October 30, 2008

Gluten-Free Halloween Candy

Last Halloween I passed out a couple of different kinds of candy including some with wheat. My theory was if I bought some with wheat I wouldn't have to worry as much about people in the house eating it before Halloween. I felt bad when Halloween came around and I grabbed a piece of wheat candy and a little girl explained that she couldn't have it becaue she was allergic to wheat. Luckily I had other options for her. Because I heard that some siblings would trade 1 piece of GF candy for multiple pieces of wheat candy. Pretty sneaky... :)

Remember to check labels regularly. Candy manufacturers can change ingredients or ingredient vendors and are also known to change facilities. Also check the ingredients on different sizes and versions of candies. A candy in a fun size may not always have the same ingredients as the full size version.

Are you looking for natural, vegan, gluten-free, casein free, organic lollipops? Yummy Earth has lollipops that are allergen free and also free of high fructose corn syrup.

If you like Tootsie roll products and are wondering if certain candies are gluten-free click here to go to their website. Under "Product Nutrition" select the appropriate candy and it will tell you the allergen information for that product.

Just Born products:

Are your candies gluten-free?
The modified food starch that we use in our candies in corn starch. We are in the process of updating our package labels to reflect products that are gluten free. Our gluten free brands are: MIKE AND IKE® Brand Candies, HOT TAMALES® Brand Candies, PEEPS® Marshmallow Candies, PEANUT CHEW® Brand candies, TEENEE BEANEE® Jelly Beans and JUST BORN® Jelly Bean. This information pertains to all Just Born candies that we make and package at our two manufacturing locations (Bethlethem, PA and Philadelphia, PA) and are in their orginal packaging. Please be aware that we do sell some of our products in bulk to other manufacturers who may be repackaging them in another facility. We encourage consumers to read the labels carefully for any gluten information on products that might be packaged elsewhere. For further questions, we recommend consumers call our Consumer Relations Team toll-free at 1-888-645-3453.

October 27, 2008

Gluten-Free Bread

Anyone who has tried gluten-free bread knows that it can be difficult to find a decent one. Some people compare the breads to cardboard however, I've never tasted cardboard. For convenient sandwich bread we buy the Ener-G Foods bread. Nate preferred the tapioca loaf and it was pretty easy to find at Fresh and Natural Foods or Rainbow. Now there was a trick to using this bread, he would wrap the bread in a damp paper towel and put it in the microwave for about 30-60 seconds.

One day we noticed the Ener-G Light Tapioca Loaf and decided to give it a try since it was cheaper and lighter than our usual version. It is one of their lightest breads and has less fat and calories than the regular tapioca loaf. When we went to the health food store to purchase more we noticed they were selling out of it and we'd have to special order it.

Ener-G Food's breads come in vacuum sealed packaging that gives it a long shelf life up to a year. It never lasts that long in our house even with buying it by the case at.
The light tapioca is a lot lighter and does not need to be wrapped in a paper towel. It is better in the microwave for about 30 seconds or toasted.

Look for the neon green bag of light tapioca loaf, that is if they are not sold out!

October 25, 2008

Pepper Beef Stir Fry

I found this recipe on La Choy's website. The guys thought it sounded weird when they saw the ketchup but once they tried it they loved it.

2 tablespoons Pure Wesson® Vegetable Oil, divided
1 large red bell pepper, chopped into large chunks
1 medium onion, chopped into large chunks
1 pound boneless beef sirloin, cut across grain into 2 x 1/2-inch strips
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (8 oz each) La Choy® Bamboo Shoots, drained
1/3 cup La Choy® Soy Sauce (Note: La Choy soy sauce is GF or you can use San-J Organic Wheat Free Tamari)
1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Hunt's® Ketchup
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
Chow Mein Noodles, optional (Note: Nate uses Grandma Ferdon's Brown Rice Chow Mein Noodles)

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large skillet or wok over high heat. Cook and stir red bell pepper and onion about 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from skillet; set aside.
2. Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into skillet. Cook and stir beef and garlic about 2 minutes until browned. Add bamboo shoots and cooked vegetables back to skillet.
3. Whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar and ketchup in small bowl. Add to skillet. Stir together cornstarch and water until smooth; add to skillet. Cook until heated through and sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute. Serve with chow mein noodles, if desired.
Serves 4

Gluten Free Menu Planner

Enjoy cooking but hate planning meals? For only $10 a month you can skip the menu planning and just worry about cooking. GFree cuisine takes care of the menu planning and grocery list. You pick your weekly recipes and they create the grocery list for you. They worked with Carol Fenster to create these recipes. You can view sample options on their website.
This sounds like a great idea for our house where everyone has the same attitude, "I'll cook if you tell me what to make."

October 22, 2008

Let's Do...Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones

The other day we had a problem when Nate realized the only ice cream we had in the house was plain vanilla. He was upset because it wasn't exciting enough for his ice cream cones. These are very reasonably priced at about $2.50 for a box of 12 and they come packaged nicely so they're not all broken. They look and taste just like the "regular" cake cones. I think these would be great for kids since they look just like the original cones. It wouldn't look like they had to eat a different version than their siblings or friends.

Glutenfreeda's Real Cookies Frozen Dough

Nate cheated last night. When I got home from work the house smelled like cinnamon and sugar. I knew he wasn't making dinner yet so I was a bit confused. He decided to make Glutenfreeda's Snicker Poodles, their version of a snickerdoodle. Now he even admits that he "cheated" since this isn't really baking. These are super easy to make though when you want a fresh warm cookie. The dough comes frozen and the cookies are already formed so all you need to do is put them on a baking sheet and place them in the oven. The bake into the perfect size cookie and are very soft. Now these aren't necessarily cheap but I think they're worth if for the occasional treat and the convenience. The containers are resealable so you can make just a couple or mix and match for a variety. We recommend the Snicker Poodles but Nate might have to try the other flavors to see if they are worth it as well.

October 21, 2008

Frito-Lay Allergen Lists

Frito-Lay has recently updated their list of products for those with special dietary needs. They have a list of products not containing gluten as well as those not containing corn. Unfortunately depending on your sensitivities or how strict you are you need to look at a couple of their lists and it quickly limits the items. For example, some people now say MSG is "safe" although we prefer to avoid it.

They are obviously aware of the need. Their first nutrition question is:
Do Frito-Lay products contain gluten? Some of our snacks contain gluten.
For a list of products not containing gluten click here.

October 19, 2008

Park Tavern Review

After visiting baby Layla we decided to stop for lunch. The hospital happens to be right by Park Tavern where they offer GF pizza. They use pizza crust from Cooqi. Here's a picture of our pizza. As you can see they really load on the toppings. They mentioned they are working on adding personal size pizzas to the menu too. FYI - Nate likes having the leftovers cold the next day while watching football.

October 18, 2008

Shabtai Gourmet Review

To celebrate Nate's new promotion I ordered him some items from Shabtai Gourmet. I decided we would try the Raspberry Roll and the Devils Food 7 Layer Cake. The Raspberry Roll had a little more coconut than Nate prefers but he still enjoyed it. The raspberry filling is very sweet. He really liked the 7 Layer cake as well. Their products are also corn free and dairy free for those with multiple allergies. Nate says we will definitely be ordering from them again, we were both impressed with the size of these items. They offer some slightly different options than the bakeries by us too. I placed my order on Monday and they were delivered by Friday, packed with an ice pack. We love that they have free shipping too. FYI - They also go by the name Cinderella Sweets.

October 17, 2008

Godfather's GF Pilot Program

Godfather's is currently testing GF pizza at their corporate location in Omaha, Nebraska. It is only offered at this location so they can focus on eliminating any cross conatimination issues. They will look for other locations to agree to their strict guidelines and offer a GF pizza crust. The hope to have this available sometime in 2009.

I really enjoyed the fact that we weren't one of those families that ate pizza every week. With all of these GF pizza options I might not be able to say that much longer. My grandma will like to hear this though. She's a big fan of getting Godfather's for family get togethers when she's in town so we don't have to cook. Maybe Nate will be able to eat more than just a salad.

October 14, 2008

Tuesdays = Pizza

While we won't go every week I'm thinking Tuesdays will frequently be pizza night. If you subscribe to the Pizza Luce newsletter you saw that their gluten-free menu is available on Tuesdays starting today. When we previewed the menu I was upset that I forgot to bring a camera. Well, they had a photographer there who wanted to take a picture of our pizzas and they used the photo in the newsletter. See Nate's arm in there?


Heinz has recently added a world-wide list of gluten-free products to their website. Check it out for easier planning/shopping.

October 13, 2008

Bed and Breakfasts

Are you looking for a Bed and Breakfast that offers gluten free meals? The InnSeekers website lets you search for Bed and Breakfasts by state and then on the lefthand side you can filter your search by those that offer gluten free meals.

October 12, 2008

Original Pancake House

After a day of picking some apples and enough pumpkins for a Day Care, literally; there was only one way to refuel Nate. We decided to have lunch at the Original Pancake House, one of Nate's favorite restaurants. From our experience they can make the majority of the pancakes GF. Nate ordered cinnamon raisin pancakes which I must say were amazing. We also like the strawberry pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, apple crepes, fresh strawberry crepes, as you can see we haven't been dissapointed yet. Nate has tried pancakes at both the Edina and Maple Grove locations. While he says the Edina location is good the pancakes at the Maple Grove location are better. We both have their phone number saved in our phone to make last minute reservations.

Not all OPH locations offer GF pancakes and crepes so be sure to call ahead.

October 10, 2008

October - Celiac Awareness Month

October is Celiac Awareness Month. To help promoting getting the word out I have created a list of GF restaurants outside of Minnesota so those traveling or who live out of state can support these businesses. These restaurants realize there is a growing demand for GF options and want all of their customers to have a great experience.
Please note some of these restaurants have a separate GF menu while others accommodate special dietary requests. For example, at Maggiano's they will bring the chef out to discuss what you would like. While Nate likes that the chef comes out and will make whatever he requests some people do not like the special attention and being singled out. Some restaurants do not offer much of a selection but post their allergen list online to make things a little easier. If you have any questions it is always a good idea to call ahead first.
Let me know if you discover any other restaurants we can add to the lists.

October 8, 2008

Pizza Luce Gluten Free Menu Preview

Yesterday we previewed the GF menu at Pizza Luce. They handed us their new GF menu that included chicken wings, artichoke dip w/rolls, pizza, pasta and beer. I told Nate to choose 2 pizzas so he could try 2 different kinds. He decided on "The Bear" and "Baked Potato Pizza." I didn't know it was possible for someone to smile the whole way through dinner but he managed to. Out of the GF pizza crust that I've tried at restaurants this pizza tasted the most like "regular" pizza.
Laura, co-owner of the St Paul location stopped at our table to talk with us. Laura is a vegetarian so she is familar with a restricted diet. However, since it is a choice and not for medical reasons she decided to go GF for 2 weeks to understand the GF diet more. The training Laura and her staff went through is amazing. They really want to do this right.
Since the pizza is made with crust from Cooqi they had samples of brownies and pumpkin bars. Even people who are not GF were raving about the brownies.

It looks like we'll be spending a lot of Tuesday nights in St Paul.

October 6, 2008

Shabtai Gourmet

Shabtai Gourmet is a GF Bakery that offers GF 7 layer cakes, swiss chocolate rolls, breadcrumbs, etc. They have free shipping in the Continental U.S. We have not tried them yet but they look amazing from the pictures. Nate is anxious to try the Raspberry Roll. Has anyone tried their products yet? Let us know what you recommend.

October 2, 2008


Right now our favorite bakery is Cooqi in St Paul. Even though I am not gluten-free I cannot walk in there without getting a brownie for myself. Nate's favorites are the doughnuts, mini doughnuts, blondies, brownies, pumpkin bars, cookies. Ok, all of it is really good. Check out their website for specials. They also list the ingredients on their website. If you find yourself in St. Paul definitely stop for a treat.

Cooqi Gluten-Free Delights
2186 Marshall Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104
Hours:Tuesday through Saturday 9 am – 6 pm
Sunday 10 am – 4 pm
Phone (651) 645-4433

October 1, 2008

Chebe Cheese Rolls

The other night we tried the Chebe Bread mix for the first time. I planned on making half of it and freezing the other half of dough. Nate didn't like that idea so we made all of it. I added some cheddar cheese and then Nate added another handful of cheese and we rolled them into small rolls. Nate used them as bread for Italian Dunkers and ate the rest for lunch the next two days. Since I had my own bread I only snuck one but they were very good, next time I might take more. I would like to try making bread sticks or sandwich buns with it.