Quote of the day

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