Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hodgson Mill Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix

The Hodgson Mill Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix with Milled Flaxseed is rather dry. Although the first product that I have run into that actually comes out looking anything like the picture on the box, it is not the most tasteful product I have encountered. I actually found myself liking it better after I put vanilla frosting on it.

Also, not having seen information on the Hodgson Mill site that specifically states exactly how they guarantee the gluten free nature of the gluten free foods considering their line also has non gluten free foods, I am hesitant to say that this mix is safe for someone who has to be strictly gluten free or wheat free. Only a small note on the box saying that all the ingredients are by nature gluten free and that is not very assuring.

My assessment of this item on a scale of one being the worst and ten being the best is a five.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Udi's Gluten Free Sandwich with Nutella and Blue Diamond Honey Almond Butter

My first non-deli gluten free sandwich now that thanks to Jason's deli at Colonial Brookwood Village gave me a good exposure to gluten free bread.

So, what do you get when you mix two slices of Udi's Gluten Free White Bread with Nutella Hazelnut Spread and Blue Diamond Ready to Spread Almond Butter with Honey?

Only one of the best sandwiches chock full of protein!

The best part is that not only is it gluten free, but it is also peanut free.

Highly recommended for people with multiple food allergies!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Gluten Free at Jason's Deli and at Great American Cookies

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to treat my mother to a free cookie from Great American Cookies at the Galleria Mall in Birmingham, AL. Well, actually, it's in Hoover, but we call it part of Birmingham. But she actually two cookies because I gave her mine. This month, they are accepting book donations and with those donations, you get one free chocolate chip cookie.

Anyway, I was looking and noticed this big flag that said gluten free sitting next to a batch of Chewy Chocolate Supremes. They taste a lot like a brownie with walnuts. They do have walnuts. But it was definitely a chocolate supreme! I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. It was so delicious. And at just under two dollars including tax, it was not bad.

This past Tuesday, I had another opportunity before me that presented at a health fair where I obtained so many pens, notepads, and antibacterials that I'm going crazy now, as I learned that the Jason's Deli at Colonial Brookwood Village on Lakeshore also had gluten free offerings. They use Udi's Gluten Free Bread. So I had a gluten free roasted turkey with spinach, lettuce, and mayo sandwich. For the size of the bread, it was quite expensive, but it was very tasty. It took me two meals to eat it though because they put so much stuff on the sandwich. And they are one of the only, if not the only, locations in the Birmingham area to use bread on the gluten free menu.

Now, they have a note that for celiacs, they may want to consider not eating from the menu, but for those with mild sensitivities and intolerances that it should be fine. Since this latter group is the group I fall into, I gave it a go. I was impressed. The bread fell apart easily, but it was so good that I am actually planning to buy a loaf from my local Whole Foods store if I find it there.

Needless to say, I am glad that Gluten Free is garnering more attention and that there are food places out there that are catering more to the Gluten Free community than there used to be. Ever since I started on a gluten free diet for my wheat allergy, I have been thriving more. Now if only ALL gluten free foods could taste as good as these without it having to be homecooked.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Gluten Free and Peanut Free a Rarity

Having multiple food allergies, I know that it can be hard to find foods that can be safely eaten and still taste good but after today, I am now hooked on the mixture of Nutella and Blue Diamond Honey Almond Butter. It doesn't look pretty, but it is high in protein and peanut free! And it tastes good! But don't take my word for it. Give it a go for yourself.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mixes From the Heartland Lime Pound Cake

As I was making the Lime Pound Cake from Mixes from the Heartland this past Saturday, I was extremely overwhelmed with the lime smell. I realized quickly, and not for the first time, how hard gluten free mixes are to stir into batter. This thing did freak me out a little because it somehow reminded me a little of ogre snot in terms of the color. But I made it to take to church with me Sunday evening.

It was very easy to bake. I also tried to make a glaze using Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting and the microwave. Of course, little did I know that over night that glaze would frost.

The cool thing is that at least half of it was eaten before the night was over and no one seemed the wiser that it was even gluten free! My experience is that most people get nervous if they know that what they are eating is gluten free, but perhaps not knowing or not suspecting may have worked out. But our group does not seem to really big on desserts.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mixes From The Heartland Dilled Pasta Salad

The Dilled Pasta Salad from Mixes From the Heartland hasn't survived my household very well. Both my mother and myself tried some immediately after making it Sunday afternoon, and I have almost finished it. My mother commented that it was "too dilly." I agree that it does have a bit too seasoning to it, but otherwise, it's okay. As we did not have milk on hand other than almond milk or soy milk (vanilla or chocolate, anyone?), we used powdered milk and Miracle Whip salad dressing. We also added bacon bits. All in all, it reminds me a lot of those Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad mixes that I used to be able to eat before I developed a severe allergy to wheat and not just an intolerance to wheat products. It uses the shells and everything! Of course, they're brown rice pasta shells. But this product gets three and a half stars out of five.

Mixes From The Heartland Veggie Snack Dip

Okay, so I was super excited to try the Veggie Snack Dip from Mixes From the Heartland. A gluten free veggie dip? Who can resist?

I chose the method of using 1 cup of sour cream and 1 cup (or a whole box) of cream cheese. I tried every vegetable I could get access too - the homegrown organic cucumbers and store bought tomatoes (the homegrown tomatoes and bell peppers weren't ready). However, when I tried it on these, I felt tempted to put my homemade vinaigrette on top of that. It tasted a lot like I remember French onion dip tasting. You know the kind that comes in the can or the jar?

Then I got an idea. If it tastes like a chip dip, why not try it with chips? Well, it did taste better when I did that, but alas, the poor chips, they broke because it was so thick and creamy!

This product gets one thumb up for a taste to be acquired and two thumbs up for being gluten free.

Mixes From The Heartland Southwest Chicken Stew

The Southwest chicken stew from Mixes From the Heartland was not a big hit in my household. Some people like spicy foods and others don't and this stew proved to be spicier than anyone in my family really cared for. It had a rice base and dehydrated vegetables and spices. In my house, we used chicken and some vegetable broth to make it which made it very tasty, except that it did create some fire as we had to follow pretty quickly with antacids. After rinsing our batch, it was a lot calmer, but we froze about half of it as is for a family in my church who has a member that LOVES spicy food! I took it to church that following Sunday night to give it to whoever wanted it. When asked what it was, I explained and described it as being spicy, and immediately he perked up, so I gave that batch to him to take home and enjoy. I will admit though that my excitement came from the fact that it is a gluten free rice-based meal!

Monday, July 26, 2010

http://ping.fm/bjnmW

Mixes From the Heartland Brown Rice Pasta Shells

I received an invitation to accept a box of gluten free products from Mixes From the Heartland in my Facebook inbox. I gladly accepted with the knowledge that I would need post about each product I received and tried. A couple of products came in my box that I will not be able to try due to severe food allergies but to the person or people who end up trying these in my stead, I will want a full report about it as compared to other similar products.

The first thing I have tried obviously is the brown rice pasta shells which can be found on Mixes From the Heartland for $3.99 for a one-and-a-half pound bag. And the first thing we did with these at my house is make a mac & cheese using Velveeta cheese. It was a little starchy and the shells turned so white, but otherwise, it was quite tasty!

So, if you are looking for some exceptional gluten free products, I would recommend Mixes From the Heartland as one of your resources.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gluten Free at Church

Sometimes, it takes little and sometimes it takes a lot, but as they say, faith as small as a mustard seed can move some mighty big mountains. Okay, so I'm not 100% quoting that verse from the Bible, but you get my point, right?  


Well, I'd mentioned the possibility of it last year, but after I had an asthma attack the last time I ate a McDonald's cheeseburger, made with of course a wheat bun, I noticed that some mountains moved at my church in Birmingham, Alabama area.  


Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church now joins the ranks of a cluster of churches who are making the move to provide a gluten free alternative to the traditional communion cracker they usually use so people who have celiac disease, gluten intolerance and wheat allergy can still participate in its monthly communion service.  


Although there may not be a percentage yet as to how many people are benefitting from this option, it is a sign of the changing times and the growing acceptance of people who have issues with gluten and wheat.  


It also shows that they have compassion for a growing population of people who cannot tolerate gluten and wheat.  


Now, I wonder what it would take for them to become a peanut free zone for those who have asthma attacks just from smelling peanuts?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pamela's Products giveaway on Gluten Free Frenzy

http://www.glutenfreefrenzy.com/2010/04/pamelas-products-big-spring-giveaway.html


Gluten Free Frenzy is outdoing themselves again. They have this super huge giveaway of Pamela's Products. This product line is dedicated to gluten free and wheat free baking mixes and other products. They are available in nearly every grocery store, including the grocery section at many Wal-marts.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Almond Dream Praline Crunch

Almond Dream Praline Crunch ice cream has one of those delectable tastes that you just can't put down easily. I certainly was in for a surprise when I took that first bite.

The best thing about Almond Dream Praline Crunch is that it is gluten free.

This ice cream certainly met my expectations of a non-dairy alternative to regular ice creams.

Almond Dream is made by the same people who also make Rice Dream and Soy Dream.

Bob's Red Mill

Bob's Red Mill gluten free flours are really starting to frustrate me. I've tried at least four different kinds for different breads. I've tried in the bread machine. I've tried in the oven. I just can't get any of it to rise properly. Does anyone else out there have this problem? What are some solutions to get past it? Is there an ingredient missing or something? Is there another brand I might be able to try?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nature's Path EnviroKidz Koala Chocolate Crispy Rice Bars

Nature's Path EnviroKidz Koala Chocolate Crispy Rice Bars are quite an interesting treat. Being gluten free, I thought I would give them a shot. Although when I open the individually wrapped bar, it smells strongly like those cocoa cereals my mother usually eats, it's the impression of the first bite that told me they weren't that bad. I think they are more of an acquired taste as apparently, I am getting to a point where I just don't like chocolate much. One thing I learned though: They do melt and get extremely sticky when they somehow get too hot! And that was from being in my backpack indoors!

Larabar Jocolat Chocolate Cherry

The Larabar Jocolat Chocolate Cherry did not go over very well for me. It tasted okay, but I don't prefer it as compared to the Larabar Cherry Pie. It was something about the chocolate. But, again for gluten free, it was not half-bad.

Larabar Cherry Pie

The Larabar Cherry Pie reminded me exactly of just that - what I imagine a cherry pie must taste like. With no added sugars, it was sweet enough. I especially like the fact that it is gluten free and dairy free as it can be very hard sometimes to find gluten free snacks that I actually like the taste of.

Glutino Vanilla Creme Cookies

The Glutino Vanilla Creme Cookies were extremely sweet. The cream is similar to that of the Chocolate Creme Cookies. Even the cookie with no cream on it was extremely sweet. As I was tasting the Vanilla Creme Cookies, I ended up getting the notion to try Nutella on one only to find myself shocked that the Nutella made the cookie not quite as sweet. But this is just one way to enjoy them.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gluten Free at Church

Sometimes, it takes little and sometimes it takes a lot, but as they say, faith as small as a mustard seed can move some mighty big mountains. Okay, so I'm not 100% quoting that verse from the Bible, but you get my point, right?

Well, I'd mentioned the possibility of it last year, but after I had an asthma attack the last time I ate a McDonald's cheeseburger, made with of course a wheat bun, I noticed that some mountains moved at my church in Birmingham, Alabama area.

Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church now joins the ranks of a cluster of churches who are making the move to provide a gluten free alternative to the traditional communion cracker they usually use so people who have celiac disease, gluten intolerance and wheat allergy can still participate in its monthly communion service.

Although there may not be a percentage yet as to how many people are benefitting from this option, it is a sign of the changing times and the growing acceptance of people who have issues with gluten and wheat.

It also shows that they have compassion for a growing population of people who cannot tolerate gluten and wheat.

Now, I wonder what it would take for them to become a peanut free zone for those who have asthma attacks just from smelling peanuts?

Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

The Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream is one of the best non-dairy ice creams I have found. The biggest plus is that it is gluten free!

http://www.purelydecadent.com/products/purely_decadent_Coconut_Milk_CookieDough.html

Ener-G Brown Rice Bread

What can I say about Ener-G Brown Rice Bread? Well, it's dry. I'm not sure if this is normal for gluten free bread or not, but it is true of this particular package of bread I was able to get from my local Wal-mart of all places. So far, the only thing I've found to help is to try to tackle grilled roast beef and cheese with butter on all four sides!

Glutino Chocolate Vanilla Creme Cookies

Okay, maybe it is what my mother said. I miss Oreo's so much, that anything similar tastes good to me. Or maybe Glutino has just done something right. Either way, I love the Glutino Chocolate Vanilla Creme Cookies! My only question is: Any chance of a double stuff version in the future?

http://www.glutino.com/content/view/80/114/

Kinnikinnick's Vanilla Donuts

So, I found a six pack box of Kinnikinnick's Gluten Free Vanilla Donuts at my local Whole Foods store. For $5.99, I just had to have them! I give it a two thumbs up for taste!

My mother asked, if it has no gluten, no wheat, no soy, no dairy, what is made from? I found out that sometimes it's better not to know.

http://consumer.kinnikinnick.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/products.home/productcategoryid/17



Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Really cool contest. No pun intended.

http://heathereatsalmondbutter.com/2010/04/01/a-so-delicious-giveaway/#respond


This contest will allow you to win coupons for So Delicious frozen treats which are not inexpensive. How cool is that?!?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fantastic Contest on GlutenFreeFrenzy

http://www.glutenfreefrenzy.com/2010/03/bobs-red-mill-giveaway.html


The giveaway is for a case of four Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Mixes to include: Pizza Crust, All-Purpose Flour, Yellow Cake Mix, and Shortbread Mix.


Bob's Red Mill is one of the ultimate sources for gluten free mixes around. Check them out at http://www.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free/.


This is mostly what my household uses.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gluten Free St. Patrick's Day Meal

My mother and I actually found a gluten free corned beef at the grocery store.

Corned beef (which is actually not Irish in origin), cabbage and red potatoes.

Well, it sure is a delicious way to celebrate.

I'll try to post a recipe later.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gluten Free Cheesecake Promotion on Gluten Free Mike Blog

There's a promotion for gluten free cheesecakes from Earth Café running on http://www.glutenfreemike.com for this month. It's called "March Madness Promotion with Earth Café." For information about the cheesecakes they have, visit their web site at https://earthcafetogo.com/#home and click on "Taste Life."

Being the typical skeptic that I tend to be, I had to check this out for myself. Of the two that I looked at, there are no wheat ingredients whatsoever, which is definitely a plus for wheat allergy sufferers like myself.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Information from Food and Drug Administration

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FoodAllergens/default.htm


Why isn't gluten on the list of allergens? Why aren't all food manufacturers adhering to the allergen labeling? Why must we still read the little bitty list of ingredients (a time-consuming process) just to determine whether a food is safe or not? Why must we have to wonder why we can't all be scientists or doctors in order to interpret the ingredients because they list the same ingredient under twenty different names?


I'm scratching my head!

Wheat Allergy - MayoClinic.com

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/wheat-allergy/DS01002


This is the heavy-handed medical definition.

Food Allergy Initiative - Wheat Allergy

Here's another great explanation of the difference between celiac disease and wheat allergy. This one is a little more comprehensive in that it includes red flags of what ingredients could indicate the presence of wheat in food!

http://www.faiusa.org/?page=wheat#

Wheat - FAAN

Wheat - FAAN

This is the best explanation I have actually seen to explain the difference between celiac disease and wheat allergy. I have wheat allergy. But for the most part, adherence to a gluten free diet is essential.

People with celiac disease cannot even tolerate barley or rye. Sometimes they cannot tolerate any gluten whatsoever. But with a wheat allergy, barley and rye is acceptable provided there is no wheat included in the ingredients.

However, because of the widespread use of wheat in a number of foods, sometimes it is hard to find foods that are wheat free without going gluten free. Wheat can be found, of course, in bread. Wheat can also be found in candy, sauces, dressings, pastas, flours, soups and a number of other sources I probably do not even know about. 

First Gluten Free Lasagna

So one of the foods I've been missing during my gluten free life is lasagna. But the only kind of lasagna noodles I can locate is brown rice lasagna noodles. To me, it's all in the sauce and once you get past the initial weirdness of it and approach it with an open mind, it isn't that bad. My mother, on the other hand, absolutely hated it. But gluten free lasagna may only be a once a month or once every two month thing.

Now one thing I am looking forward to: St. Patrick's Day! Corned beef and cabbage time again!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Today's Gluten Free Menu

For dinner:
1. Gorton's Italian Herb Grilled Fish Fillets have no wheat in them like the salmon fillets do, so for me it's a safe food because of my wheat allergy.

2. Mashed potatoes.

3. Green Giant Corn.

4. Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. My mom showed me a trick to getting them to come out better and they do taste good. We even experimented and made one like a pizza with green St. Patrick's Day M&Ms!

If I figure out to post pictures, I will get a picture of the cookie posted later in the week or next week.

But that was my gluten free dinner for the day! Yum!


*Here's a picture of the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie with Green M&Ms. It looks a little like a turtle....

My Favorite Gluten Free Foods So Far

Officially I've been completely gluten free as of January 21, 2010. I did begin a partial gluten free diet in January 2009. As I have been changing to gluten free, I have learned the following things: some of the foods taste like cardboard. Yuck! Some of them taste like their non-gluten free alternatives. Love that! Some of them are actually even better tasting and much healthier than their non-gluten free alternatives. Yay!

Anyway, these are some of my favorites:

Alternating Almond Breeze chocolate milk with the Silk.
http://store.bluediamond.com/Almond-Breeze_c_4.html


Ancient Harvest Quinoa - great for spaghetti and other pastas
http://www.quinoa.net/

Baffles - They are a gluten free cereal snack of sorts. I'm mad that my local Whole Foods stopped carrying them.
http://www.bafflesusa.com/glutenfree.html

Betty Crocker gluten free mixes: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brownies, Yellow Cake, Devil's Food Cake.
http://www.bettycrocker.com/products/gluten-free-baking-mixes

Bob's Red Mill flours/mixes.
http://www.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free/

Most Chex cereals have gone gluten free.
http://www.chex.com/Recipes/GlutenFree.aspx

Glutino Chocolate Cream Cookies - tastes like Oreos!
http://www.glutino.com/content/view/53/62/

Joyva Sesame Snacks - can't enough of them. They're like healthy candy. But I hate that they went to smaller packaging so now you have to buy two packages whereas before one was fine.
http://www.joyva.com is under construction.

Still drinking Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk on a regular basis. I've been milk free since 2006 but was heading that way in 2004.
http://www.silksoymilk.com/

So Delicious Soy/Coconut Ice Cream - They even have gluten free varieties!
http://www.turtlemountain.com/


Whole Foods 365 Veggie Chips - They're just good.
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/365-everyday-value.php
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com

Gluten Free

I'll add more to this post later or do what another blogger I know does and do a part II, but I'm checking out glutenfreefrenzy.com right now and they have this supercool contest for Mixes from Heartland (available at www.mixesfromheartland.com). It's supercool because, personally, as a newbie to the gluten-free world, I find that my mom and I have to do a lot more baking and other home-cooking and it's so hard to find mixes that don't cost an arm and a leg. But my wheat allergy has been a small blessing in disguise: I am actually starting to lose weight on the gluten-free diet!

Sociable