SPRING Nourished Festival- Online GF Expo

SPRING Nourished Festival- Online GF Expo

Whether it’s gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, or by personal choice, living a gluten-free lifestyle isn’t always easy. But with knowledge, resources, and support, a gluten-free lifestyle is highly attainable, leading to a happier, healthier life for you and your family!

Get access to experts and resources at The Gluten-Free Expo on Mary 14 & 15, 2022. The Gluten-Free Expo is a FREE two-day event dedicated to the unique needs of those who need or want to lead a gluten-free lifestyle for themselves or their family. The all-virtual event will feature a full schedule of presentations, exhibitors, discounts, giveaways, and the ability to connect with others in the community. The Gluten-Free Expo will cover a variety of topics to help you lead your best gluten-free life, including:

  • Medical & Community Support
  • Specialty Diets
  • Supplements
  • Food Products
  • Skincare & Cosmetics
  • Household & Pet

Registration is free but is required to attend the event. https://www.nourishedfestival.com/gluten-free-expo

The exhibitor list and presentation schedule will be shared with registered attendees before the show. Full access to all event content and activities will be available at 10:00am (ET) on May 14th, 2022.

What to Expect

  • Engaging presentations and content from experts
  • 1-on-1 consultations (by appointment only)
  • Live events, chats, and private video networking sessions with exhibitors
  • Products and services from gluten-free brands
  • Samples, discounts, giveaways, and promotions
  • A safe environment to connect and communicate with others leading a gluten-free lifestyle
  • A virtual experience that you control—choose to browse, interact, participate as you desire

AND mark your calendars for The FALL Gluten-Free Expo coming Oct 15-16, 2022.

FALL Nourished Festival- Online GF Expo

FALL Nourished Festival- Online GF Expo

Get access to experts and resources at the Gluten-Free Expo on Sat, Nov. 6 – Sun, Nov. 7 2021. The Gluten-Free Expo is a FREE two-day event dedicated to the unique needs of those who need or want to lead a gluten-free lifestyle for themselves or their family. The all-virtual event will feature a full schedule of presentations, exhibitors, discounts, giveaways, and the ability to connect with others in the community. The Gluten-Free Expo will cover a variety of topics to help you lead your best gluten-free life, including:

  • Medical & Community Support
  • Specialty Diets
  • Supplements
  • Food Products
  • Skincare & Cosmetics
  • Household & Pet

Registration is free but is required to attend the event. https://www.nourishedfestival.com/gluten-free-expo

The exhibitor list and presentation schedule will be shared with registered attendees before the show. Full access to all event content and activities will be available at 10:00am (ET) on Sat, Nov. 6, and Sun, Nov. 7 2021.

What to Expect

  • Engaging presentations and content from experts
  • 1-on-1 consultations (by appointment only)
  • Live events, chats, and private video networking sessions with exhibitors
  • Products and services from gluten-free brands
  • Samples, discounts, giveaways, and promotions
  • A safe environment to connect and communicate with others leading a gluten-free lifestyle
  • A virtual experience that you control—choose to browse, interact, participate as you desire
Bob’s Red Mill Oat Crackers

Bob’s Red Mill Oat Crackers

I love Bob’s Red Mill products, and these were no exception. The crackers were thicker or denser than say Wheat Thins (even though the box says “thin & crisp”) and were delicious with hummus. Not salty like Wheat Thins, just right, and slightly larger. Great for cheese and cold cuts, but you will need to buy a few boxes if entertaining; it’s a small box (8″ x 4.5″ x 2″), and an even smaller bag of crackers inside (says “4 servings” and about “8 in a serving”, meaning 32 crackers in the box) and many of the crackers were broken, that was a disappointment. I found them in the Cracker aisle at Sprout’s for $3.99, not in the gluten-free aisle where I expected them to be.

They come in several flavors, I chose the “classic” flavor. Enjoy!

Good & Gather GF Homestyle Waffles

Good & Gather GF Homestyle Waffles

Good & Gather is the home brand of Target food products. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined Target having THE BEST gluten free waffles I’ve ever tasted! Hands down the most flavorful waffles, thick and crunchy. I’ve eaten Vans Gluten Free and Nature’s Path Organic Gluten Free, both in various flavors, none as good as the basic Homestyle waffles offered by Target. And the price is less than $2.50 for a box of 8 waffles. Go stock up!

  • Good & Gather GF Homestyle Waffles
  • NO artificial flavors, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners!
  • NO high fructose corn syrup
  • No synthetic color
  • Certified GF
  • 8 waffles in a package
  • Money back guarantee, so you can’t go wrong!
  • In Target’s freezer section
  • Allergens- contains soy
  • Also states on box that it “contains a bioengineered food product”, though I don’t know which ingredient it is.

I regularly use these waffles for almond butter & jelly sandwiches, egg sandwiches, with syrup, and with sliced bananas. Also great drenched with berries!

As an aside, I see from numerous reviews on the Target site, that many people hate the crunchiness of these waffles. Frankly, I am so tired of mushy, limp GF waffles and tortillas that I would take dry any day! Here’s the link to Target’s waffle page for more reviews.

https://www.target.com/p/gluten-free-homestyle-frozen-waffle-8ct-good-38-gather-8482/-/A-80952978

“World’s Best” Mac and Cheese

“World’s Best” Mac and Cheese

I got a text from my daughter-in-law telling me about “the best mac & cheese” they’d ever tasted AND it was gluten-free (they don’t have sensitivities, they just decided to try it out). Happened to be “on sale” for $9.99 (regularly $12.99) at the grocery store she works at.

And for the next few months, they asked if I’d tried it, but each store in my area did not carry the gluten-free product. I finally found it at a Safeway, same price, $9.99 on sale for an 18oz package.

Make sure it bears the orange certified “gluten-free” packaging. It may be sitting next to the regular product.

I haven’t had real mac & cheese in ages! Mainly because I’d been avoiding dairy/cheese (for sensitivity reasons) and only recently added it back into my meals. This was the real deal as far as macaroni & cheese goes- very cheesy, rich, creamy…almost too creamy when it first comes out of the microwave, very soupy sauce. Maybe I just didn’t let it sit long enough after microwaving (it asks you to “let set for up to 2 minutes before serving”). I think this is so the penne pasta absorbs the runny cheesy goodness, as I found the noodles seemed a bit undercooked/firm and dry, not at all tender…at first.

The more I ate, the better it tasted! Soupy with cheese!!! And it left me thinking if I had been alone, I might have eaten the whole package, which at 2.5 servings per package and 14G of *saturated fat* PER SERVING, would be a bit over the top.

The package made 2 meals (one for me and then next day for hubby). My portion was generous and I added parmesan cheese to thicken the soupy sauce. There was still too much sauce at the bottom of the bowl when I was finished with the pasta, so I added a few sliced tomatoes, which didn’t sop up the sauce as much as make it runnier but the tomatoes added a new dimension to the sauce and ideas for next time.

My hubby enjoyed it with some grilled shrimp, and deemed Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese as worthy of another purchase.

$9.99 is a steep price for cheesy noodles, even gluten-free, but in a pinch, if you don’t want or have the time to make it yourself, this is a great alternative and a delicious treat.

Ideas for extending or embellishing the meal-

  • add tomatoes or other veggies for color,
  • add meat or fish,
  • enjoy with a salad,
  • use as a side dish.

Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese

Certified gluten-free

Frozen food section, you may have to ask for it

Serves 2-4

It’s vegetarian too

Conventional oven or microwave cooking directions

Allergens- contains milk

Mac and Cheese before baking.

Restaurant Review: Psycho Donuts

Restaurant Review: Psycho Donuts

It’s been too long since I last visited Psycho Donuts to enjoy one of their gluten-free donuts. Part of the reason for the gap in time was I never really knew when they were going to be available, sometimes once a month. More recently, for a short trial period, they have GF donuts every Friday, so no calling, just show up.

I have to say, I was really excited about this visit. Psycho Donuts is famous for their crazy flavor combos, such as Cereal Killer (fruity cereal on top), Kooky Monster (topped with crushed Oreo cookies and blue drizzle), and the Dead Elvis (cream filled, bananas, bacon, peanut butter and jelly). The last time I had a donut was Katz Donuts (boxed and frozen, Sprouts Markets) which are delicious warmed up.. But you can imagine the feeling of walking in to buy fresh!…the mouth-watering scent! And in that aspect, Psycho did not disappoint.

GF donut options for 5/15/15
GF donut options for 5/15/15

The GF donuts are stored in clear plastic takeout containers in a back area separate from the displayed donuts up front. The “Crazy Nurse” pulled out a container and placed it on the counter. I was actually confused because there were 5 donuts in the container, one of each of the GF flavors that day, and I really only wanted one donut (at $3.00 each). She told me that I could get whatever combination I wanted, however, because of the way they’re packaged, I couldn’t buy several of one kind. So I opted to buy 3 of the 5 GF “flavors” they had that day – maple bacon with chocolate, strawberry chocolate, and peanut butter chocolate chip. The “Nurse” who helped me said the official Psycho names would be on the website, but the pictures on their site “menu” are only for their regular donuts, not GF, probably because the GF flavors change weekly.

I was rushed and ate them out of the paper bag with my fingers, however, the donuts really REALLY needed to be on a plate and enjoyed with a knife & fork; the icings were gooey, the toppings coming off easily, and the cake itself was dry and firm, so imagine the mess I had trying to break off a piece out of the bag. Ugh!

The best flavor (of course!) was the maple bacon chocolate, really strong, with the perfect mix of salty & sweet. My son felt differently when he tried a bite, he didn’t like how hard the bacon pieces were, “too chewy”. He complained about how hard the cake was, expecting soft & moist, which none of the donuts were. The strawberry chocolate was topped with dried strawberries which weren’t appetizing to look at but were deliciously tart and did remind me of chocolate covered strawberries. And the peanut butter chocolate chip’s topping immediately had that peanut buttery texture that sticks to the roof of your mouth and I enjoyed that.

I did take 2 days to eat all 3 donuts, so I savored the flavors. This will probably hold me over for several months before I pay them another visit; though the flavors were good, the donut cake itself was too dry for me.

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Restaurant Review: Dona Esther’s “Gluten Free” Menu

When my husband and I went to Dona Esther Mexican restaurant in San Juan Bautista http://donaesthermexicanrestaurant.com to enjoy their Artichoke Enchiladas this past May, it was my first visit since going GF last August.

Whenever I eat out, I always ask, “do you have a GF menu?”, but I was surprised when the waitress said, “yes” and returned with a 2-sided fully laminated menu! Unfortunately, as I looked it over, I saw discrepancies in what I thought was correctly, or incorrectly, deemed as gluten-free. Flautas gluten-free? Tostadas gluten-free? This was too good to be true! So I asked, “do you have a dedicated fryer? A separate fryer for your gluten-free items?” She said, no, they had only one fryer. I told her these items can’t be gluten-free if they are fried in the same fryer with everything else. To which she responded that they weren’t. I asked about the chips on the table and she said they were fried in the same fryer, so then the nachos on the menu were not gluten-free either.

We should have just left, but I ended up ordering their Veggie Fajitas (pictured), with corn tortillas, which was delicious. Although I did not have a reaction, you must question whether there is cross-contamination in their kitchen because they really don’t know what “gluten-free” means.

Be cautious, even when a menu is provided.

Great combination of fresh vegetables in their fajitas!
Great combination of fresh vegetables in their fajitas!

Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

I usually check the ingredients on cans and packaging before I purchase, so I didn’t look at the label before making my enchiladas. Unfortunately, the sauce was poured before I realized that its ingredients, though none showed wheat, did have a “warning” that it “contains: soy and wheat”. From the ingredients themselves (and I did check my “Glutencheck” app), this was not obvious, and rather than dumping my artichoke & chile enchiladas, I cooked and ate them, with the delusional mindset of “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”.

Next day, I emailed the distributors, B&G Foods, through their Las Palmas products’ link…

Message: “I am gluten sensitive. The (sauce) can says it contains soy and wheat but I can’t tell from ingredients where the wheat is. Is it processed in a factory with wheat? Because I don’t recognize any ingredients as containing wheat.”

Their response-  “Thank you for your email and interest in one of our products. This Las Palmas sauce contains a wheat ingredient in the “spice” blend used in its formula. As a result the sauce is not gluten free.”

So, I learned a valuable lesson- continue to check labels, even if I purchased it and looked at the ingredients prior to buying…I might have missed something in my rush at the market.

Also, the Las Palmas site, in their FAQs pages, says “Las Palmas Red Chili Sauce, Las Palmas Crushed Tomatillos and Las Palmas Red Enchilada Sauce are all gluten-free.” So next time, I’ll go with the red sauce rather than the green.

Happy eats!

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