Review: Breads from Anna

Since starting my blog over a year ago, I have met so many wonderful people.  Some of those people have become friends.  One of those friends sent me a great surprise a week or so ago…a bread mix from Breads from Anna!  I couldn’t wait to make it! 

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This mix was super easy to make.  I chose to make it in my Zojirushi Breadmaker.  I mixed all of the liquid ingredients together first, then I poured in the mix & sprinkled the yeast on top.  I hit “start” on my Zo and walked away.  3.5 hours later my house smelled like heaven! 

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I let the bread cool down for 15 or so minutes and then I couldn’t take it any longer.  I sliced off a couple of pieces and made myself a turkey, Swiss, basil & spinach sandwich (topped with Sriracha, of course ;) ). 

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The bread was so flavorful and had an amazing texture.  I love the tastes of the different flours that are used: Montina & chickpea, navy bean & sorghum in addition to tapioca & cornstarch.  Each slice has 3 grams of fiber, pretty good for a gluten-free bread!  This bread mix is free of soy, rice & nuts, perfect for those with other allergens & intolerances in addition to gluten. 

If you are looking for a great gluten-free bread you should give Breads from Anna a try.    Breads from Anna has so many other mixes available, including a cranberry pancake mix that is calling my name!  YUM!!

Thanks again, Erin, you are so sweet.  I am really enjoying this bread. :)

 

Gluten-free Bites

My gluten-free marathoning buddy, Beth, is the new Columbus Running Examiner!  Go Beth!!  Please stop by & say “Hi” to Beth!  She has some great advice & tips.  Also, don’t forget to wish her luck on her 14th marathon, coming up this Sunday, September 26, 2009.  :)  I did an interview with Beth not too long about about gluten-free training.  

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My Mommy got me an early Christmas gift!  She got me a Garmin Forerunner 305!  I am so excited!  What a great tool to have for my training – not only for the half, but for the full marathon I am planning to run in May.  A special thanks to Caitlin over at Healthy Tipping Point for the recommendation on the Garmin & where to get it for the lowest price. 

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Pure Bars.  The wonderful people from Pure Bars sent me a variety box of their bars to sample.  I had reviewed a few over the past year, but hadn’t tasted all of the flavors.  I have now officially tried the other 3 flavors: Cranberry Orange, Wild Blueberry & ChocChip TrailMix.  My verdict?  They all rock!  I honestly love them all!  If you made me pick a favorite, it would be between the Wild Blueberry & Cherry Cashew.  Make sure to check out Veronica’s Blog.  Veronica is the founder of Pure Bar.  :)   You can find Pure Bars at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. 

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See my review of First Watch on The Examiner.  What an amazing place to dine gluten-free!  Not to be missed! 

Here are some additional pics from my visit.

Check out this menu:

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Egg white omelette w/ turkey, spinach, feta & tomatoes:

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I have several more reviews coming this week….Manna from Anna’s bread, Country Bob’s and Old Bay Seasoning.  :)  Also, pumpkin spice fans, Hershey’s Kisses has a pumpkin spice flavor out and it is TDF!! 

 

Healthy Cookies?

Yes, that is right, I said “Healthy Cookies”.  :)  I have taken a liking to 2 cookbooks that I recently checked out of the library.  The 2 books are Veganomicon, which I now own, and Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, which I am about to own.  ;)  No, I am not vegan or even vegetarian, but I don’t eat meat daily.  I love veggie based dishes & find myself craving them.  I love all kinds of beans & lentils and all the different varieties out there. 

I happened upon this recipe for Super-Charge Me! Cookies and figured out that it would be very easy to modify to be gluten-free.  The changes that I made are:

Bob’s Red Mill GF Oats for the quick oats

Bob’s Red Mill Sorghum Flour for the spelt flour

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil for the canola oil

The results were amazing!  These cookies are so addicting!  I am glad that they are healthy because I certainly don’t feel bad eating them for breakfast now!  ;)  LOL! 

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I did use raisins for my dried fruit & chocolate chips, too.  I might try nuts or maybe dried cherries, blueberries or chopped dried figs next time. 

Definitely a keeper of a recipe! :)  Even super picky Jon loved these!  One change he asked me to make…. leave out the raisins next time, though, because he prefers chocolate chips.  Umm…no!  LOL! 

 

Menu Plan ~ September 20, 2009

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Apples & pumpkins are my favorite fall fruits & veggies.  I also have a fondness for squash of all size & shape.  I am mourning my berries, peaches, plums & watermelon and moving forward.  I just bought my first couple Honeycrisp apples today!  YUM!!  I am so looking forward to eating these!  Honeycrisp Apples were developed at the University of Minnesota. Honeycrisp apple is a cross between Macoun apple and Honey Gold apples and is extraordinarily crisp and juicy with a wonderful aroma and flavor. 

Wendy at Celiacs in the House is hosting this week’s gluten-free menu swap.  Wendy’s choice ingredient of the week is pumpkins!  I could eat pumpkin every day of the week!  Here are some of my favorite pumpkin recipes:  Acorn squash with creamy pumpkin brown rice, pumpkin bread, chocolate pumpkin bread, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin chocolate chip bars and pumpkin pie.  I think I will make some pumpkin bread this week! ;)  Speaking of pumpkin, did you know that Trader Joe’s has their pumpkin butter back on the shevles!?!?!  I definitely bought some the other day!  Major YUM!

Sunday ~ Leftovers (tacos, rotisserie chix, stir fry chix)

Monday ~ Salmon (broiled with Thai Chile Sauce), coconut brown rice, broccoli & salad

Tuesday ~ Cocoa-Coconut Chili (recipe to come later), salad & foccacia (Chebe) bread

Wednesday ~ Baked Ziti, green beans & salad

Thursday ~ Grilled BBQ chicken breast, roasted asparagus, sweet potato steak fries & salad

Friday~ Leftover BBQ chicken made into homemade BBQ chicken pizza, steamed veggies & salad

Saturday ~ Roasted veggies (eggplant, carrots, zucchini) over garbanzo beans and topped with Marinutta sauce

Baked Goods

Pumpkin Bread

New Bread Mix to review!

Some more gluten-free versions of the Super Charge Me cookies from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan

 

Don’t forget to check out Orgjunkie for lots more meal ideas. 

 

I hope you all have a great week!!

An Amazing Sauce Discovery

I am always on the lookout for new fun things to eat.  I get a lot of ideas from some other very clever bloggers and this sauce idea came from one of my favorites: Heather Eats Almond Butter.  I also saw Meghann of The Inner Workings of a College Graduate make this sauce this week and that did it for me.  I had to try it.  I figured with almond butter it couldn’t be bad, right?  So I set off making my new favorite sauce.  The best part about the ingredients is that they are all naturally gluten-free!! 

Here is what I used for a single serving:

1/2 cup Prego 3 Cheese Marinara Sauce (gluten-free)

1 TBSP Trader Joe’s raw unsalted almond butter (GF)

1 TBSP Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal

I mixed all the above up in a bowl and then tossed in the microwave for 45 seconds to a minute & then stirred.  I tasted the creation and was in heaven!!  Seriously, quite possibly the best sauce ever!!  I quickly put the rest of my ingredients in a bowl to expedite things so I could sit down to eat!

Into the bowl went:

1/2 cup leftover Trader Joe’s brown rice spiral pasta

1/2 cup chickpeas

3/4 cup roasted eggplant

leftover broccoli (1/2 cup or less)

Top with sauce and then goat cheese. 

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Then, all mixed up:

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If you are looking at this shaking your head, please try it.  You can use peanut butter or Sunbutter if you don’t have almond butter or can’t have nuts.  It is very rich and is healthy for you, too!  You could use this to top all kinds of stuff.  I love roasted veggie bowls with a little pasta, some kind of beans and a sauce of some sort.  Usually it is plain marinara.  From now on, it will be marinutta, as Heather calls it.  ;)

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Newsworthy Notes:

  1. Check out my 2 new articles on the Examiner:  Crock pot Applesauce  and Gluten-free at Hardee’s.
  2. I contacted Gatorade the other day to confirm that the drink powder was gluten-free and I got the confirmation that all of their drinks are gluten-free, including Thirst Quencher, Instant Mix, Endurance Formula, Energy Drink, Nutrition Shake, G2 and Propel.
  3. I am running further tomorrow than I ever have before.  I plan to run 12 miles in the morning.  This will be the longest training run before my half-marathon.  Wish me luck!!

 

 

 

Diagnosis of Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Intolerance

Last Sunday was Celiac Disease Awareness day.  Celiac Disease Awareness brings me to this post on the diagnosis of Celiac Disease. The diagnosis can be tricky for a number of reasons.  The signs & symptoms of Celiac Disease can vary from person to person, so while one person may present with gastrointestinal symptoms, another may present with neurological symptoms, another with skin symptoms (Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), which is the skin manifestation of Celiac Disease), or possibly even no symptoms at all.  You may be wondering how that last circumstance is even possible, but it is.  Celiac Disease is genetic, and often after the diagnosis is made, other family members are encouraged to go & get tested.  The people who are diagnosed with Celiac Disease that have no symptoms are called “asymptomatic”. 

If you suspect that you or someone you know may have Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance, the first step should be to see your doctor & ask for the Celiac Panel.  This is just a simple blood test where the doctor is looking for the presence of specific antibodies.  If this test comes back positive, an endoscopy with biopsy of the small intestine is then performed to confirm Celiac Disease.  Celiac Disease is not an allergy, but an autoimmune disorder.  Gluten sets off an autoimmune response in those who have Celiac disease, which results in damage to the villi (small fingerlike structures that aid in absorbing nutrients).  The only “cure” for Celiac Disease is to follow a life-long gluten-free diet. 

Diagnosis is not always so cut & dried.  Some people can test negative on the Celiac Panel and still test positive on the endoscopy/biopsy.  Some people can test negative on both, yet still react when consuming gluten; these people therefore feel better following a gluten-free diet.  Some people will have a positive Celiac Panel and opt to try the gluten-free diet and skip the endoscopy/biopsy.  This is a personal decision and should not be entered into lightly.  Once you embark on a gluten-free diet your body can begin to heal fairly quickly.  The tests will likely be skewed if you were to be following the gluten-free diet while having the testing done.  It is necessary to be actively consuming gluten while getting the Celiac Panel and/or endoscopy/biopsy done in order to get accurate results.  There have been numerous discussions and various opinions on how long after one resumes consuming gluten that accurate results are possible. 

Gluten intolerance can be defined as a condition where one reacts in some way to gluten, yet doesn’t have the diagnosis of Celiac Disease, for whatever reason. 

I was not diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  My Celiac Panel came back positive and I went gluten-free (not knowing any better) and I felt a huge difference within 24 hours.  I saw a GI doctor a week or so later who wanted to do the endoscopy/biopsy after having me go back to eating gluten.  I opted not to, because I obviously had an issue with gluten, and you couldn’t pay me to eat it again.  In my opinion, if someone feels better not eating gluten, who cares what you call it!  Now, that being said, when my son Jon was tested & diagnosed, I knew better about not going gluten-free before the testing was finished and went ahead & had the endoscopy/biopsy done on him.  The main reason I did this was because I couldn’t sentence my then 10 year old to a life-long gluten-free diet without being absolutely sure that he had Celiac Disease.  I knew that later on the diagnosis would help to keep him on the diet into his teen years & adult life as well. 

I hope this post helps someone out there.  1 in 133 people in the United States has Celiac Disease.  Only 3% of those people are diagnosed.  97% are undiagnosed and even possibly misdiagnosed with something else, such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).  I was told for several years that I had IBS before I even knew what Celiac Disease was.  Yes, I had an irritable bowel – it was being irritated by gluten!  There are plenty of people out there who have symptoms, but they aren’t bothersome enough to get tested.  Undiagnosed Celiac Disease can cause a host of issues on down the road, including some cancers

A number of websites have all kinds of information that may help:

Please don’t hesitate to email me with questions,  I am here to help.  I hope to get some brand new recipes posted in the next week for Fall!  I can’t wait!

Roasting Kabocha Squash

Some of my absolute favorite foods are those that are naturally gluten-free.  The easiest naturally gluten-free foods to find are whole foods like fruits & vegetables.  When you stick with whole foods and prepare them yourself, there is no label reading or wondering if the food has been cross-contaminated or manufactured in a place that also manufactures or produces gluten-containing products.  Not only are these foods better for those on a gluten-free diet, but they are better for everyone.  There is so much processed food out there.  The less you eat, the better. 

I found this kabocha squash a week or so ago at Kroger.  I had been looking for one for a while, so I was shocked to finally find it!  Here is a little more about the kabocha squash from What’s Cooking America:

Kabocha (Also known as a Ebisu, Delica, Hoka, Hokkaido, or Japanese Pumpkin) – Kabocha is the generic Japanese word for squash, but refers most commonly to a squash of the buttercup type.

Kobocha Squash may be cooked whole or split lengthwise (removing seeds). It has a rich sweet flavor, and often dry and flaky when cooked. Use in any dish in which buttercup squash would work.

Available year-round.

 

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To prepare the squash for roasting, I washed the squash & cut in half lengthwise & removed the seeds.  This was not an easy job, but I persevered and got the job done.  I then chopped into large chunks and placed them on a baking sheet that had been sprayed with Pam.  I then sprayed the squash with Pam and seasoned with sea salt & pepper.  I then roasted in the oven at about 400 for 30 – 40 minutes or so.   I kept checking to make sure I wasn’t over cooking it.  The flesh skin will both get tender & the flesh gets a little flaky.  The skin is edible and I think it adds a nice texture to the squash. 

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This squash reminded me a lot of a sweet potato, but richer.  It was so stinkin’ good!!  I have been eating this for days & still have some left!  There are so many things you can do with this.  You could scoop the meat out & mash up for oatmeal, baking or just to eat alone. 

If you are looking for a great new fall veggie to try, don’t pass this one up!! 

 

Weekly Menu Plan ~ September 13, 2009

This week is Aaron’s b-day week!!  Yay for birthdays!!  He will be 29 again (for the 9th time!).  We will probably have a “date” night on Saturday to celebrate.  :)

M-Elle is hosting this week’s gluten-free menu swap at La Cocina de Michelle.  The ingredient of the week is quinoa!  One of my absolute favorite grains.  There is so much you can do with quinoa and you can pretty much sub it for rice any time you want.  Even Jon likes it! :)  I have even made veggie burgers using quinoa before..YUM!!  Thanks for hosting, M-Elle. 

Sunday ~ BBQ Chicken Breasts, roasted kabocha squash, asparagus & salad

Monday ~ Grilled Salmon, quinoa, broccoli & salad

Tuesday ~ Grilled Teryaki Turkey Burgers, baked sweet potatoes, corn & salad

Wednesday ~ Creamy Pumpkin Brown Rice in Acorn Squash, Chicken Breast & salad

Thursday ~ Spaghetti & veggie marinara and salad

Friday ~ Leftovers or pizza night

Saturday ~ Date night! 

Baked Goods

Bread

Pumpkin Bread

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Check out Jay’s post over at  Gluten-free Post on a new cookbook!

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Check out my article on Celiac Awareness Day, September 13, 2009

 

Hope you all had a great weekend!  Have a great week!

 

 

How to get Cereal Vit Cereals

Yesterday I posted a review on Cereal Vit Cereals.  I received an email today from Riega foods detailing how you guys can get a hold of this cereal.  There is also a code to get 15% off when you order on Amazon.com.

It takes some time to get the products through distribution and into stores.

If you want to let your readers know there are two things they can do to help get them into stores.

1) They can download the store request form from (also attached):

http://www.riegafoods.com/store-request-form.pdf

Take it to their favorite store (independent stores are more likely to buy direct from us) ask them to carry the cereals. We are happy to send samples to the stores to try and sell direct while we are getting set up with distributors.

2) They can also email us at sales@riegafoods.com with their favorite store and we will contact the store for them and try and work with them.

Finally, we have also set up packs of 4 boxes on Amazon for purchase in the short-term. We prefer to sell via stores, but we have to fulfill demand somehow. Economies of scale also lead to better pricing at store level than Amazon due to shipping and the fees Amazon charges. If someone goes to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=cerealvit&x=0&y=0

they can see the offerings. They can also use coupon code 15CERVIT on the first order and get 15% off one order.

Again, thanks for the review, and I am happy you liked the cereals.

Regards,

Brad

I hope this helps some of you find these great cereals!  I love them! 

 

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Review: Cereal Vit Gluten-free Cereals

If you didn’t realize it by now, I am a cereal freak.  I love my cereal.  I eat it at least once a day and I usually mix more than 1 kind together in a bowl.  I then top with Greek yogurt, fruit, nut butter or Vanilla Almond Breeze (unsweetened).  I love to mix in different flavors of cereals to maximize flavor and nutrition. 

A few weeks back I received 3 boxes of cereal made by Cereal Vit.   There were Corn Flakes, Coffee Flakes and Benevit Multi-grain Flakes. 

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I was especially interested in the Coffee Flakes- Coffee coated corn and flax flake cereal enriched with Omega-3 for heart health. Certified organic and gluten free.  I tasted those first.  WOW!  What a unique flavor!  It was odd at first, but then I really grew to like it!  I now crave the taste & love adding them to my other cereals or just to my yogurt alone. 

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Next up was the Corn Flakes – Extra thick and crispy corn flake with no added sugar. Certified organic and gluten free.  These are great corn flakes, but don’t be expecting them to be sweet, as they only have 3 ingredients – organic corn, rice malt & salt.  They have 1.2 grams/sugar per serving.  Great for adding a serving of fresh fruit & yogurt or Almond Breeze to. 

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Last, but not least, the Benevit Multi-grain Flakes – Buckwheat and rice flakes with low sugar and fat content. Certified organic and gluten free.  These are great!!  I love the flavor!  Another one that is perfect for mixing or just adding fruit & yogurt to.  I love how the flakes stand up to moisture from fruit/yogurt/milk. 

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These are a great addition to any gluten-free cereal pantry!  For more information, please see Riega Foods.

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Check out my latest Examiner article on the 8th Annual “Making Tracks for Celiacs” walk

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A few weeks back I tweeted about not being able to get a response from Emerald Nuts about their Cocoa Roasted Almonds being gluten-free or not.  I received a very nice email from the company this week apologizing for their lack of response (they saw the tweet, but not any of my 3 emails).  They assured me that the Dark Chocolate Cocoa Roasted Almonds are in fact gluten-free.  :) 

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I hope you all have a great weekend!  Anything special planned?  I have a long run planned for tomorrow and then nothing really all weekend after that.  I am running later than normal, so I have to play around with my schedule for eating.  Normally I don’t like to eat before a run period, but I do for my runs over 6 miles.  I will eat a banana or Clif Gel.  8+ miles also warrants a Gel of sorts in the middle.  Tomorrow I may actually eat a small breakfast first, but I haven’t figured things out yet.  I think it will depend on when I get up.  I will be stuffing my face after my run, that is for sure! ;) 

 

 

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