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November 26, 2013

Gluten Free Holiday Gift Guide under $35

Gluten Free Holiday Gift Guide under $35 logo


The holidays are the time of giving and if you have a gluten free friend on your gift list, well then you have come to the right place. Below is a list of gluten free products, books, and items that are under $35 and would make any Celiac's day brighter. I would LOVE anything on this list (ahem...Mark :) Click on any of the below products to redirect to the original site. 


Gluten Free Gift Guide under $35

Under $15
1.  Cake Boss™ Stainless Steel Tools and Gadgets 2-Tablespoon Mechanical Cookie Scoop $12.99  ideal for making cookies in a uniform size and also for filling cupcake tins with batter. 

2. Norpro Nonstick 6-Donut Pan $12.59 as I have yet to find the perfect gluten free donut, I opt for a homemade version using this perfect pan. 


3. Sweet Cravings (50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle) by Krya Bussanich  The first gluten free baker to win Food Network's Cupcake Wars shares her delicious recipes for  cakes, muffins, scones, cookie,s brownies, cobblers, tarts and more.

Under $25

4. 
Bialetti 3-pc. Pizza Stone Set for $15.99 perfect for pizza nights in and for hosting a game night!

5. Healthy Salad on the Go Set from Tupperware $20.00 perfect for traveling and weekday lunches at work.


7. Gluten Free Girl Every Day by Shauna James Ahean $18.96 on Amazon a gluten free cookbook MUST have. phenomenal recipes, and flavorful dishes for the everyday cook.

8. Subscription to Delight Gluten Free MagazineAnnual subscription for bi-monthly magazine (6-copies per year). $24.00 This will be on my list every year. An amazing magazine with simple, delicious recipes, product reviews and much much more! 

Under $35
9. Willaim-Sonoma Goldtouch Nonstick Mini Loaf Pan $33.95 perfect for making several mini loafs and freezing a few for later. 

10.  Fred’s Chocolate Drizzle Popcorn Tub $28 do I need a description? :) 

Tomorrow's post- Gluten Free Gift Guide under $100

November 25, 2013

Restaurant Review- Lean and Green Cafe in La Jolla, CA


Last week I was able to try a San Diego gluten free gem, Lean and Green Cafe. Situated between the streets of La Jolla's seaside village this eatery caters to vegans, vegetarians, Celiacs and anyone with an appetite for fresh, local, organic quality bites. Lean and Green specializes in gourmet meals and offers a wide selection of bars, smoothies and the perfect on the go power bites.



Lean and Green supports some of my favorite local gluten free companies including Perfect Foods Bar, Barnara, Karmic Krunch and last but definitely not least Decker Brothers Gourmet. Decker Brothers makes delicious, fresh, organic soups which are gluten free, vegan and packed with flavor. 



After glancing at the menu, "gluten free tortilla wrap" and the butternut squash soup caught my eye. Luckily they offer a 1/2 wrap and soup cup option, allowing diners to try a few of their delicious items at once. Lean and Green offers the Smart & Delicious Gluten & Wheat Free tortillas as the whole wheat tortilla substitute. Ironically, these have been my go to for years, offering a gluten free tortilla option that doesn't break apart upon the first bite. Carrying these over any other gluten free brand earns Lean and Green a gold start for just this choice, as all other gluten free tortillas crack once you try and roll them, even after my best efforts trying to keep it together. It is such a treat to enjoy a wrap again and its even better when it doesn't make a mess.



I indulged on the "Mediterranean Chicken wrap"- grilled chicken + house made hummus + feta + fresh basil + artichoke hearts + sundried tomatoes + spinach + herb & garlic. This amazing combo is one of their most popular wraps and the flavor, fresh ingredients and taste explains why. The butternut squash soup was creamy and not watered down. It was full of flavor and even had a spicy kick. Other popular soup choices are the minestrone and split pea. Lean and Green understands that not only are the ingredients inside each dish crucial to a Celiac's diet, but also how the foods is prepared. Gluten free wraps are prepped on a separate paper surface and transferred to a clean serving plate. I have since tried the Rainbow Turkey wrap- Roasted Turkey + Goat Cheese + Tomatoes +Alfalfa Sprouts + Pepperoncinis + Baby Spinach + Buttermilk Herb Dressing and the Holiday Wrap- Organic Mixed Baby Greens+ All Natural Oven Roasted Turkey Breast + Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes + Cranberry Sauce + Topped with Walnuts + Honey Dijon Dressing. Why aren't sweet potatoes offered year round? The cinnamon sugar, walnuts and sweet potato combo was amazing!




For their yogurt bowls, Lean and Green uses Udi's Gluten Free granola, a dedicated gluten free company. If you opt for one of their many fresh salads, you can pick from a variety of home made dressings which are made without wheat, gluten and sugar (excluding blue cheese). Although, if the preset wrap and salad menu does not satisfy your cravings you can build your own salad or wrap. Choose between a number fresh veggies, fruits, cheeses, proteins and toppings to create your own healthy delight. 

A few of their most popular smoothies and shakes are the Skinny Monkey - 2% milk (substituent soy or almond milk) + bananas + peanut nutter + chocolate whey protein + ice and the Amazing Acai- soymilk + acai + bananas + strawberries and Crazy Jungle (Almond milk + spinach + cucumber + avocado + bananas + ice. I have since tried the Skinny Money and Amazing Acai and will forever have a hard time deciding between these and/or do I say it, try a different one?



Thank you Lean and Green for providing San Diego a healthy, fresh option for a midweek meal or quick bite on the weekend. I have since dined here on several occasions and leave feeling nourished, and energized for the rest of my day. Having a reliable "go-to" option as a Celiac is a must and Lean and Green Cafe is mine!

November 22, 2013

Product Highlight: Wholesome Chow- Organic, Gluten Free, Vegan Baking Mixes


When I stumbled upon Wholesome Chow's pancake mix last year and made these delicious Cinnamon Roll pancakes, I knew trying their entire product line was a must. With the weather finally cooling down I am finding any excuse to bake something, whether it be for co-workers, friends, family or better yet, myself, I can't stop turning on the oven. Pumpkin spice is a fall favorite, but after a few weeks eating what feels like everything in this flavor, Wholesome's Chai Spiced Cake mix was a fresh take to a fall treat. Surprisingly, I have yet to attempt a gluten free bundt cake, but with this easy to prepare cake mix and an opportunity to bake,  I decided I was up for the challenge. 

Wholesome Chow's Organic Gluten-Free Chai Spice Cake Mix 
Ingredients: 
Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic White Rice Flour, Organic Brown Rice Flour, Organic Potato Starch, Organic Tapioca Starch, Organic Vanilla Powder (Organic Sucrose, Organic Vanilla Bean Extractives), Organic Cornstarch, Organic Fair Trade Chai Spices, Aluminum-Free Baking Powder (Sodium acid pyrophosphate, Sodium bicarbonate, Corn starch, Monocalcium phosphate), Sodium Bicarbonate, Evaporated Sea Salt, Xanthan Gum. 

SIMPLE directions!
Just Add:

  • Milk (Non-Dairy or Dairy)
  • Oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice

This cake is the perfect dessert to take to your Thanksgiving get together next week. Because it caters to so many dietary restrictions, you will be sure not to exclude any holiday diners from the best part of the meal- dessert! 


  • All of Wholesome Chow's Baking Mixes are 100%:


  • USDA Organic
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Gluten Free Certified under 5ppm by CSA
  • Vegan Verified
  • Kosher
  • Cholesterol Free
  • Trans Fat Free
  • Made with
  • All-Natural Ingredients
  • Easy to digest
  • Free of Chemicals, Preservatives, and Additives
  • Easy to prepare:
  • Mix, bake and serve!
I glazed the cake with Wholesome's Gluten Free Vanilla Frosting Mix (see ingredient list below), because what is a cake without frosting, let me answer, not that good. I mean we are trying to wow people, not make them run for the gluten filled hills.  I  added candy corn for color on top which also added a splash of fall. The cake was moist, fluffy, yummy and so EASY to make/prepare. 


Wholesome's Gluten Free Vanilla Frosting Mix Ingredients:
Organic Powdered Sugar, Organic Vanilla Powder. CORN-FREE 

JUST ADD:
Butter (Non-Dairy or Dairy)
Vegetable Shortening (optional)
Milk (Non-Dairy or Dairy) 


Thank you Wholesome Chow for providing a decadent array of baking mixes that cater to those with various dietary restrictions. Wholesome Chow's baking mixes are perfect for your holiday baking needs. Visit their website HERE to find a store closest to you that carries their baking line. Need a gluten free gift this holiday season? Why not purchase Wholesome's Holiday Baking Gift Sets which contain a variety of Wholesome's best products and are reasonably priced under $40 with FREE shipping included to any US address. Click HERE for more details and gift options.  Hey, you can always send one to me :)

November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving Berry Cornucopias


Who can pass up dessert? Even after the 5 course Thanksgiving feast, I always save room in my "dessert compartment" of my stomach for the chocolate and sweet stuff and I am sure I am not the only one. These Berry Cornucopias are the perfect amount of sweetness that wont leave you lying horizontal on the couch for hours afterwards. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Berries Cornucopias
Makes 6 cornucopias
Ingredients:
Directions:
  1. Heat Baker's milk chocolate as instruction on cup. Dip ice cream cone open side into the chocolate. Allow to cool on wax paper until dry. 
  2. In a medium bowl make vanilla instant pudding as instructed on box
  3. Stuff ice cream cones with 1-2 Tablespoons of vanilla pudding. Add berries. Top with mint.

November 14, 2013

Recap of the 1st Annual San Diego Gluten Free Oktoberfest

Can I start off my saying, this event was AMAZING! The venue was buzzing the entire time with gluten free goers from around San Diego beaming from ear to ear with a gluten free beer or cider in hand. If that doesn't sum up a successful event, I am not sure what does.

A few Saturdays ago we arrived without a minute to spare, 5:30 on the dot! I couldn't wait to experience and try every gluten free vendor. I was warmly greeted by Annie's Gluten Free Grub, and Atherton Baking Company the event coordinators and brains behind the entire event! Mark and I quickly ventured around and enjoyed meeting fellow gluten free bloggers, vendors and San Diego Celiacs. Below is a recap of the event full of vendors, gluten free products and of course a review of the gluten free beer & cider. 

Gluten Free Books
  • Gluten is My Bitch by April Peveteaux- I first met her in 2012 at the CDF conference in Los Angeles, congrats on your book! Click HERE to purchase.
  • Gluten Free, Vegan Comfort Food- a Southern California native and brains behind this delicious book- Click HERE to purchase.
  • Celiac and the Beast- this book has received fantastic reviews, purchase your copy HERE, it is going to be my Christmas present to myself! :)
Always My Favorite
  • 2Good2B Bakery & Cafe- they now have an online shopping cart and delivery service, hey San Diego now you can have gluten free goodies delivered to your door, how cool is that?
  • Arctic Zero- healthy, low calorie ice cream that come in a variety of flavors.  Like them on Facebook for daily giveaways! Sweet deal!
  • Baron's Market- one of my favorite grocery stores for various gluten free products at reasonable prices. Check out their various locations throughout Southern California HERE.
Beer & Cider
  • Square Mile Cider- Original and Spur & Vine- both made from 3 delicious apple varieties with the original sweet and tart and Spur & Vine having a twist of peach, melon & honeysuckle. 
  • Fox Barrel- naturally light but not too sweet comes in 3 crisp flavors, Pacific Pear, Apricot Pear, and Blackberry Pear.
  • Crispinsmooth with pure apple juice or from natural sugar sources like organic honey or organic maple syrup, and contain no added colorants, sorbate or benzoate preservatives.
  • Green's Beer-  dedicated producers of craft brewed Belgian beers ranging from crisp and light lagers or rich dark ales to wonderful hoppy beers, making Green's one of the biggest original producers of gluten & wheat free beers. My favorite was the lager and cider (a dry cider) nice change from the sweet ones. 
  • New Planet- Colorado's gluten free craft beer-my favorite is the blonde ale which is smooth and light in flavor. 
NEW Finds

  • Tasty Bite- delicious rice side dishes that make quick and easy meals that are gluten free and are FULL of flavor.
  • Cook's Sourdough, yes I said SOURDOUGH! It was so good! I can't even tell you the last time I had sourdough bread. Click HERE to find various San Diego deli's that carry Cook"s. 
  • Gluten Free Please- the baker behind Dark House Coffee- I sampled Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars,  Blue Berry Coffee Cake and Pumpkin Chai donuts, follow her for pastry updates and the latest at Dark House on Instagram
  • Little Soya- Stocked up on these soy sauce packets which contain less sodium than San J's and come in little fish containers, how cute are those?
  • Krave Jerky- my favorite flavor- Basil Citrus  a high protein, low calorie snack, 
Not only were the FREE samples out of this world, check out all the gluten free products I went home with, (Unbelievable!) my pantry will be stocked for weeks, but the upbeat atmosphere and amazing vendors made this event a HUGE success!!

All I have to say is that let's do this AGAIN next year! Same time, same place! 

November 6, 2013

Gluten Free Ahi Tuna Salad


 If you crave sushi 24/7 like I do, you'll love this recipe. After our trip to Hawaii this year and dining on fresh fish for a week straight, I had a huge craving to recreate one of my favorite dishes while on vacation. We ordered the ahi tuna salad almost everywhere as an appetizer. Now that we are back on the mainland, I am enjoying this Hawaiian favorite in California. This recipe combines my favorites, creamy avocado, fresh crisp cucumbers, a delicious sauce and of course fresh tuna. Aloha fresh, filling and yummy recipe! Enjoy!


Ingredients:

¾ pound of sashimi grade tuna steak, diced (We have purchased at Costco and have been very impressed with the flavor and price)
½ cup diced cucumber
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, diced
¼ cup chopped green onion
1 ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (NOT Tablespoons, :) I made that mistake and it was SPICY!)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon sesame oil
½ cup San J Organic Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce (purchased at Vons)


Directions:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine tuna, cucumber, avocado, green onion, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds.
  2. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, sesame oil, and soy sauce.
  3. Pour soy sauce mixture over tuna and carefully mix ingredients with your hands. Be gentle as to not mash the avocado.
  4. Place bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, no longer.
  5. Serve tuna salad with white rice as a main dish or with gluten free crackers as an appetizers. And don’t forget to bust of your chop sticks!


Makes 6 servings.