because I’m a big fan of broccoli, with and without the cheese sauce, but also because it would have increased the nutritional value of the dish. One bowl of Amy’s Broccoli & Cheddar Bake is considered a serving and it is intended as an individual meal. However, since it is an extremely heavy dish that is very filling on its own, it could also be shared or used as a side dish. This could help balance out what would otherwise be a less healthy option.
It is important to note that Amy’s Kitchen offers other lines of their products in addition to their gluten-free line. For this reason, make sure to look for the gluten-free label on Amy’s Kitchen products. To learn more about this product visit www.amys.com. While you are there check out the full list of gluten-free products available from Amy’s Kitchen.
It doesn’t quite feel like it yet here in Philadelphia, but fall is right around the corner. I love everything about fall, from watching the leaves change to the deluge of everything pumpkin. When the chilly weather rolls in, I immediately get back to eating one of my favorite things: soup.
Ok, so I love soup so much that I eat it even on 90 degree days in the summer. It’s the tomato soup that I save for the fall. The folks at Dei Fratelli sent me a shipment of samples of their whole tomatoes, sauces and, you guessed it, gluten-free condensed tomato soup.
I can’t say enough good things about Dei Fratelli’s gluten-free tomato soup (I’m so excited to tell you about it, that I’m writing this as I’m eating a bowl!). This soup combines two key qualities for me: delicious and simple. One can of the condensed soup, plus one can of water and a microwave or stove top is all you need to have a steamy bowl of tomato soup. (Here’s a tip from a tomato soup fanatic: If you make tomato soup on the stove, stir it with a whisk instead of a spoon for a smoother texture with no little chunks of tomato.)
When I make condensed soup, I usually add milk instead of water for more flavor and a creamier texture, but this soup was enough with just water. It had a fresh smooth taste and all I added was a bit of black pepper. You can always add gluten-free crackers to give it a little something extra.
Since it comes in a tiny can, this soup is perfect to bring to work for lunch. The kids will love it too! Now that they’re back to school, try packing them soup for lunch in a thermos to break away from the same old sandwich on gluten-free bread. (Or, make them a grilled cheese on gluten-free bread to go with it at home.)
You can find all of Dei Fratelli’s gluten-free tomato products at www.DeiFratelli.com. If you’ve tried the tomato soup before, leave me a comment – I’d love to know what you thought!
A week or so ago, I stumbled upon a recipe for Raw Zucchini and Tomato Lasagna. The recipe had “easy” written all over it, so I gave it a whirl. It called for Raw Almond “Cheese,” but I wanted to try out GO Veggie! Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Alternative and Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Mozzarella-Style Shreds instead.
First, I made my own version of the zucchini lasagna. I cut the zucchini in half and then sliced from top to bottom for the “lasagna” strips. Next came GO Veggie! Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chive & Garlic Cream Cheese Alternative. I topped each piece of zucchini with the cream cheese alternative and added sliced baby tomatoes and onions. As I was making it, I started to think the lasagna would be pretty bland, but since cooking isn’t my strong suit, I wasn’t sure what to do to kick it up a notch. I simply finished stacking the lasagna and figured I’d taste it and take it from there.
As it turns out, the chive and garlic cream cheese alternative was so flavorful, I didn’t even need to add anything else in the mix. It spread easily onto the zucchini and didn’t have that “fake” cheese taste – just a good combination of spices. I didn’t eat the lasagna immediately (I was taking pictures for this post!) and the cream cheese alternative did get a little runny. I’m not sure if it was from the moisture of the zucchini or maybe the tomato juice, but I’d recommend eating this right away to avoid any dripping.
I still wanted to try the GO Veggie! Mozzarella-Style Shreds and I bought too much zucchini, so I thought about making the same lasagna, but in a cooked version. As I tried to figure out how I wanted to tackle it (Do I just bake it? Fry the zucchini?), my friend suggested making a zucchini parm instead, since I had already had the lasagna. I thought it was a great idea and got started.
This time, I cut the zucchini into circles (much easier than trying to cut the thin, straight and evenly-sized slices!). I went the less-healthy route and breaded them with gluten-free bread crumbs and fried them in the pan. My plan was to lightly fry the zucchini, then top it with sauce and the GO Veggie! Mozzarella-Style Cheese and bake in the oven to heat the sauce and melt the cheese. As you can see from my picture, I had the heat up way too high and cooked the zucchini longer than I planned to. I wasn’t sure if baking the zucchini would now make it overcooked, so I just added my toppings and microwaved it to heat it up.
I wanted to make a hot dish with the mozzarella-style shreds because I think the test of a good cheese alternative is if it melts. It did! I tasted a few pieces of the shreds before I added it to the dish. I definitely prefer this cheese alternative when it’s melted rather than using it right from the bag for something like a salad topping.
As I was making my zucchini dishes, I started to think about other ways I could use the gluten-free and dairy-free alternatives from GO Veggie! From a spread for a gluten-free bagel to these Stuffed Tomatoes with Gluten-Free Cracker Topping, the possibilities are endless!
Go Veggie! makes a lot of dairy-free, lactose-free and gluten-free alternatives other than the cream cheese and mozzarella-style shreds. You can check out all their products and even get some recipes at www.GoVeggieFoods.com.
I eat a lot of lentils. Lentil soup, plain lentils, lentils with fresh squeezed oranges (it’s a lot better than it sounds)…if there are lentils involved in a dish, odds are I’m going to be a fan. I’ve convinced friends to try lentils because in my mind, they have no idea what they’re missing. I think you get the point; I really like lentils.
So, you can imagine I was excited to try out the new gluten-free Red Lentil Rotini from Tolerant. The folks at Tolerant also sent us a sample of their Black Bean Penne. I called “dibs” on the Red Lentil Rotini and Jennifer North, the Vice President of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), took the black bean pasta home to try.
To get the full taste of the pasta, I kept the recipe simple: steamed broccoli, green peppers, onions, olive oil, garlic and spices (and the red lentil pasta, of course). While boiling the pasta, I did notice that the starch created a film in the water. This made it a little difficult to drain them, but it wasn’t a big issue. If you try out the rotini, I’d recommend adding a little bit more water than you normally would, especially because it will make it easier to scoop some of the film from the top before draining.
If you’re not all that into cooking or don’t have much time to, these are definitely for you. Eight to 10 minutes are all it takes to boil them. The convenience of the pasta doesn’t end with its short cook time, either. You’ll spend less time reading ingredient labels on Tolerant products. Why? They’re made with just one ingredient! “Red lentils” are literally the only ingredient in this rotini (and same goes for the black bean).
I’m a fan of the taste and texture of the Red Lentil Rotini as well. It’s not a gluten-free pasta trying to taste like its wheat-based counterpart. It’s meant to taste like red lentils (and, with just one ingredient, it definitely does). There is no grittiness to this pasta and it didn’t turn to mush once it was finished. Jennifer said her family were fans of the Black Bean Penne (she was pretty happy about the single ingredient, too). Plus, these products offer a good amount of protein and fiber.
The box says eight minutes are all you need to prepare them, but I thought they needed to be boiled closer to the 10 minutes. At eight minutes, they were still a little hard for my taste. I’d recommend trying one or two before you drain them, just to make sure it’s the consistency you prefer.
The uses for this pasta are endless. Next time you’re bored with your same old gluten-free pasta routine, try one of the products from Tolerant to put a new twist on a favorite recipe. Let me know how it turns out!
You can read more about Tolerant’s allergy-friendly, organic and gluten-free pasta by visiting www.TolerantFoods.com.
I have just discovered Bobbilicious gluten-free baked goods and man, are they tasty. I’ve tried a lot of gluten-free cookies, brownies, bars and other baked treats from working with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). Some of them are fantastic and some of them aren’t as great. Bobbilicious definitely falls into the “fantastic” category.
I tried the “b. chocolate chip walnut” cookie and the “b. oatmeal raisiny.” For me, a good cookie can hold its own weight and not break when you pick it up. The “b. chocolate chip walnut” definitely withstood the test. (I know it doesn’t look like it in the picture since the cookie is a little cracked, but that was my fault – I totally dropped it on my desk! Even with the cracks, it didn’t break.) Even though the cookie holds up, it’s not hard at all and has a soft, moist texture. Given the texture of the cookies, they’d make great ends to a gluten-free ice cream sandwich. While the cookie isn’t quite as sweet as your classic chocolate chip cookie, it’s delicious (or should I say bobbilicious?) nonetheless.
The Bobbilicious website shows the “b. oatmeal raisiny” as a cookie, but the sample I received was shaped like a brownie. Either way, I think this one is pretty good too. I liked the “b. chocolate chip walnut” better, but this is a close second. I was surprised by the thickness of the bar, but in a good way. I find that some gluten-free versions taste fantastic, but don’t quite have the consistency down. Bobbilicious certainly figured it out!
Bobblicious has other cookie varieties available. Right now, they are only available in select stores, but keep an eye out for them near you! (Did I mention in addition to being gluten-free, they are vegan and cater to food allergies and intolerances as well? There’s more info on the site.) Check them out and if you get a chance to try them, let me know what you think!
I have had a hankering for a chicken salad sandwich for the past few days and I finally made it to the store to grab some last night. When I was putting my lunch in the fridge at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) office, I realized that I completely forgot to grab bread for the sandwich. As luck would have it, we recently received some samples of gluten-free Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Thins. So, naturally, I made mini chicken salad sandwiches for lunch.
I’ve been a big fan of the Blue Diamond Almond Nut Chips for a while. I buy them fairly regularly and add them to salads and just snack on them plain. Until today though, I hadn’t tried out the Artisan Nut Thins. They are available in three varieties, so I made the mini sandwiches with each variety: Multi-Seeds, Flax-Seeds and Sesame Seeds.
In a nutshell (get it?), I will be adding the Artisan Nut Thins to my shopping list now. While I still enjoy the original Nut Chips, I like how the Artisan Nut Thins don’t have any of the seasoning or powdered flavoring on them. All of the flavor comes directly from the ingredients themselves (the seeds). I love flax seed, so these were my favorite. The taste differences between the varieties of Nut Thins were subtle, so I definitely enjoyed all of them.
The gluten-free Nut Thins taste great and they’ll hold up your toppings, too. I didn’t have any issues with the crackers breaking or crumbling. These will make a great appetizer at your next party; the possibilities are endless. My mom and I are fans of adding green olives or walnuts to chicken salad, so you could easily make a slightly more elaborate version of my impromptu mini sandwiches. You could top with the traditional cheese and meat or with tomato slices and fresh mozzarella cheese. NFCA volunteer Laura Hanley of G-Free Laura even came up with an amazing Garlic Buffalo Chicken Nugget recipe using the Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Thins.
Visit Blue Diamond online for more of their gluten-free snack options.
Do you want to try your own recipe using Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Thins? You can enter the gluten-free giveaway for your chance to win the Nut Thins, plus products from our friends at Go Veggie! Keep an eye on the NFCA Gluten-Free Summer Block Party page for more yummy recipes.
I ran out of the house this morning and completely forgot to grab something to eat for breakfast. Luckily, there are always gluten-free foods floating around at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) office. I’m an oatmeal-for-breakfast kind of girl, so I decided to try out a sample I received from TeeChia: Blueberry Date Gluten-Free Super Seeds Cereal.
This cereal is super easy to make and is perfect for people who make their breakfast at the office. All you have to do is add hot water to the cereal mix and you’re good to go. Bonus: It’s loaded with nutritional ingredients – chia, flax, quinoa, amaranth, ramon and pumpkin. (For those of you like me who had no idea what ramon is, it’s a seed from the Brosmium alicastum tree, aka the breadnut tree, native to Central America.) With just 200 calories, 6 grams of protein and 6 grams of dietary fiber, TeeChia Super Seeds Cereal is definitely a healthy way to kick off the day.
Before the water is added, the cereal has a powdery look to it (check out the picture below). Despite its powdery texture, the hot cereal has a smoother, slightly creamier texture. I opted to use only water and not milk (one of the package suggestions) so I imagine it would be even creamier with that added.
The taste of the cereal is harder to describe than the texture. There were just hints of all the flavors and none were overwhelming. Basically, it has a balanced taste and no ingredient overpowered another. I definitely liked it though! This is one of those gluten-free cereals you just have to try out for yourself. Next time I have this for breakfast, I think I’ll add some fresh sliced banana or strawberries for extra flavor and nutritional value.
TeeChia Super Seeds Cereal also comes in a Cinnamon Cranberry flavor. If you can’t tolerate gluten-free oats, you might still enjoy some of their other products, like the herbal coffee. I personally can’t wait to try the medium roast Dandelion Caramel Nut variety! You can find all of their certified gluten-free products at www.TeeChia.com.
Breaded chicken tenders have been part of the weekly menu at my home for years. In the past I used to lean heavily on frozen or refrigerated version because they were a quick and easy meal that everyone including the kids would eat. However, frozen nuggets or tenders are not always the healthiest choice, especially when you have to worry about food restrictions. In order to make these family favorites safer and healthier I started making homemade nuggets with Perdue Chicken Breast Tenders. Though everyone in the house enjoys the homemade version, the time they take to make prevents them from being as fast and easy as frozen nuggets. So as always, I find myself having to choose between health and convenience.
At least that was the case until I crossed paths with Perdue’s new Gluten-Free Breaded Chicken Breast Tenders. The new gluten-free hot product from Perdue is part of their Simply Smart line, which aims to provide easy yet healthy options for some of their traditional fully cooked frozen and refrigerated products. Perdue’s Gluten-free Chicken Breast Tenders are made with all white meat and do not contain any fillers or preservatives. They also contain fewer calories and fat compared to their standard nuggets and also compared to a large number of competitors. The lower calorie count can partially be contributed to the fact that the new Simply Smart line of products is made with all-natural ingredients. But the big news is that they are certified gluten-free. Along with this product being a easy yet healthy gluten-free option they taste good to the adults and the kids eagerly ate them up with zero complaints. This was a surprise since the kids often favored the more junky and greasy frozen or refrigerated nuggets the most.
In addition to being a healthier choice to standard nuggets there were other noticeable differences. For one, to make them a bit crunchier, Perdue used corn in rice flour. Though this was a notable difference that everyone could taste, it was actually an appreciated one. I am even considering using corn in my homemade recipe. The second noticeable difference is that the gluten-free version of Perdue’s Simply Smart Breaded Chicken Breast Tenders cost a bit more than the standard version. If you are eating gluten-free as part of medical condition such as celiac disease then you might be able to write off the difference in cost of this product when its time to pay taxes. To learn how, check out Celiac Central’s Tax Deduction Guide for Gluten-Free Products. It is also important to remember that Perdue also makes standard breaded chicken breast tenders that include ingredients that contain gluten. So even if the price tag tips you off, make sure to look for the GF symbol on the front of the package.
Overall my experience with Perdue has always been a good one, and now I can add their new gluten-free products to the list of positives. To learn more about this product visit www.perdue.com.
I dabble in baking here and there, but it’s not my strong suit. So, when Wholly Wholesome Gluten-Free Pie Shells showed up at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) office, I was happy to let our Director of Finance Sue Gardner take the lead.
She amazingly whipped up a delicious gluten-free chocolate pie in our office toaster oven – yes, a toaster oven. Using only a chocolate pudding base, gluten-free whipped cream and semi-sweet chocolate chips, Sue set about making the pie.
What I loved most about the Wholly Wholesome Gluten-Free Pie Shells was their simplicity (Ok, so I know I technically didn’t bake this pie, but I can imagine how easy it can be!). Ready-to-go pie shells are a great option for folks who want a homemade pie, but don’t have time to completely start from scratch. Plus, Wholly Wholesome has done a great job of creating a sturdy, tasty gluten-free pie shell. Those with other special dietary needs will be happy to know this gluten-free pie shell is kosher, vegan and dairy-free, too. If you’re looking for a new pre-made pie shell, I definitely recommend giving these a try.
Check out the pie shells by visiting www.WhollyWholesome.com. Not all of their products are gluten-free, so be sure to double check before making any purchases! They have a handy store locator on the right-hand side of their site so you can quickly and easily check for them in your area.