Crunchmaster Protein Snack Crackers

By | Jul 19, 2017

By Maria Luci, Beyond Celiac Communications Coordinator

I’m just going to have one cracker, I told myself, opening a bag of Crunchmaster’s Roasted Garlic Protein Snack Crackers. Just one little cracker. Fast forward twenty minutes and I find myself with an almost empty bag of crackers. Suffice to say, these gluten-free crackers are good.

Gluten free crackers

Living up to their name, Crunchmaster’s newly released Protein Snack Crackers are super crunchy and full of flavor. Coming in Roasted Garlic, Sea Salt, and Barbeque, these crackers somehow pack a giant explosion of taste into a little crunchy square. Better yet, these baked crackers are certified gluten-free, non-GMO and filled with plant-based proteins from brown rice and chickpea flours. Each serving has 5 grams of vegetable proteins while being free of soy, whey, cholesterol, and artificial colors and flavors. They’re also vegan and kosher! It’s hard to believe these crackers offer so much while being so incredibly tasty. Even if I didn’t eat gluten-free, I’d still buy these crackers for snacks and parties.

While munching on these crackers by themselves was enough for me for a midmorning snack, I couldn’t help be dream about all the combinations of flavors that would take these to the next level. What if I added brie cheese and apple atop the sea salt crackers? What about red pepper hummus with the garlic crackers? What about dipping the barbeque crackers into a blue cheese dip? I browsed the Crunchmaster Recipe Box on Beyond Celiac for ideas and ended up digging into the Barbeque Protein Snack crackers. These were also crunchy, light, and full of a semi-sweet, semi-tangy barbeque flavor.

The possibilities with Crunchmaster crackers are endless… unlike the bags of crackers on my desk that are now empty.

Krave Jerky

By | Jul 6, 2017

By Claire Baker, Beyond Celiac Director of Communications and New Media

We unpacked the Krave Jerky with a little trepidation. When it arrived in the office and I told people it was jerky, they clearly had a frame of reference for chewy dried meat that Krave turned on its head. With flavors like Honey Habanero Chicken, Garlic Chili Pepper Beef and Black Cherry Barbecue Pork, can you blame them? Still, the omnivores in the office were game (see what I did there?) and said they’d give it a try and tell me what they thought.

Krave Jerky Pic

Co-worker Kate cracked open the bag of Chili lime beef jerky. She describes it this way:

I thought it was the perfect mix of tender and chewy, and wasn’t too dry. It’s well-seasoned with a lot of flavor. The pieces I tried were red from the chili spices, but it wasn’t too spicy. The chili and lime flavors balanced each other out, leaving just a hint of spiciness at the end.

Kate also liked the packaging – she reports that it was easy to open and to reseal. She did, in fact, close it up and stash in her desk for future snacking.

Co-worker Maria tried two flavors, Wild blueberry and Beef and the Spicy Red Pepper Pork Stick. She says that she thought the blueberry jerky would be weird, but she really liked it – “sweet, salty and a hint of spice.”

About the Spicy Red Pepper Pork, she said this: “The stick was a fun snack. I could taste the different flavors, and wished it were spicier.” Maria tells me she spent a summer in Barbados studying the history of the Caribbean where much of the food was served in a super-spicy sauce and it became her new normal. Now she wants everything to be spicy. As a woman who has to live the gluten-free life, she does really appreciate a grab-and-go protein rich, clearly-labeled gluten-free morsel, no matter how spicy it is.

So, for the adventurous among you, aren’t you curious about Sesame Garlic Stick with Sweet Potato? Or Rosemary Lemon Turkey Stick with White Beans? Pink Peppercorn Beef or maybe a more traditional-sounding Original Sea Salt? Who wouldn’t be, right? Could be you’ve found your new favorite jerky.

D.a.T. All Natural Ketchup

By | Jun 28, 2017

By Beckee Moreland, Beyond Celiac Director of GREAT Kitchens

Father’s Day dinner at our house usually consists of the manly meal of meat, potatoes, and a vegetable or salad on the side (for color). It wasn’t any different this year when I kiddingly asked my husband, “What does the ‘King of the Castle’ wanted for his royal dinner?” I get a bit bored cooking the same old stuff. When you have celiac disease sometimes you end up eating the same foods over and over because you don’t have a choice, but when you’re in your own kitchen and the only limit is your cooking ability and imagine, meat, potatoes, and salad seem a bit too simple especially for such a special occasion. I always like to add a little flair to meals especially when we’re celebrating.

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Luckily, I remembered that I had some new condiments in the pantry that I wanted to try. I have been called the “Condiment Queen” by family and friends because I have a love for unique and tasty condiments. Usually my fridge is full of homemade and gourmet jars of spicy, tangy goodness and finding those that are gluten-free can sometimes be a challenge. A new product to try D.a.T. Ketchup would be a perfect accompaniment to my crispy oven roasted potatoes alongside a thick grilled rib eye roast.

First the Ingredients

The label on D.a.T. All Natural Ketchup proudly displays the state of Louisiana and a star representing Morgan City, manufacturing city and home of co-owner and creator, Don Abner Tabor (D.a.T.). The ingredients are recognizable ones you could easily find in your home kitchen like tomatoes, garlic, onions, vinegar and of course some cayenne pepper. The label also calls out “No Preservatives, No MSG, and Gluten Free.” The slogan clearly tells you what type of taste experience to expect, “A little bit of spice with a whole lot of flavor!”

Appearance, Taste, Texture

Pouring the ketchup onto my plate I noticed the dark rich color that didn’t spread all over the plate…not runny, but not too thick. The smell was full on onions and tomatoes with a hint of garlic. I dipped my crispy potato in the sauce to taste it. This was not like any regular ketchup. It wasn’t too sweet, but very tangy with a vinegar bite and pleasant back heat. “D.a.T.’s darn good sauce,” my hubby said. Not too spicy and really delicious! The slogan was accurate. Normally, I would never dip steak into ketchup (big no no), but I found myself dipping that rib-eye right into D.a.T. Ketchup and liking it. This is a condiment that I could add to the fridge collection and use it as an inspiration for some Cajun cooking.

Meat

Other Redeeming Qualities

I checked out www.datsaucela.com to find D.a.T. Cajun recipes and some really fun people who are passionate about their products and having a good time. You can learn how this family recipe became Don Tabor’s passion and family business and order their products directly. I suggest you give D.a.T. a try!

 

Caesar’s Kitchen Gluten-Free Gourmet’s 3 Cheese Herb Rigatoni & Meat Sauce

By | Jun 7, 2017

By Beckee Moreland, Beyond Celiac Director of GREAT Kitchens

I’m one of a few remote employees at Beyond Celiac so joining the ‘Lunch Bunch’ in the office is a real treat for me to chat with my colleagues about weekend plans, hobbies, and new products or recipes. Normally, my lunch consists of reheated leftovers at my desk in my home office. Pretty boring. But my office visits also give me an opportunity to sample many of the gluten-free products that show up in the staff fridge or freezer.

Today I sampled a frozen pasta entree, Caesar’s Kitchen Gluten-Free Gourmet’s 3 Cheese Herb Rigatoni & Meat Sauce. Even though the title’s quite a mouthful, it was the perfect portion size for lunch. I love pasta, all shapes, sizes, and sauces, but not all gluten-free pastas are equal. They can be gummy, mushy, hard to chew, and tasteless, so I was eager to see if Caesar’s Kitchen passed the taste and texture test.

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First the Ingredients
If you have celiac disease, reading labels is very important but can be insightful too.  All the ingredients were clearly identified on the box, including the specific components of the main ingredients: meat and tomato sauce, gluten-free pasta, and cheeses (ricotta blend, mozzarella and parmesan). Plus the box called out other attributes: certified gluten-free, organic, USDA inspected, 13 grams of protein, hormone-free beef, and 380 calories. Hmmm, a frozen meal that’s safe and you can feel good about eating. Nice!

Cooking Instructions
The pre-cooked pasta dish can be heated in a microwave or conventional oven. With limited options in the office, I microwaved the meal, which was simple and efficient. Poke holes in the plastic wrap, heat, stir, heat again, wait a minute, then eat. All steps took a total of 5 minutes.

Appearance, Taste, and Texture
The Italian aromas were fantastic, definitely making my mouth water. I could clearly see the ground beef, chunks of tomato, creamy ricotta, and melted cheese while stirring AND the rigatoni noodles didn’t break up. Big plus! As far as the taste, I was impressed. I’m not a frozen food fan, but I thought the dish had a really solid Italian flavor. There was a true tang from the tomato sauce, meaty ground beef, and I really loved the ricotta blend and sharp parmesan and chewy mozzarella. The rigatoni noodles held up and still had texture and bite. I looked for the herbs since it was mentioned in the title. Even though I didn’t see any, the sauce seemed to have an herbaceous quality to it that I liked.

Overall, I would purchase Caesar’s Kitchen Gluten-Free Gourmet’s 3 Cheese Herb Rigatoni & Meat Sauce, add a salad, and a glass of wine for a fast hearty dinner and also include a recommendation to my colleagues during my next lunch with the staff.

Drink Chobani Beverage

By | Jan 27, 2017

By Claire Baker, Beyond Celiac Director of Communications and New Media

I am the smoothie maker in our house. Our blender gets a workout almost a dozen times in a typical week. My 13-year-old son’s breakfast of choice is a smoothie with extra protein. Fruit alone will not keep him satisfied until lunch. I frequently use a protein powder to go along with the fruit and almond milk, but depending on the brand, it can be rather gritty.

Drink Chobani Yogurt and Smoothie

Such a quick, easy, and kid-approved breakfast for mornings on-the-go

When I saw that the Drink Chobani beverages have 14 grams of protein compared to just 1 gram of protein in a cup of almond milk, I decided to do the 13-year-old boy taste-test with the Straw’ Nana flavor. For the first round, I made his usual morning smoothie (frozen strawberries and fresh banana) with the Chobani beverage as the base liquid. He said he really liked it. I tasted it too – it was smooth and creamy and the yogurt had the detectable tang that real yogurt should.

Two days later, I was running late. No time to lovingly make him his usual smoothie.

“You want just the Straw’ Nana?” I asked.

“Sure,” he replied. He drank it in no time.

“What’d you think?” I asked.

“I liked it better than the usual.”

At first I was crushed. Didn’t he know that my daily culinary labors are my show of practical love for him? But then I thought, “Wait a minute. I’ve got a new secret in my toolbox of ‘fast-n-healthy.’ Accept the gift!” I can definitely keep a stash of Drink Chobani beverages in the fridge for those mornings when time is a critical factor. I may have to hide them behind the tofu though – I think my son will drink them whenever he can get his hands on them.

You can also grab tasty gluten-free recipes from Chobani on the Beyond Celiac website here.

Enjoy Life Mini Chips Snack Packs

By | Dec 19, 2016

By Alicia Carango, Beyond Celiac Assistant Director of Digital Media 

Since a bag of Enjoy Life Mini Chips Snack Packs showed up on my desk, I’ve been resisting the urge to snack on them right from the bag. One particularly busy day, I lost my resolve and dove into a snack pack of chocolate chips. Super tiny and dairy-free, these chocolate chips were still sweet and enjoyable.

About two weeks ago, Beyond Celiac had its annual holiday party. We usually head to our CEO Alice Bast’s house and bring a gift for a round of White Elephant (in my family, we call it Angry Santa). And, we all bring some delicious gluten-free brunch items. There is no shortage of delicious food, everything from made-to-order omelettes from our master chef/Vice President Jennifer North to zucchini banana bread (yum!) from Kristin Voorhees, MA, Director of Healthcare Initiatives. I usually bring bacon as my contribution, but this year I decided to take it down a calorie notch and go with parfaits.

Yogurt Parfait Ingredients: Yogurt, Gluten-Free Granola, Enjoy Life Mini Chips, Coconut Flakes, Nuts and Seeds

All the parfait fixings topped off with Enjoy Life Mini Chips

For the parfaits, I grabbed some Chobani Greek yogurt, plus some Giant store brand plain vanilla yogurt. There were gluten-free granola, coconut flakes and a nuts and seeds option for topping off the parfaits. And, of course, some Enjoy Life Mini Chips Snack Packs. Having the snack packs made this so easy to transport, and I didn’t have to worry about finding something to do with the leftovers, since the uneaten chips remained sealed in their package.

I don’t have to tell you the many ways you can use delicious chocolate chips in your baking, especially during the holidays. But, I do think mini chips are incredibly convenient for gluten-free baking because of the tendency for gluten-free baked goods to be generally smaller than their gluten-containing counterparts.

If you’re looking for a vegan, gluten-free chocolate chip option, then Enjoy Life Mini Chips Snack Packs are for you! They also come in dark chocolate morsels. Check them out for yourself on their website here.

Venice Bakery Gluten-Free Flatbread and 5-inch Pizza Crust

By | Nov 23, 2016

By Alicia Carango, Beyond Celiac Web and Social Media Manager

I have been trying a lot of new things in the kitchen lately. I’m adding new foods to my diet (hello, kabocha squash!) and trying to put healthier spins on my usual favorites. So, when I had new Venice Bakery gluten-free and vegan pizza crusts to try, I did two things: A “healthier” pizza with spinach, arugula, tomato and fresh mozzarella on a flat bread crust and a traditional pepperoni pizza on a five inch pizza crust.

Ingredients for making gluten-free vegan pizza

All the ingredients: arugula, spinach, pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, tomato, and Boar’s Head gluten-free pepperoni

My boyfriend just finished his contract with the army and is a very willing guinea pig to try just about any new dish I come up with. After eating MREs for four years, he’s pretty much up for anything. He was skeptical about the pizza crusts, but actually ended up enjoying them way more than he expected.

My favorite of the two was the flatbreads. I didn’t really know what I should do with them seasoning wise. They come pre-seasoned, so I decided to just leave it be and make it as-is. I added my toppings and tossed it in the oven for 8-10 minutes. I checked about halfway through, and the spinach wasn’t wilting at all. I gave it a little spritz of non-stick cooking spray just to wet it. It did the trick. As it turns out, I didn’t need to add my own seasoning at all. It came our perfectly flavored.

Gluten-free vegan pizza with fresh mozzarella, tomato, spinach and arugula

My favorite pizza of the two

Jim’s favorite was the pizza rounds. I liked them too. They were chewier than I expected them to be, which was a good thing. Since they’re vegan and gluten-free, I was expecting them to be a little stiff. They didn’t crumble under the weight of the sauce, cheese and pepperoni, but they weren’t hard either.

Gluten-free vegan pizza crust with pepperoni

Pepperoni toppings

Next time I make these for dinner, I would bake them right on the rack. I didn’t want to risk getting melted cheese all over the bottom of my oven, so I put them on tin foil. They probably would have been a little firmer and crispier had I followed the directions…. Jennifer North, our Vice President, told me that parchment paper would have been a better choice if I didn’t want to put it right on the rack – a tip for those of you who, like me, overload pizzas with cheese and end up with a burned up mess in the bottom of your oven.

Overall, I give these pizzas two thumbs up. They were incredibly easy to cook. All in all, my dinner took about 20 minutes to prep and cook. You really can’t beat that!

Head to www.VeniceBakery.com to check out their other products.

Review: The Gluten-Free Cookbook for Families: Healthy Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less

By | Nov 15, 2016

By Alicia Carango, Beyond Celiac Web and Social Media Manager

In an ideal world, every meal would be fast, easy to make, delicious and healthy. Pamela Ellgen is making this dream a reality through her cookbook, The Gluten-Free Cookbook for Families: Healthy Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less, which has loads of recipes that can be made in just 30 minutes. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Many of the recipes in the cookbook are sensitive to food allergies, too. Not only are there recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizers and dessert, but Ellgen also provides common baking conversions and other tips and tricks for cooking gluten-free. She even provides substitution tips for making a recipe vegetarian or vegan when possible.

This cookbook is a must-have for any family trying to manage a gluten-free diet without sacrificing on taste or time. And, be sure to check out the foreword for the cookbook, written by Alice Bast, Beyond Celiac CEO.

Get a FREE gift basket of gluten-free goodies!

You could win a basket of gluten-free goodies to add to your pantry!

  1. Pre-order The Gluten-Free Cookbook for Families: Healthy Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less. Then, e-mail your order confirmation to glutenfreecookbook@callistomedia.com. To pre-order and learn more about the terms of the contest, click here. No purchase is required to participate. A random winner will be selected to win the gift basket.

Get a Sneak Peek of the Cookbook

Give this Loaded Vegetarian Gluten-Free Pizza recipe from The Gluten-Free Cookbook for Families: Healthy Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less a try:

Loaded Vegetarian Pizza (photo credit: Ellie Baygulov)

Loaded Vegetarian Pizza (photo credit: Ellie Baygulov)

Ingredients:

For the crust: 

  • 1½ tsp. sugar
  • ⅓ cup hot water (<110°F)
  • 1 package (2¼ tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup finely ground blanched almond flour
  • ¾ cup tapioca flour (starch)
  • ¾ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1½ tsp. red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

For the toppings:

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 roasted red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 (4-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced (optional)
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Place a pizza stone or pizza pan into the oven to heat.

To make the crust: 

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and hot water to dissolve the sugar. Add the yeast and whisk with a fork to disburse the yeast granules. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the almond flour, tapioca flour, and salt. Make a well in the center of the ingredients and add the egg white and vinegar.
  3. The yeast should be foamy by now. Pour it into the bowl and stir to combine. The dough will be quite wet.
  4. Add the potato starch and stir to mix thoroughly.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a large sheet of parchment paper and spread it into a small circle with a spatula.It will be much wetter than traditional pizza dough.
  6. Pour the olive oil onto the pizza dough and your clean hands. With your hands, press the dough into a 12-inch circle. Use your palms to press the center of the dough down and gently nudge the sides of the dough to be somewhat thicker. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Slide the pizza dough and parchment paper onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake for 5 minutes.

Make the toppings:

  1. While the pizza is resting and baking, in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and sauté until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the pizza from the oven. Cover with the marinara sauce, sautéed mushrooms, red pepper, tomato, and mozzarella cheese (if using).
  3. Return to the oven to bake for 8 to 10 minutes more until the cheese is melted and gently browned.
  4. Top with the fresh basil leaves and serve.

Substitution Tip: To make this recipe dairy-free, use olive oil in place of the butter and omit the cheese.

 

Schar Gluten-Free Honeygrams

By | Nov 2, 2016

By Alicia Carango, Beyond Celiac Web and Social Media Manager

When I was a kid, I loved graham crackers. Every once in awhile, my mom would buy my favorite – the chocolate graham crackers. They were an every-once-in-awhile lunchtime treat. I’d make little peanut butter sandwiches – one graham cracker, some peanut butter, a few thin slices of banana, topped with another graham cracker.

Schar Gluten-Free Honeygrams with Red Apple Slices

Honeygrams and apple slices – a delicious combination!

Schar’s Gluten-Free Honeygrams are the first gluten-free graham crackers that I’ve tried. They are different than your gluten-containing graham cracker. They are about half the size of a graham cracker, but a tad thicker. They are slightly more crumbly, but can easily hold the weight of peanut butter or other topping. Of course, next time you are by the fire, you have to try a gluten-free s’more. With its sugary-sweetness, you really won’t miss the gluten.

Another graham cracker favorite of mine? Dunking! Dunk these in a glass of milk, almond milk, or even hot tea.

What’s your favorite way to indulge in graham crackers? Share it in the comments, and be sure to tell us if you’ve tried Schar’s Gluten-Free Honeygrams!

Blue Diamond Gluten-Free Single Serve Nut Thins

By | Oct 10, 2016

By Alicia Carango, Beyond Celiac Web and Social Media Manager

I’m obsessed with gluten-free Blue Diamond Nut Thins. I really, truly can’t get enough of them. As a self-proclaimed potato chip junkie, I feel less guilty about snacking on Nut Thins than I do about eating some greasy chips. Plus, Nut Thins are much more filling than chips; you get more bang for your calories.

My only problem with Nut Thins? I can’t stop eating them. That’s why I am so excited to see they are now selling the Nut Thins in a single serve pack. It definitely eliminates the urge to keep on snacking. The single serve Nut Thins are slightly smaller than the ones that come in a full sized box, but there’s no shortage on taste. And, a serving is just 90 calories.

Blue Diamond Single Serve Cheddar Cheese Nut Thins

Blue Diamond Single Serve Cheddar Cheese Nut Thins

Blue Diamond Single Serve Hint of Sea Salt Nut Thins

Blue Diamond Single Serve Hint of Sea Salt Nut Thins

The large box of Nut Thins come in a variety of flavors: Cheddar Cheese, Country Ranch, Pecan, Smokehouse, Hint of Sea Salt, Almond, Honey Cinnamon, Honey Mustard (my favorite!), and Pepper Jack Cheese. Right now, the single serve Nut Thins are only available in Hint of Sea Salt and Cheddar Cheese. Fingers crossed that more flavors become available soon!

Aside from the great taste of Nut Thins, there are lots of advantages to the single serve packages. I think they are great for days when traffic is super heavy and I’m too hungry to wait for dinner. Parents will love how easy these are to just toss in their kids’ lunchboxes for a snack (parents can put them in their own lunch bag, too!). While perfectly delicious on their own, you can turn up the flavor by dunking in your favorite hummus or gluten-free dip.

And, for those of you who are concerned about shared facilities, you’ll be happy to know that Blue Diamond Nut Thins are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. Check out the Nut Thins at BlueDiamond.com.

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