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September 2, 2014

Gluten Free Kale & Watermelon Summer Salad

With Labor Day marking the official end of Summer, I am not ready to give up outdoor meals and warmer month traditions.  Luckily for us watermelons are still stacked high at the grocery store reminding us that summer is nowhere close to being over. With the temperature still hovering in the 70s at night time, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven. So in an attempt to use 2 refreshing ingredients, watermelon and kale, I am happy to say I came across Hungry, Healthy Happy's Kale and Watermelon Salad and drooled over this fresh dish incorporating creamy feta, crunchy pecans, and a blend of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and vinegar for the dressing. I was equally excited to see that all ingredients were naturally gluten free, and I didn't even have to think of making any modifications to the recipe.

Thank you Dannii for creating a healthy summer dish that can be enjoyed by all, all year long. For other healthy, refreshing and delicious recipes, follow Dannii on Facebook and Twitter.

February 27, 2014

Review: Gluten Free Girl Scouts Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

As a Celiac with the opportunity to try the highly anticipated gluten free Girl Scout cookie that launched this year, I feel it is my duty to the gluten free community and to the Girl Scouts foundation to provide feedback. I first blogged about the possibility of the Girl Scouts launching a gluten free cookie in June 2012 HERE and am excited that progress has been made!

First and foremost I would like to thank the Girl Scouts of the United States of America for acknowledging those with a gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance and/or Celiac Disease. Speaking on behalf of the gluten free community, we are excited for the opportunity  to order a box of Girl Scout cookies, just like everyone else.

From ABC Smart Cookie's website

The Cookie: Gluten Free Goodness
Since it’s estimated that three million people have problems when they eat foods that contain gluten*, ABC and our council partners expect this cookie to be a huge success. Our new bite size Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookie:

  • Made with real chocolate chips and real butter
  • Does NOT contain artificial flavors, colors,
  • high fructose corn syrup, palm or hydrogenated oils
  • Available in a 5 ounce resealable foil pouch with
  • 12 pouches per case

The cookie is made of rice and tapioca flours, as well as "real chocolate chips and real butter" and cane sugars. "They contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no high fructose corn syrup, no palm oil, and no hydrogenated oils," the website says. Four bite-sized cookies have 130 calories.

I would be doing a disservice to both parties if I were not to provide my honest opinion, so here we go! Being a Celiac, I do not want to settle. The gluten free world has made huge strides over the years, so why stop now?

  • Size: Score- 7/10 about the size of a quarter. I don't know about you, but for some reason being a Celiac my gluten free options tend to be half the size of their gluten filled counter part, whether it is sliced bread, muffins or in this case cookies, I am not sure why some manufactures cannot produce a cookie that is a "normal" size

  • Quantity: Score 8/10 20 cookies/package, literally just like the movie- Gone in 60 Seconds!
  • Flavor & Texture: Score 9/10 I have to admit I could eat the whole bag, because they are a "pop in your mouth" kind of size, but they were dry compared to my favorite cookie brands. The chocolate chips are big, which I love but the shortbread a little too crumbly
  • Packaging: Score 7/10- again, not wanting to be singled out here, but why can't these be packaged like all other Girl Scout cookies? The packaging resembles a heavier plastic bag (similar to a chip bag, HALF full!)
  • Price: Score - 6/10 $5.00 for 20 cookies (All other Girl Scout cookies are $4.00/box). I am a firm believer that just because something says "gluten free" doesn't mean it has to cost more!
  • Availability: Score- 7/10 Although I am happy I was able to try these because I live close to Orange County, CA, I wished more people across the US were given the opportunity to try them as well. I can only hope that others throughout the country will be given the same opportunity some day. Test market list HERE
Total Score: 44/60- C-

Overall, I applaud the Girl Scouts of the United States of America for including over 3 million Americans who are on a strict gluten free diet, although like any product, there are a few areas that need improvement.

American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2001, 2006; University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, Celiac Disease Facts and Figures, CeliacDisease.net.

February 17, 2014

Gluten Free Finds at Costco (Part 4)

Another super successful Costco trip this past Saturday in the books! Its great, every time we stop in we always come across new products that are gluten free! Costco never disappoints! I found these at the Morena Blvd. location. Click on the product name to be redirected to the product's website.

Check out my previous gf finds at other San Diego locations:

Updated 11/16/12- Part 1 click HERE
Updated 3/13/2013- Part 2 click HERE

Updated 8/1/13- Part 3 click HERE

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Mixed Seeds (Sunflower & Flax Seeds), Rice Flour (White, Brown & Sweet Rice), Egg White, Hi Oleic Safflower Oil, Tapioca Flour, Sugar Cane Fiber, Granulated Sugar, Yeast, Pear Juice Concentrate, Plum Puree (Prune Juice Concentrate, Dried Plums,) Modified Cellulose, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Baking Powder (Glucono Delta Lactone & Calcium Carbonate) Cellulose Gum, Orange Citrus Fiber. *Contains Egg Whites.

Sabra Hummus Dipping Singles 16- 2oz cups- $6.49
Ingredients: Cooked Chickpeas [Chickpeas (Garbanzos), Water], Tahini (Ground Sesame), Soybean Oil, Garlic, Salt, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate Added To Maintain Freshness.

INGREDIENTS: Basmati Rice (Water, Basmati Rice, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Ginger, Garlic), Sauce (Water, Coconut Milk [Coconut Extract, Water], Green Bell Peppers, Onions, Cane Sugar, Garlic, Fresh Basil, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Ginger, Green Curry Paste [Fresh Green Chilies, Garlic, Wild Ginger, Shallot, Lemongrass, Salt, Kaffir Lime, Sugar, Galangal, Spices, Pepper], Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Cornstarch, Spices, Lemongrass Extract (Soybean Oil, Lemongrass Extractives), Chicken (Chicken Breast, Water, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Cornstarch, Sea Salt, Garlic).Contains: Coconut

Mission Hill Bistro Angus Steak Tips 32 oz with Vegetables $9.99

Ingredients:  water, coconut milk (coconut milk, guar gum), baby corn, onions, bamboo shoots, tomatoes, carrots, red curry paste (red chili, garlic, salt, onions, spices), red peppers, green peppers, sunflower oil, lemongrass, galangal, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, sea salt, cane sugar, kaffir lime leaves

ingredients: Organic Chicken Stock (Chicken Meat with Natural Juices, Salt, Cane Sugar, Maltodextrin, Dried Onion, Potato Starch, Dried Garlic, Turmeric, Spice Extract), Water, Organic Carrots, Roasted Organic Potatoes, Organic Navy Beans, Organic Chicken Meat, Organic Tomato Puree (Water, Organic Tomato Paste), Organic Cream from Organic Milk, Zucchini, Contains less than 2% of Organic Rice Starch, Organic Green Beans, Organic White Rice Flour, Organic Spice, Organic Garlic, Sea Salt, Organic Parmesan Cheese (Organic Milk Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Organic Dehydrated Onion, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Flavoring, Organic Chicken Fat, Organic Vegetables (Carrots, Onions, Celery), Dehydrated Organic Onions, Organic Cane Juice

Tasty Bites Madras Lentils 6/10 oz pouches $9.99
INGREDIENTS: Water, Tomatoes, Lentils, Red Beans, Onions, Cream, Salt, Butter, Sunflower Oil, Chilies, Cumin. Contains: Milk.

Ingredients: dry roasted California almonds, cane sugar, responsibly-sourced palm fruit oil, sea salt.

Ingredients: organic golden flaxseed


SkinnyPop Popcorn 12 oz- $5.49
Ingredients: All natural popcorn, sunflower oil and salt.

INGREDIENTS: Vegetable Stock (Water, onions, celery, carrots, sea salt, garlic, spices), Corns, Potatoes, Onions, Tomato Paste (Tomatoes, salt), Black Beans, Diced Tomatoes (Tomatoes, Tomato Juice and Sea Salt), Red Peppers, Green Chilies (Green chili peppers, water, salt), Celery, Herbs, Lime Juice, Garlic, Olive Oil, Spices, Sea Salt.

Nuevo Grille All Natural Handmade Beef Tamales 10/ 5oz- $10.99
stone ground corn (corn, water, lime), beef (beef, water, salt), water, lard, jalapenos (jalapeno peppers, water, vinegar, salt, spices), red chiles, salt, tomato paste, corn starch, corn oil, garlic (garlic, citric acid), dehydrated chicken broth.

February 3, 2014

Love your Gluten Free Diet GIVEAWAY with Annie's Homegrown {CLOSED}

Congratulations Lisa Marie Crooks for winning the Annie's Homegrown Love Your Gluten Free Diet Giveaway!


Valentine's Day is just around the corner and one of the things I love most is my gluten free diet. Since I broke up with Gluten over 7 years ago, I have enjoyed several dates out with my new significant other- GLUTEN FREE. He doesn't cause me so much pain, he brings me comfort, he is supportive of my dreams and he loves me!  He is the total package!
Another love I have is snacking so when you put 2 of my favorites together- I am bound for a great day! I have been a fan of Annie's ever since I was diagnosed in 2007, so you can understand my excitement when I was ask to try their new gluten free bars! 

I am excited to announce that Annie's Homegrown would LOVE to giveaway their NEW Gluten Free bars and Bunny Fruit Snacks to one of my lucky readers just in time for Valentine's Day.

Annie’s just released their new gluten free Chewy Granola Bars, available in Oatmeal Cookie and Double Chocolate Chip. They are delicious and convenient for snacking on-the-go. They make the perfect breakfast or wholesome snack for your purse or lunchbox! I personally keep a few in my office desk drawer to satisfy my 2pm cravings. They are:
  • Gluten free Love it!
  • No high-fructose corn syrup Love it!
  • 8g of Whole Grains per serving; great source of fiber Love it!
  • No artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives / No GMOs Love it!
Also, for a limited time only Annie's has a special seasonal Valentine’s Day Bunny Fruit Snacks. They are sweet, with no synthetic ingredients and gluten free!

What is there not to LOVE about Annie's ?!?

Annie's also carries a full line of delicious gluten free products- click HERE for complete details. My all time favorite is the Rice Mac & Cheese! 

To Enter*:

Show Annie's some LOVE by following on Twitter and tweet- "I 
love my gluten free diet and would LOVE to win @annieshomegrown #glutenfree bars & fruit snacks from @GlutenExchange"


1. Like Annie's Homegrown on Facebook and The Gluten Exchange on Facebook


2. Follow @GlutenExchange on Instagram

This giveaway will be open until Thursday, February 13th at 8:00 pm PST. One winner will be randomly chosen and announced on  Valentine's Day, Friday, February 14th and will have 48 hours to contact me at theglutenexchange {at} gmail {dot} com with their mailing address or another winner will be selected.

*One winner per household, email address or home address.  (U.S. Only)
Disclaimer: I was provided Annie's products at no cost and for review purposes only.