Quote of the day

December 20, 2009

Pepsi Deal at Target

I give Nate a hard time for the pop he drinks - I mean a really hard time. It's not necessarily that he drinks a ton of it, I just think pop should be a treat. Sometimes, just to be a pain I'll ask him how much water he's had to drink for the day. Now when pop is a good deal we make sure to stock up. I saw on a blog this morning that Pepsi 12 packs were $2.50 and there was a $1 off coupon which made it a great deal at $1.50 for a 12 pack.
While making our Target run we noticed it was on sale for $1.99 here in Minnesota. With the $1 off coupons we scored two 12 packs for $0.99 each. Unfortunately there is a limit of printing two coupons per computer so we used one of our laptops to print off two more coupons.

November 29, 2009

Gluten-Free Menu All Week

Sorry I haven't been posting more recently, I've been meaning to but I've been exhausted. Nate and I are expecting our first child in April so I have been preoccupied with sleeping when I can and trying to fight off colds. I haven't been as interested in cooking either although I have been obsessed with nutrition. We have been throwing together a lot of simple and quick meals especially tacos since I've been craving spicy foods.

I have some exciting gluten-free news for those that live in the Twin Cities. Starting December 1st Pizza Luce will offer their gluten-free menu seven days a week at their St. Paul and Downtown Minneapolis locations.

We are so excited to see this expand to include the weekends as well. Often times friends would want to meet up at Pizza Luce on a Friday or Saturday night and it was frustrating to know they had the capabilities and a menu but it wasn't the "right day." Although now that I'm pregnant we don't go Downtown often. Nate will just have to convince me that I'm craving Luce.

September 4, 2009

Sad News

I like to keep this blog positive as much as possible. I started it because I wanted to share all of the gluten-free options my husband enjoys. When his family comes to town we enjoy sharing some of our favorite things with them.

A few weeks ago they were here for the Irish Fair. While the guys went to another concert on Saturday night us girls ran some errands. We decided to go to Michello's to get some gluten-free pizza and pasta. Nate was okay with this as long as we brought home some carrot cake for him. When we pulled up the restaurant we were disappointed to see that Michello's was closed - for good. We were still in the mood for pizza so we drove to the next gluten-free pizza place we could think of.

When we arrived at Cabina we discovered that it had been replaced by a new restaurant. Feeling extremely discouraged we tried one last time for pizza. As we walked in to ZPizza we were excited to see that they were open and hoped that they wouldn't tell us they were out of gluten-free crusts. Finally we were able to enjoy dinner.

When we made it back home I didn't want to be the one to tell Nate that Michello's had closed. I told Detamara she should tell him the news. I figured he might take it better if it came from his little sister. He took the news better than expected but was disappointed that he would no longer be able to enjoy the carrot cake.

It is sad to see such a great family owned restaurant go out of business due to the economy. They provided great options for the gluten-free community and worked hard to perfect their recipes. They have posted their recipes for farmhouse buttermilk bread and pizza crust. Nate is just waiting for them to post the cake recipes.

August 25, 2009

Gluten- Free Clearance Finds at Target

Nate and I ran to Target to pick up some basic items and purchase a gift for an upcoming wedding. As we were running through the frozen food section I noticed frozen broccoli on clearance. We eat a lot of broccoli at our house so I grabbed two bags and noticed they had a lot of other frozen items on clearance.

I scanned a couple more items as Nate looked for the Starbucks ice cream that we had a free coupon for. I yelled, "Nathan!" He quickly turned assuming he was in trouble. (I think the lady next to him thought he was in trouble too.)

We were shocked to see French Meadow Bakery Gluten-Free Fudge Brownie on clearance. I grabbed four boxes considering that you keep them frozen until you use them and then we noticed they also had Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Both the brownies and cookies were marked down from $5.99 to $2.98. With two gluten-free guys in the house I'm sure these won't last long.

When we got home Nate made a box of the cookies. They are preformed so you just need to preheat the oven and place them on a tray. It couldn't get much more convenient than that. They are done in 10-12 minutes.

I could have made this an even better deal if I printed some of these coupons from their website.

This was a great reminder to check clearance for gluten-free products!

August 4, 2009

Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Mix Coupon

We haven't been cooking much lately since Nate was sick for a week and half and by the time he was feeling better we went out of town. Nate worked out an agreement with his coworker where we could stay at his family's cabin if we did some tiling while we were there. We kept things pretty simple and now that we're back home we're trying to catch up on things that have been neglected. I have some pictures to post once I find the cord to our camera.


Here's a great deal to take advantage of. We still haven't tried any of the Betty Crocker Gluten Free baking mixes yet but aunt tells me they are pretty good and that's coming from someone who can eat gluten. I'm planning on ordering a few from Coborns Delivers while they're on sale for $2.50 this week.

Call General Mills at 1-800-446-1898 and choose option 4 to speak with a representative. Tell them you are calling regarding the gluten-free coupon. They will ask for your name, address and 2 simple questions. It's that easy, just remember to call during normal business hours.

July 7, 2009

Jamba Juice Coupon

My sister Christi just shared this BOGO Jamba Juice coupon with me. Hurry, this deal ends July 12th.

July 5, 2009

Jamba Juice

Are you looking for a cool gluten-free treat? Ice cream and smoothies are a weakness at our house.

I assumed that most of the drinks at Jamba Juice would be gluten-free but wasn't exactly sure. It turns out all of their smoothies are gluten-free except for Pomegranate Heart Healthy. You can also enjoy all of the boosts except for Daily Vitamin, Energy and Heart Healthy.

June 10, 2009

Enjoy Life Products 10% Off

Now until June 30th you can save 10%off your favorite Enjoy Life Products 10%. Click here to take advantage of this offer through Peanut Free Planet. Then enter the code Enjoy10off when you check out.

Enjoy Life Products are free of the top 8 allergens. We love their Snickerdoodles.

May 22, 2009

Boston's The Gourmet Pizza

Seriously, more pizza?

Yes, Boston's The Gourmet Pizza now carries a gluten-free pizza crust. Since they are known for their pizza they wanted to make it easier for everyone to enjoy. (Supposedly, it is the same crust that they use at Unos.) You can choose from 13 different kinds of pizzas made on a gluten-free crust. The gluten-free pizza is only available in small and is about an additional two dollars.

Boston's also offers a Healthy Hits menu for those who are looking for a healthier option. All of their locations should carry the gluten-free crust. If you have a large group they recommend calling ahead. Click here to find a location near you.

Luckily we have a BBQ planned for tomorrow night but I'm sure we'll try it soon and let you know what we think. Has anyone tried it yet?

May 21, 2009

Free Pizza for a Year?


Uno Chicago Grill is having a sweepstakes to win free pizza for a year. Translation: Free pizza for a year is one pizza a month. Click here to enter. Gluten-free pizza is available in cheese, pepperoni and veggie.

You must be an "Insider" to enter. If you are not an Insider you can still sign up to become one and be entered in the sweepstakes.

I have a separate email address for sweepstakes and things I don't want to go to my regular email. My family and friends know that I am obsessed with Sweepstakes. Someone is going to win, why not you?

May 19, 2009

Gluten-Free Pizza in Austin, TX

We seem to be finding gluten-free pizza all over the Twin Cities and while we've seen some chains adding it I've been wondering if other places are seeing the same trend. Since Ann and Becca are in Austin visiting Kristy and Kasja. They all eat gluten-free and Ann and Becca live in a small town so it is pretty rare for them to enjoy gluten-free pizza out. I began to wonder if there was gluten-free pizza in the Austin area. A couple of months ago Kristy and I were talking about it but I never found out of she found gluten-free pizza.

After a quick search I found a couple of options for them. Brick Oven on 35th has gluten-free pizza as well as a gluten-free menu that includes meatballs, pasta and flat bread sandwiches. I've read a couple of reviews and it sounds like the pizza is definitely worth trying. They do charge a little more for the gluten-free crust but that is pretty common.

Marye's Gourmet Pizza has also started offering gluten-free pizza. I haven't found any reviews on it so I am curious if anyone has tried it. We obviously haven't tried either of these yet but next time we visit them I'm sure Nate will want to fit that in.

May 14, 2009

My Gluten Free Bakery

Have you been looking for a dedicated gluten-free bakery in Missouri for a birthday cake or special occasion?
LaVerne saw a need for a gluten-free bakery in her community and opened My Gluten Free Bakery in Jefferson City, Missouri. LaVerne understands people often have other diet restrictions and takes special orders based on specific intolerances. She keeps customer cards on file with their allergies. Check out her website to see all she has to offer.

My Gluten Free Bakery
LLC312 W Dunklin St
Jefferson City, MO 65109
phone: 573-634-3733

May 12, 2009

Skosh Monahan's in Costa Mesa, CA

Nate's sister Marissa lives in California so I'm always keeping my eye open for restaurants in California that will accommodate a gluten-free diet. Especially with Marissa's wedding coming up everyone wants to know they can eat safely while traveling. Although this isn't right where we'll be I was impressed with the gluten-free menu and we'd gladly make an excuse to drive somewhere for gluten-free pizza.

Skosh Monahan's is a Steakhouse and Irish Pub that offers a gluten-free menu and a GFCF kid's menu.
Their gluten-free menu includes appetizers, soup, salad, pizza, and entrees.

May 11, 2009

Godfather's Pizza offering Gluten-Free Pizza

A couple years ago we said just wait, some day you'll be able to get gluten-free pizza at one of the regular pizza places. We just didn't think some day would be so soon.

According to the Press Release the gluten-free pizza is available at select Godfather's Pizza locations in:
Omaha, NE
Topeka, KS
Overland Park, KS
Blue Springs, MO
St. Cloud, MN
Burnsville, MN
Sioux Falls, SD

Employees at these locations have received special training. I spoke to an employee who said they also sell frozen take and bake pizza if you don't feel comfortable with them baking it. Use the Store Locator to check if the gluten-free pizza is available at the location nearest you. The gluten-free pizza is available in a 10-inch size and you can enjoy cheese, pepperoni, beef, sausage, classic combo and all-meat combo. We were very excited to hear that the gluten-free pizzas are priced in line with the other pizzas.

Email Godfather's Pizza at glutenfree@godfathers.com and let them know where you would like to see gluten-free pizza.

An Attitude of Gratitude Award

Kim at Gluten-free is Life nominated me for an Attitude of Gratitude Award.

Nate has been gluten-free his whole life so we never had that "adjustment" period that so many of you write about. I try to look at it as a way for us to eat healthier. We cook a lot more because I'm not married to a guy who lives off of pizza. (However, that's starting to change as gluten-free pizza places keep popping up.)
When we first saw gluten-free menus appearing in restaurants we were very eager to support them. I saw it as a challenge to find more and make life easier for us, our family and friends.
When people hear that my husband cannot eat gluten they assume it is difficult and ask what he can have. I enjoy proving them wrong and showing them all that he can enjoy gluten-free. They are very surprised to hear that he can now take me out to an Italian restaurant.

The instructions say list 10 blogs that show an Attitude of Gratitude. So many great blogs have already been tagged and are going to continue to be tagged instead I'm just going to list one that I think does an excellent job of having a great attitude about being gluten-free when many people would have a difficult time.

Katie - Katie is a college student who does a great job of staying gluten-free. She bakes treats that look amazing! Someday she would like to open a bakery, I know we would all like to support that.

Your instructions are to:

  • put the logo on your blog or post
  • nominate at least 10 blogs that show an an attitude of gratitude
  • link to your nominees within your post
  • comment on their blogs to let them know they’ve received this award
  • share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award
  • tell us how you’ve come to have an attitude of gratitude

May 10, 2009

Ben Pao "Bailout" Special

Ben Pao Chinese Restaurant has a special offer during the month of May. Stop in for dinner Monday through Thursday and on one of those nights they will ring the Golden Gong once a week. When you hear the gong every table in the restaurant will receive $50 off their bill.

Nate and I went when we were in Chicago and definitely recommend it. Ben Pao is part of the Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants and offers a Gluten Free Menu. We really enjoyed the chicken fried rice and sesame chicken.

Ben Pao
52 West Illinois Street
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 312-222-1888

May 9, 2009

10 Things You Were Dying to Know - I've Been Tagged


Ann at Cheaper by the Dozen and Get One Free tagged me.

1) What is your current obsession?
Concerts - Alkaline Trio was in town a couple of weeks ago, awesome concert! Last night Nate heard Cursive was playing at First Avenue so we thought why not? Nate, my sisters and I saw Fun play with Manchester Orchestra tonight. Next week I'm going to see India Arie with some friends from High School. I want to see Amber Pacific when Ian (my brother-in-law) is in town so we're hoping he's up for it. Also looking forward to the Irish Fair and Warped Tour this summer. Luckily most of these concerts are pretty inexpensive and some are free! I even won tickets to see Jackson Browne at the State Fair and Nate won Warped Tour tickets. - Yeah I'm even more obessed than I thought.

2) Which item of clothing do you wear most often?
Earrings, I rarely leave the house without earrings. They just seem to complete any outfit.

3) What's for dinner?
Tonight we had pizza and salad.

4) What are you listening to?
The Offspring and Katie (my sister) talking to Ashley on the phone.

5) Say something about the one who tagged you:
Ann loves getting a good deal and teaching others how to bargain shop. Ann is gluten-free as well as 6 of her 11 children are gluten-free.

6) Favorite vacation spot?
Alaska, I keep asking Nate when can we go back. I love the scenery, history, wildlife and peacefulness.

7) What are you reading right now?
The Gluten Effect which I won from Carol at Simply...Gluten Free.

8) Four words to describe yourself?
Practical, Optimistic, Quiet and Emotional

9) Guilty pleasure?
My Bravo shows: The Real Housewives and The Millionaire Matchmaker

10) First Spring thing to do?
Clean - I'm trying to motivate myself to be more organized and donate things I don't need anymore so I ask myself "What would Kristy say?" "Just get rid of it!"

I'm going to tag Erin at Gluten Free with a Purpose.

May 5, 2009

Cabbage Saute

I made this awhile ago but still wanted to post it because it is so simple to make and uses basic ingredients. We had a lot of cabbage we needed to use up so I searched for a new recipe on all recipes. Nate and I thought it was a little bland so we added some pepper and garlic salt. We also added mushrooms we needed to use up.

Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
6 cups chopped cabbage
½ cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Directions:
1. In a large skillet, sauté onion in butter until tender. Add carrots; cook and stire for 2-3 minutes. Stier in the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve with slotted spoon.

As you can see we served it with baked chicken. The chicken was seasoned with a simple chicken seasoning that included garlic, black pepper and red pepper.
For more gluten-free recipes and meal ideas check out What's for Dinner Wednesday.

May 4, 2009

Gluten-Free Cake at Starbucks

We asked and they listened.

Nate and I aren't much of coffee drinkers which is nice for our wallets. My coworkers and I get coffee when we're stressed, caffeine and sweets seem to help us out. Otherwise, I'm usually in too much of a hurry in the morning. Nate doesn't like coffee but he'll enjoy a chai tea or one of the coolers on a rare occasion. However, tomorrow Nate is planning on stopping at Starbucks.

Tuesday, May 5th is the first day you can get a gluten-free treat with your beverage at Starbucks. The Orange Valencia Cake will be displayed in the display case but is wrapped individually to avoid cross contact. If you have additional allergies they list the ingredients right on the packaging. The ingredients include: Whole Eggs, Valencia Orange Pulp, Almonds, Sugar, Orange Peel, Gluten Free Baking Powder, and Orange Oil. The cake is priced around two dollars depending on where you live which is pretty reasonable for a gluten-free treat. They wanted to keep it comparable to the other treats.

I am really excited how convenient this will be for everyone and hope Nate really enjoys the cake. At the same time I'm hoping he doesn't enjoy it too much or it might become a habit.

April 26, 2009

Gluten-Free Wine Dinner

Someone left a comment about an exciting gluten-free event that is coming up on the Twin Cities. Monday, May 18th Wildfire in Eden Prairie will host a Gluten-Free dinner. The menu includes a 4-course meal, wine with each course, tax and gratuity. The Pear Tartlet for dessert sounds wonderful. They will also have a guest speaker discussing gluten-free dining and researching gluten-free products. For more information check out the Wildfire website.

April 23, 2009

Coborn's Delivers

Coborns Delivers (formerly Simon Delivers) is making gluten-free shopping easier. If you live in the greater Twin Cities area you can purchase all of your groceries online and have them delivered to your door. Coborns Delivers has added a section for gluten-free specialty products. Ingredient lists are easy to read for those with additional allergies. You can find some of your favorite brands of gluten-free pasta, crackers, soups and baked goods. Don't see a specific product you're looking for? Send them an email and request they add it.

April 16, 2009

Pizza Luce Downtown Minneapolis

I really only had 2 complaints about Pizza Luce offering a gluten-free menu.
1. It is only available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
2. It is only available at their St. Paul location.

I understand their logic, they wanted to control it as much as possible to eliminate any chance of cross contact. They started with offering gluten-free on Tuesdays and added Wednesdays not long after. We thought this is great, they are really seeing there is a demand and hoped they would continue to expand.

Starting next Tuesday and Wednesday you can order pizza made from Cooqi's gluten-free crust at Pizza Luce's Downtown Minneapolis location!

Pizza Luce Downtown Minneapolis
119 North 4th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55401

April 13, 2009

Gluten-Free in Rochester MN

We went to visit Nate's parents for Easter. We left early Saturday morning, Nate didn't think 6:20 a.m. was early enough though. On the way through Rochester we stopped at Canadian Honker. They only have 1 gluten-free option for breakfast but for only $3.99 it is a great deal. The breakfast includes 2 eggs, hash browns, fresh fruit and your choice of bacon or sausage. Plenty of food and a good price. I took a picture but I have to get it off of Nate's phone. Their gluten-free menu isn't very extensive but it provides some safe options and their staff seems very knowledgeable.

After breakfast we stopped at The Bread Baker Company. Nate immediately spotted the cinnamon swirl bread and then we saw a cheesy garlic bread and thought we better try that too. We also couldn't pass up two sugar cookies. Nate and Becca really enjoyed those. The bread was $7 for a loaf and the cookies were $3 for 2 large cookies. We'll definitely stop in there again next time we're in the area.

Saturday night my mother-in-law made stew so the toasted cheesy garlic bread went really well with it. Easter morning we had brunch and they enjoyed the cinnamon swirl bread. It was nice to be able to try something new that we can't get at home.

April 8, 2009

Gluten-Free Pizza in the Twin Cities

The Twin Cities has a few more gluten-free pizza options. Eden Pizza in St. Paul and Galactic Pizza in Uptown both serve Cooqi's gluten-free pizza crust.
Red's Savoy Pizza in Hugo and Coon Rapids also offer gluten-free pizza.

So far Nate has been showing some willpower (he's in saving mode now) but I'm sure we'll check them out soon.

April 2, 2009

7 things you may not know about me


You may have seen on other blogs "7 things you may not know about me." Glutenfree4goofs tagged me so here's my list of 7 things.

1. I am allergic to timothy grass, oaks, elms, maples, dust and mold.
2. I have a degree in Women's Studies in addition to Business.
3. It literally makes me sick to my stomach when people buy a dog from a breeder or pet store. I'll just leave it at that.
4. I like to go fishing.
5. I am a Mary Kay Consultant.
6. I am left-handed although, when I play softball I bat right-handed.
7. Surprisingly, I like driving my turbocharged "Saabaru."

The rules are simple. You're supposed to link to the person who tagged you and write 7 things about yourself. Then tag 7 people and let them know so they can write 7 things.
Cheaper by the Dozen and Get One Free
Simply...gluten-free
Katie Living Gluten-free in DC
GFCFSF and Rice Free
The Good Eatah
Fell 4 Fashion
My Fashion Chronicle

April 1, 2009

April Fools' Day

I considered writing an April Fools' post but there really isn't anything funny about allergies. Today on CNN I saw this article. It reminded me of some of the things that bother me so much about allergies and intolerance, such as kids not being able to enjoy the same things their friends enjoy and feeling left. Then there are the parents that worry about their children being safe and adults that aren't ready for change and don't want to give up favorite foods and traditions. I could go on and on.

Teddy reminded me of a little girl I used to take care of. She was allergic to eggs and nuts as well as on a GFCF diet for autism. I quickly learned what was safe for her to eat. She would make me read the ingredients on everything I gave her. Although I found it annoying at times I was proud of her for being so diligent with her diet.

March 30, 2009

Uno Gluten-Free Pizza Coupon

When my sisters and I were younger we loved going shopping at Southdale. Sometimes my mom would takes us to lunch at Uno Chicago Grill. We thought this was such a big treat. I had great memories of going there and was disappointed when I found out they closed the restaurant. We no longer have an Uno location in Minnesota. My sisters and I weren't the only ones disappointed that the Edina location closed. Nate was disappointed to find out they have a gluten-free menu that includes pizza yet we don't have a location near us. The former location was right by his work. He won't agree but it is probably better this way.

In case you have an Uno location near you I wanted to share this offer I received. Click here for a coupon to save a dollar on your gluten-free pizza. The coupon doesn't expire until 5/31/09! I have heard good reviews of the pizza so far.

Sign up for their email club to receive offers and updates.

March 25, 2009

Beef Stew


I made this last week for St. Patrick's Day and meant to post it earlier. I decided I should post it for What's for dinner Wednesday.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs. beef roast
6 potatoes
1 onion
2 cups carrots
3 stalks of celery
1 cup chopped cabbage
1 can tomato sauce (14.5 oz)
5 cups water
1 tbsp minced garlic
pepper
parsley

Directions:
Dice up beef, potatoes and vegetables. Place everything (except cabbage) in the crockpot and set on low for about 8 hours. I like to add the cabbage about an hour before we eat.
If you want to prepare it the night before you can put everything together except water and tomato sauce. Then add the water and tomato sauce in the morning and set the crockpot on low.

This is super easy and can be motified depending what you have on hand or how much you want to make. You can easily omit or add veggies depending on if you have picky eaters. My sister Katie doesn't really eat cooked cabbage so I was surprised when she ate it in the stew. We had crackers with it and had plenty for leftovers.

For more gluten-free recipes check out The Gluten-Free Homemaker's What's for Dinner Wednesday.

March 12, 2009

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Just because you're eating gluten-free doesn't mean you have to give up on traditions or celebrating holidays. With St. Patrick's day coming up I've been looking for some Irish recipes. I received this recipe for Irish Soda Bread in my email from Living Without magazine. I like how they give you suggestions on how to adjust the recipe for those with additional food allergies.

Irish Soda Bread
Ingredients:
2 cups high-protein, gluten-free flour blend (recipe below)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup gluten-free oats
1 egg or flax gel*
1 cup buttermilk or milk of choice (rice, hemp, soy, almond)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly dust a cookie sheet with gluten-free flour.
Mix flour blend, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt and oats in a bowl.
Add egg (or flax gel) and buttermilk and mix to form a soft, sticky dough.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead three times.
Shape dough into a 6-inch flat round. Place it on prepared cookie sheet.
Sprinkle it with gluten-free flour and score a large X on the top.
Bake in preheated oven until top is golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes.
*TIP To make flax gel, combine 1 tablespoon flax meal with 3 tablespoons hot water. Let sit until thickened, about ten minutes.

Gluten-Free High-Protein Flour Blend
1¼ cups bean flour, chickpea flour or soy flour
1 cup arrowroot starch, cornstarch or potato starch
1 cup tapioca starch/flour
1 cup white or brown rice flour

Blend ingredients together. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until used.

From Living Without, recipe by Rebecca Reilly.

March 2, 2009

Gluten-Free Travel Site

A couple of weeks ago my mother-in-law posted about GlutenFreeTravelSite.com. This website aims to be a one-stop-shop for your gluten-free traveling needs. You can search for reviews by state or select another country if you are planning on traveling internationally. Reviews are written by GlutenFreeTravelSite users so be sure to recommend your favorite restaurants so others can enjoy them as well. I know I'll be adding some reviews soon.

February 27, 2009

Product Review: SOYJOY Bars

I have been curious about SOYJOY bars for awhile but haven't noticed them at the grocery store. When we went to help my parents move my mom packed us little snack bags for the drive back. She gave us a couple of the berry flavor SOYJOY bars. I was excited because they say they do not contain gluten right on the wrapper.
The label says that there are "No Artificial Colors, Flavors, Hydrogenated Oils or Gluten."

The bars don't look very appealing to begin with since they look burnt but I thought the berry flavor couldn't be all that bad. I really wanted to like them because they are a healthy and convenient gluten-free snack. They were very dry and bland. If you are still interested in trying them I would recommend buying just 1 or 2 and making sure you like them first. I did like the wrappers they came in but that doesn't say much for the taste. Lame, I know but I've been looking at a lot of giveaway samples at work and the wrapper stands out.

Has anyone had a better experience with any of the other flavors?

February 24, 2009

Beef and Rice Medley

As I've said before when I cook I rarely use recipes. I cook like my mom and my grandma using whatever I have on hand and usually don't measure ingredients. I didn't really know what to make for dinner last night, just that it needed to be something warm. When we start to get bored or I want to find something new then I turn to recipes. I went to allrecipes.com and clicked on Healthy Cooking. I noticed they had a section for Gluten-Free Recipes as well as other dietary needs. Normally I just try to adapt recipes but this will be a convenient way to search for new gluten-free recipes.

This Beef and Rice Medley recipe stood out because we had the ingredients and it looked simple. I was worried that Matt wouldn't like the diced tomatoes. After dinner he said it would have been better without onions, he's getting used to tomatoes.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 cube beef bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 (8 ounce) package mozzarella cheese
Directions:
1. Place ground beef and onion in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain excess fat. Stir in water and rice. Season with beef bouillon and black pepper. Simmer 25 to 30 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Stir in diced tomatoes and green peppers. Simmer another 10 minutes, until green pepper is tender. Sprinkle top with cheese.

Since I have a difficult time making a recipe just as it is I did add some garlic and parsley to it as well.

Look for other gluten-free recipes on
The Gluten-Free Homemaker, What's For Dinner Wednesday.

February 23, 2009

LA Gluten-Free Food Examiner

I always try to keep my eyes open for new gluten-free resources. Allison Hecht is the LA Gluten-Free Food Examiner. She writes about topics to help make life "tasty and affordable" for people with food allergies. Obviously her focus is more in the Southern California area although many of the topics apply to others as well. Even if you don't live in the LA area you'll still enjoy her recipes and product reviews. Check out the Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe she recently listed.

February 22, 2009

Michello's Restaurant Review

Nate and I have been trying to be good about not going out to eat too often. After reading on The Savvy Celiac that Michello's in Blaine, MN has a gluten-free menu we thought we had to check it out. Michello's is about 2 miles from our house and has gluten-free pizza and pasta. Would we actually have a convenient location for gluten-free pizza?

We were really impressed with the number of choices on the gluten-free menu. Since gluten-free lasagna is so rare to find in restaurants we had to try it. Michello's gluten-free lasagna is the same recipe as their regular lasagna except for the rice noodles. All of their sauces are made from scratch.

The lasagna and other pastas are served with garlic bread. The garlic bread was good but not great, something you could easily make at home with store bought bread. They are working on their own recipe for garlic bread.

Nate is never one to pass up gluten-free pizza so we decided to share a pepperoni and sausage pizza. At Michello's they make their own pizza crust. The ingredients are listed on the menu which is nice for those with other allergens. I'm pretty impressed that they take the time to make their own crust. They also add toppings in a dedicated area to help eliminate cross contact.



They brought out a piece of chocolate cake and asked if they could get our opinion on it. This might be the first time that Nate and I shared a piece of cake at a restaurant. Usually if they offer a gluten-free cake it is a flourless chocolate cake which are too rich for his taste. We both really enjoyed the cake. Nate said it reminded him of one his Grandma would make which is a pretty nice compliment seeing as she's been baking gluten-free for almost 30 years now. They are working on their carrot cake recipe as well.

I am definitely worried about the damage to my wallet and waistline with this being so convenient for us.

February 13, 2009

Bunky's Cafe

The other day I heard that Bunky's Cafe in Madison, Wisconsin will make almost anything gluten-free. We don't make it to Madison very often although, my mother-in-law Ann takes the girls there often for doctor appointments and to run errands.

I had to check this out for them and Teresa informed me "Our whole menu is or can be made GF (with the exception of the ravioli)." When I told my sister-in-law Becca about it she was a little disappointed because she wanted ravioli. I don't think she'll be too disappointed considering they have gluten-free pizza, pasta, garlic bread and desserts. I don't think I'll need to twist their arms very much to get them to try it and let us know what they think.

Note they are not open on Mondays so try to plan around that. They also have many vegetarian and vegan options available.

February 9, 2009

Valentine's Day Dinner at Cafe Agri

This Valentine's Day Cafe Agri in Minneapolis is offering a set menu for two for $50.

The gluten-free dinner for 2 includes:
Smoked Trout stuffed beet appetizer
Wild mushroom risotto
Loving gluten-free cookie plate
Any bottle of wine

Call ahead to make your reservations.
Cafe Agri
4300 Bryant Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55409
612.822.3101

February 4, 2009

GF Valentine's Day Treats

We can barely go to St. Paul without stopping at Cooqi for a treat. Can you blame us? How yummy does this cupcake look?

This year for Valentine's Day they are offering some fun gluten-free treats for your sweetheart. These treats include a personal box of chocolates, chocolate lollipops and sweetheart cupcakes. After my sweetheart reads this he'll probably try to find an excuse for us to go to St. Paul.

If you purchase a ½ dozen or more of any item they will gift-wrap it for free from now through February 14th.

Simply Gluten Free Specialty Grocery

Are you looking for a one stop gluten-free shop? If you live near Thousand Oaks, CA you are in luck.

Simply Gluten Free is a specialty grocery store where you can shop online for gluten-free products. This past Saturday they opened a store in Thousand Oaks, CA. They offer a variety of products to help make gluten-free shopping easier. I particularly like the "Just Diagnosed" Gift Baskets.

Simply Gluten Free
Specialty Grocery
1321 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. #A108
Thousand Oaks, Ca 91362Store

Store Hours:
Tues. & Wed. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thurs. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Fri. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sat. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
(Closed Sun. & Mon.)

February 1, 2009

The Old Spaghetti Factory

The other day was my sister Katie's birthday so we went out to celebrate at The Old Spaghetti Factory. Our meals were fine, nothing special and the service was a little slow - although I felt bad because he was trying very hard. All meals come with bread (not gluten-free), soup or salad, a beverage (excluding pop) and ice cream.

When they brought out our meals they told Nate his would be a bit longer because after they made his they realized they made him the regular gluten meal. I was annoyed with this but glad they noticed it and were fixing it. At least he had a salad so he wasn't starving and his meal came out about two minutes later. Their creamy pesto salad dressing is very good and the spumoni was a fun treat.

Pros: gluten-free menu, meal price includes soup or salad, beverage and dessert
Cons: slow service, okay food, they almost forgot to make his gluten-free

January 29, 2009

ZPizza Restaurant Review

After reading Katie's blog I told Nate there was another place with gluten-free pizza. Since ZPizza has a location close to us he decided we just had to try it. All I have to say is their pizza is Amazing!

We ordered the American and Mexican to share. Both pizzas tasted like the perfect balance of everything. ZPizza definitely uses fresh quality ingredients. Thanks again Katie for posting about this.

American


Mexican
ZPizza has locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Call ahead to make sure your location offers the gluten-free pizza or request they carry it.

January 28, 2009

Laura's Wholesome Junk Food Product Review

A little while ago Nate and I tried Charlotte's Chocolate Chip cookies by Laura's Wholesome Junk Food. They are a nice snack when I'm craving something sweet but I don't feel guilty afterwards. I told myself that I should eat them because Nate probably doesn't care for them since they contain coconut. So I was surprised that he actually like them.

Don't expect them to taste like a "normal" chocolate chip cookie. You'll get a wholesome cookie sweetened with natural juices. We are addicted to them now.

Laura's Wholesome Junk Food has some other gluten-free cookies including:
Sally's Raisin
Better Brownie
Cole's Cashew Chocolate Chip

Check out Dr. Laura's interesting story on how the company got started.

January 22, 2009

Gluten-Free Fest at Fresh & Natural Foods

Do you want to try new gluten-free products but worry you won't like them and it will be a waste of money? Fresh and Natural Foods has some Gluten-Free Fests coming up in the next couple of weeks. If you live in the area it is a nice chance to try some new gluten-free products.

Saturday, January 31st 11:00am-3:00pm
Four Seasons Mall
4234 Lancaster Lane
Plymouth, MN 55441
or
Plaza 94 Shopping Center
1701 Ward Avenue, Suite 200
Hudson, WI 54016

Saturday, February 7th 11:00am-3:00pm
Shoreview Village Mall
1075 West Highway 96
Shoreview, MN 55126

January 18, 2009

Pizza Fusion has Gluten-Free Pizza

Pizza Fusion is the pizza place for everyone and prides itself on being environmentally friendly. Pizza Fusion offers gluten-free pizza crust, beer and brownies. They also have options for those who are vegan, vegetarian or lactose intolerant.

Pizza Fusion is very conscious of being earth friendly. These are just some of their environmentally friendly action items:
  • Disposable silverware decomposes in 50 days
  • Customers receive a discount for returning pizza boxes to be recycled
  • Pizza is delivered in company hybrid cars
  • My favorite, the counter tops are made from recycled detergent bottles
Unfortunately we don't have a Pizza Fusion near us. They have many locations across the country including Atlanta, San Diego and Seattle with more coming soon.

Marissa - They are opening one in LA!

January 16, 2009

Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas

I have been looking for a gluten-free wrap to mix up our lunches a bit. We bought some of the Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas. I brought one for lunch the first day and it was very brittle which made it difficult to eat. If I remember correctly the package says they recommend to heat them up. The second day I brought them I tried heating them up. They were still falling apart. We finally gave up on making them work and are on the search for a different sandwhich wrap.
I had higher expectations.

January 12, 2009

Strongbow Cider

Saturday night Katie and I dropped Christi off to work at the Swarm game. (The Swarm is Minnesota's professional lacrosse team.) Katie and I had some time before the game so we stopped at The Liffey to waste some time. I ordered a Finnegans to do my part and support the community. (Finnegans is not gluten-free but they donate profits to support local charities.) After we ordered Katie noticed that The Liffey has Strongbow Cider on tap. I like Strongbow because it is a dry cider and not as sweet as some of the other ciders out there.

The Nook in St. Paul carries Strongbow in the can.

January 9, 2009

Starbucks wants your help

Starbucks has a website called My Starbucks Idea where you can give suggestions and help shape current projects they are working on. Currently they are working on adding more gluten-free options to their menu and they want your help. Let them know what gluten-free items you would like to see offered at Starbucks. Here are some questions they have for you.

• What specific gluten-free products would you like to see in our stores?
• Would you prefer to see it individually packaged or unpackaged?
• How would you like to learn we have gluten-free products? For example, would you like to see it on a sign or would you prefer the barista tell you?
• Where would you like to see gluten-free products in the store; in the pastry case or placed elsewhere?
• The ingredient costs of gluten-free products tend to be higher, so would you understand if we charged more for the gluten-free version?

Click here to leave a comment for Starbucks.

January 8, 2009

Gluten-Free Pizza, Lasagna, Ravioli & Wraps

Nate has a lot in common with his Uncle Dan and Uncle Tim. For example, all three of them are obsessed with Jeeps, boats and gluten-free pizzas. Both Dan and Tim have called Nate in the same night looking for gluten-free pizza in different areas of the Twin Cities. While the first two obsessions tend to be spendy it is the pizza that can be hardest to find. The locations never seem to be in the right place at the right time. We have some good pizza recipes to make at home but it is not the same as going out for pizza or picking one up before a football game.

Donatelli's in White Bear Lake offers gluten-free pizza, lasagna and ravioli. Now this will be a difficult choice since these items are all hard to find gluten-free in a restaurant.

Zebra Pizza in Ramsey now offers gluten-free pizza crust and wraps. They even have a choice between thick crust and thin crust! According to their website the thin crust pizza is corn free.
They do not have dine in but they can make it for you or you can get a "take n bake." Lori's Zebra Pizza also recommends to call ahead at least an hour before you need the pizza. They try to keep things on hand but cannot gurantee they will have everything in stock.

January 7, 2009

Enjoy Life on CNN Morning Express

CNN Morning Express covered a story on Enjoy Life this morning. Click here to watch the video.

Enjoy Life Foods products are free of the top allergens. Nate loves the Snickerdoodles and Caramel Apple snack bars. We usually bring them with on trips for a quick snack or breakfast. On our last roadtrip I discovered I like the Snickerdoodles too. Now he has to share with me!

January 4, 2009

Fogo de Chao - Almost Entirely Gluten-Free

Nate and I have been interested in going to Fogo de Chao for awhile, especially since we heard almost everything is gluten-free. The only two items that are not gluten-free are the wheat bread and tabbouleh which are both located at the salad bar.

We started with the salad bar that included large asparagus spears, roasted peppers, salmon, etc. Nate patiently waited for me me to finish my salad but I told him to go ahead and start with the meat. Each person has a disk which will control when they are offered meat. Within 10 seconds of flipping his disk from red to green a Gaucho Chef appeared at our table offering some meat. As soon as he left three more Gaucho Chefs appeared one after another and Nate quickly turned his disk back to red so he could enjoy his meal. Shortly after I switched my disk to green and received the same prompt service.

They offer 15 different kinds of meat. Items you can choose from include a top sirloin, pork ribs, leg of lamb. Your server will also bring some traditional side dishes of mashed potatoes, fried bananas and crispy polenta which they refill as necessary. Nate loves mashed potatoes but this time he barely touched them since there were so many other items to enjoy.

One would think that Nate's favorite part of the meal would have been the assortment of meats. His favorite by far was actually the cheese bread. Their famous Pao de Quiejo cheesebread is served warm and replenished throughout the meal. The cheese bread is gluten-free and made of tapioca flour. It is a lot like the Chebe bread. Usually I gorge myself on bread while Nate waits patiently for the meal. For a change it was nice to have the bread automatically gluten-free and not have to ask for a separate basket. Our waiter commented that Nate was enjoying the bread so I explained to him that this was a treat because he usually can't eat the bread. Then he offered to bring us 2 baskets of bread. Nate declined his offer.

We decided to go for lunch on one of our days off since lunch is about half the price of dinner. For lunch you can expect to pay around $20-$30. Those with a lighter appetite can choose just the salad bar. If you are going for dinner it ranges around $40-$50 not including drinks and dessert. Prices vary by city. While it is on the spendier side, the combination of great food and wonerful service make it worth it for a nice treat.

As with any restaurant menu items may change or vary by location so feel free to ask if you have concerns regarding ingredients.