Travel – On The Go Food

One of the toughest part of GF travel is food. Car trips are easier then travel by air or boat when you’re trapped in a closed space. So one of my go to’s is GoPicinic ready to eat meals and snacks.

Four varieties are Gluten free. They are inexpensive and contain a nice assortment of food. Each food item in the box is individually packaged.  I feel that the boxes take up too much room for packing in a suitcase, so I take the packages out of the box.

These aren’t just for travel, they are great to keep at your desk so you don’t go hungry and when you’re running errands and need a snack. New smaller snack packs are also available.

Beef pepperoni slices, creamy Asiago gourmet cheese spread, crunchy multi-grain crackers, sweet + spicy fruit & nut mix, and a long-lasting fleur de sel caramel lollipop for dessert!

Edamame kale dip, crispy roasted plantain chips, ginger zip fruit & nut mix, a sweet & tangy tropical fruit peel-a-part, and two chocolate chip cookies for dessert!

Sunbutter, crunchy multi-grain crackers, unsweetened applesauce, a sweet & tangy tropical 100% fruit bar, and two chocolate chip cookies for dessert!

Black bean dip, crispy roasted plantain chips, Ginger Zip fruit & nut mix, energy-packed edamame seed blend, and a deliciously guilt-free apricot fruit strip for dessert!

GoPicnic meals are all 100% shelf stable, nutritionally balanced, under 500 calories, with no preparation needed. Their products also contain no artificial colors, flavors, trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, or added MSG.

Looking to find GoPicnic in a store near you? Good news! GoPicnic is now available in Target stores nationwide, most airports, many Regal Cinema theaters, sporting stadiums, and theme parks (Disney), as well as online through Amazon!

Like them on FB as they very often post links for discounts.

And right now –  a better deal. I found this Groupon offer….. GROUPON. $19 for $40 worth of GoPicnic food. And you order directly from GoPicinic.

 

Travel – Soy Sauce {Tamari}

Even though many Oriental restaurants, especially Thai, will make your food GF, many don’t have GF soy sauce available so I carry my own.

And last week I saw a women taking a bottle of GF Soy Sauce out of her purse. Okay—I know we like to make sure we have what we need to take care of our selves as far as GF food goes. But carrying a bottle around? NO WAY!

Well, I’m sorta a busy body. I walked over and said, “you know they make travel packs don’t you?” She said “WHAT!”. I said “travel packs of Soy Sauce.” So I gave her two. You’d thought I’d given her a million dollars. {or five}

Actually it’s Tamari – What is Tamari?? Tamari is a premium Japanese soy sauce. While most soy sauces are made with about 50% soybeans and 50% wheat, Tamari soy sauce is made from soybeans with just a touch of wheat or no wheat at all. All San-J Tamari is made with 100% soybeans and no wheat.

In response to customer requests, and knowing just how hard it is to maintain a gluten free diet when traveling or dining out, San-J has created a Travel Pack. This is San-J Organic Gluten Free Tamari packaged in convenient travel-sized sachets.

San-J’s bottled Organic Gluten Free Tamari, are certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization and certified organic and kosher.

Where do you get these?

Whole Foods….You can also order them on Amazon.

***I put several in a snack size zip lock baggy – just in case one tears open.

Great for travel or just to have with you when you are out and about.

Travel – Toaster Bags to the rescue….

Many motels and hotels offer a free breakfast buffet with your stay. When you are gluten free, your choices are limited! Finding something safe to eat can be a challenge and most times preparing your own food is the best option. Even though many motel breakfast areas have toasters that guests can use to toast supplied bread and bagels, these gluten heating machines are definitely off-limits for someone that can’t have gluten.

Not if you have a toaster bag!  GLUTEN FREE HEALTHY CHOICE – These food-grade safe nonstick toaster bags are FDA approved, heat resistant up to 500°F, and eliminate cross contamination for food allergy diets and celiacs.

Just bring your own GF bread, waffles or bagel – take advantage of the individual packs of butter, cream cheese, syrup etc. supplied on the breakfast bar.

REUSABLE & DISHWASHER SAFE .

Safe travels. FYI – I ordered mine on Amazon.

Freschetta Frozen GF Pizza – A Review

 

Maybe I’m late to the party. But I just saw these by accident at my local grocery store. I was looking for something else in the frozen case and looked up and saw this pizza. Cheese and Pepperoni & Four Cheese medley.

The ones I tried were quite small {personal size} but I got on their website and a full size pizza is available at many stores. Store locator.

Gluten Free Pepperoni Pizza, with 100% real cheese and Freschetta’s Signature Pepperoni. The cheese pizza is 100% real mozzarella, savory asiago, rich fontina and hearty parmesan. The crust is crispy – no after taste.

This is by far the BEST frozen GF pizza I have had in six years. Just the right amount of cheese and sauce and the pepperoni was not greasy.

I usually add toppings to my frozen pizza. Chopped garlic, sautéed mushroom and roasted bell pepper are some of my favorite add ons. But for experimental purposes I cooked it as is. The box said that the crust was extra thin to allow for crunchiness – oh be still my taste buds, they did not lie.. The instructions said to put it on a pan but I did veer there and baked it on my oven rack. Check your pizza {if you decide to try it} after 10 min. – mine was almost over done.

I had to go back to the grocery store to get something to go with my dinner – I bought two more……

It’s Summer – Bell Peppers Are In Season – Here’s My Way To Cut Them.

This is the way I cut a bell pepper. It’s not a secret way but, I believe it’s the best way to get all the goodness of your pepper. Once you get it prepared, you can cut slices, dice & chop your hearts desire. This method gives you a flat surface to be able to do your thing.

Cut off both ends. Pull out the seed pod. Make a slit vertically. Pull pepper open, remove any remaining seeds. Lay a chef knife on its side. Gradually run the blade down the pepper and remove the white ribs.

Now it’s ready to be cut in to manageable sections and either cut in to stirps, cubed or minced.

This method works well with a Poblano pepper also. Store any unused sections in a zip lock bag for 3-5 days. Freeze if not used within that time.

In the summer when bell peppers are in season and on sale I often buy several and come home and wash them, prep them, put them on a pan, spread them out and freeze them. Then, transfer them to freezer bags so that I have them close at hand when peppers go up an unsightly amount in the winter {this especially goes for the red, yellow and orange variety}.

 

Grub Burger Bar – Review

First of all, why they chose this location is beyond me. The parking is awful. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of a large office building so maybe they were hoping for a captive audience – I don’t know.

Kari and I entered and went to the counter to order. There is no menu on display and all the menu’s are on the order desk so you can not see what to order while you are standing in line. I had to reach around the person ordering to get menus.

We placed our order and said two Gluten-free buns. The cashier mumbled something about “Gluten friendly” and “out side company” bun. Neither of us could understand what she was talking about. We had her repeat it. After the third attempt I said “so what you are saying is you make a Gluten free bun in house but you do have one available that comes from a dedicated bakery, correct?  A hummm, she answered.

Now down to the burger. Grub grinds its own meat –  it contains:  Angus chuck and brisket. All of the sauces and dressings are homemade. We ordered the in house baked Gluten-free bun. My first thought was, if you have celiac, I’d recommend getting the “outside co.” bun {read comment below}. The burger was very good. Juicy without being greasy. The Gluten-free bun was also very good. It’s kinda fell apart when holding it in your hands but that’s pretty common for Gluten-free buns.

FYI- the vegetarian option burger is not Gluten-free as it contains  tabbouleh (that may be served on the side, I didn’t ask – I like meat). And, as we left, I noticed someone else was manning the cash register, maybe he could explain the bun situation better.

They have two Gluten-free bun options, that’s a plus….but….

But will we go back? No. By the time I got home I had tummy issues {further description, not needed}. In checking with Kari, she has fatigue, brain fog and is feeling lethargic, which is her issue when cross contamination is a problem. In hindsight maybe the “in house” bun may have been the problem but there are plenty of other places that serve a good burger where we don’t feel ill afterwards. And since they are going to go to the trouble to offer two types of Gluten-free buns, you’d think that they would train the staff better.

Getting “Un-lost” at Kroger

I was running errands in a near by town a few days ago. And I friend had mentioned that there was a new Kroger grocery store there. I decided to check out the “Gluten free” isle. Well there isn’t one!

I found some frozen “rye” styled bread and a few other things, but I’m lost. Then I see a clerk stocking shelves.  Where is the Gluten free isle, I ask. Oh.!  we don’t have one. The GF products are in all the isles. That’s very confusing I say. Although, my local store does have a GF isle but GF Soy Sauce is in the Oriental food isle.

So, he asks, what are you looking for{secretly, I don’t know – remember, I’m on a expedition} I blurb out…crackers {I don’t need crackers}. He says- this way. We proceed down the cracker/snack isle. He points to a green sign and says that this is a “new concept” store.

He goes on to explain that all products deemed “healthy” [GF, low sugar, sprouted wheat. etc. } are together in the isles under the green sign. I say, that that is very confusing and he leaves me there shaking his head. Then a light bulb goes of in my head. Why would I be confused ?- I know how to read the GF on the package. I start going up and down the isles looking for the green sign. I find product after product. Now, I had already been in the frozen food isle – I go back, but now, I’m on a mission – the hunt for the green sign. What, not one green sign but three in a row! I find, chicken pot pie, eggplant parmesan and more! I think I like the little green sign……

Blake’s Gluten-free Chicken Pot Pie {A Review}

I was in unfamiliar territory yesterday and I spotted a brand new sparkly Kroger. If I have time I like to pop in to different grocery stores,  and scout out  what Gluten-free products they have to offer, opposed to what is sold at my local small chain . I found a new product {to me that is} in the freezer case. Blake’s Gluten-free chicken pot pie.

Blake’s Pot Pie is made with White Meat Chicken raised without antibiotics, garden vegetables and a Gluten-free crust. Blake’s is made in small batches using organic and natural ingredients.

The Blake family story can ne found here. Made from scratch from 1929.

Blake’s  meals can be cooked in either a microwave oven or conventional oven. They recommend using a conventional oven for the pot pies, as it ensures the crust will cook as it was intended. This is how I prepared mine.

First of all – that smell. The smell from the steam escaping from the crust of then Chicken pot pie as it’s coming out of the oven.  I sat down to eat it and I pushed all that crust in to the bowl so it would sop up the gravy. And the verdict is in – IT’S PRETTY DANG GOOD. Now would I eat it all the time, no. But I wouldn’t eat any frozen product on a regular basis. However it’s “keep it in freezer just in case” good. For those times when you can’t or don’t want to cook. I had mine for lunch and the portion was perfect. That being said, I think for dinner you may want to add a side salad to the plate.

Can’t wait to try the Shepherd’s Pie and Hearty Beef Stew which are also gluten free. They test these meals for the presence of gluten on a regular basis to ensure there is no cross-contact.

Oh – and don’t be surprised, there is NO bottom crust. They’ve been making their pot pies without a bottom crust for over forty years: they’d rather fill the meals with more chicken, veggies and gravy. This  makes the pot pies significantly lower in fat, sodium and carbohydrates than most other pot pies.

Store locator here.

Huevos and Salsa

I am in no way a morning person, but I am a hungry person. So I often find myself in a predicament in the mornings when I’m starving but am having a hard time pealing myself off the couch.

Enter, the easiest breakfast ever. Enjoy!

Print

Huevos and Salsa

A healthy, hearty breakfast even the laziest of morning people can make. 

Course Breakfast, eggs
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 farm-fresh eggs
  • 1 dab butter
  • 2 tbsp salsa
  • 1-2 corn tortillas
  • 1/3 avocado (sliced)

Instructions

  1. In a medium-sized pan on medium heat, melt a dab of butter. Just enough to coat the pan. 

  2. Crack two eggs into the pan. Cover with lid (or foil, or a plate...it's just to keep the steam in). Check eggs in 2 minutes for doneness and in 30 sec intervals after that until you've reached your preferred level of doneness. 

  3. While eggs cook, slice your avocado. 

  4. Once eggs are done, remove from heat and add 2 tbsp of your favorite salsa. I used Tostitos because it's what I had on hand. 

  5. To heat your tortilla and keep it soft wrap it in a slightly damp paper towel and microwave for 15 seconds. 

  6. Plate it, and enjoy! 

Throwback Summer Party Food Deviled Eggs

Trying to come up with a swim day menu, my first thought was deviled eggs. How can you have friends over for a BBQ without deviled eggs. My friends went wild – wild, like I had discovered a missing secret recipe. I almost didn’t make them cause I was trying to impress. So simple. So good.

First it starts with a good boiled egg. Did you know there’s a secret to boiling an egg. I have read many ways to do this – here’s my way. Cold eggs in pot — fill with water,  about one inch above the eggs, bring to a full boil. Turn off heat, lid on – don’t move. Timer for 15-17 min. Drain, fill with cold water and let sit off heat for 20 min., peel immediately.

Did you know? Older eggs are easier to peel than fresh eggs. If you are planning to make hard boiled eggs and want to make sure that the eggs are easy to peel, buy your eggs at least a week ahead of time (two weeks even better, they’ll keep).

Cut eggs in half. Remove yolk, set whites on platter and mash the yolk with a fork. Add your other ingredients, mix well and spoon mixture in to the whites. Chill – I got this handy dandy egg keeper at my local Dollar Tree for $1 (includes lid)

6 Eggs

1/4 cup Mayonnaise

1/2 T. pickle relish

1 t. of mustard {I use Dijon}

pinch of Salt & Pepper

Paprika for garnish {optional}